Monday, August 30, 2010


Sometimes, a lot of times, I feel like this sign I saw in Krakow perfectly encapsulates my personal continuous seesaw-ness.

Torah Vigil for Israel LIVE!

A full day of Torah learning*, from 10AM-10PM EST, dedicated in merit of the security of our brothers and sisters in Israel.

Listen/watch here

*on all levels-from beginners to advanced learners

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Simple Paradoxi

The greatest revelations are to be found not in meditation, study and prayer, but in the mundane world --but only if you would rather be meditating, studying and praying.


The chassid Rabbi Yaakov Mordechai was a lifelong oved, one who devotes himself to the service of his Creator by perfecting his character and behavior and striving to attain a true love and awe of the Almighty through meditation and prayer. For decades, he deprived himself of all physical comforts in order to refine his nature. Before his passing, however, he expressed regret at having weakened his body with such an unrelenting regimen. Perhaps, had he not been so hard on himself, he would have lived to observe even one more mitzvah. "Thirty years to sleep on a bench!" he said. "To put on tefillin one more time is far more valuable than to sleep on a bench for thirty years!"

Later, chassidim said: "True. But to appreciate the value of tefillin as Rabbi Yaakov Mordechai did, one must first sleep on a bench for thirty years…"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Más Participación-Sukkos (1741 words)

The piece is so perfect. I love each part of it. On a personal level it let me connect to a piece of your life. On a reader level, I could really understand the concepts and felt like I was in the room, it was packed with imagery. On a fellow avodanik, I am amazed and excited at how you worked to connect all the details of your life to Torah. I too worked very hard to connect Tishrei with what I am going through but what I love about both is that the dots are so closely connected, there is no "I worked really hard to find a connection" going on .

I really felt inspired to share it, with myself and with others.

This incredible response just brightened me (and my week/phase) up to an unimaginable degree.

On Confidence & Trust

Trusting in the One Above doesn’t mean waiting for miracles.

It means having confidence in what you are doing right now--because you know He has put you on the right path and will fill whatever you do with energy and blessing from on high.

Sometimes you see that things have been taken out of your hands and are following a supernatural order. At this point, just do your best at what you have to do --and stay out of G-d’s way.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nosson Deitsch a"h. I shared a Shabbos meal with him at my house about a year ago.

How many times do we say goodbye,
How many times do we break down and cry!?!?!?

We will never let you go,
We will never let you go
you'll be in our heart and soul
We will never let you go,
Your smile brought us hope
more than you'll ever know
We will never let you go,
We will never let you go

You were the one who always stood for what's right,
You were the one who always helped us see the light.
You were a mentor, you were a guide,
You were the one who always taught us not to hide.

We will never let you go,
We will never let you go
you'll be in our heart and soul
We will never let you go,
Your smile brought us hope
more than you'll ever know
We will never let you go,
We will never let you go

We won't ever say you're gone,
Because we know your legacy lives on.
Through the people you touched,
And through the lives that you've changed.
You never left us, and we'll never be the same!

We will never let you go,
We will never let you go
you'll be in our heart and soul
We will never let you go,
Your smile brought us hope
more than you'll ever know
We will never let you go,
We will never let you go
Nosson this is a song for you,
Now there's one more thing I know that you will do.
I hear you telling the heavens the revolution has begun.
Because we won't stop fighting 'till the redemption has come!

We will never let you go,
We will never let you go
you'll be in our heart and soul
We will never let you go,
Your smile brought us hope
more than you'll ever know
We will never let you go,
We will never let you go

Monday, August 23, 2010

8/24 Historic Event with Ambassador Shalev

Ground Zero Mosque

During an interview on NBC's "Today" Show last week, Giuliani said: "If you are a healer, you do not go forward with this project. If you are a warrior, you do."

Apparently, this guy disagrees.

Hashem Always Takes Care of Me :-]

And because I am a man that sees the world in words, I must end this story with positive words. Positive words that are true and comforting. Positive words that remind me that my Father loves me much much more than any father who loves their only son born in his old age can, and much much more than I can ever fathom.
Too, I must end with words of faith and of trust.
Words that send me singing with gratitude and joy.
Words that tell me it's all awesomely good cuz after all, Hashem (the Good One who does only good) is always taking caring of me.

He cherishes me.

I realize why I'm feeling like this:

It's cuz I did not want to merely hear that HE was not insulted or offended.
I wanted him to know that there was no intent of insult or offense coming from ME.

Yesh hevdel.

And now, the sucky feeling remains...intensified.

