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January 17, 2017 / 19 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘day’

Debbie Reynolds Dies at 84, One Day after Daughter Carrie Fisher

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Actress Debbie Reynolds (Singin’ in the Rain) died Wednesday in Los Angeles, just one day after the death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher. In fact, Reynolds, 84, had a stroke while working with her son, Todd Fisher, on funeral plans for Carrie. Reynolds was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center around 1 PM and later died.

Reynolds’ other memorable film was Mother, a 1996 comedy-drama directed by Albert Brooks, where she played the title role with Brooks as her son.

Reynolds’ first marriage was to Jewish singer Eddie Fisher in 1955. She gave birth to Carrie and Todd Fisher, then divorced her husband in 1959 when Fisher had an affair with Elizabeth Taylor, whom Reynolds was sure was her good friend at the time. The Eddie Fisher-Elizabeth Taylor affair was a major Hollywood scandal, and cost Eddie Fisher his TV show. Reynolds told Oprah Winfrey in 2011, just before Elizabeth Taylor’s death, that she and Taylor made up eventually, on the Queen Elizabeth, sometime in the late 1960s or early 1970s. As Reynolds put it, “We had a wonderful evening with a lot of laughs.”

Carrie Fisher’s account of her painful relationship with her mother, including the addiction and mental illness they both endured, became her book and her script for the 1990 film Postcards from the Edge, with Meryl Streep as Carrie and Shirley MacLaine as Debbie.

Carrie Fisher wrote a year ago: “How freakishly beautiful is my 83 yr-old alleged mother? She must drink bats blood & smear bugs brains on her skin.”


Political Hitman – A Modern Day Chanukkah?! [audio]

Monday, December 26th, 2016

Howie argues that the UN Resolution passed last week is Chanukah repeating itself. Sharon disagrees and states that no matter what, Jews should bow to the King of America.

Another battle of the minds on Political Hitman and an exciting and must hear show!

Political Hitman 25Dec2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Trump Saves the Day on Obama-Backed Anti-Settlements UNSC Resolution

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

President-Elect Donald Trump engaged in his first act as leader of the free world on Thursday, when his tweet stopped the game clock on an Egyptian anti-settlements UN Security Council resolution.

It began Wednesday night, when the Egyptian UN mission distributed among the UNSC members an anti-settlements resolution, asking for a Thursday 1 PM NY time vote. This, according to an Ha’aretz report Friday morning, came as a complete surprise to the Netanyahu government, where the expectations had been that, one, the anticipated resolution would be Palestinian via the good services of New Zealand, and, two, that it won’t happen this week.

Jerusalem received no advance notice from the El-Sisi regime – Netanyahu received the alert only after the fact at 3 AM Thursday Israel time, evening time in NYC. That’s when he rushed to tweet: “The US should veto the anti-Israel resolution at the UN Security Council on Thursday.”

What ensued was a worldwide diplomatic race involving Israel’s Foreign Ministry, National Security Council (NSC), and Netanyahu himself, who deleted his entire agenda for Thursday to focus on blocking the UNSC resolution. The PM’s aim was to rouse pressure from Israel’s friends in Washington on President Obama to postpone the vote, or, if need be, follow decades of US administrations when it came to anti-Israeli UNSC resolutions and veto the damned thing. The working assumption at the time was that the Egyptians were in synch with the White House on the resolution, and that Obama was planning to abstain, assuring its passage. According to Ha’aretz, in Ramallah the PA were also convinced that the US would not vote against. Also, Secretary of State John Kerry scheduled a major speech on his vision for Israeli-Palestinian peace in our time just hours before the UNSC vote – was that a dead giveaway or what? The Israeli diplomatic effort was truly heroic: in addition to Netanyahu’s call on Obama to veto the resolution, a senior Israeli official briefed foreign correspondents that Israel expects the US to uphold its policy of many years, across administrations, that negotiations must be direct. An American failure to veto would be a breach of its commitment. It would mean the abandoning of a traditional position moments before the change of administrations. Israel also applied pressure on Egypt to rescind its resolution, suggesting the move would harm their good relationship with the Jewish State, including the security cooperation between the two countries. There’s a lot at stake there, most notably the fact that the Egyptian military presence in the Sinai, a vital component in El-Sisi’s war against his Islamist foes at home, depends on Israel’s consent, as per the 1978 Camp David agreement. Apparently, those efforts, intense and heroic as they may have been, did not result in either a postponement or an American promise to veto. At which point Israel’s ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer called up President-Elect Donald Trump’s circle of close advisors asking for help. And they, at last, delivered, establishing, perhaps for the first time in the history of US foreign policy, that a president-in-waiting was able to reverse a sitting president’s decision, through the good services of Twitter.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016

“The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed…” Trump twitted, inviting his followers to read his full message on Facebook, said message going: “As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations. This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.”

