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NO. 4 JULY 29 2010

‫פרשת עקב י“ח אב תש“ע‬







Dear Readers,


even years ago on the 22nd of Av, Klal Yisroel reeled with the news of a terrorist attack on the No.2 bus as it returned from the Kotel. This week, THE ENGLISH UPDATE presents “A Brand Plucked from the Fire,” the gripping story of a woman who experienced miracles and survived the bus bombing with her husband and five children. At this time of year, the streets are full of families traveling together, and many are on their way to the sea. In our feature, “Summer Days at the Beach” you’ll have a look at the joys and hassles of outings to the sea and some ideas about how to make them more relaxing and a bit less sandy. You’ll also learn about why those jellyfish make their appearance on beaches this time of year. Then take a trip up North in “Out and About” to the magnificent sea level caverns of Rosh HaNikra that visitors reach by cable car. We also have some interesting gadgets, information about Vitamin D, a fancy but easy chicken recipe, and the continuing story of “Destiny.” Whether you’re staying at home or have taken to the road, we hope you’re having a wonderful summer vacation and getting refueled for the coming zman.

Cable car at Rosh HaNikra Photo: A.S. Publisher: THE ENGLISH UPDATE Managing Editor: Varda Branfman Contributing Writers: Ruchel Epstein Nechama Friedman, Rose Jacobson Mordechai Schmutter Editorial Assistant: N. Lewis Graphics: Rachely Eytan Distribution: Ephraim Lachs 054-221-1833 © THE ENGLISH UPDATE, 2010. THE ENGLISH UPDATE is not responsible for the content or reliability of the articles, advertisements, book reviews, or other material, nor the kashrus of products or services.

All the best, Varda Branfman THE ENGLISH UPDATE

The English Update



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Your “Savouring the Shuk” was excellent and colorful. The Shuk’s wonderful display of G-d’s abundance should definitely elicit a prayer of thanks. Maybe we could post the article at the entrance of the Shuk in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. Tova, Jerusalem I’ve never understood how anyone could manage shopping in the shuk. But after reading “Savoring the Shuk” in your last issue, I decided I’m going to give it another try. You made it sound so inviting.

The Lazewnik Family (Ramat Shlomo) and Minkus Family (Neve Yaakov) on the engagement of their children. The Schuster Family on the bar mitzvah of their grandson. The Alter Family on the birth of their son. The Zarem Family (Kiryat Unsdorf) on the birth of their son. The Saposh Family (Har Nof) and Rosenblum Family (Har Nof) on the engagement of their children

Y.B., Rechavia You have a winner! This last issue of

The English Update

THE ENGLISH UPDATE was the best so far. I didn’t want it to end.


B. F. . Har Nof

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LAUGHING MATTERS By Mordechai Schmutter

Working It Out In Your Head using going to spend all day you’re afraid that you’re give were to d you t nee tha you , find n ple the peo f you’re like most ticular machine, and par e on . abs. r out g you rkin less, such as some serious thought to wo ing something totally use ton r you h wit to ing ng eth to lift som young and goi When are you ever going Sure, back when you were are abs r But you . w silly s no wa rcising w? So abs, you want to kno live forever, you thought exe here and got married up but you read somew w lar, gre scu you mu nt poi re e mo som htly slig then at ually act ’ve n than fat, so you ved out on your ow t muscle weighs more tha and bought a car and mo ybe ma , all in a span of n gaining weight. and had kids and got a job e time, you bee sam t tha und aro at home. And not n, the two years. And t leaves working out tha a So of all had ed, pen hap at time you tried those you started gaining weight. Wh jumping jacks; the last the and , lier nde of the cha sudden? to replace several pieces s wa use ho ole wh the ken. ught kids woke up and tho Maybe all the scales are bro but , can when you do? Join a gym? You coming down. You try to walk But what are you going to r. of tte st ysi mo ed a gym, and it’s hard to find a bab have some friends who join t some workout are the ones re The : ries ego cat two some point you bough at o, Als them fall into re, and it is now just ut it at first, and then that you saw in a sto ice dev who got really excited abo ’d ch uld be one thing if you and have pretty mu taking up room. It wo worked out maybe twice, r you g han e st aus lea bec , could at membership bought something you stopped going but still pay A p. ste a t ’re you ugh bo as g u Yo lon n’t. that so clothes on, but you did deep down they believe up least losing more you thinking? You go at re ’re we you at s, Wh rate ly p. nth ste mo gle sin paying tall n eve t n no the step. It’s o aren’t. And step, you go down the weight than the people wh about it, the s cookies iou ser the lly ch rea rea are o you p wh enough to hel there are people day , ry eve gym to the out anyway? Every day and you see them driving t who wants to work Bu n the y the and ill t dm tha trea a ing someth so that they can walk on ists announce that y that, but they have scient So it’s just your luck g. on wr is t ugh drive home. And not onl tho y usl vio pre has o wh nt outfit. But rcising, they’re going to do it in a whole differe soon as you start exe as t tha er eth en tog ff stu r get you t pain that you get wh time for that? After you say, “Hey, you know tha to and up It’s sh ! wa n you the for and ually bad and drive over and change work out? That’s act e, you’ve pretty much you ” g? kin thin we re change back and drive hom we what have, and you haven’t pain; rk out. But it’s still wo used up all the time you to ing So no, you’re not go es. chin e some ma the d che even tou e to time, that you giv es to important, from tim chin t’s the ma tha ich d wh An a ide t. ou any t to working Not that you have supposed serious though ’re you at wh e sur n eve use. You’re not se of this article. m, and whether you’re purpo to be doing with half of the ds or your feet. And supposed to use your han

