Showing posts from March, 2012

Getting Rich: Externally, and Internally

There is a very, very difficult mitzvah* in Judaism (plural: mitzvot),that people should be happy.  In Hebrew, it's expressed by the phrase:  מצוה גדולה להיות בשמחה , "mitzvah gedola li-hiyot b'simcha,"  meaning 'it's a great commandment to be in a state of happiness." That's it.

The Jewish belief is that G-d has put us here for a reason; some say that we actually choose our parents before we are born: each individual has a purpose in life, which we have to discover in our life's journey.  Some of us have great insight, even as young people, and we have a sense of what our purpose is.  But for most people, that purpose is very hard to determine.  During our life's journey, good things happen, and bad things happen.  No matter what, we always have free will to decide how we will respond to those events, even if they are outside of our physical control.

My daughter who has RSD/CRPS made a decision about two months ago.  She decided that, no mat…

Jerusalem: Is, and Always Has Been--A Jewish City

Eli E. Hertz of Myths and Facts puts the lie to the Palestinian contention that Jerusalem is and always was an Arab city.  It is actually exactly the opposite.  In fact, in the 1,300 years of various Islamic dynastic rulers, it was never made the capital city of any of the dynasties, nor did Mohammed, founder of Islam, ever set foot there.  Rather, Jerusalem has always been a Jewish city and is integral to the history and spirituality of the Jewish People.  Here are some excerpts (emphases mine).  Read the entire article on Arutz Sheva.
Op-Ed: Islam's Connection to Jerusalem - vs. Israel's Published: Thursday, March 29, 2012 8:00 AM Various Islamic dynasties governed Jerusalem, but not one made it their capital. The Jews were a majority there - in what is called East Jerusalem today - for generations, including in 1948. Despite 1,300 years of Muslim Arab rule, Jerusalem was never the capital of an Arab entity.
Oddly, the PLO's National Covenant, written in 1964, never men…

The Great Debate: Is it Itsy Bitsy, or Inky Dinky, of Spider Fame?

For the better part of a year, I've had an on-again, off-again debate with my D.H. as to the "correct" adjective in the children's finger-play nursery rhyme, "The Itsy-Bitsy Spider" (now you know which one I favor).

My D. H. insists that the correct descriptive is "inky dinky," whereas I demur.  I vaguely recollect from my own childhood, either hearing "itsy-bitsy spider," or even more familiar to me, the description "eency-weency," referring to said spider's miniscule size, yet plucky persistance, and how he (she?) braved the violent rainstorm which "washed it out" after the arduous climb up the water spout, yet doggedly climbed the spout again, after the sun came out and 'dried up all the rain.'

Many, if not most of our American nursery rhymes originated on the other side of the pond, in England, for obvious reasons: the American colonists were British in origin, and brought with them the culture and his…

Why the Jews Really Wandered 40 Years in the Desert:

In honor of the approaching holiday of Pesach (Passover), I am posting this funny Israeli commercial (hat tip to Jacob Richman, here, and here, too).

Now I know the real reason why the Jewish people wandered 40 years in the desert after the Exodus from Egypt.  They, uh, got lost...until in the 40th year The Lord finally sent them...the new GPS by Ituran, heheh.

Watch Aaron admonishing his brother Moses for 'getting lost,' using the Hebrew slang word   התברברנו (transliteration: "heetbarBARnu," or "heedbarBARnu") which is also a play-on-words for the word for desert: מדבר (transliteration: "meedBAR").

A Pesach kasher ve-sameach* to you all!

*Pesach kasher ve-sameach: Hebrew holiday wishes we say before Passover, meaning 'a kosher and happy Passover.'

Does Mr. Obama Think About His Kids When He Thinks About the Murdered Jewish Kids?

President Obama spoke in emotional terms about Trayvon Martin, the boy who was tragically killed by a citizen member of a neighborhood watch. He stated that there should be an investigation of "every aspect" of the incident, and expressed his views in very personal terms. From Fox News:
 “I can only imagine what these parents are going through and when I think about this boy I think about my own kids,” Mr. Obama said. He aimed his message at Mr. Martin's parents, saying, “If I had a son he'd look like Trayvon. I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans take this with the seriousness that it deserves and we're going to get to the bottom of what happened.”Does that mean that because the boy was black, the case should be investigated? This does not seem to have been a calculated, premeditated murder. Rather, it may have been a terrible accident.
Did the president express this kind of sympathy and concern for that other tragedy--the atrocity wh…

Israel an Apartheid State? Utter Nonesense.

Again, thanks to Arlene Kushner, this time for alerting us to an eye-opening video of a black member of the South African parliament, Mr. Kenneth Meshoe, responding to a reporter at a press conference, who asked for his opinion about claims that Israel is an apartheid state: 
"If people make such statements, I believe that they are exposing their ignorance... because anybody that has knowledge...about what apartheid is...cannot make such a ridiculous statement."

Obama's True Feelings Towards Israel

The Obama campaign video seems to show how he is a friend of Israel?  Here's another video, created by the Emergency Committee for Israel which shows his words and actions throughout his presidency, and how they indicate the exact opposite (hat tip, Arlene Kushner.)

