Thursday, 28 December 2017

Preparing for 2018

What does preparation look like to you?

Well, I guess you could say it depends on what you are preparing for. If you are preparing to cook a scrumptious meal, then part of preparing will entail chopping up all of the ingredients to get them ready for the cooking process. In our case, we are preparing for 2018 and yes, we'd love to have a very yummy meal. Kind of like a celebration. Wouldn't you?

The celebration would be a way of thanking those involved in helping you to achieve your goals. Well that is much farther down the line. First we need to set the goals that would lead up to being able to celebrate. So let's backtrack a little and look at some progress during 2017.

I do admit that there have been far fewer posts added to this blog during 2017. That is partly because we began working on websites with our own domain name that have their own blog. We have not yet decided what to do with this blog. You can take a look at our websites and remember to let us know what you have enjoyed about them: is my website that contains my occupational therapy and energy work especially for women. It also has my writing service. is my husband's site that has his Torah teaching and other services is our online store with our art, creative gifts and books.

So, part of setting my goals for next year is to ask you, our readers, what posts would you like to read? Do you find this blog useful? If so, what do you enjoy about it?

We'd love to hear from you. Actually, I'm considering putting together a little survey to hear about your needs. Would you take the survey?

Having brought out my first book, of my own as opposed to the kids book that was a joint venture, I am now planning further books. Would you be interested in hearing more about my Aliyah story? If so, what information is of interest to you and what questions do you have that you would like answers to?

I'd love to hear from you. So if you are a regular visitor to this blog, please drop me a note in the comments below.

Oh, another development is setting up our terms and conditions for guest posts. If you have an interest in writing a guest post for this website, please be in touch to find out what our terms and conditions are. If you are looking to share an advertorial, that is advertising which has a fee associated with it. Be in touch for our fees for advertorials too.

Have you set your goals for 2018? Have you reflected on the previous year and considered what you would like to achieve in the new year? If you would like some assistance in your goal setting, my vision board workshop is very helpful to assist you to clarify what areas of your life require improvement. This is an important part of goal setting. These workshops are offered both individually or in group. If you are interested in a session do be in touch to book your time slot / appointment.

We look forward to hearing from you

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Telfed Celebrates the Centenary of the Balfour Declaration

It never ceases to amaze me how many new pieces of information I can learn about my grandparents or family history. In truth, for Jews, the family history connects with the history of Israel, the history of the Jews and goes all the way back to Avraham and Sarah, the first Jews.

For anyone paying attention to the news, it is now 100 years since the Balfour Declaration and there are a variety of events taking place to commemorate this. A few days ago there was a talk given by Sir Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Here in Israel, Telfed hosted an event to celebrate the Centenary of the Balfour Declaration.

The event took place in the Arts and Music Centre in Raanana. When my mom noticed who the guest speaker was she became very excited and eager to attend. The guest speaker was Philip Weyers, executive director of the General Smuts Foundation in South Africa and great grandson of General Jan Smuts. Now came a surprise for me, had I known this and it slipped my mind? I'm not sure.

As it turns out, my late grandfather, Prof V.L. Granger was a friend of Janny Smuts, the son of Jan Smuts. His mother, my late great grandmother was friendly with Ouma, the wife of Jan Smuts. Always an opportunity to learn something of interest about one's family. It certainly serves as a reminder as to how important it is to have contact with one's grandparents and to take an interest in learning about their lives. You never know what interesting person was a friend or connection of your grandparent.

Well, equipped with this new insight about my family and their connections, off we traveled to Ra'anana. It's quite different to Jerusalem, for anyone who is sensitive just the energy itself is tangibly different. It was also quite amusing to hear so many with South African accents or speaking the odd word in Afrikaans. I've begun to become accustomed to hearing American accents, Israeli accents. Hearing Afrikaans is a novelty in Jerusalem, and hearing so many speak with South African accents is intriguing.

