Thursday, January 28, 2010

Difference Between 1am and 4am

There is one.
And it's high time I start acknowledging it by respecting it.

Assistance Needed on Flight to Israel

Mom with 2 kids is planning a trip to Israel (exact dates unknown as of yet). Looking for individual to assist with the kids on the plane. Specifically, the person will need to hold one of the kids on their lap for the trip. Compensation is available for this wonderful deed.

So, if you or someone you know is travelling to Israel in the near future, please email asap with details of your itinerary.
Rachel Fleisher

The Previous Rebbe Writing In His Diary (photo)

Shliach: OY, NAV!.....Us: WAWY!

Hesitant to ask Chabad to participate in another vote, Rabbi Yossi Rubin from Clifton Park, NY however, does want to win that $5000 that Berkshire Bank is itching to give away.

So though he fears your reaction will be "Oy, not another vote!", we reassure him that "we are with you!" and we go vote and fill in Maimonides School as the school name and 404 Partridge St, Albany NY 12208 as the address.

Yayy! Easy mitzvah :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Israelis in Haiti & Chase Community Giving

The two things takin up most of my inbox this week.
After the holy Shabbat, I will G-d willing and bli neder and all those things, finally post the videos that are running around and I've saved where you see all the Hebrews running around and saving the world.


So I was driving along in the rain and I saw a blond young man trudging through the puddles in a confident sorta way and I thought 'Hey that looks like Brad Pitt. Imagine I gave him a ride, we'd start talking and then I could ask him to get his billion fans to vote for Friendship Circle!'

By the time most of you read this, the contest will be over and we'll have won the million bucks even without his help.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

hey i need a favor (TODAY!)
I would like to ask you to do a big favor and also a big Mitzvah at the same time.
Chase (the bank) is giving away big bucks this week in an online voting contest through Facebook. They have selected a group of charities and now it is up to Facebook users to vote on which of these charities gets the money. The organization with the most votes gets $1 million dollars.

There is only one Jewish charity that made the final list. This charity is called The Friendship Circle and is a Chabad affiliated charity that provides assistance and support to families of children with special needs.

If you are on Facebook please go to where you can link into their Facebook page for the vote.

PS- If you don't have Facebook, don't bother trying to make one, it's too complicated... just forward this message to all your friends and call it a day :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Freeze at the Detroit Pistons

This is awesomeness in it's ultimate state.
Makes me feel like I should be more proactive about getting people to vote.

Pinning Back My Bangs

Sometimes it's the smallest of actions that can make the biggest of differences. (Ask the shooting panda for references).

Last post was NOT about Jewish girls marrying Arabs r'l (yes Rachel, I'll take that frummy badge and pin it on proudly. Ye, proudly, J/S). I did read an article last week, though, bout a woman who finally had the chance to flee, with her kids, from her abusive Arabic husband. Thanks to Yad L'Achim, she can now continue her life surrounded by Jews. These stories wow me to no end. And especially how one of the soldiers by the Erez Crossing, where she escaped through, says that he donates to Yad L'Achim and feels privileged to have been involved now. (I wrote about another one of these stories last year, and last month I actually read a followup of it!)
Talkin bout Erez Crossing, I think that's where we did our Yom Ha'Atzmaut BarBQ. Wow what a memory. I have some fantastic photos from that day. Son, see our temunois/mesula exchange. Heehee.
Oy Mesula. Whatta mishugeneh I am. Mixing up Yossi and Eliram. LOLLLLLL.

So, the post. And my blog.
I constantly alternate between these two approaches that Robert Frost summarizes. But I also confuse myself with my intense desire to be heard and understood.
Today, reading Ruti's comment, I got it.
The difference in desire and choice depends with whom this communication is taking place.
With some, I want and need to be understood down to the italics and spaces in my brain.
With others, I'm content and even prefer to be understood wrong :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Where Have You Gone, My Dear Friend?

Where have you gone, my dear friend?
Where have you gone, my sister, my child?


One, we were.
One, we
One, we will always be.

hugs and frowns
tears and giggles
shouts and chases
thoughts and spaces

Where have you gone, my dear friend?
Where have you gone, my sister, my child?

And when,
When are you coming back?


Friendship Circle, with 5550 votes, is number 9 on the list. The top of the list has 17,252 votes. That's a lot more votes that we need in order to help FC get their million dollars from Chase.

Friday, January 15, 2010

a million bucks!

for friendship circle, if they get enough votes.
it's easy shmeasy, please do it!
(do it every day from jan 15-20)

Monday, January 11, 2010

23 minutes to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

"How many siblings does er did she have?"

