Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hysterical Texts

I know. I ate very fast!

in the words of rabbi leaf : you get what you pay for ....if you got the $7 pairs ...

I'm holding myself back from asking where you are.

Which high school did you go too? Do you like bagels?

Im raising my eyebrows...

Is it just me or are you flirting

Hey Momo is engaged. I wonder if the girl knows that his friends call him that?

Awe man! Chav has he been emailing ur calculater all day?

More than my father loves u??

Stop harassing my girlfriend ;)

kiryat moshe 10 jerusalem... which a neshama at!!

Wat? Your telling me you dont lord an hour wat are you a shiksa (cool word for dict)

No no dnt feel like that my dear ah was just abt ur age myself when i got my permit if i remenber corectly...hard to recal after al these year. Just hold it up with confidence and dnt u let anyone convinc u its weird

So now im walking down the street laughing to myself. Social suicide. Hope your happy :p

I almost believed you stinker i wish you were going

I wouldve dought it rather con to have slain u. And i made up those words

Hi I saw your teacher

My hands are shaking i cant even punch the buttons

What u think? U can just drop a hi and run? Well i wont stand for this abuse..

Leibel says a gute nacht

stam thinking about u and the pillow fight

Toda Kvod harosh memshala

Very nice shaul called me at like 4 in the morning

Hey thats actually not a bad idea maybe ill get engaged tom.. Seriously why wovld i endanger my future like that?

chava whats up mechoeret? i just want lehagid u "have a wonderfull yom";->

U 2 thanx I said probably 250 hours

I see what you and him have in common - making my heart drop


:p. And anyways they smell

I am a chosid and i 2nt help it no matter how many times i try to b a shikse wat should i do
Stop eating all my mishuleshes. (im paying 20 cents to warn you) i miss you like a lady bug misses her dots when they are stolen by the neighborhood bullies

No dear-you were supposed to jog very fast. Sigh.

My jaw still hurts from the collision

No way really? Well lemme tell you-the tiger on the front really adds a lot. And the ballet slippers gives it just the right amount of feminism

Omg was it you who sent me a dead squirrel in a box and wrote happy bday on it with its blood??!

I love you more than the lettuce inside tuna wraps ;)

Theres blushing and then theres BLUSHING-you would fall into the second category.

'' My grandfather is a little forgetful,and he likes to give me good advice. One day he took me aside, and left me there.''

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ten Years Without Rebbi Shlomo

David Wilder
August 29, 2008

Tomorrow, Shabbat, it will be ten years. Ten years ago, Thursday, the eve of the first day of the last month of the Hebrew calendar. Ma’arat HaMachpela, the tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs was fully open to Jewish worship. In early evening Rabbi Ovadiya Yosef arrived in Hebron, the first time he had visited the city and holy site in many years. At about 11:00 PM, as he concluded speaking to the hundreds present, beepers started buzzing. A terrorist had infiltrated the Hebron neighborhood of Tel Rumeida. Very quickly Ma’arat HaMachpela emptied and Hebron residents started making their way to Tel Rumeida. Details started to filter out: the victim was Rabbi Shlomo Ra’anan, sixty three year old grandson of Israel’s first chief Rabbi, Rav Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook. The terrorist had stabbed him. Walking/running from the Ma’ara in the direction of the neighborhood I called a friend, a neighbor of the Ra’anans and also a paramedic. “What’s his condition? “ I asked. David answered me, in a voice barely audible: “There was nothing we could do, we couldn’t do anything to save him. He died.”

Soldiers at the bottom of the hill leading up to Tel Rumeida attempted to prevent us from climbing the hill but I was not about to give in to their demands. Running, crisscrossing the street, I escaped their outstretched arms and continued to the top. As I arrived Rebbetzin Chaya Ra’anan, Rav Shlomo’s widow, was being placed in an ambulance. It wasn’t clear if she too had been injured but she surely looked in shock.

