Tuesday, June 29, 2010

S'michah for Steg

The Jewish blogosphere has just seen another member ordained as a rabbi. Here's wishing him all the best in his new role as Limudei Kodesh (Sacred Studies) teacher in Detroit, Michigan.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Poetic justice

I went back to my hand surgeon because I've been having some pain in both arms, and wondered whether I might need more surgery. He didn't think that even my left hand--the one on which I didn't have surgery--looked all that bad in terms of carpal tunnel syndrome, but sent me off to a neurologist for nerve testing, just in case. The nerve tests showed "denervation," a drop in nerve activity(?), particularly in the right hand and arm. So he sent me for an x-ray of the neck to try to see what the problem was. Sure enough, I have two flattened discs in the neck section of my spine (cervical spine?), and, as a result, the nerves that run through that section are now pinched.

Not only does this explain the pain in my arms and hands, it also explains why my neck bothers me whenever I bend my head forward for too long, such as when I'm reading a book in the subway or davvening (praying) in synagogue, in both of which cases the book/prayer book is on my lap rather than on a desk or table. In recent months, I've taken to saying the Aleinu prayer from memory just so that I can literally keep my head straight.

I told my husband that this may be a case of poetic justice--all my life, I've been a pain in the neck, so now, I have a pain in the neck!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Putting my money where my mouth is

I gained a lot of weight when our son was young, ballooning up to a tad over 160 pounds (about 72.6 kilos--see here). It wasn't until I started having chest pains that I finally got serious about dieting. Several years and about 37 pounds (16.8 kilos) later, I looked quite svelte at our son's Bar Mitzvah celebration. :)

But the weight started coming back. So I cut a deal with myself that I wouldn't go over 130 pounds (58.97 kilos).

Famous last words.

The doctor wasn't too upset about my weight, so neither was I. Then I noticed that my skirts were getting tight, I needed to soap my finger to get my wedding ring on and off, and--big-ticket items--my ankles were starting to hurt, and I was getting a bit too winded from walking up the stairs to our apartment on Shabbat/Sabbath. Been there, done that--I remember all too well how my hips, knees, and ankles hurt, and how difficult it was for me to walk up stairs, when I was heavy, and I wasn't going to put myself through that again. Besides, I'm 61. If I let myself get fat at this age, I won't have any leeway for when I'm 81.

So I've come up with a new scheme: I'm now a part-time dieter. I behave myself for four and a half days every week, and let loose on weekends, starting with Shabbat dinner. (I also cheat on holidays [religious and secular] and special occasions, and while on vacation.) Believe it or not, it works for me. As of last Friday, I was down from 132 (59.87) to 126 1/2 (57.38). Mind you, what I jokingly call "my Bar Mitzvah suit" will probably never fit me again, but that's not so bad: My goal is to stabilize my weight at, or, preferably, below, 130 pounds.

The interesting thing is what my diet--such as it is--has done to our budget. I'm saving a small fortune on all the junk food that I don't eat at, or after, work. And I'm spending that same small fortune on eating much more fruit than I used to eat. The good news is that I'm really enjoying all that fruit. Yum! You might say that I'm developing a fruit fetish. :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Exiled to a place of Torah?

Pirkei Avot, Chapter 4, Mishna 18: "Rabbi Nehorai said: Exile yourself to a place of Torah and do not say it will come after you or that your colleagues will preserve it for you. 'And do not rely on your own understanding' (Proverbs 3:5)."

One of my oldest and dearest friends just moved, and she and her husband chose a specific New York City neighborhood because they wanted to affiliate with a left-leaning Modern Orthodox synagogue. Like me, she's been a Conservative Jew all her life and is (was?) a female tallit-wearer. Why the change?

The answer, in a word (or two), is hachnasat orchim (welcoming guests), the practice of routinely inviting people to one’s home on Sabbath and holidays.

