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Flooded street in Petach Tikva, Israel


Here is what’s happening in my house and around the net.

  1. Winter has started here, as you can see from the photo I took in downtown Petach Tikva. I considered flagging down a passing car just to help me get across the street!
  2. You may or may not have noticed, but the blog was down for about 12 hours the other day. It was a learning experience as well as an exercise in patience. Apologies if you were affected. It was depressing but not as much as the fact that my teenage daughter is away on a class trip for a few days. I’m not sure how I will manage when she graduates and leaves home next year.
  3. Since becoming an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), I’ve started an internship and home visits. Always trendy, I opened a Google Plus business page. Give it a +1 when you’re signed into your Google account.
  4. I received this email from Elana Sztokman, who is looking for interview subjects:

I’m writing a story for Lilith on the subject of abortion in Israel. I know you’ve written about this a few times in different contexts. I’m trying to speak to women, especially religious women, who have either had abortions or been confronted with the possibility of abortion. I was wondering if you could help me with this. if you know women. or if not, i thought maybe you could make a little announcement on your blog letting people know that we’re looking for interviewees — COMPLETELY anonymous, of course, they don’t even have to tell me their names, we can even do it on the phone so I won’t even know what they look like. We are just trying to paint a portrait of what it’s like for a woman to go through abortion issues in Israel
With enormous thanks in advance,
Elana (

  1. I know many of you have been waiting for Maya to continue writing at How to Be Israeli. So I know you’ll enjoy her newest post, combining her daughter’s birth story and her response to Rachel’s experience giving birth to twins. Maya also sent me an idea for a guest post she wants to publish here. I’m putting it in writing to make it official, but no pressure, Maya, enjoy your new baby.
  2. Rafi has more craziness from the veiled women’s cult, including a bride who had to be convinced by the officiating rabbi that it was okay to accept a ring directly from the groom. Rafi suggests that the rabbis refuse to perform religious ceremonies for them, including circumcisions. These recent incidents, including the child neglect I wrote about here, show us that it’s impossible to completely isolate oneself from society. The welfare of the group’s children must be addressed.
  3. Readers need more baby name help, specifically unusual girls’ names beginning with L, E, or S.
  4. Rabbi Haim Amsalem, who founded a new political party called Am Shalem (how convenient for a politician when your party shares your name!), wrote an editorial attacking sex segregation in the haredi world. It was okay until the last line: “It is time for us to place women back on their pedestal and recognize the equality which God intended at Creation thereby enabling and empowering women to flourish, shine and proudly contribute to the future of our state and nation.” Putting women on a pedestal doesn’t give them equal status.
  5. WIC produced a poster explaining the role of breastfeeding in the prevention of obesity.
  6. As many of you know, my father z”l was a Dead Sea Scrolls scholar. You can read more about him on the memorial page set up by my niece. New York readers might enjoy visiting the exhibit of the Scrolls at the Discovery Center in New York.
    Exhibition highlights include more than 500 artifacts from the Biblical to Byzantine Period in Israel including many objects from recent archaeological excavations in Jerusalem that have never been publicly exhibited. The artifacts and Scrolls combine to provide a captivating and intriguing look at one of the most influential periods in history including the emergence of ancient Israel and the births of Judaism and Christianity in the Holy Land. Objects on display will include remains of religious articles, weapons of war, stone carvings, textiles and beautiful mosaics along with everyday household items such as jewelry and ceramics.
    Visit the Discovery Center’s website for tickets and times.
Happy winter (or summer to my readers in the southern hemisphere)!
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  1. “not as much as the fact that my teenage daughter is away on a class trip for a few days. I’m not sure how I will manage when she graduates and leaves home next year.” – I can so relate.

    Um, your sidebar seems to be floating down. Good luck. Probably something in the CSS code is making the left content too long. I suggest setting up a test WordPress site on an inner directory to test out any changes. Or to retrieve “how it used to be.” Another test method is setting a wamp server on a hard drive.

    Thanks for the info on the Dead Sea Scrolls event. No, I didn’t that was your father’s specialty. I heard Shalom Paul speak at Rutgers way back in 2008.
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  2. I remember learning about your fathers reconstruction of the scrolls in graduate school. What really impressed me was that he put so much work in to something he knew would become obsolete when the full DJD was published, but nonetheless did it to accelerate the pace of scholarship for the benefit of all. Yehi Zichro Baruch,