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October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘process’

The Art of Sheltering

Friday, November 16th, 2012

This is the neonatal unit of the bomb-sheltered section of Barzilai hospital, down in Ashkelon. When the rockets start flying overhead, and sirens start blasting in response, the hospital staff moves the critical care patients and the babies, incubated and everyone else, to the secure area, under layers of fortified cement.

It’s a very complicated process, made easier, unfortunately, by the fact that they have to repeat it so often. Imagine having to move a patient who is connected to a whole bunch of tubes and monitors down endless corridors, elevators, halls.

It’s definitely a team sport.

The funny thing is, even while the rockets are flying from Gaza, Barzilai hospital continues to accept and treat patients who come in from… Gaza. Last night I heard from IDF Spokesperson Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich that 14 Gazan patients have been admitted since the start of the hostilities.

We care for their sick, we ship them food and provisions, we renew their fuel supply, and we provide them with electricity. Even as the fighting is going on.

What beautiful idiots we are.

Digging Up Arafat

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

The Palestinians are digging up the body of Yasser Arafat. They have been claiming that Arafat was poisoned by Israel, and are now on a quest to prove just that.

The concrete and stones of Arafat’s mausoleum in Ramallah are currently being removed, in a process that will take around 2 weeks.

After which French, Russian, and Swiss experts will determine if the exhumed Arafat was poisoned by polonium-210 as Al Jazeera has suggested.

IDF to Recruit 8,000 Haredim Each Summer

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

The State’s response to petitions taken up by Israel’s Supreme Court regarding the IDF Haredi recruitment program reveals a plan to enlist yeshiva students en masse into the army starting in the summer of 2013, Ynet reported. The revised draft law will apply to all 18-year-olds, so that in two years some 14 thousand Haredim will be drafted.

At the same time, absent alternative legislation to replace the Tal Law, which expired a few months ago, tens of thousands of 19-30-year-old Haredim will receive a final exemption from military service.

The petition was filed with the high court by the Movement for Quality Government and other organizations.

The state’s response also reveals that the IDF has already begun the process of sorting yeshiva students born between 1994-1995, whose past legal definition used to be “Their Torah is their profession.” According to the recruitment program adopted by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, if the Tal Law is not replaced, these Haredim are expected to enlist as early as next summer and serve three full years.

The plan is to stagger their recruitment, to allow IDF manpower officials to study the process and draw conclusions, with the expectation that by 2015 full Haredi recruitment will be possible.

The IDF planners have been looking at placing the recruits in four combat battalions, including three battalions that will be established exclusively to absorb Haredi recruits. In addition, recruits will be tested for service in technological facilities, as well as non-military service in the Defense Ministry, the Ministry of Public Security, the police and the GSS (General Security Service or Shabak)..

Talking to Myself

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Ever since I started this question-and-answer column, people have been coming over and asking me questions.

Baruch Hashem, right?

Unfortunately, most of these questions have been about my column. That’s helpful. I can’t just spend every single column writing about my column. But this time, in honor of my first anniversary writing for The Jewish Press, I decided to see how many of them I can get in to one article:

Where did you grow up? And where do you live now?

I haven’t actually grown up yet, but I spent most of my childhood in my parents’ backyard. They live in Monsey, which is nice, because there are actually nice backyards where you can do things like torture insects and dig holes to China.

These days I live in New Jersey, because I wanted the feel of living in a punch line. Particularly, I live in Passaic, which is closer to New York City than most of New York State is. Not that I work in the city. I work mostly in my house with my kids hanging off my arm, because these days you can’t just let your kids play in the backyard unsupervised. What if the Chinese invade through a hole in the ground?

What do you do for a living?

You mean besides write for the Jewish Press? Actually, newspapers don’t really pay enough to live on, unless you don’t have kids and you don’t really need to eat or live anywhere. The Jewish Press is more of a side hobby that pays just enough to keep me from leaving. Other side hobbies that I have that pay just enough to keep me from leaving include writing for Hamodia, Aish.com, The 5 Towns Jewish Times, The Lakewood Shopper, The Queens Jewish Link, The Brooklyn Weekly, and various other magazines, writing a comic strip for The 20s and 30s, putting out books, teaching Language Arts to a bunch of high school kids who don’t really want to learn Language Arts as much as they want to go to recess, and writing and sprucing up speeches, web copy, scripts, and various other things for people who need it. Oh, and stand-up comedy. At the end of the day, I don’t really have time for a job.

How did you get started in writing?

