Archive for the ‘advice’ Category

Reach, throw…

April 25, 2017

14th of Omer, H. Ne’eman, Scottsdale

Tonight I was sitting by the pool reviewing a lot of my life mistakes, I guess you could say it was the reflecting pool, at least for that time. At some time in the middle I see a big moth splashing about in the water. He keeps getting swished around, can’t get out of the water, and does not come close enough to the side for me to reach him.

In the scouts, in our lifesaving classes, we learned the order of rescue: Reach, Throw, Row, Go. Finally I remembered that there were some Styrofoam swim tubes in one of the changing rooms. I procured one of those and made the moth reach-rescue.

May Hashem be so kind as to help us out of our fixes! Ana Hashem Hoshia Na!




message to you

March 19, 2017

Motz. Shabbat, Ohr l’21 Adar, 5777 Hanoch Ne’eman, Scottsdale, AZ

On Wed., the 11th of Adar, I took a hike up and over Camelback Mt., starting on Invergordon Road. When I got back to my car, there was another car parked behind me. On its hood were metal letters which said “Trust in G-d”. On the back of the car were more hood ornament letters saying “keep pushing forward”.

This was for me a personal message, I felt, as during my hike I was saying to myself, as a mantra, “push your self to accomplish”, not regarding the hike but as a general admonishment. Coming at the end of the hike, it was like a confirmation.

Vegetarian at 105

January 8, 2017

10 Tevet, 5777 Hanoch Ne’eman, Jerusalem

Recently a Frenchman by the name of Robert Marchand set a record: at age 105 he bicycled over 22.5 kilometers in an hour. Now you are probably thinking like me, how many 105 year olds can two wheel bicycle at all, let alone for an hour? So good for him for being an example for fitness. But what I was also impressed with was that his trainer said, (with disapproval) that Robert had recently stopped eating meat, and that she thinks he could have done better if he was eating meat. The reason he stopped was because he felt animals were often mistreated in the meat industry. Bravo. That is part of why I started eating vegetarian also years ago. And in general, is it nice for us to eat animals?

The question is why this man just started doing this at 105? I in any case applaud it, but I can also suggest a possible reason. Many years ago a friend once suggested to me that perhaps I was a vegetarian because I was afraid of death. Well I think there may be something to that. We all fear death somewhat. Perhaps that aversion translates into not wanting to be the cause of death of other creatures too. So, perhaps, when you are 105, you are more sensitive to death too?

In any case, Hashem should help us all to stay both fit and sensitive to our fellow creatures.

A prayer for teeth

December 27, 2016

27 Kislev 5777 Hanoch Ne’eman, Jerusalem

In the kiddush levana prayers, over the new moon, there is a request in some siddurim for no toothaches or cavities!? I guess because the moon is white and sort of looks like a big tooth, and you know how the kabbalah is sensitive to subtle associations.

But truthfully, and toothfully, teeth are worth praying over. How I wish I still had a full set of non-filled or chipped teeth. It’s all about dental hygiene.  And yes, you can brush your teeth on shabbat, and floss too, if you cut the floss before shabbat. I recommend this; letting one’s teeth go bad is not my idea of religion.

How to return to Israel

September 29, 2016

27 Elul 5776 Hanoch Ne’eman Jerusalem

This post is about the best way to arrive  in Israel. If you want to ask the more philosophic question of how one engenders the dorothy-like sentiment of “there is no place like home“, I defer you to other places.

But what is the best way to arrive in Israel? As I live in Jerusalem, I usually head from baggage claim to those beloved schlemiels waiting for you with a Nesher sherut van by the curb outside. That is usually a low point in my trip. After some twenty hours of travel, the last thing I feel like is piling into a taxi van for ninety minutes more of squashed travel. This week, when I returned from Phoenix via LA, I did what I have often thought of doing, but did not; I went to Tel Aviv first. It was a good decision and I think I am going to do this always from now on.

First of all, you don’t have to get in a van, rather you can buy a train ticket for 13.50 and get on the train which pulls up in the station right below the airport exit. There is room for your suitcase and you can sit like a human being as the train makes the 15 minute trip to Tel Aviv. Got off at the Center Station and took #5 bus to dizengoff street. Got out and walked towards sea. Came to Hayarkon street near the Carlton and walked through the nice park there. Arrived at lookout over ocean, beautiful and refreshing ocean breeze. Walked down to marina and checked out boats and sailboat rental. Some young kids were having lessons in cute small sailboats with a teacher in an inflatable motorboat. Was thinking of buying something to eat but was tired so went back to Dizengoff, took 5 back to Arlosoroff and took 480 to Jerusalem. What a mechaya; I recommend to all travellers arriving in Israel to first go to Tel Aviv, have something (kosher) to eat there, a glass of wine perhaps, and then go on to your destination. Going straight to Jerusalem is like reciting shacharis and skipping pesukei d’zimra. You know what I mean? You need to warm up.

Elie Wiesel

July 2, 2016

27 Sivan 5776 Jerusalem Hanoch Ne’eman

The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.

Was saddened to learn this night of the passing of the great Jew, Elie Wiesel, of blessed memory.

In college, I studied his books on the Hasidic masters, and also read Night as part of my European History 2 class.

My parents gave me an autographed copy of his auto-biography, All Rivers Run Into the Sea. In it he said that he responds to all people who write to him. I wrote him, and he responded.

I love people like that.

I highly encourage you to read his works about the Hasidic Masters, such as Somewhere a Master.



June 21, 2016

16 Sivan 5776 Israel – Hanoch the Gardener

Hillel said: If I am here, then all is here. (Sukka 53a)

What does this mean?

I do not know if it is related, but I was thinking today that often one’s problems in life stem from our thinking that we are in the wrong situation. However, I believe, it is usually not so much the situation which is wrong, but how we are balancing within it, tailoring it and ourselves one to the other.

If I can balance myself properly to my present situation, then the situation is fine and not lacking anything; all is here.


Tired poem

June 13, 2016

7 Sivan 5776 Hanoch – Jerusalem


I am tired of being single

it’s time to take a holy wife.

I am tired of being single

it’s time to get a life.

Bedtime prayer

June 13, 2016

7 Sivan 5776 Hanoch Ne’eman Jerusalem (c)

I will dream good dreams,

I will renew and heal.

I will wake the dawn,

With strength and zeal.

Muck Rack

January 28, 2016

19 Shevat 5776 Arizona Hanoch Ne’eman (c)

Muck Rack is a phony web site which puts people’s names on articles they did not write at all.

I just put this here because it annoys me that they put my name on things I did not write. In fact they put five people’s names at a time on an article none of them wrote.

We pray Muck Rack sinks into the muck and takes their phony site offline soon, Amen.