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esterday, I had the pleasure of hosting a two-year old visitor who is a Hebrew speaker with a presently limited but slowly expanding vocabulary. After a confrontation with his mother on the other side of the room, he presented himself before me with his eyebrows furrowed and an extremely serious expression on his face. Since I count myself as one of his trusted friends, I understood that he was trying to tell me something, so I asked him, “Mah?” He said two words, “Lo marshah.” At first I thought he was saying something about the parshah, a word that I figured he might have heard in gan that morning. But then he said it again: “Lo marshah (She doesn’t let).” As I now understood the meaning, I also detected a perplexity tinged with sadness in his voice. I had no idea what he was being barred from doing, experiencing, or eating, and I wasn’t about to argue with the parental wisdom of that decision. But I could easily relate to his feeling of powerlessness and his need to understand. Instead of seeing an adorable two year old with knitted brows standing before me who I could easily distract with a toffee, I saw another questioning human being trying to make sense of things. Instead of strictly thinking of myself as “adult” and him as “child” with a yawning chasm in between, I felt myself relax into a gentle open focus. “Lo marshah,” he said for the third time, and I understood he was sharing his distress with me and waiting to be comforted. I drew closer and spoke to him in a whisper, heart to heart: “I’m also confused by a lot of things that I can’t understand about how the world works. Some things take time to understand and others continue to be a mystery.” He seemed to be drinking in my words, even though b’derech ha teva, there was no way he could comprehend them. His eyebrows loosened, and then he nodded his head as his whole face eased into a smile. It sure looked like he got it, and I’m waiting for the next opportunity to try it again. Have a beautiful Shabbos.
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I have never heard of Ritalin being addictive. And of course responsible parents would not overmedicate on any drug.
I was really interested in your fermented foods articles, especially what Nechama Wachsman wrote about the superfood called kefir. Do you know if there is any problem with getting kefir grains that are cholov Yisrael? -R.S., Minchas Yitzchak Nechama Wachsman replies: Your question about the kashrus of kefir grains is a good one, and each person must consult his or her Rav about that. Bear in mind that kefir grains are not food-- they are a blob of bacteria and yeasts. Halachically, the questions to ask would be: What is the kashrus status of bacteria? Do they have their own din or do they take on the status of the milk they are grown in? And: If they are considered milchig and originate from a non cholov Yisrael source, ask your Rav whether they can become batel if grown in cholov Yisrael milk. I personally got my grains from a cholov Yisrael farm, where they are making kefir for so many years that the grains were most certainly grown
in cholov Yisrael milk. My grains are from a goat farm run by the Pragin family in Bat Ayin, a moshav in Gush Etzion: 02-993-3908; 02-930-9684. I have been reading the English Update for a few months now and I would like to thank you for the interesting materials. It is such a good feeling to find a magazine that touches on so many interesting topics without improper images or anything else that would not be suitable in a Jewish home. -Z.M., Kiryat Moshe I believe that there is one major cause of the majority of ADD/ ADHD problems and it is not junk food, nutrient deficiencies and vision problems. Although proper nutrition will help as well as therapy, since this condition most often involves a chemical lack in the brain, it must be dealt with by Ritalin or similar drugs. Anything else is wishful thinking. My seventh child, unlike his older siblings suffered from ADHD. I cried when his special education teacher
told me that he could not write or line up math problems without Ritalin. I went to a top neurologist who confirmed through testing that my son needed Ritalin and he prescribed the proper dosage. I tried not giving my son sugar, additives, etc. and to no avail. Eventually I started him on Ritalin and instead of my son hitting and spitting and being unable to sit in shul or in school, he became his delightful self. He could hear the Rebbe. He could sit in shul with his father. I have never heard of Ritalin being addictive. And of course responsible parents would not overmedicate on any drug. Ritalin has been here for over 50 years. It is possible that when my son is in his eighties they will discover some ill effects it has in old age. That’s okay because he will have had a life. He is now, by the way, a happily married, productive person. -Signed, “A caring mother into health who could hear something else when she needed to save her child” continued on page 30