I was impressed that the Mayor of Ra'ananna, Zev Bielsky was the host. After some introductory speeches, relaxing to the classical music played by a South African Oleh, we had the opportunity to watch a short video taken in Israel around the time of the Balfour Declaration. Yes, there were Jews in Israel (or Palestine as it was called then) prior to WW2.

Finally the main speaker began. He has a wonderful sense of humour and I totally enjoyed hearing information about General Jan Smuts that I had never learned in South African History as it was taught at school. To my amazement and delight, I learned that Jan Smuts was a friend to the Jews. He was a good friend of Chaim Weitzman and had a belief that the Jews belong in Israel. Well he would have called it Palestine as was the name given by the Romans and in use at the time, but I prefer to call our Holy Land Israel.

I learned quite a few details about the Boer War and other aspects of South African history that I had not known before. Why were these interesting facts left out of our classes at school?
When the speeches ended and we began to file out of the theatre, it was fun to meet in person some people I had spoken to on the telephone or corresponded with via email. While most of the guests milled around and enjoyed a biscuit or cup of tea or coffee, we raced off to the bus station to get the last bus back to Jerusalem.

I must say I was grateful to be home in Jerusalem again. Whatever role the Balfour Declaration played in an increase of Jews returning to our land, it is incredible to be a part of the ingathering of the exile.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

The Latest News and Update at Welcoming Olim

It's been a while since I posted on this blog. No we have not disappeared, we have been busy, very busy. With the new year, it's a perfect time to introduce or reinforce some progress and development taking place. Before we share some updates, did you notice that the title mentions updates at Welcoming Olim and yet many of the updates are not on this blog? Well that is because the blog Welcoming Olim is a service offered by Chessed Ve'Emet.

If you knew that already, then do continue, if you are new to our blog, then welcome. The rest of this post will help you to gain some insight into who we are.

Firstly, do you know about our new website. Creations From Jerusalem is all about our artistic and creative products. We have tried a number of platforms along our journey and finally have our own website to showcase, promote and sell our products. We love to be creative in a number of mediums. So we invite you to visit this website, sign up for our newsletter and you can get to know about our latest products, specials and developments.

Next, we have progressed with the information we offer to Welcome Olim. We recognise that many who visit our blog are not yet Olim or have been here so long that they no longer regard themselves as Olim. We also have many ideas to develop and share. We are excited to introduce our Aliyah website. What is our website? Well, it's Everything Aliyah. Yes, it is all about Aliyah. Everything there is about Aliyah.

Do you have any questions related to Aliyah? Do you have any inspiring stories to share? We'd love to hear from you. We are working up towards offering podcasts and we would love to answer your questions, feature your stories or interview you. So, please do be in touch. Send in your questions, share your stories, your hopes and your fears. Most importantly, sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with our latest developments.

Lastly, if you are familiar with our main websites, you will notice an important change happening there too. We have introduced a membership feature. This will enable us to continue providing quality articles, information and content in various formats. For you see, it takes time to prepare the articles, to search our suitable videos, links and so forth. By becoming a member of our websites you will have access to certain key articles. You will also assist us to concentrate on doing what we do best, which is to share valuable, quality articles and products. So we invite you to become a part of what we are doing and to sign up to become a member.

We hope you will enjoy and appreciate the changes, improvements and developments that are taking place at Chessed Ve'Emet and the various websites and blogs that we manage.

We look forward to hearing from you and to having your join our newsletter and websites

Have a wonderful 5778!

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Raffling our Bridal Gowns in Jerusalem

We are in the process of closing our Bridal Gown Gemach. We have 31 gowns left of our 62 bridal gowns. The 2 Tuxedos have already found new homes as have the 8 Simchah gowns that we had. 

For the last 31 gowns, we have decided to hold a raffle. Here is how it will work.

If you would like to begin a bridal gown Gemach or if you would like to add to your bridal gown Gemach or if you have another need for bridal gowns, you may enter this raffle. The bridal gowns are all in Jerusalem and are to be collected in Jerusalem during our office hours of 9 am - 6 pm Sunday - Thursday.

