Sunday, September 29, 2013

Berashit -- Beginnings

I always wondered why we read Parshat Bereshit -- the portion of Genesis -- after Simchat Torah. After all, wouldn't Rosh Hashana be a more logical choice for the parsha that talks about the creation of the world.

This week at shul the rabbi gave a short dvar Torah on Friday night. He pointed out that, while spiritually, Rosh HaShana is the beginning of the New Year, practically, it's now, after "the chaggim" when we really embark on our new year.

It's a joke amongst Israelis.....from about a month before Rosh Hashana, very little actual work gets done. Everyone says "I'll do it after the chaggim (holidays)."  No one starts a new project or embarks on a new program because "i'll do it after the chaggim."  I laughed as much as anyone when I first noticed it, but now, sure enough, it's part of my life too (twice a year, since the whole process repeats itself before and during Pesach).

So today, the Sunday after the chaggim is the time that I've promised myself to start on a diet, be more diligent about my work habits, set limits.....everything. It wouldn't have worked after Rosh Hashana because I would have still been involved with the rest of the holidays, but now, i'm Bereshit -- in the beginning.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

One, Two, Three....Let's Concentrate! Tips for a Successful Work Life for ADDers

This month marks my one-year anniversary of having left my full-time employment and striking out on my own. I've been lucky in a number of ways. For one thing, I was already doing some independent work before I made the move so I had a base on which to start my new work life. For another thing, the people that I've been working with are, by and large, quite nice and generous in terms of allowing me leeway to juggle my different clients.

I do get a little wired after sitting for so many hours at the computer every day but the writing assignments are varied and I enjoy the challenges.

One of my biggest challenges however is keeping myself focused. I think that I've mentioned before....I can easily "just check" my FB page and then spend 10 minutes scrolling down to find out who's kid has done something cute, who needs a ride to Jerusalem, who is off on a political tangent or jump from task to task a dozen times within an hour, getting absolutely nothing done. 

Yesterday someone told me that MATI, the Israeli small business administration, which runs courses (I've already taken two with them this year) gives a special course called "Running Your Business with ADD (Attention-deficit disorder)."

I'd love to take the course but I think that my time and money budget for courses has run out. I have, however, collected some tips  that I intend to start implementing.

1. Write out your list of daily tasks and follow the list. Every day.  Well, I've already bought myself a new notebook and it's propped up here next to my computer, so here we go.
2. Start your day slowly and move into your tasks. I'd like to pay more attention to this blog, so I'm planning to start each day with a blogpost and then move into emails and onward.
3. Get rid of your Facebook/Twitter/anything else that distracts you. Well, I'm not about to do that, if for no other reason than 4 of my 5 kids have allowed me to "friend" them, so that's how I get to see their photos and get an idea of what they're up to. Also, I can keep an ear out as to what's happening in my community, in real time. However, I do intend to limit myself much more strictly.
4. Set up a daily schedule. I've had a general schedule floating around for awhile but I intend to be more proactive in sticking to the schedule. For instance, i will complete 2 hours of work every morning before I head out for the dogs' morning walk (easier in the fall/winter/spring, when the weather is nicer, than in the summer when, by 9:00a.m., you don't want to move outside, but we'll reevaluate next spring.
5. Learn to say "no." I'm not very good at this but this past year I've gotten caught up with a number of outside tasks that have sapped my time and energy. They were all worthy causes and I'm not sorry that I did them, but there are plenty of people in this area who aren't the sole support of their families and can more easily step into the void, as long as I have the strength to decline my own assistance.
6. Take care of dreaded tasks first so you can look forward to the rest of your day. I don't really have "dreaded tasks" but I do have some projects that are more monotonous and draining than others and I tend to put those off. It's not a great idea to hold those off till 11:00p.m. -- they're going to be waiting there for you, regardless.
7. Treat yourself for a job well done. Ah well, this one would have been more helpful if I wouldn't have just embarked on Weight Watchers (next post) but it's still a good idea.

By the way, when I started to write this, I did some google searches for "Attention-deficit disorder business, attention-deficit disorder work, etc. The results were, shall we say, not very useful -- things like "find a cheerleader to keep you on track and help you meet your goals, don't try to do it all yourself, start small and learn your limitations and follow your interests. I mean, isn't that true for anything that you do? Keeping focused on the job at hand (especially when you know that you won't eat the next month if you don't succeed) goes beyond the platitudes of "find a cheerleader" and "start small."

