Sunday, December 30, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Earlier this week Oprah Winfrey aired a 1-hour special of her visit to
Canisters of Zyklon B piled high behind a glass wall; shoes of every size and color. "Look at those," Elie mused pointing to one pair. "A dancer. Must have belonged to a dancer. All these people – you know one of these people could have found the cure for cancer or AIDS – killed for no reason at all. The God of Auschwitz was the God of Death."
"I get it" said Oprah. No you don't. Elie told her: "When one child dies, it makes no sense. When millions of men, women and children are sent systematically to their deaths, it can't make any sense!"
Written by Avi [The bold is mine]
"Baim"=coming. now. shoulda said "bau"=came. in parshas vayigash it made sense, it was then. well every day we are in golus its a chiddush. we don't belong here. we just got here for the day. yes we are put in here, yaakov (and now "v'es yakov"), but we have the koach as "bnei yisroel". we winning over. and also 'li rosh'. we are a head to hashem. the whole first sefer, beraishis, was maaseh avos. twas the nesinas koach necessary for us going into mitzrayim (out of which we will rise even higher---every sin, every darkness, is sourced in light. orta, says the gemara. "or" and then taf, four hundred men with eisav, 400 batei dinin, all from the four hundred silver coins that a"a gave efroin for the maarah). the "oiver l'socher" allows for profit. the real i doesnt belong in golus. its not where im supposed to be. its not my natural environment. the fact that im here now today is not related to the fact that i was here yesterday. when i woke up this morn, it was with my neshama that is tehorah. its the same attached as always. it has not been changed by the mitzrayim (neither of the kedusha--meitzarim, nor of the kelipah--this golus). (something with a shinuy changes ownership--not my soul though. sullied perhaps at times but not changed.) so dont get down that yesterday was not good. today we start anew. hashem put u in golus again today. u weren't born in this prison. you just got here. golus can't entrench you. even if you think it can. its not able to get to you. bnei yisroel are COMING into mitzrayim seventy years later. its new. its different. its strange. its off. its not the norm. they remember that a, this is not their place and b, they can and must get out. and they know how. the a"r says that its not enough "b'chol dor v'dor", its gotta be "b'chol yom v'yom". our rebbe says, whadaya mean 'get out of mitzrayim?' whadaya mean 'break free'? no! we were never IN it. we just came this morn. its not our place, remember? that's why this possuk/inyan is shayach to us even now right before the geula. cuz golus is as natural and real and regular now as it was 1836 years ago. in other words, IT'S NOT!
(and maybe ill continue)
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
And if you hear that a Jewish mother and a Jewish father were killed in a car crash, think not: "Everything that G-d does is for the good and for the best."; think: "Everything that G-d does IS good, IS the best".
And if you hear that a Jewish mother and a Jewish father were killed in a car crash, think not: "Everything that G-d does is good and is the best"; think: "Oy that's terrible! We need moshiach! Enough of this, Hashem! This is madness! This is insanity! This is golus! We don't want it and we don't deserve it! Get us out of here! No excuses! Bring us the geula! End our suffering and end our pain! End our sadness and end our misery! You don't want it either! Stop taking Your Neshomas up there--instead You come down here!!"
If you hear that a Jewish mother and a Jewish father were killed in a car crash, think not.
Friday, December 21, 2007
The essential thing in these times of the "footseps of moshiach" is not to follow intellect and reason, but to fulfill torah and mitzvos wholeheartedly, with simple faith in the G-d of Israel.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Time: 10:00PM est
Access Code: 770770
In the zchus of everyone learning may all those that need a refuah shelaimah have one, and may we merit the coming of moshiach now!
This shiur happens once or twice a week. To be added to the email list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Last 130 Pages Of 'The Fountainhead'
A Longer Email
A Sharp Retort
A Witty Line
Comics When It's Dark Out
Going To Sleep Early
My Delek Shirt (Around The House)
My Personal Time
My Personal Space
My Fear of Arrogance
The Books By Saki & O. Henry
~ "I overhear three middle-aged men, with strong north African accents and kippot still creased from being folded and placed in pockets or glove compartments.
"Hayita etzel Nun? [Were you at Nun yet?]"
"Ma pitom Nun? [Say what? Nun?]"
"Ken, shtei dakot mikan! [Yeah, two minutes from here]"
"Bo, Yallah! [Let's get a move on!]"
[Calls across the square to his friend:] "Bo, Avi! L'Nun! [Come, Avi!–To Nun!]" "
(more about the Visit to the Kevarim of Yehoshua, Nun and Calev)
~ A year has passed since the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006, but First Lieutenant M. has not forgotten about the activities of Migdal Ohr Yeshiva which had been discreetly accomplished.
'I remember the two weeks of near face-to-face combat, the confused orders and insufficient combat gear, the intense hunger, physical and emotional exhaustion and toughest of all, the self-imposed silence and disassociation with our surroundings. "Now is not the right time to complain, but when it is over," we thought to ourselves, "when the air raid sirens stop and we are out of these fatigues, we can talk and the truth will be known."
'When the news came that we were receiving a day off, our hearts soared. We suffered so much stress and hardship. Where would we go? How should we take full advantage of this gift?
'Rumors begin to circulate that we were going to some school in Migdal Ha'Emek. "This must be a joke! Who ordered ten buses to bring us to some yeshiva with some Rabbi who is just going to try and brainwash us?"
(rest of the 'story' here. nearly judge jill sent it to me. agav, check out ascent.)
Monday, December 17, 2007
And the story stops there.
So, from the beginning:
One wintry Scandinavian morning, I shivered.
I was walking to work and I was short and small against the tall snowy trees, the wide healthy lawns and the biting forceful air.
