Monday, March 29, 2010

See You Later! Happy Passover Everyone!!


We are practically done preparing and are doing the finishing touches before time to light candles.

My kids and neighborhood kids burning all the hometz:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Quick News...Karen Folan

A beautiful and eloquent interview with Karen Langhorne Folan, author of "Don't bring Home a White Boy..."

(hat tip= Black Women Deserve Better blog)

Psalms 121

The Black fire, White fire home is Hometz free!!! hometz = cakes, cookies, bon-bons, all flour-y with leaven added type foods.

Yep. No cheerios, no bread, no cakes, none of that stuff. Gettin all that hometz out my SOUL!!! (As I saw this written on facebook lol!)

I know that the purpose is to just remove the homets type food, but people try to go beyond and do some spring cleaning. I must admit there is something to cleaning the house. It adds to the feel of a homets free house; as in nothing lurking, no ambiguity.

all the leavened food = ego. The purpose is to ride us of ego that we will be able to make a proper mix of flour and water.

Just like a cook knows the right proportion of salt to add, and tastes the food frequently until its just right --because he knows what "just right" is suppose to taste like. So also, the purpose of being homets free (ego free) is to know what the real mix of flour (judgement) and water (kindness) should taste like, for future "cooking". May we be successful!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Psalms 114

Psalms Chapter 114

1 When Israel came forth out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language;
2 Judah became His sanctuary, Israel His dominion.
3 The sea saw it, and fled; the Jordan turned backward.
4 The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like young sheep.
5 What aileth thee, O thou sea, that thou fleest? thou Jordan, that thou turnest backward?
6 Ye mountains, that ye skip like rams; ye hills, like young sheep?
7 Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob;
8 Who turned the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a fountain of waters.

Its almost Passover. Pray, moan, groan, find a voice and voice your burdens. Voice what ails you. Voice what's oppressing you. Help God to redeem you and even nature herself will rejoice at your salvation!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Obama vs Israel: reprinted from Sultan Knish blog

Barack Hussein Obama vs Israel (from Sultan Knish)

The manifold organs of the ObamaMedia are abuzz with outrage over what they are calling Israel's "insult" to the United States. But what was the nature of this awful and outrageous insult? Did Israeli officials pull off V.P. Biden's rug to show off his bald head underneath. Did they ask him why the suit of his pants is so shiny. Did they make him sit at the kiddie table?

More to the point did Israeli TV air calls for a Jihad against America, as Palestinian Arab TV did? Did Israel name a square after the murderer of an American photographer, as the Palestinian Authority did? Did an Israeli Anchorman do a skit in blackface during Obama's visit, as a Turkish anchorman did during Obama's visit to Turkey? Are Israeli religious institutions issuing Fatwahs against America, as Al Azhar University, which Obama visited and spoke at, has done? Are Israeli leaders funding terrorism against America, as the Saudi King, before whom Obama bowed, does?

No, none of those incidents were described as insults. Nothing that Muslim countries did to mock, humiliate and murder Americans were even noticed at all. None of them produced furious condemnations from the White House or two hours of Hillary Clinton screeching on the phone at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. So what did Israel do that was so awful, so horrible and terrible? It built houses. Yes, civilian houses. Not army bases or nuclear missiles or walls. Houses.

Israel approved a construction project to build housing for its own people, in its own capitol city, Jerusalem. Some of the housing will be built in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood, situated around the grave of Shimon the Righteous, a Jewish religious figure famed for rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. A neighborhood where Jews have lived for over a century. As well as Ramat Shlomo, a thriving neighborhood with thousands of Jewish families living in it.

The Obama Administration's objections to Jews living in Jerusalem are purely racial and religious. If Israel were approving a construction project to build housing for Arab Muslim citizens of Israel, Biden, Hillary and their media troupe wouldn't be screeching about it to the high heavens. It is only because Jews are to live there, that they have a problem with it. Their objections therefore are purely based on race and religion-- and completely racist.

