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The High Holidays are just around the corner, and in the name of ecumenical empathy, Haifa resident emir Mahmud Sharief believed more than good fences make good neighbors. 

            In the name of cordial relations with his Jewish neighbors, the spiritual leader of the reformist Ahmadiyya Islamic sect in Israel called on all Muslim muezzins to turn off the public address systems in their minarets on Yom Kippur, when calling the faithful to prayer, in order to preserve the special ambience of Day of Atonement  in Israel, when all motor traffic comes to a standstill and one can hear a pin drop - even in ‘secular Tel-Aviv.’  



What’s the good of complaints that the police are lackadaisical in investigating property crimes like burglaries and car thefts, when experience show ‘everything comes to those who wait’…if you’re a cop.

            Valerie Ben-Dov, a police officer with the juvenile division walked into an interrogation room for a friendly talk with a kid detained for packing a knife, only to find the youngster was also carrying Ben-Dov’s cell phone which had been stolen three months earlier at the beach.

            Freak coincidence? 
            Soon afterwards, traffic cop Michael Firer pulled a Subaru over at a random checkpoint, only to discover the vehicle was his own car, stolen from him two years ago.



The Czechs heard about the extraordinary attributes of but another breakthrough Israeli agricultural product and are eager to import it, along with quality avocados and juicy cherry tomatoes.  But, the Israeli Ministries of Internal Security and Health has nixed the plan, leaving the Czechs high and dry in more ways than one.

            What’s the problem?

            The crop they want to import is Israeli grass…or to be more specific, a blue-and-white strain of medical cannabis that packs the benefits of grass for those suffering from cancer, Parkinson’s, MS, Crohn’s disease and post-traumatic disorders – without the traditional kick.

            No less frustrated developers of the strain say there is a 64 B dollar global market for medicinal cannabis and they hope the ministers will have a change of heart, and give them the high-sign to grow ‘high-less’ grass for export. 



Should a cap be put on technology in certain setting? 

            The chief legal advisor to the government, Yehuda Weinstein, nixed institution of a time and money-saving plan raised by the Ministry of Finance, to conduct court procedures for extension of detention and release on bail via video-conferencing between the judge on the bench and persons in the lock-up at Abu Kabir*, who would be escorted to a specially-equipped video conferencing room within the detention facility instead of carting the detainee off to the courthouse in a paddy wagon.

            While a pilot launched in 2007 under a temporary ordinance got good grades for performance,  Weinstein said court proceedings conducted virtually by remote would “undermine rights of detainees” who were entitled to their day in court. 

            Put bluntly: There is no such thing as virtual habeas corpus

* on the border between Tel-Aviv and Jaffa



Remember the kid who stumbled over a ground-breaking relic on a school trip to an archeological site?  And the retiree who stumbled over but another rare archeological find when out for a stroll – both without so much as lifting a trowel?* Well, now it’s the turn for an Israeli dog to dig up an unknown archeological find by chance, without so much as dirtying his paws…

            Tzach, a white mutt fell plumb into a hole when off-leash in the Ramot Forest near his home. The Antiquities Authority discovered the dog had stumbled over…in fact stumbled into an ancient 7th century BCE wine vat for ‘squishing’ grapes dating back to First Temple times. That was five years ago.

            Now, the site has been thoroughly excavated by Israel Prize laureate archeologist Amihai Mazar – a resident of Ramot with the help of the entire Ramot neighborhood – religious, secular and haridim*  – who conducted an only-in-Israel style ‘extended block party’ volunteering their labor to make the dig possible.        (Yediot, 

*  Both reported by Chelm-on-the-Med. See “TRIPPED OUT - AGAIN 

** hared:ultra-Orthodox.  Jerusalem’s mayor declared the site – which is bigger than first thought - Israel’s first “neighborhood Biblical garden” where Ramot’s local community center will conduct weekly activities for kids, on-site.



Israel is a very family- and child-oriented society, and sensitive and open-minded Israeli courts are constantly stretching the limits of how one can have a family.

            Four years ago, the drive to have a child and the drive to have a grandchild were the catalyst for a unique bond, when the bereaved parents of an only child (who lost his battle with cancer six years ago at the age of 30, after optimistically freezing his sperm), latched up with a young woman in her mid-thirties who wanted more than ‘a child without a father’ picked out in a sperm bank.  She wanted a family. 

            The three got the court’s approval to bring a child into the world together, based on the repeated ‘oral last wishes’* of the deceased to father a child. Thus, while there are children who have been orphaned by tragedy before they were born, the daughter of this unique union is the first Israeli baby to be orphaned before she was conceived.  

* There are now Biological Wills that formalize such wishes,