The sky was vast and mysterious. Far far above. Abover than what I ever knew above to be.
And then there was me.
O, tall and confident, I strode; sure did. But I was short and small against the world, remember?
Very short and very small.
And then whamo!
An electrifying and utterly chilling realization smashed right into me and that's when I shivered.
See, this is what I had been thinking--
There are gabillions upon trabillions of people in the world. Countries and countries and countries of em. Different customs, colors, clothing. Multitudes of varied lifestyles, languages, livelihoods. Gabillions and trabillions. Yes, all are a gargantuan step higher than the three other levels of creation--animals, plants and inanimateness. Yet, all are people with desires, weaknesses and strategies.
I'm a gabillionth of a trabillionth of the world.
Then my gaze floated upwards and grasped the sky that was so above it had to Above. And then this is what I suddenly thought--
Up there is an Unlimited Being.
This G-d was able to choose whatever and whomever to be His.
He chose the Jews and made them His nation. Just because.
And I'm Jewish.
But not only that!
Because I know that I'm Jewish, I'm a huge step ahead. I am so incredibly lucky to realize just how incredibly lucky I am.
And then new thoughts pushed their urgent way through--
So I'm Jewish and I know it. Ya. But so many people are Jewish, know they are Jewish and still are too similar to the gabillions and trabillions of people living in the world.
What do I have different?
What do I have different? I have a Life.
I have a G-d, a Goal, a Leader, a Guide, a Meaning, a Precision and an Awareness that is rare.
I have it cuz I'm Chabad.
As a Chabad Chossid, I am connected to a Rebbe whose every action pierced the worlds.
Extremely difficult to explain to an outsider, yet (hopefully!) astonishingly obvious to a fellow insider.
Yes, the world is fabulously grand with many many goings on and I am but one person. But I have a strong ray extending from myself to everything I touch--be it physically or metaphysically--and that is what differentiates me from the rest.
I know mountains. I know cake. I know relationships. I know growth. I know smiles. I know trains. I know thoughts. I know family. I know sound. I know consequences.
Chassidus teaches me all that. Chassidus teaches me to learn all that.
Yiddishkeit shows me a woven scene and says "accept it!". Chassidus opens my hand and directs me to find the thread. That thread of truth that is in every object and idea.
The world isn't so daunting any more.
Look at what I have--From a gabillionth of a trabillionth, I went to being personally Chosen, naturally Informed and continuously Guided.
But wait, there's more.
I'm also a woman.
I'm the center of the home. The center of the children. The center of the continuity of the world. חוה=אם כל חי. I am the mother of all creation.
And more, much much more than that (and maybe it is just "that")--I am one of the Noshim that will bring Moshiach. I see the Rebbe auditorially crowning my fellow females and myself time and time again throughout the years.
I am part of an extremely microscopic group that has been charged with a extremely monumental task and I know it and I can do it.
I can do it cuz I know it.
No small wonder I shivered that wintry Scandinavian morning.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Every darn time I read this story, I get tears in my eyes.
In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to learning-disabled children. Some children remain in Chush for their entire school careers, while others can be mainstreamed into conventional yeshivos and Bais Yaakovs. There are a few children who attend Chush for most of the week and go to a regular school on Sundays.
At a Chush fund-raising dinner, the father of a Chush child delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, “Where is the perfection in my son Shaya? Everything that Hashem [G-d] does is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is Hashem’s perfection?” The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father’s anguish and stilled by his piercing query.
“I believe,” the father answered, “that when Hashem brings a child like this into the world, the perfection that He seeks is in the way people react to this child.”
He then told the following story about his son Shaya.
Shaya attends Chush throughout the week and Yeshivah Darchei Torah in Far Rockaway on Sundays. One Sunday afternoon, Shaya and his father came to Darchei Torah as his classmates were playing baseball. The game was in progress and as Shaya and his father made their way towards the ball field, Shaya said, “Do you think you could get me into the game?”
Shaya’s father knew his son was not at all athletic, and that most boys would not want him on their team. But Shaya’s father understood that if his son was chosen in, it would give him a comfortable sense of belonging.
Shaya’s father approached one of the boys in the field and asked, “Do you think my Shaya could get into the game?”
The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said, “We are losing by six runs and the game is already in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning.”
Shaya’s father was ecstatic as Shaya smiled broadly. Shaya was told to put on a glove and go out to play short center field, a position that exists only in softball. There were no protests from the opposing team, which would now be hitting with an extra man in the outfield.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shaya’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shaya’s team scored again and now with two outs and the bases loaded and the potential winning runs on base, Shaya was scheduled to be up. Would the team actually let Shaya bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shaya was told to take a bat and try to get a hit. Everyone knew that it was all but impossible, for Shaya didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it. However as Shaya stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so that Shaya should at least be able to make contact.
The first pitch came in and Shaya swung clumsily and missed. One of Shaya’s teammates came up to Shaya and together they held the bat and faced the pitcher waiting for the next pitch. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shaya.
As the next pitch came in, Shaya and his teammate swung the bat and together they hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shaya would have been out and that would have ended the game.
Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far and wide beyond the first baseman’s reach. Everyone started yelling, “Shaya, run to first! Shaya, run to first!” Never in his life had Shaya run to first.
He scampered down the baseline wide eyed and startled. By the time he reached first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman who would tag out Shaya, who was still running. But the right fielder understood what the pitcher’s intentions were, so he threw the ball high and far over the third baseman’s head, as everyone yelled, “Shaya, run to second! Shaya, run to second.”
Shaya ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. As Shaya reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran towards him, turned him towards the direction of third base and shouted “Shaya, run to third!”
