Thursday, April 30, 2009

After Divestment : Week 3; Beauty and Compassion

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This is a late post.

Week 3 is about focusing on beauty. Inner beauty and outer beauty. There are plenty of blogs that will expound on the outer beauty, so I'll stress more on the inner one.

What makes us beautiful on the inside is a proper balance of giving and holding back. At times we may feel inadequate and want to give more (in search of approval). This manifests by giving just a little bit too much "eye candy" to the world, or blurting out every piece of information that we know on a topic, giving way too much unasked-for advice, or just revealing everything, every gift that God gave us (how much money we have, what we possess, etc). Spilling one's guts.

The flipside is restraining overly much. This can manifest in holding back sexually --to one's husband, not getting involved with people SO THAT one doesn't have to give, erasing one's self from pictures, scenes, events, etc. Belittling oneself. Also holding back important information.

Once we have the correct measurement of giving and holding back, its beautiful! Dealing with such a person is a beautiful, wonderful experience.

Furthermore, this week is also about compassion. Without knowledge there is no compassion. If we don't know the whole story about something, most likely we'll feel vehemently one way (pity) or the other (abhorrence). The more knowledge we have of the whole story of something, the more compassionate will be our view. But its important that we have truths, otherwise the knowledge is ill based.

The beauty and compassion combo is called Tiferet in Hebrew.

Tiferet personified is Jacob. His grandfather, Abraham is "giving" to the nth degree, his father, Isaac is "holding back", Jacob found the balanced. He was very true to himself. Interestingly, he was the one who despite his many sons (and who know how many daughters), was able to keep everyone together and on the same path.

Tiferet and dominance. Giving and taking in the perfected measure consistantly is like finding a formula for sustenance and redoing it over and over and getting the same bountiful results! It forces us to create standards and principles based on what works.

Tiferet and splendor (hod). Giving and taking in the perfected measure with the intent of giving the other party space. This is like creating a space for someone else to talk in a conversation. Basically, give harmony a chance.

Tiferet and yesod. I covered that above (overly immodest vs prudish). This also goes for other creative avenues. In business, it could mean knowing when is the right time to give over an idea. In art, loudness vs toned down. When is which called for?

Tiferet and malkhut (kingship). Kingship, I mean, receiving from others and then giving back in return. This is knowing when to reinsert yourself (in a conversation, etc.) and should you say x or hold back?

While Jacob was tiferet personified, his son Joseph was said to be just like him. Joseph is yesod personified. (Yep, so of course he had to be tempted with sexual promiscuity by Potiphar's wife, Zuleka.) Could beauty and compassion (and sustenance) and how we conduct ourselves sexually (or creatively) be related???

Some Favorite Movie Scenes

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Also, no one has made this scene into a movie yet (I don't think) but its still pretty exciting:

Genesis 33: (my insertions in blue)

Just some quick background info: Jacob ran away from his parents house for fear of Esau's wrath. He ended up at his uncle Laban who was a trickster, and realized he'd better get outta there too. So one night he escapes with all his wives and children. While they were journeying, it becomes known to him that Esau is headed straight towards him!

the story unfolds...


