Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Searching for Statistics Related to Orphans in Israel.

I'm busy doing research to figure out the next step in the work we do assisting orphan Chatanim and Kallot. I decided to try to obtain stats on orphans in Israel. The central bureau of statistics in Israel was unable to provide stats but referred me to the Bituach Leumi site. I am still trying to find the correct spot on the site for the information I require but was amazed with other information I came across.

Have you ever spent a little time looking at the Bituach Leumi website? Here is the link if you would like to look yourself.
 Did you know there is something for righteous gentiles. I was focused on what I am looking for so did not look further but that says a lot. 
 Did you know that Bituach Leumi offers counseling for seniors? There are all kinds of other headings and information on the website.

The only topic I have found thus far related to orphans was for me very, very upsetting. The title was for the assistance provided for those under 18 years old who have become orphaned from one parent in domestic violence. That to me is really frightening. The fact that abuse and domestic violence exists in Israel is hard enough to consider.. But, the fact that it would be of a level that children become orphans shows how severe it is. 

Since I prefer prevention and sustainability of health to rehabilitation, I'd like to hear what is being done to help to prevent this? With one in three or 1 in 3 children living below the poverty line, I can imagine that low income would be a major concern and contributing factor.  What other factors are contributing to this being enough of a problem for there to be assistance provided for the surviving orphans? 

If you are an expert in this field, I'm interested to hear your thoughts.

If you yearn for a time of peace and healthy functioning of all, then please do be in touch. 

Concerned and saddened to read such information.

Shoshanah Shear

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Message for Chanukah from the Lubavitcher Rebbe

As we prepare for the forth light of Chanukah, we decided to interrupt our theme of Chanukah songs with some light of Torah in the form of a message from the Lubavitcher Rebbe on Chanukah.

I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Third night of Chanukah

We have just lit the third candle for Chanukah and it's time for another beautiful song. This time we are happy to share a song produced by Boys Town Jerusalem Choir. Beautiful voices and special boys.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. 

Chanukah Somayach everyone

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Monday, 7 December 2015

Second Day of Chanukah - Greetings from Eretz Yisrael

It's cold with clear skies in Eretz Yisrael. After a busy day, it's time to prepare for the second candle of Chanukah. The candles look beautiful as always and so now we share another Chanukah song.

Have a very joyous Chanukah. May the lights of the Chanukiah bring light, warmth and blessing into your home.

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Chanukah begins - Chunukah Somayach from Eretz Yisrael

It's a wonderful time of year to be in Eretz Yisrael. The cold is starting outside but the houses are aglo with the special lights of Chanukah.

Tonight we light the first light of Chanukah. I wanted to listen to some Chanukah songs and had to search for something I'd enjoy. This is the first that is a little different and rather fun. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

If I manage to, I'll try to share others during Chanukah. What is your favourite Chanukah song or memory? Do post below, we'd love to hear.

Have a very special, fun filled, light and happy Chanukah and stay warm.

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Monday, 30 November 2015

Private Occupational Therapists in Israel

I have posted about this before, and am excited to say it looks as though we finally have enough occupational therapists to get started. What is this about?

If you are an occupational therapist in Israel and are interested in working privately or have already begun to do so, please be in touch to join a network / support group for OT's in Israel working privately.

Please send me an email with your email address, area of O.T., whether you are licensed here and how often you would be interested in meeting. Meetings will take place virtually due to location of OT's. There is potential to meet in person too from time to time or as the need arises.

Stay tuned for information of our first meeting and / or feedback regarding the highlights.

If you are an occupational therapist, working privately is of interest to many and certainly has the potential to help you to be successful here in Israel. Come and join us and let us make this a very successful network group.

I look forward to hearing from you

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Welcome Home From Israel to ALL Jews

Yesterday I posted in a social network group asking if anyone had questions related to making Aliyah. I had little response. One person stated she had so many questions, too many to ask. The next person came up with a link to an article of 10 reasons why not to make Aliyah.

Having moved 42 times in my life so far, lived in 5 different countries, 9 different cities and a whole bunch of neighbourhoods, my response is, there is no place like home. Where is home? Well the video below gives a little insight, or a lot. 

If you are Jewish and considering making Aliyah, Israel is our home. Don't be put off my negative talk or problematic politics or any other issue that might be standing in your way.

We invite you to post your comment or question below. We'd love to hear from you and would be happy to address your issues, concerns, thoughts, ideas in future blog posts. If you have a valuable or inspiring story to share, do be in touch to submit a guest post. 