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Slob Squad

I have 2 sons and 3 daughters.

My sons have always been relatively consistent in terms of tidiness -- their room was usually fairly clean and, with the exception of a few stray pieces of clothing strewn around, generally pretty neat.

My middle daughter is a neat freak. However, as kids, and then teens, the other two were slobs. This was especially difficult during the years that the three of them shared a room (as you can well imagine) but even after they separated, I found it very difficult to manage the discrepancy in styles.

When the oldest of the two messies (both, by the way, ADHD) moved away she became consumed with cleanliness and neatness, to the point that she drove me nuts when she returned for visits.

I was pretty sure that that wouldn't be the case with the youngest whose disordered room is in a class all by itself. She can go for weeks without putting away any clothes, drop her worn clothes right on the floor where she's standing (and since she changes clothes about 7 times a day, that's a lot of clothes), and basically walk all over the magazines, appliances and other items that are strewn across the floor.

Well, Ms. 17-year-old now has a boyfriend who comes over to visit a few times a week. And guess what? Her room is spotless (at least when a visit is planned). Not only that but she's begun to take over the rest of the house in her efforts to impress Mr. Right, putting away all the dishes and silverware from the drying rack in the kitchen, hiding the cat's food and now, generally driving me crazy in the other direction. I can't even leave a hand-towel out in the kitchen -- she whisks it away....this is the same girl who,  just a few short weeks ago, could leave her dirty dishes in her room for days.

I'm really too old for this.

Getting Down to Business

This month marks my first year as an "atzmai'i" -- a freelancer. I've been lucky that I've had enough work, and the work is varied enough that I don't get bored. I write for  gaming websites, an online Jewish educational company (and I do a bit of teaching for them as well), a tourist site and some other bits and pieces.

I've also been in contact with two other potential clients over the past few weeks and their projects sound intriguing so I think that I'll be doing some work for them as well.

Which brings me to my, I understand, that many people who work on the Internet face. I sit down to work and find myself wandering off into cyberspace for significant periods of time, instead of doing the work that I need to do.

I'll be getting ready to write a piece about mortgages (not one of my most exciting projects, but I do know more about mortgages than I did 3 years ago) and will find myself checking the news, scrolling down my Facebook feed,  reviewing some friends' blogposts....whatever, but I find that i'm taking twice as much time to write each piece as I should.

If I take on these new projects, which both sound exciting and, more to the point, interesting (which motivates me) I'm going to have to start being more strict with myself -- more organized in my work-from-home situation. I'm presently trying to figure out how to do that.

One thing that I should work on is making lists (and sticking to them). I've always been a great list-maker but I can see now that I'm going to have to apply that to my work situation.

Another change that I should make would involve putting myself on a strict schedule. For instance, telling myself that I have to get an hour's work done in the morning before I head out for my morning walk-the-dogs excursion, complete another 2 hours before I do the shopping....etc.

A benefit of working from home (and my relative lack of home responsibilities, since I don't have small children at home) is that I can work until late at night and take a nap in the middle of the day. I don't want to give that up....I should be able to enjoy some fun!

Still looking for more ideas of how to get myself scheduled. Of course, where am I looking? Surfing on the blogs -- where else!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hummos Dreams

A few months ago I read that prepared hummos, the ever-present Israeli garbanzo-bean spread, is -- surprisingly -- not healthy. I glanced at the article but didn't follow it up because it seemed ridiculous -- humos, made from garbanzo beans, garlic, tehina and salt, is about the healthiest food imaginable.

Well, a few days ago I happened to glance at the ingredients on my hummos container and sure enough, they add vegetable oil and a liberal dose of  other goodies (corn syrup? Really? and sodium bicarbonate? for what?) to bulk up an otherwise healthy recipe.

So I decided to give homemade hummos a try again. I've made it before, in my food processor, but it always came out grainy. this time I used the blender and it came out great. I believe that we'll be having more homemade hummos in the future.

