Shabbat Shalom December 28, 2012

Shabbat Shalom December 28, 2012

Dear Friends and Family,

For the first time in a year and a half, we will be enjoying the company of all of our children (daughters, sons and son-in-law).  The time together is treasured and appreciated.

For the end of 2012 I leave you with my definition of True Friendship. I hope this brings a smile to your faces.

When you are sad…
I will help you get drunk and plot revenge against the sorry bastard who made you sad.

When you are blue…
I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

When you smile…
I will know you are thinking of something that I would probably want to be involve in.

When you are scared…
I will rag on you about it every chance I get until you’re NOT.

When you are worried…
I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining.

When you are confused…
I will use only little words.

When you are sick…
Stay the hell away from me until you are well again.  I don’t want whatever you have.

When you fall…
I will laugh at your clumsy ass, but I’ll help you up.

This is my oath…
I pledge it to the end.  Why? you may ask…because you are my friend.

Friendship is like peeing your pants, everyone can see it, but only you can feel the true warmth.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,



 “The most important human endeavor is striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to our lives.”

Albert Einstein (1879-1955);
Theoretical Physicist, Philosopher, Nobel Prize Winner

Shabbat Shalom December 28, 2012

Shabbat Shalom December 21, 2012

Shabbat Shalom December 21, 2012

Dear Friends and Family,

When will we learn that one drop of blood (let alone 20 murdered children under the age of 7) is too much of a price to pay for the freedom of semi-automatic gun ownership. Three things much change:

1. Ban assault weapons.  2. Remove the stigma and increase the funding for mental illness.   3. Gag order the media on publicizing the names of the perpetrator.  

By the way,  the NRA waited till Tuesday to comment on the murders.  It pulled its Facebook page on Friday and said absolutely NOTHING for 5 days.  It’s reasoning… “Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting.”  What facts needed “investigation”.  We knew from day one that 20 children (plus 6 educators) were gunned down. They should have been the first to make a simple and brief statement condemning the monstrous mass murder of children. The NRA certainly is very powerful but not very smart.  And while I’m ranting, there is absolutely NO security system in the world today that can prevent the instantaneous and split second murder by a gun (whether its a pistol or an assault weapon).  Four presidents have been shot (and killed), and they all had constant secret service protection.  We need serious debate and some action regarding guns in our society.  Please sign this petition if you feel so inclined:

Incidentally,  our 2nd Amendment (the right to bear arms) was adopted in 1791 when George Washington was our president, when we only had 15 states in our union and when we were in the middle of the Northwest Indian War.  Our society is very different today.

Pray for the Victims
Pray for the Parents and Families
Pray for the Classmates
Pray for the Teachers
Pray for the First Responders who witnessed the unspeakable.
Pray that 2013 will bring some sense to our warped gun-loving nation and its powerful lobby. 

Thanks, Randi S, for facebook posting this beautiful tribute to the Sandy Hook victims song to Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah:

Michigan’s lame duck legislature has been busy at work (reeking havoc on Michigander’s lives).  Awaiting Gov. Snyder’s John Hancock are bills that would 1. hamper women’s access to abortions and birth control and 2. require acknowledgment of US citizenship at polling stations. Smart move Snyder on vetoing the 3rd bill allowing concealed weapons in churches and school. Will you sign the other two?

The Taliban, in all of their wisdom, has decided that the World Health Organization’s efforts to help eradicate Polio from Pakistan (as one of only 3 counties in the world that still suffers from this epidemic) is really on spy mission to sterilize its children with the vaccinations. So after the Taliban killed 8 Health Care Workers,  the World Health Organization has suspended its polio prevention efforts in Pakistan.

Though most of you on this email list don’t celebrate Christmas, many of us live in a Nations that celebrates the holiday for 6 straight weeks with beautiful lights and music.  I am a huge Stephen Colbert fan and his last show of 2012 included a lovely rendition of John Lennon’s Christmas song performed by Lennon’s son Sean with Jeff Tweedy and Mavis Staples:

Hannan and I saw a thought-provoking movie (based on a true story) about a gay couple in the 1979 who desperately tried to adopt an (unwanted) Downs Syndrom child. I highly recommend “Any Day Now” with Alan Cummings in the lead.  Sadly, this issue of Gay equality is still being debated today.

A wonderful musical experience was had by all who attended the Polyphony/David Broza concert last night at the Berman Center.  They are Multi-Talented, Multi-Cultural and a multi-excellent example of peace and harmony. Here is a snippet of them rehearsing in our sunroom:

Rest in Peace, Senator Daniel Inouye, who served Hawaii as congressman or senator since its inclusion as a US State back in 1959.

