Showing posts from January, 2011

Given Current Reality, Peace in Middle East is a Fantasy

I have written previously many times about Israel being the world's punching bag.  Whereas other countries committing atrocities are more or less ignored, Israel is publicly and vociferously blamed for everything evil and the fact that there is no "peace" in the Middle East.

There is currently no peace between Israel and her neighbors, and the reason is because her neighbors want to annihilate her.  The Arabs (so-called "Palestinians") don't really want 'peace,' they want Israel gone forever.  David Solway gets it, in his article entitled "Is Peace Possible in the Middle East" on Pajamas Media.

Basically, everything is wrong there.  The Arabs speak out of both sides of their mouths; they say to the world they want peace with Israel, and to their people and in their schools they promote murdering Jews and destroying the Jewish Nation--which they refuse to recognize as such.  The same tactics and 'peace negotiations' are tried, in di…

A Rant: Sick, and Haveil Havalim #301 (not sick of)

I hate being sick.  Actually, who likes being sick?

But I remember, when I was little (now I'm...bigger), still in grade school, I hated and feared school so much that I wanted to be sick, so that I could just stay home and feel the comfort and security of my mother (a"h) puttering around in the kitchen.

I remember how I panicked on a Saturday night, and then felt so relieved when I realized that I still had another day of reprieve--Sunday--as I was prone to anxiety attacks the night before school days, and on school mornings, too.  I was afraid of...everything: not getting up on time and being late for school.  Being the 'outcast' in school and ignored, or worse--being laughed at and humiliated.  Failing tests. Being called on in class and not knowing the answer to the question, and thus being laughed at again, by my classmates.

Well, as I mentioned above (take that, English teacher; "never begin a sentence with 'well'"), I am sick.  Now, there is n…

Israel Within International Law in Actions Against Turkish Flotilla

An Israeli probe into the raid of a Turkish "peace" flotilla last May concluded that Israel was within its bounds in the manner in which it boarded the Mavi Marmara, although it resulted in nine Turks on the ship being killed.  A good part of the European community had censured Israel for what it called its use of excessive force in the boarding of the ship.

What Israel had actually encountered when boarding were members of the Turkish IHH on board who attacked the Israeli soldiers with guns, knives and metal bars.

The commission said Israeli troops "encountered extreme violence" when they boarded the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara, a ferry carrying around 600 people that led the six-ship flotilla.
A group of activists from the Turkish Islamist IHH organisation on board the ship "used firearms against the soldiers during the hostilities," the report said, repeating an allegation denied by the activists.As if Israel can do anything right in the eyes of t…

Tu b'Shevat and the Holiness of the Land of Israel

The upcoming holiday of Tu b'Shevat, on the 15th day of the month of Shevat--"Tu" being an acronym for the letters 'Tet' and 'Vav' adding up to 15 (falling this coming Thursday, January 20th, 2011)--celebrates the New Year for the Trees.  It was mentioned in VaYikra (Leviticus 19: 23-25) relating to calculating the age of trees for tithing.  It had been considered a minor holiday and not really marked by any special ceremony or much celebration for many, many years.

In our time--and I believe it is prophetic and totally related to the return of the Jews to the Land of Israel--this chag celebrating the importance and yes, holiness of the trees and of the Land itself is now experiencing a renaissance, and is being celebrated by more and more Jews each year.

For hundreds of years in the diaspora Jews were not permitted to be landowners, and so many became moneylenders, and the art of agriculture and farming became, shall we say, dormant.    In the nineteenth…

Already the Next HH...

I can't believe I haven't posted since the last Haveil Havalim, but it's true--I have not had the time, nor the energy, and it's already time to announce the next HH, #300.  It is up and running at To Kiss a Mezuzah, and one post of yours truly is in it.

Don't get me wrong--working is great, but it has its perils.  And one of the more serious ones is...not blogging! 
Somehow I will have to rectify that...

HH #299 is LIVE

The latest and greatest Haveil Havalim (the Jewish Blog Carnival) is up and running at Esser Agoroth, so in order to get your two cents worth, be there or be square!

(One of these days I'll have the time and the courage to try my hand at hosting; right now with our unstable living situation it is not the right time...).

Squeeze Left - Think Better (aka: Weird Science)

In today's Wall Street Journal's Ideas Market under the sub-heading "Intelligence":

An Israeli research team at the Brain Research Center of Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel including Dr. Abraham Goldstein and three others have discovered through controlled testing that squeezing a ball with your left hand can increase creative thinking.