I think I got started in Pre-1A. (For non-New Yorkers, this is the year between kindergarten and first grade. We need the extra year over here, for social reasons.) The teacher sat us down and made us write an “A”, and then a “B”, and so on. And the rest was history. And math and science. And recess.

Also, I used to make up stories with my action figures back then. As I got older, the stories got more sophisticated, and the reason I was still playing with action figures got flimsier and flimsier. Luckily, I’m the oldest of a truckload of kids, so my official reason was “babysitting.”

But eventually, I started actually writing things down, and got into the lucrative field of being rejected by newspapers using self-addressed stamped envelopes that I paid for. And the rest is davening.

What types of readers do you hope to reach?

Anyone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. If the little things offend you, then this column is probably going to make your head explode.

Do you have any plans to write a book, or if you already have, to write another one?

At the moment, I have three books with Israel Book Shop Publications, and have a fourth coming out in May. My first book, Don’t Yell “Challah” in a Crowded Matzah Bakery! is about the stresses of putting together Pesach. My other two books, A Clever Title Goes Here and This Side Up, are mainly collections of articles that I’ve written — short spurts on random topics that are great for people who have Attention Deficit Dis-Let’s go ride our bikes.

This Side Up is also the first book ever to have been purposely printed upside down. That we know of.

Do you want to continue to integrate writing into your life in the future? How?

Like I said, it’s already pretty integrated. My entire life at this point, 24/6, is either writing, teaching people how to write, or thinking of things to write. Actually, if you include that third thing, it’s 24/7. I always get my funniest ideas on Friday nights, and then I have to try to remember them until after Shabbos. The worst is when I get them on the first night of a 3-day Yom Tov.

Indian Tribe Aliyah Approved

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Israel’s government approved the immigration of the Bnei Menashe, an Indian tribe that claims Jewish ancestry.

The approval comes after a five-year gap since the last group of Bnei Menashe arrived in Israel.

Members of the group, who claim descent from the lost tribe of Menashe, must undergo a conversion process even though it is accepted as fact that they have Jewish roots.

The Cabinet on Oct. 25 voted to restart the tribe’s aliyah. A flight of more than 270 Bnei Menashe reportedly will arrive in the coming weeks, according to Army Radio.

The new immigration reportedly will be funded and facilitated by Shavei Israel, a non-governmental organization that helps locate and reconnect to Judaism and Israel the descendants of Jews.

Some 1,700 Bnei Menashe are living in Israel, and as many as 9,000 remain in India and Burma, according to the Times of Israel.

Haveil Havalim #384

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Throwing this one together quickly, so my apologies if I miss out on some posts that were submitted (or not received at all).

Haveil Havalim is a great idea (I’m not going to post the normal shpiel here – just let me say it’s our way of sharing a whole bunch of interesting blogs and blog posts that were posted this last week in the Jewish-Israel blogsphere. What happens is a lot of bloggers submit their posts to one blogger, who puts them together to weave a post. Unfortunately, in the last few weeks, the process seems to have gotten bogged down and the mechanism for submission just isn’t going smoothly. I only received a few posts – not nearly as many as I usually do…so I’m going to try to go to some of my favorites and pull them in here anyway, in addition to those that were sent to me…here’s hoping next time goes more smoothly.

Disclaimer: I am posting links to other blogs – this does not constitute an endorsement of any political or religious views – simply a way of sharing ideas. If you have a comment about the content of a post, please make the content on that site so that the poster can respond.

Sandy and the Jews

A huge story this week was Sandy – in the United States, of course, but also here in Israel. As usual, Muqata is great for showing glimpses of life here. The post showing one cartoon spoke to me so loudly. I had to look at it a few times to “get it.” The first time, I only looked at the TV and the example of the dismay the Israelis felt at seeing the devastation. It was only the second time that I looked past the television to the rest of the living room.

Elections – Here and There

The other big story, besides Sandy, was the upcoming elections – both in Israel and, of course, in the United States. Since I’ve made my personal feelings about the upcoming US elections clear on this blog, I will use my write as host to select not a balanced view of the upcoming elections, but certainly a fair view:

Israel Matsav posted about Rudy Giuliani’s comments about Obama here.

Daled Amos presents Arlene Kushner Takes On Alan Dershowitz About Obama

Isramom kicks off the discussion of Israel’s upcoming elections in her post: The Road to the 19th Knesset. It’s an interesting read – especially for someone like me who has left the Likud party for what I believe will be greener pastures. Batya also discusses the Israeli elections in her post Polls, Elections, and the Israeli Political Spectrum.

