Tuesday, October 30, 2007

An Israeli cultural icon passes away

Shalom Everyone!

Besides spiritual leaders, teachers and doctors, one of the professions that I look up to are entertainers and especially those that make you laugh. Comedians have a gift that they can bring a laugh or smile to your face even when the going gets tough. They make you forget your problems and worries for a few minutes or hours and just make you feel good.

Monday night Actor Yisrael (Poli) Poliakov z"l of the Israeli comedy trio "Hagashash Hahiver" died at the age of 67. He was a great Israeli entertainer.

During my tourist days back in the 70's, my uncle (who was an owner of the Klaim ticket agency) would get me tickets to Hagashash Hahiver performances. My parents and relatives had to explain some of the advanced Hebrew and slag used in the shows but I understood enough to get many of the jokes.

Before leaving Israel each time, I would get one of their new albums and play it over and over back in New York. I looked at my record (yes record) collection tonight and I see that I have six of their albums. Besides their albums my uncle gave me a copy of their "gold book" and after one of the performances in 1978, my uncle took me back stage and the three signed my book which I still have today on my bookshelf. I also have their movie "Givat Chalfon Einah Onah".

When I made aliyah in 1984 "Hagashash Hahiver" was still going strong. Many routines and slang that they created became part of Israeli culture. I remember going to a party during my first year in Israel and several Israelis where sitting outside near the entrance. One of them asked me what the password was to get in. I answered in Hebrew: "Hachupchik Shel Hakumkum".They laughed and I felt great that I knew I was able to get a laugh using some authentic Israeli humor. (part of a vocabulary routine done by Hagashash.)

My favorite skits include the Phone Call, Drafted Car, Cafe in Tiveria, Burning the Bank.
I (and probably most of the country) got a real kick from their costumed performance of Water for King David (Mayim Le David Hemelech)

I searched Youtube tonight and found some clips from their routines.

Job interview at the bank:

Civil Guard Duty

What to do if the Egyptians get close (from the movie)

Rescuing Mar Chason (from the movie)

Poli will be missed.
Below is the article about his passing.

May his memory be a blessing.
An Israeli cultural icon dies
by Merav Yudilovitch
October 30, 2007
Actor Yisrael (Poli) Poliakov died Monday night at the Bielinson Hospital in Petah Tikva at the age of 66.

During his last hours, Poli's family members were by his side. Poli was hospitalized two weeks ago after suffering a heart attack. His funeral will be held Wednesday afternoon at the cemetery in Kibbutz Einat. Poli was survived by his wife and three children, one of whom is actress and screenwriter Yael Poliakov.

Poli, who is most known for his years with the Hagashash Hahiver (or "Hagashashim") comedy group, recently appeared in the hit TV series "All's Good," which was based on the Poliakovs' family life and written by his daughter Yael.

Poli was born in Jerusalem and grew up in Tel Aviv. His acting talent was evident early on and during one of the high school productions he participated in, he was noticed by members of the "Nachal Band" - the famous military music troupe. Poli enlisted to the IDF and joined he band where he met his longtime friend and colleague, Gavriel (Gavri) Banai.

After his discharge from the army, Poli and Gavri joined the Hatarnegolim ("the roosters") band, where they met Shaike Levi and the famous Hagashashim trio was established.
The trio put on many comedy shows, consisting of music and skits which became classics in their own right ("The Drafted Car", "The Judge and the Referee", "Kreker vs Kreker", etc.) and
contributed numerous quotes to modern spoken Hebrew.
They also starred in comedies which became major hits, such as Givat Halfon Eina Ona.

In 2000, Poli and his two "Gashashim" friends were awarded the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Updated List of Jewish and Israeli Groups on Facebook

Hi Everyone!

In August I created a list of Jewish and Israeli Facebook groups. The list started with 300 groups.

Since then, I have been updating the list and today it has 737 groups.

The address of the list is:


Feedback is welcome!

Have a good day,

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

New Facebook Application: My Hebrew Name

Hi Everyone!

Today I launched a new Facebook application called:
My Hebrew Name

The application lets you lookup your Hebrew name and display it (in Hebrew with nikud and an English transliteration) on your Facebook profile.

The direct address of the application is:

If you do not have a free Facebook account yet, you can lookup, view and print your name via the My Hebrew Name website at:

Feedback is welcome!

Please forward this message to anyone interested in their Hebrew name. Thanks!

Have a good day,

Thursday, October 4, 2007

291 pictures of Second Hakafot

Hi Everyone!

Tonight (Thursday night after chag in Israel) I took pictures of the second hakafot at S'deh Chemed in Ma'aleh Adumim.

I posted 291 pictures on my website at:

When the first page comes up, press the F11 key on the top of your keyboard for a full page view. Use the icon buttons on the bottom of each page to navigate.

Shabbat Shalom,