Daily Archives: April 20, 2010


Further to last week’s Mikvah thread, I would like to ask a favour. If YOU personally have ever been asked as to your Jewishness or marital status when using the mikvah for Family Purity purposes, could you email me at InThePink blog at gmail dot com? Thanks.

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Question for divorced parents

(Inspired by an email I received)

Let’s say you are divorced with young children – ages 9 and 12. If you are the custodial parent, or it is your week with your kids,  and the other parent is having a birthday, is it fair to expect you to remind the children that it is their other parent’s birthday? How about going so far as to give them money to buy a card, and going with them to do so? Would you remind them to call their other parent to wish them happiness on this special day?

Let’s flip this – if you were the other parent, and your young children neglected to contact you in any way, shape or form on your birthday, would you be hurt? Who would you blame?

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The Full Text of Hatikva

written by Naftali Hertz Imber in 1878. When it was written it was called Tikvateinu – our hope. (with thanks to Wikipedia)

Hebrew Transliteration English translation
כָּל־עוֹד בַּלֵּבָב פְּנִימָה Kol-‘od balevav penimah As long as in the heart, within,
נֶפֶשׁ יְהוּדִי הוֹמִיָּה, Nefesh yehudi homiyah, A Jewish soul still yearns,
וּלְפַאֲתֵי מִזְרָח קָדִימָה, Ul(e)fa’atei mizrach kadimah, And onward, towards the ends of the east,
עַיִן לְצִיּוֹן צוֹפִיָּה; ‘Ayin letziyon tzofiyah; An eye still looks toward Zion;
פזמון Refrain
עוֹד לֹא אָבְדָה תִקְוָתֵנוּ, ‘Od lo avdah tikvateinu, Our hope is not yet lost,
הַתִּקְוָה הַנּוֹשָׁנָה, Hatikvah hannoshanah, The ancient hope,
לָשׁוּב לְאֶרֶץ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, Lashuv le’eretz avoteinu, To return to the land of our fathers,
לָעִיר בָּהּ דָּוִד חָנָה. La‘ir bah david k’hanah. The city where David encamped.
כָּל־עוֹד דְּמָעוֹת מֵעֵינֵינוּ Kol-‘od dema‘ot me‘eineinu As long as tears from our eyes
יִזְּלוּ כְגֶשֶׁם נְדָבוֹת, Yizzelu kegeshem nedavot, Flow like benevolent rain,
וּרְבָבוֹת מִבְּנֵי עַמֵּנוּ Urevavot mibbenei ‘ammeinu And throngs of our countrymen
עוֹד הוֹלְכִים עַל קִבְרֵי אָבוֹת; ‘Od hol(e)chim ‘al kivrei avot; Still pay homage at the graves of (our) fathers;
פזמון Refrain
כָּל־עוֹד חוֹמַת מַחֲמַדֵּינוּ Kol-‘od chomat mach(a)maddeinu As long as our precious Wall
לְעֵינֵינוּ מוֹפַעַת, Le‘eineinu mofa‘at, Appears before our eyes,
