Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Very Own Shabbes Make Up

I like to look nice for chag and yom tov, like I assume most of us do.
In Israel I never had a hard time with this, since everything goes. Here in chul I make more of an effort. I really don't want to be the shlubby outcast, so no more naot for me on shabbes, in fact, no more naot at all.
One of the hardest things for me now is not being able to put make up on during shabbes.
Here, the women in shul look stunning. They've put on nice close, nice hats and their make up is perfect. In general, we're a little frummer than the rest and I'm guessing that the women aren't all using "shabbes make up", since there is none over here. So, however hard I try, I still feel very shlubby with my naked face, especially come second or even third day yom tov.

Now, I realize I'm lucky. I'm still young and have nice skin. I generally don't use a lot of make up and it takes me about 5 minutes to apply, whether on a normal day or for a wedding. The only difference being a darker shade of eyeshadow/ lipstick for the latter occasion.

During our glorious trip to Paris last year I got to spend a little time in their make up heaven Sephora.
There I found their MAKE UP FOREVER line. I bought this aqua cream eyeshadow

I obviously chose a more neutral color, for who wants to be walking around with this for 24 hours +. Yes, you heard me right. I put it on before shabbes and by motsei shabbes it's still there. Maybe it faded a little, but I'm definitely still wearing eyeshadow. I combine it with an eyeliner from Essence (added bonus, it's really cheap) and my eyes are set to go all shabbes long and have lasted into 2nd day yom tov.

It's a little boring, wearing the same colors every weak, but at least there's some color there, even if it's just my eyes. And so, slowly, my own supply of shabbes make up started to accumulate.

I've only recently gotten into lipstick (I've always been pretty self conscious about my big lips and as a result never put more then colorless lip balm on my lips), so I don't mind when it's starts fading during the Friday evening meal, not to be seen again until next erev shabbes.
However, when I recently saw an add for a 24 hour lipstick, I thought, why not give it a try. Apparently Maybelline already had a 16 hour one (I'm really not that into make up, I only discovered this while looking for a link to place in this post) and their Super Stay 24 Color is meant to be even better.
I tried out a few colors on my hand, chose one, payed for it and went home. At home I discovered I could not get the color of my hand, no matter how hard I tried, even when I used my usual face wash. However annoying this was for me and my hand, it looked very promising for the goal for which I purchased this product. Yet, before trying it I did go out and buy an oil based make up remover as recommended on the box, just in case.
Good thing I did, cause come motsei shabbes and I really needed it. The color was still very much there (only down side is that you can't reapply the balm during shabbes). When I went to shul shabbes morning my old self conscious friend popped up and I felt compelled to ask my best friend if I didnt look like a clown, that's how bright the color still was. 
I'm looking forward to trying this now for a 2 day yom tov and see what happens. But I might still try to go out and get a little lighter, subtler color, cause let's face it, I'm not there yet.

Chag sameach everyone. And if anyone else has any super long lasting "shabbes" make up tips of their own to give, I'd love to hear them.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Jewish Nakba

I've been puzzled by the events that have unfolded in the last few days.

I was already confused when reading all the reports in the Israeli news about how the army/police where preparing for the Nakba. What was the big deal? Even in my uni days (not that long ago), surrounded with lots of Arabs, I never really noticed this day come and go. So why was Israel so worried something was going to happen this year?

As it turns out, they were right and Israel was in fact infiltrated by protesters from Syria and Lebanon. What's more, it looks like there was another terror attack. The perpetrator, however, is claiming it all was an accident, even though eyewitnesses seem to think otherwise.
Either way, there were significant problems as a result of Nakba day. Where were all these thousands of protesters all the previous years? Probably, Israel is right in saying Asad is trying to take the heat off himself and Iran probably is involved.

As a descendant of a Middle Eastern Jew, I have to ask, what about our "Nakba" day. What about all the Middle Eastern Jews who have been kicked out of their house, their homes, after having been in these countries for centuries, just because they're Jewish. People that had to leave everything behind. The stories my family tell sound very much like how it was for Jews during the Nazi regime before they were deported. Yet some how these horrific times are forgotten. Not only by them, but also by us. We have chosen to forget how badly we have been treated by Israel's neighboring countries and have in stead rebuilt our lives. My family, after having been one of the most richest and influential people of their city had to start all over again, and only one generation later, they have done very well for themselves. No one is living in poverty and no one is still a refugee. Yet somehow, the Palestinians outside of Israel have managed to hold on to their refugee status for three generations. They do so either willingly, or simply because their Arab hosts are denying them the right to become citizens.

I think it's time that we remind people of our tragedy, of our Nakba. Yes we have moved on and we are doing well, but if the Palestinians refugees are part of the Peace negotiations, then so should ours. Yes, it wasnt the Palestinians that kicked us out of Gaza, we did that for them. But the Arab countries that kicked us out are also the Arab countries that wont take the Palestinians in. And even if we're not considered refugees anymore, it is only because we worked hard on that. We still deserve to be recognized. We still deserve to be reimbursed for all the money and property that has been stolen from us. And if that is ever going to happen, it is time for us to stand up and make sure that no one forgets what happened.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Next Big Thing that is Banned

In general, I'm not very into the blind following of Rabbi's, especially not when they come out assuring something or other that until then was totally accepted by all.
But today I find myself posting in favor of such a proclamation by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. The Jerusalem Post reports that Rav Ovadia has changed his stand on smoking.

