Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fare Thee Well!

Tonight will be Shavuot. For more info on Shavuot, just check out your local Old Testament about what happened at Mt. Sinai. (sorry, no time!).

Tonight is also my last posting on this blog. Fare thee well!!! Bye bye! Lots of love, peace and happiness to you all.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"Thou Shalt Not Kill"

This is taken from the Bible in the "ten commandments" aka the Ten Sayings. Briefly, there are three ways to kill:

(1) Actually killing the body

(2) Taking away someone's income, or

(3) Humiliating or embarrassing a person.

It is the sixth of the "Ten Commandments" which means it corresponds to the 1st one. (The first five are between man and God; the next five are between man and man). What's the relationship between "thou shalt not kill" and "believing in One God"? If you believe that this God created people in His likeness, in His Holy Image (see divestment series for all the "likenesses") then you would not/ could not kill someone in cold blood no matter how angry you dare to be at them.

We can delve deeper but as I mentioned earlier, my cut off is Tuesday night. Then I am DONE with blogging. So, Im keeping this short.

Flashback Post: After Divestment? Malkhut

The last item is Malkhut /kingship. All the attributes previously mentioned come from what we observed and understood with the maturity of our minds. This trait is dealing with what we put out depending on what we take in.

So....of course it is represented by the mouth and the womb!

Malkhut personified is King David.

If we were to draw all the traits that we've spoken of (and some we didn't speak of) it would be listed like this:

Keter (crown)

Chochmah (wisdom)
Bina (understanding)
Daat (knowledge)

Chessed (lovingkindness)
Gevurah (restrain, strength)
Tiferet (beauty, compassion)

Netzchak (perseverence, dominance)
Hod (humility, splendor)
Yesod (foundation, sexual purity, creativity)

Malkhut (kingship)

Malkhut is clearly at the bottom. In every sphere or world that we deal with, malkhut is at the bottom. Things channel from the top downwards to Malkhut --malkhut itself has nothing of its own to actually give over. However, malkhut becomes keter. Yep, it can be seen as a line (in which case we would need to call malkhut and keter two different words, or we can see it as a circle in which malkhut and keter are one and it closes the circle). Rather than a circle, a better word for this would be a spiral because the "keter" means its been brought to a higher level. The game level went up. We're running with the big(ger) boys now! (sounds familiar?)

Just like King David started off lowly and hated (his family discriminated against him because they thought he was illegitimate), he worked on himself and worked and worked and prayed and prayed and came closer to God and arose to become the king of Israel.

So to just as malkhut represents youth, or beginning or lowly etc. It becomes keter -which means crown. Keter is the farthest end of the border. If we think of it in terms of our own selves, our own mind, keter is the boundary that our logical thinking can take us. After that, we rely on faith. Everything we can learn and know through logic and understanding (mathematics, science, etc) we ought to learn, but at a certain point, there are things that we can only rely on faith.

From keter, from the very edge of our knowledge, to get anything from beyond that requires that God just gives it to us. Our own mind can not be used because its reached its limit.

Looking at it from a different perspective, its the difference between wearing a crown and not wearing a crown.

A Beautiful BW owned a big beautiful mansion. She was extremely shy, however, and could not ask anyone to help her to maintain the place. Thus, every day she would be seen dusting and sweeping. Shining the windows, etc. A visitor in the town came across her mansion and observed the BW cleaning diligently. The visitor approached her and asked, "Pardon me, I see you are a diligent servant here! Can you direct me to the Mistress or the Master of this mansion?"

Had this women not been afraid to "wear her crown" She would put all her traits to better use. Her lovingkindness (towards herself) would keep her from straining herself to clean. Her gevurah would strengthen her to hire maids and stay on top of them. Tiferet would make that balance just. Hod /humility would guide her to remember that its all a gift from God, but her netzach /dominion/perseverance would push her to maintain things in proper order -not slacking and God forbid, breaking the border between her and the maids, for example. Her yesod would be used to find creative things for her home --and all this would cause the malkhut -her Queenliness to rise to the level of keter /crown.

With all the divestiture and empowerment going on in the black blogosphere, I sincerely hope that the goal is not to just be "on top". On top of what? If we are just substituting who's on top then things will not be any better for anybody. The same system of hurt will continue (I guess the good thing would be that BW wouldn't be hurt). It is my hope that when BW empower themselves, it will be with a godliness that I think power was originally intended to be with.

At times I feel chagrin to show these wonderful attributes and to say "look were it got him! He became a king!!!" The goal should not be just to be on top --however, to placate our lustful /evil desires (which everyone has) knowing that this goal could be among the benefits is a necessity.

