We Remember and Cry

We Remember and Cry.jpeg

Today the Rabbi spoke about that on Monday night is the solemn night of Tisha B’Av (the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av).


It is the day that Jews remember and cry about the destruction of both temples in Jerusalem–on the exact same day in history almost 700 years apart–in 586 BCE and and 70 AD. 


Tisha B’Av is also the date when Germany entered World War I which as we know started a series of events that led to the catastrophe of the Holocaust. 


We remember and cry on Tisha B’Av as we went from freedom to worship and live in Jerusalem to the exile and servitude to the Babylonians and the Romans. 


It the polar opposite of the holiday of Passover, where we celebrate and commemorate going from servitude under the Egyptians to freedom and redemption to get the Torah and enter and settle the Holy Land. 

By the rivers of Babylon
There we sat (and) also wept
When we remembered Zion
On willows in its midst
We hanged up our harps
For there our captors asked of us
(For) words of songs and tormented us (with) mirth:
‘Sing to us from the song of Zion’
How will we sing the song of God
On a foreign land? 

If I will forget you Jerusalem
My right hand will forget (its skill)
My tongue will stick to the roof of my mouth
If I will not remember you
If I will not raise Jerusalem
Above my happiness

We as a people have been through so much…servitude, expulsions, crusades, inquisitions, pogroms, genocide…thousands of years of discrimination, torture, rape, and murder–yet, Israel Doth Live!


As the L-rd promised the Jews–after exile would come redemption, and so it is!


For thousands of years, the Jewish people yearned for a homeland where we could live in peace and security and for the rebuilding of the Holy temple–please G-d in our days soon.


From the rivers of Babylon to the Nile in Egypt and the Rhine in Germany–we have paid the ultimate price and sacrifice to G-d and we pray that the Jewish people can once again be free to live and worship as foretold “from the River in Egypt to the Euphrates River.” (Exodus 23:31) 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

And It Will Come To Pass

Daniel.jpeg

I was walking today and this is what was in my mind…


And it will be in the days of Putin king of Russia and Xi Jinping king of China that Trump king of the USA will advance peace between Israel and its neighbors. 


So that nation shall not life up sword again nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.


And you will quiet your enemies to the north, and to the southwest, and to the far east. 


None shall stand against you. 


The time is coming when great arrows will pierce the hearts of your enemies, and the eyes of the people shall see and know that G-d, the protector of Israel and the judge of all, doth live and fulfills all his promises to those that honor their commitments to Him. 


The answer is in your words and deeds to bring glory to the Maker of Heaven and Earth. 


Sharpen your swords, gird your tongue in prayer, and cover yourselves in the everlasting deeds of your forefathers and mothers. 


The time arrives for all mankind to witness the long arm of the L-rd and know his reign and mercy endures forever. 


Be of faith and good courage. 


And Israel will dwell in peace and security and the world will prosper in the redemption. 


The ambers and ash of history are still warm, but the times of evil and destruction shall give way to a renewal of the simple, the good, and the peaceful following.


He who sits on the throne that is the foundation of all that lives gazes upon his creation with a sadness and promise. 


Those who commit the worst evils will be found guilty and cleansed, and those of pure heart will be guiltless.


Evil will not stand in the presence of the L-rd of Hosts. 


Redemption is at hand and the glorious saving by the spirit that is the spirit that speaks to all with a voice of thunder and lightening, and the angels will be awakened, and man will know and serve Him once more with a full heart and mindfulness to the Almighty.


Blessed be His name and His deeds are magnificent beyond wonder, generosity, and holiness. 


Amen, Amen, Amen.   


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Israel-America 2gether 4ever

Israel-America
The other day, I passed the prestigious George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and someone had quite prominently graffitied the wall with “Free Palestine.”



But then yesterday again, we saw another terrorist attack strike Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel, and a 3-month old baby from America was murdered after being thrown 30 feet in the air and landing on it’s head.



I applaud the GW students who came out today to celebrate the enduring relationship between the United States and Israel.



At the event, a banner hung high with the promise from President Obama, as of those similarly who came before in the Oval Office that “The bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable today, unbreakable tomorrow, and unbreakable forever.



Moreover, last month, the Senate unanimously passed a bill upgrading and declaring Israel a “Major Strategic Partner” of the United States.



The defense of Israel as a secure and sovereign nation is an imperative as freedom and democracy shine forth as a beacon of hope and peace for humanity.



May G-d bless the 2 countries and may their flags fly as one–2gether 4ever. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

One Day We’ll Be Old

This is a wonderful, moving music video by Israeli composer Asaf Avidan, remixed by German DJ–the song is called One Day/Reckoning (Wankelmut Remix)–it has topped the music charts across Europe.

The reframe:
“One day baby, we’ll be old
Oh baby, we’ll be old
And think of all the stories that we could have told.”

On a simplistic level, this music video is about two lovers torn apart and wondering how they’ll look back one day and imagine what if only they had been able to make things work.

On a deeper level, perhaps this music video is a representation of the Israel and German who produced it–more than six decades after The Holocaust and the murder of 6 million Jews by the Germans and the feelings of lose and of what could’ve been instead.

“No more tears, my heart is dry
I don’t laugh and I don’t cry
I don’t think about you all the time
But when I do I wonder why”

Why the murder of six million men, women, and children–helpless–shot, starved, gassed, burnt in the ovens, electrified on the fences, attacked by dogs, and experimented on by sadististic scientists?

