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November 2004 Cheshvan/Kislev 5765 Volume 1 Issue 10 Serving the English speaking community of Modiin and the surrounding neighborhoods

Torah Tziva Lanu Moshe English in the City: Where to Find Great Things for our Kids to Read

By: Rachel Kuhr At first glance it might have looked like any other Simchat Torah celebration in a make-shift Bet Knesset in Modiin, except that something was missing: men.

By: Tzivi Bak The best way to foster a love of reading English in our children, and make it a lifelong habit, is to keep their noses buried in books. It is a tried, true and inexpensive route to improving our kids’ vocabulary, spelling and comprehension skills, and to keeping those skills on a level comparable to their peers in chutz la’aretz. Although our kids have less access to English books here in Israel than, for example, their cousins in New York, there are many ways to find great things for our kids to read right here in Modiin. These are some suggestions:

This Simchat Torah marked the first year that an official women’s Torah reading and hakafot was held in Modiin (last year, a smaller gathering met at the home of Gail Priwler). The size of the crowd of women that congregated to celebrate exceeded expectations, with over 70 women and girls attending the celebration. Modiin has held a women’s Megilla reading on Purim for six years, but the more controversial issues involved with women and Simchat Torah made the holiday celebration more complicated to organize. Gail Priwler, who spearheaded the group – handling everything from logistics to clean up – set the tone for the group by approaching the halachic issues and controversy surrounding women’s prayer groups very seriously. The group met a number of times in preparation and a few weeks before Simchat Torah, a shiur (learning night) was held, open to the public, during which sources in Jewish halacha were discussed and debated. The shiur dealt with a number of issues involved regarding women and Torah (e.g. Are women permitted to touch a Torah? May women read the Torah out loud (for women or for Continued on page 7

1. Visit the library in Reut It has a small, but varied selection of English books for children. Take your kids on an occasional outing, or turn a trip into your family’s weekly “library chug.” The library is open Sunday-Thursday from 8:00-13:00 and 16:00-19:00 and on Fridays until 11:00. Their phone number is 08-926-2976.

2. Start a book trading club Every month get together with a bunch of other Englishobsessed parents with children of similar ages. Have Continued on page 4

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1 November 2004 n Cheshvan/Kislev 5765 n Volume 1, Issue 10

Why We Live in Israel …

Dear Readers, The chagim have ended, children are back at gan and school, parents are back to work and everyone’s back into routine. As the first year of ModiInfo is coming to a close, we’ve been working to bring you another issue chock full of articles and ads from local residents and businesses. As we continue to grow along with the community, help us bring you more of the only publication serving the English speaking community of Modiin and the surrounding areas – make sure to tell our advertisers that you saw their ad in ModiInfo. As always, we welcome your commets and contributions.

By: Dvorit Shain, Nefesh B’Nefesh, 2004 Well, after all the planning and all the hard work, we were finally on our way to our very first home in Israel, located here in Modiin. As we all know, it is very difficult getting around Modiin without a car. Nevertheless, we had decided that for the first few weeks we would use cabs and try and somehow manage before having to succumb to the costly option of renting a car. The first night we arrived, we needed to get some groceries and pick up a bite to eat, so we headed off to the Mercaz. When we were finished, my husband went to hail a cab and in minutes we were sitting in a cab with a driver by the name of Yossi. Yossi seemed very sweet and patient, so we asked him for his number. Perhaps we would call him again. He gladly gave us his business card as well as his cell phone number.

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Over the course of the following week, Yossi became our personal driver, proving to be most reliable and caring. We arranged with him for his services and called on him when needed. He helped us find whatever offices we needed, waited outside while we ran in somewhere, offered advice and even made calls to find out office hours for us. ModiInfo is an independently owned, advertiser supported publication distributed monthly to Modiin and the surrounding neighborhoods. ModiInfo welcomes all articles and ads but reserves the right to edit or reject submissions. The views expressed by writers and contributors are not necessarily those of ModiInfo. ModiInfo is not responsible for facts or claims made by ads or authors, nor for any typographical errors. Work produced by ModiInfo is the property of ModiInfo and may not be reproduced without consent.

