Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Interesting that I'm usually low on iron when I'm so clearly steel many a time.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Thou Shall Not Fear

So cool. A mitzvah forbidding us to fear. Fear is in your control.

Fearlessness in Battle

Negative Commandment 58

The 58th prohibition is that we are forbidden from fearing the enemy1 at time of war and retreating before them. Rather, it is an obligation to strengthen one's heart and stand strong in the lines of battle. A person who turns away and retreats violates this prohibition.
The source of this prohibition is G‑d's statement,2 "Do not re­treat before them." This prohibition is repeated in the statement,3 "Do not fear them." The same idea — not to retreat or turn back during battle — is repeated many times, because it is a situation in which real truth4 can triumph.
You shall not defraud one another (Leviticus 25:14)

Legally, it is only forbidden to defraud one's fellow. But a Chassid must go beyond the letter of the law, and take care not to delude himself, either.

(Rabbi Bunim of Peshischa)

Calls From Abroad: N/A

So I wanna change phone companies because mine has annoying service and I've found a comparable one with calls to many countries, but won't give me an American number for friends and family (and others) abroad to be able to call me for free.

So I deliberated for a bit.

And then I realized - with a smirk - that it makes no difference.

Nobody in America calls me anyhow :)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Raphael Center

Indeed, no good deed goes unpunished.

That was for the massage but now I see it actually started from the exercise class decision.

Wowzers. Gotta oil that faith wheel, I do.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Time: the gift, the responsibility, the trust

If we'd have to self-crank the wheel of time to get going, I'm not so sure I'd be this far ahead.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Just Me and Him

A husband and children would be nice.
As would belonging to a community.
And having a steady income.
And using my talents.

Those are all really nice things to have. Pretty important, too.
But not the most important, no.

The most important, the ONLY important thing is the foundation, the basics,  of my existence.

The alef.

The alef: a yud above and a yud below and line connecting them.

There's Hashem above and me below and a line of Torah and Mitzvos connecting us. And that's all that counts.

Me. Faith. Him.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Jam to Soothe

I think the time has come to suit up (put on shoes) and march over to a bakery and get myself a fresh sufganiya.
Enough of the maturity and restraint and responsibility and growth and self-discipline and lessons and journeys and pain and introspection and all that heavy stuff.
Now I just need a warm jelly doughnut.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I Miss My Bedroom

The wooden floor, the dim lighting at night. The coziness of the small corner. The shelf right there with my books and precious sentimental items: family-framed photo with my kidney recipient upon leaving the hospital, my Gush Katif framed photo from Nitzanim, assorted army paraphernalia, a holy piece of cloth, my travel trinkets from around the world. My rug. My blanket. My comfortable stuff. My books. My shelves and shelves of books in my old familiar bookshelves. My desk with my Jerusalem image. My seforim, my kidney files, my ceramic heart plant pot.

I miss my bedroom. 

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Beautiful Bugs

I just saw a most beautiful bug.

The world is full of bugs but we don't usually gasp from their beauty.

I suppose if we'd pause, crouch and ponder, we'd see a lot more beauty in the bugs of our life.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Making Aliyah

Hahaha making aliyah is much harder than I thought.

But that's okay.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Really, my מודה אני should leave me trembling with awe and burning with focus for at least one hour, hopefully more.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Children of War (song)

How tragically apropos that I chose to listen to this song, Children Of War.

Which way is the world going?

The world is absolutely upside down.
In a bad way. In a horrible way. In a frightening way.
But the insanity of it all still speaks to me of Redemption.
When the Moshiach comes, there will be small changes that will be big changes that will turn the world upside down again in the straightest best way ever and so maybe these upside down events and decisions and reports and lifestyles are just the turnings of the dial.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Heroes of Terror

I often think I'd be the hero too, but now I recognize the heroism in it and I'm not so sure I wouldn't duck behind someone else during fire.

שיבנה בית המקדש במהרה בימינו!!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Ending World Hunger

I wish the Rebbe was here so I could see the open joy and delight on his face as he would surely discuss the latest blatant sign of Moshiach, as predicted by Maimonides -- no more hunger.

Moshiach will be a small change that will make a huge difference.

People sometimes dismiss the whole concept because it seems too radical to envision flying on eagles' wings and all the world knowing G-d. But really, with all the technology that's escalating so rapidly, we CAN imagine it. 'Google Now' unites all the parts of my life and that reminds me of how achdus Hashem will be rampant throughout the world. One message you post on a social network and millions upon millions of people can receive it instantly. These are real things, part of our life, but we see em through Golus glasses. We outta see em through Redemption Lenses.

May the Beis Hamikdosh be built speedily in our days, amen!!

Sunday, November 02, 2014

A car drives by my window at eight minutes past midnight, the music blasting, reminding me to go to sleep. I feel a stab of guilt at my needless being awake at this hour.

