Shabbat Shalom Jan. 30, 2015

Hag Sameach Tu B’Shevat

Shabbat Shalom
January 30, 2015
Dear family and friends,
Life is short and precious.  Sadly this cliche touches home with the passing of dear friend, Rick Radner z”l at the young age of 56. When friends die unexpectedly, your perspective on life is jolted into reflection and appreciation. You hug your family and count your blessings.  Rick was a blessing in our lives. He was a great guy and a great friend to many, as evident by the overflow of love at his funeral and Shiva. His passions included books, basketball, poker, biking, food and especially Ice Cream (one I share with him).  Yet his deepest devotion was reserved for his family.  Our love, hugs and condolences are showered upon his wife, Beth and their children, Alexander, Jonathan and Katie who live in a home of love, pride and encouragement.  Here is a photo from Hannan’s 40th birthday weekend in 1998 Up North on the Leelanau Peninsula.
You will be missed, Rick.
Heart Health
Coincidentally, I had my annual physical this week and results of my cholesterol were slightly high.  After seeing that someone can die of a Heart Attack with no forewarning, I consulted friend, Dr. Joel Kahn, who suggested a preliminary coronary artery calcium scan (CACS). *2/6 Wear Red Day (see below)  Wishing a long healthy life for all of us and while in this sentimental mood, here (again) is my life’s philosophy. We are here on this Earth for two purposes.  1. To enjoy all its pleasures and glory (Family, Food, Ice Cream, Friends, love…) and 2. to make it a better place for future generations.
To guide my life’s journey, I have adopted Rhoda Albom‘s wise words of “The Masses are Asses” meaning ignore what (you think) people are saying about you.  Other people’s opinions of you and your actions (as long as you don’t hurt yourself or others) is irrelevant. Last Sunday, Mitch Albomwrote a beautiful tribute to his mother who recently passed away.  He captured her spirit and essence in this beautiful testament to her life:
Though it was 54 years late, kudos to the South Carolina Court system for pardoning the 9 Civil Rights activist who sat at a segregated lunch counter and suffered 30 days in a hard labor chain gang as opposed to paying the fine defining the “Bail no Jail” movement.
Iran, Syria and Hezbollah (Lebanon’s terrorist proxy) are in battle with Israel these last couple of weeks (and decades) with the latest attacked that killed two Israeli soldiers (and wounded 7) near the Lebanon border.  Hopefully the tension will wind down, though the neighborhood will continue to be volatile until aggressive/violent powers accept the fact that Israel is the permanent Jewish homeland.
Chelsea Handler accepts Israel as her homeland with this week’s visit.  While there, she posed on a camel (in Chelsea style), interviewed Shimon Peres (who was very happy to meet her) and placed a note at the Western Wall.  All this is material for her documentary researching her Jewish roots (her father was Jewish and her mother was Mormon with a nazi grandfather) while exploring of all facets of Israel.
Of course, blame is again (and always) thrust upon the Jews and Israel. The first informal United Nations conference on Anti-semitism states Israel’s “occupation” and “Human rights violations” as the reason for rising anti-semitism. Keep in mind, the source of this complaint is Saudi Arabia who, speaking on behalf of 57 Islamic Countries, should take a good look in their mirrors as they would find far worse human rights abuses in their own countries with FGM, stoning, torture and abuse occurring everyday.
If you are interested in the details of the conference, here is the official UN website:
And not that we need proof that anti-semitism exists, but a Swedish Journalist tested the waters by clipping a Kippah to his head and walking around the Southern Swedish city of Malmo. There is a 58 minute documentary in this article that speaks volumes.  For those living in increasingly anti-semitic cities of Europe who do wear Kippot, here is the newest form to keep you safe, the invisible Kippah:
Jewish Holiday
Tu B’Shevat (15th day of the Jewish month of Shevat) is our Jewish Holiday that celebrates the New Year for the Trees. Here in Michigan our trees are still barren of leaves and fruit, but in Israel, trees are awakening with new growth.  The holiday starts this Tuesday (Feb. 3rd) at sunset and is celebrated by eating the 7 species of Israel: Wheat, Barley, Olives, Dates, Grapes, Figs and Pomegranates.  It is customary to pay tribute to our environment and agriculture during this holiday. For more info, please check out this video:
Happy 50th anniversary to The Ark, one of our country’s premier folk venues which happens to be in our own backyard of Ann Arbor. It started in the Living Room of David and Linda Siglin (on Hill St.) in 1965 and has grown in respect and grandeur. This weekend they will host their 35th annual Ann Arbor Folk Festival. We’ve seen many great performances there, including Arlo Guthrie, Janis Ian, Josh White Jr., The Chenille Sisters, A.J. Croce and many more.
This video epitomizes The Ark:

Wishing you a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom and aHappy Tu B’Shevat!


Rick Radner z”l
Our hearts are torn by the loss of Rick Radner z”l (56).  May his memory, spirit and love bring comfort to his immediate family (Beth, Alexander, Jonathan and Katie), his extended family (all Radners are related) and his friends who mourn his passing.
Joyce Chesbrough

Condolences to Rick and Kim Chesbrough and their family on the loss of Rick mother, Joyce Chesbrough (82), beloved Ann Arbor Teacher who extended her reach into the political and community volunteer arena. May her strength, determination and spirit live on in the family she and her husband lovingly raised.

Feb. 5th
The George Orley Mental Wellness Initiative
The Wolverine Support Network
Event to create a network of mental wellness for youth and family.
Thursday Feb. 5th
The Townsend Hotel
Suggested donation $50
For more info, please contact
Diane Orley at
*Feb. 6th
National Wear Red Day
In recognition of Women’s heart health
March 8th
In recognition of
International Women’s Day
Film screening
“She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry”
Maple Theater
For info and the trailer:
May 1st (save the date)
Forgotten Harvest Comedy Night
Joel McHale
(NBC Community and The Soup)
Jan. 30th
Danielle Wintererger
Deborah Rubyan
Hattie Groskind (Arizona College gal)
Ken Gold 
Jan. 31st
Shari Rogers
Feb. 1st
Feb. 2nd
Alan Leifer (Boston friend)
Feb. 3rd
Amy Chapman
Ingrid Grossberg (Horse and grandkid loving cousin)
Lori Katzman (Schulman) (Mosaic trip participant)
Steve Schlafer (Aspen Snowbunny)
Feb. 4th
Kathy Wilson Fink
Howard Lutz 
Feb. 5th
Randi Berman Sakwa (Mosaic trip Leader)

Blue Stripes


Shabbat Shalom Jan. 30, 2015

Shabbat Shalom Jan. 23, 2015

Shabbat Shalom
January 23, 2015
Dear family and friends,

Record Heat
While Michigan was under a Polar Vortex last year, most of the world was experiencing the hottest temps since 1880 (when they first started keeping track).  Plus the top 10 hottest years have all occurred within the last 2 decades. Yes, there are cycles in Mother Natures weather patterns but nature cannot explain this current global warming. Skeptic politicians who are more concerned about industrial profits are gambling with the only home we have.  Now, if these skeptics don’t want to listen to trained scientists, than maybe a higher source is due: “I don’t know if (human activity) is the only cause, but mostly, in great part, it is man who has slapped nature in the face” These are the pious words of Pope Francis who hopes to influence world leaders to take action. For more evidence, take a peek at this (NASA produce) video that simulates the temps from 1880 to Today:

State of Affairs
5 years of bleak, yet improving stats, have brought us to this place where “The shadow of crisis has passed, and the state of the union is strong,” Now that we are gaining our economic strength, how many in the Republican led Congress will help Pres. Obama shrink the inequality gap.  Closing a loophole to garner $100,000 from a billion who’s life won’t change one iota while giving a $100 tax break to a working class family could be monumental.  And locally, Michigan led the way into the 2008 recession but we, too, have improved our fiscal strength.  Our unemployment rate has dropped to 6.3 (from a high of 14.2 in 2009). Gov. Snyder shared his vision for a “River of Opportunity” which would revolutionize current government programs and enlist the assistance of Philanthropy to help aid Michiganders in need. Good luck to both leaders!

