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September 26, 2016 / 23 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘break’

A Soldier’s Mother: Days that Break Us

Monday, July 4th, 2016

I learned more than a decade ago, that there are days that fill you with strength, and there are days that break you. It’s over, you think to yourself. I just can’t go on. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t take it. Even the anger is not enough to sustain you; even the disgust at how blind others are is not enough to get you moving.

Ten more children have lost their father. When Sarah Techiya Litman’s father was murdered days before her wedding, she rallied not just for herself and her mother and siblings, but for all of Israel. Please come to my wedding, she begged Israel…and we did. So many thousands came that they had to shut off the wedding hall, letting in groups of people at a time as others left. The hall was filled, the outer grounds were filled. At one point, overwhelmed by the number of people waiting to share this evening with them, the bride and groom went outside to meet the people who had come to shower an orphan with love.

On Friday, Rabbi Miki Mark was murdered, his wife critically injured, and two of his children hurt in a terror attack not far from where they live. He leaves behind 10 children. Today, his children asked people to come to his funeral, to become better people, more loving. Rabbi Miki Mark was 48 years old…

Yesterday, Elie Wiesel died. He was 87. Both leave behind devastation and mourning. The death of Rabbi Mark leaves behind such sadness, a huge gap in a family, a community, a nation. The loss of Elie Wiesel leaves us with a void. Who will speak for the survivors now? How many are left? Are we ready to take on the challenge that Wiesel and others warned us was coming. Now it is on us to carry the torch of remembrance; to stand against a world that thrives on forgetting and dismissing the lessons of the past.

When someone who is well known passes away, people rush to post pictures of themselves with the person. It is a way of showing that they mourn, that they were touched by the person we have lost and they want to remind themselves and others of what once was.

This picture is now being posted on Facebook. It is a picture with three main people – all gone. Ariel Sharon, who led this nation to victory and was the essence of power. He was the lion that turned into the lamb; a man who built and then destroyed what he had helped to create. He was a man who forgot the future in the present that overwhelmed him.

Elie Wiesel kept the past with him and used it as a torch to light his way into the future. He led generations with a simple message. Tolerance, acceptance, peace, respect. Be human and be humane. Don’t surrender to tyranny. Fight for life – your own, and the right of others as well.

And finally, Rabbi Michoel Mark, who lived the life these other men fought for – to be a father of Jewish children, to live where he wanted to live in this land. It is both tragic and ironic that Rabbi Mark was murdered on Friday and Elie Wiesel died on Saturday. If Jewish law is to be followed, both will be buried today.

In Israel, we are in mourning for children who have lost a father, for a community that has lost a leader. For the pain of a wife, fighting for her life. Unconscious, sedated, and unaware that her life is forever changed. For their broken children who have called on Israel to come to the funeral and for the hundreds who have.

A picture, frozen in time, of three men who led the world in different ways. Elie Wiesel, as a survivor who chose to live in the United States, but loved Israel and came here often; of Ariel Sharon, who fought for this land as a lion of Judea, and then lost his way and surrendered to feed the monster that has been fighting and attacking our innocents for generations; of Rav Miki Mark, who chose the path of faith to fight for this land, to build a yeshiva where young men came and learned and dedicated themselves to the future.

Thursday, they murdered a 13 year old child in her bed; Friday, they murdered a father of ten. Today, we bury Rav Mark in tears and in pain.

Tomorrow, we will stand up, in mourning and in pain, in anger and faith, we will stand up and do what we have to do. We will be strong…tomorrow. We will not let terror win…tomorrow. Today, for a brief time, we will surrender to our pain, to the pain of a mother who suddenly buries her oldest child, to a summer lost before it began, to the agony of ten orphans who bury their father today and pray that their mother will not leave them as well.

Today, we cry from the depths of our souls.

Tomorrow, we will show them that we are not beaten, that we will not surrender. Ariel Sharon’s way was proven wrong. From the places he gave them, they shot a rocket that hit a kindergarten in Sderot that thankfully was empty. This is the legacy of Ariel Sharon. Elie Wiesel’s path is to remember what they have done to us in the past and do all we can to stop them. And so, generations after the Holocaust, we are still dedicated to remembering, to living with what the Nazis did so that it will never happen again.

And with broken hearts, we dedicate ourselves to the memory of Rav Miki Mark – the path is long but for an eternal people, we do not fear the future. We will stand. We will fight. We will not be defeated. From the earth that was given to us, we will build.

Today, we cry…but we live. Today, tomorrow, and into the future. Moments before this picture was taken, Elie Wiesel affixed a mezuzah to the doorpost of the yeshiva in Otneil. Today, it stands, tall and proud and filled with people. Tomorrow…we will rededicate ourselves to build.

May God bless the memory of Elie Wiesel and of Rav Michoel Mark and bless their memories and may God avenge the blood of all those who were murdered in the sanctity of God’s name.

