92 posts categorized "Land of Israel"

Wild Asiatic Parakeets

Wild Parrots Ashdod 2
During a recent hitbodedut (personal prayer) session in the citrus groves east of Ashdod, I spotted something I've never seen in Israel - wild parrots (see image above, which I took). At first, I thought they were some escaped parakeets from the nearby neighborhood, but that seemed odd because they were so large. When I came home, I did a search and happily discovered that they are wild Asiatic parakeets, aka as "Ringneck" or "Long-tailed" parakeets. I spotted a male and female that exactly resemble the ones in the prototype photo below. Our beloved holy homeland is a haven for all types of exquisite birds and wildlife. For sure, such sites inspired King David to compile Perek Shira. Our sages tell us that he knew the language of the birds, flaura and fauna. Thank You, Hashem!

Ring-neck (Asiatic) parrot



Don't tell David. 

I was doing a three-point turn in a very narrow dead-end driveway, and the camera in the back didn't see the pole that refused to get out of the way. Ya chutzpan echad. That means, "You impudent, shameless, audacious pole, you." But it's all good! I already banged up the other side in the exact same way, so now they both match. I saved the broken tail light pieces so I can tape them back together good as new.

Incidentally, it's unbelievable how many times I've crashed my car into something since I've been in Israel. My car is not even six years old and it looks like it's at least 129. That's right, Americans. SIX years. SAME car. Leasing is just coming on to the scene. It's amazing that a country that is the world's leader in technological advances is so third-world in so many ways. For example, central a/c is almost unheard of! And so is a dryer! And a dishwasher! And two cars per family! OMG, I hope I'm not discouraging any of you from making aliyah. Living here is awesome!

So what was the point of this post? Oh, right! TGIF. 

I just couldn't help myself. I really do find it funny.

So today has been an especially aggravating day, partially because I couldn't do any weight training, and partially (mostly) because the kids have been home since noon. And they've been driving me insane. And I couldn't manage to score an invite to anyone's house tonight. I'm not sure why that is. I mean, aren't we likable? On the other hand, it could be the screaming that my neighbors two buildings down are constantly hearing coming from my (downstairs neighbors') apartment. I think everyone's afraid of us (me.) Sigh.

So this really has nothing to do with anything, but I've just got to share this funny story with you. Today I thought I would treat my kids to some oily, fried, overpriced restaurant Shabbat catering food. It's pretty expensive, but I thought it would make tonight a little more exciting (for me.) Anyhow, I know the owner at the restaurant we usually go to, because I've managed to get him to give me lots of free food for "someone else." I'm serious. It really wasn't for me.

Today, before I let the bulls loose, i.e. the kids grab whatever they wanted,  I asked the owner to give me a serious discount. He said in typical Israeli fashion, "Sure, I'll take care of you." I knew better than to ask him exactly how much of a discount he would give. Israelis want you to trust them. It's good for their massive egos. I couldn't keep track of all the kids running and scooping and labeling their containers, and soon enough, we ended up with about 15 containers of food. OMG. This was going to be expensive.

I reminded my friend the owner of our discount agreement, and before the discount, the total came to 250 shekel. Then, he surprised me by saying, "Okay, pay me whatever you want." Whaaaa? R U Serious?? I looked at him like he was crazy, which maybe he really was, and then, BAM! I just got a brilliant idea.

Alright. I can pay what I want? In that case, let me just grab a few more things. 

So the "whatever you want to pay" discount just wasn't enough. I had to use my Israeli powers of bargaining/borderline abusing a favor to the max. And if that weren't enough, I ran to get some more baked salmon fillet and delicious looking meatballs. I mean, if I'm already getting a sweet deal, why not stock up for the rest of the week? 

I can't believe I'm actually writing this.

But wait! It gets even better!

So then the bill came to 336 shek. And I told the cash register guy I'll pay him 250. Then, just as he finished ringing me up, the owner comes over to us and tells him he made a mistake. Then, he hands me a 100 shek bill. "I only wanted to charge you 150, not 250," he says. R U Fo' Serious?!! I almost hugged the guy. 

And off I skipped along my merry way, with my oldest son soooo angry at me for accepting money back, telling me that we're not poor and it's so embarrassing what I did. 

One day, you'll understand, kid. 

On that note, I hope you all have a wonderful Shabbat! And for those folks out in wherever you are, don't tell David - just show him the pic of the car and watch his facial expressions. Note all changes of color and count the beads of angry perspiration on the forehead. Even better, have someone else film him as you show him the pic. Then send it to me so I can watch it myself and thank God that I'm 5,000 (?) miles away from him. 