הוא היה
מכל המילים שיצאו מגדרן
בימים של גאון ויגון ותקווה
שתי מילים יש פשוטות, איומות מכולן
שתי מילים נוראות
"הוא היה".

הוא היה נער חמד
הוא היה מתולתל
הוא היה משחק כדור רגל וסל
אבל כשאמרו לו לצאת ‟ הוא יצא
ועכשיו, הוא היה, הוא היה.

הוא היה לסיירת הלב הרוטט
עד נשק למדבר ועוד אין לו י"ט
מבאר החיים לא שתה לרוויה
ועכשיו, הוא היה, הוא היה.

מול אש ועופרת הנער צעד
ולנגה האש את בריתנו כרת
כך הופכים נערים כמותו אגדה
ועכשיו, הוא היה, הוא היה.

מכל המילים שיצאו מגדרן
בימים של גאון ויגון ותקווה
שתי מילים יש פשוטות, איומות מכולן
שתי מילים נוראות
"הוא היה"

שלישיית גשר הירקון/מילים: יחיאל מוהר/לחן: דובי זלצר/קיים ביצוע נוסף לשיר זה

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Monday, January 04, 2010

my friend just said:

[after goin thru some emTionAl turBulenCe--]

"i need tea. hopefully ill spill it and things will be normal again"

Friday, January 01, 2010

Lublin [POLAND]


A Good Day (or A Visit to a Cemetery)

I took this from a different blog. Without permission. Once the author gets back to me, I shall either stick the name in or delete. I guess.

Friday morning, my boss asked me to take the shaimes/genizah box to the closest Jewish cemetery. I nearly flipped out beneath my calm exterior, because the closest cemetery was also the place my grandmother rested. Turned out, however, there wasn't enough time to go there Friday... and she reminded me to do it again today.

I left work a little early and drove there. 'Twasn't far from work, a fifteen minute ride.

I pulled into the cemetery, parked, and went into the small building by the entrance. Gray day, the park covered in evergreens. I pushed open the large white doors and found myself in a dimly lit room. Burgundy, silk chairs. Burgundy carpets. Stuffy air. There wasn't a receptionist behind the counter. The entire place was still, eerily quiet, and I had to keep putting my hands on my cheeks trying to cool them down (even though my hands were too warm from fidgeting so much in my pockets) to keep from feeling faint. I wasn't going to wait in that room, full of brochures about burials. I slowly made my way through the hallway around the corner and looked through the doors that opened into empty rooms. Soul-less. I heard some movement and quickly made my way back in time to see someone enter one of the rooms from a backroom. "Hello?" I called out. A young boy came out.

I explained to him about the shaimes/genizah. He took the box out of my car, and showed me to the next building. The [very kind/friendly] rabbis in a room there told us to go to a room around the building. On the side of the building, a black hearse was parked.... And the queasiness kicked in again. We went into some cavelike room- looked like somewhere they would take in the bodies- and left the box there. Oy. Breathe.

After thanking him, I asked if he would also be able to help me find my grandmother there. He told me that if I were to go back into that second building, they would know how to help. So that I did....

The receptionist in this room was missing too. I looked over the counter and asked a lady working in the backroom for help. She made a call and told me someone would be over. Out of the room full of rabbis (mentioned above) came a kind man- Rabbi Altshuler. He took me into a nearby room- his office- and asked me for her name. Thing is, I had too many names, and wasn't sure which she would be listed under. "Are you trying to make my life hard?" he joked, as he walked out of the room with the listed names to check the files. ("She had a long life," I softly shrugged. I couldn't pinpoint which last name she went by here.) He came back and told me he couldn't find it. He had a card (it looked like something out of a card-catalogue system) with a similar name, but 'twasn't it. He went back and tried again and... he came back with the right card! The only words I could think to use for this entire cemetery scene is "numb shock"; and numb shock is just what I felt looking at her information listed on that card, right down to my uncles name as the person who purchased the plot for her.

The rabbi was busy. He had a service soon plus a call came in... and through it all, he kept insisting he wanted to help me. Not wanting to get in his way, I told him a couple of times I could come back another time, but he kept saying, "No, I want to help you. You're too sweet; I want to help you." Or, as he rushed around, "You're too sweet, or I wouldn't be doing all this."

