Although I've heard that this word does not exist in the Hebrew dictionary, prospective employers expect that you are qualified for the job (even if you say on your resume that you were a VP of Sales at the age of 23).
This means whatever you say you can do, be sure that at the end of the day you are accountable for yourself.
Of course the salary at the bottom of the paycheck matters - even if it is a far cry from what the gross salary says a few lines above - but what I've come to learn is that in Israel you want to find a place that has good perks.
For example, I went to Acco last month with my department, and everyday during lunch, I play ping pong for a good 30 minutes. Now, those are sweet benefits.
Being in Israel, a lot of companies are involved with Chesed (good deeds). Many businesses have a "favorite" charitable organization and even encourage one to give a helping hand... on work hours, too.
Thus is the case with my company. Today, I volunteered for nearly 2 hours helping out a non-profit organization that gives food out to the needy. I helped pack bags of frozen meat, fish, and French fries, which are being distributed to the needy now before Pessach.
So to recap, I think new Olim should look for a job that (a) they can manage, (b) offers good benefits, and most of all, (c) proactively gives back to the community.
Now, back to cleaning the fridge.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
This title goes to my 2 year old son, Natan, who spilled his cereal bowl this morning.
Luckily, the bowl landed rim up, so the damage was minimal - a little milk on the seat and maybe a few corn flakes here and there.
But unlike most 2 year olds, he wouldn't sit back down until he cleaned it up.
To put it simply, Natan is very tidy. He makes sure dirty clothes are properly placed in the laundry bin and often can be seen taking a baby wipe and cleaning his toy kitchen.
So with Pesach just around the corner, I feel real confident having him around.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
It’s a gorgeous day and I’m at work.
Another day, another dollar – or shekel for that matter – might be true, but the weather out in the Golan is stunning.
On the way down this morning, the other Shmuel spotted what turned out to be 3
Demoiselle Cranes Griffon Vultures (or maybe something else) perched in a tree just a few hundred yards before the entrance to the Yehudiya National Park.
Neither of us had a camera, but I insisted we stop to have a look. There were also hawks hovering over the Golan skies, which, at this time of year, makes a great place for a birder to be.
After lamenting the fact that neither of us had a camera, we agreed that at least one of us needs to bring a camera for the awesome ride… and perhaps take a “mental health day.”
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Here’s a picture looking at the Yehudiya forest from Highway 87. Notice the lush green – in a few months, this will all be brown.
Yesterday, there were approximately 20-25 white storks circling around (see post below).
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
On my drive to work this morning, I saw birds - big birds - not too far from my home.
"Whoa," I called out to Shmuel who was driving. Thinking they were vultures, I told him we had to backtrack to see the sight. Being the nature lover he is, he gladly obliged.
After backtracking, we saw (what we later concluded) around two dozen white storks resting on their migration route back to Europe.
Then, going down towards Qatzrin, we saw even more - probably close to 100 storks lounging about!
Then, and here's the real sight, we saw another 20-25 storks gliding around in circles over the Yehudiya ravine.
It was truly a birder's paradise!
Too bad neither of us had a camera. We were actually sad about that (and thought about going home to get one), but we hope they'll be there again tomorrow morning.
However, after heavy rainfall today, we gather that those birds picked up and glided north towards Turkey.
I have a problem and I admit it. I take pictures, but seemingly, it takes me so long to upload them.
As a result of this, more often than not, I go ahead and blog without photos.
Nevertheless, after seeing my pictures from a recent company trip to Acco (last month), I feel the urge to share them in the blogsphere.
Here's a grapevine going northwards, parallel to two water pipes.
I thought this was unique picture - a palm tree in the middle of an apartment complex.
This bank machine is the most secured machine in the world.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Well, the disclaimer seemed to work really well last time, so I think I'll use it again. This post will get a bit graphic, and no, the lizard did not end up in my mouth - nor any human being, for that matter.
The last time I wrote about lizards was when it was on my wall, but this event - which took place last Friday - tops that by 3 colors.
Here's the background: a few months ago, I did not close the pipes for my solar panels.
Big mistake #1.
See, when the temperature drops below freezing, the cold weather causes the pipes in the solar panel to burst. So, as you probably guessed, one morning in January, I woke up to the sound of water gushing down my roof.
In the picture to the right, you can see where the leakage began.
With the help of a friend I closed the pipe that brings water to the solar panels. He told me (a) you don't have to fix it right away (I took his advice and procrastinated a FULL two months!) and (b) this happens every year to one bonehead (this year, the rookie takes the prize).
