Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bomb Shelters are Opened

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The bomb shelters all over Israel have been opened. I am in the holy city of Tzfat. That's within reach of the Lebanon ketyusha rockets. Well, keeping y'all posted...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'm Outta Here!

As y'all know, its all out war in Gaza and spilling over to pockets in Jerusalem. the Arabs in Gaza has been launching rockets into Israel for a while now attacking civilians. Recently, Israeli forces finally struck back. Maybe stuff isn't getting reported by friends are reporting small attacks in Jerusalem proper.

I'm gettin outta Jerusalem. God willing, I'll post in a few dayz. Or if there's a computer where I'm at I can post more stuff.


bye!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Ata Kadosh / You are Holy

One of the morning prayers.

Chorush: You are holy, Your Name is holy
And holy ones praise you every day.



Scenes are from the movie Uzpizin (The guests)

(tonight, Chanuka aligns with the Holy Sabbath and aligns with the new moon)

Food, Facial Structure and Fertility

Processed Food Affects Fertility and Facial Structure

"Weston A. Price discovered that as children eat these processed foods, with each generation, the facial structure becomes more and more narrow. Healthy faces should be broad. They should have perfectly straight teeth and no cavities. When you are eating real foods, nutrient-dense foods, you get the complete and perfect expression of the genetic potential. And that genetic potential, that gift from the Creator to all of us, is perfection. We were given a perfect blueprint. Whether or not the body temple is built according to the blueprint depends on our wisdom in food choices. When primitive societies abandoned their traditional diet and began to eat processed foods, the next generation had narrowed facial structure and was much more susceptible to diseases of every sort. "


Sally Fallon, Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Doctored Picture?



Am I crazy or does this picture look doctored up. I can't see the black kid's legs. Don't mean to sound paranoid. I'm just saying.

The Women

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Short list of some of my favorite SHEros so far:

Ina May Gaskin. A country girl who fought against the medicalization of childbirth.

Sally Fallon. A Nutrition journalist and food historian, she gives a different perspective to food and the food industry's attempt to buy off doctors.

SheCodes of the blog Black Women Vote. Where ever you are.....

*********************
Simcha BenYosef. Author of the book Light of Ephraim and other books. My eyes really got opened about kabbalah and my courage lifted that I can learn too.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays!


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Tis the season for lots of celebration the world over. Right now, was Day 1 for the celebration of Hanukkah. Its the holiday in which we light a menora, or candelabria; one for each of the eight days. By the eighth day, all the candles are lit.

Foods associated with this holiday -cause there's always a matching food to go with the holiday- is anything with oil- to represent light. We usually eat latkes, a potato pancake type food with a side helping of applesauce or sour cream. Also doughnuts and in Israel 'sufgania' a type of doughnut without the hole.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What's the Good Word: A Message to American Jews

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With everything that's been happening in the world, America specifically. Lots of messages have been flying about. Get out of America quickly!! Come to Israel Now!!! The Messiah is coming! Well, here is the most sobering message yet.

Post is here. Thanks to Simple Jew's guest poster, Rabbi Ozer Bergman, author of When Heaven and Earth Kiss -highly recommended book!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Madoff Scandal

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I am sure you have all heard of those pyramids. The uncle who comes to family get togethers and tries to push folks to buy his products so that they in turn can go to their friends and get them to buy those products so they in turn..... you get the picture.


Now imagine doing that as if it was an investment company. Come invest millions with the promise of super high returns, get more people to join, etc.

Stakes are high!

Well, this is just what Bernard Madoff did! A scam just like the pyramids scam except for investors. Now he's caught and the pyramid is collapse. The only difference is we are talking billions of dollars.

That is just plane wrong! Many Jewish companies and charity organizations joined this investment firm thinking it was legit, perhaps because the guy is Jewish. Sadly, they lost money in the millions.

All I can say is, if you've done something out of greed, perhaps now is the time to rethink that investment, rethink that choice, rethink your course of action. The golden calf is being taken to the slaughter house.

Quotable Quotes

"The “little-known Shi’ite” Clark Kent from al-Baghdadiya has potentially transformed himself into a popular superhero thanks to his flying shoes."


Yitz from This is Babylon blog

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Monday, December 15, 2008

A Busha Ending for President Bush?

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Maybe I'll feel differently when things effect me directly, but I thought it was shameful for the Iraqi journalist to throws shoes at exiting president Bush. Then again he did hurt, lie, negatively effect alot of people.

Okay so his name "bush" is like "busha" which means "shame" in Hebrew. Is this some sort of poetic justice?

A Hair, Nose and Skin Specialist? Part 2



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Ah! Welcome back to my office. Yes, yes, of course I remember you. It was such a pleasure talking wid you. And, checking my calendar, you were due for an appointment. Let us begin, shall we?

Hmmm, so as I recall, you are perfectly fine with your nose now, yes? No need for treatment after our last appointment, no? Wonderful.

Now let's move on to the hair. What is the problem there? OOooooh yes, you did tell me. How everyone calls it nappy. Many don't think it should be in its natural state in the workplace.... yes, go on.... you are tired of it and want some sort of treatment?

Well, before we do any treatment, may I read a few things from my books? Thank you. Oh my! Before we do even that, let me tell you about my teacher back in med school.

She was a wonderful lady. She verbally took me by the hand when explaining things. We would go round about and round about a topic until it practically "fell" into my head! Hahahaha hahahah ahahah! Ah.....

Yes, she was my favorite teacher because she knew how to teach. I almost felt as though I was coming up with the concepts she was teaching myself because she went so slow round and round the topic until I understood it so well, I jumped off my seat and said it as if I ...."figured" it out. Only later I realized, she was giving me baby steps and teaching me to mull things over in my head until the concepts were within reach. I could rise higher and practically "grab" the concept myself. This methode insured that what she taught was deeply embeded in me. Now, look at myself, talking like a computer hahah ahahah. Ah...

Now, let me see....what can I find about hair....let me flip through the pages...

Ah! There are many ways to distinguish one person from another... Some use the hand to "see" things about a person.. some can look at the face... and yet others, the hair!

Thus, when Jethro, the Father in law of Moses instructed him to gather leaders of tens, leaders of hundreds and leaders of thousands...capable men, men who despise money..men of truth, etc. He was basing his understanding based on hair. You see, the men who 'despise money' are the dark, curly haired ones. Capable men are white haired, God fearing, red, but let us focus on your dark, curly hair.

I continue from the same book here, let's see...

Hairs are like channels. They can channel in their designated wisdoms down to the level of faith. Thereby, making that wisdom a basic part of the person. Like the circle my teacher used to do when she taught me! Round and round the wisdom, ideas, float until its within reach and I "grab" it! Ah, it seems your hair can be like a round antennae or like the plates of a battery! Ah hahaha get it? plates. lol.

Oh, but I continue... If someone is worthy, these things are so, but if they are not worthy, if they allow their egos, base desires, allow others to lead them astray, if they allow these things, then the hair corresponds to the black bile (illness and poverty and depression).

Okay that was more in regards to the curliness, now the darkness corresponds to the Song of Songs verse that states, "I am black and comely.." What? In the English it is written "I am black BUT comely?" Ah no matter, let us continue... and that corresponds to "I am black" that is to say the lower part of our intellect. our simple faith. or the part where my teacher would say her last words and I would finally understand. "And or but comely" is the high part of the intellect before its been "spiralled" down the hair chaff to the point that we understand fully. This part is the wisdom in almost its rawest form from Above. Forgive me for laughing. Its just that "sustenance" in Hebrew is "shefa" sounds quite similar to "chaff".

Okay enough of my lame jokes. So the darkness of the hair also relates to the pupil of the eye according to Rabbi Nachman. Just as concepts, knowledge, wisdoms becomes more clear and graspable in the lower points of the spiral of the hair, so too our pupils contracts (or expands) to be able to see something more clearly and properly.

