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October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘paper’

In Hebrew: ‘Wrapping paper’

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

A good Hebrew term to know as the end of fall approaches is that for wrapping paper: נְיַר עֲטִיפָה.

נייר paper – first appears in the Hebrew language in Mishnaic literature, while עטיפה - wrapping – comes from the Biblical-Hebrew verb to wrap -לַעֲטוֹף .

For example: אֲבַקֵּשׁ לַעֲטוֹף אֶת הַמַּתָּנָה בְּנְיַר עֲטִיפָה. May I have the gift wrapped in wrapping paper? (literally, I shall ask to wrap the gift in wrapping paper.)

Truth is, in Biblical Hebrew, לעטוף also means to faint or to grow weak. More on that in tomorrow’s dose.

Visit Ktzat Ivrit.

Stuff In The Fridge

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Among the many things we were tested with during Hurricane Sandy was the way in which we can preserve our food in the middle of a disaster.

My family spreads out from Flatbush to Boro Park, Staten Island, New Jersey and Monsey. Two of my sons, Baruch Hashem, had previously bought generators. They successfully used them to prevent loss of their food, while waiting for their electric to be repaired in their respective neighborhoods. However, many others have been without power for weeks now.

Whenever I do Tupperware demonstrations where I share my freezer tricks, I stress how important it is to always have a full freezer. In case of a blackout, an unopened full freezer will keep fresh for 72 hours before the food will have to be used or tossed out! If the freezer is not full, the food will only last 12 hours!

What do you do if you haven’t gone shopping or cooked enough food to fill your freezer? There is a trick I recommend to fool your freezer into “acting” like it is full.

Fill any container you have with water. Tear small strips of blank paper and tuck it in each container so most of it hangs out of the container and is visible to you. Once, frozen, they containers will fill up the air space in your freezer allowing it to work at full capacity. If you stand next to your refrigerator, you will hear the motor going on and off less often due as it will be working more efficiently!

Another quick tip, this one about ice crystals forming in containers, which is not unusual. It can happen as a result of rapid temperatures, the amount of moisture in the food being stored, and the amount of air space in the container.

When a sealed container is placed in the freezer, it undergoes a quick change in temperature. When it is coupled with the colder freezer air, it draws out the moisture from the air and surface of the contents. Should you wish to eliminate these crystals, place a sheet of crumpled wax paper directly on the food you are freezing. This uses up the air space. Several popular brands of ice cream now have layer of plastic wrap attached to the cover of the carton for this purpose.

Now, what about the food in the refrigerator food? Or how do you know if something has gone bad?

EGGS–When something starts pecking its way out of the shell, the egg is probably past its prime!

DAIRY PRODUCTS—Milk is spoiled when it starts to look like yogurt. Yogurt is spoiled when it starts to look like cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is spoiled when it starts to look like regular cheese. Regular cheese is nothing but spoiled milk anyway and can’t get any more spoiled that it is already. Cheddar cheese is spoiled when you think it is blue cheese, but you realize you’ve never purchased that kind!

BREAD—Sesame seeds and poppy seeds are the only officially acceptable “spots” that should be seen on the surface of any loaf of bread. Fuzzy and hairy looking white or green growth, are a good indication that your bread has turned into a pharmaceutical laboratory experiment.

FLOUR—Flour is spoiled when it has polka dots that wiggle!

CANNED GOODS—Any canned goods that have become the size or shape of a softball should be disposed of – carefully.

CARROTS—A carrot that you can tie a clove hitch in is not fresh!

RAISINS—Raisins should not be harder than your teeth.

POTATOES—Fresh potatoes do not have roots, branches, or dense, leafy undergrowth.

CHIP DIP—If you can take it out of its container and bounce it on the floor, it has gone bad.

UNMARKED ITEMS—You know it is well beyond prime, when you’re tempted to discard the container along with the food! Generally speaking, containers should not burp when you open them!

Going through a disaster, does give us a renewed perspective on keeping our families safer and our food storage intact and not spoiled.

What we can all use these days is lots of comfort foods and one of my favorites is Vegetable Barley Soup! I may have already shared this recipe with you, but it does bear repeating! I give credit to my daughter-in-law, Laya, for introducing the soup to use several years ago.

On the Guardian’s Opinion Section: Hamas Propoganda

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

IDF strikes on Nov. 18 knocked out the Hamas television stations Al Aqsa and Al Quds in Gaza, but Hamas leaders were likely not too concerned, and knew they could always count on Plan B: Propagandizing at the Guardian.

In fact, later that same day, Nov. 18, a ‘Comment is Free’ essay by the deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, Musa Abumarzuq, was published – one out of several members of the Islamist terror group who has been published by the paper which aspires to be the ‘world’s leading liberal voice.’