My friend had fond memories of her, her ex-husband, and their children having been welcomed into people’s homes when they lived in an Orthodox community. And she was well aware that that welcome had disappeared when she’d moved to a much more mixed neighborhood and joined a Conservative synagogue, where she, and, later, her current husband (a widower who, like her, has adult children), rarely received invitations from other members of their synagogue. They felt that, now that they’re both empty-nesters and not getting any younger, they needed a community in which they could expect to have a social life as a part of their religious life.

We davven (pray) in a synagogue where people rarely invite one another, and the neighborhood where I prefer to pray is over an hour away. Would we have a better social life on Sabbath if we lived there (assuming that we could afford to do so, which we can’t), or is the tradition of hachnasat orchim simply not such a central observance among Conservative Jews?

I’ll be keeping an eye on my old friend to see whether she and her husband find a warm welcome in their new Jewish community, or whether it’s just going to be a better place for them to live in general. Assuming that we can afford to move there, it might be worth learning to keep my big mouth shut if we could get, in return, roughly the same number of mishloach manot packages that we gave out. I’m tired of living a little-house-on-the-prairie life.


Evening update: My husband's reaction is that I'd better be sure that I'm prepared to make such a radical change, because he doesn't want to hear me complaining for the next 20 years about not being able to have an aliyah. He has a point. I'll have to give this a lot of thought, and decide whether my priority is to have a more active religious social life--especially since, being seven years younger than my husband, I'm likely to outlive him--or to have a religious life that's more inclusive of women.

A Conservative Jew views the Bishul Yisrael rule

Please pardon the usual formatting problems. I have no idea how to correct the font style and size to make them consistent throughout a post.

Rabbi Yaakov Luban, of the Orthodox Union, discusses the Bishul Yisrael (cooking done by an Israelite) rule in "Playing with Fire":

"In recent years, with many women entering the work force, it has become increasingly more prevalent for non-Jewish5 help to prepare meals while a couple is away from home. Unfortunately, many people are completely unaware that food prepared by a non-Jewish live-in maid or baby-sitter may not be kosher, and even their utensils, pots and pans may require kosherization6."

For me, as a Conservative Jew, Bishul Yisrael is problematic because it implies that observing the laws of kashrut alone is insufficient, and must be supplemented by measures that, essentially, treat non-Jews not as fellow and sister human beings, but as agents of ritual contamination, for lack of a better description. I apologize if that description is offensive to some of my readers, but, in all honesty, I can't think of any other way to describe the effect of, and the attitude illustrated by, this rule.

The rules of kashrut deal with ingredients, utensils, pots and pans, plates and tableware, etc., and how one deals with them. Bishul Yisrael, on the other hand, deals not with "what" or "how," but with "whom." To my mind, that's not kashrut, that's discrimination. And I don't tolerate intolerance, even symbolic. While I would certainly supervise a non-Jew who was cooking in my kitchen to ensure that kosher ingredients and the proper pots, etc., were used, I wouldn't prevent him or her from cooking a kosher dish from beginning to end because I see no good reason to do so.

I find it rather telling that, in all my 61 years as a Conservative, I've never heard the Bishul Yisrael rule discussed in Conservative Jewish circles. I wonder whether that's because other Conservative Jews (would) find this rule as offensive as I do.


Speed demon

Boy, was I sorry that the rabbi, rather than my husband, led Shacharit (Morning Service) last Shabbat/Sabbath in the absence of our vacationing cantor. Having prayed through the P'sukei D'Zimrah section at home, I came early enough that I thought I'd be in time to pray the Matbeiah shel Tefillah (required part of the service) with the congregation, and was startled to discover that the rabbi was already giving his pre-Torah-reading talk. According to my husband, the rabbi had done the entire service up to the Torah reading in 35 minutes flat. Nu, it's Shabbos! Where are you going, that you're in such a rush? I felt as if I were at a Monday morning "commuter" minyan, with a train to catch. Is it really such a big deal if we finish at 12:15 instead of 11:30?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Minchah, the rabbi came late

After over five years of giving the Shabbos Goy a royal song and dance if he came a minute late to fetch the rabbi for Minchah (Afternoon Service) on Shabbat/Sabbath, the rabbi was forced to deal with the Shabbos Goy's absence yesterday. Lo and behold, he suddenly discovered that there is a way for him to get out of his building without triggering an electrical device, and showed up--10 minutes late--wearing his keys around his neck, as I do. Those of us congregants who understood the halachic significance of this act were hard-pressed to refrain from rolling our eyes.