Cost to enter the raffle is ₪50 per entry.
Person entering must be over 18 years old.

Payment is made via our website
A PayPal button can be found on the right hand side of the website about half way down. 

There will be a first, second and third prize as follows:

First Prize: 15 bridal gowns

Second Prize: 10 bridal gowns
Third Prize: 6 bridal gowns

The draw will take place at the end of Tu B'Av provided there are enough entries. There needs to be a minimum of 50 entries to draw. Multiple entries are permitted. 

When entering please send us your contact information and where you intend to use the bridal gowns. Please also confirm that you are over 18.

Here are two images of our gowns. All the gowns are modest but each is different.


Please share this raffle. For other posts about our bridal gown Gemach, please visit these posts:

Bridal Gowns for Sale in Jerusalem
Bridal Gowns for Sale in Jerusalem 2 

Good luck. Terms and Conditions apply.

Terms and Conditions:

Person entering must be 18 years of age and older
The draw will take place on 7 August provided we have 50 entries.
The bridal gowns must be collected by Midday 10th August.
Gowns must be collected during our office hours of 9 am - 6 pm Sunday - Thursday
If we do not receive 50 entries, the money will be refunded and the draw will not take place.

We look forward to receiving your entry and to drawing the prize. 

Shoshanah Shear

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Adding a Chat Feature to our Blog

We recently added a chat feature on our blog and it's quite an amazing experience. Have you noticed it? Have a question, do be in touch. It's quick, it's easy and we love to chat to those who wish to make their home in Israel.

Not much time elapsed after we added the feature before we had our first visitor wanting to ask a question. The first question related to learning Hebrew from outside of Israel. To answer the question:

Yes, there is a certain amount we, at Chessed Ve'Emet, can teach online.
At this stage our online learning is via Skype with webcam. 
We are happy to assist with basics, learning the aleph bet, learning to read, basic writing, understanding what you read etc.
For those interested, we also teach reading of Chumash and other Torah related topics and Seforim (books)
Yes, there is a fee for the tuition. 
If you are interested, do be in touch for further information or to sign up to learn. 

The next question was to do with the rights of renters. The reader to our blog wanted to know if there was any progress in a bill being passed in Kneset to improve renters rights.

Did you know that there is a housing crisis in Israel? The sad reality is that conditions of many apartments are in a very sorry state and there are landlords who take advantage of their tenants on every level. For a number of years there has been talk that the housing crisis is a bubble that has to burst. There has to be change, in a positive direction of course.

In 2011 there were a number of protests related to the problems with housing in Israel. There has been talk for some years now to pass a bill in Knesset (parliament) in order to improve the rights of renters. You can read more about these developments in a recent article that came out in the Jerusalem Post. This article talks about the rights of renters to have repairs carried out to apartments. Something that most landlords avoid with all kinds of crazy excuses as to why they feel they do not have to repair.

Of course the issues for renters go beyond repairs. The rate of rent increases is a major problem. 

What are your experiences in renting in Israel? What laws would you like to see happening? If we receive enough attention to the problem of housing and problems for renters, perhaps change will be possible. Why not be a part of increasing attention to this problem. 

This post is prepared for you by Shoshanah Shear, 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".

Monday, 1 May 2017

Yom HaAtzmaut 2017

 It's a busy time of year in Israel. We move from remembering the soldiers who fell in protecting our precious Land to celebrating the Israeli Day of Independence known as Yom Ha'Atzmaut. It's quite a festive time. Whatever one's feelings are about when Israel gained their independence and when the Land became connected with the Jewish people. Without getting into debates, I thought I'd share a little of the fun.

First and foremost is the blue and white flags that decorate our streets. On lamp posts as seen above...

 On car windows and the backs of wing mirrors.

