Dear Friends and Family,
“If it Bleeds it Leads” is the Newspaper motto that sadly describes this week in review. The headlines reflect the death toll from European anti-semitism, honor killing in Pakistan and a lethal combination of mental health, misogyny and easy access to weaponry in California. Hatred is just too prevalent in our human society, whether it’s hatred of Jews, hatred of Women or hatred in general. We are born as clean slates, yet the vast amount of images and messages we encounter during our formative years can meld a weak psyche into sickness and cause him to erupt. Please see the below tribute to Maya Angelou and her quote regarding Hatred.
Four innocent souls (2 Israeli) were shot by a crazed gunman as he casually walked into the Brussels Jewish Museum
, fired off his riffle and walked out. He still hasn’t been caught. A few hours later and 160 miles SW in Paris more anti-semitism occurred as 2 young Jewish brothers were attacked near their Synagogue. Sadly, these anti-semitic attacks reiterate the recent ADL global survey
which found (not surprisingly) a heightened rate of Global Anti-semitism. A few disturbing points from the survey indicates that just over 1 Billion people are anti-semitic and more than 1/2 of those polled had NEVER heard of the Holocaust. Here is the full report of the survey:http://www.adl.org/press-center/press-releases/anti-semitism-international/adl-global-100-poll.html
Even in our very enlighten, modern, democratic United States of America, Women still fight for equal status, equal opportunities, equal Pay and Women’s Choice. But the worst case scenario are the Women Haters or Misogynist. These people, like the California killer, have taken the extra leap into a delusional state thinking all women have been placed on this Earth to obey them. Sadly, this guy was pathological and obsessed with (the lack of) wealth and women and with easy, legal access to guns, he took 6 innocent people with him to death. Will these mass killings ever end? Will the All-Mighty NRA ever value Life over Lust and Loot (of the gun industry). Things won’t change until we stand up against those like Joe the Plumber who “eloquently” expresses their beliefs that “Your Dead Kids Don’t Trump My Constitutional Rights” To Have Guns.
-Sensible Background Checks
-Assault Weapons Ban
– Responsible Legislators
OK, enough hatred and violence. Onto Cheesecake and Torah, as this week concludes our Omer Count with the upcoming holiday of Shavuot, which celebrates when we were given the Torah and Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. It is customary to eat “Milk and Honey” and to participate in an all-night Torah study session.
Also, this past week was Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) celebrating the re-unification of Yerushalayim Shel Zahav (Jerusalem of Gold). An appropriate time to visit the City of Gold as Pope Francis did this week. Here is a beautiful rendition (with english translation) of the iconic Jerusalem song and a few Pope sightings:
Happy Jerusalem Day – reunited since 1967
Pope in Israel
Kotel (Western Wall)
Yad Vashem (Holocaust Memorial)
JF Board and Teen Effort
Kudos to the board of our local Jewish Fund for their righteous decision to contribute $60,000 to collaborate with various funeral homes to give dignified burials to 200 unclaimed bodies that have been housed (for years in some cases) at the Wayne County morgue. Our community is very proud of the Jewish Fund efforts throughout the years. Now, they are extending this philanthropic education to Teens in our region as they have established a Youth Foundation Board. This is an amazing opportunity for any Jewish Teen entering 10th or 11th grade to participate in our local philantropy. For more info, please check out their website: http://thejewishfund.org/teenboard/ or contact Martha Goldberg at mgoldberg@JFMD.org or (248)642-4741
High School can be a treacherous minefield with peer pressure, exam pressure and college pressure. Making brave choices during these (sometimes) awkward and defining years takes courage. To add Mental Illness to this mix of self-consciousness makes life even harder but these two Ann Arbor girls seem to have mustered up a whopping amount of strength to bring Mental Illness out in the open and help remove the stigma. Their school wasn’t ready for that brave step so they wrote their story “Depressed but not ashamed” in an article that was picked up by the New York Times. Bravo to them:
Bravo to Erica Gerson as she chairs Detroit’s Land Bank Authority to deal with the blight and abandon properties in our City. It’s a daunting job yet Erica and her team are up for the challenge.
In Our Lifetime
OK, I’ve increased the font for this topic as I think it is the Brightest Idea since Slice Bread. If this could be accomplished, it would solve almost all of our Country’s Major Concerns (Energy, Jobs, Environment… the list goes on). This Solar Roadway Project is TRULY brilliant but not sure if it is feasible. Check it out for yourself with this creative video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlTA3rnpgzU
Pursuit of Peace
On June 14th the Presbyterian church will hold it’s General Assembly conference in our great city of Detroit. Sadly, this organization is not our Jewish Community’s BFF. Among many topics debated will again be the stance to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel. A petition of Peace signed by Clergy and Clergy students is being circulated and I urge all Clergy to sign.
Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet Shabbat Shalom and a Happy Shavuot Sameach,