What's in a nusach?--re the Sefardi admission fight

To understand the controversy, start with my previous post.

Questions, questions, but answers . . . ?

  • My rabbi said that there's no difference between a school requiring Ashkenazi children to speak Hebrew with havarah Sefardit (Sefardi pronounciation) and a school requiring Sefardi children to speak Hebrew with havarah Ashkenazit (Ashkenazi pronunciation)--one must follow the school's rules. I think there is a difference: Sefardi Hebrew is the official havarah of Medinat Yisrael (the State of Israel), so it does make sense for a Zionist school to insist on conducting classes in havarah Sefardi. I see no reason whatsoever for a school to force Sefardi children to speak havarah Ashkenazit (unless the school is anti-Zionist, in which case I question why those hypocrites are living in, and benefiting from, Medinat Yisrael).
  • Should a child be forced to give up the nusach (prayer arrangement and melodies), which differ somewhat from one community to another, and adopt that of the school? This happens in the US as well, where kids whose parents davven (pray) in accordance with Nusach Ashkenaz are forced to switch to (the Chassidic Ashkenazi) Nusach Sefard (a combination of Nusach Ashkenaz and the true Nusach of the Sefardim). Honestly, would it really be a disaster if the kids learned more than one nusach? At my office, some of the men (sadly, the room's too small for a women's section) who usually davven in our Nusach Ashkenaz minyan do davven with the Nusach Sefard minyan when their schedule(s) necessitate(s) a temporary switch.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dispute over admission of S'fardim to school

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Observing the letter, violating the spirit of halachah

This post was inspired by this one. So I think I'll just start with the same subject.

I said it in the comments to that post and I'll say it again: Why can't we just use our brains? Is the point to follow the rules, which, according to some interpretations of halachah/Jewish religious law, say that a woman must cover her collarbone, elbows, and knees? Or is the point to be modest, which would prohibit a woman from wearing an outfit that conforms to all of the above rules but is skin-tight?

Kisui Rosh/Head-Covering (for married woman)
According to some interpretations of halachah, a married woman must cover at least part of her hair in public. I will grant you that Orthodox women employed in certain fields and/or under certain circumstances may find it advisable to cover their hair discretely by using a wig. But it seems to me that, if you can't tell that a married woman's hair is covered, what's the point?

A former boss of mine had it right. She discretely wore a wig every day, but not only was it not the same wig, she had wigs of two different lengths. This made it perfectly obvious to anyone who saw her for more than three days in a row that the hair we were seeing was not her real hair.

Yayin M'vushal (cooked [boiled] wine)
The rabbis forbade Jews to drink wine handled by a non-Jew (meaning that, if a non-Jew handled an opened bottle of wine or grape juice, it became forbidden for a Jew to drink from that bottle) in order to prevent too much socializing between Jews and non-Jews (and/or to prevent the accidental participation of Jews in the worship of "foreign" gods [Avodah Zarah] by non-Jews [Nochrim]). (See here.) Then they came up with the brilliant idea that, if the wine were boiled, anyone could handle the bottle and a Jew could still drink from it. So a measure that was originally designed to prevent interaction no longer does anything of the sort.

