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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sinkhole


Several months ago, someone who is starting a new on-line Israel magazine (Israel Today) asked, through various yahoogroups, who might be willing to write some articles for a few shekels every month. (4 articles, to be exact, for 200 shekels per month).


Since 200 shekels is also helpful, and it sounded like fun, I said that I would, and thus, have been cranking out articles about Tzfat monthly since December.


Anyway, it occured to me that it would be fun to reprint them here. I mean, I wrote them, for goodness sakes. They're supposed to be for public relations purposes for Israel, so they're supposed to be upbeat and optimistic.


Anyway, here's one that I wrote this month about our new Tourist Attraction on the midrachov (main drag) -- our very own sinkhole.


Sinkhole



Worldwide, a new phenomena has been gaining more recognition – sinkholes. These holes are openings in the streets or sidewalks of cities – the reason that the area suddenly opened seems unexplained, but the result is that without warning, a small crack in a public thoroughfare quickly opens to reveal a gapping hole in the ground.

These holes can occur at any time and in any place….a recent sinkhole in Brazil swallowed up several people who disappeared into the sewers underneath the street.

Several weeks ago, in Tzfat, a sinkhole opened, but together with the plumbing and other infrastructure that one would normally find in a city, a uniquely Tzfat sight greeted the onlookers and city workers who rushed to check out the hole.

Clearly visible beneath the main street of Tzfat were arches of homes and rooms that had been covered over. It is well-known that, through the centuries, successive earthquakes have buried Tzfat, and after each quake, the survivors have built the new city on top of the remains of the old buried buildings. Throughout the Old City of Tzfat, arches can be discerned, poking out of the ground all along the streets. These are the homes and buildings that Tzfat residents lived in through the years, and while they were buried under rubble during the earthquakes, they did not collapse.

Yet it has shaken up the population to find such buildings underneath the main street of the city – after all, trucks, busses, tractors, and other heavy vehicles drive over these ruins daily…not to mention the shops and 3 and 4 story buildings which are built there. Almost everyone hurrying down the street to take care of errands and business stops by the barricade which was put up to protect people from the hole. They gaze down at Tzfat's history and marvel at the strength of these stone buildings which were built by hand, and held together not by cement, which was not known when the structures were built, but by mud.


happy birthday to me.....

Haven't written in a long time. I do think about it, and often have things that I think to myself "this would be fun to write about". But there just never seems to be time.

Right now of course, things are completely pressured. Pesach is coming in a few days and I'm trying to get everything ready. Funny how, one way or another, it happens, and everything gets ready. Avishai is home this week and he took care of the car, which, without him dealing with it, just would not have gotten done and we simply wouldn't have used the car for Pesach.

Usually, for the last days, we put everything out on the porch, but this year it doesn't look like that will work, because it's supposed to get cold and rainy by Saturday afternoon -- I had planned to "change over" on Saturday night. We'll just have to stick the table in the living room and use the living room as our "porch". One more thing to do on the morning of the Seder -- clean up that area.

My birthday is this week -- today is my english birthday, Tuesday was my hebrew birthday. So to celebrate, we'll get Chinese take-out for Friday night, which not only celebrates my birthday, but also gives me a meal "off". Clever, huh? Saturday, if it doesn't rain, is the traditional Shabbat HaGadol picnic on the Metzuda, the citadel of Tzfat. That's just cold cuts and salads. So for all purposes, I'm done cooking for the next few days. Phew.

Throughout the months leading up to Pesach (and then again, before Rosh Hashana) I try to put away some money so when the holiday comes, I have enough to breath easily, give the kids money for clothes, and buy enough of everything. It puts a lot of pressure on me as the holiday approaches, but it's always a relief, when the holiday is here, to have enough to sit back and enjoy myself. I rarely buy myself something new to wear, but that's mostly because i HATE to shop and go crazy at the thought that I can pay 200 shekels for something in the store when I can find something just as nice in the g'mach for 20. Plus I don't do well shopping -- I don't like the salespeople hovering over me, and have a hard time envisioning how something will look on me. And I have absolutely NO patience for trying things on. How I ended up with the shopping-crazy daughters that I have is beyond me.

OK, what's tomorrow's list of "what to do"?
1. finish washing the hot plate.
2. cover the stove grates with tin foil
3. clean candlesticks
4. wash floor
5. clean downstairs (for renter)
6. Buy: duct tape
colas for Shabbat
dessert for Shabbat
plants/seeds (Hagai said that he's going to take care of our garden this year)
lemon juice and vinager (forgot to buy them when I did my Pesach shopping)
7. make up menu plan for the first night/day of Pesach (found Kosher for Pesach quinoa! Enough rabbis said that it's not kitniyot that I feel that I can give my vegetarian and vegan daughters something healthy to eat without abandoning Ashkanazi tradition. (Though I HAD been prepared to buy a kitniyot pot and cook them up beans for 7 days)

Onward.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The offspring





Gosh, I LOVE my digital camera! Just wish I didn't need my 14-year-old to show me how to use it (and to download the pics) every time.....