Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Garden -- I was wrong

September wild white asters aren't biennial.
They're annual or perennial.
Mine are blooming right now. 
So is the basil I planted this year; different plants have been blooming for months now,
spinning off new branches which pop their little white flowers.
I get a whiff of them once in a while when the wind blows just the right way.
As the spikes turn brown, I'm running a lightly closed hand over them, hoping the seeds fall into the planter.
Maybe I'll have a couple of dozen plants next year if I'm lucky.
MMMMM pesto.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Monday, September 29, 2014

Outdoors -- I'm just a lonely boy

I think my mockingbird's wife divorced him.
He's been traveling for a block in every direction advertising himself.
He's really good.
He's loud but not too loud.
He's versatile; yesterday I heard him "do" both a Carolina wren and a blue jay.
Mockingbirds don't normally do blue jays because mostly they are enemies.
Also mockingbirds prefer to imitate musical calls, and blue jays just scream.
My guy is showing off.
He can show her a cozy holly tree to nest in.
He can show her lots of pokeberries for winter food.
He can show her a big bird bath for drinking and splashing.
But he's still out there advertising so I'm guessing he hasn't had any takers.
I'm enjoying it but I'm not a mockingbird.
If you know any single lady mockingbirds, send them my way.
I'd love to watch a few more chicks grow up in my yard next year.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, September 28, 2014

DIY -- Basic Cooking VI Frying

It's been six months since my last basic cooking post, and sometime before that I mentioned frying.
When you fry food, one thing is crucial.
You have to get the oil very hot.
You have to get it to at least 300 degrees, and 365 is better.
What people don't realize is that to do that, you have to use vegetable oil.
Not olive oil.
Not canola oil.
If you try to heat olive or canola oil hot enough for frying, it will start to smoke long before it gets to the right temperature.
It has to do with chemistry.
Now some of you are saying, I thought high temperatures created trans fats in fried food.
Absolutely correct.
That's why you shouldn't eat much fried food.
Use olive or canola oil to sauté and caramelize vegetables but NOT to fry.

The second clue is only fry small pieces of food. 
Frying a whole turkey is a recipe for a heart attack.
The reason you need small pieces is so they cook fast.
The shorter a time they're in the oil, the less they soak up and the less transfats you get.

And unfortunately, if you fry breaded things, the breading soaks up tons of oil.
So chicken nuggets, batter dipped fish, even fried green tomatoes are things you should have maybe once a month.

Next time you make French fries, use vegetable oil, get it boiling hot, cut your potatoes no more than one quarter inch thick, and pull them out as soon as they get brown.

And then wait at least two weeks before making French fries again.
Maybe you thought you would get a pass on frying if you DIY'd,
but I can't do that because it's not good for you.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The World is Coming to a Beginning!

The world begins again tonight.
It's been a good beginning.
The blog has posted nearly 7000 real-people pageviews.
If you're new here, see these pages for the big stuff:

The Mendel Beilis trial transcript English translation -- first ever end-to-end.
Fact-Checking the Torah -- busting those urban legends.
Bit at a time Bible Hebrew -- trying to teach you to bust urban legends for yourself.
DIY -- how to save money by changing your habits, including basic cooking for yourself.

Plus all my garden and outdoors fun.

How about you?  If what you're doing isn't working the way you thought,
what about doing something you've never tried before?
Or trying again something you thought you failed at?
Only do it differently this time.

You have a chance to begin again every day.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Knitting -- jumper/pullover assembly

You are ready for this stage if you've finished knitting both sleeves.

For each sleeve, fold it so the right sides are together.
The right sides are the ones with the loops that you looked at when you were KNITTING a row.
Sew the underarm seam using the backstitch from the bottom of the cuff to where you bound off stitches for the underarm.
Now turn it rightside out.

Turn the body rightside IN.
Fit the sleeve into the armhole, matching the bottoms where the stitches are bound off.
Find the middle of the top arch of the sleeve and fit it to where you bound off the shoulders.
I often use a big tapestry needle as a pin. YMMV.
Use backstitch to sew the sleeve into the armhole.