Along the way there were many funny and remarkable incidents that happened, but there was one that I will surely never forget. One day, Yossi dropped us off the health insurance office so we could complete our registration and told us to call him when we were done, which was standard procedure. We finished and called Yossi right away and he said he would there in five minutes. About 10 minutes passed and there was no sign of Yossi, which was very unusual as he was always punctual.

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I called again, “Yossi, where are you?” “Oh Dvorit,” he said, “I’m so sorry, I’m stuck at this light and there’s a bit of traffic. “How long do you think you’ll be,” I said. “I’m drying up out here in the sun and am absolutely exhausted.” Yossi then said, “I’ll probably be about 10 more minutes. Why don’t you go upstairs to the coffee shop, have yourself a cup of coffee, on me, and I will pick you there in 10 minutes.” At this point I couldn’t believe what I just heard and quite frankly was too hot and tired to even contest the suggestion. So my husband and I headed upstairs and treated ourselves to delicious lattes and cream puffs, keeping in mind that we would pay for it anyway (no big deal).

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Exactly 10 minutes passed and Yossi pulled up as promised. He walked up to our table, gave us a warm, “Shalom, ma nishma?” and then went directly to the register to pay our bill! He ordered himself a cup of coffee, sat down and joined us. We shmoozed like old friends and as my husband and I finished our last sip, Yossi said, “Do you feel better now?” Astounded, I nodded my head. “Good,” he said. “Now let me take you home.” Completely speechless, we got up and I couldn’t help but think to myself … this could only happen in Israel!

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The Professional Real Estate Agent

covered up, the agent must inform the buyer so that he can make his decision based on maximum knowledge of the property. Problems of construction and any known existing engineers’ reports must be made available to the buyer.

By: Pearl Skolnik

An attitude of arbitrarily or falsely improving a property or ignoring the real needs of a buyer, and investing all energies just to make a sale, and not taking into consideration the needs and desires of the buyer do not guarantee success in the long run.

Completion of a real estate deal under optimal conditions is the goal of both the buyer and seller, who obviously have opposing interests. The seller wants the highest price and to give as little as possible in the framework of that price; the buyer wants the lowest price and to receive the maximum he can for his money. For both, a professional real estate agent can guarantee the successful conclusion of the sale, in which both sides will be satisfied.

A professional agent focuses on the client (buyer or seller) and satisfies him by means of sales based on a total market analysis. The emphasis must always be on the client, not on the property, and on increasing the information available to the client and clarifying his needs.

How does a professional agent work? How can you identify him? A professional agent studies the market in depth, knows the appropriate property and tax laws, is aware of market opportunities, and has knowledge and necessary experience to overcome problems that arise in the course of a sale, and be creative in solving problems that arise concerning a property and its sale.

An agent contributes to the real estate market by giving information on prices, design and planning, legal aspects, possible changes, encourages sales, and introduces a maximum number of sellers to a maximum number of buyers. There are several stages in purchasing a property: 1) Feeling the need to buy. 2) Actively searching for property. 3) Deciding to buy a particular property. 4) Acquiring the property. 5) Feeling satisfied after the sale. For example, in the second stage the agent must show a maximum number of properties and supply maximum information on these apartments: Continued on page 6

A professional agent should not neglect his client, but always be searching out new properties to show him. Sometimes one immediately finds the suitable property, but other times it can take a year or more to find the ideal home for a client. The ethical side is of utmost importance. An agent must make his client aware of any problems in a building or with a specific property. If dampness has been merely

3 November 2004 n Cheshvan/Kislev 5765 n Volume 1, Issue 10

for him. If your daughter is a budding thespian – give her an article on an Israeli theatre troupe. If your son is a cricket enthusiast – cut him out the sports page.

English for Kids, continued from page 1 each parent bring three books that her child has already read and put them out on a table. Next, browse through the lot and choose three new books to take home. This expands your library without costing you a penny and can be a good excuse for coffee and cake.

