Showing posts from May, 2013

Latma: Getting Better and Better (Know Your Sarcasm)

Latma TV is producing more sophisticated and satirical videos these days.  Ridiculing everything from Europe's' not facing the truth about their increasing terrorism by radical Muslims to the president of Israel, Shimon Peres, Latma has outdone itself. Hat tip to Batya at Shiloh Musings for posting it.

Facing Reality, Moving Forward

There is a serious problem unfolding within religious Judaism, which seem very apparent to non-observant Jews, but which many observant Jews are afraid to address. It boils down to the rapid movement towards a Sharia-like fundamentalism prevalent in the Ultra-Orthodox and even in some more modern Orthodox Jewish communities.

Non-observant Jews cry out against what is happening, because they see these fringe and not-so-fringe groups of Ultra-Orthodox as representing all Jews, or maybe it's more correct to say all observant Jews.  And they use these terrible behaviors--and I do believe they are terrible--to reinforce their secular way of life, and to reinforce their rejection of the Jewish religion as "fanatic."

Here are two articles addressing these issues, both published in the Forward, the authors of which express views 180 degrees opposed to each other.  There are elements of truth in both, but I personally believe that the problematic issues are not being addressed by…

Rock Concert

Got off the phone with my daughter in Israel just three hours ago.  Problem with that is, that it was 2:45 a.m. for her when she called me.  She had just arrived home from a rock concert in Petach Tikva in honor of Yom haStudent (Student Day).  She was on a 'high' from having gone out with friends, and getting a ride all the way home--so that she didn't have to call a cab or worse, wheel herself home the rest of the way in the dark.

Here are some of the bands which played there.  Infected Mushroom, a psychedelic band, was the featured one.  I had never heard of them before speaking with my daughter a day or two ago.  What do I know?
Here are two songs of one of the opening bands, Mashina.  Below, Infected Mushroom (...why am I not hungry anymore?).  Personally, Mashina is more my style...

Date Night

So tonight my D.H. and I went to a movie--first time in a long time--and had Menchies' frozen yogurt at a little outdoor table near the theatre, watching a central fountain spew forth graceful arcs of water, on a beautiful, mild spring day.

 I actually 'asked him out.' A little unusual? Not really.  We're married 43+ years and I can do whatever I want, heheh.  As a matter of fact, he had asked me several times over the past few weeks if I wanted to go to a movie, and each time I answered in the negative: feet hurt, knees hurt, too tired, etc.  I'm kind of a homebody; when I get home from work, I just want to vegge out.

But today, my D.H. went to the VA doc to have his pacemaker checked out, and it was fine (thank G-d), and then he did the laundry (I had asked him to ) and took care of the last pot from Shabbat, the cholent pot (slow cooker to you), which he put in the dishwasher after having emptied it out of its load of clean dishes and utensils from Shabbat, and …

My Daughter: South Florida "Mompreneur" in the Miami Herald!

The Miami Herald Business Monday section published a great article about "Mompreneurs," a neologism which really took hold, created by Patricia Cobe and Ellen H. Parlapiano--"Mom Entrepreneurs," meaning mothers who, in the course of running their own households and families, took an idea relating to their own life situation and developed it into a successful business model. 

The article highlights six moms who created their own businesses, and I am proud to say my daughter Michal, who created Baby K'tan, is one of them!  All the stories are wonderful, so go to the link and read the entire article: thank you, Miami Herald, for recognizing the creativity and perseverance of these women!

Here is the section about my daughter, but read the original and see the photos, too.  I am so proud of you, Michal...!

Baby K’tan
After Michal Chesal’s son, Coby, was born with Down syndrome in 1999, she wanted to carry him with a wearable baby carrier. But a physical therapist …

Day Trip to Our Favorite Place

We returned home after 9 pm tonight from our day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, specifically to drive Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous road in the U.S.  It's one of our favorite places, partially because it spans several biomes, including the Alpine Tundra, and because it feels so expansive and majestic, and puts us humans in perspective.  It attests to the wonders of creation...
We drove up above 12,000 ft. where the temperature dropped to the 40s; there were huge 8-foot snow "canyons" on either side of the road, which had just been cleared on Friday for the season opening (the road above a certain altitude is closed from Labor Day to Memorial Day, generally, but some years the weather did not allow the road to be cleared until June).

