The Anger of a Conservative

Political Correctness and all that is wrong about it.

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My daughter, a mother of 3, was driving alone (thank G-d she didn’t have the kids with her) when she passed an Arab high school, which she needs to go by every time she leaves her yashuv (small town.) Three boys stood there as she took the bend waiting for her with rocks in their hands. She saw them but realized there was nothing she could do and prayed the damage would only be on her car.  She was blessed. Her windshield which is government issued ‘shatter-proof’ from rocks, meaning a rock can penetrate the window (and G-d forbid can kill someone if thrown hard enough or hit in a vulnerable spot) was hit on the passenger side. The window itself stayed somewhat intact.  (Pictures are included to see the damage.)  Every bump she hit afterward a little glass would be knocked off the web-like fissure falling into the empty passenger seat.

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Considering the fear and danger, she remained in control. She drove to the army who told her to report it to the police. By the time she got to Betar’s just recently moved police station to represent all the gush area in my city, they had pictures of her car.  My daughter will need to pay the 6000nis on her own and G-d willing the government will pay back at some future date. My daughter is a victim of the courageous acts Linda Sarsour encourages in her speeches across America’s college campus, as well as the actions rewarded by the Palestinian government.

Linda Sarsour, Executive Director of the Arab-American Association of ...   Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas 

On college campus across America women like Linda Sarsour, an Arab woman who supports female mutilation, terrorism, praises murderers, and honors death to anyone who is for the Jewish people is welcomed with open arms on the college campus.  However, Vice President Pence, (a very nice person in his own right), college students cannot stand the thought of sharing the same room with him.  So when asked to speak at a college graduation, the students walked out.

http://edition.cnn.com/videos/us/2017/05/21/pence-notre-dame-commencement-student-walkout.cnn

The new moral code of American youth (the millennium) ‘political correctness’ is corrupted, immoral, bankrupt of any true value and misguided. Those students who can’t hear the name of Trump or be in the presence of the American Vice President, or listen to right wing speakers that might have a different opinion than them, but can accept murders as their leaders are such a scary picture of America’s future.

Even left wing, a writer for the liberal Jewish Journal, David Suissa was shocked by a UCLA Professor Saree Makdisi and English professor, with a Lebanese background, who in a debate asked, “What’s wrong with Jews being a minority in Israel?” Trying to excuse the crazy suggestion, Suissa suggests that perhaps the professor thought he was addressing an Arab audience (opposed to the Jewish population that was there).  Is that an excuse?

Decency, Manners, Balanced viewpoints, the college students of today should be disciplined, shaken up to learn what is right and wrong and be taught political correctness should not be used as a moral compass. Morality is determined if it is universal and accepted as a norm in society.  Political correctness is constantly changing and on a continual search of finding a new norm.  A new group of people who have supposedly been shunned and thus in the new ‘moral’ age of now their rights needs to be exonerated.  If they had been accused in the steeped old day thought processes as being sinful, then surely today they are now heroes and should be our leaders. Everything notion is right without any proof, unless of course you are republican, religious, or disagree with them.

Moreover, while I am ranting and raving about the millennium generation (just love that term) I have another observation.  There is no depth.  (Not too surprising since dialogue is forbidden.) There is not a + b = c understanding.  Without knowledge of the history of what has come before or to recognize the implication of actions, people remain rudderless and in a quagmire.

A case in point: I met a girl who was inspired to become a little more religious, but could not fathom a problem of living with her goyish boyfriend. Another girl (we are not talking about a lack of smartness, she was a medical student) couldn’t relate that the 6-day war’s victory 50th anniversary which was just celebrated would have anything to do with her parents of past 60 years old. Alternatively, a beautiful mother of young adults who proudly saw her children become religious and saw they were deeper, more ethical than before, yet when she spoke to anyone else from her reform temple they looked at her with disdain.  What they prefer their children to be supporters of Linda Sansour?  (And don’t think there are more choices – in today’s environment there isn’t.)

My nephew rented a limo for his ‘platonic’ prom date with four other couples; on other boy and girl and four women who were going as well. Maybe it is all about sharing expenses.  Maybe it is the time that all girls should be able to go to the prom with a man or not.  (In my circles, we, of course, don’t allow girls or boys go to a prom.  We prefer them to date only when they want to get married.) However, is that what is going on?  I don’t know if they were couples, friends or 4 separate sologamous people (marrying yourself), but it is a new world with no points of decency, righteousness or moral barometers to judge by.  Judgment is only against those who demand truth to be eternal ordained by G-d.  Everyone else: stick to your rights.

 

A Jewish Perspective on Numbers; 1-10

Jewish significance of numbers 1-10.

What is One?

The obvious is G-d.  There is only one G-d. There is only one sun and moon and earth and universe for us.  Only one people called the Jews and only one Eretz Yisrael.  There is only one Torah though many ways to understand and best to dig deep.
One is the smallest real number that has value but usually implies power.  There is only one king, president, or César.  There can only be one boss or captain. We have only one head, one mind, one heart.
One is unique, special, and irreplaceable.Jerusalem photos pictures - jodisugar.com Israel Photo Art Capturing ...
We have only one mother and one father.  When a Jewish person sits shiva for the death of a parent it is a significantly longer time than for other relatives.  Spouses can be replaced (at least in the sense a person can remarry).  There can be many brothers and sisters and even other children.  However, there can only be one mother and only one father; so one needs to mourn (keep the laws of mourning) for parents for a year as opposed to every other relative a month is enough.
One can be the unity of many parts that unify and recognize their companionship and connection enough to be called one.  United States, United Kingdom are examples of this phenomenon.
There can only be one first born and only one youngest. There can only one pideon haben (ceremony for the first child if a boy born) and one strange custom of dancing with little brooms when the last child gets married.
Moreover, there can only be one of you and one of me.  We are all unique and can be called the one and only.

What is Two?

G-d created man…male and female He created them 
The world started with two; man and woman. All the animals were first made as a couple and again when they came on Noah’s ark.  Look in nature; there are two in all our sights; heaven and earth, night and day, land and sea, hills and the valleys.
We have two arms attached to two hands, and then the parallel in our legs.  We have two eyes, two ears, two nostrils and the body is divided into a front and a back, the upper half and lower half, the right side and the left side.
... cartoon happy cartoon man free cartoon vector stock happy man cartoon
Two implies opposite; though it does not have to mean in the negative terms; rather in the complimentary terms.  A couple can be different from each other, but hopefully, they supplement the missing pieces so when they join to create a united front – we call marriage- they are complete.
At Havdalah (the ceremony demarking the departure of Shabbos; we list more coupled distinctions; between Israel and other nations, between the sacred and profane/secular, between light and darkness, between the Sabbath and the rest of the days.  Havdalah Blessings and Songs | Temple Sholom
It is a strange world; today people want to imply there are more than just man and women. Suddenly transgenders are supposedly people who straddle the abyss in between. But in reality, they can only be one or the other with great sympathy for the other side.
There were two stones embossed with the words of the 10 commandments split in 5 on each.  This is to teach us; we have to build 2 relationships; one a relationship between G-d and ourselves and the other equal in importance our relationship with others (man to man).
Two is the only even number that is a primary number. This is understandable since it is the first even number. And perhaps from here, we learn that though all even numbers can be divided with 2, when you go back to the basic; there is only the primary base – a man and women, a couple; the start of every family; which should not be divided.
Bet – ב is two; the second letter in the Hebrew alphabet. ‘Bet’ is also the same word for a home. (Most of the Hebrew letters name is also a word for something else – which we then can learn deeper meanings.) The beginning of a home – a Beit is a married couple.

What is Three?

Three is the first number that can create an object, a triangle.  A chair needs a minimum of three legs to stand.  Three is a primary number – a number that can’t be divided but only is built on. It is the beginning of solidness. By Jewish law, once an event happens three times it is hazakah it is to be expected again for good or bad.
Frenchi Home Furnishing 3-Tier Corner Stand, Cherry New | eBay
Many of the sayings in Pereke Avot (The Ethics of our Fathers) are based on three things:
  • Shimon the Righteous would say: The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of God, and deeds of kindness. 1:2
  • Yehoshua ben Perachiah and Nitai of Arbel received from them. Yehoshua ben Perachia says, “Make for yourself a mentor, acquire for yourself a friend and judge every person as meritorious.” 1:6
  • Nitai of Arbel says: “Distance [yourself] from a bad neighbor, do not befriend an evildoer and do not despair of punishment.”1:7
  • He [Rabbi Hillel] used to say: If I am not for me, who will be for me? And when I am for myself alone, what am I? And if not now, then when? 1:14
  • Rabban Gamliel says, “Make for yourself a mentor, remove yourself from doubt and do not frequently tithe by estimation.” 1:16
  • Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says, “On three things the world stands: on judgment, on truth, and on peace, as it is said (Zachariah 8:16), ‘Judge truth and the justice of peace in your gates.’ 1:18
  • Akavia ben Mahalalel says: Keep your eye on three things, and you will not come to sin: Know from where you came, and to where you are going, and before Whom you are destined to give an account and a reckoning. From where did you come? 3:1
  • Rabbi Yishmael says: Be yielding to an elder, pleasant to a youth and greet every person with joy. 3:12
  • Rabbi Elazar ben Shamua says: Let the honor of your student be dear to you as your own, and the honor of your fellow like the reverence of your teacher, and the reverence of your teacher like the reverence of Heaven. 4:12
  • Rabbi Elazar HaKapor says: Envy, lust, and honor drive a man from the world. 4:21
 Why is the number three used as the basis to understand?  When a person has an idea it is one central thought, but only after there are at least three conditions to support the idea will it be substantiated – given validity.  Again the concept of three is to be based on solid ground.
We have three primary relationships in life. We have to learn to live with one’s self, with God, and with others. We have three resources to function in the world: thought, speech, and action. Time itself is divided into three categories: the past, the present, and the future.
On Rosh Hashana we have again reminded of the three prong approach: “Teshuva (Return), Tefillah, (Prayer) and Tzedakah (Righteousness) avert the bad decree.”
Our nation was started with three fathers; Abraham who epitomized the characteristic of loving kindness, Issac who represented moral strength and Jacob was known for honesty.

What is Four?

Four is the matriarchs: Sara, Rivka, Rachel, and Leah. Four in Hebrew is a Dalet – a door.  A door has four corners and works on a hinge allowing the entrance and exit of all those who want to be contained in the house.  Four is the basic shape of stability; a table, chair, stool, desk all have four legs as well as a square and a rectangle – the most basic shape seen in architecture.
There have been four exiles in Jewish history; Egypt, Persia, Greece, and now we are considered in the longest exile of all – Rome – the western ideology.  We celebrate each end of exile with wine and good food – Pesach, Purim, and Chanukah.  Imagine the great holiday we will enjoy when this long and final exile will end and redemption will be here with the heralding in the age of Mashiach.
The Jewish holidays have many samples of four.
The Four Sons - by Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf | Stuff to Read Later | Pint ...     Passover Seder Wine שאף הן היו באותו הנס”: rabbi ...Purim Vocabulary & Mitzvot Flashcards - ProProfs Flashcards MakerThe four species in question are an etrog (a citrus fruit native to ...
  • There are the four sons: the wise, the wicked, the simple, and the one who doesn’t know how to ask.
  • There are four cups of wine that allude to the four redemptions.
  • There are four species of trees bearing fruit we take on Succos: the esrog; the pretty and beautiful in its smell, the lulav the long straight one, the hadasim which are nice and the arava which bear no fruit, smell, or pretty sight.
  • The symbols of different Jews, but without all of the types we could not survive or fulfill the mitzvah.
  • There are four mitzvot on Purim; mishte – a drinking meal, mishloch manos, megillah, Matanot l’Evyonim – giving to the poor.
Four is a four-letter word.  As well as love and hate, work and play, and pray and seek.

What is Five?

