Shana Tova!

Rosh Hashana התשפ"א  October 2020
Coronavirus update 19/9/2020

It is the Hebrew New Year. The letters mark the numbers of the year 5,781, and once again, we are celebrating a high holiday in lock-down. 

Shana Tova, an illustration of a closed bar, Israel 2020

May you have a boring year!

I wish you a healthy and predictable year, one in which you can safely plan a week or so ahead. May we all see each other’s face again, get together and hug. 

I want to say a big THANK YOU to all the doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, and all-around brilliant people who have barely slept since last January.
Thank you for your work. Thank you.

When the second lock-down was announced it was an admission of failure. 

We did so well with the first wave of the Covid19 pandemic. Israelis are very good with crisis. We hunker down, improvise, find solutions and workarounds. Do what needs to be done. Support each other. 

But we’re so bad with long term management.
Not very disciplined.
Everyone has an opinion, everyone thinks they know best, every group has different goals and priorities, and the pandemic got badly politicized.

So here we are shutting down the entire country, again, six months later.

It’s the second soaring season cancelled in a row. 

Last Friday I managed to fly for what may well be the last flight for at least a month.
I met a magnificent flock of Pelicans thermaling in a mesmerizing spiral, up up and away, carried with the wind, heading south for the winter. 

Now I’m not allowed beyond 1,000 meters from my house.

Here I sit, with my laptop thankfully connected to the internet, like The Beast with his magic mirror watching the world beyond the castle walls. 

The now familiar graphs tracking the progress of the pandemic show me how the whole world is in this together. 

And we will all have to work together to beat this thing. I hope enough people see reason and trust science.

Please wear a face mask, wash your hands and keep a safe distance from others, until a vaccine arrives.


I wish us all a healthy and sweet new year.

Shana Tova!


After years and years of courting in secret, Israel and the United Arab Emirates are now officially out <3

Peace, flags of Israel and the UAE

Amid the pandemic and all kinds of bad news, this peace accord is like a fresh breeze on a hot summer day.

To our friends in the Emirates, let me welcome you:

سلام‎! Salām! !שלום

Peace update!!!

Bahrain has joined the Abraham Accords.


Ever wondered just WHERE Israel is?

Here's a map drill-down infographic, followed by a bunch of Q&A that I hope will put some things in order:

What region is Israel in? Infographic preview

Stuck at home quarantine because of the Coronavirus?

Here are some special and interesting coloring pages for adults and teens, to help you pass the time!

* there's a new glider coloring page - scroll and see!

Adult coloring page preview

Tel Aviv Urban Sketchers go on a Field Trip

In the dead of winter, we set out to draw in Kiryat Tivon. It was so nice to meet face to face with people I've only known thru facebook! I've also discovered a great artist - come and see >>

Urban Sketchers on a field trip

Living in Israel

Stories that illustrate what life in Israel is really like - for example, the Cafe-Kiosk where the wifi is free and everyone you meet has an idea for the next great startup :-)

Now let's eat:

Israel food market

We love to eat. 
Israeli food is the delicious culmination of jewish eating traditions from kitchens all over the world ("you look pale, eat something"), meeting the fresh mediterranean diet. 

Falafel and Humus, juice stands, sushi bars, steak houses, vegan menus and everything in between - we've got it all.
Sit in one of the fashionable sidewalk cafes in Tel Aviv, order a big salad and ice coffee, and you'll never want to leave :-)

Try the recipes for the classic Hummus recipe, and how to make Labane cheese:

Israel Weather and Climate

Israel weather

The weather in Israel is both a challenge and an opportunity. 
For example, practically every house in has a solar water heater, and we solved the worst of our drinking water shortage with desalination technology. 

Still, the heat is part of our daily life, so we need to find ways to live with it.
Find out how we save water, 
And when you go shopping in Dizengof Center, make sure to visit the Hydroponic farm on the roof!

Whatever you do, please don't miss the warning about the Israeli SUN:


The writing's on the wall, especially here. 

What I find so unusual about Israeli graffiti, is how much of it its text, or text based. Walking the streets of Tel Aviv is like reading a coded newspaper. Here's this wall for example, depicting the events of "the Tents Protest":

A quick note about phonetic spelling:

There are lots of names and words on this site that are phonetic transcripts from Hebrew. The way to read them, and pronounce them, are according to the basic vowel sounds:

A – say "ah"

E – "eh"

I – "ee"

O – "oh"

U – "oo"

Copyright notice –

All visual material and other materials on this site are copyright of, unless indicated otherwise.