1 And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. (Yikes!!) And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids. 2 And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost. 3 And he himself passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. (the appeasement) 4 And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him; and they wept. (Ah! the gift and the appeasement worked. Esau is no longer angry.) 5 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said: 'Who are these with thee?' ("Why Jacob, you've been busy!") And he said: 'The children whom God hath graciously given thy servant.' (Thank God) 6 Then the handmaids came near, they and their children, and they bowed down. 7 And Leah also and her children came near, and bowed down; and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed down. (more appeasement) 8 And he said: 'What meanest thou by all this camp which I met?' (Esau: and why did you send me all those gifts?") And he said: 'To find favour in the sight of my lord.' 9 And Esau said: 'I have enough; my brother, let that which thou hast be thine.' (I've got plenty!) 10 And Jacob said: 'Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found favour in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand; forasmuch as I have seen thy face, as one seeth the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me. 11 Take, I pray thee, my gift that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.' And he urged him, and he took it. ("I also have plenty") 12 And he said: 'Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee.' (Esau: so lets travel together and talk) 13 And he said unto him: 'My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and that the flocks and herds giving suck are a care to me; and if they overdrive them one day, all the flocks will die. 14 Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant; and I will journey on gently, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.' (Jacob: "Oh no no no! We're a slow moving bunch what with the children and the cattle. Better you should go without us" Because who would want to walk with a former enemy? They're liable to rekindle an old dispute!) 15 And Esau said: 'Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me.'(Esau wants to leave some of his men with Jacob; I wouldn't go for that either.) And he said: 'What needeth it? let me find favour in the sight of my lord.' 16 So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir. 17 And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him a house, and made booths for his cattle. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu 2

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Attn: Swine Flu has been declared "unkosher" in Israel. Therefore you're not allowed to get it.

That is all.


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Countries are dealing with the Swine flu as best they can. Some are restricting travels to Mexico and the western hemisphere. But why is WHO (the World Health Organization)"insisting" that that's not justified?

An excerpt from yahoo news:

There was confusion on whether travellers should cancel their plans, after EU health chief Androulla Vassiliou advised against non-essential travel to areas of the US and Mexico but the WHO insisted restrictions were unjustified.

People "should avoid travelling to Mexico or the USA unless it's very urgent for them", said Vassiliou, saying this would "minimise the personal risk and reduce the potential risk to spread the infection."

After drawing a sharp retort in the United States, where 44 cases have been confirmed, she told the BBC: "I meant advice, not a ban, to Mexico City especially and those states in the US where we have many outbreaks."

Keiji Fukuda, acting WHO assistant director-general for health, security and the environment, told reporters later: "Closing borders or restricting travel really has very little effects in stopping the movement of this virus."

Fears for cutbacks in travel battered airline shares in markets Monday, as a German tour operator cancelled trips to Mexico, Russia began airport checks and Poland tightened border controls.


Why, its the money, Mrs Lambert, the money. (from the movie Charade)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Swine Flu

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Not much time to post today, but from reading from various sources about the Swine Flu, I can't help but to remember the post from Kit about the Asian Bird Flu.


And then we have This: 3 vials of virus samples missing from a Maryland facility.

(And BTW, What happened to KIT??!!)

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Little Guys

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The weekend post.

Every part of you can be elevated to a wonderful state. While we're all busy sharpening our economic skills, our political prowess, and getting poised to bigger and better things, don't forget the little things. The little guys. Quite often its the little details, the wrapper, the bow, the decorations that wraps up a nice package!

More later. Have a great weekend!!

P.s. I am so excited that I finally made that chicken pot pie I've been craving!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Quotable Quotes

No AA woman should ever be envious or jealous of ANY other woman--whether AA, white, Asian, etc. because AA women have been blessed with a host of God-given female attributes that are among the best. Don't ever believe anyone who tries to convince you otherwise because they are trying to take away your power.


Evia from BF Interracial Marriage Ezine

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie?

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If anyone in Israel know where I get some scrumptious chicken pot pie I would really appreciate it.

I bought all the ingredients to make it, but with little kids its so hard. And I'm craving. Chicken. Pot. Pie. lol!

Gilles Marini

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Well I went to visit some Na Nach friends to say hello and they told me an incredible story.

An actor by the name of Gilles Marini came across a Na Nach (a friend of that family) and they began to talk. They spoke about Rebbi Nachman (my favorite rabbi) and Israel Odesser (aka Saba). He was so taken by the story (at some point I'll write the story here) he decided to buy a kamea (a necklace).

He wears his Na Nach kamea always and figured perhaps it will help him enter the Dancing w/the Stars show. He wears it pretty prominently as you can see in the YouTube.

You can also read about the kamea from Gilles' website (under "friends").

