Eretz Yisrael Time

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010
We were at Binyanei Hauma today, when we saw the strangest looking row of metal posts in the ground.

At first we thought they were to keep the cars from parking on the sidewalk (that makes sense in Israel), but at second glance we saw what looked like electrical sockets on them.

At closer inspection we saw that the poles were put there by "Better Places", Shai Agassi's electric car company.

These are recharging posts for electric cars (and there was no obvious pay system connected to it that we could see).

Now, as it happened, there were no electric cars parked in front of them, but the infrastructure is there, in case some did.

Saturday, September 25, 2010
J-Street is in the news. We've discussed Soros's connections to J-Street in the past, but now it's a big story.

J-Street denied the Soros connection. Now it's coming out that Soros and some Filipino woman (Consolacion Ediscul) in Hong Kong (of all places) are the 2 biggest donors to J-Street.

Friday, September 17, 2010
G'mar Chatima Tova.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Founds these on sale in the supermarket the other day.

At those prices I just had to fill up the shopping cart.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Every year there is a religious battle in Israel. There shouldn’t be one anymore once the compromise was reached (and it was), but some people just can’t let go, just to score cheap points with their electorate in this populist war.

(And it is a religious battle, no matter what other claims and arguments are being sprung forward.)

I won’t deny that I like that Yom Kippur ends around 6 instead of after 7. While the fast may be the same 25 hours, we all count the hours when it ends from the time we wake up.

But changing the clock wreaks havoc. It’s easy enough for me to look at my watch and say “another hour, go back to sleep”, but go tell that to your kids who know what time it really is – and wake up (and stay up) accordingly.

And isn't that the worst?

And wouldn't it be nicer if the Chol Hamoed Sukkot day ended later so the day trips needn’t end in the dark.

Yet it’s nice that Shabbat and holidays starts earlier, while the kids are still awake.

And that brings us to Pesach.

Wouldn’t you rather the Seder started earlier, so the kids could stay awake “later” and enjoy it to the end?

But then, there are the Pesach day trips that would be affected negatively.

In short, changing the clock just messes everything up.

How about we compromise for one year and don't change the clocks at all.

That would be a twist in time.
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Shana Tova to all my readers.

May this year bring us a true peace, geula, parnasa, and everything good for Am Yisrael.
Monday, September 06, 2010
Man arrested at Large Hadron Collider claims he's from the future

A would-be saboteur arrested today at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland made the bizarre claim that he was from the future. Eloi Cole, a strangely dressed young man, said that he had travelled back in time to prevent the LHC from destroying the world.

The LHC successfully collided particles at record force earlier this week, a milestone Mr Cole was attempting to disrupt by stopping supplies of Mountain Dew to the experiment's vending machines. He also claimed responsibility for the infamous baguette sabotage in November last year.

Mr Cole was seized by Swiss police after CERN security guards spotted him rooting around in bins. He explained that he was looking for fuel for his 'time machine power unit', a device that resembled a kitchen blender.

Police said Mr Cole, who was wearing a bow tie and rather too much tweed for his age, would not reveal his country of origin. "Countries do not exist where I am from. The discovery of the Higgs boson led to limitless power, the elimination of poverty and Kit-Kats for everyone. It is a communist chocolate hellhole and I'm here to stop it ever happening."

This isn't the first time time-travel has been blamed for mishaps at the LHC. Last year, the Japanese physicist Masao Ninomiya and Danish string-theory pioneer Holger Bech Nielsen put forward the hypothesis that the Higgs boson was so "abhorrent" that it somehow caused a ripple in time that prevented its own discovery.

Professor Brian Cox, a CERN physicist and full-time rock'n'roll TV scientist, was sympathetic to Mr Cole. "Bless him, he sounds harmless enough. At least he didn't mention bloody black holes."

Mr Cole was taken to a secure mental health facility in Geneva but later disappeared from his cell. Police are baffled, but not that bothered.

Sunday, September 05, 2010
1. Health funds (Kupot Cholim). I've praised Israeli health funds in the past, but I am going to revise and edit that opinion in a longer post sometime in the near future.

In the meantime I'll say that while Israeli HMOs are excellent for the day to day stuff, if someone get sick with something more serious than strep or an ear ache, there is a big difference between the HMOs, their capabilities, and their policies.

New Olim: Stay far, far away from the Maccabi Health Fund. Without a doubt this is the worse HMO in Israel. I can't emphasize that enough.

Which HMO instead? I'm not yet sure. My wife is in Clallit. She's happy, but she also knows how to push within the system to get what she needs (and she couldn't make any headway at all within Maccabi, which says a lot right there).

But I now think that every family should absolutely supplement their government required HMO policy with private insurance.

For years I had BUPA (from the UK). It was expensive, but over the years they refunded every claim I made.

I don't have any recent experience with them, so I can't specifically recommend them, but when evaluating different private insurance programs for Israel, I would certainly use them as the base line in terms of comparing coverage.

2. Rosh Hashana shopping. Over the years we discovered that on average Rami Levy generally has the best prices. Last year their prices went up a bit, but he seems to have found his calling again.

We've been hearing a lot about a place called "Osher Ad" (there's one on Beit Hadfus street in Jerusalem). It is supposed to have amazing prices.

So we went there to check it out. It's a large supermarket for Jerusalem. The aisles are extra wide. There's two or three times the length between the shelves and the checkout counters compared to regular Israeli supermarkets so you don't feel crowded in once your done.

They have a wide selection (wider than Rami Levy on many items). And everything is Mehadrin, which I prefer.

In terms of prices, the answer is not so straight forward.

Their prices on chicken's and meats seem to be a little higher. But they have a much wider selection of Mehadrin meats - including American-style cuts.

The main advantage is that they have numerous discounts when you buy items in volume.

Shopping is apparently geared to the Chareidi market with their large families. If you are feeding a family of 10, then no doubt Osher Ad, with all their volume discounts is going to come out cheaper. But if you are buying one of each for a smaller family, and not in bulk, I'm going to stick with Rami Levy which is closer, and I think cheaper.

But when I'm looking for those American-style cuts of meat, it's good to know you can pick up a (good) Mehadrin London Broil and Roast Beef at Osher Ad.
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