וְעַל חֻרְבַּן מִקְדָּשֵׁנוּ Ve‘al churban mikdasheinu And over the destruction of our Temple
עַיִן אַחַת עוֹד דוֹמַעַת; ‘Ayin achat ‘od doma‘at; An eye still wells up with tears;
פזמון Refrain
כָּל-עוֹד מֵי הַיַּרְדֵּן בְּגָאוֹן Kol-‘od mei hayarden bega’on As long as the waters of the Jordan
מְלֹא גְדוֹתָיו יִזֹּלוּ, Melo’ gedotav yizzolu, In fullness swell its banks,
וּלְיָם כִּנֶּרֶת בְּשָׁאוֹן Uleyam kinneret besha’on And (down) to the Sea of Galilee
בְּקוֹל הֲמוּלָה יִפֹּלוּ; Bekol hamulah yippolu; With tumultuous noise fall;
פזמון Refrain
כָּל־עוֹד שָׁם עֲלֵי דְרָכַיִם Kol-‘od sham ‘alei drachayim As long as on the barren highways
שַעַר יֻכַּת שְׁאִיָּה, Sha‘ar yukkat she’iyah, The humbled city gates mark,
וּבֵין חָרְבוֹת יְרוּשָׁלַיִם Uvein charvot yerushalayim And among the ruins of Jerusalem
עוֹד בַּת צִיּוֹן בּוֹכִיָּה; ‘Od bat tziyon bochiyah; A daughter of Zion still cries;
פזמון Refrain
כָּל־עוֹד דְּמָעוֹת טְהוֹרוֹת Kol-‘od dema‘ot tehorot As long as pure tears
מֵעֵין בַּת עַמִּי נוֹזְלוֹת, Me‘ein bat ‘ammi nozlot, Flow from the eye of a daughter of my nation,
וְלִבְכּוֹת לְצִיּוֹן בְּרֹאשׁ אַשְׁמוֹרוֹת Velivkot letziyon berosh ’ashmorot And to mourn for Zion at the watch of night
עוֹד תָּקוּם בַּחֲצִי הַלֵּילוֹת; ‘Od takum bachatzi halleilot; She still rises in the middle of the nights;
פזמון Refrain
כָּל־עוֹד נִטְפֵי דָם בְּעוֹרְקֵינוּ Kol-‘od nitfei dam be‘orkeinu As long as drops of blood in our veins
רָצוֹא וָשׁוֹב יִזֹּלוּ Ratzo’ vashov yizzolu, Flow back and forth,
וַעֲלֵי קִבְרוֹת אֲבוֹתֵינוּ Va‘alei kivrot avoteinu And upon the graves of our fathers
עוֹד אֶגְלֵי טַל יִפֹּלוּ; ‘Od eglei tal yippolu; Dewdrops still fall;
פזמון Refrain
כָּל־עוֹד רֶגֶשׁ אַהֲבַת הַלְּאוֹם Kol-‘od regesh ahavat halle’om As long as the feeling of love of nation
בְּלֵב הַיְּהוּדִי פּוֹעֵם, Beleiv hayhudi po‘eim, Throbs in the heart of the Jew,
עוֹד נוּכַל קַוּוֹת גַּם הַיּוֹם ‘Od nuchal kavvot gam hayyom We can still hope even today
כִּי עוֹד יְרַחֲמֵנוּ אֵל זוֹעֵם; Ki ‘od yerachmeinu ’eil zo‘eim; That a wrathful God may still have mercy on us;
פזמון Refrain
שִׁמְעוּ אַחַי בְּאַרְצוֹת נוּדִי Shim‘u achai be’artzot nudi Hear, O my brothers in the lands of exile,
אֶת קוֹל אַחַד חוֹזֵינוּ, Et kol achad chozeinu, The voice of one of our visionaries,
כִּי רַק עִם אַחֲרוֹן הַיְּהוּדִי Ki rak ‘im acharon hayhudi (Who declares) That only with the very last Jew —
גַּם אַחֲרִית תִּקְוָתֵנוּ! Gam acharit tikvateinu! Only there is the end of our hope!
פזמון Refrain
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Happy 62nd Birthday Israel!!

