Lift Up the World
Count your blessings and make life count is this week’s mantra. Monday morning brought the reminder that life is unpredictable as the meaningful messages at Rachel Jacobs z”l funeral resonated with her family and friends in the overflowing chapel. Her life was cut short but to honor her (and all our deceased loved ones), we should Live our Passions, Love our Peopleand Lift Up our World.
As an American Jew, the two holidays of Memorial Day andShavuot converge on Monday. But how can we converge the meaning and observance of these days. Memorial Day honors fallen soldiers who fought to keep our country safe and democratic. Shavuot honors the receipt of our Torah (our laws) which led us to our global Peoplehood only 7 weeks after our bondage from slavery was broken. Those who died while helping to keep us free and the Laws which help guide our lives meld into Monday’s double appreciation holiday observance.
The weapons used by our soldiers to protect us against our enemies should not be the same weapons used to protect our cities from crime. This week the White House instilled new rules to prevent our local police from purchasing specific military weaponry like, certain armored vehicles, somecamouflage uniforms, firearms and ammunition of .50 caliber or higher, grenade launchers, weaponized aircraft andbayonets…..Really? Who still uses bayonets? Its a good start but lets also add that list (plus lots more) to the ban for civilians too. Sandy Hook should have been our tipping point, but as of this week, over 85,000 people have died from guns since that tragic day in Newtown.
The “love” triangle between Israelis – Palestinians – The Popehas cupid flipping his lid. Whether Pope Francis referred to Muhammad Abbas as an Angel, a potential Angel or a Messenger of Peace is questionable since the comment was made privately with no documentation. What isn’t in question is the Vatican’s recognition of (Palestinian) Statehood, following in the footsteps of 135 other Nations. But as a (recognized) State, shouldn’t they be obliged to follow rules of Statehood and have UN judgement brought upon them for all indiscretions? Will they receive the same amount of (unwarranted) condemnations that their neighbor Israel racks up in a year, like this recent accusation that Israel is the worst violator of Human Rights in the World.
Also, The Pope canonized (declared sainthood) two Arab Catholic nuns of the Ottoman Empire bringing glory to the Arab Christians of the Holy Land. Though, persecution of Arab Christians in Today’s Middle East is rampant… except in their safest haven of Israel.
Half the children in our world have nothing to eat while increasing numbers of the other half are gorging themselves on junk food. Over 30% of American children are overweight (many are obese). Type 2 Diabetes (obesity related) is increasing among children (which in the past was mainly adult onset). Films and documentaries are bringing light to this serious problem and schools are trying to address it.
Jamie Oliver has a passion for this issue and has been promoting healthy lifestyle for years. Now he’s enlisted many talented friends, including Paul McCartney and Ed Sheeran to help inspire his healthy revolution. Check out this great song and if you are inspired, sign the petition to help create a healthier world.
Speaking of health, you can now pour that 2nd cup of coffee as extensive studies are proving that caffeine, not only, isn’t bad for you but it could have positive effects on your health:
Footnote to this graph. I love it but it is antiquated as it suggests we avoid caffeine (upper right corner).
Whether the bans are unconstitutional and the supporting data is false, hasn’t stopped the potential passage of the 20 week abortion ban. Many Republican candidate and conservative legislators continue to fight a war against Women’s Health. We must be vigilant to help prevent the erosion of our protected rights. We currently have a president who will veto any unjust ban but we need to make sure a veto wielding signator continues to occupy the oval office.
Bravo and Applauds
To Illinois for instituting the First Anti-BDS bill that will turn the tables on the movement as all the State Pension will be divested from all companies which boycott Israel. This is a big deal that is hopefully contagious to other states.
To dear friend, Sheldon Cohn (and Gary Wolfson) for their movie, The Pickle Recipe, filming all over Detroit and the metro area right now and bringing glory to our city. Pride is overflowing for Sheldon at what he’s doing for Detroit by bringing his passion to fruition.
To Robert Gates
(yes, that Gates who is the former CIA director and Sec. of Defense) on reforming the Boy Scouts
in his role as their president by finally ending the ban on Gay leaders. http://tinyurl.com/BoyScoutsRobertGates
To Los Angeles
for adding their city to the short but growing list of municipalities who understand the importance of increasing the minimum wage to $15 (by the year 2020). This includes restaurants which will most likely fight this requirement. http://tinyurl.com/LAMinimumWage
Mad Men – from high power dysfunctional family man to zen.
David Letterman – some say his final show was near perfect.
Dancing with the Stars – Dancing queen Rumer Willis
FAO Schwarz – announced 5th Ave. closure in July
Beauty vs Ugly
With biker gangs killing each other and refugees floating and hoping on Death Boats and Daesh (the name ISIS doesn’t like) gaining ground in Syria and Iraq, not to mention many other global atrocities, I thought some beautiful poetry was in order to counterbalance life’s ugliness. I found this one (in last week’s NYT Magazine) to be rhythmic and poignant. Enjoy:
by Dan Albergotti
Out of view, more galaxies. Out of time, more light.
Out of sand, the turtle’s head. Out of day, the night.
Out of sight, a loving god. Out of love, a son.
Out of song, the nightingale. Out of void, the sun.
Out of running water, life. Out of stagnant, death.
Out of ages past, a poem, pulled up out of breath.
Out of method, futile search. Out of myths untrue.
Out of other worlds, some hope. Out of this one, you.
Wishing you and your loved ones a
Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom, a Hag Shavuot Sameach and a Meaningful Memorial Day.
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal
Love leaves a memory no one can steal
Condolences to Stuart Raider and his family on the passing of his beloved father (and hero), Jordan Sheldon Raider z”l. May his spirit, memories and love bring comfort to his wife of 57 years, Rhoda, his children and all who adored him.
Condolences to Howard and Susan Tapper and their family on the passing of Susan’s father, Stanley Harvey Berlin z”l, a WWII vet and member of the Jewish War Veterans. May his family and friends be comforted by his memories and love.