But this is hardly the first time that Muslims and their Western appeasers have tried to drive the Jews out of Jerusalem, or the Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood in particular.

In 1876 the land was purchased by the Jewish community in order to build homes for poor Jews. In 1936, after the death of Sheikh Izz ad-Din al-Qassam (one of the inspirations for Hamas) and the Mufti of Jerusalem (who would go on to collaborate on the Holocaust with Adolf Hitler), Arab rioters drove the Jews out of the neighborhood with cries of Ibtach Al Yahood (kill the Jews). Over 500 Jews were murdered during this time. Many more fled their homes ahead of the enraged Islamic mobs.

The following was a sample of some of the Arab Muslim brutality toward the Jews at the time.

Alex Morrison, a British truck driver sympathetic to the Arab cause wrote, "They left behind them one of the worst sights I ever saw in my life... The naked bodies of the women exposed the evidence that the knives had been used in the most ghastly fashion." The bodies of children, apparently set alight with gasoline in a nursery, were still smoldering."

The Arab Muslim atrocities were successful not at intimidating the Jews, who slowly began to return, but at intimidating the British who enacted the White Paper, and closed the doors to Jewish immigration resulting in countless numbers of Jews dead during the Holocaust. A Holocaust which involved the participation of the same Mufti of Jerusalem who organized the riots. Which in turn had been partially funded by Nazi Germany.

In 1947 the Arab Muslim forces again came for the Jews. The Jewish residents of the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood, accompanied by militia, fought them back with the few weapons they had. And then came the British colonial authorities and disarmed the Jews. And when the Arab forces came again, they had no weapons to fight with. And they fled.

The fall of the area cut off Hadassah Hospital from the rest of Jerusalem. A convoy of 79 doctors, nurses and patients to the hospital were massacred by Arab forces. They included a world renowned ophthalmologist, Chaim Yassky and his wife Fanny. Esther Fassman, the American director of social services at the hospital's Cancer Institute, carrying candy and magazines for her patients. And a man who had been riding along to reach his wife who had just given a birth. He never reached her.

The Jordanian Legion seized all of East Jerusalem, and drove out the remaining Jews living there. Synagogues were destroyed, others were turned into latrines. The tombstones from Jewish cemeteries were used as paving stones for the Arab Muslim occupation forces. The Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood though held the tragic distinction of being the first part of Jerusalem to have its Jewish population driven out.

The houses that the Jews had been driven out of were occupied by Arab Settlers in an East Jerusalem rendered empty of Jews. The great dream of the Mufti of Jerusalem, and every Islamic cleric and terrorist, who had urged the murder of Jews in order to build a pure Islamic Arab Palestine was fulfilled. The Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood was seemingly no more. Only the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood remained. Half of the historic Jewish capital was Judenrein.

In 1967, Jerusalem was liberated and reunited once again. But the victorious Jewish army did not drive out the Arab squatters. Instead in 1972 it restored the land in the Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood to the communal organizations which had owned it allowed them to remain on the condition that they paid rent. Those who refused, were evicted. Slowly Jews began to return to their old neighborhood again. A school opened and a normal semblance of life with it. However the US State Department and European government have continued fighting the Jewish presence in Jerusalem, demanding that it be restored to its former Judenrein status.

Over and over again, the diplomats have taken the side of the Arab squatters who stole the homes of the Jewish families living there, until Arab mobs and armies drove them out. Even when Jewish residents bought the land from those squatters, insuring the absolute legality of their ownership from any and every angle, their rights to live there have been denied. And those demanding an Apartheid Jerusalem, reserved for Arabs alone, have continued spewing lies and distorting the truth by claiming that Jews never lived in the Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood. That the only reason Jews live there now is out of spite (this in a city where spiraling real estate prices and crowded conditions have made apartments incredibly difficult to find.) And finally that the only reason that a housing project that has been in the works for over a decade was approved-- was in order to insult Joseph Robinette Biden... and through him America.

