Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Yummy Moishie

If I laugh and joke and play,
will that mean he didn't die?
Six long years it's not okay
maybe I should give a try.

To Lick a Key

I would never lick a key
if grapes I'd like to plant.
But now that I won't gift a sea,
it's hard to say I can't.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The Rebbe Who Had No Box

How the Rebbe taught us to ride the waves of modernity

The Response Box

Whenever someone asks me a question, I first have to think, “What kind of a box has this guy trapped me in?” Then I can deconstruct the box. If the box dissolves, there goes the question. If it doesn’t dissolve, I better listen up. The guy’s got a point.
Here comes one now:
“Rabbi, what was the Rebbe’s response to modernity?”
For at least two hundred years, Jews scrambled to find a response to modernity.
Today, there’s no longer much scrambling. Movements have stopped moving, firmly entrenched. But there was a time when Jewish creative genius generated a cacophony of responses to modernity: Reform, Orthodoxy, Zionism, Religious Zionism, Conservative, Ultra-Orthodoxy, Reconstructionism, Modern Orthodoxy, Renewal and more. Each movement had leaders who spent their years zealously articulating and re-articulating their particular response to the progressive, liberal, enlightened, modern world that came rushing down upon us, particularly after France beheaded its kings and smokestacks started belching into the sky.
Now, in Brooklyn sat a Jewish leader who built up a powerhouse movement that has transformed the face of Jewry worldwide. What was his response to modernity?
Gotcha. Neat little box. But it doesn’t work. What doesn’t work? The box: “Response.”

Just Keep Moving

The Rebbe dissolved that box with this Midrash:
The Children of Israel are stuck at the Sea of Reeds. The Egyptian army is closing in fast. The Jews divide into four parties—four opposing responses to one situation, perfectly summarizing the orthodox responses of the modern era: The Just-Go-Back-to-Egypt response, the I’d-Rather-Drown-Myself response, the Get-Up-And-Fight response and the Get-Down-And-Pray response.
Self-DrowningImmerse in a ghetto of Torah, and pretend the world does not exist.
Back to EgyptGive up on the world, on the future, or on trying to change anything. Just do what you have to do because G‑d says so.
FightingProve that we are right and they are wrong.
PrayingRely on G‑d to bring Moshiach real soon.
G‑d’s response? You’re all wrong.
“Why are you crying out to me?” G‑d demands of Moses. “Speak to the Children of Israel and tell them to keep going forward!”
No response. No reaction. Proaction. Take charge. You have a purpose, you’re going somewhere. Keep going.
Which is just what the Children of Israel did. And the obstacle turned into a miracle.

Show Your Stuff

An obstacle demands a response. A world of obstacles constantly demanding response is a scary world. The Rebbe never lived in a scary world. In the Rebbe’s world, only one thing exists: the purpose for which I am here. And that purpose is the same as the purpose for which the entire world is here.
“Why on earth would a world that shares your purpose present obstacles?” the Rebbe would demand. So there aren’t any obstacles. Only challenges. Challenges chiding you to show your stuff. Show that stuff and do what a Jew has to do, and those challenges themselves lift you on their shoulders, carrying you high.
We are not prisoners within an ominous world; we are the agents of its Master.
Every talk, every letter, every teaching of the Rebbe must be understood in that context: We are not prisoners within an ominous world; we are the agents of its Master. We are not here to placate the world, but to repair it; not to reform ourselves to its tastes, but to reform it to the tastes of its Creator; not to conserve Judaism, but to be an organic part of its flourishing growth; not to reconstruct it, but to use it to reconstruct our world. Because ours is not a Torah of the past, but one that beckons to us from a magnificent future.
In this way, you can understand all the seeming paradoxes of the Rebbe’s directives—on Israel, on academia, on science, on society. Dove or hawk? Conservative or progressive? Scholar or activist? Rationalist or mystic? Scientist or medievalist? Activist or ghetto Jew?
None of the above. Just eternal Jew. Abraham, out to change the entire world.
Everything that exists in the world, the Rebbe taught us, awaits us. It beckons us to redeem it and use it for its true purpose. If the world puts something in your hands—technology, knowledge, talent, opportunity—look for a way to use it for good. If you can’t use it for good in a kosher way, if it’s pulling you down instead of you pulling it up, drop it—fast. That’s not your purpose.
The world throws stuff at you—it’s telling you your purpose. But if the world tells you, “This is your purpose!” tell it to get lost.
If you find yourself in a place, you are there for a reason. But when the world says, “Sit here in your place!”—keep moving.
If the world says, “This is how it’s done!” do it the way you know it should be done. If the world says, “We don’t think that way anymore!” teach it how to think.
Don’t enslave yourself to a world that seeks a master. If it gives you something you don’t need, don’t take it. If it tells you everyone is doing this, tell it you’re not everyone. Once you show it who’s boss, then it will hand you its finest jewels.
No, the Rebbe did not respond to modernity—he grabbed it by its horns and harnessed it to plow his field.