The English Update



A version of this article was previously published in Hamodia.

Mordechai Schmutter is a weekly humor columnist for Hamodia, and is the author of two books, both published by Israel Book Shop. He lives in New Jersey with is wife, his kids, and some furniture. You can send any questions, comments, or ideas to

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ASK THE DOCTOR C.L. writes from Ganei Geula: “I’ve always known that babies needed extra Vitamin D, but what about all the rest of us?”

Young people need to consume about 500 IU of D in their diets every day and older people need to consume about 1000 units a day.


Doctors are now discovering that many people have low levels of D. There is a lot of debate about where to draw the line but one suggestion is that people with below 32 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter) have “insufficient” D levels, below 20 ng/ml is considered “deficient,” and below 10 ng/ ml is considered “severely deficient.”

itamin D (or “D” for short) is an important requirement for adults as well as babies. It helps build healthy, strong bones and prevents osteoporosis (thin, brittle bones) in later life. Recently we have also begun to discover other benefits of D such as its role in the development of nerves and muscle and possible connection between low levels of D and the incidence of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

D is manufactured in the skin by the rays of the sun which convert natural substances in the body into D. D is also found in foods, especially in oily fish. A can of sardines or tuna has approximately 250 IU (International Units) of D, a tablespoon of cod liver oil has 1000 IU, and an egg has 20 IU. D is also present in dairy products, breads, and cereals which have been specially fortified with D.

The English Update

Risk factors for D deficiency include a diet low in D and obesity. People with dark skin are more prone to this deficiency. Poor exposure to sun light is also a risk factor, but we encourage people to cover up in the sun in order to prevent skin cancers which are much more dangerous than low levels of D.


Requirements for D vary, depending on the health and lifestyle of the individual.

If you have low D levels, your doctor can prescribe a supplement. I personally prescribe the baby drops to adults in a daily or weekly dose, adjusted for each patient based on their D level, age, weight, health, and lifestyle. Levels should be re-checked after six months of treatment and if they are normal, then the dose is reduced for a maintenance period. It’s important not to take too much D too quickly as this can actually be harmful. I believe that in the coming years we will more fully appreciate the benefits of maintaining adequate Vitamin D levels.

Dr. Alexander King is a Family Doctor in the center of Jerusalem. For Appointments-call: *3555 (Maccabi) If you have a question for Dr. King, email

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A Brand Plucked from the Fire

Ora Cohen’s Story As told to Nechama Friedman

Photos: A.S.


n August 19, 2003, a suicide bomber dressed as a chareidi man boarded a crowded #2 bus on Rechov Shmuel Hanavi and detonated himself. Twenty-three people lost their lives and 130 were injured. Many of the victims and the injured were children.

The English Update

This week I met with Mrs. Ora Cohen who was on the bus with her husband and five children. Only one month after the birth of her son, Mrs. Cohen had to deal with her own injuries, as well as the injuries of all her children and husband.


Seven years later, the attack is history for many, but an ongoing trial for the injured. I saw some of the people behind the statistics when I met members of the beautiful, lively Cohen family. Ora Cohen has not just encouraged her family, but thousands who have heard her speak. She is not angry, but thankful to Hashem for having saved her family.

The following is Mrs. Cohen’s story in her own words:


t was a hot day during bein hazmanim. I was a month after birth and home with five children. I was depressed and worried, feeling like something bad was going to happen. I tried calling babysitters and friends, but no one was available. I felt that everyone else was out with their kids, enjoying their vacation, and I was alone. Late in the afternoon, I remembered it was my ninth anniversary. I called my husband, “Let’s go to the Kotel and thank Hashem. We have five beautiful, healthy, smart children.” Standing in the Kotel plaza, I felt like the happiest mother in the world. My kids were playing and running around. They were really enjoying the outing. At the Wall, the depression came back. I cried. I davened for the children, that no danger should befall them. I kept feeling more and more depressed. I remembered a horrible sentence, a sentence that crushed me years ago when I heard it. During the Holocaust, the Nazis took children to be killed. One mother begged for mercy. The Nazi said, “Choose one of your children.” Remembering this, I cried out to Hashem, “Enough suffering for Jewish mothers! Send yeshuot and the geulah. No Mother should ever be in that situation again.”