Everyone who has ever come in contact with a chareidi yeshive knows how common spread and accepted smoking is. It reminds me of a shabbat I spent at my Chareidi, Sfardi family. Somehow the conversation drifted onto smoking and my cousins were appealing to my uncle (the retired doctor) that smoking really isn't bad for you, right? I felt like I had just drifted back 50 years in time. I know the Chareidi world isn't very into science and all that, but I was shocked to hear that they honestly believed it doesn't harm them whatsoever and that almost all their friends in yeshive and rabbi's smoke. I have to add that at this point in life my husband was also in yeshive and that no one their smoked. I think it wasn't tolerated their, though it really was a non issue, simply no one smoked. My uncle gave a little smile, but refrained from answering the original question, which was a little disappointing. I still tried to make a stand, but it was hopeless.

Now however, the hope is back, for this time it isn't a non-chareidi woman telling him to stop, but rather it's their biggest spiritual leader, Rav Ovadia. He is calling on everyone to quit and stop the practice of handing out cigarettes at happy occasions like engagements. He even gives an example of how one can try quiting.
All I can say is good for him and I hope that people will listen to this one as they usually do when things are assured.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Why didn't Anyone Mention the Post-Pesach Stress?

First off, I apologize for having been so quiet lately. Things have been a little crazy, what with Pesach and general life stuff.
Things are always so crazy before Pesach; the cooking, shopping- both food and clothes and let's not forget about all the cleaning. Of course, life doesn't stop for major holidays. So I was somehow juggling this all, together with work, the kids and general daily nuisances that continue to crop up. So when chag came around, I was really ready. Ready for some peace and quiet, ready for some vacation, ready for some family fun.

Chag was good, albeit with some downsides. We went away, the food wasn't great and I didn't make it through seider cause I was sick. But on the up side, we were all together, had lots of laughs and the weather was fantastic.

And now we're back to normal, or well, sort of.
The day we came back was filled with stress, some quick food shopping and speedy unpacking. The next 2 days it was work as usual, coming home just a few hours before shabbes. Luckily, we were away for shabbes, so I didn't have to cook.

Somehow, after chag is over, I assume we'll just fall right back into routine. But I still feel a big post-pesach weight hanging over me (and not just around my waist). I haven't been able to restock a lot of the food, given that where we live I have to go to several different shops for all our daily needs and I've only made it to one. The loundry is piled meters high, especially the clean stuff that is just luring at me, waiting to be folded and put away. And today we came home after shabbes to find our fridge was left open (courtesy of one of my little helpers) and I had to throw out the majority of the food I had managed to buy. Oh, did I mention I don't live in Israel anymore but in this oh so Chrisitian place where stores arent open on Sunday? (Luckily, there is one a little further out, so I sent my husband, though I know it means half of what we need wont be bought).

I planned on spending my day restocking my freezer with all the shabbes essentials like challe and kugel and since I work so close to shabbes, this is really one of my priorities if we want to have food next shabbes. But honestly, I just feel so overwhelmed. Can I please just lie in bed and start over tomorrow? Do you think I can convince my kids to do the same?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How Much Longer?

It's basically the only thing I can think of saying.

How much longer can we suffer these attacks?
How much longer will the world stand by and condemn us for them?
How much longer until we really start fighting back?
How much longer until this terror reaches the west again?
How much longer until Iran strikes?
How much longer until we say enough?
How much longer until they finally say enough?
How much longer until the world says enough?
How much longer until Hashem says enough?

After all the terror that has been going on the past few weeks there have been speculations that Israel will have to invade Gaza again, especially since it has been raining Kasams since the weekend. Sadly, in this back and forth between kasams and IAF strikes, we all know that the world will be calling both parties to stop. How the world does not see the difference between bombs being placed at bus stations, rockets (that cannot be controlled as to where they might land) fired into major cities, families with little kids that are butchered while they sleep and civilian casualties that occur while targeting a terror location (most likely due to the fact that they were purposely positioned in a place where many civilians would get hurt)

Tell me, which Western country would let any of this happen without fighting back and making damn sure they'd win? If the Native Americans would start bombing New York, would anyone dream of saying “well you kinda had it coming since you’ve been occupying their land for so many years”?

People like to point out that Israel is the only democratic state in the Middle East as a reason to get others to focus on the other countries and their dictatorships.
Yes, we’ve seen that there is cause for worry with some of these countries and bravely, their people have been starting to stand up for themselves. Who knew how much the Libyan people where suffering, or how unhappy the Syrians are with Assad.
Yes, one does wonder how so much attention is given to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict whilst there are so many other pressing and often more gruesome matters happening in the world.

