|Remembering the dead. |
Flat Lay photo for 52frames
Is the promotion of a "Palestinian State" an innocent mistake?No, not at all.
|Remembering the dead. |
Flat Lay photo for 52frames
Is the promotion of a "Palestinian State" an innocent mistake?No, not at all.
I had never really considered my family as being connected to the Holocaust, since all of my grandparents made it from Eastern Europe to the USA a couple of decades before World War Two.
Both of my parents were born in Brooklyn, NY, just like me. I grew up in a neighborhood built after WWII for US military veterans. Our parents spoke native New York English. We didn't hear Yiddish at home. We were American Jews. I first heard about the Holocaust when the Anna Frank Diaries was being publicized, and then there was the Eichmann Trial. None of this was connected to my family.
My father had lots of aunts, uncles and cousins on both sides in New York. My mother had siblings, no aunts, uncles or cousins. When I was older I discovered that my mother's father had been born an orphan in the Ukraine. His father had been murdered in a pogrom, before he was born, and his mother died in childbirth. He was raised by grandparents. My mother didn't know which ones, and as a young man he went to America. My mother's mother left her family in Rogotshav, Belarus for New York, when married to her first husband. They had three daughters, but he died leaving her a poor widow. A few years later, she married my grandfather, who was widowed with two sons. Together they had four more children, including my mother.
My mother was never told much about all the family left in Rogotshav. My grandmother died before my third birthday, just before my brother was born, and I already had two children by the time my mother discovered that she had had an uncle in London. By then he had passed away, but with the help of HIAS my mother and her siblings discovered cousins in London and New Zealand.
It's strange to think that it has taken me so long to realize that even though neither my parents nor grandparents suffered in concentration camps, death marches etc, we are part of the story.
Holocaust Memorial Day, 5772, 2022
|That's where my Vishnefsky Family had lived|
Haggadah for the Curious – Volume 3 by Rabbi A Levin will be very welcome at our Seder. Rabbi Levin has miraculously managed to compile a variety of commentary, comments and questions that will interest all ages and all levels of Jewish knowledge and observance. Call it your "ONE SIZE FITS ALL" Haggadah.
Besides the fascinating content, I really enjoy the simple graphics and large, legible print. That's especially good for those of us whose eyesight isn't what it used to be and for the young children and grandchildren new to reading. Of course, in a few years it'll probably be stained with wine as all well-used family Haggadot are.
|Here's a sample page.|
Instructions are clear, even to those not experienced with the Passover Seder or forget details from year to year.
Commentary is in the form of questions and answers which guides the Seder leader in helping others at the table to think and ask even more. Of course, anyone at the Passover Seder may ask questions and add his/her two cents, inspired by the commentary in Haggadah for the Curious – 3. A Passover Seder is not supposed to be a performance; it's more like a Beit Medrash, Jewish Study Hall where people discuss and even argue. We're commanded to think and talk about what happened to the Jewish People thousands of years ago when leaving Egypt and not doze off as "head of the house" drones on. The lessons learned are valuable for all time, meaning today, too.
As I was reading through Haggadah for the Curious – 3, I almost immediately learned something new. Growing up in a minimally traditionally Jewish home, we never leaned over when drinking the seder wine or eating the ceremonial matzah. We read the narrative up to the meal and not all of the instructions. Actually we only drank two cups, since we didn't continue the seder after the meal. Early in the Haggadah Rabbi Levin gives a lot of detail about the "leaning" while drinking the wine and eating the matzah. After saying that 45 degrees is important, he then reminds us that being in pain cancels that out. I like the common sense in that. One surprise is that the one who will lead the Seder should be the one setting up the Seder Plate, which should be done when standing and as a "ceremony" announcing the items as he places them down. I had never heard that before.
In Haggadah for the Curious – 3, I also discovered a couple of completely new things to do with the wine poured for Eliyahu Hanavi. We have always kept it out and then poured it in the sink, forbidden for shmitta- kedushat shvi'it. According to Rabbi Levin, the Zachor L'Avraham 40:66 says to pour a little into the cups of all the seder participants, since it's segulah for health and healing. Suggestion #2 is to cover it overnight and then pour it back into the bottle and then use it for morning kiddush, according to Vayeged Moshe 30:5. What do you do with Eliyahu's wine? Where did you get your custom?