As Shaya rounded third, the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming, “Shaya, run home! Shaya, run home!”
Shaya ran home, stepped on home plate and all 18 boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero, as he had just hit the “grand slam” and won the game for his team.“That day,” said the father who now had tears rolling down his face, “those 18 boys reached their level of perfection."
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Many many months ago, I found this video in my inbox with the following message:
look into their eyes
[name of friend]
More than five views later, I too, request and urge you to 'look into their eyes'.
And I too, thank you.
[You ought to recognize these faces]
(ed: unedited) ....workin in marzipan for 2 hours........goin to golanis house for menorah, playin darbukah around the menorah and singin songs in hebrew and in english lol......goin to bet hachayal to visit carmel the druze.....buyin donuts for random ppl...impromptu chanukah lightings in uzi's falafel shop, itzik's bakery, corner store, shuk and outside my building w/ dov shurin and his friendly guitar....meeting (m) mivtzayit and goin to a coffee shop w/ them!......seein em again in chevron last night omg omg how weird...seeing the kid from the 'sababa group' that we were talkin to on the way back from purim chevron last year....lightin menorah in my chabad house...chillin w/ avigayil the whole time, buyin her ice cream n stuff...givin out jelly donuts to soldiers as well as random pedestrians...letting everyone use my cool chanukah glasses, like when u look at menorah u see stars instead of lights-i just offered random ppl in streets to use it cuz i wanted everyone to enjoy it...also gave one to apharsimon and twas so cute to see everyone all into it hehe...o and i met eliyahu..now i know the whole fam.... lighting the menorah myself for the very first time! i promise u i almost started crying (you'd think i just escaped from russia or somethin and it was my first time doin mitzvot) ...and omg i told the egged bus driver chag sameach and he gave me a chocolate coin!! could u believe it!? oysh this place is so great i love them.
o and the nun gimmel hai pay dreidels...and comin home to my room and seein a menorah opposite the mezuzah like our minhag is...and hearing that people are goin to modiin and chashmonaim for shabbat! (macabees..) and...and...and....
~ ~ ~
Two Chanukah Lessons (from the rebbe, written by tzvi freeman)
On the first night of Chanukah all eight candle holders stand before you.
But you light only one.
Tomorrow night you shall light two.
You know that eventually you will light all eight.
From which we learn two things:
1. Move step by step in life. Take things on at a pace you can handle.
2. Always grow. Always keep moving. If you did one good thing yesterday, do two today.
Your ultimate achievement is always one step ahead.
~ ~ ~
and then "I heard Chaya gasp" cuz of this. Which reinforced my belief in this and made this really personal. I started to recognized this. And then I was told this.
~ ~ ~
6 weeks after the holiday, I experienced my very own chanukah miracle (a true story, anonymookie)
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I don't know which one is worse.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Shearing the Wolf
Jeff Peters was always eloquent when the ethics of his profession was under discussion.
"The only times," said he, "that me and Andy Tucker ever had any hiatuses in our cordial intents was when we differed on the moral aspects of grafting. Andy had his standards and I had mine. I didn't approve of all of Andy's schemes for levying contributions from the public, and he thought I allowed my conscience to interfere too often for the financial good of the firm. We had high arguments sometimes. One word led on to another till he said I reminded him of Rockefeller.
"'I don't know how you mean that, Andy,' says I, 'but we have been friends too long for me to take offense, at a taunt that you will regret when you cool off. I have yet,' says I, 'to shake hands with a subpoena server.' (continue)
Conscience in Art
"I never could hold my partner, Andy Tucker, down to legitimate ethics of pure swindling," said Jeff Peters to me one day.
"Andy had too much imagination to be honest. He used to devise schemes of money-getting so fraudulent and high-financial that they wouldn't have been allowed in the bylaws of a railroad rebate system.
"Myself, I never believed in taking any man's dollars unless I gave him something for it--something in the way of rolled gold jewelry, garden seeds, lumbago lotion, stock certificates, stove polish or a crack on the head to show for his money. I guess I must have had New England ancestors away back and inherited some of their stanch and rugged fear of the police.
"But Andy's family tree was in different kind. I don't think he could have traced his descent any further back than a corporation. (continue)
Monday, December 03, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
The public is requested to continue praying for the speedy recovery of Rabbi Moshe ben Tirza HaLevi
(and also for Yosef Shabtai ben Rachel Glika)
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Kuntres Acharon, Essay 9
הוכח תוכיח את עמיתך, אפילו מאה פעמים
ולזאת לא אוכל להתאפק ולהחריש מלזעוק עוד, בקול ענות חלושה
Therefore, writes the Alter Rebbe, I cannot contain myself and cannot refrain from crying out yet again, in a voice betraying [pained] weakness.3
במטותא מינייכו ברחמין נפישין
I plead with you out of deep compassion,
חוסו נא על נפשותיכם, והשמרו והזהרו מאד מאד על התורה ועל העבודה שבלב, זו תפלה בכוונה
have pity on your souls. Take care, be extremely vigilant, concerning the study of Torah and the service of the heart, which is prayer4 with proper intent.
להתחיל כולם יחד כאחד, מלה במלה, ולא זה בכה וזה בכה, וזה דומם וזה משיח שיחה בטלה, ה׳ ישמרנו
All should begin [the prayers] in unison, as one, word by word, not one person here and another elsewhere, one mute and the other idly chatting, may G‑d protect us.
ועיקר הסיבה וגרמא בנזקין, הוא מהיורדים לפני התיבה
The main cause and instigator of [this] damage comes from those leading the services.