What? You no longer want treatment for your hair? You ...you even love it! Ah, that is great news! But I do want to emphasize that all these things are only if one works on their character, seeks godliness, etc. Otherwise, it will not be a sign against the desire for money, on the contrary the material gains that one can obtain with money can make many lose their money in exchange for these materials gains- the big house, the fancy hubcap, bling, bling! Thus in the end they would have no money and may even have to give away their material gains.

Well, this is quite something. I suppose I should make an appointment for you regarding the skin? No problem! I'll see you then. Bye-bye.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Saving the World, Saving Haiti

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I was meandering around in the blogosphere and decided to check out Divalocity. Oh man did I get hit with a brick. One of her post, "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" had a picture of a 5 year old Haitian boy being weighed by a doctor.

The boy was emaciated.

That pictured bothered me all day. What am I doing towards helping those who could use some help?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Interesting Coversation, Amero

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All that I am hearing about the economy, I wondered what is the right thing to do. My gut instinct is to gather dry food goods like rice, lentils and to gather water. But what do I know. Better I learn from the elders.

Cruising around the internet, the biggest advice out there is buy gold and silver. Those will always be worth something. Okay, I am steady trying to save up some money to do just that even though I'm not in America. I suspect the rest of the world will go through the same thing.

But then I wondered, why doesn't the government just say 'oops we made a mistake. It seems we can not sustain an economy with fiat money. Let's buy back the gold and silver and back our money by that!'?????

So I asked Ensayn this over at his blog, Esayn Reality. His answer nearly knocked me over. Turns out someone did think of that already. Kennedy. And he paid dearly for it (and for other things I'm sure). He signed Executive Order 11110, to back the money by silver, but as we all know it never happened due to his untimely death.

Ensayn's post, "Money: What It Is and What You Work For" also reminded me of the Amero. So what's going on with that? When will that plan be unveiled?

At any rate, I guess I'll be collecting gold and silver bullions and hiding them (right next to my rice, lentils and water).

And for those of you who don't believe in the Amero. Here's one for y'all:

The Fear Factor

As most folks know, I don't own a television. For years I haven't and not having one really sensitizes one to many things.

Recently, I was looking for DVDs that I could share with my children. Documentaries, movies, etc. One thing that I realized that I never realized before is that alot of the children's movies are based on FEAR. That was a shocker. Most movies made for kids use the fear factor to keep them interested.

That was not good. For many reasons fear should be avoided and Joy promoted.

Endearing Disney movies which I loved so much, I never realized until now how much fear factor was used. While fear can cause a thrill, I wonder what it does in the long run.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH FEAR?

I am dividing fear into two categories. There is FEAR which is really awe and reverence towards something. And, there is FEAR as in scared.

The awe and reverence ought to be left to God. Or, if you don't believe in God then the awe and reverence should have no place. No other being can be trusted 100% and granted such reverence.

Sages of old have said over and over that one must love God and fear God. But we're from the earth -or at least we have earthly qualities so many of us start from the bottom up. First we begin to love God and operate on that mode. As time goes on, we eventually fear Him.

"The end of the matter, when all is said and done: Fear God and keep his commandments, for that is the whole duty of man"
(Koheles 12:13)

If we had only love for God, we could do A LOT! Nothing would be too great. However, a border could be breached. In the case of Nadav and Avihu, two of Aaron's sons, they loved God so much that they wanted to worship Him even at the time that was not appointed for them. They took their pans and incense and started their fires regardless.

However, it was a strange fire. One that consumed them!

This makes me think of a man who fell hard in love with a woman. The fire of his passion is raging. But if things are not checked, she's not given her space, her needs are not thought of; basically, she's not respected (which is a notch lower than fear), then she goes away and he's left consumed in his own fire.

But that is not the type of fear I mean from the movies. There they have fear as in scared. That is a defeating kind of fear, I believe. The thought that there are so many things that can come out and grab ya! Or things that are way overpowering. Its exhausting and stressful. But it keeps you in your seat because the viewer needs to win, needs closure that the innocent, sweet, whatever the character was made out to be- can overcome this bad. Each movie brings the viewers to that edge.

This type of fear draws out negative emotions from us. It is the basis for alot of other negative emotions such as distrust, hatred, doubt. Naturally, children have fears that come even without a movie producer's encouragement. The dark. A loud helicopter. Yelling people. You name it. As we slowly try to teach our children not to be afraid, I feel it would be self defeating to give them yet more things which then I have to coax them to not be afraid of. I even suspect its a kind of power ride -for me- that I'm trying to avoid. Keep the child scared then they come to me then I, the mighty parent, soothe them and the circle continues. Nope! Not this time.

While I"m glad that things haven't come to the point in which producers start making movies with bad endings for children, I am still not sure I like all the stress and fear they promote.

One great focal point in my life is to be Joyous. Not fearful, but joyous.

Joy brings out healthy and positive feelings and probably healthy and positive hormones in our bodies as well! When we have joy, we are capable of ruakh hakodesh /holy spirit. By Holy Spirit I don't mean talking in tongues. I mean having knowledge descend upon a person and/or seeing the world in a more whole view (mochin d'gadlut)

Joy causes us to breath deeper and cooler air. Fear gives us heated and shortness of breath. Breath is our life -wouldn't we want it deeper? That alone does much good for the body.

By Joy I don't mean the happiness one feels when hanging out with friends -that's great too. But I mean more the joy one feels when one does a good deed.

Refresh Yourself with some Music!

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A Niggun is a piece of music that doesn't have words to it. Its meant to be meditative. Here's Shlomo Katz singing one of my favorite niggun. Close your eyes and soar with this one...




(p.s. I think I recognize that hall. Is that in the Har Hotzvim near the Tomb of David, next to the Old City?)

More music? Why not. Here's Soulfarm. (unfortunately the embedding was disabled. Grrr. lol)

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Dangerous Trek

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Sadiq Sahour Abkar paid human traffickers $750 to smuggle himself, his 28-year-old wife, Hajja Abbas Haroun, and their infant daughter Samar over a remote border crossing in the Sinai Desert into Israel last year.

The smugglers, however, dropped them along with four pregnant women, eight men and numerous children - all Sudanese refugees - several miles from the border. As the African migrants neared the frontier, they heard a patrol of Egyptian border guards and lay down quietly on the ground, waiting for them to pass. Suddenly a baby in the group began crying....

Here's the story: A Dangerous Trek

Quotable Quotes

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"Consumption is its own reward for production"


Peter Schiff

Sunday, December 7, 2008

And Here's a Jewpanese blog

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Kaguya explores life as a Japanese Jew at Notes of a Jewpanese Nomad.

Quotable Quotes

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"We must hang together gentlemen, or we will surely hang separately"


Benjamin Franklin

Another Jewish Blog

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I discovered another interesting Jewish blog. The blogger has a Jewish mother and Muslim father.

The Arms of Moses

Its definitely about diversity and inclusion. Yay!

(((A business man comes home. A days work behind him. He quietly closes his doors and sits on his bed. Unveiling his day's profit, he lays them out on his bed and begins to count them anew...)))

If you love your blessings you count them and recount them. That which you love, you reflect upon. That said, let me re-count, anew, all these blogs. LOL!

So there's Hochma and Mussar, This is Babylon, Arms of Moses, and my own blog!

Figuring Out How to Behave Around Ethiopian Jews

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I have tried my best to do the Ethiopian shoulder dance.

Some more training would be appreciated! lol



I have such an interesting relationship with Ethiopian Jews here in Jerusalem. In America, there was always the nod of comeraderie or a short hello. Something showing solidarity. But here its just not like that.



Don't get me wrong, its not that there isn't solidarity between black Jews to black Jews, its just that I haven't figured out the right way to behave yet. lol.

