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Who was behind the ‘immaculate conception’ only a stone’s throw from Nazareth?! 

            No one knows for sure.

            In Kfar Kedem - a hands-on Biblical theme park adjacent to Hosha’aya, a hilltop mitzpeh* in the Jezreel Valley - four female donkeys gave birth to four more female donkeys within four days. The operators weren’t stunned by the magical quality of the number four; what left them floored was the fact that the four mothers were part of a 30-head herd ofall-female saddle donkeys.**           “For the last four years, we haven’t brought a male donkey to service the females,” said the puzzled village head Menachem Goldberg, scratching his head – pondering that perhaps some wild jackass somehow snuck into the jenny pen to ‘sow a few wild oats.’ (Israel HaYom)


* mitzpeh – literally a ‘lookout point’ – a network of small hilltop communities in the Galilee, established to attract Jews to settle in the heart of the Galilee 

 ** The jennies boast WI FI for today’s digital youngsters when out on the trail



There is no higher form of tz’dakah (charity) in Judaism than matan b’seter (giving anonymously).

            Thus, in 2009, when an unidentified IDF recruit from a needy family found someone was depositing 30,000 NIS ($8,571) a month in his bank account – a ‘serious compliment’ to his 350 NIS ($100) monthly salary, he assumed the source of the windfall was an anonymous donor who sought to reward him for his combat service. But 18 months later and 409,643 NIS ($115,898) the richer, the bank informed the recipient that the tidy nest egg belonged to an egg marketing operation called “From Nature.” The crestfallen but fair-minded soldier naturally returned the 306,000 ($87,428) still in his bank account, without so much as a peep.

            That was in 2011. End of story?  No. 

In 2013, Bank Leumi woke up to demand the by-now-demobilized soldier make up part of the difference – suing the vet for 40,000 NIS ($11,428). An irate judge read the penny-pinching bank the riot act, “recommending” in a temporary injunction “that the claimant (the bank) reconsider its steps and its position in light of the plaintiff’s apparent gross negligence and the fact that the lion’s share of the amount was returned.” 



The city of Brussels nixed the request by an Israeli couple to name their infant Jerusalem. The pair – born in Jerusalem but working in Belgium for the past three years - said they thought the clerk was pulling their leg, but were told they would need a letter from the Israeli embassy attesting that the name Jerusalem was not out of line and “wouldn’t harm the child.” 

            Adding insult to injury, the Belgian clerk suggested the Jewish couple name their kid Bethlehem instead…



Short of working for one of the handful of engineering firms that build secret passages and hidden doors and spring-lock staircases that spring open to reveal hidden rooms for homeowners who think they’re Sherlock Holmes (or Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro) - the dream job for mechanical engineers,, what’s the next best thing for the world’s master carpenters? 

            Yes! The Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations…better know as the Mossad, is looking for someone just like you!

`           An ad posted on the Mossad’s website seeks a “master carpenter…for challenging technological projects” saying the winning candidate must not only be skilled in his or her trade (woodworking, lathing, assembly, and integration) and knowledgeable of mechanics and ”able to read schematics and blueprints.” The winner must also be “creative” and able to work independently.

            Not so long ago the Mossad was looking for a “car modeling expert” whose job description could fuel the imagination of every would-be James Bond.



Barn owls are monogamous creatures, but by a strange quirk of nature two incredibly ‘libertarian’ female barn owls mated with the same male barn owl - a hot and heavy lovers triangle that produced 20 eggs and a record number of offspring: Incubated in one oversized nest that the threesome built in an abandoned well, 19 chicks emerged and months of triple parenting produced 16 fledglings that took wing - a world record according to ornithologist Dr. Motti Charter, a barn owl authority.



Out of thousands of astronauts** who signed up on the waiting list to purchase a one-way ticket to Mars offered by the Dutch colonial enterprise Mars1, is a 22 year old Israeli: Aaron Sha’artia. 

            Mars1 plans to establish a human colony on the Red Planet beginning April 2023, gradually sending several hundred spaced-out travelers on a seven-to-eight month flight in a ‘Transit Habitat’ so packed like sardines that it will make leg room on El-Al flights seem like Paradise Lost. Nevertheless, there are still 10,000 wannabes who dream of spending the rest of their lives on a planet that doesn’t have oxygen, running water, vegetation, or even a decent shopping mall (but no doubt will have Internet).

            Sha’artia, born in the USA, immigrated to Israel at 18 to join the IDF.  He says “the motor (sic. motivation) that brought him to Israel, drove him to go to Mars…as a noble challenge.”

            Yikes! And his parents no doubt thought Israel was too far away…

 *  Yiddish for ‘a Jew’

 ** a Hebrew pejorative for an ‘air head’