Thursday, April 26, 2007

To #164

Mazel Tov. Only Nachos. With cheese. Of course.

Monday, April 23, 2007


So there we were, listening on the phone, trying to hear the name of the baby, and they got to the part where it said, kra shemo b'yisroel, BEEEP, ben Shaul Moshe.

What. We listen to the whole bris and the important part gets knocked out.

How do you like that. So we stayed on the phone until the second time they read the name.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Looking for Someone who Knows Modern Israel history

One of the things I really like about Israel is that on Tisha Baav, almost all of the TV stations went off the air. It happened again last week for Yom HoShoah, and tonight again, most of the channels say that they aer off the air until tomorrow evening.

One channel is running a list of all the soldiers who have died in Israel's wars, long with the date that they died. I had been watching for a short time at least a dozen names came, one right after the other, for September 1, 1940. Curious as to what caused so many Israelis to die that day, in pre state times, I did a google search and found that September 1 1940 was a very historically significant day. However, I could not find anything relating to the jews who died in Israel on that day.

Does anyone know the story of these people?

I Sneezed

I was watching a program for Yom HaZikaron and I sneezed. And I didn't pull my left ear. Sorry, Eem.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Dear Eem and Ab

Thanks for the Afikoman present! You guys rock!


Sunday, April 15, 2007

נזכור ולא נשכח

The above was typed out on all the traffic notification billboards on my way home from Raanana tonight. I imagine it was all over the country as well, since tonight starts Yom HaShoah.

I showed it to my kids and one said, "It's amazing." I totally agree.

Modiin Miracle Logo and Tickets

The Modi'in Miracle finally have a logo. I'm not really connecting to it yet, but I think I can get used to it.

The league also released ticket prices, and online ordering has been available since at least Friday.

General Admission tickets are $6/25 NIS, with premium seating at $10/40 NIS.

I tried to buy tickets on Friday, but the website wouldn't accept my Direct credit card, and I didn't have a US credit card with me.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Heather Locklear and Richie Sambora have finalized their divorce. If the former wife of Tommy Lee and Bon Jovi's right-hand-man can't make it, is there hope for any of us?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Lucy - Update

I regret to inform you of the passing of the late Lucy K., dog and beloved friend of my aunt, uncle and cousins. After weighing the options and considering the compliacted surgery, she was put to sleep for the last time this morning at ten.

My youngest, home with me and trying to get over Pneumonia, took the news as bravely as possible under the circumstances. We both cried for half an hour. In fact we're still sniffling. The boys will find out when they get home from school. And we will all mourn together on Shabbos when we join my aunt and uncle at their house.

Lucy will be missed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


My cousin Lucy hasn't been feeling well lately. When I spent time with her on the fist day of Chag, I noticed she just wasn't herself. She's an older gal in her 70's though, and I guess I thought she's just slowing down. Yesterday, my aunt took her to the doctor when blood was noticed in her urine. The tests showed that she has severe liver damage and needed an immediate infusion. Today she will have another infusion, and ultrasound and a biopsy of the liver.

The last time I cared about a dog like this I was in elementary school, and Buff's life was on the line. Our black part-lab had been hit by a car and was too broken up to keep alive. My mother had to make the ultimate decision to put him down out of mercy.

I don't know what's going to happen to Lucy, but my kids are really attached to her. She's the closest my kids have ever been to "being related to" a dog. When we go over to my aunt and uncle's, the first words out of their mouths are either, "Lucy, wanna go out?" or "Can I feed Lucy?"

I've told the kids that Lu is sick and that I don't know what's going to happen to her. I hope they have built up enough strength after the trauma of the move to be able to take any news in stride. We'll see.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

1978 Lincoln Town Car

My grandparents have been driving the same car for almost 30 years. Every time it needs work, and often before, my grandpa drives his "classic" down to the mechanic or body shop and has something done to it. He has never been interested in even discussing a replacement or a second car. Oh, and he's 84 and scares people when he gets on the road.

This week was my all-time favorite garndpa moment, though. He just had a newly-built engine put into his "baby". To the tune of over $2,000. Anyone want to take a stab at what a 1978 Lincoln Town Car is worth today?

The IBL Response

Ask and you shall receive. This was the answer I got from the IBL.

Fair question, but I have good answers. First of all, the broadcast is
going to be on-line from 8 pm EST onward till opening game, so no one will
miss anything. Click on it at any point and you will be able to watch the
whole thing. Second, we have to allow for the fact that the people who
are doing the work to get the draft on line are here in the States and it
would be very prohibitive to ship them all over there for the hour that
the draft will take place. Third, over half of the players live in the
U.S. and they are the ones really sitting on the edge of their seats.
Fourth, we have to admit to the fact that in this first year, we probably
will have more fans in the States than in Israel.

All that being said, know that our efforts to change this around is
receiving more attention than you probably realize. The goal, after all,
is to have this be an Israel baseball league. Our web site will be
available and updated in Hebrew shortly. We will be having nine Sunday
night games -- Opening Game, our All-Star Game, the Championship Game, and
six Games of the Week -- broadcast live in Hebrew on Arutz Sport tv. We
also are maintaining a presence on both and the web site of
Arutz Sport, both in Hebrew. And we will be setting up a baseball academy
in Israel to work with the best Israeli players so that each year more and
more players in the league will be native Israelis. Jerusalem wasn't
built in a day, but we are trying very hard.

Chasing the Wrong Audience - The Israeli Baseball League Draft

I got my monthly newsletter from the Israeli Baseball League this aftrernoon. They announced that they were going to simulcast their draft online, so viewers at home could watch their favorite teams stock their teams.

