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Tishrei 8, 5771, 9/16/2010
When I was a young girl, I was kind of like a tom-boy. I was rough and tough. Played outside from morning till night, (except for watching Dark Shadows at 3pm). In the mid 70’s, I took auto mechanics and weight lifting as my P.E. class – this at the time before women did those kind of things. There was me and one other ‘butch’ type girl in a class of about 25 smelly sweaty guys <grin>. I earned their respect when I was able to squat 220 pounds – enough to join the men’s weight-lifting team of the high school, and I benched 110 lbs which was pretty good for a girl back then. Point is…. I moved forward, but had many skinned and scabby knees throughout my years growing up. If I had let the pain of my falls and scrapes and bumps stop me from moving forward, I would have stayed ‘safe’, but become a wimpy person with less character and unfilled potential, because I wouldn’t have pushed my boundaries further nor set higher and higher goals for myself. I wanted to be tough, strong, and independent. And that meant expecting falls along the way, but learning how to get up and move on.
My mother has always wondered at doting moms, who, when taking their kids to the play ground, would stand over them like a hawk guarding them from possibly getting hurt. They would say, “Honey, don’t climb up that slide’s ladder, you might get hurt. “ Or, “Don’t climb the monkey bars too high, you might fall and then get hurt.” My mother taught me that one shouldn’t always try to limit someone because they MIGHT fall, but instead, to teach them what to do IF they fall. And that is, to teach them how to (try to) fall the correct way, and how to brush themselves off and get back up again.
There’s an old story told about Thomas Edison, the man who received credit for inventing the light bulb. The story goes that he was known to have failed about a 1000 times before succeeding in creating a well working bulb. And when asked about all his failures, he supposedly stated, “I haven’t failed a thousand times, I just successfully discovered a thousand ways how not to make it."
The Torah teaches us in story after story, how our great forefathers fell, and then got up and continued on. This is one of the wonderful things about the Torah, never hiding the truth. Our forefathers were human beings, designed to sometimes fall. But what made them great, was their ability to correct their mistakes and forge forward. All of Mankind has this ability. It is programmed into us.
As we develop, we sometimes skin our knees in this world. It is not necessarily a punishment, rather a consequence of living life. And if you are thinking, “I can’t, or it is too late, or, I am too scared, etc”, then just remember, BABY STEPS COUNT! Take it slowly if need be, but MOVE. Baby steps really DO count!
What’s one of those favorite sayings that I love? “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intentions of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, “Woo hoo, what a ride!”. Please watch this very inspiring video that we all need to see and internalize to make our lives so much better. It can remove the excess guilt that sometimes paralyzes us, telling us there is no hope, and thus stops us from becoming great and achieving our full potential that G-d gave us.
May we all be inscribed for a good year.
Shana tova!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Ouch! I hurt my finger on the keyboard!) [wink]
Tishrei 4, 5771, 9/12/2010
It was Rosh HaShana, the New Year.
I was sitting outside in a plastic chair, with an old man.
I was doing a mitzvah, watching him so he didn’t wander off.
So he wouldn’t fall.
He wasn’t all there, you know.
He was talking. Talking not about anything that interested me, but I smiled. I wanted things to be pleasant for him. He was kind of lost, had no where to go, and we took him in.
That’s not the story I want to tell though.
The story I want to tell, is that while he was talking, I watched the bougainvillea leaves from our garden that had dried and fallen from its branches onto the dirt. They scattered around low, in circles, with the wind. A mini tornado developed, lifting the leaves. Lifting. Lifting.
They were so pretty. A dried pink color. Light and crispy. They almost looked like pink little butterflies flitting around. He was still talking, and we were sitting in the shade, and it was so lovely, even though I wasn’t really listening to him. He was bemoaning the fact that he was not where he was supposed to be for the holiday. He had come to visit his daughter, but arrived in Israel much too late, after the chag (holiday). She, on the other hand, had already left with her family to another place for the holiday. He was going to surprise her. But she was gone. No one was home. The taxi showed up at my door. I live right next to her, so in he came. What a mitzvah!
He kept apologizing for intruding on us. I kept answering him that it wasn’t a problem and that we were so glad that he was with us. That it was actually perfect timing as all the food had been cooked and I had other guests and was set up for having people. But he still bemoaned, and he scraped his mind for tales of the past to tell. His past was more pleasant to dwell in than the present. He is 90, and he is hunched over now. His skin looks like dark smooth plastic, like no blood flows there anymore. He is not his virile young self. I wonder what he must have been like when he was young and held the world by it’s tail.
