Hamas War

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Masks- A Linguistic Purim Spiel, Story, Dvar Torah

Bemasked and Bewigged Purim 5781

I was rather surprised and even flattered when a neighbor asked me to prepare something to say about "Masks" for the Old Fogeys' Purim Party. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure if I was supposed to be serious, theological or humorous, but I figured that if I asked too many questions, I'd lose the gig.

My mind began racing in all different directions in two languages. Actually, I was thinking in English and translating into Hebrew almost simultaneously. The talk was to be in Hebrew, even though my brain's wiring is primarily English. 

One shouldn't forget that according to some expert linguists, Hebrew is the root/source of all languages. If that's really true, then thinking in English is sort of like thinking in Hebrew. 

Every once in awhile the similarities between English and Hebrew words strike me like a bolt of lightening. When I'm on the Jerusalem Lightrail in Pisgat Zeev I hear:

"פסגת זאב מרכז"

"Pisgat Zeev Merkaz*"

"Pisgat Zeev Market"

Until the lightrail announcement, I had never noticed the similarity between merkaz and market. Remember that markets are in town centers...

Back to masks...

...The job of a mask is to mask is to hide...

OOPS! A mask is a מסכה masecha, but to mask or to hide is להסתיר lihas'tir which unrelated linguistically to מסכה masecha. which has the same root as סוכה succah, which gives us protection. 

By thinking/planning in English I was making no sense in Hebrew. And davka me, who gets all riled up at bad translations causing even theological mistakes. For example a Biblical Prophet, Navi נביא is not a fortune or future teller. He or she is a messenger, a tool Gd uses to pass important warnings to the Jewish People. Because it's always translated into "prophet" meaning teller of the future, now even Hebrew speakers think that the role of a Navi is tell the future.

Mask does sound very much like masecha. Maybe they are related...

Then it hit me! Such siyate d'Shmaya, such irony, too! During this past year masks have been a tool for protection against the COVID corona virus! No longer do we primarily think of a bank robber in a mask. Now we wear masks to stay healthy and keep others healthy. It's for protection, not hiding. 

Hebrew really is the root of all languages.

Stay safe, and wear your mask in public or when with other people.


Saturday, February 20, 2021

Rosh Chodesh Nissan Prayers at Biblical Shiloh- Save The Date


Women's Rosh Chodesh Adar Prayers at Biblical Shiloh were wonderful, perfect weather. Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh is the most suitable location for women's prayers. It's where the Mishkan, Tabernacle was localed for close to four hundred years and the same exact place where the Biblical Hannah had prayed for son. 

Now Tel Shiloh is one of the most interesting and well kept Biblical archaeological sites in Israel. There are attractions and activities for people of all ages. 

Next Rosh Chodesh is Nissan, Sunday March 14, 2021, the 1st of Nissan 5781, 8:30am.

ראש חודש ניסן, תפילת נשים א' ניסן תשפ"א יום ראשון 14\03\2021 8:30 בבוקר.

כולן מוזמנות 

Everyone's invited

More info shilohmuse@gmail.com פרטים נוספים

For more information about what to do at Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh 025789111, visit@telshilo.org.il.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

My Meeting With The Legendary Leftist Abie Nathan

Abie Nathan's hunger strike of 1978 click for more information about Abie Nathan.

In 1978 Abie Nathan went on a hunger strike for "peace" sic. Nathan was a radical Leftist, and I had no sympathy for his politics, but I loved the music on his pirate radio station.
A good friend called me and asked that I join her to protest Abie Nathan's hunger strike at his tent. We were a few Anglo women manning the counter-demonstration, I being the youngest by a generation. (The older women were younger than I am today.)
Nathan didn't have much of a support crew; I only remember one young girl/woman. She must have felt "threatened" by our superior numbers, and she began to shout out to the passersby:
"Don't listen to those ladies. They're not Israeli!!!"
I don't know what got into me, but I marched into Abie Nathan's tent, where he was resting, and I said to him:
"I don't think you'd like what your young follower is saying. She claims we're not Israeli, because our English is far better than our Hebrew. We're olim, so we're Israeli."
Abie Nathan apologized, agreeing that we are certainly Israelis, and by then the young follower had also entered the tent. She was asked what she had against immigrants and admitted that her parents had made aliyah with her when she was a baby. That meant that she, too, was an olah. I then made the point that our aliyot were superior to hers, since we did it for idealistic reasons. Abie Nathan agreed.
That's my Abie Nathan story.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Letters From Planet Corona- A Book Review

Letters From Planet Corona is a series of "letters" written by Chaya Passow during the first half year plus of the COVID corona pandemic, which has changed our lives in so many ways.  They had been sent out to numerous family and friends, who enthusiastically read them and encouraged her to publish them in book form. Now all of us can buy and read Letters From Planet Corona, which also makes a great present for others.

