About Me

A 49-year old former lawyer and BBC journalist. A native Londoner, now residing in Tel Aviv. Single plus three: Mika, Stuey and Dexxy, a baby girl and two ageing mutts (see second photograph below).

My passions include the music of Bob Dylan, the earlier films of Woody Allen, The Sopranos, The Wire, the ‘football’ of Leeds United, cricket, the Highlands of Scotland, and renovating interesting properties.

Just a thought (Kenwood House cafรฉ, London)

Just a thought (Kenwood House cafรฉ, London)

Stuey (left) & Dexxy

Stuey (left) & Dexxy


97 responses to “About Me

  1. Norman Goldberg

    Fucken A mate
    Start a new f,ken religion I’ll follow… try walking on water I’m sure the f,ck you’ll get away with it. Abso-f,ken-lutely bwilliant………..

  2. Robert French


  3. mrs frankie paper

    oh boy !that felt so good .Ithought that gordon ramsay was the only one who expressed himself like this.both my husband and I agree with you.by the way ,we got this from Israel.kol ha kavod to you. Frankie Paper,Melbourne Australia

  4. Michael Isaacson! It’s been a long time.
    I love the picture from 1979 (the year I startedat the school).

    Good to see that you’re looking so good.
    Great blog!

    All the best


  5. interesting rambles glad u love the highlands must be some tenderness there

  6. Hasmo stories are great – you made me laugh out loud !!!!

  7. Mike I didn’t know you were in Israel. call me love to go out for coffee.

  8. Dana Goldberg

    Loud and proud!
    Keep up the good work, Mike.
    And as to Norman Goldberg (also known as Dad) – you always had a way with words…

  9. Brilliantly written and very very funny. Thanks Mike ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Great blog.

  11. Mike

    Everyone is talking about this new blog from Michael Melchett – what’s with the Melchett?
    Remember the OMD concerts we used to go to and Saturday night at some awful kosher pizza place in Sentinel Square with Sammy Amini and richard Herman.
    You were one of the few people in Raleigh close I really liked!
    Jeremy (married 5 kids and one dead hamster)

  12. Hi Jeremy.

    Melchett is actually my street in TA (named after Lord Alfred Mond . . . not “Melchy” from Blackadder!)

    Of course, I remember those great OMD concerts . . . and Kosherina! You, Richard and I had a right laugh when we took the children’s service at Raleigh Close. And you were always a healthy cynic . . . until, against my advice, you found “The Big G”!

    Hope you will be in touch when you are next in Is.


  13. Howard Fertleman

    Respect to a fellow Leeds United Supporter.
    Even more respect if you like the Doors, PinkFloyd, John “Cougar” Mellencamp and Rush.
    Brilliant Blog

  14. carmen schaffer

    I love reading your blogs… they are worlds apart from what i know but they are eye opening never the less.
    It was fantastic meeting you in Barbados.. i’ll follow your writing from here on out… Best of luck.
    Love the dogs!

  15. Anthony Mammon

    Greetings from New York. bumped into an old school mate of yours Nussbaum, last night at my kid’s school Purim party, he told me about your blog. Excellent. Your Hasmo blogs are histerical, and even though I was about 7 years ahead of you, many stories are well known. Your Yids & Yoks and Cyril blogs really were as close to fact as possible and I’m sitting at my desk at work laughing out loud to these stories.. Hasmo really was an institution in its day, no it really was AN INSTITUTION…
    Thanks and keep it up, I will check in daily to read all your blogs..
    Anthony Mammon
    1S (Skelker) 1971

  16. Martin Segal

    hi michael, “Eppo” told me about this last night at Josy O’s house. Its brilliant so many names from the past, well done. 3F boys rule!