The music is Hebrew. I'm in a Jewish land. I'm in the Holy Land, precious to G-d and precious to His people. A wave of joy and gratitude washes over me and I melt in its presence.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

לך לך מארצך.....Living with the times

Today's Hayom Yom:

From a sicha of my father, after the conclusion of Shabbat Lech L'cha 5651 (1890): In the early years of his leadership the Alter Rebbe declared publicly, "One must live with the time." From his brother, R. Yehuda Leib, the elder chassidim discovered that the Rebbe meant one must live with the sedra of the week and the particular parsha of the day. One should not only learn the weekly parsha every day, but live with it.

OK FINE. I'LL LEAVE THE LAND OF MY BIRTHPLACE AND OF MY FATHER AND GO TO THE LAND OF ISRAEL.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ah, life, the G-dly way.

Tell me you found G‑d in a tidy package—I will tell you that it is not G‑d, that it is a product of a clever mind.
Tell me you found G‑d in the limitless beyond—beyond space, beyond time. That too is not G‑d. That is just a greater mind.
Where the boundless dwells within a bounded space, where darkness shines, silence sings, bitterness is sweet and a moment lives forever, where a man and a woman live in harmony, an adult learns from a child, a warrior spreads kindness, and enmity subsides to make room for friendship and love,
where the body embraces the soul
and the soul the body,
in the union of all opposites—
—there is G‑d; there is the essence of all that is real.


(an underlying theme in the Rebbe’s thought, worded by Tzvi Freeman.)

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Tormented Citron

King Solomon, who was mystified by the meaning of the "four kinds," observed that the citron was a "tormented fruit." It remained on the tree all year round being subjected to all kinds of climactic
conditions.

But so too in life do we find that the greatest people are those beset by travail and challenge, that the most balanced
personalities are forged by constant need to adapt to new climates and environments.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

My Yom Kippur of 5775

Rather than being oppressive and despairing and overbearingly solemn and serious and frightening, it was confident and pure and white and holy and forgiving and uplifting and connecting and spiritual and joyous.

I'll take that kind of year, thank you!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"....and there is no part of an ox more beautiful than its shoulders.”

From today's Chitas.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Liberating My Sneaky Blessings :)

My oh my I love these two and finally feel ready to "pass em on" as they've strengthened sufficiently in my core for the first phase, B"H. "The first danger has passed." teehee


Sneaky Blessings




Iyar 16, 5774 · May 16, 2014

Due to the limitations of your reality, some of your best friends can only enter incognito.
In fact, the really big ones sometimes sneak through disguised as ugly monsters and vicious enemies. Otherwise, the guards at the gate would never let them in. These are the events optimists call “blessings in disguise.”
Here's how to fire the guards: Expand your mind, expand your world and sincerely rejoice in whatever G-d sends you. Then the blessings will feel free to enter in all their glory.

Print   |   Post A Comment   |   Read Online   |   

=========================

Liberate your Blessings
Iyar 18, 5774 · May 18, 2014

How to unmask a blessing in disguise:
Stare it in the face and say, “I know you are not just a lousy day or bad luck. I know you are a good friend—even if for the life of me, I cannot determine how. I know there is only one Source of All Things, and nothing can convince me that evil descends from Above. Evil descends from the constraints of my perception. You are no more than a blessing in disguise.”
This blessing, if truly a great one, will not surrender its cover easily. You will need to hold your ground like a mountain against the sea. You will need a composure that demonstrates you meant every word you said. You need to surprise yourself with your own resolve.
And then you can turn over a world. A world that once distorted every blessing that squeezed through its gates will open wide. And the blessings that have already entered will sigh a breath of relief as one by one they discard their scary costumes.

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

5:32am

Is a fantastic time to be checking which numbers are available with Golan Telecom.

:D

[Calvin smile up there.]

Monday, September 22, 2014

Jacob and the bust of Stalin (joke)

When Jacob is finally given an exit visa by the Russians and allowed to immigrate to Israel, he can only take what could fit in one suitcase. At Moscow airport a customs official shouts, "Open your case."
The official searches the case and pulls out something wrapped in newspaper. He unwraps a bust of Stalin.
"What is that?" he shouts.

Jacob replies, "Don't ask 'What is that?' - ask 'Who is that?' That is our glorious leader Stalin. I take it to remind me of the wonderful things he did for me and the marvelous life I leave behind." The official sneers. "You Jews are mad. Go. Take the bust with you."
At Ben Gurion airport, a customs officer says, "Shalom. Welcome to Israel. Open your case!" Jacob's case is searched and the bust is found. "What is that?”
"Don't ask 'What is that?' - ask 'Who is that?' That is Stalin. I want to spit on him every day to remind me of all the suffering and misery he caused me."

The official laughs. "You Russians are mad. Go. Take the bust with you."
Jacob arrives at his new home. His nephew watches as he unpacks. Jacob carefully unwraps the bust of Stalin and puts it on the table. "Who is that?" asks his nephew.