5. Order a magazine subscription for children. Kids of all ages love mail with their name on it. There are many wonderful publications out there that cater exclusively to children, and some will ship to Israel. For a comprehensive listing of magazines for children go online to

3. Don’t limit yourself to children’s fiction books. It’s okay if your child has no interest in Harry Potter or Ramona the Pest, or if you simply can’t get those books here. Find out what does interest your child and encourage his reading about it in English. Does your son think he is a standup comedian? Find him a book of jokes and get ready to be his audience. Does your daughter love to cook? Give her the Kosher Palette and let her plan your next Shabbat meal.

6. Don’t be afraid of the classics. For those who grew up in chutz la’aretz and lugged books from high school English or college Intro to Literature class across the sea (or was that just me?), it may surprise you to learn that a 12-year-old with a decent English background might enjoy reading Little Women, or Tom Sawyer, or the short stories of O’Henry. Your kids may not understand all the words, but that is what you, a dictionary, and their imaginations are for.

4. Make the best use of English-language newspapers. While I would not hand a 10-year-old the front page of the Jerusalem Post, you can find articles inside that might appeal to your child which you can then tear out

7. Find ways to get books from overseas. If you know anyone making Aliyah, ask if they have room on their lift for that box of used books your sister in New Jersey was about to throw out, or a brand new order of kids’ books from You can also ask family members planning their next trip to Israel to pack a few soft-cover books alongside the frozen meat, tuna and Ziplock bags.

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8. Get friendly with parents who have older kids. They might have books that their own children have outgrown and that they would sell or lend you for a while.

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These are great ways to find cheap books – don’t miss out on them. Someone’s old Nancy Drew collection might be your daughter’s dream Chanukah present.


10. Go on-line.

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Remember, any extra English reading your children do will benefit them immensely. It will improve their language skills, prepare them for university, give them something fun, safe and quiet to do in their spare time and, most importantly, make you, their parents, very, very happy.

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La Leche League in Modiin By: Bonnie Weinberg “I was just about to give up on breastfeeding,” said Deena, a young mother of two from Reut, “when my sister-in-law suggested I call La Leche League (LLL) to see if they had anything to say about my six-monthold’s sudden demand for more food. I was sure my milk supply had run out and was all set to wean even though my instincts told me that he still wanted to continue nursing and so did I. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to hear encouraging words from the LLL leader over the phone. She told me that it was probably a six-month growth spurt, encouraged me to listen to my instincts and see if it would pass. And it did. I am happy that I called LLL.”

benefit from LLL meetings: new mothers get support for breastfeeding and hands-on instruction by a trained LLL leader, and experienced mothers get to enjoy the social aspect as well as helping out new mothers.

“Everything is so overwhelming with a newborn,” said Sima, a new mother from Modiin. “It is nice to have a place to go with the baby to sort things out and find like-minded people. The attitude at LLL meetings is friendly and empowering, not condescending. Every mother is the best judge for her own baby.”

Healthcare providers encourage mothers to go to LLL for breastfeeding help. Firstly, healthcare providers are not necessarily trained in teaching women to breastfeed. They know that LLL can provide the nonmedical mother support a woman needs to learn how to nurture their babies at the breast. Secondly, they know that because of the special properties of breastmilk, the breastfeeding baby will probably be sick less often than a bottle-fed baby. Thirdly, breastfeeding also has health benefits for the mother such as natural child spacing and a reduced risk of breast cancer.

“I look forward to the monthly La Leche League meetings,” said Leah, an experienced mother of four from Hashmonaim. “Even though this is my fourth baby and we don’t have any breastfeeding problems, I enjoy the company of the other mothers and it’s a fun outing for my baby and me. I even feel helpful offering suggestions to other mothers.”

In addition to monthly group meetings, LLL leaders are available for phone counseling. LLL sells books on breastfeeding and parenting. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, discusses all sorts of breastfeeding issues from sore nipples, to returning to work, to weaning. There are also conferences every year promoting breastfeeding.