And then there was the Ramat Shlomo construction project. Supposedly the straw that broke the "camel's" back. Ramat Shlomo is and has been a Jewish neighborhood for some time now. There are thousands of families living in it. The 1600 additional units are not being built on inhabited land. Nor was the land ever supposed to be turned over to the Palestinian Authority in any conceivable settlement. In fact during the previous round of negotiations, even the PA had conceded Ramat Shlomo.

Let me be very clear then. The building of houses for Jewish families in a neighborhood where Jews have lived for 134 years is not an insult. A housing project that has been in the works for over a decade was not a secret conspiracy to humiliate the idiot Vice President on his visit there. It is of course an insult, but not to America. Only to Islam.

American diplomats have not usually described Israeli policies they dislike as an "insult"-- that is a term much more commonly used by Muslims, who are obsessed with perceived slights to their honor. Complaints over an "insult" is a common feature of Honor-Shame societies. America is not an honor-shame society. However the White House is currently occupied by a man bred in an honor-shame society. It is Obama that feels "insulted" by Israel, both out of the sensitivity of his Muslim heritage and his own egotism, which regularly motivates him to humiliate Republicans, while triumphantly celebrating his own greatness.

It is natural enough for Barack Hussein Obama to rely on such cheap honor-shame gambits. They are what he grew up with. And it is natural enough for him to keenly feel the loss of face of Muslims. After all his father's family was Muslim. And Muslims are keenly "insulted" when they conquer territory and then cannot hold it. Whether that territory is in Jerusalem, Israel or Spain or India. They cannot stand to suffer the loss of face. And neither can Obama.

Had there been a Jewish or part-Jewish President in the White House, the media would be raising the question of whether he is showing favoritism toward Israel. A question that has been repeatedly raised regarding Joseph Lieberman. A question that was raised regarding Goldwater, who was a practicing Christian. But the media refuses to allow the question to be raised of whether Obama is favoring Muslims because of his own Muslim background and family ties. Instead the media brands any such questions as racist, and instead spearheads the administration's campaign against Israel.

So directed out of the White House, a media firestorm howls enraged at Israel for presuming to allow Jews to live in a neighborhood where they had lived for a 134 years. The outrage. The offense. Heads must roll for this. Panicked, Netanyahu has already rushed to appease Der Fuhrer, suspending all home development anywhere in Jerusalem. Netanyahu has already apologized for building homes for his own citizens in his own country, but that of course is not enough. It's never enough.

David Axelrod huffed, "This was an affront, it was an insult." Hillary Clinton, Suha Arafat's former kissyface partner, called Netanyahu to berate him. And then did it again in the round of interviews, proclaiming, "It was insulting. And-- it was insulting not just to the vice president, who-- certainly didn't deserve that-- But it was an insult to the United States." Biden added his own voice. So did a bevy of underlines. Israel's ambassador was summoned to be yelled at by the Deputy Secretary of State.

In his visit Biden had repeatedly insulted his Israeli hosts. First he brought along Chris Matthews who accused Israelis of disliking Obama because they're racists. He arrived an hour and a half late to a ceremonial dinner. In other words he acted like every bit of the predictable buffoon that he is. Which is also not surprising given his history of hostility to Israel going back decades.

But none of that really matters. The bottom line is that the Obama Administration has been wanting to pick a fight with Israel for some time now... while pretending to be the victims. Much like the way Germany faked a Polish attack as a pretext for invading Poland, Barack Hussein Obama needed a pretext for waging his own political Jihad against Israel. All the while whining about how badly the Israelis have insulted him.

If it hadn't been Shimon HaTzaddik or Ramat Shlomo, some other pretext would have been found. Sooner or later, some visiting dignitary would have been offended by Israelis going on with their lives. Resulting in just this kind of cynical tantrum designed to win over Muslims and further degrade Israel's abilities to defend itself. The entire incident staged in keeping with the Honor-Shame background of the man in the White House.