Yes. I remember the first time I passed by a store. There were security guards sitting on high stools right outside the store with their metal detectors. As I passed by I wondered, should I give a quick smile, a hello? Is that too forward for this very modest society?? I had to decide quick because I was coming up to the store. I decided to risk it...


As I passed by the two security guards, I cooly smiled mouthed out a soft "shalom". But much to my dismay it did not go well AT ALL. One of the men let out a high pitched phrase in Amharic. Then they both began to talk. I quickly tried to walk faster and turn the corner before a spectacle was made! Whew!

Okay, I understood now. I am not in Kansas any more. But what's the new norm? I've decided to play it by ear. Now when I pass by, if its men, I do nothing. Except of course, the guys who work at my local supermarket. Those guys call my son Obama and joke with the kids so that's established. Otherwise any other guy -too risky. However, when I see Ethiopian women, I still venture out a smile. We usually end up talking and having mutual respect for each other. Chavivuta - mutual love! The more that goes around the more power people are.

So far I have met Ethiopian Jews, Liberian, Caribbean, African American and a few others which escapes me at the moment. As many as there are countries! But my most memorable moment was having Shabbat with Rabbi Hadana. The respect his family gave him, the memorabilias in his home, the food, the history and the agony over traditional ways vs the new ways, everything was fascinating. I wish I could actually have met his father (who is a Qes -like a Cohen or rabbi).

So much to learn.




At any rate, I pray for unity for all of us --world unity.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ramblings: Tired of the BS

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This is actually good news. A blessing even. I'm throwing in the towel. I'm tired of the BS in my life. My goal originally was to post about interracial dating and marriage. There was just too much vitriol to deal with. Too much anger and hatred vomited out from bloggers and commenters against each other. What drama, who needs it? Finally, I abandoned that goal.

Then I just wanted to post about BW topics and give it my own Jewish twist to events and inspire. Well, I don't know if I've inspired. Anybody. I am not a very patient person. Perhaps I am, but I don't feel it.

There are so many things that I just don't agree with but say nothing. I don't want that anymore. I want to live my life more freely.

There are many "self help" BW blogs out there, but I am afraid they are not for me. I am not knocking it, its just not for me. My 'self help' is found within me. I can't borrow someone else's decision or path to "free" themselves of any or all previously known concepts in the name of self empowerment because my decisions are my own. I know many would not be able to hang with who I am and what I am. Many can't even conceive that black can have any value. Many can't even conceive that Jewishness can be anything good. Some can't even understand that there is more to life, more to me than just these. Catch words have bound us. Zionist has its connotations. There is even a book, I believed called, "Is Gay the new Black?" As if to say, is being gay the new negative, bad, discriminated, etc. Would anyone think that the title of this book meant that gays could be the "new" artistic, musical, spiritual anything positive?

Anyway, I can't be doing self helps. I went through that already. I am where I want to be! I know where I want to go.

Any attempt to go backwards and I'll have to fight the same battles I've fought long ago. Also I can't deal with the let's-mourn-our-bad-decisions-and-reflect business. Everything we did, everyone one we met has led us to become who we are today. God Loves Us! And yes, we have free will. So here we are. In the here and now. And we are who we are in the here and now. Now what? That is the question.

Now, we arise, like a phoenix on to the next level. That's what.
* * *

Well, I went onto a blog recently and found folks talking about how they want "peace". Peace against all the hateful CIA who conspire and rouses countries like India and Pakistan and others to fight each other and peace against the "warhawk Zionists". Well, I guess we've decided who the enemies are. LOL.

Its so much easier to say that any other government leaders are "puppets" and pawns, and the CIA is the only one in the world with a BRAIN. But it makes the problems too simplistic. But the truth of the matter is that nobody really cares anyway. Its just a question of how will this effect ME?! That is why the biggest threat seems to be the CIA. The other countries may have corrupt governments and may even hate Americans, but they are not the immediate threat.

Now Israel is not a big threat, I don't think, to America. But yet folks almost lovingly choose to hate them too. Why? Is it the lobbyists in Washington? Aren't there many lobbyists in Washington? Are they too successful? Has it turned into a white vs black situation? Palestinians being the "new black" so to speak?

I remember long ago, I took a trip to a caribbean island. It was beautiful. The coconut trees, the smell of the air, the colorful dresses....The people there did not have much. No tvs, nothing to expose them too much to what they are missing had they lived in America. They tried to get bread on the table everyday, went to local soccer games, kicked it with friends, carried baskets on their heads, and had a ready smile for whoever needed. After that trip, I closed my ears whenever I heard MSM (mainstream media) discuss how poor that country was and how blah, how negative. They had no good news to say about that place. I learned to screen them out.

However, I believed what MSM had to say bout everything else.

Then I became religious and came to Israel. I saw first hand Arabs, Jews, Christians living here. Then I became wary of MSM's portrayal of Israel. and that was it.

Finally, it clicked. What else are they just slandering for the sake of entertaining news and maintenance of stereotypes?

This was the final blow for me on MSM. But I fear many, so many others are still under their spell. Humans are not meant to be negative for prolong periods of time.

This is why they post constantly these various studies of how bad things are in the African American community and various other groups -because without the continuity of these bad reports, we'd get out of our funk and do better. But we only look at what interest us and not the wide picture. So we don't see the games they play. We're too stuck trying to rectify our image, our self esteem, our whatever else that just got slandered. People are buying it. Blogs after blogs, I find BF wondering how to find a self esteem, where to go for love, even wondering CAN people actually love them! The studies are working. Folks get so lost in their own search for value, no time is taken to wonder perhaps others are getting a bad rap.

But truth is needed. It needs to be loud.

In a lunge to grasp self esteem, many fling themselves to whatever institution that could maybe help.

Many run to Islam.

I respect Islam and wish I knew more about sufis and how life was/ is like for them and what they believe. I also like that in Islam, they don't have a middle man between themselves and God and there's no ambiguity.

But I seriously wonder, is it truths about Islam that attracts many African Americans? Or is it the color? Is the presumption that since most Muslims are seen as 'not white' and so therefore there is acceptance there? I know that there are some who are truly serious and seek this out because they understand and believe truly.

Our color has a significant purpose and value. But its not a ticket or a pass.

Okay, maybe on the human level. But I mean it doesn't DEFINE us.

* * *

Who wants world peace? I mean really.

For this to happen we need unity and harmony. HASSADIM and GEVUROT. Unity in that we understand each other and work towards a common goal. Harmony in that we don't have to lose our individual identity and /or beliefs in order to accomplish the unity.

Imagine, in an orchestra the violinists are angry at the flutists because they are using such 'foreign' instruments. They should burn!!! eh? We should all be violinists? But imagine the harmony that comes when the orchestra plays with various instruments?

There is a place in the world for everything and everyone. A bad character trait (anger, jealousy, etc) is simply a misplaced character. Yes, there are times to be angry. Times and reasons to be jealous. Just don't misplace it. lol.

Who wants world peace? Where is your Ayin tov /your good eye?

Its so easy to look at things with an Ayin Ra /an evil eye. An eye that sees the bad, the wrong, the criticizing eye. The eye of hatred. Wash those eyes out. Look with both of them and you'll see the truth of the matter.

Who wants world peace? Seek it out.

You'll find it in the scriptures. In the Torah. In the Koran. In science. Inside of yourself. Seek truth and good. It permeates the world and is ready to be drawn in once we really want it.

Okay, I am starting to sound preachy so I'll stop my ramblings.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I am So Sorry, Moshe

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This piece of news was very very hard to post about. Moshe's parents were killed in the Mumbai attack. The parents and others from the Chabad House* were tortured before they were killed. Tortured so badl, so "beyond words", that the doctors -experienced men and women who have seen bodies before-- were traumatized.

Now little Moshe is an orphan.



I have no words.

Baruch Dayan HaEmet. (Blessed is the True Judge)

(h/t for photo: Am Kshe Oref)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Neshama News...

