Have a Seat, Ladies and Gentlemen

It would only be right and fitting if I followed my own advice and began at the beginning, but that would mean figuring out where, when, or what is ‘the beginning’ in this particular situation. What I’ll do instead for starters is re-print my article, which appeared in the second edition of ‘Musar Schmooze,’ a new magazine from our shul. Continue reading

Feeling Em-Power-ed

It’s not just the coffee.  Readers who have been paying attention over the years will be aware that I’m usually at the Mahane Yehuda shuk Thursday mornings and that I always begin my excursion with a stop at Power Coffeeworks. Those few minutes may turn out to be one of the highlights of my week. You see, it’s not just the coffee; it’s the conversation. There are establishments where you go in alone, you eat and drink alone, you leave alone, and you feel alone. Not so my favorite spot.  There, while you’re indulging in your favorite caffeinated brew, you’re free to start a conversation or to join in on someone else’s, and, suddenly, you’re no longer alone! A few of my favorite chats over the last few months: Continue reading

Deja View All Over Again (Part 4)

Having spent the previous morning renewing our connection with the soil of The Land by picking cherries, we would spend our last morning visiting a dairy farm – but not just an ordinary farm with ordinary cows. We were off to visit The Robotic Dairy at Avnei Eitan. ‘Visit the farm and hear how this kibbutz dairy farm transitioned from manual milking with human operation, to fully robotic techniques in which the cows decide when to be milked.’ Imagine that: self-motivated cows. Continue reading

Deja View All Over Again (Part 2)

If Day One was head up north and get settled, with some sight-seeing thrown in, Day Two was the real thing, meeting some out-of-the-box people and going to a few not-your-typical-tourist-spots.  It began on the kibbutz itself in an abandoned, graffiti-scrawled building. I doubt if it’s common knowledge that prior to the liberation of the Golan in 1967, the entire area was pretty much civilian-less, except for the Druze population. All of the Golan Heights was essentially a Syrian military base. There on Kibbutz Afik is what remains of an officers’ club, commanding a spectacular view of the area. I suspect that few of the visitors to the kibbutz get to see this old structure or get an explanation of what it was. But that’s why one goes on an A.A.C.I. tiyul. Continue reading