  17. Michal (Jaswon) Koor

    Hi Michael,
    Have been following your blog and considering adding a post for a while, especially after your Hasmo items (as a Hasmo girl married to a Hasmo boy! and familiar with all the stories and characters).
    What’s more we both have Irish roots in common and there’s no occasion like St. Patrick’s day for an Irish get together.
    If my maiden name sounds familiar it’s through my Uncle Nafti Jaswon z”l, who I believe was a close friend and colleague of your late father. In fact, I see your mother occasionally in Netanya and I believe she met my parents this evening at an Irish expat event.
    Keep up the blogs – your Hasmo pieces are keeping hundreds of people amused. They are a source of conversation all over Israel (and elsewhere no doubt), and your other items are a pleasure to read. Why did you ever give up journalism?
    ATB – Michal K.

  18. great blog mike, and a real treat to read in the office.
    i am scrubbing my one-trick-pony remark and am submitting polymath-pony for your approval in its place.
    but i only ever remember hearing dylan from your room at etzion…

  19. Hi Mike,

    Absolutely brilliant – can’t stop laughing a some of stories.

    My son who is currently at Hasmo just can’t believe these stories. What a shame things have changed so much ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks & all the best


  20. Tonight at a restaurant in Herzlia, above the background chatter I overheard many “Hasmo-words” from the table behind me (Roberg, Bloomberg and names of teachers from before my time – my stint was 1982 – 1988). Apparently, a bunch of old Hasmo boys were reminiscing. That seems to be something that only Hasmo boys do – I’m told that people from “normal” schools don’t really have that much to discuss about school when they meet up, and certainly not after twenty-odd years.

    I had never quite realized what a deep and lasting impression the Hasmo experience has made in so many of us. Outsiders who read your accounts of life at Hasmo could be excused for thinking that we’re all nutters, or that we all ought to be deeply scarred by the experience, but I suppose “things were different then.”

    Mike: a nagging suspicion led me to check your blog photo, which confirms you as one of the members of the aforementioned table. I just wanted to say thank-you for such an entertaining blog – I have never laughed so much in my life, at least not since actually witnessing many of the events recounted in your posts or the resulting comments.

  21. hadassahsabo

    Heya Bro! i don’t think you quite realized as you were living your high school years, just how much you talked about individual teachers, nor how well you described them. i felt as if i had attended your school – i even know most of the painful cyril jokes!

    reading the stories here that Mike has put up felt like a walk down memory lane for me – and they were your memories!!!

  22. Ellis Feigenbaum

    a) You should have introduced yourself
    b) We are ex hasmo boys, not old hasmo boys
    c) If you had introduced yourself , you might have got the same discount on the drinks we were getting.
    d) We all knew you were an ex hasmo boy, because you kept turning around in your seat to listen ๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. Nice to “meet” you, Itzy! Shame you didn’t reveal yourself. The guy next to me was Daniel Marks, and on the other side of the table were Nick Kopaloff (opposite me) and Ellis.

    Daniel and Nick complained that my revised and edited version (posted on melchett mike) of their draft on “Woody” Harrison is less good than the original. I am confident, however, that they are both delusional . . . and should stick to English teaching (cf. writing) and chess, respectively!

    Seeing as you seem relatively literate for an ex-Hasmo boy – and that you clearly knew none of us before yesterday evening (thus avoiding bias) – if I forwarded you their draft by email, would you be kind enough to read it and provide your honest opinion on the relative merits of the two?

  24. Daniel Marks

    Remember that the wager was that 19/20 would prefer the “edited” version.

  25. We have to start somewhere, Daniel . . . now we only have to find a further 18. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  26. Ellis: Yes, I should have introduced myself, but will my marriage survive the revelation that I spent my formative years in what many would consider a loony bin? And then we’d have had to go through the ceremony of comparing the roster of teachers we all had in common, followed by attempts to discover which noteworthy pupils’ tenures overlapped with each of ours. When performed properly, including the customary Cyril imitations, this ceremony can go on for ages. I had pity on my dear wife, who has stuck by me despite having to endure a number of such Hasmo-encounters over the years.

    Regarding “ex” vs. “old”: I don’t think many people can be considered ex-Hasmo – it’s not something that can be removed. At least not without extensive counselling. Like a good whisky, it matures with age – as this blog shows, it certainly doesn’t seem to fade away.