Bishul Yisrael
The rabbis forbade Jews to eat certain kosher foods when they were cooked by non-Jews, a measure which, if I understand it correctly, was yet another attempt to prevent too much fraternization. Then they got around that rule by saying that it was sufficient for a Jew to light the stove light, or, according to Sefardi Orthodox Jewish interpretation, it was sufficient for a Jew to stir the food in the pot and/or put the pot on the flame/stove light. (See here.) My understanding is that, at home, you can get around the prohibition to a limited extent by having your household and/or childcare helper reheat food in the microwave, since, halachically speaking, cooking in a microwave is not considered cooking. So, again, a measure that was originally promulgated to prevent excessive socializing between Jews and non-Jews no longer does any such thing.

Concerning Yayim M'vushal and Bishul Yisrael, I just don't get it. I recently read somewhere a statement that one should be careful not to abandon a tradition just because there's no longer a reason for it. Nu, can you think of a better reason to abandon a tradition?*

Concerning all of the practices described above, I would describe this sort of thinking as halachic hyprocrisy.

*Yeah, yeah, there's no logical reason given by the Torah for keeping kosher either, but at least the basic prohibitions of kashrut come straight from the Torah, not from the rabbis.

See also Bugged.

Wed., June 16, 2010, 5:36 PM note: The comment count is malfunctioning (for a change), so please check for further comments even if it appears that there aren't any. I missed a few, myself--will reply from home.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Blue June :(

Last year, my mother died on our wedding anniversary, June 12.

This year, within the two weeks preceding our anniversary:
  • Israel faced a major international crisis as a result of the Gaza flotilla fiasco;
  • I observed my mother's first yahrzeit (anniversary of death, according to the Jewish calendar);
  • We found out that a relative, disabled and unemployed for over a decade, is in even worse financial shape than we'd thought--a request for monetary assistance seems more and more likely;
  • My husband underwent hernia surgery;
  • My Israeli brother e-mailed the news that our father was hospitalized with pneumonia, and suggested that we three American siblings start writing eulogies;
  • My husband observed his mother's yahrzeit. (June 12, 2011 correction: My husband's mother's yahrzeit is after my mother's, not before.)

The good news is that, according to yesterday's e-mail update from Israel, my father's doing much better. But I can't help remembering that my mother was never really well again after she was hospitalized with pneumonia, and died about six months later.

So here I am, just recently out of aveilut (my year of mourning). I'm listening to my CDs again, and am eagerly awaiting my first opportunity in over a year to go to a live concert . But I'm almost afraid to enjoy myself.

For openers, given my father's health, I just don't know how long it will be before I have to say Kaddish again. Nor do I know whether, having finally sent our son off to graduate school, where he's almost entirely self-supporting, we might have to subsidize yet another relative's income, this time probably for the rest of our lives.

So please excuse me for having the blues.

DovBear on Parshat Korach

I find this post very interesting and informative reading, and recommend that you click on the link within that post to read the original.

A good grin from Heshy:Speed-davvening contest

Chuckle here. :)

Korach and Hamas: Sharing PR Tactics

You can read Rabbi Reuven Spolter's d'var Torah here.

Homework assignment:Watch "how to back up" video

I hope that watching this video will help me figure out how to organize my back-ups on my new external hard drive. Thus far, I haven't figured out how to organize my media files into folders automatically. Last night, I spent an hour or so creating a Music folder and copying my music files into it, one folder at a time. I haven't gotten around to backing up my video files yet, but, if this is the only way to transfer files in folders, as opposed to transferring them as individual files, I can't face the prospect of transferring thousands of photos into a homemade Pictures folder one folder at a time.

On the internal hard drive, the automatic line-up is "Libraries: Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, all neatly organized in folders. Why do only the Documents back up the same way--in folders, automatically--but not the media files? Since there's no "Save As" option in the media folders, it appears to me that the problem is with Windows 7, not with my Passport external hard drive. The only option I can think of is to use Send and copy the files to the external hard drive, but, since, without a Save As option, I can't figure out how to specify where on the external hard drive I want them saved, I then have to drag and drop each file or folder into the correct folder.

