Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Take a Moment... smell the roses.

You don't necessarily have to stop to do so, but you can slow down, open your mind and senses to what you are seeing, what you are smelling...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Have the Power... make you all nod your heads -- in unison -- in agreement.
Don't you hate it when you hide something practical/necessary/personal/important in a "safe place" and that place becomes soooooooooooooo safe, you can't find it anymore?!
Yup, me too.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hey, Can Someone Get My Friend Over Here a Cloud with a Silver Lining?

Some people have tzuris. And then there are some people who have T.Z.U.R.I.S.!

As is said in Jewish circles: "You shouldn't know from these things..."

Someone I know lost her father -- who was ill -- last October.

She lost her youngest brother -- who died suddenly, in his sleep -- this past May. She got up from shiva on a Thursday, had her eldest son's aufruf on Shabbos and his wedding the following Tuesday.

She lost her oldest brother -- who was ill -- today. That brother was buried today...on her birthday.

She lost an uncle in May. She lost her mother-in-law in June.

Can you imagine her poor mother, burying her husband, her eldest son and her youngest son within 10 months of each other? A family of five children has quickly dwindled down to three children. A family of three sons has become a family of one son.

Their mezuzot klafs have all been checked, but this family certainly needs a good turn, a silver -lined cloud to replace the dark one that's been hovering over their family for some time. May Hashem look down on them, decide they've suffered plenty and send some beautiful brachot their way...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Oh, No! Not Again...

Remember this blog post of mine? An updated version of "Home Alone"?

Now check this out from

Israel: Family Forgets a Child in Yarden Park

August 20, 2008

A chareidi family enjoying the ‘ben Hazmanim’ vacation forgot their 3-year-old child in Yarden Park, traveling from there to a Tiveria Hotel on Monday afternoon.

The parents and their five children, residents of the chareidi community of Tel Tzion in the Benjamin Regional Council district in Shomron, forgot the youngest child for reasons that remain unclear.

A passerby noticed the small child crying and stopped to comfort him. He summoned police after he learned the child’s parents left the area without him. The parents realized he was missing about two hours after leaving the park.

The parents came to the police station and identified their son, permitting a happy reunion. The father was questioned by police ‘under warning’ and he/they will likely face criminal charges.

So what is up with these people I've blogged about? One child too many? Outta sight, outta mind?

Get with the program, people. You're parents; you're supposed to be the responsible adults here. Take a head count if you have to; take attendance and everyone say "here" or "poh." Have your children microchipped if necessary!

If it's too overwhelming to take your several children to public places, stay home with them. Keep them in your viewfinder at all times.

It's not fun to make international news and have fingers -- and blogs -- pointed in your direction, now is it?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"No Sing-Sing"

(taken from The Daily Telegraph)

Silvio Berlusconi has banned Mafia bosses from singing in jails

Godfathers and their foot soldiers have been allowed to rule the roost in Italy's jails, giving orders from their cells, as well as enjoying home comforts such as TV, gym and conjugal visits.

But now Silvio Berlusconi's new centre-Right government has toughened up regulations governing the treatment of convicted crime bosses. As part of sweeping new measures against crime, the justice minister Angelino Alfano has banned inmates from singing and socialising with fellow mobsters.

Informers have told prison officials that inmates have passed on messages and orders in song. Inmates have been singing messages to each other in their native dialects such as Sicilian, Neapolitan or Pugliese which were incomprehensible to prison warders.

The majority of mafiosi are in jails in northern Italy in a bid to keep them away from their native south.

Other measures include removing previously generous privileges and also keeping mobsters in their cells for 23 hours a day and allowing them only an hour of open air exercise.

Visits from family, friends and lawyers have also been dramatically reduced in the ten prisons that house 570 convicted mobsters deemed dangerous and a threat to society.

Mr Alfano said: ''We are toughening up the rules and coming down hard on the Mafia even when they are in jail. They will not be allowed to socialise and they will not be allowed to sing.