    Mike: I am flattered that you consider me to be literate – English was not one of the subjects Hasmo was known for in my day, to say the least! Not being previouly acquainted with any of you, nor with Woody Harrison, I would be delighted to comment on the competing drafts.

  27. Verdict: Mike wins.

    In essence, both versions are just as entertaining. However, in my subjective opinion, Mike’s edited version is much more polished, flowing and complete โ€“ in many places he adds names, which lends it more credibility as a historical account, fills in little details that make things clearer for people who did not directly experience Woody’s lessons, and glosses over other details that don’t seem important.

    That said, I enjoyed Daniel & Nick’s description of braying much more than Mike’s simplified version, and I thought the old “Gits” of the Muppets more humorously appropriate to describe Woody’s hairstyle than Ben Gurion (though I’m not sure that the younger generation knows what the Muppets were).

    Thank you all for an entertaining evening.


  28. So, common sense (and the English language) prevails! Thank you, Itzy.

    That is the end of the matter. I deem the remaining 19 referees unnecessary. Anyway, if any of them would have voted for Daniel and Nick’s draft, I would have declared them insane and their decision void. melchett mike has never claimed to be anything other than an autocracy! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  29. Hmm……Saaa-boooooo was one of the good boys……especially as he had lived in Caaaaardiff….until Cyril caught him attending school without a daffodil – on ST DAAVID’S DAY – THE WRETCH!

    Just wanted to report a similar ex-Hasmo boys’ meeting-up, discussion of the blog, and sharing of reminiscences, in a restaurant in Melbourne, Australia, just before Pesach – me and Mike’s old mate Lennie Melcer. It’s a global thing.

    Itzy, you were also the only boy ever to be punished in Rabbi Lebrecht’s shiur – “for PRETENDING to throw a pen-top!”

    Hope all’s well with you and yours


  30. Nick Kopaloff

    Has anyone questioned the impartiality of Mr. Itzy Sabo?
    He could well be a plant – in cahoots with Mike. The old adjacent booth trick – one of the oldest in the book.
    And he could have chosen a better alias. Eavesdropping on our chess references, he subconsciously borrowed the same name as the great Jewish Hungarian GM Laszlo Szabo but dropped the “z” to try to throw us off. Well his ploy failed – and as Clint Eastwood once said “You can’t piss down my back and tell me its raining.”
    So the game is up.
    If you like clean plastic studio recordings then Mike can hold the mike – but if you live life on the edge and like it rough and ready underfoot then Nick is your pick and Dan is your man. I defy 19 men of honor to claim otherwise.

  31. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Did you notice the computer monitors at the table, they contained a voice to text program that updated the adjacent table to out every word.
    Obviously this would have been easy for Itzy to set up as he has full access to these programs at claritude software.
    The alias is obviously just that, as they inadvertently used a derivative of shaboot which everyone knows is an extremely strong fish, and this definitely smells fishy.

  32. Ellis: I see you’ve done your due diligence and have found out what Itzy has been up to for the past couple of years, but I bet you didn’t know that it’s his birthday today!

    Hadassah: Not only do sisters of Hasmo grads follow this blog, but so do some of their wives, or should I say better halves?!

  33. Itzy & Rifki: Do you leave each other lots of notes around the house, starting with each others’ names, followed by a colon, then the message?

    Dan: Gins ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Happy birthday Itzy:-)
    Of course I would send you a card bu the mossad might be intercepting your mail.
    Whats it like being married to the great shaboot?

  35. Marc Heller

    Hi Mike
    Was just introduced to your website by a fello Hasmo friend. Luckily I escpaed from that hell-hole to do my GCSE’s and A Levels elsewhere otherwise I think I would have ended up doing a Columbine!
    I wondered where you had got to cos the last time I saw you was on SSP2-HD with serious sunburn from watching England snatch another draw from a likely away victory in the Caribbean.
    If you are so into the Scottish Highlands, then check out http://www.craiglealodge.co.uk and if you are interested I will work a good deal out for you.
    Take care and good luck to your Leeds in the Play Offs.

