Hadaß Badaß

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Sometimes, when a German song goes on my player, I wonder how funny it would be if my family heard that song and how they would react to it. I remember visiting my aunt in Los Angeles once and at some point during dinner, I got thirsty and said “Wasser, bitte!” My aunt did not understand but she got that it was German and said “No German on this table!” as if I had just cursed or something.

My cousin said he hates German because there’s so much “phlegm” sounds in it “It’s all chh, chh, chh,” he said. As it turns out, most of the “phlegm” sounds in German are much more refined. They sound like something between “ch” and “sh” – not much throat is being used. In fact, there are a lot more phlegm sounds in Hebrew, but my cousin ignores that because to him, German is still a gross language.

It made me think about the associations that we make to some languages and how it affects how we feel about them. Like, why is French the language of love? Or maybe it’s Spanish, the language of romance. Chinese, even though it’s the most spoken language in the world, is one that nobody seems to understand because we always say “It’s Chinese to me”.

So with German, the association that people make is automatically World War 2. For the Jewish people, it’s automatically Hitler and the Holocaust. I admit, I too was indoctrinated from a young age to associate German and Germany with its negative history. I literally know nothing of German history except for the years of 1933 to 1945. The first person I heard speaking German was Hitler, when they showed us videos of his speeches back in high school. Being in a private Jewish school, not a week went by without some mention of it. Even on holidays.

On Purim, we talked about Haman. “Who does it remind you of?” the teacher asks. And we would answer almost in unison “Hitler.” In fact, some believe that 11 out of the 12 people who were sentenced to death during the Nuremberg trials were actually the reincarnations of Haman and his 10 sons who were also sentenced to death and hanged.

On Passover, it was Pharaoh. He tossed the Hebrews’ newborn babies into the Nile. Of course he’s Hitler.

By Secondary 5 (Grade 11), I got into Rammstein, and German suddenly didn’t seem so ugly to me anymore. Then I heard other people speaking German. Just random people on the street and tourists, and it actually started to sound beautiful. The accent, the refined “shh” sounds, the O’s and the U’s with the two dots on top of them that sound almost like the way E and U are pronounced in French. I fell in love with it, tried learning it, started listening to other German bands, got excited every time I heard of a new German word I never knew before (“Scheissdreck” is still my all-time favorite), lost my mind over my typewriter when I discovered it was in German and included the letter ß.

So the association somewhat changed for me. It got me thinking “what if it was the other way around?” For example, Italian. We think of it as a beautiful language because we associate it with art and spirituality. We think of Rome and the Vatican, the architecture, the vibrant culture and art of the Renaissance. We think of da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, and the rest of the Ninja Turtles namesakes. With such stunningly beautiful cities like Venice, Florence, Rome, and Tuscany, is it any wonder why we think of Italian as a beautiful language?

What if the association was reversed? What if Italian also made us think of World War 2? Italy was an Axis power. Mussolini was a cruel and ruthless dictator who ruled Italy with an iron fist for two decades – well before WW2 ever began. It is said that Hitler actually looked up to Mussolini as a mentor and as a role model. And the fact that Mussolini was a fascist, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he was as much of an anti-Semite as Hitler was. With that association in mind, Italian doesn’t sound as pretty anymore.

But we still think of German as the language of evil because Mussolini was not the one who instigated a systematic extermination of European Jewry.

But again, what if it was the other way around? Germany is a beautiful country with a rich culture as well. I don’t know much of it because, like I said, they never taught us anything of Germany besides the ugly stuff. But thinking of German culture, I think of great beer and Oktoberfest, I think of good food like schnitzel and strudel that were both adopted by Israel, a bunch of German words that were also adopted by Hebrew speakers (the latest one I learned of is “Gummi” – rubber), and Yiddish would never have existed if it wasn’t for German. For real, these languages are almost identical. You wouldn’t believe how many German words I learned simply by hanging out with people who speak Yiddish.

And of course, I think of German music. And I don’t just mean Rammstein and Vogelfrey, which my family would undoubtedly hate not just because of the language but also because they’re both metal bands – music that my family cannot stand. I mean the classics – Beethoven, Bach, Mozart – they were all German, and they composed the most beautiful tunes in the world. I honestly think that contemporary music would not be what it is if it wasn’t for those legendary composers. Thinking of these beautiful musical sounds, German suddenly sounds just as beautiful.