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EO, as it’s called for short, is a very important component for any business that gets business via Internet searches. If your business consists of people typing in your URL, or domain name, SEO is less important to you than if you rely on people searching for the words “where to buy a Canon camera for same day delivery.” This is because when someone is searching for a provider, instead of you specifically, they are likely to view Google’s first few results as the companies that can deliver what they need, making your company invisible at that very important point. In the event you cannot crack the top two pages of Google for one of the search terms you think are most relevant, you can buy pay-per-click [PPC] ads, which will come up on page one for that term when your ad, site, and bid all line up. Bidding means when you tell Google the upper limit of how much you are willing to spend to have your ad seen by people looking at a specific search term. And the highest bid doesn’t always win; the winner is the one that is most relevant to the consumer while most profitable to Google. But that would be about “payable per click or view,” and a whole different strategy which is beyond the scope of this column. There are white-hat strategies to improve your businesses position on Google and the other search engines; there are also what are known as black-hat and grey-hat ones. White hat ones include other sites, videos, articles, and other data, such as yellow pages listing or reviews, that Google feels proves your site is relevant to the term being searched for. Black-
hat and its cousin grey-hat are strategies that Google frowns upon. These might include getting random sites to include a link back to you with certain anchor words in the title so Google sees lots of relevant links for that term; these links can quickly move a business to the top of Google. But, if you are in business for the long haul, this would be a very silly move to make. Remember, Google is a company that employees real people, not just computers. I should know because I’ve spoken there. Every person I met there was a very sharp, talented person who takes the user experience very seriously and personally. Google hires talented engineers and pays them really, really well, to ultimately deliver a top-notch browsing experience that delivers the results that truly are the most relevant for a given search. And that being the case, they have every incentive to knock out all the sites that use black-hat techniques to move to page one of Google. In the long run, stay white hat. “I didn’t know” isn’t a good excuse, either. Google might just punish your site and move you from page 1 to page 51 and beyond in an instant if they see something they don’t like in your backlinks or see anything else they might think is causing the results to be manipulated. I’ve seen business’s income drop by hundreds of thousands of dollars when Google did an update of the search engine algorithm. It’s not a pretty place to be if it happens to you. Bottom line: Deliver content that is relevant, and that people really do want to get to when continued on page 30 בס''ד
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THE ENGLISH UPDATE
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Out & About
Photo Credits: Rimonah Taub
by Varda Littman
The Zhviller Rebbe During the British Mandate period, Sheikh Bader was an Arab village on a hilltop in western Jerusalem and was part of the Jerusalem Municipality. The village was deserted by its inhabitants during the 1948 War of Independence. A temporary cemetery for Jews who died during the siege on Jerusalem was established there. After the establishment of the state, the area was renamed Givat Ram. The Israeli parliament building, the Knesset, was built in this area. It is told that the Ponevezher Rav, Harav Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman, wanted to build another 18 yeshivas all over Eretz Yisrael — in addition to Ponevezh. When he first saw the magnificent fields where the Knesset stands today, he decided this was the perfect place for one of his yeshivas. But before he could put in his bid for this land, it was appropriated by the new state, and the Knesset was built there. The Zhviller Rebbe, Harav Gedalya Moshe Goldman of Zhvill, zatzal, was buried here in 1950 before Har Hamenuchos was opened. Here is just one story about the Zvhiller Rebbe’s greatness.