When it comes to Aliyah, we are all in this together. Together we CAN build up the country that Hashem gave to us! Together we can make it happen. 

Have a blessed day

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

5 Dangers of the Minimum Wage Mentality

When I was a student, I was aware of the concept of minimum wage from the point of view of human rights. It is important not to pay someone below a certain amount. That part I understand. However, after making Aliyah, a different angle was introduced to me which is actually very dangerous and rather troubling. The idea is that of pushing Olim into minimum wage work. Actually, I have seen it also with the orphan Chatanim and Kallot that we assist, even those who are born in Israel. Most troubling is the extent to which someone who comes to Israel with a profession or a skill and have a desire to strive towards earning a decent income will be encouraged or even pushed into minimum wage in general and very often this will be menial tasks such as cleaning houses.

This ideology is very damaging and I often wonder if this is what has contributed to the high percentage of unemployed and poverty in Israel. 

Let us take a look at some of the dangers:

1) A person who earns minimum wage will have a limit to his or her income. This means that if anything arises (which happens in life) that requires more than the very basic minimum, the earner is unlikely to have the means to pay for it. 

2) Many food items that are necessary for a healthy, balanced diet do not fit into the budget for a minimum wage worker which can result in health problems. This can lead to other expenses or loss of earning potential and a risk of becoming a strain on the community.

3) Someone who is earning a minimum wage is often unable to afford courses to be able to improve his or her situation in life. This then becomes limiting and has detrimental psychological or emotional consequences.

4) A person who earns a minimum wage will probably be unable to afford a down payment on an apartment. This forces the person to rent and can result in the person moving frequently. Moving is one of the highest stressors. Stress has a direct negative impact on health and can negatively impact many aspects of the persons daily functioning.

5) If someone remains in minimum wage work once they have children, the expense of providing for a child or children can become too much for their budget. As a result, a vicious cycle can and often does arise of poverty for the next generation. Items that low wage earners often begin to scrimp on are toys and educational materials, amongst other items, which can then lead to limitations on the learning potential of the child (children). 

These are the first five dangers that come to mind, it could be there are more. If you can think of others, please do share them in the comments below. Though there is a role of minimum wage to make sure that the general population is not taken advantage of, there are risks of forcing people into minimum wage. One of the biggest dangers is creating a society that believes that earning adequately to cover all of ones needs is anything from wrong, impossible, not accepted etc. The truth is that everyone has not only a right but an obligation to determine for themselves what their budget is to cover their daily expenses and to strive towards obtaining an income that will enable them to meet these goals and needs. 

If earning above a minimum wage is important to you, do be in touch for the occupational therapy services of Shoshanah Shear with a special interest in empowering widows and orphans.

Have a blessed day

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist, Freelance Writer
Author and Aliyah Coach

Friday, 20 November 2015

Yedid Nefesh with Dudu Fisher

I love to hear the Israeli accent especially when singing. This week we share a music video by Dudu Fisher. Yedid Nefesh always reminds me of Israeli dancing.

Enjoy. If you know the Israeli dance to this, why not get up and dance. Dancing is always good to lift the spirits and get one into the Shabbos mood.

I hope you enjoyed. Have a very blessed Shabbat.

Shoshanah Shear

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Re-focusing Through the Beauty of Israel!

After some frustration I needed to re-focus and looking at the beauty of Israel is always something that helps. 

Here are just four photographs, but they each tell a powerful story and certain have the potential to touch the heart of any Jew. 

What helps to keep you focused? What is your focus?

Frustrations of Getting a Cellphone Repaired

I do not remember if we posted a blog about our difficulty in upgrading our phones. We had quite a few issues we had no expected. Bottom line is don't believe the salesman. Well, months later, the cell phone slid out of the expensive cover that is supposed to grip it and prevent falls and fell only 10 cm or less. The lovely, expensive shatterproof protective shield did not shatter. It was amazing, not a scratch. Yes, it is shatterproof. Problem is it does not protect the screen underneath and hence the screen on the phone itself did crack. What did we waste money for on something that did not do the job the only time we needed it to?

Oh well, so the screen cracked and needed repair. Next began a few day hunt for the best way to repair that is affordable, reliable and honest. First we tried in our neighbourhood. A day and a half later we find no-one here can do it. One place charges for a quote and then will take 2 weeks to repair. They presume a repair of around a certain amount but the time it will take and the difficulty to get the phone to them is not easy and we decided to look elsewhere first. Next we find out about a few places in town who can do repairs. We went from place to place. In two days we found places that alter prices amazingly. One place gave a nice initial quote which doubled within a few hours. Another charged something reasonable only to up the price shortly after. On top of this was the frustration of so many who were just not interested in talking to their customers or potential customers. I guess business is so good in sales that they don't need to worry about repairs. 