Inside the neighborhood there was a smell of recently extinguished fire. The terrorist, following the murder, tossed a Molotov cocktail inside their caravan home, hoping to burn it to the ground. Fortunately neighbors were able to extinguish the fire before it spread to other caravan homes. Rabbetzin Chaya had managed to pull her dying husband outside before the living room went up in flames. Only minutes before she had been involved in a tug-of-war with the terrorist, with her fatally injured husband in the middle, being pulled by both of them. However the terrorist had a knife and continued to stab his victim, puncturing his heart, killing him. He then jumped out a window and ran across the street, only meters away, into the Arab-controlled zone of Hebron, abandoned to the PA only a year before. According to the Hebron accords, Israel security forces were forbidden to enter that area and search for the killer. As a result, that same terrorist perpetrated a second attack on Yom Kippur, some six weeks later, injuring over twenty soldiers. Still not apprehended, a few weeks later he made his way to Beer Sheva, hoping to toss some hand grenades at civilians in the city’s central bus station. Only then was he captured and eventually imprisoned.

The dead rabbi was lying on the ground outside his home, covered by a blanket. A little while later he was moved into a home, his body surrounded by candles. I spent the night in the office, looking for a photo I’d taken of him not too long before. The next morning the funeral began there in Tel Rumdeida, and continued to Jerusalem, where he was buried at Har HaZaytim – the Mount of Olives, next to his illustrious grandfather and uncle, Rabbis Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook, and Zvi Yehuda Kook.

My reaction was almost instantaneous: I’d been negotiating for an empty apartment in Hebron. No more negotiations, no more demands: a week later my family moved from Kiryat Arba, where we’d lived for 17 years, to Beit Hadassah. I’d already been working here for four years, so it was sort of a closure. I felt like I’d come home.

Why? Very simply: the terrorists use murder and other types of violence in an attempt to force us to leave. The only appropriate reaction is to do the opposite; not to leave, rather to move in. That’s exactly what we did.

Yesterday, marking the 10th anniversary of the Rabbi’s killing, a large group of people gathered at the Gutnick Center, outside Ma’arat HaMachpela. Only meters away, thousands were visiting that holy site; being the eve of the new month of Elul, the entire building was open to Jewish worshipers. Exactly as it was that fateful Thursday, ten years ago.

For a few hours several important Rabbis delivered words of comfort and words of Torah to those present, including members of the Kook-Ra’anan-Shlissel families, and many others who came to pay their respects to the Rabbi and family. Those speaking included Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, Rosh Yeshiva of the Kiryat Arba Nir Yeshiva, Rabbi Hananel Etrog, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Shavei Hevron, at Beit Romano in Hebron, Rabbi Doron Avichzar, Dean of the Netivot Dror Torah Academy at the Telem community, and Noam Arnon, who MC’d and also spoke about the connection between Rabbi Kook and Hebron.

However, the most important speaker, in my opinion, was Rav Michael Hershkovitz, Rabbi of the community Neria in the Binyamin region, and a teacher at Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav in Jerusalem. The theme of his dvar Torah was quite fitting: Learning Torah is important, but no less important is doing, implementing what you learn. He spoke at length describing how Rav Shlomo Ra’anan did just this: living in a caravan in the Hadar Beitar community, and following that, moving to another caravan at the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron.

For years the Rabbi studied and taught the value of settling the land of Israel, Eretz Yisrael. But realizing that words are not enough he followed in the footsteps of the teachings of his grandfather and uncle, not only talking, but also doing. This is Torah.

It’s not easy living in small caravan homes. Tel Rumeida, somewhat isolated from the other neighborhoods of Hebron, is not the easiest place to live. Every morning, rain, snow or shine, the Rabbi would walk down the hill by himself to pray early morning prayers with a ‘minion,’ a prayer quorum of ten men. Every day he travelled back and forth to the Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, where he participated in Torah study and instruction. Not easy for a man in his late 50s, early 60s. But the Rabbi always had a smile on his face, knowing all of Hebron’s children by name, always ready to help, with an easygoing personality humbly concealing his Torah genius.

Concluding his remarks, Rabbi Hershovitz added, “Rebbe Shlomo, I just want to let you know, even though you probably know from where you are, that your extended family has continued in your footsteps, following your example of Torah and deeds, settling the land, Eretz Yisrael Israel, just as you did.”

Rebbetzin Chaya, sitting with her daughter Tzippy, both of whom today live in Tel Rumeida, only meters from where the Rabbi was murdered, despite the pain, couldn’t help but smile, knowing that the direction she and her husband had taken was being continued by their offspring.

The Rabbi’s presence could definitely be felt amongst the participants, but for sure, all still feel the pain of his death and the vacuum his murder left, for his family, for his friends and neighbors, and for all of Am Yisrael. Zechar Tzadik l’vracha - HaShem Yikom Damo.