In a study entitled  Unilateral Muscle Contractions Enhance Creative Thinking, the researchers have concluded, after asking the 40 subjects to squeeze a ball with their left hand--which controls the brain's right hemisphere--in advance of their taking a complicated cognitive test, that the advance activation of the right hemisphere increased their creative thinking and their correct answers on the test. 

Participants attempted to complete the Remote Associates Test after squeezing a ball with either their left or right hand. As predicted, participants who contracted their left hand (thus activating …

KCC Up and Running

The latest KCC (Kosher Cooking Carnival) is up and running, here.  I wish I could contribute to it, but I think I've forgotten how to cook!  That's what happens when you have a built-in chef in the house (my D. H.).

Boy,  I sure could use a bowl of chicken soup right now.  Guess it's going to have to be. . .

. . .the Instant variety!

What Was I Thinking??

NaBloPoMo? I must have been out of my mind. On January first, 2011 I signed up for National Blog Posting Month, committing to posting every day for the month of January.  My last post was January 2nd.  It is now January 8th. No posts in between.  I blew it.  Didn't even post on my daughter's (that's Toodles') birthday to wish her a happy birthday (January 7th). 

Good. Grief.  I'm a slacker.  A total failure.  There is no hope for me.  I have failed the course, wiped out, descended into the depths--and I'm duly beating myself up about it.

Why did this happen? No time, you say? Perhaps no energy? Unfortunately, the answer is actually D) None of the above.  I simply. . .forgot about it (you've heard of fahgeddaboudit? I did.)  Since January 2nd, I totally forgot to post.  I come home so exhausted from taking care of little two-year-olds by nurturing them, teaching them to belaw-abiding social citizens by telling them to play nice and hands are not for hitting

My Daily, for January

Did a crazy thing just now (at 2:00 a.m.).  I signed up for NaBloPoMo again, for the month of January, 2011.  Why? Because I'm not thinking clearly.  But also because of the theme for this month, which is "Friends."  Why? Because without our dear, dear friends, we could not have made this move from our townhome to this temporary apartment.

I will write about this later, but for now, I just want to say to everyone who was there for us:

Thank you so, so much, and may you merit mitzvot - שתזכו למצוות!!  We could NOT have done this without you (-and you know who you are!)

Ok.  This takes care of my post for January 2.  Onward and upward.
(But for now, good night!)

What do the Talmud and...the Chinese Have in Common?

Here is a new take on a Yiddishe Kopf: the Chinese are trying to emulate Jewish business intelligence and ingenuity, by (of all things) studying the Talmud!
Jewish visitors to China often receive a snap greeting when they reveal their religion: “Very smart, very clever, and very good at business,” the Chinese person says. Last year’s Google Zeitgeist China rankings listed “why are Jews excellent?” in fourth place in the “why” questions category, just behind “why should I enter the party” and above “why should I get married?” (Google didn’t publish a "why" category in Mandarin this year.) And the apparent affection for Jewishness has led to a surprising trend in publishing over the last few years: books purporting to reveal the business secrets of the Talmud that capitalize on the widespread impression among Chinese that attributes of Judaism lead to success in the financial arts.Han Bing, a Chinese author of the book "Crack the Talmud" said after attending…

Orthodoxy or Secularism: Which is More Fulfilling?

Even before I became truly religious, as a child I always wanted to be "Orthodox" (you might say that I grew up 'Conservadox').  There was a specialness to it.  In an Orthodox lifestyle, time became holy, and there was a purpose to living with transcended the physical.  In short, Orthodoxy just 'felt right' to me--it felt like the Truth.

Apparently I am not the only one who felt and still feels like this.  Many young, secular Jews are finding life's meaning in an Orthodox lifestyle.  An article in The Globe and Mail tells the tale:
Becoming Orthodox means more than just giving up bacon. From bans against driving and using electrical or electronic devices on the Sabbath, to dietary laws so strict that very few grocers, restaurants or butchers can meet their requirements, to a daily routine permeated by prayer and ritual observance, adopting Orthodoxy is more than an embrace of faith, it is a dramatic change in lifestyle.
Ezra Krybus made that change. H…

Forgot to Even Mention's 2011!

Well, that's New Year's for you.  Yesterday's post had no mention of the secular year-change.  That's because when it happens on Shabbat, it...doesn't happen!  I totally forgot that it was "New Year's Eve" on Friday.  To me, it was erev Shabbat.  New Year's Day? Shabbat.  The only difference is now I have to learn to write "2011" instead of "2010."

I did miss watching the ball descend over Times Square, though.  So for those of you who missed this too, here it is.  Happy 2011( just ignore all the smooching).