When My Heart Cracked

[Here is the previous one.]

when my heart cracked
thousands held their breath
my heart holds much of theirs
now, forced to meld it back
whence cometh my strength, if not from You?
Mion T. Earz

The Master Planner


Getting punctured by an additional hole just now rather than having the previous one filled-as I had expected it to-hurts me, scares me, confuses me, saddens me and surprises me.
And these feelings surprise me.

I feel unsettled and unraveled.

I guess the photo below, dark yet light, still yet moving, sinister yet peaceful, can my answer.

I'll let the Painter keep painting and the Planner keep planning, and I'll smile wide cuz He-the Master-decided to stick me in.


The Master Painter

Friday, August 20, 2010

from florence to romania..ahhh memories :)

so here we are in krakow,poland feels like a dream...maybe it is but its pretty cool either going back about a week to firenze station otherwise known as florence,we arrived and decided that spending the night in the train station is way cheaper than getting a hostel so thats wat we did.we made ourselves comfortable on the benches in the station but a couple hours later we found out the hard way that we were occupying someone elses i felt sometthing heavy on my feet,i opened my eyes to find a whole line of homeless ppl sleeping all over the station with some cute old man using my feet as a abt being thrifty i guess my feet work just as well as a pillow...and its cheaper....after being slightly shocked and freaked out i suddenly realized that there wasnt much difference between me and them .wat makes me less homeless?? me and the guy sleeping on my feet.....were like family...all in this together.....that was a pretty weird experience which is why i woke urp at the crak of dawn ready to start my day.finally we figured out that we had gotten off at the wrong station and that we werent in florence yet which explained the 2 feet wide train station full of homeless ppl (us included) so we continued on to florence where we locked up our luggage in the station.without huge bags on our back we finally felt like proper businessmen rather than once again we set out on our journy to find the kosher restaurants.on the way we stopped at the supermarket and saying we bought tuna is an understatement.we practicAlly bought out the whole store making my luggage just a bit heavier but thats the price u gotta as we walked down the street we suddenly bumped right into the chabad house and than the shul and the kosher market .so after buying out the store and eating everything on the menu and seeing the shul (and chava touring the famous cathedrals ) we continued on to pisa where we discovered not one,but hundreds of leaning towers,in fact, we came to the conclusion that every building has potential of being a leaning tower depending on which angle u hold ur camera.and chava even discovered while standing on her head that all the buildings in pisa are upside down....she should be a scientist.....anyway we then continued on to venice or almost venice where we spent the night yet again in the local train station with our more voilent fellow homeless.....but we survived somehow.again we ended our night as soon as possible -at the crack of dawn.we came to venice and hung out between the laundromat and the internet place searching desperately for a hostel under 200 bucks and for rochel who it turns out was comfortabely chilling on a rock reading a book....we considered the train station again but then we knew that at this point we were so stinky that even the homeless wouldve kicked us out....finally by some miracle we ended up in a fancy hotel room right next door to chabad! and they even had a we took advantage of it by showering enough times to last us till next shabbos and by the time we finished showering somehow our tans were gone....pretty frustrating....i mean those were nice tans we had....we were like black....or just plain we spent a realluy nice shabbos which felt almost like walking down kingston on chof beis shvat,but besides meeting the rest of crown heights it was really nice.on sunday we toured the jewish ghetto and then accidentally found out that the full suitcases just purchased were all treif, which costed the next three nights sleeping in train stations in order to make up for the monetary we stoked up on a whole new suitcase full and then we visited the island of marrano like all good tourists and next we took tghe train to budapest in order to reach romania!!!!!!!of course the first time we actually make reservations on the train,it ended up being an empty train......we got to budapest,gambled over a couple games of chess with some old man while chava fought with some egyptian over a chair....then we caught a train to romania. as soon as we started the journey, we noticed right away all the scenery looked so romanian,like right out of a story soon as we arrived we felt if someone dropped me there and didnt tell me where i was, i would know it was a good way of after locking up our backpacks we searched for the non existent internet cafe.apparently romania hasnt yet discovered internet.....untill some kid led us behind an alley through some dark dingy staircase to a little hidden internet if it was illegal or something.then we hung out in the main hang out in town,little restaurant outside the train station where we made freinds with practically the whole good friends. we exchanged email addresses and took pictures together.they were obsessed with being in our pictures ,probably their first time discovering the phenomenon of a camera....then chava somehow adopted a gradfather who gave her all his old wedding pictures and promised her all of his be continued........