Do It Now

That is why the Rebbe’s strongest presence and his greatest impact began after his passing in 1994.
If all of life is about survival, and the history of the Jews is that of a small crew upon a raft in a vast and stormy ocean, then we are in dire need of a captain to be always gripping the steering apparatus tightly, yelling his orders and keeping us all aboard.
The true teacher is most present in his absence.
But if life is about purpose, and that purpose rests within each one of us; if we were put in this world to grab it from the bottom and turn it upside down; if the ship has a destiny, and that destiny is before us here and now—then the teacher is most present in his apparent absence, the captain is found in the hands on deck.
When you stand in a place of enlightenment, the Rebbe so often taught, you may have boundless, infinite light—but you do not have G‑d Himself. In the void of light where this world was made; in the darkness of Jewish exile, where we must choose life from the depths and create our own light to find it; in a society that forces us to wake up, take the reins of our own lives and challenge everything—there we touch G‑d at the very core.
In 1991, the Rebbe was ready for the messianic era to arrive. Apparently, we were not. He left it up to us to prepare ourselves and the entire world, to shake off the mentality of exile and yearn and kick and cry for a world the way it is supposed to be. Those who share his vision, who resonate with his wisdom, who keep alive his spirit and make it real, they have his guidance now more than ever, steadily, almost palpably. He is our Rebbe, our teacher, our captain. He trusted us to prepare the ship for shore.
Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, a senior editor at, also heads our Ask The Rabbi team. He is the author of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth. To subscribe to regular updates of Rabbi Freeman's writing, visit Freeman Filessubscription.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dig Deeper (story/lesson)

Rabbi Sholom DovBer of Lubavitch was deep in thought, struggling with some elusive idea deep in the recesses of his mighty mind. A bowl of soup had been set before him some time earlier, but the Rebbe was in another world; sharp lines of concentration plowed his forehead as he sat gazing into the bowl and slowly stirring the soup with his spoon.

The Rebbe's servant, who figured that the Rebbe must be searching for the egg noodles, exclaimed: "Rebbe, dig in further! The lokshen lies deeper down."

A wave of contentment passed over the Rebbe's tensed features. "Thank you," he said to his servant, "You have revived my soul."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

No Deed Goes Forgotten

Once a great Chasidic leader, Rabbi Mordechi of Nadvorna, was on a long train trip with many of his followers. The train made a stop in the city of Niridihous where they had to change trains for their intended destination.

They had been waiting for several minutes when suddenly a young
non-Jewish woman began screaming and wailing, attracting the attention of both passengers and police. It seems that someone had stolen her wallet containing her money and train ticket.

It was usually best for Jews to keep out of the affairs of non-Jews,
especially in this situation when the police were looking for a suspect. So it was a bit strange when Rabbi Mordechai turned to one of his younger Chasidim and ordered him to run to the ticket office to buy a ticket for the woman. He told the Chasid to give her some traveling money as well and not to say a word about where it came from.

The Chasid did as he was told and gave it to the bewildered woman who was literally speechless with gratitude.

Fifteen years passed. The Chasid married had children, the holy Rebbe had passed away and the incident was completely forgotten.

The Chasid had since become a successful businessman and even had non-Jewish friends in high places. Early one morning he received a subpoena to appear in court; he was charged with cheating the government.

The charges were transparently false, the witnesses had obviously been paid, but it didn't help. Suddenly he realized that he didn't have any real friends after all and no one was willing to help him. He ran from office to office and got the same empty sympathetic statements and excuses. Finally he hired a lawyer, prayed to G-d for a miracle, and went to court.

The pre-trial hearing took less than an hour. He was found guilty of all charges and was to be incarcerated until the trial. The Chasid was desperate. He posted bail for himself and began searching for a better lawyer, but now no lawyer wanted to take his case.

He had no choice but to travel to Budapest where the judge, who was to preside over his trial lived, and try to see him. Maybe he could convince the judge of his innocence. Hastily he packed a bag, took a large sum of money and caught the next train out.

In Budapest the Chasid was in for another bitter surprise. He found out that the judge was a rabid anti-Semite. There was no chance that he would even look at, no less talk to, and certainly not have mercy on a Jew.

But the Chasid did not lose heart, for "everything G-d does is for the
best" he reminded himself. So he went around the city talking to people until he formulated a plan of action. The Chasid found out that the judge's wife loved fine embroidered linens, especially tablecloths. He would buy the most expensive tablecloth he could find and appear at her doorstep as a salesman. Then, if he could get her interested, he would offer it to her as a gift and beg her to try to influence her husband for him.

It was a dangerous plan, even a bit foolish; she could easily report him to the police. But he had no other solution.

The Chasid spent the entire next morning looking for the most exquisite embroidery in Budapest and finally spent a small fortune on a truly elegant masterpiece of a tablecloth with matching napkins. He went quickly to the judge's home trying to keep as calm as possible. He walked up the stairs to the door, closed his eyes, said a prayer and knocked.

The judge's wife herself opened the door. She looked at him strangely. He tried to begin his sales pitch but the words simply didn't come out. He was trembling, frozen with fear. Suddenly, the woman let out a scream and fainted!