Friday, August 29, 2008

"The earth laughs in flowers", said Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Articles of Interest

Little Leyson
Schindler's List - the sheet of paper, a photocopy, is folded and faded. The original meant the difference between life and death for those fortunate to have their names on it more than 60 years ago.

To more than 1200 Jewish people Oscar Schindler was all that stood between them and death at the hands of the Nazis. A man all too human, full of flaws like the rest of us. The unlikeliest of all role models - a Nazi, a womanisor, a war profiteer. An ordinary man who answered the call of conscience. Even in the worst of circumstances Oscar Schindler did extraordinary things, matched by no one. He remained true to his Jews, the workers he referred to as my children. He kept the SS out and everyone alive.

Leib Lejzon was one of them. One column of numbers and names, No. 69128, Eisendrehergeh., it says in German next to his name. (continue)

He Needed A Sign: An Askmoses Story
Rabbi Eliezer G: Welcome to the Rabbi's one on one chat room, how can I help you today?

SoulOnFire: Is it true that before Moshiach comes, 4/5 of the Jews are going to die?

Rabbi Eliezer G: no this is not true


An 'Angel' From Alabama
For Marisa Hester, a Pentecostal Christian from Prattville, Ala., choosing an outfit for an ultra-Orthodox Crown Heights wedding wasn’t easy. Sorting through her two sets of formalwear, she eventually opted for a knee-length floral skirt and a high-necked black chiffon blouse, embellished with sparkling beads.

She worried, however, that her slightly sheer sleeves were too revealing and would insult her newfound family. (continue)

The Atheist
The atheist, too, has a god, and it is himself.

The idolater at least understands there is something greater than him, something beyond the grasp of his physical senses, some external forces to which he is subject. (continue)

Shluchim Invited By Queen To Party At Buckingham Palace has learned that Rabbi Aryeh and Devorah Sufrin, Shluchim in Ilford, Essex, England, were invited by her majesty the Queen to her annual garden party. (continue)

Chava's son speaks of life in Sderot: "Mommy, I love my shirts"
Earlier this week, a handful of journalists and I huddled together with Chava Gad and her little boy in the hall of their Sderot home. For five long minutes, as Kassam rockets from Gaza exploded nearby, and between the staccato sounds of the "Red Color!" alert, I listened to Yanai's small, frightened cries. When the danger was over, and after Chava and Yanai had taken medication to calm their clearly shattered nerves, we sat in their living room where she shared her story and her feelings about the situation facing her family and her nation. (continue)

I was putting Tefillin on someone whom I had met on the street.

After he had finished saying the Shema and we were unwinding the Tefillin, I began to talk to him.

"How are you; what brings you to Prague?"

To my surprise, he was silent! (continue)

The Ba'al Teshuva
The guest speaker was the world famous Ba’al Teshuvah Moshe (Mark) Wahrburg. Moshe’s story was so inspiring it never failed to fill halls and shuls with enthralled audiences. He had reached the pinnacle of fame and success in Hollywood and lived a life of debauchery and excess. And then he threw it all away after discovering his heritage, eventually becoming fully Orthodox.

The men and women in the audience were taken in by the drama and ultimate glorious ending.

A group of angels were congregating at the window, unseen. (continue)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Heroes of Death; Heroes of Life

He threw himself onto death.
She threw herself onto life.

Two heroes.
* * *

We were talking about Roi. Roi Klein. What a hero. What a decision. What character.
Then she announced, "Mrs. N called me today about carpool."
I wondered why she was changing the topic from something so venerable to something so mundane.
She related, "I was surprised to hear from her as we aren't very close. She wanted to know if we had our rides arranged to and from school."
I thought of the grandeur of his deed. He had jumped onto a live grenade.
She continued, "Though we technically needed to carpool with someone because we had no morning ride, I was still hesitant about committing."
Barely a nanosecond to think, he had yelled out a warning and then "Shma Yisroel" had burst forth from his soul.
She explained, "I really don't like driving; you know that. And carpool? I really hate it. Everybody knows that."
His wife, Sara. His three year old, Gilad. His one year old, Yoav.
She told me, "So I was kinda mumbling and then Mrs. N shared the schedule, 'The K's do the mornings, my husband does the early minyan and I do the afternoons'. I asked her what she wanted me to do as it seemed all was settled already."
It must have been a part of him from forever ago. Such an act has to be nurtured beforehand.
She said, "So Mrs. N told me that she wasn't calling to ask if I could drive; she knows I don't do carpool. She was calling to offer us a place in the car as there is one empty seat available. She wanted nothing from us; she was only extending an invite for a free ride, twice daily."

