Shabbat Shalom Feb. 6th, 2015

Shabbat Shalom
February 6, 2015
Dear family and friends,
New Month
Welcome to February, well known for Punxsutawney Phil, Black History Month, Lincoln & Washington’s birthdays and Valentine’s Day.  And lesser known (but still true) for Baked Alaska Day (Feb. 1st), World Cancer Day (Feb. 4th), Shower with a Friend Day (Feb. 5th) and Love Your Pet Day (Feb. 20th).  It’s the month that gets the least respect as it is most often mispronounced.  Do you say Feb-you-airy or Feb-ru-airy… though either is fine according to Webster’s Dictionary. Feb has come in like a Lion and hopefully will be weather-tamed as the days progress.
Human Dignity
To commemorate Black History Month, this quote by Franklin Thomas (past Pres of Ford Foundation and current Chair of September 11 Fund) sums up the Freedom Struggles of our era:  “One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.”
Despising Freedom and diversity fits the bill for the inhuman barbarian ISIS sickos who struck again this week with their torturous murder of the Jordanian pilot. When will the civilized world join forces against this evil entity.  Sadly they continue to gain momentum with fresh recruits by attracting disillusioned young Muslims to their twisted mindset.
Quote from President Herbert Hoover – 
not sure of his presidential legacy but I do like this quote.
Misguided Minds
While eating at a vegetarian restaurant this past weekend, the owner (who is also a Chiropractor) struck up a conversation with us while holding his 8 month-old son.  He proudly mentioned that all 6 of his children were unvaccinated and his method of keeping them safe was to ensure a healthy environment and diet. He ignored the fact that his “safe” environment isn’t keeping his community safe.  A debate was attempted but futile since the growing anti-vaccine movement seems undaunted by scientific facts and the deadly implications of their misguided philosophy. Parental concerns over vaccinations originated in 1998 with the debunked and retracted research by Dr. Andrew Wakefield that also resulted in the loss of his medical license. There are various reasons for this rising trend…pure natural lifestyle, connection (falsely proven) to Autism, mistrust of the pharmaceutical industry and the fact that Today’s Parents never experienced the fear factor of the polio era.  The only way to eradicate preventable diseases is by vaccinating the majority of our population so those who are immunocompromised (infants, elderly…) aren’t exposed to the disease which if contracted by a healthy person could be minor but if contracted by a weaker individual could be deadly.  Those who don’t have a medical reason NOT to immunize their children are being selfish and oblivious to the danger. And now, 2016 candidates (Chris Christie, Rand Paul) are jumping into this conversation with some giving leeway to freedom of Choice. How can they suddenly be “pro-choice” when it is scientifically proven dangerous for Society. Of course, after backlash they seemed to have backtracked.
More news about the murdered Argentine prosecutor
Alberto Nisman z”l is coming to light as it now seems he was planning to submit an arrest warrant for Argentine President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner for her involvement in protecting Iran from their connections to the 1994 JCC bombing that killed 85 people. It would have been unprecedented to serve the president with a warrant for her arrest which makes his murder even more suspicious.
Bibi’s Speech
Israel should never be an American political football as bi-partisan support is the goal for our best Ally in the Middle East, but this is exactly what Bibi and Boehner have done with Bibi’s upcoming joint session speech next month (just 2 weeks before Israeli elections). Boehner invited Bibi ignoring protocol and leaving the White House dismayed by Bibi’s acceptance. Yes, Iran is a threat to both the US and Israel but the process to halt their nuclear program is in the works.  The last thing our Congress needs is more animosity between the aisle especially regarding Israel. Bibi is using the platform to prop up his prominence prior to his March 17th elections but will Israelis see through this propaganda.
Fallon and Young
I strongly recommend viewing this perfect twinning of two very talented souls.  No humor in this rendition, just a great song sung with pride and joy.  Bravo to Jimmy and Neil:
Opportunity of the Week
For the upcoming holiday of Valentine’s day and a mere $80, you can provide your loved ones with a 50 Shades Vermont Teddy Bears including “accessories”.  To the many 50 Shades Fans out there (though I couldn’t finish the book), hope your “fantasies” come true as the film hits theaters this weekend.
Good Night Democracy
For those who feel Citizens United needs to be repealed, please enjoy this new version of Good Night Moon
Marriage Equality
Bravo to Governor Synder (hospitalized this week with a blood clot) who decided not to appeal the court order that recognized the 300 gay marriages performed during the legal window. Those who were married that day have been in litigation limbo but are now legal and can benefit from all the rights connected to marriage, like insurance and adoption.  A decision in April is due from the Supreme Court who will rule on Marriage Equality for Michigan and a few other states.
Whether you are a Nursing Mom, Working Mom, Yoga Mom, Formula Mom, Cloth-diaper Mom, Hands-On Dad… All, have one thing in common which binds our souls. This (Super Bowl) commercial speaks loudly about our priorities as we should remember to loosen up on our judgements (unless your actions are dangerous to others).
I leave you this week with the beautiful new tune by David Broza and collaborator Yehonatan Geffen called Orange Blossom. Hope you enjoy:

Wishing you a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,


Congrats to cousins Dana and David Pagoda on the birth of their 2nd child, Drew Henry.  Hugs and Love to grandparents,Tom and Rosanne Kukes and great-grandmother, (Aunt)Chilly Revich and Aunt, Uncle and cousins, Sherri, Danny, Chase and Lance Kukes. 
Congrats to our local 8 Over 80 honorees for their longstanding commitment to our community as they will be showered with praise on Sunday May 3rd: Honorable Avern Cohn, Dr. Paul Feinberg, Ellen Glen, Ellen Labes, Geri Margolis, Sondra Nathan, Bert Stein and George Zeff. 

Condolences to the family of Aaron Kraft z”l, loving father toHelayne (Jeffrey) Kaplan, Valerie Ross, Bryan Kraft, and Risa (Bruce) Brickman.  May his memory and love fill the hearts of those who mourn his passing.

Condolences to Patti and Eric Phillips and their family on the passing of Eric’s father, Dr. Irwin Phillips.  May his spirit and memory be a blessing to his family.
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:
April 14th
Emily Stillman Foundation
Night of Laughs
Raising awareness about meningitis, organ donation and the importance of vaccinations.
May 1st (save the date)
Forgotten Harvest Comedy Night
Joel McHale
(NBC Community and The Soup)
Feb. 6th
Pamela Applebaum
Nell Dority
Feb. 7th
Amy Carson Schlussel
Rabbi Paul Yedwab
Jeffrey Jucewicz (favorite florist) 
Feb. 8th
Margaret Bornstein
JIll Mainster Menuck
Stacey Gordon
Feb. 9th
Michelle Guttenberg Wexler
Maria (Charlie) Kao
Richard Burstein (Happy 70th)
Feb. 10th
Mark Spitz 
Born 1950
Feb. 11th
Ryan Friedrich
(Big) Al Muskovitz (Happy 60th)
Dodo Kepes
Feb. 12th
Lori Oberfelder Siegel
Pamela Franklin Azaria

Blue Stripes


Shabbat Shalom Feb. 6th, 2015

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