Thursday, July 29, 2010

Shweky Concert

Last night we headed down to Caesarea for a Shweky concert in the old
Roman amphitheater. We actually went because my nephew was in the choir
and we wanted to see him perform. The choir did an excellent job.
Shweky's choreography has not changed very much in the past 9 years (or
so) when we saw him perform in the US. It was thoroughly entertaining.
The crowd had a small percentage of "not outwardly religious people"
(meaning men not wearing kipot and women not dressing according to the
modesty standards), which surprised me, but it seems like "chasidic"
music is really making a comeback among the secular. For those who
haven't seen it yet, I recommend going to you tube and searching for
אנחנו מאמינים בני מאמינים and watching the Lee Fishman video.

If you get the Shweky in Caesarea DVD that is coming out in the near
future and see us in it, please let me know.

Caesarea was very nice. We got there early and went to the port, where
there is a mixture of ruins and tourist shops. We ate at a nice outdoor
cafe, pricey but very good. There was a sign up that said the beach was
closed for swimming, but there were still plenty of people in the water.
There was even a small water slide in one section.

Friday, July 23, 2010

example of apparent "Turkish" email sting (עוקץ) in the wild

You may be aware that there are recommendations to change your email (and other) passwords following a reported heist and broadcast by Turkish hackers of tens of thousands of email addresses and passwords of Israelis which took place after the Mavi Marmara flotilla event. There is also indication that if your email address(es) and password(s) is not on the list (which may or may not be available any longer on the net) you should act as though it(they) are not secure.

This morning, I received what appears to be a cry for help from a friend.

Perhaps I should have immediately called this person to verify if this was real or not. Instead, I responded which is not recommended since in sender details IP is exposed. However, I am sharing their responses which may offer further detail and may be of use to readers of this posting.

In any case, I report it here as a heads-up to other people, and hopefully the relevant authorities in Israel who should be reading this.

In retrospect, there are several giveaways or tells that might have alerted me but this was good enough to get me motivated to want to help my friend. In fact, there is another spoiler or two but I will not reveal them openly here.

I did call my friend after the last response and he established that he was locked out of his yahoo account and was about to send "real" warnings to the email addresses he remembers that were on his contact list. He also reported the lock out to yahoo.

I now report this here, leaving out names.

Heads Up!!!

Email exchange:

first email received:

urgent help needed


I'm writing this with tears in my eyes,I came down here to London,England for a short vacation and i was mugged at gun point last night at the park of the hotel where i lodged all cash,credit cards and cell were stolen off me.

I've been to the embassy and the Police here but they're not helping issues at all,My flight leaves in less than 3hrs from now and am having problems settling the hotel bills.

The hotel manager won't let me leave until i settle the hotel bills now am freaked out.

I need your help.



I answered:

Just saw your email. I trust if you don't reply, that you are on your way back.
If you can answer and you are still in UK, supply hotel name and manager's name
and telephone number and anything else that can help us help you.



[my name], i actually have limited time on the internet as the hotel manager has directed that the phone in my room be disconnected. all they want is for meto settle their bills. You can call him on this number +447045791223.i am so glad you replied back to my email. I have nothing left on me and I'm grateful to God that i still have my life and my would have been worst if they made away with my passport.$1,300 will cover all my expenses but i will appreciate whatsoever you can afford to wire right now, I promise to refund it to you as soon as I arrive home. You can wire it to my name from a western union outlet around. Here are the details you need to get it to me;

Name - [the person you know]
Location - 22 St. John Street London, EC1M 4AY United Kingdom

I still have my passport so I can use it as identification, e-mail me the transfer details and the confirmation number include the amount sent.
we shall talk when this is over.


my answer:

Please tell me something that only you would know. So I can be sure it is you.


My wife's name is [her actual maiden name] she is a [profession] and am an [actual profession] .my abode is Canaan, Safed, Israel.[my name],it is me.....there's really no time to talk much...

(end of email thread)

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Dinner in Yaara

It's been a while since I've last posted, though I'm sure you check the blog on a daily basis to see if the inspiration has hit me again. 13 years ago today (July 7), in an Italian section of Toronto next to highway 7 at a hall called "The Royalton" I got married. It was not only July 7th, apparently there was a Hebrew date too, and my BIL cares and knows what it is.

We can't go out this evening because of Book Club, and tomorrow night is English Shiur, Thursday night we're going camping... We actually had a dual celebration, the week before the kids got out of school, I took off a day and took my lovely wife on a 3 hour hike in the Yehudiya nature reserve. We had planned on going on the 7-8 hour hike, but we noticed 150 teenagers going on that hike when we arrived and decided, along with the advice of the guy who helps you choose a trail (I'm sure there is a title for him), to go on a shorter hike. We headed down the lower Zavyatan, a beautiful trail with a nice mountainside. Lots of interesting flora etc. There was nobody else on the trail, so we really got to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature's wonderland. After about an hour of walking we got to a very nice pool, very deep with lots of fish, and went swimming for a bit. We then went to a nice shady area for some lunch and climbed up the mountain. Very steep climb but thoroughly enjoyable.

Last night we finished our anniversary celebrations with Dinner in Ya'ara. Ya'ara (as everyone knows) is a small village about 5 minutes from Lebanon. Surprisingly, they have 2 kosher lemehadrin (super kosher) restaurants in the village. We had made a reservation at Beef Bahar and went there with another couple. You can find Ya'ara by taking the 70 up to Shlomi and keep on the road as it turns into the 899 until you see the sign directing you in. It's about a 20 minute drive from our village. The restaurant was very quaint and tzimmer-like. We ordered a first course of "fried things," which included Moroccan cigars, kubas and stuff like that, and a main course. They first brought out 12 different salads, bread and a large bowl of fries without asking us, which was very nice. The food was delicious and the portions were large.
The menu was pretty small, but it included a couple items for children

Highly recommended.