  36. Jonathan Bernstein


    You are the only person to ever try to (unsuccessfully) bully me at Hasmo!! Love the site.

    Women are over-rated ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Jonny Bernstein

  37. Well, Jonny, this is the first time that anyone has ever accused me of being a “bully”! Please do tell . . . I am curious to (re)discover that side of myself that I don’t recall!

  38. Jonathan Bernstein

    I had just unlocked my bike from the rack in the front and you came along and got on it and rode off with me chasing after you holding on to my yarmulke with one hand and my standard issue samsonite briefcase with the other.
    Come to think of it, if I still remember after nearly 30 years maybe you were more successful than I thought!
    Jonny B

  39. Jonny, you have made my day! Okay, it was hardly a daring IDF raid, behind enemy lines, wiping out PLO terrorists . . . but โ€“ in Hasmo/North-West London terms, at least โ€“ it does give a tad more credibility to this ageing lawyer. Do you happen to recall whether, as I rode off, the wind was blowing through my hair?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  40. i would like to introduce u to a girl in israel! she is a close friend of mine!
    i read ur blog and it seems right… maybe i sound crazy.. but i am just a good friend…. so what do u say? she is 34 an executive at Misrad Pirsum in TA..
    i forgot to say matchmaking is my hobby… spread the love……….

  41. Alright Dexie and Stewie… your Dad’s a blast

  42. Daniel Hass

    Mike eagerly waiting another piece on the legends!!! Joe Paley comes to mind. Also I would love to hear comments from the younger generation, I cant believe that the Hasmo policy on employment changed dramtically in the 1990s and as such would be interesting to hear about legends we may not be familiar with. I remember Julian Singer who taught us A level Economics and he comes to mind. I saw Arieh G last night, the blog was mentioned. As a last point, what happened to the possibility of a celeb appearance by either Mr Marks/Soester.

  43. The memories of Hasmo… my brothers Daniel and Jonny would tell me all these stories about Lebrett, DJ, Schaml, Roberg, Joughin… the girl school was tame compared. Always remember you sitting behind my father with Stanley Reiss z”l but was always too shy to say hi when i was little… thought you were too good looking. ๐Ÿ™‚
    From a fellow Hendonite – now residing in St Johns Wood. Enjoy TA and love the blog – hilarious.

  44. Hi Nina. I am still “too good looking” ๐Ÿ˜‰ . . . oh yes, and the cheque’s in the post!

  45. Ellis Feigenbaum

    Although its against company policy to use this blog as a message board – I thought I would wish you Happy Birthday in any case.
    So there ๐Ÿ˜‰

  46. Hi there, while looking up the old family tree, your blog popped up!!
    Heres the science! Im looking for Isaacsons, a family that lived in or around the camden st area of Dublin <Ireland.
    They also may have owned a jewellery/pawnbrokers in this area.
    Any info??
    Cool blog.

  47. Mike,

    Happy New Year to you and the dogs.

    Thanks for the laughs and memories – the site has been original & excellent

    Best Wishes


  48. Thanks a lot, Henri. Knowing that so many people really enjoy the blog makes it all worthwhile. I hope we can have a beer next time we are in the same country. And thanks for your (never dull!) contributions. Shana tova. Mike

  49. naomi (munk) samuel

    love the new homepage photo! who took it?

  50. What can I tell you, Naomi . . . the camera doesn’t lie! For the background to the photo, click here.

  51. Hey Mike, I like that new action shot of you, Stuey and Dexxy running in the Tel Aviv Marathon. You really look winded there Mike.

  52. OK – this is a long shot but maybe you or someone else reading this can save my sanity. It’s a matter of life and death – what was the name of the kosher restaraunt (Hungarian?) in the far left corner of Sentinel Square in Hendon which was around during the late 80s early 90s?
    HELP! Cheers

  53. Restaurant was Kosherina. A popular meeting point for hasmo pupils during schooltime of course!

  54. No – Kosherina was milky – I am talking about a meat place that was further down on the left-hand side and not open for that long….try again….save me.