Israel

Forever working hard to bring an awareness of the plight of Israeli citizens who live in the South of Israel, Miriam Goodman posted Israelis Under Attack! Weapons of Choice: Missiles, Firebombs, Boulders and More…. Join her Facebook group to keep up with what is happening!
This week there will be an Erez Zikaron – a gathering in memory of RivkA Matitya, who passed away two years ago. Her blog Coffee and Chemo is a lesson for all parents – those suffering from catastrophic illnesses and those blessed with health – on how to be better parents. For information on the evening (Monday night, November 5th in Jerusalem), clickhere.You can also watch an amazing series on Coping with Adversity on YouTube – part 1 of RivkA’s talk is here.
Knights and Dragons in Jerusalem? Apparently so – see Real Jerusalem Streets for a treat.

Life in General

Ever have really hard days? We all do. How you cope with them is a measure of so many things. Here are some wonderful life lessons and advice from Rickismom on how to cope with The HARD Days.

Judaism and Religion

One of the goals of Haveil Havalim, I think, is to expose ourselves to new blogs. I have to admit (perhaps with a bit of embarrassment), that I haven’t been to this one before: Frozen Challah writes asks the question, What’s your view on tattoos?

Susan Barnes presents Beginning the Visioning Process about her synagogues decision to launch a visioning process this fall.
Visit a Soldier’s Mother.

Writer’s Profile: An Interview With Erica Lyons

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Erica, where did you grow up and where do you live now?

I grew up in Edison, New Jersey and lived in the same house until I left for college. My parent had moved in several years before I was born. I had the same rabbi for my baby naming, my bat mitzvah and my wedding (this was a first for him). My husband and I even brought our daughter back to my old ­synagogue for her naming.

After law school graduation, I got married and my husband and I moved to New York City where I assumed I would live for many years. Who would ever have predicted that shortly after we would move to Hong Kong? We have lived here since 2002.

What do you do for a living?

After a brief stint as a lawyer for a large insurance company, I began to write. In addition to founding and running Asian Jewish Life- a journal of spirit, society and culture, I freelance as a writer (including a column for The Magazine) and edit for a number of publications, usually writing about Jewish Asia but also about culture, identity, travel, history and parenting. I am currently working on my first novel (fiction, middle grade-young adult). I also do consulting work and serve a regional consultant for the JDC.

How did you get started in writing?

I left my law job when we moved to Hong Kong for my husband’s work in 2002. My intention was to return in two years. Since we were moving with a 7 week old and a 19 month old, we decided that it didn’t make sense for me to work while we were there. It would take a long time for me to settle the children and find a place to live. Two years rolled into three and when we started to discuss staying long term, I was eager to work again. I told my husband I would contact my company in New York and ask them to find me a position in their Hong Kong office.

My husband’s response: “You are a NY qualified attorney from a top law school who has a great reputation within the company. If you make that call, you will likely be working by the end of the week. If your greatest passion in life is to be lawyer for a large insurance company, go for it. If not, you have a window of opportunity to figure out what you are most passionate about.”

I had always wanted to be a writer. I had studied English Literature and Judaic Studies in SUNY Albany’s Honors Program. My thesis was a creative piece. I would frustratingly search the New York Times and announce, “Oh surprise. No job adverts for Jewish poets today,” close the paper and put it down. Now I had the chance to do what I always wanted.

What types of readers do you hope to reach?

I hope that Asian Jewish Life will reach the broadest set of readers possible. The Jewish communities of the Far East (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, India, Korea, Nepal, Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand) are unbelievably diverse in terms of background, nationality, denomination, Jewish learning, etc. We try to provide something for everyone. Additionally, our online readers tend to live outside the Far East (the majority are in the US and Israel but with growing readership in Australia, the UK and France), this also requires us to broaden the scope of the magazine.

What about your column in The Magazine?

For The Jewish Press, I tend to write memoir-type pieces that offer a glimpse of Jewish life in the region and what it is like to raise a Jewish family off the major arteries and in a third culture. My pieces are usually personal and weave in stories about my children, with quotes from them as well. Memoir, like biography and autobiography, has always appealed to me. I thrive on personal narratives. Everyone has a story to share.

Since I was a child, I was a natural storyteller, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I had a writer friend tell me to start putting down on paper (or computer) any story I find myself repeating three times. This was invaluable advice.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/writers-profile-an-interview-with-erica-lyons/2012/11/04/

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