Friday, May 13, 2011

Soon Shabbos

I like blogging. I'm not sure how long it was, you can google it in the news, but Blogger was down. Scary. When you clicked on the site it just gave you an announcement saying it was down. It felt like a long time. Also recent posts got zapped. I had posted about the following picture, maybe you saw it?

We discussed drought last week in my art workshop, how the dryness provides art. How you can find art in anything. I'm trying to make a picture of this, but it's hard, feeling like the painting equivalent of a challenging5000 piece puzzle.

Bel Kaufman's Up The Down Staircase sat on my mother's bookshelf for my entire childhood (until I borrowed it, lent it out, lost it). The current story about her in the Times opens this way:
When Bel Kaufman sits you down on her sofa and asks, “Are you comfortable?” the right answer, she reminds you, requires a Yiddish inflection, a shrug and the words, “I make a living.” That joke has special meaning to me, maybe one day I'll explain.

The following two poems were inspired by "long tachanun" yesterday:

Remembering G-d

we find it fair to request

He remember us

Goodness and blessing

May we see and inherit

in every lifetime

When I couldn't blog there were so many things I was itching to post (including a bunch of works in progress), now I want to push publish and prepare for Shabbos (in ways other than blogging).

I lost 4.2 pounds this week. I do a little-known Weight Watchers (they seem to keep it secret - not mention it at first meetings, or pretty much ever, unless you bring up the issue) option called Simply Filling (similar to what they once called Core). I think for "the program" to work, you have to tweak it for yourself. I'm a bit suspicious based on the fact that the only people I meet who have consistently been on WW for years are either leading the meeting or weighing you in. Everyone sitting in the audience seems to either be new or returning after a lapse. My conclusion is that people who stay fit weight-wise do it from the inside with some help from the outside, rather than vice versa (does that make sense?).

Soon Shabbos. A gift I'm grateful for.

I see that my Wednesday post re-appeared. This Blogger malfunction is scary because it's google. What if some thing goes wrong with their docs, or worse - with the ubiquitous gmail?

Can days be long or short? Why certainly. Although days all have the same number of hours, some feel more heavily packed. Tuesday was a good rich day. It was 6:30 when I got home and looking back it felt like it went quickly even though it didn't feel fast all along the way.

Tuesday's Yom HaAtzmaut program was a round robin where the kids went around to four different spots to see four programs. Mine was in the library. I played three characters and came out when another teacher mentioned the person and realized the audience didn't know too much about him. The theme of the day was Kol Dodi Dofeik. Each room focused, in a creative way, on another one of the opportunities that Rav Soloveichikpointed out the State of Israel avails us of. My room dealt with the fact that (in Rabbi Soloveichik's words) "the exiled can now turn to Israel, and she, as a compassionate mother, absorbs them."

First, as Sharansky I spoke a bit about my life story, my happiness about being in and working for Israel. Then I read his beautiful words that he shared with his daughter (the first sabra in his family) at her wedding to an American (the first "oleh chadash" in his family). Then I was Rabbi Lauspeaking about "my" miraculous life. He tells a story about a suitcase he was given by an American GI when he was rescued at age 8. He kept it till all that was left was the handle. Now he keeps the handle. It's his home, his center. It reminds him that he is little Lulik, after all. I concluded in the character of Rabbi Josh Fass who founded Nefesh BeNefesh, talking about how from a humble beginning the organization now has brought over 25,000 people to Israel. My co-presenter Rabbi Gedalia Jaffe asked kids before each character if they had heard of them. Most kids hadn't heard of any of the three. But they all heard of Nefesh BeNefesh!

I've got to cut myself off here. I'll just close by telling you about a book I bought (and had personalized/signed) written by Mark Kurlansky. It's called Why? and is written entirely in paragraphs comprised of questions. It's a cool book. Why did I leave it at work? When things happen is there usually one reason, or more than one reason that caused an event to transpire? Do we ever know The Reason or The Answer? Is there such a thing as The anything, or only "the"s with small "t"s? Isn't Shabbos great? Isn't it amazing to be on time for Shabbos? Why is being ready forShabbos hard, no matter when it starts? Are some people afraid of being on time? Did you know that I think I fear being early? Is such such a thing as on time or is there only early or late?

Wishing a Shabbat of Shalom and a Shabbos which is Good to all.


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