I sat on the last chair before the middle doors. I held the baby with another child at my side. Two of my children were sitting opposite me. The bus was getting packed. My husband was stuck in the back with Shira. My kids gave their seats to a middle aged woman and a pregnant woman. The two children came to sit with me. We were four people on two seats, and I was holding the baby.

July 29 2010 | ‫י“ח אב תש“ע‬

Back with my family, I rushed to catch the bus, but we missed it. We got on the bus that Hashem wanted.


The English Update

n Rechov himse areidi Shmuel H ndred thi lf. Twenty-three peo anavi an rty were ple lost th d injured. e i r jured wer l i v e s an onine one e children The bus was soMfullaInwondered my husband weredalive, how the and . I would be able to getyoff. oInf front victims a piece. week I me nd thbute they of Zvihl, on Rechov Shmuel HaNavi, a were badly injured, t with Mr fat man dressed like a chassid stuck They were alive. It was a knife in my heart shis. Ohands husband a r between the doors and a to see them and know that I couldn’t C henwerewclosing. nd five ch squeezed in asothey He h o for them. w as odonanything ildwasrethen.terrorist. r son, Mr t h e b O The nurses showed us wmeitahpicture of s. Cohen All of a sudden,nthelywhole onworld was e m a baby. It was Elchanon. When he on afborn, hablack. d toI wasdefalling miles and miles. I thwas t s the inju e I automatically thought of r t he bi“Hashem l feet. witMyh baby r fire underamy was t ries of al saw h the name Elchanon, gave.” I h e r ownfelt isonhappy that I was so blessed pushed from me. l h e r j c u h riesHashem ilofdmyrechildren. years lat , as gave me n anAdwindow back then. Now er, the a Ifellfellononmyonehead. h u again, an injured one All I knew was thatsbaElchanon n d.old who survived ttaitcwas k iasterrorist g trial fo month under three attack, and I was torpain. r the inju alive. I didn’thfeelisany y bodies for hours following the attack. Ifthought o r redof.myI children and my heart stopped.maAnmother y, bcould stics when children, s ut have a w antwenty s o Deep inside me, I heard a voice say, m if one is missing, her world is I met mem“Ima, choose one of youre children.” of theI pebut opleMybebeautiful Shira was still bertos Hashem: Ora Cohe of the“Ibjusteaubegged you black. h i n d missing. n has no cried tishould ful, liAvefewlyhours later, they showed me that no mother t jatbeuthe sputtinKotel s who ha Cohenblack shoes and such a situation.” e n uragethed broken a pair of washed ve heard A man jumpedcothrough h e r faasked me if they belonged to Shira. herwindow milwere to Hashem speaandk. pulled me out. I but shoes. She was They S he isI havenofivet alive. y, Shira’s for havin screamed to him, “Please, angry, bu gchildren. sa Look a suicide d hforerthem!”fam Remembering my t depression before bomber dr In theveambulance I kept isaying, l the attack, I asked, “Does she have y . O feetAtouputguinsher shoes?” es“Don’t sed awaste your time on me, go n #2 bus o They said s a t n Rechov look for my kids!”chaI rwaseidtaken for her feet were fine. I was not shown i m oa of her. Shx-rays. I cried, “Chaval, you could bean abpicture m nty-three u r navi and They putdmeedin a room with my three people los lookingeforl myHachildren!” asked how many kids detchildren. t Athreporter onatIekept njured. M eirI sobbed, d begging for Shira and l ives “Two I have. ago Elchanon. I was so worried I couldn’t aof nfivedhours any of th I was the mother one husleep. e vAmicItistillmasmother? Do I stillchildren. ndred have a n d For days they didn’t tell me t he injuredwhatthree children?” was wer wrong with Shira. Finally The doctors, nurses and social t with Mr they saidethat Shira was crying for s. Ora Co workers tried to help me as tears me the whole time. They said they hewere streaming down their faces. n wasked transfer her if I promised to d five chi o wwhatasmyonchildren were would They be strong. “There will be surgeries ldren. On wearing.hThree theattack b hours after the u s and treatments,” the doctor said, “but l w y i ontold th Cohen ha e m I was that at t least three children o one day she’ll be all right.” n h after the b d to deal irth with her ies of all o w n her childr injuries, e n as a nd husban , 12 the attac d . k is hist o ry for m the injur a