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What is Neshama News. Neshama is the part of our soul that is still connected to God. Its that part that tugs at us when we feel the need to 'connect to the universe' or 'feed the hungry' or 'save the whales.' Neshama News is meant to document news stories but in a way that encourages faith and, at times, give us (me) hope.

Black Friday blackened. As with every year, stores have a black Friday sale in which items are drastically cut down in prices. Hopeful consumers line up hours in advance before the stores open hoping for bargains. Well this year, things turned deadly. At a Toys R Us in California, two people were shot and killed -possibly in the name of materialism. What kind of "bargain" was that? Materialism is just NOT worth two lives -not even one life! But it continues as Wal Mart Black Friday Stampede takes the life of a worker. The Holiday season has been infused with materialsim for a while now, perhaps this is a wake up call?

The terrorist attack in Mumbai is finally over. According to reports, about 195 people were killed. Again, precious lives taken by those with disregard for what is holy and precious. India claims that the attack was from a Pakistani militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba. However, they stopped short of accusing the Pakistani government of being accomplices. India and Pakistan have been battling each other since 1947 over border disputes. (the same type of disputes that went on in Rwanda, the middle east) Who's footprints are those? At any rate, blame does not fix the problem. In a show of great humility, Shivraj Patil, the At Home Minister of India resigned. Other governments should learn from this.

Speaking of government heads resigning, In Thailand, protesters have taken over Bangkok's two airports and won't let go until Thailand's Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat resigns. Why do they want him to resign? Because of a protest that happened in October 7 in which the police were ordered to take apparently drastic steps against the protesters and fired teargas canisters.

A first ever Noahide Radio Show. Noahides are people who are not Jewish, but they take on the Torah and the laws that are meant for non-Jews. Hosted by Ray Pettersen and Jim Long, the Noahide Nations show is a program about the Noahide, or Bnei Noach, movement. More on that at INR.



(this is a test to see if I enjoy it or not. Bear with me!)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Blog around the Block

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Hey all,

There is a new blog in town by a BW named Chaya. Her blog is called Living Essence and its about natural foods, health, fibroids, and inspirations. Of course, since she happens to be my sister, makes me all the more excited!

A Rant -Computer with Filter?!

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I am pretty upset right now.

I wanted to get a small job just to have some extra pocket change. The job would have been for a very religious company. I figured I could handle it. However, now they are saying I'd need to have a filter put on my computer so that I wouldn't be able to have access to anything except work related sites. No blogs, no news, no quick information look ups, no Facebook (well, that's okay. lol).

Oh No no no no no no!!!!!

I can't deal!!!

Job and filtered computer vs no job and free access computer?

Everyone is getting tighter. More extreme. The greedy in America have really outdone themselves this time and now look what's happening to the economy. Terrorism has gotten to a new level after 9/11. Mumbai. Now, not only am I mindful as to which bus I can take, now I have to be mindful of which company I can work for. Okay, my situation is not as tragic as the previously mentioned ones. I know! But it is very invasive.

The religious buses that requires women to sit in the back, I simply avoided. But now this is inside my home, my own computer. What's a gal to do? Okay, I have to think here. Perhaps they are right. Perhaps computers are evil and will only lead to bad things and I should have a filter.

But what happened to faith?

Faith in God is also connected to faith in ones self.

Someone can have faith that God will do x, y, and z. But if they don't think they are important, or that they can fight a habit, or they can be used as a vessel to carry out His will, and do so as stealthfully as a commando carrying out a mission, then the faith is lacking.

Do folks not trust that I won't go to porn sites? And if I do, then I am taking responsibility of myself? Do they not trust that I could perhaps do good on the net? Does the CEO of this company have filters???

I have to really sit down and think it through. My initial reaction is a big fat NO. But I will give it due thought. Wow. Filter. Censorship. okay okay protection?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Terrorist Battle in Mumbai

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Somehow I figured terrorist activity would be on the rise after the election regardless of who was voted in. But I didn't expect it would be in Mumbai.


Pakistan raises its hands saying "we didn't do it and don't you blame us!" (story here). A more direct message would have been, "what can we do to help?" but what do I know. They have been warring since 1947 and both are competing against each other in the arms race (Of course, no mention of why they have been warring, thank you British gov for this and for so many other countries who's borders were moved and wars ensued. But that's to be forgotten.)

God protect the citizens and tourists.

Passion Gossip

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I'm not one for much gossip, but couldn't help noticing Mel Gibson in trouble from his mega bucks movie The Passion. Story Here.

Quotable Quotes

"I fear only God and my wife "




Moshe Feiglin, leader of Likud's Jewish leadership faction



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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Changing Times, President Elect has YouTube Weekly Address

Okay, change is happening already.

President Obama seems to have a weekly YouTube address. Check it out:





(h/t: the Angry Independent)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Desparate Disrepect Bandwagon

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So far I know two known folks who have piled on this wagon. Osama's second henchman who had the nerve to call Obama, the new president of the United States a "house negro" and Erin Aubry Kaplan who writes a post expounding on Michelle Obama's ...er.. boo -tay.

Boy! they haven't even given them a chance to enter the white house! Cut them some slack already!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What a Day

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Most people are "blessed" with interesting days. Sometimes I think that due to my identity, sometimes my days are exceptionally interesting. Today is a good example.

I decided to take the kids to the zoo before the weather gets too cold. Today was perfect because there was a group meeting of mothers there that I wanted to check out. So we all got dressed up, I dealt with all the fighting, gave them what to eat and off we went.

Lucky for me, right at the bus stop there was a cab with a friendly driver just sitting there. In true Israeli style, everyone who had been standing at the bus stop tried to get involved in helping me. One bubbie /grandmotherly lady offered to help with the baby, another guy tried to explain to the cabby how to close up the stroller, another was hollering at the cabby for not helping more. Oy! okay. We're in and off we go to the zoo.

So far so good. Until we get to the monkey section. The zoo was mostly empty save a family who was video taping their daughter's glee at the animals, and a Jewish man with his son. The man and son seemed a bit distant with each other. Strained. I automatically presumed a divorce case and it was his turn with the kid. While my kids were looking at the swinging monkeys the man says to his son in Hebrew, "look at those monkeys, like black folks eh?"

I was shocked. I don't know how much Hebrew my kids understand, but I was upset. That's putting it mildly. What a public embarrassment. So I spat at him and moved away with my brode.

My kids got nervous about my actions and wanted to know why I spat at the man. I was glad about that: that meant they either didn't hear or didn't understand. However, I couldn't tell them. I just said he was teaching his son bad behavior. As I recall the poor son just stood there with his head hanging down. At his tender age of about 5, he understood the obnoxiousness of his father. Too sad.

Although I was still reeling, I put on a happy face and continued our excursion so the kids will relax. Finally we got to the zoo playground and the kids played happily. I got anxious when I saw a group heading our way. It was a school of Arab children taking a trip to the zoo. What now, I thought. What new insult to bear today?

When the loud, boisterous children got to the playground it was a sight to see. Children everywhere, up on the slide, swinging on the swing, climbing bars, running on bridges, very nice. A little crowd gathered around me and a little girl asked, "what is the name of your baby?" I told her. Then she said, "what is your name?" I answered. We both smiled at each other and she ran off to play.

I finally was able to round my own kids up and told them its time to go. They really wanted to go on a slide so I backed down and let them go once. They were quite small for the slide but lots of the Arab children took my kids and gently helped them across the play bridge and down the slide. Wasn't that the sweetest?!

Then we were leaving. On our way down the grassy hill, one of my daughters started rolling down the grass. Before I knew it, many of the other children from the school came rolling down as well. It was so beautiful how they wanted to interact. Had I had more time....

Anyway, so we finally got home. The kids with their new animal toys forgot about the incident after they told Mr. Blackfirewhitefire that mama spat on someone, of course. LOL!

