Friday, February 27, 2009

Problem w/Making things from Scratch

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Whenever I can I cook from scratch. Mostly because my mother did, and so I learned. Slowly slowly when I moved out, I began to buy more packaged food. But the problem with cooking from scratch is this:

I know how certain food is made. I have experienced the grating, the dicing, the kneeding, etc. Then I wonder perhaps others aren't as careful as I am when I cook.. Or someone's nails or hair or whatever fell into the food and they just didn't care to remove it?

lol. Adventures in cooking! (can you tell I'm cooking and preparing for Shabbat)

Its Time to Love the Shekhina

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According to Judaism, the Shekhina is the Divine Presence in this world. Basically, God's manifestation of Himself. The Shekhina is described as feminine and women are her main representatives on earth.

We are approaching a time when many many previous events are being rectified. We can almost say good bye to the "curse" of pain in childbearing with all the pain medicines, epidurals, etc that are available. Man does not necessarily have to "toil" for their bread. Many don't.

Another hopeful rectification that is going on, is the uplifting of women everywhere. Its enjoyable to read on the black blogosphere, BW galvanizing to their success. Stripping away at extra baggages of the DBR kind, and some are even pulling away from AA men, biracials, hispanics, Asians, etc that they feel are not out for the BW's interest. (although, personally, I think you can't just get away from a group so blindly like that. A case by case basis would be more accurate and precise. In some cases steering clear from a group -especially one that time and time again has not been kind is reasonable. And also I think although separation is a natural tendency for many, some will want to, at some point marry and live in some society with other people so I don't know about completely pulling away from everything except other success oriented BW).

I wonder what is going on with women the world over? Will Arab women who are suffering find a way to pull away from harsh, evil Arab men? (Calm down, I'm not saying all Arab men are evil) Will an organization or a voice rise up loud enough to save them? Will African women learn to embrace even those other women who were raped by evil militia men. Will we learn that a hurt woman is not damaged material? She 's just..a hurt woman. True, something has been lost and something has been damaged: perhaps her virginity, perhaps her trust, perhaps her confidence and self esteem. But KNOW that there is rectification. There is reparation. There is renewal for a woman. She's not broken egg shells.

Even in the good ole USA, there is the business in the black community of shunning or blaming BW victims of sexual abuse as if they are just beyond repair. (I read in a book about auras -the color that you can see around a person if your sensitive enough to it, that the auras of sexually abused victims are effected. An evil person can maybe spot this and capitalize on it. A sensitive loving person can also be in tune to this, but gives the survivor her space). Will our awareness bring us to the point of understanding and compassion (and thus knowledge) to cause us to stop shunning, blaming and start embracing and healing?

In the Jewish world, a new trend is happening -especially in Israel. Men seem to be clamping down against women. More and more the burden to prevent the spilling of seed is falling on the woman. She is expected to cover herself more and more. Even to the point that some are photo-shopping pictures and removing the females from various pictures. Others want women to go the back of the bus so as not to see them (as if perhaps they may want to nurse or do something that may cause arousal). But very often, there are men also at the backs of the bus and so where are they suppose to go? Can a more understanding and compassionate solution be found?

When men argue with their wives, when they have strife with them, its usually because there is something about the Shekhina that they can not accept. Yes, women have their problems as well, character traits to perfect, falling under the influence of an evil person or someone else who's misled, etc. But over all -at least in Judaism- women don't tend to be evil. In fact, women don't usually need to reincarnate unless the man has to, and thus drags his "wife" along in the process. (Note: This is NOT to say that men are evil. Just saying women don't tend to be mass murderers, rapists, commit fraud of huge proportions, etc)

What other corner of women is stuff happening? What's going on in the Asian women's world? In European women's world? What rectifications are we seeing?

It is taught that the Shekhina cries. All the time She's weeping for the fallen goods, Her scattered children, Her state of exile. Shall we rise in the darkness and weep with her? Shall we console Her and

A word on holding a grudge. Often times after an argument, the woman stays silent. Or even the man stays silent. Though that is quite virtuous (sages say blessings of wealth awaits those who do not succumb to anger), if truly in your heart you haven't forgiven the partner, then being silent is NOT virtuous, its just creating "toxic nostalgia" pent up feelings of bitterness that will eventually come out in full force the next time -- even if that next quarrel is not about something so serious. Better not to hold a grudge. in such a case, better to do like the Israelis do(lol) -and probably most middle easterners- just let it out right then and there. Empty out and finish with it.