Those three days, I survived because of ahavat chinam. Jewish people from all over came to visit me. There was someone at the door to control the crowds. It was maamad har Sinai, k’ish echad b’lev echad. On Friday, everyone was sent out of the room. I waited to see my beautiful Shira. A doctor walked in holding her. She was almost unrecognizable. In shock, I did not say a word. Shira cried “Ima, Ima” and fainted. The doctor put Shira on my lap and told me about an infection in Shira’s eye. It would kill her, he said, unless the eye was removed. The doctor kept talking but I didn’t hear what he said. I came back to myself when the doctor asked me to sign the consent form. I asked him to wait for a few minutes. I was alone. My husband was horribly injured

and couldn’t make the decision. I lifted my eyes to Hashem and said: “Ribono Shel Olam, You

gave me Shira, You know what’s best for her, You decide.” I took the Tehillim on the table next to me and opened it up. The sentence jumped out at me: “Shiru l’Hashem shir chadash… Basru miyom l’yom yeshuato (Sing to Hashem a song that is new…announce from day to day His salvation)” (Tehillim 96:I-2). I would have a new Shira. I would go around proclaiming about His miracles, I told Hashem. The doctor walked in. I told him that I understood what he said, but Hashem advised me otherwise: “He’s the Doctor, and He’s the Decider.” The doctor was furious. “I heard

July 29 2010 | ‫י“ח אב תש“ע‬

“He’s the Doctor, and He’s the Decider.”


The English Update

n Rechov himse areidi Shmuel H ndred thi lf. Twenty-three peo anavi an rty were ple lost th d inbanged a loudspeaker from a car going you your head,” he said. I also eIiheard r j jured wer u l r i e v d e . s and saying should Did I doM thearight andthatonpeople e children wondered: nything? o he varound e daven for Shira bat Ora. I don’t know who people who came to visit gavefmetthe .The ictthem. imsI justanknew told that b’zchut ahavat strength to go on. On Friday, a woman week I me d Am Yisroel, and b’zchut Rosh theChodesh Elul, flew in from Paris and went straight to the t with Mhospital the chodesh of rachamim, Shira would be she hugged and kissed me. rs. Owhere husband a r okay. a She then flew back to Paris for Shabbos. C ohen who nd five chA couple during their was shaking when the doctor came out wthe sheva brachot, as oIafter i ldrenon. Otheirn faces, n He said he was r son, Mr tthehefiveb thehourseye.wsurgery. Shechina arrived with able to save u Shira was still unable i s. Cohen a huge bouquet oflyflowers. oneThemattack t h o n to see, but we had hope. t h h a happened when they were under the a d f ter he bisurgeries toanddethey s the inju al decided Shira had tseveral and on Rosh their first w rth Chanukah, i ries of alchuppah t h h e r Chodesh Teves, during she mitzvah would be bikur cholim . American o w l her cgirlshicancelled nwasingoing j to have the biggest and most seminary their flights and u r l i d ears later e s r to take , as ancare one. into my houseen d hofuthesbanserious , the attac moved children who were released. called . people to say Tehillim. Before kI thought: is hisIftthisorisyAm Yisroel, and they’re II dknew ongoing it, the whole Sefer Tehillim was divided five times to be said for forty days. foPeople r were saying Shir HaShirim and maalsonyshemirat I saw , halashon, right Perek Shira. For away I found women t r ia for the to cover each hour hind the of thelday. surgery, the doctor came out sAfter omsaid, I met etheo“Shira and f thhas e light in her eye!” Six months ago they had wanted to remove sthis tateye.istic eautiful, Hashem sent sme good shlichim, Am prayers, I was able to mYisrael. e mWithe rtheir ily. Ora go on. bSome of those people still keep s in touch with me. If they’re from abroad, l i vcome ncouraged they visit me when they’re here. e lmetoystrong. all davening together, everything will be It keeps Now I’m never alone. okay. h C e o r h It’s seven years later now, and I still need f e a n m ly, Ibwas eak. She i h Shortly ilater, again pressured to a s to go for treatments u t t s not ang agree to remove Shira’sheye.ousands I’m never alone. with my family, but rAgain, w haveHashem that I would broadcast y, bI uopened the Tehillim, and this time hIopromised her famil t t h a n y. On Au it opened to Tehillim 98:kful to Has the story of His miracles by telling my g“Auspsalm! m foWhenever a song that is hestory. t 1 Sing to Hashem hareidi m r I’m asked to speak or 03wonders…” an interview, I drop everything and , a suicid give an boardenew, for He9,has20done Hashem do miracles for me ande bogo. d a crwould mber i and det o w d give me a new Shira. I# didn’t sign. onated hi Because of the edinfection, 2 b u s owas n Rechov Shira mscheduled self. Tforwsurgery one hund on Rosh Chodesh e n t y red thirtyElul. I had no time to-tarrange hree pTehillim ople lost w groups. I was in a taxi with e re injured a friend ewhen injured w . Many o ere childr f the ‫”מזמור שירו‬ e n . with Mrs “‫ כי נפלאות עשה‬...‘‫לה‬ . Ora Coh en who w five child as on the ren. Only 14 bus with one mont Cohen ha h after t d to d