But days like these just leaving me wondering, how in the world can outside people judge and hate one or hate another. Those who are too emotional about the middle east situation, I think, are harboring a hatred they don't want to admit to. We are all human and want to be happy and live our lives. Those who want to fix things in the middle east are welcomed by me. Haters stay back.

Psalm 23

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A Psalm of David
God is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing.
In lush pastures He makes me lie,
besides tranquil waters, He leads me.
My soul, He restores,
He directs me in paths of righteousness
for the sake of His name.
Though I walk
in the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil for You are with me,
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table for me
in the full presence of my enemies,
You annointed my head with oil.
my cup overflows.
May only good and kiness pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the House of God
for long days.

A Hair, Nose and Skin Specialist?



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There are certain parts of our physical bodies which seem to really shame many Black folks. These parts are often used by other to shame, humiliate and embarrass us. Its our hair, our nose and our skin. Perhaps we need a Hair, Nose and Skin Specialist to go to to remove all the mysteries around these parts and get us back to a healthy relationship with them?

Well, we're in luck! today, I have decided to be just that specialist!

Come, my beloved one, step into my office. Be careful of my various medical equipment. What? you say, my medical equipment consist of mostly books? Yes! I'm somewhat of a therapist as well bwahhahahaha!

Now, sit here and tell me your troubles...

Ah, the hair. Yes. Its quite curly, I see. Wooly, soft, um hmmm, go on. You're right, its not like any other hair on earth. Yes, go on, I am listening. You were told straight hair is good hair, okay... you were given an iron to straighten your hair and got hooked on the straight, yes, go on.... others frown when you wear your hair natural, which reinforces the good hair=straight hair idea, I understand...

Oh and the nose! It has been compared to not so nice things because of its size. It sit boldly in the middle of your face, calling attention to itself constantly.... go on...

Um, and the skin. Yes yes, I have heard all about that one.

Well, before we begin a treatment, I would like to look up and share with you somethings about these parts that you possess. Please be patient,yes?

Let's start with the nose.
This is the channel in which air passes. It is compared to prayer for many reasons. For one, this is where God Almighty breathed life into us. After that, we could have exhaled that air and finished. End of life. But we go on. Why? Because He still breaths life into us through our nose. Now because we need this air constantly and because we need to pray constantly, they are compared to one another.

Air is called ruakh in Hebrew. It is also the same word for wind. There is a concept in Kabbalah which teaches that there are four winds- the northern, southern, eastern, and western. Each represent something different. The northern wind represents wealth. The south represents wisdom. East spirituality. For this reason, some rather face north when asking for material things, south for wisdom, etc.

Now why were you given such a nose, I am not sure. But let me keep reading, yes, my friend?

In addition to the mystery of holy ruakh that passes through your nose is also the question of how much life, potency, capability is actually passed to you. No one knows the potential of a man, woman or child. Perhaps for you God breathed (so to speak) a long and powerful wind into you? Perhaps for the next guy a short wind?

Now what should you do with this ruakh? Breath deeply. This is your source of life. It physically rejuvenates your every cell as you breath deeply. Its a life force. And just as the Holy One, Blessed be He gave you this breath of life so you can give life. When you lack something, what is it that we naturally do? We sigh. We think about what we lack and sigh. Sighing is us giving life force to that which we lack. Sort of like making it a reality, like God made us a reality with His breath.

Ah, let me stay on topic. We were reading about the nose...yes...

It is also taught by the Jewish sages that the Messiah's weapon will be prayer. And that he will judge people through the sense of smell. What a powerful nose this person will have!

What? You are fine with your nose? Nevermind any treatment for it? Ah very well. Let us move on to the hair...

TO BE CONTINUED...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Some Old Interesting News

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An interesting take on the Iraq war. Here: (Stop Terror's Next Act). Did we "win" and not even know it? Is Europe in trouble?

This is old news (back in the summer) but: A first. A Jewish woman appointed as Ambassador. Of an Arab nation. This is Babylon has the scoop. Or here's the CNN story.

Did you know?

Did you know that Helen Keller, the famous lady who was deaf and blind and struggled with the help of a caring teacher to become a writer and advocate. She was made all the more famous from the movie The Miracle Worker. Did you know she supported the Civil Rights movement among many others? Cool beans! Here's more on that.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Shmitta is Over; Plant a Tree



I saw this nice advertisement at some website: Shmitta is Over; Plant a Tree. True enough, the Shmitta year is over. That was the last Jewish year (before Rosh Hashana). During the Shmitta year, no Jew was allowed to plant, uproot, prune, etc. It was the time for the land to rest.

Now that Shmitta is over, over at the Black fire white fire home, we got seeds and flower pots for the kids to plant and watch their flowers grow.

In a way, it seems like its time for America and the world over to also resume planting anew. With this new change going on, brought on by the winds of Barrack Obama, perhaps its time for folks to plant --implant new possibilities, new directions, new boundaries, etc in their minds and for their physical bodies.

However, if I may be so bold, I would like to say: plant something real! lol. Something worthwhile that can benefit you and your loved ones now and for times to come. How about deciding to curb the foul language in the home? Or planting complements for family members and yourself? Perhaps you already have a seed on the ground. A hope. Something you wanted but you let it die...

But that is what seeds do! So start watering the soil! Bring on your own sunshine of positivity and pray for that seed to flourish. Remember to prune, prune, prune!! Its not enough to have hope and dismiss it. You've got to do your part. You've got to prune.

God willing, the fruit of our labor should be uplifting, scrumptiously nourishing, and beautiful to behold.

Just for Grins

PUPPY POWER!





(H/t =WAOD)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Arab & Jews Rejoice

(IsraelNN.com) While tensions rise in mixed Jewish-Arab towns such as Akko and Lod, a recent Torah dedication event at the new Yafo (Jaffa) yeshiva had a calming effect: Arabs who came to protest had a sudden change of heart and joined in the festivities.

Read story here.

Child Abuse

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Perhaps because I love to be around children, listen to them, read them stories (until I just can't take it anymore LOL) that sometimes they tell me things and I don't know what to do with it.

Once, a child told me tearfully how other girls tease her in school. But don't tell my Ima (mother) she said emphatically, she'll be upset! I swallowed hard. Luckily, in this case, she talked and talked and talked her way into finding a solution for herself. By the end of it all, she was happy with her new plan of action and was back to playing around.

Well recently, a child told me that someone *touched* her. All my alarms went off. I stayed calm and asked her to describe what happened. It sounded like it only happened once, it was by an older boy from a family that the little girl (and her family) goes to, and he actually went into her clothes and touched her in her private part. I praised her for saying "no" as much as I could and then went and told the mothers what happened.

The boy's mother's reaction told me that this boy has gotten into trouble before. Not sure if it was from the same type of behavior or not. But I sensed that not much would be done because of that....

This is tormenting.

Philippinos and Mexicans

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Now, you may wonder what does a black Jewish girl have in relationship to Philippinos and Mexicans. So, let me explain:

When I lived in Chicago, I remember almost every company I called had in their voicemail: Press one for customer service, two for automated credit card payment, and three for spanish. Or something like that. I often wondered how was the "se habla Hispaniol" department? Was it decent? Do they do all the customer service and payment and everything else all there? I used to also think how sad to be in a country and not know the language. How must they feel?

Well fast forward to Israel. Now, I am struggling with the Hebrew. Sometimes I call a company and hope for the "for English, press three" message --but alas, many times its just Russian, Arabia, or Hebrew! No English choice. Well so I try. I do pretty well, but the only problem is when I get tired, that's it. Brain closes down and the Hebrew department is gone. lol

As for Philippinos - I see them, almost as if shadows. They come to the country expressly for working and for sending money back home in the Philippines. But at times I feel wistful for them that they work so hard and often not acknowledged or not treated as if there is a person in the room. So I make it a point to say hello to them or smile or share a joke or something. Not sure if that's the right thing. For all I know they probably just want to get through the day and get out of there. But hopefully I am doing right.