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Birmingham Celebrates 25 Years of Couple’s Jewish Service

Posted by Ronelle Grier,

MRIq4637997.jpgWhen Rabbi Fishel and Esther Cohen came to Birmingham, England, in 1984, neither had any idea what the future would hold.

He, a young Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi fresh out of school, had been asked to become the area’s first full-time university chaplain for the Midlands Region, providing religious and pastoral support to Jewish students attending universities in Birmingham, Warwick, Woverhampton, Derby, Coventry, Loughborough, Leicester and Nottingham. She, barely 20 years old, faced her own challenges in building a home and Jewish center far from her family in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Among the roadblocks was confronting a dearth of kosher facilities; running out of staples such as milk or bread was not an option.

“I was determined to make it work,” said Esther Cohen, who with her husband directs campus activities. “I learned how to plan in advance, and the community was very welcoming.”

Ask locals, and they’ll tell you that over the last 25 years, the Cohens have done more than “make it work.” Together, they’ve touched the lives of thousands of students, many of whom still regard the couple as friends.

More than 200 students, alumni, colleagues, friends and family members came out to show their support at a dinner held earlier this year. Sponsored by the Midlands Region Chaplaincy Board, the event honored the Cohens’ quarter-century of service.

Speaking after the dinner, Esther Cohen said that from day one, they focused on finding ways to help Jewish students, many of whom were away from home for the first time, cope with the various challenges of university life. They sought to establish innovative programs and activities with the goal of building a sense of community.

“We were always arranging events,” she related. “Our goal was to create a home away from home. Students would come to us when they were panicking about exams. Sometimes they would knock on our door at midnight to borrow some milk.”

Mendy Cohen, one of the couple’s four sons, compared the constant bustle of his childhood home in England to Grand Central Station in New York City, where he now resides.

“There were always students around,” he said. “It was like a second home to many of them.”

It wasn’t uncommon for the Cohens to prepare enough food for a Shabbat dinner for 20 guests when, without warning, 40 would show up.

“My mother would just make more salads and put up more tables,” said Cohen.

Esther Cohen started teaching and later earned a degree in counseling. In addition to assisting Fishel Cohen with his chaplaincy duties, she also serves as head of religious education at the King David School and runs her own clinic, Kadimah Counseling Service. She said that the research she conducted as part of her course work on the psychological needs of Jewish students was invaluable.

“It gave us both a very strong awareness of what students need,” she said. “There is a skill in working with them and not telling them what to do.”

Over the years, the Cohens’ programs ran the gamut of themes. In addition to their weekly Shabbat dinners and holiday events, they continue to host open houses during exam season, inviting students to drop in between study sessions for a home-cooked meal. Among their new projects is “Esther’s Café,” a group of 50 students who gather at a local Hillel House for a regular address by an educational speaker.

“We aim to create a new event every term,” said Cohen. “We’ve had camping trips. Fishel drove a mini bus filled with students to Scotland. It was a lot of fun.”

Holly Kilim, who attended Birmingham University from 2004 to 2009, met the Cohens during her third year of medical school.

“Until that point I wasn’t really involved in the Jewish scene at the university,” said Kilim, who now lives in Boston with her husband, Daniel Broniatowski. “With their warm hearts and non-judgmental attitude they both created a loving and nurturing environment for me to learn and grow, both Jewishly and personally. I will always remember Fishel coming to kosher the kitchen in my apartment, at my request, and the image of him standing there holding a blow torch to my kitchen taps.”

Kilim and her fiancé studied with the Cohens for several weeks before their wedding in London. Fishel Cohen officiated at the ceremony.

“I always thought that it was endearing, the way they referred to this time as ‘learning with us,’ rather than teaching us,” said Kilim. “I think this is a perfect example of the way they approach their work, not from the top down, but from an equal footing that they share with everyone.”

Louise Weinberg, a Birmingham student in 1995, has fond memories of all-night cooking sessions and lively holiday meals.

“I saw them open their home 24/7 to all who wanted or needed, and their home became my home,” said Weinberg, who lives in Manchester, but still maintains a close relationship with the couple. “When I recently gave birth to twins at 29 weeks, they drove through the night to be by the hospital.”

From their vantage point in the Midlands, the Cohens have witnessed Jewish life change in this corner of England. The Jewish student population, which was about 200 when they arrived, has grown to more than 2,000. To accommodate their growing needs, Fishel Cohen, who acts as a student advocate with administrations, fought to bring kosher food to Birmingham and Nottingham.