Laurie's Healthy Hummos
garbanzo beans -- soaked overnight and boiled till soft
tehina (I use the whole sesame seed tehina for a bit of added iron)
some of the reserved liquid from the cooked garbanzo beans

Boil the garbanzo beans. Stick in the blender with tehina, lemon juice, salt and some of the reserved water from the garbanzo beans. Blend and then add more tehina, salt, lemon juice or water, depending on the taste and texture that you want to achieve.

By the way, I'm trying to buy a camera so that I can add more images to my blogposts (full disclosure...these pics here are from google images), so we're going to try one of these fundsourcing campaigns...anyone who wants to donate to Laurie's Campaign to Buy a Camera (of the last 3 cameras that I've had, my daughter broke two and my son lost one on his army base), feel free to make a contribution to on paypal.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

It's a New World Out There

A few weeks ago a neighbor called to ask if I could host his brother and brother's partner in my guesthouse. They were evidently unsure whether anyone would feel comfortable having two gay guys stay over, but I really don't care...don't consider it any of my business, so they're here for two nights.

My daughter (aged 17) asked me this evening whether the guys were gay. When I said "yes" (they weren't hiding it) her friend asked her how she knew and she said "because they dress so well."  Then the girls went on to dissect the guys' wardrobe.

That was it. No snickering, no rude comments, no nothing. Just a review of their clothes.

It's a new world out there.

Friday, September 20, 2013

30 Years and Counting

On September 20st 1983 I made aliyah to Israel. Although it seems like yesterday -- I'll even give myself one year -- this means that today is my 30th anniversary as an Israeli citizen.

Sometimes it feels like yesterday. It WAS yesterday, wasn't it? I arrived as a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed idealistic zionist, ready to start a new kibbutz (yes, I was, in fact, actually part of a garin -- a group that set out to conquer the land and establish a new bastion of socialist living) and fulfill my ambitions of living in the Land of Israel.

It's 30 years later and, as for many of my original group, my original plans detoured, but I am actually still pretty idealistic and still thrilled to be living in the Jewish homeland. I got married, moved to a small northern town, taught English (don't all Anglos teach English at one point or another?), ran courses for day care center workers, improved my Hebrew a bit, had five kids, got divorced and learned to thrive as a single mother.

I'm well aware that, while if I would have stayed in America I may have acquired more material things and may enjoyed had a more comfortable lifestyle, I would be lacking a something that has become a part of me -- my identity.

Some of the lessons that I've learned over the last 30 years are things that I probably would have learned anywhere but I hope that there are some things that I've learned that will be helpful to new olim -- immigrants -- who continue to arrive with the same smiles, tears and feelings of exhilaration that I felt 30 years ago.
  •  You're not in Kansas anymore. Or Manchester. Or Minneapolis. Or Sydney. (or, in my case, Detroit). Stop comparing and just live the moment. Almost everyone that I know who didn't "make it" and headed back to their country of origin (and over 30 years I've seen so many people who struggled and just couldn't hang on here) are the ones who couldn't stop saying "but in New Jersey, we used to....." or "in Omaha, they....."
  • Learn the word "protectzia." It's one of the five most important Hebrew words/phrases, along with "kama zeh oleh" (how much does this cost?)  and "ein ba'ayah" (no problem). Protectzia means "protection" or, in local parlance, who do you know? It took a few years for me to break through my natural American reticence of asking a complete stranger for a favor, but the first time we had a problem that involved the municipality, and I realized that my next-door-neighbor's cousin worked in the appropriate department at city hall and that I could activate my protectzia, I knew that I'd made it as an Israel. 
  • Challenge your taste buds.  By the time I arrived in '83 the rationing of Israel's early years had long ended (my neighbor told me how her family of 8 used to get a few eggs every week -- and that was ALL, egg-wise) and there was plenty of food of varying tastes and textures. A cordon bleu chef might have cringed, but for most of us, it was fine. Over the years new food items began to be imported as well so my mother didn't have to send me cans of tuna fish and chocolate chips with travelers from her synagogue (we once drove down to Tiberias to pick up some chocolate chips that my aunt's friend had brought with her -- unfortunately the chocolate melted in the August heat and for all our efforts we were left with a block of mushy chocolate).  
         Today you can get everything here but it's worthwhile to forget hamburgers and pizza
         and try some of the local traditional food. Israeli cuisine goes beyond the standard
         schwarma and falaffel to a variety of different salads (eggplant is a big one here as is
         avocado -- you can buy them in the store or make them yourself with 1/100th of the   
         oil content (Israelis haven't quite made the connection between excess oil and health
         problems) and ethnic dishes.