On the western, Pacific side of the Continental Divide, we found a picnic area near a trail head, walked a little bit, and then sat down to a fleishig picnic of roast chicken wings, legs and thighs, quinoa salad, vegetab…

To The Mountains

Taking a day trip on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend to our favorite place: Estes Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park, planning on driving up Trail Ridge Road which just opened for the season on Friday (yesterday).  It is the highest continuous paved road in the United States, and it climbs to over 12,000 ft.

We sort of have a tradition in the 29 years we've lived here, although we don't do it every year: going up Trail Ridge right after it opens, to get the thrill of driving up a road with 5 ft. high snowbanks on either side.  You sense the power of winter in this area, which, at above altitude of 11,000 ft.  is actually Tundra.  I can't imagine what it takes to clear the road.  Those long poles you see are markers to indicate where the road actually is.                                    

We have lots of leftover food from Shabbat (today's lunch), including roast chicken pieces, quinoa salad, veggies and dip and cholent--so I guess we're going to be fleishig (…

Happiness is a Choice

No matter what we encounter in our lives, events and happenings not of our choosing, we still have a choice: how to react to them.

 Victor Frankel, in his book Man's Search for Meaning, expresses this very concept:

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” What do happy people do that ordinary, grumpy people don't?  Take a look at this
and see...

22 Things Happy People Do Differently This article is from Chiara Fucarino. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to address those with clinical depression or other mental illnesses.

Photo by Rosie Hardy
There are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy. Contrary to popular belief, happiness doesn’t come from fame, fortune, other people, or material possessions. Rather, it comes from within. The richest person in the world could be miserabl…

Judge a Religion by the Education of its Children

When will you learn, people? What will it take for you to actually recognize the threat to Western civilization, and have to courage to name it?  For it is Islam.  Period.

This is what Saudi Arabian children are learning in their high school textbooks, sanctioned by the Saudi government: Sharia law.  You want some of this?

I don't want these people as my neighbors.  But, if we don't wake up and smell the blood-on-the-cleavers-and-knives, we will get some of this, whether we like it or not.  

Read this horror story below.  And then tell me that "all religions are equal."

The Arabic school textbooks which show children how to chop off hands and feet under Sharia law By Leon Watson

Barbaric textbooks handed out in Saudi Arabian schools teach children how to cut off a thief's hands and feet under Sharia law, it has emerged.
The shocking books, paid for and printed by the Saudi government, also tell teenagers that Jews need to be exterminated and homosexuals should…

When You Know You're Going to Die, Bring Joy by LIVING

What a blessing this young man was...and still is, in death as well as life; because of what he gave to his family and friends, through his music, through his appreciation of others, and his joy in being alive. As seen on Upworthy:

Here is the song he composed and sang, called "Clouds."

Thank You Chabad, for Showing Us How a Relgion SHOULD Act

Contrast this with the subject of my previous post.  Thank G-d we Jews have real humanitarians out there who do not hurt, but selflessly help others in need--regardless of whether they are co-religionists or not.

See what Chabad is doing to help the victims of the devastating F5 tornado which hit and devastated the town of Moore, Oklahoma yesterday, as published in The Jewish Press.  For the entire story, click on the link above.

Chabad to the Rescue for Oklahoma Residents There are only about 5000 Jews in the Greater Oklahoma City area, but the Chabad of Oklahoma City is working around the clock to provide assistance to anyone in need. By: Published: May 21st, 2013 print tell a friend

Entire neighborhoods were flattened by the tornado that struck outside Oklahoma City, OK on May 20, 2013

The devastating tornado that struck just outside of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on Monday, May 20, had wind speeds of up to 200 mph, flattened entire neighborhoods and destroyed t…

You Want These Deviants Taking Over YOUR Country?

As seen on Tamar Yonah's Facebook page, published on Jihad Watch.  This is disgusting and horrifying.  These are the so-called "people" whose religion is considered 'equal' to Judaism and Christianity by naive Americans and Europeans. Say 'hello' to what will happen in Europe and the United States if we let these scum of the earth take over.

Warning: Graphic material. Danger of vomiting.  I was so sick after reading this that I decided not to post the entire story.  Read it if you dare know the truth, at the link above.