At which point the Egyptians finally got the message, namely that they could face a hostile US Administration come January 20, should they defy Trump’s Tweet. The Egyptian mission quickly rescinded their proposal, saying they needed to discuss it with other members of the Arab League. This, according to Egyptian media, either followed or came just before a call Trump had with President El-Sisi. The latter’s spokesman then stated: “The presidents agreed on the importance of affording the new U.S. administration the full chance to deal with all dimensions of the Palestinian case with a view of achieving a full and final settlement.”

“The presidents agreed,” got it?

Netanyahu, for his part, had a heart to heart phone conversation with Sec. Kerry, who cancelled his vision speech.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported Thursday night that the US had, indeed, intended to allow the UNSC to approve a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building, and that the resolution is far from being dead in the water. New Zealand, Venezuela, Malaysia and Senegal are now pushing Egypt to resubmit the resolution, threatening that “in the event that Egypt decides that it cannot proceed to call for a vote on 23 December or does not provide a response by the deadline, those delegations reserve the right to table the draft … and proceed to put it to vote ASAP.”

The State Department would not comment on the reports of its plan to abstain. It’s going to be a busy weekend for Israeli diplomats everywhere – and there may be another tweet from the President-Elect.


My Lucky Day

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

It was one of those “lucky” days. I was outnumbered by my kids three to one. Not that the ratio ever changes – it’s just that some days it feels more obvious than others. As everything that could have gone wrong did, I began wishing I could clone myself. With the help of friends, play dates, and my husband, of course, I managed to get through the morning, albeit by the skin of my teeth. Nonetheless, I certainly felt burned out.

Later that day I had a doctor’s appointment. Coincidentally, a friendly acquaintance of mine happened to be in the waiting room when I arrived. We began a casual conversation, and after I expressed my frustration from my morning at home, she mentioned that that she is the youngest of eight children.

“Wow! How did your mom do it?” I asked.

“I ask her that same question all the time,” she said.

The questions started to race through my mind.

“Did she have a lot of help? A full-time housekeeper?”

“Nope, never.”

I wondered if their house was always disorderly and chaotic. Yet before I could even ask, she said, “And the house was always immaculate.”

I started to feel incapable as she continued with her mother’s list of accomplishments and capabilities: Full-time job, delicious, healthy dinners on the table every night… “Oh, and I never once heard her complain. Ever. She is my role model.”

“Mine too,” I sighed, in no small amount of awe. “But how did she do it all?”

And this is when the story took a turn for the superhuman.

“I’m not sure,” she said. “But do you want to hear something even crazier about her? Something fall-out-of-your-chair shocking?”

I braced myself.

“She’s deaf.”

Her mother had a plate so full it overflowed, and managed it so successfully that it would make anyone feel inadequate. And to top it all off, she accomplished it all without the sense of hearing.

“My father,” she added, “is deaf as well.”

She proceeded to tell me that none of the eight children in her family are deaf, or even hearing impaired. Her parents both became deaf circumstantially at the ages of 8 and 15. It was not a genetic concern for the children.

I was stunned and felt total humility. This conversation with my friend was a gift, and meant just for my ears that day. I had spent the morning bemoaning my own “challenges,” and Hashem immediately showed me how lucky I truly am.

My acquaintance then said, “Whenever I have a bad day or feel I can’t continue because things are too tough, I just conjure up this image of my mother and it serves as a built-in confidence booster. If she could do it, then I certainly can.”

I wondered if her mother had a different perspective. I am sure she lost her cool from time to time. After all, doesn’t everyone?

But then again, did it really matter? Her daughter’s vision of her is one of strength, capability, and resilience. Is that not exactly what we want to pass along to our children? There is no such thing as perfect parenting. It is all about putting one foot in front of the other while maintaining composure to the best of our own ability.

I asked exactly how her mother managed the family without being able to hear. How did she get through the day?