However, we are not praised for being a democracy. Rather, we are told by the west to negotiate with the same type of terrorist they have decided to attack. What’s more, for them the war is far off in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia and who knows, maybe soon Syria (but why oh why not Iran?). Our war is on our turf, yet we are not allowed to act like the West. We are not held to the same standards as the rest of the Middle East? Fine, we are above them. But why are we not held to the same standards as the rest of the West? Why are we forced to be more, do better and all at the risk of our own lives and those of our children?

How much longer until the West realizes that our fight is their fight?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Peace No More

I am attempting to come to some kind of terms with what happened this Friday night in Itamar.
Ever since becoming a mother myself I find I'm a lot more sensitive to these kinds of tragedies. I find I cannot let myself dwell on any of the details and won't even go near any of the pictures that have been released. Tears swell up in my eyes when I barely start to think about what happened to the Fogel family and their young ones. When I first heard the news all I kept thinking was how can a person kill a tiny baby. What kind of a "human being" can look down upon an innocent 3-month old and simply take her life.

I look at my own children peacefully asleep and I can't imagine what kind of hate must exist inside a person as to kill our little ones in their sleep.

And this is the turning point for me. No matter what the Israelis might be doing to the Palestinians, nothing justifies such a horrendous act, where one simply cannot attribute any humane trait to these murders. It seems that even the Palestinian officials are seeing that this is above and beyond, claiming that this cannot be an act perpetrated by their side, since they would never murder children in such a manner.  Of course, anyone who knows anything about the terror Israel has been through knows this is a clear lie. Palestinian terrorists have always targeted civilians and do not discriminate in age. One might say that at least they are trying to dissociate themselves from such acts, but the it has been reported that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza were celebrating on the streets and giving out candy. Furthermore, whilst Israel was morning the tragic loss of this family, Palestinians were honoring a terrorist who was involved in the murder of 35 Israelis by naming a square after her.
And these are the people we are somehow trying to make peace with. A people that is being indoctrinated with such hatred, that it has no problem with creeping into the bedrooms of tiny babies with the sole purpose of killing. A people that then goes out onto their streets to celebrate these "accomplishments". These are the people the West expects us to make peace with. A people whose moral values are so far removed from anything we Westerners know and cherish.
But we are also to blame. We are so desperate for peace, we fail to learn from history. We fail to see that whenever we give a little, we only get a slap in the face in return. We give up land, we get bombs, we give up roadblocks, we get terror attacks. When will we learn that there is no peace partner on the other side. When will we learn that as long as we're dealing with a people that can murder as they do (and believe they are going to heaven for it), we cannot give even the tiniest inch. The fact is that the Palestinians have been trained to perceive any Israeli compromise as a weakness on our side and a testament to their growing power, which only results in their renewal of terror.
Sadly, I see no end to this. Unless somehow some intelligent, Western minded people will take over and change the Palestinian education. As long as these people are being raised in an environment where killing Jewish babies is something praiseworthy and will guarantee your place in heaven, we have no peace partner. Again, how do you negotiate with someone who has such blind hatred that he will turn around and kill your children without a second thought?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cause for Celebration

My oldest kid has been having lots and lots of accidents.
She had been toilet trained for more than 1.5 years when the problems started. A family member died, and while she wasn't so close to him, she is very close to those left behind. She saw these people upset and crying which resulted in a weekend filled with wet clothing. From then on it slowly kept getting worse. After a few weeks of nightly bed changing we decided to put her back in diapers at night. But then slowly it started getting worse during the day as well. It kind of creeps up on you and suddenly you find yourself constantly changing clothes and doing laundry, yet never eliminating the overwhelming pee smell.
So I came to terms with it all and tried to retrain her the way we did the first time with sticker charts and treats. It got a bit better, and went from multiple accidents a day to only a few a week. And while we were on vacation, it was even better. But then we came back and we reached an all time low.
After talking to our pediatrician again, who of course didn't have the miracle answer, I decided to try some different tactics.
I've been pretty sure it all started due to the death in the family and all the emotions it entailed, but I'm not sure that's why it continued. She probably just got stuck in it a bit and the ball kept on rolling. However, the fact that it got better during vacation when we were all spending lots of time together also shows something. Maybe it's her way of saying she needs more attention. Maybe she things that acting more like her younger sibling will give it to her.
I've been talking to the younger one about toilets and potties, to get her in the mood. And secretly, I hoped that if the younger one gets out of her diapers, the older one won't want to lag behind. So this week I took the younger ones diaper off, making sure to focus on both their toilet needs. The older one was given the responsible role of showing the younger one how it works. We made the journey to the toilet and where the older one succeeded, the younger one wouldn't stay on the potty for more than 10 seconds, resulting in her peeing right next to the potty twice, obviously, right after having just stood up from it.
Anyway, I put her diaper right back on and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon watching as the older one kept inviting the younger one to join her on her trips to the bathroom so she can show her how it's done.
Yes, the younger one probably isn't ready, but this little experiment wasn't meant for her. It was meant for number one, and it seems to be working.
Of course, it's only been 3 days, but after weeks filled with multiple daily accidents, I think this is enough cause for a little celebration.