62 Things My Buddy Benji Loves About Israel from jpost.com

You’ve waited all year and it’s finally here. Inspired by last year’s “61 more things I love about Israel” and 2008’s  “60 things I love about Israel,” without further ado, here are 62 more things I love about Israel.

1. I love attending a religious wedding for the laughs that come from hearing “The Final Countdown” played klezmer-style.  I don’t know if the band Europe are dead yet but I suspect they’re digging their graves so they can someday roll in them.
2. I love how everyone who watched “Avatar” discovered that the Navi have a famous singer named Ninat. Who’s their favorite author, JB Yehoshua?
3. I love how the Jeopardy crew came here to research the country for their show.  “What are freichot?”
4. I love how this country is a kibbutz galuyot which means that you can watch American football with Argentinians and have them say things like “I ken not watch theez game!  Thees eeez alimut! (violence)”
5. I love the kumkum (electric hot water kettle). I’m not saying that I brought it into my bathroom to shave because the dood (solar water heater) wasn’t hot, but… Ok, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
6. I love how the painter not only asked me for coffee before working on my apartment but how I immediately made it for him without any feelings of weirdness. In the US, I’d have him committed.
7. I love how the Nefesh B’Nefesh Hanukka video on Ben Yehudah Street got a million hits. Now if you’ll please excuse me, I have to go do a flash mob in Gaza. (The Black-Eyed Peas are huge in Khan Yunis.)
8. I love humous for approximately 47,000 different reasons.  By the way, when Israeli kids try to pull a fast one on the substitute teacher, do they use the fake name “Hugh Muss”?
9. I love watching the robot beat the tar out of a suspicious object. That rules. Who needs cable?
10. I love that our 80-something-year-old president is hip enough to have his own YouTube channel. Come on, Shimmy, GET ON JDATE!  “Likes: winning the Nobel Peace Prize and telling off the Turkish Prime Minister. Dislikes: disco and hula hoops.”
11. I love that during a visit to New York, I stopped by the Aroma on the Upper West Side, struck up a conversation with an Israeli woman at the counter, and within thirty seconds, found someone we knew in common. Look out, parents:  there’s a new drug hitting the streets. It’s accessible, it’s addictive, and it’s a menace to society. Goodbye, cocaine; hello, ice Aroma.
12. I love emphatically saying the word “ba-RUUUUUUUUUUUUUR!!!!!!!!!”  It’s like “duh” with more raysh-es.
13. I love that while waiting at a photocopy shop in the dead of summer, an employee walked around and gave out cups of cold water to the customers. That’s what I call Israeli hospitality.
14. I love that the cleaning lady asked, “Do you want me to organize this too? You know, because Pessah is coming…”
15. I love how the HOT guy is also a Polish mother, offering to park and walk upstairs because he felt bad making me come down to give him my modem. And once again, just because I have a thing for the HOT guy, it doesn’t mean I’m gay.
16. I have learned to love sponja, the Israeli system that actually cleans floors. As my friend once said, “what do you call dat theeng in America to clean? The steeck weeth deh deesgusting hairs?  It dah-zent clean, it jahst pushes deh dirty water around!” You nailed it, my friend.
17. I love eating at the sandwich kiosk on Ben Gurion street in Tel Aviv, realizing I don’t have enough cash to pay, and having the guy tell me no problem, just go to the ATM and come back, fully trusting me to do so. Would that happen in America? I’m not sure….
18. I love walking through Mr. Zol and hearing Samantha Fox’s “Touch Me” as a haredi man walks by. Haven’t you figured it out yet?  The Middle East is funny.
19. I love how well-known (and quite pale) American comedian Jim Gaffigan visited Israel for Easter and opened his stand-up show by saying “As you can tell, I am an Ethiopan Jew.” (I must say, I also loved opening for him.)
20. I loved Madonna dancing around with an Israeli flag and screaming “Hello, Israel!”
21. I love how people here name their children with intention. Israel:  “Ehhh…my daughter’s name eez Lihi.  It means “she is to me,’ after her grand-mahther who perished in deh Holocaust.” The US? “Shucks, I call mah boy Luke.” As in the disciple? “Nah, the night he was conceived, his ma and I were watching ‘The Dukes of Hazard.’ ”
22. I love how every conversation in an Anglo doctor’s or accountant’s office inevitably turns to aliyah and why we moved here.  “Nu!?  The humous! Ba-RUUUUUUR!!!!!!!!!!”
23. I love how the car radio displays and the digital parking lot signs read “shana tova.”  The only possible way that could be cooler would be for them to come alive like the Terminator and travel back in time.
24. I love how even the gas stations have cappuccino machines. Forget an oil change, just pour a hafuch (cafe au lait) in the engine.
25. I love going to the beach in March. If you like global warming and you know it, clap your hands (and spray some aerosol into the sky).
26. I love the new Apple stores with the best customer service I’ve ever seen in this country. Are we sure these are really service representatives? Quick, somebody check their passports for “Dubai.”
27. On that note, despite the predictable condemnation, I love that the Mossad can still kick ass and take names (literally).
28. I love the red Castro tag on shirts. If I’m ever visiting Saturn and see someone on the street with that little red identifier, I’ll know I have at least one friend.
29. I love how, unlike in the US, I can withdraw money from the kaspomat (cash machine) of ANY bank and there’s no extra service charge, even if it’s not my own.
30. I love that we can get nominated three years running for the “Best Foreign Film” Oscar. (Not to brag or anything but to those who missed it, I just missed out on taking home “Best Supporting Freier.”)
31. I love going to Tweetups and making the Jewish world even smaller.
32. I love how Israel is kicking Lebanon’s ass in the humous wars. Take that, Hizbullah. Now what about the biggest bottle of arak?  First round’s on me.
33. I love that in a recent episode, the Simpsons came to Israel, that the tour guide spoke Hebrew, and that I understood it.  If he had said yiyeh b’seder, it would have made my year.

