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.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Tuvia Finds His Freedom Soon to be in Hebrew

Some months ago we brought out our first children's book: "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" written and photographed by Eliyahu and Shoshanah Shear. We are delighted to begin the new year by receiving the proof copy of the Hebrew translation of the same book. The book has been translated into Hebrew by Dana Baum who was born in Israel, lived for many years in South Africa and returned to Israel some years ago. We are very grateful for her superb translation. During her years outside of Israel, Dana managed to maintain her Hebrew at the same level as her English and her translation certainly shows a wonderful talent.

The Nikud (vowels) has been inserted by Rabbi Eliyahu Shear and proved to be quite a learning curve. Not only to make sure that the grammar is correct but also in learning about the various software programs that enable one to insert Nikud. Having completed the task of inserting the Nikud, Rabbi Shear had to alter the photographs to have Hebrew captions instead of English ones and then to complete all the formatting to ensure that the Hebrew version is the same as the English one. A big challenge was the cover. The English cover had been created using a template provided by CreateSpace. Obviously, this time the cover had to be reversed which the template did not permit as easily, thus necessitating creating a new cover. 

We are in the process of reviewing the book once more in all the necessary detail and look forward to sharing information of the Hebrew version of the book being available for purchase.

In the meantime, if you would like to pay for a book in advance, we are taking orders and will be happy to deliver as soon as the proof copy has been approved.

You can purchase the book in English or in Hebrew or in both. Why would you like both? Whether you would like to help your child to improve his / her reading in Hebrew and to gain excellent vocabulary or whether you would like him or her to maintain their English, having both books will assist with this. Likewise, the book can be fun for an adult to read in English and Hebrew. If you would like to make an advance purchase, please be in touch.

We look forward to sharing more updates regarding the Hebrew version of our children's book "Tuvia Finds His Freedom".

Shanah Tova

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Preparing for Simchat Torah 5776

Sukkot for the past few years has seen harsh wind making sitting in the Sukkah difficult due to it being blown over. Still, we made it through. This Sukkot, the wind has been calm, sun rather hot and the rain has not yet begun, but the Chag has had tests beyond tests.

Looking at the news it seems as though every half hour or so there is something new happening. Some tragedy, something to test our commitment to Torah, Eretz Yisrael and the holiest part of our land.

My thoughts flit from the victims of the latest attacks to the words of Vayikra and various Prophets especially Yirmiyahu. I am encouraged to see the large numbers Davening at the Kotel this morning. I am encouraged to hear of the efforts of those who respond to tragedies with building our land further.

As we prepare to bring in the Yom Tov of Simchat Torah and Shmini Atzeret all I can think is let us gather all the strength we have and celebrate this Chag better than we have ever done before. Let us show Hashem that our commitment is to Him, to Torah, Tefillah, Gemilut Chassadim and of course to our Holy Land. Let us all increase in more Torah learning, more Tefillah, concentrating on our prayers and not talking in Shul, learning what G-d's way is and doing whatever it takes to live according to His rules. At the end of the day, He is the One in charge of ALL creation. He promised us that there will be an end to our long Exile. Let us increase our efforts so that Hashem will bring us close and hasten the Redemption.

Chag Somayach

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet


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