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Showing posts with label Jews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jews. Show all posts

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Je suis Jeuf.

I am Jewish. My religious roots go back as far as I know, and I wouldn't want it any other way. If you dislike me because of my faith, then leave my blog. I don't need your visits. Furthermore, I fully support Israel and her need to protect herself from terrorist attacks. I am sick of the United Nations condemning Israel for her acts of self-preservation while having nothing to say about the horrors of ISIS.

Antisemitism is once again on the rise, with an over 300% increase in Europe. As a result, I have no plans to visit this part of the world anytime soon. Antisemitism first showed its ugly head in 586 BCE (Before the Common Era) in ancient Babylonia when Jews refused to worship Khnum, the Egyptian Ram God. Soon after, the first temple was destroyed. This occurred in what is now Israel, long before Palestinians even existed.

Basically, hatred for Jews has followed a repeated pattern of a ruling factor saying, "You will do this."

While Jews replied, "We will not."

Some 400 years later, Egyptians frowned upon Jews who worshipped one God as opposed to multiple Gods. Yet, we Jews refused to give up our practices.

With the antisemitism among the Roman Empire, how in the world do people believe the lie of Jews killing Jesus? Jews had no power and were a small and intellectually divided community. In fact, many Jews were nailed to the cross for refusing to practice the Roman religious ways. Plus, the Romans destroyed the second temple in 70 CE.

Throughout history, Jews have been a convenient scape goat due to our refusal to assimilate. We did not cause the black plague; we just didn't catch the dreaded disease because we kept our houses clean. Or, er, my ancestors did. ;) Nor, have we sacrificed humans in bizarre rituals. However, people believe what they want to believe.

At the beginning of this article, I claimed that I wouldn't want to deny my ancestry. Throughout history, my ancestors have repeatedly had threats to their lives. I am proud to be the child of the survivors. I am also amazed at the persistence of those who try to convert me. My ancestors refused conversion over the threat of death, yet you think you can ring my doorbell and expect me to drop my religion for yours. No apologies to you. I refuse to spit on my ancestors graves.

Friday, April 11, 2014

#AtoZ : Jewish Geography

The Jewish community has always been a tight knit group. If I want to know something about a Jewish guy, I can make two phone calls and learn his life story.

For example, my freshman year of college, I met a young man who asked me out for New Year's Eve. He had told me about his year in college, yada, yada, but I didn't know him at all and wasn't sure if I'd made a smart decision when I told him, "Yes." When my gut told me to do research, I made two phone calls and found out more about him than I should have.

Turned out, the dude had lied to me. He was still in high school and had done some immature and violent things that made it clear that I needed to stay far away. So, I broke our date. I know it wasn't nice, but a girl has to think of her safety first.

A few years later, I was talking to a friend about Jewish Geography. I told him the story about my broken date, and he laughed hysterically because he knew the story from another angle. Turns out this high school kid had bragged about how he was coming to a party with a college girl. When he showed up alone, people asked where I was? When he told them I'd broken the date, they cheered.

I know he wasn't a nice guy, but I wish I hadn't put him through that. I hope he has forgiven me. It would have been better had I never met him.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Oy vey . . . it's Christmas!





Christmas time used to mean a trip to the Chinese restaurant, but these days us Jews work the Christmas light display at Shelby Farms. 


Have a Merry Christmas. Ho! Ho! Ho!


Our best Christmas was a Feliz Navidad in Cancuun.



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Theme Thursday: What's Cooking? NADA

How ironic to be given a prompt asking, "What's cooking?," the day after my twenty-six hour fast. Yesterday, Yom Kippur––The Day of Atonement, meant a full sundown to past-down-again of reflecting, praying, and empty bellies. 

Each year, I'm amazed to see how easy fasting is for me. In fact, I was so involved with getting my house ready for the break fast, that I failed to watch the clock and went five minutes past supper time! I confess, I did a little evening cooking and baking, but no tasting. If I can go a full day without food or drink, why can't I say, "No" to that second helping or fattening dish? Our minds truly contain the potential to control that thing called our body if we're serious enough to do so.

Last night, a story circulated from one of the Orthodox synagogues in town. A teenage girl fell ill due to lack of food and passed out during the afternoon service. Someone made the mistake of yelling, "Is there a doctor in the house?" 

Practically the entire shul rushed to her aid, with the exception of a couple dozen lawyers pondering, Who pushed her? or Is there a loose tile below her feet that would make a good suit? And of course the temple contained those mentally challenged folks who became accountants. Cool your jets––I'M KIDDING! But in all honesty, we are quite an educated group of people.

The girl was fine. Her ego contained a few bumps and bruises, but no more than those I acquire daily.

If I have offended anyone this year–like accountants, please accept my humble apologies, but also realize I attended Kol Nidre services. This is a most important time when we admit to G-d that we'll probably sin all over again because after all, that's what humans do.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Writer's Post: Walking Away



Walking away is normally not tough; but tonight, I just don't think I can manage it. See, several weeks ago, I think I did something to my leg in Mr. Mario's elementary school running group. The PE teacher had us hopping over cones. This is easy peasy for nine and ten year olds but not for old ladies like me. After that workout, the area behind my knee started to ache.