"We have evidence that in the past orders and messages were passed on and we have also stopped them mixing with each other as well. They will spend the majority of their day alone in their cells.''

The rules will apply to convicted Godfathers such as Toto Riina and Bernardo Provenzano, both serving life sentences.

However one privilege that is not being denied them is the opportunity to join the ice cream making classes at Opera prison in Milan.

Hmmm... I'm beginning to wonder if Italian opera/operettas also hold hidden messages.

And ice cream making classes? Imagine the mafioso who ordered hits on a dozen men, watched as their bullet-ridden, blood-splattered bodies were dumped in rivers and ravines, is sentenced to life in prison, saying "Yay...spumoni here I come!"

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Book Recommendation

The Last Album: Eyes from the Ashes of Auschwitz-Birkenau by Ann Weiss.

I spotted this book in the public library the other night, sat there and began to read its commentaries and look at the countless photos within its pages.

This book is a "matzevah"/monument/headstone to all those people in the photos who did not survive Auschwitz-Birkenau, other death camps and the horrible plight of World War 2.

The author spent several years, dealing with red tape of Polish bureaucracy, in order to salvage those photos and compile this living memorial to the faces.

A beautiful book. Seek it out.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

#1 Son Is Coming Home Tomorrow

After six weeks away, and two letters home, our #1 son will be coming home tomorrow from his first-time experience at overnight camp.
I believe that two letters in six weeks say it all: Avi was too busy having fun to write.
(mind you, he was home a couple weeks ago for Shabbat, having come back for a friend's bar mitzvah, so we got a bit of the low-down then...and both letters came in those early weeks of camp.)
Not only did Avi only write a couple of times, he didn't show up too much in camp photos -- I couldn't help but wonder if he was, in fact, a camper at Moshava this summer... But the proof is in this nice photo just above. Enjoy...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'll Take 10 %!

...spotted on the YidVid blog:

Montreal: A Belzer chasid won 28,000,000 dollars in the national 649 Lottery, that is 280,000 dollars for Tzedaka.

1. Why is a Belzer chassid buying lottery tickets?

2. Who made the assumption that the chassid will, in fact, follow through and give 10% to tzedaka?

3. Where was this advertised? Usually large prize lottery winners go to the headquarters and have their pics taken, while they hold up an oversized check showing the amount of their winnings. Did this individual agree to that, to be publicly photographed so that all the media -- and Jewish organizations, gemachs, agencies, schools, shuls -- will be notified of this big winner? That way they'll all know who to come and call on!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Look Who's Back in Town!

When I was preparing my son for his first stay at sleepover camp for six weeks, I started to collect snacks to send with him. I wanted to make sure all the snacks were non=perishable and parve.

Avi had a simple request: Tam-Tams.

I went to one supermarket -- no Tam-Tams. I went to another supermarket -- no Tam-Tams there either.

Where did they go? Were they so popular post-Pesach, that people had snatched them up, clearing the shelves in the Kosher aisles of supermarkets?

I finally managed to find a clerk in an aisle to ask and was told that the distributor hadn't delivered them in several weeks, that there was some type of problem.

Aha! Now I know what the problem was...'s great to see you back. Make sure you stick around awhile, okay?

Manischewitz(R) Tam Tam(R) Crackers Are Back!

SECAUCUS, N.J., Aug 07, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Where Are the Tam Tam Crackers? Manischewitz(R) the leader in quality specialty foods, announces that the popular great tasting snack cracker that has been a mainstay in households across America for over 65 years, will return to local supermarkets starting this week!

Tastier than ever, Tam Tams are available in 8 ounce boxes in such delicious flavors including Original, Garlic, Everything, Whole Grain Garden, Herb, Lightly Salted and No-Salt. They are great with your favorite spread or right from the box.