Meanwhile in Jerusalem, Jews were celebrating the rebuilding of the Hurva Synagogue. Built in the 1700's, the synagogue had been demolished twice by Arab Muslims. The second time in 1948 by the Jordanian Legion, in order to insure that Jews would never return to East Jerusalem. They were wrong then, as Obama is wrong now. The plans of Muslims to banish Jews from their historic capitol are both immoral and racist.

Meanwhile the PA's Jerusalem minister, Khatem Abd el-Kader, condemned the renovation of the Hurva Synagogue, warning Israel that it was "playing with fire" and urged Muslim Arabs to "protect" the Al Aqsa Mosque. Naturally of course the riots are of course already on the way. An echo of the riots that drove Jews out of Jerusalem in the 1930's. Then the rioters had shouted, "Itbach-al Yahud" and "Addowlah ma'anah". Kill the Jews, and The Government is With Us. Except the government they mean now is not the British colonial authorities, but the administration of Barack Hussein Obama.

(translation here)

Pray!! (MC Hammer)


Sunday, March 14, 2010

While the World Stood by...

Just taking a moment to reach out my left hand to my Christian Brothers and Sisters in Nigeria who were slaughtered this past week by axes and machette welding Muslim terrorists.... I am sorry. Sorry the media didn't care. Sorry the Vatican didn't care. Sorry that nobody cared.

...and I want to reach out with my right hand to those Muslims who reject terrorism and who fight a lonely battle ever so bravely... like Khalid Abu Toameh, Wafa Sultan, or Mosab Hassan Yousef (son of the founder of Hamas). What a fine line they walk! From them, especially from Khalid, I sense that he cares for his Muslim people, but is wary of the many choke holds on them and tries to show the world but its a fine line because many would stamp these people islamophobes and not look into it any deeper. No nuance, no shades. No understanding. Then the flipside is to declare them all evil all bad all wrong. No nuance. No shades. No understanding.

One thing I must admit that I am happy about Haiti is that not only did they fight against slavery, but that they fought against the institution of slavery, i.e. they didn't win and then turn around and say,"now, let us take slaves for ourselves!" Rather, no one was to be a slave there again.

In the same token, while I am wary about all the Muslim terrorism going on all over the globe, I worry also that the only people who are awake to it are (1) Republicans and/or right wingers? Not exactly sure what these people are called. These are the strongest ones most capable and most ready to fight all the terrorism, the Obama counterpart being Colonel Allen West.

My only concern is: is this to iradicate terrorism? To end the terrorists' abuse of the freedom that they find in their host countries as they slowly creep sharia in and can no longer suffer the 'infidels'? Or is it just that they (those republicans/right wingers/ whatever they are called) want to be the top dog ravaging countries and pillaging and taking over, etc. and have to get this opponent out of the way?

Indeed, fighting for justice for all sounds more like an 'end of days' solution rather than anything anyone has ever decided to take on in this world as of yet.

I don't know.

Friday, March 12, 2010

My Happy Award!

Well, here's something to boost my spirits! My Happy Award from Arnetta Green from the blog "This May Sound Crazy, But I'm saying It Anyway!"

Tada!! Behold, my Happy Award!!!

So, I must list 10 things that make me happy and then pass it on to 10 other bloggers that make me happy. Okay here goes..

(1) Na Nachim! Those guys who go around dancing and acting silly to make others laugh

(2) Likutey Maharan and all the books about Rebbe Nachman's teachings including his stories.

Once upon a time all these books were banned by many communities. Yep, forbidden stuff! Yum. LoL! Now they are available. Likutey Moharan (Rebbe Nachman's teachings), Likutey Halachot -Rebbe Nosson blending Rebbe Nachman's teaching with a different book (shulchan aruch), Likutey Tefillot (awesomely arranged prayers for various needs), Stories (currently reading the "7 Beggars"), Outpouring of the Soul, Advice, etc, etc. I can see why they were forbidden: It warns against certain rabbis who are only out for wealth or honor -no one in particular but it gives the characteristics of what to avoid. Hah!