  55. Mike, I have just come across a photo of 5JO from the 81/82 academic year. I have scanned it and would be happy to submit it if you so desire.

  56. I think you have a seriously inflated opinion of your average self

  57. Yenta pomerantz

    Funny, Gaz. looking at your website, I got the same opinion of you …

  58. “Who am I? Why do I do what I do and where the hell am I going?” (All About me)

    Judging by your site, DingleBerry, who the f*ck would care?!

  59. Mike
    It was so good to see you yesterday after all these years. I loved catching up with you. You still make me laugh, are easy to talk to and have brilliant facial expressions (espec when sitting opposite a total pl*nker!).
    Sorry for the gaff I made. I’ve read your post about your brother and used up a box of tissues. Very moving. I’ve also spent the last two and a half hours reading your other posts and loving them.
    Wish we could make last night a yearly ritual.
    Lots of love

  60. Well, Lou, I can’t argue with the facts! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Was lovely to see you too, and all the family. It was like the olden days!

    And I have received permission from she who shall be obeyed to use the “pl*nker” (why the asterisk?!) in my next post.

    Vis-a-vis the “box of tissues”, I have a discount card with Kleenex (don’t ask!)


    PS Look after my ‘girlfriend’.

  61. Hi Mike
    I really love your writing. It makes me smile.
    Keep it up and hope you find a nice yiddishe meidel soon who can cook a mean chicken soup and kneidle for you.

  62. David Brockman


    Enjoyed reading some of your blog, especially about Hasomonean Grammar School in Holders Hall Road. I was PR for Greater London Youth Council in the late 70’s (voluntary) and got to know a Jewish JP and Youth Worker, I think Alan Greenbatt, who ran a Jewish youth centre near Hackney Downs/Stamford Hill.

    Got to learn a bit about what was JFS on the Camden Road (blue and yellow uniforms) and Hasmonean Boys and a Rabbi Roberg (maroon and silver uniforms), and although I had seen outside of Hasmonean, never went inside. Remember the school was managed by Lon Bor Barnet, perhaps with Jewish part vol-aided as the RC and CofE schools.

    The reminces of yourself and other there were facinating. I seem to remember at times seeing lads from the school playing soccer in that park that runs down from close to Stamford Hill to the river Lea near the cafe and boating dock. Was suprised late 70’s to see big lads with school caps on, but did not fully realise that Jewish lads wore something on their heads till then. I think some wore the cap on top and barely removed it all day.

    Best wishes David B

  63. wow Mike, just…..just…wow…. What the 1st poster on here said: you’re frickin brilliant and if you claim to be god i’d stop for a second and give it consideration… You are one insanely brilliant individual… Good luck on everything you do. The world is a better place because of people like you…I am proud to be a Jew because of people like you…May the lords of this Cosmos bless you till eternity….

  64. Thanks for compliments, Yossi!

    Do we know each other? How did you come across the blog?

  65. Hi Mike… No, i don’t think we know each other.. I just came across your blog by accident..well sort of. I read some feedback from someone on this blog


    and he/she said you and Sara should be part of the Hasbara in Israel and so on… So i clicked on the link provided by the feedback author and got to your blog, which i now bookmarked because i was astounded by your writings, your intelligence. I read lots of blogs on all kinds of topics but yours and Sara’s are now my favorite.

    It really made me happy to read what you’ve said on several issues. And I was deeply moved by some things you wrote. As I said, i am happy Israel and our Jewish community have such a giant like you among our ranks. I see you as a giant Maccabean fighting the fight of our lives on the frontlines of hate and bigotry. And watching you fight with such brilliance makes me incredibly proud.

    I see you’re from Britain. Well, best of luck in the World Cup. Not sure if you like football. From some comments you made about Alex Ferguson I assume you are a fan. I am a huge fan and for me the universe stops during the World Cup. I even took a couple of weeks off work starting tomorrow to watch the first games. I am a Mexico fan since I lived there for close to 20 years. I now live in Canada yearning to make Aliyah to Israel one day. Maybe in a few years.