This is what she shared with me.

“Although we never scrubbed the kitchen sinks or floors, my siblings and I helped our parents in other ways. Certain tasks were simply necessary for us to take on.”

Her mother was not able to make phone calls with ease; she was rarely the one to order dinner for the family or make play dates for the children. Similarly, she was not the one to schedule appointments. Each child chipped in with making any necessary phone calls for each other and their parents.

In this vein, my friend mentioned how shocked she was that one of her friends who recently got married had her mother make all the calls and arrangements – for the flowers, the band, etc. This concept was foreign to her.

“I never really viewed any of this as different – it was normal to me. This was all I knew of childhood, and helping my mother taught me so many important life skills.”

Accepting help from family and friends was a key to her mother’s success. She was set on doing any task she was able to; however, she unashamedly accepted help in areas that involved hearing, and that was crucial.

We too must learn to accept and even ask for help when we are in a position of need.

We can garner a wealth of information from exploring the lives of those with physical impairments and how they manage to succeed despite such setbacks.

Nyle DiMarco, a deaf model, competed in and won a famous dance competition. I watched the show, and as I marveled at his accomplishments, I was also brought to tears.

I wondered how he did it. Was he able to feel the vibrations of the music, just like Mozart had? Hard work and sheer force of will were key ingredients, but he also had some practical techniques that helped him.

His dancing partner acknowledged that she cued him while dancing. A slight tap on the shoulder meant to turn three times. A wink was yet another cue, while a small scratch on his left arm indicated a dip. These were vital to his dancing success.

In the dance of life – which often requires a tremendous balancing act to succeed – each one of us needs our own cues.

Something as simple as a doorbell requires a special apparatus for a hearing-impaired person. My friend’s mother had all the cues necessary for a deaf person to flourish in a hearing person’s world. A light in each room blinked whenever someone rang the doorbell. Such a cue created something called “technical success” in her life.

We all can create avoidance cues and proactive cues to help in our lives. Setting up our homes to help facilitate success is imperative yet often overlooked.

If you have young children who are constantly making a mess of small toys, putting those toys at the top of a closet can be crucial to preventing repeated cleanups. If your children are going through a spat phase, placing them in opposite sides of the car or having designated seats at the dinner table are simple ideas that can be helpful. If your children have trouble staying organized or applying themselves to homework, create a homework box with all the necessary tools ready to go and leave it where they do their homework.

Although the practical elements of how my friend’s mother lived day to day were fascinating, what really intrigued me was how her mother managed to stay positive and upbeat, especially after needing so much assistance from the cues and people around her.

“I honestly don’t think my mother viewed being deaf as negative or limiting in her life,” she said. “ I think she really saw it as something that could be used to her advantage. See, she played her cards well. Meaning, perhaps you and I don’t see it as the best hand of cards, but there are actually some advantages to being deaf.”

“How so?” I wondered.

She laughed out loud as she responded. “My sisters and I always joke that the reason Mom always stayed so calm was because she never actually heard the tantrums or complaints.”

Her mother also has a keen sense for people. She would meet a person and from the initial encounter could tell whether he or she had good character. Much of communication is nonverbal, and being deaf enabled her to focus and hone in on body language. She was able to pick up on what most hearing people are unable to, even after months of training.

I gained tremendous insight that day into managing life’s challenges. The three concepts of learning to accept help, setting up cues for positive habits, and always seeing the good have enabled my friend’s mother to succeed in childrearing and in her post-childrearing life.

We can learn from these techniques and apply them to our own situations. If we do, tomorrow might seem at least a little bit luckier than today.

Sarah N. Pachter

A Trip To Grandparents Saves The Day

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

When parents and their married children live far apart, they enjoy visiting each other in their respective homes. This is somewhat of a vacation.

Last weekend my upstate neighbor went to Toronto from the Catskills to take a short leisurely visit from her husband’s parents’ upstate home, where they reside during the summer. The wife’s parents reside in Toronto, so this young couple and their young children decided to visit the wife’s family, allowing the Toronto parents to have some nachas from their grandchildren as well. Little did they know how much luck this mitzvah would bring them.

As they finished their weekend visit, the young husband, on his way back from Toronto, returned his wife and children to the Catskills, where they were spending their summer. Interestingly, this was their first time staying long term at the husband’s parents’. Previously, they would just come for an occasional weekend as they had to share it with his siblings , but this summer these grandparents , the husband’s family, had the availability, and pleasure, to allow this couple to come spend the summer with them, as their other children settled elsewhere for the summer.