No doubt it's clear that I highly recommend buying In Haggadah for the Curious – 3 as a gift for yourself and/or others. It can be found in Judaica book stores or ordered from Mosaica Press or Feldheim.
a system of keeping groups of people separate and treating them differently, especially when this results in disadvantage for one group
It's clear that Tom Nides want Jews to be separate from Arabs and treat them differently, putting them, the Jews, at a terrible disadvantage.
|Jewish Communities like Shiloh "infuriate" Tom Nides|
*Rather inexplicably Menachem Begin, when Prime Minister, offered Nasser's successor Anwar Sadaat the Sinai and destroyed all the Jewish communities, towns and farms which had been established after our victory.
|Today's Jerusalem Post online|
Some of you may have known people who grew up speaking a few languages, because of shifting borders and consequently the need to speak the language of the rulers. Yes, in many parts of the world, borders between countries are rather fluid, shifting like sand on the seashore, or so it seems from far away.
There's an old Jewish joke*:
Just after World War One, when Poland gained its freedom from Russia and even took over parts of Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania, two Jews meet near Lvov.
One says, "isn't it wonderful we're no longer in Russia?"
The Second Jews replies, "what difference does it make? Russia is antisemitic, and so is Poland."
"Ah," responds the first Jew. "True. But I can't stand those Russian winters."
There was a time when other countries barely cared or noticed changing borders. Some border changes are the results of targeted invasions or aggression by a neighboring country. Other times, it was the results of war, either foreigners played god drawing borders, like after World Wars One and Two, or after after the "dust settled," OK the shooting stopped like Israel's victories in 1949, 1967** and 1973.
This is what I wrote on Facebook:
I know that a lot of people will think that I'm totally insane and disagree without really thinking about what I'm saying. But before I say it, please understand that I've been a "student" of politics and history pretty much all my life, and I'm over 70 years old. I've always seen things differently. That's how I ended up living the life I now live. And I've never been shy about voicing my opinions. They are my opinions, and I have a right to them. I don't trash/insult others for their opinions when they disagree with me and I expect the same manners, behavior.So about what's going on between Russia and Ukraine...That whole area is under flux and has been pretty much forever. Barely a hundred years since communists made USSR, and it didn't last long. Honestly, not all of the countries that resulted when the USSR broke up can really exist independently. I'd butt out.
The area of the FSU Former Soviet Union certainly hasn't "settled" into secure viable borders. Many of the countries won't remain viable independent states. That's the way it is, sort of like yin/yang. International organizations and foreign countries just can't legislate true sovereignty. That doesn't mean they don't try, but it's ineffective. And just because the Ukraine is humongous doesn't mean that it can defend its independence. Size isn't everything.
*thanks to my husband, Yisrael Medad, for the text of the joke
**For some peculiar reason, many countries and international organizations have condemned Israel for the 1967 Six Days War's resulting border changes, even though it was a defensive war. Losing the war would have meant the end of the State of Israel, and the post-war borders make much more sense, as they are easier to defend, more suited to the topography and allows Israelis access to the key locations of ancient Jewish history.
Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers at Tel Shiloh-- Shiloh Hakeduma
Gd willing we're planning the next Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers at Tel Shiloh for Friday March 4, 2022, 1st of Adar Bet 5782 at 8:30am. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org, subject: Rosh Chodesh.
We pray at the location biblical archeological experts believe to have been the spot where the Holy Tabernacle had been located for close to four hundred years from the time of Joshua to Samuel The Prophet. It's where Chana had prayed for a son and then thanked Gd for the birth of Samuel.
Shiloh Hakeduma is a wonderful archeological site with lots to do and see, suitable for visitors of all ages. You can arrange a guide or follow the signs. For more information call 025789111 or email email@example.com.
I enjoyed reading Lahav Harkov's interview with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. I've been his supporter all along and first met him when he was head of Moetzet YESHA.
There were little things I noticed in the interview, like using the correct craft/verb when describing his kippah as crocheted. But his politics is more important. It's amazing that he managed to put together this unlikely coalition especially when his "dowry" is miniscule. He's a full generation younger than Bibi, which shouldn't be forgotten. Bennett doesn't need to work, having made his fortune very, very young in hitech.
Bennett doesn't claim to have a Right wing government, but policies aren't very different from decades of Likud. Please don't forget that there's hardly a Likud Prime Minister, if any, who didn't destroy Jewish communities, and that started with Menachem Begin. Bibi was no different. I remember hearing him say that although he talks "Right" he believes that as Prime Minister he needs to be in the Center. So I don't miss him and his mafia.
Bennett seems to have good control over the various issues Israel faces. I'm more nervous about when Lapid takes over. We'll see what happens. On the whole, I'm happy that the Bibi mafia is out. They found a way to stay in power "safely" by being perpetual "interim" governments sans coalition. Bennett and his coalition partners out-maneuvered them by doing the "impossible." Remember that the pundits claimed it wouldn't last a month....