I'm probably missing something obvious and/or doing my back-ups the hard way, so, if anyone has any suggestions for Ms. Low-Tech, I'd certainly appreciate hearing from you.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ms. Low-Tech confronts Windows 7

. . . and loses. :(

I've been word-processing on the computer as a secretary for over a decade, and have never before encountered a problem stopping/deleting a print job when I accidentally chose the wrong file to print. Seriously, folks, is turning off the printer really the only way, in Windows 7, to stop/delete a print job that's already begun? Who designed this program?!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Everything that *could* go wrong . . .

. . . did go wrong.

I came home from work and was pleased to see that a tee shirt that I had ordered had arrived--until I opened the package. The packing slip stated that the tee shirt was white, but it sure looked turquoise to me!

Then I went downstairs to do the laundry, only to discover that the machine that sells refills for the card that operates the washers and dryers was not working. Since we had only enough "credit" on our card to pay for one of our two loads of laundry, a trip to the local drop-off laundromat (where the employees wash, dry, and fold your laundry for you) is now necessary.

Between laundry cycles, I put dinner up to cook and tried to download some files from e-mail and save them, but my almost-brand-new computer informed me that Word was not working!

I went back to the basement to put the washed load into the dryer, and discovered, much to my annoyance, that I'd forgotten to put two of my own shirts into the wash. They'll have to wait 'til Monday.

Returning to our apartment, I uploaded Acrobat Reader, only to find that the version on the CD that came with my almost-brand-new monitor is not compatible with my computer. I'll have to look on the Internet for a download.

Back to the basement I went to pick up the dried clothing, and was dismayed to see that I'd accidentally dried an item that's not supposed to be dried.

With all this craziness, I never got around to practicing my haftarah (prophetic reading) for this Shabbat (Sabbath), and Haftarah Shabbat Rosh Chodesh is long!

The good news:

I managed to find a work-around for the file that refused to be saved, saving it in the wrong folder, then dragging and dropping it to the right one. The other Word files that I wanted to download and save didn't give me any trouble.

The accidentally-dried item is still wearable.

Okay, enough goofing off--I'm off to the laundromat.

Pre-Shabbat update: Congratulate me--Ms. Lost-in-(Cyber)Space just successfully downloaded Acrobat Reader and opened and saved a file with it. (Don't all roll your eyes at once. :) ) Shabbat Shalom, everyone.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Being bugged can have consequences

Soggy, spoiled salad.

That's what we got recently at a kosher restaurant.

Evidently, the mashgiach (kashrut supervisor) who washes the greens to remove the bugs also leaves them, still wet, in a bowl or container. By the time the greens got onto our plates, they'd been sitting in water for so long that we had to throw out most of them.

How disappointing. That's the last time I order a green salad, unless I can visually inspect the greens for freshness beforehand. :(

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


From the comments to my post on the literal cost of being Jewish:

Woodrow/Conservadox said...

Or rabbis could just end the War on Vegetables. The basic argument why leafy vegetables are unkosher and/or require extensive cleaning is that pesticides that protected against bugs are no longer used.

Two flaws in the argument:

Flaw 1: If pesticides aren't used anymore, why is there an organic food industry?

Flaw 2: But Jews used vegetables for thousands of years without EITHER (a) lightboxes and similar aggressive measures or (b) pesticides. Thus, it cannot be the case that either lightboxes or pesticides are required to make vegetables adequately bug-free.

Something doesn't seem to hold water here- with or without veggie wash!

Thu May 27, 02:45:00 PM 2010

Shira Salamone said...

Woodrow, a buddy of mine had a budget-based theory regarding some of the recent bug-based kashrut rulings.

Thu May 27, 04:23:00 PM 2010

Here's a question for my more learned readers: What evidence--preferably written--do we have that our ancestors were as insect-obsessed as some members of the current Orthodox rabbinate are? Or are my commenters correct in saying that this concern about bugs in fruit, vegetables, and, in some cases, water, is something new under the sun? Seriously, recent concerns about tiny worms in fish were already dismissed by the rabbis of the Talmud. Why isn't even the Talmud's permission good enough for some right-wing rabbis?