By Varda Branfman


s a child growing up in New Jersey, the closest body of water was the Paterson River which was not what you would call a major waterway. Some of my best childhood memories, however, revolve around our trips to the Jersey shore, about an hour away by car. The waves at the Jersey shore were giant-sized and not for the faint of heart. When I would walk to the end of one of the breakwaters, the surf would be deafening and come crashing on the rocks not far from where I stood. Often I sat with my father in the serenity of the boardwalk while we ate warm roasted peanuts and gazed out over the wide blue expanse. I used to believe that proximity to large bodies of water was a prerequisite for wherever I would decide to permanently make my home. I always gravitated to coastal areas and sea sides. What makes them so compelling and so relaxing at the same time? It must be the rhythmic waves, salty air, sea spray, sound of seagulls, and the blue horizon that seems to go on forever, When I first came to Jerusalem and decided I never wanted to leave, I realized I would have to give up my dream of living with the sea at my doorstep. But not completely. There’s something very oceanic about Jerusalem and her surrounding hills. From Ramot Shlomo or from a perch in any of the Ramots, I can have the same sea side feeling of endless horizons as I gaze out on the gentle, undulating hills in every direction. For a taste of the actual salt water, it’s also comforting to know that I don’t have very far to travel. During summer vacation, there are special buses for men and women on alternate days to the separate beaches in Bat Yam, Tel Aviv-Sheraton, Ashdod, and Hertzliya. With stops in each neighborhood, they usually start out around 2 pm picking up their passengers who have made reservations in advance. I know that summer vacation has begun when flyers for these beach trips are plastered all over the walls of local bus stops. I have taken my family of mainly girls on many of these afternoons at the beach. I even had the foolhardy determination to take them with me to the beach when they were all either babies, toddlers, or not yet old enough to be helpful. At those times, I would invariably ask myself at the end of the day as I dragged myself through the door laden with inner tubes, numerous sandy, wet towels, sticky, wet clothes, and sandy heads and feet, as well as a bunch of hungry, tired, thirsty, and bedraggled children: “Was it worth the hassle?”

July 29 2010 | ‫י“ח אב תש“ע‬



The English Update


For days afterwards, the beach sand would remain with us in the beds and on the floor as a reminder, no matter how many showers and baths we endured. And yet I would always go back for more as if I was suffering from severe amnesia. I always set out on our beach outings with stars in my eyes, waiting excitedly for the bus to appear at my stop, and counting the minutes until I would glimpse the white sands of the beach and the blue strip of ocean beyond. Everyone has their special beach-going regimen and list of necessary paraphernalia, and here’s mine (in no special order): 1 - Bring along a large plastic bag in which to deposit all the wet bathing suits, outer shirts, and towels. 2 - Bring tongs (those cheap rubber slippers) or crocs so that you don’t burn your feet when walking on the hot sand that leads to the beach. 3 - Bring extra socks which often get lost in the shuffle. 4 - Wrap up your food in clingy plastic wrap which is more effective than sandwich bags for keeping the sand out of your sandwiches. 5 - Never underestimate the hunger of your children. If you figure that 10 sandwiches will suffice, take 20 and watch them disappear. 6 - Pack fruits in plastic containers to protect them from getting squashed to a pulp. Good fruits to take are grapes, hard nectarines, apples, and pieces of honeydew and watermelon. 7 - Bring several large bottles of water for drinking, and at regular intervals, serve everyone in plastic cups to prevent dehydration. 8 - Bring a sheet for the children to sit on and a small plastic folding beach chair for yourself. They don’t cost much more than about NIS 30 and they greatly add to your comfort. 9 - Use sunscreen and cover up well to prevent sunburn. Sunhats for the babies and toddlers. 10 - Bring along a teenaged babysitter to help you keep an eye on those babies, toddlers, and young children. Be vigilant. Even though the Mediterranean Sea looks placid compared to the mighty Atlantic Ocean, it can

have a fierce, and possibly dangerous, undertow that challenges the efforts of even a strong swimmer. Always have your older children stick together in a buddy system, and if you have small children, stay with them at all times. The lifeguards have a flag system for alerting bathers to the relative intensity of the surf: the display of a white flag signals mild conditions, a black flag means dangerous conditions, and a red flag is somewhere in between. I once took a friend’s nine year old child with us to the beach and almost had a heart attack when I noticed that she wasn’t with the other children. Frantically, I waded through the water searching for her until I found her happily splashing with another group of girls. I can’t describe my relief and gratitude. After that experience, I never took my children’s friends along without their mother or older sister to watch them. It’s wise to invest in several black inner tubes, the strong ones made of real rubber. They last much longer than the thin plastic kinds, and they provide hours of wonderful fun floating in them with room for others to hold on for a free ride. While floating in your inner tube, you feel delightfully weightless. A half hour of this floating can be so relaxing that it makes the whole trip to the beach worthwhile. Another wise investment is the 20 minutes you take to walk the length of the beach in your bare feet while the children are eating or building sand castles (under the supervision of the babysitter or older, responsible siblings). You’ll find yourself falling into a rhythm with your breath and your strides that can wash away a whole year’s accumulation of worry and stress. At the end of one of those meditative beach walks, you’ll feel energized and equal to the task of getting all those sandy, beach-worn children home.