    If I happen to go to Israel sometime soon (i have some relatives there that i visit every few years) I will contact you to see if you’re able to meet with me. I’ll buy you a pint of Goldstar, or three.

    Anyways, cheers. And keep fighting the good fight against ignorance and bigotry. Know that what you’re doing is very important and you are a warrior in the army of Judah ha Maccabi.

    Yossi E
    Edmonton, AB, Canada.

  66. Not quite sure about “a giant Maccabean”, Yossi! The bastards do make me angry, though.

    But I could never be part of the Israeli hasbara . . . my English is far too good! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I am a big football fan (though not of Alex Ferguson – see my Mook of the Month for January 2010). If Wayne Rooney stays fit and doesn’t open his oafish gob, I think England have a chance . . . if not, we’ll struggle to make the semis.

    And I very much hope to enjoy those Goldstars (excellent choice!) with you here, some day soon . . .


  67. Hi Mike
    Here’s coming to you from Bafana land all the way down under in Drom Africa. Enjoy the World Cup. Hope the best team wins. Johannesburg is a buzz with all the soccer fans, press, photographers, etc. Nice vibe we have here. Hope they all enjoy our wonderful country and come back for a future holiday.
    Enjoy & Shabbat Shalom

  68. Mike

    As discussed go to http://www.roberg.co.il/

    Here is my picture…. on Facebook

    Ask Johnny Stern about the place too.


  69. Feeling nostalgic about my alma mater I looked up Hasmo. Was disappointed not to find anything on the girls school, but enjoyed reading about the boys. I remember Grumpy (Grunfeld) telling the girls that if they sit on the table they might become pregnant. Thats what I call great & reliable education.

  70. Fuck you, and fuck all the jews! You are just as bad [even worst] than all the arab gathered together!
    You should start by accepting the others for them to accept you: you can’t build all your modern history on the corpse of the palestinians and think you can get along with it…
    Reminder: it was Hitler who did what he did to you. Why are you placing all your hatred on a people who’s suffering because of you worst treatment then you did.
    You suffered for 4 years [more or less], the palestinains has been suffering and still for almost a decade now!
    Wake up world! Playing the victim can only work for so long!

  71. Danielle darling!

    Welcome to melchett mike! And thank you for your kind words.

    “it was Hitler who did what he did to you”

    Thank you for finally putting an end to that little mystery . . . I knew all along it was that miserable mustachioed bugger!

    “4 years [more or less]”

    If you do find out the exact dates, please be sure to let me know.

    “You are just as bad [even worst] than all the arab gathered together!”

    Any idea who that poor man, or woman, would happen to be? Rafiq Hariri, blown to bits by the lovely Hizbollah you no doubt support (your IP address shows you are in Beirut)? Or perhaps the housewife who had her nose cut off for refusing to let her husband give her one up the jacksie?

    But let’s forget all that depressing stuff . . . what are you up to later?

    melchy x

  72. Yeah, and the Lebanese treat the Palestinians nicely! Forcing them to live in refugee camps and refusing to give them citizenship or equal rights after over 60 years of residency in your country. Look at your own people if you want to see who treats Palestinians badly.

  73. With more than a hint of writer’s block, needing to get out of the city, and not having to be back at work till next Thursday, I am – like a (marginally) less attractive version of Joe Buck (though without the hustling!) – spontaneously and immediately taking myself and the hunds off to the great hinterland in the south (via Sderot and on the way back, perhaps, via the Dead Sea).

    With no planning and not knowing a soul “dann safff” (apart from an ex-Hasmo near Beer Sheva), I will appreciate any recommendations re what to do, where to stay (dog-friendly kibbutzim, moshavim, etc) . . . and, to that end, will be checking in here from time to time (if you prefer to send a private message: melchettmike@gmail.com).

    Wish me luck . . .