שהוא הפקר לכל הרוצה לפשוט רגליו החוטף אפרתי
That office is abandoned to whoever wishes to stride forth and snatch the honor,5
או מחמת שאין גם אחד רוצה כו׳
or because not even one desires it..., so that ultimately the prayers are led by someone inappropriate to the task.
ואי לזאת, זאת העצה היעוצה ותקנה קבועה, חוק ולא יעבור עוד, חס ושלום
For this reason, this is the counsel offered, and a regulation established as law not to be violated further, G‑d forbid.
דהיינו, לבחור אנשים קבועים הראוים לזה, על פי הגורל או בריצוי רוב המנין
That is, choose fixed individuals fit for this office of leading the prayers, by lot or by consent of the majority of the worshipers.
And who, indeed, is fit for this office?
דהיינו שמתפללים מלה במלה, בדרך המיצוע, בקול רם
These shall be men who pray word by word, at a moderate pace, aloud,
ולא מאריכים יותר מדאי, ולא מקצרים וחוטפים, חס ושלום
neither overly prolonging the prayers, nor racing intemperately, G‑d forbid.
ועליהם מוטל החובה לירד לפני התיבה, כל אחד ואחד ביומו אשר יגיע לו
Theirs is the duty to lead the prayers, each on his day as determined.
ולאסוף אליו מסביב סמוך כל המתפללים בקול קצת על כל פנים, ולא בלחש ולא חוטפים, חס ושלום
He shall assemble close around him all those who pray audibly, at least, neither whispering nor rushing, G‑d forbid.
וכמבואר בתקנות ישנות בכמה עיירות
This is amplified in age-old communal regulations in many towns.
ועתה באתי לחדשן ולחזקן ולאמצן, בל ימוטו עוד לעולם, חס ושלום
I come now, writes the Alter Rebbe, to renew them, to strengthen and invigorate them, never again to be weakened, G‑d forbid.
עד מתי יהיה זה לנו למוקש
How long will this be an obstacle for us?10
How long will we burdened by praying without proper intent?
ולא די לנו בכל התוכחות והצרות שעברו עלינו, ה׳ ישמרנו, וינחמנו בכפלים לתושיה, ויטהר לבנו לעבדו באמת
Have we not sufficient reproofs and troubles that have overtaken us? — May G‑d protect and console us with redoubled support,11 and purify our hearts to serve Him in truth.
חזקו ואמצו לבבכם, כל המייחלים לה׳
Strengthen and fortify your hearts, all who hope in G‑d.12(Sabra: I cut some out here. Read full lesson here.)
ולהיות מחמת חלישות הדור, אין כח בכל אחד ואחד להתענות כראוי לו
Moreover, since, due to the frailty of our times, not everyone is capable of fasting as he ought,
In Iggeret HaTeshuvah15 the Alter Rebbe cites the classical works of Mussar as to the number of fasts prescribed for each major sin, so that a penitent will be able to render himself as acceptable to G‑d after his repentance as he was before sinning.
לזאת עצה היעוצה, כמאמר רז״ל: כל השומר שבת כהלכתו, מוחלין לו על כל עוונותיו
the counsel offered follows the declaration of our Sages, of blessed memory,16 “Whoever observes Shabbat according to its law, is forgiven all his sins.”
The term “according to its law” is used advisedly, for the Shabbat cannot be properly observed without a knowledge of its laws.
לכן מוטל על כל אחד ואחד, להיות בקי בהלכתא רבתי לשבתא
It is therefore incumbent upon every individual to master the “great law” of Shabbat.
The term “great law” echoes the expression in the Gemara17 regarding checking one’s clothes before sundown on Friday in order not to transgress a prohibition later. The laws of Shabbat thus not only inform us of what is prohibited, but also of how to avoid transgression.
וגם יזהר מאד שלא לשוח שום שיחה בטילה, חס ושלום
Also, be most careful [on Shabbat] not to indulge in idle chatter, G‑d forbid.
בהיות מודעת זאת ליודעי חכמה נסתרת, כי בכל המצות יש פנימיות וחיצוניות
For, as is known to the initiates in the mystical wisdom [of Kabbalah], all the mitzvot comprise an internal and an external aspect — the spirituality of the mitzvah, and the physical act which it requires.
וחיצוניות מהשבת היא שביתה מעשיה גשמיית, כמו ששבת ה׳ מעשות שמים וארץ גשמיים
The externality of the [mitzvah of] Shabbat is the cessation of physical activity, just as G‑d ceased making the physical heaven and earth.
ופנימיות השבת היא הכוונה בתפלת השבת ובתלמוד תורה, לדבקה בה׳ אחד
The internal dimension of Shabbat is one’s intention in the Shabbat prayers and during one’s Torah study, to cleave to the One G‑d,
כמו שכתוב: שבת לה׳ אלקיך
as it is written,18 “It is Shabbat to the L‑rd your G‑d.”
Underlying the cessation of labor on Shabbat is the concept of elevation. When a person rests from his labor at any time, the energy that had been vested in it rises and returns to its source within the soul. So, too, the cessation of labor and resting on Shabbat means that the soul, which during the week had been immersed in mundane activities, is uplifted “to the L‑rd your G‑d.”
וזו היא בחינת זכור
This [internal level of the mitzvah of Shabbat] is the element of “remembering”.
The Shabbat comprises two elements, “remembering” (zachor) and “observing” (shamor),19 “Remember the Shabbat day, to sanctify it,” and20Shabbat day, to sanctify it.” Elevating the soul on Shabbat through proper intent (kavanah) during prayer and Torah study, is an act of “remembering”. reflecting the two commandments, “Observe the
ובחינת שמור בפנימיות, היא השביתה מדיבורים גשמיים, כמו ששבת ה׳ מיו״ד מאמרות שנבראו בהם שמים וארץ גשמיים
The inner dimension of the element of “observing” is refraining from speech about material affairs, just as G‑d ceased from the Ten Utterances through which the physical heaven and earth were created.