Without time to deliberate, he gave up his life to save that of others.
With much time to deliberate, she gave up her time to save that of others.

Two Heroes.

Monday, August 25, 2008

2000 Days Without Tal

Dear Friends Shalom

On Monday will be 2000 days since Tal was killed.

I would like to thank you all for being part in helping me to keep Tal’s memory alive.

I will appreciate very much if in the future you will be as supportive as in the past.

Thank you

Ron Kehrmann

שלום חברים

ביום שני אציין 2000 יום מאז טל נהרגה

ברצוני להודות לכם מקרב ליבי על כך שעזרתם לי לשמר את זכרה.

במפעל ההנצחה צבע לטל גמל

אודה לכם למפרע אם גם בעתיד תעזרו לי לשמר את זכר ביתי.

תודה רבה

רון קרמן

"As long as one is remembered she is still alive."

Friday, August 22, 2008

A scorpion who couldn't swim asked the frog to carry him across the river on his back. The frog said, "Do you think I'm crazy? Halfway across the river, you'll sting me and I'll drown." "That's not reasonable," said the scorpion. "If I sting you and you drown, I'll drown too." Frog thought about it, he said, "Climb on." Halfway across the river, the scorpion stung the frog, and as the frog was drowning, he said to the scorpion, "But now you'll drown too." The scorpion said, "Yes. I know." "That's not reasonable," said the frog, and the scorpion replied, "Reason has nothing to do with it. I'm a scorpion. It's my character.

From "Hasmicha"

No application was recieved. If you are still interested, please send ASAP.
Attached is again the application form.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thanks Ben-Yehuda, for letting me team up with you :)


This afternoon a group of people gathered at the ancient Jewish cemetery in Hebron to participate in a memorial service on the anniversary of the killing of Hebron resident Elazar Leibovitch six years ago. Murdered at the same time were three members of the Dickstein family- the mother, father and young son.

Elazar Leibovitch was murdered, by the Hebrew calendar, on the 17th day of the month of Av. On the same date, at almost the identical hour, Shmuel HaLevy Rosenhaltz, nicknamed "the Matmid' or perpetual student, was the first victim of the 1929 riots and massacre in Hebron. The next day, another 66 men, women and children were killed. Tomorrow a group of people will gather at the same cemetery, only a few meters from Elazar's grave, and mark the 79th anniversary of that horrific event.

This week the Israeli government decided to commemorate these two events in a unique way. They decided to release 200 terrorists, as a 'good-will' gesture to Holocaust denier, Abu Mazen, presently head of the palestinian authority. In order to express support for one Jew-hater over another Jew-hater (Hamas), the Israeli government is freeing 200 terrorists from prison. Not only isn't Israel getting anything in return; they didn't even bother asking for anything in return. What could Israel dare request? Perhaps little things, like Abu-Mazen's full cooperation in successfully achieving the release of Israeli POW Gilad Shalit. But no, that would be too much to ask for. This time Israeli has to give something for nothing, thereby showing Abu-Mazen's supporters and not so much supporters just how good he is, just how strong he is, just how much he can twist the long arm of the Zionist enemy and get murderers released from jail. Without paying any price.

Of course, in their opinion, this isn't enough. All prisoners must be released, unconditionally. But, this is a good beginning, a step in the right direction.

This is how the Olmert administration is marking the 79th anniversary of the 1929 riots, instigated and initiated by Amin el-Husseini, who later met with Hitler in Berlin, formed the Muslim Brigades, and had plans to annihilate all the Jews living in Eretz Yisrael when they expected Rommel to invade during World War Two. Amin el Husseini's direct successor was Abu-Mazen's predecessor, Arafat. Abu-Mazen is trying hard to follow in his footsteps.

However, the government's decision was not enough to mark the current occasion. They had to go just one step further, stick the knife in just a little deeper.

The common rule of prisoner releases over the years has been to refrain from freeing terrorists with 'blood on their hands.' In other words, those that just helped, or attempted to kill but didn't succeed, and the like, they're ok to set free. But those who actually pulled the trigger, they're another story.