He wrote down where she was located, and ran out of the room for a minute. I looked down at the general map, running my hands across, trying to find where I was and where she was. She was right across the small road in front of the window I was standing by. Right there. I slowly walked towards the window, looking out. Was I looking at her plot?

I sat down again and waited, my hands fidgeting in my pockets the entire time. I looked out the window and noticed the creamish roses. I didn't bring anything! Was I supposed to bring flowers? Wait, what are you supposed to do? Is there something that needs to be said? Shah, calm down.

He walked back into the room and told me that he couldn't find the booklet with the plots mapped out (?) to give me so that I could find it on my own. He took out his own detailed book and told me he would tell me where it should be. 24b, that's the spot we were looking for. His fingers started tracing across the rows, getting closer. "Oy, I'm too nervous," I heard myself accidentally say out loud. He looked up. "Why?" he asked. "It's my first time." "Oh," he said gently, and started back on the map.

Easy as that. Second row.
"You know what, I gotta go, but I'll just take you there myself. I'm on my way out. Let me get the keys." He ran around looking for some keys and I waited for him by the door.

(My mom later pointed out how it seemed almost like my grandmother was pushing him to keep helping me. 'Twas a rare, intense kind of kindness and eagerness to help. Maybe 'twas so. Or maybe I found one of the worlds kindest souls.)

Again, I heard myself speaking out loud to him. "I didn't bring flowers. Was I supposed to bring flowers? I don't know what I'm supposed to do."

"Don't worry. You don't have to do anything. Everybody has their own way," he said.

We walked down the entrance, across the small road, and onto the grass, where the plots were. He wasn't an orthodox rabbi, and as we got onto the grass, I noticed he walked right across. I nearly jumped back. I couldn't walk over the bodies. I'm not sure if I looked silly to him, or if he even noticed, as I went quickly around a plot and down the second row, which he was quickly walking down.

"We're close," he said.

And in a few moments... there we were. Wow. "Thank you. Thank you so much for this. I really appreciate it."

He smiled and held out his hand to shake. "Whenever you come back, stop by and say hello."

A kind man indeed.

I hardly waited for him to walk away, as I turned quickly back to what I was there for. Numb shock. And some initial tearing.

At first, I only thought the words I wanted to say. Wait, can neshamas hear your thoughts? So I quietly mumbled a little. Wait, she didn't speak English. Can she understand me now? So I switched Farsi, but uncomfortable speaking like that, I don't remember sticking to it for long. Mostly I just thought. Or replayed some of my memories with her. Or quietly sang a tehillim to her. Or looked around at the grey sky, and the grass, and evergreens, and streets and highway, and the funeral taking place a little further up the hill, and the old man who came to visit someone for just a few moments a little further off, or the jasmine/hadassim/rose combo someone had seemed to bring the day before for the person next to us. I wanted to see what she sees everyday- if that is really what she sees. Is she here? Does she see me? Does she know I'm here? Did she know when my car turned into the cemetery gates right over there?

In the end, I was left with a strong desire to be able to give her a kiss or a hug. All I could do, the closest I could get, was to just kneel down by her, wiping the bits of grass off the tombstone.

Walking back to the car, I somehow felt like I couldn't remember any of what just happened.

I challenge you...

to get rid of yourself...

...and be yourself.


"One who loves must learn fear. One who fears must learn love.

The thinker must do. The doer must think.

The pacifist must fight, the fighter must find peace.

If you flow as a river, burn as a fire. If you burn as a furnace, flow as a river.

If you fly as a bird, sit firm as a rock. If you sit firmly, then fly as a bird.

Be a fire that flows. A rock that flies. Love with fear and fear with love.

For we are not fire, not water, not air, not rocks, not thoughts, not deeds, not fear, not love.
We are G-dly beings."


You're Dressed

There is a suit we wear that has a life of its own.

It is knitted of the fabric of words, images and sounds, mischievous characters that no one else can see, no one else knows for sure what they are up to. You, however, hear them day and night, chattering, buzzing, playing their games in the courtyard of your mind. All the threads of the garment of thought.

Leave your thoughts to play on their own and they will take you for a ride to places you never wanted to see.

Grab the reins, master them, direct them, flex your mind and they will follow. Provide them a script and they will play along.

Do something quick, because you, after all, are dressed up within them.

(From Tzvi Freeman, based on the words of the Rebbe)
They're all out there throwing and watching fireworks, yelling and shouting...and my neighbors are cheerfully blowing their plastic shofars. Hey, the New Year is the New Year...
Gotta grin.

The ChavaJava Song, Revised

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