I sense that with all these rectifications going on, perhaps the wind of the times is on our side. It truly is a time for change. Perhaps now is the time for women to band together, raise our voices, and be backed by the Shekhina's voice. Perhaps now is the time for us to rise and shine and not accept mediocrity, abuse, greed, and all the ills that will make the world unsafe for our children.

At any rate, I hope that wasn't too heavy just before the weekend. Have a great weekend and a happy rest of Black History Month!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Plane Crashes

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I'm very not into conspiracy theories, but there's been an awful lot of planes crashes lately.

The most recent one was in Turkey, there was a tragic on in the USA, and the heroic save also in the USA.

I thought there was another one, but could be wrong (hopefully, I'm wrong). Three is not a big number, but for plane crashes in the space of a few months, that seems like a lot to me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sad News

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For those who've kept up with my blog, know the story of how I met my husband and the rabbi who was involved.

Anyway, just a few days ago, that rabbi's wife just passed away.



Baruch Dayan Emet /Blessed is the True Judge.

Quotable Quotes

O LORD God of hosts, who is a mighty one, like unto Thee, O LORD? And Thy faithfulness is round about Thee.


Psalms 89:9

Dust is not Chometz

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This is just a note. There is just six weeks to Passover and I don't want to go crazy cleaning my house ridding it of yeast ingrediented food and floured items (crackers, cookies, cheerios, etc). All those things are called chometz. Some people can go crazy with the cleaning and feel the need to rid the house of all dirt as well. While that is always a good thing, I just don't want to forget the whole purpose and stress myself out if the place is not meticulously clean.

Therefore, just like last year, I want to divide the house into 6 parts, one for each week. I clean it and check to make sure there are no little pieces of cheerios, bread, or whatever the kids brought in, then close it off of food. No food allowed in the cleaned out rooms. (I also use this opportunity to throw out old things that are just taking up space in the closets and cabinets and wipe them down). The purpose is to cleans the house -and self- of leavening substance like yeast, ego, false pride, etc.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Joining a Gym

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Well, I did it. I went and joined a gym. I even went out and got a pair of gym shoes to celebrate the occasion.

okay, okay and I also bought a cake from the bakery. So there! lol

Its a new moon, a new month: Adar! That means I better start preparing for Purim (costumes, parties, reading of the story of Esther, Mordechai and Haman), then soon after is Passover (rid house of all yeast, flour things).

The story of Esther is another significant story that I feel BF can benefit greatly from.

More later (its 5 am here; gotta sleep)

Stories for Teens

Hey Teen-readers, looking fir a nice story, a good, fun read? Check out Jumping In! blog for the current story.

sneak peak...

The guys entered the alley. Walking more cautiously than before, they check around every dumpster and kicked at every box as they scouted the area. It was too quiet, it seemed even the rain got suspended with gripping fear.

Reena tried to control her breathing even though her lungs desperately needed more air. Then before she could think up her next plan, the two men had shoved the dumpster she had been hiding behind and stood towering over her. They were angry.

"You little troublemaker." snarled the store owner.

"She 's kinda cute to me" sneered the other man.

What would they do to her? She trembled uncontrollably.

"Step away from the child!"

Everyone was surprised. Who was this voice. Everyone turned to see the silhouette of the "lady". She was dressed slightly different than her usual way. Her hair was tightly in a headwrap that extended down to her shoulders. She had make up on it seemed, judging from the glistening light from the light post. Her clothing was much looser than she ever had. And as she moved away from the light, the silhouette of the fighting stick in her hand was very clear....


BF everywhere: Chaya shares some great info on vitamin D at Living Essence Blog

Gina, warrior princess, has put out a new battle cry; to join her in the recent battle check out What About Our Daughters Blog.

Ehav at Hochma and Mussar did a rendition of hitbodedut. Its a form of meditation. Though, I don't do hitbodedut as often as I'd like, when I do manage to do it its usually me in a bedroom, talking out with Hashem /The Name/God, or just repeating something (A recommended repeater: baruch sh'amar v'haya olam.... Blessed is the One Who spoke and the world came to be)

I am so excited that I found my current favorite band on youtube, at last!



This song is from verses in Song of Songs chapt. 8:13 -.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hodge podge

Let's Perfect the World!

How? By starting with ourselves and becoming what we were meant to become. It's gonna take prayer, a good look inside ourselves to realize what we really want and need. When I worked in the communications industry, we were taught to "create a need". We had to sell the need first and then sell the product.

