Saturday, November 27, 2010


I love Shabbat in Israel; it is quiet and peaceful all around. We actually live in a mixed sort of neighborhood - so the streets are not empty, but they are emptier. And everywhere you look, there are families spending time together. It's not a shopping day or a work day, it's a real day of rest. We spent our day davening, learning, reading, playing games, resting, and of course, eating Shabbat food and singing Shabbat songs. (What about you? Leave a comment about your favorite way to spend Shabbat!)

And now that Shabbat is over, my husband and kids get to go learn Torah in a group in the Holy City of Teverya. There is a weekly gathering at the Maimonides Heritage Center, a program for fathers and children to learn together as a group. They work on a different topic every week, and everybody walks away enriched and ready to have a week filled with good things. What a great way to spend Motzaei Shabbat in this city that used to be a major center of Torah (many Tana'im lived here)!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Archaeological explorations

The apple of Teverya's eye right now seems to be Park Barko, located south of the city right near the Kinneret (right near the Holiday Inn and Malon Hof Gai). It is a wonderful park, still partly under construction. It boasts open green spaces (where my hubby and kids tossed a ball around), a large ampitheater (to be used for concerts?), a nice playground for younger children (swings, slides, climbing structures, etc), a “park etgari” - obstacle course style playground – for older children (this costs 5 NIS per child for Teverya residents, 25 NIS per child for non-residents), and our favorite part: the ruins of the Ancient City of Teverya dating back to the 1st century C.E.
Oh, and ample free parking is available.

We really love the new park, and my kids love “time traveling” - with my youngest yelling “time tunnel!” whenever we enter the ruins. It's really a great way to spend the day, living in a land steeped in history...

My only question is, if this is Teverya's new pearl, WHY is the playground locked until 4 pm (sunset is about 4:35 this week)?!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Natural Bliss, part 3

I continued my quest for healthy food. I checked the natural/organic section at Rami Levy (supermarket that is commonly known to have the lowest prices in the country). I found a few items I am used to buying – organic flour, whole wheat pasta, organic corn meal, organic cane sugar, to name a few. I even splurged and purchased some, mostly in an effort to make myself feel better about the food I am serving my family, not because I thought the prices were reasonable. I also discovered that Rami Levy carries organic milk, 3% only(!) - where oh where is the fat-free milk in this country? - but for about 12NIS/liter. Slightly out of reach. No organic produce. I did find “Maya Teva” products in the dried goods aisle, which included flaxseed that says on the Hebrew label that it is grown without chemicals and pesticides (this information does not appear in English, so for people with limited Ivrit this would be difficult to understand).
They also carry 3 different types of eggs – conventional (about 10NIS/dozen), free range (about 20NIS/dozen), and organic (about 30NIS/dozen). I opted for the free range, and decided that I should continue my quest for affordable healthy food.

The next time I found myself in the center of town, I made my way over to the little Mazon Organi store. It turns out that it is practically brand new, and has a very clean look and feel to it, albeit small. I decided to buy a few things (organic eggs for 22NIS/dozen seemed a relative steal at the time!)... The proprietor is also an oleh (perhaps from South America somewhere, I couldn't quite place his accent), and is very friendly, though perhaps a bit desperate for human contact after sitting for hour after hour in his empty, pricey store...

I also checked out the natural section in Shufersal Sheli in town. I found organic oatmeal and pricey organic cookies and granola. To my surprise, I even found an all-natural whole wheat bread in the bread aisle! Overall, though, I was disappointed at the lack of selection and availability. By now I had decided that organic jam was no longer a necessity. I would settle for something that is 100% fruit...