"With the opening of our new plant and ovens in Newark, New Jersey, operations needed to shut down for a short period of time to install the upgraded and state-of-the-art new matzo and cracker ovens," said David Rossi, VP, Marketing, R.A.B. Food Group. "We are grateful for our consumer support during this time and are proud to say that the Tam Tams you know and love are back and better than ever."

R.A.B. Food Group, LLC is a 120 year old branded food manufacturer including the largest processed kosher food company in North America. It manufactures and markets Manischewitz(R), Rokeach(R), Horowitz Margareten(R), Mishpacha(R), Goodman's(R), Season(R) and Guiltless Gourmet(R) brand products. For more information, visit the company's website, The company offers a diversified line of premium food products that cover approximately 60 different categories.

The Manischewitz brand was founded in a small bakery built to make Passover matzo in 1888 by Rabbi Dov Behr Manischewitz in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1932, Rabbi Manischewitz opened a plant in Jersey City, NJ, replacing the operation in Cincinnati. This move paved the way for the introduction of new products like Tam Tam Crackers, Chicken Soup, Chicken Broth and Gefilte Fish. Today, Manischewitz continues to introduce unique, delicious, premium specialty food products such as Brisket & Steak Seasoning and Wasabi Creamy Horseradish sauce.

For more information on Manischewitz products, log onto

* - Packaged Facts - The U.S. Market for Cookies, August 2004
SOURCE R.A.B. Food Group

Monday, August 04, 2008

Something out of "Home Alone"

A 4.5-year-old girl asked a policeman in Ben-Gurion International Airport “where are my parents,” after realizing she was unable to find them. Police acted promptly and in a short time realized that the parents boarded a flight for Paris with 4 of their 5 children, forgetting their youngest in the airport.
The family, numbering 7 persons, arrived at the airport with 18 pieces of luggage according to Sun Dor Airlines officials, reportedly telling airline employees they are leaving Israel for good.
For reasons that are not known, the family was running late as they made their way to the gate and the gate official passes did not realize that the parents handed them seven boarding passes while only six people got onto the plane. One of the employees of the airport’s duty free shops told police he noticed the little girl wandering around on her own, later realizing she was left behind.
Policeman Ofir Ochaiyon explained the “little girl, a really cute girl, began pulling on my trousers asking, ‘where are my parents?’”
Ofir added it was fortunate that the little girl was extremely intelligent and calm, assisting him in determining exactly what was taking place. “I even offered her ice cream” he explained, “but she responded that her parents told her not to eat anything that does not have a badatz hechsher.” He eventually found her ices with an acceptable hechsher and she gladly accepted the well-intentioned gift.
Sarit Ben-Eden, a policewoman in the airport station explained that the girl provided her with the names of her parents, but she was getting scared and began to cry while waiting in the station. While the announcement of the lost child was aired on the airport’s public address system, no one responded. After Ben-Eden checked with passport control police, she was shocked to learn that her parents and her siblings had already cleared passport control and made their way to their flight to Paris.
Passport Control Chief Inspector Amnon Shmueli contacted Son Dor, requesting flight officials verify if the family was indeed on the flight. To his amazement, the parents and other children had taken off for Paris, forgetting the little girl. It was only some 40 minutes into the flight after the captain called the mother to the front of the plane was she made aware that one of her children was missing.
“The parents were in shock” airline officials report, adding they sat speechless in their seats, unable to understand how such an event was permitted to occur without taking notice.
They parents were informed the girl would be arriving on an El Al flight to Paris two hours later. Upon their arrival in Charles de Gaulle International Airport they immediately went to the El Al area to wait for her. Eventually, they were reunited.
Ben-Gurion International Airport Chief Yigal Shabtai stated that when the parents return to Israel, they will be taken for questioning and they may face charges of endangering a minor. Son Dor explains that the fact that flight personnel did not take notice of the missing passenger was a most unfortunate and extremely rare occurrence.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)