Dear Friends and Family,
Look to the Wise Ones for answers…
Did you know that a 22 year-old Jewish woman was responsible for women’s rights in post WWII Japanese society. Just after WWII ended, Beate Gordon (who passed away last week), found herself as the only female assistant to General Douglas MacArthur while he was drafting Japan’s Postwar Constitution. Japanese women (back then) were treated more like property than people. She helped establish the equality that current Japanese women enjoy today by contributing women’s rights issues to their constitution: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/02/world/asia/beate-gordon-feminist-heroine-in-japan-dies-at-89.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&hp (Thanks Leah C. for sharing)
This week commemorates the 2nd anniversary of that fateful shooting in Tucson that left Congressman Gabby Giffords scarred for life. As the NRA has a $300 million budget with a fraction of that amount dedicated to the other side, it is not surprising little progress has been made to combat this problem. Gabby (this week) created a new initiative called the Americans For Responsible Solutions to equalize the playing field so our legislators are NOT indebted to NRA lobbyist. And, hopefully Mayor Bloomberg will dedicate his efforts to this cause once his Mayoral term is up. I’m routing for a Giffords/Bloomberg team to lead us to saner gun control solutions.
One day we hope to own a home in Beersheva to stay warm during these cold Michigan winters and to help to fulfill David Ben Gurion’s dream to populate the Negev. The Jewish National Fund Beersheva River Park (1700 acre environmental space) will now include a 3,000 tree forest memorializing the Sandy Hook victims. One day the “lush” Negev will be as popular as its northern neighbors.
Speaking of keeping warm, 2012 was the hotest year in record history for the (contiguous) United States. Though MI has been covered with snow for a few weeks, rumor has it, it will be 50 degrees this weekend. Also experiencing a warm spell is Australia with a record heat wave of 129 degrees this week.
Sometimes it hard to believe that we live in the 21st Century, while some in the world still act as though it were the barbaric era of the Middle Ages. Gang rapes in India, Chinese ivory envy causing the mass killing of 11 Kenyan elephants, executions of Kurdish women activists in Paris and a Saudia Arabian beheading of a poverty-stricken Sri Lankan nanny. By the way, international domestic workers have minimal rights compared to other laborers. Some good news…the Pakistani student (Malala Yousafzai) shot by the Talaban to prevent her from promoting education for girls has left her UK hospital and hopefully on the road to recovery. http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/04/world/europe/uk-pakistan-malala-discharged/index.html
Now I love Adam Levine‘s moves as much as the next gal, but this rendition deserves a Grammy or at least the Michigan People’s Choice award. I guarantee a smile while watching it, especially if you know Michael “Levine” Smolash (who can really move his hips) or King “Harold” or Neil, Josh, Paul, Wendy, Jennifer, Marla to mention just a few of our friends I spied moving like “graggers”. The lyrics and vocals are prefect and the dance moves, from disco to break dance to Gangnam to Krav Maga (to that move Paul does) are professional and humorous. Kol HaKavod (well done) to theTemple Israel community for bringing Purim to the masses (this one should go viral). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePjzKbq0Iqo
Hannan and I will be heading to DC for the (hopefully warmer than 4 years ago) Inauguration. We would love to connect with others in our nation’s capital while there.
Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,
P.S. I don’t think anyone could explain our Detroit/Canada bridge situation better than the Jon Stewart Show (aired this week):
And speaking of Detroit, Bravo to Kresge for pledging to continue their financial support of $150 million to help revitalize the city.