Friday, November 28, 2008

My heart is broken

Terrorist have done it agian. Murdering innocent people because of hatred. I am so heartbroken. I do not understand and never will. I don't understand how this can occur and why? DEAR G-D IN HEAVEN, WHY?!?!?

5 Dead in Mumbai Chabad House Terror Attack

Psalms Chapter 44

1. To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Maskil.
2. We have heard with our ears, O God; our fathers have told us, what deeds you performed in their days, in the times of old;
3. How you drove out the nations with your hand, but planted them; how you afflicted the people, and cast them out.
4. For they did not get the land in possession by their own sword, nor did their own arm save them; but your right hand, and your arm, and the light of your countenance, because you did favorably accept them.
5. You are my King, O God; command deliverance for Jacob.
6. Through you we will push down our enemies; through your name we will trample down those who rise up against us.
7. For I will not trust in my bow, nor shall my sword save me.
8. But you have saved us from our enemies, and have put to shame those who hate us.
9. In God we have gloried all the day long, and we praise your name for ever. Selah.
10. But you have cast off, and put us to shame; and you do not go forth with our armies.
11. You make us turn back from the enemy; and those who hate us take plunder for themselves.
12. You have given us like sheep to be eaten; and have scattered us among the nations.
13. You sell your people for nothing, and you do not ask for a high price.
14. You make us a taunt to our neighbors, a scorn and a derision to those who are around us.
15. You make us a byword among the nations, a shaking of the head among the people.
16. My confusion is before me all day, and the shame of my face has covered me,
17. Because of the voice of him who taunts and blasphemes; because of the enemy and avenger.
18. All this has come upon us; yet we have not forgotten you, nor have we been false to your covenant.
19. Our heart is not turned back, nor have our steps departed from your way;
20. Though you have crushed us in the place of jackals, and covered us with the shadow of death.
21. If we had forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god;
22. Would not God search this out? For he knows the secrets of the heart.
23. But for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
24. Awake, why do you sleep, O Lord? Arise, do not cast us off for ever.
25. Why do you hide your face, and forget our affliction and our oppression?
26. For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our belly cleaves to the earth.
27. Arise for our help, and redeem us for the sake of your loving kindness

An Article and Request I found for Chabad Family in Mumbai

Happy Birthday Moishe, in Mumbai

by Hana Levi Julian

Two of Mumbai's most luxurious hotels are darkened and the streets outside are filled with soldiers, but around a small Jewish boy this weekend the air will be filled with the light of the Hebrew month of Kislev.

Little Moshe Holtzberg will be two years old on Saturday, according to his grandfather, Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg, who arrived from Israel with his wife Yehudit early Friday to care for the boy while his parents continued to be held hostage in the Chabad House they run near Mumbai's Oberoi-Trident Hotel.

Moshe's father and mother, Rabbi Gavriel and Rebetzin Rivka Holtzberg, were reportedly unconscious when the family's babysitter fled the besieged building with their toddler in her arms early Thursday morning.

"We met with our grandchild, and it was a very emotional thing," Rabbi Rosenberg said in an interview on Voice of Israel government radio. He noted that the last time he and his wife had seen his grandchild was during the Hebrew month of Elul, which falls in Septembert.

"He is alive and healthy... The doctor checked Moishe and everything is okay, Baruch Hashem ('Thank G-d')," he said, adding that he knew nothing more about the condition of his daughter Rivka and her husband. "I am not getting any information from officials, only from the media," he said.

Rabbi Rosenberg expressed his continued hope and optimism that all would turn out for the best. "Tomorrow, Shabbat, the second of Kislev, is his second birthday. We would be happier if it were with the parents, but we believe that by Shabbat, we will see the light and celebrate with his parents," he said firmly.

"Kislev is the month of light and redemption," he continued. "The help we need now is prayers, and happiness. Act out of happiness, all together," he urged listeners.

The hopeful father added "a personal request," asking that "every woman and girl light a Shabbat candle for Rivka bat Yehudit and her husband, Gavriel Noach ben Frieda Bluma. Fill the world with light for the Heavens," he said, "and we will be rewarded with redemption."

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Please Pray

Please say tehillim! Tehillim Hotline

"People are urged to pray for the well-being of the couple (whose Jewish names are Gavriel Noach ben Freida Bluma and Rivka bas Yehudis) and all others affected by the tragedy."

UPDATE: Residents at Mumbai's Nariman House Still Unaccounted For

UPDATE: Jewish Child Safe in Hostage Crisis at Mumbai Chabad House

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Any room on that plate??

We have all heard the expression, "My plate is full!", indicating that not another thing could be taken on, but if you are anything like me you know that there is likely someway to fit even MORE on there, for example by heaping it on top. Well, this is where you presently find me dear friends. I have filled my plate and decided to heap just a bit more on top of it. Along with family, home, work and a few other extracurricular activities I have just added school! Yes, Philly is going to school to get her degree in elementary education. I am attending an online school which should make this addition pretty manageable, at least that is what I am hoping. My family is, as always, very supportive of me and my biggest fans. I decided to make this decision mostly out of necessity. Work and earning money is a fact of life, as much as I would like fantasize about the bartering days, the reality is what it is. I need a job that will pay me, although I will not become rich being a teacher, fortunately that has never been my goal. Apparently I seem to be pretty good at teaching and the truth is I do love working with children. They are a delight to me and I especially enjoy watching them as the light bulbs go off. Of course I could not do anything that would not make a difference in the world. What better way to impact the world and society than by being a teacher. I will of course still do my other jobs, being a doula for example.