The Magen Dovid Adom (MDA) suggests that bathers bring along with them a small bottle of vinegar which when applied to the area, can help relieve the pain.


surprising feature of Israeli beaches is the presence of jellyfish, called in Hebrew “Meduzot.” Before spending time on the beaches of the Israeli coast, I had never encountered a jellyfish, except in full color on the pages of National Geographic. Now I have not only seen them floating in the water, but I’ve examined specimens up close after they were washed up on the sand. Plus, I have an unpleasant memory of being stung by one of them while swimming. Here in Israel you’ll probably have occasion to see jellyfish in the water or on the beach, especially in the early part of the summer. At that time, they arrive in the seasonal swarm, or what’s called a smack, of millions of jellyfish who originated in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea and make their way up to the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal. Years ago, a smack of jellyfish this large was a once-in-a-decade happening. In recent years, these mega-swarms have been arriving every summer. One reason for the phenomenon is the over-fishing of these waters. Fish that would otherwise compete with the jellyfish for food are depleted, allowing unchecked jellyfish growth. Also, certain fish species such as herring and sardines who eat young jellyfish have been reduced in numbers, and this results in a booming fish population. What does this mean for swimmers on our coastal beaches? Jellyfish secrete cells which contain a substance that burns and stings the skin. You don’t have to be close to the jellyfish in order to be stung by his venom since it’s released into the waters as a sticky slime. The good news is that relatively few people get stung, even with all those jellyfish swimming around. The jellyfish sting is mostly harmless and generally, not very painful. The Magen Dovid Adom (MDA) suggests that bathers bring along with them a small bottle of vinegar which when applied to the area, can help relieve the pain. If you’ve forgotten your bottle of vinegar (a spray bottle is the best), the lifeguard usually has a supply of vinegar at the lifeguard station. Salt water may also be used for this purpose, while fresh water is ineffective. According to the MDA, the popular measure of rubbing sand on the affected area will only worsen the pain. After applying vinegar, cleanse the area with water and soap. Ice in a plastic bag also helps to reduce the swelling.

July 29 2010 | ‫י“ח אב תש“ע‬

Whats Slimy, Sticky, and Stings ?


DOWN TO BUSINESS By Nechama Friedman and Rose Jacobson


The English Update

his week THE ENGLISH UPDATE speaks with Chaim Baldasahr, a plumber who has been unclogging drains for the past 30 years. Mr. Baldasahr speaks about the challenges and rewards of working as a plumber in Eretz Yisroel.


THE ENGLISH UPDATE: How did you get started in plumbing? Chaim Baldasahr: I’m originally from New Jersey and didn’t work in plumbing before I came to Israel. When I went to aliyah counseling, they said that plumbing, electrical work, and carpentry are three professions that are always needed, no matter what the state of the economy. I would need to go to school for electricity and I know someone who got hurt in carpentry, so I decided to go into plumbing. I apprenticed for 7 years. What are some pros and cons of your job? The cons are getting dirty and all that. Plumbing is also very hard on the knees. But the pros are that I sleep well after all the physical exhaustion. I’ve also gotten to see every inch of Yerushalayim. I see under the rooftops and other parts of Yerushalayim that others don’t see. I meet all kinds of people and families that make up the city. What’s the weirdest thing that ever happened during your job? Someone called me that the sewage was blocked. I found a whole raw chicken in the drain. Don’t ask me how it got there. Are you constantly busy? There’s never an end to plumbing work. The old needs fixing and the new needs installing. Plumbing work is the great equalizer. Everyone needs a plumber-- the rich, the poor, and everyone in between. I meet everyone, the whole gamut of Bnei Yisroel, and that’s what I enjoy. Certain businesses were very affected by the current economic crisis, but I wasn’t. Plumbing is

something that is always in demand. How has your work changed over the years? It’s interesting to see the differences in the plumbing systems of different time periods. For instance, the Turkish and British pipes are different from what we have now. The newer materials, especially the plastic pipes, are much easier to work with than the old metal pipes. There has been a definite improvement with time. In general, the standards over the past 30 years have gotten much better. Is this a profession you would like to see your kids going into? I believe that it’s important to give a child a skill that he could use. Even if he plans on going into another profession, the training is something he can fall back on. It’s good for a person to master a trade. What is your favorite part of the job? There’s a lot of opportunity for doing chesed in the plumbing world. For instance, it makes me happy to install an old dud shemesh for a family that doesn’t have a way to heat their water.

