A Thoughtful Thankful Thursday….

Yesterday as I was listening to the horrific news hour after hour of the catastrophic death of 10 teens as well as others injured from the sudden flash flood that hit Southern Israel….I was very thoughtful and thankful…Just a few days before I had been in my favorite place, the Ein Gedi spa with a friend for a bit of R&R; my son, the security man on trips with European teens was also hiking in that area the same day I was…

Even as I returned home from geriatric counseling  some elderly in the Jerusalem area during the past few days, the skies opened and more rain than anyone has seen this time of year simply came pouring down…We pray that G-d gives us rain as a “blessing” and not a “curse”…now we see why….Rain can do so much good but can also damage…

What can we do?  Look into ourselves, pray and improve.. ….it is that time of year between the holiday of freedom(Passover) and our receiving our Torah(Shavuot)…we are counting the days and weeks until that holiday when we are working to improve ourselves….It just so happens that I was at a Torah class yesterday morning discussing this “Sefirat HaOmer” time…a fragile time for farmers who are hoping their wheat crops are not destroyed by rain; it is a miracle when all grows and works out just right…

We need to be thankful for what we have at any age and stage of life(finding a wife, no strife). Everyday little miracles deserve a big thank you, to a G-d who takes care  of us-old and new….

Debbie Dan

Geriatric Consultant for Elderly Parents, Adult Children & Olim

Guidance about Living Options, & Community Resources

A Helping Hand with Debbie Dan

Israeli Cell: 052-391-9328

American Phone 347-448-4177

Email: debbiedan1@gmail.com 

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Why this Pesach was Different from all Others….

Whew!  It is now the day after the Spring holiday of Pesach for which we are told we do not need to do “Spring cleaning” but for which most of us do…the opportunity to organize/de-clutter our homes is spiritually uplifting…the more I throw out, give away or put in re-cycling, the better I feel! Due to the “Time Bank” in which I am a part, I was privileged to have an “organizer” come a few weeks before Pesach to help me organize my organization and decide who should do what when(between some students who helped and my own son and husband who were able to do more when the bakery worked less and less…) One difference between this year and all others was that I was able to go into the holiday a lot calmer than usual….feeling “on top” of the situation…

Although it is a “baker’s holiday”…Herby loves trying out Pesach recipes at home. This year he took over the “new”oven we had to get when our old one just konked out(of course right before Pesach) so that I made dishes on top of the stove while he used the oven. I made less than usual, our children brought a dish or 2 and helped a lot…

This was the first  year that all children and grands were together(29 of us)…all but one family squashed into our home..we were lucky to find a home nearby for that one. Although it is nice that everyone could be together, it is simply too many for a seder when I would love to hear what grandchildren have learned. Having been at a smaller 1 family one last year, I am eager to go back to smaller, taking turns, less overwhelming Seder…We will have to be happy with everyone getting together at our annual Pesach picnic at Gan Sacher where the kids can play, run around, adults can gab, etc…This year we did it on the first day of Chol Hamoed which was wonderful.  There was still time for those who wanted to travel, tiyul and go into the last day more relaxed(we used to get together on that last day of chol hamoed).

Wishing everyone a Happy Spring, getting back to routine, Happy Israel 70th Independence Day with much Health and appreciation of all the good in life….

Debbie Dan

Geriatric Consultant for Elderly Parents, Adult Children & Olim

Guidance about Living Options, & Community Resources

A Helping Hand with Debbie Dan

Israeli Cell: 052-391-9328

American Phone 347-448-4177

Email: debbiedan1@gmail.com 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy, Sad, “Crazy” times….

While here in Israel we are having summer weather in what is still “winter” time, I see that in Northern America there is snow….While we are still feeling the simcha(happiness) of Purim and new grandchildren in the family, I heard the sad news of the passing of 2 special “Southern” ladies on the same day…one in Greensboro, N.C. and 1 in Jerusalem {who we had known well from Memphis…..}

Bec Davidowitz who just passed away at the ripe old age of 96 was my mom’s good friend…She and her husband, Ben came to Danville, Va., opened a small jewelry store after working at first for another jeweler… Ben David’s Jewelry with much work and dedication became the biggest store in the area, now run by their 2 sons…Bec, such a warm, nice person was always a good friend to our whole family; they eventually moved to Florida where when my daughter did her national service there she felt like she had a “home” to visit.  I am sure that the many members of the Danville Aetz Chayim Synagogue of which she was an active member are greeting her in “olam haba”(the next world)

Ethel Schiffman at almost 95 was always an eye sparkling, positive, warm person both in Memphis and Jerusalem. She worked at the Memphis JCC for many years and when she and her husband Sid made aliya, they continued to work and volunteer..she was active and “spry” until very recently…Everyone truly loved her from her many great grandchildren to my children to all of her many friends and acquaintances…

We know that death is part of life…even when someone has lived such a full one…but it is still so hard to let them go…May their memory be a blessing for us all and may we remember all of the positives…..