Mysterious Death
Intrigue, mystery, terrorism, secret plots, Interpol…all this sounds like a blockbuster movie but Fact Is Stranger Than Fiction when it comes to the “apparent” suicide this week of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman who was following the roadmap which led to the 1994 Jewish Center terrorist attack (killing 85 people).  Seems the Argentine Government made a secret deal with Iran, in exchange for coveted oil, to keep quiet about Iran’s orchestration of the JCC attack which was perpetrated by their partner, Lebanon’s Hezbollah. This 20 year investigation was coming to a head when Mr. Nisman “decided” to abruptly kill himself.  In a perfect world the evidence brought forward would shed light on the truth and punishment would be sentenced, but in reality, this case will probably continue to be stifled.

The faces of the 85 JCC victim.
Support for Alberto Nisman.

12 people were wounded, 3 of them seriously, when a terrorist from the West Bank stabbed bus passengers in Tel Aviv this week. One of his motives was the promise of a direct ticket to Heaven but what he got was a gunshot wound to his leg plus the bonus of a democratic prosecution. Sadly, attacks like this are commonplace in Israel rather than rarities. Israelis are resilient and stoic, but we all wish for the day when those attributes won’t be on constant call.  On another offensive front, Israel is being threatened by Iran for this week’s killing of several Hezbollah (and Iranian) operatives in Syria.  But of course the most concerning incident for that region is the alleged photo bomb of Miss Israel in a picture with Miss Lebanon.  It is truly sad that Miss Lebanon had to rationalize away the fact that she was in a photo with her neighbor.  On a sidenote, isn’t Miss Israel exquisite?

42nd Anniversary
Jan. 22, 1973 was the famous date of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. For 42 years, we have been battling to protect the rights upheld by the Supreme Court that slowly and methodically are being chipped away. Thankfully our Congress decided not to vote this week on the proposed 20-week abortion ban as it was getting excess negative feedback, but, the House did pass a Bill to ban the use of Federal dollars for abortions. The State of Alabama (though strapped for cash) has a new (absurd) law that allows the State to appoint a lawyer to protect a fetus. Of course, Jon Stewart sent a crew to investigate this absurdity.  Decreasing unwanted pregancies and abortions is a nobel cause…so how do we do that.  Well, education would be a great start and providing birth control could also help immensely.  But wait, now we’ve got the anti-abortion group calling for the elimination of Birth Control as apparently, Birth Control = Abortion. Yes, decreased access to Birth Control will surely decrease our rate of unwanted pregnancies.

70 Year History/Mystery
Jan. 27th marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau by Russian Troops and is also the day the United Nations recognizes as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In addition, this month is the 70th anniversary of the disappearance of hero and savior, Raoul Wallenberg. To date, he is credited in saving 100,000 souls who’ve descended from his survivors.  Sadly his whereabouts were never discovered so tributes to his life will always be postumus:


– Bravo to Gov. Snyder for his veto of the Gun Bill that would have allowed people with Restraining Orders (often domestic abuser) to obtain (or maintain) Concealed Carry Licenses.

– Bravo to Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Ted Cruz (R-TX)(rare for me to salute Ted Cruz) on the long shot attempt to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

– Bravo to the Supreme Court for finally

addressing the Marriage Equality issue, Once and for All. A decision is due in April.

“Bravo” to Justice Scalia for winning the award of writing the most sarcastic opinions. What does this say about his character?

Bravo to HBO and CNN on their broadcasts (next week) of two films documenting the Holocaust.  HBO’s “Night Will Fall” (Jan. 26th) was originally contracted by Alfred Hitchcock and has hundreds of hours of film taken by troops of Allied Forces:

And CNN’s show “Voices of Auschwitz”, hosted by Wolf Blitzer will air Jan. 27th.
Bravo to the White House for bringing back Cheese Day.  You’ll enjoy this video if you are a West Wing fan.