Deena, Sima, and Leah are just three examples of the many mothers whom LLL has reached and helped here in Israel. Every month, women and babies get together in over 20 locations around Israel for LLL group meetings. Topics relating to breastfeeding are discussed, such as nighttime parenting, beginning solids, milk expression, and sibling rivalry. The meetings are free and the LLL leaders are volunteers. However, membership is encouraged and non-members are asked to give a 1015 NIS donation to cover expenses. All sorts of mothers

In Modiin, there are LLL meetings in the Mothering Center, located in Kupat Cholim Leumit in the Shimshoni shopping center, every first Sunday of the month at 10:00 am. Mothers and babies are welcome! For more information call Bonnie 08-979-0177 or Julie 08-975-1719.

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a framework of the limitations that he has set: budget, street, area, size of apartment, alternative investment possibilities for extra money (in the case of a sale), taxes, etc. At this time, the client needs the agent – especially for professional and experienced up-todate advice which would help him to decide correctly and then to be able to continue on to the next stage of acquisition of the property.

Real Estate, Continued from page 3 prices, building quality, neighbors, area and access to shopping, schools, playgrounds, synagogues, etc. Only after completing this stage can the client continue on to the decision stage. The time the client remains in each stage is individualistic – and depends on how strongly he feels the need to buy. The unprofessional inexperienced agent does not distinguish between the various stages and therefore cannot help his client to progress from stage to stage until successful completion of the sale, except by accident.

Pearl Skolnik has been a real estate broker for 24 years in Jerusalem and Ramat Beit Shemesh and is now working in Modiin as well. The office has eight licensed and experienced agents hailing originally from South Africa, England, U.S.A., Argentina, Australia, Belgium, and Israel. Tel: 02-999 7746, e-mail:,

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Torah, continued from page 1 men)? May women make a blessing over the reading of the Torah? etc.) The sources dealt with came mainly from Women in Prayer by Rabbi Avi Weiss and Bat Mitzva published by Matan, which debate women’s obligations and permission to form a separate prayer group and handle and read from the Torah. One woman who attended the evening commented that “in an Orthodox minyan, men are accustomed to seeing and touching and reading from the Torah that they often don’t understand why it is important to us to have a Torah to read from and dance with for Simchat Torah.” Once the group decided to proceed with plans to hold a women’s Simchat Torah celebration, the key factor became the Sefer Torah: where would they find a spare kosher Torah that was light enough for the women to dance with? Once a Torah was procured, the women consulted with Rabbi Michael Rosen of the Yakar Synagogue in Jerusalem, in order to learn the laws and practices for handling a Sefer Torah (e.g. while reading the Torah two people should stand next to it at all times, when the Torah is not being read it should be rolled closed and covered by its velvet case, among others). Annie Rosen, who was instrumental in acquiring a Sefer Torah for the group said, “Despite the challenges, including securing a location and acquiring a Sefer Torah, the experience was so worthwhile and meaningful for those of us who have spent our lives dedicated to a Torah lifestyle but always kept at a distance when it came to really celebrating Simchat Torah. It was also reassuring that with Gail Priwler involved, everything was done ‘al pi halacha’.”

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In order to be as inclusive as possible, the group of organizers, having approached the responsibility of starting a progressive celebration with great sincerity and earnestness, decided against allowing the women to make the actual blessing (that men make) over the Torah (since only a minority of rabbis say this is permissible) and selected an appropriate passage from Psalms for the women to recite between the Aliyot read from the Torah.

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The women who arrived for the celebration came from all areas of Modiin to take part in the gathering. The Hakafot sung by the women were invigorated when dozens of Bnei Akiva teenage girls danced into the room singing songs and joined the dancing.

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Jodie Quinn, one of the organizers of the group, said that she was “very happy to see so many Israeli women there, it’s not just an Anglo issue. When I moved to Modiin it was because although this didn’t exist yet, I knew that Modiin had the potential for something like this and I was happy I could help make it happen. I would like to see something like this happen more often than just on Simchat Torah, if enough women are interested.”

Some of the women danced with the Torah; others danced near the Torah but felt uncomfortable holding the Torah; some left after the Hakafot before the Torah reading. The Torah portion for Simchat Torah was read by a few women who did a professional and heartwarming rendition of what the men usually do, in a significantly higher octave. Any woman who wished to have an Aliyah was called up and recited the selected Psalm. The young girls all gathered under the shelter of a Talit held above their heads during the reading of the beginning of Genesis and the mothers and daughters sang together “may the angel who protects me from all

The Simchat Torah women’s minyan presented women with the experience of being in close contact with a Torah and reading from it. It was truly a spiritually uplifting and enthusiastic event.