Jacob replies, "Don't ask 'Who is that?' - ask 'What is that?'
That is five kilos of gold."

176,000 Israeli Babies Born in the Past Year

The most popular boy's name this year is Yosef, followed by Daniel, Uri, Itai, Omar, Adam, Noam, Ariel, Eitan and David, respectively. For girls, the most popular name was Tamar, followed by Noah, Shirah, Adelle, Talya, Yael, Lian, Miriam, Maya and Avigayil.

All of the "most popular" names remained the same since 5773.

-full article-

Law Requires 3% Disabled in All Large Businesses
Within two years, businesses that employ 100 people or more will be required to hire at least 3% of their workforce from among the disabled population, according to a new measure signed Sunday by Economics Minister Naftali Bennett.
Full Story (Arutz Sheva)

Camp Simcha (video)



Spectacular isn't it, that all this goodness and love and care and miracles and angels and breaking boundaries will exist in the era of Redemption sans the illness and darkness?!

I Saw Joy Run

The little sister with her older brother, running through the rain to get home.
She put his hat in her plastic bag and he carried the box of fresh pizza.
And together they ran through the rain, softly gasping and giggling and calling to one another with 
loving admiration and delighted urgency.
Heads bent, hearts lifted, feet running, solid joy.

I saw Joy run and I hope my mind holds that sight for a long long time. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mind Onboard Amtrak

My train really toots its horn.
It's not boastful, though.
It's humble, safe, necessary.

Life.

I'm wearing my kidney shirt.

======================

Friday, September 12, 2014

I Am Blessed

For reasons many and more ---- But now I'll explore ---- how everyone and more ---- bless me to the core --- "It should be everything and more."

It touches me, wonders me and comforts me each and every time.

I am blessed.

In general and in particular, I am blessed.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Israel is.... (by Natalie Portman)


“Israel Is" … by Natalie Portman (Hat Tip: Jack W).

Where I was born. Where I ate my first Popsicle and used a proper toilet for the first time. Where some of my 18-year-old friends spend their nights in bunkers sleeping with their helmets on. Where security guards are the only jobs in surplus. Where deserts bloom and pioneer stories are sentimentalized. Where a thorny, sweet cactus is the symbol of the ideal Israeli. Where immigrating to Israel is called “ascending” and emigrating from Israel is called “descending.” Where my grandparents were not born, but where they were saved.

Where the year passes with the season of olives, of almonds, of dates. ..... Where, despite substantial exception, secularism is the rule. Where wine is religiously sweet. Where “Arabic homes” is a positive real estate term with no sense of irony.

Where there is endless material for dark humor. Where there are countless words for “to bother,” but no single one yet for “to pleasure.” Where laughter is the currency; jokes the religion. Where political parties multiply more quickly than do people. Where to become religious is described as “returning to an answer” and becoming secular “returning to a question.”

Where six citizens have won Nobel prizes in 50 years. Where the first one earned an Olympic gold in 2004 for sailing (an Israeli also won the bronze for judo). Where there is snow two hours north and hamsin (desert wind) two hours south. Where Moses never was allowed to walk, but whose streets we litter.

Where the language in which Abraham spoke to Isaac before he was to sacrifice him has been resuscitated to include the words for “sweatshirt” and “schadenfreude” and “chemical warfare” and “press conference.”

Where the muezzin chants, and the church bells sound and the shofars cry freely at the Wall. Where the shopkeepers bargain. Where the politicians bargain.

Where there will one day be peace but never quiet. Where I was born; where my insides refuse to abandon.

Friday, September 05, 2014

R' Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, Chief Rabbi of the Eidah Hacharedis in Eretz Yisroel under the British mandate, was once sitting at a Shabbos table when he saw a young child do something prohibited on Shabbos. Instinctively, he shouted, "It's Shabbos!" The child's father deemed his reaction excessive and protested that the child is still young and doesn't yet appreciate Shabbos and its laws. A short while later the same child made his way to the china closet and found a nice crystal vase, a family heirloom, to play with. As soon as the father caught sight of his son, he screamed, "No! Don't touch that, it's not a toy! Do you know how much this is worth?"

The rov turned to the father and said calmly, "Why are you reacting so strongly? He's still young and doesn't yet grasp the value of a crystal family heirloom."

Essentially, both the father and the rov had similar gut reactions, they differed only in what they found important.

Many decisions we make are based on what we consider important. When something is a priority we usually manage to find the necessary money, time and energy. When it's not, we justify why we can't afford it and have no time or energy.

From thebeismedrash.com

It's kind of awkward when frum - er shomer negiah - couples get engaged and they just kinda stand there saying "omg" and grinning madly without being able to give each other bear hugs.

Hmm. Would YOU want to be embraced by a bear??

Hmm does that also remind YOU of Colorado?

Hmm. Are you as happy as I am to be writing again?!