Hmmm....I see a pattern here. I am a pro at beginnings. I love to help women give birth, help them raise and train their children, start people out on their journeys. Yes, I am the one at the beginning of the race coaching you to get moving and convincing you that you can do it. Guess that makes me a teacher. Now all I need is the paper to prove it to the rest of the world. Wish me success!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Knit, knit, knit your yarn...

These days my mental health is being maintained by knitting. Yep, I bet you didn't realize how powerful knitting was. It can literally keep you sane. It is also contagious, at least that is what I am finding in my home. So here I am knitting and finding my daughters are knitting along with me! Yippee!! I decided to post some brag pics and show off our work.

This is a scarf I am currently working on for my son. When I asked him what colors he wanted he simply told me 'masculine ones'. OK, fine easy request, I went with this variegated brown, navy and light blue. It is almost done and I am so far pretty pleased. As you can see it is a simple ribbed pattern.

This is my youngest daughter's work. She has just started and I am quite impressed with how even and lovely her stitches are. They are a bit tight, but that is very normal.

This is my oldest daughter's work. She has added some purl stitches to her work and is just knitting for the fun of it! (Is there any other reason?)

The next two photos are some yarn I recently purchased. This yarn here in wonderful Philadelphia Eagles colors is going to become a scarf for my brother who is a true blue fan (or green is you will) of the home team. Lest you think I am totally unselfish, I bought ample yarn to make sure I had a scarf of my own to wear on game days! It'll go great with my jersey! Fly Eagles fly!! (OK, so they are not having a great season, just means we gotta show them more fair weathered fans here!)

This lovely yarn was one of those love at first sights! The picture doesn't do it justice. It is such a pretty yarn that reminds me of seashells. I am hoping to make something out of the book "Ocean Breezes: Knitted Scarves Inspired by the Sea" with it, that is if my oldest doesn't sneak off with it. When I first brought it home she immediately announced "DIBS!" Talk about chutzpah! °Ü° Isn't is wonderful!

Last night we all sat in the living room knitting away. What a happy feeling for this Mama!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Time to relax...

So, I had a hard day...actually several hard days. The one nice thing that going on is I am teaching my youngest to knit. She is catching on very nicely and I am thrilled. We were talking today and she mentioned how she thought you knit like they did in the cartoons when she was younger, you know with the needles up and clicking loudly. I laughed and told her I thought the same thing when I was a child. In fact I remembered once I came upon a blanket my mother was knitting and I thought to myself, 'I can do this!'. I proceeded to lift the needles up and down flapping my elbows like wings thinking that any minute I would be adding on to my mother's current project. Well, as you well know, it didn't work, but fortunately for me it didn't damage her work either!.
Here is a little cartoon I came across and thought it would amuse you all as it did me.
Happy day and happy knitting!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

L'Oreal Women of Worth

A friend of mine sent this to me (thanks S!) and I thought I pass along the favor to you all. Please take a minute and check out this website and vote for Jenine Shwekey. Read her bio and see why she is such a worthy candidate!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Early Morning Ramble and Country Memories

It's early morning, my favorite time of the day. I have not been able to avail myself of this quiet time for what feels like too long. Most mornings these days, my family and I are getting up at the same time. Late nights mean late mornings and waking up at 7 am for me is plenty late. I really like to have an hour or so before they rise to just be quiet and think. 5:30AM would be ideal, maybe even 5, but most mornings I cannot open my eyes before 6:30-7AM. To me it feels like the day is well underway at that point and I need to play catch up.

I cannot believe how much my lifestyle has changed since moving to Philly. It's been seven years now since I have left Lancaster County and the country. I became Philly Farmgirl so as not lose my connection to my former country life. For nine years I had a real country life and now...well now there are sirens and helicopters flying over me disturbing our Shabbat dinner. I tried in vain to distract my family and guests by speaking of the parsha, but we all heard it. My next door neighbor's house got broken into last week and someone got shot around the corner from my home erev Sukkot. When I lived in the country I never even locked my doors. In fact it is was not unusual at all to come home to friends sitting in my kitchen having tea waiting for me to finally arrive. How lovely that was! I never took the key out of my car's ignition, never closed windows, never locked up, we knew we were safe. Now times are very different. We moved here to be part of a community, to grow as Jews and to give our children more opportunities at a frum Jewish life. I guess you got to take the good with the bad. I don't hate it here anymore, although I do not believe I will ever love it. I do enjoy the chaggim and seeing other Jews around me. When Chanukah comes I like that I am not the only home with a hanukiah in the window. I am just not a city girl, not anymore. I don't mind standing out or being different. I guess I am old enough not to care much about what too many people think.