I've been following Israeli politics closely for over half a century, and it's a great show!
Batya Medad, Shiloh
|פרשת משפטים Parshat Shavua Mishpatim|
Shmot Chapter 21:1
"And these ae the laws..."
Parshat Shavua Mishpatim begins with laws about employment, the rights of the employee. OK, I know that everybody else translates עֶ֣בֶד as "slave." But last week as I read over the chapters before attending our local zoom parsha class, the meaning seemed very clear. The avaddim aren't slaves like the Africans who had been brought to America to work for the Europeans were until Abraham Lincoln had them freed.
What's called the evved Ivri, Jewish/Hebrew slave wasn't a slave "imported" from another location bought at an auction or from some agent. He/She was someone who was poverty stricken and couldn't live off of his land. Remember that the Land of Israel had just been divided among the tribes, and each tribe had gotten its portion and each portion was to be divided among the clans. The laws here had been designed by Gd for the Jewish People in their Holy Land. I like to try to understand the Tanach and Hebrew according to how life was at the time.
Some of us have worked at jobs with difficult conditions. Many Sabbath observers who made it to America had to start new jobs every week, since they were automatically fired when they left early on Friday after announcing that they wouldn't be showing up on Saturday. I don't now about you, but employment conditions at some of my old jobs gave me a choice of very difficult hours/conditions or being fired.
Few jobs allow employees to take vacation whenever they want and for however long they want. Keep that in your head when Moshe and Aharon demand that all the workers should leave at the same time.
And changing work conditions... I remember when the high school where I had been teaching English suddenly gave us fewer hours per week to teach the same material to the same number of students. After that they gave two double lessons on consecutive days instead of spreading out the teaching hours to give the students, especially my weak ones, a chance to really absorb the curriculum. Yes, that's like how Pharaoh told them to make bricks without providing the necessary straw.
Here Gd is demanding humane working conditions for employees. Proof that there's nothing slave-like in being an "evved" is that their employment contract is mandated by Gd to end after a maximum of six years.
Think about it. That's not slavery!
Just to make it very clear, I don't vote Likud, and I really felt that we needed a change in government. BUT the only moral turpitude I saw was the years long search for a crime to pin on then Prime Minister Binyamin Bibi Netanyahu.
Investigating a Prime Minister, or anyone, just to discover skeletons/crimes as a way to get him out of office is immoral.
In the Friday papers here in Israel there were articles claiming that the "plea deal" with Bibi to admit to some guilt and pledge to leave active politics for a set number of years was almost signed. A few hours ago I had wanted to write an article about the subject, but I couldn't find anything up-to-date. Then just a few minutes ago I did, Netanyahu rejects plea deal with clause that would ban him from politics.
I'm not surprised. I jut don't see much merit/justification in the cases against Netanyahu. I'm more bothered by how he and the chareidi parties had been manipulating the electoral system to stay in power perpetually sans coalition. That's neither democratic nor moral. But it's legal, technically at least.
In the Jerusalem Post there's an opinion piece trying to guess why Prime Minister Naftali Bennett abstained on a vote about the investigation of Netanyahu, Why did Bennett avoid making a decision on Netanyahu probe? - analysis. I have a different read on Bennett's vote. Maybe he sees what I and others see, that targeted probes/investigations against government officials can be used against anyone when elections don't give the results certain powers want. The anti-Bibi faction failed at the ballots, so they tried a more devious method. Bibi's no Ehud Olmert, so things are far more complicated.
I'm not going to try to predict what's going to happen. As far as I know, Binyamin Netanyahu isn't the type to cop a plea. He'll fight to the end.
|MK Bibi Netanyahu in his previous time as Leader of the Opposition|
|The photo above shows people/cars gathered at the Shiloh COVID Corona testing site.|
|getting COVID vaccine #4|
aka booster #2
From what I understand most of the "positives" would never have gotten tested if the "law" hadn't demanded it. They had/have no symptoms. Here in Israel at least, many people need to be tested for work, studies, visiting the vulnerable, such as those in old age homes, or because they'd been identified as exposed to someone sick with COVID Corona.
This latest version of COVID Corona is much milder and less dangerous than the previous ones, otherwise the hospitals/healthcare system would have totally collapsed. I'm not surprised.
Epidemics like COVID Corona usually last about two years, and it looks like the virus is getting less dangerous, though spreading easily.
IMHO we're getting to the time when the vaccine and booster will be recommended periodically, and COVID Corona will join the flu and common cold as part of life.
What do you think?