Wow perfect timing to watch this now.
I'm gonna be okay.
And B"H physically shlepped myself out of the near funk before. Then met CM in the Kingston subway station. And noch I walked a bit and then rode the rest. Ie, revealed HP that I met her. Hehe all these acronyms and roshei teivos and feels so good to write unfettered, feta cheese.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Goodbye Facebook; Hello Blog

Sure feels good to leave the city fair and head back to my little boutique.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Leaving the Ohel behind :/

Somehow, there's a sense of exhilaration in giving things up for a cause. Whether it's a feeling of the cause being strengthened or my own self being strengthened (or possibly a combination of both?), I am not sure.

A position offered by the New York State Board of Education in one of their public schools?? There might be a word for the feeling of giving that up but I think I'll need a dozen to blend.

Old stuff like money, language, familiarity (social, cultural, material and more) and convenience are old news. Sure they take on different angles but the jist is the same.

The Ohel, however, is a whole new player on the field.
Or rather, a player on the field that was just suddenly noticed.

Painful, lonely, frightening, betrayful, sad, forlorn. Really lonely most of all.

(in a crazy way, i feel i got it more as i give it up)

So then I recall this article that I read 2 years ago and have left it marked 'unread' because the message was so powerful that I didn't want to move on from it at all.

So here it is.

A comfort. A truth. A reality.

Refusing To Leave
Their Leader
The Eastern Settlers:
A Tale of Boundless Love

 
The Old Man
Arnold had reached the age of 105 and suddenly stopped going to synagogue. Worried by Arnold's absence after so many years of faithful attendance, his rabbi went to see him. He found him in excellent health, so the Rabbi asked, "How come after all these years we don't see you at services anymore?"

Arnold looked around and lowered his voice. "I'll tell you, Rabbi," he whispered. "When I got to be 90, I expected G-d to take me any day. But then I got to be 95, then 100, then 105. So I figured that God is very busy and must have "forgotten" about me and I don't want to remind Him."

The Eastern Colonists
The children of Israel are en route to the Land of Canaan when they are attacked by the armies of Sichon and Og, whose domain lay on the eastern bank of the Jordanian river. Moses leads the Israelites into battle, defeats the two kings and conquers their land.
In an unexpected turn of events, the tribes of Gad and Reuben, who own an enormous amount of sheep and cattle, ask that they be given these territories, which were prime pastureland, in lieu of their allotment in the land of Canaan, which lay to the west of the Jordan.

"The descendants of Reuben and Gad had an extremely large number of animals," the Bible relates in this week's portion (1). "And they saw that the Ya'zer and Gilead areas were good for livestock. The descendants of Gad and Reuben came and presented the following petition to Moses... 'If we have found favor in your eyes, may this land be given to your servants for a possession; do not take us across the Jordan.'"

Moses becomes extremely upset. He gives them a fiery and dramatic sermon that lasts ten complete verses, a pretty long stretch in biblical narrative. "Shall your brothers go to war while you sit here?" Moses thunders. "Why do you dissuade the heart of the children of Israel from crossing to the land that G-d has given them"?
 
 
Love
 
Forty years earlier, he reminds them, the people of Israel had been poised to enter the land of Canaan. But following a negative report by the spies who were sent to scout the land, the entire nation spurned the land promised to their ancestors as the eternal heritage of Israel. G-d decreed that they remain in the desert for forty years, until that entire generation died out and a new generation prepared to accept the gift and challenge of the Promised Land. And now, said Moses to the Reubenites and the Gadites, you are repeating the sin of the Spies -- a sin which condemned an entire generation and stopped Jewish history in its tracks for forty years. Like your parents before you, you are about to dissuade the heart of your brethren from entering the land. "You will destroy this entire nation," Moses concludes his passionate rebuke.

The Reubenites and Gadites accept Moses' words with grace. In response, they clarify their original position. Far from seeking to free themselves from the impending wars for the Land, they were fully prepared to send their troops into the Land and take a leading role in the battles until they were successfully concluded. Only then would they return to the lands allotted to them in the east. "We will not return to our homes until every Israelite has received his Inheritance," they pledge.
 
Moses consents to their plea. He changes his tone and grants them the territories they requested.

The Questions
Several points in this narrative are perplexing.

First, since their intentions it seems, were really pure (they never had in mind to abandon their brethren going to war), how did Moses misread them so profoundly and grow so furious with them? Why did Moses not first inquire what their intentions were before coming down so hard on them?

Second, Moses' words focused on the point that it was unacceptable that one segment of Jewry isolates from the rest of the nation, shirking responsibility and escaping the fate of their brethren. But what about the seemingly more important point: G-d wanted the Jews to settle the land at the west of the Jordan! These people decided that they wish to remain in the Trans-Jordan, but who gave these two tribes the right to redefine the plan and choose the East instead of the West? Why did Moses consent to their request?