Yes, Hitler was a motherfucking monster. Yes, Nazi Germany was sadistic and hateful and we’re all glad it was destroyed. Yes, the Holocaust was horrible beyond words can ever express. It’s the darkest time, not only in German history but also in Jewish history. It’s a part of mine and my people’s history, and nothing will ever change that.

But I don’t think that we should praise or demonize a language just because of the associations we make. It makes no sense. Wars and death do not define a language. Neither does love and romance.

So the next time I get thirsty right about the same time I get struck by an uncontrollable urge to speak the most beautiful and lyrical language in the world, and say “Wasser, bitte!” please shut the fuck up and give me some damn water.

Peace, love and scheissdreck forever

MoZi Prompts

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The Monthly Zine Project prompts are up and I’m all a-tingle. But not as much as I had hoped to be. There are some prompts that do not appeal to me so these will either have to be deleted from my list or replaced with others.

So here are my plans:

January: Trees
I was hoping this prompt will be a little later in the year so I can write a bit more about the new lemon tree in our backyard. It’s still small and young and has yet to bear fruit. But it’s actually really fitting that Tu Bishvat (the Jewish Arbor Day) is in January! So I can definitely write about that.

February: No-One Is Illegal
No, I don’t really want to write about that. Instead of that, I’m thinking of writing a zine about triangle families and maybe busting a few of the myths associated with having an only-child. It’s a difficult topic for me to write about but I’m willing to give it a shot.

March: Mirror
I think I want to tackle the magical aspect associated with mirrors. Why does it feature in horror movies, fairy tales, songs, etc.? What is it that makes the mirror such a mystical object?

April: Pets
I’ll write about all the pets I’ve had in the past and today, and also which ones I would have liked to have but never did.

May: Protection
Umm, no. I can’t think of anything related to this prompt that I actually want to write about. I’m replacing it with the topic of drawing. Since I’m hoping to sign up to a drawing course soon, I might have enough material for a zine about it by May. And I’ll definitely include some of the drawings I manage to make.

June: Celebration
We celebrate Shavuot in June so I’ll write about that.

July: Clothes
July is International Zine Month and I’m usually too busy working on a full-length zine to be doing much of anything else… but why don’t I work on a full-length zine about clothes? I’m sure I can fill a whole zine with pieces related to this topic. I just need to brainstorm and I’m set.

August: Tools
I think I’ll write a bit about my muscular condition and how I really can’t use any fucking tools because my hands are too weak. Yes, this prompt makes me angry, and I can put this anger to good use.

September: Dreams
As literal as it gets. I’m going to write about dreams I have at night, including nightmares, flying dreams, sexy dreams, and everything. And also why I love sleep so much.

October: Things I’ve Read
Yet another opportunity to brag about my addiction to Stephen King. Don’t mind if I do!

November: BLM
November is ZineWriMo, and I honestly have nothing to say about BLM. This movement does not exist in Israel (though it probably should because there are Ethiopian Jews living in Israel and racism exists here too). I was thinking about writing another issue of Raise Your Horns for a while now, so why don’t I do that? Write a bit more about metal and my utter desperate love for this genre of music.

December: Magic
Well, Hanukkah is in December. Maybe I should talk a bit about the magic of Hanukkah or something… I’ll figure it out when the time comes.

So there you have it. My plans for MoZiPro are set and I’m quite pleased with them. How about you? Are you also participating in MoZiPro? How do you feel about the prompts?

Peace, love and *changing Rose Madder’s ink ribbon*

The Lindemann Blast

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I mostly dread January 1. Many of the new year days I’ve had in my life were full of shit. I’ve detailed them in a previous post (I’m too tired to search for it in my archives now) but suffice it to say they were unmemorable at best and downright nightmarish at worst.

But not this year!

This year started off with eardrum-perforating bangs emanating from the stage in the Toto Center in Holon. Till Lindemann kicked off his Ich Hasse Kinder tour with the first ever show in Israel, and no amount of Covid germs were going to keep me from being there. That was last night, so not exactly new year’s eve but still January 1 and still a badass way to start off 2022.

We still took whatever precautions we could. The venue kept a strict record of Green Passes, so that was a relief. Both me and my husband were triple-vaxxed and double-masked just in case. We were glad to see that the venue wasn’t so packed and we were still relatively close to the stage. Visibility was 100%, the sound was not too overwhelming and I wasn’t upset I forgot my earplugs, but the floor still vibrated from the bass and I loved the shit out of it.

My favorite tune was “Knebel”. He delivered a kickass version of it and he paused for a few second before blasting off into the “Mund” scream part of the song. The stage went silent as the crowd screamed “Mund!” and Till pumped his hands with the palms facing up to urge the crowd to scream louder, and then he burst into “IN DEM MUUUUUND!!” I tried to scream as loud as I could. It proved to be tricky behind my double-mask layers.

It was nice and theatrical. Many things were tossed into the crowd. Aside from the usual drumsticks and water bottles, Till also tossed real dead fish (during “Fish On”) and no less than like 10 cakes (during “Allesfresser”). We weren’t within the range of the projectiles but it was still fun to watch. There was also the video art in the background which was just as obscene and gag-worthy as I expected it to be. Definitely not a show for the faint of heart. That’s a forewarning for anyone out there who is also looking forward to see Till performing live.

And despite his name being the Hebrew word for “missile”, Till had no explosions or pyrotechs in the show, as opposed to Rammstein shows. He still delivered an awesome performance and we still had a blast, even with no actual fire involved. And that blast was all the new year fireworks we really needed.

The ringing drone, the stiff neck, the butchered throat and the lack of sufficient sleep I suffer from now is definitely worth it. If not for the first real metal show I’ve had in the past two years, then definitely for finally getting a chance to wear my full metal gear – my black pants with the metal buckles, my studded belt, and my black velvet jacket with the faux-fur on the collar and the metal studs and buckles all up and down the fabric – which has been collecting dust in my closet, sadly discarded.

I took no pictures during the show because I was enjoying myself too much, but here’s a picture of Till next to the Sheraton hotel in Tel Aviv.

Peace, love and the Covid risk is worth it too

Uncertainties 2022

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I think I pretty much gave up on New Year’s resolutions. With the health crisis that doesn’t seem to be loosening its grip on reality, it’s turning every resolution into an uncertainty, lacking plausibility and purpose, or yet another broken promise.

But as a Libra, craving balance and thriving on order, I still feel the need to plan ahead and make arrangements wherever necessary. So that if the “resolution” does indeed not happen, I can say “Well, it’s not for a lack of trying. I did what I needed to do, and the Covid crisis stole it from under me as was par for the course for the past two years. Not my fault.”

In many instances in my life, even before the crisis hit, I tried my best to set my expectations low in order to avoid disappointment if things don’t pan out. My husband does that regularly and obsessively. Sometimes to a point where I get angry with him and just tell him to stop being so pessimistic all the time. But most of the time, it’s the right thing to do. And for the past two years, it’s the only thing to do.

So the “resolutions” I set for this year are called “New Year’s List of Things that Are Set to Blow Up in My Face 2022”. Here are the things that may or may not happen, in no particular order.

  1. See Lindemann live (he’s already landed so it’s becoming more possible)
  2. Sign up my daughter for 1st Grade (I’m required by law to do that so, again, even more possible)
  3. Participate in That Monthly Zine Project
  4. Participate in International Zine Month
  5. Participate in ZineWriMo
  6. Create an updated catalog for my Etsy shop
  7. Sign up for a drawing class
  8. Work with my kid on basic skills (tying a knot, reading a clock, riding a two-wheeler, etc.)
  9. In summer, spend a weekend in Tiberias and go to the Kinneret
  10. In summer, spend a weekend in Eilat and go on a camel ride

If the Green Pass will still be required for hotels, venues, schools, etc., I’m also planning on getting whatever vaccines whenever they become available for us – the fourth dose for me and my husband, the third for my daughter, flu shots, you name it. Under the circumstances, I noticed just how much better the quality of my life is since we all got the Green Pass. While everyone is in quarantine, we’re not because we have the Green Pass. We’re not required to have any tests, we’re not doomed to miss out on social events, we have no trouble getting into any venue; it’s simply wonderful and makes everything so much easier. So yes, vaccines are a must if I want to keep saying “I did everything I needed to do. Not my fault if it didn’t work out.”

What about you? What are the things that you hope to do in 2022 but have no idea if any of them are even remotely possible?