(3) Laughter. Particularly Haitian men laughter or those rumbly African men laughter. Can't describe it. Just reminds me of the good parts of home.

(4) Talking to my sister on the phone.

(5) Eating! I'm really not a big eater, but I do enjoy my granola, fruit and yogurt dish every once in a while. Guacamole.

(6) Nature. Breathtaking nature gives me breathtaking thoughts...

OY! Ten??!! lol.

(7) Great conversations. I have to post about this one day.

(8) Blogging. Otherwise I wouldn't take the time to do it.

(9) My children! How could I forget that one!

and the last one...

(10) Silence. That beautiful sound when all is well (like the deaf beggar in the story of the 7 Beggars)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Interesting Question

I saw this question posed at Arutz Sheva. I guess you can go there for their answer. The question is:

Once I find Torah’s truth do I need to convert to Judaism in order to receive salvation?

My answer is no.

If the person is concerned with 'salvation' and he believes in Judaism, then he ought to know that you don't have to be Jewish to go to heaven or to get salvation. Just do good in the world, study the bible -maybe even learn Hebrew and study the Hebrew version -Tanakh. But most importantly, do good. (now the next question would be what is "good"? I say from the Torah/parts in the Bible/Tanakh, etc, you can know.)

However, if you want to take on the mission of a Jew, then yes, convert. Those are two separate things. (I guess the next question there is: what's the mission of the Jew? My simplest explanation is basically to rectify what Adam and Eve did.)


Feeling like Crap-o-la these days...

hi all!

Lately I've been sort of down in the dumps. How am I going to get the house cleaned up for Passover? Settling into a new city is not so easy. I still have to find a place to immunize my kids. In Israel there is one system for regular medical treatment, then there is another organization for immunization called tipat halav.

I haven't even had time to think about all that. And then, three days ago, I fell ill. The baby also fell ill. I think it was the flu so I probably wouldn't have immunized us against that any way. But still it got me thinking.

I'm not completely out of it yet. Neither is baby Naftali.

But three days down and the house is....oy vavoy!!!!

Laundry is piled, we ran out of gas again from the gas canisters so we couldn't cook -just bake, the weather is changing so its time to mow the over grown lawn, not to mention other problems. sorry if this is not such a great post.

Okay. Plan.

I need to throw out old clothes never mind "maybe these pants can still fit even though it'll look like fluds" (does anyone know what fluds are anymore? lol) Same goes for old toys. Not enough throwing out going on and lots of buying/bringing into the house going on. Same with old lettuce and other foods. Gotta fix that balance.

For a while we'll have to go plastic goods. That way only pots and pans will need washing. The rest I can just dump. And dump trash out everyday.


And one very important thing to put on my "to do" list: hire help when I'm sick next time.

Peace / shalom

Monday, March 8, 2010

Quotable Quotes


""I will only love you, if you kill yourself," says the man to the woman. His meaning is that he cannot love her if there is any part of her that is not a part of his ego. Only when she has destroyed herself for him, can he love her, because there is nothing of her left anymore."

Sultan Knish


Friday, March 5, 2010

Matisyahu -One Day

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Make your demands in this life!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Picture of the Day

Bedouin shepherd tending his flocks along the banks of Nachal Lachish, east of Ashdod

hat tip: Laser Beams

Black as the Raven

First a story from the Talmud: This is what Rabbah Bar Bar Chana recounted: I myself saw this frog which was as big as the city of Hagrunia. And how large was the city of Hagrunia? Sixty houses. A serpent came by and swallowed it. A raven came by and swallowed the serpent, and then ascended a tree and sat there. Come and see how great was the strength of that tree! (Bava Batra 73b)

"With whom is the Torah to be found? With the one who makes his face as black as a raven, and one who makes himself cruel to his children as the raven" (Talmud: Eruvin 22a)

So, what does it mean to make one's face "black as the raven"?