Searching for the Sub-Plot
Every serious student of the Hebrew Bible is aware that most biblical plots contain sub-plots (often sub-sub plots), rarely articulated in the narrative explicitly. Our present tale is no exception: The explicit narrative is about two tribes of Israel concerned with their enormous amount of livestock. Yet the drama in which this episode is captured in the Torah somehow gives one a sense that these tribes were not only concerned about their cattle; something very personal was at stake in their request to remain in the Trans-Jordan. What was it?

The Bible gives us no hint. There is no way of knowing. We are left in the dark until Moses is about to leave the world.

In the last section of Deuteronomy, just moments before his passing, Moses speaks to each of the twelve tribes of Israel. His words to the tribe of Gad must be heeded to carefully (2):

"He [Gad] chose the first portion [of land available], for that is where the lawgiver's plot is hidden."

Unlimited Loyalty
These brief cryptic words, at last, expose to us the true reason behind Gad's insistence to settle the territory to the East of the Jordan. Moses, the lawgiver, was destined to die in the East and never to cross the Jordan. Gad pined to remain with Moses. Gad would not allow Moses' burial plot to remain isolated in the plains of Moab devoid of the presence of even a single Jew.

The cry of Gad and Reuben "Do not take us across the Jordan," was a plea not to separate them from Moses (3). If Moses is not destined to cross the river, they too did not wish to cross it (4). These were no mere farmers worrying about real-estate. These were souls so deeply attached to their Rebbe who were determined to spend their lives near the resting place of Moses (5).

Moses' Intuition
Moses, clearly, did not anticipate such a movement. When the members of the tribes of Gad and Reuben approached him with their request, they naturally could not communicate the entire truth. They would not talk to Moses about his own death and his gravesite. Instead, they discussed secondary, albeit not dishonest, motivations, namely the fate of their abundant cattle.

Moses, in his intuition, felt that what they were expressing to him did not capture the entire story. Moses sensed that their words eclipsed a deeper truth. He thus suspected them in contriving a scheme designed to escape responsibility. Hence, he rebuked them severely.

Yet surprisingly, they accepted Moses' words in grace. The narrative makes it clear that they were not upset by the false accusations Moses thrust upon them. Why not?

Because they knew that they were not being straightforward. Above all, this was not about them and their ego; it was about their selfless love and dedication to Moses. His fury did not alienate them, it merely demonstrated once again the genuine leader Moses was and strengthened their resolve to remain in his proximity for eternity. (5*)

Moses agreed to fulfill their request. He could not tear himself away from the people he dedicated his life to. If his people reciprocated the love he showered upon them, he would not be the one to expel them from his midst. And at the last moments before his death, he extols Gad for this deeply loving choice (6).

The Mistake
Yet, after all is said, rabbinic commentary does criticize the Reubenites and Gadites for their decision to remain in the Trans-Jordan. The verse in Proverbs (7), "If an inheritance is seized hastily in the beginning, its end will not be blessed," is applied in the Midrash (8) to the two tribes who seized the territory to the East of the Jordan. Centuries later, when the Jews are exiled from their land through the Assyrian and later Babylonian empires, it is these two tribes who are the first to be exiled from their land.

Why?

Notwithstanding the noble and deeply moving intentions of Gad and Reuben, their choice is considered "hasty" and immature. It was emotionally compelling and profoundly moving, but spiritually short sighted.

Yes, Gad and Reuben could not abandon Moses' burial place. They were determined to remain in the proximity of Moses' body. Yet they failed to realize that Moses' true presence would not remain interred in the earth of the plains of Moab (9). Moses would continue to live on in his vision, in his ideas, in his teachings. And Moses vision was that the Jewish people fulfill their G-d given mandate to enter the Land of Canaan, settle it and transform it into a Holy Land, redefining the physical landscape of the land as an abode for G-dliness.

Moses was never comprised of simple matter so that his identity would be defined merely in terms of his physical body (10). Moses' life embodied a truth, a vision, a way of looking at the world and understanding the objective of man's journey on this earth. As long as that truth would live in the hearts of people dedicated to Moses' dream of transforming the earthy land of Canaan into a divine landscape, Moses would remain alive (11).

To be in the physical presence of Moses is great. Greater yet is to leave his presence and fulfill his mission (12) to settle the Holy Land.

================
When I clicked on the link to show comments n footnotes, it error-messaged me. I'll link to it on Chabad.org instead.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Friday, August 08, 2014

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

So, Why'd You Make Aliyah?

Ha, I can just see it now. People asking me what the final push to make aliyah was, and me answering, "I was in New York during Tzuk Eitan and every ambulance (and fire truck, police car...) wailed a siren that made me jump and think I was in Israel, all worried, and so finally I thought "Zehu! Time to actually go there!"."

Lol.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I like how He boosts me up before throwing me down.

