Archive | Shefer-Vanson-Dorothea

Music therapy for those with brain disorders

Musicophilia, Tales of Music and the Brain, by Oliver Sacks, Published by Picador, 2008 By Dorothea Shefer-Vanson MEVASSERET ZION, Israel — The author, who has written several books about various aspects of psychology, among them The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and Awakenings, has extensive experience of working with individuals who have […]

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Hard in Israel to pass over Passover

By Dorothea Shefer-Vanson MEVASSERET ZION, Israel — No matter how hard I try, and believe me, I have and do try, passing over Passover is very hard to do if you live in Israel. The countdown to the festival begins for some people one month beforehand, namely, as soon as the previous festival is over […]

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Handel’s ‘Messiah’ in Hebrew

By Dorothea Shefer-Vanson JERUSALEM — Over the years I have attended many performances of Handel’s Messiah, but no matter where it was performed (England, America, France, Israel) it was always sung in English. George Frederick Handel wrote the oratorio using the text devised by Charles Jennens, based on the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. […]

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Leo Baeck and Jewish liberalism

By Dorothea Shefer-Vanson MEVASSERET ZION, Israel — Tucked away in a quiet Jerusalem side-street is the Leo Baeck Institute, where activities associated with the man himself and various aspects of his heritage are held, its official purpose being ‘the study of German and Central European Jewry.’ Sister institutes are to be found in cities elsewhere […]

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Posted in Jewish History, Jewish Religion, Shefer-Vanson-Dorothea

Abu Ghosh Lebanese restaurant satisfies customers

By Dorothea Shefer-Vanson ABU GHOSH, Israel — On a sunny Saturday morning, Israel’s official day of rest (the country has not yet officially adopted the two-day weekend) I got into my car and drove to the nearby Arab village of Abu Ghosh. For the village, which is situated some fifteen kilometers outside Jerusalem, well within […]

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Posted in Middle East, Shefer-Vanson-Dorothea

Fry saga leaves reviewer with mixed feelings

Moab is my Washpot by Stephen Fry; Hutchinson, 1997. By Dorothea Shefer-Vanson MEVASSERET ZION, Israel — I have mixed feelings about the author whose avowed brilliance is tempered by strange behavior, apparently due to his being subject to bi-polar disorder, as well as his aversion to Israel and Zionism. His half-Jewish background may partly account for the latter, […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, Shefer-Vanson-Dorothea

How the Brits broke the Nazis’ ‘Enigma’ code

Capturing the Enigma; the Unsung Heroes of HMS Bulldog by Patrick Spencer; Published by Mouse Works Publishing By Dorothea Shefer-Vanson MEVASSERET ZION, Israel — In May 1941, at a time when the Second World War was in full swing and the British forces were doing their utmost to block Hitler’s rampage across Europe, the battle to control […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, International, Shefer-Vanson-Dorothea

Culture and weather in London, Paris, Jerusalem

By Dorothea Shefer-Vanson MEVASSERET ZION, Israel — ‘He who tires of London has tired of life,’ wrote Samuel Johnson, and I dare say he had a point. Even in the dead of winter, when the bone-chilling cold really does chill every inch of bone in your body, the place has its pleasures provided you are suitably […]

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Posted in International, Middle East, Music and Visual Arts, Shefer-Vanson-Dorothea, Theatre, Film & TV, Travel, Cuisine, & Miscellaneous

In battle with my tooth, dentist was painful victor

By Dorothea Shefer-Vanson MEVASSERET ZION, Israel — In order to spare the feelings of anyone who might happen to read this I am not posting a photo of my face. I look like something out of a horror movie. The sight would be too horrifying for most people. Especially anyone who knows what I look like normally. […]

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Posted in Science, Medicine, Education, Shefer-Vanson-Dorothea, Travel, Cuisine, & Miscellaneous

‘Sleeping Beauty’ delights in Jerusalem

By Dorothea Shefer-Vanson JERUSALEM — Once a year Israel’s classical ballet comany puts on a performance of a traditional ballet. This is intended mainly for the entertainment of children during the Chanukah/Christmas holiday season. For me, however, this is a golden opportunity to enjoy a very special aesthetic and artistic treat. When I was growing […]

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Posted in Middle East, Shefer-Vanson-Dorothea, Theatre, Film & TV

Was the Bard an insomniac?

By Dorothea Shefer-Vanson MEVASSERET ZION, Israel –Some time ago I had one of those ‘white nights’ that occasionally descend and prevent me from sleeping. I cannot say whether it was my night-cap cup of tea or thoughts about the dire political situation, but whatever the cause, sleep eluded me. As I lay in bed passages […]

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In praise of Mona Golabek, author and performer

By Dorothea Shefer-Vanson MEVASSERET ZION, Israel — Several years ago I read The Pianist of Willesden Lane written by Mona Golabek about the experiences of her mother, Lisa Jura, first in Vienna and then in London. She had been sent there at the age of fourteen in the framework of the Kindertransport, the undertaking that […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, Jewish History, Middle East, Music and Visual Arts, Shefer-Vanson-Dorothea

At first German- speaking Jews fared better

I Only Wanted to Live; the Struggle of a Boy to Survive the Holocaust by Arie Tamir;  published by Arie Tamir, 2015; translated from the Hebrew by Batya Jerenberg By Dorothea Shefer-Vanson MEVASSERET ZION, Israel — Some kind of morbid fascination, possibly even masochism, seems to impel me to download and read yet another Holocaust memoir, […]

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Posted in International, Jewish History, Shefer-Vanson-Dorothea

Jerusalem has changed almost beyond recognition

By Dorothea Shefer-Vanson MEVASSEET ZION, Israel — It came as a bit of a shock to realize that I’ve been living in or near Jerusalem for over fifty years – the best part of my life, in fact. I still love London, my birthplace, but there’s no escaping the fact that I don’t really know […]

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Posted in Middle East, Shefer-Vanson-Dorothea, Travel, Cuisine, & Miscellaneous

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