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The Jihadi Wave of 2015

a mixed bag of piquant




December 4, 2015 – December 10, 2015



An upscale bakery in Ramat Hasharon - Jacob’s - walked away with 1st place for ‘yum’ in a pre-holiday tasting contest for jelly doughnuts (sufganiyot in Hebrew) - offering a pricy sufganiya laced with Oreo cookie bits for the princely sum of 13 NIS ($3.40) each! 

            It sounds like a hazardous venture considering traditional no-frill jelly doughnuts sell for 3-4 NIS (79¢ -$1) a piece at supermarkets and bakery chains, and a survey found 58 percent of Israelis refuse to pay more than 4 NIS per doughnut.


            Actually, 23 percent of the Jewish public don’t plan to buy calorie-saturated Hanukah doughnuts…but that’s probably due to the price to their waistline, more than the hole in their pocket. (Israel HaYom



In an attempt to change misperceptions, Israel has invited 180 young German opinion-shapers to a free five-day tour of Israel. Among the group is Germany’s youngest mayor who dreams he’ll find an Israeli city on his trip that will want to become a twin city with his municipality (p. 50,000) - a suburb only 20 minutes from Munich.

            Dachau.  (Israel HaYom, Channel One – Ro’im Olam



The Petach Tikvah branch of the Hotza’a l’Poel - the government agency responsible for executing writs of execution of unpaid debts, adopted a bizarre means of pressuring a number of fathers who had been dodging paying child support.  Seize their dreams.* 

            One asked for permission to leave the country for a few days to go on a ‘family roots’ excursion to Morocco; two other deadbeats wanted to go on pilgrimages to pray at the gravesite of the venerated rabbis Rebbe Nachman of Breslov at Uman in the Ukraine (one asking in the same breath for permission to fly to New York as well to pay homage to the late Lubavitcher Rabbi Menachem Schneerson).

            Save your breath, retorted Registrar Gila Gadot evenly: The three men would have to meet their child support payments before they went traipsing around the world. (Yediot)


* a very creative application of ‘writs of bodily attachment’ in payment of court-ordered debts.



Only 6.7 percent of the world's population is a college degree-holder. 

            And Israel?  According to an OECD report, 47 percent of Israeli citizens hold academic degrees – second highest in the world, after Canada.

            And who are Israel’s up-and-coming scientists? 

            The top 20 places for the most students taking five units* of chemistry and 34 out of the top 40 places in biology were Arab** towns. In the top 20 towns in the Arab sector a whopping 46-35 percent of the students taking biology and 41-22 percent in chemistry opted to take the maximum five units. (Israel HaYom, OECD, Yediot)  


*   equivalent to advanced courses

** The Arab sector – where Arabic is the language of instruction (Christian and Muslim Arabs, Druze and Circassians).



While there’s amble evidence that Israelis in all walks of life are ‘political animals’  who follow the news – there are always exceptions.

            A politically-erudite Tel-Aviv tattoo parlor operator called police after a young man entered his shop, removed his shirt exposing what the proprietor immediately identified as an al-Quada flag on his shoulder The potential client asked the tattoo artist to tattoo another flag - what the proprietor instantly recognized as an ISIS flag - on his other shoulder.

            The owner refused and threw the walk-in out on his ear, then called the cops. After they got a good look at the suspect on the shop’s security camera, the officers scoured the neighborhood easily collaring the customer whom it turned out was a clueless (‘harmless’) idiot who told the law officers that he saw the flags in the newspaper (but apparently didn’t read the accompanying copy) and thought they were ‘neat looking’…

            They might as well have been Sanskrit. (Israel HaYom)



Eat your Wheaties? If there is a ‘breakfast of champions’ it resides in the milk, not the dry cereal.        

             A study of one hundred 20 year-olds conducted by Dr. Tali Sinai from the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Agriculture in conjunction with Asaf HaRofe Hospital found children who drink milk are taller than children who don’t drink milk. (Keep in mind: The proverbial ‘Land of Milk and Honey’ not withstanding, according to HaAretz 75 percent of Jews are lactose intolerance.)  

            Generally speaking, children in recent generations have been taller than their parents due to improved nutrition, but Dr. Sinai found kids who didn’t drink milk were on the average four centimeters (1.57“) shorter than their moms and pops who did drink milk… In some cases they were even ten centimeters (!) shorter (3.9”) ) than their parents. (Yediot, HaAretz)



Forget about gatkez (long johns in Yiddish).  Jewish mothers who want to ensure their kids will always be warm, even if they fail to heed their mother’s pleas to ‘take a sweater, just in case’ in fact have an extra ace up their sleeve if one swallows the advise of Rabbi Eliyahu Chai-Avitan: All anxious new mothers need to do is save their newborn’s placenta (!) before it ends up in the hospital incinerator (or in a cosmetic jar) and it will work like a charm.

            No, the kid doesn’t have to wear the placenta or something equally gross*. The mother only needs to bury the placenta (where he didn’t say) for a lifetime insurance policy against being cold. (Israel HaYom

* or grosser, such as  Easy and Delicious Recipes for Cooking with Placenta and DIY Placenta Edibles: Smoothies + Tincture + Chocolate on Amazon.



Buying a new apartment ‘on paper’ is a gamble when it comes to ‘who will be the new neighbors’ but an Israeli detective service is offering to take the guesswork out of the equation, at least when it comes to buying a second-hand apartment.

             For 570 NIS ($150) Chakirnet will provide information about the seller, the neighbors (occupation and number of children), unusual squabbles between neighbors in the condominium or any criminal activity in the building (prostitution or drug dealing). Likewise the detectives offer landlords the same services – background checks on potential tenants. (Yediot) Photo credit:



Remember Arab claims that Israelis ‘stole’ humous?

            Well now there is hard evidence that the Galilee is actually the cradle of humous-eating dating back to prehistoric times.

            Ten thousand years ago inhabitants indigenous to the Galilee were most probably wolfing down humous from domesticated chickpeas.

            Excavations near moshav Ahiyahud in the Western Galilee revealed prehistoric inhabitants west of the Jordan River (i.e in Israel) were not domesticating and eating primarily grain during the ‘agricultural revolution’ as previously thought (and found elsewhere).

            Digs from the Neolithic period found domesticated ful or broad beans and other lentils…including chickpeas, were the inhabitants’ main staple – a matter of affinity or taste, not just a main source of nutrition, underscore

archaeobotanists from the Weizmann Institute. (Israel HaYomPhoto credit: Israel Antiquities Authority.