For his part, he said that he tries to visit as many students as possible in order to reach the unaffiliated. Esther Cohen, meanwhile, is a regular in the student library during midterms, distributing packages of homemade chocolate cake with “good luck” tags attached.

And they still deal with the age-old problems of homesickness and pre-exam jitters. The economy, they asserted, has only placed more pressure on students.

“It used to be that you got a degree and were fairly certain to get a job,” said Cohen. “Now even a degree from a good school doesn’t guarantee that.”

Looking to the future, she predicted that Jewish life in the area would continue to grow.

“Life is unpredictable,” she said, “but we hope to carry on and keep growing. The more we give, the more we get back. We’re so full of energy, we want to expand.”

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What I purchased today for my trip:

It's so funny how much I'm writing about it, and how openly. I guess being alone the whole time DOES have somethin to do with it. Somethin.

So the main thing I wanted to get was the single/portable burner. Found a great one but didn't buy it (!). I had seen one online that weighed 1.7 kg and according to the bathroom scale that David opened up for me, this one weighed 2.2kg. Every ounce, er gram, makes a diff. But it was a great price and it looks clean and easy so I may just go back and get it. Especially cuz I've just been convinced to return the security alarm I bought from there. Clas Ohlson in England..! Too too funny :D The sleeping bag liner I'm planning on keeping Asaklitt Cotton Sleeping Bag Liner. (Click on the image for an enlarged view - opens in a new window) even though it's rather heavy. I remember from my trekkin around Europe that it's something I will find very useful. (Oy, persuadin them to let us in late at night in Greece but not having anything even remotely clean to rest ourselves on -gag- and being too cheap to pay for linens -snort-) The fanny pack is WAY useful as well but I dunno, it's kinda loud. Maybe I'll have the kids scribble all over it. Like the way my suitcase was decorated in Milwaukee. I'll keep my eyes open (and the pack closed) to see if I can find a more subtle-but equally spacious-waist pack. So so essential. Apparently these travel towels are, as well. But I didn't buy it. Twasn't viscose like some backpacker swears on so I held back. In Boots, the next stop, I did find something I thought was more suitable but the grossness of the fabric held me back. I think I'm gonna go back n get it, though, after readin up more about it online. Those same sites convinced me to get this nifty laundry line Product Image. Comes with pegs, too. Great price. Then, I got my water purification tablets Product Image, my after-bite itch relief cream Product Imageand grabbed a pack of these motion-sickness bands Product Imagethough I wasn't planning on till I saw the 3 for 2 mix and match travel stuff deal. Neither the extremely light rain jacket nor the mini-fan that I bought seem to have an image/link online.

So that's that.
Thanks for tuning in.


come back to me!


oy i really wish you would...!

23.8 שירת חניה--יום שני

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

india prep

buy travel clothes line and travel towel (with viscose?) and shampoo bar and water purifying tablets and mosquito repellent.
can i use my pot as a neggel vasser kvort?
oats, beans, eggs, fruits n veggies
pounds vs dollars
sefer hamitzvos and sichos. copies?
travelers insurance and travelers cheques.
perfume. straightener. blow dryer.
plugs n wires. NO COMPUTER.
hmm computer?
shape-ups? boots? bangalore?
new delhi, mumbai, bangalore, taj mahal, dharamsala, goa, pushkar...nepal, sri lanka...
pakistani border (color war)
buy 50p can opener. personal alarm? reflector (rain) jacket?
lonely planet too heavy
notebook. camera.


regards to chava

"from israel and the soldiers and the bendy buses and the skinny cats and the smelly men and the wild israeli kids and the burning heat and the long dangely earings and the milk in bags and everything"

Hizbullah Hides Behind Handicapped Children

by Maayana Miskin Hizbullah Hides Behind Children (

The IDF has taken the unusual step of revealing to the press the precise location of Hizbullah hideouts in southern Lebanon. A Northern Command officer showed an Associated Press reporter the Hizbullah outposts visible from the Lebanon border.

Many outposts are hidden in civilian areas - but one actually takes shelter in a home for mentally handicapped children in the southern Lebanon village of Aita al-Shaab.

IDF officials also pointed out weapons warehouses, some of which are located in civilian homes.

Hizbullah limits access to southern Lebanon, and often follows those journalists who are allowed into the area to ensure that they do not reveal sensitive information. United Nations troops tasked with patrolling the area say they are unable to confirm or deny the IDF's accusations, as they are not permitted to search private property.

However, explosions in southern Lebanon in 2009 indicate that Hizbullah has in fact continued storing weapons and rockets in civilian villages.