I guess the Mayans were just “joshing” with us, as we are all still here on Earth.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,



Happy Decembers Birthdays:
Sherri K (mom to 3 lucky sons and 100s of Israeli teens)
Gary P (proud dad of a future U of M student and Colleen’s best friend)
Liza AZ (favorite pup to our Shabbat dinners)
Forest W (wonderful daughter-in-law to Larry and Andi)
Julie S (mandel bread mom to our oldest son)
Kathy C (Hunt. Woods activist)
Nick L (Cornell/Northwestern grad. and Ari’s friend)
Wendy K (Sea-Gull alum friend)
Fran V (filmmaker and AIPAC activist)
Avi B (best friend to biker Beth)
Carolyn B (mom to gymnast Mat and actress Morgan)
Ronda F (mom to Bar Mitzvah son Sam)
Neal E (Hannan’s kibbutz neighbor and best friend)
Penny B(Community Matriarch)
Roz B (my partner in Women’s Department activities)
Susan S (celebrated birthday with the Pres.)
Lauren K (Lucy’s new sister)
Carol T (Harrison High Alum friend)
Elise S (David’s better half)
Liz G (1/4 of tennis buddys)
Dana S (Carli and Alisha’s baby sis)
Natalie N (IDF soldier mom)
Jeff M (my easygoing brother)
Hannah M (Marla and Andy’s treasure)
Michael HP (Israeli singing sensations)
Gina H (Arthur’s better half)
Helen K (loves NYC and dogs)
Steve F (mutual Dakota Bread lover and White House reject)
David GH (new granddad this year)
Jordan O (new Doctor)
Lori S (Tennis lover)
Sharon E (SHE)
Patti A (Ann Arbor social justice activist)
Howard C (Ann Arbor gene code genius)
Judy L (musically talented neighbor)
Miriam L (JTS rabbinic student)
Deanna L (Tamarack Camps supporter)
Tammi F  (part of Cranbrook moms)
Hannan L (love of my life)”Freedom is not a gift from Heaven. One must fight for it every day”
Simon Wiesenthal (Birthday Dec 31st)
Shabbat Shalom December 21, 2012

Shabbat Shalom December 14, 2012

Shabbat Shalom December 14, 2012

Dear Friends and Family,

I’m keeping this week’s email devoid of comments about Right to Work, Emergency Managers and the Fiscal Cliff.  We all need a break from those sore issues.

Hannan and I were fortunate to attend the White House Holiday Party on Wednesday evening but when Hannan sent a text to Amy at his office, the auto-correct stated “we were heading to the holiday party at the Whore House”. I’m not sure who controls the typing correction programs at Samsung though I’m sure my iphone would NOT have mad that mistake.

The event was truly wonderful.  The White House is decorated with tons of Christmas trees and archived Holiday photos.  It was really a treat to be there and we even ran into other Detroiters, Richard and Kathryn Lenter.


My idea to pose this way, not Hannan’s,    The Obamas greeting the crowd. Though both men are very handsome.

DC Hanukaiah/Tree

The giant Hanukia near the National Tree.    We found the Hanukia inside the White House.

Lincoln overlooking tree

My pretty holiday dress.  Lincoln statue overlooking my favorite tree, decorated with colorful ballon-type ornaments.

Our visit to DC was very quick (only 14 hours),  so we didn’t have time to view any sites, but while reading the NY Times on the way home, I saw that after much debate, the brand new Martin Luther King monument will be renovated to remove a paraphrased quote that many thought mis-represented the man.  The cost to correct the error will be about $800,000.  They will remove the paraphrased quote of “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness” as the actual quote read: “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice: say that I was a drum major for peace” I was a drum major for righteousness”. Many thought the paraphrased quote made him sound arrogant.  Too bad they didn’t come to that conclusion $800,000 ago.

Rest in peace, Ravi Shankar.  He was called the Godfather of World Music as he brought Indian Sitar sounds to the collective global eardrum.  His influence and reach was widespread among Classical, Jazz and Rock connoisseurs.  His daughters Nora Jones and Anoushka Shankar Wright will continue the Shankar musical legacy.

We are blessed with 5 Senses to help us appreciate life, like hearingthe music of Ravi Shankar, seeing the beauty of the White House Holiday decorations, hugging our loved ones, tasting the delicious and greasy Latkes (Hannan will fry up at our family Hanukah party next week and Pam will serve us at our Shabbat Hanukah party this week) and smelling the latkes in your house a week after they have been fried.  Not all of us are so lucky to have all of our senses. Here is a beautiful Hanukah story that reminds us of that fact.

Here is my last Hanukah video for the year, which beautifully illustrates our holiday celebration in Israel.  I have 3 tidbits for you to think about while watching.

