Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Blog around the Block

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?!

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

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

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


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

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 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

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

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?

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...


Monday, November 17, 2008

Some Old Interesting News

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


(H/t =WAOD)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Arab & Jews Rejoice

( 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

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

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

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

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???

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

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

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