Israel's willingness to share intelligence about Hizbullah activity is seen as a preemptive measure in case of conflict with Hizbullah or Lebanon. Israel was widely condemned for Lebanese civilian deaths during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. By warning in advance that Hizbullah is using civilians as shields, Israeli officials are apparently hoping to prove that the terrorist group is to blame for any future civilian deaths.

The sharing of intelligence may also serve as a warning to Hizbullah that Israel knows the locations of its weapons caches and battle stations, and is prepared to take them out quickly in case of an open war.

The IDF's open approach follows an exchange of fire between Israeli and Lebanese soldiers on the northern border two weeks ago. Lebanese troops opened fire as Israeli workers pruned a tree on the Israeli side of the international border; they later claimed that the tree was located on Lebanon's side of the border.

IDF Major-General Gadi Eisenkot concluded that the incident was “a planned ambush” on the IDF. One Israeli soldier and four Lebanese were killed in the clash.
It used to be that the girls were worse. Now, tis the boys.
It's that horrified fascination but less intense and more in-tense.

Noam Apter

These words

"Everybody has within him his own temple.
In some, it's in ruins.
Some don't realize that it even exists.
But this temple is in every being.
It's our soul.
all the private temples within us
will stand upright
and then
we will be prepared
to bring the Divine, the Shechina,
into the world...."

were from the trove of poems found in Noam's desk after his incredibly heroic and fatal act of saving his fellow students from terroristic murder. May his blood be avenged.

Heh, reminds me of Ghioroc (and Gush Katif, of course)

Leave The Guidebook In Your Accommodation
Don’t skip the iconic sights, but be open to more obscure ideas. Who knows where you might end up?
For me it was staying overnight in a tiny rural village with a new local friend and his extended family, getting drunk on home-distilled liquor, and trading Lao phrases such as “Can you starch the collars” and “Is there an ATM around here?” from our phrasebook.
I don’t remember anyone I met while visiting the Taj Mahal, but I won’t forget the laughter and warmth of the night I stayed in an unnamed village in the middle of the Lao jungle.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The weather in India :O

During my trip, the temperature is slated to be anywhere between 5 and 35 degrees Celsius. [41-95 in Farenheit] with a colorful range of humidity, heat, rain, snow, cold, wind, and more heat.

Makes for easy packing, eh?

my lifE

Don't laugh at a youth for his affectations;
he is only trying on one face after another
to find a face of his own.
~Logan Pearsall Smith, "Age and Death,"Afterthoughts, 1931

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Just One Blast!"

Told by Rabbi Baruch Rabinovitch of Munkacs, father of the present Munkacser Rebbe, about his late father-in-law, Rabbi Chaim Elazar Spira (1871-1937), known as the "Minchat Elazar." [As is usually the case on my blog, the title links to the source of the posted material]

For a period of time, Reb Baruch and his wife lived in Warsaw. Later, when the Minchat Elazar became ill, he begged them to come back to Munkacs, in Czechoslovakia, which they did.

Rabbi Baruch had a son named Tzvi Nosson Dovid. Baruch would often recall that his father-in-law loved this boy—the Minchat Elazar's dear grandchild—in an "exaggerated way," in part due to the fact that they had waited a long time to have that first child. He would play with and "spoil" the child, and Tzvi would sit on his grandfather's lap at the Shabbat gatherings.

In the final year of his life, the Minchat Elazar took the shofar on the first day of the month of Elul and tested it to see whether it was in good condition. Tzvi was in the room and was visibly excited by the shofar and its sounds.

He asked his zeide (grandfather) for one more blast, and his zeide gladly obliged. From then on, for the remainder of the month, this became a ritual; the Rebbe blowing the shofar once each day for little Tzvi. On the day before Rosh Hashanah, Tzvi was there, awaiting his daily blast, but he was disappointed.

"Today is the day before Rosh Hashanah," his grandfather explained. "Today we do not blow the shofar. Tomorrow morning, we will blow the shofar in the synagogue."

The child did not comprehend the reasons. He knew no reason. He kicked and screamed, "Just one blast! Just one blast!"

After a while, the grandfather softened at the sound of his favorite grandchild crying, and he took the shofar and blew one blast.

On Rosh Hashanah, the custom in Munkacs was that the Rebbe spoke before blowing the shofar. That year, the Rebbe went up before the ark, opened it and said: "Master of the Universe, I have to repent. It's written that on the day before Rosh Hashanah one mustn't blow shofar, yet I did."