That's the way it was, until today. For the first time, the Israeli government decided to release a couple of 'real terrorists,' those who went all the way, and did the dirty act to its fullest degree.

So, who's being released, in celebration of the anniversary of the killings in Hebron? One of the two is Ibrahim Mahmoud Mahmad, who twenty years ago murdered Yehoshua Saloma, a young Yeshiva student studying in the Kiryat Arba Yeshiva. Saloma, a new immigrant from Sweden, who came to Israel alone, had walked into Hebron from Kiryat Arba to buy some dried fruits for the upcoming Tu B'Shvat holiday. While making his purchase in the Hebron Kasba, he was brutally murdered from behind by Ibrahim Mahmoud Mahmad. Saloma is still dead. Mahmad is still alive. And if Olmert et al have their way, he will soon be free. This is the message to the world that Israel is making on the days when Hebron is marking the murders of 68 other Jews by Arabs: 67 in 1929, and Elazar Lebovitch, 6 years ago.

It's interesting to note: Yehoshua Saloma was the first Jew to be killed in Hebron since the 1929 riots. His murderer is about to be freed by the Israeli government. Can you image Israel releasing a few of the barbarians who butchered Jews during those few hours on a summer Saturday in 1929? What's the difference between the barbarians of 79 years ago, the barbarians of 20 years ago, the barbarians of 6 years ago, or the barbarians of today?

Ah, what's the difference you ask? Very simple. In 1929 we could (rightfully) blame the British. Today who do we have to blame? We need only look in the mirror and point a finger at the image we see.

But, then again, it's only a gesture.

by David Wilder
August 18, 2008

~ ~ ~

Friday, August 15, 2008

Gush Katif

מתגעגעת אליך, גוש קטיף.
אני עוד אחזור

"You gotta deserve to go to hell; it's not free admission. You can't just think "Oh I'm going to hell."
(It could be you don't have anything to salvage.)

-Rabbi Manis Friedman [currently broadcasting live at]
Sometime I feel as if my life-my actions, my words, my thoughts-is like The Sticker Song.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

An awesome post about clothing and words and minds and souls:

Garments of the Soul

by the Summer Shepherdess

It was a sunny spring shabbos afternoon.
Brother and I were making our way home from shul.

We spoke of this.
Of that.
The other.

The comfortable banter of siblings on a warm walk home...

So I was wearing a particulary random outfit that shabbos.
One of those slightly mismatched, whatever outfits.
Brother had much to say about it, as he loves to do, and I had much to defend about it, which I failed to do.

1. I was in a rush to go to shul.
2. It's getting to hot for my winter stuff.
3. It's still too cold for my summer stuff.
4. Nobody in our shul really cares.
5. I think it looks just fine, thank you very much.


But then I got to thinking.
About clothing and words and minds and souls...


Let's say your closet has a few nice things in it.

So whenever you have time to think about what you will wear, you can put together something nice.
Very nice.
Very, very nice.
Ohmygoodnessyoulookgorgeous kinda nice.

But you also have a whole bunch of junk.
Those random items you never give away because you still like them even though they don't look the best or are not really fit to be worn.

So if you are in a rush, with no time to think, or things are in the wash, somethings just grab whatever comes to your hand and run.

And pray you don't bump into anyone important.


If you think about it, words are kind of like clothing.

We have all kinds of words in the closets of our minds.
The good, the bad and the ugly.

Usually the words that we use are nice, good, wonderful.

We choose them wisely when given the luxury of time.

We use them to inspire.
To impress.
To impart.

Words can be awesome.

But then there are those times when things get a little crazy.

Times when there's no time to think and you just kind of grab at whatever words may be in the closet.

Like the time you stubbed your toe.
Or your shin, your elbow, your eye.
(can you stub your eye?)

Like the day that car swerved in front of you, nearly scratching your new car.
Or the time you missed that appointment you've been waiting months for...

Suddenly all kinds of words come flying out!
The ones you didn't even realize were in the closet.
The words you tsk tsk when hearing someone else say...

Where were those hiding?
Where did I pick that one up from?

Uh oh.


Lesson learned that fine day:

It's all about what's in your closets.
Removing all the shmutz and filling them with only beautiful garments.

So no matter what, no matter where, no matter when...