Finally we were tired and frustrated and left the phone with someone who promised to repair for x price and to call if there was anything found prior to repairing. 

Well no call happened and though he did replace an expensive part the final result is the crack on the screen is still there.

So now we ask, where are the honest stores? Where are the honest repair places? Has technology made us slaves? Or is there still some honest good business?

If you have a good business experience to share, we'd love to post it as a guest post or to here it in the comments below. No SPAM will be accepted but if you can share a good recommendation we need some positive leads to give us hope that there are still good service providers and sales people.

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Sunday, 15 November 2015

How to Purchase Cell Phone Accessories in Israel

Technology is a reality and often a necessity for work, communication and safety. So how do you know where and what to purchase? We have a few tips for you when purchasing cell phone accessories, cell phones / mobile phones too.

1) Do your research. Go online and look up whether a model, brand or accessory is popular and why. If it is not popular in Israel, the reason for this is very important and will help you to decide whether the purchase will be in your best interest or not. Regarding cell phone accessories, in addition to popularity, look into whether the item will meet your needs. 

2) Shop around for best prices. If a store says "this is the best price in town and you will really need it," shop around to find out whether the information they give you is true. 

Here is an example. We were told in a certain store that the covers they were selling for the mobile phone was the best available and the best price. Was it? We took a few hours and wandered around in downtown Jerusalem and found covers that did a better job at more than half the price.

What is the lesson? Do your homework. It might be that you find a better item at a better price. Remember, when it comes to the cover for the mobile phone, selecting the right one can mean the difference between your phone sliding out and dropping, causing you the additional cost of repairs too, to being safely held in place so that dropping or falling is very unlikely.

So make it a habit to do your research and shop around. Once you have all the correct information, you can make an informed decision and the most appropriate purchase for YOUR needs.

Have a blessed week

Shoshanah Shear

Friday, 13 November 2015

Shalom Aleichem Music Video and Shabbat Shalom

A few weeks ago someone requested that I share Shalom Aleichem as our Shabbat Song video, to be played obviously before Shabbat. I immediately sat down and began to look for a suitable video with the traditional well known Shalom Aleichem. Surprisingly it is not so easy to find. So if any Jewish men out there have a beautiful singing voice and are able to make a music video, please make a video with the classic Shalom Aleichem that many are used to hearing in their home on Friday night after returning home from Shul.

One issue I had was the amount of videos made by women. Yes, women can have beautiful singing voices and musical talent, however, Shalom Aleichem to me is traditionally sung by the men in the house or the father of the house and I was looking for a male voice.

Next, many were made by all kinds of versions of Judaism. I am not prepared to be promoting distortions of truth so those videos were ruled out.

Next came all kinds of musical variations on the tune of Shalom Aleichem. The first video here is very lively and beautiful. It is a little different to one's usual or traditional Shalom Aleichem but it is sung by a choir of Jewish boys and is very enjoyable to help you to get into the mood of Shabbat.

For those who prefer the real traditional tune, here is a video with this for you.It took a lot of searching to find, but here you are. I hope you enjoy it.

Whatever your ideal version of Shalom Aleichem is, the song is sung when one returns home from Shul and is ready to begin Kiddush, HaMotzi and then the Shabbat meal. I hope you enjoyed one or both of the videos shared above and with that, I have Shabbat preparations calling me and needless to say you will too.

Have a very blessed and joyous Shabbat

Shoshanah Shear

Thursday, 12 November 2015

The Little Things That Matter

We had to take care of some banking issues this morning. On the one hand there was some frustration, we had to travel to our bank in order to take care of something that could have been taken care of via the telephone. With all the frustration, we had to admit that this business gave us a reason to travel through central Jerusalem and to walk the streets of one of the Holiest cities in the world. As a result, it was certainly not a wasted trip. Every time one walks four Amot in Israel is a Mitzvah. Breathing the air in Jerusalem makes us wise. So we gained from our trip even though the reason for going in was frustrating.

After dealing with the bankers, completing the business at hand, we had an experience that ONLY happens in Israel. The assistant asked if we had managed to receive the help we needed and everything was taken care of. Nice to hear such concern and yes that can happen anywhere, but then he continued with a hearty "Chodesh Tov!" Only in Israel can the bank assistants or the taxi driver, the bus driver, the cashier and others too of course, wish you Chodesh Tov. Where else will you get that? 