I guess I'm saying don't forget to wake up the good inclinations within us. The inclination to godliness, to goodness, to love, etc.

Another word on Malkhut. It is personified in King David. King David used his mouth to produce the book of Psalms. Many later used these Psalms to elevate themselves, to meditate, etc. If only we know the true holiness in those words and what they could do! Prayer is an important tool. Nowadays, its being packaged as "speaking out to the universe" what you want and it becomes. But pray nonetheless. And even just to pray, a bit of boldness is needed. (1) to overcome the awkward feeling that you are talking to nothing(ness) and (2) to realize that a mere mortal, a creation -something created right after plants and beasts, something created and that is messing up so badly with physical desires can actually come before a Being so pure and good and that never "messes up" to make requests. Oy vey! But we must fortify ourselves and pray anyway.

In Summary, this concludes period between Passover and the upcoming Holiday of Shavuot. This was a period of self reflection and rectification so that we would have merited the past blessings and position ourselves to receive more blessings. Each attribute /character trait was examined and seen where a fix up was needed. Now we can move on as better, leaner meaner fighting machines (lol) and step up for more blessings!

Flashback Post: After Divestment? Yesod

The second to last week of this series. The focus is on Yesod.Translation of yesod would be like foundation. Also sexual purity. Also creativity. What do all these things have in common?

Imagine the earth is a woman. Let's make it more interesting, say the earth is a BW (lol!) The sky is a guy. The guy gets "aroused" and ....um...it rains. Rain and rain and rain. The earth produces and brings forth its plants and flowers, etc.

The earth (which is brown. or black or red) is the foundation is woman is producer or creator is Yesod.

Yesod personified is Joseph.

Just like it figure Jacob, the one who personifies tiferet/ beauty, knew exactly his mission, and could even take on another (Esau's)mission, and was so sure who was to be his girl (Rachel), he just met her at the well and gave her a kiss; So also it figures that Joseph, who personifies yesod, would be tested with sexual lust by Potiphar's wife(wrong yesod target! lol-- wrong mission, wrong malkhut) in Egypt (the place known as the womb).

Yesod and lovingkindness (chessed). There is a teaching that the world stands upon three things one of them being acts of kindness. Any foundation demands some free love, free giving in order for it to thrive. Since BW are on the agenda of divestment, I hope lovingkindness is an asset to be added in the investment part of the work.

I heard on another blog that in order to have a successful business, one needs to have it until it fails, then the next business one will know what to do. Okay, I admit I'm not a business major...but that sounds strange to me! lol. Yes, I agree one must give to any new creation (baby needs love and care; plants -water, sun, CO2; businesses - capital, strategy, goal; etc) but I don't know about running something to the ground if it can be avoided. Again, I don't know. (most likely I misunderstood what they were saying.)

Yesod and gevurah (holding back, strength). I suspect this can be tricky. Discipline is always needed when creating a foundation. Too much can be suffocating and repressing. It reminds me of how I can become if Mr. Blackfirewhitefire is away for very long and I need to keep the kids in line. There is no time to play and the kids need to heed my instructions the first time. I'm usually a bit harsher and stricter to reduce problems from the get go.

In the arts, it makes me think of drawings in which the object is created from the shadows. There is something somewhat deceptive about this but I can't put my hands on it.

(from Amazing Blog)

Yesod and tiferet (beauty and compassion). A healthy measure of leeway vs discipline in the creation of whatever foundation (Yourself, a baby, pruning a plant, whatever)

Yesod and Netzach. Building a permanent foundation. Like putting a stick in the pot of flower and tying the flower to it to insure that it grows straight.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Psalm 128:3

The building blocks have got to be solid when creating a foundation. Each piece should be examined truthfully. What speaks to you? I remember there was a blog in which a commenter sounded very patronizing. How can his message be admitted with that streak of menace in it? Anyone who absorbs his message (whole) will have to contend with low self esteem later! Same goes for any block used for foundation: accept only the good, throw the peel away!

Yesod and hod. Humility is knowing your weaknesses and your strength (and knowing that they come as gifts from On High). Not expanding a business to be bigger for the sake of greed -but if there is need. Not over decorating a home. Toning down on something or keeping stuff away for the sake of establishing a good start. (not giving kids candy all the time).

Yesod of yesod. As a dear reader mentions many times, its all one. If your capable it would be a beautiful exercise to take note at how your bonding with others is related to how you set up your foundation, and all that is related to how you begin your day, etc., etc., its working on the foundations of foundations. Are you grateful? Positive? energetic?

