Mother's Day Post

This year, just like most years, everyone in our family had handmade cards to present. Adam's card had big red heart on the front with "I Love Shira" written in the same style as "I Love Lucy". Bettina wrote an acrostic poem for her (which was put up on Bettina's blog). Father Benny wrote a love note to the mother of his children. I wrote a poem to go inside of this:

Mothers are amazing, of that there is no doubt.
They are the type of people that one cannot live without.
They give us life, they give us love, they care, they cook, they clean.
With all the things that mothers do they should be treated like queens.
They help us when we need them, with poise as well as grace.
No matter what you look like, they'll always love your face.
Shira, you're a hero, believe me, it is true.
You're one of a kind, I'm glad you're mine, I'll always cheer for you.
You're more than just a mother, you're a teacher, friend, and wife.
The years I've spent within your care are the best years of my life.
You're the most special woman that I know, I'd never choose another.
You mean the very world to me, my dear beloved mother

This came straight from my heart, and I think even if you were to replace my mom's name with somebody else's, it would still mean the same thing. Do you think I have a future in Hallmark or something?

Next on the make-mom-happy agenda was to prepare a picnic for the beach, just like we did last year (only this year we remembered to bring the blanket and towels. ^_^)
It was such a glorious day! The sun was perfect, the water was perfect, and along with the salad and chummus that we made ourselves, we enjoyed three bags of pita bread from an Israeli market called "Sarah's Tent". Let me tell you there's a huge difference between pita you might find in a supermarket (which is thin, frail, and usually frozen and defrosted before being bought), and real fresh-baked Israeli-style pita (which is soft, substantial, and actually has a bit of flavor). Now I'm even more excited to visit Israel just so I can get another taste of authentic pita sandwiches, with falafel and salad and all the trimmings. Pita with falafel in Israel is like hamburgers and french-fries here in America.

Anyway, more about mom. Everything she does for my family is so special, and she's such an important part of my life. Shira is always around to talk with about absolutely anything; feelings, futures, failures, and favorite films. There's no academy or school or anything where a woman goes to learn to be a mother, but if there was I'm sure she'd get high marks in all subjects. Happy Mother's Day Mom!

P.S. Do you know that MOM is WOW turned upside-down?


Hebrew Heaven

I've been keeping secrets from my readers. It's been in the works for months now—Bettina and I are going to be in Israel in 6 days!

Let me explain: in February, my sis and I both registered for a 10-day trip, courtesy of an organization called Birthright Israel, which provides educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18 to 26, during the summer and winter seasons. Since our 18th birthday half a year ago, Bettina and I have been fantasizing about traveling on our own to the Holy Land, and now we're so excited to actually be going very soon! The last time we were in Israel was with our family, in Summer 2007, and we spent 10 weeks living in the amazing city of Tel-Aviv. I have so many fond memories of Israel; the beaches, the hummus and falafel, the history and culture, the thrill of hearing people all around me speak a different language...

And so, in preparation for our upcoming journey, I've decided to re-immerse myself in the Hebrew language. Guess which website I'm using to help me on my noble quest? Let me give you a couple of clues:
  • It's the 3rd most visited website according to Alexa.com
  • It's slogan is "Broadcast Yourself"
  • Google bought it for $1.65 billion 4 years ago
That's right! YouTube to the rescue! This month I've discovered a treasure trove of movies that I know and love translated to Hebrew, so I can pick up a bit of the language while understanding exactly what's being said! It all started when I searched for videos of the cartoon show "Animaniacs" in Hebrew. The search didn't yield much, but at least I got to see the "Monkey Song" in a different language.
The next jackpot I found was Disney films in Hebrew! There's this one YouTube channel that has about a dozen animated treasures all dubbed with stellar voice actors. Adam, Bettina, and I watched "The Lion King" altogether, and it was such an amazing experience listening to the character's voices in a different language. The translated songs are my favorite parts, especially "Hakuna Matata" and "I Just Can't Wait to be King".

Some other movies translated in Hebrew we saw were "Alice in Wonderland", "Beauty and the Beast", "The Jungle Book", and "Aladdin", my new favorite translated movie so far (the guy who plays Genie is so funny, comparable to Robin Williams even)

The YouTube Channel: 1guyofer

List of Movies Included (besides the ones I've already mentioned):
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Dumbo
  • Peter Pan
  • Pinocchio
  • Hercules
  • Pocahontas
  • The Sword in the Stone
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Toy Story
  • Toy Story 2
  • Monsters Inc
  • The Incredibles
  • Enchanted
  • The Prince of Egypt
(Edit: 1guyofer is no longer an active YouTube account. Sorry.)