  74. If anyone cares ๐Ÿ˜‰ . . .

    Arrived in Sderot mid-afternoon on Thursday, to be greeted by locals with the news that a school bus near the Gaza border – just a few kms away – had been hit by a mortar shell (which turned out to be an anti-tank missile). I was feeling all Kate Adie, though life in Sderot continued as usual . . . though I guess this is “usual” in Sderot (see the ever-wonderful Melanie Phillips).

    Within an hour, a helicopter gunship was circling overhead, firing rounds at Gaza. A teenager cheered. Who said all the action is in Tel Aviv?!

    The RE/MAX Sderot noticeboard had a 600 sq m “villa” with 15 (fifteen) rooms going for 2 million shekels. That’ll get you 60-70 sq m, and 3 rooms, in TA (an hour away). Apparently, people don’t like living under the constant threat of rockets . . . though, if there is any truth to reports re the new range of Hamas rockets, that price differential might soon be getting smaller.

    Yesterday, I visited the impeccably maintained British WWI cemetery in Beer Sheva. Well worth a visit if you haven’t been. The inscriptions on the graves, all from 1917, are extremely touching, and make one think how we haven’t learnt anything in the 94 years since. And the bloody Turks are still causing trouble . . .

  75. Melchy:

    Your dogs are both adorable looking. Your commenters, or *some* of them, however, leave a great deal more to be desired.

    Except me, of course. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

    (And by “some”, you know I mean the historically-challenged bint, yes?)

  76. inglorious zionist all will died

  77. Welcome to melchett mike, muslim!

    I see (from your IP address) that you are from Turkey. What do you think of Gaza? To my mind, this was worth a ticket on the Mavi Marmara all on its own . . .

    I also congratulate you, muslim, on your glorious effort to break the world record for the number of grammatical mistakes in a single five-word sentence. I think Ellis Feigenbaum, however, will take some beating . . .

  78. Mike, I wish you had a “Like” feature for individual comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

  79. Muslim – I think that Mike is being unfair and you simply did not have time to complete your sentence. Am I right in guessing that the next word should have been “Potato”?

  80. Thought you might like this. Your sort of stuff, no?


  81. Love it, Saul!

    Have you checked that Yossi is still at ArtScroll? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  82. Well Mike, at least you have a source for the compulsory Dvar Torah at our Shabbos table tomorrow night. We don’t mind it being a week past its “sell by” date – by then the other guests will be too blotto to notice. You might want to supplement it with Richard Dawkins’s (unfortunately, serious) comment on the story of the Akeida in one of his recent populist, do anything for money, books; my fundamentalist conscience, together with my aversion to the dissemination of sensationalist half-thoughts dressed up as philosophy, does not permit me to be more specific.

  83. “my aversion to the dissemination of sensationalist half-thoughts dressed up as philosophy”

    By which you mean anything that questions Torah mi-Sinai?!

    Maybe I will bring Stuey and Dexxy after all: at least they’ll be interested in your Divrei Torah . . . well, they will be if you wave a “pulka” over your head while you regurgitate them!

    The Piano Nobile? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  84. Saul Davis…..I remember now, Hillie’s brother, Mike’s year.

    Where you based now?

  85. If Rav Pinky (shlitah) is anything to go by, clearly not Gateshead!

  86. No. I repeat:

    “Anything that amounts to the dissemination of sensationalist half-thoughts dressed up as philosophy”.

    Which of the above words did you not understand? As opposed to books that were banned/burned in Hasmonean on the basis of hearsay – I bought it, read it and came to the aforesaid conclusion.

    I will leave it to the hip Atheists/Agnostics in this country, of which there are many, to shoot from the hip in total ignorance and without care of what argument they are attacking as long as it carries the Tora MiSinai tag.

  87. And regarding the Piano Nobile which, I seem to remember, had something to do with a bottle of cheap plonk of which you were so embarrassed that you had to refer to your hostess by a pseudonym (and I caught you out on that one), let me put your mind at rest.

    Family Fisher invites you for your genius, not your gifts.

