Saturday, January 31, 2009

In Shimrit’s Garden

During some hard work that a friend of mine and I did on Friday, we took a break and wandered over to Shimrit’s garden, where I took some pictures. Here are a few of them. (Click on the pictures for larger versions.)

A carpet of sorrel:

Carpet of sorrel

A coronal of flowers around spokes of leaves:


Oh, my! That must be one heavy ladybug! (It was my friend who pointed it out.)

What's left of the anemone

Finally, the heart of an anemone:

Heart of a flower

It’s raining outside, finally. May it continue and increase!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Seen About Town

Sweet flowers from the rock (cyclamens, or rakafot—singular rakefet):

Cyclamens growing from limestone rock

The Jerusalem Trail emblem, a lion with backpack and walking stick:

Jerusalem trail emblem

An experimental real-time digital sign at a local bus stop, designed to answer the perennial question: “When’s the next bus?”

Experimental bus stop sign

Look on top of this sign. Oy, English!

Oy, English!

Finally, castor leaves catch the sunlight:

Sumac leaves

The Electronics Graveyard

Or, more accurately, the electronics recycling bin.

Electronics graveyard

The Snunit recycling firm (the site is in Hebrew; the word snunit means a swallow, or the first sign of spring) has placed a recycling bin in the parking lot of the Bloomfield Science Museum for old electronics equipment. I was there a few days ago to deposit some stuff that I no longer use when I found...

Electronics graveyard 2

Hey! That’s my old typewriter... from about twenty years ago!

The company accepts most household electronics, but not large items such as televisions and air conditioners. You can contact Snunit for more details. (Just scroll down a bit for the email address.)

Face Palm

Missy does a face palm:

Face palm

“Oh, brother. Here she comes to skritch me. Again.”

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


A member of the colony that lives at a train station in Tel Aviv:

Red tabby at the train station

In a window in my neighborhood:

Cat in the window

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.

Friday, January 23, 2009


My group, Et al, opened our set at the Tel Aviv Folk Club with the following song:

For more information about our group, click here.

(I’d say more but it’s almost Shabbat here and I’ve got to run... so Shabbat shalom!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday Night Cats

A local cat colony holds a meeting:

Cat colony

Elsewhere in the park, a tuxxie stretches:


The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.

Please pray for the safety of the soldiers of the IDF, wherever they may be, and for the safe return of Gilad Shalit.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Message from the Israel Postal Authority

The Israel Postal Authority has joined the effort to help the residents of southern Israel. Here is an excerpt from the email that they sent out recently (translation mine):

The inhabitants of the south and of the Gaza peripheral communities are under relentless rocket fire. We at the Postal Authority thought about ways in which we might assist them.

We have seven hundred branches and more than two thousand workstations throughout the country, and we have decided to put them at the service of the residents there.

When we consulted with the welfare departments of the communities in the south, we learned that what the residents there need most are ways to keep the children occupied and heating equipment.

We therefore appeal to anyone who can help: please donate toys, games and children’s books for all the children who cannot attend school or leave the confines of their homes. Heating equipment such as blankets and small heaters will be welcomed.

Please pack the items intended for donation in boxes and bring them to the post office branch nearest your home. Delivery is, of course, free of charge.

We at the Israel Postal Authority will collect the packages throughout the country and bring them to Ashkelon, Sderot, Ofakim, Netivot and Beer Sheva, where the welfare departments will distribute them to those who truly need them.

Anyone who can assist—by bringing this collection drive to the public’s attention in any way possible and by helping to obtain donations—is asked to do so.

Please pray for the safety of the soldiers of the IDF, wherever they may be.

What I’m Reading These Days

Here, in alphabetical order, are the sites where I’m going these days for updates and commentary on Operation Cast Lead:


Israellycool (continuous liveblogging)

Jameel at the Muqata (continuous liveblogging)

Laurence Simon

Meryl Yourish

Random Thoughts (continuous updates)

Seraphic Secret (continuous updates)


This is by no means a definitive list. There’s lots more excellent stuff out there, but this is where I’m concentrating for now.