Chaim Mayim Plumbing Chaim Baldasahr 052-267-9361


The Magnificent Caverns of Rosh HaNikra By Ruchel Epstein

The English Update



osh HaNikra is a dazzling white coastal rock cliff formation at the northernmost point of the Mediterranean shore of Israel. At the place where the chalk mountain ridge meets the sea are caverns, tunnels formed by the sea action on the soft chalk rock. In the past, the only access to this natural wonder was from the sea. Today a cable car at the top of the cliff takes visitors down to see the caverns. The pathways lined by guard rails inside the caverns make it possible for visitors to view the emerald-blue pools where the sea gathers within the caves. The immediate coast in the vicinity is studded with inlets, lagoons, and small beaches. On a clear day, the city of Haifa can be seen to the south.  A cable car descends from the top of the cliff to the caverns and brings visitors to the site. It has the distinction of being the steepest cable car ride in the world as it descends from a height of 70 meters above sea level at a steep angle of 60 degrees. The ride takes only two minutes, but it affords a stunning view of the sea.  Besides the 200 meters of lighted pathways snaking through the caverns, the site features a 15 minute light-and-sound show. Viewers learn about the formation of the caverns over thousands of years, the flora and fauna living there, and the history of the area, including the time of the British Mandate and the War of Independence. The exceptional spaces formed by the caverns create echo chambers for the pounding of the wind and water. The crevices in the ceilings of the caverns are home to fruit bats, and nesting grounds for rock pigeons and swallows. Near the water’s edge, it’s possible to observe seagulls as they gather food on the rocks. On a few full moon nights during the year, hundreds of tiny new born turtles make their way to the ocean on these rocks. During the summer, the site is open on weekdays from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm. On Erev Shabbos, the hours are 9:00 am until 4:00 pm. A ticket to the Rosh HaNikra site includes the cable car ride, light-and-sound show, and the visit to the caverns. The cost for adults above 18 years of age is NIS 43. For children over the age of three, pensioners, soldiers, and the disabled, the cost is NIS 35. Buses 32 and 33 from the nearby coastal city of Naharia go to Rosh HaNikra about 6 times a day, or you can take a taxi from the taxi stand on Lohamei HaGettaot Street in Naharia. To get to Naharia- take the train from Tel Aviv. To get to Tel Aviv- take the 480 Egged bus from Jerusalem to the Tel Aviv train station. It is recommended to tour the site wearing sports shoes or rubbersoled shoes that are not slippery.

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uring summer vacation when you’d rather spend time with the family than time in the kitchen, here’s a chicken recipe that’s fast, easy, and tasty. Together with this simple lettuce and mango salad, topped by a sweet and sour dressing, you’ll have a delicious supper and time left over to go on an outing.

Refreshing Chicken with Su mmer Salad Pastra miMushroom Stuffing Ingredients Ingredients

1 whole chicken 200 grams smoked turkey/chicken breast (pastrami) 1 large onion 150 grams fresh mushrooms Salt and pepper Paprika A pinch of ground nutmeg

The English Update



Dice the onion. Cut pastrami into small cubes. Slice mushrooms lengthwise. Heat skillet and sauté onions in olive oil until they are brown. Add the mushrooms and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mix well and sauté six more minutes. Remove from fire and let mixture cool. Rinse chicken well and stuff with the mixture. Tie well and smear with oil. Season chicken with paprika, salt, and pepper and bake in the oven for two hours.

Iceberg lettuce Mango Dressing: 2 tbsp vinegar 3 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice 2 tbsp honey or sugar 3 tbsp apricot jam 2 tbsp Dijon mustard

Preparation Mix all dressing ingredients together. Chop lettuce into a bowl. Dice mango into large cubes and add to lettuce. Pour dressing over lettuce, mix well, and serve.

Bon Apetit!

By Nechama Friedman

Chew-Chew Train (Pun Intended) by Urban Trends Designed to keep kids at the table for longer, the Chew-Chew Train Storage Plate is a train station of activity for children from the age of 18 months and up. The easy-to-wash train opens to reveal a spill-resistant plate, an extra tray for side dishes and desserts, and includes easy grip cutlery. The objective is to make sure kids are focused on their food and keep distractions from boarding. Now all that is left for Urban Trends to do is guarantee that the food kids are so busy playing with gets to the right station-- their mouths. It’s not clear how Urban Trends will accomplish that the Chew-Chew Train just seems to add another distraction to the already busy world of toddlers. If the conductors, that is, the toddlers, don’t want to go that route, there’s nothing to keep them from just sitting on the tracks. The Chew-Chew Train costs $24.

