Friday, August 29, 2008

Parashat Re'eh / Deut. 11:26

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Why is it that my main weapon always gets used as my last resort?!

Whenever I'm deep in trouble, the Torah /Heb. Bible has always strengthened me with its comforting, truthful words. This time was no different.

Its the end of the pregnancy. Sages say these times are connected to din /judgement. The woman is being judged at this moment. Yom Kippur all over again. Aaaaaahhh!!! Have I done well?

Its also a time for me to reflect and think and over analyse things and get somewhat down about stuff. Such as the situation with the Israeli captives, etc. But davka now is not the time to be down. According Rabbi Ginzburgh, from an essay in the book "Expecting Miracles" during labor and delivery is the time one should access Chedvah /Joy.

There are so many words for Joy in Hebrew. I had to figure which nuance of joy do they mean by chevdvah. Correct me if I"m wrong, but it seems that chevdvah is the point of joy. For example, if joy was an arrow coming down to us from heaven, the tippy point of the arrow, the initial part that enters us, would be called chevdvah.

Hmmmm, okay. Now how do I feel this? How do I experience this? Especially in light of my feeling exhausted from some family negativity that I could do without, the fear that hubby would side with his family rather than be on my side, the baby being breech positioned, the house not being as nice as I would like it, etc.

Well, had I looked earlier into the Heb Bible, I would find that we are in Parashat Re'eh /Deutoronomy 11 now. With the famous: "I put before you a blessing and a curse" phrase.

Sure enough, I have before me a blessing and a curse. I can either succumb to the negativity thrown at me, and sulk, and close my heart and be unable to receive or experience this chedvah or I can count my blessings, stay focused, and reach that chedvah joy that is so crucial in childbearing.

Chedvah is crucial because it is the tikkun /rectification of Chava's (Eve's) sin w/the forbidden fruit.

"Chedvah Hashem hi maozchem" / "God's joy is your strength"

Its a bit complicated to explain in english but, according to the book "Expecting Miracles" adding that "dalet" that "letter d" to chava, to create the word chedvah takes us away from chava, and brings us to Chaya, the rectified Eve/chava.

As the midwives said to Pharaoh: "the Hebrew women are unlike the Egyptian women, for they are lively(chayot -plural for chaya), before the midwife comes to them, they have given birth."

(the midwives said this as an excuse as to why they couldn't kill the children -me).

Its as if with chevdvah, the woman can take the birthing into her own hands and not feel that dependency of looking to others for their kindness and help.

So, with gratitude to Hashem /God, I am going to shake off these negativities and forget about them. I am going to not have anything to do with them. (why do folks try to stress out preg. women anyway?!) Just push them all away from my mind and being.

One way to attain chedvah is through breathing exercises. Deep breathing in conjunction with holy thoughts. A special time is coming before me, I want to embrace this blessing, this opportunity. In the book, Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin many women seem to have attained a great level! There were some women who can even experience orgasms during the birth.

Now that is strange! But inspiring. I don't even hope for that, but its good to know.

Another special time is approaching that I can look forward to. After this weekend, will be the month of Elul. The time of blowing the shofar every day. Its always amusing to hear the guys that just can't make it with their shofar blowing vs the booming and experienced shofar blowers. That means the kids will want toy shofars for play. I mean every kid on the block. And the hot weather will begin to get cooler, and everyone will start preparing for the high holidays! Now I have a smile on my face. Joy is a beautiful thing. Don't ever let anyone take it from you -not any part of it!

Have a great weekend everyone!

A special, heart-felt thank you to all the commentors who left some kind words. I cherished them and appreciate them very much.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Creature Comforts

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Its a sad feeling when you can't feel comfortable in your own home or in your own blog.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Any Day Now....

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Hi all,

Please excuse my sloppiness of not blogging as frequently. Too much to deal with.

Nesting syndrome, family, routine things, fatigue....

Well, the whole family went to the NBN Jewish bloggers conference. It was their first. It was a lovely location and I wish I could say more. Unfortunately, kids were not allowed and so I was outside with the kids, waiting for hubby to report. Happily, there were alot more black Jewish bloggers than I anticipated. Now I have to find out their blog addresses, lol.