Le-havdil (not to mention the excellent bloggers listed above in the same breath as what follows): a little note for the people who are dumb enough to leave anti-Israel comments here. I take particular pleasure in getting out my banning stick and using it, with relish, on garbage like yours. So if you’re considering leaving me a comment that demonstrates the level of your hatred, ignorance and stupidity, you’re wasting your time. It only takes me a few seconds to delete it and ban you permanently, and doing so puts a smile on my face for the rest of the day.

Please pray for the safety of the soldiers of the IDF, wherever they may be.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Goin’ My Way?

I wouldn’t mind hitching a ride with this handsome fellow:

Scooter kitty

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.

Please say a prayer for the soldiers of the IDF.

Pictures from Around Town

Here are some pictures that I took during some recent travels around Jerusalem.

First, two photos of the Calatrava Chords Bridge at the entrance to the city:

Chords bridge against a blue sky

I call this one “Arabesque” because it reminds me of the ballet position of the same name:


A wild ring-necked parakeet happily munching on dates straight from the date palm:

A parakeet in a date palm

(You can see a clearer view of the parakeet here.)

Finally, when I went to a government building on an errand recently, I saw its flagpole, with its flag unfurling in the breeze against a blue sky:

Israeli flag

Please say a prayer for the soldiers of the IDF.

Two More Worthy Causes

Today I learned of two more worthy causes for helping our soldiers in and near Gaza. I have added them to my sidebar, and I include their URLs here as well:

Yashar LaChayal (Hebrew for “Straight to the Soldier”)

Standing Together

Both of these grassroots organizations send much-needed items such as food, toiletries and warm clothing to the IDF soldiers who are serving in and near Gaza.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

It’s Begun

The IDF has begun its ground incursion into Gaza.

May God protect all the soldiers of the IDF wherever they may be, and all the inhabitants of the south.

Treppenwitz has posted the Prayer for the Soldiers of the IDF here.

Friday, January 02, 2009

The IDF’s Blog

Via Meryl:

The IDF Spokesperson’s blog

(It’s now on my sidebar, too.)

UPDATE: Here is the IDF’s YouTube site, as well.

A Few Places to Give

This list may be small, but it is a good start:

Magen David Adom


PizzaIDF (way more than pizza! They also send hot, nourishing soup to soldiers during the winter)

Yad Sarah


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Friday Cats

I was busy setting up this shot when a cat ran straight into the middle of it:

Kitty steals the show

I think that the cat improves the shot tremendously, actually.

Now here is Cheeto, my friends’ cat, chillin’ on the sofa:

Cheeto chillin' on the sofa

The Friday Ark. The Carnival of the Cats.

A prayer for IDF soldiers and the residents of Israeli towns under threat

A Prayer for Our Soldiers and Residents of Towns under Threat

I just received the following prayer for our soldiers and the residents of towns under threat:

May He who blessed our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, bless the residents of the State of Israel who live under the daily threat of missiles of death and destruction. May the Holy One strengthen their spirit and give them resolve to withstand this crisis until it passes. May it be the will of the Most High to grant wisdom and insight to those leaders of the State charged with conducting the people’s war, so that their actions are infused with courage, wisdom and intelligence which achieve a just goal. Lord of Hosts, the God of the ranks of Israel, protect the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces in the air, on the sea and land, those in battle, those on the home front, and all the rescue and security forces. Save them from every trouble and evil design, and cause the works of their hands to be for blessing and for success. May they go out in peace and return victorious and whole to their homes and loved ones. O Heavenly One, bring peace to the Holy Land and eternal joy to its inhabitants, for Jacob again shall have calm and quiet with none to trouble him. And may the verse be applied to us: “But every man shall sit under his grapevine or fig tree with no one to disturb him. For it was the Lord of Hosts who spoke.” May this be Your will, and let us say: Amen.

(Composed and translated by Rabbi Simcha Roth and Rabbi Michael Graetz)