Yesod and Malkhut. This can almost be funny. Like the old cliche that some people are guided by their "other" brain in the pants. But nevertheless, there is a kingship in foundation, a king or a mission or an output from creativity / sexuality/ foundation. Its about staying true to your goal. Not falling for the "call" of Photiphar's wife.

You hear that Obama?! lol

Staying true to one's goal and (e)mission ("shooting" the rain into the right place; hitting the eight ball, as Dr. Welsings put it; etc) requires and brings just what Joseph required and got. It required that he retains the image of his father in his mind (Rashi for Genesis 39:11). Who was his father? Jacob -tiferet personified. If you recall tiferet is about beauty, truth, knowledge and compassion. Jacob was at ease with the female side of things and thus, his mission. Therefore he could know clearly who his wife was to be. So Joseph recalled the teachings of that. This helped him to stay strong and resist Potiphar's wife's advances. This may be why some say men ought to marry. To have their "mission" established and not have to chase the wrong "mission" (or be chased down by the wrong mission!). I guess this can be interpreted as getting married and knowing your goal and mission, your purpose.

What did this bring? It got Joseph the viceroy position. He rose higher than Potiphar and was next only after the Pharaoh himself.

So too, we can establish good foundations made of solid bricks. We can stay true to our goal for ourselves despite temptations and pulls left and right. Eventually, God willing, we will see that God's plan for us is something more beautiful than we had hoped!

Count Down to the End

Shavuot is coming!

If I'm not mistaken, this holiday will begin Tuesday night and Wednesday day. (here the "day" begins at the night before) Anyway dear readers, before delving into Shavuot, some brief words about time:

By most countries time is marked with time lines such as this example:

In Judaism time is more seen as spiral.

And if you position the spiral just so, you should be able to see all the May 13s that have ever happened in time, or all the March 28s, or whatever date you position the spiral on.

Shavuot is the time long ago that the Torah was given. It is a propituous time for praying and asking God for whatever-a portal is being opened. Take the hint. Ask for your needs.

Speaking of time, I think the time has finally come to close this blog.

I want to thank all the readers who came, all the commenters, all the 'regulars' and especially those who were around from since the Live from Israel blog was going.

I am going to officially stop blogging on Shavuot (so I'll cram a few posts in, like a care package to you, my dear readers, so I won't feel like I'm just leaving you out in the cold.)

I'll still be commenting on other blogs. I'll be peddling my kid's book, hope that goes well. Its not so much for profit. The sages say the world stands on three things:

Torah (instructions), prayers, and acts of kindness. (this is from Book 1 of Pirke Avot)

Well, I'm trying to create a world. And so my first act is prayer and now this act of kindness -hence the children's book. Its about a Jewish Balloon family and the main heroine is a little dark skinned balloon girl who learns about God, mitzvot (religious duties), etc.

Anyway, thanks so much for reading my blog. I really love you all!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thank You, Hashem, for the Chamsin (dry desert wind)

(A post from Rabbi Lazer Brody's site, Lazer Beams)

"Hashem" = "The Name". i.e. God.

If we knew the miracles that Hashem does behind our backs, we'd all be break-dancing in the middle of the Beltway at rush hour.

Nobody seemed to notice the connection between the volcanic ash cloud that was edging toward Israel, threatening to ground all air traffic, the crazy weather in Israel now, the military war games in Iran, and Israel's frantic efforts - even using Russia as a go-between - to fend off war with Syria and Iran. All these are pieces in one big puzzle that Hashem is putting together to hasten the redemption. The redemption is coming, as we mentioned yesterday. How it will come depends on our actions.

So what's the connection? And what's the big miracle? And why were Bibi and Peres panicking?

Under the guise of maneuvers, the Iranians were in strike formation. They and the Syrians saw the volcanic ash cloud as an opportunity to pour a massive barrage of missiles on Israel, while the Israeli Air Force - who they're scared stiff of - would be neutralized by the jet-engine-destroying cloud. The volcanic ash cloud choking Israeli air space would have made us sitting ducks to Syrian, Iranian, and Hizbulla missiles, Heaven forbid.

So what did Hashem do? Monday night, when the cloud ash cloud was set to reach Israel via a Westerly wind, the winds suddenly shifted here and became a 30-40 MPH searing hot desert wind, what we call the Chamsin, blowing in from the Saudi Arabian desert southeast of us, driving temperatures up to the high 90's (F) here on the coast, with sandstorms that coated our flat with a dust film. As soon as the ash cloud was blown away from Israel, the weather turned to a comfy 80F, sunny, with gentle 5 MPH winds from off the Mediterranean.