The Five Books Of Moses (Torah) | Judaism | Pinterest

Five are the books of Moses – the Chumash.  Five are the books of Psalms – Tehillim.  The Muslims pray 5 times a day which is believed to be taken from the Jews Yom Kippur service when Jews prostrate themselves (like we see the Muslims do) and have 5 set playing times; Maariv, Scharchis, Mussaf, Mincha, and Nehila.
The 10 commandments were written on 2 luchos – tablets – two of them each with 5 commandments. The division demonstrates the parallel of each commandment to each other. One tablet represented the Jews relationship with other men and the other tablet is the relationship a Jew has with his G-d. And yet they are intertwined with each other.
Five is a primary number.  Five is half way when everything is based on ten.
open-hand-clip-art-bcdownload_hand-open-heavy-outline-clipart_hand ...
Five is our fingers and our toes.  Although only the starfish have 5 appendages, since most animals have appendages that come coupled in pairs of two; yet most animals have 5 fingers, toes, claws, nails, or whatever they are called on any particular animal.
The expression “Give me 5” means approval with a slap of a handshake.  “High 5” similar meaning but done in a higher altitude. “Five by five” is a phrase used in radio communication to mean, “I understand you perfectly”.
The American government sits in a building that is laid out a like a 5 pointed star and is called the pentagon. Growing up I remember the “Jackson 5” (when little Michael was cute and young) and Hawaii 5-O – a detective story.
We have 5 senses; smelling, seeing, feeling, hearing and tasting. It is through these senses that we understand our world and can contemplate the wonders of our world.

Event Experiences: Meetings for the Senses: Associations Now

What is Six?

Star of David, computer generated image - Png file, Attent… | Flickr

Six is the books of Mishna.
The Star of David has 6 points (2 inverted triangles).
The world was created in six days and G-d rested on the seventh.  Each day has its partner; Sunday with Monday, Tuesday with Wednesday, Thursday with Friday and Shabbos which had none.  Shabbos was then partnered with the Jewish people.
The Pesach seder plate has six items.
  • The charozes: the sweet apple mixture there to represent the mud that was used to make bricks.
  • The marror: horseradish; to remember the bitterness of the exile
  • Hazeret: Typically romaine lettuce, the roots are bitter tasting.
  • Karpas: Celery or Parsley is used, representing spring. The vegetable is dipped into salt water. This symbolizes the tears of the Hebrew slaves in Egypt.
  • Zeroa: To remember the roasted lamb that was used as the Pesach offering the Karbon: shank bone or a chicken wing or chicken neck is used on the plate.
  • Beitzah: A hardboiled egg, a reminder of life that transcends death.Seder Plate
When we shake the lulav we point in six directions: up, down, right, left, forward and back; signifying that G-d is in all the directions; his worldly presence surrounds us.
Lulav and Etrog
In mathematics, a perfect number is when all the numbers that divide into it (excluding the number itself) when added equal the sum of the number itself. 1+2+3=6. In addition, when the number is including into the formula and then divided in half it equals again the number itself. (1+2+3+6)/2 = 6
Perfect numbers are rare. The Ancient Greeks recognized four perfect numbers: 6 – 28 – 496 – 8,128. Throughout history, perfect numbers have fascinated mathematicians and more perfect numbers have been discovered.
A dice and a cube have 6 numbers, and braille is based on six dots. We talk about the sixth sense when we mean someone has an intuition about something. The number 6 is the atomic number for carbon. The standard flute has six holes. The standard guitar has six strings.

What is Seven?

Israel Menorah Jerusalem, Israel | Israel and the Holy Lands | Pinter ...

The Omer (the time between Pesach and Shavuos that is counted)  is seven weeks multiplied by seven days.  Forty-nine days to count, to improve, to build one’s seven midos – character traits to reach the pinnacle of the 50th the day gave us the Torah.
What are the midos? http://www.aishdas.org/asp/lists-of-middos
  • There is Chesed – selfless kindness, the trait associated with Avroham.
  • Geuvrah – restraint, the one who can fight the evil inclination characterized by Yitzhak.
  • Tiferes is symmetry, balance characterized by Yaacov who was the summation of Avroham and Yitzhak his grandfather and father.
  • The fourth mida (and the week of the Omer) is Netzach meaning eternity. To be able to see the long view and understanding everything is good even what seems bad for us.  This is Moshe who brought down to us the everlasting Torah.
  • Hod is beauty, an eternal beauty connected to hodiah – thankfulness. A person who is kind to everyone, polite and greets all with a smile and gratitude has hod.  Yehoshua is hod.
  • Yesod is the foundation. It is the foundation which connects kedusha the Holiness of Hashem into this temporal world. Yosef who fought his inner desires successfully is yasod.
  • The seventh is malchut royalty. Malchus is the combination of all the other midos and put into action. Dovid HaMelech is Malchus.
... OF LIGHT Judaism 7week Omer KABBALAH course CD-ROM by Yonassan Gershom
There are seven days in the week in every calendar (at least that I know of). This is not necessarily logical. If the solar year would have chosen six days, not only would it have been an even number, every year would have the same date.  January first would always be Sunday, and the holidays would fall out the same day every year (that is the secular holidays based on the solar year, not Jewish holidays – those would still be late or early as some like to acknowledge them.   For us Jews, it would be a catastrophe. One week Shabbos would be on Saturday, the next Sunday, and etc. causing havoc in the workplace and confusion for the masses.  By having seven days already implies a notion of a day off – Shabbos (which didn’t always exist.) Once the Russians tried to abrogate the entire calendar and created a 10 day week – it didn’t last too long.  I have a feeling the vodka use got multiplied during that time. Even in the ancient world, there have been attempts of longer or shorter weeks, and yet it has always come back to the 7 day week – with a Shabbos set by its side – with no equal.
How to Keep This Shabbos in Samoa? STAR-K Tells Us How (Samoa ...
Succos is seven days (with an extra day for Simchas Torah) as well as Pesach.  The Shabbos of the land is shmittah, where G-d commanded to rest the earth and go learn for a year every seven years.
In the Beis HaMakdash, the Temple stood the golden menorah – with seven branches – the symbol of the Jewish people, which was lit every day by the Cohen gadol.  The Temple Institute: The Holy Temple Menorah Today
Seven represents completion.  An octave is 7 musical notes– do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, and topped off with do again. The rainbow has seven colors: Red – Orange – Yellow – Green – Blue – Indigo -Violet (ROY G BIV).
There are seven laws of Noah the 7 mitzvot non-Jews need to follow and are ultimately judged by
  1. Thou shall not worship Idols
  2. Thou shall not Blaspheme
  3. Thou shall not murder
  4. Thou shall not have immoral relationships
  5. Thou shall not steal
  6. Thou shall Respect all Living Creatures
  7. Thou Shall Set up Courts of Law
There are Seven Seas:
Results for 7 Seas Of The World.
  1. the Arctic Ocean
  2. the North Atlantic Ocean
  3. the South Atlantic Ocean
  4. the Indian Ocean
  5. the North Pacific Ocean
  6. the South Pacific Ocean
  7. the Southern (or Antarctic) Ocean
The notion of 7th heaven which has its basis in Kaballah is an understanding of the 7 sacred halls, 7 steps, and the 7 worlds one needs to climb to the Holy of Hollies.
In the ancient time, there were the classic seven wonders:
About The Seven Wonders of The Ancient World
  1. Great Pyramid of Giza
  2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  3. Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  4. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  5. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  6. Colossus of Rhodes
  7. Lighthouse of Alexandria
Only the Great Pyramid of Giza still exists.
The Group of 7 (G7) is a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
G7 meeting starts in Lubeck | Vestnik Kavkaza
Seven is considered the number most connected to nature; the way of life. Eight goes into the supernatural, the number above nature – but that is the start of another blog.

What is Eight?

Chanukah - Wilshire Boulevard Temple

Eight represents above nature as in the eighth day of Chanukah. Eight days of Succos. The first 7 days are for the whole world to celebrate and we live outside in the Succah. Then we add one more day – Simchas Torah to celebrate alone in our homes with G-d.
It is the eighth

brit mila baby bris

What is Nine?

Pregnant Woman | Free Images at Clker.com - vector clip art online ...

Nine is the months needed before a baby is born. Nine is the belief of the amount lives given to a cat. Nine is a number that can be written upside down to create another number – 6.
Letters And Numbers: Number 69 - Stock Illustration I3036689 at ...

day a baby boy is given a Brit Mila entering them into the covenant of Abraham.

Nine is the last single digit in the number system.
Nine is 3 times 3; the third square number.  Badger Basket 9 Cubby Storage Unit - Bookcases at Hayneedle
Nine is the highest single-digit number in the decimal system. It is the second non-unitary square prime of the form (p2) and the first that is odd. All subsequent squares of this form are odd.

What is Ten?

Ten is the system we base our mathematics on.  Everything is based on multiples of 10; 10, 100, 1000, 10000, and on. In mathematics, a power of 10 is any of the integer powers of the number ten; in other words, ten multiplied by itself a certain number of times (when the power is a positive integer). By definition, the number one is a power (the zeroth power) of ten. The first few non-negative powers of ten are:
1, 10, 100, 1000, 10000, 100000, 1000000, 10000000
Thursday, November 10, 2016
There were 10 plagues against the Egyptians until they let the Jews go.  There are 10 commandments given on the tablets to Moses on Mount Sinai.
luchos
In order to pray, there must be 10 men to make a minyan.  Thus ten represents a congregation and not a simple group of people.  By making a minyan the whole becomes greater than ten single men. The greatest Rav of today davening by himself does not have the power of 10 simple men who pray together.  He can’t even say Kaddish without others.  Ten means people become a kehillah – a community.

Minyan”

 

What is Seven? The Number Series

Seven; the omer, the menorah, the octave, the days of the week, etc.

Now, we are in the midst of counting the Omer;  seven weeks multiplied by seven days.  Forty-nine days to count, to improve, to build one’s seven midos – character traits to reach the pinnacle of the 50th the day gave us the Torah.  What are the midos? There is Chesed – selfless kindness, the trait associated with Avroham.Geuvrah – restraint, the one who can fight his aitza hora – the evil inclination characterized by Yitzhak. Tiferes is symmetry, balance characterized by Yaacov who was the summation of Avroham and Yitzhak his grandfather and father. The fourth mida (and the week of the Omer) is Netzach meaning eternity.  To be able to see the long view and understanding everything is good even what seems bad for us.  This is Moshe who brought down to us the everlasting Torah.  Hod is beauty, an eternal beauty connected to hodiah – thankfulness. A person who is kind to everyone, polite and greets all with a smile and gratitude has hod. Yehoshua is hod. Yesod is the foundation. It is the foundation which connects kedusha the Holiness of Hashem into this temporal world. Yosef who fought his eitzah hora successfully is yasod. The seventh is malchuot royalty. Malchus is the combination of all the other midos and put into action.  Dovid HaMelech is Malchus.

There are seven days in the week in every calendar (at least that I know of). This is not necessarily logical. If the solar year would have chosen six days, not only would it have been an even number, every year would have the same date.  January first would always be Sunday, and the holidays would fall out the same day every year (that is the secular holidays based on the solar year, not Jewish holidays – those would still be late or early as some like to acknowledge them.   For us Jews, it would be a catastrophe. One week Shabbos would be on Saturday, the next Sunday, and etc. causing havoc in the workplace and confusion for the masses.  By having seven days already implies a notion of a day off – Shabbos (which didn’t always exist.) Once the Russians tried to abrogate the entire calendar and created a 10 day week – it didn’t last too long.  I have a feeling the vodka use got multiplied during that time. Even in the ancient world, there have been attempts of longer or shorter weeks, and yet it has always come back to the 7 day week – with a Shabbos set by its side – with no equal.

Seven also has personal significance for me.  It is the number of children I have and the name of my third daughter (Elisheva – nicknamed; Shevi, since she was born at the beginning of Shabbos and was the 7th night of Chanukah) and it represents the best day of the week, Shabbos.

Succos is seven days(with an extra day for Simchas Torah) as well as Pesach.  The Shabbos of the land is shmittah, where G-d commanded to rest the earth and go learn for a year every seven years.

In the Beis HaMakdash, the Temple stood the golden menorah – with seven branches  – the symbol of the Jewish people, which was lit every day by the Cohen gadol.

Seven represents completion.  An octave is 7 musical notes– do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, and topped off with do again. The rainbow has seven colors: Red – Orange – Yellow – Green – Blue – Indigo -Violet (ROY G BIV).

There are seven laws of Noah the 7 mitzvot non-Jews need to follow and are ultimately judged by:

  1. Thou shall not worship Idols
  2. Thou shall not Blaspheme
  3. Thou shall not murder
  4. Thou shall not have immoral relationships
  5. Thou shall not steal
  6. Thou shall Respect all Living Creatures
  7. Thou Shall Set up Courts of Law

There is the Seven Seas:

  1. the Arctic Ocean
  2. the North Atlantic Ocean
  3. the South Atlantic Ocean
  4. the Indian Ocean
  5. the North Pacific Ocean
  6. the South Pacific Ocean
  7. the Southern (or Antarctic) Ocean

The notion of 7th heaven which has its basis in Kaballah of the 7 sacred halls, steps, worlds one needs to climb to the Holy of Hollies.