You will always be caught well dressed.
The lifeguard asked me what kind of leaf it is.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

loneliness (free writing. two parts)

When the loneliness gets too much
when the forest is big and empty
when the trees bend over at the top
covering you (not in the protective way)

when the walls loom high and narrow
when its thick and solid and straight
when there is nobody to talk to
when you are all alone

when you read of others pain
and you're one in a distant way
cuz as much as you are him
and he is also you
you are so vastly different

and it's lonely
when you save for a year and lose it all at once
and it's lonely
when you travel to the wrong destination
and it's lonely
when you are a genius
and it's lonely
when you are the tallest one

i don't like the feeling
i really really don't
i hate that i have to saw the trees
the trees that others planted
i don't like the feeling
i really really don't
i hate that i have to smash the walls
the walls that others built
i don't like the feeling
i really really don't
i hate that i have to be the one
always have to be the one
the one to say 'it's me'


to run in the fields
have my hair run free
the sun pays attention
and we wink at one another
and i run and i run and i run
there is no beginning
and there is no end
there is only running
there are no other people but they do exist elsewhere
i am alone but not alone
it's about me and my running
and i run and i run and i run

and back to reality
same with writing
when i write, im running
my fingers run free
the screen pays attention
and we nod towards one another
and i write and i write and i write
there is no beginning
and there is no end
there is only writing
there are other people but they exist elsewhere
i am alone but not alone
its about me and my writing
and i write and i write and i write

and i'm running
im running free dear, im running free

(Written June 7/8)

Monday, August 11, 2008

True, if you don't think, read, remember or sing, you don't cry.

Murdered Israelis, Knesset decisions, Majdanek, Reizi's Song, Moishe Golan, terminally ill Yiddishe kids, Amona, "Zeh Haya Beti", golus, Eli Cohen, the Rebbe's voice breaking with emotion, Shirim She'Elazar Ahav.

True, you can ignore them-they don't have to make you cry.

But if you don't cry, you won't change.

Think. Read. Remember. Sing. Cry. Change.

Today's Menu

הָיְתָה לִּי דִמְעָתִי לֶחֶם יוֹמָם וָלָיְלָה בֶּאֱמֹר אֵלַי כָּל הַיּוֹם אַיֵּה אֱלֹהֶיךָ

My tears were my bread: From here we derive that distress satiates a person, and he does not seek to eat. (Rashi, Tehillim. 42, 4)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

1940 Years Later...

“Slaves rule over us, [and] there is none to deliver [us] from their hand.” (Eicha 5,8)

She has become like a
widow (1,1) but not really a widow; rather, like a woman whose husband went abroad and intends to return to her.

she was not mindful of her end (1,9) When they would sin, they were not mindful of what their end would be. Therefore, “she fell astonishingly.” Her descent was astonishing, bringing about much bewilderment, for everyone was bewildered that this happened to her, something that did not happen to any other city.

and its princes (2,2) There is a Midrash Aggadah (Lam. Rabbah 2:5) [that states that] these are the heavenly princes [whose assignments] He changed. The one appointed over fire He appointed over water, and He changed all the appointees because there were among the wicked of Israel those who knew the Ineffable Name, and they relied [upon the fact] that they could adjure the heavenly princes to save them from fire, from water and from the sword. Now, when he would adjure the prince of fire by his name, he would reply, “This dominion is not in my hands,” and similarly, all of them.

sit on the ground, etc. (2,10) [This is to be understood] according to its apparent meaning. But the Midrash Aggadah (Lam. Rabbah) states: Nebuchadnezzar caused them to sit on the ground when Zedekiah rebelled against him and transgressed his oath. He came and stationed himself in Daphne of Antioch, and sent for the Sanhedrin, and they came toward him. He recognized that they were men of imposing appearance and sat them down in golden chairs. He said to them, “Recite your Torah for me chapter by chapter and translate it for me.” As soon as they reached the chapter dealing with vows, he said to them, “What if he wishes to retract, can he retract?” They said to him, “Let him go to a sage, and he will absolve him of it.” He said to them, “If so, you absolved Zedekiah of his oath.” He gave the order, and they pushed them off [their seats] and sat them on the ground. They then tied the hair of their heads to the tails of horses and dragged them.