Peace, love and new tuque!

PS – I can’t believe I got through a whole post without swearing even once! LOL!

A Zine for Every Period

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I’ve heard of That Monthly Zine Project a while ago, but I never took part in it for various reasons. I actually wrote a post about it back in January 2020. Back then, it was called MoZiPro and the only source I found about it was on Instagram. Their Facebook page was close to empty.

A few days ago, I came upon their Facebook page again and was stunned to see how much better it was. I think Facebook groups and pages are far more user-friendly and also more interactive than Instagram. The new MoZiPro FB page now has a lot of pictures, posts, new members, including myself. The fact that members can post about their own projects on it is already a huge plus. Finally, I found the community and the zinesters who are interested in this project and participate in it. It attracts me more than it did before.

I still think that making 12 zines a year (one for every month) is far too intensive for me. And the fact that the prompts may not always speak to me is also still a bit of an issue. But in truth, I really want to make more zines and not just on International Zine Month or on ZineWriMo.

Also, the zines I make on this project don’t even have to be full-length ones. They can be mini-zines, micro-zines, as short and as simple as I want them to be.

The prompts are indeed very open-ended, so I think the trick is thinking outside the box and write about something that is maybe indirectly related to the prompt. Anyway, it’s not like I follow all the IZM and ZWM prompts down to the last detail. And what is a zine if not absolute freedom? Not following all the rules is acceptable and even encouraged in the zine community. The prompts only serve as a suggestion or a guide which you can choose to take or not.

So now, I’m actually very excited for next year’s MoZiPro! They’re already compiling a list of prompts. Maybe I can make some decent mini-zines to trade or share with the other MoZiPro participants on Facebook.

Who else wants to join?

Peace, love and more zines, no trouble

The Unfuckening

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I recently started seeing this meme circulating around my Facebook feed.

It has happened to me as I’m sure it has happened to everyone else. But then I thought, surely there must also be the exact opposite. As in, when your day is going so fucking bad but then something good finally happens. And that is the UNfuckening.

The unfuckening happened to me today. Ever since last week, I expected this week to be one hell of a fuck of the purest ray serene. Just how much balls this week could suck, that I did not know or expect. I’m in the middle of three consecutive days where my daughter has plans after gan. Any time there is such a day, it pisses me off because this means I can’t nap, I need to pick up my kid early so that I can have enough time to give her a bath (and not wash her hair because it would take too long) before going to whatever activity we have that evening, and then we get home super late, at which point I need to hustle up some dinner like a fiend, hoping that my daughter hoovers it, and that I won’t have too much trouble getting her to brush her teeth, and that she will agree to have just one bedtime story, so I can get her in bed by 20:00.

So yesterday, she had her Grade 1 Prep class. As we were getting ready to leave, my daughter tripped and hit her cheekbone right on the edge of a stair. We still made it on time to the class, but with a wonderful black eye to show for it. Final bedtime: 21:00.

Today, we have an activity at another school we’re considering for her. And like I did yesterday, I’m planning on taking a cab because of the weather (more on that below). But last night, my phone started acting funny. I couldn’t make any outgoing calls or receive any calls either. It would be impossible for me to call for a cab today, and I will have to struggle with the weather or get my husband to leave work early. Prospective final bedtime: 21:30.

Finally, on Wednesday, she is starting a couple of courses. And although my kid is vaccinated, Covid cases are on the rise again, and I’m nervous as fuck about it. Just adding on to the stress. My own prospective final bedtime: fucking never.

On top of all that, the weather is shiiiiiit! And I mean fucking shiiiiiiiiiiiiit!!!! Yesterday, it rained like hell, then it hailed, and it was freezing cold with the whipping wind that was strong enough to keep me from walking a straight line. It literally kept pushing my leg back every time I tried to put it in front of the other. The wind is still going strong today and although the rain abated a bit, it’s still impossible to walk. This is why I had to make do with cab rides. I knew that even if I tried to take my kid home by foot as we usually do, she will simply take off with the wind.

I told my husband: “Seriously this week just keeps getting worse. I bet if I had a car, it would have probably broken down by now.”

The unfuckening came in a few levels. First, my mother-in-law said she’ll be home all day (she lives right above us), so if my phone still doesn’t work, I can use hers to call a cab. One problem solved. New prospective bedtime for today: 20:30.