Now do the sleeve on the other side.

Now try it on.
If you have about a 40 inch chest it ought to fit your body.
If you measured your arms and used enough rows the sleeves ought to come to your wrists.
If you did enough increases in the sleeves, they shouldn't be tight on your arms.

If all of these are problems, now you know how much you need to add or subtract on your next jumper.  Or pullover.  Whatever you're calling it.

Email me if the problems are bad, and we'll figure something out.  But I might have to ask you what your measurements are, and I know some people wouldn't want to give them.
That's why I gave you some hints how to calculate rows and increases for yourself.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Monday, September 22, 2014

DIY -- I admit it

It took me a while to work up to trying the russell that I made some time ago.
But last week I had some homemade beef stock and decided to stop being a wuss.
So I scraped the mold off the top (it had been in the fridge the whole time)
and spooned out some of the beets
and stewed them in the stock.
It's a little funkier than straight beets but it's not bad.
And obviously I survived long enough to post this blog entry.
So now I can add another item from the list of recipes in my old Jewish Festival Cookbook
to my list of accomplishments.
But I don't plan to put in a special request with my kosher butcher so I can try gebratene euter.
Look it up.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Outdoors -- blackbirds

Monday, it was the blackbirds.
Only a few days after the starlings left, the blackbirds took their place for less than half an hour.
I heard them calling to each other,
saw them collecting in the trees.
I went out to convince myself it wasn't crows.
Crows will mob a small tree and break it down.
These birds sailed spread-winged into the branches of the big elm and oak to perch.
Crows mostly have to flap every stroke to get their big bodies along.
These birds maneuvered neatly, steering with their wedges of tail feathers.
Crows mostly fly a straight line, not trusting to their tails for maneuverability.
These birds came to the ground and I could judge their sizes.
Crows don't like to fly low over my backyard because I go out and clap my hands so that my palms pop.
The sound is just like a gun going off and the crows have been pretty well trained to stay away.
So that they don't eat our baby goldfinches, cardinals, catbirds, mockingbirds, blue jays.
Which they have a habit of doing.
Anyway, after I was sure it was blackbirds, I went in.
It was chilly.
I turned off my ceiling fan, which I run almost constantly in summer.
It's autumn for sure.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fact-Checking the Torah -- Exodus 22:27, 23:1-3, 6-10; Leviticus 19:15-16

Your assignment was to read Exodus 22:27 and 23:1-3, also Exodus 23:6-10 and Leviticus 19:15-16.
You shall not curse masters or a prince among your people you shall not curse…
You shall not raise empty rumors, you shall not set your hand to act with an evil person to be a witness for chamas.
You shall not go after the “many” for evil and you shall not start up a quarrel to justify going after the “many” to pervert.
You shall not favor a weak man in his case…
You shall not turn aside the justice of the poor in his case.
Stay far from a false word and do not kill the innocent or the righteous for I shall not justify the evil.
You shall not take a bribe because bribes blind the shrewd and distorts the words of the righteous.
Don’t oppress [a stranger] for you know the soul of the stranger for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
You shall not do evil in judgment, you shall not respect the face of the poor or honor the face of the great, you shall judge your people righteously.
You shall not go about backbiting your people or stand by the blood of your neighbor, I am the Lord.
The rabbis used three verses here to derive their rulings about how to conduct a court.  These verses are the basis for requiring, not a simple majority, but a supermajority, to convict and condemn somebody to death.  They also used them to argue that when you are in the minority to acquit, don’t keep quiet, speak up.  Finally, just because somebody is poor or a stranger or otherwise disadvantaged is no reason to let him off when he clearly is in the wrong.
Then the next set of verses starts out with the opposite proposition – just because somebody is poor or a foreigner is no reason to convict somebody who is clearly not guilty.
The first verse from Leviticus emphasizes that to judge rightly, courts have to be blind to money and influence, which goes with the prohibition on bribery in court.  The second, in part, prescribes not standing by the blood of another, that is, not letting somebody off when clearly they should be convicted – but it also means not to convict under pressure from others when that would result in the death penalty.
But there’s another take on these verses that I find only part of in Talmud and that’s in the next lesson.  That will be two weeks from now because next Friday is Rosh HaShanah.
 © Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bit at a time Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 2:2-3