THE ENGLISH UPDATE
The Rebbe was imprisoned in a Siberian labor camp during World War II. It was a horrible, backbreaking experience. One Shabbos, the commandant summoned to his office both the Rebbe and another Jew, a frail, old man. The commandant told them they were both free to go. All they would have to do was sign some documents and they would be released. Rav Gedalya Moshe, the Rebbe decided he could not desecrate the holy Shabbos and therefore refused to sign. The furious commandant screamed and threatened that this refusal would mean that Rav Gedalya Moshe would never be released, but the Rebbe, was adamant that he would not sign. Concluding that Rav Gedalya Moshe was insane, the commandant then asked the old man to sign. The old man also refused to sign. Cursing the two Jews that they would rot in the camp, the commandant retrieved the papers. Before he could take the forms away, though, Rav Gedalya Moshe said he would sign the papers for the older man. He explained that whereas he himself was relatively strong and could survive in the camp, the other man was
old and weak and would not survive. This act of selflessness so impressed the commandant that he allowed them both to leave, without having to sign (heard from Rabbi Yissachar Frand). A few years ago, a member of the Zhviller Rebbe‘s family, who lived in London, had a dream. In her dream she saw the Zhviller Rebbe, who asked her to publicize that he would intercede in Heaven for those who would come to visit and pray at his tomb on a Monday, the following Thursday and again on the following Monday. People should daven that their tefillos be answered in the merit of the Zhviller Rebbe and in the merit of the mitzvah of visiting his grave — which until that time was not visited often. Today his grave is visited regularly by hundreds of people, all seeking their personal yeshuos. To reach the gravesite of the Zhviller Rebbe, travel on Sderot Yitzchak Rabin and turn in at the Supreme Court onto Rechov Rothschild. After 100 or so meters, to your left, you will see the Zhviller Rebbe’s burial place. Go down the stone steps to enter the cemetery.
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THE ENGLISH UPDATE
by Penny Harow Thau
There are certain things that happen to people when they leave their places of birth. Natural reactions to a sound, a smell, or a situation are not as keen or responsive in the new environment. Take, for example, the goldfish you won at the local fair as a child. If you came home and put him straight into the new cold water in the bowl, he’d be in serious shock, or worse. He has to stay in the plastic bag a while so that he gets used to the new climate and new surroundings. It’s the same with people, only it takes a much longer time to acclimate not only to climate, but to completely new cultures, their inherent expectations and belief systems. And this is what happened to many of us that landed in Israel for all the right reasons, but sometimes ended up in the wrong situations. What happens is that things that you would automatically understand and never allow, or in previous familiar circumstances not accept, somehow become acceptable and even desired. The basic instincts get thrown off for a while, but they eventually awaken, only it takes some time. What I’d like to do here is discuss some basic things where this concept applies, from electricity bills to making shidduchim.
Feb 21, 2014
Reading the Signs I’ll start with electricity bills. “What in the world are we doing to have to pay 2,000 shekels a month?” the lady one turn before mine with the thick American accent asks. She gets the natural upper shoulder shrug that if you’ve lived here for at least a year you’ve come to understand means, “That’s the way it is.” I remember getting the rega sign (four fingers up against the thumb) flashed at me for the first time, and wondering, Why are people cursing me? New signs in a new world. That was about 23 years ago. I think even I use those signs now. Until today, every time I get into a taxi, the driver corrects my Hebrew and then asks, “So, when did come to the Aretz?” I’m never embarrassed to say 23 years ago, to explain that I’m leaving the Hebrew to my children. I believe that just getting here was a great enough feat. We laid the foundation, built the house, put up the main beams. Construction sites are not always the cleanest and most organized places. Usually the builder looks a little dusty and his shoes a little muddy.
Reading the Electricity Bill So when I walked into the spacious, beautifully decorated Chevrat Chashmal building located at the bottom of Kanfei Nesharim, I thought to myself, I paid for this marble lobby. I paid for those tall glass ceiling windows. For years we’ve been paying extravagant electricity bills, but that plastic bubble bag we were living in has finally opened and led me to ask, “What exactly are we paying for?” Now I ask for a print- out of exactly how much each utility uses. The first time I did that, I was actually escorted to the big back offices where they had to do a deep search to find the paper with the exact numbers. What basically came out of it is that dryers, boilers, ovens and radiators take extraordinary amounts of electricity. On the other hand, you can use a blech, a computer and a kum kum without getting nervous. Now I understand why our new immigrant Israeli neighbors who lived across from our home in New Jersey when I was young were the only ones with a real laundry line and a freezing house in the winters. See, the acclimation thing works both ways. They were the only ones with stone floors. The mother was my Hebrew teacher, and the father cut diamonds in the basement. They were the only ones in the neighborhood who actually sat out on their front porch and had all the time in the world for a little girl like me. Through knowing them, I got to see a piece of Israel, and I believe I am here today because of them.
