Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Call It "Normal Growth"

This collage speaks for itself! It was sent to me by my friend, Sharon Katz, editor and publisher of Voices Magazine. The Big Pic is what I call a 'herd of Katz'; bottom left is Sharon and Izzy Katz. The New Year message reads:
The Katz Family wishes you a year of blessing:
*Torah light *good health* happiness *fun *success *nachas *song *laughter *adventure *chesed *doing for others *doing for yourself!
May Hashem bless you and your loved ones in this coming year, and may we as a People know peace, security, the Ingathering of the Exiles and the Rebuilding of our Holy Temple and the Redemption of our nation.

VOICES MAGAZINE is found online at:
You can also access Sharon's blog at:
It provides firsthand acounts, plus a wealth of other information about regular Jewish folks living in their homeland, Israel!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Israeli youth living in Hebron have to face the hostility of foreign anarchists on their doorsteps all too often. Being provoked by obscene remarks, they have been forced to defend themselves against the intruders by speaking up for themselves.
I was in Hebron recently and stopped by to visit the Rebbetzin and her children. She was not home, but I had a good visit with three of her kids, T’hila, Emunah and Yosef. Surprisingly, they remembered they had shared refreshments with me in their Succah last year and asked me to come again this year.
In the course of our conversation, I asked them what they would want to say to the world at large. After a few bold statements, I asked them to write a short letter in their own words which follows. Yosef was too busy to bother since friends were awaiting his appearance outside.
יש לנו את הזכות לגור בחברון כי זה ליד קברי אבותינו ואמהותינו הקדושים: אברהם, יצחק, יעקוב, שרה, רבקה ולאה. אנחנו מזמינים את כל מי שרוצה לבא לבקר ולחדק את המקום.
(TRANSLATION: From T’hila: “We have a G-d given right to live in Hebron! It is the burial place of our righteous forefathers – Avraham, Yitzak and Yaakov, and also three of our ancestral mothers – Sarah, Rivka and Leah. We invite everyone who wants to come and visit, and strengthen this place.”)
כה חשוב לגור בחברון כדי להראות לכל העם שחברון שייכת לעם ישראל ולא צריך לחלוק אותה עם שום עם אחר כי ה הבטיח לנו אותה ושום עם לא יכול להגיד שהיא שייכת לנו כי אברהם קנה אותה בכסף מלא מעפרון.
(From Emunah: “It is so important to live in Hebron in order to show all people that Hebron is designated for the People of Israel, and it should not be opposed by other people because Adonai promised it to us. And again people should not say that the city is not ascribed to us because Abraham bought the land with money from Ephron the Hittite.”)

Thursday, September 10, 2009


שבות אוריה = Shvut-Oriyah means “The Return of the Light of G-d”.
Names given to religious Jewish children are usually names or phrases found in the Torah. I believe such names carry with them prophetic, if not divine, statements for the times we live in.
Such is the young lady, Shvut-Oriyah, from Kiryat Arba. As she walked through hostile territory to protest illegal Arab building, she had an aura of self-confidence and self-determination, a quiet, non-assuming trust in the G-d of Israel.


I am Devorah from California, and I recently made aliyah in January 2009 at the age of 21. I formerly lived in Anaheim, although I was born in France. I studied in Berkeley where I received a degree in English. Yeah! After aliyah, I was fortunate enough to get a job. I am working in Jerusalem and living in Givat Ze’ev. I will be joining the Israeli army for a year in October.
People are curious why I came to Israel. But I can honestly say I never felt proud to be Jewish until I went to college where I rediscovered my Jewish identity. After coming with Taglit to Israel, I felt a connection to the land and knew that this was my home, Israel, where I belong.

Little Girl on a Swing

One of my very best favorite friends, Racheli Katz, recently became the ‘Natzig’ for the children of Givat Zeev when she wrote a personal letter to Mr. Yossi Avrahami, the Rosh Hamoatzah. I had the honor of taking her to deliver the letter by hand but Mr. Avrahami wasn’t in his office. Racheli was well received and taken seriously by his secretary when she explained her request. His attentive secretary took notes and promised to give the letter to the Mayor when he returned to work. She also said the Mayor would phone her once he reviewed her letter.
Racheli explained she was 6 years old so she drew 6 hearts on the letter, a heart for each year of her life. She designed a girl on a swing as her logo, then wrote her request in Hebrew: To Yossi Avrahami from Racheli: “I am requesting swings.”
Her full petition is a request for swings to be put in her favorite playground, the Dinosaur Park across from her synagogue. Her appeal is not for herself alone, but also for her friends around the same age. At one time, the children had fun on swings until they suddenly disappeared. So, Natzig Racheli is speaking on behalf of all children who miss the swings as they frequently play in the park, especially during the summer months of school vacation.
(PHOTO Natzig Racheli & the Mayor's Secretary)

Kickin' Up Their Heels

What event takes place when Maayan and Oriyah face off?


ANSWER: Two sisters dukin' it out! OR, in this event, two sisters kickin' up their heels! Afterwards, huggin' & makin' up!
All happening at the Shdema Cultural Center, July 31, 2009

Three Ingredients

What do you get when you put these 3 ingredients together?
A whole lot of beauty
with a little bit of hot & spicy
along with some goofy fun?

ANSWER: Of course! You get a pack of three kids: Elisheva, D'vorah and Yonatan at Shdema Cultural Center, July 31, 2009.