Debbie Dan

Geriatric Consultant for Elderly Parents, Adult Children & Olim

Guidance about Living Options, & Community Resources

A Helping Hand with Debbie Dan

Israeli Cell: 052-391-9328

American Phone 347-448-4177

Email: debbiedan1@gmail.com 

 

Thankful and Thoughtful….

With Thanksgiving behind us and the holiday of miracles,Chanuka, before us, there is much to think about.  As we sat around our Thanksgiving table(we now have our festive turkey dinner on the Friday night Sabbath), we all mentioned something for which we are most thankful…The “small” things of just being with family, good friends in a warm environment; being able to live, raise our families in our own country where we are conscious of so many miracles each day…to name a few…

For me, especially after being at the birth of our newest grandson almost a month ago, just life itself is such a miracle…I have written before about my own miracle of birth at the end of the 6th month, weighing just 1 pound and 12 ounces(750 gram)…Yishai, our new grandson weighing 4.04 kilo(more than 8 pounds) had a bit of a hard time entering the world….having the privilege of being with my daughter during the birth, I saw once again the true miracle of having a healthy baby…..

As a retired Savta(grandma) who lives close to this beautiful baby and his big sis, I get to take the 3 year old to and from gan(kindergarten) most days…Along the way she stops to observe fallen colorful leaves to crunch, pretty winter flowers, airplanes flying above, talks about her friends and activities, etc….What a wonderful feeling to have her remind me of all of those fun things…walking with a grandparent to whom you can tell and talk about SO much….

Therefore, today’s “tip” for us grandparents…our role of just listening to our grandchildren for whom we are so thankful  is HUGE…no matter their age or stage, our “ear” is great to be near! Miracles of life are with us each day, so appreciate them in every way!

Debbie Dan

Geriatric Consultant for Elderly Parents, Adult Children & Olim

Guidance about Living Options, & Community Resources

A Helping Hand with Debbie Dan

Israeli Cell: 052-391-9328

American Phone 347-448-4177

Email: debbiedan1@gmail.com 

“After the Holidays(Acharei Hachagim)”-Back to Routine????

The word “routine” brings to mind a sameness of everyday activities that gives us a relaxing feeling since we more or less know what to expect…However in my case, as a very active senior citizen every day is different since there is no real routine…I wake up each morning having to jog my brain into remembering which day it is and what I am doing…a day to rush and get out early to make wonderful shiurim(classes), or able to rest a bit longer to go volunteer in our local Golden Age Club where 3 days a week such wonderful exercise is offered ranging from “Paula”, Yoga and Bone Density exercise…together with interesting classes and wonderful social group.

This month is also Senior Citizen’s Month when there are special discounted activities offered all over Israel. Although we have had a bit of rain here this is the season to see many seniors groups on various “tiyulim”(trips).  During this month I myself offer to give a session on “Dealing With Aging Parents”…based on my personal and professional experience.(I will be speaking here in Betel for our “Time Bank” group on Nov. 20th at 8p.m. at our Matnas).

To sum up…the after the busy holiday period…when we think we look forward to going back to “routine” does not exist for us busy seniors when everyday brings something new….as I write this I am awaiting the birth of a new grandchild…all should go well-“B’shaa Tova”!!! Happy, Healthy Senior Citizens’ Month and “Back to Routine” to all…..

Debbie Dan

Geriatric Consultant for Elderly Parents, Adult Children & Olim

Guidance about Living Options, & Community Resources

A Helping Hand with Debbie Dan

Israeli Cell: 052-391-9328

American Phone 347-448-4177

Email: debbiedan1@gmail.com 

Everything is for the Best….

Memories……As we are approaching the “High Holidays,”we are looking back upon the ups and downs of the past year….While we have been having heat wave weather here in Israel, America has suffered from hurricanes, much displacement, damage and despair..

There has been a lot of “new” during the past year….new homes, jobs, friends becoming grandparents for the first time, family celebrations…looking forward to more “news” in the coming year…

This past weekend was my 50 year high school reunion of George Washington High School in Danville, Va.  As many of my former classmates most of whom I have not seen in 50 years, were partying and remembering our “class of ’67” I could not help but reminisce about other events of 50 years ago….

Our graduation was in June on a Friday night…since it was our Sabbath, I did not go…instead I spent that Sabbath with good, close friends in Richmond. It must have been right after or even  during the 6 Day War when we were praying for Israel and felt euphoric when they won the war….I just happened to have a Shabbat guest for lunch this week who told of his experience of volunteering to help Israel, his first time there, at this crucial time….

Although I was very disappointed that this 50 year reunion was at such an inconvenient time for those of us in Israel to attend, everything is for the best since right after the Holidays,we are expecting  new family “additions” which I would not have wanted to miss! In seeing some of the pictures, I have not yet recognized anyone…so that maybe it would not be such a good feeling to see how everyone has “aged”! No matter what, we are all “young” at heart….

My “tip” of the day is to keep active and gay to drive those “doldrums” away!

A Happy, Healthy New Year to y’all,

Debbie Dan

Geriatric Consultant for Elderly Parents, Adult Children & Olim

Guidance about Living Options, & Community Resources

A Helping Hand with Debbie Dan

Israeli Cell: 052-391-9328

American Phone 347-448-4177

Email: debbiedan1@gmail.com

 

Floods, Funerals, Firsts…..