In the ancient time there were the classic seven wonders:

  1. Great Pyramid of Giza
  2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  3. Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  4. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  5. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  6. Colossus of Rhodes
  7. Lighthouse of Alexandria

Only the Great Pyramid of Giza still exists.

The Group of 7 (G7) is a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Seven is considered the number most connected to nature; the way of life. Eight goes into the supernatural, the number above nature – but that is the start of another blog.

Happy counting.

A Discussion with an Atheist on Quora

Who proved that God was real in the first place?

 

Me: Abraham. He was the first one to realize there is one G-d and after being threatened by his father and the King Nimrod, he left to spread the word and welcomed anyone to come learn by him.

Though really there were many before Abraham who knew G-d. Adam and Eve certainly knew G-d. They had direct contact with him. So did Cain, Able, and Seth their children and their children. They started to believe that they needed an intermediary, the beginning of idolatry. But Seth’s family continued to believe only in the one G-d and established a school called in the name of Seth and his son Aver. Abraham is from Seth as well.

Ian Sawyer

It seems you’re not aware that Abraham is a fictitious character! The entire story of Genesis, along with that of Exodus and the remaining first five books of the Old Testament, are fiction. There’s now overwhelming evidence that they were written by scribes during the time of the Babylonian Exile in order to give the scattered and disheartened people of Judah a sense of common heritage and spiritual belief. It’s an entirely false story, borrowed in part from even older myths of Mesopotamia and Sumeria, and it’s doubtful it was ever meant to be taken literally, just allegorically. It’s only been with the passage of time and constant retelling that it came to be believed as being factual.

Tziyona: Oh heavens! And for the last 5000 years, my ancestors and I have made such a mistake. I’m so glad you pointed that out.

Ian Sawyer

That’s quite alright, glad to help!

But the stories in question were hardly written 5,000 years ago, rather it was sometime between 597 BCE and 539 BCE, although they were supposedly set during some earlier, unspecified, period.

Perhaps you should take some time to research the real history of the Old Testament texts, rather than just assuming they’re factual because that’s what you’ve always been told is so. There’s no evidence to support any of them; believing that something is true is not the same as it actually being true!

A little more knowledge about the real motivation behind organized religion wouldn’t go amiss either. It might then become clearer how it’s nothing more than a means of exercising power and control over people, their thoughts and their lives for its own benefit, using a combination of these ancient myths, innate human desires, and psychology, by which to do so.

 

Tziyona: Actually, I was raised like you, ignorant and sure everything written was false, made up, and opium for the masses. It was actually when I started to learn and open a few my prejudices to give validity to someone other than my own way of thinking that I was blown away how incredible depth of the Torah and its people, rabbis, teachers and ordinary families that build their lives around the teachings of the Torah.

I didn’t need to find the falsity in everything to justify my non-religious way of life. The way of Torah was much greater and valuable. And when I looked into the homes of those who keep the Torah and compared it to those who don’t – it wouldn’t have bothered me to just follow along even if I didn’t believe it G-d, (which I do.) The results and lifestyle are so much more rewarding, why would I want to go back to the world where marriage, children, building relationships are not close or equal compared to the religious way of life.

But don’t just take it from me.

 

Ian Sawyer

Well, you’re of course entitled to believe what you like, but I’m astounded by the fact that someone can dismiss well proven and evidentially based facts for religious mythology.

But then again perhaps not. Religion is insidious, and it promises things which are in line with innate human desires, and those religions such as Judaism, which are very family oriented, play heavily on this by way of constant repetition and ritualized behavior to reinforce those ancient beliefs. And as I’m sure you know, repetition and ritualized behavior are the main bases for brainwashing; making us believe the unbelievable, especially when it involves children too young to be able to discriminate fact from fiction.

Certainly there are some positive aspects to religion, such as the sense of belonging and community it can engender, however, given that it’s demonstrably based on fiction, and there’s nothing in it which can’t be achieved by completely non-religious means, all it does is entrap those who want to succumb to the supposed comfort of its false beliefs, rather than think for themselves and face reality. There’s nothing you’ll find in the homes or behavioral patterns of Jewish families, or religious families anywhere, which you won’t find in the homes or behavioral patterns of non-religious families, nothing at all – other than all the wasted time and effort of praying to some invisible man in the sky!

There’s absolutely zero evidence to support any religious beliefs based around imaginary gods, and a very considerable amount of evidence to support the fact that all religions grew as a means of exercising power and control over people, not to mention increasing their wealth by way of tithing or some other form of donation, often enforced by societal pressure.

But as I said initially, you want to delude yourself and believe in the unbelievable for whatever reason, that’s up to you, but there are most certainly two sides to this, and only one side can be shown to have hard evidence to support it!

Tziyona: Proof Torah is True, Miracle, Proofs & Human Knowledge, Check it out A UCLA graduate, A Doctor, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, because even smart people can believe and not be living in the la la land as you apparently bias believe. Your proofs may be filled with holes are asking the wrong questions.

Ian Sawyer

Well, if you want to believe that palpably false and biased material, it’s up to you! What has the fact that someone gained university qualifications got to do with whether they’ve been indoctrinated by their religion/culture/society into believing fiction over demonstrable fact?

There’s an assumption right from the word goes in those talks that what’s being talked about is factual. It’s not, and it’s demonstrably not factual on so many levels. Like so many people who’re biased because of their religious beliefs, they look for things which they think support their belief. The correct and unbiased approach is to look at the evidence, and then draw conclusions based on that evidence. They produce entirely different results.

Adam didn’t exist, Moses didn’t exist, Noah didn’t exist… There was no exodus; there was no flood… There is zero evidence to support any of these stories other than they’re derived from the mythology of the Sumerians, the Akkadians, the Egyptians… In short, they’re nothing but ancient fiction, written to convey the often primitive and pre-scientific spiritual beliefs to a scientifically ignorant and naive people of the time. Nothing more.

All I’m trying to do is point out that there are two sides to every story, and in the case of religious belief, it’s a false belief in so many provable ways.

The saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink” comes to mind here. If you, or anyone, chooses, for whatever reason, to believe that there are invisible entities which control human destiny, and that ancient mythology is actually true, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary and despite a mass of evidence to show that organized religion of every kind uses a combination of fiction, innate human desires, and psychology to control people for their own ends, it’s their misfortune!

 

Tziyona: I beg to differ. The assumption that by definition a person believes in G-d is, therefore, biased and ignorant is the basis of secular society but is not necessarily a truthful assumption. And never in the history of time was there ever secularism until the western world (built on the beliefs of Judeo-Christian theology), allowed and condoned the belief of secularism. Does that mean that all of history is laden with idiots until these brilliant men of secular theology have come to guide us to light or are it dismal thinking? Your mass of evidence I think is full of holes and predestined beliefs and could easily be understood differently.

I don’t believe either one of us could change the other’s mind, which is fine. I would like to just point out your complacency of atheist doctrine; if one believes in a deity they are by definition off base in whatever they say. And if you don’t realize that atheism is a belief just like any other religion, then you are not being honest with yourself. There are no more proofs to prove the existence of G-d then there are proofs that there isn’t a G-d. Both need a leap of faith.

 

Ian Sawyer

“The assumption that by definition a person believes in G-d is, therefore, biased, and ignorant is the basis of secular society but is not necessarily a truthful assumption” — Tell you what, you provide some evidence that the concept of a God isn’t merely an assumption, and I’ll believe what you say. But if you can do that, you’ll be the first person ever to be able to do so!

 

I completely disagree that atheism is either a “belief just like any other religion” or that it has any doctrines. It’s nothing more than a disbelief in gods (due to the utter lack of evidence or necessity), period. Different atheists might well have differing views on what religion is, how it started, how it should be treated etc., but those are purely personal. For there to be a doctrine, there needs to be an overarching organization to set an agenda. There isn’t.

 

Both theism and atheism don’t need a leap of faith! Only the former does. No-one is born a theist; it’s something which only comes about because of a combination of childhood indoctrination and societal/cultural pressures promoted by organized religions, each with their own agenda and threats and promises based on the intangible. Do you seriously believe that in today’s world with the amount of scientific knowledge we have, that if religion had vanished from the face of the earth, people would reinvent such an archaic concept as that of invisible entities which control nature and ‘look after people’, when we know the real reasons things happen and are the way they are?

 

There is a vast amount of evidence from many different fields of research which show that the belief in gods is nothing more than a derivation from the animist beliefs of our ancient ancestors, partially encoded into out DNA because of many tens of thousands of years of belief in such things. There’s also vast amounts of evidence which shows how organized religions first started, and how they used the fear of these ancient animist entities to control the behavior of people in the first permanent settlements.

 

Any totally objective view, free of all biased and preconceptions, would come down on the side of there being rational and logical explanations for everything around us, without the need to resort to the primitive “a god did it / caused it” answers of our ancestors. They knew no better, we do.

 

The bottom line is that there is zero evidence to support the god concept other than it being a psychologically acceptable manifestation of the primitive human mind, which has been used by organizations seeking power and control over people. None whatsoever.

 

As a final thought, would you still believe the same things as now – your Jewish perspective – if you’d been born into and still lived in say a Hindu culture, or a Shinto culture, or an Islamic culture, or a Maori culture…? Fairly obviously the answer is no, you’d believe in the predominant religion in which you were raised and lived. In other words, beliefs and everything surrounding them, including their god(s), holy books, methods of worship, rituals…, are totally dependent on what culture and religion you’re raised in, and what you’re taught.

 

This begs the question as to which religion and which god is correct. Can they all be correct and all the different gods involved be as real as you think yours is? That’s extreme arrogance on everyone’s part to believe that they’re right and everyone else is wrong. Or isn’t it far more likely that they’re all wrong, and that religion is, as I say, nothing more than an invention of the human mind? That’s the only scenario which fits everything we know about the god concept and all the religions surrounding the several thousand there supposedly are.

 

Tziyona: I am not going to try to give you scientific proof. I just want you to explain how did this amazing world with all the incredible science and perfection in chemistry, biology, astrology, the DNA and everything we see in this world come about. Without a creator? Seriously. What is it all just happenstance? A mere mistake in the DNA that evolved into perfection? Really?

 

Being religious is not looking for a way to get rid of fears, but instead to give thanks to the one who created this incredible world. The word Yehudah – the Hebrew word for Jew, means thankfulness. If nothing else, if one gains an appreciation for the incredible world that G-d gave us, it makes us better people.

 

Mark McMasters

Um… The question asked about proving ‘god’ is real. All you have provided is an interesting mythical story.

 

Tziyona

Sorry, I am right now very busy keeping the holiday of Pesach (Passover) which celebrates the creating of the Jewish people 5000 years ago. We follow the commandments said over in the Torah. We now are cleaning our houses so it shouldn’t have one crumb of chametz (flour and water mixed longer than 18 minutes) and then we will sit down to a meal with a long ritual of telling the story of Exodus eating strange food and matza because my family has been doing this same celebration for over 5000 years from generation to generation. Which incidentally gives the biggest proof of the Torah is true. How can 600,000 people experience the same event and tell it over to their children so it is passed down from generation to generation and no one said “hey guys, this is all a hoax! Some guy made this all up.”

No other religion has witnesses to revelation. The Jews (who are known to be smart and cynical) having been telling this same story for 80 generations (if counted as 40 years) and every year sitting down to the seder to remember the miracles and our exodus to freedom to accept the Torah as truth.

So, I don’t have time to indulge whether you think there is a god or not – we live with the Torah as our way of life. Now, I got to get back to cleaning – Pesach is almost here, and all my grandchildren are coming to hear and tell the story and ask the question, “Why is tonight different than any other night?” as their parents, grandparents and all the way back have been asking.