Another stickler for me is because sometimes I feel that they are alot like Black folks. Some people may see them as mere servants! As if that (maid, nanny, etc) is all they were even meant to do /be. For this reason, I have purposefully tried to never hire them myself -some strange way of letting them be. But they came for work, right?

Well, my place is a mess and I saw how well a friend of mine's home is and she has someone working for her. I think I may buckle. But that would be good because they came for work --I am trying to tell myself this.

I suppose that's my version of being "liberal" minded...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Oy Vey

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There is just much too much to juggle in my head. I feel as if Pharaoh is on my back, keeping me so worked (mentally) that I don't have time to think!

A quick run down...

(1) I have a strange craving for rice cakes. Although I knew that anything not taken in moderation -even if its the healthiest thing- is not good. But due to it being a craving, I always manage to convince myself that I couldn't find anything wrong with eating rice cakes. They sell it at the health food store, for crying out loud!

I asked friends, doctors, searched on the internet, but couldn't find anything to help my good inclination that wanted to stop eating it. Finally, I asked a friend of mine who's really into healthy eating. The truth:

Turns out rice cakes are made by putting them in great pressure and heat, then suddenly pulling it out of that pressure. This causes it to puff. This also causes free radicals to form. Free radicals in the body can cause a whole slew of things: quicker aging, cancer, basically it does damage on a cellular level. This, they sell in the health food store?!

So, now I am working hard at imagining its terrible effects and I have more tools to fight against this craving.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Okay, I want to remember:

high insulin causes the body to produce cholesterol.

free radicals, carbohydrates makes for high insulin in the body.

Free radical damages makes cholesterol more likely to stick in the blood vessels.

Fruit and vegetables have anti-oxidants, a fighter against free radicals.

(since oxidation is like burning in slow motion, does that mean my cells, thus the organs are being burned in slow mo?)

So much to remember. I guess it just boils down to eat my fruit and vegetables.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This post has been inspired by Casper's diet post.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Obama, The New POTUS


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And what a historical moment this is!

I must admit I have mixed feelings.

On the one hand, its a releasing feeling to see an African American becoming president of the United States of America. Granted he was born in America but doesn't have the history of slavery, etc. But, practically anybody born black knows that it really doesn't matter; the treatment in America for anyone black is more or less the same.

And so, to see that America was willing to make the change, defy bigotry, and vote for who they feel and think is best for the job is exciting! Granted America is on its knees at the moment what with all the financial situation, dealing with unpopular wars, and all the effects of these things, (sometimes I wonder if all the seasoned politicians just stepped back and left Obama standing to take the job -but then again I am glad the time is OVER for "seasoned politicians" and their same old, same old) and it will be a challenge for Barack Obama, but I have faith and hope that he and America will rise to the occasion.

(Its like malchut rising to keter. President Obama, please take your crown!)

Also, what does it all mean for African Americans? Surely the glass ceiling has been shattered. That vessel is broken and its shards lay bare for all to see. Now its time for a new vessel to be built. One that can hold the dreams of everyone, and can actually deliver. I pray we all take full advantage of this constructive time and strengthen ourselves, believe in ourselves, renew (those who believe)our faith that God wants good for us* and gave us hands and feet to pursue as much, and go for it!

*We are all created in God's image. It is indicative of His love that He should make sure we KNOW that we are created in His image (paraphrasing from Pirke Avot)

But on the other hand, I am weary as to what will be for Israel. Where does Obama really hold when it comes to the middle east? Is he like some, who hate Jews so much that he's willing to love any Arab nation without really know much about them or really caring for that nation? Is he just out to "stick it" to the Jews? Or perhaps he is knowledgeable and concluded that he should hate Israel? Or is he pro-Israel and will help to find a peaceful and REASONABLE solution to the whole middle east dilemma?

I was in Tzfat when I heard the news that Obama won. From what I am hearing the Christian Arabs are wary about this, the Muslim Arabs are happy, the Jews in America are happy, and the Jews in Israel are wary --all generalizations, mind you.

Then again, it really doesn't matter. In the end, its really up to Hashem /God and the Jewish people. Are we doing what we are suppose to be doing? Can we soar higher spiritually, but are afraid to really become who we are really suppose to become? Will we use our tallit (read: cape)and tefillin (read:lazer beams)and fly faster than a speeding bullet and leap tall buildings in a single bound, etc.? lol

At any rate, I rejoice in this moment. I am so glad and excited that the Obama family will be moving to the White House -I'm sure many people never even envisioned such a thing could happen! Not the Joe Sixpacks, the Hockey Moms, Joe the Plumbers nor the black versions; the Tyron Sixpacks and a bag of chips, the Holy Rollin Mamas, and the "Rashid the barbers." And the hope that it brings to all underdogs, all African Americans, everyone who's experienced oppression, is bursting out into the world. Its almost palpable!

So, I watch on. Great job, Barack Obama!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Woohoo! Another Black & Jewish Blog???

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Mr. BlackfireWhitefire is asleep and I am blogging as usual. I checked our bookmark /favorites and found this blog added on: "This is Babylon". Now I have tons of questions for hubby when he wakes up!

This seems like another black and Jewish blog! Hooray!!!

Condolences to the Obama Family

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His grandmother passed away peacefully in her home. She died at 86 years old. Story here. So close to election, it will definitely make for a bittersweet Nov 4th for Barack Obama.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hair and Tzitzit



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I thought this was an interesting parallel:

In the Jewish tradition, there are these fringes or bundles of strings that men wear on the four corners of their garment. These are called tzitzit. They consist of bundles of strings tied, knotted, and twisted in a pattern and then the rest sort of dangles down.

(I love when my husband wears his outside rather than tucking them inside. He also wears techeilus -the blue string)

In Hebrew, tzitzit is spelled: צִיצִת

Anyway, in Ezekiel 8,3 we find:

...and I was taken by a lock of my head...


The Hebrew version says: ...and I was taken by בְּצִיצִת of my head.."

Here, tzitzit is synonymous to hair. Thank you Likutey Moharan II for pointing that out.

I just thought it was interesting that tzitzit is used in reference to hair because its hair that we tend to put in knots, twists, etc. Now, I know that back in the time of the Songhai Empire around the 1400s, according to Ehav from Hochma and Mussar, there was a Jewish presence in Africa. (Also, I find it quite impossible that -as folks would have people believing- that there was no Jewish influence in the continent of Africa, especially subsahara Africa). Well, isn't it interesting that if these influence were removed, banned or whatever, that maybe, just maybe the people found a way to "maintain" by substituting the knots and twists onto the hair!

I can dream, can't I? lol

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Enneagram and Politicians Revisited

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With politics in the news with only a few more days to vote, I decided to repost my view of the politicians and the enneagram. But in addition, to post the view of a dear reader and her take on politicians and the enneagram.

Here was my take:

Barack Obama = Enneagram type 6

Michelle Obama = Enneagram type 1

Joseph Biden = the jury is still out.

John McCain = Enneagram type 8

Sara Palin = Enneagram type 7

With a few corrections. After hearing my friend and dear reader out, I would like to confidently change John McCain's number. He's not an 8. Although I'm still not entirely sure I know /feel what he is. And Sara Palin I now believe is a 6.

Reader's take (not sure you wanted to be identified):

Barack Obama = Enneagram type 6

Michelle Obama = Enneagram type 6

Joseph Biden = Enneagram type 6

John McCain = Enneagram type 3

Sara Palin = Enneagram type 6

I must add that the method I used is the Riso-Hudson method. Hopefully, I'll have more later.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Just for Grins

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There is talk in the blogosphere about how the Republican party is trying to dismiss or exclude the black community by using names that subliminally says "white America".