Neat.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Some Crazy Thangs - Judgement - Judging Favorably

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Let me ask you, Are you crazy?

No, of course not! Neither am I. But I for sure did some crazy things in my past. Many of us have. In hindsight -and especially when taken out of context- these things seem so detrimental, so ruinous to ourselves it makes people shake their heads. But we shouldn't allow ourselves to be rebuked into paralysis. We should not allow ourselves to take in the memory of what we did without its proper context =that would leave us with shame!

I admit that when I was a child I used to hit myself. Alot. I would even stab myself with sharp things. I'd bleed. Yep, some crazy stuff. That in and of its self alone would make folks look at me sideways. But the reason I did those things when I was a child was because there was a child abuser in my midst. Every chance he got he would go after me. My parents did not help me. I soon realized in my little and constricted mentality that the only weapon I had was exhaustion. If I could have him chase me all over the house, fight him or just curl up into a ball at times and let him waste his energy taking shots at me, no matter how many whacks he took at me it would not escalate into sexual molestation -to me that was worse than a beating any day. He would exhaust his own self physically abusing me. And so I wanted to teach myself not to be afraid of pain. I hit myself. Any time I felt the flood of fear trying to overtake me, I made sure I knew that pain was nothing.

Sometimes for desparate or survival reasons, we do crazy things. The world -in our contricted mentality- seemed against us and we take drastic measures. Today people are decrying OOW childbirths, over spending by BF, all the many and varied crazy things some did for one reason or another. I say okay. Each of us need to come to terms with what we did, but it does no good to judge and condemn. Not unless you've walked in the other's shoes, its just plain hurtful to speak disparagingly about actions people may have done during times of constricted mentalities. Perhaps the woman that you see with an OOW child lost all hope of finding a good man? Would you rather her shriveling up in a church yearning for children and never having? No! We'd be scoffing at that too! Perhaps the kid who succumbed to drugs was swarmed with problems she felt she couldn't face. Should we hate her for her past actions? Shall we condemn her and point at her with our righteous finger?

The only thing I can say is that when there is constricted mentality -we don't care what is going on with our neighbors. We can't care what is going on in another State. And don't even talk about what's happening in China, Russia, India, etc.

When there is constricted mentality, only our situation matters and we are trying to carve a hole to escape from something. Others attempt to convince themselves that they are not in a state of constricted mentality by saying that they are looking way in to the future when they'll be in heaven and not have to worry about problem x.

Then there are those who deal with it by distracting themselves with movies, sitcomes, etc.

Constricted mentality has its purpose. It helps ease the pain and helps us to endure and survive. Endurance and resistance. But a very negative side of that state of mind is that -if left for too long- it skews our vision. We can be easily jealous at others around us because we are not seeing the bigger picture.

There was once an abused girl who looked with longing eyes at a lady who owned a dog. "Why won't anybody buy me a dog? Why can't I be like her?" she laments. Little did she know that the dog was meant to soothe the lady because her children had all passed away.


With constricted mentality we only see a piece of the picture and not the whole canvas. Another problem with this is that it makes it impossible to establish long term goals. When the mind is slightly less constricted, we try to find a more permanent solution to our current problem; but when its very constricted, all we can hope for is to endure when the time comes and resist.

Okay, so that state of mind messes up our judgment. What's so important about having proper judgment?

Proper judgment gives us a sense of right from wrong. This in turn builds discernment in us. Then even in a situation we are not familiar with, we can still sense what "ought to be right" and what "feels wrong".

Proper judgment also gives us the ability to rank things. What is major vs what is minor? What is urgent vs what can wait. It also strengthens us to keep our desires and emotions in check: Although I really want x, I hold back in order to first get y. A ranking system that will enables us to have x in a more permanent way.

A fool once landed a high prestigious position in his organization. Elated, he took his place without delay. After much scorn and indignation from people protesting his strange jump to fame, he stepped down. Had he judged his own self and realized he lacked the skills, he would have made it a priority to be in a place of learning even AS he maintained that prestigious position.