I think the idea is great. I was imagining sitting at work, updating the blog with the latest Modiin Miracle picks.

Then I read the email closer. The draft is taking place on a sunday night at 8 PM EST.

If you're having trouble doing the math at home, that's 3 AM Israel time.

Who, exactly, is the league trying to reach? Do they think that a Jeremy Schaap-hosted evening is going to sell tickets to Israelis, which are the key to success of the league? Because while tourists will come to the park to watch baseball, they are not going to sustain the league. That is going to come from Israelis buying into the game. Not 300 IBL fans sitting at Cordozo law school.

Write them an email if you are as disappointed as I am. Their email address is

From the IBL's newsletter...

Starting at 8:00 EST on Sunday evening, April 29, IBL fans can see for themselves how that sentence ends, along with the player-by-player selections of all six IBL teams, by watching the league’s first player draft unfold on the IBL web site!

The process for filling out the rosters will be very familiar to those who are NFL and NBA draft devotees. Overall player recruitment has been an exhaustive and scrupulous effort on the part of Dan Duquette and Martin Berger, the IBL’s senior baseball executives. All in all, five tryouts will have served as the primary source for this season’s teams – the first one held in August in Hinsdale, Massachusetts, followed by spirited player competitions in Israel, Miami, the Dominican Republic, and Los Angeles (scheduled for April 15). These tryouts were supplemented by a scouting and referral system that resulted in the IBL signing premier players from nine countries in total. Many have professional backgrounds and exceed the initial objectives as set forth by IBL personnel. Very quickly, the IBL has developed into a “go to” league on the international scene for star players looking to showcase their skills.

With the signing of this year’s players, the next step is to have the players allocated to each of the six teams. Mssrs. Duquette and Berger have compiled a sophisticated scouting and grading system, resulting in a player evaluation score based on a scale from 0 to 100. At the forthcoming draft, IBL representatives, each representing a specific IBL team, will be choosing the players in an alternating draft format, using these evaluation reports as the primary basis for their selections. It will be interesting to see which team will put a premium on starting pitching, which on power hitters (all the more important in the IBL due to its Home Run Derby method of breaking tie games), which on speed and defense, and which on “Moneyball” criteria.

The draft will take place in New York City at Cardozo Law School before 300 IBL fans. Famed ESPN sportscaster Jeremy Schaap will be the host of the draft, with IBL Director of Player Personnel Martin Berger by his side to assist in reviewing players’ experience, talents, and anecdotal information.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Chag Sameach

On the eve of opening day

We all remember how last season ended. Not Brandon Inge going down with a chance to take the lead in the top of the ninth of game five. But the body of World Series work. Five separate pitching errors. A quick exit against a Cardinal team that most of the experts didn't give a chance going up against Tiger pitching.

But even with that bitter E-1 taste lingering from last October, there is no way this season could be any sweeter than than the 2006 Tiger team. Watching the team pour champagne over each other's heads in the basement of Comerica Park this October will be something to remember, but how can it compare to last year's surprise.

The 2006 team came into the season without a winning season in the 11 years. They had lost 119 games in 2003, and all they had coming into the 2006 season was a handful of hope.

But hope and promise turned into fulfillment. Justin Verlander went from prospect to rookie of the year, and Joel Zumaya, a rookie who played as a starter through his minor league career, became a national story behind his 100 MPH fastball.

Bonderman pitched well, Kenny Rogers was spectacular, and the Tigers skipped a few lessons, moving from bottom of the pack to the class of the league.

Has anyone, in any sport, ever seen similar outpouring of joy and emotion after a team clinches a playoff birth or wins a series. Players running around the field, spraying Champagne at the fans. The 2006 team was a group of players with no expectations greater than reaching .500. Instead, they first surprised themselves, then shocked the world.

Last year's team didn't win the World Series, but they gave Detroit a perfect gift in a summer filled with bad news from the automotive front. They treated us to the rarest of treats in sports, a surprise that never flickered and fizzled out.

This year's team will never be able to give us that pure season that can only come from no expectations. Hopefully, they can give us a World Series in its place.

Arieh Sachs

Last night, after cleaning our house for Pesach, I took my sister back home, to Jerusalem. She lives in Talpiot, just a few blocks away from Emek Refaim, so we stopped for a 2 am cornbeef sandwich. I dropped her off at home 20 minutes later, and began my journey home.

I have driven home from her house many times before, but this was the first time i had done so legally, with a valid driver's license. I wasn't paying close attention to where I was going, and was quickly lost.

There was a taxi in front of me, and I decided to follow the taxi. The taxi wa driving in the general direction that I thought I needed to be going, and I stayed behind the cab for a few minutes. We reached a traffic circle, and the taxi turned back toward the direction from where we had just come from. I didn't want the taxi driver to think I was following him, so instead of turning around behind the cab, I turned left, which was again in the general direction that I thought I should be going.

I drove down a street that got narrower and narrower, until I reached a point where I could go no further. I decided to try and retrace my steps, perhaps being able to find the road i was looking for.

I drove back up the narrow street, ready to make a right at the intersection.

I was curious where I was, and decided to look at the street name. I was very surprised by the name on the sign. For there, in hebrew, was my name.

There was a time when I would have gotten some help from my yeshiva buddies and "liberated" the sign. Now, I just want to go back one day with a camera, and take a picture.

When I came home I went to bed, but looked him up online this morning. With Veev's help to translate the hebrew, I discovered that Arieh Sachs was a poet and writer.

Arieh Sachs died 12 years before the web site we found was posted. The last thing we saw that wrote was written in 1988.


For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle(dove) is heard in our land.

Go Tigers