But it's okay. Kinda makes me love Him more. Kinda.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Israel's at war, always at war and gaza and soldiers and one gave his life al kiddush hashem and the Rebbe told the woman in the letter what a zechus she has and office and colel chabad and stupid to think of the son of Zion and building and apartment building and upstairs and footsteps and shower and speeches and articles and pain and long held pain and telephone calls and headaches and plans and strategies and shallow and israel and france and whatsapp and don't be scared and scared and don't obsess and obsessed and feeling foolish and tired i should go to sleep, i will think better in the morning, this despair is desparing, i'm blessed beyond belief and pitifully clutched my heart OKAY! it's not pitiful it's pointful and OMG heart hurts and head hurts and fascinating experiment going on okay Gd doesn't do that, just go to sleep Chava, just go to sleep. And questions I don't care for and other questions that I do. Tick is the clock and stupid things in my head and mind and it's all okay besides for those in grief and it's all okay if it was ending like tonight or maximum tomorrow and scatterbrain that I am didn't pick up money or see people or do stuff.
It's too much for me, maybe like Rosh Chodesh Adar in Cheder by the bikes with Yeshivas Merkaz HaRav and Chinese billions of people and stomach upset not as selfish as hey if that's a coping mechanism then indeed don't judge like the R family or rather Rabbi R serving all personally on Shabbos and argh I hear voices, voices! (we switched language desire at the same time) news updates, just sleep! news updates, don't feel, ah I ought to find that series in my blog.

Goodnight and have a good world.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

"And the Heavens had told her it's alright to cry."

Endeavoring to balance gracious and grateful acceptance with sufficient anguish.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

I might be in Israel

I might be in Israel so I dare not sleep,
While my neighbors and I are attacked oh so deep.
Rockets and missiles with noises to frighten,
Fires and lights that make the night brighten.
Children and grocers and teachers and men,
Must run when they hear the siren and then,
They pray with eyes shut but ears can't block out
The boom of loud terror and the shrieks all about.
United again from the enemy's hand,
War it may be but I see miracles land.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Inezgane, Maroc

Ha, in the end this is also a revealed best place to be cuz I'm actually learning the culture (and language), not just the romantic places but the hard core dirty simple busy small city life and the way they interact and what is funny here and what's respectable and what's the vibe. Wow. Such insanely kind and good people. I can cry from gratitude and awe. Wow wow. Bh!

Friday, June 13, 2014

MOROCCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

AHHHHHHHH what's life morocco-less!?
Have people really lived tens and scores of years without inhaling the splendid dusty air?!

Thank You Hashem!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Topic of the Day: THE POWER OF A JEWISH WOMAN

Judaism defines motherhood differently than the rest of the world.  Judaism does not require a woman to have a child in order to be considered a mother.

Chava, the first woman, is called “em kol chai - mother of all life,” before she ever gives birth to a child. Being a mother is the ability to be other-centered, to have another at your core. This is one of the reasons why the word for “womb- rechem”, shares the root of the word “rachmanut - empathy.” I don’t just feel badly for your pain, I feel your pain. Your pain is my pain. You are a part of me.

Regarding Chava, I wonder if we could read this phrase another way. The words em kol could mean “all mother”—not “part mother,” but all mother. She is the mother of all life, and she is all mother.

There are many roles I fill, many things I enjoy doing. But for most of them, I am truly replaceable. Granted, I hope not too replaceable. But some of the things I do could most definitely be done by others, maybe even done better. And even the things I excel in, that I feel passionate about, that I focus on . . . they are only parts of me. There are many writers, many teachers, many editors. And there are many mothers. But there is no other mother to my children. Only me.

Hopefully  I will always be able to remember:  My children are my world, and I am theirs. Em kol chai.

From an article by Sara Esther Crisp, Chabad.org
When I went to India, I didn't record and photograph and share most of what happened.
I wanted to live it real, not tour it.

Sahara Desert

  1. Oases support some life forms in extremely arid deserts. The Sahara covers large parts of AlgeriaChadEgypt, Libya, MaliMauritania, Morocco, NigerWestern SaharaSudan and Tunisia.

Angry People Shout

Ever wonder why we should when we are angry? This story is one of the best explanations I have come across. 

"A wise person found a group of family members shouting at each other. He turned to his disciples, smiled, and asked, 'Why do people shout in anger at each other?"

His disciples thought for a while and one of them said, 'because when we lose our calm, we shout.'

'But why should you shout when the other person is just next to you?' asked the wise person. 'Can you just as well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner?'

The wise person explained, 'When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other to cover that great distance. 

What happens when two people fall in love? They don't shout at each other, but talk softly because their hearts are very close. The distance between then is either nonexistent or very small.'

The wise person looked at his disciples and said, 'So when you argue, do not let your hearts get distant. Do not say words that distance each other more. Or else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return."

Create a meaningful day!
- Ora

Friday, May 16, 2014

A little bit of effinyou seems to be order.
Just a teeny bit.
גם את הגוי...
Choice, ya know.
עכשיו למחוק ... וממשיכים הלאה.
A blended face and thanks to Perrier (minus the example part) I know that's not stepping backwards. Utterly saved by that knowledge. Bh!!

