Monday, 18 July 2016

Sharing, Planning and Listening to Our Readers

We have been so busy with our move, unpacking, trying to get sorted, dealing with the consequences of a dreadful move, getting to know the new neighbourhood etc, that I am totally out of ideas of what to blog about. So here it is, another post. This one doesn't have a tip or guidance. This post shares what we have been up to and provides an offer for you. 

Firstly, what's happening on our end. Well, as you might know if you have visited this blog before, we moved. We are very blessed to have returned to Yerushalayim. However, aside from the challenges of the move, coming to an area we have not lived in before, it's almost like making Aliyah all over again. It takes work and networking to figure out the most suitable Shul and community. Discover the necessities such as healthcare, post office, stores most suitable for us and of course finding out how to get to know others in our area. All of this is the type of effort one has to go through when coming to Israel to begin with. All I can say is it helps so much that we already know Hebrew. It helps so much that we know some basics. It helps a HUGE amount that we have learned to fight for what we need.

Just the other day we received a phone call from the post office to let us know that our few months of having our mail re-directed is up and if we would like an extension it's time to start paying. This was just one of our many challenges. Since they had not re-directed anything in the few months, I did not see any purpose in paying. A few days of phoning and negotiating later and we managed to discover where the error was and to obtain a few months free re-directing of our mail. Of course, we wait to see what will transpire next, but persevering and going after your needs is the name of the game in Israel. A good dose of Tefillah helps a lot too.

So we've been doing our networking and our sorting and getting organized. We tried to do some moving sales and now some post moving sales. We have a few items still to sell from the post moving sale. Then begins the fun stuff. Moving on to some creativity, a few books coming out and quite a bit of planning happening.

So now that you know what we have been up to, we invite you to post a comment below to let us know what your needs are. What would you like to read about? Would you like to receive a regular newsletter? If so, what topics related to Making Aliyah and Having a Successful Klita are of interest to YOU? We'd love to hear from you. It will help us a great deal to plan our next few blog posts and to find out how to serve our readers better.

We look forward to hearing what your needs are.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Walking in the Footsteps of our Ancestors

One of the things I love about living in Israel is the fact that every step one takes is walking in the footsteps of our forefathers. This is the very land promised to Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov. There is so much history here and it's ours. 

The reality that Eretz Yisrael is filled with the history of the Jewish people was highlighted for me a few days ago when reading the news. I came across an article of someone who went for a morning walk or run and ended up finding an ancient artifact. Sadly I can't manage to find the same article, if anyone knows of it, please link it in the comments below. 

Imagine going for a walk and finding something that proves the history that we learn in the Bible? How would that make you feel? Does it increase your belief in the Torah and the history of the Jewish people? What would you do with the item you found? Would you know where to take it to?

Please do share your answers below. If you are a historian or archaeologist, please post in the comments below that anyone who finds an ancient item can know whether they can keep it and if not, what to do with the item.

It's so exciting living in Israel, walking in the footsteps of our forefathers.

Shoshanah Shear

Friday, 10 June 2016

The Harmful Effects of Noise Pollution

I struggle to believe what I am hearing. We had to move from where we were mostly due to intolerable noise. Now in the new apartment, a few weeks after moving in the school at the end of the road began blasting what they call music over loud speakers so that it was way too loud even many buildings away. People get angry if I say anything. Am I really the one to get angry at?

Do you know that there are serious side effects affecting ones health from exposure to noise pollution. I took a brief look at MedPub and wrote down the first 3 articles that I found. I'd love to do a literature review of all the effects. Here are just two side effects of quite a few on the list.

The first identified in the first two articles of which I have quoted just a sentence or two is Hearing Loss.  Know anyone who is deaf? Do you know what it is like to be deaf? If not, read this article for a few thoughts shared by a pensioner who used to be a teacher and is almost deaf as an consequence of her work.

Article 1 with reference after in brackets:
"Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is an important occupational disease worldwide resulting from interactions between genetic and environmental factors..." (Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Jun 3;13(6). pii: E561. doi: 10.3390/ijerph13060561. Genetic Variation in POU4F3 and GRHL2 Associated with Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Chinese Population: A Case-Control Study.
Article 2 with reference after in brackets:
"Noise induced hearing loss is a slowly developing hearing impairment, caused by occupational exposure to excessive noise levels, constitutes a lesion of the auditory analyzer and clinically manifested as chronic bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. Currently, there is not a treatment that provide a cure of sensorineural hearing loss" (Med Tr Prom Ekol. 2016;(3):37-48. 
[Article in Russian]
The next article is sad to hear of too. Article 3 with reference afterwards in brackets:
"Exposure to road traffic noise has been associated with adiposity and diabetes in adults. The suggested pathways have been through sleep disturbance and stress. Children may be particularly susceptible to noise induced sleep disturbance and stress and the effects hereof.... The conclusion of this study demonstrates: 'We found suggestions of a positive association between road traffic noise and risk of overweight in 7-years old children.' The problem affects both pregnancy and children." (Environ Int. 2016 May 31;94:170-176. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2016.05.016. [Epub ahead of print] Pregnancy and childhood exposure to residential traffic noise and overweight at 7years of age.
This is only 3 articles, there are many more to come and many more horrible side effects
What are we doing to our children? Is noise blasted over loudspeakers so that it is heard from the other end of the street really a good education? Do we want to create deaf people? Do we want to create obese children or those with diabetes and other horrible conditions? The noise teaches the kids to be angry, disrespectful, unhappy, inconsiderate, unpleasant people who can not think straight to comprehend the consequences of their actions. Is this what we want for ourselves or our children? How about teaching our children to be calm, relaxed, considerate, polite, kind, deep thinking, who care about this world, the environment, nature, animals and each other? How about teaching our children to love. How can there be love when loud noise is blasted at deafening levels? Where is space for love in such conditions? Love and peace require soft gentle music, soft voices, even surprise, surprise silence. When there is silence there is space to hear the still small voice within us and to be guided by our intuition. When there is silence there is the potential to contemplate, to open up to the fact that the world was created by a loving, omnipotent Creator. There is the potential to feel love and express love and peace to others. But unity and love don't happen where there is such complete lack of respect by blasting the neighbourhood with inhuman levels of noise.
What will it take for adults to learn that noise pollution is not healthy and the consequences sometimes are not treatable.  What will it take for us to care about our children and the message that we give them through our actions? When will we learn that what G-d wants is peace not war, love not hatred, calm not unbearable noise. 

Are we ready for Shavuot? I know I'm not, the huge noise has left me with a tight stomach, raising pulse, difficulty thinking and a huge headache. Classic symptoms of stress. 

What are you going to do to prepare for Shavuot? Will your preparation be conducive to receiving the Torah or the opposite?

Remember, prevention is better than cure!

Shabbat Shalom

Shoshanah Shear


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