The Chasid's first impulse was to run. If he just stood there they would certainly accuse him of something. But then if he ran and they caught him it would certainly be worse!

Meanwhile, the judge heard the commotion and came running. When he got there and saw the Chasid it was hard to tell who was more astounded. He bent down to his wife, who had regained consciousness,  and asked her, "Are you all right Greta, what happened?"

She opened one eye, looked around and finally pointed at the Jew.
"Yorik, Yorik!" she said, as she rose to her feet. "Do you remember that I told you once, that about fifteen years ago at the train station in Niridihous when I lost my tickets and money an angel came and saved me? Well, this Jew...he has the face just like that angel! It's him!

When the Judge realized that this was the man who saved his wife his countenance changed completely. He invited the bewildered Jew into his home and offered him a reward. When he heard the reason for his visit, he promised him a fair trial. Needless to say the Chasid was acquitted of all charges. 
(Found it here)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

IDF, you blow me away! (ouch, bad choice of wording)

My heart goes out to the chayalim who not only have to deal with war and terror on a grand scale, but also the media war. Gd bless these incredible guys for not only not slapping the brats, not only staying calm, but actually grinning (making them angrier lol). 
How I wish you were able to do your job properly--get rid of the kids and the cameramen, especially when the girl touches your gun..but alas, in this upside down world where lies shake hands with power, you cannot (without risking losing your place in the army and more).

I'll keep praying for you guys.

Found it in this article which gives some background info to the vid.

Friday, November 02, 2012

SlimKicker Calorie Counter

It looks pretty cool.
Website looks fun, friendly and easy.
There's an app available too.

So you can track your calories, have competitions with other users, get prizes, challenges, calorie facts bla bla bla, lotsa goodies in other words!

Oh, and it's FREE!!!

Check it out!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Leaves 38 Dead, NYC Begins Recovery

New York begins recovery as Sandy abates. Thirty-eight people killed by storm.
AAFont Size
By Maayana Miskin (
First Publish: 10/30/2012, 10:18 PM

Hurricane damage
Hurricane damage
Caryn Lubin
Hurricane Sandy has killed 38 people, with deaths in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia, Toronto, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

Seventeen of the victims lived in New York City. In Toronto, a woman was killed when a street sign was blown over by heavy winds and fell on her.

Over 150 people were rescued by New York City and state police.

The Brooklyn Battery tunnel, connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan, remains flooded, as are many subway stations. Governor Andrew Cuomo said bridges and tunnels will remain closed Tuesday. It will take an estimated 14 hours to four days to suction water from the flooded subway stations.

The storm also caused or worsened 23 serious fires, including a fire in Queens thatdestroyed 80 homes. An estimated 750,000 New Yorkers remain without power.

Altogether, 8.1 million Americans in 17 states are without power.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday that Sandy was “a devastating storm – maybe the worst that we have ever experienced.” It will take the city several days to recover, he said. Bloomberg called on New Yorkers who are currently at home, or in any safe place, to stay where they are.

Beit El resident Baruch Gordon, who works with the Beit El Yeshiva, is currently in New York City. He told Arutz Sheva that strong winds were hitting the city on Monday night. The Gordon family has been joined by three other families in need of shelter.

This morning, he said, it was difficult to reach synagogue due to the many trees blocking roads in the city. An estimated 4,000 trees were knocked down within the city.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rescue me, Israel style

Weighing less than a pound, the Injured Personnel Carrier can secure an injured person on a rescuer’s back, leaving hands completely .

If you’ve got a heavy load to haul, carrying it in a backpack will be easier than lugging it by hand – whether it’s camping gear or an injured person.

And that’s the simple reason why Jerusalem-based Agilite has gotten thousands of inquiries about its recently introduced IPC (Injured Personnel Carrier).

The patent-pending, trademarked IPC weighs in at three-quarters of a pound, yet it can bear 5,000 pounds and enables a rescuer to carrysomeone on his or her back. The unit’s 12.5-foot length folds down to just 10 inches.

“The IPC is made of high-tensile military strength webbing or seatbelt material, and it folds into an accordion shape so it’s small enough to throw in a camping bag,” says Agilite founder Elie Isaacson. “It has built-in padding and it’s sewn together in Delaware by the same people who makethe harnesses for the US Air Force’s V22 and C5 Aircraft.”

Search-and-rescue teams, hikers and emergency medical responders are among the eager markets for this Israeli-innovated advancement over the stretcher.

“If you have a natural disaster with mass casualties, you don’t have a helicopter and an ambulance for every casualty,” Isaacson explains to ISRAEL21c.

“You will have to evacuate people who are wounded, and maybe carry them long distances. An ordinary person can take heavy weight on his back if it’s positioned correctly.”

Many rescuers are trained to use the fireman’s carry, putting the injured person across their shoulders. But that technique is uncomfortable and doesn’t free the rescuer’s hands.