If you don’t believe, what do you tell your children? “Well, when grandpa was an ape…”

 

Dear Liberal American Jew,

I realize most of you are still crying over the fact that Trump has won and you even have some legitimate worries about in health, arts, and other issues. But what I don’t understand is how you don’t care about Israel, your country.  Obama was the worst president for Israel since the Israel was established. (And Hillary or even worse Burnie Sanders would have continued along the same path – she was secretary of state – and was horrible not only to Israel but even to America’s own ambassador)

Even if you didn’t notice how he bow down to the Arabs (literally in Egpyt right after he was elected) and figuratively as the rest of his career showed) changing the American dynamics for the first time since Israel became a country. How didn’t you notice how Obama mistreated Netanyahu? Somehow you didn’t pay attention when Obama equated the building of houses equal to suicide killing. Or you couldn’t understand that the plan to put Israel back to the 1967 borders before any discussion began was not the way to negotiate. Then at least you might have noticed the vote in the UN counsel AGAINST ISRAEL right before his term ended and the giving of money to the tune of millions on Obama’s last day as president! His actions should have clued you in how bad Obama was for Israel. That means he was against the Jews – you can’t separate the two.

And Trump in just a few months is making the UN recognize how skewed their voting patterns have been.  Finally, legislation calling Israel apartheid was rejected.  That is huge!!  That America’s secretary of state and ambassador to Israel do not want to consider only a two-state situation but actually might consider a real peace; is huge!  (Even if you think the two-state compromise is the answer – you don’t come to the bargaining table with that already set – it leaves not flexibility.)

If you think vetting immigrants is wrong – why?  Should the country allow terrorists in with no compunction? But how do we know these refugees are terrorist or rapiers – we don’t that is why you need to vet them.  Get it.  It is simple- yet the political correctness has filled liberal minds, so they act against themselves.  Letting in Muslim terrorist is in no way the same as letting in Jews during the Holocaust – (which for the record America didn’t!). Jews were never a threat. They were not known to rape and kill people.  And sorry to inform you if you hadn’t notice almost all terrorists today are Muslim. You want to say there are Muslims who don’t support terrorism – of course, you are right – that is why vetting is so important.  Ask the non- radical Muslim population – they don’t want those people in either.

And liberals knock down Fox News as insignificant and bias.  Excuse me!  What is CNN? What is the New York Times? What is the Washington Post?  Not bias? Give me a break!  If there is a way they can find fault with Israel or Trump (or times no fault is needed), they will blame Israel and Trump for everything. How many articles start with ‘Palestinian killed’ and he was the terrorist!  If you support these media – you are buying into a big lie. They would like nothing better than to support BDS and all the other anti-Israel groups – you as a Jew stand with that? Buy into that?  How can you hate your own people?  Not that it would be unprecedented. There have always been Jews that turn against the Jewish people; history does not look kindly on them.

Don’t you remember the words of Hillel? “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?” Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14 Yes, liberal Jews very nobly remember the 2nd line well – if I am only for myself.  But you must first do the beginning line, ‘if I am not for myself – WHO WILL BE FOR ME?’.  And that is where Political correctness and liberal Jews are so wrong.

You must make Israel a priority.  Number 1 priority. Or you will become the Jew in Germany who thought Berlin was there ‘New’ Jerusalem and the Germans were too civilized to hurt a Jew.  We only have one Jerusalem. We are the ones who need to protect Israel. Unlike ever before, we now have a place to call home for when the Nazis, Inquisitionists, the Polish, the Czar, the Romans, Greeks, or whoever the new enemy that will come like all the other nations who have tried to annihilate us.  And don’t think somehow the world is new, better and less anti-Semitic –have you read the news (well beyond the liberal media who could care less about a Jew’s life.)?

Are those other issues not important? Of course, they are important.  And the budget needs to be approved by the Senate and the House which will take much time and you definitely can let your senator’s know how you feel.  But you must put our Jewish life first, as priority one, because honestly if Israel doesn’t have America’s support – who will be to blame? You!!

And although Trump is rough and unskilled as a speaker and leader, he has been already the best friend Israel has had  – certainly in a decade!  And for that alone liberal Jews should stop running him down. Have karas hatov – gratitude.  The more you thank him – the more he may understand your agendas. That is the way of people. And you know why that method might work because Trump isn’t a polished politician; he is more a real person than any president before. Take advantage.

Landing on a Different Planet

By Rachel Frid  (Reprinted from the Jewish Press)

They tell you to pack your bags, but you are not sure what to take along. A Tehillim and a package of tissues are a good place to start. Important medical papers are a must and a compact toothbrush may come in handy.

And then there’s the shopping list, a little unusual. Never mind the weight, you’re traveling to a different planet now.

When a loved one becomes ill, it’s like landing on a new planet, one so different from the one you lived on before.

When we first received the diagnosis, it didn’t really register. ALS is hard to describe and doctors hesitate to paint the whole picture as the disease progresses differently in each patient. We immediately registered at the Neurological Clinic in Hadassah Medical Center where a special unit for ALS had been created. The staff, headed by Dr. Marc Gotkine, were patient and caring.

Attached to this unit was Anat, a wonderful social worker from ISRALS, the Israeli organization dedicated to helping ALS patients and their families. At each session, she gently prepared us for the future, giving us clear guidelines on how to proceed. Its motto is “hope is stronger than fear.”

Still, there was no way to be completely ready and the unexpected became the norm. Daily functions, which we had always taken for granted, now became a challenge. I say we, but I was the bystander, painfully watching as my husband bravely struggled to remain independent. Never complaining, he accepted his lot even though he had done much more research than I had, and knew what was coming. I never heard him question why this happened and when people came to visit, he always had a smile. And thus he remains, until this very day.

R’ Dovid’s greatest love in life was learning and teaching Torah. Throughout this period, almost up until the time when he had to undergo an emergency tracheotomy, he taught in our home – practical Jewish law and insights on the weekly Torah reading to women and the laws of kashrut to a group of young men who were preparing for the Rabbinate. It hurt when he had to stop.

About three years ago, R’ Dovid’s struggle with ALS took a turn for the worse. Almost without warning, his breathing capacity decreased to the point where he needed an emergency tracheotomy. After a month’s stay in Hadassah, we came home to a new reality. Almost completely paralyzed and permanently connected to both breathing and oxygen machines,

R’ Dovid needed 24-hour surveillance and help in all areas of daily functioning.

In the beginning, we continued with one caregiver while my older children and I took the night shift. However, staying awake all night and then going straight to work or school in the morning proved to be debilitating. On the verge of collapse, we hired additional help, not covered by government insurance. In fact, insurance covers less than half of the cost. When we found ourselves sinking into debt, we had no choice but to set up a fundraising campaign. These funds, donated by caring people from around the world, enable us to provide our beloved husband and father with the best of care at home, surrounded by his loving family.

But, sorry, I am drifting. I started off describing life on a new planet. Oh, yes, the shopping list. Not exactly like the one for the supermarket or the one you give your relative who is coming from the United States. This one included a ramp from the street to our apartment, the latest features of electric wheelchairs, nursing tables, oxygen machines, hi-low office chairs, the Yad Sarah catalog alongside websites of technicians who could design all kinds of gadgets, anything to give R’ Dovid more quality of life… and some happiness.

The “to do” and “to learn” lists were just as long. I had to learn the “ins and outs” of a myriad government agencies, the Ministry of Health, the National Insurance Institute, the Immigration Office, etc. I had to learn how to administer medicines, operate machines and give injections and, believe me, the one thing I never wanted to be was a nurse.

Do I sound like a superwoman? Well, I wasn’t and still am not. I do, however, possess a secret weapon sent straight to me from Heaven, because G-d never leaves you alone. The weapon is called people or, in other words, family, friends and even complete strangers. Without them, I would have sunk a long time ago.

My children and children-in-law, led by the sterling example of our oldest, stood solidly by our side from the outset, changing work schedules, leaving their own families for days and nights, dealing with bureaucracy and doing anything else that was required. Our extended families as well have helped in so many ways, even from across the ocean. One distinguished and very busy rosh yeshiva never misses a Friday visit to bring joy to R’ Dovid, even when he has just stepped off the plane. Old friends from all over the world came to our rescue, giving of their time and money just when it seemed that we would have to give up.

The wonderful community we live in comes forth with endless offers of assistance. Accepting help is not easy and very humbling. My neighbors, however, insist that I was doing them a favor – at times they almost convince me!

My close friend brought me rice and potatoes from my neighbors “up the hill” for over a year. When things were a little calmer, I felt it was time to stop. A month or so afterwards, she met me in the store. “Do you know,” she said, “the week I stopped bringing you food, our 20-year-old car finally died. We really need a new car, so can you please let me start bringing you rice and potatoes again?”

As my son’s bar mitzvah approached, I did not know how I was going to handle it. It turned out that I really did not have to. The entire bar mitzvah was designed and executed by loving friends. “No problem, it was so much fun,” they said. (They stayed up half the night to set up the buffet and got up at six in the morning to lay out the Kiddush, done gorgeously in silver and blue.)

And, of course, there is our beloved Bikur Cholim head, who has an antenna hidden somewhere in my house through which she is able to pick up exactly what I need. She never takes no for an answer. One day, I am going to write a cookbook dedicated to her and all the other wonderful women who insist that “my family loves this dish and they are so happy that I am making it for you and them as well.”

Forgive me for not being able to mention everyone. Not only your acts of kindness, but your kind words as well are stored forever in my heart.

And then there are the strangers – and here is where I discovered something that just floored me: most people are intrinsically good! It is just not possible that I just happened to meet all of the nice people in the world, because almost everyone I met was nice.

The workers at the National Insurance Institute guided and encouraged me every step of the way. Taxi drivers took my number to find out helpful information and actually called me back! Total strangers from all over the world opened their hearts and pocketbooks. An untold number of top doctors and professionals did and still do not mind when I pester them, even during their vacations. We have also been blessed with dedicated caregivers, who, even though they are far away from their homes and families, always show patience and truly care.

I will never forget the words of the young Arab nurse who was assigned to our case when R’ Dovid had to be hospitalized. It seemed to me that she had just finished nursing school and this was her first time on the ward. She made some error and I must admit that I was not very nice about it. Later, I apologized, explaining that I was dealing day and night with a life-threatening situation and was a bit stressed out. She could have reacted coldly, but instead she said words that warmed my heart, “I admire your dedication. I believe it is your religious beliefs and your faith in G-d that give you the strength to deal with this.” Those words actually gave me the strength to go on. I wish I had written down her exact words; she said it so beautifully.

In the hospital, there are no politics, no disputes over land, no ideological differences, just good people who want to help. It gives you something to think about. If all the wicked and selfish people would just leave us alone, we could live in peace.

And oh! About that planet. Well, I have to tell you a secret. The truth is it’s not really a different planet at all, it’s our very own. Not the side that the newspapers write about, but the other side, the beautiful one full of beautiful people. And it has been my pleasure to write about the place that I have come to know and love: Planet Earth.

One lesson I have learned over the past few years is the power of kindness. Kindness is a mindset. You don’t have to be rich or powerful, you just have to train yourself to think about others. Sometimes a small deed, one kind word or a smile can save a person. We have included this idea in our web spot.

 

Please pray for the speedy recovery of Dovid Yehoshua ben Leba Malka and all ALS patients.

____________________________________________________________________

If you would like to help the Frid family to continue providing their beloved husband and father with the care he needs, please visit http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/father-of-8-with-als/241499.

 

The Real Miracle of Purim

Confession: I check my Facebook wall on a regular basis.  I’m amazed by the workings of Facebook, totally fixed in algorithm formulas attentively watching my likes and shares and probably even the amount of time I may look at a post. Facebook has figured out what I want to see. (The Big brother predicted so many years ago.)I tend to like to view the political right and Jewish/Israeli posts. So when I opened it today, I was a bit surprised to see what and who Facebook thought I would agree with. No, it was not radical left or anti-Israel statements. It was the Right-leaning political views.  The extreme right.

Whoa!  I certainly don’t want anyone to think I have somehow a connection to these groups that support total freedom of gun purchasing (without vetting), anti- Muslim to the degree they don’t believe in their right to exist, and many other hate stances.   The next time on Facebook they fixed up their mistake.

The left extreme is also anti-Israel (pro-BDS), pro-Palestinian, anti-Trump to the point of thinking of impeaching him (as if that was at all possible) and pro-Obama in spite of his betraying Israel.  Unfortunately, in my opinion, the middle left is not so far from these extreme left stances that maybe I beginning to wonder if I even know what the extreme left is.

The reality is the world is very polarized.  And the Jews are the most polarized since we sit on both sides of the spectrum. Many of us sit on the extreme left maybe a bit less of us (me included) are much closer to the right stance; tradition in Jewish history.