So it was that our frustration was abated by the wonder and honour to be in this most special city. To wish a fellow Jew Chodesh Tov in return and then go on to meet a friend, make a delivery. Life in Israel is certainly special and the mundane business gets transformed into merits in wondrous ways. 

When last did you visit Jerusalem? Are you already in Israel or still planning on coming? If you are not yet here, what is holding you back? Come! Where else can your footsteps, your breathing and even doing banking be a blessed and meaningful experience?

Have a blessed day

Shoshanah Shear

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

One of those Days!

There are some days when the challenges in Israel make one wonder, "What was I thinking in coming here?" The last few hours have lead us to start asking "What the...! What happened to basic honesty?"

On those days, once I calm myself down, the best thing that helps is to remember that Israel is a holy land and we are here to do some repair work to get it to the stage ready for the final Redemption. It is the only thing to help keep us sane.  

What is the answer? Ask questions. Join groups for Olim. Search for solutions and do what you can to improve what is possible to be improved. Spend some time doing some Tehillim and praying to Hashem for assistance. Give some Tzeddakah, do some Torah learning and stay focused in your role as a Jew in Israel. Remember, there is the right way to do things and when it comes to Israel that can only be the Torah way. If it means asking and asking and asking, lots of prayer, learning patience, lots of work, then do so. Remember, your effort can help in some way to repair something that needs repairing.

Remember also, we are all Olim here, the question is just whether it is you who is the Oleh / Olah or your parents or grandparents. Only a few Jews remained in Israel after the fall of the Beis HaMikdash and the exile of Am Yisrael. For the rest of us, we are all Olim so there is much to be fixed up.

We really urgently need Moshiach and Redemption.

What do you do to give you strength when things become challenging? We'd love to hear, so please post a comment at the end of this post.

Have a blessed day! Stay warm, stay dry and stay safe. 

Shoshanah Shear

Monday, 9 November 2015

Flooding in Ashkelon

Winter has certainly arrived in Israel. In some parts of the South, the weather seems to be rather heavy to say the least. Having had flooding in Tel Aviv area about a week ago, today we have been alarmed to see photographs and video footage coming onto Social Networking of flooding in Ashkelon. Can you imagine cars with rain up to the roof? Can you imagine being inside your apartment with water gushing in through the open window or around the closed door?

It's not easy to imagine, so take a look at these videos

In the next video you can get to learn a little Hebrew.

We read in the Chumash about the great flood. These images given one a glimpse of what it might have been like. We pray for rain but perhaps there is more that we need to pray for.

Have a blessed day. Stay safe and keep dry.

Shoshanah Shear

Friday, 6 November 2015

Recommending a Computer Expert

A few days ago, I posted a question asking for helping regarding our website and particularly our online sales. I posted the question in a network group for freelancers in Israel. For a few days I had no response and then one person did, he posted a positive comment with an invitation for me to ask more questions. I took him up on the offer and enjoyed a quality conversation. Though he usually builds websites on WordPress, I was pleasantly surprised to find that he is not biased to WordPress. He gave some solid and practical advice that, helped me to make a decision that had been holding us back for months and put my mind at ease with the next step in our online services.

It is a pleasure to recommend Michael Cina. Michael Cina is the owner of ScotPlanet IT Services, providing friendly computer support services to businesses, organizations and private homes around Israel, since making Aliyah back in 2012. ScotPlanet provide you with great service, expert advice and training, help and support for your computers laptops tablets and mobile phones.. We also offer a comprehensive diagnostic and repair service for all Apple computers iPads and iPhones.

Find out more about ScotPlanet by visiting the website at
Have a blessed day
Shoshanah Shear

Gaining Inspiration with the Yeshiva Boys Choir

What kind of a week have you had? Has it been productive? Have you achieved something you had no expected to? If you are considering making Aliyah, have you done anything this week that will help you to achieve this goal? If you are already in Israel, have you done anything this week that will assist you to have a successful integration into life in Israel?

If you need a little inspiration, a song in your heart to lift your spirits and keep you focused on the purpose of Am Yisrael in this world,  then you will enjoy this video.

No matter how crazy the world around us seems to be, in a few short hours it will be Shabbat, a time for us to unite with our Creator and to enjoy rest, company of friends and family, learning some Torah, singing uplifting songs and all the good things that Shabbat has to offer us.