His mind doesn’t always know where he is anymore. When he arrived here and got out of the taxi his daughter’s house was dark and empty. He had nowhere to go, we told him to come and stay with us until she got back in a few days. He said he didn’t want to be a bother, and that he has an apartment he can go to, right next door, and when I asked him where ‘next door’ was, a New York address ran off his lips. He even took out his house key from NY to show me he could go there now. (sigh) It was sad. It was scary too. The old man didn’t know where he was, and he integrated NY with Israel, like it made sense, like it would make perfect sense in a dream. But we weren’t dreaming.
We all wondered how he had gotten himself from America to Israel all alone, with no one to accompany him on the flight. He had stopped over in Turkey. He said how they had hassled him there, took his things, searched, ….and then sent him on another later flight to Israel. He arrived here with no money.
How does an airline in America let a man his age, all hunched over, not with all his mind intact, fly internationally with stop-overs?
He had medicines. Lots of pills. All with directions. Some with doctor’s or pharmacist’s handwriting that was hard to read. Was it 6 pills to take, or ½ a pill? We didn’t want to kill him. We gave him half a pill. We saw some pills in the case were already cut in half. But it sure looked like they wrote ‘6’. Doctors need to go to calligraphy classes.
We are still sitting in the garden, and the wind is toying around. The leaves, the bougainvillea leaves were still dancing. Other various leaves and dried up Morning Glory flowers as well were mixing in. And all of a sudden, while he was talking to me about this and that from his past - that he had already told me thrice over, a big mischievous breeze picked up several leaves and playfully brought them towards me. They were teasing me, flying in all directions, but coming towards me none the less. I reached up while he was talking, trying to catch one. It out maneuvered me. I started to giggle. I had to reach and grasp fast. I missed. I missed again, and the bougainvillea leaves, all diverting from my attempts to catch them, all landed on the dirt again. I giggled. It was funny. The old man was still talking. And I thought about the new year, and the holiday, and the significance of me trying to catch the leaves that I couldn’t catch. But, I thought, - it was fun trying anyway.
And then, while contemplating the symbolism, a dried out Morning Glory flower coming out of nowhere and flying on the wind, unexpectedly hit me in my face. Smack, on my cheek. I got startled. And I giggled again. I thought, “Look how life can play with you, and then smack you in the face. But it was a light smack. And it tickled. It grazed my cheek, and fell, and it was ok. I rubbed the lingering sensation from the side of my face.
G-d controls all. That’s what I needed to remember. G-d controls all, and I can giggle. I can also try to catch the leaves in the wind. I SHOULD try to catch the leaves in the wind, but if I don’t, that’s ok too. Because I only make ‘the efforts’ in life. G-d controls ‘the results’, the outcome. And I smiled. And the old man kept talking. And all was good in the world.
Tags: Jewish World
Elul 22, 5770, 9/1/2010
Enough anger, enough cursing out, and enough blaming others for 'the situation'. Yes, I am referring to the latest gruesome terror attack near Hebron, and most of our reactions to it.
So bottom line... what is to be done?
We are not the Prime Minster of Israel or the President of the United States. We can't send out armies to go after the terrorists, we can't set foreign policy, we can't send orders to security forces. Again, we must ask ourselves the question, 'What CAN we do?".
Anger, justified anger, is important, it has a purpose. But it is not the complete answer, and it does not absolve us of taking responsibility. Some think, because they got angry, because they shed some tears, because they talked to people about the horrible attack, that they are now patur (absolved) of doing anything else. This is wrong. This is futile. And I believe that the victims of the terror attack would want us to move forward, to take the anger, the tears, the frustration of 'the situation' and DO something about it. "Don't let us die for nothing!" their voices cry out from the grave.
Israel has seen too much in the way of terror. We must not let this continue. I am not stating here not to get angry and move on as if nothing happened. In fact, this was the new policy ingrained into us by the government during the Oslo years, because they wanted to keep the 'a-peace-ment' process going. We were constantly told to keep on going, don't let the terrorists win, keep the 'shigra' (the daily routine) going, so they (the terrorists) don't win. ...And we listened and kept on going. The terror scenes were washed clean from all the blood, the blown out windows were replaced, and often within 24 hours, one would never know that any terror attack happened there. And I was distraught that people accepted that.
Yes, I had anger, and righteous anger at that. I wanted to see justice. I wanted our leaders to say, as would have been done in the wild west, "Take this righteous anger you have, and let's gather a posse and find these murderers and mete out justice to them". Instead, we were inundated with sad music on the radio to keep us somber, when war music should have been playing. We were inundated with catch phrases on the news by the talking heads of how we needed to show 'havlaga' restraint, and move the 'a-peace-ment process' forward. We were beaten with phrases that restraint and keeping our daily routines would make us strong and show the enemy that they couldn't beat us. Instead, it made us weak, destroyed any deterent factor we had with the enemies of Israel, and encouraged them to do more, because there was little if any consequence to their murderous and bloody crimes. As Dr. Phil would say about this policy, "And howz that bin workin' fer you?"