“If you are stuck in a ravine or a confined space, having the ability to use your hands to crawl out with the injured person on your back, with hands free to climb, is a huge step forward,” Isaacson points out.

The IPC has a fluorescent strip for greater visibility at night, and it’s adjustable to the size of the person being rescued.

Equipping rescuers and campers

A mountain rescue team from Taiwan recently bought the IPC, and so have emergency and outdoor equipment distributors in several countries. Mainly it has been marketed in the United States to law-enforcement, firefighting, emergency rescue and military personnel, as well as camping stores.

NextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnail
The rescuer’s hands are free.
The rescuer’s hands are free.
The carrier folds down to 10 inches yet can hold 5,000 pounds.
The carrier folds down to 10 inches yet can hold 5,000 pounds.

.The carrier folds down to 10 inches yet can hold 5,000 pounds.

“In a situation where you are hiking with a friend and he twists his ankle, there’s no way to carry him back. If you throw this in your bag, you’ll be prepared,” says Isaacson, who moved to Israel from Manchester, England, in 2000 and headed the North American desk in the IDF Spokesman’s Unit from 2008 to 2010 after serving in the paratroopers.

Agilite’s additional partners Itzhak Oppenheim and Nadav Melichar, originally from the United States, are also IDF Special Forces veterans. The men, all in their early 30s, head a company that describes itself as “a leading-edge manufacturer of professional tactical gear headquartered inIsrael with operations in the United States and Great Britain.”

“Ideally we want to get the IPC to bodies like FEMA [the US Federal Emergency Management Agency], who have to prepare for mass casualty situations and have to carry long distances,” says Isaacson.

And it’s not surprising that Israeli ingenuity is behind this load-bearing innovation.

“Israelis do load-bearing incredibly well,” says Isaacson. Aside from the obvious military angle, “We’re big backpackers, and we have a strong outdoor industry. We know how to carry heavy loads most efficiently, for longer lengths of time”

Agilite was “incubated” by TheHive, a project begun by the non-profit immigrant employment organization Gvahim, based in Tel Aviv. The partners are already selling the IPC and other products worldwide.

“Now the blogosphere has a hold of it, it’s just getting bigger and bigger,” says Isaacson. “We’ve even been contacted by cruise lines interested in the IPC due to its suitability for confined spaces too small for an ambulance or even a stretcher.”

Monday, October 29, 2012

Negative People? Eh, Blind.

Rabbi Noah Weinberg zt"l was speaking to a group about judging people to the good. He was asked how to deal with people who seem so negative and evil. 

He replied: "Imagine you were at a corner ready to cross at a light. All of the sudden from behind someone shoves you into the street. You fall and get up scratched and dirty; you turn, ready to give the person who shoved you some of the angriest words you know. When you turn around, ready to pounce, you see that the person behind you is wearing dark glasses and holding a white cane. How do you feel now? Instantly you calm down, and your anger dissipates. He couldn't help it. he was blind."

"That", Rabbi Weinberg said "is how we deal with people who appear to us to be evil and mean. The person is blind. S/he doesn't wake up in the morning and decide to hurt people that day. The person literally doesn't know what they are doing. They are blind".

"The next time your parent, in-law, coworker etc. does something to make you crazy, picture them wearing dark glasses and holding a white cane. They are blind. They can't see that they are doing wrong. Help them, guide them, and show them gently the error of their ways. But don't expect them to change. A blind person can't see overnight. It takes time, and sometimes they will never see."

(Gossip by Lori Palatnik with Bob Burg)

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hebron, Israel is my Facebook friend ;)

Some email subjects just stand out so awesomely that I can't delete em for a while. Here's one:

Chava, Hebron Israel has confirmed that you're friends on Facebook.

I mean, not only do I love Hebron, but now Hebron loves me back. 
Ahhh, the joys.

Sunday, October 07, 2012


Torah = truth

Truth = security, stability, safety, sanity, straightforwardness.

The Rebbe embodied the Torah.

All The Nice Things You Said To Me

All the nice things you said to me,
How did I forget them?
To my face you said them, and on the phone, text, messenger, email, facebook..

I see you after years (months? hearts calculate otherwise) and straightaway my tone goes to the negative, defensive, accusatory.

My heart DOES calculate otherwise. 

Why did I skip years? It's beyond me.
Years of attention, love, caring, help, trust, reaching out.
Years of compliments.
Wait, why did I skip em??!

England attic and New York plaza and more before and after.

I'm a nut!

And why didn't I just explain how I felt (in the house)?
Why did I call my soul-friend (in the street)?
Why did I leave myself in that crazy situation? Why did I hurt myself?

Ok, I know why I hurt myself, but why o why didn't I just take a deep mature breath and explain the situation? Sure it would've been embarrassing, mighty embarrassing, but still, the air would've cleared. For eternity!  For the eternal past too! And wait, I DID explain once. Before it got so bad. Er, same bad but Europe helps, ya know.

[No, not talking to or about you.]

Maybe you ought to pay for my help this time. Or just be the help.