Taken from Likutei Moharan 15:5: it means that he prays without any concern for personal benefit. He does not consider himself as having any worth, so that all his selfhood and corporeality are eliminated. He is thus negated (me: invisible), as if he were not in this world.

And through this he can merit the hidden Torah, kabbalah. Called darkness because of its very deep concepts.

How does one make one's face "black as the raven"?

By praying for spiritual things rather than physical things.

Everything in the physical world has its counterpart in the spiritual world. Some are obvious some are not. For instance, it is taught that water represents Torah /instructions by God; rain =blessings or mercy; sun rays =harsh judgement; (and therefore rainbow = mitigated judgement), etc.

Since the physical is directly tied to the spiritual, one can pray for one and get the other. For example one can pray for blessings or mercy and get rain as well. Its a bit harder to do it in the reverse- praying for rain and hoping for blessings or mercy. Haven't figured out why yet but I have heard that the spiritual comes faster. At any rate, so the person who prays for spiritual gifts gets both spiritual and physical goods, the one who prays just for physical goods may get it, but not with peace -there is still an incompleteness going on.

Thus, when the "serpent" comes to swallow the sixty houses -i.e. prayer, it says, "why don't you pray for wealth? Money??"

The desire for money is very strong. its so strong, the soul is drawn after it. What do we do when we want money? We diversify. Put some money in this portfolio, and some more money in that portfolio,and more in yet another portfolio. This scatters our frame of mind because we are trying to keep track of many different interests and investments. The soul is scattered. The way to break this hold money has and gather back our frame of mind is by giving charity. As long as we continue to give charity, we are not in the grips of the lure of money. The "face black as the raven" has swallowed up the serpent.

Once charity is given, its like our mind is more restful. We give charity basically because we understand that the "manna" comes from God. It all comes from God and we are investing the rest of the money as a show of effort -so as to not make the miracle too miraculous. We cover things in nature/darkness so the way is made for the miracle of increased money to come to us.

With this faith/clarity/light shining in us, we feel confident we are doing the right thing. Thus, we have the boldness to turn to the Creator of the Universe and make our request. We are buky b'ratzo -expert /good at running. confident.

As we draw closer, we also gain more light/ more clarity/ more faith. This shines on the little parts of our soul that we have not yet rectified. Without letting it get us down, it is important to also be buky b'shov -expert at returning from a fall. We re-examine ourselves and return back to our confident selves running to God with our requests. In other words:

Once a person's face is black as the raven, he can swallow up the serpent. win over it. Beat the lust for money. then he gains clarity, faith and light and can ascend up the Tree of Life.

(this was just a test to see if I could "postify" a lesson from Likutey Moharan. I also want to add that I myself DO pray for both spiritual things as well as physical things. Maybe one day I'll be on the level where I only pray for spiritual things knowing full well that the physical will come, but til then, I'm not there yet.)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sneaky Children!


Turns out my kids (ages 5 and 3) were smoking cigarettes on Purim as well! Grrrrr..Only because it was Purim, I won't be upset.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Are You Buky? (Desiree Rogers)

Rebbe Nachman taught that one must be an expert (buky)at what one does. He was referring to service to God. I am extended it for now to whatever that we do. Whatever we do we must be expert.

"buky b'ratzo, buky b'shov!"

"expert at running, expert at returning!"

Desiree Rogers, to me, demonstrated that she was buky b'ratzo, expert at running. She came, she saw, she conquered. She saw the position she wanted, had the skills to catch it, nailed it.

Now something happened. A fluke. An accident.

No matter how 'flawless' you are, no matter who you are, if you're human then I've got news: you make mistakes. Your game can be the tightest ever, but if your human then there is nothing to be done, you will make a mistake -why? because there is a purpose in mistakes that's why they exist!