Even the Egged bus joins in the spirit with a flag flying proudly from the front corner near where the passengers get onto the bus. I even noticed someone had painted her finger nails with the Israeli flag. Must be a fancy stick-on something, but that is the extent of detail the Israeli's will go to in order to show their support of Midinat Yisrael as we say in Hebrew or the country of Israel. 

Most of the country will be enjoying a barbeque either tonight or tomorrow. However you spend your day, may it be with unity, enjoyment and an appreciation for meriting to be in the Holy Land of Israel.

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, 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"

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

It's All About Building

There is much work to do in order to build Israel to the level necessary for the final redemption. I have had a dream of a treatment centre for years. I began working on developing this centre when I was in South Africa. For various reasons, I decided to relocate my full idea to Israel. The more my learning progresses and the more I work towards this dream, some revisions have taken place.

At the beginning of 2017 I wrote a post about our progress in developing this centre. You can read that post here

One major change or addition to my original idea, has been the addition of our very special service to empower orphans especially at the time that they marry. As a part of this we were starting to set up a store. Not just any store. This store had items we had spent hours in sourcing, gathering, displaying etc. Some of the items went directly to our orphans and some were sold to help to earn the funds necessary to cover the expenses in establishing and managing this service. As we progressed, a widow had wanted us to add some bridal gowns to what we do.

We had no space for the bridal gowns but did see the potential. We decided to give it a go, knowing we required the support of kind donors in the community in order to make this a reality. This was a very huge leap of faith and can succeed with the support of others.

The video that follows outlines where we were at about a 18 months ago.

One of our greatest challenges has been a venue to house these bridal gowns. Since we were developing this service from our home, the growth in this service has had an impact on us too and visa versa. Around Pesach last year, we had to move and since the bridal gowns were only being temporarily stored (in someone's apartment with little access for us to the gowns) we wanted a place where we could bring the bridal gowns too. We tried another crowd fundraiser but without success. Finally the move had to happen. We had a decision to make and there was not much time to plan it correctly.

The items from our store were sent off to the orphans from Bayit Lepletot who are preparing to get married. At least 8 orphan brides were assisted from these items. That part was good, but we did not obtain the necessary funds to move the gowns and set them up.

On our side, we made our move. We had many unforeseen challenges and set backs with the move but the bridal gowns came with us. Sadly the room for the bridal gowns is smaller than I thought it was. As you will see in the next video, we can hardly step back enough to video the gowns sufficiently. Every bride who has come to us has complained about the lack of space. There is not a lot we can do without 1) brides renting gowns which enables us to earn from the rental fee and 2) community support.

As you will see in the first video, our goal was to help orphan brides at no charge. Currently we can not do this unless we have a sponsor for the orphan bride. The simple reason is that we have not yet covered the costs involved in setting up this service. Our rental prices are kept on the lower range to help those marrying on a budget. While the brides stall in coming until we have larger space, we still, have rent of the space to be paid where they currently are.

I have many plans for developing the bridal service. It has so much potential, but only in the right venue.

The apartment we are in does have another room, smaller and darker. The other room was supposed to be for my OT treatments and consultations. Already I had to let go of a client due to lack of adequate space and equipment. I have also been delaying on marketing my OT services as the space is just not suitable.

We have begun another campaign. The next video shows the bridal gowns and tells a little about what all this is aimed towards, ie the development of my full vision.

Please take a look at both videos and visit our crowd fundraiser. Crowd Fundraising has become a very effective and popular way to come up with the funds to begin a venture, expand a business, improve a service, bring out a new product. We do have a few products on the go that we are developing, however, our first major need is the venue, the location to house the work that we are doing.

We have some very touching letters of thanks from those we have assisted. Please help us to continue to grow and develop what we are doing. Please help us to build this centre. In doing so, you will enable me to use all of these skills, knowledge and insight that Hashem has blessed me with, in order to give of myself in the very best way possible. 

Take a look at the image at the start of this blog post. What a difference a venue makes when there is space, light and the opportunity to breath and move and really experience the location or room. Look again at our video. The work we are doing deserves the appropriate venue so as to help our clients in the best possible way. 