So, I decided just for grins, to ask for your help in coming up with the black versions:

Joe SixPack. Now is that suppose to mean the typical guy with the checkered shirt, who made it up to high school and started working. Maybe worked through high school. Now he comes home to the missy and drinks his six packs of beer while watching sports?

Then the black version would be......drum role please....meet: (fill in blank #1)

Hockey mom. Now is that the suppose to mean the typical mom who has a minivan -so I guess she's a bit well off, better than Joe SixPack anyway- and drives her kids to all kinds of extracurricular activity?

Then the black version would be....... meet: (fill in blank #2)

The infamous Joe the Plumber. Now is that the guy who is a plumber. Illegally. Talks about the thousands he could've made if it wasn't for Obama being presient. and laps up media attention?

Then the black version would be............meet: (fill in blank #3)

Please don't be shy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pre-Weekend

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Well as you all know, we just finished celebrating the new year. That means we start reading the Torah weekly again starting from Bereishit /Genesis. We start at the beginning and by the end of the year, we should be at the end.

And so, here we go.

Other News...

Big gratitude to Hashem /God and the Somalian pirates. You can read why here. (hint: the Somalian pirates hijacked a ship heading for Israel with a dirty bomb. I am sorry that some of the pirates died when they opened the cargo.)

Arm yourselves! A fallen soldier is in need of help. 12 year old Tekenya Wooten was kidnapped on October 18. She's 8 months pregnant and last seen in Durham, NC. There is more information at WAOD's blog.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Divide and ......Florish?

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I have to start this post with a gripe. There are these cliched statements that I fear makes people think a certain way, and makes them unable to see otherwise. Statements such as:

Poor and ignorant. There are many countries where the population, even though they are poor, really strive to get an education.

Divide and conquer. Once there is division, conquering is inevitable? Always? I could tie this in with Hassadim and its constant need for unity, but I'll not.

I think there are instances where dividing is useful. I read a book a while ago called Eating Right for Your Type. It is about the various blood types and what food is better for what type. For example: a type O can handle meat very well, but not bread. A type B can handle dairy products the best. Type A is recommended to be vegetarians, etc.

Plus, learning about the Enneagram can help one point out their various strengths and weaknesses. It can also help pinpoint typical pitfalls in relationship issues and help one to avoid it!

Not to mention my "race" and gender, all these parts and divisions only help me to see the real me better.

So, is it wrong to have these cliched statements floating around? Maybe those are the typical groupings, but I hope folks realize that there are different.

More Interesting Blogs

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Casper's blog: meet Mogambo Guru! The things he has to say about the economy are frightening!

On Go Zack's blog there is a tender story about his grandfather. Beautiful!

Also, I took a quick trip to Daniel Pipes website and saw a post about whether Obama was an ex-muslim or not, despite the Americans absorbed in their own thoughts, what do the actual Muslims from Muslim countries think, and is it a concern for the USA.

(One of the points is makes is that an analyst, Shireen Burki, fears that having an ex-Muslim (being ex Muslim is a big no-no in Islam) could inflame terrorists even more at America. I don't know about that. Just don't know.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Blessing of the Sun

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Every 28 years, there comes a rare blessing, the blessing of the sun. I need to read up on it. The LAST thing I want to for a rare instance to come up and I have all the wrong devotions and have to wait another 28 years to get it right.

Why Should I care?

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Why does it sadden me that Madonna is getting a divorce?

*sigh*

You can read about it here.

Quotable Quotes

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"Socialism for the rich and Capitalism for everyone else"


Robert Reich
(Or is this simply a policy and not a new quote? not sure.)



.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Updates...

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There is a thought provoking post at Raw Dawg Buffalo about activation of martial law! Please check it out.

I've updated Evia's blog link,
I've updated Sara's blog link.
I've updtaed WAOD's blog link.

And Aunt Jemima's Revenge's Professor Tracey has THIS on the famous (infamous?) 'Joe the Plumber'.

Any other corrections or notifications are appreciated.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sukkot

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Well, we had Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah joyously marks the beginning of the Jewish new year, but its not 'quite' over yet. The festivities continues even now in the festival of Sukkot.

In this festival, the guys all build little huts and dwell in them. Its a reminder of when, upon leaving Egypt, a great cloud of glory stayed overhead as a reminder that God is with us. It can be made of lots of different kinds of material, but the roof has to be something that you can see some of the sky through.

Here are some examples of sukkot:

A random sukkah picture found on the net


This is from last year but, here's hubby taking a sukkah building break as the kiddlings look on.


On Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur especially, we (re)turn to God out of fear and regret. But on Sukkot, we (re)turn to God out of love!

This is also from last year. Its back to sukkah building again...

Documentaries Online

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Does anyone know where one can view children's documentary online? Paid or free, doesn't matter.

THANKS!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Kylopod, this one's for you

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Did you notice in the davening on erev Yom Kippur, (tefila zaka) the second book of Shmuel 7:14, there was an *interesting* word.

What Happened to B&D Rice Cakes?

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Does anyone live in Israel? Do they have B and D Rice Cakes in America? What happened to them? somehow they all got packaged without their salt. All the packs are saltless!

*sigh*

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A True Utopia?

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In light of everything I've read, said, gleen and seen, what would be the ideal utopian

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Date, White vs Blacks, And BM vs BW: Part 2

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A word on HASSADIM and GEVUROT. Please note that just like "up" doesn't exist without a "down", "left" without a "right", etc. So also HASSADIM is never alone and without GEVUROT.

So, before we conclude that all black folks are pure GEVUROT, and all white folks are pure HASSADIM. Just remember they both exist in a person - not in the same measurement, but they both still exist symbiotically in an individual.

So this made me think of interracial relationships. What does that mean? Can the black community be seen as MOSTLY GEVUROT, and the white as MOSTLY HASSADIM? If so, is the BM the more gevurot-ish of the black community or is the BW? Is the white guy the more hassadim of the white community or is it the white girl? Or perhaps there is no set rule and an individual case by case search is needed?

At any rate, while writing this I decided to ask hubby what he thought of us. "which one of us do you think is gevurot and which one is hassadim?" I asked as I tossed salad.

"I think I'm more hassadim." said hubby as he layed on the couch reading his Economist magazine.

I tend to agree. I seem to be the more active one, while he, at times, needs to be prodded into action. Then again, I can get frantic just sitting at a cafe, while he enjoys himself as if he owns the cafe!

Now please bear in mind, the part about people and their interaction with hassadim and gevurot are speculative on my part. I'll have to really dig to find a sage who actually expounded on this particular topic.

But I do want to thank HaRav Shelomo Eliyashiv for his work on hassadim and gevurot. And Bakst for putting it in simpler terms on his website 'City of Luz' and Hubby, of course, for his contribution.

The Date, White vs Blacks, And BM vs BW

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I have a beautiful friend. She's a BW and dating. Recently, she dated a guy (white guy) who was pretty interesting. Somehow the guy turned the dating into an armchair psychiatric appointment. My friend, let's call her Liza, was so driven up the wall by this guy. Always, the guy dominated the date and kept asking my friend to be more open, more expressive. Date after date, it was more of the same. Finally, I put my big nose into her affair and told her that perhaps its better if they stopped seeing each other.

And so they did.

Time past and I met my friend again. We got into the topic of 'that guy', let's call him Motty. Turns out Motty has been emailing her. I was surprised and said surely she didn't write back. Even more surprising was her answer. She said she still had feelings for him! Still?! I didn't even know she had had feelings for him. Shows how right I was to stick my nose into somebody else's business.

I must admit good things did come out of their dating. One was that she actually DID become more in touch with her own feelings. She was able to confront her father who had been quite mean to her when she was young. She was able to realize her denial about her shyness towards men in general. So much came out after they had dated that she was almost a new, better person.