Second, as we left the house, we spotted a rainbow. A full one, from one end to the other. It was the first time my daughter ever saw a real rainbow, and such a perfect one at that. She was so excited about it and I was thrilled for her. This is the one good thing that came out of this supremely shitty weather.

Finally, my phone somehow fixed itself. I called my husband and then he called me back and saw that everything works again. It was weird but unfuckening indeed.

Now, I’m under no illusions. I’m sure there is more trouble in store for me this week, and the next, and the one after that. With Covid looming high and mighty, gan could be closed, classes and courses could be cancelled or postponed, the Lindemann concert might be cancelled too, we might be slapped with yet another season of Holidays in Lockdown, predictions of doom abound… So rainbow or no rainbow, we never got our white dove with the olive branch in its beak. All we have is a fat, ugly crow with the decapitated leg of a roadkilled cat in its beak.

I hope that some kind of rainbow and dove will appear when this Covid storm is over, so we can get back to our regular programming, and resume bitching about things like politics and global warming and the prices of cottage cheese. You know, like we used to do before all this load of true fuckening was dumped on us.

Peace, love and we talk about red countries as if it was the Cold War all over again.

I Want Boredom

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I thought that once November ended, I’d have some time to remember what being bored feels like. I honestly forgot what it feels like because November was non-stop action from my daughter’s birthday, to the endless baking challenges I’ve embarked on, to ZineWriMo, to courses and preparation classes for the 1st grade, birthday parties, Hanukkah… The highlight of my days was when I was lucky enough to have time to take a shower.

It’s like a repeat of August when I thought I would hit a brick wall of uselessness and boredom and totally didn’t and I was still as busy as hell. I don’t know if making a to do list would help me remember all the shit I have to do and it just keeps piling up – doctors’ appointments, my daughter’s courses and Grade 1 preps, trips to the library, open days at schools, loads of laundry (I keep forgetting about because there are fuck of a lot more during winter than during summer and I still didn’t get into the habit), organizing of closets (which always takes me for fucking ever), and all the usual daily chores which I try to cut short due to lack of time – cooking (just make a grilled-cheese sandwich or whatever), dishes (just wash the one mug I like), shower (no washing of hair, ever), laundry (aw shit, I forgot again!).

By the end of the day, my heart claims a marathon pulse, my brain feels like it’s about to explode, and my level of energy falls with such a resounding crash that it’s buried underground with no chance of revival.

Last night, after my daughter went to sleep and I was done with everything for the day, I collapsed on the couch and told my husband “I don’t want to think anymore. Pass me the remote.”

“Seriously,” he replied. “You should go on YouTube and watch Beavis and Butthead.”

Yep, something as stupid and mind-numbing and no-thought-process-required TV show as Beavis and Butthead was definitely enticing for my exploded brain, but even the YouTube search sounded like too much work for me.

This morning, I mentally went over all the things I have to do so that I don’t forget anything, and I ended up forgetting to take my sandwich to work. I am now at the office, fucking starving. I think I may have left that sandwich on the table and it may have very well evaporated into nothing because my dog made it disappear. Most of the things on my mental to-do list were food-related, and I forget my lunch at home. Why does that shit happen?

Then there’s the issues that are so not important but are always so time-consuming. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been getting calls from insurance agents needing me to sign this and sign that and talk my ears off about stuff that is veritable gibberish to me and stuff that the amount of fucks that I give about are in the minus range. Yesterday, it finally pissed me off and I screamed at the guy on the phone.

“I don’t understand any of this! And I don’t fucking care either! I don’t want to talk anymore. I’m done talking. Stop calling me!” I hung up while he was in mid-sentence. Then, get this, he writes me via Whatsapp asking me to give him my husband’s phone number.

I didn’t even acknowledge his message. I thought to myself “Right, sure, so you can talk his ears off too. Is that your plan? I got a better one for you. Go fuck yourself.”

I got more important things to do. And since my shift is over, I shall now go home and see if that sandwich still exists so that I may make like my dog and make it disappear.

Peace, love and boredom? What’s that?