Well now didn't I previously say not to judge? And now it seems that there is virtue in judging? What's the deal?

There is a difference between judging and condemning. Some mistake one for the other. Judging, pure and simple, is weighing the good vs the bad. Condemning is just declaring something bad, wrong, or evil.

Also, when dealing with people, we have a tendency to judge them on the side of wrong. People are not -never by nature- 100% good. And so, those wanting to appear unhurtable, unable to be taken advantaged of, or whatever reason, would rather error on the side of condemnation and keep themselves safe, right, whatever.

However, when it comes to people, its a more tricky story. In Biblical times, when the group of people wanted to build the tower of babel. God did not destroy them all. Why? Because they were working together. In the case of Jews, many people see Jewish people as one block. Very important. This togetherness, this apparent bond between people within a group IS that group's national security against heavenly condemnation whether they are doing wrong or right.

BW who chew out (quite bitterly and for every and any thing) other BW are doing themselves a disservice. We are putting forth a lack of togetherness that can potentially keep us all from God's mercy. Can you imagine a judge who hears constantly from its constituents how "Why she gotta wear this?" or "Look how she runs her mouth.." or other endless negatives? He liable to get sick of the whole lot!

Now imagine a judge who hears a different story. Imagine if He sees us trying to talk to each other in the way that the other can hear? Imagine if instead of the poisonous smoke of condemnation, The Almighty smells the sweet incense of understanding. "Sista, if I were you...." or "Maybe it'll be better for you like that?" or some such way of talking.

In conclusion, in many people's past, we have done some crazy things. Things in order to endure and resist and survive. Things that came from a constricted view of the world, life, etc. But at some point it is important to let go, to free ourselves from whatever is suppressing us so that we can then see the 'bigger' picture. At some point we must move from constricted mentality to a more expanded consciousness. The whole world is waiting for US! Once we can get out of constricted thinking, our judgment gets better and we then acquire discernment. We can judge right from wrong in a situation. However, its tricky when it comes to judging people. With people we tend to condemn. While its true the saying "smile to everyone...but count your change!" It means just that. Protect yourself, but try to avoid condemning, especially someone from your own group. That destroys the unity and the 'strength in numbers' that we have. (Assuming judgment is not impaired, we ought to know when a condemnation IS necessary now!). Condemning one of our own without a valid reason is a slight condemnation of our own selves.

Monday, April 20, 2009

After Divestment : Week 2; Restraint & Strength

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So onwards and upwards, we keep going towards self improvement. I won't even hope to have time to blog about it so this will be it. I didn't get to week one which was about kindness, but we are already on week 2 so lets begin there. (hopefully I can back track later).

One thing many people do after Passover,(as I've stated before in a previous post) we arrange ourselves to merit past recent miracles and position ourselves to receive more. This week is a look at Gevurah --restraint and strength, and taking.

How much is too much? How much is too little?

Gevurah is represented by the left hand. It stands for holding back and for being strong. Its like a red light warning us of poison or danger ahead or a stop sign. Gevurah personified was Isaac. At times I wonder, was it because of Abraham's great lovingkindness that Isaac became almost opposite? Anyway, Isaac was so restraining on himself that he would re-open only the wells that Abraham had made previously. Very rarely does he create a new well. He tried to follow in his father's footstep quite meticulously. Even dealing with almost the same problems as Abraham (going into Egypt, dealing with someone who wants his wife, calling his wife his sister, building wells, etc)

Gevurah is like going all the way to the left. Perfectly. Although, interestingly, he was the one personified as the gevurah one, (holding back his will when Abraham was about to sacrifice him) but Isaac is the only one I know of where the Bible describes him as having fun and being playful with his wife!