Please share the campaign. If you email me a capture of your sharing the campaign, I will email you a Pdf copy of a poem and drawing that I wrote and drew some years ago. That is my thank you for every share of this campaign.

Thank you for your assistance

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"

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Who Belongs in Israel?

I did not expect to find it in a professional group, but the issue about occupation in Israel creeps in there too. I do not like to get into politics but if pushed then here is the answer. If you would like to know who belongs in Israel, the answer is to be found in Tanach. G-d created the world. The vast majority of the land is available to the 70 nations who are not Jews. There is one tiny stretch of land that G-d instructed with a very specific purpose. When that purpose is fulfilled, peace radiates out to all of the world. 

It is really so simple. We follow the way that the creator of everything wants, and the result will be life, goodness, peace, unity and blessing. Go against His direction and the result is the opposite.

If you would like to know where those sources are to be found, sign up to study with Rabbi Eliyahu Shear. The answers are all quite clearly written in the Torah and then the additional section which makes up Tanach. 

If you would like to begin entering in to debating why you believe that someone other than who G-d directs to live in Israel should be here, my answer is take your argument to G-d. I have no time for such matters. There is too much work to be done in building the land

If you still wish to argue my response is - what about the promise that G-d offers? Don't you want peace? Don't you want unity? Don't you want blessing and goodness and life? These are the gifts that G-d promises to following His will. The Tanach is filled with stories of what happens when we try another version of what G-d wants. Along with His directive as to who should live in Israel and what should take place here is an entire lifestyle of how to live. I am not the one to make this up. It's right there in the Tanach. Only do yourself a favour and read the original. 

If you do not understand Hebrew, sign up for a shiur. Rabbi Shear is happy to read the Hebrew and translate. If you would like to do some of your own reading, Rabbi Avraham Greenabaum has notes available in English. He also teaches Torah for the nations, ie all those who are not Jews. Yes, G-d has given a way of life for the non-Jew too. It is not as complicated or as much responsibility, but there are 7 laws for you to follow. Find out what they are and what you can do to bring peace, unity, kindness, respect and life. Real life.

The choice is yours, do you want life and all the goodness and blessing that G-d offers with that or would you prefer the opposite?

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"

Friday, 3 February 2017

Thinking of our Friends From Amona

Guest Post by Judith R. Simon

Friends, as many of you know, the people that I love fall into many categories of political / religious / financial / life choice / other. And I like it that way. Wouldn't life be boring if all my friends felt the same as I did on all issues? It enriches my life and expands my horizons.

That having been said, I feel it necessary to express some of my strong feelings about what happened this week in Amona, so that those of you who may feel differently than I do can at least understand why I am in so much pain right now.

The media presents the residents of Amona as illegal builders on Arab land. Many have expressed that they deserve what they have gone through, for building illegally on Arab land.

The truth is far more complex than that. 

Twenty years ago, the people of Amona built a small town in good faith, with government backing. Only recently did Yesh Din search out and track down Arabs who claimed ownership of .5% of the land on which the town was built (2 dunam out of 500 dunam -- half a percent!!!).

When a person builds in good faith on land which is later discovered to be partially owned (and a very small part at that) by someone else (who only claims it 20 years later at the behest of an organization with a clear political agenda), is it fair to forcibly remove him from his land, destroy his home, and then BLAME HIM FOR IT? ???

In several parallel cases in the Negev where Bedouins built on land that is 100% owned by Jews with indisputable documentation, the Supreme Court refused to allow the government to evacuate the land until proper alternative housing has been provided. My friends in Amona are living in a crowded dormitory, sleeping on bunk beds, sometimes a family with 6 or 7 kids stuffed into one room. Their homes are scheduled to be destroyed within the week. 