 

Paula Stern

Break Out Of Your Rut: Think Like A Teen

Monday, May 9th, 2016

We are always in a perpetual state of being created and creating ourselves” – Daniel Siegel

Adolescence is a new birth, for the higher and more completely human traits are now born” – G. Stanley Hall

Teenage hearts are raw and new, fast and fierce, and they do not know their own strength. Neither do they know reason or restraint, and if you want to know the truth, a goodly number of grown-up hearts never learn it” – Catherynne M. Valente

 

Daniel Siegel is one of my favorite authors because he writes about childhood, adolescence, and adulthood in intuitive and informative ways. I recently revisited his book on the teenage years, Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain. The book is an important one for anyone involved with teenagers – parents, teachers, and perhaps even the teenagers themselves.

The teenager years are traditionally difficult and often parents say, “We just need to get through…” Siegel argues that these years are something to learn from and to grow from. He explains that, “While the adolescent years may be challenging, the changes in the brain that help support the unique emergence of the adolescent mind can create qualities in us that help not only during our adolescent years, if used wisely, but also as we enter adulthood and live fully as an adult. How we navigate the adolescent years has a direct impact on how we’ll live the rest of our lives. Those creative qualities also can help our larger world, offering new insights and innovations that naturally emerge from the push back against the status quo and from the energy of the teen years.”

In other words, if we pay attention and support those positive changes of mind during the teenage years, we can help our teenagers grow into accomplished and happy adults. The teenage years, instead of being a time to get through, are an opportunity to harness the amazing changes taking place in the teenage brain and transfer them to adult success.

What are the changes?

Siegel explains that there are four ways that the brain is developing during adolescence that provide the groundwork for healthy ways of living. He describes these four characteristics as the “Essence” of a full and healthy life.

ES: Emotional Spark. During adolescence, our brains become particularly in tune with our important internal sensations. This means we pay special attention to our powerful and intense emotions and thoughts.

SE: Social Engagement. As teenagers, we develop strong connections to our friends, creating mutually rewarding relationships.

N: Novelty. Teenagers are always on the lookout for new and exciting experiences, ones that fully engage body, mind and senses.

CE: Creative Exploration. As our brains develop during adolescence, we begin to see things through new lenses, which encourages abstract thinking and problem solving.

The ESSENCE of life (Emotional Spark, Social Engagement, Novelty, and Creative Exploration) sounds great, but those four points have advantages and disadvantages.

Schonfeld-050616

 

Siegel argues that we must harness the positive parts of the teenage mind, the energy and drive that comes from intense emotion, the powerful friendships and socialization, the playful needs and sense of adventure, and the ability to look at the ordinary as extraordinary in our adult lives.

Too often, adults complain about being a rut – in their careers, friendships, or other areas of their personal lives. Siegel explains that the beauty of the teenage brain and the changes taking place in it can help adults get out of those ruts. If we learn to think like a teenager (and teach our teenagers to channel those positive elements), adult life can be a lot more stimulating and fulfilling. So, go ahead, embrace those teenage years – both your children’s and your own! Turn on the power of the teenage mind.

Rifka Schonfeld

Rouhani Says Ice Beginning to Break with the West, Bibi Not Impressed

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that the ice was already “beginning to break” between his country and the West. This despite the fact that there has been no meeting, no hand-shake, not even a polite nod in passing between himself and President Barack Obama in the UN halls in New York City.

White House officials confirmed on Tuesday that no meeting would take place, indicating that meeting would be “too complicated” for the Iranian when he goes back home.

Rouhani addressed the UN General Assembly for the first time on Tuesday afternoon, and then sounded conciliatory in a CNN interview. He said there had been “some talks” to arrange a meeting to give himself and Obama an opportunity to “talk with each other” but there was not sufficient time to coordinate such a meeting.

There you go, it wasn’t obedience to the ayatollah back home, it was just bad timing.

Asked whether he has been “authorized” by the Iranian supreme leader to improve ties with the West, Rouhani said he has the authority to do what he wants, according to national interests.

The supreme leader, he said, is not opposed to negotiations if they are necessary for the national interests of Iran.

“But speaking of the ice-breaking you mentioned, it’s already beginning to break because the environment is changing. And that has come about as a result of the will of the people of Iran to create a new era of the relations between Iran and the rest of the world,” Rouhani told CNN.

While the centrifuges keep on churning and while Iran is putting together warheads. A brave, new era, indeed.

When the CNN host asked him to deliver a message directly to the U.S. public, Rouhani said in English, “I would like to say to American people: I bring peace and friendship from Iranians to Americans.”



Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed President Obama’s call for Iran’s recent “conciliatory words” to be “matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable.”

A JTA report suggested that Netanyahu’s insistence on dismantling any Iranian nuclear capacity as a condition for stopping the boycott against it could signal a major difference with the Obama administration as the U.S. engagement with Iran advances.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rouhani-says-ice-beginning-to-break-with-the-west-bibi-not-impressed/2013/09/25/

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