8 And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife. Genesis 26:8


Also, his name Yitzhok in Hebrew is from the root word "to laugh"
Gevurah with a measure of kindness (the right hand) brings us to beauty (tiferet). A beautiful blend of giving and taking. Pretty interesting for someone whose known for their restrain.

Gevurah with a measure of kindness with the goal being to restrain brings us to empathy. Being able to help and be kind SPECIFICALLY BY not being intrusive or domineering. Like a therapist, just listening to a friend without judging or giving your input (unless they ask).

Gevurah with a measure of more gevurah =very rigid. At times this is necessary. But the key question is when?

Gevurah with beauty = holding back to give and /or take beautifully. This makes me think of myself trying not to punish the children out of my own anger and hurt dignity, but because they need to know that something is wrong. That already softens whatever punishment they get, plus it allows that the punishment corresponds to the "crime" -no heat.

Gevurah with domineering intent (netzah) = Being strong or empathetic consistantly. Not wishy washy. For example,in the work place you may do a feat which shows gevurah, strength. But with not being consistent in that strength, that image goes limp. You loose the dominion -no longer known for being solid, or whatever it was that you did.

However, if you remain consistent, showing strength, discipline, focus without falling for judging others, criticizing, etc. you can corner whatever market, group, field, provided you have the knowledge to back up this character!

The hardest part to control is the tongue.

Gevurah with a measure of yesod (I'm not sure how to translate yesod: foundation. sexual purity. creativity?) = This is basically being empathetic with a good measure of dominance. Knowing how wide you want to make the playing field for the other person, and not fuddling with the borders for your own sake.

Gevurah and malkhut (kingship)= All the previous traits noted above were things that emanate from yourself. Malkhut is the trait that receives from others and gives back. So exercising gevurah while giving back is basically maintaining you cool in a tough situation. At a time when you have to be strong, restraining, etc. knowing how to keep your cool is a worthwhile ability.

That is the focus for this week. Hopefully I can write more about it later. The most important thing of all is prayer though. No matter how much we work on ourselves, verbalizing what we want to attain and combining it with faith in God helps.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Durban: Part 2

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Another Durban convention is due this Monday. Note to self: buy plenty of groceries and stay in that day w/family. Find secret way to cause hubby to stay home that day(ah! repairs need to get dome!!!) while preparing his favorite dish.

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As if that's not enough for me, Israel is preparing for a quick something with Iran. Hopefully to knock out the nuclear missile threat.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Passover with Obama, Deserving the Split Sea

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According to Haartz Online newspaper, and other media reports, Obama is the first to have a seder (Passover) meal at the white house!

I wonder if Michelle Obama's cousin, Rabbi Funnye was there...?

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Yesterday was the celebration and commemoration of the parting of the sea. The Loan.

When it was time to save the Hebrew slaves, they were not worthy. But if nothing was done that would have spelled the end. So, God gave them a loan. No, not one of those sub-prime loans, but a loan none the less. With a great outstretched hand the Almighty parted the sea to allow the Hebrews to escape.

There are many times we get "gifts" from above, things we sense we don't deserve but we get them anyway. Those are usually loans. Eventually comes pay back times.

We can unfortunately see the lack of merit in this case, by the way the newly freed Hebrews complained left and right all the way to Israel. Slowly slowly they were building within themselves the vessels to truly understand what God had done for them, how indebt they are, and what a beautiful thing it all is.

Its great to take the time to reflect at all the great things we got. Great things that fell on our lap. Great people who came into our lives and gave us purpose, shape, love, joy. All these types of gifts asks that we grow into them.

Lets take a look at the recent gifts that BW have received of late. Lets build vessels to secure them.

(1) The knowledge that NAACP and CRIC are not our friend and we must stop sending them money.
That is a gift and a visible step upwards. Its a gift because our eyes have been made opened so that we don't foolish throw our money to the wrong organizations. From what I'm hearing many BW have realized they ought to stop funding such charitable organizations (especially since they have a going pretense that they are out to serve ALL BF).