We must not conquer our anger, we must USE it. In fact, the wise King Solomon, writes in Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) Chapter 3:
There was no diplomatic solution with Hitler in WWII. That's why America joined the war. There can be no diplomatic solution with Bin Ladden, the Hamas, Hezbollah, the PA, Iran or any other Islamic terror entity. There can be no diplomatic solution with an enemy that does not wish for peace, but for conquest.
All who consider themselves righteous people, or want to become more righteous people, must take their sorrow and anger and use it to go forward and move the world to a better place. If you can demonstrate, then demonstrate. If you can write letters to the editor in your local papers, do so. If you can call your political leaders and pressure them, do so. If you can write a check out for the children of the victims, do so (go to http://www.victimsofarabterror.com/how.htm and donate). If you can take on a commandment (a mitzvah) for the lives of Yitzchak Imas, his wife Talia Imas, Kokhava Even-Chaim, and Avishai Shindler, z"l, then for goodness sakes, do so! Because THEY CANNOT DO SO ANYMORE.
Do it in their memory. Do it because they cannot do all the mitzvoth that were waiting for them to do in their lives. We in the world must make up for it, as their deaths affect all of humanity. To not move, to not act, is to spit on their graves.
Make a commitment NOW to use these emotions you have, to DO something POSITIVE. Take your anger and use it to tip the scales in our favor, to make the world more just, to make it safer, and to do for the victims, Yitzchak, Talia, Kokhava and Avishai, our brothers and sisters, what they cannot do anymore for us. Let's do what we CAN, and not sit back and just be angry. Anger is NOT enough. We CAN make a difference this new year. Please see video below.
Elul 19, 5770, 8/29/2010
Some say he has the 'Moses' look. But what Rabbi Moshe Parry and Moses (The 'real' Moshe) do have in common is their love for Israel and the Jewish People. In Los Angeles Calif. when Pharaoh Obama traveled in his motorcade to collect money from the 'beautiful people' (mostly Jewish) in Hollywood, Rabbi Parry stood and waited, and blew his shofar in protest. It was an attempt to wake Jews up to Obama's dastardly plans against Israel, and the Jewish apathy towards the seemingly Obama Administration's pro-Islamic/anti-Jewish stance. Alas, it's not just apathy, but for some, it is the outright funding of Pharaoh's 'Let them make bricks without straw' policies. Obama is going to force hardships upon an already weakened Israel that will lead to her final demise. Rabbi Parry did not remain silent and sit on his couch and watch the news and cluck his tongue that the world isn't fair, that it stinks, or even hurl expletives at the TV news media. Instead, he rose.
He rose and went out.
He rose and went out to tell the modern day pharaoh, "Let my People Alone".
Why is Rabbi Moshe standing alone? Where are all the Israel lovers? Hear what he has to say below in this video.
**** Addition and update on how to help more Jews...
A listener, Yisroel Aryeh, asked me to post the following:
"I wanted to share some news with you that would be interesting to your listeners/readers about
a small Orthodox run Jewish School in Charlotte NC is in the running to win in the Kohls Cares for Schools contest on facebook. The top 20 schools each win 500K and we are currently struggling to stay in 12th place as I write this with a few days left. So I would like to ask for your support by either sharing the story and/or the video and link to vote for our school.
Here is a link to local news coverage of the school - click HERE
Here is the link to vote: Click HERE.
Elul 14, 5770, 8/24/2010
This is not a blog per se, rather a tool for my latest show to enhance your experience.
Take a look at this video here, where he actually tells our children not to listen to their parents or teachers! Peres says [that our youth should] "watch out for your parents, your teachers and your friends". Meaning, do not let them influence you, as technology and science are the new gods, and the future is yours to actualize this, so don't let history, parents or teachers sway you from your dreams of a new reality in the world, a reality where the age of borders and land are old fashioned. He also basically states that history is irrelevant, so if you want to remember history, just buy a computer to store it, but then go on and forge a new future. He adds that G-d is not 'reliable' ( 8:50 into the speech) and that "He drives us crazy". This is what he wants to impart to our youth?!
Conspil.com also reports about a fascinating article in this Israeli version of
I don't want to swim too far out to sea here of what can be, but the whole thing sounds very uncomfortable when you think that the same powers that will have access to or own this technology, will be able to go inside people's brains and suggest to us: "Am I a girl or a boy?" "Is this my thought or the government's thought?" -shudder-
I prefer to embrace my humanity, while serving G-d, not being a god.