And you raced to the bus station and I smirked in the bathroom and I legitimately escaped illegitimately and eons before we took a bus. Ye, we TOOK it.
Gosh, this is bothersome.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Card Playing in the Gulag (a story)

One of the activities prohibited in the Gulag was card playing. It was considered a severe crime, and harsh punishment was imposed if one was caught violating this prison rule.

Somehow, the inmates managed to smuggle in a deck of cards, and would while away their free time with the forbidden game.

The guards were told about the breach, and came to inspect the prisoners’ quarters. They found nothing.

As weeks went by, and the games continued, the guards were baffled. Are these uncouth prisoners really outsmarting us? they wondered.
They finally decided to put an end to this affront to their authority and pride, and carried out a surprise inspection, checking every inch of the barracks as well as the bodies and clothes of the inmates.

They found nothing.

They came to the conclusion that the informer had lied to them, either to curry favor in their eyes or to make a joke out of them.

As soon as the inspectors left, the cards appeared and the games continued as usual.

One of the prisoners, Reb Mendel, couldn’t understand how it had happened: the inspectors had checked every possible hiding place.

Eventually, he was let in on the secret.

“You see,” the head thief began, “we are professional pickpockets. As soon as the guards would enter the barracks, we would slip the cards into their pockets. Right before they would leave, we would slip them back out again. Obviously, it never occurred to the guards to check their own pockets . . .”

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Gift of Life Donors!

Ahhhh I'm reading these stories and I'm dripping with envy; oh how I long to give over some of my blood stem cells to someone who needs it to save their life!

Call me, Gift of Life!!

Leukemia (wiki entry)

Leukemia (American English) or leukaemia (British English) (from the Greek leukosλευκός "white", and haima αἷμα "blood"[1]) is a type of cancer of the blood or bone marrowcharacterized by an abnormal increase of immature white blood cells called "blasts". Leukemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases. In turn, it is part of the even broader group of diseases affecting the blood, bone marrow, and lymphoid system, which are all known as hematological neoplasms.
In 2000, approximately 256,000 children and adults around the world developed some form of leukemia, and 209,000 died from it.[2] About 90% of all leukemias are diagnosed in adults.[3]

Friday, September 28, 2012

Iceberg Theory

Wiki's link to the Iceberg Theory can be found here.
I shall now copy n paste the parts I care to remember :)

The Iceberg Theory (also known as the "theory of omission") is the writing style of American writer Ernest Hemingway.
As a journalist he learned to focus only on events being reported, and to omit superfluous and extraneous matter. When he became a writer of short stories, he learned to write a surface story in which he omitted or hinted at the point of the story. Hemingway believed the true meaning of a piece of writing should not be evident from the surface story because the crux of the story lies below the surface. Critics such as Jackson Benson claim his iceberg theory, or theory of omission, in combination with his distinctive clarity of writing, functioned as a means to distance himself from the characters he created.
After graduating from high school he went to work as a cub reporter ... where he quickly learned that truth often lurks below the surface of a story.He learned about corruption in city politics, and that in hospital emergency rooms and police stations a mask of cynicism was worn "like armour to shield whatever vulnerabilities remained"

He explains: "I omitted the real end [of "Out of Season"] which was that the old man hanged himself. This was omitted on my new theory that you could omit anything ... and the omitted part would strengthen the story."[5]
Hemingway biographer Carlos Baker believed that as a writer of short stories Hemingway learned "how to get the most from the least, how to prune language and avoid waste motion, how to multiply intensities, and how to tell nothing but the truth in a way that allowed for telling more than the truth."[6] Furthermore, Baker explains that in the writing style of the iceberg theory the hard facts float above water, while the supporting structure, complete with symbolism, operates out-of-sight.[6]
Iceberg theory is also referred to as the "theory of omission". Hemingway believed a writer could describe an action such as Nick Adams fishing in "Big Two-Hearted River" while conveying a different message about the action itself—Nick Adams concentrating on fishing to the extent that he does not have to think about the unpleasantness of his war experience.[7] In his essay "The Art of the Short Story", Hemingway is clear about his method: "A few things I have found to be true. If you leave out important things or events that you know about, the story is strengthened. If you leave or skip something because you do not know it, the story will be worthless. The test of any story is how very good the stuff that you, not your editors, omit."[8]
From reading Rudyard Kipling he absorbed the practice of shortening prose as much as it could take. Of the concept of omission, Hemingway wrote in "The Art of the Short Story": "You could omit anything if you knew that you omitted and the omitted part would strengthen the story and make people feel something more than they understood."[9] By making invisible the structure of the story, he believed the author strengthened the piece of fiction and that the "quality of a piece could be judged by the quality of the material the author eliminated."[9] His style added to the aesthetic: using "declarative sentences and direct representations of the visible world" with simple and plain language, Hemingway became "the most influential prose stylist in the twentieth century" according to biographer Meyers.[9]
In her paper "Hemingway's Camera Eye", Zoe Trodd explains that Hemingway uses repetition in prose to build a collage of snapshots to create an entire picture. Of his iceberg theory, she claims, it "is also a glacier waterfall, infused with movement by his multi-focal aesthetic".[10] Furthermore, she believes that Hemingway's iceberg theory "demanded that the reader feel the whole story" and that the reader is meant to "fill the gaps left by his omissions with their feelings".[10]
Hemingway scholar Jackson Benson believes Hemingway used autobiographical details to work as framing devices to write about life in general—not only about his life. For example, Benson postulates that Hemingway used his experiences and drew them out further with "what if" scenarios: "what if I were wounded in such a way that I could not sleep at night? What if I were wounded and made crazy, what would happen if I were sent back to the front?" By separating himself from the characters he created, Hemingway strengthens the drama. The means of achieving a strong drama is to minimize, or omit, the feelings that produced the fiction he wrote.[11]
Hemingway's iceberg theory highlights the symbolic implications of art. He makes use of physical action to provide an interpretation of the nature of man's existence. It can be convincingly proved that, "while representing human life through fictional forms, he has consistently set man against the background of his world and universe to examine the human situation from various points of view.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