I'm Beat

Mostly cuz I'm exhausted and drained physically. Finally did grappling! Am I not the most blessed child on these shores?? Indeed I am.

Drained, too, conversing with all sortsa people (it's funny isn't it how I'm thinking in a British accent).

I got to a higher plane today. Didn't ask to go there but ever so awed that here I stand.

And learned a thing or two from the ichy -not the pleasant - parts of the convos.

I will emerge better.

When darkness, negativity and cruelty unjustly steal the show, I'll make the world balanced again by conquering it with a surplus of light, positivity and kindness. Take that, Mr Bad Boys!

I like this plane.
Life is infinitely infinitely more good.

Baruch Havaya.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Rashi on today's Chitas (Bechukosai)

42and I will remember My covenant [with] Jacob, and also My covenant [with] Isaac, and also My covenant [with] Abraham I will remember. And I will remember the Land, מב. וְזָכַרְתִּי אֶת בְּרִיתִי יַעֲקוֹב וְאַף אֶת בְּרִיתִי יִצְחָק וְאַף אֶת בְּרִיתִי אַבְרָהָם אֶזְכֹּר וְהָאָרֶץ אֶזְכֹּר:
And I will remember My covenant [with] Jacob: Heb. יַעִקוֹב. [The name יַעִקוֹב is] written in full, [i.e., with a “vav,”] in five places [in Scripture], and [the name] אֵלִיָּהוּ is written defectively [without a “vav,” i.e., אֵלִיָּה also] in five places [in Scripture]. Jacob took a letter [“vav”] from the name of Elijah [the Prophet] as security-that he will come and herald the redemption of his [Jacob’s] children [and since this is Elijah’s mission in life, his name will remain “incomplete,” as it were, until he fulfills it, speedily, in our days. The five instances of the “vav” symbolize the five fingers of the hand; i.e., this security arrangement between Jacob and Elijah was sealed by a handshake (Gur Aryeh)]. וזכרתי את בריתי יעקוב: בחמשה מקומות נכתב מלא, ואליהו חסר בחמשה מקומות, יעקב נטל אות משמו של אליהו ערבון שיבוא ויבשר גאולת בניו:

Friday, May 02, 2014

My #1 Boxing Place


Chronologically as well as meritoriously.
Well, I suppose it ties for first place with my Nevins one.

Darn, I'll miss it here.
And just when I was getting the swing of the swing of the hips and the staying on the toes.
Well nu yalla, I suppose He has better plans for me.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Gd bless you, Tzvi Freeman, for saying all the right things.

True, we have faith that Moshiach will be here tomorrow, because he will come today in the very next moment. And if so, why build a house? Why plant a tree? Why teach a child?
But this is the journey that leads to the world to come. At every stop, we do all this place demands of us. At each encampment, we build our tabernacle anew—even if just for the moment.
For each moment is an entire world, as precious as eternity.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Broken Heart

When my heart broke,
the pieces fell down
down down into my body
entered my arms and legs
crevices over, gone was the border
everything was out of order.

Now,
pieces of my heart
are in my organs and limbs
so they move with love
while my whole heart simply was
my broken heart does and does.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Of Pearls and Women (wit and wisdom for rivkie barber a"h)

Topic of the Day: THE POWER OF A JEWISH WOMAN
In Eishes  Chayil, which we sing on Friday night, there is a line which described the
woman as more precious than pearls.Why is a woman compared to a pearl?


A pearl is made when an unwanted grain of sand  slips in between one of the two 
shells of the oyster.  To protect itself from the irritation,  the oyster produces a soft 
film to cover the invader. The oyster continues to cover the uninvited visitor with 
layers of nacre — the mineral substance that fashions the mollusk's shells. Layer
upon layer of nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, coats the grain of sand until
the iridescent gem is formed.


In every person's life there are things that irritate us. Often we tell ourselves that if 
only this or that were not in our lives things would be much better. Just as the oyster 
takes an irritant and covers it over and over until it turns into a beautiful pearl, so too 
women have the uncanny ability to take the negative and transform it into something positive.


We see this clearly in the upcoming story of Pesach. Despite the back breaking labor, 
the men  endured under Pharaoh's  harsh laws, the women understood the need to 
have more children and preserve the Jewish future.  The women  took mirrors they had fashioned, beautified themselves for their husbands and kept the Jewish people alive.
Every day brings challenges and frustrations. It is human nature to freeze and begin 
to doubt. As women we must show the world,, that our faith is -not shaky.  And 
challenges will become opportunities.  Try it today!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The brain, as vital as it is, is but one organ of the human body.
The heart shares a similar status.
Thus, it is perfectly acceptable and even preferable, that at times the brain and heart take second place to the arms, legs and ears.
Not always does "I think" and "I feel" need to show their face.
Sometimes, "I do" is what needs to take charge.
It's not a bad thing. Action is the main thing, we're taught.
And you know?
Know what's so super cool and encouraging?
Usually the doing then shleps along the thinking and feeling.
Like now.
:)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