Afghanistan: 8-year-old bride of mullah bleeds to death on her wedding night The story below is graphic. But it has to be told, as it graphically illustrates the human cost of Islamic child marriage and the treatment of women and girls as commodities.
"The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for n…

"A Legal Case for Israel"- Why the Double Standard?

I never hear anyone questioning the legality of Italy.  Or Great Britain. Or Syria or Jordan. 

Why no question about, say, "a Legal Case for the United States?" It's only Israel, to which double standards are applied.

Here is a video (hat tip Daled Amos) of a lecture by Professor Eugene Kontorovich given at the National Jewish Retreat in 2012, as shown on Torah Cafe.

A Creative Short Film

I saw this on my Facebook News Feed and had to post it here.  It's an extremely creative animated short film, so innovative it was nominated for an Oscar--the shortest film ever to be so nominated.  If you haven't seen this before, you probably won't expect what you see, and you're in for a treat. 

By PES.  Um, not so hungry anymore...

Simple Pleasures

Shabbat was very quiet.  A good quiet.  I did not have the energy to go to shul, so I just relaxed at home.  I sat outside in our still-in-progress patio, under our pretty (-and tearing) striped umbrella, and had a hot cup of coffee on our glass round umbrella table.  I listened to the breeze rustling the leaves of the tree next door, in the adjoining patio.  I watched the clouds slowly roll by in the azure blue sky.  I watched our herbs grow.  Really. Could see them inching up...almost...
That is a simple pleasure. Just sitting, drinking coffee, watching the clouds, and the herbs. Just appreciating being alive.

Shabbat Right After the Chag, and Missing Family...

We have just come down from the spiritual "up" of the holiday of Shavuot, which celebrates, in addition to the offering of the first fruits (originally it was also an agricultural holiday) to the Holy Temple, the receiving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.  That is definitely a spiritual high, if there ever was one.  This is the culmination of the Jewish peoples' exodus from slavery in Egypt, a physical-freeing, building up over a period of seven weeks during which time we count the Omer (a measure of barley which in ancient times was brought to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem) to the spiritual-freeing of the Jewish people becoming G-d's chosen nation and receiving our "blueprint for life," the Holy Torah. 

This year was just a little different, because I was sick during the holiday and we had no guests--nada--none, for the first time in a long time (we've always had, at least, guests for one of the four meals during the 2-day chag).  I was approaching non-fun…

Brave Daniel...Almost in the Lion's Den, Again.

Do you remember the lone high school student "Daniel," who went into a pro-Palestinian demonstration carrying a huge Israeli flag after the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010?  I wrote about him and posted the video in 2010, here, and here.

He is bravely continuing  his activism again: by videotaping a message, in Farsi, to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in support of Israel and the Jewish people.  Daniel is from Persian (Iranian) descent, and his message in the language of the Iranian people is very powerful.  (Thank you to A Soldier's Mother for alerting us to this).

First, in case you haven't seen it, here is the video of the interview of Daniel's infiltration into that anti-Israel demonstration, and the pro-Israel rally which was held six days later.

Below is his message to the Iranian people.  From what I know, the Iranian people do not have a hatred of Israel: just their government and religious leaders do, and have threatened to annihilate her (G-d forb…

Chabad Innovates Again: in Fashion?

Black has been the color of choice for ultra religious Jews for years, one might say centuries-from the founding of chassidism in Eastern Europe, from where those kapotas originated.
That might be changing, however: some Chabad rabbis are testing out new threads, and daring to wear, like their Rebbe before them when he was a young man, something different. In this case, a different color!

NEW YORK (JTA) — Yosel Tiefenbrun looked in the mirror and he liked what he saw. The 23-year-old Chabad rabbi and apprentice at Maurice Sedwell, a bespoke tailor’s shop on London’s Savile Row, was wearing a vintage double-breasted jacket with gold buttons, tasseled Barker shoes, a claret bow tie and matching handmade hat and square handkerchief. Then he ran out the door to attend the “Oscars of tailoring” — the Golden Shears Award ceremony honoring the best in British fashion. Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email
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Finally a Journalist Sees What the "Palestinians" Really Want

How many times have I written on this blog posts related to the so-called Two-State Solution subject,  "peace" talks, and about the lies the Arabs--so-called "Palestinians"--are telling the world, and what they really want?  'Let me count the ways.'  Try here, here and especially here, for starters.