The young husband, after a short rest, returned to his local home. As luck would have it, the father-in-law from Toronto had some business in New York, so he hopped a ride back with his daughter and son-in-law. He opted to stay with his son-in-law for a few short days in Brooklyn. After their short rest upstate, catching a few short hours of sleep, the father and son-in-law started the trek home. The father-in-law, none other than Shlomo Simcha, a popular singer, came to promote an album. He went on to do some business while the son-in-law went home to sleep, late in the evening.

A few hours later, Shloma Simcha returned home in the wee hours of the night. He smelled something funny, and aroused his very tired son-in-law (after some poking and jabbing). It smelled like a fire, though they hadn’t seen any signs of it, and quickly ran out of the house in pajamas. The son-in-law, half asleep, went back into the house to retrieve his tefillin. At that time he opened up a closed door to a room and saw billowing smoke and fire. He thought how fortunate he was that his wife and children spent their first summer upstate, and he didn’t have to drag any children out of the house.

How interesting? That the father-in-law came back with him, so he can obviously save his son-in-law’s life, as the fireman said, “Another 20 minutes, nobody would have gotten out” as it came from the attic and wasn’t visible until it was too late. And how beautiful when the young man realized his important gems were not involved (his family), he thought to go in and retrieve his other precious gem (tefillin), this special item that affords him protection every day as he dons it.

Does Hashem care for and watch over his children? Baruch Hashem!

Esther Lehman Gross

The Day After: An Open Letter to Orthodox Jews

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Last Tuesday night, Donald Trump stunned the world with his election as the forty-fifth President of the United States. Wednesday morning the rejoicing, recriminations and rioting began. One of the most fascinating stories is the “Jewish vote.” Exit polls showed that Hillary Clinton took about 70% of the Jewish vote—far from historical highs, but still an overwhelming majority. This landslide means that Jews voted for Clinton (or against Trump) in higher proportions than almost any other ethnic or religious demographic I including Latinos (65%), whose vote was touted as a lock for Clinton based on the media’s relentless spin of Trump’s immigration stance as racist. Yet interestingly and meaningfully, exit data and anecdotal evidence about Orthodox Jews suggest that we broke massively for Trump. Among other things this means that non-Orthodox Jews likely voted well over 80% for Trump. Thus the two Jewish voter demographics are not only distinct but oppositional: Jews appear to have been among the most anti-Trump and the most pro-Trump of all demographics.

Liberal congregations around the country announced grief services. Parallels to Kristallnacht exploded across the Internet. Reform temples held “shivah” events. Left-wing Jewish publications and organizations decried the abandonment of their own cherished “Jewish values” –political correctness, open borders, redefined marriage, gender and family, and abortion on demand.

Meanwhile, spontaneous dancing broke out Wednesday morning at relieved and overjoyed frum congregations in America and Israel. Giddy jokes were made about whether to say Hallel. Of the fifteen New York City neighborhoods in which Trump was strongest, ten were on Staten Island. The other five were: Boro Park, Midwood, Brighton Beach, West Brighton, and Ocean Parkway South. In Nassau County, the Five Towns similarly delivered a huge Trump landslide. Ocean County, NJ – where Lakewood is located – voted overwhelmingly for Trump, far more so than any other place in that state. Exit polls of the thousands of charedi American citizens who live in Israel showed more than 85% voting for Trump.

Orthodox Jewry has taken another great step forward as a distinct voting bloc, revealing concerns and priorities very different from those that animate Jewish progressives.

Orthodox voting priorities are not hard to understand. The Orthodox commitment to Jewish continuity and knowledge of Jewish history has always been far stronger than that of non-Orthodox Jews. Combined with the imminent connection of virtually every frum family to Jews in Israel and the norm for Orthodox Jews of all stripes to spend at least a year and often many years in batei medrash and seminaries in Israel, most Orthodox Jews – regardless of conflicting religious views on the medinah – count the security of the

Israel’s Jews as a top priority. By way of contrast, when polled among all Jews, concern for Israel hovers low on the priority list, consistently between eight and tenth –far behind a raft of liberal causes and concerns far more central to contemporary progressivism than to traditional Judaism.