This sure was a week of “F’s”….The third and biggest Houston Hurricane in the past years which left much destruction, death, and despair.  My daughter’s in-laws having gone through this twice before in recent years knew that they were definitely in the flood zone, so along with their cute little dog, they went to a hotel.  However, their son with 3 children including twin babies thinking that they would be safe on the second floor, had to be evacuated by boat…

While in the midst of my wonderful “shiurim”{classes} Sunday morning, I got the shocking news of 2 funerals from the Efrat community, one of whom was a distant cousin…one was a popular Rav who had been in a coma for several years; the other relatively young and sudden leaving a young wife, children and parents…I went to that very sad, emotional funeral, filled with family, friends, community members from many walks of life…In fact, a reunion of those we had not seen in many a year…May Hashem give them the strength they need to carry on…..

Today is the first official day of school in Israel…As we see our little grandchildren excitingly get ready for this big day…buying new backpacks, clothes, shoes, supplies, there is such a feeling of pride and hope for the future.  Us parents and grandparents have been looking forward to our “freedom” from babysitting, having noise and commotion around the house, and happy to get back to our usual routine!

May this new month, new time of year be the start of many new hopes, dreams come true, with much Health, Happiness, Hope…..

 

 

Summer Fun with Seniors and Grandchildren

For the first time since it’s inception I participated in “Yom Shlishi Im Shlaikes” which literally means “Tuesdays With Suspenders” which is a senior discount day….I went with a friend to see the movie “Wonder Woman” for just 10 shekel(movies are usually 29 shekel here); I am not a fan of violent movies but it was a proud feeling to see the now Israeli international star Gal Gadot…

Another fun day was going to the Israel Museum which is free for children during the month of August. The theme of “Cats and Dogs” mesmerized the kids with all kinds of activities ranging from looking into a screen, talking to your dog for 10 seconds while your face changes into that of a dog or cat(although one granddaughter had nightmares that night that her mom’s face changed!); a challenging escape room was good for the 12 year old while younger ones did arts and crafts, computers, a little show, etc…(I should mention that the entrance is free for kids and half price for seniors but inside extras cost 15 shekel a child)

One of the main roles of us “savtas” in the summer is having a “savta camp” Since there are no day camps for kids during some weeks of August when parents still have to work, many an exhausted grandparent can be seen having their own “camps”….not being used to just a different noise level in the house is a bit nerve wracking…Here in Betel besides a wonderful pool and park we also have a “pinat chai”(little zoo) which entertains all ages. Our 12 year old grandson loved helping his grandpa and uncles at the famous Herby’s Bake Shop which is right across from the pool which us gals enjoyed…when it was the guys time to swim he was more than ready to jump in.

Today I am about to make a dream come true while reminiscing about a wonderful childhood experience that I loved…the circus came to town once a year in Danville, Va. with all kinds of rides and one of my favorites was the carousel…it has been my dream to take a grandchild to the carousel at the First Station which we are about to do today….

Tip of the Day:  If life sometimes seems boring or a little too quiet, Have some grandchildren around to “riot”…then you’ll appreciate that quiet!

Debbie Dan

Geriatric Consultant for Elderly Parents, Adult Children & Olim

Guidance about Living Options, & Community Resources

A Helping Hand with Debbie Dan

Israeli Cell: 052-391-9328

American Phone 347-448-4177

Email: debbiedan1@gmail.com 

WHAT A WORLD-WIND BIRTHDAY WEEK

Whew! Today I am a bit tired but VERY happy…It all started a week ago when Herby and I celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary by going up North to the Canaan Spa Hotel near Tsvat which I found out later does not allow children…it was so nice, calm with music, healthy food and a wonderful get-away…We are lucky to celebrate both Hebrew and English birthdays so that between my Hebrew one(25th of Sivan), Monday and the June 22nd English one it was a world-wind week of reunions with friends and family, a granddaughter’s dance recital which reminded me of my dance days(I took ballet for 11 years along with some toe and modern dance), went to wonderful classes culminating last night with the Melabev Sunset Walk(thank you to the many sponsors who helped this organization which helps Alzheimer’s victims and their families) at which I along with our wonderful guide who also had the same birthday date got a delicious surprise cake made by the best baker, Herby!

Nearing the end of another decade can be a bit scary…but in reflecting on life, I am so very thankful to still have the energy to continue to be so active in swimming 3 times a week which I love, helping with grandchildren, volunteering, attending wonderful classes, doing a bit of work-geriatric counseling…I do make an effort to take care of myself health-wise, be preventative and positive….

My tip of this time of year is to face life with cheer-Be thankful for what we can still do-only the positive do view!

Debbie Dan

Geriatric Consultant for Elderly Parents, Adult Children & Olim

Guidance about Living Options, & Community Resources

A Helping Hand with Debbie Dan

Israeli Cell: 052-391-9328

American Phone 347-448-4177

Email: debbiedan1@gmail.com