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Taking a cue from the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, the Haifa Municipality found a dirt cheap way to break down an old wall at the southern environs of the city* to expand Haifa’s seaside promenade.  A boardwalk with benches, and a bike path are planned in its stead.

But instead of engaging a contractor to take down the mustard yellow wall in Bat Galim*, city elders are staging a mass do-it-yourself happening, inviting Haifa residents armed with hammers and chisels to come take down the wall in unison…to the tune of Pink Floyd’s hit The Wall (Just Another Brick in the Wall).  Alas the organizers didn’t say if participants would be expected to cart off the rubble as souvenirs, or whether the municipality would rent dump trucks to dispose of the debris.

* that walled off a naval training base, blocking access to the beach.


According to a saying in Hebrew one should bless people on their birthdays by saying – ad  me’ah ve-esrim:  You should live to be 120.  But how exactly should one bless Miriam Am’ash from the Arab township-on-the-Med Jisr az-Zarqa, just north of north of Caesarea?

The birthday girl didn’t know her exact birthday, but her identity card put her birth date as 00.00.1888; Am’ash recently died at the ripe-old-age of 124 still clear of mind, leaving a legacy of 600 children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.  Asked about the secret of her longevity, the deceased said: drink olive oil in the morning and most important…smile a lot.


Are certain employees irreplaceable…and what should that include?

It’s common for courts to slap a restraining order on employers who want to take unilateral action and fire employees without cause, but in a truly unique maneuver, an electronic company had the chutzpa to ask a regional labor court to slap a restraining order on an employee to prevent him from resigning…

His bosses want to prevent Yoel Katz, the manager of an r&d team from quitting until he finishes development of a new product. Otherwise, they claim, the project would come to a standstill. If that’s not enough, in another role reversal, management is even demanded the electronic engineer pay the company 850,000 NIS in damages that his loss would bring – truly a one-of-a-kind form of ‘severance pay’…

It will be interesting to hear what the judge has to say about this…


Israel doesn't have a Good Will or Salvation Army chain for discarded goods. But even in the most posh neighborhoods there's almost always a self-employed rag-and-bone man who plies the streets at regular intervals with a horse-drawn wagon or donkey cart crying 'Alta zachen! Alta Zachen! – Yiddish for 'old stuff', even if the collector of cast-off possessions is an Arab or an Oriental Jew. While universally a catch-as-catch-can business, an unidentified Natanya rag man decided to go proactive and augment his income from hand-me-downs by helping himself to a bundle of first class goods in one of the homes on his route, but foolishly failed to fence the hot merchandise to a colleague...

Sure enough, two weeks later while making his rounds, the victim discover some familiar wares on the local alta zachen's cart – including the decorative pillows from his living room.

The cops returned his missing personal effects, dispatched the donkey to an animal shelter and hauled the picky scavenger into the station for questioning. 

* Tel-Aviv has just passed a municipal ordinance that will ban such vehicles from city streets.


A quarter of all Israeli kids are overweight, but an elementary school teacher took teaching her pupils to eat healthy one step too far.

Instead of sticking to pushups and jumping jacks,  the overzealous  phys ed instructor forced her students to reveal the contents of their lunch pails  (or backpacks as the case may be) then pilloried – in front of the whole class – those with what she rated unhealthy sandwiches, such as chocolate spread on bread (an Israeli delicacy*). Parents took class action, bringing the unorthodox exercise to the attention of higher authorities.  Education Ministry officials summoned the gym teacher to a hearing for an earful herself.

* in 2008 chocolate spread sandwiches constituted a full half of all sandwiches taken to school…


There are all sorts of people with special needs.  Now there’s another category that presents a great opportunity for inventors:  Religious people who have lost their hair live in constant peril of loosing their kipa on windy day (unless they opt for the ‘Bukharian ‘wrap-around’ skullcap that’s as snug as a beret or a baseball cap).

The special needs of balding Jews became public knowledge after Yediot Aharonot asked how MK Naftali Bennett – head of the HaBayit HaYehudi (Jewish House) party keeps his small knitted kipa firmly on his noggin? The paper investigated and claims one undisclosed solution has been to stick rings of Scotch tape on one’s scalp and press one’s skullcap firmly in place, but to date, not one member of the tribe has stepped forward to publicly admit he employs this ploy.


Men who still have some hair to hang on to can use a trusty kipa clip which now comes with all sorts of embellishments     .  But nothing compares to the recently debuted LeatherDOS* - an upgraded by an entrepreneurial spirit that’s a takeoff on the trusty muli-tooled Leatherman. The gadget which costs 30 NIS ($7:50) includes a knife, ruler, wrench, and three kinds of screwdrivers and a supermarket cart coin.

The catalyst, revealed designer Yaakov Goldberg , was in-jokes about all the things one can do with a conventional kipa clip So far the Israeli – who isn’t religious himself  and is no relation to Rube Goldberg - has sold a sum-total of eighty-five LeatherDOS kipa clips. (Ma’ariv)

* from the word dati or religiously-observant, no relation to the PC operating system DOS.