Other than Abumarzuq, who published a previous essay at CiF in 2011, the list includes Hamas ‘Prime Minister’ Ismail Haniyeh, their head of international relations Osama Hamdan, and their ‘advisor‘, Azzam Tamimi.

Abumarzuq’s piece, ‘We in the Gaza Strip will not die in silence,’ is full of unserious, vitriolic claims befitting a group whose founding charter cites the antisemitic forgery ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ as “proof” that Jews indeed are trying to take over the world.

However, Abumarzuq also advances a narrative of Israeli villainy which had already found fertile ground within the Guardian coven of “journalists” and commentators.  Echoing the “analysis” of  Harriet SherwoodSimon TisdallAhdaf Soueif, and Jonathan Freedland, on the “real reasons” for Israeli operation ‘Pillar of Defense,’ the Hamas apparatchik writes the following:

“With the approach of the Israeli elections, the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, wanted to trade with the blood of the Palestinians, especially after his alliance with the ultra-extremist Avigdor Lieberman failed to boost his popularity in the polls as he’d expected. This is not the first time the Israelis have launched a war for electoral gain. Shimon Peres did it to Lebanon in 1996 and the Olmert-Livni-Barak alliance did it to Gaza in 2008.”

Interestingly,  Abumarzuq’s rhetoric is restrained compared to Ahdaf Soueif (a frequent CiF contributor) who, in her piece, literally accused Israeli leaders of murdering Palestinian children for political gain.

Turning to the issue of supreme concern to the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, “human rights”, Abumarzuq complains thus:

“The human rights that Europe claims to defend all over the world are denied to the Palestinian people.”

Which freedoms are cruelly denied to Palestinians, per Abumarzuq?

“The right of people to resist occupation and confront aggression is guaranteed to all peoples; but if Palestinians seek to exercise this right it immediately becomes terrorism and for this they must be persecuted.”

Yes, of course. The Palestinians’ ‘universal’ right of “resistance”, murdering civilians with impunity, is stymied by their cruel Jewish oppressors.

Abumarzuq then adds the following:

“The Israeli military attacks on Gaza did not stop after the last Gaza war. Since 2009, 271 Palestinians have been killed, compared to three Israeli deaths.”

The numbers he cites about Israeli deaths are incorrect.

There have been 3 Israeli deaths since Nov. 14, when operation ‘Pillar of Defense’ began, but the Israeli death toll from Gaza terror attacks since 2009 is 13, not 3.

While you can contact the Guardian’s readers’ editor, Chris Elliott, at readers@guardian.co.uk, to request that Abumarzuq’s lie be corrected, perhaps you should consider asking Mr. Elliott a more pertinent question:

How does he reconcile the ‘progressive’ politics he and the paper he works for evidently aspire to with their decision to continue providing a platform to violent religious extremists who represent ultra right-wing values on issues such as democracy, freedom of the press, the rights of women, gays, and religious minorities?

Though I don’t expect anything resembling an honest answer from Elliott, he and his colleagues need to be confronted with the mounting evidence of their supreme moral hypocrisy.

Visit CifWatch.com.

Guardian’s Israel Correspondent Won’t Publish Hamas Brutality

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

On March 8, the Guardian published “International Women’s Day highlights hurdles obstructing women,” (co-authored by 12 Guardian correspondents, including the paper’s Jerusalem correspondent, Harriet Sherwood), on the subjugation of women around the world.

Sherwood’s contribution, on the abrogation of women’s rights in the region she covers, didn’t mention female genital mutilationhonor killings , an endemic culture of misogyny, nor the impunity granted to men who physically and sexually abuse their spouses, throughout in Gaza and the PA.

Harriet Sherwood not only ignored the egregious violation of womens’ rights in the Palestinian territories, but, instead, devoted 118 words to the alleged injustice meted out to a female Palestinian terrorist affiliated with Islamic Jihad held in an Israeli jail named Hana Shalabi.

So, it’s not surprising that neither Sherwood, nor any of her Guardian colleagues, have reported the following about an incident in Gaza on Nov. 6:

Hamas police violently attacked a group of women who were peacefully protesting on Tuesday in front of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza. The women were calling for Palestinian reconciliation and sent a request to protest to Hamas which was ignored. Using sticks and batons, Hamas police attacked the women and dispersed the protest.

Another report included the following information:

The protest, organized by women’s organizations including the general union of Palestinian women, was held outside the parliament building.

Iktimal Hamad, a member of the union’s secretariat, told Ma’an that police ordered protesters to leave the area.

“Women refused to leave, because this is a right for every human being to express their opinions and demand their rights,” Hamad told Ma’an.

“We were verbally insulted and hit by fists and sticks. Police tried to arrest some of us but despite that we will continue with our campaign which calls for ending the division,” she added.

Journalist Samya al-Zubeidi said female police officers hit her and ordered her to stop filming.

