Showing posts from July, 2007

Tisha B’ Av

(the 9th of the month of Av on the Jewish calendar) Sometime before I was born, a tree began to grow, somewhere in the Carolinas in North America (Hi Aunt Cathy!). It was a Carolina Pine Tree and it grew for, maybe, 50 years before it was cut down for lumber. It had a journey through giant saws and then to a kiln to dry it properly. It went on a ship and maybe made a few stops in Europe before it finally landed on the shores of Israel. Once it was offloaded, it probably sat in a shipping yard for a week, or maybe a month, and then went to a local lumberyard, maybe in Haifa. Then, as it worked out, it finally found its way to an agalah (cart) in the basement maksan (storage area) at Beit El in Zichron Yaacov where my Son Zach, was busily working at his summer job (at the Nagaria (woodshop) with me!). Well, to really tell this story right I guess I need to back up to about the time of Moses. He is the guy that led the Israelites out of Mitzraim (Egypt) and the story goes like this… at th

Arabs with Cranes

This story begins about 2 months ago when my friend Elan came to me after Beit Kinesset (Synagogue) one Cabalat Shabbat (Friday Eve.) and said, in a very hushed and, I have to admit, inquiring voice, “I really want to build a skateboard ramp. My brother built one and it is just my dream to have my own ramp.” Now Elan, it appears, is a real mover and shaker in the skateboard world here. He knows guys from all over the world from his business dealings with building a new skate park in Tel Aviv and also got a little park in the plans for a nearby construction project in Zichron. (Just in the plans mind you. It is now stuck in typical, Subcontractor no-mans land, Israeli fashion) So, I got to wondering about why he needed a ramp in his front yard, or to be more specific, in the only parking area to his house within 200 meters. I guess he just has skateboards on the brain or something like that. I used to skate ramps when I was a kid and it is very addicting. I know where he is coming from;

Dude, swim for it!

Boker Tov! (good morning) Well, maybe not so tov this morning. My day started out late. Well, to be fair, this morning really started the night before when Adele and I had a little row with Zach about all the normal things that parents and teenagers tend to discuss. You know, things like being more respectful to elders, doing chores (at least sometimes without being asked 10 times), spending some time with his little brother, and all sorts of things like that. It was hard, as usual, in part because Adele and I have different approaches to this problem. Sometimes I just want to pound him, well that is always my first urge, and after I check my emotions, I always want to go on and on about all the things that I can think of, since I finally got his attention. Adele, on the other hand, starts by yelling a little, talking a little, and then just wanting me to pound him (a little). In the end we took away his phone and computer privileges and grounded him till we think he is back on track,

Have you heard the one about…?

Well, it is not exactly the same, but we seem to be living the joke about how a guy is unable to sleep at night (metaphor of restlessness), and he goes to the town Rabbi and asks him what to do about the leak in the roof, the squeak in the floor, and the drip in the sink. In our case, the Rabbi says, “leave everything comfortable that you know and move to the Middle East. After you get there you need to get a rabbit and build it a hutch. But not just any hutch, you need a hutch that keeps the rain and the sun out. It won’t matter if the rabbit droppings end up everywhere, just as long as the hutch is big enough to make your wife cringe and at times fume. When that is done you need to get a dog, but not just any dog, you need to get a dog that was abandoned and rescued off the street. You need to get a dog that challenges not only you but also your wife. You need a dog that sheds black hair everywhere, a dog that barks and growls at every dog and cat that you pass. You need to get a dog