Genesis 2:2-3
ב וַיְכַל אֱלֹהִים בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וַיִּשְׁבֹּת בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי מִכָּל־מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה:
ג וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹהִים אֶת־יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אֹתוֹ כִּי בוֹ שָׁבַת מִכָּל־מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר־בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹת:
Transliteration: Va-y’khulu ha-shamaim v-ha-arets v-khal-tsvaam.
Translation:    The heaven and earth were completed and all their hosts.
Vocabulary in this lesson:
He rested
He rested
He sanctified
I italicized melakhah just like in previous lessons I italicized raqia.  I will keep on doing this when I know that the traditional translation doesn’t capture the real meaning of the word. 
Melakhah has a specific meaning in Jewish law.  It means the 40 less one or 39 categories of work prohibited on Sabbath.  You can’t do these things for pay on Shabbat, and you can’t do them for free; you can’t do it for yourself, and you can’t do it for others.  What’s more, if a non-Jew does something that is melakhah specifically to benefit a Jew, the Jew has to refuse the benefit. The only exception is when there is danger to the life of anybody. 
Melakhah also appears in the Ten Commandments, in the commandment to observe Sabbath.  I won’t go into it further.  There are pages and pages of Jewish law taken up by giving the categories and things that are included in them.
What I will say here is that Hebrew has more than one way of saying “work” and each has a separate connotation that shows why “work” is a bad translation for melakhah.  First and foremost, is avodah.  Lavan uses this word to refer to what Yaaqov did to earn his wives.  But Lavan was a foreigner.  In the Bible, avodah mostly means worship of Gd.  They have similar underpinnings; avodah is solely dedicated to Gd, and Yaaqov worked for Lavan and couldn’t work for anybody else at that time.  In modern Hebrew, avodah means what you do for a living.
In Mishnah, what you do for a living is peulah.  This word is rarely used nowadays and is never used in the Bible.
A third word is maasayv, “his deeds.”  Yosef is doing “his deeds” when he is working for the jailer.  But he is doing melakhah when Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce him for the last time and that has the connotation that he was working on a holiday; all the Egyptians were at their temples and he was the only one in the house except for her.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Beilis trial rewrite -- The Anvil

I wrote The Anvil while I was translating the transcript for the Mendel Beilis blood libel trial.
It helped me keep score in all the confusing testimony.
I think it turned out to be an exciting story, especially as I cover issues that the trial didn't explore.
For example, I think I know what killed Zhenya Cheberyak.
I think I know where the 40,000 ruble figure came from that was supposed to bribe Vera Cheberyak.
I'm offering The Anvil for sale.
A real customer has test-driven this process.  Hopefully it will keep working as business picks up.

Price of The Anvil is USD$7.00. 

Payment is through Paypal.
You don’t have to have a Paypal account; you can use your credit or debit card.  Paypal will handle the security for your credit card number; I will never see it.

If you are not sure whether Paypal operates in your country, ask me and I will check.
How it works:

  1. I send you an email requesting the purchase price; this comes through my Paypal account and they email me a copy of the request.
  2. You respond to the email with your payment and Paypal emails me about that.
  3. I email you the PDF in PDF/A format with bookmarks for each of the chapters.  It is read-only and you can print it.
I will not be selling The Anvil through Amazon.  They demand too high a share of profits.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Garden -- new planting

I talked in an earlier post about planting in fall. 
You'll have to let me know whether you did and how it's going.
It's so cool here this year that I decided not to put in hardy fall vegetables.

In fact, I pulled out the tomatoes Sunday.
Picked off all the greenies.
Put them in a bowl with an apple and covered it.

I'm about out of grocery store carrots so I'll dig up my own.
They're bushy and green from all the rain.
Last year a bunny ate the greens until I put cayenne on them.
This year's bunny concentrated on clover.
Until one time when I chased him off and he realized he was too big to get out through the fence meshes.
He hasn't been back since although I've seen him in other people's yards.