At home, I've attempted to paint a room. Hubby got the nesting syndrome too, now he's painting the walls as well. Its good, the painting was way overdue!

Happy birthday to me! I spent Thursday doing regular things. hahah. some birthday!

Now its the time before shabbat. That means running around shopping for food, preparing the house, kids. Making sure candles are readied, etc. Fatigue! Hopefully, I 'll pace myself.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What's Up with Russia??!

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Russians are definitely NOT like Americans. There are no pretense, no politically corrected twists of words as to why this is happening. Nothing. They attack Ossetia (a town from Georgia) perhaps for oil? and that's that.

Everyone just watches. No explanation forthcoming. Wow.

i feel like a loser today

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Everything that I could do spiritually wrong, I feel like I did today. i want to bury my head in the sand.

* I don't like speaking lashon hara /disparagingly about someone.

* I don't like being on the defensive or on the offensive and hurting someone. It hurts even more when the person stays silent and doesn't defend himself.

* I don't like allowing my raging hormones to get the better of me.

* Rebbi Nachman says illness have physical and spiritual counterparts. Doctors can quickly find the physical aspect of an illness. However, the spiritual part is a down spirit. Depression. Melancholy and dispair. Excessive tears. Now I worry what illness will I bring upon myself being so down. lol.

okay, let me try to cheer myself up. Some of the following will be a stretch, but right now I need every good news I can find...

* Jill Dahne, America's top psychic is suppose to be coming to Israel to talk about intuition.

* We donated big time today to an organization. (sometimes it feels like when I do an "extra good" something I push push myself to do, like participating in a good deed I don't normally do -- somehow, I get thrown an "extra wrong" to contend with.)

* Rebbi Nachman also says one must be good at going and returning. In other words, don't hope to be on God's good side all the time. Part of being a good Jew, or a good servant of God, is to be able to fall down and then return. Going and coming.

So, I must gather my wrongs of today and use it to catapult myself back to the shining countenance of the Divine.

* I hope posting this has helped others.

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Few of my Favorite Things

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I love guys who know their stuff and love their stuff and/or are confident about their stuff. Nothing like confidence.

* Like the Yemenite guys at a nearby falafel store. They are so proud of their zalabia, pita, and other types of bread and dips that is part of their culture. When my sister goes to buy some, they make sure she knows just how to dip it, how it ought to be eaten by hand, and all its various details even to the point of giving samples!

* Like the sephardi guys at another nearby baguette store who my husband and I called a while back. We were concerned that they maybe added MSG in their food.

"MSG? What is that?"

We explained what that was. A flavor enhancer.

The guy got so offended, "What are you saying about my food??!! Why would we need a flavor enhancer?!!!"



* Or the cabby that took one look at my sister and I (who came in his cab with the kids) and boldly exclaimed, "I'm swear! You are beautiful!!!"


* Then there's the other cabby who, once when I took his cab hauling all the kids and it was towards the end of the day, admonished me, "Woman! your children are tired. They NEED to be in bed!"

Sometimes, people are quite loveable. Have a great weekend all!

The Bad Guy BM

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Recently, I've begun to change the way I read blogs. Some blogs I simply have to keep to myself.

Quite recently, my son came and sat on my lap while I was reading a blog. In it, there was the typical picture of some thugish BM and the post was about some flawed black guy. Again. My son exclaimed, "Bad man!" Just from seeing that man's picture.

I began to think to myself, here I am trying to find good models and images for my kids to see that there is inherent good in both being Jewish and in being black, but I insist on going to blogs that are more than generous in their showing of thugish, flawed, problematic BM. Hmmmm..... I need to change somethings. lol.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Rooster's Message



Every morning, the kids wake up with a bit of a smile on their faces. Why? Because one of our neighbors has a baby rooster. And every morning this rooster tries his mightiest to roost when the sun comes out. But, alas, his immature sounds end up sounding more like a cackling, choking, duck.

It makes for a good morning laugh! But I try to make sure the kids understand how the rooster tries and keeps trying. His persistence, tenacity and determination is a good lesson for us all. Of course, its all instinct in him. He probably can't help himself once the sun is out. But nevertheless, its a great lesson for the kids.