Our ancestors ate fruit, vegetables, and kosher varieties of fish for a couple thousand years (give or take a few centuries) without qualms about their kashrut. And surely New York City's allegedly-bug-filled tap water isn't any more polluted that what my grandparents drank in Eastern Europe. What changed in the last 10 years? I think Woodrow's right--there's something fishy going on here.

See also Bugged, or score another one for the rabbis, and follow the links to get a better sense of both sides of the infestation question.

A Shiva Guide by Leora

Here's a helpful guide to paying a shiva (condolence) call.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Anniversary waltz

We went out last Sunday to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary this coming Saturday, June 12, since we were concerned that a celebration might be a bit more difficult to manage after my husband's recent "fun." We saw the quite-droll "Circumcize Me," then had a nice meat meal at a kosher restaurant near our favorite Sunday-night Israeli folk dancing session, and danced off our dessert. Dancing "Dodi Li" together seemed an appropriate way to celebrate the occasion. Here are the lyrics, with translation--they're taken from Shir HaShirim/The Song of Songs.

Round 2

Neither my husband nor I was able to sit on a low stool, as is traditional, when sitting shiva for our respective mothers. In my case, it was because my mother was buried in Israel, so we had no local funeral home to supply the usual boxes. (My sister and I sat on folding chairs and made it a point not to lean back--that was the closest we could manage, being a bit too old to sit on the floor.)

In my husband's case, it was because he was in surgery having a hernia repaired when his mother died--he made it to the funeral, but certainly couldn't shovel dirt into his mother's grave, as is traditional, and couldn't safely sit or get up from such a low position.

Round 2 was today--he just had another hernia repaired.

All is well, now that he's stopped bringing up his lunch--acid reflux and anesthesia are a poor combination--and is resting comfortably at home. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm finally awake enough (after getting him to the hospital at 6:30 AM) to go get his Percocet painkiller prescription filled, just in case. There are some advantages to living in this neighorhood--the nearest 24-hour pharmacy is only a block and a half away.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Ani Yehudi

I know that this video has been making the rounds for a month or so, but this is my first opportunity--this is the first video and/or link I've posted since my mother's death. Her first yahrzeit (anniversary of death, by the Jewish calendar) was 20 Sivan, from sunset last Tuesday night until sunset last Wednesday night. I'm posting this video link in memory of Esther bat Chaim v'Golda.

Here's the introduction that I received via Shlock Rock News e-mail--it includes the link. Enjoy!

"Over 320,000 You Tube Views - Ani Yehudi - We Are The World Style!

If we would tell you that Lenny Solomon has a video which has been seen

over 320,000 times on you tube we would not be lying! The song Ani Yehudi which was written and released by Lenny in 2004 was re-recorded by Pop Israeli Superstar Kobi Oz along with Lenny and twelve other artists. Seven religious and seven secular singing stars took lines in the Ani Yehudi 2010 version and it has been a smash hit! Here it is for you to watch! There are seven different versions on You Tube. No Subtitles, English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Yiddish and

English (HD) Enjoy! In honor of Israel's 62nd Birthday here is Ani Yehudi!

The song is in Hebrew - here it is with no subtitles

Here it is with English subtitles

Pass it along to your family and friends.

Email us at info@shlockrock.com with your comments!"


Medical professionals: A better way, please?

I walk into a neurologist's office for a test to help determine how bad my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has gotten--and am handed 12 pages of forms to complete! In all seriousness, I'm certainly not the only person in the world with hand problems. Can't information be obtained in a manner that doesn't contribute to the very condition being investigated?

