Friday, December 31, 2004

Indian Summer

it's unseasonably hot
like the Indian summers
of my youth

desert dry
when should be
or even snow
a few flakes

named after
mistaken identity

they knew it all

American Indians
no relation
to Indians
east of Europe

many travel
from Israel
and other places
to India
and more exotic

trying to escape
and then were
swept up
as the earth opened
and the waters rose
like cats' fur
before it strikes
claws its victims

over a hundred thousand
when looking for peace
peace can be dangerous

dry Indian summers in Israel
leave us parched

we must ask G-d for forgiveness


exhausting week
still haven't
telling you
what I've learned
from the wisdom
of David and Solomon

stay tuned....

at least before
the next session

Thursday, December 30, 2004

can't control time

I used to be the most hysterical person
worrying about time
always afraid of being late
missing things
had to be first
terrified that I'd miss a bus

I know what traumatized me
was late to various things
like most days of the first grade
for reasons
not under my control

so as I got older
being responsible
being on time

but I took it
past hysteria
driving everyone

a few years ago
I think after I had been run over
by a terrorist

and fate
sat more easily
I finally realized
that I didn't have control
and couldn't have control

I remember once
running across a road
back and forth
trying to find a taxi
so I could catch a bus
couldn't even remember which way

caught myself
deep breath
no taxi would stop
for a crazed woman

stopped moving
just waited
taxi arrived

parents meeting at work
it was getting late
no way of getting home
last parents left

packed my stuff
turned off
the heater, the light
full hands
managed to lock the door

another father
so I told him to bring
his wife
to the teachers room
we'd speak there
rather than reopen

told them
not to worry
about the time
if I were to rush
I'd wait a long time
waiting for a ride

so rexaxed
we spoke

then to the deserted bus/ride stop
rides came easily
just like I needed

Thank G-d

good night

what a day

Baruch Hashem
thank G-d
long, glorious day

weekly swim
water exercise
in Neve Yaakov
lots of friends
while improving health and fitness

former student
new mother
for exercise tips
though she looked great
already in the water
while baby slept
guarded by the life guard

then wandering around Jerusalem
long walk
still feeling energetic

ran into former student
who asked my advice
nice to see her looking so good

then ran into an old friend
so we
entered a coffee shop
to get off our feet
and have a chat

then priced printing

then tramped
to Ofra
to babysit for Hallelie

then went back to
with Hallelie and Oren

then visited relatives
in their hotel suite
with a view

then went with them
to dine
with lots
of old friends
and three of my kids
1, 3, 5

then home
and to bed

didn't even check emails

now good morning to you

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Shmot, parshat shavua, Torah portion of the week, Exodus

The burning bush
How many times has it been predicted, that the Jewish people are dying out? Especially religious Jewry?
But we are still here, and will be forever! The bush is burning, but it doesn't burn.
With G-d we are beyond nature, above nature. Normal laws don't apply.

continued 28-12

Psalms 33, 6
Yes, things are clearer this morning. Creation is both of the body and soul. The body is dvar Hashem and the the soul, n'shama is the b'ruach piv the wind of his mouth. In Hebrew, to breathe is l'nshome, the same root as n'shama soul.

newsflash! On the radio, just announced that at least 70,000 people killed from earthquake in the far east; could be more, since no way of knowing of people who have no one to remember and mourn them. Many Israelis travel there to feel "peace." To escape the stresses of home. We still don't know how many perished. This is the time to use the word "perished." Not when referring to those murdered in the holocaust.

Nissan mentioned evolution, which can be accepted to a degree, until the Creation of n'shama, soul.
makes man different from everything that had come before.

taking a break
to be continued

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

28-12 Tehilim and Kohelet, Psalms, Ecclesiastes

This is just part one, I won't finish so fast

Psalms 33, 6
dvar Hashem, b'ruach piv
the thing/statement of G-d, the spirit of his mouth
two parts of creation
the first is the external one

first the body, then the ruach piv,

Sorry I'm tired, will continue tomorrow, hopefully

well..... today

boker limud, morning study of t'hilim, psalms and kohelet, ecclesiastes
even on a Tuesday
new participant
overjoyed that
it's a morning she doesn't work

I'll update later
as usual
so inspiring

to work
was nervous
because of the nightmare
(see previous post)

ran in
to check computers
and none were available
was ok

I had time
in the end
I was allowed to use
a good one
that few
are allowed to touch

and made up
the test
and the kids worked hard

and I'll be
working harder
grading them

how do teachers
of larger classes
and more classes
manage to live?

strangest nightmare

woke up
to the strangest nightmare
had me angry
and arguing

that at work
when I entered the office
to type a test

the extra computers

was told
to type
in the hallway

tried to explain
can't concentrate
no privacy

I was dreaming

but what does it mean?
what surprises await me
today at work?

with trepidation...