Well (yes, I am beginning a sentence with "well." What are you going to do about it?), a young Israeli journalist named Lital Shemesh has recently discovered what I--and everyone else who knew the truth--have been saying all along: The "Palestinians" don't want peace.  They want Israel--all of Israel--to disappear.  Ms. Shemesh (which means "sun" in Hebrew) was an advocate for peace, and to achieve this, for coming to the table with the Arabs and discovering who they are, their aspirations and desires, and through talks arriving at a compromise which would benefit everyone.

A noble cause, for certain.  In her video blog two year…

Mother's Day

I researched the history and origins of the popular Hallmark holiday Mother's Day, and found some interesting information about it.  It was started by a West Virginia women's community organizer named Ann Reeves Jarvis in order to improve sanitary conditions and lower infant mortality rates.  After her death, her daughter Anna began celebrating a special day to honor mothers--her mother, specifically--and thank them for all they had done for their children.  It mushroomed out of proportion to her original intentions and was officially declared a national holiday by president Woodrow Wilson in 1914, to be celebrated the 2nd Sunday in May.

Although it's commercialized, I'm for any excuse to get together with family.  The best I could do way over here in Colorado, so far away from my kids and the rest of the family (my sister, my sisters-in-law, mother-in-law, etc. who are all out of state), is speak to all my kids, and 3 of my grandkids.  My kids sent me last week (it ca…

Texting Everywhere

What a great idea.  Leave it to Imrov Everywhere to dream this up.

Now, can they help me text and drive...?
(p.s., this post counts for Saturday's NaBloPoMo, because on Shabbat I don't use the PC.)

Incentive to DO Things: Daughter Influences Mother

It should be the other way around, right? The mother is active, involved and encourages her daughter to DO stuff--to be outgoing, committed to a cause or a passion, to help others.  With me and my daughter--the one with RSD/CRPS who's in a wheelchair for a year and a half, it's the other way around.

My daughter influences me.  You see, I'm lazy by nature.  My favorite activity is doing nothing.  What I mean by that is, my favorite activities are more sedentary; like reading, or singing, or playing Words with Friends and Scrabble, or watching a movie.  For example, I love a well-kept and cultivated garden.  I love the colors of the flowers, the order they are in, the straight edges of the flower beds (or curved-they just have to be clean-cut, and neat), the rich grass around them, deep green, evenly mowed and beautiful.  I love plants: the various varieties in their little pots, or in the ground, well taken care of, watered regularly, and fed, like a pet, with plant food.


No Cruise Control Here

As if Carnival Cruise Lines needed another problem after the fire on the Truimph resulting in no power, raw sewage in overflowing toilets and leaking drain pipes, and the disaster with the Costa Concordia, now it's losing passengers.

A New South Wales couple was discovered missing when the Carnival Spirit docked at Sydney at the end of a 10-day trip.  Why would anyone book a trip on this jinxed cruise line?

Islam. I, Too, Am Offended.

As my blog description states, my blog is sometimes "stream-of-consciousness," and topically is all over the place.

Tonight, I want to share with you another of Pat Condell's inimitable vidoes.  He has the courage to state what many of us are thinking, but are afraid to say.

And if this labels me as an "Islamophobe," so be it.

Approaching Shavuot, and Jerusalem Day

As we approach the second Pilgrimage Holiday of Shavu'ot (Pentecost, in English), which comes seven weeks after Pesach (Passover), the first Pilgrimage Holiday, we look to commemorating the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, approximately 3,344 years ago, around 1313 B.C.E.
In the weeks between Pesach and Shavuot, we Count the Omer, lifting ourselves spiritually higher and higher until we reach the peak: receiving the Torah.

Here is a beautiful d'var Torah (a "word of Torah") by Rabbi Avraham Arieh and Rebbetzin Rachel Trugman of Ohr Chadash, explaining the spiritual aspect of the counting of the Omer approaching Shavuot, the portion of the Torah read on the Shabbat before Shavuot (Bamidbar), and how they have a deep connection to Jerusalem, Judaism's holiest ancient city, and the day which commemorates it: Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim, in Hebrew), which was today, celebrated all over Israel.

Take a Deeper Look...At Yom Yerushalayim and this Week's Parsha…