    Should you, however, insist on bringing a “bottle” – fear not. If it is not sufficiently pleasing to the palate, we have no less than 4 (four) khazis in the house, each of which will benefit from its disinfectant qualities. And, we are so polite, that you will never know about it.

    See you in Shul!

  88. I like the way your 1st commenter, Norman Goldberg, writes. I take it he’s not single, but could I be wrong? If I’m right, does he have any friends just like himself? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  89. Mike, it is rare to to encounter someone (albeit on the internet) who I could wholeheartedly call a genius. You sir however are just that.

    Come back to England and stand for chief rabbi, you got my vote.

  90. Ben, when you are right, you are right ๐Ÿ˜‰ . . . not sure about the “chief rabbi” bit, though!

  91. Hola from another ex Hasmo both Hale Lane and Hendon….im 48 now….anyway keep up the good fight, we all need to right now !!!

  92. Thanks, Rob . . . though your spelling makes it unnecessary for you to reveal your ‘schooling’! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  93. Hi Mike
    I stumbled across your blog Erev YKP and then spent the next 24 hours thinking not of higher things but reminiscing about Hendon and my not as misspent as it should have been youth. I did not grow up in NW4 but as teenager I crossed over the frontier for shiurim and well recall my first taste of pizza in Kosherina. It was horrible, soggy cardboard but somehow we all persevered and personally, am still searching for the perfect pizza which will live up to its pre Kosherina billing. There was also a place called, I think, Pizza Pita on Golders Green road which was rumoured as a front but I don’t think I ever went there. I moved to Hendon in the early 1990s and witnessed Brent Street becoming the Guiness World Record beating concentration of kosher bakeries on one small strip.

    I read your touching eulogy to Moshe Steinhart z’l, I well remember him – with his slightly rounded back, v necked sweaters, wavy white hair and extraordinary mittel European voice and bleating intonation like a Yiddish speaking woolly sheep. The old age home on Church Road where he spent his last years closed recently and is now protected a ‘guardians’ to prevent squatting.

    Seeing your photo on the blog I was a bit startled as I also remember you [spotted through the mechitzah and across a crowded kiddush] but we did not move in quite the same circles and I was much too intimidated to ever talk to strange boys! You seem, from this blog to be interesting, witty and thoughtful so I regret we never did speak. I have also, really not sure how, found myself single which makes it hard to find a place in a community whose structure and foundation is in family life. It has taken 21st century social media revolution to ‘talk’ . I have enjoyed your blog but you have not ruminated in a while – you went from Israel ambivalence in Aug 2014 to voting for Bibi in the spring and since then…
    From a ship [more of a very light elegant dingy] that passed in the night very best wishes for the new year. Onwards and Upwards!

  94. Hi Mike,

    My name is Joel- I graduated hasmo in 2009. As part of a new initiative for Hasmonean a friend and I are compiling a list of names for a database of past Hasmonean pupils. As an alum yourself we were wondering whether you would be able to spare some of your time to speak with us in order to help us with this venture.

    Please do let me know when would be convenient and if you have any queries.

    Many thanks


  95. Michael Hakimian


    My brother Martin HAKIMIAN started a Hasmo Group on Facebook. I don’t know if he was in your year but he is in some pictures that you have on your blog

    I am sure that we would like you on this group for some memories of Hasmo and its unique characters!!

    Please look him up on FB … Martin Hakimian . Now living in NY


    Michael Hakimian
    Graduate class of 1984

  96. sandra pellman

    Hi Mike, When I found your Blog it brought back memories of the amazing summer that I spent in Golder Green/Hendon area in 1974 . met a lot of people but have lost contact with them . I was reading about Moshe Steinhart A”H any relation to Richart Steinhart who lived on Brent street.? I look forward to your reply. Sandra from Canada

  97. Hi Michael
    Just to let you know that my uncle passed away last Thursday. His name was Benno Reich and was a Hasmo teacher from 1947 to 1964.
    If you or any fellow bloggers have a photo I would be grateful if they would email me. Thanks
    Martin Reich

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