"Don't believe everything you feel."
 - Rabbi Manis Friedman


Stupendous!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Baal Shem Tov goes a step farther: When one craves a material delight, even food and drink, it is actually ones soul craving and desiring the divine energy (spiritual sparks) within these items. [29]People’s particular tastes and preferences are determined by the difference of their souls and the ‘sparks’ they are drawn to. [30]

Sunday, March 23, 2014

"I have a tradition from my zeide (that is, the Baal Shem Tov) that foolishness, sadness, and a feeling of self-worth - are considered by chassidim as aveiros deOraysa. Acute perception, simcha that comes from finding the good in everything, and zerizus bimesinus (doing one'savoda with calm swiftness) - are considered by chassidim to be mitzvosdeOraysa.."
(סה"ש קיץ ש"ת ע' 52)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Free Choice Have We

Life does not tell stories. People do. Life provides no more than raw materials. Raw enough for us to look back and construct at least two versions of our own biography: one a prison, the other a palace.

This is the greatest kindness the Master of Life has given us: He has placed His own pen in our hands, so that we may enjoy the dignity of a palace constructed by our own design.

(Daily Dose by Tzvi Freeman)

A Shiva House

"Horrible to see you here", I find myself greeting people.

A shiva house.

Horridness grinning freakishly. We won't grant you victory, Death.
We'll double his life till you melt in shame.

We'll all March 4th.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Just Me 'n G-d

It's just He and I right now.
I'm slowly detaching from the world.
No more am I chained by the forces that used to hold me down.
External and internal, all are dissipating.
I am light, unfettered, floating up, rising higher.
I am loose, x-rayed, clear.

I love my Father and my Father loves Me.

Happiness and Peace

The two most important things right now.
Please please keep it and spread it.

Friday, March 07, 2014

The Rebbe wanted to hear every detail. Everything was important to him, everyONE was important to him.
I must feel more confident in spilling out my heart to the Rebbe. I must go to the Ohel more often.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Videos of the Rebbe

Why does watching videos of the Rebbe make me cry?
Is the emotion I'm feeling, one of longing?
Yearning to see our Tatteh?
Is it sadness?
Pain that he's not physically here?
Am I feeling gratitude?
Joy for what I have?
Is it shame?
Regret for my behaviours?
Why do I well up like this?
It's different since כ"ז אדר, I think.
But I've always gotten emotional.
But then, it was just love.
Pure love and admiration and pride.
Now I have other emotions intertwined.
Is it good? Is it bad?
I wish Moshiach would come already and the Rebbe won't be in pain ever again.
Cuz even in the good scenes, the Rebbe is still holding back so much, dealing with so much, suffering in this doubly darkened exile. Feh.

Avodah Back In The Day

"The Tzemach Tzedek commented: Such an interpretation could be proposed only by a chassid who has davened and labored in avoda for thirty years." (Hayom Yom 29 Adar 1)

Gosh we don't even know what that means, to labor in avoda for thirty years. Well, I can only speak for myself, I guess. I don't even know what that means. Thirty minutes is more in my mind frame. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

1 Adar 72 [a backwards day, indeed]

Heart hurts
Tears run
Don't cry, father!
Eyes piercing
Throat catching
Pain terrible pain
Pain for self, for us, for G-d.
Now I'm in pain
I see you like this
I shut my eyes but
open is my heart
and I want to see your joy
I want to see your smile and your laugh
Your eyes so bright and blue twinkling
with connection.
We need warmth but good warmth.
We need Moshiach now.
I'm sick of talk, of responsibility, of work.
I'm sick of waiting, of loss, of despair.
I want, we want, to curl up in cozy security
We want to relish, sit back, happy sighs
And bask
Bask in the light, the glory, the truth
Bask in the beginning of a wonderful new world.
Bask in the day where we'll be with the Rebbe and the Rebbe will be with us and we'll all see Hashem clearly and there will only be clear and revealed goodness and happiness and we'll all do the right thing and everyone will feel guided and children will feel loved and accepted and there will be overflowing cups of health and gratitude and Torah learning.
Lechaim!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rejoice Aft I Go

Wherever I go
whatever I do
however I leave this land,
Please rejoice
spread good and light
and praise the Almighty's Hand.

Halevai 
as Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Life is a Duet

And here Rabbi Freeman explains why, based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe:

On the other side of ecstasy lies a painful emptiness. On the other side of bitterness lies joy. Where one goes, the other must follow.
In the ecstasy of understanding lies the gnawing pain of a new frontier of ignorance.
In the agony of yearning lies the ecstasy of love.
In the ecstasy of prayer lies the agony of smallness and distance before the infinite light.
There is no sweet song that is not equally bitter, save that which is shallow and meaningless.
He formed His world from delight, and so must share in its bitterness. Until the time when darkness will shine.