7 November 2004 n Cheshvan/Kislev 5765 n Volume 1, Issue 10

T’nuat NOA”M – Israel’s “USY” Opens Modiin Branch By: Alon Tal

Avi Cohen Mony Nahum

NOA”M – Noar Masorti – or Traditional Youth – is an American youth movement with chapters across Israel. NOA”M operates from third grade through high school.

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NOA”M offers a Zionist agenda, open to all, encouraging an open approach to traditional Judaism. Beyond the usual “fun” and intellectually stimulating movement activities, the group adopts “Tikun Olam” projects – from protecting the environment to assistance to disadvantaged. Until this year, Modiin youth did not have the opportunity to participate in NOA”M activities. Happily, the movement has decided to make a commitment to establishing a local chapter. The ebullient madrichim come in via cab from Jerusalem every Tuesday. The “merkazet”, coordinator, for the chapter is Leah Gottlieb who grew up in the Rehovot chapter of NOA”M, joined a NOA”M garin to the army and is considered one of the most impressive and responsible leaders of the movement’s new generation. Over 40 children from the area have already attended NOA”M activities this year, including the four-day tiyul over Succot. The ninth grade group, which spends the year in an intensive “leadership training” program in preparation for next year’s work as counselors, has many participants. Therefore the Rehovot branch is going to begin attending the Modiin chapter’s program.


Meetings are held on Tuesday afternoons at 17:30 at the Shalheveth HaMacabim synagogue in Macabim/ Modi’in. (Hadracha Course: 19:30) The synagogue is on Rechesim St. next to Har Cannan St. Please get involved. It is the best investment in a healthy Jewish identity for your child that you can make in this wonderful but complicated country of ours.

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Happenings on the Hill:

(former president Jimmy Carter) are probably, from Israel’s perspective, the two worst serious candidates that could have been mentioned. He has later retracted that declaration and said that he would send only a candidate who each side considered fair.

The U.S. Election By: Aryeh Bak

Further troubling is that in October, 2003, Kerry declared to the Arab American Institute’s national leadership dinner:

Many of us living here in Modiin are U.S. citizens, still eligible to vote for President. Even for those who are not eligible to vote, knowing that there is an election to determine who will sit in the Oval Office for the next four years is sure to be a matter of interest. The two serious presidential candidates, President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry both have a background in public service that allows us to analyze what type of approach their administration would take toward Israel and the Middle East.

“I know how disheartened Palestinians are by the Israeli government’s decision to build the barrier off of the Green Line -- cutting deep into Palestinian areas. We don’t need another barrier to peace. Provocative and counterproductive measures only harm Israelis’ security over the long term, increase the hardships to the Palestinian people, and make the process of negotiating an eventual settlement that much harder.”

President Bush has been a consistently strong backer of Israel’s security. Ariel Sharon has been quoted as saying (several times), “President George W. Bush has been Israel’s best friend in the White House.” The Bush presidency can count several remarkable achievements. “Charities” that have been used to fund Hamas and other terrorist networks have been shut down throughout the United States; Yasser Arafat has been isolated and deemed irrelevant; the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Ba’athists in Iraq have been relegated to the dustbins of history; and, finally, John Negroponte, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations has worked tirelessly to avoid (and veto, if necessary) anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council.

Again, Kerry later retracted that statement (while speaking before a Jewish group in Florida). It is these areas of concern that have led to some prominent Jewish Democratic politicians to endorse Bush’s stance on Israel. Former NYC mayor Ed Koch has announced that he will be voting for a Republican for president for his first time ever due to Bush’s strong support of Israel and his steadfastness in the war on terror. Democratic U.S. Senator, and former vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman has recently raised some eyebrows by endorsing Bush’s Israel positions… while stumping for Kerry! While this author is generally fond of the Bush presidency, particularly of the Bush administration’s behavior towards Israel and it’s prosecution of the war on terror, this is far from a unanimous view. In fact, even Yasser Arafat has been quoted as saying, “Bush is the worst U.S. President.”