1. In the beginning of this video you’ll see a dreidel as it stops on the Hebrew letter of “peh” which stands for “Po” which means “here”. Dreidels in Israel have their letters read Nes Gadol Haya Po = A Great Miracle Happened Here. All dreidels outside of Israel read A Great Miracle Happened There = Nes Gadol Haya Sham. Much of our history and traditions began in our homeland of Israel centuries ago.

2. It is recommended to always display our Hanakah Candles in full view of our neighbors to publicize the miracle.  You’ll see this prevalent all throughout Israel.

3. There are 17.8 million Sufganiot (Hanukah Donuts) consumed in Israel during the 8 day holiday.

Happy Hanukah:

Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,



I hope you can join us this Thursday Dec. 20th at 7:30 at the Berman Center (West Bloomfield JCC) for the Polyphony Youth Ensemble Concert with David Broza.  For tickets:

Kol HaKavod (Nice Job) to all for the performers at the

12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy relief concert at Madison Square Garden. My favorites like Billy Joel and Paul McCartney showed up to help raise much needed funds to offset the estimated $50 billion in damages.  So far $35 million has been collected just in ticket sales with 10s of millions more expected from online donations.

Shabbat Shalom December 14, 2012

Shabbat Shalom December 7, 2012

Shabbat Shalom December 7, 2012

Dear Friends and Family,

Sadly (and for no logical reason), the United States will NOT be joining 126 other counties on a United Nations Treaty to promote worldwide equality and rights for people with disabilities.  By the way, this Treaty was moded after our own Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA passed in 1990).   67 Senate votes were needed for ratification however they were 6 votes short as 38 senators (all republicans and, I assume, blinded by their narrow Tea Party vision) rejected the measure. Now, I’m no fan of the UN, but in the words of Jon Stewart “those senators must Hate the UN more than they want to Help people in wheelchairs”.

Hanukah is our Festival of Lights as the miraculous (one day’s worth of) oil burned in our destroyed sacred Temple for 8 continuous nights. Whether ancient or present day miracles are man-made or mysterious, they must be acknowledged and appreciated all 365 days of our year.

Absolutely do NOT try this at home, but please enjoy this incredible Hanukah driven journey through the streets for Jerusalem

And after that wild Hanukah ride, you can relax with this romantic funny Hanukah song

Music executive, Joe Smith, interviewed and recorded over 225 musical legends like Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, George Harrison, Natalie Cole and Jazz Great, Dave Brubeck (who died this week 2 days before his 92nd birthday) and they are now available at the Library of Congress. They are historical and fascinating.

After 25 years of Soviet Freedom, here is your opportunity to share in the pride and hear from a wise few (Peter Yarrow, David Harris, Corey Booker and more) about their thoughts of that amazing time

I found it appropriate that when 100,000 Taxens signed a petition for Secession from the United States and submitted it to the White House (with 20 other states following suit after this past election) that those petitions were quickly followed by the creation of another petition which requests deportation of all those who have signed Secession Petitions.

As we all know by now, the Duchess of Cambridge (aka. Kate Middleton) is pregnant, but for the first time EVER in the history of the British Monarchy, her first born (regardless of gender) will be next in line for the throne (after Grandpa Charles and Daddy Will). A daughter would be nice to test the new law.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom and a festive Festival of Lights,


P.S. One last really fantastic new Hanukah Video with a mashup of several Hanukah songs:  There is a good chance your kids might think you’re cool if you forward it to them.  Thanks Aviv for showing it to me.


Welcome to the world, Marley Naomi Reisman, first grandchild to ecstatic Bubbie/Zede, Grandma/Grandpa, Saba/Savta or however they plan to be called, Tim and Helene Cohen. Enjoy this wonderful new stage of life.

Mazel tov to Jacob Rosberg on becoming a Bar Mitzvah this weekend.  Your grandpa Lou Rosberg would have been kvelling.

Please join us for the multi-talented multi-cultural (Arab and Jewish) Polyphony Youth Ensemble Concert with David Broza on Dec. 20th @ 7:30pm @ the Berman Theatre. For tickets please click:

Wishing the City of Detroit best of luck with its much needed recovery plan, whether that includes an Emergency Manager or something else to set it on a financially secure path.

Wishing my sister, Sheri, a speedy recovery from her knee surgery.

Wishing Bunky’s sister, Maripat, a speedy recovery from her recent injury.

Mazel Tov to the Beitner, Farber Roth and Maxbauer Families on the engagement ofJenny and Sam.

Michigan is on the road to join 23 other states to become a Right to Work State.  It could be finalized by year’s end and implemented by Spring of next year.

Shabbat Shalom December 7, 2012