Monday, December 27, 2004

Shmot, Parshat Shavua, Torah Portion of the Week

This week we
start the second book
of the five

his memory
no longer a hero
in Egypt

like the German Jewish doctors
who had saved lives
Aryan lives
still murdered
a Jew's a Jew

the Children of Israel

entered easily
but couldn't get out

like those teeth
on one way roads
you can go over one way
but if you go the wrong way
tires blow
cut with knives

I was once
more accurately-
one of of the numerous times-
I was waiting in Ofra for a ride or bus

the wrong bus, for me
was leaving
and then
someone signaled
that a young lady was running
to catch the bus
so the driver
a gentleman, of course
backed up.....
ripped his tires to shreds

The children of Israel
felt enslaved,
that if they tried to get out
they'd be ripped like the tires

they carefully entered
a patch of
small thorn bushes
to eat some berries
and while they stuffed themselves
with the tasty berries
so much tastier than the ones
in their own land

and while they
enjoyed the berries
they didn't notice
that the thorn bush was growing around them

and suddenly
every move hurt

and when Moshe
tried to help them out
they cried
leave us alone
you're making it worse

but I'm getting ahead of myself

the book has only begun
and it takes four whole books
for us to finally come home

teaching advice

experiment, so far
bli eyin haraa
not to put evil eye

that is
9th grade class
cursed with
only two double lessons a week
a quick
spelling/translation test
on words gone over during the lesson

encourages them to listen
pay attention
and a chance of
a passing grade

ten words
three points for perfect spelling
and eight for correct translation
so a chance to get
over a hundred

and the first to do that
got promoted to
the higher group

Sunday, December 26, 2004

on alert

on alert
constantly checking
for hints
that maybe
I erred
three loads
of laundry
on a fickle
winter's day

Schedule change

boker limud nashim
women's morning of learning
now on Tuesdays
so further updates, reports
on T'hilim, psalms and Kohelet, Ecclesiastes
later in the week

just in time, I hope

Shiloh's not known
for all who's familiar
as one of
the all time
at least
by aesthetics

best intentioned
of course

daffodil bulbs

three arrived
in a plastic bag
before Shabbat

when the soil was damp
neither wet, nor soggy

so I
taking a break from
kitchen and computer

went out
spoon and bulbs
in hand

to our
retarded apple tree

three holes
in front of it

planted the bulbs
maybe too shallow
but strength and patience
not my strong points

and then it rained
nice, determined rain
just in time
to feed the bulbs
so they'll grow
and decorate
my front yard

I hope

sagging again

sagging again
means long-winded posts
too much to say

this should shorten
the average
raise it

check out archives
if you're not
a frequent visitor

Saturday, December 25, 2004

starting to remember

finally starting to remember
bits a pieces of today's shiur (class)

It's the weekly Shabbat, shiur nashim, class for women
given by different people, at different homes, every week

This week Nurit Mendlekorn, who teaches Tanach, Bible in the Michlala, Women's College in Jerusalem, gave it. " kiyavo Shiloh" was the theme/questions but we spoke a lot about the kingdom of Yehuda, son of Leah (David, Solomon etc) verses that of the Rachel line, from Joseph, Menashe, Efrayim, Benjamin (Saul)

People who've studied Bible with me know that I have this thing against King Saul, that he wasn't a good king and had a really pathetic end, begging, crawling, clutching at Shmuel Hanavi, Samuel the Prophet, after he lost the kingship because of his sins. He wasted his time as king fighting David instead of the philistines, sounds familiar? Ok, there's a line in which Samuel tells him that he would have had been king forever if he hadn't sinned. This was told to us with a question. Saul came from Rachel and not from Leah/Yehuda, and Yehuda brings the moshiach, messiah, so how could there have been a chance for Saul to be "king forever." To me it's very clear. It means that he would have died as king, meaning for him the kingship would be forever. But his sins caused it to be taken away.

We ended with something I had never heard: Chashmonayim (from Makabis) after great heroic Chanuka story, were totally wiped out. Why? They were from the priestly tribe, Levi, and weren't supposed to be the kings. They were supposed to be the priests and give Yehuda (the tribe) the kingship. They were all murdered by Hordus, Herodian, even the children he had with Miriam, of their family, and her, too. That's because we're all supposed to do what we're supposed to do and not try to be someone else.
Makes me think of the feminists who just made women's life harder by making women to try to do what men do on top of families, or the poor women who never had children because they were trying to be men.

