Friday, September 25, 2009


Growing up, the only difference between play dough and plastacine was that one would dry out if you forgot to put the top on it, and the other wouldn't. On the other hand, I did always find plastacine left my hands feeling kind of icky.

Here they are two totally different things. Play dough is a toy. Plastacine is an art medium. Below is what they do with "plastalina"

Monday, September 21, 2009

What a tefillah

Withe the first blasts of the shofar the heaven opened up into huge raindrops. Im yertze Hashem this is a siman that the next year will not be as dry as this one was. At the other end- cohanim got up to do their thing and the whole neighbourhood lost power! What is the world does that symbolize?

All I know is that I think we shuld keep the same baal tokeah- maybe rent him out to other communities...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Radio Interview

You can listen to my radio interview at - find the episode "Building book in Judea" and fast forward to around the 25 minute mark. I sound like I'm 12.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Shanah Tova

Unbelievable as it may seem just over a year has flow by since Jason and I got here. It has been a year of many adjustments, and many, many emotions from one end of the scale to the other. But taken as a whole it was the best year of our lives. It was a year of new beginnings and of happiness beyond our wildest dreams.

May the coming year bring everyone a year full of health and happiness, a sweet year filled with simcha and nachat and and peace and prosperity for you, your family and the rest of the world.

Best wishes and happy new year,
Jason, Rachel and Channah

How to Celebrate Rosh HaShanah in Israel

Shanah tova

There is a longer post coming later, but I just wanted to take 2 minutes to wish everyone who reads this and even those who don't a shanah tova umetuka- a good and sweet year filled with health and happiness, maybe a little travel.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Can I gloat? Just for a minute. Just saw our old apartment listed *for exactly what we paid for it* now _including_ the nicely sized storage room. So all he got out of this was not getting rent for at least a month (and still needing to pay the equivalent of condo fees on it) and losing his use of the storage space. I am amused.

Strike- again

The ganim are on strike. Again.
It is the assistants who are on strike. Again.
They called in parent volunteers to assist the ganenet. Again.

Remember what I said about how it is so much easier now that we are going the same things again? Yeah. some get annoying.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

meat numbers explained

Anyone who lives here will explain to you that buying beef is essentially akin to playing the lotto. You go into a store, pick random numbers, and hope for the best.

Someone just posted a list that (gasp!) explains what each number is and in many cases what you should use it for.

Evolution of Simcha - The Beginning

Yes, these are our friends. Yes, the first time this was performed was in our living room. Yes, this is a reminder of how insane our friends our. Yes, so is this country. We wouldn't trade it for anything.


Monday, September 7, 2009

It's time to say Good Bye

Today has been a day dealing with good byes. Ariel Mermaid Fish Fish passed away over night. For the past few weeks she has been struggling with old age and managed to hang on a lot longer than anyone expected.

Last night the car we have been borrowing was taken off to be sold. It had been a real pleasure to once again have a car whenever we wanted. After much painful deliberation we have decided for the time being we are not going to pursue car ownership at this time. Sorry Uncle Rob and Aunt Julie, you will have to make arrangements to come and visit us. For those coming to visit there are many local car rental places. I am more than happy to drive with my Israeli license for anyone who would prefer not to drive on Israeli roads.

The right decision is not always the easiest decision. This is what is best for us right now.
On the left, last winter. On the right, last week.

and a gratuitious pictures of a 5 year old who really enjoyed her ice cream cone. Guess what flavour?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Verdict is in, Landlord Gambles and Loses

I have mentioned before the difficulties in trying to negotiate renewal terms on our old apartment. Back in April he was willing to offer a formula that would have set the rate in NIS for the year, based on the rate the US dollar closed at today. At the time the exchange rate approaching $1US = 4.2 NIS with no end in sight of how high it would go. We made a counter offer stright up in NIS of what we thought was a generous rent increase. Every counteroffer was met with a new condition making staying more and more unpalatable. We made the smart decision and walked away. He insisted he would have not problem renting the apartment.

The markets are now closed and the verdict is in. His formula worked out to 18 NIS/month ($4.71 US/ $5.20 Cdn) more than our last counter offer. The landlord has been out of town so we are returning the keys tomorrow. To the best of my knowledge the apartment has not been rented. The macshan that was supposed to be included for a new tenant (we got slapped with an additional condition when we requested it) is still full of the landlord's stuff.

Given the extraordinary cost in moving, we would have never made the decision to leave without our hand being forced. We are really happy in the new apartment. In the long run we are better off. When we decided to move, we felt that we were being put in a difficult situation to allow for better things down the road. It is still really weird to be living in a place where this type of logic actually works. Israel has been a good fit for us. Everyday I am greatful that we decided to move here.