“We can’t cry anymore, the heart is dry.”

As time passes and we age–we think what could have been if we were allowed to live in peace –“think of all the stories  we could have told.”

Now in Israel, again Six million Jews living in the Middle East, the fulfillment of the promise by G-d to Abraham, the return to The Promised Land. 

But the Middel East is composed of more than 20 countries and contains 20% of world’s Muslim population or has roughly 315 million Muslims. In some areas, fundamentalism has taken root, and it is a volatile and dangerous neighborhood to live in.

Missles fly to Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem and and the people of the Holy Land take cover in bomb shelters as thousands of missiles threaten them.

In modern history, Israel has lost over 22,000 soldiers,with another 75,000 wounded, and there have been about 4,000 civilian victims of terror attacks.

To put this in the perspective of a country the size of the U.S., this is the equivalent of us losing more than 1.1 million American soldiers, having almost 4 million wounded, and another 200,000 civilian victims of terrorism–it’s unthinkable!

“I don’t laugh and I don’t cry”

Now Israeli’s are blamed for defending their small country and the remnants of their people from being driven into the sea by those surrounding them on all sides. 

“Here I go again, the blame
The guilt, the pain, the hurt, the shame
The foundering fathers on our plane
that’s stuck in heavy clouds of rain”

Next is Iran who threatens to wipe Israel off the map and is rushing to develop the nuclear weapons to accomplish their malevolent goals.

“I don’t think about you all the time
But when I do I wonder why”

Why won’t you let us just live in peace–leave us alone, once and for all. 

“One day, we’ll be old
Oh baby, we’ll be old
Think of all the stories we could have told”

If only, all could live and let live–think of all the better stories we could tell and all the lives not lost, and all the promise of a better future.

Democracy Built On More Than Hoya

There is a funny joke that is timely for election season, and it goes something like this…

“It was election time and the politician decided to go out to the local reservation and try to get the Native American vote.

They were all assembled in the Council Hall to hear the speech.

The politician had worked up to his finale, and the crowd was getting more and more excited.

‘I promise better education opportunities for Native Americans!’ The crowd went wild, shouting ‘Hoya! Hoya!’.

The  politician was a bit puzzled by the native word, but was encouraged by their enthusiasm. ‘I promise gambling reforms to allow a Casino on the Reservation!’  ‘Hoya! Hoya!’ cried the crowd, stomping their feet.

‘I promise more social reforms and job opportunities for Native Americans!’ The crowd reached a frenzied pitch shouting ‘Hoya!  Hoya!  Hoya!’

After the speech, the Politician was touring the Reservation, and saw a tremendous herd of cattle. Since he was raised on a ranch, and knew a bit about cattle, he asked the Chief if he could get closer to take a look at the cattle.

‘Sure,’ the Chief said, ‘but be careful not to step in the hoya.'”  🙂

So when candidates get on their soapboxes and promises are being made on the left and on the right, you can only but wonder what is a promise that is sincere and will be kept and what is a promise that is for garnering votes and will be ignored.

When the mic is unknowingly on and you hear something you weren’t meant to hear, it is hard not to wonder about true intentions.

The New York Times calls these “moments of political candor,” while the Wall Street Journal (30 March 2012) calls it “moment[s] of political contempt.”

The Journal asks why we would not be told the truth about intentions with the implication that it is something that the candidates do not want us to know or that we would not approve of.

Who are these candidates really? Does anyone really know when words are but bargaining chips for winning elections, rather than true commitments of the heart.

It is scary, when the truth is obscured by empty words that change with the audience, and then votes end up based on false promises, vagaries, and disappointments.

When it comes to elections–Is the truth out there? Does it exist?

People deserve candor, sincerity, and to know where candidates really stand on the issues, so they can vote for what and whom they really believe in.

Democracy is built on more than rolling hills and valleys filled with hoya–the truth is it’s foundation.

(Source Joke: here and Source Photo: here)

 

Hello From Moon Colony

Moon_colony

What can be more thrilling than the promise of space exploration and the virtually limitless possibilities that it holds.

 

Since the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, the first manned mission to land on the moon, we have dreamed of the next step in terms of an actual colony of humans living there.

 

In 1975, the science fiction TV show Space: 1999, that many of you may still remember, envisioned what this space colony could look like (until a nuclear mishap sends the colony hurling through space).

 

From 1984, you can see attached, a NASA’s artist rendering of a colonized moon along with astronauts and lunar rover.

 

Now in 2012, with the presidential campaigning in full swing, we are hearing the promise of such a manned lunar colony once again and it is still just as exciting as ever.

 

One candidate, called for the lunar colony to be bustling with commercial activity by 2020–wouldn’t that be amazing!

 

While it was funny when this candidate said that once the colony reached 13,000 American inhabitants, they can petition to become a state, it also somehow brought it into a new perspective and made it so real–like could this really happen one day?

 

The idea of expanding beyond our limits here on Earth, making new discoveries, tapping into potential new resources, and harnessing ever greater innovation from such exploration can bring hope of a better, brighter tomorrow to all.

 

Note to self: must haves for a lunar colony–aside from a place of worship, a great fitness center and some nice restaurants, we’ll need the Internet, iPhone, Netflix, and Xbox (and Facebook would be a plus) 😉

 

(Source Photo: here)