In My Mind's Eye (by Tikva Baker)

They tell me stars are dots that gleam,
That shimmer in the vast, night sky.
They say the moon's a glowing sphere,
a vivid crescent perched on high.
The distant planets, I believe,
Are glorious beyond mere words.
They whirl and spin in deep, dark space;
Their spacedance never is disturbed.
It's not a world that I can share
I have more walls than you or she
Walls I cannot overcome 
They never will be climbed by me.
Yet what I lack, I look to find
In a place where I am free
It is the eye within my mind
It's where I go so I can see.
It's there I see with shining eyes,
Eyes so bright and pure and clear
And with those eyes I can devise 
My world -- so perfect and so dear.
It's there I see your faces shine
It's there I see the dazzling sea
It's there I see the trees, the vines
It's there that I can
I never cease to dream of when
All you describe I, too, may view.
But as for now and until then
I have my shimmers, too.

-from the final chapter in Baker's Dozen #9 (Through Thick and Thin)

Monday, September 24, 2012

I'm Home!!

I'm hooooome!! I'm so happy to be home b"h!! Finally!!!!
After so many months and weeks and days and nights,  I'm home!
After so many medical calls and appointments and trips and findings and decisions and reports and actual surgery, I'm home!
After days of recovery in the hospital, at friends, at relatives,  I'm finally finally hooooooooooooommmeeeeee!!!
Baruch Hashem!!! Thank You!!!!!

First Class Ticket. Seat 2J. Ahhh :)

Trying to keep my face from looking snobby as the passengers pass me by on their way to coach class.

Doesn't quite feel right calling them "fellow passengers" when we have so little in common.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11, 2012 (Tuesday)

From the Baal Shem Tov: A soul may descend to this world and live seventy or eighty years, in order to do a Jew a material favor, and certainly a spiritual one.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Aha! It's good I got a flat tire on Friday and bought almonds while waiting for the Rabbi cuz now I have food for tomorrow's flight.

Friday, September 07, 2012

I'm looking upwards :)

Tachshov Tov Yihiye Tov

I have the power to create my destiny.

I determine I will be in a home full of love, life and laughter.

I predict treasuring my quiet time and enjoying reading long books (guilt-free) and writing articles and watching videos.

I will love my visitor time both in person and via phone or text or email. 

I will always have who and what I need at the right time.

I will think about the big zechus I just had and that will inspire me.

I will take life day by day and not worry about not having any structure to look forward to.

I will smile and be calm and happy because Hashem is my Father and knows what's in my heart and He loves me and is taking care of me.

Kidney donation astounds me; kidney donors, eh not so much.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

RealFeel® 109°

Yo! It's officially 86° outside here in the Caribbean where I'm VACATIONING but the RealFeel® is at 109°!!


Mt Sinai Med Center

I like that I'm as browsing through their online articles, they give me a call! That was so crazily cool!

Oh and I love that it's the social worker checking up on me. Hehe. Oh and I just LOVE that when she was trying to explain which building I'm gonna be in for recovery, she described it as "the one where you walked into with Chris."  I'm like "Uh it's great how ALL you guys know EVERY detail about my breakdown." And brilliant* social worker that she is, answers "Oh no, not at all, we just meet as a team." Huh??! Yeah hon maybe you need another vacation...

*grab a spoon to catch that sarcasm

Monday, September 03, 2012

Every night has its morning. Ye only must  wait. If light hath not come, then surely night it was noth.

Departure Gate 1 DOES Exist!

Oh yes it does.

When you come to the airport 2 and a 1/2 hours before your domestic flight (because you packed on time and left early and there was no traffic), when there is no line for the self check in monitor, when you are not checking in any luggage, when you zip through the security line, when security doesn't stop you for anything (including the laptop you left in your bag), and you still have about two full hours until your flight, THAT'S WHEN DEPARTURE GATE 1 EXISTS!

G-d, I won't believe anyone that claims to understand You :)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Wood Walls

Wood walls are intense.