         Don't be afraid of chili peppers. A little zing won't hurt you. This is a lesson that I just
         learned this year -- I bought my first chili pepper when my son suggested that my
         matboucha -- a traditional Moroccan tomato dish -- could use a bit of upgrade. So now
         I buy a chili pepper or two ever month (even though at the supermarket I see the
         Sepharadi ladies stocking up on the chili peppers like there's no tomorrow.....what can
         I say? I'm still a non-"harif" kind of girl).
  • Don't assume that you don't have anything to teach Israelis. They DO want to know about soyburgers, wooden floors, non-Israeli "sponga" mopping techniques and what else tinsel can be used for besides succa decorations. 
  • Don't ever say "they" when you're talking about any specific group. "They" the haredim, "they" the Sepharadim/Askhanazim, "they" the leftists.....this is true in any society, but even more so in Israel where the society is fragmented into a million groups. In any group you'll find a certain percentage of snotty, obnoxious, self-centered people, but in any group you'll find that the majority just want to get along and live their lives quietly and honorably. 
  • Stick to your guns about environmentalism. Israel is about 20 years behind America in terms of environmental responsibility, but they're catching up, in due, I believe, greatly to the nudniking of Anglo olim. Refuse plastic bags whenever possible and tote around your own bags...the shopowners appreciate the savings (to them) and it does impact on their behavior with other clients. 
  • Don't get too discouraged with your Hebrew. Some of us will never be proficient. Make the effort because if you don't, your circle of friends will be limited to English-speakers, but forgive yourself your mistakes and the Israelis will too.   

Even with all of the challenges, I wouldn't want to leave.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Disclaimer -- I'm Laurie from Safed!

I connected with a blogger this week and we got into a discussion about "doing" the holidays as single parents.

My experience is a bit different from most single parents that I know because I don't share Shabbats or ex assumed, from the time that he left, that I'd be responsible for all Shabbats and holidays and that's just the way that it's played out all these years (almost 9).

I did share some of my experiences and advice with Devora and she created a blogpost about it. She put her own spin on my suggestions and I hope that some of what I've learned can be helpful to other single parents.

Here's what I wrote (in my own words):

Laurie Rappeport lives in Safed. She has five kids who range in age from 17 - 27. She's been doing the holidays on her own since her separation (and subsequent divorce) 9 years ago. Laurie finds that Safed is a welcoming community for single parents but holiday time is still a challenge. Through trial and error Laurie has developed some strategies that create a good holiday atmosphere in her home (so her kids tell her).  

·         KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. When I first separated I tried to do everything that we'd done when my kids' father was in the house, including shul. It quickly became apparent that my expectation that the kids would head off to synagogue by themselves was causing a lot of anger. Once I dropped the issue and concentrated on making the holiday a simple, pleasurable one in which everyone could celebrate as s/he wanted, the tension level immediately dropped and we began to enjoy the holidays much more.
·         Develop new family traditions. We usually do one holiday barbeque for each chag (when you can transfer fire from an already-lit candle to start the bonfire) and we all enjoy that. We also have created new culinary traditions, such as chili the first night of Succot. Three of my five kids are vegetarian/vegan  so, whereas we once only at meat meals for the holidays, about half of our meals are now vegetarian and everyone enjoys the change. I feel as though the new traditions help my kids (and I) bond as our own nuclear family.

A friend has developed the tradition of taking her kids on a hike every chag before the mid-day meal. They head down to a spring below the Old Cemetery of Safed and each child gives a dvar Torah that connects to the holiday. It's true, they don't get to shul, but they connect to the holiday and to each other which seems to me to be much more important.
·         Connect with other families with whom your kids are comfortable and share meals. We have one specific family that includes several kids who are close in age to my kids and the families are very friendly. I try to make sure that we do at least one chag meal together. Even though I'm now comfortable and confident as a single mother , I also appreciate the opportunity for my kids to spend time with a traditional family unit (because I hope that, when they grow older, that's what they'll build for themselves)

·         Invite guests. This suggestion actually causes a lot of strife in my family because my kids, who are all in their teens or 20s at this point, don't like to have guests, at least not many as I'd prefer, and not as frequently. But it makes me feel that I'm a part of the community, and that I'm also a giver, even though I'm a single mother. That's important to me and, I believe, ultimately an important lesson for my kids. 

