The (10) Days of Awe are upon us during this sacred time between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. It is an important time of reflection as we take stock in our actions of the past year and make amends to “us, our family and the world”. May we all be blessed with another year of this appreciated life. On Rosh Hashana our names are written in the book of life and on Yom Kippur, they hopefully get sealed. With this in mind, I express my sincere apology to any of you I may have hurt and wish all of you an easy fast and “gamar hatima tova” = “a good final sealing”.
This poem by Robin Becker captures the essence of these Days of Awe.
Turn from evil and do good
the Psalmist says
Round the turn
turn the key
clock the turn
turn in time
time to turn words into footsteps
to lead the young colt to the field
to turn from the old year
the old self
You are ready
to turn and be healed
This is the season for us to Turn, Turn, Turn. Please enjoy this beautiful updated acoustic version (by Sara Niemietz and W.G. Snuffy Wolden) of this classic song (written by Pete Seeger) using biblical lyrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-jj4TkEIt4
As we turn from introspection to our external world, we see the crisis in Syriacontinuing to dominate the spotlight with millions of refugees spilling throughout Europe as concerned EU leaders struggle with their acceptance and responsibility. Both, Syrians on the road and back home, are living a nightmare as the world debates its response to this 4-year civil war between a Maniacal Dictator (who barrel bombs his own citizens), Rebel Forces andDaesh (self-proclaimed ISIS). What can the world do so Syrians can hopefully return home someday? Who do we support in this conflict? Putin seems to have chosen Assad for support. Daesh (with their evil intent) is one enemy most agree needs to be wiped clean from this Earth and bravo to Australia this week for their efforts in targeting Daesh’s artillery in Syria. They also have been bombing Daesh targets in Iraq for the last year. The UK, UAE, Canada and France have also bombed a few Daesh forces recently. And it looks like Qatar and Saudi Arabia might be willing to jump into this Daesh fighting effort. Forces against Daesh significantly outnumber the estimate 30,000-50,000 Daesh fighters. With minimal coordinated efforts, the small number of Daesh fighters should be snuffed out easily…but obviously this is not the case.
Severe weather and unstable equipment was to blame for the deadly crane accident that killed over 100 worshippers and injured 400 more at the most sacred Islamic site in Mecca. Saudi Arabia’s famous Bin Laden family’s company was in charge of the construction during the accident which occurred just 10 days before the annual religious journey of Hajj starting Sept. 21st. The wealthy Saudi government has already committed to paying each family of a victims $260,000 and those who were injured $150,000.
Not to dray (yiddish for worry, I think)
too much on world disasters, but here at home (if you live in California) they are fighting a draught and serious wildfires that have consumed 725 square miles of land (larger than the size of NYC). These dangerous fires are now creeping up on our tallest and longest living organisms on our planet, the 2,000 year old and nearly 300 feet high Sequoias trees
. Though fear not… as dendrologist (arborist) believe Sequoias insulate themselves from fire and even thrive afterward as underbrush is cleared for new growth. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/09/150914-california-rough-fire-sequoias-chicago-stump-wildfires/
Speaking of California, I support their new bill that approves Physician assisted end of life practices. This will bring relief to those who are terminally ill, suffering and would like to die with dignity. Once Governor Jerry Brown signs the bill, they will join this growing list of states which already have laws on their books permitting death with dignity: Washington, Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico and Montana.
Nearing 10 Million
As our global population fluctuates with the cycle of life, Israel
has increased her population to 8.4 million as she enters the new year of 5776. Immigration to Israel increased this year while the population continued to grow. Israel’s populaiton is estimated to hit 10 million within the next 10-15 years. http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-population-hits-8-4-million-ahead-of-jewish-new-year/
And according to one survey, Israel is the 4th best place in the world to raise a family. Sorry US and UK, you didn’t make the list but some other surprising countries did:
4 years (to the day on Sept. 9th), Israel re-opened her embassy in Cairo, Egypt. The new location is housed in the residence of the ambassador since 4 years ago, the then embassy building was destroyed by Egyptian protestors. Finding a new building for the Israeli embassy has been unsuccessful, but Hatikva is our motto and hope is on the horizon.
At this week’s Republican Debate, defunding Planned Parenthood and demonizing this lifesaving organizations was a common theme. The skewed and bias videos helped fuel that fire but when research of Fetal Tissue is investigated, there is no debate as to its medical advances. By the way, PP does not sell the tissue and is only reimbursed for distribution of the valuable medical material. Fetal Tissue has been used in the advancements of thePolio Vaccine, Parkinson’s Disease, Spine and Eye disorders, Stroke treatments and many more. This article in the US World and News Report has a complete list of advancements.
And, Mr. Trump, vaccines do not cause Autism
as you stated in last night’s debate. The falsified medical report on the connection was retracted and debunked years ago and the reason there are more cases within the last 25 years is that the labeling process was expanded to include the full spectrum. http://www.publichealth.org/public-awareness/understanding-vaccines/vaccine-myths-debunked/
Another topic from the debate references a blond republican talking head who thought there was too much emphasis on subjects relating to the Jews (ie. Israel), as Ann Coulter
‘s twitter feed the next day was (and I’m quoting) ” How many F—ing Jews do these people think there are in the United States”
. Israel will always be important to the Jews but it is also very important to the US as it is the only democratic ally in the Middle East and it should never be a political football between the Parties. A final note that holds true for both blonds (DT & AC), sadly, the more outrageous…the more attention…the more followers.
And while I’m talking about health issues, let’s destigmatize public breast feeding. Why is it OK to show “them” at Victoria’s Secret but not while they are nourishing their hungry children. Bravo to these Military Moms who will hopefully help us on that path:
Wishing you and your loved ones a Peaceful Shabbat Shalom, an Easy Fast and a Sweet Shana Tova.
Condolences to the family of Jack Robinson z”l on his unexpected passing this week at the age of 85. Jack was a vibrant community leader who built the Perry Drug store empire but most importantly was committed to his beloved family as in recent years his focus was caring for his wife, Aviva Robinson. Our thoughts and prayers are with Beth and Stephen Swartz and their entire family as we hope Jack’s memory and spirit bring comfort to all who loved him.
Condolences to Steve and Liz Schubiner and their family on the passing of Steve’s mother, Barbara Schubiner z”l at the age of 88. May her memory and love bring comfort to those who mourn her death.
Mazel Tov to Betsy Appleton and Eric Zuckerman on the engagement of their daughter, Julie Zuckerman to Ryan Gessin. Apparently they are dubbed “JZ and Feyonce”. Ryan is lucky to have many years ahead with Betsy and Eric as parents-in-law.
Bonus essay for geopolitical history and comedy buffs.
By John Cleese (British writer, actor and tall person)
Alerts To Threats In Europe
The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.”The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome”to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.
The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.
The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are“Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France ‘s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.
Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to“Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”
The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to“Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose.”
Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels .
The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.
Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be alright, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is cancelled.”So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.
A final thought – ” Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC”.