Chaya Passow is, davka, someone I had known in my teens way back when in the old country, and we had just gotten reacquainted* a short time before COVID corona closed down what we all now refer to as "before" or "normal life." 

It's rather ironic that Chaya began sending out these letters to friends and family, as my blogging went into paralysis of sorts. But I must admit that Chaya's letters are much better than any of my musings aka blogposts. She combines, humor, stories, philosophy, news, religion, fantasy and more.

We can all identify with the subjects and emotions Passow describes in Letters From Planet Corona. I love how she suddenly notices the flowers in front of her building, because on Planet Corona she exits the front door to walk in her immediate neighborhood instead of going out the back to her car. Yes, on Planet Corona our world has shrunken. For many of us, we only travel to go to a doctor or the dentist.

I look forward to seeing Chaya again in person, but in the meantime I've enjoyed getting to know her via Letters From Planet Corona. I'm sure that you will, too; buy her book.

Product details

  • Publisher : City of Gold Press (December 1, 2020)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 239 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9655994058
  • ISBN-13 : 978-9655994056

*Chaya Passow's son plays quarterback for the Jerusalem "Big Blue" Lions which is coached by my son. Yes, it's a very small world. We had been looking forward to cheering the team onto its fourth straight IFL national championship when all sports activities were stopped in order to prevent/reduce infection.

Monday, February 8, 2021

When Will The COVID "Typhoid Marys" Admit Their Mistakes?

I wear a mask even when walking. Why doesn't everyone wear masks and keep the rules to keep us all safe?

Here in Shiloh, when the COVID corona positive person agrees, there are detailed public announcements that ____ has been diagnosed. 

In addition a list of places where the person had been are listed, and it always says, so far at least:
"wore a mask and behaved according to instructions." 
One thing bothers me. The sum total of those sick and the names announced don't tally. 

Then I realized that not everyone has agreed to have his/her name publicized. OK... 

In cases I've heard of people sick with COVID corona who've refused publication, they've been neighbors who flout the rules. I guess that's why they won't let their names out. 

The announcement would have to give that detail, no masks and mocked the rules. 

I'm waiting for one of those to allow their names to be publicized and then say: 
"Chatati, I've sinned and I'm sorry."
Get Vaccinated!

Monday, February 1, 2021

Plea For Honesty and Openness, Please Admit When COVID Positive

Funeral for illustrative purpose
I should hope that by now everyone, even the most fanatic of the doubters, admits that COVID corona can be very deadly and is extremely contagious.

Here in Shiloh we periodically get notices about neighbors being COVID Positive, meaning that they have been officially diagnosed as sick with corona. 

In the beginning, I was pretty relaxed figuring that not too many neighbors had gotten the disease, since so few names had been released. But then I began to notice a major discrepancy in the numbers of those whose names had been released and the total number announced of  affected people living here in Shiloh. You don't have to be a CPA's daughter like myself to know that the numbers weren't adding up at all. 

Then I discovered something very, very disturbing and worrying. Quite a few people had been refusing to release their names to the general public, insisting that they would let everyone they had been in "close" contact during the crucial contagion days know. Technically, the law is with them on that. But it means that if their family members -including young kids- aren't keeping the legally required quarantine, we innocent/ignorant neighbors have no idea of knowing. That's dangerous, especially since children are known to be asymptomatic COVID Positive in many cases. 

Another "privacy" issue concerns who has been vaccinated and who hasn't?

When I decorated our Shiloh 43rd Birthday/Anniversary poster, I added the "We've Been Vaccinated" sticker I had. I think it's very important to know if someone has or hasn't been vaccinated. Many of us are making great efforts to stay healthy and protect others.

I'm always masked when outdoors and do my best to keep my distance from those whose vaccination and health status are unknown and possibly dangerous. 

IMHO all those men and women too who pray in a minyan, whether inside or outside, must make a public notice if they're confirmed as COVID Positive. The same goes for any staff member in a store or a medical clinic. The health safety of others should override personal privacy. That's why I've written this: 

Plea For Honesty and Openness, Please Admit When COVID Positive