That is what made Purim such a miracle. The Jews were invited to the party of the century given a personal invitation from the King, of Persia and 127 provinces, King Ahasuerus.  The party wasn’t just an evening affair but went on and on for 180 days.  The King promised his constituents that the food would be kosher to their liking (probably brought in magshim from the Shushan neighborhood) and a Jewish steward to pour them their own kosher wine with dishes they would feel comfortable to eat – (stolen from our first Temple).

The debate among the Jews was pronounced.  Should they go or not?  Was it a political liability not to at least show their faces?  A great uproar was heard and only Rav Mordechai from the tribe of Binyamin was adamantly against it.  Why?  Because the party was basically celebrating the falsity of the 70-year prophecy of the return of the 2nd Temple (which Ahasuerus had counted wrong). The others saw that it would cause too much aggravation and insult to the king; best to be avoided.

Mordechai made it even worse and won’t bow down to the 2nd man in charge, Haman.  More material for those who hate(d) us to chew on.

And those who were against antagonizing these anti-Semites were proven correct.  Haman decided to kill all the Jews and has no problem selling to the King, who is quite happy to make any deal with Haman.  He accepts the money for the destruction of the Jews and gives the evil Jew-hater the signet of the ring as proof of his approval.

Yet, that very act is what turns all the Jews around and accept Rav Mordechai as their leader and accept his logic.  And the miracle is that.  Mordechai was accepted by all the Jews, an unheard of event since the times of Moshe.  And like Moshe, Mordechai was able to turn the tables around.

Not by lifting his arms (like Moses) or advising Queen Ester how to approach the King, but by the prayers, fasting, and teshuva of the people. He even tells her “Who knows if you have not been put in the palace for this very purpose? If you are silent now, help will come to the Jews from some other place — and you will perish!” And this is why the Megillah goes out of its way of calling Mordechai ‘ish Yehudi’ the ‘man of the Yehudim, the Jews.  He was not from the tribe of Yehudah.  It is the first time all the Jews are categorized as one group (and not each from its own tribe) and the man from Binyamin (like King Shaul) became the Jewish leader – the ish Yehudi!

It is not the actual act of Esther that saved the Jewish people, but her accepting Mordechai’s as her Rav and acting selflessly.

Yet the Megillah is named after Esther and not Mordechai (though he does get a lot of praise with a slight condemnation on his too much involvement with the Klal and not learning enough).  It was Esther who saved the Jewish people.  And it was a miracle that the Jewish people accepted Mordechai and repented for their improper behavior of going to the party many years ago.

When Jews can be united in accepting Torah and our sages – our salvation will be in hand.

A Purim Memory

“What is your best Purim memory?” I asked my husband, as we were planning our Purim evening.

“I remember one special Purim shpeil in the yeshiva, which was done in the evening. One year the Rosh Yeshiva decided to be part of the action.  It was only after the main events. After the ‘two-tied’ emcee (he had on 2 ties) made all his jokes and sounding like a commercial introduced the events that came; a debate on the official understanding “cursed Mordechai and blessed Haman” with ½ of the guys drunk and the other ½ snoring,  followed by a buchur beauty pageant.

As the last buchur showed his ankles as they strutted across the stage, I remember, suddenly the lights went out. It got really dark.  A candle was lit on the stage, and a sound of wind was heard. A person stepped into the moving shadows of the candle wearing a cape, a pointed beard and a witch’s hat. No one spoke.  And then there was a laugh. I remember thinking it must be the Rosh Yeshiva with his great boisterous laugh he is known for, but there was a tinge of madness in it. It was not clear, not to me anyway.

A smoke rose from what seemed to be a large black pot evoking Macbeth’s witches boiling brew. In an eerie voice the figure proclaimed the beginning of a séance like in the time of Shaul HaMelech of old. Although there was a titter of laughter, the crowd was serious due to the total inconsistency of events.

“Look it is President Kennedy coming to us upside down.  (I told you it was a long time ago.) “Conspiracies, conspiracies, tell us President, who really killed you? He doesn’t want to answer.  But wait he has something to say.”  A hush. “He has come to tell us; just like he appears to us upside down, that is how the next world is.  What seems bad for us here, in the World to Come we will see it only for our good.”

And then the ‘witch’ stepped into a light that was beamed down onto the stage; “and may that be a lesson to you.”

Then the lights went on again.  And the Rosh Yeshiva seemed to become normal again, though still in his witch costume and a bottle of wine in his hand. “And now, I have a deep question to ask, “If two witches watched two watches, which witch would watch which watch? The answer is; for those still in the unknown, ‘the Witches would watch the watch that the witches were washing’.

And he went on with his jokes and tongue twisters; I guess that was why we had a 2-tied MC to whet our appetite. He ended like he usually ends his shiurm, bringing all the twisty paths together in one summation: “And why is that I hear you cry out all this talk about witches.  How was our good Queen Esther described? ‘She had a scaly, green complexion, like a witch who can turn a situation around with a blink of an eye and cup of a good drink?  Lachaim!, and Purim Somaych one and all.

The crowd exploded and rushed up to give the Rosh yeshiva their own blessings.  But he wasn’t finished yet.  The best was still to come.  As each buchur came up, some he gave an extra blessing that they should become a chassan that year.

Do you know, some of us kept track of who he blessed, and that year we did celebrate many chassanahs. Were there more than usual? I don’t know.  But it was those guys he gave the extra blessing to who got married.

Now the Rosh was not known for his drinking. In fact, it was known that he didn’t touch alcohol throughout most of the year beyond Kiddush and his 4 cups of wine on Pesach. So that is why Purim became the time of the year, we buchrim and averchim would seek him out. Even today he only gives out blessings on Purim.”

Why do people become Orthodox?

Why would someone take on restrictions, that effect everything they eat and their daily schedule in life? The answers you have gotten are good and actually are from mostly those who have chosen not to make that path (or have left it.)

I can give the point of view of having don’t exactly like that. But first, the following is a chart created by the Pew report projecting the future:

The chart shows that in spite of Reform and Conservative Jews as the largest groups, we can see by the chart their future is not promising. The more they bend the rules, distance themselves from any dogma, decrees or discipline; the fewer people feel a need to be part of them. If you are not promising any future or making any demands, and essentially have no belief that is different from any other group – why should anyone bother calling themselves a Jew?

Yet, if one is coming from the background where nothing is expected of them, it is a tremendous leap to suddenly ‘inflict’ oneself with rules. Though do we look at athletes, artists, or anyone in a demanding profession that they are acting a bit psychotic because they are making their lives so difficult just to be an Olympic runner, a top dancer, a scientist or doctor? If someone wants something that is meaningful it usually means there is discipline, sacrifices, and rules to follow.

Judaism is no different. If you want to benefit from the beautiful family life of having children that follow your beliefs and live their lives in admiration and wish to continue a 3000-year tradition, one actually has to live that life and recognize all its beauty even in the difficulties.

Believe me keeping kosher and keeping Shabbos very soon is not a burden, but a pleasure. (Besides, there are so many other things to keep learning and accepting.) When you start to see the beauty in the system and the amazing world G-d gave us especially in his rules and demands; it is not difficult, only opportunities.

I think if you would ask a dancer, a doctor, a football player; how could you give up so many hours a day to practice either the sport, the profession? how could they have given up the years that they needed to invest to get where they are? Do you think they would say it was not worth it? Even more so; to live a life that is commanded by G-d and see one’s children and grandchildren live by the same beauty – it is what we call – naches – true pleasure.

Victim of Mental Illness

I heard a police officer knocking on the door upstairs, with his radio buzzing noise and directions 7:30 in the morning. Although I knew I looked like the typical nosey neighbor, I stepped outside my door into the hallway and asked him if I could help.

“Do you know where anyone who lives here is?  When was the last time did you speak with them?”

“Mrs. Hartman? Carol?  She works from home.  I saw her last night. What’s going on?”

“Do you know where the girl is?”

Shaking my head no, I tried to figure who he needed to speak with.  “I have Carol’s phone number.  Do you want me to call?”

“Yes.”

But there wasn’t any answer. “I have her husband’s phone number” and told it to him.  He dialed and got Michael.  I asked him to let me speak to him.

“Michael, there are now two policemen outside your door looking for Carol and Naomi. I have the key. Do you want me to open the door for them?”

“Yes.”

Having already gotten the keys when I was looking for my phone, I tried to open the lock, but I couldn’t turn the key. Now I felt panic.  “Maybe the key is pushed in on the other side.”

The police officer just pushed at the handle, and the door was opened. I felt relief. Too soon.

I went straight back to Carol’s room calling her. The policemen, I think, stayed in the living room unbeknownst to them standing in front of Naomi door.  They reminded me to “Ask her ‘where is the girl’.”

“Carol. Do you know why there would be police looking for you and Naomi?”

“No…” It was a cry, not an answer.

Running into the living room she was greeted by the police (the numbers seemed to be growing.) “Can you open the door?” they asked her.

She did.  I was closer to the kitchen and couldn’t see anything.  But I could hear. Carol didn’t even go in. She just screamed.  I grabbed her as she fell to the floor.

Naomi suffered from border personality, panic attacks, and diabetes besides who knows what else.  Naomi died from mental illness. Naomi suffered from mental anguish, physical pain imagined or otherwise.  The slightest thing would set her off in panic. This wasn’t the first time or second. But worst, it was always on her mind.  She told her mother not so long ago, it isn’t a question of ‘if’ just ‘when’.

Carol sought out all sorts of help. Psychiatry, therapies, she went to ‘healers’, Rebbium, Rebbetzins, doctors.  She read and read whatever she could to understand and to try to find help for Naomi. And out of love for her mother, Naomi went along with some of the ideas, even though she had given up long ago.

Naomi was twenty-eight years old.  When they were younger, she was my daughter’s best friend.  They not only shared the same building, friends, the same schooling until high school, they even shared the same birthday. But more important they shared many deep discussions, secrets, and stories. Naomi lived in my house as much as she lived in her own. I was proud to say she learned to speak comfortably in English because of me. Yet they were not similar at all.

Opposites, in fact. I remember making them a shared birthday cake in the shape of two girls; one with dark hair and one with blond facing each other.  Besides their hair coloring, one was rooted to the ground and one was flying in the air. I think it was part of their attraction to each other. They both were ‘out of the box’ and interested in learning the why’s of everything.  The direction they chose to incorporate their answers, though, was the opposite, like always.

My children’s childhoods are only with Naomi.  She is in almost all of my family pictures.  My mother would not dream of coming to Israel without a gift also for Naomi.  She was part of our family. Until high school.

That was when Batya and Naomi had less time to spend together since they weren’t in the same school anymore and the relationship suffered. For Naomi that was the time life started to get difficult.

We all have our ideas and explanations, including me, what went wrong. I believe Naomi was born without the capability to filter out what wasn’t necessary to be absorbed. She felt everything.  That was why she was such a good friend to so many people.  She was loved.  She knew how to listen and empathize because she actually felt everything. Any issue that came up to Naomi, was personal, painfully personal, whether it had anything to do with her or not.

She started suffering from major anxiety.  When an earthquake was felt in the Jerusalem area, buildings swayed, but there wasn’t any damage. Naomi had a panic attack and needed medical care. She was one of three in all of Israel who did. She had pain; mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally.  Everything was powerful and she was so delicate. She felt great uncomfortableness in this world.

Naomi was extremely bright (and beautiful) and wanted to go far in her studies. But so many things got in the way.  When she started college, she got hit with diabetes; which caused pain and needed for her to be more concerned for her medical care. She wanted to be a doctor but realized it wasn’t going to happen. Then as if fighting all her earlier demons she was offered the chance to speak to women in labor about donating their baby’s umbilical cord for research with tremendous success.

Proud of her academic ability, she started looking at everything to be redefined and valued. She decided that she was intellectually unhappy with the system that Hashem created in the world and chose to throw it all out.  If Hashem can command the killing of innocent people (like the Amalekites) then she rather not be affiliated with Him. When asked to do any research, speak to knowledgeable people on the subject; her mind was made up. She was not interested.

She once told my daughter, “It is much harder to be secular.  I can’t blame Hashem and pray to Him for help. All my problems, they are always my fault.”

Her illness grew bolder, stronger over the last few years and took away her interest in building herself, relationships (though she always had friends), and life itself.  For the last three years, Naomi was in and out of hospitals, restricted from leaving since she was a danger to herself. She tried different treatments, medication, therapies’, doctors. Sara, her mother, researched and spoke to professionals, as well as sought out spiritual directions.  Carol seriously looked for help, answers and a cure to no avail. But thank G-d she can say she tried. The whole family tried.