May you have productive preparation for Shabbat and may this Shabbat fill you with all the strength and inspiration to carry you through the coming week. 

Shabbat Shalom

Shoshanah Shear

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Learning About the Different Business Structures in Israel

I spent an enjoyable morning today at the Jerusalem Nefesh b'Nefesh office in a very informative workshop. The workshop was on "Choosing the Right Legal Structure for your Business". The workshop was a little over two hours long and presentations were offered by both a lawyer and an accounting firm.

The legal side was presented by Russell Mayer who has his own legal firm in Israel,  Livnat Mayer & Co. Attorneys at Law and also a FaceBook group entitled "Ask an Israeli Lawyer".  In the limited time available, Russell outlined the different types of for profit and not-for-profit options for working independently, including some important tips relevant for Olim. 

The accounting side was presented by Jeff Nurkin & David Beychok of NurkinCPA. This presentation included a lot of information for Olim who are US citizens. If you have made Aliyah from the US, it is a good idea to consult with an accountant who is an expert in US taxes. There are many details to take into consideration even if one has married an Israeli. 

A definite bonus for me was to discover that Nurkin CPA assists with applying for the ITIN number. If you are not a US citizen and publish a book via an American company such as CreateSpace, you will need to apply for an ITIN number. Now you can know where to go to for assistance in this process.

After a full question and answer session, for some details we were recommended to consult with an Israeli Accountant. A wonderful piece of advice was that most accountant will give about half an hour of a free session in which you can ask questions related to your work. It is of benefit to the accountants as if they provide the answers you require, you are more likely to hire their services.

If you know of any good Israeli accountants, prepared to give advice to Olim wanting to work privately or to be self-employed, do be in touch, we love to develop a list of who to turn to for such information. Please note, comments are moderated. We do not permit SPAM. Any accountant (or other professional) that we add in a list we will be in touch with to get to know prior to listing them on this blog.

Thank you for your co-operation and understanding.

Have a blessed day and wishing you much success in Israel.

Shoshanah Shear

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Archaeology in Israel - Proving the Bible

Have you spent any time reading the Bible or Chumash which means the Five Books of Moses? If you have, have you taken note of any references to Israel? 

How about Tanach that in addition to the Five BOoks of Moses also includes the Prophets and the Writings - Chumash Neviim and Ketuvim. If you read Tanach, you are bound to come across references to Israel. Information of the connection between the Jews and this precious land. 

While many through the ages question the right of the Jewish Nation to exist and where we should live, there are Archaelogical excavations that are proving what is written in the Bible. You do not have to believe what I say, here is a video that provides a little insight into some of the findings of King David in Israel.

I hope that watching the above video will help you to see a little of the beauty of Israel and to hear some of the fascinating and special discoveries taking place in the various excavations. This one relates to King David, but there are of course other discoveries.

The beauty of this special land is definitely something that touches the heart of every Jew no matter how much they try to pretend that they are not Jewish. Somehow we have a connection. 

Whether you are already in Israel, are preparing to come to Israel or need some encouragement to do so, let videos such as this one give you the incentive to come home. Come and help us to build the land that G-d gave to the descendants of Avraham, Yitzhak and Yisrael.  But remember, as many in Tanach warn us, we need to keep together AND to live in the land according to G-d's rules. When we do, He fights our battles and blessing comes not only to Israel but to the whole world.

Have a blessed day or evening

Shoshanah Shear

Monday, 2 November 2015

Challenges of Preparing a Sale in Israel.

When you move to Israel, many things are different and take getting used to. Our current project is to have a sale to sell as much of our stock as possible in preparation for moving to more appropriate premises and to give us funds to research some changes and / or developments in our business structure. To make it successful I began to search online for some articles and videos that will give me ideas.

The first difference for a sale whether it is a moving sale or yard sale between the videos viewed in the US and setting up a sale in Israel is location. In the US, it stands to reason that a yard sale or garage sale will be in your garage or your yard or on your front lawn. In Israel, where so many live in apartment buildings, having your own lawn to spread out your items to sell is not necessarily an option. So we are back to the drawing board for the most suitable venue for our upcoming sale.

Next is the recommendation to have a sale on Saturday or Sunday. Well in the diaspora, Sunday is a weekend so that makes sense. In Israel Sunday is a work day. So we need another option for best day to hold a sale. Saturday is Shabbat which is a rest day, sorry, selling is not a part of one's rest day or day of rest. Hm, recommended days are not working.