The Popcorn Grabber If you have to deal with masses of popcorn mysteriously disappearing over your favorite novel, and just as mysteriously showing up as extra bulk on your waist, you might want to consider the Popcorn Grabber. This gadget from Japan Trends looks like a little claw on a stick and never allows you to pick up more than one little kernel at a time. The whole point is to make sure that you’re not unconsciously feeding yourself excessive amounts of snack. Think twice before you get excited about this new invention. It just might take the joy, not only the calories, out of eating popcorn. One of two things is likely to happen: Either you’ll give up popcorn for good, or you’ll give up the Grabber for good. The Popcorn Grabber is not available for sale yet.

July 29 2010 | ‫י“ח אב תש“ע‬



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WORKTIPS W By Nechama Friedman Ne

Para meds T

HE ENGLISH UPDATE interviews R. P. about her job at Parameds, a company that employs many olim.

“Parameds hires agents on behalf of insurance companies to retrieve medical records for people applying for insurance. This is done by calling doctors’ offices. I have to send authorizations to doctors’ offices and make sure the medical records are sent to the insurance company. “If all goes well, this is a simple process that does not take much time. Different snags in the system, however, can make us work on a single case for a long while until the documents are released. “The training for this job is minimal and does not take long. The only equipment needed is a computer with internet. It’s mostly phone work, with updating on the internet. Phone skills are a must. “I work during American hours which means I’m busy with the job afternoons and evenings. I work at home- so the hours, although basically set, are somewhat flexible. I can break for a few minutes, or start a bit late, as long as I get my work done. “I have friends who are on the same schedule so it’s fine with me. We all prepare our suppers in the morning and speak to each other on the phone before starting work. The schedule can be tight around Yom Tov time. I like the fact that it’s a proper eight hour work day, and I find the job a pleasant experience.”





2 3 7








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July 29 2010 | ‫י“ח אב תש“ע‬







fter Gedalia left, Yehudis felt awkward standing before Rebbetzin Weintraub who couldn’t be bothered with making conversation. She was still scrutinizing Yehudis who looked down at her feet and then across to the refrigerator door which was covered with photos of babies and children. What came next was completely unexpected. “Gedalia is a hard one. It’s hard for him to see the good in things, but I still think he’ll make a good husband and a good father.” Rebbetzin Weintraub had a European accent, but her English was impeccable. She had lived in America for many years after the War. She paused, and then asked Yehudis to turn around to give her a better picture. “You’ve got to wear different clothes. You’re too tall and thin for pleated skirts. And you definitely need some makeup. I want you to go now and buy some.” Then she continued on the same track as before. “Yes, Gedalia is a hard one.” Yehudis was afraid to open her mouth and ask what Rebbetzin Weintraub meant by that word “hard.” But she didn’t have to wait long. “He’s not an easy personality. He’s complicated. And he’s not a talmud chacham, but of course, how could he be? He’s just a few years in Yiddishkeit. I suppose he could make something out of himself with the right wife. But he’s been very picky. I’ve fixed him up with over a dozen girls, and he never finds enough to like in them.” She had more to say. “Gedalia’s not a diplomat. He’s not capable of playing the part and making people happy.” Was there anything good she can say? Yehudis noticed how the light fixture was ineffective and left the room full of shadows. “But with all that, he is a thinker. He’s intelligent. You can have a conversation with him.” How did Rebbetzin Weintraub know that her disclosures, largely on the negative side, wouldn’t frighten Yehudis away? Like everything else, she just seemed to know. Besides she must have assumed that Yehudis, at age thirty-five, could overlook a


lot of things if someone would just finally marry her. “The stores are open till seven. I think you should get started on that makeup and see if you can find a new skirt that’s more flattering.” Rebbetzin Weintraub stood up and led Yehudis to the front door. They stood at the landing, and she pointed out the way to the best shopping on Rabbi Akiva Street. Yehudis sped down the long flight of steps. She knew that Mrs. Weintraub was still standing on the landing and watching her, but she didn’t stop to look back. She was grateful to be alone again and looking forward to walking on the streets of a city where she knew absolutely no one. She turned left at the bottom of the stairs and then walked to the corner and made a right. Now she was heading towards Rabbi Akiva Street. Yehudis chewed over Rebbetzin Weintraub’s assumption that she was desperate for a husband. It wasn’t true. She could have married Reuven. . Reuven had everything— he was wealthy, tall, dark, and handsome, earnest, pleasant, and completely smitten with Yehudis. Plus, he wasn’t hard like Gedalia. He was ready to marry Yehudis after their second meeting, but she instinctively knew she would never be happy with him and never feel safe. Even though it all added up on paper with Reuven, she sensed there was more going on than she could see. Beneath the surface of Reuven’s charm and good manners, something smoldered, and she didn’t want to be the one to discover what it was. With Gedalia, she felt safe. His hard edges were visible. He had even told her soberly, “What you see is what you get.” He was also street wise, and she trusted him to know how to get through life. While she was always seeking validation, he didn’t seem to care what other people thought. She felt safe with him the way she felt safe on the dark streets of Bnei Brak, even though she didn’t know her way around. As if she was being carried under some giant protective wing. -To be continued.


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