Happy Israeli "Al Ha-esh" Day!

Hey everyone! It's Rav Brody and The Person Formerly Known as Zumba Queen (at least, until I get back to the gym tomorrow) wishing you a happy Israeli Independence Day! 

Today is the 69th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, and do you know what that means? It means that I am supremely lazy because I not only did a Google search to find out how many years have passed since 1948, but I did it by talking into the Google mic. It also means that nearly every Israeli is celebrating their independence by eating burnt, carcinogenic, nitrite-filled, hormoned and drugged up, greasy, MSG-laced, G-d-knows-what's-in-those-kebabs, "food." Now that's what I call national pride! Bring on the Atkins-fest!

In Israeli slang, "al ha-esh" literally means "on the fire," which is a pretty accurate way to say "barbecue." I'm not even sure what the word barbecue means, and I'm too lazy to look it up. Al Ha-esh day is so much like American Independence Day. You know, I'm starting to think that Israelis are a bunch of wanna-be American posers. Could it be?? (Note the heavy sarcasm there.) Hmmm. The post office is closed. Everyone has a day off. The beaches are crowded with half-naked people that have no business walking around half-naked. The air is hazy with grill smoke. Fireworks are blasting off when you're trying to sleep. People are working on perfecting their beer belly physiques.

But, there's one thing we don't have here - football! We have soccer. Correction - we have football, and you American wannabe Israeli posers out there have American football. You get the difference? BTW, did you know that the Hebrew word for football is foooootball? You have to pronounce the "oo" like the way you say "soup." Foutball. 

In honor of Israel Independence Day, the Beams presents you with a special quiz. The person who sends us the most accurate answer will receive a special prize, courtesy of the Beams and Breslev Israel. Send us your answer by commenting at the bottom of this post.

Quiz1 Quiz2At each side of this post are rare photos of two former IDF combat soldiers. 1. Who are they? 2. What year was each photo taken? 3. What is your credit card number?

Just thought I'd sneak it in there. You know, to see if any of you are paying attention.

The deadline for your answers is 12:01 AM, Wednesday May 3, 2017 Israel time (5:01 PM Tuesday, EDT). Don't miss tomorrow's Beams to find out the right answers and the name of the quiz winner. Good luck and Happy Independence Day!

Our Fallen Martyrs


Today is Yom Hazikaron, Israel's Memorial Day. We honor the soldiers who gave their lives defending our country and our People, and the martyrs who died sanctifying Hashem's Name in the numerous terror attacks. Even though this is a politically-based holiday, this is not a politically-based post. 

Whatever you feel about Israel's government, there's nothing wrong with taking a moment to thank Hashem for the soldiers who were brave enough to put their lives on the line so we can go on with our daily nonsense. Let's think about the families of these soldiers and victims of terror and ponder what they're going through for just a moment.

May Hashem comfort them among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.


I'm Baaaack!

Happy new week, dear readers! It's Racheli, and I'm soooooooo thrilled to be back! Seriously, I missed you guys. Really. Did you miss me? Even just a little? No? Well, just pretend like you did, okay? I'm very fragile, you know. 

Speaking of fragile, for that one person that did miss me, (Tena, would that be you?) I'll give you a little quiz so you can figure out on your own where I've been hiding.

Racheli hasn't been on LazerBeams for over two weeks because:

a) she's been lounging on the beach in Eilat

2) she's been treating herself to daily massages and mani/pedi's

%) she's been unable to leave the kitchen for the entire week of Pesach

8) her kids have been home for nearly three weeks, and she almost lost her mind

72) all of the above

Hmmmm. I know. It's a tough choice. Think. Exercise what's left of those precious brain cells. While you're scratching your heads trying to figure it out, I'm scratching my head trying to find something inspirational to say. Since my brain cells are currently recovering from my kids' ridiculously extended vacation, I'll share with you these gorgeous pics that I took right behind my house. Gosh, Israel is so, so beautiful! Maybe one day I'll actually get to see what's beyond my backyard!




Wishing you a wonderful and inspiring week!





Operation Orchard, Part 1

As we said in the Haggada, in every generation, tyrants rise to destroy us, but Hashem rescues us from them. Despite our challenges, Hashem is always with us. Many of Hashem's miracles go unpublished. The Beams will now keep you on the edge of your chair for two days, with this gripping documentary about Operation Orchard, the destruction of Syria's quest for nuclear weapons. G-d willing, we'll air the second half here on the Beams tomorrow. Enjoy it.