He began to sob uncontrollably and called out: "Master of the Universe, do you know why I transgressed this custom? It was because my young grandchild lay on the floor begging and crying that I should only blow one blast of the shofar for him. My heart melted, I couldn't bear to watch him cry like that, so I blew once for him, though I shouldn't have.

"Tatte (Father), how can you stand by and see how millions of Your children are down on the floor, and crying out to You, 'Tatte, just one blast! Sound the blast of the great shofar which will herald the final Redemption!'? Even if the time is not right for it yet, even if the time for Moshiach has yet to arrive, Your children cry out to You: how can You stand by idly?!"

Rabbi Baruch cried as he recounted the story, and recalled how at that time the entire crowd cried along with the Rebbe. The sounding of the shofar was delayed, and for a long time. "They could not regain their composure... loud wailing was heard throughout the synagogue..."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

An (appreciated) Update:

We would like to thanks all those who said tehillim for
Dovid Leib ben Ariella Nava Bastomski
Bh he woke up, he is talking and is doing better.
Please continue to have him mind in your teffilos for a complete Refua Shleima.
May we continue to share good news

Monday, August 09, 2010

Your order has dispatched (#026-2608554-0466727)

Woah I'm flinging my privacy on my blog out the window these days.

Mobile -----35022

ahhhh :)

(as I anticipated it would, the phone call completely relaxed and bettered my week)

the peace,
the past,
the present,
the purpose,
the pleasure,
the passion,
the piety
and the purity.


Lonely Planet, India


What is Backpacking?

St. Augustine once said that , “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”.

The thrill one experiences while traveling, the adrenaline rush one gets from it is unmatchable. The prospect of being in a new country, exploring it and in the process learning a thing or two on the way , can truly be dubbed as the experience of a lifetime. How one chooses to travel certainly helps determines whether one is a traveler, a tourist or a backpacker.
“The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes "sight seeing". Daniel J. Boorstin

The backpacker is not only active , in search of adventure and experience but also in search of a community, a community of like minded travelers who want to see beyond the usual and experience the ‘real’ thing.
Backpacking essentially means a form of traveling which is low cost, independent with no fixed itinerary
‘Sight-seeing’ is not something, that is top on the priority list of a backpacker. A backpacker is more interested in seeing the real place and not just the monumental landmarks. To the backpacker the journey is more important than the destination. We live in a global village today. Traveling is a lot more cheaper, places more accessible. Things couldn't’t have looked better for the backpacking community. Armed with a few essential supplies , these people backpack across the length and breath of a country, making friends along the way, and educating themselves about the customs and traditions of that place.

The experiences that one accumulates while backpacking remain etched in the memory of the traveler for years to come. Living with strangers you met on the way, eating on the roadside, doing your laundry by the riverside- these things are not only characteristic of backpacking, but also the very things which make this experience so special and memorable.

So if you want to experience the real thing grab that backpack and get on. And just keep in mind what Rick Steves once said “Travel like Gandhi, with simple clothes, open eyes and an uncluttered mind”.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

On the way home from Shul...

I met Elisa and her Mummy, Jennifer, Hallel and her little bro, and Jordan.
Twas a wonderful (and vital) bridge of the two cities/three worlds.
I'm ready, now :)

Friday, August 06, 2010

Breaking News: Rubashkin Judge Exposed for Having Unlawful Private Meetings With Prosecutors

Breaking News: CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - New documents produced in response to a Freedom of Information Act request show that U.S. District Court Chief Judge Linda Reade met frequently with the law-enforcement team that was actively engaged in the planning of the May 2008 raid on the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant and participated in preparations for the raid. On this account, Judge Reade should have been legally disqualified from presiding at the federal trial of Sholom Rubashkin.

Judge Reade was required to disclose these meetings and her participation to defense lawyers, but the judge did not make any such disclosures before presiding over the trial last year. The evidence shows Reade was not only provided with regular briefings on the raid preparations for more than six months before it occurred, but that she expressed her “support” for the raid, and directed that she be briefed on how it was to be carried out.

“The government’s own memoranda show that more than six months before the raid, Judge Linda Reade began a series of meetings in which she collaborated with the law-enforcement team that prosecuted the case against Sholom Rubashkin,” said Nathan Lewin, lead appellate counsel for Sholom Rubashkin. “Without disclosing to defense counsel her meetings with the U.S. attorney and the support she expressed for the raid, she presided at Mr. Rubashkin’s trial, and then immediately had him imprisoned, and sentenced him to two years more in prison than the prosecution requested.”


