Dr. Renee Garfinkel is an XM Sirius broadcaster and a psychologist who writes for Psychology Today. She is also fulfilling a lifetime dream of living in Israel. She joins Yishai to talk about the Levant culture and how it effects actions and attitudes in our region. Then, Rabbi Mike Feuer and Yishai talk Bible: why you must carry a shovel into war, why a mother bird needs to be chased away if you want her eggs, and why Amalek, the anti-Israel nation, attacks Israel with coldness.
Posts Tagged ‘radio’
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Yishai Yishai speaks with Jeremy Saltan about the radical drop in the Prime Minister’s approval rating. What is the reason for the about-face in the public’s perception of the war? Then Yishai interviews Rabbi Avi Berman, Executive Director of the OU Israel, about the amazing connection of North American Jews to Israel in this tough time. Finally, Gilead Mooseek, a resident of southern Israel, tells us how he and his family has been coping, including a message from the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
Presented live and online by: Voice of Israel and Galei Yisrael FM.
Music by Lazer Lloyd
A Hong Kong symphony of sounds fills the air as local laborers shout across the shul courtyard in Cantonese while tossing bamboo in a pile for the sukkah: Filipino maids chatter in Tagalog hovering over the children in their charge, the radio of the Nepalese gurkhas, the Synagogue security, crackles and jackhammers provide the background music. The thick air and humidity within the walls of the partially constructed bamboo sukkah sharply contrasts with the crisp fall air of Sukkot in the northeastern corridor of the United States, where the sukkahs of my childhood were laden with dried fruit and autumn color. Dozens of colorful miniature Chinese paper lanterns dangle from the sukkah and here replace the burnt orange and golden gourds of autumn.
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Lantern Festival or the Mooncake Festival, falls on the 15th day of the eighth Chinese month, which not coincidentally coincides with Sukkot every year. The Chinese calendar, also being lunar, has a familiar rhythm. Side by side, we celebrate our Jewish festivals with our local Chinese hosts. While they gaze up at the moon, we speak of seeing the night stars through the s’chach. Both of our festivals are reminiscent of the harvest, though we have both journeyed seemingly far from our agricultural roots living here beneath the shadows of Hong Kong’s glittering skyscrapers
Despite the exoticism that life in the Far East might evoke, our children and those of our friends certainly still sit on the floor and color, cut and paste to decorate the sukkah, just as they would had they still been living in New York, London or Melbourne. That being said though, our themes here do tend to combine more pop culture and modernity with the tradition that I remember. And while Sukkot brings about the sense of impermanence and wandering, for me it is somehow about everything but that. It is a time to reflect on the meaning of home. And to emphasize my point, this year’s Wizard of Oz themed sukkah at the Ohel Leah Synagogue features a giant banner bearing the words, “There’s no place like home.”
And for most of us, being high-rise city dwellers, the community sukkah is in fact our only sukkah. While empty it seems cavernous, but it will quickly fill with friends who are our family and congregants who are our community. As a result, we all have a sense of ownership over our synagogue’s sukkah.
And for all the talk of what my children miss by living in the Far East and in a large Asian city, I counter with all they have gained. While it is true that they will never have a sukkah in their backyard, nor will they ever have a backyard (which the British have influenced them into believing is called a garden), they live in a world where by age nine it is safe to wander around on your own and by 11 taking public transport and a taxi alone is the norm. They live in a place where they are immersed in a foreign culture, free from the dominance of Christian culture and holidays, void of anti-Semitism and where they are exposed to multiple languages on a daily basis.
They can also actually sleep in a sukkah, without freezing, so long as they remember the mosquito spray. They have an understanding of diversity and culture and don’t fear things they don’t understand. They are born travelers and adventurers and see possibilities as limitless. Living within five minutes from their Synagogue and school, and most of our closest friends, in many ways they live in a small town but with little risk of developing a small town mentality.
And Sukkot, for them, while it will certainly never conjure up a nostalgia for dried fruits and cranberries on strings, dried gourds and Indian corn, cool weather or fluttering crisp leaves painted with brilliant autumn colors, they won’t think of themselves as rootless as some think the expat experience suggests.
Sukkot, while maybe framed in memories of Chinese lanterns and bamboo, perhaps takes on a greater meaning for them. Aware that China is our adopted home, a “temporary” dwelling for them is in some ways played out here on a daily basis. Home for my children is not a solitary image. It is bigger than that. It will likely always remain somewhat fluid, not fixed to a singular place but a feeling they can carry with them. It will be connected to synagogue and Sukkot, Israel, China and the US; to the places where they can find common language and ground, where welcomed and where they are loved.
French police reportedly arrested a 21-year-old man suspected of scrawling “death to Jews” on a synagogue near Paris.
The man is suspected of writing the message with a black marker on Nov. 7 or Nov. 8 on the entrance to the synagogue of Pantin in Seine-Saint-Denis near Paris, according to the municipality.