Naomi lived with her brother and sister-in-law for a year or two. Her younger brother and his new wife would invite her for Shabbos and make her feel very comfortable. Her sisters in America (one who suffers terribly from chronic Lyme’s disease) would speak with her at length and heard her.  Even her Aunt sent money to Naomi to join a program she was interested in taking in the States. Naomi was supported by her family, fully.

Naomi went along with many of the attempts only out of her love for her mother.  But Naomi was tired and saw no hope. Her illness was bigger than she was. Even her friends knew.  That early morning after one of her closest friend had had a-middle-of-the-night-phone-call with Naomi, she tried calling Naomi back and didn’t get any answer.  After not being able to reach the house either, she called the police.  She knew.

Naomi, age 28 took her life in her bedroom of her parent’s house. No, that’s not right. Her sickness took her life and she was a victim of mental illness.

HaMakom yenachem et’chem b’toch shar avay’lay Tzion vee’Yerushalayim.

May the Omnipresent comfort Naomi’s family among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

High Heels

The day finally happened.  My almost seventeen-year-old daughter bought her first pair of high heels.  Both my husband and I tried to discourage her, but I knew it would be eventually a losing battle.

I actually never had real high heels, maybe all of a half inch high, I think I was afraid any taller and I could fall. It can’t be denied there is this feeling once you put on those heels that suddenly a girl feels prettier, taller, more feminine, feel a shift to the way they walk. I would love wearing heels to parties, events and I was sure it made me look like an enchanted woman.

Once I was married and living on the third floor, I realized that I became person-non-grata as my heels would click right through the neighbors ceiling.  It wouldn’t last long, though, I’m too much into ‘comfort over beauty’, and my clip-on earrings and high heals both come off in an hour’s time. But I knew my daughter is not like me, definitely, a believer of ‘it hurts to be beautiful’ type and she is a bit short, even more reason to want the extra height.  We try to tell her the damage she would be doing to her back, her knees, besides her feet, but she didn’t want to hear. She did lean to our desires just a bit; the heels are not the pencil type but built on a bit of platform so the height is evenly spread.

She is beautiful. But what makes her beauty shine? Is it her hair set just right with the few strands left to fall over her face? Is it her nice figure, which she dresses to suggest but not to show?  Is it her makeup that she uses sparingly, but brings out her smile and bright hazel eyes? Or is it the high heels, which now give her a little more height and a swaddle?

Now, I know I am her mother, but let me tell you, which you probably realized already, she is beautiful because she sparkles when she is excited, she smiles when she looks at her friends and loved ones, she laughs when she enjoys life.  She is a beautiful person inside. She doesn’t need the heels.

But women are like that; we use fashion, makeup, jewelry, fancy hairdos and high heels to feel good about ourselves so we can actually show our inner beauty. I hope she will realize sooner than later, that her inner beauty will always be greater in value than anything she will adorn or wear. Even her new high heels.

 

 

 

Love or Hate – the New President

A right winger Israeli’s point of view

I don’t think two presidents have elicited more hate or love then Trump and Obama.  No one has stayed neutral. And probably no two presidents have more difference in approach, background or candor.

Obama a slick, smooth, funny, personal, intellectual who fulfilled the iconic dream of a black president stabbed us (Jews who love Israel – which honestly should be every Jew )  repeatedly on the back from the moment he got in office eight years ago – when he passed Israel on a Middle East tour and only welcomed and encouraged friendship with Arab countries to his last disastrous act of abstaining in the UN vote against Israel.  He tried to befriend countries that have no civil rights for anyone who is not the ‘right’ type of Muslim,  to any women or know the meaning of democracy. But he made it clear, on the other hand, that he was against Israel. He has been a horrible president for Jews. And to see liberal Jews cry, protest (on Shabbos, mind you) who can’t stand to hear the name of our new President is seeing the splitting of an already tiny people.

Believe me, I get it. I understand why people are angry.  For the last eight years that is exactly how we have been feeling.  To give honor and admiration to a man whose whole agenda was to destroy Israel reminds me of the party that Ahasuerus had for the Jews in the story of Purim. Everyone was invited; the king even provided kosher food, kosher wine and special seats for his Jewish constituents – but what was the purpose of the party? To celebrate the destruction (and what he thought was the non-fulfilment of the prophecy of the return) of the Temple. And the Jews were punished for going to the party with complete destruction until they repented.

In Obama’s administration he gave generously to Israel, but partly to compensate the deal he settled with Iran (modern Persia – where the story of Purim took place) (which ultimately gives Israel’s enemy the power to destroy her in 10 years). He went out of his way to antagonize Israel not only the home for any Jew but the only Democracy in the world.  He declared the settlements the evil of the world.  Terrorism can’t hold a knife-point to the wickedness of building Jewish homes.  (Didn’t Bilam say something similar?)

So, of course, we right-wingers are thrilled to have Trump.  Okay, Trump is not such a smooth talker, you know he is the sort that actually says what he means whether anyone wants to hear it or not. He is rough, loudmouth, wary of Muslim refugees or really any refugees. He is a womanizer (but so has almost all other presidents from FDR to Kennedy and especially Clinton). But Trump is a breath of fresh air.  I don’t mean to say I think one shouldn’t guard his speech and speak of other people in such a derogatory way to Muslims, Women, Handicap people, soldiers and everyone else Trump has insulted. But seriously did you notice the pattern – he insults everyone at times.  He doesn’t actually hate anyone particularly.  He acts a bit childish screaming off insults when he feels disrespected.  But he recognizes good advice and has picked a large range of people to guide him.  (They don’t seem to be – so far- parrots like Obama’s advisors – the worst being Clinton.)  He definitely needs to be smoothed down, carefully guided and taught to have a thicker skin.  But Clinton and Obama who talk the right talk, inside are evil, corrupt and Jew-haters and thus much more dangerous.

Trump doesn’t value the entertainment community at all and certainly wouldn’t give them the importance that Obama did. This alone should strikingly speak the whole difference between the two men.  Actors, actresses, singers, rock stars, (seriously, Madonna’s point of view should not be important to anyone) can not be the American spokespeople.  They are only entertainers.  Obama who speaks only superficially; feels close to them. He talks the right talk and thus loves Hollywood. Trump, instead, chose simple people to sing at his inauguration in a national choir.  Enough with the dazzle, onto the love of people.

The left dominant media is still and will continually point out all of Trump’s embarrassing statements – and never point out any good.  But that is a democracy.  And because it is a democracy I hope those who enjoyed Obama for eight years trying to destroy the only democracy in a world of terrorists, will allow right-wingers the right to mention his name without being attacked with venom. Because although Trump does not have the right background, mannerism, and diplomatic way of speaking is proof he is not a politician – just a regular man who loves his country. And knows who his friends are; like Israel.

It isn’t a Women’s Story

I can’t tell you if this story is true or not since I read it in a newspaper. Yet it is a story with many angles, adversity, and arguments.  I’m going to tell you first the story as I read it. And then I will tell you the woman’s moral of the story. What do I mean?  You’ll understand, soon.

Shimon, while driving his car leaving Bnei Brak to Jerusalem, (over an hour’s drive) passed the Coca Cola bus stop as he was leaving the city.  Noticing an older frum yid waiting there, he offered the gentleman a ride after they both established they had a similar destination, every Jew’s destination; Jerusalem.

As they traveled up the hill to Jerusalem, the elderly man asked Shimon if he wouldn’t mind would Shimon drop him off at his real point of destination in Kiryat Moshe which is the first neighborhood as they would enter Jerusalem on their right.  Shimon basically said though kindly, yes he would mind, but offered to let him off right next to the bus stop that was going into the neighborhood. He even went as far to explain that he had a lot of errands to run and really didn’t have time to drive his passenger, which he had just done the incredible hesed of driving him free between the two cities closer to the true point of this man’s desire.

At this point of the story, the whole situation becomes difficult. The older man speaking as an elderly statesman explains to Shimon if he wanted to do the mitzvah the proper way, it was really required on Shimon’s part to fully complete the job by taking him all the way to his final destination, especially since it wasn’t really that far. Otherwise, it would have been better not to have taken him at all in the first place. The elderly ‘statesman’ went on with his mussur, “what a shame it is that you are losing such an opportunity.”

Shimon was shocked and quite taken aback by the man’s ingratitude.  ‘That’s it, I’ll show him’, he thought to himself. Silently, he entered Jerusalem and before the older man could get off, Shimon turned the car around at Lifta’s exit and headed right back to Bnei Brak. Letting the older gentleman off, while both men fuming,  at the coca cola factory in Bnei Brak just where the story had started and then Shimon returned to Jerusalem.

The story, of course, didn’t end there.

Now, Shimon was very busy with many errands to run, so due to the lost two hours of his day, his time went much faster than he had allocated. And it wasn’t just a regular day, that evening his son was hoping to get engaged to a young lady whose parents lived in a Jerusalem neighborhood.  Knowing in advance of the possibility of the happy occasion might concur, Shimon had planned the day to be in Jerusalem so he could be there for the very momentous evening. As I’m sure you could guess, as he entered the kallah’s house who should he see? The elderly man was sitting at the table since he was the grandfather of the kallah.

Needless to say, both parties called off the shidduch.

Now seriously who was right? Who was wrong?  In the newspaper, the story was used to explain good compromising techniques for businesses and their workers and emphasized all the people in this story who got hurt.  Count them, two, four, eight? It adds up.

The problem with this story is that it is a man’s story. Why?

There is no way this could have ever happened between the mother of the chatan and the grandmother of the kallah.  Why? Are women more poised? More compromising? More flexible?  No.  (Well maybe, but that isn’t the point.) How do I know? Can you imagine the scene? Two women are driving from Bnei Brak to Jerusalem, a whole hour and a half and they wouldn’t have discovered they were about to become related?  Not possible! Women are communicators and love to share stories, especially such exciting news.

The idea two men would have sat in the car for over two hours together and never learned this basic information – is how we know that 9/10’s of speech was given to women.

The Nightmare that Changed my Life

I was maybe sixteen when I first had the dream.  I envisioned myself as a forty-year-old, housewife, with a few children who I spent an excessive amount of time car-pooling and planning my day around them. It really was a nightmare.  I don’t know why it scared me so, but in the end of the dream, I was contemplating suicide. It was the car pooling that seemed scarier than the suicide.

The nightmare was recurrent.  Besides of course being a bit scary, I knew there was a message  I was supposed to get. But what?

I realized that it wasn’t very far from my mother’s reality, and she seemed to be very happy with her life revolving around her four children.  So, why did this bother me so much?

I carried the memory of the, let’s call it vision, for years. As I contemplated college and what to study, I thought what is it that I didn’t want to end up with? What was I afraid of? What was wrong with the idea of me being a mother and caring for my family? Did I need to travel more? Did I need to date more? Did I need to try out crazy ideas; jump from the sky from a plane? go off on a trip to India, Vietnam or Cambodia? What exactly was I missing from my life that I was afraid I was going to miss out on?  Maybe I needed to study some crazy notion; basket-weaving? Acupuncture? Past lives hypnosis? I didn’t try too many of those ideas, but I did go to Israel to see the country.

I started dating someone seriously and realized he would be the one I would want to marry, but I was still afraid of the ‘vison’.  Wasn’t I heading in that exact same direction? Was it truly a problem?  I kept trying to figure out what exactly bothered me about the scenario and what was I going to do about it.

I never told him about the fear, but my boyfriend and I did have deep talks.  Where were we going? What was important in life? How do we make decisions? What were our dreams? We actually decided to do something before we just got to that family situation without a thought. We went to a school where the goal wasn’t to get a liberal education or a vocation; it was a place to ask and seek questions about life, about meaning.  Since we are Jewish, we went back to the original source and went to a school that used the Torah (the Bible) for answers with a three-thousand-year history of finding answers; a yeshiva and seminary (for those with no background.)

It was invigorating. Our questions were not unique, but have been asked in every generation with answers that could accommodate in different styles and ages of living. By digging deep into the simple meaning of each question, there were many answers with more depth than we had ever imagined.

We put a hold on our marriage for a year and both studied. This was too important to jump into anything like marriage without feeling we needed to build our home, our marriage in the most responsible way. When we did finally get married we realized that it was really a lifetime endeavor of learning and building. So though yes we have jobs and many children (and now grandchildren) we still try to invest time in continuing with that education.  (Our kids, of course, as these things tend to go are much further learned than us since they had the benefit of their whole lives invested in being religious.)