“They beat me up, in addition to female police officers, (male) police officers also attacked women protesters,” al-Zubeidi told Ma’an.

Interestingly, a Gulf News report on the incident quoted a Fatah spokesperson condemning the attack on Gazan women, thus:

Hamas’ violent attack against the women gives the entire Palestinian population a bad reputation internationally,”

However, any negative publicity for the Palestinian cause in response to the beating of peaceful female protesters in Gaza could only be created if “liberal” media institutions such as the Guardian actually reported the story.

Visit CifWatch.com.

Don’t Drink Alone

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

It occurred to me that with so much of this website being devoted to politics and the Islamist threat, we should probably use some of our space contemplating the simple pleasures of life. So, today, when both the United States of America and the NRP-Bayit Yehudi Party are facing the vote that will decide their foreseeable future, I figured it was a good time to contemplate the notion of having a cup of coffee and reading the morning paper with your dog sitting in your lap.

The picture was taken in downtown Jerusalem this week, and in my humble opinion spells out the idea of civilization most successfully.

We have cats, so we can only do the coffee and paper thing with them at home. But I assure you it is just as civilized.

Debt Ridden NY Times Squeezing Writers, Golden Parachuting CEOs

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Is it time to say kaddish for the New York Times?

Investors in the paper may already be doing so.  The last time they received a dividend was in late 2008.

The NYT, considered by many to be the global paper of record, has incurred more than $300 million in net losses since 2005, and its advertising revenues have been declining for five consecutive years.

In fact, the paper’s own financial report made headlines when its third quarter revenues were so much worse than expected that the value of its shares plummeted 22 percent, its biggest one-day drop in at least thirty years.  Investors were warned to expect dismal news for the next quarter, as well.

But while the newspaper industry as a whole has been in a funk for years – with Internet news, blogs, and other ’round the clock news sources available—many for free—there are elements of the NYT‘s precarious financial position that make it unique.

The most significant is the stench of hypocrisy hovering over the differences in the way the NYT handles its executives versus its writers.

Remember how the New York Times lionized the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street vigilantes?  What a shock to learn about the barrels-full of money it has thrown at even departing bigwigs, while keeping its proletariat writers at stagnated pay levels, and, in the words of its own union leaders, trying repeatedly to “decimate their health plan.”

For nearly two years, the daily writers at the New York Times (whose union members are represented by the Newspaper Guild of New York), have been working without a contract. Those approximately 1100 workers have repeatedly been met with what they have described as “draconian” efforts to force not only pay cuts and alterations to their health and pension plans, but also forced, unpaid, increases in their work week.

In fact, less than two weeks ago, on Oct. 8, approximately 400 NYT reporters staged a brief walkout because the sides were so far apart and the writers felt increasingly under siege.  In a video interview during that walkout, a member of the union talks about the paper’s hypocrisy.  In a July editorial, the Times attacked Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for his anti-union activity, saying:

“Labor, so long in decline in the private sector, is also losing its clout in states and cities, unable to match or withstand the unfettered bank accounts of industry. The people who kept Mr. Walker and his policies in power are just getting started.”

And yet, the NYT writers have been stonewalled for nearly two years, with management doing its best during that time to wring out still more concessions from them.

At the same time that the Times has been refusing to increase salaries or benefits by even a minimal amount, it has been throwing multiple millions of dollars at its top executives, past and future, this year alone.

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. is the great-grandson of the founder and owner of the New York Times Co.  He is the Chairman of the board of the NYT and its publisher.  Sulzberger appointed Janet Robinson CEO of the paper in 2004. Robinson had spent nearly twenty years rising through the ranks on the business side of the paper, and was long viewed as a quiet complement to her boss.

Although the NYT is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, it is, essentially, a family-owned business, and in addition to rapidly declining corporate financial health, alleged competition from family members in executive positions led to Robinson’s abrupt ouster in December, 2011.

And while the NYT allowed the door to hit her backside on her way out, the bundle of dough they threw after Robinson must have made for a somewhat softer landing.  Her severance package amounted to nearly $24 million — more than the company earned in the previous four years.

But that’s not all the paper has given away to bigwigs in the last year.  The new CEO, Mark Thompson, is about to slide into place in early November, with his path greased by a total pay package of $10.5 million.  That package includes a signing bonus worth as much as $4.5 million.

Thompson’s new annual salary is an increase from what he made at his last position, as the director general of the British Broadcasting Corp.  His role in that position was to cut jobs and save money through office and plant consolidation.  That reputation isn’t likely to make him a hit with staff writers.

The NYT  announced this week, just days before Thompson is set to come on board, that it has reached a tentative agreement with the Newspaper Guild.  Nothing, it has been repeatedly stressed, is yet set in stone, let alone laid out on paper, concerning this agreement.  Nevertheless, the Guild’s president Bill O’Meara, wrote that “the agreement preserves the workers’ pensions, protects medical benefits and boosts compensation.”