The external aspect of “observing” is refraining from active labor; the internal aspect of “observing” is refraining and resting from speech about material affairs.
כי זה לעומת זה כו׳
For21 “one opposite the other...” — speaking about material affairs on Shabbat is the inverse of the rest and elevation that a Jew secures on Shabbat, through prayer and Torah study.
FOOTNOTES (scroll down to the bottom or rather foot of the page)
Lessons in Tanya is Published and Copyright by Kehot Publication Society
~ ~ ~
GOOD YOM TOV.
MAY YOU BE INSCRIBED AND SEALED
FOR A GOOD YEAR IN THE STUDY OF CHASSIDUS
AND THE WAYS OF CHASSIDUS
(end of Hayom Yom, 18 Kislev)
Monday, November 26, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
drumming on the wooden seat in front of you during a concert = good idea
drumming on the wooden seat in front of you during a concert while wearing ur glass ring from Venice = bad idea
(patient half-sigh. yes.)
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
*Whew, I'm so relieved and grateful that I got to use this word now because I heard that it will be soon taken out of the dictionary. Along with 'cliche' and a couple others.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
1. Dear Brothers, by Haggai Segal (Received en route from Frankfurt to Brunoy)
2. Forevermore by Shlomo Kalo (Purchased in The Pletzel, Paris)
And while we're on the subject of books, here are some of my favorites from "the fat girl"-
"..because I turned to the director and said, "Let me tell you a little secret, fat girls don't keep candy on the desk, they keep it in the drawer. So if you want to have candy on someone's desk, put it on the skinny girl's desk, and I promise I'll give it a little glance every time I walk by."
[Cammy (ed ducks!) uses some pretty colorful (read: curse) words when she hears that she's been nominated for an Emmy.] "Then came the soothing voice of reason. "Yes, it's true. Isn't it fantastic? Congratulations, Camryn. You deserve it. " Jeffrey swears a lot less than I do."
"It reminded me of the time that I was walking down the street in New York and these three high school girls were walking toward me. One of them was a little plump so we shared that I'm-chubby-you're-chubby glance, that smile of commiseration. Then just as we passed each other, she turned to me and said, "Gd, and I thought I was fat!". Though temporarily in shock that one of my own would turn on me, my survival skills kicked in and I wasted little time before retaliating. "You are fat. Just because I'm fat doesn't make you any less fat." "
"Apparently there was a big game of Telephone going on out there....But my all-time favorite was "Good evening, I would like to reserve six tickets for the Friday performance of I Woke Up and I Was Fat." Imagine that. You go to sleep skinny and you wake up fat. Now, that would be an interesting one-woman show.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
There's this one guy that is often on my bus whom I told he's stalking me cuz we always bump into each other (ach, not literally you silly) and he was so surprised and like started apologizing and I'm like dude I'm jokin hehe. Americans. What are we gonna do with them. The only thing they're good for is tofutti ice cream. So I was in the health food store (lookin for healthy techina cuz the blood donatin person aka mada volunteer told me to get it so I can raise my hemoglobin level) and I saw 30 calorie fudge pops and I almost fell to the floor. Not so much from excitement but cuz they were sponga'ing. On the way back to the apartment someone was coming out of a store and he rammed right into me and it hurt and he didn't say sorry and I was so shocked and surprised and annoyed that I just yelled at him without thinkin (yea, that happens often-the not thinkin part..) "You're gonna go to jail for that, you know!" and I stomped off and felt a bit better.
So the other night I was at the bus stop and bitachon comes over to me and gives a hearty shalom and I answer back a lil cautiously cuz whats with this friendly welcome and then she's like you dont remember me and of course I don't and after a few minutes I do. She had been at the tachanat harakevet, train station, in Lod and boy did she remember me from all the times I passed through there and my terrible Hebrew and the way I used to talk and how I used to always say 'hi' to her so anyhow she's my new friend. Her name is Mari. Not like the American "Mary", but the Etiopi way, roll the reish and say it with a guttural kushi accent. I brought her vegetable soup after cuz she was so cold. I'm part of the bitachon chevra now and it's a really nice feeling.
Talk bout nice feelings-a few days ago my boss calls me at work and asked me to go to the post office. No prob. I love errands. Especially in Israel. Especially when I'm getting paid for it. So i merrily go on my way and it's merrily drizzling till I get off the bus and need to walk 5 minutes, then it starts to merrily rain quite hard and I consider running but quickly disregard that idea for a number of reasons, one being I didn't wanna slip. So I walk. Merrily. Head held high. And then it starts to pour. Not so merrily. I continue walking casually, happy that I'm wearin boots not so happy that they're suede. I start to quietly hum a (merry lol) niggun. I start to get lotsa looks. I guess they ranged from shocked to confused to jealous to disapproving to admiring. Most were admiring (of course of course). So I finally get to the post office (stopped off on the way in some food place just for shelter) and I try to be as inconspicuous as possible cuz remember how I'm stage fright and hate a hundred people lookin at me at once, so yea, try being inconspicuous when your literally dripping wet, you're tracking in water, you're makin lil squeaky sounds when you walk. I mean your shoes are, not you, and you bring in all the frost, fog and wind. Hehe. Not a winning situation, eh? Wait it gets better-the letter that the Rabbi needed wasn't even there. Yay. So then I went back. But I hate the feeling of wet plasticy materical on my skin so I took off my jacket and now people were really confused. It's ok, it keeps the relationship spicy (don't know between what and what or who but that's for another time). I made friends with real sabra lady at bus stop-told her she can't complain about weather cuz she's Israeli and they love and need and depend on this rain but I could cuz I'm American. So she's like-yes I like it and need it but only when I'm home. And we started discussing/arguing and then I'm like -what the heck, I'm also Israeli now so I guess I love it and we both laughed and joked and everyone else was just standing.