This makes me wonder how many things we really don't need, but that supposed need has been conditioned in us. It makes me think of when I buy toys for a baby. The baby usually ends up being more interested in the packaging than in the toy itself -- no matter how Einsteiny, well made, etc., that the toy is. I wonder if they really needed it.

Anyway so the search may take a while weeding through all the propaganda. One way to speed it up is by hitbodedut. Hitbodedut means secluding oneself (preferably in a nature type place) and talking to God. One on one as if he were a friend and confidant. It helps to add grace to your words by quoting from His words, but the main thing is to talk to Him.

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A most disturbing sentence from a blog I read the other day. Someone wrote that greed "most likely won't go away."

That was sad to see that someone had no hope that good can prevail. There is much to be said about the trait of contentedness. It does not mean we don't need anything. We still have our wants and needs, but the key is that they are OURS.

With contentedness, no outside force can come in and say "come worship this!" or "come let us commit this act!" If it's not according to what you and your house holds by then nothing doing. You won't budge. With contentedness, you pursue your own goal at your own pace. I wrote a short blurb about that already.

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A thought came to me. Yesod. I believe that BF are the personification of the masculine trait of Yesod. Yesod means foundation and is related to the sexual organs. Well, I know that many wonder endlessly why? Why are BF so hated the world over? No one seems to have the answer.

But if you take the Hebrew word Yesod and think of it as a verb: Y (yud)in front of the root word usually means third person future -- He will. Sod means "secret" in Hebrew. Put the two together: Yesod - He will secret.

What's this secret that got secreted away? Is there a mystery to unfold?

Hmmmmmmm...................
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I want a farm.

I am not totally sure of all the work that this entails, but I'm pretty decided that I want to have a small garden. I hope to grow vegetables, maybe have a lemon tree... Not sure how all this will pan out but that is where my energy is going right now.

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At times my confidence wanes, and I wish I had a rabbi or someone I could turn to with some of these thoughts for validation. But alas, I really don't think many are ready to see black in any sort of good light -even many BF! But why did God bless me with this way of thinking ( and I thank Him, BTW)? How many people know but would not say?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Blogging Blahs

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Somehow I just haven't been motivated to blog much.

I knew there was a sand storm yesterday, but I didn't realize it was THAT bad.



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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mild Rant -Tourists

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I know Israel is a tourist country and it makes alot of its money from tourists. But I must say, I wish tourists would see the "natives" as people and not so much as objects.

Just today coming from the store with the kids, there was a lady with a camera with the biggest lens I've ever seen. She was pointing it right at us! I slowly manuevered us all out of her sight.

Some months ago I went to the Wailing Wall /Western Wall, to pray. Its the last remaining outer wall of the Holy Temple back in the times of King Solomon. So there I was pouring my heart out when, disturbed by clicking sounds I open my eyes, there was a tourist clicking away at her camera! Good grief! A woman is praying, show some decency!

Okay, other than that its interesting to see tourists. Tourists are welcomed. Every once a year there is a group from, I think, Zimbabwe that comes. Its always fun because they are usually happily surprised to see me and my family!

Some Days...

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Some days are hard to deal with. Some days I just want to crawl back in bed (lately I haven't been getting much sleep due to baby issues). Some days we could all use a Na Nach in our lives. Na Nachim are followers of the late Rebbe Nachman who taught the importance of joy, recapturing the imagination, the holiness of every day things, among other things. They dress in white shirts and white yarmulke typically.

Well there are a few Na Nachim who took it upon themselves to spread joy by dancing on street corners, going in their Na Nach vans and dancing at red lights, acting silly, etc. all this just to rouse the people around that area to at least smile or add a bounce to their steps, or even outright dance!

Sometimes they can be annoying. Especially the newbies who can get in your face. But most times they are fun to watch.

I also learn from Rebbe Nachman's teachings, but I don't think I'm Na Nach (yet?).

Parashat Yitro

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This Sabbath was onto the reading of the story of Jethro and Moses. (Moses was bombarded with newly freed slaves and every one had questions, cases, issues, problems. Jethro, seeing how Moses was stuck from morning til night judging cases, stepped in and gave him some good advice -to delegate the duties) Its also a special read because its when God comes down upon the Mountain Sinai, the whole 10 commandments happen, etc.



Okay so that video comes a bit late. But it was either put it now or wait til next year at the appropriate reading.