For the record, the doctor was obnoxious, refusing to answer my "are we done yet?" questions--he finally explained that the test changed on a patient-by-patient basis, which he should have said in the first place--and failing to warn me before placing particularly painful needles (as my previous doctor had done). Medical professionals are not excused from sensitivity.

The nurse was much more considerate. When I complained that, if I finished filling out all those forms, I might have trouble writing at work, she let me answer the questions orally while she herself completed the forms. Bless her for her kindness.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

My Conservative crew misbehaves

Our rabbis, past and present, can give all the lectures they want about not carrying anything in public on Shabbat/Sabbath, but the old ladies of our shul (synagogue) are still going to show up with their pocketbooks.

Then there's the guy roughly my age who whips out a comb right there in the sanctuary and combs his hair. On a weekday, that would be tacky enough, but on Shabbat . . . I mean, seriously, if you're going to violate Shabbat, must you be so blatant about it?

There's really no point in yelling at anyone. The ladies have already been told (as mentioned above). And the gentleman prides himself on his Jewish learning, but obviously isn't interested in applying it.

A few weeks ago, I complained to one guy that he's not a serious davvener (pray-er). He became quite indignant, and claimed that he comes to synagogue over an hour late on Shabbat mornings because he's such a fast davvener that he can catch up anyway. It obviously doesn't register with him that this excuse doesn't account for the fact that he usually misses Minchah (Afternoon Service) altogether, and gets to shul sometime during Seudah Shlishit.

Then there's the president, who just came up with a new one--he thinks that if, he relieves my husband (the Ritual Committee chair) of the honor of giving out honors, and also makes sure to stay in the shul building until the end of the Torah service, it's okay for him to sneak out for coffee at one of the local cafes during the Musaf service. Now I've heard everything.

1:25 AM update:
I forgot to mention the woman, probably in her seventies, who showed up yesterday morning in jeans and sneakers. I'm used to that kind of informal attire among folks my own age and younger, though I consider it a bit disrespectful on a Shabbat or holiday, but that's first for someone of that age.

Then there was the old guy who showed up to Minchah yesterday in shorts.

I give up.

Something *else* surrounded, for a change :)

June 1, 2010

June 2, 2010
Shira's Shots
Here are some flowers surrounded by flowers. That's flowers, not flotillas. No ships are involved. :)

Friday, June 04, 2010

DovBear's second thoughts re the Gaza Flotilla

This won't make JoeSettler happy, but it's a good-faith attempt to understand the Flotilla fiasco.

See also Trep's try.

And there you have it, one flotilla-fiasco post from a left-wing Zionist and one from a right-wing Zionist. Fair and balanced. :)

Flotilla Fiasco reactions: JoeSettler vs. DovBear

Here's DovBear's attempt to understand the confusion concerning efforts of some Gaza Flotilla supporters to intervene on Gilad Shalit's behalf.

Here's JoeSettler's response. He may have a point, but I don't appreciate the unnecessarily nasty manner in which he expressed it.

Can't we just agree to disagree without insulting one another?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Observing my mother's first yahrzeit

"Long life," said the folks at my "kaddish minyan" this morning. I'll be back there tomorrow morning for a Kel Malei prayer.

At my sister's synagogue, where we said kaddish at Mincha (Afternoon Service) today, she passed around chocolate-covered orange peel, one of Mom's favorite treats, after services.

I do wish, though, that I hadn't had my patience tried.

For Mom, on her first yahrzeit

. . . along with a donation to Hadassah, her favorite charity.

I took this photo this morning on the way home from my "kaddish minyan."

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

20 Sivan: It's my mother's first yahrzeit

I still find it hard to believe that she's gone.

Re the Flotilla fiasco, here's my question

If the Flotilla incident had involved the United States, and the persons killed had been killed by American military personnel, would it be considered an international scandal?

Flotilla fiasco: DovBear gives another perspective

Gaza Flottila raid: Trep tries to separate fact, fiction

See here for a very good attempt at level-headed analysis by David Bogner/Treppenwitz.
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