It's half an hour long.  Get yourself a cup of coffee, then sit down and watch it.  It's worth the investment of your time.

Attitude is Everything

My daughter Rambo is a special person.  Well, all my kids are special.  But she has developed a quality that has been drawing perfect strangers to help her, and bringing out the best in these strangers.

 Let me explain: she is twenty-three years old, and suddenly, for almost a year now, she finds herself in a wheelchair, in constant pain, and unable to support her own weight--or any weight whatsoever--on her feet and legs, thus unable to stand up, and of course, walk.

She has been on her own since age 15, when she left for Israel after one year of high school here on her own, without her family, through a program called Na'aleh.  At the completion of three more years of high school in Israel and in two different schools, she was one of the few students on the program who stayed and stuck it through: most of the teenagers went back to the States and to their families.  She went on, after graduating, to enlist in the Israeli army (the IDF, or Israel Defense Force), trying out for an…

A Quick Shumar Update

So here is an update on our first attempt to 'make' (Hashem made it, we just cut it up & spice it) shumar, better known to Americans as fennel.  Eh.

My D.H. cut it up, put a little lemon juice on it and sprinkled, er, poured on some salt.  Too loose much, Lautrec (bad joke).  It was too salty.  But he said something interesting. Aside from the excess salt, the actual vegetable did not have the same flavor as the ones in Israel.  It had much less flavor.  I find the same thing happens with other vegetables, and fruit, too: here in the States, tomatoes taste a little like...cardboard, with just a hint of the juicy sweetness they should have. Same with cucumbers, peppers, and oranges and clementinas (clementines, to you).  Fruit and vegies are much fresher in Israel, perhaps partly because they don't have to be shipped to kingdom-come from the ends of the earth, one drawback to being in a BIG country.  My daughter agrees: FACT: food, especially fruit and vegetables, are t…

Another Atrocity Against the Jews, and the Truth About it All

As all civilized, reasonable people have been, I was horrified and disgusted by another terrorist murder of Jews in Toulouse, France, including a father and two sons, and a daughter of a head-of-school.  Disgusting, animalistic, inhuman--the adjectives about this despicable act abound to no end.  I have not written about it.  Everyone else has. What is there new to write?  Nothing. This excuse for a human used the 'Palestinian cause' as a reason for his actions.  It doesn't matter what the excuse, this action was unconscionable.  France's president Sarkozy's response:
 "There are beings who have no respect for life. When you grab a little girl to put a bullet in her head, without leaving her any chance, you are a monster. An anti-Semitic monster, but first of all a monster," he said. These sub-humans unleash their horrific acts against helpless innocent victims who cannot defend themselves, because of an 'ideology' or some other excuse for their…

Two Seconds Before Shabbat

...And yet I had to write about...fennel!  Or by the Hebrew name we know it: Shumar.  We never knew what fennel was, until this trip to Israel.  Everybody served it.  Clean it, cut it up, sprinkle a little lemon juice and salt--and it's ready to eat straight from the bowl, as an appetizer.

So guess what? My D.H. went out today to finish shopping for Shabbat, and for the first time ever (I know, we're deprived) bought one.  He fell in love with it in Israel, and got it all ready to go.  Gotta light candles.  This is what's called 'living on the edge' for a frummie.  Shabbat shalom.

Back From Israel...Purim in New York

I can't believe we did this, but there was no alternative.  We left Israel two days before Purim. Incredible. Unbelievable.  Actually, there was an alternative: we could have spent Purim in Israel, and left on Shushan Purim, which was Friday, erev Shabbat--at one in the morning--and taken a chance that a) the flight would come in on time, and b) that we wouldn't be punch-drunk and jet-lagged for Shabbat and my niece's wedding motzai Shabbat.  Oh yes, and c) that El Al wouldn't accidentally lose our luggage with us going right into Shabbat, with no clothes...

In short, too many safeks, so we left Israel before Purim, Tuesday at 1:00 a.m.  Still, to me, looking back, it's unbelievable.  We haven't spent a chag in Israel since we lived there from 1977-1981.  In 2005 I came right after Sukkot, when my son's sukkah was still up--so I saw it, went in, but it was too late for the mitzvah...

So we heard the first Megillah reading at Chabad Midtown Manhattan, and th…

Drawing to a Close...

We have been in Israel almost six weeks, and except for a day or two, been going at a frenetic pace, helping our daughter moving to her new apartment, filling it up with her STUFF, and food STUFF, and other STUFF.  I have never seen so much STUFF...well, not really--I have, at our house back in the Old Country.  Basically, before we move here, if we do--we have to get rid of most of our STUFF.  Israeli apartments are no match for tons and tons of American...STUFF.

In addition to the above, we have been taking our daughter to doctor visits and hospital visits and going to clinics and pharmacies, among other thing getting her prescriptions and medications.  We have met with her attorney.  I have seen on this trip more doctors, hospitals and attorneys all concentrated together in several weeks,  than I have in years.

To top all that, it is literally pouring  cats and dogs here in Tel-Aviv right now.  I daresay it's pouring across the entire country (and probably snowing a little in E…