The Chelm Project is a pro bono endeavor. Your donation is greatly appreciated. Your support helps balance overly conflict-driven news that warps perceptions of Israel.

Donate in Shekels


Donate in Dollars

Subscribe to our list

Email Format

Join us!

Are you a publisher or literary agent?

Click HERE

Savor Classic Oldies from 1987-2007
Click HERE

Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google BookmarksSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn




There are no short-cuts. Yom Kippur is designed to atone only for transgressions against the Almighty, and a Jew must make amends for transgressions committed against other human beings on their own, one-on-one.

            It’s hard to know what took him so long, but a 19 year-old sought to make amends for stealing a cell phone from a man buying veggies in the open market in Safed when he was 13. All this time, the 78 year-old victim Eli Dahan thought he was a klutz* who had simply lost the phone due to carelessness…

            The penitent pickpocket located Dahan’s son address and left a lengthy apology note on his doorstep (signed with his gmail address) saying his conscience had tormented him every since…accompanied by a spanking-new smartphone.   

 * klutz, Yiddish for a clumsy person



A strange ‘want ad’ was plastered on bulletin boards across Ramat Gan announcing “Your Children’s Lice Are Our Treasure.” 

            Instead of heading for the drugstore, or making a B-line for the closest Lice Squad franchise (or the equivalent), parents were invited to bring their kids in to a start-up company* that wants to ‘harvest’ the live lice off children’s heads – which, it turns out, can’t be grow in a lab.

            The little buggers get to play neat video games on state-of-the-art tablets while in the chair delousing their hair, while the little critters will serve as guinea pigs for tweaking a preparation that is designed to rid the kids of lice for good in three minutes flat, using a patented thick-toothed electric comb that will spray the preparation onto hair strands as it is run through hair.

 * that received a million dollars in R&D funding from the chief scientist of the Ministry of  Science.  



Attempts to keep the peace between religious and non-religious takes some strange forms in Israel – including a host of compromises like road engineers building an expensive special ventilation system on a stretch of the #6 toll road to deal with ‘the vapors of the dead’ from ancient Jewish graves found along the right-of-way. (See Chelm’s animated demo for television here.)

            Hammering out ‘finding compromises all sides can live with’ is now being applied to the science curriculum in the public school system, where from now on, all schools will begin teaching evolution as a required subject in middle school*…but with a proviso: Darwin will be taught vis-à-vis the plant and the animal kingdom, while discussion of the emergence of a ‘naked ape’ will remain solely a topic for science majors…. 

* some schools ignored or skirted the topic until now



We always knew this deep down in our hearts but here’s the fact:  If your back hurts or your joints creak or your shoulder muscles ache, don’t assume you should wait for an appointment with an orthopedist. 

            Why?  According to Dr. Aharon Feinstein, an orthopedic surgeon from Asaf Harofe Hospital, he and his fellow orthopedists are trained to specialize in ‘fixing things’ by operating. Sore muscles and aching bones – 25 percent of the complaints family doctors face –  aren’t in the curriculum or the orthopedists’ experience even after decades of practice.

            ‘Someone with heart disease goes to a cardiologist, not a heart surgeon,’ remarked Feinstein but orthopedists field most referrals: the third most common specialist patients go see for ‘skeletal-related issues’ is the orthopedist, although 80 percent of the problems brought to their door aren’t within the orthopedist’s skill areas, says Feinstein.

            In fact, a fastest and more effective route to take while waiting for an opening with the orthopedist (that one can always cancel) may be to turn to a physiotherapist who is trained to attend to many of the root causes of our aches and pains.



Moshav Ein Zahav in the northern Arava has produced its first crop of gourmet cucumbers shaped as hearts and stars.

            How do they do it? 

            Like lemonchelo – crowned by a lemon in a bottle that is produced by putting a lemon blossom inside a bottle?  Probably not.  Cool as their cucumbers, the farmers were not about to enlighten the public how they do it. It’s a trade secret.



There are 50 names parents are now forbidden from giving their children in Saudi Arabia, if they don’t want their offspring judged ineligible to receive medical attention or enroll in school (if they survive childhood under such conditions). Most are Shi’ite names popular in Iran, and certain western-sounding names including Loraine, Alice, Sandy, Irene and Ronda (the last three, stars in a popular situational comedy in the Arab world). The name police only cite two names - Ben and the popular name Mia – as unacceptable because they’re “too Jewish sounding.”     

            But with ISIS on the horizon, are the Saudis having a change of heart? It sounds like it: The Saudi Foreign Minister Sa’ud bin Faisal said it was time to normalize relations with the Jewish state,”* and called on the World Assembly of Islamic Scholars “to condemn hatred of the Jewish state.” (Yediot, Iisrael HaYom)

  * Palestinians still refused to recognize Israel as ‘the Jewish state.”