At any rate, she slipped up. Whether it was from negligence or things beyond her control the bottom line is that she slipped up. Now what? The media will drum it into your head that this is the end. She slid down the slop and now let us mourn her! lol.


Now its time for her to prove that she's buky b'shov! Can she get back on her feet? Can she be an expert at returning?

Now, I return back to the teaching more specifically that Rebbe Nachman was talking about. Most times its easy to serve God when things are good. But when we get side swiped on our blind spots (not realizing we were gluttonous even as we slandered someone else for their wrong, until we get called out, for example) or when we give in to a temptation and then regret it (either because we got caught or self reflection), we have fallen. Many will insist that that is the end of the story. Many in the world are soooo wont to have stories end badly! But that is not the end. Now its time to show that one is 'buky b'shov' expert at returning. Some how we must fortify ourselves and rise from the ashes. It all starts by searching within and finding that one good point inside ourselves -everyone has one. Then build on it, find the next good point inside, then the next, then the next and string them all together to boost your confidence that God still loves you and you still have good qualities that you yourself love about you!

You can do it!

Readjusting the lense abit, I also want to point out that the fact that this lady got the boot, to me, is a side issue. I think there are bigger issues surrounding that incident such as why did the uninvited people enter that party? What damage was done? Did they threaten the Indian official? Any way I'll stop there.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Guerrilla in Aisle 5!

Yep, you guessed it. Yesterday was Purim.

I regret that I didn't bring my camera. I wanted to take a picture of the guy at the supermarket. He was dressed in a guerrilla suit and trying to choose a bottle of wine to buy.

Or the clown who was at the fruit section, checking the oranges...

It wasn't all fun and games on Purim, there was also nice acts of kindness. Like when I was on my way to hear the story of Esther, which is heard on that day in the synagogues, I was blocked by a car that was trying to get out of a parking lot. I turned the other way to get around the car, but the driver backed up and got in my way again. The driver, feeling bad for getting in my so much I guess, lowered his window and ask, "Can I just give you a ride?" lol! sweet!

At the synagogue, everyone had their costumes on. A policeman, a fireman, all manners of princesses, etc. Very nice to see.

After the reading it was back home to prepare food baskets called mishlo-ach manot. The religious duty (mitzvah) is to give to at least two people, but people usually give to their neighbors, their friends, family, and so on and so on. Basically, we try to do it cheaply buy accepting from one neighbor and giving that same basket to a friend. But we still end up making some extra baskets.

This years mishloach manot, I put an apple, a homebaked cup cake, a plastic bag of chips assortments, and lots of candy for kids.

We got a visit from an ancient Egyptian couple- they made their Purim costume really well! White satiny sheets and the dark line across the corner of their eyes! Too funny.

And then came the part I'm not to crazy about: the getting drunk part.

We went to someone's house and the party was already going. I got there late, but it seems Mr. Blackfirewhitefire was already drunk. He was having a "discussion" with another drunk guy. Imagine that if you will. lol! Somebody was dancing. He was also drunk. He alternated between dancing and drinking and feeding everyone whatever he found. Oy vey. I was afraid for Mr. BFWF. Little Avi was a bit scared to see drunk men.

So, we left the drunk men scene and went to a different house with kids. She was typically a very strict mother so I wasn't sure what to expect, Purim everything is upside down. Sure enough all the kids were smoking. Even the seven year old. The mom was passing out cocktail drinks in her big Bob Marley hat. The teenagers were quite drunk -not as under the table drunk as the men, but ....drunk.

There the women had an Amen party in which -since Purim is a propitious time for prayers the sages say- we were all witness to each others request and each of us requested our hearts desires with the all the witnesses declaring, "Amen!"

That was great.

After much chatting and talking and the kids playing and doing whatever, we finally went home. Purim is great. Life is great...