Shavua Tov

more on this week's parsha, Torah portion of the week

I read in a couple of "parsha pages" that Joseph's "lowered status" is said to be seen from the beginning of this parsah, but the rabbis who wrote the page didn't explain how.
I'm certainly no rabbi, but I have no problem seeing it. Yes in the first words of the parsha, Bereishit, Genesis 47, 28, "And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years..." The famine was to last seven years, and Jacob arrived about half way through, therefore he and the family and Joseph were still there over ten years after the famine was over, after Joseph's job was suppoed to be finished.
Nu, it's 17 years already when are we leaving? hint, hint
Nu, at least when I die you'll bring me back--maybe with the whole family--hint! hint!--bury me there at least! Swear to it! And we'll all go home together..... and you know, I also spent some time, getting professional advancement and wives and kids somewhere else, then I went home. Yes, that's when your mother died, and I buried her on the way, because we were already in the promised land,
nu, maybe it's time
Ok , Joseph promised to bury his father back in the cave, but he didn't take the hint;
he stayed, and didn't even ask to return when his father died, just asked to go for the funeral
and had to beg
so obviously
his status was less
he was already enslaved, so too the family
sometimes the jails are nice
but they're still jails

too bad

wonderful shiur today
too bad
it was Shabbat
and I couldn't write anything down
now all that's left in my mind
are feelings
that something's caught
and I can't find the keys
I can't remember
what was so wonderful
what had me so stimulated
with wonderful ideas

too bad
my memory's not
what it once was

there were things
about Yehuda
and Saul and David
and something about Shmuel

all those
important Biblical men

we were discussing
what's Shiloh in the line
in this week's parsha?
(according to an old JPS translation)
Bereishit, Genesis, 49, 10
"The sceptre shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
as long as men come to Shiloh;
and unto him shall the obedience of the peoples be"

The talk went much further
and I had so many ideas
and I can't remember them.

Friday, December 24, 2004


is it my age?

seems to me
most blogs
are in mini-fonts

while I
write large or huge

playing with colors
giving graphic clues

at least
I think
a text's appearance
gives a message

a few times
I've commented
to blogs
I've discovered
while surfing

I would have read it

small white font
on black
is all black
to me

it seems
from my
various surfing
that I'm the only
using fonts
sizes and colors
to communicate

missed the dawn

in the midst of deep sleep
a fog horn
roared in my ear

I told my husband

then my eyes opened
to light

missed the dawn
light from the windows
no longer dark

out of bed
coffee to perc
soldier son's
smelly laundry
in the machine

and sipping
water then coffee
getting my
email fix

but the sky's just
one white mush

I missed the dawn

Thursday, December 23, 2004

the oldest

I'm the oldest
in the advanced
exercise group

led by
a neighbor
former tv star
in Hong Kong
leading aerobics

we don't bounce around
some flesh may
be uncontrollable

we breathe
in and out
we stretch
and contract
and moan
and groan

and some of us
grandma stories
about ourselves
because we are

I don't have the most
but I'm
the oldest

morning adventure of sorts

many years ago
did people
without electricity?

this morning
about six
too early to call
anyone but the doctor

my electricity

kept dropping

I had cooking scheduled
in the oven
the electric oven

time's limited
on Thursday mornings

must cook
go to exercise class
and to work

no time to waste
so I had to cook
on top of the stove
with gas

family hates
potted chicken
but raw is worse
stress is worse
chicken was all
thawed and waiting
turkey drumsticks
rattatat tat
waiting too

took out old kettle
to boil the water
and clean the chickens
and wait for
proper time
to call the electrician

looked at the dawn sky
and photographed
for posterity

finally reached the electrician
poultry sizzling on the stove

followed his instructions
to detect
guilty appliance

caught it

my room may be cold
its heater
of tripping fuse

on Shabbat
we'll eat
old fashiioned
potted and stewed poultry

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

in all day

stayed in all day
wrote and wrote
checked papers
folded and sorted laundry

and wrote
and read
and did needlepoint

and now
it's time
to sleep


ate finally

drank some water
then had
some freshly cooked

not the soup
I used to eat
a medley
of root vegetables
cooked in their own juices
and a drop of oil
and a squash sliced

and now
sipping tea

I'm being patient
I'll eat some more

the day's

a link to an interesting article

The other day I read a very good article about how different religions treat their dead, the dead bodies, that is. It made an impression on me. I'd rather not say any more. I'd rather you read it and comment.