The interesting part in that portion of reading was Exodus 20:14

" וְכָל-הָעָם רֹאִים אֶת-הַקּוֹלֹת וְאֶת-הַלַּפִּידִם"

"And all the people SAW the thunder..." saw?

Also, I like the get ready, ritually clean yourself!!! Just before the revelation.



And don't ask me why I put this one on. It just sounded really nice!

Here is another one I just like so much. Written by Idan Rachel (but the singer sounds Ethiopian):

Writer's Block?

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I'm so embarrassed. I came on the computer to type about my writers block, and oy vey, I can't seem to stop posting! lol!

Black History Month --2

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Though I don't have a television, I can see from the many blogs out there that there are still studies being done to expose how bad it is to be black. lol! Studies show the worse thing you can do is be black, etc. I suppose these studies are important (I would sure like to find out who is behind these studies and why are they being conducted but anyway..). The by -product of these studies is that BF end up feeling crummy about themselves. But somehow its important to have these studies put out every so often. Why?

For one thing, its not a natural state to be crummy and down about one's self. These studies help to reinforce that feeling (in case we forgot and got happy for a hot second!) lol!

Well, I decided, in honor of Black History Month, to seek out through all the muck, and find good and positive studies. So here's what I found:

Studies show BF have diverse opinions and ideas (shocking!)

Studies in 2000 showed good self esteem in black children! (Self esteem study). This, despite that "pick the 'good' doll; white or black" study. (And what was that about? My sister wondered what was the purpose of that old study in the first place!)

Studies show in 2005 that hypertension, high blood pressure in Blacks is NOT genetic. A change in lifestyle is in order. Finished.

Studies show Blacks are more like to leave a hospice....to seek life extended care! How can that be, asked the scientists scratching their heads. So they chalked it to surely BF didn't know what a hospice was for inthe first place.

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Another thing I want to say, but not sure how to, so I'll just give a story that happened to me:

Long ago, when I was a kid, some other kids asked if I wanted to come and play with them. Of course I said yes. When we were outside some of the kids were telling me I needed to put sun screen on.

Honestly, I don't know about such things, but it does seem strange for a black girl -who's ancestry hails from Africa, and who's recent ancestry hails from the Carribean- that I should use sunscreen. Does anyone know more about this? I should block out the continental -ish sun when my family withstood a more stronger equatorial, or at least tropucal sun?

Again, I admit I don't know...

Israeli Election

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Knowing that the current party (kadima) and the competing party (Likud) are out to befriend him, Leiberman decided he didn't want the pressure and decided to give himself a few days of vacation.


.............I have no words.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Oh Dear! Tomorrow is Election

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Its election time in Israel. I've got to figure stuff out.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Just for Grins

AN ISRAELI PHONE CONVERSATION

Me: Hello? Is this Tziona?

Other line: No, you've reached the wrong number.

Me: Oh. sorry!

Other line: I forgive you.


!!!??!!!

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I wish you all a joyful weekend. Make the most of it; it doesn't cost too much to fill your basket with some laughter, a few slices of smiles, a handful of positivity and maybe one or two feet shuffling dance moves! lol.

EnJOY folks!

Shecodes Blues

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I sure do miss Black Women Vote blog. Shecodes rock! Don't know why I am thinking of her right now...

sigh....

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Black History Month --1

Kicking off BHM with a fun and entertaining clip I saw at Acts of Faith in Love and Life Blog. My goal is to bring forth joy and lightheartedness.

Black History Month




In honor of BHM (Black History Month), I want to write something special. I can't decide if I want to do "known" black/ dark personas from the Bible (I say known because I totally don't believe Jews were as white as the many you see in USA), or black comic book heros, funnies /most enjoyable clips from black sitcoms. or.........

Whatever, I want it to be joyful.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Quotable Quotes

"For a few months after signing Oslo we reached the point where many Jews and many Arabs missed the good old days before the peace process began."

Khaled Abu Toameh (from M.J. Totten's blog)

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Delicious Posts!



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If you haven't already, please check out Living Essence Blog. Its loaded with deliciously interesting posts, great information and very yummy pictures. I'm loving it!

Eureka!

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Why didn't I think of this before. I have been searching for teaching DVDs for the kiddly-coos. I totally forgot about the old Electric Company until I found myself trying to sing the "silent e" song.



And there were more entertaining videos.....And DIVERSITY!!!!





Yay!

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