Will priest and prophet be slain in the Sanctuary of the Lord (2,20) The holy spirit answers them, “Now was it proper for you that you slew Zechariah the son of Jehoiada?” as is written in (II) Chronicles (24:22), that he reproved them when they came and prostrated themselves to Joash, and deified him. (ibid. verse 20): “And the spirit of God enveloped Zechariah the son of Jehoiada.” He was a priest and a prophet, and they slew him in the forecourt.

By the command of the Most High, neither good nor evil come (3,38) Said Rabbi Johanan: Since the day that the Holy One, blessed be He, said, [Deut. 30:15]: “See, I have set before you today life and good, etc.,” neither evil nor good has come from His command, but the evil comes by itself to the one who commits evil and the good to the one who does good. [Lam. Rabbah].) Therefore, what should a man complain about, if not about his sins?

Our eyes still strained for our futile help (4,17) When the evil befell us, our eyes were still looking forward to Pharaoh’s army, concerning whom it is said (Isa. 30:7): “And the Egyptians help in vain and to no purpose,” for they would promise us aid but they would not come, as it is stated concerning them (Jer. 37:7): “Behold, Pharaoh’s army, which has come out to aid you, is returning to its land, Egypt.” We find in Midrash Kinoth that they were coming in ships. The Holy One, blessed be He, signaled to the sea and caused inflated flasks like human intestines to float before them, moving around in the water. They said to each other, “These flasks are our forefathers, the men of Egypt who drowned in the sea because of these Jews, and we are going out to aid them?” They stopped and turned around.

Our water we have drunk for payment (5,4) We were afraid to draw water from the river because of the enemies; we therefore bought [it] from them with money.

For this our heart has become faint, etc. (5,17) because of that which is delineated in the following verse: “For Mount Zion, which lies desolate, and foxes prowl over it.”

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Are You Laughing?

Are You laughing, G-d?
Are You laughing at me?

I think so.
I hope not, but I think so.
I planned and planned and planned and now You must be laughing and laughing and laughing.
I hope not.
I think so, but I hope not.

Will You let me keep my plans?
They were good plans-these plans I made.
I want to keep them.

You must be laughing hard.
It was a lot of planning.
A lot.

Are You laughing, G-d?
Are You laughing at me?

I'm uncomfortable when I'm laughed at.
It's as if I don't know best.
But I did, I did know best.
My plans were good, they were the best.

But You're laughing.
I think You're laughing, G-d.

Can it be that my plans were not in fact the best?
And more, can it be that Your laughter is not a mocking one but one of genuine joy?
Are You gratified to be able to save me from my plans?
Is Your laughter a laugh of relief?
Relief that You can spare me from myself and now give me the best?

I think You're laughing out of love, G-d.
I think You're laughing for me.

Are You laughing, G-d?
Are You laughing for me?

I think so.
I hope so.

If her father eats her:

It will just be weird. Good, but weird. Very weird. Also very good.
But also very weird.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Gilad, Gilad, sweet Gilad, how could you have known?
How could you have possibly foreseen
That the shark was cruel, that he was mean?

He came to capture-twas his sole intent
And you, so wisely, tried to run.
But the deadly shark would not be stopped,
He was not to be outdone.

You saw the danger and proposed a game
Hide-and-seek? the shark agreed.
To be played in peace, side by side
Two sea creatures from a different breed.

Gilad, Gilad, sweet Gilad how could you have known?
How could you have possibly foreseen
That the shark was cruel, that he was mean?

Hide-and-seek, hide-and-seek,
You always smiled, just happy to be.
But as the game continued on,
The shark swore you his enemy.

And when you hid during one of the games,
The shark swam furiously off to his school.
He gathered them all, sharpened his teeth,
And returned with a brand new rule.

No more system of buddies and friends,
They attacked and floated you away.
You had cried for love, for unity, for peace
And now? We're awaiting your return every day.

Gilad, Gilad, sweet Gilad, how could you have known?
How could you have possibly foreseen
That the shark was cruel, that he was mean?

My friend is mishug!

Her list is down to eleven now.
Started out with forty. Some known, some unknown.
Wants me to pick up her Chitas in Montreal and bring it to her.
Thinks she can work for how long she wants without notifying them beforehand when she wants to stop.
Expects me to have partner and plan ready for her this time tomorrow night.
Folds her arms.
Offers to help practice in our car.

My friend is mishugggggggggggggggggggggggg!