They can be very warm and cozy, or lonely and stifling.

I saw some pictures of a few of the (newly renovated) donor suites at Mt Sinai and I sure hope that whoever is enclosed in those wooden paneled room has a lot of fun, special and awesome* guests. 

*Won't it be wasome if Itche Kadoozy comes to visit me when I'm in the hospital?!


That's cute. Veteran hikers of Shvil Yisrael are caled "Shvilistim". Just read that here :)

"I Am A Cow Blocking The Door"


I wanted to write in Azerbaijani: "I remember only one time that I couldn't get to the bathroom because the cow was blocking the door".

So I google-translated it and came up with: "Mən inək qapı blok, çünki Mən vanna otağı almaq deyil ki, yalnız bir dəfə xatırlamaq .."

Just before I was going to use it, I decided I would reverse translate to see what the Azerbaijani is gonna find. And this is what they gave me: "I am a cow blocking the door, because I do not get the bathroom only once a year to remember .."


"Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever."

That's from Lance Armstrong. Well, according to my gym at least. Brooklyn Martial Arts, you taught me something fantastic. I see that sign and I know I can keep going. Man, I'm like an army brat. Sorta kinda.

You also taught me how to fend off attackers. I like the Krav Maga "your religion" line.
Heehee I just remembered Chamil saying we should put a face on the bag "and preferably Justin's because he was the one who got you all into this." Heehee humour is just GREAT! (Hi Sheina)

Whew, so off topic here.
Oh! I just realized that prapps my title seems to indicate that I'm debating and referencing my kidney decision. Nopes. Not in the slightest. In fact, during my last appointment -- the final crossmatch -- I asked about liver donation ;)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Going To Sleep...Pinch Me!!

Am I dreaming? Did an utterly fantastic far-off desire actually become, so suddenly, my pinch-me like reality? 

There were only a few short months that raced by as I morphed from an outsider to an insider. Beautifully reminiscent of the surprising speed of an aircraft journey from Outside Israel to Inside Israel.

The haste tickles. Time seems appropriate for colossal change to occur.

I'm (almost) in! Bh!



Just before, with my splitting headache, nausea, hunger, thirst and exhaustion, I was feeling irritable and impatient  and slightly underpowered about still having so much to do tonight (Chitas, Ticket, Shower, Shema, Gardening, Just Kidding) and having to wake up in the 6's and not having anyone to come with me to my FINALLLLLL appointment.

But theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen, I reminded myself that this is my dream!! I get bogged down by all the technical details (and the having to shlep so early in the morning and stay for hours), that I forget why I'm doing this! I AM SO LUCKY BARUCH HASHEM TO HAVE THIS ZECHUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe that puny little me is standing right there near G-d and the surgeon and giving a healthy kidney to a fellow human being. It's insane. Utterly amazingly insane.

So now, I am feeling AWESOME about having to wake up early. Heck, I wanna stay up all night in eager anticipation of this final test and big meetings! I am totally giddy!

I realized I ought to finally make myself a reminder card or bracelet to give myself encouragement and remind me why I'm doing this. I figured I'll take a livestrong bracelet (from amongst my stuff) and write on it.  I had to smile widely and gratefully when I saw what was written on there already:
Walla. B"h b"h b"H!
I added "I'M A KIDNEY DONOR" :)

And, I'm SO happy that Molly is coming with me in the morning. That is just such a blessing. We'll talk and laugh and give/get support and drink coffee and squeeze hands and give/get hugs and sit waiting together and maybe even laugh again.


And people, instead of being jealous, hook yourself up! (hehe yeah literally, too)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kevin Youkilis is Jewish!

Kevin Youkilis is Jewish! Ha! Did I know that?? Neato!

Pfff look what I just read on Wiki - He was one of three Jewish players in the 2008 All-Star Game, joining Braun and Kinsler, and one of three Jewish players on the Team USA 2009 World Baseball Classic team, joining Braun and Grabow.[142][143] Kinsler says that "Youkilis always says something to me on the bases. 'Happy Passover,' he'll throw something at me."[144]

First Derek Jeter, now Kevin Youkilis..what a symbolic week!

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Phone and I

There's something wrong with my phone.

Even when it's plugged in and shows that it's charging, the battery is still draining.

I feel like my phone.

If only I was under 18...

If I was not yet 18 years old, the pressure and responsibility and decisions and most importantly, the KNOWLEDGE would not be my concern.

Why the hell is it not clear that I'm not complaining or accusing about lack of support, I'm only persistent in trying to seek it out???!!??!
Like I explained to Chris and Montgomery today, I'm not pointing fingers, I'm only explaining why I'm overwhelmed!!
And I have every stinkin reason to feel so.
Especially now that I've got that monster to reckon with :( :( :(
I ought to meet Mr. Louis, the recipient, already. It'll give me the encouragement I need and that's worth more than humility and its rewards.



So there IS a G-d...!