Twenty years, children born, full families raised, furniture, memories, food cooked and consumed, art projects hung on refrigerators, clothes hung in closets, paintings hung on walls, beds made, light bulbs changed, windows washed, children kissed. All this destroyed. All this life that was built and nurtured deemed wrong. 40 Jewish families uprooted and tossed out like yesterday's garbage. From their homes in Judea and Samaria. For what? Because they are Jews.

You may disagree with me, and that's your choice. But please understand my pain, and understand that the people of Amona are victims of a power struggle between elements of Israeli society, the Supreme Court, and the current government. They are suffering emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually. They are in trauma now, going through tragedies created by others.

Please judge with mercy, not with vitriol.

Thanks and Shabbat Shalom.

P.S. Please comment, but please check your comments and leave out hatred or nastiness. Thanks.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Concerns of an Olah who is a Dietician

The previous two posts have focused on details related to types of salaries and working conditions for health professionals in Israel. These can be seen on the links here:

Following the second post, I received a message from a dietician who has given me permission to share her experience. 
"Hi! I saw your post on the FaceBook group "Keep Olim" about health professionals. I am a registered dietitian who made aliyah recently. In American hospitals, dietitian salaries are often much lower than other healthcare professionals (~$40,000 or so per year), even though we are managing tube feedings, ordering and evaluating labs, etc. the reasons given for the low salary tends to be that we are a female dominated profession, and that we don't make the hospital money -- joint commission requires all admitted patients be seen but we are not a "billable service" such as PT, etc. Anyway, apparently full time hospital dietitians in Israel only make 6000 NIS per month. I don't understand how people survive like this. I have my MS degree, had to do a year of clinicals, took a national exam to get my license, and have to get continuing education credits to maintain my license. I've heard many dietitians work multiple part time jobs. I read one post from a dietitian who said she is cleaning houses for money on top of her regular job. I still have to take the exam to get licensed here but I'm worried I will have to give up a career that I love and am passionate about in order to survive here.

I have five years experience, including being the cardiac dietitian and cardiac intensive care unit dietitian for a hospital, which is ranked #5 in America for cardiology! I have a concern as to how will I ever be able to pay back my American student loans with this salary? I can not begin working in Israel until I have my license and have to wait for the next date to write my exam."

This is a very understandable concern and one that many Olim face. Have you found a similar situation? How did you overcome it?  

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"

Monday, 9 January 2017

Further Information Regarding Health Professionals in Israel

Yesterday I posted an article in response to a message I had received from a registered nurse regarding low salary and conditions for nurses and other health professionals in Israel. I have had two responses to this. 

The first response in came from another nurse. She says:
   "Hi. I am a nurse with 30 years experience. I work in an NICU, and have a B.N., and an M.A. I have completed an ICU course.The work is challenging, and the pay is about half of what I'd receive if I were working abroad. The staffing sucks, as despite the fact that the Ministry of Health has agreed more nurses are required, the Kupot haven't found the money to increase the staffing. After almost 20 years of working here, and over a decade abroad, I make about 60 shekels an hour. On addition, due to the staffing situation, at times you are almost bullied to suck it up and come to work, even if you are under the weather. Yes, this happens, even if you are endangering the health of those around you. But this is the situation... Maybe before I retire things will improve, but I won't hold my breath."

Some hours later I received a message from a Physio who says:  "I am a Physio. When I first made Aliyah I worked in a hospital for about 24₪ an hour with a little   more for on calls and extra for Shabbatot. It is horrible pay. I left after 5 years and the pay had risen to about 29₪ and that was with 2 pay raises. 
I had 2 years experience when I began working and I started to work there about 10 years ago, left 5 years ago. I still work as a PT in a different facility." - The reader should note that this salary would go back to 2007 - 2011 or 2012. Have the salaries improved at all?

I am not sure and I wish I could say that they have. I do know that 2 years ago when I was asked to cover an occupational therapist on maternity leave therapist the facility wanted to pay me ₪23 an hour.