This article can also be read at:

fast day

fast day
not like in moving quickly

it's a day
of not eating until the stars are out

Jewish calendar
has lots of days
like that
you'd think we'd be thinner

most are from the first rays of the sun,
until stars are in the sky

the 9th of Av
and the famous Yom Kippur
are from the previous dusk
until the next night's stars
twenty five hours in all

the 9th of Av
Tisha (9) of Av
is a long day
a long hot day
the peak of the summer
hottest and driest
the destruction of the Holy Temple
ends a period of three weeks
from when the protective walls
were proven ineffective

even in ancient times
when weapons were weaker
walls, reinforced,
thick of stones
couldn't protect
from all enemies

we still mourn today
for the destruction of our Temple

and Yom Kippur
to purify our souls
need pure body
as we rid ourselves
of sins
must not tempt
with physical

the day before Purim
end of winter
before spring
we beseech G-d
to be with us
to help us
against our enemies
a day
that can be hot, cold, rainy or snowy
we need G-d
on our side
so we fast
before listening
to the Megilla
story of Esther
how she and Mordechai
outwitted Haman
the enemy
with G-d's help

other fast days
like today
remind us of tragedies

but today's
a short day
not hot
shouldn't be too hard
to starve
for the day

of years ago
the King of Babylon
began the siege
that brought
the destruction of the Temple

in recent times
the Nazi murderings
are connected
with this date

there is so much
hatred and anger
at the victims
of Sharon's

that Jews
may, G-d forbid,
be thrown out of their homes

it is a day
to fast and pray

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

back to Kohelet

I hope to finish in this session.

We're still in the very beginning of the 4th chapter of Ecclesiastes
Kohelet, King Solomon is again contemplating all the the sufferings of the persecuted, the horrible things that happen "beneath the sun." Again I asked if there was a difference when he writes sun vs heavens. Still no answer.

The persecution includes things like not paying, or paying less, change in work conditions etc. Problems/sins between man and man. And there's no one to comfort the oppressed. "I can't help you, or I'll get into trouble," or "if you complain you'll lose your job." "ain menachem," there's no comfort.
3- That's why some people don't want to bring children to this world. Or they commit suicide, similar.

In 3, 11, he said that everything was great; why the discrepency?

back to 1
He sees people in hell, because of the evil they did
Hell is under the sun. Instead of doing mitzvot they're in hell.

974 generations before creation that never lived.

G-d planned on giving Torah after a thousand, but at 26 realized that people needed it.

4- man's rivalry with this neighbor
The earth can produce enough for all , but some have too much or destroy, which deprives others. Causes people to die and suffer.

Like how the Americans give cupons, shopping credits to patronize American industries and destroy our own. The aid really isn't aid for us. More like a trojan horse. Very dangerous.

5- first four verses depressing.
ochel et basaro, eats its own flesh
makes himself sick
or doesn't want to know'
doesn't want to fight
called a fool by Shlomo hamelech

6- also not good to work too hard
type A personality

Maybe he'll eventually talk about the need for balance

not the orange star

heard a plea
from loyal patriot

don't wear that orange star
wrong symbol
destruction of communities
not the same as
nazi murder

my ripped flag
better symbol

career move, improve, add

to try the hustle

one never knows

now for the start of the Kohelet update

Kohelet, Ecclesiastes Chapter 4
v'shavti ani and returned I did
returned to an old subject
oshek evil deeds, crimes
examples found in vayikra Leviticus

continued again, again

Psalms 33, 5
represents Bereishit, Genesis
tells what Am Yisrael, the people of Israel is
we all have some of the personality of Avraham, inherited something
(maybe that's why converts are ben Avraham, son of Abraham)
all of the ideolistic philosophies, ideologies in the world were invented/develped by Jews. or influenced by Jews
laasot tzedek, mishpat and chesed
to charity, law and goodness
give a bit more in everything

sorry it has taken me so long

Now I'm going to take another break to take a walk, sorry. I'll write what we learned about Kohelet, ecclesiastes later.

continued again from Sunday's class

eventually this will get finished

We're still in T'hilim, and I haven't found my rhythm.
"Derech eretz kadem l'Torah"
Proper behavior is the prerequisite to Torah
"Yaakov ish tam."
Yaakov (Jacob) is a simple man
Before learning Torah, one must learn morals, tht's why Bereishit, Genesis, is the book of morals, sefer yashar.
Reverse discrimination to correct evil.
Psalms 33, 2
corrected when making music--I can accept that!
The kinor, the lyre Biblical stringed instrument, will have 8 notes instead of the "natural" 7. in the world to come.
7, like the days of the week, is nature
there are those who say that in the world to come, there will be 10.

In this world, the tzadikim the righteous suffer.
shiru l'shem shir chadash
sing to G-d a new song
for the next world

King David was always writing, always a "pad" in his "pocket" to take notes, add to them.
Don't be satisfied (or he wasn't satisfied) with the old, needs a new song for each new day, and the t'hilim are divided by day, week, etc.

must concentrate, understand the prayers differently each day

3 types of shofar blows, actually 2 , but since we aren't sure what the "tru'ah" is, it's done two different ways, supposed to be undulating, in waves, for this world, has the root resh eyin, same as evil

easy to be a tzadik, righteous, when everythign's easy, that's why G-d tests the righteous, by giving them great difficulties so they can show their true qualities.

I saw that last night at the wedding, how my friends grew from the pain of their son's murder, and what a role model Arlene is to the other bereaved parents. I sat with a whole bunch of friends whose children were murdered. I am nothing in comparisan, and I have to do more. I doo't want G-d to test me. She also helps those whose children died in other ways. The mother of one of my students who was killed in an army accident was there for a few minutes. She's looking better. I spent time with her talking about her son who was a special student of mine. Arlene takes the fact that it took so long for any of my kids to marry (Baruch Hashem one finally is and I have a granddaughter, bli eyin haraah) as my test. I shouldnl't need more.

4- at times of trouble, evil, the righteous stay upright. Nothing knocks them down, when I see my neighbors with all of the pain enjoying life, I feel better, because they have faith to keep them strong and know how to appreciate the good they're given instead of focusing on the bad. What happens if at 120 (dead) and we haven't yet corrected all of our faults? and not had to cope with the problems. We must thank G-d for the opportunities to prove/improve ourselves.
pain is sign of an internal problem
to show what needs to be corrected
pain is to wake us up, so we can make ourselves better

that's all for now


am I
the only
eats burnt food?

Monday, December 20, 2004

very special wedding

our friend's baby
none left
to marry off
radiant bride
and radiant mother
and so many grandchildren
dancing and playing
joyful grandparents

no one left
to marry off
but not all married
one never will
by terrorists
buried alone

continued 19-12 and to be continued

I realize that I wasn't clear about the difference betwen "l" and "b." "L" means "to," and "b" means "in." In the Hebrew there's no comma between any of the first three words in the chapter/verse. "Ranenu tzadikim b'Hashem." The tzadikim are joyful in G-d, by being with G-d and G-d's instructions. That's how i always understood it. Maybe i'm wrong.

Nissan quotee the "Yalkut Shimoni" on Shmot, Exodus, Chaper 9. The evil ones don't get "songs" or can't sing until they've suffered. They must see G-d or G-d's power when they're punished, only then, when they understand can they sing. A situation when man sees G-d.

I admit, that it's still not clear.

Then he talked about how a seller must always give a little more for the customer's money.

Bereishit, Genesis is known as the "sefer hayashar," the straight book, only three very basic mitzvot, commandments: p'ru urvu (multiply/reproduce), brit milah (circumcision), and g'did nashe (not eating around the ligament in the leg of the animal.)
Because before learning Torah, we must learn mussar, values and proper behavior.

more tomorrow....

t'hilim, kohelet 19-12 psalms and ecclesiastes

Small group this week, we'll be changing to Tues. from next week. If anyone can get to Shiloh for it, please let me know.
T'hilim XXXIII, 1
Ranenu tzadikim b'shem Sing joyfully, righteous ones, in (because of) G-d
question, why "b' " instead of "l' " Hashem?
Honestly, it doesn't seem strange to me, but this is how the shiur began, and as usual, it took me awhile to get into it.
I'm not going to copy the first few lines, which describe finding joy in G-d with music, because I'm convinced that I found G-d that way, with singing and dancing. I'm a "kinestetic learner," as it's popular today to describe the different ways students absorb learning. You have the visual, audial and kinestetic, like me. For me the overwhelming singing and dancing reached my soul at NCSY and YU Seminar events. I didn't feel right arguing with Nissan, since it's so individual and he had planned the shiur around this "question."
I'll leave this introduction to ponder for a bit, and if anyone knows of an internet site to use to copy the texts in Hebrew, transliterated and translated, I'd appreciate knowing.
I'll post this and get back to it all later and continue....