Showing posts from April, 2009

Yom HaZikaron 2009 - We'll Always Remember. . .

You don't see this happening on the highway in the States on Memorial Day:

And as far as Yom HaShoah goes (which I posted about previously), I believe that this is an appropriate response from the Jewish People to the world at large:

Punar: The Ponary Massacre

So it turns out that my daughter was chosen to sing, not only the two songs I mentioned in my post of April 18th, Yom haShoah-Never Again (scroll down), but also a third one called in Hebrew Punar. I am ashamed to say that I had never heard of it. So I looked it up.

It seems that between July 1941 and August 1944, near the railway station of Paneriai, a suburb of Vilnius, where the Nazis, (yimach shemam*) in their goal of murdering every living Jew in Lithuania, massacred 100,000 people, mostly Jews, along with Poles and Russians. The site--to which tours are brought to learn the history of what ensued there-- is referred to as the site of The Ponary Massacre.

And we are oh so grateful that Ahmadinejad might have 'dropped' the Holocaust denial from his speech vilifying Israel. So grateful. . .


*may their name be erased.

"In Memoriam"

First, let me announce that Haveil Havalim #213 is up at The Real Shliach, here.

This has been going around the email circuit. I have received it several times, and decided it is worth posting now, in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day. The cartoonist is Wiley Miller, producer of the cartoon strip Non Sequitur.

Never forget.

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The 27th of the month of Nissan is celebrated as Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day in English, which falls this year on April 21st, 2009. The full name of this day in Hebrew is much more apt: Yom haZikaron la-Shoah ve'la-Gevurah, or The Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust and the Heroism.

In Israel it is a National Memorial Day, which is opened by a State ceremony at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. At 10:00 in the morning, sirens sound, and everyone stops in their tracks, no matter what they are doing--to remember, and pay their respects to the six million Jews who were systematically murdered in the gas chambers and concentration camps and streets just a little over 60 years ago.

At home, you can light a yahrtzeit candle, read passages from books about the Shoah, and remember the innocent victims of what the world does NOT want to admit was an attempt by the Nazis at ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Jewish People.

Yes, Jews--and the world--should rememb…

Sadness at the End of the Chag: This Awesome Time

I have always had difficulty leaving a Jewish holiday (chag) behind; Pesach is no different: it starts with frenetic preparations, cleaning, organizing, moving kitchen implements around, rearranging cabinets, in other words--with a BANG: and the climax is the Seder, or if one lives outside of Israel, TWO Seders even.

But it ends with a wimper, quietly, ending a Yom Tov (holy day) when one says Yizkor (prayers for remembering those loved ones & others who have died). Perhaps there is a special, last seudah called Seudat ha-Mashiach (the festive meal for the coming of the Messiah), but even that, if done, has a sadness to it, a longing, a yearning.

So it was for me, again, this Pesach. Didn't it only just start (I can never get tired of eating shmurah matzah)? I think we should petition the Rabbanim for a Pesach extension, say, to two weeks instead of one. Then at least, all the hard work would seem to go a longer way.

But I definitely feel a sadness. . ..we reached such a grea…

Our Illustrious Guest

I am careening into the last days of Yom Tov by posting this only a few minutes before hadlakat nerot*, but it pertains to the chag and I want (nay, need) to write about this.
For our first seder we were honored to have among our guests a descendent of The Chida, בכבודוובעצמו.

For those unenlightened of you--I myself knew a little about The Chida, but after discovering our illustrious guest, scrambled to learn more-- the name "Chida" being the acronym of his name, Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai (which in Hebrew coincidentally also means "the riddle") was one of the great sages of Jewish history, a noted rabbinic scholar and bibliophile. He was born in Jerusalem and lived from 1724-1806, during which time he wrote halachic works such as Shaar Yosef, Birkei Yosef, and Makhzik Beracha.

He was also a child prodigy who began studying in the Beit Midrash at age six. Because of his great scholarship he was chosen to be a shaliach of the communities of Eretz Yisrael, (who …

The Awesome Story (& HH #212, le-havdil)

(-And I don't only mean that the latest edition of the famous Jewish Blog Carnival, HH#212 is up and running, here. Read. While munching shmurah matzah.)

There is no explaining away an event that was witnessed by thousands and later recorded in the Torah, which as Old Testament is accepted by at least two major world religions.
The Passover story was a major world event, no two ways about it.
I found, on the very wonderful aggregate site Jewish World Review ( a synopsis of which I receive daily in my inbox), a series of video shiurim (lessons) on the Exodus from Egypt: The Hidden Agenda, by Rabbi David Fohrman of The Hoffberger Institute.

Watch, and learn. May you continue to have a deep, meaningful Pesach. And don't forget to count the Omer (kids, I'm talking to you)!

Ki Ata Kadosh. . .

The kitchen is a mess as another marathonthree-day-Yom-Tov-sheni-shel-galuyot* bites the dust. I should be washing the fleishig* dishes and cleaning the kitchen. Instead, I'm blogging (smart choice).

But the older I get, the less I can handle the three days (but I still love that matzah shmurah*). . .
It's amazing-when I was a child, I just loved it. It was a glimpse into another universe for me: three days of Avodat Hashem*, withdavening*(which I've always loved), singingzmirot*of all kinds, a Seder which transported me into a spiritual realm. I waited for Eliyahu* to come in through our open door with baited breath.

These days, it's all that, but all the while I am collapsed with aching legs and bleary-eyed from lack of sleep. Can't do the physical side of this so easily any more. Started feeling a bit better on Shabbat (today), with 7 or so hours of sleep Friday night, to make up for four hours of sleep after the 2nd seder, and three hours of sleep after the f…

Mah Nishtanah...?

I am up close to 2:00 a.m. why? Mah nishtanah ha-lailah ha-zeh mikol ha-lelot? Because it is the eleventh hour, erev chag: the biggest, most awesome holiday in the universe: Pesach!

I have been checking and washing romaine lettuce for karpas (tons of it), boiling potatoes, checking the chicken soup, putting the tzimmes in the fridge...but of course I will give credit to hubby, without whom none of these delicious delicacies would be possible: he cooked 'em all (ok, I peeled, cored and cut the apples for the tzimmes. Really).

He also cooked the brisket yesterday, four huge trays of 'em; he made a cranberry-orange side dish; carrot, potatoe and apple tzimmes with pineapple, the aforementioned chicken soup in a huge stock pot (we're having lotsa guests the first night), and genuine shmurah matzah balls (doesn't baseball season start now?) that are our specialty for Pesach (yes, we eat gebrocht).

So I am not complaining about being up so late, although I have a dr.'s ap…

Ok, Now I've Seen Everything

Got this from Heshy at Frum Satire. What will a Yiddishe Kopf* (Jewish ingenuity) think of next?
You know how everyone looks at kos Eliyahu* and wonders if he really is there, you know, in a different dimension, perhaps, invisible--but there. And we all look to the cup, to see if the wine goes down.
Well, ladies and gentlemen - look no further. It is (finally) here: The Elijah Drinks Cup.

Now, I think that's worthy of a Nobel Prize, don't you? Why, it's amazing no one thought of this earlier...

*yiddishe kopf=Jewish head
*kos Eliyahu=Elijah's cup