Till the טיל

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A while back, I wrote a post about Rammstein’s video for “Deutschland” which was just released at the time and caused a bunch of negative reactions due to its Holocaust imagery. I said that I never really believed in the rumors that said that Rammstein are Nazi, and even after watching the video, I wasn’t sure about it. After all, the video is a visual representation of Germany’s history, and the Holocaust is a major part of it. I said that, in fact, if the video did NOT include some kind of mention of this tragic event, I would be even more offended because that would be Holocaust denial, clearly. I finished off by saying “So until Rammstein makes a clear statement, one way or another, or comes to play a show in Israel (which I think would be a clear statement in itself), I’ll just go on screaming “fuck yeah” every time one of their songs comes on my player.”

I discovered soon thereafter that they really aren’t Nazi and if anything, they’re anti-fascist. Seeing as they were born and raised in East Germany, I guess it comes with the territory. But here’s another clear statement: Lindemann is coming to play a show in Israel!

True, it’s not Rammstein, but it’s still the lead vocalist, and that stands for something!

Anyway, when I first heard the news, I was hoping Till Lindeman would pull an Ozzy and include songs from his band and not just his solo project. Ozzy did it. When he came to Israel (on the two occasions he was here) he played his own songs as well as Black Sabbath. Most of the people who went to see Ozzy expected him to include Black Sabbath songs in his set because Ozzy is Black Sabbath and Black Sabbath is Ozzy. I don’t think he would have been as successful as a solo artist if it wasn’t for his initial success as Black Sabbath’s frontman. And the same can be said for Till Lindemann. And Till’s solo songs sound a lot like Rammstein, too, and it’s a given that most of the people who go to his shows look forward to the Rammstein songs they think he’ll play.

But the comments I read about the event point out that Lindemann’s set will only have his songs and not his band’s. One of the comments was from this woman who went to one of his shows abroad and testified that he played no Rammstein songs at all. Some even stated that they look forward to seeing the confused and disappointed faces of the people in the crowd who expect to hear some Rammstein tunes and won’t.

So I admit – I’m kind of disappointed too. But I’m still going to his show. I’m currently listening to Lindemann’s German record F&M and try to learn some of the lyrics. He also has an English record Skills in Pills, and he’ll undoubtedly include some of these songs in the show, but I don’t like it as much as F&M. Anyway, learning songs in English is not as much fun and challenging as learning German ones. If you didn’t already know that, I fucking love German! I love it even more than my fellow Jews hate it. Ironic, I know, but that’s the truth.

Peace, love and Till the Missile is headed to Israel to make the stage explode!

The Jewish Women’s Day

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Around Mother’s Day, I discovered the Holiday of Girls – a Jewish custom celebrated around Jewish Middle-Eastern communities during Hanukkah. My family is Moroccan so it made me wonder why I’ve never heard about it. I was determined to include it in our Hanukkah festivities and make it into the custom that it was intended to be.

Chag Habanot – because Judith was a badass and gave zero fucks!

I started planning it about a month ago. The holiday takes place on the eve of the first of the month of Tevet. That happened to fall right on the weekend we were set to be in Be’er Sheva with my parents. So I asked them to tell the family that we want to have my grandmother over specifically on that date, so that she could spend Chag Habanot with us.

I guess I should have planned it a bit better because I went crazy with all the preparations at the last minute and drove my husband crazy with it.

On the Wikipedia page I found about this holiday, it said that the custom is to have a dairy meal (in memory of Judith who gave Holofernes some milk before decapitating him). So on Friday, I tried a new recipe for cheesy Penne and a new sauce with plenty of veggies. Took me forever but it came out decent.

Another thing they said on the Wiki page is that it is also customary to eat a lot of sweet stuff. I already planned to take a piece of last week’s birthday cake to my parents (that I kept in the freezer), as well as the sufgies I made. But I still went ahead and tried making Churros. That was right after I was done with making the pasta, so I really had to hustle. The Churros didn’t come out as Churros but as fried snakes. So finally I decided to just fry them as I did the Sufgies and called them Sufganitas, to give them the Mexican sound of the food they were based on. I rolled them in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon and they were delicious.

Another Wiki fact about Chag Habanot – in one custom, they pick one inspirational woman of many accomplishments and give her a gift naming her “Yekirat Ha’eda” (The Beloved of the Community). Since Hanukkah is also my grandmother’s birthday, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to give her such a gift and name her Yekirat Ha’eda. On Tuesday, right after work, I went to a souvenir shop on the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall and ordered this colorful plate with decorations in the shape of the old city monuments and architecture, with an engraved plaque reading “Yekirat Ha’eda”. My husband went to pick it up on Friday morning.

