Tuesday, July 31, 2007

True Loss- Tisha B'Av

I found this post on Live from the Hilltop. Such a young girl with such big insight.
Go check it out.

The Spanish and Portuguese Jews

Haggadah, Spain, 13th c.

This is a subject of particular interest for me, since this is my background. Not suprisingly though, most folks don't know a whole lot about it. Always trying to be the helpful homeschooling Imma, I am posting some links for you all to peruse at your leisure to educate yourselves.

History of the Jews in Spain

A Brief Timeline-History of Jews in Medieval Spain

The Spanish Expulsion,1492

If you would really like to include this subject in your homeschool, Hebrew School or any school curriculum, check out Out of Spain for a wonderful program you and your children will find both educational and enriching!

The Cross by Day, the Mezuzzah by night

I cannot recommend this book enough to you. I have read it a couple of times, the last time being this past Tisha B'Av. It is a young adult novel, set in Seville, Spain 1492, about a well to do Catholic girl named Isabel Caruso de Carvallo. The edict of expulsion has been decreed, and the Jewish people must leave thier homes and belongings behind or be subjected to death at the hands of the Holy Office. But that has little to do with this young namesake of the Queen...or does it? As Isabel's story unfolds there are many secrets to be revealed to this young herione, who must then choose to live and find her true identity. It is a story of determination and strength, and the will to return home no matter what the cost.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Blogger Block

Sheesh, I am usually one who can come up with conversation easily enough and yet I seem to have nothing to say here in Blogging Land. Perhaps I am a bit intimidated by the much more worthy bloggers who speak of the really important things like politics, the enviroment, or the state of modern Jewish orthodoxy. I don't even constantly blog about knitting, or motherhood. What kind of blogger am I?!
Oh well...
I always kinda viewed this blog as my virtual kitchen. So if you were here with my in real time you would come sit down, make your self at home and we would have some coffee or tea, or my new fave kombucha. We would shmooze about all kinds of really important things, ultimately bringing it all to the bottom line that Hashem does all things for the good. I would bid you farewell until you came again.
Fact is, some days there just is not a whole lot to say, and so I listen. I listen to what you and the others are saying.
So there you have it, today's not so eloquent, written just because I was sitting here, with nothing else to say, blog. Feel free to pick up the conversation while I go make us some yummy snacks!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Monday, July 09, 2007


Everyone has a special call on their life. Perceptions of whether they are great callings or small are irrelevant, because there really is no such thing. What one may view as a small thing can truly alter the Universe. In fact it does.

Ever hear of the 'Butterfly Effect'?The phrase refers to the idea that a butterfly's wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that ultimately cause a tornado to appear (or prevent a tornado from appearing). The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale phenomena. Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different. So there is no such thing as a small anything.

Healing is also that way. Every step one takes to become whole, to heal yourself or another is huge beyond belief. A small touch on a shoulder, a understanding look into another's eyes, a simple smile and projection of love could literally save another person's life.

I have viewed myself as a healer for sometime now, but really what does this mean? Does it make me special in anyway? Well, sure in lieu of what I just wrote it might, but the truth be told, I am in no way special because I have come to the realization that we are all, everyone one of us, called to be healers. Everyone one us share in this great gift of healing, whether it be to our own bodies and souls or to the ones around us. We are all called to bless and to heal. To speak life and not death.

It is so easy to spew poison into the Universe. But what toll does this take on us and the world around us. Speaking words of life and thinking words of life are what we are called to do. It must begin with ourselves. I once overheard brothers playing together, they were around the ages of nine and eleven. The older one became frustrated with himself and said, "I'm so stupid, I can't do anything right!" The younger one rebuked him saying, "You can't say that, that's lashon hara (lit. evil speech)". He informed his older brother that he could not speak lashon hara even about himself. Those were words of death.

The healing, the repair begins within ourselves. It must, because how can we care for others, lift others up if we are too lame to even walk ourselves. Does this mean we must wait to be wholly healed before we reach out. Not at all, because even as we are healing, perhaps only still limping, we can help a fellow on the journey. We speak life to ourselves and to others around us, even if only a whisper. In doing so we become stronger and heal even faster.