The radio network Europe1 reported that the man was arrested in the Paris suburb on Nov. 9 and was remanded. The 11-inch graffiti was discovered early on the previous day when a group of “young men wearing hoods” was seen near the synagogue, according to the radio station’s report.
In a separate incident from Nov. 4, seven unidentified people attacked an Orthodox Jewish man in Sacrelles near the French capital. They pelted the 55-year-old man with eggs as he was making his way to his synagogue, according to the French daily Le Parisien, then hit him on his legs after he turned around and walked away from them.
The report did not say whether the attack at Sarcelles was anti-Semitic in nature.
Last September, members of what French police described as “a dangerous Jihadist network” tossed a homemade grenade into a supermarket in Sarcelles, home to some 60,000 Jews. One man sustained minor injuries in the explosion.
All across Israel, the nationwide earthquake drill “Turning Point 6” has begun. The drill simulates massive earthquakes ranging from 5.0 to 7.0 in magnitude, as well as a tsunami hitting Israel near Tel Aviv later in the afternoon.
Emergency services, television, radio and schools are participating in the simulation. The simulation will run over the next few days.
Simultaneously, the IDF and the US Army have begun performing a massive military exercise called “Austere Challenge 12”. This exercise is meant to simulate an air-based attack on Israel, and subsequently defending against it. This exercise will run for a month. Israel’s various missile-defense systems will be tested.
This is the largest joint exercise that has been held between Israel and the US, with 3500 soldiers participating.
On Sunday, Israel will be running a countrywide drill to test its preparation in case of a massive earthquake and tsunami. Thousands of emergency personnel, citizens, and even schools will be participating. Announcements will be made on TV and radio as part of the simulation.
Some local towns will be continuing with the drill throughout the week on a smaller scale to test specific preparations.
On Friday morning, tremors were felt in Israel from a 5.0 earthquake that originated north of Alexandria, Egypt. Nothing like a little realism to set the tone for the simulation.
Hoshana Rabbah is, according to tradition, the day the judgment of Yom Kippur is sealed and finalized. There are some changes in the morning prayers. We circle the bima seven times with our lulav and esrog and then we put them down and take five aravos and beat them on the synagogue floor as if to say, “These are being beaten instead of me.”
Then we return home for a festive meal in the sukkah.
At this meal we include soup with kreplach. Kreplach are globs of dough with a piece of meat hidden in the middle. Why? Because we are not sure that this day is such a festive occasion that it requires a wine and meat meal, as on Shabbos or festivals. And as we await the arrive of Eliyahu to answer these types of questions, we hide the meat in the heart of the dough – thus, kreplach.
After what happened to me this Yom Kippur and Hoshana Rabbah, I must say I’ve gone deep into the heart of the krepel (singular for kreplach) and have concluded that indeed there is more to the krepel than meets the eye.
On the way to the Kotel on Yom Kippur, I met two young people. One said his name was Shai. “Shai,” I thought, “that’s an easy name to remember.” In fact, I had recently been involved in a bad situation with someone named Shai.
I invited them to come to my house to break the fast, and told them where I lived.
One of them came. I asked him where Shai was. “Shai?” he asked. “Who’s Shai?”
“The guy who was with you.”
“He’s Yossi, but he uses different names,” he said.
So now it was Hoshana Rabbah, and Yossi suddenly showed up at my house as I was talking to a friend on my iPhone. So I ended my call and put down my phone.
I told him I was making kreplach soup and invited him to eat with me in the sukkah. He helped me take down the food and I filled up a bowl of soup for him.
Suddenly he said he had to go to the bathroom. “Go right up,” I told him, “but first eat your kreplach or they’ll get cold!”
He said he’d be right back. After maybe two minutes, I remembered I had forgotten my iPhone upstairs and I needed to make an important call. So I went upstairs to get the phone. Whereupon I discovered that both my visitor and my iPhone were gone.
I called the phone from my landline. It rang, once, twice, but no one answered. And then he turned it off. Goodbye, iPhone.
Back in the sukkah, I realized the iPhone was a kapparah, an atonement, for the unpleasant occurrence mentioned earlier with a person named Shai, which is what Yossi had told me his name was when I met him on Yom Kippur.
The cell phone company told me that even though I had full coverage, the new phone would cost me 1,000 Shekel, deductible.
I looked into a gematria book for the significance of 1,000. And I saw that the numerical value of the verse “Es asher Hashem yeh’ehav, yoche’ach” – “He whom God loves, he admonishes” – is precisely 1,000!
So I was left thrilled by my final judgment, costing me only my iPhone. But I was also left with a new understanding of the custom of eating kreplach on the special day of the sealing of a Jew’s yearly judgment.
After it’s all over, the Jew goes back to being a krepel. His outer concern is the dough, the bucks. But on the inside, in his heart, he’s a delicious piece of meat.
Deep down, under all the dough, even the Shais and the Yossis are part of our charming nation.
Dov Shurin is a popular radio personality and the composer and producer of several albums. He lives with his family in Israel and can be contacted at email@example.com. His column appears in The Jewish Press every other week.