Sunday, 23 April 2017

Accessibility at the Botanical Gardens in Jerusalem

I'm having some difficulty deciding what order to post these photographs. Both of them tell an important message.

I hope you enjoyed your Pesach. During Chol HaMoed we had a wonderful time exploring some of the nature in Jerusalem. Our first trip was to the Botanical Gardens. What a beautiful place! We very much enjoyed the variety of plants, landscaping and the contrast of different sections.

Being an occupational therapist, one detail struck me and that is the accessibility ramps for those who find walking difficult. The above image illustrates one of very many ramps provided to enable anyone with a stroller or in a wheelchair or walking with a walking frame to be able to enjoy the Botanical Gardens too. 

When we were leaving, we noticed the sign found in the image at the start of this post. The sign states in both Hebrew and English "The accessibility ramp was made possible by an anonymous donation". I was so impressed and touched to read this. Firstly, not everyone understands the need for an accessibility ramp let alone wishing to make it a reality by providing for the expense to build it. Secondly the fact that the person made an anonymous donation shows that their intention was to assist those who will benefit from the accessibility ramp and not in order to gain any glory for themselves. I was so touched to read this notice. It definitely added a very positive flavour to the already wonderful trip.

Have you visited the Botanical Gardens in Jerusalem? If not, make the time to spend a good few hours there. There are many ramps so accessibility can not be your reason for not visiting. 

Enjoy and let us know what your favourite section was or what you enjoyed the most about your visit.

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer, author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story" and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom".

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Pesach Preparations in Jerusalem

Preparing for Chagim in Israel is always an experience! We never know what to expect or what challenge will crop up. A few years ago, we had no table for Pesach and no lights either. At the last minute someone kindly helped us obtain some kind of light and we found a folding table to enable us to put our food somewhere. Not the kind of experience we wanted and the run up to Chag was a challenge to say the least.

Last year our landlord insisted we had to move right before Pesach. We still had a contract but that did not prevent him from finding all kinds of manipulative ways to force us to move. So 2 days prior to Pesach we had to move. The move was one I would rather not remember. Having no fridge was one of the greatest challenges. We had moved to an unfurnished apartment and hence needed a stove too. We purchased a stove in a hurry and thought we obtained a good brand.

Well as the run up to Pesach has arrived, so our next challenge has hit. Take a look at the image of our stove. Yes, it is still within the year of having purchased the stove. No the pieces are not removed for cleaning purposes, they were removed by the company as the stove has a fault. It is taking daily phone calls to find out what is happening with our repair and lots of prayers to receive our stove and parts on time. We can not use either the stove top or the ovens. Eating has become rather interesting, lots of salads. It's enough that space becomes a juggling act as each item is cleaned, it would be so nice to be able to use our stove to cook regular meals.

So, please support our services and products and help us to be able to enjoy the Chag in a normal manner. Most of all, to be able to have a nice hot meal on Seder night would be so amazingly, wonderful.

You can help us by purchasing one of our books:
 - "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" a nature story for children by Eliyahu and Shoshanah Shear, illustrated with photographs.
- "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" in Hebrew by Eliyahu and Shoshanah Shear
- "Relationships" a teenage novel by R.A. Kahn
- "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story" by Shoshanah Shear

Purchase one of our Gifts or Freelance services via our website If you do not see the creative gift you are looking for, do send us a request. We are happy to provide a quote and work on commissions to meet your unique needs.

Are you in need of occupational therapy intervention? Occupational therapy is offered by Shoshanah for women, teenage girls and children in Jerusalem.

Sign up for Torah shiurim with Rabbi Eliyahu Shear. You can study the Torah topic of your choice individually or in groups. Shiurim take place in Jerusalem in person or via Skype with webcam. Get a group together and enjoy a group rate.  Shiruim are even available for seniors.

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer, author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story" and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom".

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Growth and Development for a Hebrew Birthday

Today was my Hebrew birthday, always a difficult day for me. I am not sure when it became such a hard day. Perhaps it was when I realised how many years had been taken up with a chronic illness, perhaps it's the realisation of how many moves I have made. Perhaps it's the fact that I seem to put in so much effort but still the struggles remain. If I could just have some stability, that would help so much. I mean 43 moves in one life time is really quite insane.

So I rounded up my mom and my husband and off we went to Kever David and the Kotel tunnels. To me this was really significant. Firstly David HaMelech (King David) had really wanted to build the Temple and put in so much effort. It was of course his son King Solomon who had the merit of building the First Temple. King David wrote Tehillim, the Psalms that are filled with his own struggles on all kinds of levels. King David certainly endured much suffering but came through it all praising Hashem. It's so very special to live in the Holy Land of Israel and to be able to visit these special places. A strong reminder that the history we read of in the Bible and teachings form Judaism are not just stories they are real!

As we walked from the grave of King David to the Kotel, the above image was one of very many impressive sites that we could visit or enjoy along the walk. The image says so much. I don't know enough about the history of all the excavations, but it has a powerful effect when standing and pondering it for a while. There are places that have some signs with information. One can learn up more for those who are interested. For me, it is enough to have that strong message that King David yearned for the Temple and here I was walking to the ruins where the Temple had stood. What will it take for this generation to internalize the same kind of yearning that King David had?

The line today to get to the Kotel was super long. It seemed like every tour in Israel was coming to the Kotel today. I thought the waiting would never end, but of course, as King Solomon teaches, everything has it's time and so the time to go through to the Kotel happened for us too.

Going into the tunnels is so incredible. I love being able to see the progress as the team working inside excavates, improves, cleans. Do they do some building too? Finally we were able to stand at the very special place that is opposite the Holy of Holies. Praying there is always special. It would be nice if the tour groups would have some more respect for those who are praying. Oh well, I guess we have to put in our fair share of struggling to make up for what Jerusalem has been through.

All in all, it was special to have the opportunity to have the reminder of what is important in life and where our focus should be. Focus on the Temple is something that we have our attention on during our prayers three times a day.

With all the crowds and the pushing, we were left with mixed feelings. The place helps to give one a reminder of what is important to the life of a Jew. It helps us to realise just what a miracle took place in the Holy Temple every time the Jews gathered to pray. Quite a thought to consider that there was enough space for everyone? A total miracle!

As the day draws to an end, I ask you to join me in reaching my goal. To use my skills to develop a special centre. The centre contains a number of services. We have even spoken about having a vehicle that we can use to take groups of students or visitors to visit these Holy places and Kivrei Tzaddikim. What are your thoughts about visiting these Holy Places? What are your thoughts about the Kotel? Do you yearn for it like David HaMelech did? Will you join in to build a centre that has services set up to do our part in Hastening the Final Redemption?

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"


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