Interesting that an agreement — no matter how tentative — would have been entered into before the new CEO arrives.  Given Thompson’s past experience, it is hard to imagine he was hired to do more than continue his practice of slashing costs.  The union probably should have gotten the terms in writing before agreeing to allow the issuance of a press release announcing the deal.

So Robinson and Thompson get millions of dollars. Robinson was paid to get out, while Thompson will be paid to make the lowly writers miserable enough to get out.

And this, from an October, 2011 NYT editorial rhapsodizing over the Occupy Wall Street mission:

Income gains at the top would not be as worrisome as they are if the middle class and the poor were also gaining. But working-age households saw their real income decline in the first decade of this century. The recession and its aftermath have only accelerated the decline.

Research shows that such extreme inequality correlates to a host of ills, including lower levels of educational attainment, poorer health and less public investment. It also skews political power, because policy almost invariably reflects the views of upper-income Americans versus those of lower-income Americans.

Tell that to the union. And perhaps the members will say kaddish.

Thank You Notes

Friday, October 5th, 2012

I knew I wasn’t supposed to do it. They specifically warned us not to, and you don’t mess with the army. But how could I not? I peeked over my shoulder and saw the olive drab back of the supervisor. Good. I dropped the paper into the box along with the chocolate spread and watched it continue down the conveyer belt. A minute later the box was sealed. No sirens went off, no soldiers rappelled down the walls of the warehouse, fixing their guns on me. I exhaled. And then laughed. My note was just one of several that had snuck their way into the food packages that day. And the IDF had no clue…

Later that day as I sat outside with the other Sar-El volunteers, TV dinner-esque lunches in our laps, I thought about how fortunate we were to be eating reheated schnitzel and rice. The combat soldiers receiving the boxes we were packing would have died for a bite of that. Instead, four soldiers were handed a box that wouldn’t have fit a pair of shoes. When they opened it they would find a handful of protein-packed necessities like tuna, sardines, halva, and of course, the indispensable chocolate spread. Oh yeah, and this was supposed to last the four of them twenty-four hours.

But a select number of soldiers would find something extra in their boxes during the weeks of January 2009: A small note, handwritten by a girl from America, thanking him/her for protecting the Jewish homeland. My roommates and I had spent a good part of the previous evening writing those notes, asking our madricha for help with some of the trickier Hebrew grammar. And that morning our notes were deposited into the food packages on the sly. I didn’t think anyone would respond to the notes I had written. This wasn’t the first time I had sent a thank you note to a soldier, American or Israeli, and none had ever seen fit to reply.

Once again I was doing something I probably shouldn’t have. I was at work, pretending to be fully immersed in the writing of some report, but in fact I was checking my e-mail. There was more spam than usual clogging up my inbox. Delete. Delete. Dele- What was that? The subject line of one of the e-mails was in Hebrew and simply said “Todah!!” I’m not one to object to being thanked, but a) I didn’t recognize the e-mail address, and b) no one I know writes to me in Hebrew. Did this mean I was getting Hebrew spam now? And yet something held me back from clicking on the tiny garbage can.

I considered the situation. I had never gotten Hebrew junk mail before. And it’s not like they were offering to lower my interest rate if I simply typed in my social security number and mother’s maiden name. I slid the cursor over the subject line.

“Shalom Cheryl,” the e-mail began, my English name spelled out phonetically. So this Hebrew stranger knew my name. Or at least the name I give Israelis when I don’t want to overwhelm them with my Hebrew name. (You try saying Naftalit Eti Chana three times fast). I continued reading. The mystery man told me that he had received a food package that I had prepared for Israeli soldiers. Food package? That must mean… After all my attempts someone was actually responding to one of my notes! But it had been a year and eight months since I had volunteered with Sar-El. What was this e-mail doing arriving now?

The soldier, whose name was Moshe, thanked me for volunteering with the IDF and wrote how excited he had been to find a note hidden in his food box. And then the explanation came. He had gotten my letter over a year earlier, fully intended to write to me at the time, but had misplaced it until now, when he found it while cleaning his room. He ended his e-mail with a quick P.S., asking me to write back so he’d know I got his e-mail.

That report I was supposed to be working on got pushed even farther onto the backburner as I excitedly showed the e-mail to my coworker and reminisced about packing those boxes and writing those letters, marveling at the fact that someone had finally decided to respond. Then I set about forwarding Moshe’s e-mail to my family and friends. This was the most exciting thing that had happened to me in a long time, and of course I was going to write back to him- after all, he had written back to me – but that would have to wait till after work.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/teens-twenties/thank-you-notes/2012/10/05/

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