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.
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. http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.638771
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:
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.
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.