Our holiday weekend was gratefully filled with family and friends including (daughter) Liat and Andrew who were in from Eugene via Marquette; (son) Mataan who was here from his senior year at University of Michigan; (daughter)Ariella, (son-in-law)Tzvi and grandbaby Hadassa (13 months) were here from their upstairs bedroom as they live with us till their new house is ready and (son) Aviv shared his High School Senior year Thanksgiving with all of us. I hope your home, too, was filled with the holiday essentials: Food, Family, Friends and Festivities.
During last week’s busiest travel days of the year, do you ever wonder what happens to lost or unclaimed luggage. Well it all travels to the small town of Scottsboro, Alabama where shoppers can purchase various forgotten items, like wedding dresses, mink coats, Rolex watches and guitars at the Unclaimed Baggage Center…but only in person, no online shopping available. As you can imagine, this is one of Alabama’s top tourist attractions:
Ferguson, Cleveland, Staten Island…we’ve got a major problem in this country that needs major alterations. Everyday innocent lives are lost to a cycle of anger, brutality, power struggle, mistrust and fear. If we don’t work to correct this downward spiral, more bloodshed will continue to fill our headlines everyday.
Of course there can’t be one week without mayhem in the Middle East and this week is no exception. The fury last Sunday was targeted at the efforts of Peace with an arson attack on the only coexistence school in Jerusalem where Arabs and Jews learn side by side. Sadly (and shamefully) evidence points to the extreme right wing elements of our own Jewish Community who most likely set ablaze the first grade classroom of the Max Rayne Hand in Hand Bilingual School. But anger against the perpetrators and support of the school was evident the next morning when many from all walks of Jerusalem life came out to fortify the school.
House of Cards
Speaking of Jerusalem, Israel’s capital and home of the Knesset, there is much rumbling going on in Bibi’s “house” as his current centrist coalition is tumbling and it looks like Israeli elections will take place March 17th (two years early). Bibi would prefer a more Right Wing coalition though I’m not so sure that would be the best for the people of our homeland. This will be Israel’s 20th Knesset in 66 years. Let’s hope 20 is the lucky number…
PM David Ben Gurion at the first
Constituent Assembly, which was the
first name of the Knesset.
600,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from a pipeline near the Israeli resort city of Eilat causing the worst environmental disaster in the nation’s history. The accident was caused by a construction crew and the clean up will take several years. Thankfully the arid climate will prevent rain from washing the oil into any waterways.
Oil spill across the Israeli desert
Since 1988, Dec. 1st has been dedicated to spotlighting the deadly disease of AIDS. Currently 34 Million people are living with HIV and in its destructive path, it has claimed the lives of 35 Million souls. Modern medicine has broken the death grip of the disease but many of those infected with HIV have poor access to the medications they need to survive. Also the stigma against the gay community (as they were the most vulnerable in this country to the disease) is slowly lifting as the FDA is now considering lifting the ban on blood donations from gay men which has been in affect since the early 1980s.
Little Mosque on the Prairie (yes, this is a real TV show)
We need more voices like Queen Rania of Jordan who spoke out against the violent highjacking of the Arab world at Abu Dhabi’s Media Summit. Granted, she lives in a safe environment where her life won’t be threatened but there most be more Arab and Muslim leaders who can cultivate her message into a movement.
Israel is a melting pot of Jews from 70 different nations. During the formation of modern Israel, 850,000 Jews were expelled from all Arab countries. This past Sunday Israel held its first annual ceremony to commemorate
the Jewish Expulsion.
Sephardic Jews (of Arab descent) and Ashkenazi Jewish (of European descent) comprise the fabric of our vibrant tapestry. This mishmash contributes to the culinary excellence of our culture which is exhibited in (this tasting) of a PBS documentary. I hope this whets your appetite to visit Israel (for the food alone):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOd6cyFvBr8 And for one more Arab Jewish culinary story, check out this Iraqi Jew who opened a pop-up restaurant in Dubai featuring the foods of his ancestors. The Iraqi Jewish history in this article is interesting with the caveat of a very left wing opinion regarding Israel.
10 heroes will be honored this Sunday at CNN’s 8th annual Heroes Tribute show with one local Rabbi in the contest for the top honor and the grand prize of $100,000 for his life-altering, pro-impact institution, Kids Kicking Cancer, which teaches martial arts empowering techniques to kids battling the pain, fear and challenges of fighting a potentially fatal disease. http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/02/world/heroes-reveal/ Good luck Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg.
Your Hit Parade
For my musical selection this week, I’ve chosen the smooth vocals of Joseph Buchanan and his beautiful rendition ofOne Day. Hope you enjoy:
https://soundcloud.com/joseph_buchanan/one-day-shalom-rav Also on the musical front, this Sunday (after 35 years of waiting), I will be seeing my all time favorite musician. If you’ve been receiving these emails, you know its Cat Stevens/Yusuf who will be performing at Boston’s Wang Theatre. I’ve loved his music since my teenage years but instead of sharing his most popular songs with you, here is one of his most obscure and one of my favorites, Banaple Gas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKtpPjfPDE8 And to preempt your reply concerns about his conversion to Islam, take a look at this article that talks about his brother, who converted to Judaism and lived in Israel.http://tinyurl.com/CatStevensBrother
Wishing you and your loved ones a Pleasant and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom.