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Interesting quotes from famous Jews
My father never lived to see his dream come true of an
I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up. They have no holidays.
Look at Jewish history. Unrelieved lamenting would be intolerable. So, for every ten Jews beating their breasts, God designated one to be crazy and amuse the breast beaters. By the time I was five I knew I was that one.
The time is at hand when the wearing of a prayer shawl and skullcap will not bar a man from the White House, unless, of course, the man is Jewish.
Even if you are Catholic, if you live in New York, you're Jewish. If you live in Butte, Montana, you are going to be a goy even if you are Jewish.
The remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served us nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.
Let me tell you the one thing I have against Moses. He took us forty years into the desert in order to bring us to the one place in the Middle East that has no oil!
Even a secret agent can't lie to a Jewish mother.
My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me.
It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it.
Don't be humble; you are not that great.
I went on a diet, swore off drinking and heavy eating, and in fourteen days I had lost exactly two weeks.
-Joe E. Lewis
A spoken contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.
I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying.
Whoever called it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.
A politician is a man who will double cross that bridge when he comes to it.
Too bad that all the people who know how to run this country are busy driving taxis and cutting hair.
A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours.
I don't want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth, even if it costs them their jobs.
Television is a medium because it is neither rare nor well done.
When I bore people at a party, they think it is their fault.
"DAILY JEWISH WISDOM" is found @ Beliefnet.com
Fear builds walls to bar the light. - Baal Shem Tov
Engage in Torah and charity even with an ulterior motive, for that habit of right doing will lead also to right motivation. - Talmud: Pesahim, 50b
The sword comes into the world because of justice delayed and because of justice perverted.- Ethics of the Fathers 5:8
Ever since Rabbi Akiba used the Passover seder to plan a revolutionary struggle against the Roman occupiers, the Jews have used the seder to begin concrete work on tikkun (healing and transformation).
- Rabbi Michael Lerner, the Tikkun Magazine Passover supplement 2006
To work out ends of righteousness and love are you called; not merely to enjoy or suffer.
- S.R. Hirsch, "Nineteen Letters," 1836
“Pessimism is a luxury that a Jew can never allow himself.” Golda Meir
The worship of God, though desirable as an end itself, can somehow never be in the right spirit, unless it impels one to the service of man. - Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan
Concentrate on three things and you will not fall into the grip of sin. Know from where you came, where you are going, and before Whom you will have to give account and reckoning.- Pirkei Avot 3:1
We cannot learn from general principles: there may be exceptions. - Johanan, Talmud: Kiddushin
A truly generous man is he that always gives, whether it be much or little, before he is asked.- Orchot Tsadiqim
The best security for old age: respect your children.- Sholem Asch
A Jew can be Jewish with God, against God, but not without God.- Elie Wiesel
He who promotes his own honor at the expense of his neighbor's has no portion in the world to come.- Judah b. Hanina, Genesis Rabbah
Even if all the world tells you, "You are righteous," consider yourself a sinner. - Rabbi Simlai
Prayer is meaningless unless it is subversive, unless it seeks to overthrow and to ruin the pyramids of callousness, hatred, opportunism and falsehood. The liturgical movement must become a revolutionary movement, seeking to overthrow the forces that continue to destroy the promise, the hope, the vision.- Abraham Joshua Heschel, "On Prayer"
Lose with truth and right rather than gain with falsehood and wrong.- Maimonides, "Tzavaah"
Seek the good in everyone, and reveal it, bring it forth.- Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772-1811), "Likutey Moharan"
Just as we love ourselves despite the faults we know we have, so should we love our neighbors despite the faults we see in them.- Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov
A man should never impose an overpowering fear upon his household. - Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 6b
If you add to the truth, you subtract from it.- The Talmud
Love unaccompanied by criticism is not love....Peace unaccompanied by reproof is not peace.- Genesis Rabbah 54:3
Quote of the Day
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INSIGHTS FROM OUR FOLK
Pesach 5774 -Rushing Towards Freedom
Cleaning the house, selling chometz, cooking for the seders,
Planning to lead, praying for helpers - will we need waiters?
Wait! We are on a shoestring! Waiters are just a pipe dream!
So with prayers and faith that all will go well on those nights,
We'll be prepared to sing songs of history, songs of schemes
To regain freedom as refugees ready for new sights.
Sharing an interesting custom:
Passover is around the corner. At our seders in Egypt, the ten plagues were presented as follows. For each plague, my father would pour a bit of wine in a bowl and my mother would pour some water on top of it. The wine was said to represent justice and the water mercy. Justice tempered with mercy is how God is operates in the Jewish tradition. But while justice is defined precisely and at length, mercy is not. So how much of each should one apply in any given situation?
MAY WE ALL HAVE A HEALTHY, HAPPY AND ENRICHING PASSOVER SEASON!
CHAG SAMEACH B'VRACHOT! Rabbi Adele
The change over to the new web format has lost some of the content on this page. Many apologies. Will try to restore, but success is not guaranteed...
Given the recent heartless and nasty actions of government and the like, Rut observes: It seems that the world is getting colder as we strive to show some humanity toward each other . And yet we still point to others, beat our chest and shout that we are the perfect example and every one should look to the way we treat one another. [and thus we ignore our own failings and harshly judge others...]
Strays in the Garden
by Clay Harrison
Twice a day they come my way because they somehow know
That I will give them food and drink and they are free to go.
Some linger in my garden because they have no home,
And they rest among the flowers where there's no need to roam.
They are the walking wounded, these homeless cats I feed
And they somehow seem to trust me to meet their daily need.
And how much like these strays we come to seek our daily bread,
In a world filled with strangers who care not if we're fed.
For the Master gives us food and drink because He loves us so,
As we linger in His garden with nowhere else to go.
Hope you like it. Please enjoy, Leslie
ON SHLOM BAYIT and the Trials of Yosef
ON MIKETZ [on events leading up to the move to Egypt]
I have come to believe in fate after some observations on things that
occurred in my own life. Fate affects not only people but animals too.
I present the following as evidence. Situation #1
My parents moved from Illinois to Arizona in 2004. They stayed at my house while their home was being built in Prescott. Along with their possessions they also brought 6 papillon dogs. I had 3 cats at the time. The cats lived in my bedroom and the dogs lived in the kitchen and would go outside in the yard periodically. The cats also had access to the yard through a cat door.
One day my best friend comes to me with a problem. She had adopted many, many cats but had subsequently developed an allergy to them. She placed most of them but had only one left - whom she begged me to adopt. Well, what was one more - right? SO, with reservations, I adopted Fooney who had the run of the house since she had been raised with dogs and had a particular affinity for one of my parents' male papillons. No gate was high enough for her not to jump over to be with her pal - the other dogs just accepted her, giving her an occasional sniff.
Later my parents moved out to Prescott, and I sold the house I owned and
moved to another. Meantime, my dad, unfortunately came down with melanoma and I would drive him down on Sunday and he would stay with me during the week and I'd drive him to the Mayo Clinic for treatment and then back up to Prescott for the weekend.
Before I continue - I have to let you know about Fooney's background so you can grasp the full complexity of the situation and what had to occur to make things turn out the way they did.
My friend used to volunteer at the Humane Society - a dangerous thing to do for an animal lover. One day a small kitten was brought in and because her coloring was unique, she caught my friend's eye. She asked her supervisor what was going to happen to the animal because she was so little. The answer was that she was going to be put down - BUT seeing the concern in my friend's eyes, the supervisor told her that if by chance that one cat managed to somehow disappear, nobody would be the wiser - and then she turned her back on my friend. Well, said kitten was immediately scooped up and stuffed down the front of my friend's blouse and she left the building. (Miracle #1)
Said kitten was bottle fed and grew into a rather striking looking young
feline. My friend would rescue from the shelter and then adopt out from her house. She placed the young cat with a woman - who turned out not to be a good caregiver. She was a chain smoker and had lost custody of her children (which my friend found out later). Anyway, poor little cat could not stand the cigarette smoke and would hide under the bed. The woman later calls my friend and wants to go on a vacation and asked my friend if she would take the cat for her until she got back. My friend agreed to do this. The woman brought the cat to my friend's house and dropped her off. Right away my friend calls me and says the cat smells of cigarette smoke and then told me what she found out about the woman. She asked me what she should do. I tell her that under no circumstance should she give the cat back to her. I told her to give the woman back her money and tell her the cat ran away. This she did when the woman returned and she was NOT a happy camper. My friend wound up giving her another $100 to get rid of her. (Miracle #2)
That is when Fooney came into my possession. I was not too anxious about this but Fooney was sweet and made no problems for anybody. Still, the last thing I needed was another cat - the household now consisted of 4 cats , 6 dogs and 3 adult humans.(Miracle #3)
Getting back to where I left off previously... I was going to pick up my
dad in Prescott the next day so I decided to make a pot of chicken soup -
which he loved. I picked up the ingredients before going home from work and then got the soup going on a low flame on the stove. I was tired - still
working back then - and had developed insomnia for which I took medication. So, after watching TV, taking my pills, feeding my cats, I was tired so I went to bed - TOTALLY FORGETTING I HAD A POT OF SOUP COOKING ON THE STOVE!
About 4 a.m. Fooney jumped up on the bed and started meowing. Still in a
drug induced sleep state I yelled at her and told her it wasn't time to get
up, and rolled on my back. Next Fooney jumped on my chest and started
licking my eyelids. Now if you know anything about a cat's tongue, you know it is definitely not smooth! Now I sat bolt upright in the bed and rubbed my eyes. It looked like there was a haze in the room. Then I remembered - the soup!!! I jumped out of bed and the smoke was so thick in the hallway I had to feel my way down the hall choking all the way. Somehow I made my way, by touch, back into the kitchen, grabbed the pot and threw it outside on the rocks in the yard. I opened every window and door and got fans going to air out the house.
My other cats were under my bed. It was Fooney who saved their lives and my own. (Miracle #4)
So, the bottom line is that a young kitten slated for death had to be
rescued at a most opportune moment, returned from the clutches of a chain smoker (and possibly worse) given to me by a friend who could no longer keep her, I had to accept her - which I was somewhat reluctant to do - and all of that had to come to pass in order for my life to be saved. If even one event in that series of events had not occurred, I would be pushing up lilies today instead of sitting relaying this information.
I was working at a radio station many years ago. It was a Friday night and
I was tired and driving home from work on I-17 when I noticed that I was
almost out of gas. So I get off at Bethany Home and go to a gas station
that was on the corner and fill my tank. Next I try to pull out of the
driveway to get back on I-17. Nobody would let me out! I was upset - I
wanted to go home. So in desperation, I pull over and go out the other
exist from the gas station onto Bethany Home and drive east. Did I mention
I was exhausted and wanted to go home?
The next thing I know I am on Hatcher and pulling into the parking lot of
the Sunnyslope Humane Society. I had no idea why I was there. I walk in
and look at all the little kitties and there in one cage was a very
frightened little pastel tortie cat. She was grey and orange and white. I
took her into the get acquainted room and she just clung to me for dear
life. I spent a few minutes with her and then I remembered how tired I was, put her back in her cage and read the card on the front of it. It said she was given up because the woman's boyfriend didn't like the cat. I went home but got little sleep because all I could think of were those desperate
pleading little eyes looking at me. OK. I gave up and got out my cat
carrier and drove back to the shelter to get her.
I park the car, get out my carrier, and do I go to where I know the cat is?
NO-O-O-O! I have to go into the side where the new arrivals are. There in
a cage on the bottom row is a beautiful calico cat! I always wanted a
calico cat. So I take her out and she is so terrified she is shaking and
crawls up under my chin trying to bury her face in my neck. Oh Geez! I put her back, go get the original cat I came for and adopted her. AND while I am in the adoption process I ask about the calico cat. I was told she was going to be put down because she was pregnant. Well, I did not want a pregnant cat so I offer to pay for an abortion, but I want that cat too.
Sorry, I am told, rules are rules! WRONG thing to say to ME! I asked to
see the shelter's vet. Sorry, I was told she was busy and I could not see
SO I go home with my new cat, get her set up and then call my vet, tell him what happened and ask if he can intervene on my behalf. Now I know my vet is married to the shelter vet - but he doesn't know that I know that. A few minutes later I get a call and am told to go get the cat. HAH! SO back I go to the shelter and get my Gertie - and if looks could have killed, I
would have met my demise at the hand of the woman who told me rules were rules. Turned out Gertie was NOT pregnant, she was just fat.
Had I not gone to bat for that little animal she would have lost her life
needlessly and I would have been denied the affection and love of a loyal
little companion for many years. The moral of the story is that when a
person is dealing with life and death situations, you err in favor of life.
To not do that invites situations like Lt. Calley in Viet Nam. Remember
him? Another case of rules are rules!
The miracle of the previous story is that I had no intention of going to the
Humane Society that night. My normal route had to be altered to get gas and then forced to seek an alternate route home. I still have no memory of
driving to the Humane Society. The car just got there. And I wind up
saving two lives. Chance? I think not! What is supposed to happen will
happen - even if strange events have to lead up to it. I firmly believe in
destiny - not only for people, but for animals too. We may not be able to
see the pattern being woven, but we are part of it. It is enough to come to
the realization that it exists. Awareness gives meaning to everything -
even when bad things happen, there is a reason behind it - part of a
ON THE HOLIDAYS:
Dear Friends and Family;
It certainly has been a jam packed time since I returned from ordination [smicha] in NYC. Most recently we have had a lot to deal with given the oncoming winter and the severe reductions in safety net monies for food, housing, and clothing for the needy. Still, I have hope that some help can be organized by the Interfaith Council [eventually] which has recently been started up.
Until that time we still need to deal with those who are needy now. We have four homeless households who are couch hopping at the moment. One of the households is also in need of winter gear. All are in need of food assistance along with many others who are not homeless.
In this country blessed with so much in riches where 40% of the produce goes unused due to lack of harvesters or transport to market, a situation of this magnitude is an abominable shame and stain upon the theoretical values we tout. Don't we have plenty to do with caring for the abused and the abandoned or disenfranchised elderly and/or ill? When will we reach the breaking point where the compassionate volunteers and volunteer organizations will just simply run out of resources?
This is not the way to be a country of the people, for the people and by the people!
Yet even with all this need on our minds, we still find ways to celebrate holidays, observe our traditions, and try to bring light to the world. I pray that each of you will find a way to help in this effort to make the world a better place to live in for ourselves, our communities, our country, and the international community as well.
So in the spirit of bringing light into the world while being thankful for the blessings we do have, I ask each of you to join me in wishing all a joyous holiday season!
Be well with Blessings and Peace,
Rabbi Dr. Judi-Adele
A 3-fer FOR 2013 !!!
Vegans light the candles but turkey they will not eat.
Others gawk in wide-eyed awe at Ison?s icy treat.
All three events are quite good reasons for giving so much thanks,
But just really in the U.S.A. where Thanksgiving even ranks!
So as Rebbe Adele I focus on renewed rededication
To giving thanks for bounty and religious freedom education?
Still one thing to me in all this memorable mix most matters:
That there be a yummy treat made with oil on each holiday platter!
and then there was Purim:
To fight Amalek
It seems so long since Chanukah’s colored candles brightly burning
With Thanksgivnukah a distant thought, solstice sun fall’s ending,
Credit card fraud a churning, joyous trees with sap a flow,
Ground hog day just yearning for early spring and fewer snows
Before Purim’s call returning us to reach out once more
To the needy, to the hungry, to re-forest trees and maintain shores-
To build rational schools despite the mounting terror and destructions,
causeless hatreds, honor murders, and revenge killings among the peoples of this world.
We still have hope we will overcome our murderous inclinations…
Our lust for power, our greed for wealth, our discarding of the dignity of others.
We must have faith we can overcome our so selfish protestations…
And like Esther in her royal glory,
with the wisdom of Mordechai by her side,
We will resolve as we hear their story
That from doing Mitzvot we surely won’t hide!
