Sunday, February 10, 2008

Israel to Mass-Produce Electric Cars

I just saw an article on the Jerusalem Post website that Israel announced a plan to mass-produce electric cars, and hopes to be fully on electric cars by 2020. In a country that has no oil and imports 100% of it, I can't believe it's taken so long.

If you can watch the video on the website, you should. Go to and underneath the main picture should be a link to the article. If not, you can read about it here.

I'm very excited about it. We currently (not that we own a car) pay close to $6.00 a gallon (though since the Dollar's been dropping it's probably closer to $5.00/gallon.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Birthday Fun

Today was quite a day for me (Naomi), I turned 23 years old, and despite the fact that 23 is an odd number and not usually an exciting birthday, it turned out to be great!

For those of you who think I am crazy because I am saying it is my birthday, but you know it is February 19th, let me first explain. You see here, in Israel and in the schools Nate and I are in, we use Hebrew Dates, as apposed to the Gregorian Calender. The Hebrew Calender is a lunar calender that is influenced by solar. My birthday, on the Hebrew Calender is the 28th of Shevat, the date which started last night (since it is a lunar calender the day starts when the moon comes up) and ended about an hour and 10 minutes ago. Here we use the Hebrew Calender. We use it to date papers, date checks, even date contracts.

Because of all this, Nate and I have a tendency not to know what the English date is, so we decided this year, since it was difficult to keep track of the English dates, we would start celebrating birthdays, and anniversaries on the Hebrew dates. The truth is that this is how we will most likely always celebrate it, even when we go back to America, because the Hebrew Calender is the calender to which our lives revolve. We celebrate every holiday, every beginning of the month, and even every week based on this calender, so it makes sense to add birthdays, etc. to our celebrations as well.

Back to my great day! As I said the day started last night, when Nate made me dinner and even made birthday cake for desert. He did a great job, and I greatly appreciated the dinner because I know that he really has little time to cook, which is why I do most of the cooking, because he has class until 6 and then again at 8pm. Further, unfortunately, yesterday one of the Rabbi's at Nate's school lost his father, and the funeral was last night, yet Nate still fit in making me feel special.

The day continued this morning, when one of my friends, Janice, made cookies and brought them to my Gemara class, and had the entire class sing happy birthday to me in Hebrew. It was very cute! On Mondays we only have half days, to give each of us time to do volunteer work in the afternoons (I actually do mine on Wednesday night) so when I left and went home to do my usual babysitting jobs, I thought the celebrations were over. Right as I was about to finish babysitting, when the mom came to pick up her kids, all of the moms and kids in the neighborhood showed up, and Nate of course, at the door with cupcakes that were lit with candles, cards, and singing happy birthday in English. As soon as they finished singing the kids decided to all sing together in Hebrew (they are all between the ages of one and a half and three years old). The cupcakes were absolutely amazing, and the gesture was really very nice. Of course to finish off my day, I came home to find emails and cards from other family and friends sending their birthday wishes.

It was really quite a nice day for just another birthday. I really appreciate all the hard work all my friends put in, and especially Nate!

Sunday, February 3, 2008


We have officially reached our seven month mark of living in Israel, and oh boy is it different then when we first arrived. For starters, for those of you who did not know, we got over a foot of snow this week. It is very cold here (although you would not know it was cold if you walked into our caravan, which we have learned to heat very nicely) and well, it is quite white. Last week, starting on Monday there were reports that it would snow throughout most of Israel (even in Eilat). We were told that when there are reports like this that where we live usually gets one of the hardest hits. Tuesday night Naomi rushed home from school, to try and beat this "blizzard" we were getting, and she made it just as it started to snow in Jerusalem. It did not start to snow in Efrat until midnight, however once it started, it did not stop until Thursday afternoon. The snow was mixed at some points with sleet and hail, but most of it was just beautiful white snow.

The snow we got was perfect, it was beautifully white, firm enough for snow-balls, snow-men, and slaying, and soft enough that you did not have to worry about slipping on ice. We had a great time, as the pictures below will show you, with our snowball fights, and helping the kids build their first snow-men. Unfortunately we did not get to go sledding due to the lack in a sleigh, however Adam R. tried to go on a kitchen trey, but lets just say his bum has been doing a lot of complaining ever since.

Israel is so not used to having snow that when we get it, the country basically shuts down. The stores were closed, the busses did not run, and there was no school (well at least for Naomi, Nate had optional classes given by the people who lived on the campus).
As you can see we had a really great time, and it was quite beautiful. Maybe next time though we will prepare enough in advance and buy a sleigh (oh and we think a shovel would be nice to have too)! Happy winter everyone!