Thus far our research has provided two more questions. At least there is one task we can do, we can go and label our items with prices for the sale. So if you have an answer or suggestion, please post it below. In the meantime, I am off to go and price our items. 

Stay tuned for the date and venue. If you wish to host a sale do be in touch

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Friday, 30 October 2015

Preparing for Shabbat with Eishet Chayil

We've made it through another week. There is much in the news and yet Am Yisrael continues, thank G-d. Friday means time to prepare for Shabbat and what better way than to get into the mood with a beautiful video of photographs in conjunction with Eishet Chayil. "A Woman of Valor who can find?" Proverbs 31 written by Shlomo HaMelech (King Solomon) the son of David HaMelech (King David). King Solomon was the 3rd King of Israel and merited to build the first Beis HaMikdash.

Enjoy the beautiful singing, let it enter your heart and help you to prepare a beautiful Shabbat with joy and hope for our speedy redemption.

Do you have your menu prepared? Is your house clean and ready? Do you have fresh clean clothes to wear? If not, you have today to get this together but remember in Israel, the clocks turned back so Shabbat comes in earlier. Make sure you have the time right for candle lighting.

Shabbat Shalom everyone

Shoshanah Shear

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Level of the Kinneret, October 2015

We have another day of thunder and rain in Israel today. While some areas are flooding we hope that the level of the Kinneret is rising nicely. The level of the Kinneret listed on the 25th October just before all this rain was quite concerning. We need a very good season of rain in order to restore the level to a healthy level.

Have you read much about Lake Kinneret also known as the Sea of Galilee? Did you know that it is well below Sea Level? Did you know there are two water levels that are constantly being monitored, these are known as the upper red line and the lower red line. Below the lower red line is a black line which is a level that becomes problematic to the ecology if the water drops so low. The past year the water level has dropped to very close to the lowest red line. The graph below shows the water levels with the upper red line, the lower red line, the black line below the lower red line. The lowest point on the right side of the graph is the level the water had reached by 25 Oct 2015.

As you can see, there have been years when the water level is touching the black line. We do not want this to happen for many reasons.

This information together with the graph can be found on the website SavetheKineret 
You can return regularly to see the changes in the graph, it is updated regularly.

Since water is very important for healthy living, there are many ways that are recommended to conserve or save water. Did you know that there are close to 200 ways to save water? Do you know any of them? Do you put them into practice? An important one is to teach your children the value of water and not to waste it. 

Here is a fun one, if you accidentally drop ice cubes, don't just put them into the sink, instead, put them onto house plants.  

Be a leak detective, check all faucets, connectors, hoses etc for leaks. If there is a leak, repair it speedily.

Time your shower to keep it under 5 minutes, this will save water estimated at being 1000 gallons a month. 

There are many more ways to save / conserve water. What is your favourite method of conserving water? Is conserving water important to you? For more ideas, you can take a look at the website water use it wisely

Stay warm, dry and safe

Shoshanah Shear

kinneret level image

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

It's Raining in Israel!

At the end of Sukkot we began praying for rain. This morning we can certainly say that winter has arrived. It's time to take out the winter woolies and all the necessary rain gear. However, today's rain is no regular rain. 

The weather forecast for certain parts of Israel today said "intermittent thunder storms". It is wonderful to be able to say the blessing on thunder and the rain is certainly falling but the quantity is quite substantial to say the least. We got soaked when out doing errands today only to return home to see photographs of friends around Israel with amazing images. The water level is ankle deep in places, knee deep in others, up to the window on the car in some places. One friend posted that the street cats are having to go onto the roof for protection.

In parts of Israel, residents have been out of electricity a few days ago due to the rains and again today.

This is just the start of winter and certainly is a dramatic start. Hashem is certainly telling us something, are you stopping to listen?

I am sorry, we did not take any photographs today, but if any readers have good photographs to put into a guest post, please be in touch. 

Stay warm and dray this winter and be safe.

Have a blessed rest of your day

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Tuvia Finds His Freedom in Hebrew Now Available Online

We have the great excitement of announcing that the Hebrew version of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" is available online for sale / purchase. If you would like to teach your children about how to be kind to animals, what to do if they come across a lost animal or would like to help them to improve and maintain both English and Hebrew, here is your opportunity.

Ever noticed tortoises in kids picture books? Ever considered if the drawing is accurate? Find out about the differences between tortoises, turtles and why this is important while helping your child to read and learn in both English and Hebrew.