Anyway, I'm down to saffron tickseed flowers, magenta morning glories, lavender ageratum, and the last of the blue chicory.
And the odd visit from the goldfinch.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Monday, September 15, 2014

DIY -- carpet cleaning

So I just had some work done on my house and I put off vacuuming for a while.
After all, there's always something more fun to do than cleaning.
But with the work done, the weather forecast was perfect with comfortable temps and humidity.
Did I whip out the Woolite as in years past?
I pulled out my baking soda Thursday night.
I sprinkled it thickly, breaking up the clumps with my fingers.
Then I let it sit overnight.
Also the windows were open while the cold front sailed into town.
Then in the morning, I vacuumed up all the white.
It deodorized the carpet beautifully without leaving any chemicals behind.
It also got some stains out slightly.
If you have a bad stain, as long as it's not on a dark carpet, you can make a paste of baking soda, spread it on the stain, scrub, wait 24 hours, then vacuum.
If it is a dark carpet, there's an app -- oops -- there's a solution for that.
Which I'll discuss after I try it.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Outdoors -- starlings

Starling season is over.  Last Thursday scores of them used our backyards as a staging area for their migration.
I first realized it when things got really noisy.
Finally I heard the breezy whistle typical of starlings and got up from some knitting to watch.
The snappy yellow bills on the males are gone; it's not the time of year to mate.
But I could see that they were smaller than blackbirds and the females stood out in their speckly brown feathers.  Female blackbirds are just about the same black as the males.
They were all over the trees.
They were splashing in my bird bath, a dozen at a time.
They were jumping all over my pokeweed for snacks,
those of them that weren't hunting last-minute Japanese beetle grubs on shaven lawns.
I don't shave my lawn, it's 3 inches high, so I don't get Japanese beetles.

It took the whole afternoon for the lot of them to settle who was taking which flight out
and who would  wait and go later
and to sort out this year's crop of kids.
Now it's very quiet.
Except for the sparrows re-establishing their rights, and the chickadees and titmice settling turf battles.
And oh yeah, my mockingbird warbling to show that he's not going anywhere this winter.
Need to get him some raisins and mealworms.
After all, it's officially autumn now that the starlings are gone, and winter usually follows autumn.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fact-Checking the Torah -- Exodus 20:7,13; Deuteronomy 5:11, 17

Your assignment was to read Exodus 20:7 and 13, and Deuteronomy 5:11 and 17.
In case you don’t remember the chapter numbers, we are now back in the Big Ten and I am about to blow up another urban legend.
Commandment 5 about taking the Lord’s name in vain is NOT about cursing.  The rabbis clarified that it means making a vow about something impossible.  If you make a neder performance oath that you will fly over a house just by flapping your arms, that is impossible.  The rabbis call it an oath in vain.  Likewise if you made a neder oath that you saw a Tyrannosaurus rex yesterday walking down the main drag of your town, that is also an oath in vain.
What’s more, this commandment is about praying for things that can’t happen without a disruption in the laws of nature.  The classic description is, if a man finds out his wife is pregnant and prays that the child is a boy, that is a vain prayer.  Before modern pregnancy tests, a woman usually didn’t know if she was pregnant until about the third month.  But the rabbis knew that by that time, the gender of the child has already been determined.  So it’s a vain prayer.  Likewise, according to the classical description, if you come home from a trip and hear loud lamentation, it’s a vain prayer to pray that it doesn’t affect your family.
That is a limitation on free speech and Jewish law could sanction people for this after due process.
Commandment 9 is not about lying in general.  It is about false testimony in court.  You already saw that courts could punish false testimony.
When Jews think of lying in general, they most often think of Leviticus 19:14 which says not to curse the deaf and not to put a stumbling block in the path of the blind.  The first part of the verse is bringing up Gd’s name in vain; a curse isn’t valid without the Lord’s name in it, and the deaf person can’t hear it, so the curse is in vain.
But the second part of the verse grows in importance in Jewish law, to the point where the rabbis defined it to mean doing or saying anything that takes advantage of a handicap, including lack of knowledge.  That is the fundamental aspect of lying: trying to get away with saying something false on the assumption that the other person will think it is true.   
Jewish law does not protect cursing under its free speech rights, and that gets into an important area of any legal code so I will save it for next time.  For now, read Exodus 22:27 and 23:1-3, also Exodus 23:6-10 and Leviticus19:15-16.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, September 11, 2014


In Garden--garlic, I forgot something important.
You have to cover the garlic with your growth mixture.