Thursday, August 05, 2010

'To heal him' (it's why we say it)

Say kapitel 21 for Dovid Leib ben Ariella Nava.
I heard he had a car accident, he should be healthy and well....

We should hear only good news ba alle yidden!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Detached Template

First choice after closure.
Mums of IDF'niks and Duby's clown claim from decades ago prevented the closure.
And the Yankel and the others cuz I hate the attention.

I ought to stop being so open on my blog. Has potential t'remind me of unpleasant things.

Two Posts I Didn't Comment On

Because I did not wish to reintroduce the pain. say, as she did yesterday, right after she told me.
Is it a comfort, I wonder? A security? "Oh. Ha. I'm passed that,", I still need to speak to her. But I really am worried if as much as you want in a relationship so long as the other does not suffer. You can call your friend late, if they are not over-exhausted that night. You can complain about your professor, but not No comments in years, and a sudden stab would not be kind. She told me once that you can take the night they got dismissed from school.
I need to share and talk to her. The tinkle of the does not know that I saw what she saw and never bade it farewell. wine-glass has been echoing in my ears for years. And the bareness doesn't stop flashing. She horrible And though my
And even though there is a good chance she will the burning pain like times past, the dull pain that's present saddens me much.
And just as indifference won't cure shock, dullness won't cure sadness. And sadness won't cure sadness.
Maybe I press on my bruises. empathy is not what I'm looking for. Maybe it's sympathy.
Empathy will realitate.
And I do that--
friends with her, some 7 years ago, Grab on to the pirate's ship?
It's horrible, this. I look she will empathize. Cuz though I'm happy, really really happy, that she does not carry at pictures.
I became of so many horribles together.Why? Why o why?
It's the girl who was never really was, I still opt to bring her back.

No, I erased my comments.
Trumpets are saved for joyful announcements.

A person who studies laughter is called a ‘gelotologist’.
(Even though Blogger refuses to recognize it, I Share Happiness claims so. Check out the smiling and laughter facts.)

Monday, August 02, 2010

Israelis Make Me Laugh :D

No Wine Inside

No wine inside
this heart of mine
only milk, fresh and white

and milk must flow
must run and go
must be shared with all in sight

for otherwise
say the wise
otherwise, spoil will come

bottled milk
is nice and fine
for but a day and then some

unlike wine,
white and red
earning more with each tock

milk goes bad
it's really sad
how time wins with a mock

if only wine
was inside
inside this great big heart of mine

only a drop
i would not hide
but my heart's got milk, not wine!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

A Lesson I Need To Learn...

The mashpia, ר' שמואל גרונם related: The chossid ר' אברהם of ז'עמבין was a big businessman, sending rafts of wood to Danzig, Germany for פרנסה . Once, he sent 60,000 ruble worth of rafts, and they all sunk, causing him to lose all potential profit and placing him deeply in debt. His monetary troubles disturbed him from concentrating in לימוד התורה , so he decided not to think about his worries during learning, and would set aside specific time for this. He would close his ספר for a short while, think about the חובות that have befallen him, and would then tell himself, "For what purpose am I thinking about this? In any case, I have no money left. I have already sold all my assets, so what is there to think about?" Then he would reopen his ספר and continue learning.
(לקוטי סיפורים ע' שכ"ג )





In the space of about an hour, people from the above three cities arrived at my blog searching for cartoons, Israel, and Israeli cartoons. Hmmmm.

The Three Soldiers (that photograph...)

One single iconic image depicting the moment of reunification of Jerusalem in 1967 has remained in the world's collective psyche. Three battle-weary paratroopers gazing at their suroundings seemingly in stunned amazement. With the fortieth anniversary of the Six Day War, Conal Urquhart of The Observer located and interviewed both the photographer and the three soldiers - there is a link below to the full article.


The Paratroopers...

Zion Karasenti, 64, now a director and choreographer, living in Afula: "At Ammunition Hill, all we could see was a hill surrounded by trenches and barbed wire. When we started to move, they threw everything they had at us. We got through one fence and found more wire. I threw myself on it and acted as a bridge for everyone else. I felt no pain. We got into the trenches, which were shallow and narrow. When someone was injured we passed them down the line over our bodies. The Jordanians couldn't get away, but they kept on fighting to the last man.

I was the first paratrooper to get to the Wailing Wall. I didn't know where I was, but I saw a female Israeli soldier, so I asked 'Where am I?' and she said: 'The Wailing Wall.' She gave me a postcard and told me to write to my parents before she disappeared. It might have been a dream, but then many years later I met the woman. She had been in the postal corps.

