Dear Friends and Family,
Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls have picked them everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?
These lyrics rang through my Camp Sea-Gulls years of the 70s and will forever bring back wonderful memories of Summer campfires. Pete Seeger wrote this song as an anti-war anthem and it lived on through the many entertainers who recorded it (The Kingston Trio, Peter/Paul/Mary, Joan Baez and Marlene Dietrich in German and French). Pete Seeger died this week at the ripe old age of 94. He was an activist for many causes throughout his long life and for his outspokenness, he was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. His father was an Ethnomusicologist (studied the music of different cultures) and taught at Yale. Many would be surprised to learn that Pete attended preppy boarding school and then dropped out of Harvard. He worked continuously and even recored two albums in 2012. His musical spirit will be greatly missed.
Israeli Folk Tune
He even sang hebrew lyrics in this version of Tzena, Tzena, Tzena: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZ5v651bQ1o
…if not now, when?
Recorded less than two years ago for a Jewish Retreat, here is Pete’s reflection on Hillel’s poiyant proverb “If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?”
Bye Bye Love
Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers also died recently at the age of 74.
Phil and Don Everly were best friends with Buddy Holly and often toured with him. My favs, Simon and Garfunkel were heavily influenced by them and apparently so were Jimmy Fallon and Barry Gibb. Please enjoy Jimmy and Barry’s duet of a few of their famous songs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pweHyzsWWeQ
|Phil and Don
Turn, Turn, Turn
(another song written by Pete Seeger)… A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…
Three steps forward, three steps back. Egypt is dancing the Cha Cha as they celebrate the 3rd anniversary of their famous Tahrir Square uprising that overthrew the (30 year) Mubarak regime. Since then, The Muslim Brotherhood won elections and was given a pink slip on their first birthday. A constitutional election just took place with 98% voting in favor, and pain and agony for those who dared to oppose the vote. Someone was playing hooky when Freedom and Democracy lessons were taught in Egypt.
Egyptian apartment overlooking Tahrir Square
More (unpleasant) dancing
Four decades forward, four decades back. Women are dancing the Tango (backwards) as many States continue to impose restrictions on choice, birth control and health care. If YOU don’t want to use birth control or have an abortion (for religious or whatever reason)… That’s fine, just don’t impose your beliefs on your neighbor and prevent them from make their life choices. In the last 3 years, there have been 205 NEW abortion restrictions instituted in our nation. Sadly this trend is increasing with 2013 as a record breaking year. Then of course you get “brilliant” quotes from former Presidential candidates like Mike Huckabee
who say “Democrats have made women believe they are helpless without Uncle Sugar (Sam) coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government”.
The only way to halt and reverse this trend is to elect legislators who are NOT anti-choice. After 4 decades of legalized abortions, this battle should have been put to rest, but many people want to turn back the clocks and remove this freedom of choice.
As President Obama so aptly stated in this week’s State of the Union speech: “When women succeed, America succeeds.” And, when the middle class succeeds, America succeeds. He promised a year of action, with or without congressional help. If the past five years are his indicator, he’ll be using his pen as his only partner for the opportunities he plans to provide our Middle Class, our Women and our Nation.
Speak Up I
Bravo to Ambassador Caroline Kennedy for speaking up (via Tweeter) against Japan’s brutal (yet cultural) tradition of herding and slaughtering dolphins. Dolphin meat is eaten in Japan so their response to her condemnation was to call it hypocritical as we butcher and eat millions of cows and chickens each year.
Speak Up II
As predicted, the bull-horns of the BDS clan condemned Scarlett for her SodaStream relationship. In response, Ms. Johansson, graciously, released the following statement: “a company that is not only committed to the environment, but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their Ma’ale Adumim factory every working day.” In addition she stated she is “a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine. To continue this saga, Oxfam (International organization working to prevent poverty and injustice) criticized her because they “believe that businesses that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.” These two quotes couldn’t be more opposite. Ms. Johansson (wisely) quit her job at Oxfam. Irreconcilable differences. By the way, where is Oxfam or the BDS clans outrage about Syria’s punitive demolition of homes and neighborhoods of their opposition.
Speaking of Israel (as I often do), here is more historical (biblical) proof of our ties to Israel and Jerusalem. “If I forget Jerusalem, then let my right hand forget its own strength.” (Psalms 137:5) For a Jew, forgetting Jerusalem is like forgetting your own identity. Yet, by remembering Jerusalem, we identify with our very essence and inner-self. Many have denied our ties to Israel with lies and distortions, but TRUTH always comes out the winner in the end.
It is a travesty of justice that the Italian court system found Amanda Knox guilty. NO WAY should our government even consider extradition. She has been mistreated and abused by the Italian prosecution and this new verdict is another attack on her rights.
Go Seattle Seahawks, Go Denver Broncos…may the best team win and may those watching enjoy their beer and buffalo wings.
Wishing you and your family a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,
Bonus I: My favorite Grammy moment was Carole King and Sara Bareilles. You can skip the first minute of Cindi Laupers (awkward intro) and jump right to 1:02, enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ25_2uEmgQ