Other suggestions will be appreciated. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Who's Afraid of Yom Kippur?

So, it turns out that there's such a thing as a "blog carnival." Who knew? Not only that, but it turns out that there's such a thing as a "Jewish blog carnival." (of course). Something to explore.

I'm still on a bit of a spiritual high from Yom Kippur. I dread it like everyone but it's really not as bad as it's made out to be, especially if the service is a bit interactive.

That's a word that I use alot lately as I become more involved in the world of online learning. I teach and do other types of PR and marketing for a company named Jerusalem EdTech Solutions. The possibilities that are presented by educational technology make it hard to not be engaged by your classes, both for the teacher and the students.

However, the word really applies to this year's Yom Kippur davening that we had in our neighborhood. It's a Carlebach minyan so there's plenty of singing in any event, but really, the whole service was singing -- and not listening to the cantor sing either, but everyone sang the prayers together. I've never spent so much time in a service in my life.

Unfortunately, my experience with Yom Kippur services was basically formed in my youth with the Conservative congregational services in which, for the most part, the rabbi or cantor led the service and everyone else sat and followed (or, when things got really exciting, we did "responsive reading."). Who could possibly enjoy such a scenario?

Now we're on to succot. menu:
Wed night:                                                                           Thursday lunch
Chili                                                                                       Spinach quiche (vegan)
baked squash (shades of thanksgiving?)                              roasted mushrooms (Yum!)
mashed potato                                                                       ?
salads                                                                                     ?

Question marks are thanks to my daughter who promised to take over the kitchen tomorrow and do some of the cooking. I'm meant to sit quietly and find something else to do. No problem.

This month there has been a definite lack of client-work so I have the chance to do something non-computer related...I'm making sushi for some people in the area. I am a sushi fan and enjoy the "zen" of sitting quietly and rolling up the sushi rolls. Fun.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Only in Israel

Yesterday I put up the following post on my Facebook page

"only in Israel....does the army give a soldier a day off to help his mother put up the family succa"

Which got 80 likes. Meaning, as I felt when I put it up, that the fact that we live in a unique, Jewish country, even with all of our quirks, resounds with a lot of people. 

One frequently sees these kind of posts..."only in Israel." Only in Israel does the bank clerk say "have a good Shabbat" as she's telling you where your overdraft stands. Only in Israel would perfect strangers stop a mother in the street to tell her that she shouldn't have her baby in a stomach/backpack because it's not good for the baby's neck (i used to tell such people "well, her head hasn't fallen off yet"), the baby should have a hat, the baby shouldn't be drinking whatever-it-is in the bottle, the baby looks pale, the baby..... Only in Israel does traffic on our main street come to a halt during the days before succot as people dash out of their cars to buy the Four Species that  vendors sell along the side of the road -- and generally, no one complains because they expect that a trip on the town's main street will take longer during these pre-Succot days for exactly this reason. .

Anyway, it occurred to me that there's really nowhere else in the world -- as far as I know -- where you'd have whole lists of "...only in Israel..." (or, in the case of my locale, "only in Tzfat.")

I mean, can you imagine such a post in Boston? Really? "Only in Boston." It would never occur to anyone because, although Bostonians definitely are known for certain character traits, the place itself isn't unique. Same for New York, Taskent, Mongolia and almost every other place that I can think of. (Well, maybe not Berkeley ). 

A 10 minute perusal of the web shows plenty of "only in Israel" moments
But I think that Benji Levitt sums it up best in his annual Times of Israel blogpost for Israel's Independence Day. 

By the way, as my cousin Geoff noted on my FB page, the succa is up, thanks to my soldier-son who was given leave from his base to come and help his family. Happy Succot to all!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ramblin' (Wo)Man

Rosh Hashana has come and gone and so, thankfully, has Yom Kippur. I did try to draw some spiritual insights from the day and managed to spend a good amount of time in shul -- it helped that the local House of Love and Prayer, a Carlebach Minyan, set up camp right down the street from me in an (well) air-conditioned building. Almost the entire tefillah (prayer) was singing and I spent more time in shul than I ever have before on a Yom Kippur.