Perhaps this is one aspect of Rebbeinu's teaching, "If you believe you can damage, believe you can repair."

Let's go repair.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Tag! Now, I'm it!

I have been tagged by Mrs. Jude.
Here are the rules. Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves.
The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.
At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
So here goes...

1. I am now eating a 85-100% raw diet and I am loving it! (stayed tuned for blogs and recipes about my adventures.) I am also a vegetarian for many years now. I did 'backslide' for about a year, but have recanted on my short omnivore stint and am quite happy about it.

2. I try to smile and say hello to everyone. (for some people it is better to exercise a bit of caution and refrain from such niceties.)

3. I struggle with returning phone calls and emails and am trying to get better at it.

4. In spite of my healthy, organic ways, I drink a cup of coffee everyday.

5. I go to the ocean every year to reconnect and recharge.

6. I have lived in five states and have had 24 different homes. (Told ya', I am a gypsy.)

7. I used to collect unicorns and still have a couple. I really liked learning about the legends of the unicorns, especially the healing capabilities of the unicorn's horn. Now I have a lot of lighthouses, and I have not bought a one of them. They were all gifts. My brother gave me my first one.

8. I dream alot about dancing. My favorites were when I danced with Fred Astaire :::sigh::: and this other one a had where I was on a mountaintop doing the most amazing grand jetes.

OK, here is who I am tagging. Sorry guys if you don't want to play, be a sport and do it anyway! BJ, Lake Vent, Over the Rainbow, and Leah Country. Alright, I am only tagging 4 people, cuz I am not so good at following the rules either. (That's number 9 °Ü° )

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Driving Meditations

This week I had the incredible pleasure of seeing both the moon at it's fullness of beauty and the sun rising. Both times I was driving.

Sunday evening as I was out, I came to stop sign and I looked in the rear view mirror. Much to my surprise the brightness I saw there was not coming from the headlights of another vehicle, but from the moon, bright, full and quite low in the sky. I had just been thinking how she had reached her fullness the day before and I had not yet had an opportunity to see her. It amused me how the moon snuck up behind me like that. Had I not looked in my rear view I might have missed it. I sat there at the stop sign a few minutes, as no one was coming, and I just looked and smiled to myself at how sweet the whole situation was.

This morning, I had to wake up at 4AM to drop a friend off at the airport. It has been my habit in the past to always rise this early in the morning, but unfortunately it has been some time since I have done so. I truly love this hour of the day, so quiet and still, save for the birds who rise at this hour to sing their morning brachot(blessing) out to Hashem. On the way home from dropping her off, I noticed what seemed to be a low fire in the sky. The brightest of pinks, reds and oranges glowed in the eastern sky. It was very low and just beginning to peek up over the horizon. Again, I smiled to myself reveling in the magic of what was beginning to happen before my very eyes.

For a while, I was driving towards the sun. I95 North seemingly taking me to the edge of the sky to where the sun was beginning to awake. As I drove, intermittent sprinkles occurred and I realized that the sky was cloudy. I was filled with joy, knowing that the sun was still rising in spite of the rain. I was blessed when I realized that the cloudiness of the day was actually permitting me to gaze upon the loveliness and strength of the sun without hindrance. The veil of clouds gave the sun a ethereal beauty as I watch the fiery red-orange disc slowly rise ahead of me.

I began to think of Hashem, perhaps lifting the sun with his hand, finding the perfect spot to hand this orb of fire. Then I realized that Hashem is far beyond that and He could lift the sun with His finger, or balance it on the tip of His pinky. I realize that Hashem is without a corporal body, but this reverie made me feel very small. Very small and very, very safe.

I was lost in the beauty of this moment amazed at the perfection of it all. How glorious! I so wanted to pull my car over and jump out and sing praises to the One who allowed me this great privilege! I felt like this moment was created just for me. Just for my eyes and my heart.

I feel so safe and at peace.
I am filled with so much joy and love at this very moment.
I am so grateful that I received these gifts of moments this week.

Precious moments indeed, that I hope to remember always. Moments and feelings of joy that I pray to treasure in my heart and relive when I do not feel so safe and so filled with love.

The gifts of the moon and the sun.