This week’s Music Selection

Bob Marley would have been 70-years-old on Feb. 6th.  In tribute to his talent, world contributions and wisdom, here is an Israeli A Capella group’s birthday gift to him and the world.

Wishing all of you a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,
These were my dreams from year’s Shabbat email (during MLK week). Two (Detroit and Marriage Equality) are making progress but it seems the rest have gotten worse.

In recognition of Martin Luther King day, I too have a dream…
…that Israel will live in peace and prosperity
…that Detroit will be revitalized as a vibrant innovative City
…that Women’s rights and health will be protected and respected
…that Marriage Equality will be accepted Nationally and Globally
…that our Land, Oceans and Wildlife are kept safe from destruction
…that Hatred, Racism and Anti-Semetism disappear from our Earth


Of Blessed Memory

Condolences to Dr. Jeffrey and Sharon Lipton and their family on the passing of Sharon’s mother, Ida Bader z”l.  May her memory and spirit bring comfort to all who mourn her passing.


Famous Deaths

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died this week at the ripe old age of 90 after being hospitalized since December. Because of his country’s oil reserves, he was one of the richest people in the world as he controlled 1/5 of the world’s
petroleum.  His repressive country (women can’t drive and FGM is rampant) was the spark for Radical Islamism and the birthplace of the 9/11 terrorist. The next king will be Abdullah’s bro

Happy Birthday!
Dec. 12th
Carol Blumberg Tarnowsky
Lauren Kepes
Wendy Cohen Kohlenberg
Dec. 13th
Elise Goldsmith Schostak
Liz Cooper Guz
Dec. 14th
Ashley Israel
Marc Shaye
Dec. 15th
Dana Siegel
Dec. 16th
Avi Gruber
Dec. 17th
Simcha Tolwin
Natalie Newman
Dec. 18th
Jeff Mark (dear brother)
Henna Tolwin
Jane Smitt

Blue Stripes

Shabbat Shalom Jan. 23, 2015

Shabbat Shalom Jan. 16, 2015

Shabbat Shalom
January 16, 2015
Dear family and friends,

This Monday we remember the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. as we memorialize his message of a more enlightened and humane society. The savage and brutal murders in Paris last week are a stark reminder of Man’s Inhumanity to Man and that the MLKs of this world need a louder megaphone.  Over 1 million people protested the murders of the 17 innocent lives who were expressing Free Speech and simply shopping for Shabbat meals.  When we protect speech, we must also protect the opinions of those distasteful to us, but it is the violent vs. non-violent reactions that threatens our global society.  When I was offended by an anti-semitic cartoon in the Oakland Press last summer, I simply cancelled my subscription and made it known to the constant Oakland Press solicitors encouraging me to re-subscribe, why I prefer to avoid their paper.  Sadly violence is an instant silencer of opinions with the catch-22 that non-violent teachers are violently silenced too often and too young (MLK only celebrated 39 birthdays)

A Different Perspective
Signs of unity were exhibited throughout the streets of Paris as clasped arms of French, German, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Bibi, Abbas and 40 other foreign leaders (sadly many who don’t even protect freedom of speech in their own counties) were projected into our homes on Sunday (through Obama or someone more important than our French Ambassador should have been representing us). Will this be the tipping point for the moderate Muslim community to start objecting to their religion-hijackers? Many in the Muslim World did condemn the attack on our Freedom of Speech but some fell short of condemning the murders of the 4 Jews at the market.  Celebrity Muslim (as he refers to himself) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a different view of these terrorists.  He doesn’t even acknowledge their religion as he feels they are only thugs in Muslim mask and the bottom line is money and power.  Here is his very interesting perspective on these monsters:


For every hero, like Lassana Bathily, the Kosher market employee and Muslim immigrant from Mali, who saved lives and hastened the end of the hostage attack, there are thousands more being brainwashed to murder. A deadly massacre occurred in Nigeria last week by the evil minds of Boko Haram. Suicide bombs strapped to a 10-year-old girl was one method to their madness. The mass murder received far less attention since it was trumped by the event in Paris though brainwashing their children to drink the “koolaid”, commit murder and damage their physe for life is guaranteeing a disastrous future.