Please behave urself and go to freepollard.org
O and I met the coolest soldier who taught himself Arabic and goes to the Dome of the Rock golden place behind the Kotel and dresses like Arab and no one's allowed to go there, even Mishtara, and I ask him with mock sternness-"Does your mother know what you do every day!?" and he looks at me as if I fell off the moon (please no dirty comments on that one, thank you) and answers "Are u crazy!? For sure not!!"
Point of the story is simply that I know something that an Israeli mother doesn't.
The head of the year (Rosh Hashona) gives chayus to all of the year, to every month.
The head of the month (Rosh Chodesh) gives chayus to all of the month, to every day.
The head of the week (Shabbos) gives chayus to all of the week, to every day.
Aha, so why is Shabbos not called "Rosh Hashavua"?
Shouldn't it be written in the opposite order? Chronologically, it would only make sense!
But no, first there was Hashem. And only Hashem. His Light filled the world. All of the world. Then there was the Kav of Tzitzmum (see the letter 'vav' tis a straight | ). And then afterwards, we can have Elokei Avoseinu (Ima and Abba..Chochma and Bina)
Same with "Shma Yisroel Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad". First 'havaya', elokeinu, second 'havaya'.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
In spiritual matters one should always look at he who is higher than oneself, and plead with G-d to grant him the intelligence to learn from the other, and the ability and strength to rise higher."
--Hayom Yom of November 5, 2007 (24 Cheshvan)
(and then 30 Sivan says--In material matters, one who is "satisfied with his lot" is an individual of the highest quality. A person possessing this trait will, through avoda, attain the highest levels. In spiritual matters, however, to be satisfied with one's lot is the worst deficiency, and leads, G-d forbid, to descent and falling.)
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Personally, I don't feel entirely comfortable with the end of that sentence ("Amir shot and killed prime minister"), cuz of these reasons.
O and let it be known that yah, david rutstein and I go wayyyy back (we met at uzi's place)
העם עם גוש קטיף
magen david shul
"zeh kfar darom zeh kfar darom"
"zeh kfar darom zeh kfar darom"
all americans on the bus
curls, white shirt, big pants, massive uzi (ooooh)
late to bus (last minute!)
getting off waiting for family
soldiers on bus (usually acting hyper)
nice apartment for ourselves
blue flowy skirt
Something that started out small, but soon as it gets nearer to the day we're all dreading-everyone will know about it and it will become huge. However, there will be no war!! Why?! B/c Hamas is looking to take control over Iraq...now that Arafat has died-If Sharon understands that they are going to take Jews out of this land-then turn them over-the land-into the hands of Hamas-a terrorist group-Gd willing he'll change his mind.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
They couldn't understand why 'Hanukkah' became 'Chanukkah' and 'Halloween' doesn't become 'Challoween'....
[ma, ya, what?]
*individuals privatized to protect the name of the change
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
The doctor begins his lament. "Every Shabbos," he says, "during the entire time of the service, people approach me seeking medical advice. This one has stomach pains, this one's wife woke up with a headache, this guy's mother-in-law's back hurts. I am just sick and tired of this. Shabbos is my only day of rest."
"Listen to me," says Harry. "Next guy that comes over, give him the advice he needs, but make sure to send him a bill for your medical advice the following week. I guarantee you," says Harry, "that in no time you will have peace and quiet in the synagogue."
"Great idea!" exclaims the doctor. He returns home in a great mood.
Tuesday, as David is opening the mail, he finds a bill from his friend Harry Rabinowitz.
Mom: You're what?
Cam: I'm in jail, Mom.
Mom: Oh my G-d, what for?
Cam: Mom, I was arrested for participating in a pro-choice rally.
Mom: Oh, honey that's wonderful. Mazeltov! Jerry, Camryn got arrested for civil disobedience.
Dad: That's great honey, Go Go Go! Fight fight fight.
Mom: Stop it, Jerry. It's long distance prime time, for G-d's sake.
Cam: (screaming) Mom? Get me out of jail!
Mom: No, honey, you stay in there and make your point.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(another piece. this one is on page 260 of WAKE UP, I'M FAT!)
"Oh, Camryn, I've never had anything so beautiful. It's a designer dress by Dianna Buchanan."
"That's great, Mom. I've never heard of Dianna Buchanan, I've heard of Dana Buchman."
"Yeah, that's what I said, Dana Buchman"
Monday, October 29, 2007
This is not self-surrender — this is denial of the truth. For it is saying there is a place where G–dliness cannot be —namely your mind and your heart.
G-d did not give you a brain that you should abandon it, or a personality that you should ignore it. These are the building materials from which you may forge a sanctuary for Him, to bring Divine Presence into the physical realm.
Don't run from the self with which G-d has entrusted you. Connect your entire being to its Essential Source. Permeate every cell with the light of self-surrender.
A Daily Dose of Wisdom from the Rebbe
(words and condensation by Tzvi Freeman)
card to Ma
card to RN
*call Sruly to say hi
envelope to Eliyaho
start perek ches of tanya
call e kad
*make a cake
*tell shmais im engaged
ticket to italy
*go to bed before 11.00
*book ticket to leeds
*fundraise for Chabad of Leeds on campus
develop pic for Uzi
*cut the shawarma for lag baomer
outfit for wedding
*make play for CS
*tell chaya to send envelope for Sona
*make mimmi a cd
*change plasters (ed-lolllllll)
call R' Deren
*20,000 miles for Milan
write AA thank you
gather stuff for Brussels
*do a mitzvah
call AA for refund
*call Kivi and Tuki
*say mazel tov to ma for her bday
post office (Brussels and Eliyaho)
call sas (receipts)
make chassidus lesson
write to vered
(title has the rest--you should know that by now!)
Friday, October 26, 2007
(kinda like "when is a door not a door? when it's ajar.")
"What did it say on the banners?" Bush asks. Mahmoud replies, "UNITED STATES OF IRAN."
Bush says, "You know, Mahmoud, I am really happy you called, because believe it or not, last night I had a similar dream. I could see all of Tehran, and it was more beautiful than ever, and on each house flew an enormous banner."
"What did it say on the banners?" Mahmoud asks.
Bush replies, "I don't know. I can't read Hebrew."
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
They lost my test
They said they didn't
I know they did
Who is they?
Don't even know by now
Mr. ____ or Mrs. _____ ?
Maybe all of them together
They will never admit it,
But I know they did
I gave it to them
They shrug, They turn away
Who is they?
Why are they here?
They should go away
Send them away
Then I'll get my test back.
Shalom. On March 5th 2003 my daughter Tal was killed in Haifa, Israel in a terror attack on board bus #37. Tal was a senior in high school, one of 17 killed in that terror attack.
Tal loved Camels.
A few weeks before she was killed Tal drew a Camel in her diary. I use Tal's Camel to keep her memory alive.
March 5th 2008 will be 1826 days since Tal was killed.
I started a memorial event "Color Tal's Camel" at the beginning of 2007, and so far over 700 people colored Tal's camel. People from all over the world took part in this very special memorial event. People from all ages and religions colored the Camel Tal painted and all of them can be seen on Tal's web site www.Tal-Smile.com.
My goal for this coming March 5th is to gather 1826 Camels, the number of days since Tal was killed. (This is the reason I am approaching you now to take part in this event)
Please color Tal's Camel. You may color it as a file on your computer or print it on paper and then color it and make him come alive again.
Do not hesitate to be as creative as you can be and add your name once finished. Scan and e-mail your unique Camel back to me from the "contact us" at Tal's site. Please bear in mind that Tal was a very happy teenager creative with extraordinary ideas. All the camels will be posted on http://www.tal-smile.com/DrawTalCamelE.htm
I will be very thankful to you if you will be kind enough to take part in my project and if you forward my request to as many of your friends as possible hoping they will do the same.
I am inviting you to take part in "Color Tal's Camel" memorial event and I hope with your help to reach my goal and place 1826 camels in Tal's site by March 5th 2008.
Thank you in advance
Ron Kehrmann Tal's Father
Thursday, October 18, 2007
ahem. ahem ahem ahem!
ignorance...ignorance...hmmm.. ignorance. ignore...ignore....ignorance....hmmm...
a matter of ignoring?
is ignorance when you ignore something?
so ignorance is not an excuse?
ah but one is intentional and one is not.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Twenty one years. It's been twenty one years since the day you've been captured and yet I hold strong in my belief.
I know I'll see you soon.
Gd Bless you, Ron Arad, and Gd Bless your family.
Oh I love five and a half year old boys.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Many wise people say if you can’t go under, go over. The Rebbe Maharash said, "Just go over"
Meaning that instead of first trying to work through a problem by its own rules, and then -if that doesn't work -gathering the strength and courage to step brazenly over it...
Instead, just start by stepping right over it, as though there were no obstacle to begin with.
After all, that’s why obstacles are there in the first place -so you will go higher.
1. Helping me deliver/make sure that my package got there safely!
2. Getting out of bed to do it!!
3. Not ringing the bell when it was past midnight, however tempting that might have been ;)
4. Not eating the tuna, however tempting that might have been :D
5. Being so easygoing about it.
6. Any other detail that I am forgetting to mention.
May Gd bless you and bless you and bless you and bless you, ad bli dai! (and do you know that ur lips will never tire from saying "dai", cuz u don't use ur lips when you say it)
*oooh i'm cackling in wicked delight...this is gonna be fuuuuun*
Friday, September 21, 2007
Suddenly the Talmudic narrative shifts to a new dimension of irony. Rabbi Meir, the pious Jew, has become so immersed in the conversation that he has not noticed they are nearing the city limits, beyond which one is forbidden to walk on Shabbat. “Acher”, the apostate, realizes this and says:
“Meir, turn back. I have measured the distance we have walked by the paces of my horse, and we have reached the Shabbat limit. Beyond here, you are forbidden to walk.”
Meir replied: “You too turn back.”
The invisible boundary is not just the border of the city. It is symbolic of the line between two worlds: faith and heresy, Judaism and disaffiliation. Elisha ben Abuya, momentarily more sensitive than his disciple to Shabbat’s sanctity, tells Meir that he must turn back. Meir, instantly seizes on the fact that his teacher has just revealed that Judaism has not yet deserted him, begs Elisha to turn back, and return to his heritage.
(clicking the title links ya to the full article by Dov Greenberg)
Thursday, September 20, 2007
two days before she was killed, she wrote the following in her diary (translated from hebrew):
"Actually nothing exciting happened to me lately,
But I reached the conclusion not to take anything for granted.
This is the problem of many people.
Their are lot’s of small things that can make you very happy.
Last Saturday was a marvelous morning.
Actually I do not remember not a nice Saturday.
Yesterday I received a new tooth brush,
A very miner event, but it made me happy.
A Friend of mine thought I was crazy.