As more soldiers arrived, a photographer told us to stand like this and look in this direction. I just did it - I didn't even think about it.

When I think of all the soldiers that died to take Jerusalem, I wonder if they would have thought it was worth it. I think they would."

Yitzak Yifat, 64, now an obstetrics and gynaecology surgeon: "I developed toothache when we arrived in Jerusalem and went into battle with my mouth still numb from the local anaesthetic. It was face-to-face fighting. I fought like a tiger. My friend was shot in the backside and he was about to be shot again by a Jordanian. I shot him. Another Jordanian saw I was out of bullets and he charged at me with a bayonet. I don't know how I did it, but I took his gun and shot him with it. It was brutal, and a sad victory. I lost many friends. After the fighting we built a memorial to our friends - and one to the Jordanians, in honour of their bravery."

Haim Oshri, 63, emigrated from Yemen to Israel in 1949: "The battle for Ammunition Hill was the worst moment of the war. There wasn't a plan - we were just told to attack. The Jordanians were brave soldiers. Now it makes me angry to think of all the unnecessary casualties. If we had taken more time to plan, there would have been far fewer casualties.

As an Orthodox Jew it was special for me to be involved in the fight for Jerusalem. It doesn't matter if you're from Poland or Yemen, Jerusalem is our common bond. Every day we pray three times to Jerusalem, and I could never have imagined the magic of seeing the Kotel [Western Wall] for the first time."

The photographer...

Viennese born, David Rubinger had served with the British Army in the Second World War, emigrating to Palestine in 1939. By 1967 he was working for Life magazine, covering Israel's invasion of the Sinai. When he realised Israel planned to attack Jerusalem he rushed back, arriving at the Western Wall in time to take the first photos of Israeli soldiers at Judaism's holiest site.

"Things began to heat up in May 1967 and I went to join the Israeli forces in the Negev. A few days before war broke out everything seemed to go quiet. I had dinner in Tel Aviv with a colleague, Paul Schutzer from Life magazine. We bet a bottle of champagne on who would get the first cover photograph. The war broke out on the Monday and Paul was killed the same day.

I was with the Israeli forces that went into the Sinai. Just after the battle for El Arish, I overheard radio messages that something was going to happen in Jerusalem. A helicopter was taking away the wounded so I squeezed on. I didn't know where it was going, but it landed in Beersheva, where I'd parked my car.

I was exhausted. I never trust anyone to drive my car, but I picked up a soldier who was hitchhiking and got him to drive while I slept. We arrived at 6am in Jerusalem and I went straight to see my family. I found out that Jerusalem had been taken and I headed for the Old City.I didn't have any great feeling for Jerusalem, I just wanted to be the first with the photographs. There was still some sniping going on but the fighting was over. When I got there, it was very emotional. Everyone around me was crying."

When I developed the film, I didn't think much of the picture

"I think there was such euphoria because in the weeks before the war there was a sense of doom. The national stadium was prepared for 40,000 graves and even if we thought we might win, it would be a costly victory. The humour before the war was very dark. 'Would the last person to leave please turn out the lights.'

We went from being doomed to having an empire. It was like a condemned man with the noose around his neck suddenly being told that not only was he going to live he was going to be the king. The nation went a little nuts. For the religious, the victory had to be God-given and that is how the whole Jewish messianic and settler movement was born.

I lay down to take the picture of the paratroopers because there was barely three metres between the Wailing Wall and the houses next to it. When I developed the film, I didn't think much of the picture. I gave it to the army. They passed it on to the government press office which then distributed it to everyone for virtually nothing. I still don't think it's a great picture, but often iconic pictures are created by the media and what people read into them."

[full article]

Hear David Rubinger discussing his iconic picture here (recommended!)

Analysis - from Digital Journalist site "Shots were still being fired. Soldiers cried and so did Rubinger. He claims he was lying on the ground, photographing upwards, because he was scared. I refuse to believe that. Fear has not stopped him from running under fire on other occasions. He is not ashamed of the fear, but of the fact that at that historical moment he sought and found the correct angle. He had to lie down to photograph what seemed right.

This photograph connects the old and the new, hope with stones that have been bled. Changing the angle might have separated the soldiers from the Wall. There is smiling and weeping, a helmet held in awe. This is the story of the war, what it did and will still do, where it came from and where it will still go. It is a moment plucked from the flight of time, but also powerful and accurate documentation of an event full of surprises - because it is a frozen moment."- Yoram Kaniuk