Some of my insights from the last few weeks:
  • no one likes to be reminded that, as we're sitting down to our post-fast meal, there are plenty of people around the world who are just as hungry and have no meal waiting for them at the end of the day. It's always on my mind but I have to learn how to keep these thought to myself if I want to avoid the "oh here she goes again" comments
  • As secular or unaffiliated as most Israelis are, the vast majority wouldn't dream of  driving, looking for entertainment or even eating on Yom Kippur. Which is nice to see a little unity for once, but I can't help wondering....if someone sees the importance of Yom Kippur, why drop the rest of it? I mean, do whatever you want, but it just seems to be...inconsistent.
  • Most Reform Temples in the United States are called Temple Beth El or Temple Emanuel or Temple Israel. Every city seems to have all of those three. Wonder why?  (I connect to Jewish educators online for my Jewish Online Education project and have noticed this phenomena. Interesting).
  • Ever notice how many of the things that we ask forgiveness for on Yom Kippur have to do with what comes out of our mouths? It's by far the biggest percentage of sins. Just sayin'
  • Doesn't it sound wonderful to say to yourself "I'm not going to worry about X. I'm just going to give it over to God." And then, you wonder how many homeless people say the same thing
  • There's nothing like living in our own country. The FB post that I put up today has already over 50 "likes" and is still going strong, so evidently other people think so too.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Rosh HaShana Madness

I spent six hours running from store to store yesterday to get everything that I'll need for the holiday. 700 shekels later (as I mentioned, I'd already bought a lot of the food to minimize the "hit" during this last week, including most of the fish, meat and wine) I came home, unpacked (in itself, a half-hour exercise) and started making the next list of everything that I either didn't find or forgot.

An article in the Jerusalem Post notes that one in four families will be spending less on Rosh Hashana this year than in previous years. There are no the one hand, with lowered social benefits, falling salaries, and prices that are significantly higher than last year, how can most people manage to "keep up with the Cohens" spending-wise? On the other hand, you want to have a nice holiday for your family and friends, so what do you leave out?

I'm not even speaking about new cloths and "toys for the children" -- how do families, even those who both work full-time, manage? 

I make a moderate salary and don't have a lot of kids living at home and I'm already budgeting for the next 30 days and not coming up very happy. Rosh Hashanah is just the tip of the iceberg.....we still have the rest of the month's holidays, including the week-long Succot, to plan for. We eat relatively little meat and fish and I'm still stretching it....what do families DO? I'm not talking about Yair Lapid's poor family that can only take one overseas trip every few years (was he really serious?) but families who muddle by on minimum wage or slightly more.

Last week, while driving, I heard a call-in show in which the host was berating a woman who advocates for large families. He supported the government's recent move to lower child care allowances and his point was that if a family can't afford to have children, they shouldn't. He himself, as he proudly announced, only had one child because he was aware that if he lost his job he would have a reduced income and wouldn't be able to properly support his family.

I was shocked. (OK, it's true, I stick my head in the sand during reports on the state budget, politics, etc because I can't stand to listen to it). I hadn't realized the level of selfishness among certain segments of the population in this country. People marry and want to have children -- who thinks ahead to the possibility that one day, maybe, perhaps, they'll experience financial difficulties and for that reason, they limit their family size? You don't have children because you may experience unemployment? Illness? Divorce?  In this guy's case, the unborn children were probably lucky that they weren't born to such a selfish father.

This radio host (Gadi Gazit) also dismissed the advocate's protestations that many of these parents do work, and work hard, but simply don't make enough to support their families. "So" he continued "if they don't make enough, they shouldn't have children."

Honestly, I almost didn't believe what I was hearing. This man lives his life on the backs of the people who work for peanuts. He shops in supermarkets where the workers make minimum wage. He buys produce that's grown and harvested by people who make minimum wage if they're lucky. He goes through his day relying on the support services of people who are truly the working poor and then calls THEM parasites? Is he kidding?

I'm embarrassed that this country has come to a point when people like that even have a platform to voice their bile. Maybe socialism wasn't the best economic policy but it certainly did something to the hearts of the people who thought about, worried about and supported their neighbors and friends. (Of course, I'm sure that Gadi doesn't have any friends who need help or support. They'd probably get booted from his living room faster than he'd walk past a beggar).

Very depressing.