What’s a Chocolate Sandwich? What does a 10 a.m. snack mean? Is it breakfast, or is it lunch? Do they eat again before they come home, and what in the world is a chocolate sandwich? If we were in our natural habitat when we sent a child off to kindergarten or first grade, we’d know exactly what they’d need. We’d know they’re going to finger paint, so send a smock. They’d need a drink on the playground, so send an apple juice box. We’d know what songs they’d be singing, and be able to sing along. We’d know how to pledge allegiance to the flag, and even be a class mother. I’d be able to teach them the name for a broom and dustpan, and the different words for
THE ENGLISH UPDATE
We are on new ground and the climate is different, the culture, expectations and belief systems are not what we know.
frying pan and pot. On class trips I’d pack the right amount of snacks,--not too much so they stand out, and not too little so they feel deprived. We’d know how to help them with their homework, and exactly where they needed extra help. We’d know what time they get out on Rosh Chodesh. We’d know when to get involved with friends and when not.
The other issue I want to talk about is shidduchim. In America, we understood, could feel, and smell a family who was in our same playing field. We could catch small nuances and hints that give so much information. In Israel, we can miss or misinterpret many important signs in the same way that I thought the rega hand motion was a curse. Many times in the shuk you’ll find an item that usually sells for ten times its price somewhere else. Later, you find out the material wasn’t really cotton, and the shoes fell apart within a week, or even a day. We didn’t grow up with a shuk. We didn’t understand there is a game involved, a hondle expected. We went to Macy’s and the price was the price. The product was the product. We understood when or if the price didn’t fit the product. An American should be alarmed and on full alert if a shidduch is proposed that isn’t in the same playing field. We are on new ground and the climate is different, the culture, expectations and belief systems are not what we know. It doesn’t mean that it can’t work, just that both sides should be aware and forewarned that since they can’t read the signs, they may not know what they are getting into. I personally know ten families who have bought the shidduch bargain and paid the heavy price. Just as it is a mitzvah to cover an open pit on the road so that another should not fall in, I believe it is the same to warn, Buyer Be Aware.
A Bigger Perspective Sometimes everything looks like it’s all a big mess when you’re in the middle of an acclimation process to this Land which is really, bottom line, our natural habitat. Years ago, I wanted to put a bumper sticker on the back of our car that says, “Don’t beep, we’ve already been humbled.” Now as a first generation immigrant, I remind myself how construction sites can look like disaster areas. It just takes some long-sighted vision to see we’re in the middle of building something very beautiful and everlasting.
Feb 21, 2014
Feature by Penny Harow Thau
Can’t Sleep? You have been lying in bed, tossing and turning for the past hour. You had a jam-packed day and you have to be up at the break of dawn. Nevertheless, you just cannot seem to fall asleep. What should you do? (A) Sit in bed and do the newspaper’s latest Sudoku puzzle. (B) Pick up the medical thriller that is on your night table (the one you have been too busy to read during the day). Prop up your pillow, and delve into the drama. (C) Call your mother-in-law and get the complete run down on what you are doing wrong in the parenting department. (D) Take a sip of chocolate liqueur, just to take the edge off. Okay, I’ll admit that was a trick question. The answer is: None of the above. Let’s go through the choices and see why none of them is ideal.
THE ENGLISH UPDATE
It is advisable to stop if you have not fallen asleep after about fifteen or twenty minutes. It is time to get out of bed!
Counting Sheep You might remember that when you were younger, you were told to count sheep if you could not fall asleep. You might have even given that advice to your child when he or she knocked on your door at 3:00 am complaining that dreamland was nowhere on the horizon and suggesting to you that a snack or a story might be a better alternative. While the concept of engaging in a
encourage your mind to concentrate –
cleaning your clothes, etc. The same
relaxing, almost mindless, activity
to be awake and alert. If you are eagerly
attention and care must be given to the
(assuming you know how to count and
waiting to see who-done-it or who the
rules that comprise your sleep routine.
it is a fairly routine activity for you) is a
hero will be, how will you fall asleep?
