Dear Friends and Family,
We are in Jerusalem to participate in the 100th year celebration of JDC (aka: The American Joint Distribution Committee) a world-wide rescue and relief agency which had a hand in supporting my in-laws (of blessed memory) during their travels from war-torn Europe to Israel in the mid 40s. Gratitude abounds for the past, present and future efforts of the JDC in assisting our extended Community.
Anger, frustration and sadness overwhelms the families of the Turkish Coal Mine disaster that has already stolen the lives of nearly 300 victims with still many more trapped beneath the rubble. My prayers go out the the family and friends of this disaster.
Nigeria is Israel’s closest friend in Africa and has provided medical support during past terrorist incidents just as it has offered help this week to find the abducted schoolgirls. The Nigerian president Good Luck Jonathan has accepted Israel’s assistance while more brazen attacks continue to be perpetrated by the evil
Boko Haram thugs, this week killing 17 soldiers. Through Israel’s short 65 years, it has developed (under necessity) an expertise in anti-terrorist tactics. The world is praying for the safe return of these daughters.
The Omer is counted between the two anchor holidays of Passover and Shavuot that both represent the common theme of “Persecution to Freedom”. During this 49 day (semi-mourning) period, we aren’t suppose to shave, cut our hair, get married or “party”, but on Lag B’Omer (this Sunday) we take a break from the restrictions. Traditionally, Bonfires are the form of celebration during this holiday as we look forward to attending the Bonfire at Jerusalem’s historic Biblical Zoo.
(I must confess; I have slight pyromaniac tendencies)
What’s in a Name?
For 400 hundred years a tiny town in Spain has kept its name as“Little Hill Fort of Jew Killers”. Now the Mayor had decided the time might be right for a name modification, yet, hold your horses… there is some resistance. After a bit of research, it was discovered that a large Jewish presence lived in the town but during the Inquisition, many chose to convert to Catholicism rather than leave. So to prove they weren’t Jewish any longer, they added “of Jew Killers” to their original name of “Little Hill Fort” and it has stuck ever since. The push back about the name change is grounded in the fear of precedent-setting as they are concerned it will open up other towns to follow suit, which I assume would annoy Spanish map-makers.
Take a lesson…World
Dignity, respect, equality… this is how our Israeli society treats their special needs citizens. Just as all young Israelis must serve in the military, so too do these special (proud) soldiers. Israel is a unique society which values ALL its citizen regardless of their abilities. The families of these soilders are grateful for the opportunities their kids are provided, just like all their peers. Thanks, Alon Tolwin for sharing this message:
No dignity and respect for the (first) Israeli Prime Minister (Ehud Olmert) who was recently sentenced to a 6-year jail term for bribery. This certainly puts an end to speculations of his future political career.
More indignities are occurring at UCLA (one of California’s many campuses which are bias against Israel). Anyone running for Student Government is now requested to sign a pledge that states they will never participate on a free or co-sponsored Israel Trip (though Birthright, AIPAC or ADL). Most likely this action was initiated as a reaction to their February failed BDS vote. Their attempt to eliminate pro-Israel voices from their Student Government is despicable, bigoted and ruthless.
More evidence this week proves of our manmade affects on our Climate as research indicates that there is no stopping the melting Ice Sheets in Antarctica which will (without a doubt) raise our sea levels. This can NOT be good for those living near our coastal regions. Skeptics can hide their heads in the sand, but if you choose that route, I’d suggest you find some sand further from the shoreline. http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/12/us/nasa-antarctica-ice-melt/index.html?hpt=hp_t2