However, charity is good. "Charity saves from death" as the proverb goes. Charity also mitigates alot of (heavenly) cases -where someone did wrong, charity smooths things out. Its great that BW have stopped giving charity to the wrong organization, but I think it would be wise to funnel the charity to a more appropriate group rather than not give at all.

If one is at a lost as to where to send it, I'll be glad to use it LOl! Just kidding, but seriously, it would be sad to loose the merit of giving charity just because we have been giving to the wrong people. Even misplaced charity has a merit (the giver receives undeserved merits). But this is a step upward because no longer are we driving on undeserved merits (and thus receiving random undeserved goods), we can now channel our charity in more precise ways. (Organizations like Al Sharpton's are actually chasing after rapists and criminals to defend them. Do you really want your money going there?).

(2) So many self empowering blogs are out there to help BW.
Since I've discovered blogosphere, there have been so many blogs popping up with the express mission of self empowering BW and hoping that they make better decisions, get better results in their lives, etc.

The sound message to truly learn from these blogs is to not substitute one "leader" for another. There is a salad bowl of good advice out there. Each one should be weighed while at the same time the messenger herself or himself should be looked at to see where and why the message is coming from where and why its coming from. If we hear the good news and instantly follow them blindly, in no time -strictly because they are human- if the time should ever come that they become corrupt or arrogant or greedy or whatever, we would have entrapped ourselves again by following a leader blindly.

(3) The president and first lady of the United States of America are black.
Okay okay, Mr. President is part black African. But the fact that this couple and their children on in such a visible spot, is probably going to make many take another, and closer, look at African Americans.

(One reason I love going for walks with a baby is because I look at the whole world all over again with new eyes! So, also, those who have never done so before, just may begin to wonder how does Obama view the situation in Kenya, Congo, etc. How does he does he manoever through the covert racism in America? The overt racism in America? How come AA are still around? How have they coped?)

This is an opportunity to create and make ties with groups we haven't dealt with yet. Only recently, at Black African Woman's Villager blog, the Brazillian President is quoted from an article:


The president, white and bearded, said: "I am not acquainted with any black bankers. This is a crisis that was caused by people, white with blue eyes. Before the crisis they looked like they knew everything about economics.

"Now they have demonstrated they don't know anything about economics."


Mirror Newspaper (hat tip =Grata)

Personally, that seemed a bit raw to me. Like someone trying too hard to get brownie points from Prez. Obama. But the point is many may test the waters and see perhaps a relationship can be forged with this group rather than shun them as so many propagandas suggest.

There are many more gifts to say Hallelukah for! Many in our personal lives and in our collective lives. Let us work at building the proper vessels in ourselvs -having the proper attitude, the proper degree of character (not too arrogant, not too insecure and self conscious -but justly confident with a dash of chutzpah!) to contain the gift that God has given us and to use them wisely!

This is not to say that these gifts are undeserved! I really don't know, but its always good to build and improve.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Is This the Age?

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I have been struggling with something. I have been struggling with several things. But anyway, yesterday my four year old daughter asked me, "Why is Laban called Laban?" In Hebrew, Laban means "white."

This made me wonder, do all Jewish children ask this question at that age? Those who know a bit of Hebrew wonder about this? Is this the age when the self conscious (white) parent start to disparage black in retaliation for this Laban question? Can I answer the "white" question with tact? Is this the point where the parents happily distort the Hham story and change the focus to black?

I must admit that there is also a difficulty in talking about tzaras /leprosy? by many people. Many Christian sermonizers, I think, just completely distorted it (particularly the story of Miriam and Tzipporah)if I'm not mistaken. In the Jewish world, well, I've been to classes where the teacher describes tzaras as a "funny" color, or whatever but NEVER white. If I wasn't in the classroom, I wonder would they then confide in each other regrding that topic? I do have a friend who sat in a classroom where the teacher did in fact say that tzaras- the reparation or punishment for slander- turns the skin white. But as soon as he looked up and saw my BW friend sitting there - he stumbled over his words and changed it to something else.