I miss the friends I had then. The ladies who would just drop by and sit and talk with me about raising children, sewing clothes and their gardens. Man, I miss that so much. I seem to have yet to develop friends like that here, every once in a while I think it is going to happen and then...I am not sure. Thank G-d I have maintained a couple of those old country friends, perhaps though I should say they maintained me. Yes, I suppose that would be a more accurate assessment of things. My gypsy nature makes me such that I am a 'I'll see ya when I see ya-not good at returning phone calls or email' type of person and these dear friends won't let me get away with such discourtesy. Thank G-d. Actually, come to think of it I do have a lovely friend here who is the same way and won't give up on me. Hmmmm, see, it is good to write about these things, you become more aware of your blessings.

I am sure it is my fault that I don't have the type of friends I did then. I seem to have less in common with the folks here, and I am too stubborn to give up my ways. I think country folks may also understand your busy-ness better and so there is less of a problem with not calling, heck they will just show up on your doorstep. Country folks will also just do their work along side of you so that was an easy way of socializing. I mean in Lancaster getting together with the girls often involved canning, cooking, sewing, quilting, or something. Children were also younger then and my life was for sure way simpler. I can't seem to get used to the speed at which it is passing now and how rapidly things are changing.

It feels sad for me, I miss the country so much. I really do want to go back. I suppose though that being a religious Jew may not allow me to have as rural of a life as I once did, but who knows, maybe I will hit the lottery and be able to have two homes... Or I will find the rest of the bumble bee people and we will all move to the country and start a real rural frum community... Or I will just learn to be completely satisfied here and live life. I guess I will start there, I will just get off of here now and make a phone call.

But if you happen to see me, say hi and chat a bit! You will be able to easily find me. I will be the one in all the layered skirts walking down the street daydreaming about a farm and talking to the crows.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Changing my focus, again

The rainy days of late have been a bit of a drag to me, along with the loud attitudes I was focusing on. But who's fault is that? Mine of course. I do try to accept responsibility for my own actions and who told me to keep looking at negativity. So I have decided to shift my focus, yet once again, and focus on that which brings me joy. This week the joy has come from...

~watching the light bulbs go off when the children get it

~the excitement in my kindergartners eyes upon actually reading their first line of chumash

~the timely phone call of a beloved friend

~one of my expecting mother posting her belly shots. She looked lovely and truly was glowing. Motherhood brings me so much joy.

~the anticipation of a day spent with friends surrounded by yarn and such

Like my Rebbe and one of my heroines have taught me, I am choosing JOY!!!

So there! °Ü°

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Note from R. Ariel Bar Tzadok of

I wish to extend my personal congratulations and blessings to Senator Barak Obama on his historical ascent to the office of the President of the United States.
I pray that he and his family will be safe and well.
I pray that G-d may be with him and guide his heart as he takes on the mantle of this awesome responsibility.
I pray that all Americans, regardless of our differences, past or future, will rally around and pledge support to our new President. For as long as we live on American soil we have the moral and religious obligation to offer our support and our prayers.
May G-d continue to bless the United States.
May G-d graciously fulfill His Will upon us and bring in peace our blessed Mashiah quickly and soon, Amen.

Shalom, HaRav Ariel Bar Tzadok

What is wrong with my People?!?!?

You are breaking my heart!! What is wrong with you all?? Somebody wrote 'the Jews worst enemy is the Jews' and he is right, our worst enemy is us and it is being proven all around me. Instead of all this shtiot that people are writing about President Elect Obama, how about an "OK, so the Amercian people have decided, but we still have a KING. What happened to 'some trust in horses, some in chariots, but we trust in Hashem?' So Barak Obama is our new president, have you forgotten who is still King? Be a good citizen, quit yer kvetchin' and spewing hatred and get busy. We are supposed to be a light to the nations. We can't even seem to be a light among ourselves. We are supposed to be an intelligent people, all I see is hatred. We are supposed to be a light, all I see is darkness. Hashem is in control, he allowed this, didn't He? Or don't we believe he runs the Universe anymore? Israel is under His keeps, not anyone else's. How about upping tefilot instead of upping the sarcasm and hatred? I just do not get this at all.

I refuse to believe that this very vocal part of my mispocha represents the whole. I will not believe it. I will believe the best in my famiy and believe that all these voices are simply coming from a loud minority.

I will believe that Hashem will have mercy on us all and use this somehow to bind us together as a people and a nation, both Jew and non-Jew alike.

One last thing though...what happened to 'one must never despair, must always persevere, and should always be happy.' R. Nachman of Breslov??

Oh and to my Chabadnik friends, what happened to 'Tracht gut v'zien gut'??

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

You need to vote for...

the candidate of your choice. Yes, that's right. It's not too late to do your homework and get to your nearest polling place and cast your vote. It is a right, a privilege and I think it is also a duty. I am not going to tell you who to vote for, I won't even make suggestions. It just isn't my style. I will ask you though to be smart, research, pray for wisdom and then go out and vote. Polls are open pretty late in most places so there is still time. Get off your computer now and get thee to a polling place!

This is Philly Farmgirl and I approve this message.