Reflections on the Parashot
Leslie R. writes about Sarah and Ishmael:
and on Toldot:
> That was very enlightening re family. Still, once in awhile a bad seed
> seems to be born into the best of families. And what then? Do you
> continue to open yourself to abuse of all kinds? That option sounds to me
> like lack of self respect. Alas, there is good and evil in the world and
> no amount of trying to understand or forgive will change that. It would
> be like asking the sun only to give light and not burn.
> Personally, I always felt sorry for poor Leah. Can you imagine being
> married to someone who did not love you and wanted your sister instead? I
> know times were different then, but still can you imagine being placed in
> that circumstance? I wonder if Leah had any input into that decision -
> most likely not. What a sorrowful wedding that must have been - three
> people wounded to the quick. Not to mention being abused that way by a
> blood relative!
> Today, we are more "civilized." Laban would certainly be prosecuted and
> fined if not sent to prison and Leah would likely be charged as an
> accessory after the fact. Poor woman. Yesteryear or today she was and
> would be the loser. Can you imagine how she felt? Her life must
> certainly have been filled with heartache and tears.
> Alas, I fear that sometimes peace in the home can only be achieved by
> separating oneself from "bad seed" relatives. Thus, I can understand why
> all three, Yaacov. Leah and Rachel, wanted to distance themselves from
> Laban. Each of them had his/her grievance.
> And the moral of the story is ... no mater how badly things may be going
> for you with our family members, remember it could always be worse - you
> could have Laban as a relative!
> P.S. And that is why I have adopted cats. Give them a little food and
> love and they give unconditional love in return. They will never deceive
> you, steal from you, open a big mouth to you or complain about anything.
Ami also commented:
Chayei Sarah: need to give more stories about the equality of women.
VaYera: good. I think you need to bring in more examples of "Mishpacha".
Toldot: I would raise more practical issues about our current lives.
Folk Insights 5774
Back in October, 2013, Rabbi Adele reported what John L. wrote: "2 holidays, Chanukah and Thanksgiving, SAME DAY this year and won't happen again for over 70,000 years!" Then she asked: "Any ideas on what we can do for this unusual and very special coincidence of timing???"
Some of the responses to this include:
Celebrate both holidays at the same time!
HOW ABOUT CALCULATORS AND SCRATCH PADS AT THE DINNER TABLE TO VERIFY THE 70,000 YEARS AND ON WHAT DAY OF THE WEEK IT WILL FALL ON. I WILL BET YOU GET AT LEAST HALF OF IT WRIGHT>>> J.L.
I will be in Tucson with family. We are doing a combo Chanukkah/Thanksgiving celebration-Heather
Get a turkey decoration and a paper menorah and have the turkey hold it with his wing!
Reopened Schul in Berlin
Grand Reopening...Did you ever think you'd see this in your lifetime?
Germany 's biggest synagogue, on Rykestrasse in Berlin,has reopened after a lavish restoration.
The synagogue was set ablaze on Kristallnacht, or the Night of
Broken Glass, in 1938.
Friday's inauguration saw rabbis bringing the Torah to the synagogue,
in a ceremony witnessed by political leaders and Holocaust survivors from around the world
The synagogue, with a 1,200-person capacity, has been described
as one of the jewels of Germany's Jewish community.
Rabbi Chaim Roswaski, who presided at the ceremony, described the
reconstruction as 'a miracle.'
Restoration of the neo-classical building,
which is more than 100 years old,cost
more than 45m euros ($60m, 30m).
The re-opening comes at the start of
a Jewish culture Festival in the capital.
Did you ever think you would see this
in your lifetime?
Simply too good not to share with others.Baruch Hashem!
RutHerman & I visited Berlin in April. It has the largest growing Jewish population in Europe. There are also markers all over the city showing people who were deported from Jewish neighborhoods, including their names and where final fate. At a mall we saw round displays of German non Jews who helped Jews during this time, telling their story. There is also a Jewish Museum in Berlin and it was full of school children (mostly high school age). A Resistance Museum was built on the sight where Schaffenberg was executed. (He was one of the generals that attempted to assassinate Hitler) I think there is more being displayed about the Holocaust there than here.LouiseBeautiful - LenaJust beautiful. Thank you for sending it to me. Just to let you know I’m not ignoring you: I will be gone part of Thanksgiving
week and a part of December.....