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That’s it!

          Now that the First Gaza War* is over, Israel can go back to the ‘Jewish Wars’ – this time between modern Orthodox (knitted-kipa) and ultra-Orthodox (black kipa) over the ground rules for Jewish dietary laws.

          If legislated into law, cafes open on Saturday** will be eligible for a kashrut license…valid only on weekdays.

          Chefs won’t be limited to serving hard boiled eggs or Cholent, like hotels. The proposed bill sponsored by MK Elazer Stern (The Movement)  and Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home party, who holds the portfolios of both the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs) endorsed by the Coalition’s Legislative Committee will allow eateries to stay open and cook whatever their little hearts desire on the Sabbath – provided the fare doesn’t mix meat and milk and follows all the other laws of kashrut. Chefs would be required not only to keep two sets of dishes for milk and meat, but also two separate sets of dishes and pots and pans – one for weekdays and one for Shabbat.

          The sponsors – both of them observant Jews - argue that refusal to issue kashrut licenses for eateries open on the Sabbath backfires, encouraging restaurateurs to follow the age-old Jewish adage - “If you are going to eat pork, the juice should run down your beard”:  If they’re not going to get a kosher license anyway, many owners figure they may as well ‘go whole hog’ - with an openly non-kosher menu with cheeseburgers or shrimp scampi. 

*   Yes, there were campaigns in 2008 and 2012, but ‘Protective Edge’ was the first campaign that turned into a war, and is probably not the last Gaza War.

** This arrangement already exists in most municipalities in the Galilee.



The adage ‘don’t drink and drive’ took a unique turn when police threw the book at a drunken driver who had consumed four times the limit, lost control of his vehicle, and ended up in the hospital. What made this case special was the vehicle in question was…a bicycle.

          OK, the inebriated peddler was riding down the Ayalon Freeway through Tel-Aviv having ignored clearly posted signs saying the eight-lane highway was off limits to bicycles, but the court not only fined the bloke 2,000 NIS for driving under the influence and reckless driving; the judge ordered the peddler’s motor vehicle license suspended for eight months, plus a hopefully sobering year in the clinker – on probation.



Is it true that ‘all pregnant women in labor call out for their moms’?  Probably not. In this day and age.  Be what way, Nurit Peled’s daughters (and daughters-in-law) don’t need to.  She’s right there beside them – and beside herself, in the delivery room.

          The kibbutznik from kibbutz Lavi and mother of six who has been a midwife at the Poriya Hospital in Tiberias since 1978 has 21 grandchildren, 17 of whom she personally delivered. 

          What about the other four grandchildren?  They were delivered by her daughter’s mother-in-law – also a midwife – in Kaplan Hospital in Rechovot.



The largest mobilization of IDF conscripts* takes place every year in August. A 2014 study of new recruits shows the mighty bond between Israeli kids and their parents remains unbroken: Not only the majority of the respondents said their parents were involved in choosing what unit they would ask to serve in.

          Asked “Who will you call first as soon as you finish the induction process – ‘mom and dad’ or ‘your girl or boyfriend’,” 73.7 percent said they would call their parents first – reminiscent of my all-time favorite only-in-Israel story of a raw recruit who called his mom and asked her to accompany him when he drew night guard duty because he was afraid of the dark.  She indeed came, stealing into boot camp to hold his hand, leaving at the crack of dawn before anyone noticed.

* Not to be confused with the special August draft of 70,000 reservists during the Gaza War…   The only army where mom and dad accompany their kids to the induction center and get invited to parents’ days during their kids service.



Remember the October 2013 story “First Yid* on Mars?” about a 22 year-old American immigrant to Israel Aaron Sha’artia who signed up on the waiting list to purchase a one-way ticket to Mars offered by the colonial enterprise Mars1.** 

          Well, the recently-demobilized IDF vet isn’t alone.  Out of 2,782 candidates from 107 countries who made the first cut out of 200,000 applicants to settle Mars, there are – get this – ten Israelis! 

* yid = a Jew in Yiddish

** which plans to establish a human colony on Mars in 2023 by gradually sending several hundred ‘lucky suckers; on a seven-to-eight month one-way flight to the Red Planet.



There are dozens of books about how to stop smoking but none about how to stop biting your nails, discovered Sarit Asharov.  So the Raanana manicurist and nail-builder spent three years nailing down the reasons people bite their nails, when and why, and now she claims to have figured out how to stop for good. 

          Asharov revealed that the secret is perseverance through abstinence. Just like other addictions that hold former alcoholics and smokers should never touch alcohol or cigarettes again, she says reformed nail-biters who have finally kicked the habit should never succumb to any contact between their teeth and their nails – not even one itty-bitty pinky finger or they’ll be re-hooked.