There is a very powerful force that is active.

Sadly, part of the thrust of this force is the great inability (or great lack of will) to see any good in black, blackness, justice, (gevurot), the yin parts of the universe, or anything that may look like its personifying these forces. (The other thrust is to push everyone towards satisfying their greed. The problem with that is there IS no satiation from greed, feeding it only makes it grow.)

But how to break it? How to bring out and expose the beauty of all things black to the world -and more importantly to ourselves? There are some Sephardi Jews that believe that the messiah would be from a Black/dark woman and a white man. How do they deal with the black /white struggle? Perhaps its only us that needs to change our attitude and that would be sufficient?

Part of the reason I wanted to homeschool was that I didn't want cookie cutter kids with the same rankus hatred for all things black. I want to teach them a more wholistic look at the world. But its such a lonely battle -lonely mostly because I ought not be looking at what others are doing, and how many tools they have for doing it. True I don't have any Orthodox Jewish books on diversity, on displaying the Jewish people with somewhat of a brown-ISH skin tone, save the pictures that I draw myself.

(To be coninued... I surely wish I had more time to really write, but these are festive times, plus clingy baby time, plus house dealing times)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Natalie White!

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I went over to Khadija's blog (Muslim Boshido) and saw a YouTube video of Natalie White. An African American BW who learned to speak Korean. What did she do? She made YouTubes of herself singing her favorite Korean songs. Many Koreans saw the YouTubes and she became famous in Korea!

Here's the link

(hat tip to Khadija and the bloggers who told Khadija about it)

Friday, April 10, 2009

SPLASH Award!



Yay! My blog won an award! Thanks ABW for the Splash Award.

The Splash award is given to alluring, amusing, bewitching, impressive, and inspiring blogs. When you receive this award, you must:

1. Put the logo on your blog/post.
2. Award up to 9 blogs which allure, amuse, bewitch, impress or inspire you.
3. Be sure to link to your awardees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have been splashed by commenting on their blog.
5. Remember to link to the person from whom you received your Splash award.

(I'm going to make a slight change, if its okay, and use a more modest fish image. Isn't he a cutie?)

Now I Award...
1. Black Woman Blow the Trumpet. Quite inspiring.
2. Aunt Jemima's Revenge. I always leave that blog with a smile. A great way to start and end my day.
3. Where There's a Will, There's a Way. A great discovery full of tips and alluring posts.
4. Hochma and Mussar. Impressive
info on Jewish life.
5. Living Essence. For its amusing post and inspiring me to buy a blender food processor combo and start eating more healthfully.
6. Black Diaspora. An interesting political blog.

One other blogs I'd like to have splashed would be Diary of an Anxious Black Woman, for the beautiful penmenship! if she didn't get me first.

OMG! How could I have overlooked a special blog. First Domino's The Secret Place. This is where he takes a fresh look at the Bible. Quite alluring, I'll say!

Ah ...Passover, Sun, Gina, Awards, More...

Hi Everyone,

Thanks so much for your patience. Sorry I haven't blogged in a while. Things have been flying!

First off, We had a wonderful Passover. No guests which is always a bummer, but it was good because we got to focus on the kids. Passover is the time when we all sit at the table --in our case, we do it Yemenite style so we have a low table. We basically take out the legs of the coffee table and put on a beautiful tablecloth -- and tell the kids the story of Moses and the exodus from Egypt. We all sat on the carpet and had pillows to lean on.

There are different foods to represent different things such as the yummy charoses (dates, almonds and wine ground together) to remind us of good things, bitter herbs (we used beet leaves) to remind us of the afflictions in Egypt, etc.

Then all the kids fell asleep around the table. It was sweet!