This is not necessarily easy, especially
sound recommendation, it is advisable
Better to save those books for earlier in
if you did not realize that your routine,
to stop if you have not fallen asleep
the day when you want to be awake.
until now, was not hygienic. Many of
after about fifteen or twenty minutes.
us have that last-cup-of-coffee-before-
It is time to get out of bed!
Your Mother-in –Law and the Alcohol
The intense discussion you are about
become part of our daily lives. We even
These activities have
Bed is for Sleeping
to engage in is just that - an intense
People often believe that if they will fall
conversation. This is definitely not
Am I suggesting you change your
asleep more quickly if they do a relaxing
the kind of conversation you want to
nightly routine? If you fall asleep easily,
activity in bed (for example, reading or
be having right before you go to sleep.
sleep well during the night, and feel
knitting). Although these activities may
When you sleep, you turn off your
well-rested during the day, then there
not have a negative impact on someone
arousal system. You relax: you “shut
is no reason to change what you have
whose sleep patterns are “regular,” they
down.” Having an in depth dialogue
been doing. However, if any of these
can have a counterproductive effect on
does just the opposite – it arouses
three conditions (falling asleep, sleeping
someone who is having trouble getting
your system. If your goal is to be less
soundly and being alert during the day)
a good night’s sleep. Even though these
aroused, why would you deliberately
are not being met, it is important to look
activities may be otherwise soothing
engage in an activity that would perk
into the reason(s) why your sleep is not as
and relaxing, conducting them in bed is
you up and make you alert?
fulfilling as it could be.
look forward to them
This is the same reason that having
There can be any number of reasons
If you are having trouble sleeping –
that alcoholic (or caffeinated) drink
why you are not sleeping well. If the
not falling asleep, not staying asleep,
is not a good idea. Both alcohol and
reasons are not due to a medical
not sleeping soundly, waking up much
caffeine are stimulants that keep
condition, then cognitive behavioral
earlier than your body tells you it needs
your body aroused. Again, this is the
therapy might be just the cure you are
to – then the first rule you must follow
opposite state of the one you want to be
is: Your bed should be thought of as a
when you are going to sleep.
place for sleeping. Bed equals sleep.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia
This is the equation we want your body
The suggestions above are part of
In addition to the rules outlined
to learn. Even if the reading material
what cognitive behavioral therapists
above, there are numerous other
you choose is not intensive, you should
refer to as sleep hygiene. Good body
clinically proven methods that can
still refrain from reading it in your bed.
hygiene is imperative in order to keep
enable you to get into a healthier sleep
So too, when the choice of activity
you healthy. So, too, good sleep habits
program. These include: learning -
requires a great deal of thought (like
are an integral part of healthy sleep. The
and following - all of the sleep hygiene
a mystery or suspense novel or a
same way you have a proper hygiene
recommendations. (When your dentist
complicated book or puzzle), there is an
routine, you must develop a working
says brush, you brush, right?).