Hey, it was early, just about sunrise.

Bit at a time Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 2:1

Genesis 2:1
א וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ וְכָל־צְבָאָם:
Transliteration: Va-y’khulu ha-shamaim v-ha-arets v-khal-tsvaam.
Translation:    The heaven and earth were completed and all their hosts.
Vocabulary in this lesson:
They were completed
Their host
The verb in this lesson is an outmoded form.  About 2000 years ago it was replaced by the verb kll and that form is still used in modern Hebrew.  The Biblical form is an example of the pual binyan, which the passive of the piel repetitive form.  It is the aorist.  It’s not a common verb and the pual is something you won’t see a lot of so I’ll just give this tense for the binyan for this verb.
So is this the past or the aorist?
Right, aorist; you can tell because of the first letters.  Look back at lesson 45 to see it.
A “host” is literally an army, so any huge conglomeration of things that are the same.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Knitting -- pullover/jumper sleeve underarms

So you're sure your sleeves are long enough and wide enough to fit you.
Now what?
Now you shape the underarms for set-in sleeves.

On  the next knit row, bind off 6 stitches.
On the next PURL row, bind off 6 stitches.
On the next knit row, bind off 3 stitches.
On the next purl row, bind off 3 stitches.
Knit together the 2 stitches at the start and end of the next 6 KNIT rows.

Knit together means, you put the needle through both stitches at the same time,
wrap the yarn around the needle,
and pull it through both stitches.

Now decrease again on the next 8 rows by binding off the first 2 stitches.
That includes purl rows as well as knit rows.

Bind off the first 3 stitches at the end of the next 2 rows.

Bind off 4 stitches at the end of the next 2 rows.

Bind off the rest of the stitches.

That should make 28 rows of binding off, aside from the top row.

You have another sleeve to knit so that's all for this week.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Garden -- garlic

Garlic is my favorite cooking ingredient.
It is practically flavorless, steamed;
it's sharp raw;
it's savory sautéed;
it's good for the heart.

My garden guru says it's one of the easiest things to grow, too.

Get a big square planter at least 9 inches deep.
Fill it with good growth mixture, like compost with topsoil.
Use a head of garlic you buy in the grocery story.
Since I'm in a zone 6, I would try to find some grown in the same zone or slightly north.
I understand that would be a "hard" garlic; garlic grown in CA is "soft".
It needs the CA climate which I don't have here.
Anyway split your head into cloves as if you were going to cook it.
Plant each one pointy end up with the other end about 6 inches down in your growth medium.
Put it where it can get sun.
Soak the soil every few days if it doesn't rain.
Next summer, harvest by the time the lower third of the leaves turn brown.
If it flowers in spring, cut those off and sauté them into your eggs or whatever.

If you can do this, imagine what else you could grow!
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Monday, September 8, 2014

Outdoors -- found objects

Some of my favorite things in the yard I didn't even plant.
To start with, the lilies of the valley.
They were growing up through the brick in my back patio.
I transplanted some to loose soil and they increase about one stalk a year.
But the ones I couldn't get out of the brickwork are still there and very happy.

One neighbor (now moved on) had a fern one year.  It was lovely.
A good five years later, I now have a fern growing through the bricks of the patio.
With all the rain this year, it is thriving.
Every once in a while some of the leaves turn brown, but the rest of it comes back.
I can't get it out so I'll just hope it propagates.

I liked the fuzzy blue flowers that grew near the  lilies of the valley and put a few of them in a sunnier spot.
I found out later they were ageratum.
That was after they tried to take over the fence.
I thin them back ruthlessly in spring.
But I don't take them out because butterflies like them.