So, on Friday I picked up a screw in Qatzrin, ascended to the roof - look at this view, I think I need to build some sort of observatory on the roof - and tried to see if I could fix it.
The procedure turned out to be too dangerous from the roof, so I retreated and attempted to do this maneuver from the top of a ladder.
But on my way up the ladder, I caught a lizard camouflaged in the ivy on the side of my house - I think it's a chameleon, so I'll call it that. (Again, look at the picture on the right - his head is hidden beneath a leaf.)
I know what you're thinking... "Why the heck does Shmuel carry a camera when he's going to fix a pipe on the roof?"
To be honest, I was preempting a blog post strictly about fixing the solar panels, but you got to admit this chameleon business really jazzes up this post, no? And it gets better!
So I postponed the job at hand to show the kids the chameleon. Surprisingly - or not - they thought it was pretty cool. I showed them how its eyes can pivot nearly 180 degrees and how it changes colors... see for yourself. The pictures are of the same chameleon a mere seconds later.
Hadas wanted to keep it.
Big mistake #2.
I told her, that it does really good things for our ecosystem, i.e., eats annoying mosquitoes and other flies. Plus, since it lives directly in our surroundings there is no point in keeping it in a cage.
She accepted it, but thought it would be fun to stick this little brittle creature into a plastic basin.
Big mistake #3 - and really the biggest mistake of the day. WARNING, the rated "G" part ends here.
Then I go back up to try to fix the pipe, but Popeye, the feisty puppy from next door runs over, finds the chameleon, sniffs the chameleon, and inhales it.
On top of a ladder, there's not much I can do. And by the time I got down, the game was over. However, Popeye was playing for extra points - and scoring big! He dropped it for a bit, and I thought about picking it up, but then had hot flashes of Popeye ripping off my hand along with the chameleon.
Good thing I trusted my instincts, because Popeye wasn't finished! It took him a good few minutes till he relinquished the dead chameleon for good. And, no, he didn't eat it.
All in all it was a good learning experience - I don't think Hadas got too attached to it to care.
But the bottom line still remains, I need to fix my solar panel.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Disclaimer: the following true event happened a while ago. I’m only posting it now, because as you will see, it’s a little embarrassing and I wouldn’t want the real parties to know about this mix up.
So here we go...
Chave told me that one of our friends invited us over for Shabbat lunch.
We’re always open to going to new people and we prepped Hadas for our lunch party the night before.
Shabbat morning, I went to shul, and after it finished I look for our host, but couldn’t find him. (In hindsight, this proved to save me.) So, I went out to find Chave.
Standing in the foyer, we patiently waited for our host to come out. Then a friend came out and said, “Ready to go?”
Go where, I thought, Chave told me we were going to those people’s house for lunch.
I was puzzled, but Chave quickly realized what had just transpired. She got the friend’s first name right, but not the family name!
Good thing we didn’t just show up at the wrong family with a cake in our hands.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
It’s sunny in the Golan now. And with the flowers in full bloom, it is one of the most gorgeous places in all of Israel.
The drive into work this morning was fantastic… and I almost found a souvenir to hang on my ranch – whenever I get around to building it.
On the way down, a bit east of Qatzrin – right around the spot where I hit a pig – I noticed a cow’s skull on the side of the road. I saw it there before, but I never had time to check it out.
But this morning, I could not resist the temptation.
I stopped, but all for naught. The skull – despite that many teeth were still intact – had withered away from its grandeur. After mulling it over for a few seconds, I decided to leave it.
No horns, no deal.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Here, in our small community on the Golan Heights, Purim was very special.
There was a tractor ride for the kids in the morning, but without a doubt, the nicest part of the festival was when we came home in the late morning to find our neighbors' Mishloach Manot .
Now I do remember this phenomenon back in Long Island - I can even picture my parents' screen door opened a bit, stuffed with their friends' packages.
But the reason why this was special - and receives my "Best Part of Purim Award" - was the fact that they were neatly placed inside of our house on the kitchen table.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Kudos to Rafi G, author of the blog titled "Life in Israel."
His recent four-letter words post is a must read for anyone who identifies with the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
For more background, please see the JPost article.
Purim begins this Saturday night and for those who are familiar with Roni Schotter's "Purim Play," you probably know what that means.
And for those who don't, I quote from the opening of her magnum opus:
Every year, when people are "winter weary and longing for spring," Purim comes..."
That's right, spring is here. But before the ground drys up, the grass is lush and flowers are now in full bud throughout the Golan Heights.
Here's a great picture, which shows spring springing up. (Click on it for the full effect.)