19 November, 2010

Look out!

My friend Yoel (remember him?) was at the Dead Sea recently. Lucky him! And lucky all of us... he brought me back a sign! Check this out:

Wowee. Now granted, the Hebrew word tovani used here is a little tricky to translate - it comes from the root "drown," but would really be translated as boggy, or swampy. Kind of "drownable," if you will. Actually, come to think of it, chol tovani is quicksand - I wonder if that's what they're trying to say. Hmm. Well, whatever it is they're warning us about, it certainly is not drawning mud. Put in a little effort, guys, please? This is seemingly a potentially lifesaving sign - doesn't it warrant a quick dictionary look-up? Oh, I guess not :)

I also like the "Attention!!!" used here. First off, this was apparently written by someone who just loves exclamation points. But still, wouldn't "Danger!" "Warning!" or "Look Out!" be more appropriate here? Are we calling attention to the mud? Or are we asking the mud to stand at attention?

All in all, an excellent specimen - thank you, Yoel! And have a great week, everyone!

12 November, 2010

This may be just the one for you!

There's a guy in our neighborhood who works in local real estate, and posts his listings quite often to our local email chat. The thing is, there are a lot of native English speakers in our town, and so he thoughtfully uses Google Translate to post in English as well. So considerate of him! I first noticed the resulting trouble a couple of years back, though, when he posted that a particular apartment had a:

Conveniently located near hope? Huh? Then I realized that he had translated from Mikva, our Jewish ritual bath - which looks quite like the Hebrew word for hope, and had evidently slipped through. Ridiculous, right? Can't get worse than that, right? But each time he posts, lo and behold, I find something new. 

Almost every post has
And naturally
But sometimes, if you're lucky, you might get a:

That's surely helpful. 

Perhaps you're looking for
That sounds pretty good, right? But what if I offered you
Then you'd really have to think about it. 

There's certainly no beating a
I mean, who could possibly turn that down? And yet, I find this one almost as tempting:
Right? Come on, confess - aren't you just a little bit curious to see the giant?

You might think that in the market nowadays, people don't really expect payment - but it turns out:

Anyway, I've been saving these up for as long as I can remember. And then, when I saw this one last week, I thought - Toby! This is it! 

This is the one that might actually get me to leave my beloved apartment! I mean, really! Even re-reading it now, I'm not sure why I haven't yet called. What an amazing perk!
Okay, all you Hebrew speakers out there - can any of you guess the origins of these mixed-up phrases?

Have a great week, everyone!

03 November, 2010

Goodbye, RivkA

Well, I've been in kind of a slump. We were shocked and saddened to hear this past Friday that our friend from so long ago, RivkA Matitya, had left this world. We used to know RivkA back when we hung out in the Bnei Akiva building in Jerusalem in the early 90's - she was always there in the Yavne Olami office, where she spent so much of her time. She was always a burst of smiles and energy, and we were happy to talk with her, again and again!

Then we lost contact, and when I first heard about the Coffee and Chemo blog, I was sad to realize that it was written by that same sweet friend of ours from way back. Until I started actually reading her blog, and saw that RivkA wasn't in any kind of a slump herself - she was still all smiles and energy, but using it now to live her more adult life with her husband and kids. She was seemingly a whirlwind of energy, running from event to event, loving her family, teaching swimming classes (!) and more. We did get to actually reconnect in person a couple of times, at various happy occasions and at the JBloggers picnic that she organized in Jerusalem, just a little over a year ago. Here's the photo that I have from then - you can see her beaming (as she always has) in the middle:
To give you a small understanding of what she was like, here's part of one of her blog posts from 2007:
Okay, so here is the deal: I don't want people to look at me with sad, "droopy" eyes.

I don't want people to think of me and feel sad.

I don't want people to see me and feel sorry.

I don't want to be the cause of worry and concern.

I know that when you first hear the news, it's a bit of a shock. So it's okay to be sad in the beginning (I was too). But don't stay there!

You can ask me anything.

I'm totally open.

I don't mind talking about the cancer or what's going on.

Chemo certainly affects the day-to-day of my life, so there's no ignoring it.

But I really don't intend to hang out in some dark, depressing emotional pit.

So here's what I want:

When you think of me, be happy.

When you see me, smile.

Anyway, it didn't work - we were sad on Friday, and I know I've never cried as much at anyone's funeral as much as I did at hers, on Saturday night. Then Sunday morning came around, and I found this sun rising on the way to work - and somehow couldn't help but think that RivkA had gone from lighting up our world to lighting up the heavens:
And I started to realize that I was doing just the opposite of what she would have done - we're meant to be happy, and take advantage of every good thing that life gives us! If we can all start acting the way she did, the world will quickly become a far better place. So I'm going to try, and I hope you all will too!

In that spirit, here's a fast, funny sign that we found in Sharon, MA just a few weeks ago. I know, those of you from Massachusetts may not find this funny. But some of the rest of us do!
(By the way, as a humorous aside to our Boston trip: my Israeli coworkers are shocked that I [or anyone] can pronounce "Massachusetts." They claim that saying it aloud must be part of the U.S. naturalization test.)

May RivkA's family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem! Shiva information can be found on her blog, Coffee and Chemo.

Please daven (or send happy thoughts) for the memory of RivkA bat Yishaya.