Mr. Mario said, "It sounds like your hamstring."
I told him, "Can't be. I'm Jewish, and Jews don't eat ham."
He didn't buy it.

I've lived with mild pain for almost a month, but it hasn't been too bad; so I've continued running. Sometimes it hurts when I start, other times when I'm in motion, but always after a good run. On Saturday, I ran five miles and felt it after mile four.

Today Mr. Mario had us sprinting the length and width of a soccer field then resting for a minute and a half before going at it again. Turns out some of those little turkeys have been making fun of my great running talent. They must be jealous because I am consistently last, and they haven't learned how to be consistent runners.

It's okay. I have tough skin, but my porkstring, not so much. I guess instead of walking away, I'll have to limp… and you expected a deeply emotional post about "Walking Away?" Pffft.

 Lashana Tova to all my Jewish friends. I'll be out of commission (and the refrigerator) for a good part of the week-end, so I'll catch you later.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Integrity

Keys to Learning
This week I've been attending Teacher Inservice inorder to welcome kids back to a new school year on Monday. Part of our training involved Quantum Learning's discussion of Integrity. By definition, integrity means beliefs matching actions.


 
Align your actions with your values.
Live what you value.
If you value honesty, be truthful.
If you value keeping your word, follow through.
If you value being fair, do what you expect others to do.
Your identity is who you are. Your integrity is an expression of who you are.


I agree on a simple level, but life is not simple. What if one holds faulty beliefs? If one's actions match faulty beliefs does one still have integrity? Or, what if one's beliefs differ from society's? Does one place oneself in danger for actions to match beliefs? In other words, what does integrity really mean?

integrity |inˈtegritē|
noun
1 the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness  


I'll buy this, but folks disagree on what constitutes strong morals. For example, without taking sides I'll throw out words for thought:

hunting for sport
religious freedom
circumcision
euthanasia
abortion
white supremacy

I know where I stand, but do I have a right to judge your integrity if we disagree? It depends on the issue and circumstance. In a school, it's easy. We want our children to make good choices that will not harm other people or property. Hopefully, each and everyone of my students know right from wrong, but I can't help thinking about a haunting novel I recently read.
Helmuth Hubener, age 16

"The Boy Who Dared," by Susan Cambell Bartoletti tells the true story of a teenager whose belief system clashed with the Nazis, and he took action to do something about it. During WWII, Helmuth Hubener broke the law by listening to banned BBC broadcasts and secretly distributing pamphlets that alerted German citizens of Hitler's hidden actions. As a result, the Gestapo arrested the boy and he was later tried for treason and put to death at age 17.

Although Hubener's beliefs clashed with those of his countrymen, I imagine we'd all see him as having high integrity. At the same time, if one would ask a Nazi if he has integrity after murdering Jews, most if not all would say, "Yes." They didn't see Jews as people; therefore, they had no guilt in killing innocents. Remember Quantum Learning: actions following beliefs equals integrity.

Although I'd like to think most people follow positive beliefs through their actions, few would risk their lives to do what's right in a corrupt environment. Would you?

Thank you Helmuth Hubener. I believe there is a special place in heaven for rare jewels like you.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

A to Z and Back Again


It's already June, which means the Z to A Challenge has ended. A month ago, I reflected on the A to Z Challenge, and now I must reflect again. On the plus side, it's been wonderful having a theme to guided me through the blogging world--the hardest part about blogging is knowing what to write about. A-Z and Z-A has made topic choosing easier.

I have also become an expert at choosing titles to fit the given letter. For example, "From Cage to Convertible" a letter C story about adopting a dog; "Nah, I Won't Do That," an N post to fit the "Laughter is the Best Medicine Blogfest"; or "Oh, No. Not Again" my O post about an annoying Russian dating group who Skypes me. Although these topics have nothing to do with the letter they represent, I've found a way to make it work just like one closes an overfilled suitcase. You sit your tush down and make it happen.

Also through this challenge, I've had the opportunity to visit wonderful blogs and meet great followers. I've also met one foul-mouthed screwball, but that's another story. ;-)

On the negative side, everyday blogging is not necessary. Most people don't make rounds everyday, so why write so much? In fact, my Saturday posts received the most hits because folks had two days to explore. I would like to continue blogging regularly, but leave a new post up every other day.

I hope y'all will continue to visit even though the challenges are finished. Seems like just yesterday, it was April 1st and I was interviewing Agent Harold Baer for my first A to Z post. If you haven't read that one, it's one of my most popular posts. It's especially helpful for you writer types, like me, who are trying to get published. He's a wonderfully unique agent! Check him out.

If I could get you to read any post from April or May, I would like for you to read B for Backing Israel because there are a lot of facts I'd like the world to know about this fragile situation.

Thanks!
Joyce