(The right type of) Education is vital to the success of our society and Obama’s new plan to provide 2 years of free community colleges could benefit 9 million students (if all States participate) at a saving of nearly $4,000 (per student). Student loans are one of our society’s biggest burdens and though this program wouldn’t address current debt, it should help those entering college in the near future.  But the most important benefit is increasing jobs skills for those 9 million potential students.  There are signs everywhere that our economy is gaining strength.  Unemployment rate is down to 5.6 (from a high of 10.0 in Oct. 09), our deficit is shrinking, energy prices are declining, interest rates are stable and inflation is stagnant. With all this progress, assistance in educating our population is a very smart move.

Bravo and BS

Bravo to “Transparent” on winning two Golden Globes.  Check out the show on Amazon.

Bravo to the film Selma on this week’s Academy Award nomination. Though Detroiter, Viola Gregg Liuzzo (white mother of 5) was not spotlighted in the film she was most definitely a Civil Rights hero as she was murdered by the KKK in Selma during a Voters Rights Demonstration at the young age of 39

Bravo to NYC for following in the footsteps of Berkely, CA, Seatle and Portland, OR in banning styrofoam.

Bravo to Congressman Steve Israel on his new satirical book on the ludicrious activities of real Washington people and events.

Bravo to Yosemite climbers, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson, for conquering (by Free Climb) the Dawn Wall
(3,000 feet straight up) that took 5 years of training and 19 days of climbing.

Bravo to Detroit’s 25th anniversary of the NAIAS (North American International Auto Show). Though, Detroit has been hosting a regional Auto Show since 1907, it wasn’t until 1987 that it was transformed into an International SpectacularPhenomenon.

BS to Jimmy Carter for rationalizing the origins of Islamic Terrorism to the Palestinian Situation and shame on Jon Stewart for not countering this absurd anti-semitic (“blame it on the Jews”) notion. The comments were made around the 5 minute mark during this week’s interview:

Why is it when NYC, Paris, London, Mumbai… are terrorized, the world rallies to their defense, but when the Jewish Homeland is attacked by terror, many question what Israel did to deserve it.

BS on the 5 year anniversary for Citizens United which fosters an environment for unlimited campaign contributions.

Hope your enjoy this song “Rude” by Walk Off the Earth.
Not sure where they got that huge guitar.

And for a little laugh during this somber week, please enjoy these misunderstood lyrics.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Pleasant and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom 

Of Blessed Memory

Yoav Hattab z”l (21) – Yoav Lived in Tunisia and had just returned from a Birthright Trip.  He attempted to shot the terrorist with a gun he took from him, but it didn’t fire and he was then shot and killed.

Francois-Michal Saada z”l (64) – Francois- Michal was the father of two children who both lived in Israel.  He was from Tunisia and was a Pension Fund Manager.

Yohan Cohen z”l (20) – Worked at the Kosher Market and saved the life of a 3 year old boy as he took the gun from the terrorist but was shot immediately.

Phillipe Braham z”l (45) – A father of 4 who loved Israel and always spoke of immigrating there.  He worked in an office near the market and had gone shopping there before Shabbat.


Condolences to the family of Joel and Laurel Schwartz on the passing of Joel’s mother Rosalyn C. Schwartz z”l.  May her memory and love bring comfort to all who mourn her passing.

