Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Zionist Rap!

thanks to leah in chicago for turning me onto this!

Obama's Statement

My mom always said words are words, but actions count. I am still in a wait and see mode. I know many, including my Rabbi, appear to have made up their minds...wait and see for me is eyes and ears wide open and bearing witness.....It is my prayer, my deepest hope that the words will be followed by actions that match.

The White House released the following statement from President Obama on the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel:

“On the 62nd Anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, I join the American people in congratulating the government and people of Israel on this celebration of their independence.”

“Minutes after David Ben-Gurion declared Israel’s independence, realizing the dream of a state for the Jewish people in their historic homeland, the United States became the first country to recognize Israel. To this day, we continue to share a strong, unbreakable bond of friendship between our two nations, anchored by the United States’ enduring commitment to Israel’s security.”

“Israel remains our important partner and key strategic ally in the Middle East, and I am confident that our special relationship will only be strengthened in the months and years to come. I look forward to continuing our efforts with Israel to achieve comprehensive peace and security in the region, including a two-state solution, and to working together to counter the forces that threaten Israel, the United States, and the world. On this day, we once again honor the extraordinary achievements of the people of Israel, and their deep and abiding friendship with the American people. I offer my best wishes to President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the people of Israel as they celebrate this happy occasion.”

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Yom HaShoah Protest and Emotional Conflicts

I am glad I attended this event but I must admit sometimes when I don't know anyone at something like this I get shy. This event was small but all the opinions were represented. This can be very awkward for me. My husband was unable to go with me, but I was feeling this strongly. When I went to Israel for my honeymoon, we had gone to Yad Vasshem and that was one of the most emotionally devastating experiences I have ever had. http://www.yadvashem.org/
I am an educated person and I "know" my history. Even when I was a child anything Holocaust related viewed or read affected me deeply, much more than any of my peers. (remember, Italian/Irish Catholic youth!) So here I am, a politically liberal to leftest individual, with an extremely strong tendency towards avoidance of anything that looks like, feels like advocating for aggression. But this feels like one of those moments in history. I have always mused about the regular folks in historic times. The person who watches the "bad stuff" start to peculate, grow and descend over a people, a country or religion. I don't want to be naive, or an apologist. Yet I have deep conflict over how to respond to this growing threat. I don't like the Republican agenda...it is not me, yet how can I find a way to voice my opinion to advocate for what is good and true, to fight what is evil without feeling like I am selling myself out?

Photos from the Yom HaShoah action in New York City outside the Iranian Mission to the UN

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Is it enough for us just to light a candle to commemorate Yom Hashoah? To hear a story? To cry?...To rage? I have an idea...well it's not my idea, it is many many people's idea! Let's draw a line in the sand....lets contact our political leaders to tell them we do not want a nuclear Iran and we want to keep Israel safe. Never again should Jews be killed, humiliated, harassed and disenfranchised.

I will stand and let my voice be heard! Will you?

contact the White House here:


Find your Senator here:


Find your Congressperson here:


Friday, April 9, 2010

My First Chametz Burning

As I continue to climb the ladder of observance I attempt to add practices and experiences to continue my Jewish exploration and growth. This year I actually made an attempt to fully do the traditional chametz search and then the next day Burn The Chametz.
One problem, by the time I had decided to do this I had already cleared the entire house of any leavened contraband! All I could find were some lowly pretzel sticks from the Purim basket fundraiser from our synagogue. So I diligently placed ten pieces of pretzels around the house in an honest attempt at the Chametz search. My husband and I had two of the three needed items for the search, candle, check, wooden spoon, check....feather? No feather! Well some improvisation was needed...the closest thing I could find to a feather was a swiffer duster! There we are candle, spoon and swiffer trying to beat our dogs to the hidden pretzel sticks. We were following the directions of our rabbi and something I had read on the Chabad site, but I couldn't help but think that this wasn't what Chabad had in mind! the next morning I was on my own. My husband had left the burning ritual to me. I have never witnessed this and didn't have anything to go by except what I had read on line. Once again I looked around the house and gathered my supplies......I had my printed prayers and materials, I had matches and paper and the now ever important pretzels sticks. I even saved the Lulov from sukkot. I was ready!....well except for the rain. Anyone who lives in the Northeast knows about the amount of rain that we have been getting. This was no ordinary rain, this is rain Noah would have related to. But neither rain, nor boiling chicken soup was going to keep me from my appointed task. I found my rain slicker and decided to light the whole event right at my back door and then throw it out the door onto my stoop! As smoke began to fill my kitchen, I feared it would set off one of the smoke detectors in the house. I recited the prayers...then ran like heck to open the windows!

I want to give myself an "A" for effort, but clearly on execution and form...well definitely "needs improvement."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Homer in Jerusalem

I thought this was funny, some might not...if you know what the show is, and like it, do take the time to check this out!

"The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed"

"When Homer is playing noisily in the yard, it disrupts Flanders' Bible study group. Coaxed by the Reverend, a frustrated Flanders takes it upon himself to redeem Homer by inviting the Simpson family on his church retreat to Jerusalem. Unappreciative of the history and culture, Homer would rather hang out at the hotel's breakfast buffet rather than tour the city. But when an eccentric tour guide (guest voice Sasha Baron Cohen) takes the group to famous monuments, including the Dome of the Rock and the Wailing Wall, Homer finally proves he is not beyond salvation."


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Anniversary of the Dunk!

Two Year Anniversary!

I Was Outed!

and now for my mid holiday comment......

I was outed as a gefilte fish and chopped liver hater at our second night community seder!
As we entered the social hall a posting with names and tables were listed...what luck we were sitting with the rabbi. As the night progressed and the echoing sounds of "Lets Eat" reverberated throughout the room...there it came on large platters a choice, or wait, better yet, one of each....Gefilte Fish and Chopped Liver!

My husband who has so many food allergies that he has an out on all of this was trying to give me pointers...he suggested adding horse radish....but then it became apparent...as I dumped enough horse radish and beets onto the fish to kill a horse, I became the foccus of attention.
I said "I believe it is an acquired taste...." muttered somewhat sheepishly.
Rabbi Joked "if I had only known...maybe ...."

Dunking Rachael

Love, Faith and Life