Salary scales such as these are low and depressing. How are high school students supposed to be motivated to spend time studying for a profession that will reimburse them for hard, responsible work at such a low salary. How do we expect to inspire those in the diaspora to Make Aliyah when their chances of earning within their profession will be met with low salaries?

What about the working conditions? It is not acceptable to expect health professionals to work in a state of health that will become a danger to the health and well being of those around them.  There has to be a solution to this.

If you are a health professional and have worked in Israel, please be in touch and let us know your experience. Also, if you have any suggestions as to how to improve conditions for health professionals in Israel, we'd love to hear them. 

Lastly, if you are an occupational therapist and interested in working privately, please be in touch to join our monthly privately practitioners meeting.

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"

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Possible Salary and Conditions for Health Professionals in Israel

I received a message from a nurse in Israel in response to my promoting my book about occupational therapy. Within the content of a long message was something that bothers me. She expressed that the job situation is Israel is generally bad and salaries are low across the board. She continued to share a few thoughts of nursing in Israel which were quite concerning. 

She asked if an OT earns more than ₪35 an hour continuing to say that a nurse working in a hospital will be treated like a slave. This is not only in terms of pay but denial of sick leave. I was particularly alarmed to hear that a nurse might be expected to come to work even with a raging temperature. How can that be? What about risk of infecting those around her especially the patients? Is this an isolated incident? I'd love to hear from other nurses, I hope this nurse was just having a bad day. Expecting a nurse to work when ill is a problem on many levels.

Some of the discussion came back to low salary and reminded me of a dietician stating that if an OT is offered work at ₪40 an hour, that would be more than what she receives with well over 25 years experience. 

Low salaries is the reason one OT shared as to why she gave up being an OT after 18 years in the profession. These facts are the reason that organizations for Olim tend to recommend cleaning houses which can bring in ₪40-60 an hour. Why are salaries so low for health professionals? 

What are your thoughts about professionals in Israel? Do you agree they deserve better salaries? What about working conditions? Have you experienced being expected to over work? I'd love to hear your experience. If you have a story you would like to share as a guest post, do be in touch.

Wishing you a blessed week.

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"

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Identifying the Best Experiences After Aliyah

There are times that participating in social networking groups for Olim can be difficult. It is hard to read how many have mostly complaints. I understand struggling, having difficulty adjusting to a new country, needing ideas, input or some guidance. But some spend most of their time complaining and that can be hard.

So I decided to inspire some positive responses and posted a question:
 "What is the best event, thing or experience since you made Aliyah"

Answers are a little slow to come in but it is so wonderful to hear what people love about living in Israel.

Some respond with everything. Everything that has occurred for them since moving to Israel has been the best. A few have said getting married or having their children here. One shared that the sunsets are the best in Israel. One inspiring answer came from someone who said that becoming an Officer in the IDF was the best thing to happen to him. When asked if he is still in the IDF he responded that was in 1978 and I was delighted to hear that he is still here. 

One beautiful response was "Being able to live a full Jewish life in a Jewish country with Jews all around." I certainly agree with that one!

For one, getting off the plane was the best thing to happen. For another, hearing the siren at the time of Yom HaAtzmaut shortly after they made Aliyah was the best and most memorable.

One of the best responses was a lady who shared that after 48 years it is not possible to select any one best thing / event. That is certainly encouraging to know that some Olim manage to live here for 48 years. Having a successful absorption into life in Israel certainly is possible. 

These are just a few of the comments shared. I'd like to turn the question to the readers of this blog. What about you? Have you made Aliyah? Do you have a story to share or a best or special experience or moment since making Aliyah? We'd love to hear from you. If your experience was short, do post it in the comments below. If it is longer, please send it in to be posted as a guest post.