Sometimes you need to put on your Superman suit so you can fly through the week…
Happy Birthday!
Jan. 16th
Josh Berg
Susie Pappas
Jan. 17th
Bryce Sandler
Don Benyas
Perry Teicher
Jan. 18th
Yossi Peled
Judi Schram 
(check out her blog at )
Jan. 19th
Adam Blanck
Jan. 20th
Robert Wittenberg
Bryan Weinstein
Jan. 21st
Rachel Stone
Tzvi Raviv (Wonderful Son-In-Law)
Jan. 22nd
Bill Graham

Blue Stripes

Shabbat Shalom Jan. 16, 2015

Shabbat Shalom Jan. 9, 2015

 New (114th) Congress

Shabbat Shalom
January 9, 2015
Dear family and friends,
114th Congress
Last Tuesday January 6th was the day our 114th Congress was swore into office.  We were fortunate to witness this momentous occasion as we cheered on our new Freshman
Senator Gary Peters. Of the 13 new Senators, Gary is the only democrat. The remaining 12 are Republicans as the GOP now controls both the Senate and the House. Speaking of the House, there are concerns rising over the House Majority Whip, Steve Scalise (Republican congressman from Louisiana) regarding his 2002 speech at a White Supremacist meeting that was organized by BFF’s of David Duke (remember him, the Holocaust denier). Congressman Scalise apologized for making the speech but the question still remains why he was associated with these extremist in the first place. On a positive note from the House is our new Michigan Republican Congressman, Dave Trott, who graciously recorded this week’s Shabbat Shalom greeting directly from the Halls of Congress. Thanks Betsy Appleton for requesting your friend to greet us:  Our new Congress is 80% Male (overall Male population is 47%), 80% White (overall White population is 72.4%) and 92% Christian (overall Christian populaiton is 73%).  Here is a detailed breakdown by religion:
Freedom of Speech
There are no words to describe the disgust and evil in the minds of brainwashed terrorist who, again this week, spewed their hatred of Freedom and Democracy as they blanketed innocent lives with deadly bullets. 12 deaths and 7 injuries occurred when gunmen attacked the office of the French Satirical Newspaper, Charlie Hebdo to “avenge the Prophet Mohammed”,  who as a religious righteous man of his times, I hope would have objected to terrorist tactics. Four cartoonist, including 81 year old Georges Wolinski z”l,

were murdered for the simple act of expressing views. Are we in the infancy of this fight against terrorism?  How many future generations will these demented minds continue to threaten? Not sure how to succeed in ending this evil era but wishing it ends sooner rather than later.  Cartoonist are creating tributes to this tragedy as this act of violence has fueled on more satire as opposed to deter it as the terrorist (I can only assume) intended.  The next edition of Charlie Hebdo will print 1 million copies to help spread its message during their heightened media exposure.  Their normal distribution is 60,000.  Pictures speak volumes…
Marriage Equality
Only 14 states to go till all citizens of our country are able to legally marry whomever they love. This week, Florida became the 36th State to approve Marriage Equality.  The most recent poll indicates that nearly 60% are in favor of Gay Marriage and this rate is rising after each successive poll.  Very soon the whole country (including our great state of Michigan) will be enlightened to marriage equality following in the footsteps of theInterracial Marriage Law of 1967.
Happy 70th
Being our 41st US president pales in comparison to the accomplishment of Jan. 6th when George and Barbara Bushcelebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.  Kudos to their sustained love through thick and thin as they are the longest wedded presidential couple.
Barbara and George in 1945

War Hero
Condolences to the friends and family of 90 year old Bernard Jordan of England on this passing this week only after his famous Great Escape from his nursing home last year to attend the 70th anniversary D-Day WWII ceremony at Normandy.


It’s always important to remember the past as we look to the future.  Here are two sources of Detroit’s past and present that remind us of where we’ve been and where we are headed.  For a historical perspective, please enjoy this video explaining our Jewish Hasting Street beginnings and for a current view here is a New York Times photo montage (good, bad and ugly) of aerial views of today’s Detroit.

