Go North Old Man, Go North!

Between a rock and a hard place: That’s how it seemed to me. Barbara and I were planning our occasional visit up north to visit The Levines at Har Halutz, and normally, we would go the same way we always had. Head into Jerusalem, take the #480 bus to Tel Aviv, where we would get the train (more accurately, the trains) to Karmiel. But those-who-make-the-decisions had conspired against us (not just us, of course), forcing us to choose between two unpalatable alternatives. Continue reading

You Must Know Ira, Don’t You?

Do they (‘they’ being Brandon and Stephanie of Power Coffeeworks) know their customers, or do they know their customers???!!! I was a little behind schedule reaching their premises this past Thursday. First I had to help Lazer bring up an a/c unit for my office. (I wasn’t going to make him carry the 30+ kilo compressor unit up two flights of stairs by himself.) Then I headed into Jerusalem, getting off the Light Rail at the center of town to drop into Sefer Ve Sefel, the go-to place for gently used English language books. I struck up a lively conversation with the owner, Michael Rose, about the virtues of Raymond Chandler and the differences in quality between him and all the detective story wannabes who have been imitating him over the years. Sure enough, the bookstore had maybe 50 examples of the genre by Michael Connelly and not one – not one! – by Chandler. Vey iz mir. Continue reading

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