At the end of my draining, overwhelming, lonely, sad, scary, headachey, starving, weak and bawling day, I have discovered the medical benefits of the above mentioned medication and decided that perhaps a puppy would be a wise purchase.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Nobody Showed Up @ 10:45am

I thought she might surprise me and be there waiting at 10:45. That maybe hearing my voice accidentally break (as a sob crept up), she would return to her original plan of coming with me. I didn't expect it but thought it would be super incredible if I walked up and saw her.

But nu nu. Obviously I can handle it alone if that's what He's arranging for me.

I would have accepted if either of my friends - the girl or woman in 770 - would have been able to come.

But again, I guess it's in my best interests to go alone.


(Derek Jeter on the radio DID make me smile and feel a bit better :))

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

3 Showers in 1 Day :)

I just took my third shower for the day.
Feels great :)

Hey it's to make up for all the times when I'm in third world countries and have no access to clean water!

No, I'm not interested in signing up for Shower Management classes. Thank you for asking.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Mystery of the Troubled Wool Merchant (Inspiring* Story)

*Ach, "inspiring" is such a dull word and one that I generally stay away from, but somehow that seemed most fitting and sometimes I just do what needs to be done, even if it's hard :)

The Mystery of the Troubled Wool Merchant

It was with heavy hearts that a group of senior chassidim assembled in the home of their master, Rabbi Zvi Elimelech of Dinov (1783–1841; known as the “Bnei Yissaschar” after his work by that title). Their rebbe had fallen ill, and it was understood that his moments were numbered. They joined his children and grandchildren to be with him in his closing hours of physical life, and perhaps hear some final instruction from their mentor and guide.
The rebbe’s eyes were closed, and a medley of trepidation and ecstasy played upon his holy face. Our master is spending his last minutes in communion with his Maker, they all thought; how selfish of us to assume that he would have something to say to us at this time!
Suddenly, the rebbe’s eyes opened and began to search the small crowd. Finally his glance rested on one man, who was standing to one side. The chassidim made way for this man, and gently propelled him toward the rebbe’s bedside.
Reb Shmuel,” the chassidim heard the rebbe inquire, “what is it that you wanted to ask?”
“Rebbe,” said the man, whom no one recalled ever having seen before, “the wool that I purchased . . . what shall I do?”
“Don’t worry, Reb Shmuel,” said Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech. “Wait until next winter. The price will rise, and you will make a handsome profit.”
The rebbe’s eyes closed. Soon after, his soul departed to its supernal abode.
In the days that followed, the chassidim hotly debated the significance of their rebbe’s final words. The mysterious “wool merchant” had disappeared as suddenly as he had appeared; certainly, he was one of the thirty-six “hidden tzaddikim,” or perhaps Elijah the Prophet? Various theories were offered on the Kabbalistic meanings of “wool,” “summer” and “handsome profit.”
Word of these deliberations reached the ears of Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech’s son, RabbiDovid. “You are mistaken,” he said. “There is no mystery here, no hidden meaning, only a profound expression of my saintly father’s love for every Jew.
“Reb Shmuel is a simple merchant, who would often come to seek Father’s counsel and blessings regarding his business affairs. Recently he had bought a large quantity of wool, after which its price had dropped sharply; the poor man faced the loss of all his assets, as well as huge debts for the sums he had borrowed to make the purchase. He rushed to Dinov to seek my father’s advice. Upon his arrival, he followed the crowd into Father’s room, unaware of why we had assembled. Father, sensing the presence of a Jew in need, considered it his highest priority to assure him that all would be well.”

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Hand Transplant

Omg insane! In 1998, someone received a hand transplant (a procedure that lasts 8-12 hours. keep in mind that a heart transplant operation is typically 6-8 hours long), and then 2 and a half years later he requested that they remove it. Which they did. Ahhh!!

Where The Kidney Is Placed

So, here's something interesting (from Wikipedia) about the actual procedure and location of the transplanted kidney--


In most cases the barely functioning existing kidneys are not removed, as this has been shown to increase the rates of surgical morbidities. Therefore, the kidney is usually placed in a location different from the original kidney, often in the iliac fossa, so it is often necessary to use a different blood supply:
There is disagreement in surgical textbooks regarding which side of the recipient’s pelvis to use in receiving the transplant. Campbell's Urology (2002) recommends placing the donor kidney in the recipient’s contralateral side (i.e. a left sided kidney would be transplanted in the recipient's right side) to ensure the renal pelvis and ureter are anterior in the event that future surgeries are required. In an instance where there is doubt over whether there is enough space in the recipient’s pelvis for the donor's kidney the textbook recommends using the right side because the right side has a wider choice of arteries and veins for reconstruction. Smith's Urology (2004) states that either side of the recipient's pelvis is acceptable, however the right vessels are “more horizontal” with respect to each other and therefore easier to use in the anastomoses. It is unclear what is meant by the words “more horizontal”. Glen's Urological Surgery (2004) recommends putting the kidney in the contralateral side in all circumstances. No reason is explicitly put forth; however, one can assume the rationale is similar to that of Campbell's—to ensure that the renal pelvis and ureter are most anterior in the event that future surgical correction becomes necessary.