When I did turn that frightening age of 40 and had a house full of kids, I realized there wasn’t any resentment of filling my day of taking care of them as well as finding outlets (work, classes, and the gym) to fulfill my needs as well. I was only happy the way things had turned out.  In fact, my 40th decade was the best!

Now my husband and I are even older, with grandchildren and still a house full of kids, who are all old enough to be fairly independent.  The memory of the nightmare came back to me the other day.

We had dinner with a much younger mother who was for the first time hearing of this ancient wisdom that is still so prevalent in our lives.  She was discussing her enthusiasm of how beautiful and deep some of the many ideas were that she had started to hear about.  She was regretting that her kids were already planning college and she had never thought of what were her real goals, what kind of lives she really wanted for herself, her husband and her kids. They had been so busy making a lot of money and shelping her kids to all the extracurricular programs they felt they needed so they could also be successful to make a lot of money. She had never thought until she went on a special Jewish mother’s program who starting asking questions. It was the first time she was given an exposure to the idea of living with a purpose.  She was startled and moved by the many deep concepts that were being presented.  Even though she, of course, had heard of so many of the ideas before, in her circles it had been just ridiculed and life just moved on without too much thought.  Life was just reactions to events.

“Can you imagine the concept of recognizing that your whole life can have meaning and goals? Can you imagine the running around bringing up kids doesn’t have to be like an endless motion, a reaction to reaction, but actually have a guided purpose and meaning?” she asked us with such enthusiasm to her recent discovery. And then she looked us. “Woah! You guys are religious.  You must have been doing this all the time; living with a real purpose, a real goal.”

We didn’t really know how to answer, so we just smiled. But I suddenly remembered that nightmare of my young 16-year-old fear.  I was grateful that I had it those many years ago. I didn’t need to wake up at 40 to wonder what I was doing with my life.  We have been living it with pride (and hard work) ever since then.

The Writing on the Wall

Meryl Streep was afraid to mention that Jerusalem is part of Israel. (Not that she is alone – the Democratic Party, with Obama overtures supports this view.) Left wing American Jews admit that Obama has been terrible for Israel, but can’t seem to understand why that should concern them too much. The Women of the Wall who claim that the Kotel is so important to them hasn’t seen any reason to respond to the UNESCO anti-Israel vote that not only denies the Jewish connection to the Kotel but would also make the Kotel out-of-bounds to any Jew (not just the Haredi type that the WOW hate. Their only agenda is to not allow Haredim to daven at the Kotel the way Jews have always prayed.  As far as they are concerned – no one should pray at the wall it should just become a tourist site.). Their attitude is like the false mother of Shlomo’s time – they only want the Haredim to be denied what is important to them. There are anti-Israel people everywhere, on the extreme right and the major left. But what is worst is when it is from our own people like the leftist of American Jews (impartiality leads to anti behavior), B’Tselem, New Israel Fund,  ‘break the silence’ groups, and the many ignorant BDS American Jews on college campuses who are all supported by Israel’s enemies.

Having discussions and differences of opinion is not a problem.  It actually is the normalcy for Jews through history.  If you ever entered a beis medresh, you would get it – Jews like to argue – loudly! But to be anti-Israel which Obama has been for the past eight years, for women of the wall seem to be if they can’t recognize a problem with the UN vote, which BDS, New Israel Fund, B’Tselem and all the other groups whose main objective is to hurt Israel – this is unforgivable.  Not that it is new, during the World WarII Reform head Stephen Wise would not allow the Orthodox rescue groups try to help Jews get out of Europe.  Dr. Solly Meyer head of the Zionist organization in Switzerland prevented the exchange of trucks for 1000’s of Jewish lives. They did not help prevent Jews being slaughtered and thus were part of the problem.  These new groups are of the same ilk and are culpable for the killing of Jewish lives and encouraging terror.

Israel needs to be protected.  It is not another nation like any other.  Israel belongs to every Jew, which means it should be important to every Jew.  If Obama was bad for Israel, then it means Obama was bad for Jews – all Jews.  Leftist American Jews who think all the other issues that are facing the American people are more important are fooling themselves – just like the German Jews in the 1930’s.  IF these Jews don’t support Israel when needed – what will happen if (and most likely when) Jews will need a place to escape from the terrible onslaught that is facing the world today- how do they expect to have Israel waiting for them if they don’t support her! What would have been if there had been Israel when Nazi Germany’s killing machine was at the height of power? Do you think America really cares about its Jews that they will prevent another holocaust? Then how could the president of United States just declare the Kotel, and half of the country where Jews live as illegal?

See the writing on the Wall!

 

 

A Modest Thought

Secular Taxi Driver: You know, I really don’t like when women dress in a provocative way.  It doesn’t present them in a nice way, they may look sexy, but not necessarily attractive or someone I want to hitch up with. Honestly, it makes me think less of them.

Reporter: I wonder what sometimes these women are thinking. Can you imagine a queen start showing off her body for all to see? The more important someone is, the less they actually show off their body.  The more important a person is the more they cover themselves.

Secular Taxi Driver: Yeah! That is just it.  I mean I don’t mind looking, but I sure don’t really want much to do with women who dress to show. Look at the singers Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Beyonce or Madonna! Personally, they look like low-lives. You know that one of  Adel’s attraction is that she thinks better of herself and dresses actually modestly?  Hey, I think men who feel a need to show off their bodies have got a problem.  When I work out I wear a shirt – there is no need to go without one unless it is to show off, which we could all do without.

Hey, I even think men who show off their bodies have got a problem.  When I work out I wear a shirt – there is no need to go without one unless it is to show off, which we could all do without.

Flashback

Newly female Baalei Teshuva said factually, but actually not getting it: So, women are not supposed to sing in front of men (except for their family) because women’s singing affect men.

Baalei Teshuva’s brother, a bit anti-religious: Yeah.

Newly female Baalei Teshuva: What do you mean ‘yeah’?

Baalei Teshuva’s brother: I don’t get your question, of course, women singing affects men.

Newly female Baalei Teshuva: Really?

Modesty.  An infringement on women rights or a path to more respect?

In the Aaron Kodesh the most precious item in the shul is hidden – the Torah Scrolls. They are sealed in a box with a lock, and curtains. Jewelry that is valuable are kept in boxes with a lock and even at times in a safe in a bank. Aren’t our bodies valuable enough to be concealed from any onlooker?  There are times we wear jewelry so all can see, just like we bring out and raise the Torah scroll up so all can look. The difference it is worn so it looks nice, or shown at the proper time, not just hanging around to be exposed at all times and be taken disadvantage of (which is the result of improper dressing).

Quotes of Modesty

  • “My value as a woman is not measured by the size of my waist or the number of men who like me. My worth as a human being is measured on a higher scale: a scale of righteousness and piety. And my purpose in life-despite what fashion magazines say-is something more sublime than just looking good for men.”
    Yasmin Mogahed, Reclaim Your Heart: Personal Insights on Breaking Free from Life’s Shackles
  • Modesty is the conscience of the body. Honore de Balzac
  • Modesty is the color of virtue. Diogenes
  • Good taste is the modesty of the mind; that is why it cannot be either imitated or acquired. Delphine de Girardin
  • “Unaffected modesty is the sweetest charm of female excellence, the richest gem in the diadem of her honor.” ― Noah Webster
  • Beauty without modesty is like words without honesty.  Anil Sinha
  • Real beauty is in modesty and the absence of ego. Senora Roy
  • The best makeup is a smile. The best jewelry is modesty. The best clothing is confidence.

What do you think?

Jewish Food Conversations

“Mom, did you have anything to eat yet?  It is almost 2:00 pm.”

“Coffee, don’t worry about me.  Did you eat?”

“You know me, I don’t ever go hungry. It easily could explain why you wear size 0 and ahem I wear a quite a larger size. “

“No, they just make 0 big, don’t be fooled. “

“Yeah, right.”

“Mom, do you really think you need to watch your weight?”

“You know I don’t really eat too much, and still you don’t see me getting any thinner – do you?  This is really all I should eat.  You, on the other hand, are eating for two and have so much on your plate with the kids.  You are burning so many more calories than I. Did you see the new cookbook that just came out?  I love to get it.”

“Why? Do you really try out the recipes?”

“No, not really, but it gives me ideas.  Listen I don’t really eat too much, but I love food; the colors, the textures, the different way the books present them.  If you ever want to borrow a book please take it, keep it if you like it.  You really make all this food, so you should enjoy it.”

“Mom, I think you must have unbelievable discipline not to eat when there is so much food all around, don’t you get hungry?”

“I love to watch others eat, but what I need it for, so then I can worry about the extra weight that I gained.  It won’t get me any pleasure from eating just seeing others enjoying it.”

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

“Mom, why do you like cookbooks so much?  You don’t seem to use them?”

“Remembering cookbooks is how we survived the war?”

“What do you mean? We were so hungry?  You know how you think when you are sick or out and can’t find anything kosher to eat, well at least I loose a little weight from this adventure, and well that is not how we thought in the camp.  Our hunger so far beyond thinking of losing weight, we were starving – the real starving.”

“So how did the cookbooks fit in? We would dream of food, talk food, remember recipes; the more descendant it was the more we would talk about it.  The creams, the butter, the layers of dough and apples and honey.  Each item we would talk and visualize, all the recipes we had learned from our mothers, that we would help prepare for Shabbos, would become the language that we would talk.  It was almost we could taste that food from before.”

“Didn’t it make you hungrier?”

“Nothing could make us hungrier we were dying of starvation.  But at least we could be satiated by our thoughts.  Do you know I know of some survivors who actually wrote up a cookbook with the recipes that we all talked about? “

“Could you cook from such a book?”

“No, I think the ingredients were so rich, that in today’s palate it would be outrageous, but that is how we survived.  Now we only worry about our waistline and not of that bitterness.”

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

“You like the food? Good have more. “

“No, thank you, Shiviger, I really can’t eat another thing.”

“What you should go home and be hungry, they’ll think I don’t know how to take care of my daughter-in-law.  Maybe you want some cauliflower, it is almost done the cooking, and I put it up a few hours ago.”

“Oh, Shiviger, no thanks.  Listen, Mom, I would really love to have more…”

“So, nu what’s stopping you?”

“You know why I don’t take some home for Sid; he for sure has missed your home cooking.”

“If you want I could teach you. “

“Oh thanks, mom, I am just not a cook.”

“So how is my son going to live?”

“You forget mom, he is a great cook by himself?”

“What you forget he is a dentist, when is he going to have time to cook? Besides what are you doing with all your time?  Once you finish college I hope you are planning to do something with yourself, like start having some grandchildren for me.”

“Mom, I told you, we are not quite ready.”

“And you think it is really up to you?”

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

“What would you like to eat for dinner today?”

“Food.”

“Turkey burgers?”

“No, food.”

“Salad and Fish?”

“No, food.”

“Okay, what is ‘food’? Noodles and Cheese?”

“Forget it. I’ll go buy pizza.”

“That’s food?”

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

Seventy-Five Years Ago from Today

Pearl Harbor.  President Roosevelt called the day infamous and one that will never be forgotten.  Yet, I wonder if there are many who remember it today. In 1941 the world was a terrible place.  Especially for the Jews.  And today 75 years later, I am so afraid we are facing the same issues.  Pearl Harbor was what brought America into the war, which was eventually what was able to allow the Allies to overcome the Nazi regime, thank G-d.

Today we have more infamous days since then; the 6-day war, the assassination of Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Rabin, murders at Columbine School, Kent State, Hurricane Katrina, Waco, and more, but I think most of all 9/11 is the date that shifted recent history. Throughout time, there are days that change the world, usually not for the good.  But Pearl Harbor, as bad as it was for America, really didn’t compare to the damage wrought by dropping the atom bomb on the same Japanese that attacked Pearl Harbor, nor the murders of Hitler or Stalin for that matter. And it was about time America entered the war.  Staying neutral is rarely possible, and ultimately it  is really choosing a side, the wrong one.

It is imperative to learn from the past.  Today we can’t sit back and allow the modern day neo-Nazis, ISIS, just gather strength. I hope the nations today will learn from Pearl Harbor and the country’s mistake.

And on the personal level, it behooves us to recognize what is pulling us down, not allowing us to grow and disengage with the negative and find the system to change.

 

 

The Great Divide

“Sharon it is good to see you!  I’m so glad you came. Boy, do we have a lot to catch up on.  Sit.  Do you want a drink?” Debbie greeted her lost long friend into her home.