In an easy to read book, illustrated with photographs, you can teach your child all this and more.

Purchase on the CreateSpace eStore:
"Tuvia Finds His Freedom" written and photographed by Shoshanah and Eliyahu Shear
  The Hebrew version of Tuiva Finds His Freedom - תוביה יוצא לחופשי

Purchase on Amazon

"Tuvia Finds His Freedom" written and photographed by Shoshanah and Eliyahu Shear
  The Hebrew version of Tuiva Finds His Freedom - תוביה יוצא לחופשי

Just follow the links of the highlighted titles and you will find the books online. We look forward to letting you know where else it will be available for sale.

Thank you for your interest and for supporting our children's book.

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Monday, 26 October 2015

Rachel Our Mother

Shabbat that has just passed was 11 Cheshvan, the Yartzheit of Rachel Imeinu one of the four Matriarchs of the Jewish Nation. The story of how our mother Rachel came to be buried where she is, has been documented beautifully in the two video's below. I have decided to include both as they have slightly different details and each contributes to helping us to appreciate the important role of Rachel Imeinu. Of course the 11 Cheshvan was also the birthday of her younger son Binyamin (Benjamin) the younger brother of Yosef HaTzadik.

If you watch both videos, they give a glimpse as to the transition happening in Israel and a major problem that leads to many of the difficulties we face as a Jewish Nation. May the Matriarchs and Patriarchs protect us and cry for us. May we in turn strengthen our connection with them and our commitment to both Torah and our Holy Land. Imma Rachel has been crying for long enough, it's time we work together to hasten the final redemption.

The video below includes some beautiful old photographs, hence adding this as well as the above video. 

Both videos are prepared by licensed tour guides. Don't let the current problems in Israel keep you away, come and visit and remember to support our tour guides.


We hope you have been inspired by the videos above. 

In the text above you will find a few Hebrew words. Immeinu אמינו is Hebrew for our mother. Imma אמא is Hebrew for mother.

Have a blessed and peaceful day

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Clock Change

Have you changed your clock? Have you figured out how this time change works?

If you make Aliyah from a country that does not do day light saving, the concept of changing your clock will be a foreign one. I have had to do this for quite a number of years now and still can not fathom why we have to alter our clocks. Why can't we just leave time to proceed as it does. But people being people interfere with even human devices such as how to quantify the time.

Early this morning, the clocks moved back so that 2 am became 1 am which it actually had been all along. 

Do you have a funny story to tell regarding changing the clock, how to know when the time changes etc? I know I had a hard experience twice due to clock changes. I hope your experience has been easier.

It takes a bit of getting used to and our bodies never quite adjust, but Israel joined the countries that do day light saving. So make sure your clocks, watches, phones etc are all on the correct time.

Have a blessed day

Friday, 23 October 2015

Preparing for Shabbat

It's Friday and time to prepare for the upcoming Shabbat. No matter how hard things are at present, we as Jews have Shabbat. We invite you to enjoy this YouTube video presented by the U.K. Shabbat Project. - Sing Shabbat, Join my Song -- Love Shabbat, Keep it Strong!

What are you doing for Shabbat this week? Wherever you are, may it be filled with all the goodness, peace and beauty of Shabbat. If you have not experienced a full Shabbat before, contact your nearest Chabad Centre or Synagogue and ask if you can be invited to join a family who keeps Shabbat. Remember, there are many, many laws involved in keeping Shabbat correctly. If you are ready to learn, do be in touch with Chessed Ve'Emet, you can learn at your own pace individually or in a group. Shiurim are offered online and in person.

Shabbat Shalom to everyone

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Learning from Reb Aryeh Levin

In the confusing time we are living in, one way to gain strength is to learn from the Tzaddikim. In this post we share three short YouTube Videos about one of the Lamed Vav (36) Tzaddikim of our time, Reb Aryeh Levin March 22, 1885 - March 28, 1969. A very special rabbi who lived in Yerushalayim.

Watch the video's, listen to the Hebrew if you can. The videos have English subtitles. This provides those wanting to improve their Hebrew with an excellent way to do so. 

Reb Aryeh was known as the "Father of Prisoners" 

Reb Aryeh was a man of kindness who cared about everyone.

We hope you enjoyed the above videos. Do let us know your thoughts and what you have learned. Is there a Tzaddik or Rabbi you would like to learn about?

Shoshanah Shear

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Functioning to Your Optimum in Israel of today

If anyone knows the profession of occupational therapy, yes, the title gives away that I am an OT. We are living in times that are very volatile, uncertain and stressful. We have lives to live but how is it possible with everything that is going on?

