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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ezzie's Blog Roundup, 11/23: Tears of All Types

Both halves of SerandEz are out of commission today, though that should allow us to get some things out of the way in preparation for Thanksgiving, a day on which we open our home and serve ridiculous amounts of food. Or something like that.

Out of commission also means I got to catch up on a few blogs, and there's just so much out there to affect a person it can be almost overwhelming; but it is well worth it. Once again, click the 'expand' button for excerpts if you are on the front page.
  • 10) A very funny satirical video about popstars on JacobDaJew.
  • 9) Charlie Hall turns 50 - the age of counsel.
  • 8, 7, 6) Aidel Maidel has three quick posts in a row about her kids. I think they're an amazing reminder of just how important good parenting and good teachers are... and the importance of teachers communicating well with the parents.
    I just wanted to let you know what a sweet and sensitive girl your daughter is. She is always trying to help Y (a kid with Downs) in the classroom and plays so nicely with him.

    Today LG was playing with her friends and she saw Y on the side. She told all the kids, "Let's make room for Y," and proceeded to play with him and the rest of the children.
  • 5) R' Gil discusses a couple of recent interviews on the subject of Jewish Unity and gives a suggestion to increase unity between the Modern Orthodox and Yeshivish communities.
    I was thinking of how to realistically implement a solution of this nature and it seems to me that the only organization with both the mandate and the ability to do anything of like this is the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation. Similar to their B'Drachov program, they can create a curriculum and a campaign that discourages speaking badly of and delegitimizing other groups of Jews. This can, I think, be realistically accomplished and implemented.
    Personally, I don't think organizations per se is the way to go - it's too forced, for lack of a better way of putting it. The best way to increase unity is by example - having teachers and speakers with other hashkafos teach in schools, attend events together, etc. Instead of focusing on the differences, focus on the similarities. When discussing the differences, explain the reasoning of the other side clearly and respectfully. Small things like that make all the difference. It could be this is what R' Gil means to an extent, just having the CCHF help design it; I just think it's more effective when individuals take the step on their own.

  • 4) Jameel writes about the father who was murdered last night while driving near his home in Israel, and about the idea of living where they do.
    Last night there was a terror attack in our area. At 11:18 PM there was a drive-by shooting attack, in which a 29 year old Ido Zoldan was killed. The terrorists riddled Zoldan's car with bullets and escaped. Zoldan's car drove off the road and came to a stop. The first person to stop and help already determined Zoldan wasn't breathing and had no pulse. A resident of Shavei Shomron, I met Zoldan during the Chomesh "standoff" during the Disengagement, when I lived in Chomesh in a tent. He was a charismatic idealist, an officer in the IDF reserves paratrooper brigade, married to Tehila, father of 2 little children.

    Immediately after the attack, the Palestinian Authority's "Fatah Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade" group proudly claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • 3) The Apple makes a couple of interesting lists, one from when she was a child, one from now, detailing what she'd cut out should money suddenly be scarce. It's amazing to think how much money we all spend that we really don't need to; I'm further impressed that a child would make such a list.
    ...when I was younger, there was a period of time during which I thought my mother was going to lose her job. Both my parents work b"H, and if my mother would have lost her job or stopped working, we would have been living off my father's salary.

    Something compelled me to make a list of the things that I could forego - things that I thought we should cut back on, should we only be subsisting on my father's salary. I think my mother saw this list (I don't remember if I showed it to her or she found it) and she agreed with me on most of them, but she said that even if we were only living on one income, we would continue our violin lessons, which were private in-home lessons, because they gave an income to the violin teacher who earned very little money. Also, the violin teacher would feel terrible if she lost the business, and my mother was very concerned that she should feel successful and that people appreciate her talents.
  • 2) Corner Point talks about having one's eyes wide open.
    There is something we can learn from every creature, every creation, every invention, every person, every situation. Fortunate are those who live life with their eyes wide open, drinking in every detail of the world around them, trying to glean lessons from every person, thing, and situation they encounter.
    When I was about 15 years old in camp one summer, our shiur division head posed a challenge to us; she asked that we come in to shiur the next day with as many lessons we can learn from the mundane things around us. The next day we spent the entire hour describing what we had learned from CD players, mosquitoes, too-tight shoes, wet towels, pillowcases, shower stall doors, and hundreds of other seemingly insignificant aspects of our world. After the lesson, (which to our chagrin was not enough time for each of us to give over all of our examples), we each walked out with real food for thought. I remember thinking, "Oh my gosh...it's such a huge world...and everything in it really means something..."
  • 1) WestBankMama discusses their matzav, and the idea of living in a "matzav", finishing by linking to an amazing video and song that's currently very popular in Israel. It explains the matzav and how people there so often live perfectly.
    They are not just “alive and kicking” near Kedumim either. The other night two girlfriends of mine were driving home about 6:00 pm and Arabs threw rocks at their cars. The first friend managed to escape the rocks without any damage - the second friend ran over the rocks on the road and they seriously damaged her car (yeah, they were that big). This incident is another in a series in our area - a gas balloon was found in a tire on the other road leading from our yishuv recently. Last night there was a meeting with the army responsible for security. Things got a bit heated when the army official in charge claimed that they couldn’t arrest the stone throwers because they were “just 17 year olds”. (There are surveillance cameras that record these things so the perpetrators can be identified). One woman exploded at this statement. “My son, who was 17 at the time, was arrested simply for being in a ma’achaz (called illegal outposts in English). All he wanted to do is build another community in Israel and he was arrested. Why can’t you arrest Arabs of the same age if they trying to kill us with rocks?”
Here's the video from WBM's post.

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