additional reason to abstain from the
sleep hygiene regimen. Proper body
A cognitive behavioral therapist
activity. You want to sleep when you
hygiene includes brushing your teeth
can go over the rules with you and
are in bed. Thought-provoking books
regularly, taking a shower or bath,
see what changes should be adopted
continued on page 18 Feb 21, 2014
SOMETHING NEW IN ASSISTED LIVING FOR THE SHOMER MITZVOT POPULATION Ramat Tamir makes the move into assisted living an easier adjustment for its new residents. According to Hillel Leibowitz, Ramat Tamir’s manager, one of the biggest obstacles for golden agers moving into assisted living is the adjustment to the environs of a different living place. The decision of moving into an assisted living facility is not an easy one. Not for the parents making the move, nor for their children. On one hand, everyone understands that at a certain point, living in an assisted living facility offers many advantages and provides a warm and supportive community after many years of hard work raising a family and being part of the work force. Assisted living affords a means of living without the everyday concerns of running a household and lets you enjoy your children and grandchildren in a more care-free atmosphere. However, alongside all the advantages, it’s still not easy for the older generation to leave the house where they’ve lived for many years. Ramat Tamir is offering something new to ease the adjustment for those who decide to make this move. The Tamir is offering these new residents the opportunity to move in along with their personal household belongings plus get remodeling and decorating done on their new apartment a cco r d i n g to their own taste free of charge. “We noticed that a major difficulty
This year, TOUR PLUS brings you a totally mehadrin Pesach experience, not just
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for golden agers making this move is the acclimation to a very different looking living space. This can cause an insecure feeling and a lack of comfortableness. We decided to accommodate the senior citizens and make the move easier. It is important to us that our residents feel confident and secure in their new home.” Leibowitz adds that at the Ramat Tamir in addition to the design and remodeling that is given free to each new resident, there is a convenient shul on the premises with ample room in both the men’s and women’s sections, a kosher l’mehadrin dining room with a rich menu and 2 paramedics available on a 24 hour basis (round the clock). Communal activities include Torah shiurim, lectures and various chugim. Ramat Tamir has also been a step ahead of other facilities as far as providing for their residents’ security. Since it opened 20 years ago, residents in the Ramat Tamir have had their apartments registered in tabu under their own names like condominiums. This is a concept that was just recently passed as a law here.
More information on the Ramat Tamir Assisted Living Facility is available from Mr. Yeshurun Turgeman at 054 465-5887. continued from page 17 to increase the quality of your sleep. In addition, the therapist will teach you how to monitor your sleep schedule so that you and the therapist can determine how much sleep your body needs. Finally, your therapist will educate you about your body and its need for sleep and, most probably, disillusion you of many misconceptions that most people have regarding general sleep rules and requirements.
doing something one way, the harder it is to change. However, measurable change can take place if you are committed to making that change happen. The same way you can learn to drive on the left side of the road or read a book from the right side to the left side when you have always been doing the opposite, so, too, you can relearn the facts about your body’s need for sleep and the best methods to achieve these
Does it work?
needs. Once you are sleeping
Does cognitive behavioral
more comfortably and more
regularly, you just might find
people who are having trouble
that your daily activities seem
sleeping? The answer is that
more pleasurable, too.
CBT has being clinically proven to help people with sleep disturbance issues. Is it easy to readjust your sleep patterns? No. Change is not always easy and the longer you have been
Sweet dreams! Penny Harow Thau is a licensed master of social work and licensed CBT therapist with a private practice in Beit Shemesh. Penny can be reached at 054 656-5192 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Beggar by Daniel Meijers and Marilyn Zwaaf Part Four Now this might have been where my story ended, but then the visit by the two tax inspectors did not end there, either. Something happened and I saw Reb Leizer once more in an entirely different light. The senior inspector had emigrated from Russia six years earlier. He was called Shimon Bogomilsky, and it’s a name that stuck in my mind for a couple of reasons. Quite a common surname in Russia among Jews and non-Jews alike, it was also the name of an ethnic group. Meeting Reb Leizer had made a big impression on Shimon Bogomilsky. His days were filled tracking down cheats and swindlers. When did he ever come across a man like Reb Leizer? After donating some of his own money, Shimon had asked if this was what Reb Leizer did all day and if so, could he let him have a statement of all the gifts and loans he had made? Reb Leizer had told him that he did indeed keep a list of all the people who had ever received money from him. “But I will never show that list to anyone. It will be buried with me in one hundred and twenty years (when I die). Then, when I’m