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Earlier that day was the blessing of the sun. I wrote briefly about that on the previous post. My sister went to a synogogue to say the blessing with a whole group of people. Its the synagogue of a famed rabbi (Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu). What a treat! When his car came to pick him up, men were all dancing in the streets in front of his car. I wish I was there to see it. Tzitzit/fringes flying as they jumped and danced to make him happy. Then when he was settled in his car, the dancing men parted (the the Sea of reeds lol) and the car drove off.

It made me think of the Psalm 148 in which it says "praise Him sun and moon..." Some say this Psalms is referring to stars as righteous people, Sun and Moon, leaders, mountains are yet another analogy, etc. I thought of the rabbi. Maybe it was those people's day to praise God. lol.

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There is a really interesting conversation going on at Gina's blog, What About Our Daughters. Its about Tyler Perry and his movies. I haven't seen them, but apparently the running theme is (1) alot of them star himself as Madea, a heavy set church going woman with an anger problem (?) (2) Successful black folks are harsh, conniving, any other negative adjective. The deeper problem is the negative impact these singularly and unhealthy portrayals have on BW at large.

Its interesting all the points that gets made there. I yearn so much to help, but am still not quite sure where my niche is. I am beginning to suspect, in agreement with my husband, that my strength is more in praising and hopefully pointing out the beauty in BF more than fighting any enemy we may have.

As a side topic, I was (still am) a bit infuriated at a particular commentator ("Uh Me-I guess") this white guy who goes on her blog and joins in on the topics. The fact that a white guy is participating in these topics is not what's disturbing, its his patronizing tone that just gets me. I feel so tempted to say something but hubby cautioned me that he might do some relative good in the long run. For example, that he might hear two other white folks talking, perhaps in a degrading way about BW and he could chime in that he's seen them trying to do something about social problem x.

I don't know. If he can talk in such a patronizing way on that blog, why not especially to his other white friends?

Aaaarrrrggggg!!!! Okay. What can I do. Perhaps, there is some benefit. 999... 998... 997.....

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There has been some really disturbing news out there as of late. Left and right, I 'm hearing about these unfortunate murders in which people shoot down whole families or a bunch of people and then kill themselves. Sheesh! I wish they would just cut to the chase and kill themselves first!

But what does it mean? What's going on in the USA?

And then there was the earthquake in Italy. God help them.

And why oh why did those Somalian Pirates have to mess with the US ships?

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Thanks Anxious Black Woman for the Splash Award!!! That is going to be the next post.

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And finally, we are officially homeless! lol. We just sold our place and have a certai amount of time to move out. that was the main thing that kept me from blogging, showing the place, keeping it emmaculate for the potential buyers. *whew!* Now its all over.

Anyway, hopefully I'll be back on schedule soon.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tonight is Passover

Hi Everyone, Shalom!

Tonight is Passover. Its been a high speed car chase the past few days and I simply could not post.

Just some quickies:

This morning was the rare blessing of the sun. What's that all about? Well, every 28 years the planet aligns to the same exact frame like it was in the begginning of creation: hour aligns with one of the 7 influential planets (Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, etc) which aligns with sun as in the time of creation.

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Psalms
Chapter 148

1
Hallelujah! 1 Praise the LORD from the heavens; give praise in the heights.
2
Praise him, all you angels; give praise, all you hosts.
3
Praise him, sun and moon; give praise, all shining stars.
4
2 Praise him, highest heavens, you waters above the heavens.
5
Let them all praise the LORD'S name; for the LORD commanded and they were created,
6
Assigned them duties forever, gave them tasks that will never change.
7
Praise the LORD from the earth, you sea monsters and all deep waters;
8
You lightning and hail, snow and clouds, storm winds that fulfill his command;
9
You mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars;
10
You animals wild and tame, you creatures that crawl and fly;
11
You kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all who govern on earth;
12
Young men and women too, old and young alike.
13
Let them all praise the LORD'S name, for his name alone is exalted, majestic above earth and heaven.
14
3 The LORD has lifted high the horn of his people; to the glory of all the faithful, of Israel, the people near to their God. Hallelujah!