Thursday, November 23, 2006

Stand Up Comedy and a Torah

I've got quite into Israeli TV over the last week. Other than a great wait to maintain my grasp of the language, it's cheaper than spending a few nights a week nurturing a chetzi in a bar, and supermarket beer is much cheaper. Last night's "The Day That Was" on Channel 10 covered topical stories from Israel, and the Jewish world, including the headline "Does this video show the Lubavitcher Rebbe is actually still alive".

Tonight will be a stint of Adi Ashkanazi, her humour, although sometime tasteless, is a great way to start the weekend.
As you fly into Paris, you have a view of the Eiffel Tower. In Venice, the beauty of the canals. As El Al starts to descend over Tel Aviv, all you see are Dudei Shemesh (water heaters), and you think וואי, ברור שיש שם מים חמים!
Channel 10's televised version of the BBC Radio show "Whose Line is it Anyway" was full of Israeli/Jewish jokes, be it making fun of Ashkenazim or throw away lines of scripture or prayer to enhance the script. Being a less observant Israeli-Jew is clearly different from being a less-observant Diaspora-Jew, and it is clear to me which will hold on to their heritage in the long run.

YNet, one of Israels leading daily papers and news websites were carrying a story that a friend forwarded to me this morning, write a commemorative Sefer Torah via the internet. I normally delete the forwards as I get them, but this time the email grabbed me.

Ot Ba'Torah (literally, A letter in the Bible - website plays music when loaded so be warned if you're at work. English version here) are offering the oppertunity to write a letter in a Torah Scroll. The completed scroll will be donated to soldiers to mark Israel's sixtieth anniversary in a few years time. Each letter costs just 18NIS (US$4) and if you get in their early, you could probably find yourself a verse of group of words that means something to you.

We live in a world enveloped in technology, what can be better than when this technology feeds you items of interest, and are not scared to poke holes in everything around them. For those of you who (speak Hebrew and) own a TV, check out Adi Ashkenazi on Channel 2 at 9.00pm tonight for a brutley honest view of Israel, then go spend a couple of bucks on a letter in a Torah Scroll.

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

New Photos

Two new albums are online over at my flickr account. You can see them photos of David & Sarah's wedding, and other random snaps from the last few weeks.

Work has calmed down, the apartment hunt looks like it is over, watch this space, and my laptop blew up. Will keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Office Space

I've got a pretty good job. I can't complain about the salary or colleagues. Conditions are great and, within reason, I have a lot of flexibility. We're a department that get on well socially, and glue excellently professionally. The only down side has to be the daily commute.

Today was different.

For the first time since I joined the company, probably around seven months ago, work was not fun. Sure, there are days that the work is dull, but that's what the internet is for. Today I left work feeling like it was a different office.

Perhaps too many people came to the end of their tether, or maybe the straw that broke one camels back gave license for the entire herd to stampede, but by the time we closed the frosted glass doors behind as and descended in the elevator, we were pleased to be out of there.

All workplaces have office politics. Perhaps it is better that these releases occur on a smaller, yet more regular basis rather than getting bottled up and having a department wish the day had never happened.

I am hopeful that it was just today. On the other hand, a guard has been let down, a charade may have been dropped, and rather than this being a frustrated release, I am worried of this becoming the new face of the workplace.

Midweek is passing us, the week is almost over. Roll on Thursday so we can party and put all this behind us.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Sex and this City

I just deleted a post about this weeks Gay Pride march. I am going to save my thought till after the event, then may, or may not, publish them. What I will say is this.

Jerusalem may be the holy city, but in reality is it just another modern metropolis. Ok, there isn't a train line or 24 hour gas stations on every corner, but Jerusalem is just like many other modern cities round the world. There is a diverse population, a strengthening economy and a strong night life. Judaism has become a very diverse religion, the boundary of acceptable behaviour has been stretched to the point where many can live a secular and religious lifestyle side by side.

Is there really a reason not to allow the Gay Pride event not to take place?

Although I don't feel ones sexuality is something that should be flaunted publicly, be you gay or straight, people like to march, people like to party. Whether or not anyone has the right to hold the march is a different story. If you ask my honest opinion, I would say I would prefer the march not to take place in Jerusalem, primarily because it makes the whole event much more political, but I hope this event is allowed to pass peacefully.

Israel has enough problems, no need to hate other Jews just to prove a point.