called to account in the other world, I can offer that list as proof of what I did with the money. The judges on High will be able to see with their own eyes that I never kept a single pruta for myself. The two inspectors exchanged glances and decided to leave it at that. What was to be done about Reb Leizer? He could not very well be prosecuted for tax evasion or anything like that now, could he? The law tries to provide for every contingency but is not always successful - Reb Leizer came under the latter category. Shimon Bogomilsky was intrigued by Reb Leizer, however, and intended to pay him another visit. He felt the need to become closer acquainted with him. After all, you seldom came across a person like Reb Leizer, who spent his entire life working for the benefit of others. A person like that should be cherished and treasured as a precious jewel. Reb Leizer made such a big impression on Shimon Bogomilsky that each month he made a donation amounting to one-tenth of his wages. Reb Leizer was very grateful for this new source of income, and he was eager to show his gratitude, as well. “Reb Shimon, come and sit down. You bring me some money for the poor of the city and in return we shall study a little together.” Then Reb Leizer took down a book from the cupboard, drew up a chair for Shimon and they would study together for half an hour. These meetings came to mean a great deal to Shimon, much more than he could ever have imagined possible. It was not that he learned anything particularly extraordinary, but the contact with Reb Leizer, the way Reb Leizer looked at and spoke to him, gave him the courage to get through the month. You see life was not easy for Shimon Bogomilsky. To be continued
THE ENGLISH UPDATE
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g of full Pe sach pack ag e
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MUFFINS…OUT OF THE MOLD
The secret is to create a thick, dough-like batter that will hold its shape, as opposed to the usual “pour” batter. But since an example is worth a thousand words (unless of course, it’s a more than thousandword example), let’s walk together through one of our family’s faves: Ingredients:
• • • •
Pre-heat oven to 180º C. Grate the apples and pumpkin. (The apples may alternatively be chopped into small cubes, but the pumpkin must be grated to soften sufficiently during baking.) Combine in an ample mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients, except for the flour and oats. Mix gently and thoroughly with a spoon (or your hands if no one’s looking). Knead in the flour and oats, tweak the grains-to-liquid ratio (by adding a little more flour or water) until you have a thick, pasty dough. Line one or more oven/baking trays with parchment paper.Now comes the fun part. Take a handled, dry-measure measuring cup (plastic or metal kind they sell on rings), either 1/3 or 1/2 cup size, depending on whether you want more substantial muffins or prefer “minis.” Dip the cup into a bowl of water set aside for that purpose, and shake dry. Then dip your “scoop” into the dough, patting it down so it fills the bottom and just reaches the top. Now, here’s the really fun part. With a flip of the wrist, quickly bang down the front edge of the cup onto one corner of the papered baking sheet and quickly pull back. This should release a nicely shaped disk of dough, sitting squarely in its place. You might have to practice this two or three times until you get the hang of it (replacing any mess-ups back into the mixing bowl and trying again). It’s all in the wrist action. Proceed, as above, in a series of horizontal or vertical rows (your choice) leaving at least a half-inch between each muffin. You don’t have to re-dip the scoop in water each time, once every three or so muffins should be enough that the dough won’t stick to it. Bake 25-30 minutes until crisp on top and bottom-- you can lift one with a spatula to check. Let cool (if you can wait), and enjoy.
• • • •
• • • • •
3 cored apples (peels on or off) ½ kilo raw pumpkin (dalat) ½ cup soaked golden raisins ½ cup brown sugar (or sweetener equivalent) ½ cup canola oil 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 cup oatmeal flakes Approx. 1 cup water (apple juice or white grape juice are also good) 1 tsp salt 1 Tbsp baking powder 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
Intriguing side tip: This technique works well for savories (fish cakes, etc.) too.
sk anyone what word association pops into their head when you say the word “muffin,” and as likely as not, it will be the word “tin” -one of those ubiquitous six or twelve - mold baking pans especially made to neatly nest a batch of those wholesome little cakes. That is how most people make muffins, and who am I to argue? However, along the way I discovered an alternative, mold-less method (which, perhaps reflects my own tendency to resist being placed in a mold) that produces just as good—if not better—results and which I find to be more versatile, easy, and fun. • Grain-like base. Anything from flour (brown or white), bread crumbs (I love food-processing the leftover slices of my wife’s amazing whole wheat challah), cooked rice, rolled oats (oatmeal), or even potato starch (obviously only a Pesach first choice). • Shortening to add richness. Oil, nut or sesame butter, (or mashed bananas or applesauce, if you’re on a diet). • Flavor ingredients. Any combination of chopped fruit, grated “cakefriendly” vegetables (i.e. carrots, pumpkin, or zucchini), raisins, nuts or seeds. • Sweetener of choice. • A few other things. Liquid to bind it all together; a pinch of salt; rising agent; and spice.
