Quick Links

Find Authors

Books

Non-fiction
Diabetes type 2? Weight problems? Find your answers!
Fiction
Nonfiction
Water is the stuff of life - warm inside, cold outside. Did you know?
Nonfiction
Best and cheapest little book about how to live a healthy and long life!

Blog: On Health. On Writing. On Life. On Everything.

A Hodgepodge Letter From Jerusalem

May 31, 2011

Tags: food, order, America, appetite, archaeology, architecture, Armenian Christian, Berlin, books, Catholic - Italian and French, cauliflower, chopped liver, Christian faith, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, community, Copts, David – King, detoxifying organ, Dinner Plate, Eastern Church, family, Florence, Food Pyramid, Greek Orthodox, history, Holy Land, hope, individualism, Israel, Jerusalem, Jewish life, Letter From Jerusalem, liver, Muslims, New York, peace, Peace for the World, portion size, religion, Russian Orthodox, salad - fresh, Sidney, stones, synagogue, Western Church

If you think that America is a melting pot – Israel is the most colorfully mixed country, the loudest and the most silent, the most hilarious and the saddest.

Jerusalem is the most beautiful city in the world. I know you might fight me over this – and I have indeed seen beauty all over the world. The bustling daring of New York, the lovely harbor of Sidney, the classical stones of Florence, the young energy of the new Berlin – you get it.

Jerusalem has something else: An ordinance in place for many thousand years – precisely since King David, I was told – that every house in the city has to be built of the local stone, at least the façade. The house might be an old synagogue or a modern high-rise - they all are clad in the same white-golden sandstone; even most pavements use this stone. When one approaches the city from afar, it looks like a dream dwelling: a white city shimmering on the hills.

That this thousands-of-years-old ordinance is still in place shows a will to community: The individual burgher might have preferred a modern glass building or a brick castle; nevertheless, he abides by the rules. Compare an American town with billboards and every-which style of architecture: There the individual will wins out, under all circumstances. I can’t make up my mind, which one I find the more useful guide pole – individualism or communal thinking - but I know that Jerusalem is singular, and beautiful.

Another thing I like about Jewish life: They cherish family, books, history. We all should live thus (I am saying this knowing full well that family life can be stifling, even in the best of cases).

Certainly, you want to hear about the food here: A meal starts with several fresh salads. The other night, with little appetite, I ordered only two appetizers: cauliflower and chopped liver. The cauliflower was delicious but so gigantic that I shared it with the whole table, ate until I was bursting – and then there was some left over. The chopped liver was a mountain into which I could only bore a little hole – and nobody wanted to share; I have a thing going for liver since childhood, but mostly avoid it now as liver is the main detoxifying organ in the body – even of a cow. Nobody at the table seemed to share my liver thing …

Our Government plans to abandon the Food Pyramid (about time!!), and replace it with the Dinner Plate. So, my Israel proportion shock comes just in time: For healthy nutrition you need to know really only two basics:

1. Freshness – everything you eat should have grown somewhere.
2. Portion size – your meal should fit on a small dinner plate. If you have to lose weight, make it a breakfast plate; they are smaller. No snacks – that goes without saying.

And a last observation from Jerusalem: The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is owned communally by several branches of the Christian faith: Western Church (Italian and French Catholic) and Eastern Church (Copts, Armenians, Greek and Russian Orthodox). And if I believe the tour guide, it is a mess: Those Churches are in constant fight over every inch of the church – so much so that the key is kept in the hands of a neutral third, the Muslims. It says something about religions if the message of Peace for the World is not heeded in the very church building it once started (or presumably started – history and archaeology are messy in the Holy Land).

In the Knesset, I heard the President of Israel, Shimon Peres, give a speech in Hebrew. I did only understand two words: Tikwa and Shalom – hope and peace. Good enough for me.

Berlin – About Friendship

October 5, 2010

Tags: order, Berlin, Berlin – About Friendship, boyfriends, childbirth, children, death, depression, farting, fishing, friendship, Germany, Iran, life, love, menopause, parents - old, politics, reading, work

I don’t know how I would have made it through my life without my girlfriends.

When I was younger, a girlfriend and I had a saying: “Love is more important, but friendship lasts longer.”

After a few false starts, I have found a wonderful man in my life. But my friendships with women still sustain me through rocky times. And give me much laughter.

Without the advice and support of other women, how would I ever have raised my children? Every little domestic disaster was talked through – and the big ones too. When I had my first child, I was all alone without any friends – living in our little nuclear family, talking to nobody outside, burying myself in reading. Nowadays, I think they would diagnose me with depression. But I know I was not depressed – I was without friends.

Presently, I am visiting Berlin that are filled with women friends for me, friends from far, far back, newer friends, and some in the middle. The last few days, I have reconnected with several old friends, having so much fun. During long walks, over tea or a good meal we told each other what happened in our lives since we met last time, we laughed and were touched.

Men seem to discuss work and politics, fishing and farting (not that I really know what their subjects are when they are alone!). Women talk about life and love and death, about childbirth, boyfriends, menopause, children and old parents. About work too because we all have deep interests. Even politics we mention occasionally.

What makes a good friendship? If you haven’t seen each other for a while – or many years – it is a sign of solid friendship if you click again the moment you meet. No repercussions why it took so long – just pure bliss that you are together again.

Recently in Iran, a made new friends who will stay friends for many years to come. Berlin has renewed some old friendships. New and old friends, they make you examine your life. Without them, life is not worth living.
Aspen eyes, by Peggy Peters

Iguazu Falls, by Xin Liu

Alexa Fleckenstein M.D. 2012, by Lolita Parker jr.

Tags - see also the non-captalized entries below!