While Senator Kerry has been in public service in the Senate for 20 years, there is some ambiguity with regards to how his administration would act toward Israel. On the one hand he often speaks of his love of Israel and how impressions that were made on his visits here have left him with a clear understanding of Israel’s security issues. He has also consistently voted in favor of U.S. aid to Israel. On the other hand, there are some areas of concern.

Here’s hoping that all registered U.S. voters will take advantage of their opportunity to vote and do so for whichever candidate they prefer. Aryeh Bak is an actuary living in Modiin and is active in AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). For questions or comments feel free to contact him at

Kerry had declared that he would like to send U.S. envoys to Israel to re-ignite a peace process. The two candidates he mentioned, one on the right (former Secretary of State James Baker) and one on the left

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Fun at the Monkey Park Ben Shemen Forest’s Monkey Park offers a wonderful view of the fascinating world of the monkey. Over 200 monkeys from around the world, a crafts corner, a petting zoo and a huge playground provide lots of fun as well as an educational experience. Host your child’s birthday party at Monkey Park. sunday-thursday: 10:00-15:00 Friday: 10:00-14:00 Call for information on seasonal hours. How to Get There: Take 443 in the direction of Tel Aviv. Turn off at the Jerusalem, Shoham exit. Make the first left at the Kfar Daniel, Gimzo turn off. Turn right at the Monkey Park sign.

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DRIVING LESSONS: Professional instructor, speaks Hebrew, English and French. Brand new Golf WV equipped with all safety features. Pick-up at your house. Control test for new olim applying for Israeli drivers license. Call Meir, 052-754723, 08-9762885.


offers her services as a METAPELET: babies / children / elderly people. Please call Esther 054-489-1030.

1996, annual test, 130,000 km, automatic windows and doors, two airbags. For more information, please call 054-541-0931.



from December 15 in Givat C. 5 1⁄2 rooms, covered parking, garden in back, large merpesset in front. For more information, please call Joe: 052-366-5808.

Alterations and repairs: hems, zippers, “take in”, close slits, sew simple straight skirts, curtains. Please call Esther 054-489-1030.

10 To Advertise n 052-6404-414 n 052-3868-768 n n

Recipe Corner Ezo Gelin Corbasi By: Sharon Krasna Here is a delicious Turkish recipe that is a favorite among our guests. Lentil and Mint soup or ‘Ezo Gelin Corbasi’.

Ingredients: 1 cup red lentils, soaked overnight and drained 8 cups beef stock, chicken broth or water 1 onion grated (or diced) 1/4 cup rice or bulgur 2 Tbs tomato paste in 1/4 cup cold water 1/4 cup oil to taste 1 tsp paprika 1 Tbs dried mint (we like fresh leaves) Place lentils, stock, onion, rice, tomato paste, oil and salt in a non-stick saucepan. Cook while stirring occasionally on a very low heat until lentils and rice are very tender and the soup has a creamy consistency. Add paprika and mint and let soup simmer for 5 minutes. Note: I sauté the onion with a bit of oil at the beginning and then add the lentils, etc. Try it with a squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy!

Candle Lighting October 29/14 Chesvan Parshat Veyera Candle lighting 16:31 Shabbat ends 17:29

November 5/21 Chesvan Parshat Chayei Sara Candle lighting 16:25 Shabbat ends 17:23

November 12/28 Chesvan Parshat Toldot Shabbat Mevarchin Candle lighting 16:20 Shabbat ends 17:19

November 19/6 Kislev Parshat Vayetzei Candle lighting 16:17 Shabbat ends 17:16

11 November 2004 n Cheshvan/Kislev 5765 n Volume 1, Issue 10

12 To Advertise n 052-6404-414 n 052-3868-768 n n


Serving the English speaking community of Modiin and the surrounding neighborhoods 16 Rechov Yashpeh, Kaiser, Modiin * Waxing * Pedicure * M...


Serving the English speaking community of Modiin and the surrounding neighborhoods 16 Rechov Yashpeh, Kaiser, Modiin * Waxing * Pedicure * M...