I look forward to hearing more special moments after Making Aliyah

Shoshanah Shear

Monday, 2 January 2017


I am amused in the last few days to be receiving emails wishing me well for 2017. How is that amusing? Well, the 1st January is a regular work day in Israel! It is not a public holiday, neither is it really a significant start to the year. Our year begins at Rosh HaShanah. This point is something that is quite an adjustment for many who move to Israel. In fact, if you go into a stationary store and search for a diary or calendar you will find that the new year or the new diary begins always at the end of Elul leading up to Rosh HaShanah. 

Having said that, it is an important date for accounting purposes and so we look to setting business and accounting goals for the new secular year. At Chessed Ve'Emet we have some exciting developments for the new year. Before we consider our plans for the future, I would like to thank you, our readers and followers for your support over the past number of years. This blog was one of the early developments that we began. It has been up and running for 8 years now and we are happy to say that we have gained 33 followers and regular readers. From time to time we do have readers commenting on a post which is always exciting for us, and to all those who do comment we say a very big thank you. 

We have some interviews that have taken place and been shared on this blog, and plans in place for further interviews. Thus far the interviews have all been in a Q&A format. We do hope to develop to also having interviews either via podcast or video.

We have had some Olim share their story through this blog and we welcome further Olim to be in touch and send in your story. If your story involves preparing for Aliyah, making Aliyah, a success story or a word of encouragement, we want to hear about it and to share it. So please do be in touch.

We have had some other services for Olim specifically. For quite some time we tried to focus on increasing a network among South African Olim. We ran a Ning for quite a number of months before the Ning required that those hosting a forum on the Ning pay a monthly fee. This we covered for the first couple of years but sadly when we requested for members to contribute a nominal monthly membership in order to cover expenses, none of the members were prepared to. Sadly, our Ning came to an end but our blog has continued.

In addition to regular posts on this blog, we have Torah shiurim happening online and in person with our wonderful Torah teacher Rabbi Eliyahu Shear. At this time, shiurim include: 

- Shulchan Aruch HaRav focusing at present on Shabbat, twice a week
- Mishna Brerura happening currently weekly
- Otzrot Haim happening currently twice a week. 

We'd love to add some other online Shiurim, so if you have any questions related to Torah or a book or area of Torah that you would like to learn on a regular basis, do visit our website and sign up for online Torah learning. 

We have tried a number of avenues of selling products online. These products have been both of our own creative skills and items that we had received in order to sell at low cost. Our online selling has been a tremendous learning curve and we are excited to say that we are preparing to launch our own website selling items that we have created online as one of our various avenues to generate funds for our Torah centre. We have tried in the past pricing our items at low cost however, this has not been an effective path for us. Our online creative items are therefore now being created for those who are searching for a unique, hand crafted item or gift and values the fact that it comes from Israel and that their purchase assists Jews in Israel. If you are looking for a unique, hand crafted gift, stay in touch and watch this blog for updates of when we launch our new website.

My occupational therapy services can be viewed on my website. These services form the women's division of Chessed Ve'Emet and are focused on assisting Jewish women in the role of wife and mother. 

Other exciting developments on the creative front have been the publishing of our books. We currently have the following books available for sale:
Our books are available on a number of online bookstores and through us for those who are in Israel.

Our last two developments include:
  • Our Torah Lending Library. We currently have about 400 books mostly in English though some are in Hebrew. Due to limited space these books are forming double rows on the shelves of two tall bookshelves. 
  • Some time ago we ran a crowd fundraiser in order to obtain and set up our Bridal Gown Gemach. We are happy to say that we have 59 beautiful bridal gowns all set up waiting for a Kallah to come and visit our Bridal Gowns. We have had some Kallot coming to search for and try on gowns in preparation for their big day. On my other blog you will see some posts offering tips to assist the Brides with common issues being raised. 
All in all there has been consistent growth, revision, progress, adjustment, further growth, improvement and we are very happy to say that we are steadily progressing towards the full vision that we have of a Torah Healing Centre.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this exciting journey so far. Do be in touch and let us know both which of our services you enjoy and which services you are in need of for the secular year ahead. We look forward to sharing further developments and our plans as they develop and are ready for sharing.

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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