The assault by the left on our rights as Jews has gotten more and more aggressive. Democrats have ceased speaking of religious liberties and now concede only that there is a “right to worship”. That is intolerable to frum Jews. We see what is happening again in Europe – the challenges to bris and shechita in the name of progressive secular values – and know that many groups (too often led by ethnic Jews) are agitating for the same battles here. Just weeks ago a judge in California at the instigation of chickens’ rights advocates prevented Jews from performing the ancient pre-Yom Kippur custom of kapporos. Traditional religious institutions and consciences – Jewish and otherwise – already are under siege from activists seeking to strip away religious exemptions, not satisfied with equality under the law, but demanding the surrender or destruction of any traditional worldview. The specter of Democrats having the power to appoint more federal judges was terrible to contemplate.

Jews make up less than 2% of the American population. As a subset of American Jewry, frum Jews are an anomaly – a small albeit growing minority. Considered this way, it’s unclear why this sociological and demographic tale is of anything but marginal interest to the political calculations of those in Washington.

Yet upon closer scrutiny, this election provides evidence of vast potential power untapped by Orthodox Jews. The mass of ethnic, unaffiliated and “social justice” Jews have depleted their political significance even as they have enervated their religious identity. They appear willing to follow the Democrats everywhere, no matter how extreme, immoral, anti-religious, anti-Israel, or anti-Semitic. Orthodox communities, on the other hand, stand on the cusp. If we choose to see ourselves as just another ethnic minority engaged in the kinds of transactional politics that sells out our principles and our future to the highest bidder, we will have failed, relegated to footnotes as an outlier. If however we take stances for our principles and for our survival we will emerge as spiritual, moral and intellectual leaders in the battle that now rages between left and right in this country.

It is no coincidence that the party that grants nuclear weapons to the “Death to Israel” Iranian mullahs and that stands poised to be led by a BDS_supporting Member of Congress who slanders Israel as an apartheid oppressor of innocents, also opposes traditional morality at home. It is no fluke that those who elevate the protection of innocent life and religious exercise and conscience above almost all else, also see the security of the Jewish state as America’s most important foreign policy goal.

Those who carry the Torah’s messages have always been few in number, but they have transformed vast civilizations. For decades, we have been turned inward, focused on rebuilding a community almost lost in the European inferno, while secular progressives have dominated the Jewish presence in Washington. Today, their communities are in crisis, having assimilated and eroded to the point of tragedy. Meanwhile, Orthodox communities which have maintained fidelity to ancient Jewish law and custom are flourishing as in the first vigor of youth. But we too stand at a crossroads. We can continue to ignore the world around us and be essentially irrelevant, losing sight of our people’s raison d’être. Or we can be the tip of a mighty spear: leaders of the literally tens of millions of American Faith and Values voters for whom religious freedom and the security of the Jewish state are also always top priorities.

Bruce Abramson and Jeff Ballabon

A Prayer For Veterans Day

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

{Originally posted to the website, The Lid}

Lord who grants salvation to kings and dominion to rulers, whose kingdom is a kingdom spanning all eternities; Who places a road in the sea and a path in the mighty waters – may you bless protect the military of these United States of America, may they complete their mission quickly, and return home safely.

 We pray for those who sacrifice daily — men and women who serve to protect, in our local communities and around the globe – those who serve in our armed forces and our veterans who served.

Compassionate God, creator of the Universe, may you bless the veterans who have served in the past, and may they be treated with the honor and respect that they deserve. 

Lord please also protect the families of those who serve. Let us be mindful of their great sacrifice as well. As their loved ones fight for us, let us extend our hands and our hearts to them.

Lord who grants salvation to kings and dominion to rulers, whose kingdom is a kingdom spanning all eternities; Who places a road in the sea and a path in the mighty waters – may you bless protect the military of these United States of America, may they complete their mission quickly, and return home safely.

 We pray for those who sacrifice daily — men and women who serve to protect, in our local communities and around the globe – those who serve in our armed forces and our veterans who served.

Compassionate God, creator of the Universe, may you bless the veterans who have served in the past, and may they be treated with the honor and respect that they deserve. 

Lord please also protect the families of those who serve. Let us be mindful of their great sacrifice as well. As their loved ones fight for us, let us extend our hands and our hearts to them.

Jeff Dunetz

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/the-lid-jeffdunetz/a-prayer-for-veterans-day/2016/11/13/

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