Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Muezzin Bill

Recently the Muezzin Bill, to regulate the blaring call to Moslem prayer, was proposed in the Knesset. Naturally this was a cause of controversy. Last week an emergency meeting organized by Knesset members Yehuda Glick (Likud) and Zohair Bahloul (Zionist Union) and attended by various religious leaders called on finding a solution to the problem with dialog instead of legislation. For me, this spirit of cooperation is a breath of fresh air and I pray a resolution everyone can live with will be found.
For those who don’t quite understand the problem I’m reposting an article I wrote almost a year ago.

Too Much Early Morning Cheerfulness

When I was a university student I shared a house with five other coeds. Actually the house was made for a family of three but with creativity we were able to squeeze the six of us inside. Curtains changed the dining room into a bedroom and more curtains made the loft into a room for two, me and my roommate. Amazingly, all of us usually managed to cope with each other’s different habits, schedules, and idiosyncrasies until the morning my roommate began raving at me.   
“I can’t take any more of your early morning cheerfulness,” she cried in frustration. The other four fully agreed with her and from then on I tried curb my enthusiasm for life until after noon.

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Although we left the United States thirty years ago we haven’t forgotten Thanksgiving. However, since the fourth Thursday in November is a regular workday in Israel we have our turkey and stuffing as a Shabbat meal on a Friday night sometime near the real Thanksgiving. We always do it with close family friends and this year we managed to schedule it immediately after the American holiday.  

This time we had special guests, our friends’ married daughter and her family. They’d enjoyed our turkey dinners in the past, but this time they didn’t want to be with us. Rather, they longed for a quiet Shabbat in their own beds with their toddler and three-week-old baby. Due to the fires raging in the vicinity of their home, though, they opted to flee to Shilo and hope that there would be no fires here.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


When the privacy of my home is invaded by some stranger using the telephone to ask questions for a survey I always refuse to participate. Recently, however, I made an exception, except it wasn’t really an exception because the caller wasn’t a stranger. He was my third grade grandchild.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

My Lie

By the time I was ten-years-old my parents had hammered into my head the importance of telling the truth. Away from their influence, though, I forgot and suffered the consequences. It all happened when my cousin and I were at Camp Fire Girls camp for a week. The first evening there we unpacked inside our bunkhouse and readied ourselves for the nighttime activity. Only my cousin convinced me that the activity would be boring and a long walk away and we’d be better off staying in our bunk. She had a plan how we could do that.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Standing Anywhere

As I turned from the highway onto the Shilo access road I spotted a soldier standing at the bus stop shelter with his finger outstretched.

“Where are you going?” he asked as I stopped to give him a lift.

I can never understand why anyone hitchhiking at that particular spot asks that question. The access road goes straight to the security gate before Shilo and the neighboring villages. After that there are several options but, in my opinion, waiting anywhere on the other side of the gate is safer than loitering on the highway.

The soldier wasn’t too impressed with my opinion, though. He told me he depended on HaShem to protect him.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Curiosity Killed the Cat

courtesy of

My maiden name was Katz and I was curious. My father always told me that I asked so many questions I could get a job with the FBI. So I was told that saying a lot but it didn’t stop me from asking about almost anything. For me, the idea of Paradise was a place where all my questions, from simple to historical to profound, would be answered.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Silence: reprinted in memory of Eitam and Naama Henkin hy'd who were murdered exactly a year ago

Just a little over an hour after Prime Minister Netanyahu made his speech in the UN and blasted the world for their silence in light of the promise of Iran’s rulers to destroy Israel my phone rang. It was almost ten pm, rather late for us to receive phone calls. I heard my son’s voice and felt apprehension.

“Is everything okay?”

“No!” he stated unequivocally.