14 March, 2008

Two weeks in Israel – a summary

Filed under: Family,Israel by Joel @ 12:10 pm, 14 March 2008.

The last two to three weeks have been pretty trying for Israel. But I happen to want to talk about the two weeks before then, just to give a few highlights (fairly extensive highlights?) from my trip to Israel for my brother’s wedding. (more…)

12 June, 2007

Loss from afar

Filed under: Family by Joel @ 11:17 am, 12 June 2007.

Poppy with a bouquet I noted a few months ago that I had a difficult experience when my family informed me that Poppy, my grandfather, was in hospital, followed starkly by the happy news of my brother’s engagement. When I saw that the phonecall coming in on my phone this Saturday night was from home, I was nearly sure Poppy had passed away. While in 2002, my family usually called me, on this trip it has been very rare, and I spoke to them only a few days ago, so their irregular calls mean news. And for months I’ve been updated roughly
on Poppy’s situation—revived after a few strokes, usually debilitated and irritable—and hearing Nanna, his wife, wishing I will be able to return to him each time we speak. Again and again it is difficult knowing that so far away I am helpless.

And now with the family mourning, but no one around me crying, it is hard to feel the emotion I think I should have. Although for a while it has only been a matter of time; only a matter of whether or not I would get back to see Poppy in the high-attention ward of the nursing home. The last few months have been altogether difficult for the family. Hopefully after the next one, things will start to ease, but even so, this is a tension I have been distanced from completely. (more…)

14 April, 2007

Tuesday’s Trauma

Filed under: Family,Montreal by Joel @ 9:09 pm, 14 April 2007.

I was going to write about all eight days of Pesach, but I won’t have the time for at least another week. There is too much to do for uni, and to see that I make it through Europe without a hitch after I leave Montreal on the 29th of the month. But at least one story I want to relate sooner. (more…)

18 October, 2006

Nuts about gematria…

Filed under: Family,Hebrew,Judaism,Tanakh by Joel @ 4:24 pm, 18 October 2006.

I recently discovered (well, not before he told me), that my brother, Simon, has also started a blog. It turns out he’s written on something a little up my alley, on the idea of not eating nuts in the new year in Judaism. (more…)

6 July, 2006


Filed under: Family,Food,General by Joel @ 9:26 pm, 6 July 2006.

Tanya's cheesecakeCheesecake is a regular feature of my birthday celebrations, which happen to coincide annually with Shavuot. I’m not generally a big fan of cheese, but when it comes to cheesecakes, I can get quite picky. My mum’s recipe — secretly shared with her mother and no other — makes the best birthday cake in town. Fluffy and lemony, its delicate surface adorns a crumbly shortbread base.

Some years ago, I struck up an argument with Tanya as to whose cheesecake recipe was better. With an ego that’s probably too big for my own good, I didn’t dare back down from my position.

Finally, some six years later, the Nothman jury is out after Tanya appeared at my place with a full-size yellow beast, nicely browned, with only one crack down the cheesy centre (we weren’t judging on style). (more…)

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