Sunday, 29 March 2015

Preparing for Pesach

This time of year is a very special time to be in Eretz Yisrael. As most Yidden are busily preparing for Pesach, there are details that need reminders.

1) Cleaning is to remove any Chometz. It is of course wonderful to clean away any dust and make sure your home is clean, neat and in order, but if you are pressurized for time, the rule of thumb is to make sure you have removed all Chometz. Any other cleaning is extra.If in doubt, check with your rabbi.

2) While clearing your cupboards, refrigerator, freezer etc, remember your medicine cabinet also needs checking. There are certain medications that are permissible for Pesach and some that are not. The Chief Rabbi's office puts out a list of those medications that are permissible for Pesach. If you have not seen the list, ask at your local pharmacy. If you have a need for certain ongoing chronic meds, make sure to prepare in advance. If necessary ask your doctor if there is a suitable alternative if the medication you require is not on the list or what s/he suggests for the 8 days of Pesach. 

On another note, the Matza that we eat on Pesach contains certain healing properties. May we all merit a complete Refuah on every level and to greet Eliyahu HaNavi and Moshiach THIS Year.

Happy cleaning everyone. May we all enjoy Chag Kasher Ve'Somayach

Shoshanah Shear of Chessed Ve'Emet

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Voting in Israel - Observing Contrasts

Yesterday was voting in Israel. Whether or not you agree with the politics currently happening in Israel, living here results in all kinds of experiences. Here are just two observations of the time leading up to and including voting day in Israel. It show the contrasts.

In several areas from a few days prior to voting, the streets became littered with flyers. This photograph was taken in Mea Shearim - Geulah area in Jerusalem. As you can see the road is an absolute mess.

What does this achieve?
 I really do not understand why anyone would throw a bunch of flyers on the street. Is anyone really going to bend down in the middle of a busy crossing and pick up a flyer to read why to vote for a given party? 

Aside from the impractical littering, who do they expect will clean this up and why should someone have to clear up someone else's mess like this?

In another area, many of the flyers had photographs of Talmudei Chachamim. I don't think it is Mechubad to walk on the face of a big rabbi which means that walking along the sidewalk or crossing the street is time consuming and complicated as one has to play dodge the flyer.

Contrast the mess to the Kivrei Tzaddikim. This image is taken where Rav Ovadya Yosef is buried. On voting day, many Jews turned to the Tzaddikim to intervene for good for Israel. Anticipating a large group to come to Rav Ovadya Yosef, a large canopy was erected to make sure there would be shade for those wanting to spend time Davening.

We hope and pray that the outcome of the election will bring us closer to Geulah, the final redemption and the coming of Moshiach, the only real leader for Am Yisrael. 

Sunday, 15 March 2015

What Can One Do With Coins?

Someone asked what he can do with all the small change that builds up. Since we manage a Gemach and are at times given a bag or jar of coins, we have had a bit of fun finding out this answer.

Here are the responses we have been given.


You can prepare your coins into bags of e.g. ₪10 worth of 10 agarot coins and take them to deposit into your bank account or to be changed into larger denominations of coins. The bank has patience for ₪10 coins or possible 5's, but for 10 and 50 agarot coins we were informed that there is a service charge. How much will depend on your bank.

Post Offices:

You can pay off postage in coins at post offices but if you wish to change coins for larger denominations, there is a service charge. Make sure if you are paying for something in small coins to only do 1-3 Shekels worth at a time. If you try to do more, they mostly lose patience. Also, try to do this when there are not many other customers as they get impatient waiting while your coins are counted.

Money Changers:

If you have ₪10 worth of smaller coins to change provided some coins are 1 Shekels or 50 agarot coins, they might change it. But not if they are all 10 agarot coins. Mostly, they lose patience.


The pharmacy near us is almost always out of small change and very happy when we go in with pre-counted and packaged bags of coins. Check with them how much they will take at a time and only do this when there are no other customers as it takes time to count out.


Some stores are very happy to receive small change. Check with the stores in your area and find out what day of the week they would be happy to change your small change for larger money.

Bus tickets:

Bus drivers tend to be in a hurry. Mostly they don't have patience for someone paying with small money or with ₪200 note. If you use 10 agarot coins, use just 1 Shekel worth or less.

If you swap your small coins for larger money in a jar and keep using it, actually you will be surprised how easy it is to find 50 agarot worth of 10 agarot coins here, a Shekel worth there and so on.

IF you are really frustrated with your small change, many Gemachim will accept them. You are welcome to be in touch, with another Kallah coming to Chuppah, all donations are greatly appreciated even in small coins. 

What to do with 5 agarot coins is a topic we have already covered.

We hope this post has been beneficial for you. If you have further questions or have any thoughts, please post them below. 

This post is prepared for you by Shoshanah Shear of Chessed Ve'Emet


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