34. I love how I recently and for the first time used the word “katanchik” and immediately became 37% more Israeli.
35. I love the terms of endearment that people so willingly endow each other with. “Moteeeeek, hamuuuuuud, ahiiiiii…….kaparaaaa alehaaaaa!!!!!” OK, I don’t even know what that last one means.
36. I love how before Pessah, even the cover of the smutty magazine Banana says “Chag heirut sameah!”  Call me crazy but I have a strange feeling this publication has nothing to do with produce.
37. I love how while hiking, you can suddenly find a ma’ayan (spring) in the middle of nowhere. This probably explains why it took our people 40 years to wander through the desert. (Either that, or they kept making coffee.)
38. I love that part of the hike when it’s time to eat lunch and somebody starts cutting up vegetables to make a salad. What kind of person brings a bottle of olive oil on the hike? I’ll tell you what kind: sabras. And thank G-d for them.
39. I love Israeli tour guides and how they’ll just grab anything off a tree and start eating it. In Israel: “Look at Dudu! He just found some naturally growing Louisa! That is SOOOO cool!” In the US: “Ummm…why is that dude eating a plant?”
40. I love how I went to the Dead Sea for the first time in fifteen years, covered my winter-dried hands with mineral-filled mud, and within days, the cracks in my skin had completely disappeared. I felt like Wilford Brimley in “Cocoon” except without as much ear hair and that smell of old people.
41. I love how even though the next day brings work, people go out in Israel on Saturday night till any hour of the night. (Reason #456 that we drink 45 cups of coffee a day.) Sunday night in the US, it’s as if people are attached to their sofa with a staple gun, bracing themselves for the hell what awaits them Monday. The disdain for the work week is so strong there, I sometimes felt Monday creeping all the way into my Saturday. “Back off, Monday, nothing to see here.” Give me the Israeli Shabbat anytime.
42. I love the insanely awesome juices you can get here, even at the grocery store. Strawberry banana, pomegranate, humous fig. Ok, I made the last one up. This would be a good time to mention again that whereas fruits are tasty and affordable here, you have to take out a small business loan to buy a banana in the US. $1.25 at the airport? No thanks, I’d rather lick the runway.
43. I love Jerusalem’s Kikar Safra on Erev Yom Ha’atzmaut when women come out of the woodwork to show off their 23,000 different folk dances. I don’t know what exactly a woodwork is but apparently they teach one hell of a mayim step there.
44. I love going to the Old City on Good Friday to check out a balagan you just couldn’t find anywhere else in the world.  It’s a combination between Indiana Jones, the Passion of the Christ, and Mos Eisley.
45. I love laughing at news stories about Iran launching rodents into space, the Arab ambassador’s near-marriage to the bearded lady, etc. If you think Israel is funny, take a look at our neighbors.
46. I love how in Israel, Armageddon isn’t some cataclysmic event. It’s a tsomet (intersection).
47. I love that our medical system shocks me every time I go the doctor. “No, seriously, it’s free? You’re kidding, right? But it was just free last week.”
48. I love that so many companies give their employees free cars with unlimited gas. How many Israelis do you think tried driving to New York to go shopping before realizing this was a bad idea?
49. I love the feeling of teamwork on the sherut when people pass the money between passenger and driver. It’s like a tiny kibbutz.  Without cow dung.
50. I love signing emails with “Shabbat shalom,” “chag sameach,” or “shavua tov.”
51. I love the soothing sounds of “sof hashavuaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ragua b’Galgalatz….raguaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.” Just thinking about it drops my blood pressure to three over one.
52. I love how you can set up shop at a beit café for several hours with no one bringing the check to rush you out. I’m pretty sure I could drink my hafuch, split the atom, and calculate pi to a million decimal points before anybody even batted an eyelash.
53. I love how the dreidel here is shin-less. The miracle happened here baby. And by the way, when Israelis say “nes gadol haya po,” they’re talking about a large cup of instant.
54. Same thing, different chag. The Hagaddah just reminds me that I’m in Israel. In the Diaspora: “Next year in Jerusalem.” In Israel: “Next year in Jerusalem rebuilt.” On the Temple Mount? “Next year in Jerusalem rebuilt, RIGHT HERE, BABY!”
55. I love that Israel sent the most successful medical delegation to Haiti to provide help, despite our country’s tiny size. And to the hate-mongering nut jobs who spread bogus rumors about our doctors doing organ harvesting? I have an organ and here’s what you can do with it.
56. I love that the Yom HaZikaron siren is so powerful, even felines show their respects.
57. I love the feeling of arriving to the gate at an international airport en route to Israel, seeing the other Israelis waiting, and thinking, “My people… It’s good to see you again.”
58. I love finding that sweet spot in the Old City of Jaffa where you suddenly find the most beautiful view of Tel Aviv. There ain’t nothing like it.
59. I love café hafuch in the morning, afternoon, and evening. G-d, I love it.
60. I love Erev Rosh Hashana and Leil HaSeder when the roads are packed and you feel the entire nation going home to their families.
61. I love that people are still committed to bringing Gilad Schalit home and that when one of us is truly hurting, we all feel it.
62. I love that I’ve had this once-in-a-lifetime experience and that it’s not over yet.

Benji Lovitt is a stand-up comic and writer. You can book him for a comedy show at www.benjilovitt.com or read his blog at www.whatwarzone.com. (Tell him HSM sent you.)

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