And then there are the little white September asters that grow out of the bushes.
I think they must be biennials; I had some last year but none this year.

And the things the birds brought, and which I leave because they feed on them.
The pokeweed, and the white mulberry.

Before you totally trash something in your yard that you didn't plant,
take at least a year and try to identify it.
Let it go through at least one life cycle, like the asters.
You might like it so much you leave it in, like euonymus or rose of Sharon.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I'm just saying -- low carb

I would never go on a fad diet like low carb.
But I did go on a beef binge recently and realized I wasn't getting nearly as much plant food as I was used to.
What was strange was for the first time in over 5 years, I was having trouble getting to sleep.
As soon as I fixed things back the way they should be, the problem went away.
Google low carb insomnia.
You will find tons of testimonials about getting insomnia while on a low carb diet.

Now, one of the main things that has emerged from research lately is that not getting enough sleep causes obesity.
So I have to ask, why would you ever go on a diet that caused insomnia?  It's counter-productive.

I'm just saying.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fact-Checking the Torah -- benefit-burden tradeoffs

Your assignment was to read Numbers 6:1-9.  This week I’m talking about an important feature of the nazir vow.
This specification codifies a general principle about legal systems.  They do not allow exceptions for personal preferences.  If you want whatever benefits you perceive in taking a nazir vow as opposed to a neder oath, you have to give up grapes, raisins, stuffed grape leaves, and participating in mourning for those near and dear to you, as well as wine.
If you want the privileges of driving a car on the roads, you have to have a state-issued license, purchase insurance (in some states), and obey the rules of the road.  That includes not driving when you are drunk or drugged, not texting when you are in the roadbed, not using your mobile phone when you are in the roadbed, wearing seatbelts, and all the rest of it. 
Slicing and dicing the law to suit your personal preferences is called, in Jewish law, “paskening for yourself.”  It is prohibited even when you are a great sage.  R. Akavya ben Mahalalel held to legal rulings which he heard from the court where he studied and practiced all his life, although other courts held differently.  But when he was dying, he called his son to him and said, don’t rule in court the way I do.  I heard it from a multitude but you heard it from only one person, me. 
In other words the rabbi was telling his son not to pasken for himself.
Legal systems do not exist to pamper the preferences of each individual.  They exist to protect the societal aims and goals and to protect the individuals who agree to live in that society.  Anybody who immigrates to a given nation and becomes naturalized must then live by the laws of that nation.  If an American moves to Britain and is naturalized there, and the police run her into jail because she refuses to answer their legitimate questions or gives answers they suspect to be false, she cannot claim it is wrong because they have no probable cause or reasonable suspicion that she committed a crime.  The latter is the American standard.  As a British subject, she has to live by the British definition.
By the same token, people who convert to Judaism have to obey Jewish law.  If they perceive there to be a benefit, they cannot exempt themselves from the burdens.  That is one reason why Orthodox Jews put prospective converts through such a series of hoops.  They want to make sure that prospects are fully aware of what they are getting into.  An Orthodox conversion under the right auspices automatically goes with the Right of Return, or immediate nationalization as an Israeli upon moving to Israel.  That is how Israeli law reads; it must be an Orthodox conversion under auspices that are not suspected of making converts easily or for pay.  A person who wants to be naturalized in Israel either has to undergo secular naturalization procedures, or Orthodox conversion.  They cannot pasken for themselves.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bit at a time Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 1:31

Genesis 1:31
לא וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וְהִנֵּה־טוֹב מְאֹד וַיְהִי־עֶרֶב וַיְהִי־בֹקֶר יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי:
Transliteration: Va-yar elohim et-kal-asher asah v-hineh-tov m’od va-y’hi-erev va-y’hi-voqer yom ha-shishi.
Translation:    Gd saw all that He had made and behold, it was very good and there was evening and there was morning the sixth day.
Vocabulary in this lesson:

Now let me point out something that I brought up in the first lessons where I talked about how the past tense in Hebrew has a connotation of a “perfect” tense in other languages.  That is, it means something was completed in the past.  Not only that but it was so long ago that it has a similar connotation to the famed and cursed “pluperfect” tense.
The word asah in this verse contrasts with the aorist yaas used in the previous verses.  That’s what gives the aorist its connotation of events in rapid succession, and it goes back to my comment about Gd’s time versus human time.  From Gd’s perspective, the six “days” went by rapidly, but Genesis emphasizes the start and end of the process as something long ago with the past tense instead of the aorist. 
This is the last verse of chapter 1 of Genesis.  Here is a website where you can hear somebody read it in Hebrew.
This is not the end of the story, however.  Jewish commentators say creation was not complete without Shabbat, the Sabbath, which has to occur every seven days.  So the Jewish division of Genesis is different from the chapter division.  The chapter divisions are useful when talking to non-Jews and masses of people don’t know there’s any other way to split things up.  That’s OK.  They don’t care either.
Why Jews care is that Shabbat issue. 
 © Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Garden -- late tomato flowers

I'm a little late discussing flowers on your tomatoes.
It's late in the season. 
In 6 weeks (by Columbus day) you will be pulling out your tomatoes.
If you have flowers on your tomatoes now,
It's too late for them to produce anything as the sun gets lower in the sky
and the light hours get fewer.
You're not wasting anything.
They will keep the tomatoes you have from maturing.

One other thing.  If your tomatoes are cracking at the top,
I'm guessing you've had all the rain we've had, which is a lot.
If the cracks get worse and expose the inside of the tomato, they'll develop disease.
DON'T use completely cracked tomatoes for canning.
You can, however, cut around the cracks and use the good parts in cooking, salads and so on.
So pick them before the cracking gets worse and finish the ripening, if they're not ripe,
inside in a paper bag with an apple.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

DIY -- debt sucks

Actually, that should be Debt Sucks.
It's part of the title of a book.
By a woman whose family paid down $48,000 in debt in less than three years.
She's not old.
She didn't crowdfund this.
She and her family went DIY for three years.
They threw out the premium cable and vacations.
They sold excess toys like TVs.

Here are other ideas.
Get rid of the gym membership.  Seriously, how often do you use it? 
DIY exercise includes mall-walking -- without your credit card -- and wall pushups.

Stay out of stores unless you can't live without it.  If every piece of clothing you own is ripped, and not because it's fashionable, THEN buy something new.
Otherwise you can live without it.

Stay out of restaurants unless you can save part of it.
All restaurants serve too much; if you have an office fridge, only eat half of it and take the rest home for a separate meal.
This will also help you lose weight DIY.

Don't buy chicken tenders.
Buy whole boneless breasts, or better yet, buy bone-in breasts.
You can roast some and take out the bones to make sandwiches.
You can soup some (see the Mirepoix recipe I posted earlier).

Don't use your phone as a grocery list.
The people who go to the store and then call home to see what they should get waste money two ways.
First, the conversations cost minutes on your phone.  If you do that every week, you're wasting money.
Second, it takes longer in the store.  You could be using that time to DIY something at home.
Third, the person on the other end of the phone isn't looking at the unit pricing of items.  They don't know which products are more economical.
Oh wait, that's three.  Well.
The two of you should make a list of what you're going to cook for the week,
THEN the ingredients, and these go on a shopping list.
Which should NOT be on your phone because that uses data minutes and wastes money.
Use the back of an envelope and hand-write the list.
If you can't find something that's on the list, you might not be able to make that  recipe but you can probably substitute.

Don't ignore debt.  Do something about it.  Read Ja'net Adams' book (IN THE LIBRARY) and get some inspiration.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

Monday, September 1, 2014

Outdoors -- more chicks

Was talking with a neighbor.
He has the trees where the goldfinches nest.
Also a tree where the robins nest.
The cardinals seem to have their nest near him, too,
and he says they raised at least two broods this year.
I saw the papa out with one of them yesterday.
He was perching on my tomato tower.
There was a nervous peeping coming from below him,
somewhere down among the tomato stalks.
This is the second year that I've known the cardinals to use my planter for a nursery.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved.