Skip to content

{ Category Archives } My Life and Opinions

UNESCO and Jerusalem

“What are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what ‘the stars foretell,’ avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable ‘verdict of history’–what are the facts, and to how many decimal places?” — Robert Heinlein, “Time Enough for Love” The reactions to the UNESCO resolution have gone down […]

Great Moment

My youngest daughter has been a vegetarian for some months now, and her brother and sisters have not always been, let’s say, as supportive as they might be. My son is sure that she will never make it through the annual Independence Day barbecue at my sister-in-law’s without cracking and eating meat, so they made […]

Hhanukka meme

From Talmida (and I’m sorry if it looks as if I cribbed a lot of the entries from her. There are reasons why we’re friends, you know): 8 interests in my life Indonesian music Biblical interpretation Languages and scripts Cryptic crosswords Spirituality Mountains Theatre Food and drink 8 things to do before I die Visit […]

מה כמה?‏

להלן הודעה אמיתית שהתקבלה מ-Windows Update, ללא שינויים. אולי זה היה אמור להיות מחווה לישראל פוליאקוב ז״ל?

My new bumper sticker

I was walking home the other day when a car passed me with a bumper sticker like this: . He pulled in and parked ahead of me so I waited for him to get out and said politely צַפְרָא טָבָא, and told him that I liked the sticker, and where could I get one? He […]

Hey, man

Things I thought about during the Megilla reading this year, in no particular order. I’m not saying I thought of all this actually during the reading, some of it is expansions of the original ideas that are coming to me as I write it down I’m not sure if this counts as a meme. RenReb […]

Got some of the t-shirts

Ah, memes. The staple of the blogger with nothing to say, or not enough time to say it. This is from Something Something via Slightly Mad. Things I’ve done are bold. Comments in italics. Bought everyone in the bar a drink Swam with wild dolphins Climbed a mountain Taken a Ferrari for a test drive […]

Experimenting in the kitchen

On a sudden whim last Shabbat I decided to make kugel, which I have never done before. I don’t know if it’s from local patriotism or just that I like the taste of pepper, but for me the only kugel worthy of the name is Kugel Yerushalmi, so after a little googling1 I tried this […]

Othar Never Blowed No Shofar

…but tomorrow אי״ה I will. A Happy New Year to you all.

You have 2109 new messages, all marked urgent

Back home and online after three weeks+ abroad. A lot has been happening, and there’s lots to do now we’re back. I’ll try to update gradually. If you emailed me and are waiting for a reply, your patience will soon be rewarded.

I am a feminist

There are advantages to living in a small country. If I was in America or even England and saw that someone whose work I admire and whose blog I read regularly was speaking somewhere, chances are it would be 1,000s of miles away and I wouldn’t be able to get to it. In Israel, on […]

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

Aviad, describing himself on an school application form: “If the religious were red and the secular were yellow, I would be orange.”


Fatherhood is all about learning to handling new experiences, and here’s one I haven’t had before. What should a father do when he sees his daughter spread over a Jewlicious post singing the praises of “hot frum girls“? My own first answer was “load his shotgun.”

Two years

Today is my mother’s second Yahrtzeit, the anniversary of her death by the Hebrew calendar. We invited several friends of ours and hers over for an azkara or memorial service, with prayers (I think this was the first time in my life that I have led a weekday evening service), light refreshments and Torah study. […]

Police lineup

I’m very fond of David Bogner and Treppenwitz, and this post is inspired partly by his weekly “Photo Friday” feature (before I knew that he had a culinary theme this week too), and partly by the comments on this post a few months back about the ingredients of my hamin. Here is everything which went […]

Almost done

I finished the first draft of the book proposal I’m translating today. I’m glad it’s being translated, because it’s something I’d love to read, and I would never fight my way all through it in Hebrew.

Dateline Las Cruces, NM

On the sixth day of our road trip, we at last have the luxury of an RV park with wireless internet access, and I managed to catch up with some percentage of the hundreds of emails that have been accumulating. So far we have camped in Hollister Hills, Ciasta Lake, Joshua Tree National Park, Phoenix, […]

More From My Commonplace Book

It’s a sad coincidence that I should have come to this entry in my commonplace book on the same day that I read Joan Aiken’s obituary. You can have a grievance or you can have fun, but you can’t have both. Joan Aiken, Foul Matter

From My Commonplace Book

Every now and then I think to myself how much I would like to have an old-fashioned commonplace book in which I could copy down passages from books that make a particular impression on me. Occasionally I even start copying a few on scraps of paper, or into files on the computer. Just now while […]

Counting my blessings

I could never adequately express my gratitude for true friendship. I can hardly believe how lucky I am. What a gift it is to have somebody in my life who cares so much about me, who is interested in so many of the same things that I am and loves doing them with me or […]