It is easy to get caught up with the chaos taking place and the fear that naturally arises. Since my profession is all about helping others to function to the optimum I decided to put my mind to what can we do. Many ideas you might have seen posted on various social network groups, but it sometimes helps to have the information written in a point form list.

1) The first tip is to remember to breath, take deep breaths and force yourself to be calm. If you notice fear coming up, concentrate on your breathing.

2) Keep talking to Hashem. Remember, the eye of Hashem is on the Land of Israel every moment of every day. Pray for peace, pray for the right leadership in Israel, pray for our Redemption. Pray for your safety and the safety of all Israel. Tell G-d what you are feeling and ask Him to help and guide you.

3) Take on a page of Torah to learn and / or a Mitzvah to fulfill to help to increase peace in Israel and the world at large. If you need guidance as to what Torah to learn, how to learn or what Mitzvah would be most suited to you, do be in touch with Chessed Ve'Emet, we are happy to guide you through this.

4) Be prepared that means: 
   - do regular exercise to make sure you are fit in case you need to run
   - take a self defense course, preferably Krav Magar
   - find out the law related to Pepper Spray and make sure you have one in case of need and have
     learned how to use it.
   - learn about first aid at the time of a potential attack. If you are able to, prepare a first aid kit to 
      have with you.  Of particular importance are gloves that are non-allergic and bandage that is 
      secure in it's packaging to be sterile and clean in case it is needed to use.
   - make sure to eat a healthy balanced diet, adequate nutrition is very important to maintain your
     health in general and in a time of stress in particular. 

5) Keep informed as to what is happening but put a limit on this so that you can free your mind to function effectively in your daily life. Spending all day watching the news or social networking will interfere in your time to carry out important tasks of daily living as well as increasing your stress levels.

6) Make sure you have time for some kind of creative outlet. It can be your daily exercise if this is what you enjoy most, it can be listening to music, drawing, writing, something that helps you to feel good about being you and alive in this world. 

7) Spend a few minutes or longer looking at the beauty of nature and creation. It helps to give us strength and to re-focus. If you need to look at nature in books or on a slideshow or a youtube video, that is fine too, as long as you are looking at something calming and beautiful. If you are able to interact with nature whether it is arranging flowers, tending to plants, caring for a pet, bringing some colour and beauty into your life, these activities are rejuvenating and calming.

8) Do an act of kindness every day. It can be listening more attentively, helping your fellow, smiling at your neighbour, taking care not to disturb your neighbour, learning how to be kind or any other act of kindness . Kindness is what helps the world to function and can tip the scales in favour of peace.

9) Limit your time on social networking and especially the nature of posts you put up. Be especially careful when wanting to share news of what is happening. It is easy in the moment of hearing that  something occurred or seeing something to want to tell everyone. Learn what is permitted and what is not. Remember, there are times that keeping quiet is also important for security reasons. There have been a number of posts requesting that we refrain from sharing certain information, if the request is from an authority e.g. IDF or retired soldier, it is being shared to be adhered to.

10) Spend some time learning the laws of Shmirat HaLashon (guarding your tongue), very powerful to help to bring peace. Make sure too to put the laws you learn into practice.

11) Maintain regular contact with friends and family. If you are going out somewhere, let a friend or relative know where you are going to and when they might expect you home. If you live alone, get to know your neighbours and find a community that is warm, caring and offers some kind of support. If you need to, join a group of some sort it can be exercise, art, photography, synagogue, music any type of interaction with others where you can develop the type of relationships with others that someone will know and care about where you are and what you are doing. 

If you are feeling stressed, stress management and relaxation sessions are offered for women and children in Israel. 

I hope you have found these thoughts helpful. Do you have any tips to share? Any important links that should be included? If so, please let us know for a future post or to revise this one.

Stay safe and may we all merit the immediate redemption

Chessed Ve'Emet                        

Friday, 16 October 2015

Shabbat Shalom From Eretz Yisrael

It has been a hard week in Israel, but Shabbat is coming. While you clean, cook or whatever else you need to do to get ready for Shabbat, here is a youtube video with a selection of Erev Shabbat Songs to help you to get into the right mood. The songs also have images, some of them very beautiful.

Let the music help you to stay focused on what it is to be a Jew. Remember, more than the Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews. Let our observance of Torah and Mitzvos protect us and tip the scales in favour of an immediate Geulah.

Shabbat Shalom to everyone.


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