I printed out the Wiki page and highlighted some parts of it to read to my family on the holiday.

After all the stress to try and get everything done, I heard that my extended family was planning a birthday party for my grandmother on the same evening of the first of Tevet. Of course, the party that they were planning had nothing to do with Chag Habanot because, like me, they’ve never heard of it before. At first, I was furious. I planned this shit for a fucking month and nearly lost my tuque making sure I get everything ready, and they up and steal it from right under me. Especially after I specifically requested that my grandmother spend the evening with us a whole fucking month in advance! I exclaimed “They fucking stole Memeh (my grandmother)!” And my daughter literally started crying.

“We’ll hide her so they can’t steal her then!” She said with defiance.

But then it occurred to me that Shabbat ends early because it gets dark so soon. And the birthday party they planned starts two hours later. So maybe we could make it work.

And we did!

After the Havdalah (the prayer we make to bid farewell to the Sabbath Queen), I took the stage and started my first ever Chag Habanot ritual. First, we lit the Menorah. It was the seventh candle and we had three menorahs – one that my dad lit, another that my daughter lit, and the third that I instructed only the girls of the family should light together, and I made the blessing on that one. It was me, my daughter, my mother and my grandmother who lit the third menorah together.

Then I sat in front of my grandmother, because she’s hard of hearing, and read to her the parts of the Wiki page I chose, to describe what Chag Habanot is, why we celebrate it during Hanukkah, who are the Jewish historical heroines we celebrate, and what are some of the customs in different Sephardi communities. Then, I gave her her gift and she was overwhelmed with joy. She even gave me one of her gold bracelets as a thank you gift, which was an incredible and moving gesture.

After that, we sat down for the dairy meal, had some sufgies and chocolate covered cones my mom made, and of course, a le’Chaim with Moscato wine my husband bought at the last minute. I got drunk for the first time in eons, but didn’t get sick which was great. And everything turned out perfect.

I’m so happy we have this holiday now and that it was reintroduced to our family as a regular custom of Hanukkah. We’ll have it every year from now on.

Peace, love and Esther is still my favorite Jewess of all times!

ZineWriMo 2021 – Day 29 to 30 – Wrap-Up

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Day 29 – Mini Zine Kit:
I finally put in the order for my kid’s Picabook photo album. I got a really nice discount for the Black Friday special they had, so fuck yes for that!
The ZineWriMo prompt for today is super cute, but with all the excitement of the past week, I forgot to bring my zine material to work. It’s ok. I still have my zine-making travel kit from two years ago, (and a mini-zine kit will not be that much different) so all I need to do is make a mini zine about it. Maybe at some point later on. I want to get through this holiday first and then see if I can find a day with the right time, right level of energy, and right frame of mind.

Day 30 – ZineWriMo 2021 Wrap-Up:
Today, I’m giving my completed zine to my husband to print tomorrow and then I can post more photos of it on here for your viewing pleasure. I also posted a request for trades on Facebook. I hope people respond because I actually miss trading zines.
So ZineWriMo 2021 is officially over. I must say I didn’t accomplish as many things as I had hoped, but the most important thing is that I got a zine done! And that was great! Going over the prompts, here is what I did manage to do:

  • One mini zine – Stream of Consciousness call An Ant’s Footprints
  • Got a Zine/Bake Ideas notebook – Fucking love it!
  • Posted pictures of my notebook, my creative space, my tools and my zine cover.
  • I made a bunch of cute drawings for my zine.
  • I typed on my typewriter as much as I intended to.
  • I tried a bunch of new recipes: Minestrone soup, soufflé, corn muffins, Amsterdam chocolate cheesecake, rainbow unicorn cake. Plus a chocolate cake with chocolate mousse that is not a new recipe.
  • Completed my daughter’s photo album and sent it to print.
  • One full-length zine – Issue 18 of PMS Perzine

On top of all that, I did a bunch of other things and meetings and courses and appointments not related to ZineWriMo. This made for one fuck of a stressful November, but a very productive one indeed.
There is still December to look forward to and I don’t see the level of stress dropping anytime soon.

Peace, love and happy Hanukkah!