Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Mama's Got A Brand New....Blog!

Westbankmama is telling Google to toss their cookies.....

I have moved over to wordpress, and my new address is

It may take me a bit of time to start blogging as often as I used to, but I hope to get up to speed soon. Thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Grumble, Grumble

Ok, I gave in. They made me switch to the new blogger. I absolutely HATE the idea of supporting Google in any way, but on the other hand, I did not want to switch to another hosting service, because I simply do not have the time to learn a new way of doing things (I am the ultimate un-geek).

So I gave in.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Two Articles Not to be Missed

There are two great articles in the Jerusalem Post web edition - neither one should be missed.

The first is about new memoirs of Rabbis who survived the Holocaust. It is unusual in that the information is taken from the prefaces of books on halacha (Jewish law) that these rabbis wrote. The actual text of the book does not contain personal information, but the introductions are rich with inspiring stories.

The topic of when did "settler" become a dirty word, is the subject of this article in the Jerusalem Post, which tries to give both sides of the story.

I disagree with with some of the points made, especially the one stating that the IDF is only in Judea and Samaria to defend those of us that live here - after all, the suicide bomber killed in Schem (Nablus) before he goes on his way is headed for Tel-Aviv, and not my little yishuv. But on the whole the article gives a good overview of the issues involved.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Life in the Wild West...Bank

I write about a lot of things on my blog. Some things could be applicable to anyone, anywhere - stuff about my kids, or my relationship with my husband, for example. Sometimes I write about Israeli politics, or about my life as an Orthodox Jew.

Once in a while I write a post that only people who live in Judea or Samaria can relate to. This is one of them.

We have a weekly newsletter which comes out on Friday mornings. It contains a dvar Torah (Torah lesson) on the front page, along with the times for services throughout the week. The back page contains both personal and other announcements to the whole community.

This past week there was an announcement from the municipality, saying "Yes, we KNOW the streetlights are on, even during the day, please stop calling!" It seems that some *ahem* local individuals have been vandalizing and stealing parts from the streetlights. I know, I know - what can you do with streetlights? (Perhaps sell them to disreputable contractors who will buy them cheap, then sell them to others at a high price?) In order to deal with the situation, the municipality decided to leave the lights on 24 hours a day, presumably because the fear of being electrocuted would be a deterrant to would-be vandals.

Of course, it means that all of us will have to foot the bill for the higher electricity usage- by paying higher arnona (municipal taxes). And, if someone does get electrocuted (future Darwin award winner?), then the rumors will start circulating that the settlers are electrocuting the local Arabs....

On the other hand, I like to look on the bright side. It makes for an interesting blog post, no?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Is It Still Jewish Blog Awareness Month?

Well, it's still January, for the next few days, so I thought that I would continue to introduce some of the lesser known blogs from my blogroll (with apologies in advance that I don't have enough time to get to all of them....).

A lot of the bloggers that I read are more or less like me - and if you put us all in a room together you could probably not tell us apart.

Then again, I read people who are not like me in one significant way or another, and it makes the whole participation in the blogosphere that much more interesting.

One blog that I try to get to on a regular basis is OntheFringe, written by Shira. She is probably the closest thing to being an Orthodox Jew without being an Orthodox Jew. Puzzled? Read some of her posts....

A relatively new blogger is JerusalemJoe, who writes TheIsraeliTikkunBlog. He is a right wing secular Jew who is now exploring his heritage, and sharing this with us. He also writes about psychology, the media, and the connection between Zen and Judaism. Fascinating reading.

Jeremayakovka is a former radical leftist who is now a staunch conservative. He is literary and witty, but down-to-earth enough to wave the American flag in public for hours to commemorate 9/11. This description does not do him justice - go over and read for yourself.

Erica Sherman epitomizes everything great about New York Jews. She is unabashedly proud of being Jewish, and is not afraid to show it. She is also not afraid to make her opinions very clear about many topics, and she loves Yiddish and playing pool with equal passion.

BakaDiary, otherwise known as aliyah06, shares with us her impressions as a very new olah chadasha (new immigrant to Israel). There are so many times that I read her posts and I say to myself, "yes, I remember that, that is exactly it!"

Then there is the WalkingforIsrael blog - a really new one for me. This religious couple from Texas is in the process of training in order to walk the Appalachian Trail to raise money for Meir Panim, a well known Israeli charity. Can you imagine being a middle aged couch potato and deciding to leave corporate life to go on a journey like this? It certainly sparks the adventurous spirit in all of us.

I hope to get to more soon - and don't worry, my non-Jewish friends, you are on my list too!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Jews Forced to Flee Their Homes In Yemen

I just read this post at BokertovBoulder and it is chilling. Members of a tiny Jewish community in a village in Yemen were threatened and forced to flee their homes. Anne also points out that this story has not been picked up by AP or Reuters (I guess threatening Jews is not news, huh?)

It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. I just wish the Jews there would move to Israel!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Grandma's Remedies to the Rescue

January is a big month for the flu here in Israel, even if the weather is relatively mild. I know of a lot of people who have been sick, and the hospitals are full.

The other day I started to feel very tired, my nose started to run, and I had that tell-tale slight ache in my muscles that signals that I am coming down with something.

I said to myself that there was no way I could call in sick to work - after all I have only been there for one week! So I took "emergency measures".

I didn't care what was happening in the house, I took a warm shower and got into comfortable clothes. I then did what my husband's grandmother (may she rest in peace) used to tell us to do. First I ate a grapefruit (Vitamin C in its most natural form) and then I ate a raw clove of garlic (antibiotic properties). The garlic was hard to get down, but from experience in the past it really works.

I then made myself a cup of tea, and got into bed with some light reading. I told myself that I would rest, and my body would use its strength to heal itself, and even if I still felt badly the next morning, sitting in an office in front of a computer would be a piece of cake compared to what I used to do. I remember being a mother of two toddlers (two very active toddlers, who obviously thought that Evil Knieval was a great role model) and being sick - but there are no sick days for mommies! When I was very ill my husband would take a day off from work to take care of them, but there were always times when I was under the weather and he couldn't take time off.

Thankfully I felt ok the next morning, and by the afternoon I was back to my normal self. Garlic (and grandma) to the rescue!