This made me think of white folks and black folks in general. Then I backtracked and starting thinking about black and white.

Then backtracked some more and thought of the way God made this world, with all its polarizations: up and down; left and right; black and white; good and evil; etc.

Then I backtracked once again and thought about God Himself. In the end of the day, all is God, all is one. We just can't see it here. Here we see the polarized world. At least, we are able to realize that one polarized side can not exist without the other side existing. Many can define "up" as "not down" or they may define "black" as the "absence of white". Basically, there are other ways to define these words, but what I am trying to show is how connected they are, despite their polarization. One side frames out with the other side is -like a picture and a picture frame.

Or like the algebraic equation of X, and (1-X). That was for you, Raw Dawg. lol.

Speaking of black and white. As usual, in Judaism, there are lots of associations to these colors. For example, blackness is associated with GEVUROT -complexity, separation, activity, arousal, and gevurah (from the sefirot. which means strength, restrain, harshness, severity, justice). Whereas whiteness is associated with HASSADIM which is associated with CHESSED which means simplicity, unifying and chessed (from the sefirot. which means kindness and giving).

Of course, coming from America, I couldn't help but to think about race. Due to their association with black and possibly the world's subconscious knowledge of GEVUROT, Could this be why many folks hold on to the stereotype that black folks are strong, potent, etc the whole mandingo myth?

And with the whiteness, I know giving can sound very nice -and it is! I am a very giving type but I know, from experience, too much giving can lead to domineering. The giver enjoys giving to person X. Finally, when the giver needs something, the giver begins to feel 'entitled' to it (after all she's given) while person X begins to feel small and incapable by himself. He begins to be beholden, if not resentful, to the giver. If the situation doesn't correct itself it can lead to oppressiveness, or worse SLAVERY!

The whole deal in the universe, it seems, is about figuring out the right balance.

Right now, the black community is struggling with problems such as "why aren't we unified?" "why are BM dissing BW?" "How come we don't have leaders who care?" and the latest, the contemplation of dating outside the race. (is that so new? **blush**).

Churning this business into my thought process of HASSADIM vs GEVUROT, I remember reading someone's description of HASSADIM and GEVUROT. He (Bakst, from the City of Luz website) compared it to fire. The essence of fire would be blackness. GEVUROT. Drop a little bit of HASSADIM into the picture, and then you can see the real fire -flames, red tips of the fire, blue-ish area where its not too hot. All the variety of the fire's color, the heat, etc.

Imagine a raging fire - it tends to separate things by burning it into ashes and the ashes fly away into the sky. Divided, and not unified. Each spark flying off on its own -leaderless, and starts more fires where it lands. All its variation of colors are out for all to see. GEVUROT is simply the name we use to refer to the force in the universe that attempts to separate.

If we wanted to reverse the picture to look at things from HASSADIM's point of view: HASSADIM is simply the name we use to refer to the force in the universe that attempts to unify. And dominate. Think of the Borg from Star Trek ("We are the Borg. Prepare to assimilate"). Or better yet, think of how the world would be If God did not conceal Himself. Everything would truly be a part of Him without illusions.

Anyway, back to the Fire analogy. With HASSADIM, we would only see whiteness. A big white canvass. Add a drop or two of GEVUROT, and things begin to separate! Now you can see the various flames. Red flames relegated to the most heated areas of the fire, blue for the coolest areas, etc.

Then I went back to my friend and her date. It was such a classic problem. Too much HASSADIM reigning and dominating; And not enough "drops" of GEVUROT setting up boundaries or relegating things in its proper places!

more later...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

What's Going On in the World?

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I wonder if I should start putting my money under a mattress?

Europeans scramble to save banks

The Bailout

I have a friend, she and her family and friends live in the outskirts of Israel. The no man's land. Hardly any Arabs and hardly any Jews. There they make do for themselves. Building their own house, figuring out a piping system for themselves, scratching and saving and working odd jobs to afford a generator, etc etc. Sometimes I wonder, is that the direction we are headed...?

An Outrage

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How can we let this happen? A grown man socking a young girl. This is outrageous. But unfortunately, this seems to be a growing crisis in the black community. Everyone is calling for that man to be hunted down. I don't really know what the police will care to do.

However, positive messages are equally important as negative messages are. I think those girls -the one who defended the other girls who got cut in line AND and young girl who came to the first girl's aid when she got socked- should get a positive message. A virtual highfive, a mcdonalds certificate, money, something. Something to encourage BW to help and protect each other.

(hat tip= What About Our Daughters)

Note to self: I called Hyde Park's LAPD @ 213-485-4164, but they said nothing is set up for the victim and info on them is confidential. I'm not really a "professional" activist so not sure how to proceed...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Repost: A Letter to my Brother

(this is an old email I once sent my brother that I thought y'all might enjoy. Nice and light. Perfect for a pre-weekend post)

Sun and Sunshine

Imagine a sun. In its full majestic glory, radiance and brilliance it stands in its place. Up close its a great ball of gas and raging fire constantly aflamed! Its powerful heat consumes anything that dare touch it.

Surrounding the sun are rays of sunshine shooting in every direction. They too have their own brilliance and radiance. They bring life, light and clarity to everything and every place within its reach!

How about that for the imagination?

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Ray of Sunshine

Imagine now, if you please, one ray. It extends from its source, the sun, and onto the farthest recesses. It seems almost to go on forever. Let us say the point closest to the sun is point A and the point farthest is point B. Let us further say that there is a point right on the center of that ray and that is point C. Let us use point C as our focus and circle over to point B.

From the point of view of point B, point C has its own glory and brilliance -much more so than point B. Comparatively, point C is almost like the sun itself!

This reminds me of a documentary I watched about a baby bear cub. A jackal, i think, was passing by and saw the baby bear cub. The jackal began to eye the cub and wonder whether there is more room in his belly for an extra side dish of sweet baby bear cub. The cub, realizing this, stood on its hind legs and raised its arms into the air-just as it remembered its mother do- opened its mouth and let out a tremendously wimpy roar!

To the cub's rejoicing, the Jackal was petrified and scurried off at top speed! What the baby bear cub didn't realize was that right behind it stood its mother bear standing on its own hind legs, sizing up the jackal to see whether she herself had room in her belly for a sweet jackal delicacy!


Anyway, back to the ray. To point B on the ray, point C is right in line of the sun, its source. Therefore its brilliance is compounded even more so by virtue of the sun's own brilliance.

Circling around to point A we see its point of view. To point A, point C still has some of its brilliance and glory however much of its majesty is highly diminished. Nevertheless, comparative to point B, point C has maintained much of its resemblance to its source the sun.

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Arrays of Rays

If you will permit us to delve further, imagine that each of the rays of the sun is a different dimension. Each ray represented its own complete plane, its own complete world or universe. One not like the other. However, by virtue of their powerful source, the sun, they are all interconnected and function in perfect harmony.

I hope you're still there!!!
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Physical vs Non-Physical Dimensions

In the physical world, there exist such a thing as time and distance. Someone can be far from you and to come close, they must arrive by some means whether it is by car, train, plane, etc., to be physically close- and that takes time.

In the non-physical dimensions there is no such thing as distance and therefore no such thing as time. This is the world of concepts, thoughts, ideals, emotions, spirits, etc. There, in order for one entity to be close to another it simply resembles the desired other.

When you see two kids come together physically to play, that is called a "budding" relationship. As they become more and more friendly with one another and naturally want to come closer, they begin to think alike and have same ideas about things, they even begin to dress alike. They are beginning to resemble one another. This is a non-physical dimensional closeness. A spiritual closeness.

Spiritual closeness almost always succeeds physical closeness for humans. Why? Humans are not purely physical beings. We have an element of spirituality in us. Therefore, to be content, satisfied, at ease, we want to arrive at a desired physical plane as well as a desired spiritual plane.

the end
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Have a great weekend!