Chanuka on the beach

Thinking of past Chanukas, I think the most intersting place I ever lit Chanuka candles was in  a tent on a beach at the Dead Sea on a rainy windy night. I was camping with my 2 young daughters and we had 2 tents, but it turned out only the smaller was windproof enough for lighting candles -so we lit in the small tent and sat there playing games while the candles burned.  We were there 2 nights and on the 2nd night a friend showed up, with some friends, on the way to Masada.  In the end he stayed with us and hiked Ein Gedi with us the next day - so the 2nd night we were 2 adults and 2 kids in the little pup tent for the duration of the candles.  A fun evening, the girls enjoyed having a captive audience with whom to play games.


Sundays in Israel

Sunday is a regular workday in Israel.  This is hard for many olim, vastly curtailing the opportunity for leisure and family  activities, especially for those of us who are religious who use Friday to prepare for Shabbat and cannot engage in secular activities on Shabbat.  For years the idea has been bandied about that Sunday should become part of the weekend.  Lately it seems to be spreading - it has even been discussed in Knesset.
It would be wonderful to have Sunday off and I think it would benefit Israel in many ways. Many people would have time to unwind and meet with family and friends more frequently.  This could lead to less tension, more relaxed people.  It would also give people more time to engage in hobbies and cultural activities, a break from the daily grind, possibly even broadening people's horizons.

The working poor

The financial situation is very frustrating. I keep seeing reports saying how strong the economy is, how unemployment is falling, talking abut Israel's strong economy and how it will continue to grow and improve. Today I saw another article quoting an Israeli politician, this time Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, praising the economy and pointing out how unemployment is falling.
But looking around me it seems very hard to believe.  Yes, people are working. But are those working people making ends meet?  What isn't mentioned is that salaries in available jobs are very low and  costs are constantly rising.  I for one was earning 40% more a few years ago.  Many people I know who work full time still have trouble paying their bills.  It just doesn't seem right that a person who works full time can't make ends meet.


What a day

First I got to play human pin cushion (see today's post re rabies) and then I got to sit in my own home visiting with my ex and his brother.
When I got home this evening my daughter (staying with me these last few weeks because she's on shmirat herayon) told me her father and uncle were coming to visit tonight. I went to the pool and came back (dripping wet) to find them here, and joined them after changing. It was actually a pleasant visit, but rather surrealistic...

Life fast forwarded

It doesn't seem so long ago that I was living with my 2 girls in Shilo, watching them grown and develop... maybe that's because it wasn't so long ago!
It's hard to believe that less than a year ago the younger told me she was getting engaged.  It was so exciting, and it happened so fast. Within 3 months she was getting married.  And in the meantime, her older sister told me she was also getting engaged, and we had her vort a couple days before her sister's wedding.  And she also got married within 3 months, and just 3 months after her sister.  And now they're both pregnant, one due in a month and a half, and I'm about to be a grandmother! How did all this happen so quickly?
I'm still internalizing the wonderful fact of their being married. Don't know if I'm quite ready to be a grandmother. And the one nearly due wants me at the birth... that will be quite an experience, amazing, but I think also hard, seeing my daughter in pain. Of course it will drive home the fact that it's really happening and I'm really becoming a grandmother.
Aren't I young to be a grandmother? I have friends with kids in kindergarten...

Today I learned about the procedures regarding rabies - 1st hand

I got home yesterday afternoon, saw the garbage was full and took it out to the closest dumpster.  When I threw my garbage in I startled a wild cat and it jumped out and scratched me, drawing blood. Since I just started working in our municipality's veterinarian department, I called my boss to check what to do and to get the number of the ministry of health which deals with all things connected to the risk of rabies in humans.  Then I called them and reported it and was told I had to come in within the next 2 days to get shots. I decided I wanted to do it as soon as possible and went in this morning, not realizing it would take the whole day to deal with it. I first went to the secretary (who I talk to on the phone frequently for work related matters) to fill out forms, then was checked by their doctor and then sent to the nurse for the actual shots. After waiting more than half an hour (for what I'm not sure as I didn't see anyone else go in in the meantime), I was called in and they explained to me the whole process - they were going to give me 2 shots immediately and then I would have to go to a hospital emergency room to get the third shot.  I later have to go back to them for more shots, 3 days, 7 days and 14 days after the shots I got today.  I got the shots from them and then went to the hospital and sat there waiting for about 3 hours to have the doctor give me the 3rd shot. I still haven't figured out why they couldn't give me the 3rd along with the first two - the doctor didn't do anything more before giving me the shot than the nurses at the ministry of health did, and he didn't even observe me for a few minutes afterwards to make sure I didn't have any reaction to the shot (and he didn't specialize in anything even vaguely related - he was an orthopedist and apparently he's the one who always takes care of this vaccination).  And thus a whole day was wasted instead of a few hours.
At least now when people report things like this while I'm at work, I know what they have to go through.

New Job

I just started a new job a couple weeks ago. It should be a good thing - it's right near home as opposed to the long commute to my previous job.  I was really looking forward to gaining 3-4 hours a day. But I'm not quite feeling it yet...
The job is very intense and will take getting used to, and so is the place and boss. Hopefully it will become easier as I get used to it and I'll feel more secure about it (9 people left the department in the last 2 years, in various ways (and there are only 5 in the department...). So far I think I'm doing ok with the work and the boss. I guess I'll find out as time goes on.


Pictures of the Day

 The prefect place to rest while waiting for your passengers - in the baggage section below, made over into a little bedroom...


The Wonders of Creation

I left my screenless window open last night and later discovered this beauty on my wall. It's wings look like very delicate lacy filigree.  Hard to believe they can support the weight of even this small insect.  We are surrounded by so much beauty!

Do people really want to work?

I'm leaving my present job - which I've greatly enjoyed - because I found a job near home (a 10 minute walk as opposed to a 90 minute commute).
My present place of work is holding interviews to find my replacement.  Today someone was supposed to come in for an interview at 11:00.  She didn't show up at 11:00.  She did finally call at 11:30 to say that something had come up and to ask if she could come in later.  What was she thinking?! If something comes up you call in advance, not after the appointed time.  They did tell her to come in, but then discussed how annoying such behavior was. Does this person really want the job? I'd think not. If she does really want it, than she seems rather clueless.

They're fighting for cottage [cheese] and we're fighting for our homes

Israelis across the board seem to have found a cause to unite them - cottage cheese.
  A grass root movement protesting the steep rise in prices of cottage cheese caught everyone's attention and has already been discussed at the government level.
Why were we able to successfully take action on this issue, and not on so many critical issues?  Is it because of the wide consensus behind the issue of rising food prices?  According to an article I just read there is also a growing consensus among adult Israelis against returning Yehuda and Shomron and against the uprooting of more Israelis from their homes.
So how do we successfully campaign? Will the government be able to do what it wants regardless of what the majority of citizens wants?  How do we put an end to the destruction of Jewish homes?

Anyone out there listening?

My friends and I here in Israel often post information and articles about Israel, important information - explaining our position, why we're here, why it's good for the world we're here, why it's our land... in short advocating for Israel and our right to exist as an independent and secure country.

It's all important stuff, presenting our case in intelligent and interesting ways. My question is do we reach others who think a little or a lot differently, or are we just preaching to the choir?

Would love to hear if anyone's learned anything new from these articles and films, gained new insights, had their viewpoint shift - even slightly, etc....

Please share this question with others if it interests you.