“Debbie, thanks a coffee will do.  I’m so glad I got 2 hours to spend with just you.” Sharon felt at home almost immediately.

“Can you believe the elections?” Debbie handed Sharon her cup that she basically prepared just the way she remembered Sharon liked it.  “More than anything I can’t believe that the Democrats are still out and protesting.  If Trump had lost, they would never understand if he complained of the vote.  Yet they are acting like… Sharon?  What is the matter?” Debbie is looking at Sharon.

“Debbie, did I just get you.  You voted for Trump. I don’t understand.  I thought your kind of people were smart and valued women, minorities and ..and .. and the land.  Are you serious?  Why would you have voted for Trump?”

“Why was Clinton a paragon of justice and all that was right?  Besides the fact, she set up a fund where they basically allowed themselves to be bribed for any diplomat who wanted something from the Whitehouse. And Clinton would have been just another Obama.” Debbie felt she scored with that last point.

“What was wrong with Obama? I think he was the most approachable, humorous, caring President this country has seen in a long time. They brought back to America the value of family and taking care of each other.  Setting up the medical care has been the best thing especially for someone like my sister who could not afford her own insurance.  He saved America!” Sharon triumphantly announces practically getting out of her chair to march across the room with a flag.

“Sharon?” Debbie is almost whispering in pain,  “ Obama almost destroyed Israel.  He did everything in his power to cause damage to Israel and bow so low to the Syrians and all the other murderers. Who has allowed ISIs to become as powerful as they have?  He couldn’t make a red line and keep it.  To his enemies, he gave everything and to his only friend he spits in their face time and again.  How could we vote for another Obama? Besides, I could never forgive Clinton and her immobility and irresponsibility for Benghazi!”

“But Debbie, Trump is a bigot.  He mistreats women.  He hates Mexicans.  He makes fun of the handicap. How could you of all people hold him?”

“At least you know what you are getting.  With her, she could be stealing lying and selling everyone out with that deceiving smile on her face.  Besides, Bill misused women much worse than Trump ever did.”

“Right it was Bill. Not Hillary.  Not only she had to be embarrassed by him she also has to be accused of his crimes?” Sharon mumbled.

They are staring at each other from the opposite sides of the couch.

Sharon looks as she might start crying and whispers; “Debbie, I’m so afraid. How could this next administration affect every part of our lives? “

Debbie is confused.  “Why do you say that?”

Whispering Sharon confides, “Daniel just told me he is gay. How is my son who is gay going to live in a Trump world, where everything is black and white?  Did he just become non-grata?”

Debbie takes a deep breath and tries to find the right words, the words that won’t throw any more daggers, show respect but also careful to watch for  the pitfalls are. “Sharon, if the new world becomes a little bit less politically correct, it still won’t mean that there will be attacks.  But how do you feel about it?” Debbie sits down a bit closer to Sharon on the couch.

“We told him, we will support him.  He should feel comfortable in our home with whoever his friends are. He should not have to hide anywhere. If he wants ‘friends’ to sleepover, it is fine with us.”

“Sharon, you didn’t answer my question.  How do you feel now that your 16 year-old-son says he is gay?”

“I just told you.”

“No, you told me how the modern mother is supposed to act in the new politically correct world we have come to.  You didn’t tell me how YOU feel about your son declaring he loves a man.  What if he said he wants to have a relationship with even a girl at 16, wouldn’t you talk to him about being careful, maybe it is too early to get into a serious relationship, why is it different now that he is calling himself gay?”

“No, if he had a girlfriend, I would do the same.”

“Why?”

“What do you mean why?  I should kick my child out.  I should let him have a relationship in a car or some other strange place.  Better he should be home.”

“Does this mean whatever he does, is condoned, as long as he tells you? And you don’t have any feelings other than his protection?  The feelings of a 16-year-old are supposed to be taken so seriously?  I remember in our day, girls would have crushes on girls, because that is what 16-year-old kids do.  They have this hormone flying through their system and anyone of any gender who they admire they don’t really get their feelings.  It is the age one starts understanding emotions.  To let a child label himself one way or another is crazy!  Why jump on the bandwagon.  Let him know that these are just feelings you have now, he shouldn’t lock himself in.”

“Is this all coming from your attention to the Bible?  It says there homosexuality is abominable.  You want me to think that?”

“You are right it does say that.  If the Torah comes to tell us something is forbidden it is because it is something that a person would think could be permissible.  It doesn’t say a person can’t sleep with his child because everyone recognizes the truth.  The very fact that it forbids it, is informing us that have homosexual feelings is a reality, but one is not allowed to act upon it.  You know there are people who have an urge to steal, to lie, to do all sorts of things that are forbidden by the Torah (and general thinking.) But we don’t let these people go around and ‘expressing their needs and desires’ letting them hang out as the wayG-d created them. Nor let them walk around in a parade totally undressed and acting sensational.”

“How can you compare someone who has a beautiful sensitive love for another human being in the same breath with a kleptomaniac or even an infectious parent?!  Just because the Bible says, just proves how outdated the book is and the more reason we don’t need to follow it like you do.”

“Why? In Rome, there weren’t gays? In Greece, there were no homosexuals?  What makes our modern world so different? And he is only 16! How does he know what he is?  Why encourage it?  It seems the more outrageous the request, the more the ‘modern’ parent needs to be ‘with it’ and accepting.  That is the only action the new parent needs to do – accept.  No setting standards, no saying this is not how a Jew acts, no trying to pass down what we know is really right from wrong.  You want your hair green okay.  You want to put tattoos all over your body, okay.  You want to put Frankenstein pins in your nose okay.  And then when this new ugly creature goes for a job interview and gets refused; protests, intolerance, the great need of creativity and expression is being downtrodden – is this the way of the modern world?  Where does it end?” Debbie is now letting it all out.

“That is what is wrong with you people and the Trump haters, they think there is only one way of looking at the world.  Why can’t people walk around with green hair and pretty pictures on their arms? I wouldn’t do it, but who am I to say what is beautiful?  You think you are the end of the definition of what is beautiful and what is acceptable.  Yes, we allow our children to express their different creativity, to go out to the world and find what is meaningful to them and make it part of their expression.  If it means my son is gay, then I must accept him for what he values.”

“Oh, my gosh.  What ridiculous values you have accepted upon yourself. And in twenty years from now, are you going to be happy with his choices? Is he the incredible mature 16-year-old going to be happy with his choices? Is there no set barometer, moral code that anyone of this generation is supposed to follow?  Listen, Sharon, I can’t say everything in my life is rosy and perfect.  I don’t like the way the schools add more authoritative decrees on my daughter; not too long, not too short, no bicycles, and etc, but the choices my kids are choosing from is from a positive place a growing place.”

“Really?  Your daughter can’t sing in front of a group. You can’t relax and just wear pants. You wouldn’t send your kids to a regular college to get a normal education.  You can’t sit with your family at shul. You can’t go comfortably to see a show on Broadway. You can’t even go to an art gallery with your husband because heaven forbid there might be a nude. How is that positive?”

“That is just what I’m saying.  There are things that are difficult; for you and me. (Not that those things that you think are difficult really bother me. Now.) But I can’t imagine having to choose to have a relationship with my kids’ means I have to allow them to basically destroy their bodies, their minds, and their spiritual side and let them do anything they can think of to get a little attention and be different. Do you think your kids are happier? Growing to be a mentsch? Or are they learning that one must strive to be different as possible to move the envelope as far as they can for the sake of change?  I already have children married with grandchildren. Do you think you will ever have that gift the greatest gift one can have?”

“I can’t force my children to be something for my own pleasures.”

“Not, my pleasure. HaKadosh Baruch Hu’s pleasure, as well.”

“Why now you know how G-d thinks?”

“We have His book.”

Democrats’ Disdain at the Dinner Table

Disclaimer: Thank G-d, this phenomenon did not happen in my family.  On the other hand, they already have known how much I have been ‘Leaning to the Right’.

 

Guest Blogg: Dennis Prager #1010 Reasons Left-Wingers Cut Trump Voters From Their Lives
November 30th, 2016
Posted in Op-Eds

Many Hillary Clinton voters have ceased communicating with friends, and even family members, who voted for Donald Trump. It is so common that The New York Times published a front-page article on the subject headlined, “Political Divide Splits Relationships — and Thanksgiving, Too.”

The article begins with three stories:

“Matthew Horn, a software engineer from Boulder, Colo., canceled Christmas plans with his family in Texas. Nancy Sundin, a social worker in Spokane, Wash., has called off Thanksgiving with her mother and brother. Ruth Dorancy, a software designer in Chicago, decided to move her wedding so that her fiancé’s grandmother and aunt, strong Trump supporters from Florida, could not attend.”

The Times acknowledges that this phenomenon is one-sided, saying, “Democrats have dug in their heels, and in some cases are refusing to sit across the table from relatives who voted for President-elect Donald J. Trump.”

A number of people who voted for Trump called my show to tell me that their daughters had informed them that they would no longer allow their parents to see their grandchildren. And one man sent me an email reporting that his brother-in-law’s mother told him that she “no longer had a son.”

All of this raises an obvious question: Why is this phenomenon of cutting off contact with friends and relatives so one-sided? Why don’t we hear about conservatives shunning friends and relatives who supported Hillary Clinton? After all, almost every conservative considered Clinton to be ethically and morally challenged. And most believed that another four years of left-wing rule would complete what Barack Obama promised he would do in 2008 if he were elected president — “fundamentally (transform) the United States of America.”

In other words, conservatives were not one whit less fearful of Clinton and the Democrats than Democrats were of Trump and Republicans.

Yet virtually no conservatives cut off contact with friends, let alone parents, who supported Clinton.

Here are 10 reasons left-wingers cut Trump voters from their lives.

1. Just like our universities shut out conservative ideas and speakers, more and more individuals on the left now shut out conservative friends and relatives as well as conservative ideas.

2. Many, if not most, leftists have been indoctrinated with leftism their entire lives.

This is easily shown.

There are far more conservatives who read articles, listen to and watch broadcasts of the left and have studied under left-wing teachers than there are people on the left who have read, listened to or watched anything of the right or taken classes with conservative instructors.

As a result, those on the left really believe that those on the right are all SIXHIRB: sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist and bigoted. Not to mention misogynistic and transphobic.

3. Most left-wing positions are emotion-based. That’s a major reason people who hold leftist views will sever relations with people they previously cared for or even loved. Their emotions (in this case, irrational fear and hatred) simply overwhelm them.

4. Since Karl Marx, leftists have loved ideas more than people. All Trump voters who have been cut off by children, in-laws and lifelong friends now know how true that is.

5. People on the right think that most people on the left are wrong; people on the left think that most people on the right are evil. Decades of labeling conservative positions as “hateful” and labeling conservative individuals as “sexist,” “intolerant,” “xenophobic,” “homophobic,” “racist” and “bigoted” have had their desired effect.

6. The left associates human decency not so much with personal integrity as with having correct — i.e. progressive — political positions. Therefore, if you don’t hold progressive positions, you lack decency. Ask your left-wing friends if they’d rather their high school son or daughter cheat on tests or support Trump.

7. Most individuals on the left are irreligious, so the commandment “Honor your father and your mother” means nothing to those who have cut off relations with parents because they voted for Trump.

8. Unlike conservatives, politics gives most leftists’ lives meaning. Climate change is a good example. For leftists, fighting carbon emissions means saving human existence on Earth. Now, how often does anyone get a chance to literally save the world? Therefore, to most leftists, if you voted for Trump, you have both negated their reason for living and are literally destroying planet Earth. Why would they have Thanksgiving or Christmas with such a person?

9. The left tends toward the totalitarian. And every totalitarian ideology seeks to weaken the bonds between children and parents. The left seeks to dilute parental authority and replace it with school authority and government authority. So when your children sever their bond with you because you voted for Trump, they are acting like the good totalitarians the left has molded.

10. While there are kind and mean individuals on both sides of the political spectrum, as a result of all of the above, there are more mean people on the left than on the right. What other word than “mean” would anyone use to describe a daughter who banished her parents from their grandchildren’s lives because of their vote?

I wish none of this were true. But there is a way to prove me wrong: Re-friend your friends and relatives who voted for Trump, and tell everyone who has ended relations with family members — especially with parents — to reach out to them and welcome them back into their lives.

Dennis Prager

About the Author: Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio show host and creator of PragerUniversity.com. His latest book is “Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.”