Hasting Street:

Aerial Photos:

The Piano Man
Back in DC in November a group of talented musicians (Kevin, LeAnne, Josh, Michael…) paid tribute to Billy Joel as he was awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for his most famous song. Here is their rendition (with Billy on the keys) of Piano Man.  Please enjoy:
The Bass Woman
I assume many of your have never heard of Carol Kaye, but if you are a music lover, you’ll enjoy learning about her life that included her exceptional Electric Bass skills connected to The Beach Boys, Sonny and Cher, tons of TV shows and lots of movies as only the tip of her iceburg. Hope you enjoy:

Wishing you and your loved ones a Pleasant and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom, 

Happy Birthday!
Jan. 8th
Elvis Presley would have been 80
Jan. 9th
Eric Zuckerman
Terry Paule 
Jan. 10th
Fern Kepes
Jamila Ross (Happy 30th)
Marc Kay
Marc Winkelman
Jan. 11th
Rabbi Jonathan Berkun
Margot Snyder Narens
Jan. 12th
Dalia Shani
Jeffrey Slatkin
Susu Sosnick
Jan. 13th
Robyn Lederman
Sheila Tyner
Jan. 14th
Barbara Curhan Mendelson
Christen Giblin
Debbie Robbins
Jon Liebman
Lois Rubin (Happy 75th)
Rachel Wright
Tom Klein
Jan. 15th
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Born 1929

Blue Stripes

Shabbat Shalom Jan. 9, 2015

Shabbat Shalom Jan. 2, 2015

Shabbat Shalom
January 2, 2015
Dear family and friends,

More or Less
As 2015 arrived on our doorsteps, how will we make it a better year than last.  We can increase and decrease those attributes which need adjusting.  I intend to be more patient and grateful (like thanking all our friends and family who helped us ring in the New Year and celebrate Hannan’s birthday) and less critical and sensitive (to what people say). Now that I’ve shared these adjustments with my nearest and dearest, this public proclamation will (hopefully) help me keep my promise.  What are your “more or lesses”?

Family Time
Our Sedona vacation was wonderful… beautiful scenery, delicious food, friendly people and this family hike was unforgettable.

While in Sedona we stumbled upon a free-spirited Vegan restaurant and chocolate shop called ChocolaTree.  I know these themed months can get a bit much, but I would be remiss if I didn’t enlighten you about the flavor of this month  Full disclosure, I am not a vegan and eat pretty much everything including vegan meals. There are many external (environmental) and internal (bodily health) benefits of eating vegan but I have zero willpower when it comes to excluding any food from my diet, though I do believe in portion control. On the subject of healthy eating, here are two items to include in your daily intake…probiotics and dark chocolate and for more info on both of these topics, check out these websites (thank you Joel Kahn and Josh Fogelson):
Dark Chocolate

2014 was a tragic year for the Malaysian people with 3 plane crashes tied to their nation. Condolences to the family and friends of the 162 passengers on the AirAsia flight that crashed or they suspect may have tried to land on the Java Sea on Sunday. Most likely heavy storms caused the tragedy as the pilots tried to avoid the deadly weather. Rain and wind continue to hamper the recovery as slow progress brings closure to the survivors.

The Vote
The 15 member UN Security Council (thankfully) failed to garner the 9 needed “yes” votes to pass the Palestinian Statehood Resolution which would have required Israel to withdraw completely (without security assurances) from the West Bank within 3 years.  The United States and (thank you) Australia both voted “no”.  8 States voted “yes” and 5 abstained.  The US had veto power and would have used it if needed but thankfully Nigeria (directed by President Goodluck Jonathan) changed their vote, at the last minute, from “yes” to abstention.

Criminal Court
Upon his failure to gain UN acceptance, the PA’s, Mahmoud Abbas, is desperately grasping at straws as his newest attempt to gain credibility with his people is to implicate Israel on war crimes in theInternational Criminal Court, while opening up pandora’s box for the tables to be turn against him. The PA and especially his internationally labeled terrorist partner, Hamas, have stacked the decks with too many criminal acts to even count. We’ll see how this “chess” move pans out.