Hashem foiled the Iranian's plans. The IAF was back to policing the skies full force. There were large scale aerial maneuvers here that communicated the message to Iran and its proxy Syria, "Don't mess around with us." Frustrated, the Iranians began flexing macho muscles and firing Fajr-5 missiles into the sea and threatening the US Navy. Achmedinejad is begging for someone to kick him in the teeth. I'm sure Hashem will oblige.

Meanwhile, Hashem is showing us how much He loves us. Let's show Hashem how much we love Him. Let's strengthen our emuna and do our best to spread emuna all over the world. We must believe that we have the power to make this world a better place.

Thanks so much for the miracles, Hashem. You are, were, and always will be The Greatest there is. We sure love you.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spokeo dot com

This is a repost from Facebook:

There's a site called Spokeo.com that's a new online phone book w/personal information:
everything from pics you've posted on FB or web, your approx credit
score, home value, income, age, etc. You can remove yourself by first
searching for yourself on their site to find the URL of your page
and...going to the Privacy button on the bottom of their page to remove
yourself. Copy & repost

Now I wouldn't recommend putting your password in there.

Quotable Quotes


God could have just struck Jonah down for being evil himself, (I probably would have at least cussed him) "

Anna Renee (from AfroSpear blog)


Who Are You? Ms. Humility or Ms. Wisdom?

I guess it depends on what the topic is.

Please scroll down for the story. Or click here to jump down.

And here's a story for the story:

Jane Bookmark grew up in a very healthy black family. The parents taught Jane to appreciate herself and to understand that she has good traits as well as some not so good traits that needs work. And so, she lives her live happy because this understanding that she is a pretty good person has sunk into her heart.

Sally Pagemark grew up in a broken home. Her family called her all sorts of names and did not love her and made her feel like her black skin was a problem. Many negative messages were fed to her as she grew up. Consequently, she had a very negative image of herself and thought herself trashy.

One day, Sally meets Jane.

They begin an interesting dialogue where Jane reveals how wonderful she feels and how there is nothing inherently wrong with being black or wanting to achieve or whatever else. At this moment Sally, sets her mind to live differently. She hears the messages that Jane is giving and wants to internalize them. Right now, however, those new and good messages are only in Sally's brain, her mind. She is now Ms. Wisdom. She can potentially become very proud now and scream out to the world, "I am somebody!!!"

Slowly, slowly, she becomes at ease with Jane's message and it sinks deeper (higher)in her, into her heart. Now, she is no longer proud of this, she is simply a confident woman. She has ascended to Ms. Humility. As she walks around and lives her life confidently, she meets Misty Notepad. Misty is in baaaaad shape.

Until she has a dialogue with Sally, Ms. Humility. and the cycle continues...


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Well, At Least He Wasn't Black...


Palestinian caught buying 10 tons of watermelons. Story of the illegal offense here..


More Protest in Jerusalem


(the video above was just for laughs)

Seriously. What's going to be?!

A woman was accused of starving her child says Hadassah hospital. Her community is in an uproar and claims the hospital is trying to cover up their own mistakes. Who's right?

Due to all the riots going on there, the city threatens to cut off all the services for that area for fear of the workers getting injured. I hope it doesn't effect my sister's area. But the rioters are not caring, they are just enraged at the moment.

“The mayor can't be expected to put his workers in danger in order to provide services. Or should the workers come in tanks?” asked Rosenstein, UTJ politician, Jerusalem Council member, and supporter of the current mayor, Barkat.

The riots continue... (story here).

Kar Kar and Ali Farka Toure! Woo hoo!!


This is like meditation music. lol!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ms. Humility & Ms. Wisdom


One day Ms. Humility went out shopping. She wanted to buy some nice round heels to fit her beautiful sandals. When she saw just what she wanted, she bought it! She knew she looked beautiful!

Ms. Wisdom was also at the mall. She was looking for a crown to place on her head. But she found nothing in the stores. Then she gazed down and saw Ms. Humility passing by with those gorgeous sandals. Ms. Wisdom quickly took Ms Humility and hoisted her up onto her head. The heels of those sandals would make a perfect crown!

"That which wisdom made a wreath for its head, Humility made a heel for its sandal."

(Talmud: Yerushalmi Shabbat 1:3; Embellished by Miriam!)

Why Does This Picture Annoy Me So Much?


Everytime I see it, it makes me cringe. Ugh!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Everyone's Coming

Saturday night is Lag B'Omer, the 33rd day count from Passover. This is the time when everyone makes these huge bonfires and commemorate the passing away of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.

Since his grave site is located near Tzfat, there is going to be tons and tons of Tourists. More here.

Not quite sure how I'm going to celebrate it yet.