Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel)
As this week’s Shabbat email arrives to your inboxes and nearly 85 million people on the East Coast have dug out of the big blizzard (named Jonas), Hannan and I are in Israel visiting our son, Mataan, who is serving in the IDF. Though Mataan has been in basic training for the last 2 months, he will participate (as we witness) his official Swearing-In ceremony next week at the Western Wall. With this in mind, today’s Shabbat email was written and sent to the system a few days early so if anything big happened in the news…well, you’re on your own.
During Mataan’s weekends off from the army (about twice a month), he returns to his shared Tel Aviv
apartment (with Josh Schaefer, who is also in the IDF and their friend, Doug) in the hip Tel Aviv neighborhood called Florentin
. If you’ve been on a Tel Aviv Graffiti Art tour, this is where they take you. Florentin is the Street Art Capital of Israel. There is so much to see and experience here and each day it is growing and changing. For a sample of this vibrant area, check out this article. http://www.israel21c.org/florentin-israels-unofficial-street-art-capital/
North of Tel Aviv, in Hannan’s hometown of Haifa, is the home to the oldest person on Earth. Yisrael Kristal, age 112, achieved this honor just last week when his predecessor died in Japan. Yisrael was from Poland where his father fought in WWI. He married, had two children and started a candy shop until the Nazis poisoned this world and sent him to various concentration camps. He survived (alone), started over and emigrated to Haifa along with this candy expertise. When asked about his dietary secret for longevity, he replied he ate what was given to him while in the camps and didn’t think too much about food, though moderation is important. Kol hakavod to his longevity.
Eat to Live (or Live to Eat)
Many of us put much more thought into our diets, than 112 year old Yisrael, and the government just assisted us with their revived dietary guideline for the next 5 years. The guidelines seem obvious like, eat more
veggies, legumes, fruit, whole grains, low-fat dairy and protein (from fish, poultry and yes,beef
) and less
saturated fats, sugar and salt. Some feel political lobbying contributed to the inclusion of beef in the recommendations since many scientist feel beef consumption should be highly limited due to its connection to diabetes, stroke, heart conditions and some cancers. http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/who-s-mad-about-new-dietary-guidelines-cancer-experts-one-n492026
Maybe Detroiters should ignore all eating guidelines since (as we’ve always known), we boast the best Delis in the country: http://www.jspacenews.com/detroit-best-jewish-delis/
We are coming down to the wire for our first presidential voting opportunity with next week’s Iowa caucus. Favorites to win areTrump and Sanders but there could be a White Horse entering the race to the White House. I thought it was only Pie in the Sky, but with the extremes on both ends gaining strength, a middle guy could steal the show. Michael Bloomberg is now taking serious steps to run as an independent candidate and will make his final decision in early March. He has my blessing… But who has Trump’s blessing. Here is a partial list of his “highly respected” endorsements. Of course let’s start with Sarah Palin. She is joined by Wayne Newton, Phyllis Schlafly (anti-feminist activist), Ann Coulter (anti-everything activist), Hulk Hogan, Jesse Ventura, Lou Ferrigno, Mike Tyson (these last four traded brains for bulk) Stephen Baldwin, Willie Robertson (duck hunter), Loretta Lynn, Ted Nugent and Dennis Rodman (Kim Jong Un’s BFF). As the saying goes…”with friends like these, who needs enemies”.
This past Wednesday (Jan. 27th) commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day which signifies (the 71st) anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. This year Yad Vashem brought their Righteous Among the Nations Award Ceremony to the US (for the first time) and Pres. Obamahelped recognize (posthumously) four heroes: Roddie Edmonds (a US soldier held in a war camp but refused to identify the Jewish POWs to the Germans), Lois Gunden (a US teacher in France who created a safe haven for Jewish children), Walery and Maryla Zbijewski (a Polish couple who saved a Jewish mother and daughter who escaped the Warsaw Ghetto). This world could always use more Righteous behavior.
Yes, the Jewish People are strong yet tiny minority but without non-Jewish righteous friends, maybe our survival would have been even more compromised. From the moment we’ve existed till today, our fate has been attacked. We are attacked in the streets of Europe, Tel Aviv and throughout the world. Some try to distinguish the difference between anti-semitism and anti-zionism, but I believe they are the same. Just this week, the former president of Doctors Without Borders
(who was born a Jew), rationalized the French stabbing of a Kippah-ladened young man as a political attack on Israel since wearing a Kippah exhibits loyalty to Israel. His comment is full of hate on so many levels. Also, this week Germany’s Angela Merkel
expressed her concern of rising anti-semitism and not just within the Muslim community. The only weapon against the plight of attacks is having our own homeland where we can protect ourselves. I found this article an excellent explanation of the current contagious spread of Jewish hatred.
As the East Coast digs out from Blizzard Jonas, please enjoy this beautiful song by David Broza called In Snow.
Wishing you and your family a
Sweet Shabbat Shalom