Israeli Pandas
In other Israel/International news, Chinese Pandas will be immigrating to the Haifa Zoo, once Chinese official deem conditions at the zoo acceptable, like weather and access to bambo.  If all goes well, the Pandas will be on loan for 10 years and I’m sure will bring much attention to Hannan’s hometown of Haifa.

The big Michigan news of the week is the return of Jim Harbaugh to Ann Arbaugh from former U of M quarterback to NFL coach to the 2nd highest paid College Coach in history.  He will make $7 million his first year (which includes a 1st year bonus) while signing a 7 year contract.  College football is a high stakes passion for many alum who financially support the school as they now rely on Coach Arbaugh to bring the Wolverines back to their glory days.

The List
My final video for this week relates to the “More or Less” suggestions from the first paragraph.  Here are 20 things you should say more often to friends, family, neighbors or even strangers on the street.  And what’s great about this humorous yet profound list is the messenger.  He is the kid president of SoulPancake (a cool website I stumbled upon).

I hope you find meaning in these suggestions:

For this week’s musical selections I found these special and exclusive performances of two Broadway songs.  One is very famous and well known while the other is quaint and touching. I hope you enjoy…
Jesse Mueller: “You’ve Got a Friend”
Benjamin Scheuer: “Cookie-Tin Banjo”

Wishing you and your loved ones a Pleasant and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom and a Happy Healthy 2015!


Carl Lippitt (z”l)
Our thoughts and prayers are with dear friend, Pam Lippitt and her brother Barry on the passing of their father, Carl Lippitt.  The funeral will most likely be on Sunday and Ira Kaufman’s website will have more details of the time and shiva info.  May Carl’s spirit and love bring comfort to Pam, Barry and their extended family during their time of sorrow.

Rabbi Menachem Gottesman (z”l)
Condolences to Malke and Gary Torgow on the passing of Malke’s father, Rabbi Menachem Gottesman (z”l). May the Rabbi’s spirit, memory and love bring comfort to his family and friends as they mourn his passing.

Joyce Sakwa (z”l)
Condolences to Randi and Stuart Sakwa and brothers Jeffrey and Gary on the passing of their mother, Joyce Sakwa (z”l).  May her memory and spirit bring comfort to those who loved her.
Berta Myerson Molasky (z”l)
Our thoughts and prayers are with Joel and Shelley Tauber as they mourn the passing of Joel’s sister Berta Myerson Molasky (z”l).  May her love and memories help ease the sorrow of her friends and family.

Joe Cocker
Condolences to the fans of Joe Cocker as he passed away Dec. 22nd at the age of 70 from lung cancer.  May his musical legacy bring comfort to those who mourn his death. Here is his rendition of “With a Little Help from my Friends” at Woodstock:
Governor Mario Cuomo (82)
Condolences to the Cuomo Family and the residents of the State of New York on the passing of their former governor and respected statesman. Governor Cuomo led the State for 3 terms from 1983-1995 and passed the baton (via a few leaders in between) to his son, the current governor of NY, Andrew Cuomo.  May Governor Cuomo’s legacy and accomplishments bring pride to his family and supporters as they mourn his passing.
Mario Cuomo 1932-2014
Happy Birthday!
Jan. 2nd
Norman Kaplan (Diane O’s dad)
Jan. 3rd
Carla Schwartz
Marilyn Victor
Jan. 4th
Gaby Klein
Aaron Bailey
Jan. 5th
Mataan Lis (our 22 year old son)
Debbie Lederman
Sherry Kanter
Jan. 6th
Lisa Brody
Eric Ersher
Gary Peters becomes US Senator on this day
(we look forward to witnessing this wonderful event)
Jan. 7th
Bill Harder
Sam Kelman
Jan. 8th
Ben Falik
Danny Weberman
Lisa Gottlieb Rotter
Stacy Klein
Linda Zuckerman Klein
Julia Tapper

Blue Stripes

Shabbat Shalom Jan. 2, 2015