THE ENGLISH UPDATE
THE ENGLISH UPDATE joins Klal Yisrael and the family in mourning the loss of
Rabbi Meir Schuster, zatzal, who touched the lives of so many.
May his extraordinary contribution of returning thousands to Yiddishkeit be an everlasting merit and a blessing for his soul.
Menu Shabbos Night
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THE ENGLISH UPDATE
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Feb 21, 2014
INTERVIEW WITH REUVEN PHILLIPS CEO OF MORTGAGE CAPITAL
lthough the common practice in the United States for people interested in financing the purchase of a home is to consult with a mortgage broker, in Israel it is still quite a new concept. Most people who have bought apartments for themselves or married off children are well acquainted with the hassle involved in shopping around for a mortgage, trying to digest all the information supplied by the various banks, and ultimately coming to a decision. They also know the accompanying feeling of never being sure that you really made the best choice or got the best terms available. Mortgage Capital’s CEO, Reuven Phillips, is trying to make this process a lot easier, better understood and actually much more cost effective. Reuven himself is an oleh from Los Angeles who has been living in Israel for over 20 years. His educational background is in finance and he spent eight years in Israel working in the Forex industry during which time he developed special working relationships with many Israeli bankers. Reuven decided to put his financial background, working experience and special banking connections to use in a way that could help many olim as well as long-time residents navigate the mortgage maze. He did intensive training with top experts in the field and succeeded in opening Mortgage Capital, an English/Hebrew speaking mortgage brokerage firm, five years ago. According to its management, Mortgage Capital has saved its clients a total over NIS 100,000,000 collectively so far.
According to its management, Mortgage Capital has saved its clients a total over NIS 100,000,000 collectively so far.
What are major differences between obtaining a mortgage in Israel and the United States? In the U.S. almost everyone uses a mortgage broker. Here in Israel, people run from bank to bank and the cultural divide becomes very evident. Often, English speakers are not offered the best terms available or don’t really know where/how to look. I have often been asked to look over mortgages and discover that people are losing a lot of money because of the poor terms they agreed to. In 80 – 90% of cases, it can even be worthwhile to refinance.
Who is your typical client? Usually it is an average person buying an apartment to live in. We have an excellent track record of getting our clients the best rates and getting incredible deals, saving them huge amounts of money.
How do you help? Due to our technical know-how, we can look over the entire market and find options that a private person would normally not be privy to. We are apprised of any special discounts being offered for a limited time and unique loan opportunities that may come up suddenly. Our broad scope allows us to compare many options at one time and advise clients regarding the pros and cons of each plan so that they can decide which one best suits them. We also have the knowledge and connections to get borrowers
THE ENGLISH UPDATE
higher percentages than the banks generally allow.
What is the main objective of Mortgage Capital? We want to make sure our clients avoid situations where they find themselves paying out more money along the way than they would have, had it been done correctly, and being forced to refinance because of pitfalls that they were too naïve to realize. We believe that it is better to prevent this kind of situation up front.
Do most of your clients already live in Israel? Yes. However, we also specialize in helping foreign investors & buyers. We can arrange for our clients to obtain a mortgage without setting foot in the country.
Where are most apartments that you help finance located? Actually, our service is provided country-wide. We have clients buying in Jerusalem, both new and used apartments. A very popular area now is the new Ramat Beit Shemesh Gimmel. We have also had clients in Tel Aviv, Netanya, Herzliya, Haifa, and Beer Sheva, literally from the north to the south of the country! Wherever someone wants to buy – whether for residential or investment purposes we are here to help them. Buying a home in Eretz Yisrael is a tremendous mitzvah and we feel it is our privilege to help our clients along the way.
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