Actually not, as I have already said, I don’t think
That rejoicing of life means being crazy"
i REALLY think we coulda been friends
(Assaf Tzur was another rider of the #37 bus in Haifa on that fateful 5th of March, 2003)
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Today, you have broken me.
My heart (and my back).
Today Aibershter, you outdid yourself.
You have given me Sheina,
(a special needs child.)
Thank you very much.
Did I ever complain to you?
Did I ever say take her back?
You have tested me and you have tested me.
I think I passed, maybe not with flying colors -
but passed nonetheless.
It's about her Seizures, that I would like to discuss with you today.
They are always frightening.
Unfortunately, I think I have sort of become accustomed to them.
Any loud "bang" -
Uh oh, Sheina.
she is on the floor blue and shaking...
But Ribono Shel Olam !
What happened ??
What did You do today?
The regular seizures, weren't good enough to break me???
Not enough that You once gave her a seizure while i was washing her in the shower??
Not enough that during her recent seizure she fell flat on her face lost a tooth ???
(Which by the way, we are still going for appointments to take care of. And You know how much I hate appointments.)
Yes, I must admit You were always kind enough to at least make sure else was home with us.
Whether it was to pass her a pillow, to time the length of it, or to lift her out of the bath.
Someone to help me carry her into bed.
Or just someone to be with me, to stop my shaking...
Do I thank You for this consideration?
I guess so. Boruch Hashem. I Thank You G-d.
Oh, I would also like to thank You for the time that You made me look at her at the exact second I did, and so managed to catch her in mid-air.
That was something!
I never kvetch to You about her.
(Okay maybe i do, once in while…)
But I take it.
I call it a "G-D Made Problem."
Those problems, we just take.
We don't have a choice.
But today, G-d Almighty, you broke me!
Not only was I home alone,
(yes, my two and a half year old was home, You try getting her to help...)
But Master of the Universe,
Such a WHAM?!
I heard the scratch of the chair -
ran to the room...
find her flat on her face, in a pool of blood, blue and shaking....
I know not to move her, but hey, I got to see where she is bleeding from.
Forget timing her, (if she convulses for too long we need to call 911.)
I grab a towel, put it under her face.
Her hair is in blood, I think I should tie it back.
While trying to support her head, so she doesn't hurt herself more,
I ask, beg, cajole and finally yell for the two and a half year old to please get me a ponytail holder.
Two and a Half year old: " Why is it red?
Where does Sheina have a boo boo?"
The more I yelled, the slower she went.
Then, knock, knock, knock, knock....
I'm thinking, "Yes, maybe someone came home to help me."
For by now Sheina is very agitated.
I don't want her choking on the blood.
Knock, knock, knock, knock...
I cannot get up to get the door, for I'm supporting her head, watching her, trying to get her out of the blood, cleaning her as much as i can...
and trying to answer Two and a half year old's ninety nine questions as calmly as possible.
(She is traumatized as it is.)
Between clenched teeth I asked Two-and-a-half year old to answer the door.
"No." she says.
Gritting my teeth,
"You must answer the door...."
She starts to go.. then comes back...
It's the neighbor's kid, he left his ball here earlier.
Now Sheina wants to get up, to go to bed.
She needs support otherwise she will fall again and hurt herself.
But, You see Master Planner,
I don't really have the strength to lift her by myself..
I guess You wanted to show me that I do, but did You forget it’s so hard on my back?...
Painstakingly, I managed to clean her, change her clothes, support her up, walk her to bed, change her diaper...
Oh no, Sheina is about to fall again,
Wham! half on, half off the bed.
All the while, mind You, Two-and-a-half year old barraging me with her string of questions...
Swollen lip, deformed cheek, bloody nose.
Only You, G-d, knows the extent of the damage inside her mouth.
And only You G-d, knows the extent of the damage inside my heart.
MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE !
Today you have broken me.
PLEASE DON'T DO IT AGAIN!
Your Faithful Soldier.
Tonight before I went to sleep, as usual I began my, "Kriyas Shema Al Hamita"
Thinking of anyone I might need to forgive.
As usual, I began, “Ribono Shel Olam! Hareini Mochel l’chol mi she-hichis… I hereby forgive anyone who has angered or vexed me, or sinned against me, either physically or financially, against my honor or anything else that is mine....” etc etc…
I then stopped in mid sentence.
Thought about today’s harrowing experience and started again.
RIBONO SHEL OLAM HAREINI MOCHEL !. (Period.)
You build me character.
You make me stronger.
Your Loyal Servant.
And what's "cancer"?
What's "CP", "MS" and "LD"?
What's a "brain stroke"?
Is there a difference between "dialysis" and "chemo"?
Is "typhus" a real thing?
What does "drugs" mean? And "slashing"? And "blood clot"?
What's the purpose of a "wheelchair", a "walker", a "brace"?
"Rejection", "failure", "loneliness" and "despair"--they're all the same feeling?
What's an "ICU"?
And last thing, just remind me please-what's a "seizure"?
the days of moshiach
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
"Thanks to you and your readers, Chabad of Peoria made it to the Top Five! Now we need your help more than ever!"
--Rabbi Eli Langsam, Chabad of Peoria, in an email to Lubavitch.com
Following our stories on Lubavitch.com regarding RK Dixon's Make My Non-Profit Run Better $30, 000.00 Makeover, Chabad of Peoria made it in the first round of RK Dixon's $30,000 makeover.
Now they are one of five finalists competing for the prize.
Chabad of Peoria needs your vote to ensure they will win. Vote once a day for the next week, beginning today, September 17, for Chabad of Peoria.
You may vote once each day from the same computer, several times a day from different computers if you like.
Chabad of Peoria and Lubavitch.com thank you for your participation.
VOTE HERE NOW!