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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘today’

A Soldier’s Mother: In My Little Country Today…

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Thousands of people heard the alarm. It is a voice suddenly announcing “Tzeva Adom, Tzeva Adom, Tzeva Adom” (Color Red, Color Red, Color Red – or Red Alert, Red Alert, Red Alert). The voice is calm but insistent. I’ve heard it a few times.

In some places, it can be a siren. It wails loud and clear and your heart begins to race and your brain kicks in as soon as recognition is made. Run. Grab your children and run. Get to safety. A safe room and close the door. A staircase away from windows. Against a wall and bend down. Out in the open – lay down and cover your head. Run. You have 60 seconds. You have 30 seconds. You have 20 seconds. Even an Olympic runner wouldn’t make it.

Listen for the boom. Wait for it. And when you hear it. You gasp in shock. Which is silly because you were waiting for it, anticipating it, right? And still you gasp in shock. And in the silence, the follows the boom, you think. Where is she? Where is he?

A friend who lives very close to Sderot wrote that she was caught outside during the latest attack. She had no choice but to lie on the ground. She felt it shake when the missile landed – inside a city, close to a school.

Another friend wrote that she could feel her house shake.

In my little country today, we were hit by a missile. The siren sounded; the red alert was announced. Children, panicked and frightened, were hurried into bomb shelters. There is no time to explain, no time to deal with their fears. When Aliza was nine years old, in third grade, in the middle of a war where her oldest brother was fighting, an alarm was sounded. It was 2009 and the Gaza war had yet to hit Jerusalem – that would happen in 2012 and 2014, but in 2009, we still believed we were out of range. And then, the siren sounded.

I was in Jerusalem and I heard it. Somehow I knew it was a mistake but I watched from the shelter of my office as others stopped, looked up, and then continued on their way. In the schools, it was a different story. They couldn’t afford to ignore the siren and so they correctly treated it as an attack and rushed the children to shelter.

There was no time to worry about a third grader, or in this case three third grade girls who were frightened and had been separated from their class. Teachers correctly grabbed them and corraled them with their own classes into bomb shelters. But when the doors closed, they had their hands full with terrified first and second graders and no one had time to deal with three crying third graders.

And so she came home and told me about the alarm. Today, more children were terrified, parents worried. The missile came barreling in – this time, they didn’t miss. They hit a city with tens of thousands of people…not far from a school.

Imagine if the same thing happened in your country. Imagine if it was your child’s school. Imagine if you were caught in the open with nowhere to go and 20 seconds to react and find a way to save your life.

My little country is angry tonight; angry for the people in the south who are starting this new year as they have started and ended so many others – under the constant threat of an enemy who believes it is holy and right to attack innocent people while much of the world simply ignores this latest crime.

Paula Stern

Getting Your Book Published: What Are Our Options Today?

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Everyone dreams of writing the next bestseller. In the recent past, those of us who expended blood, sweat and tears while writing our books had only two publishing options: traditional publishing and self-publishing. Both were so difficult, it was prohibitive for most of us to even consider. While both options are still available today, there are easier ways to get our books published.

If you were fortunate enough to get your book published by a traditional publishing house, it would do all the work necessary to turn your manuscript into a published book. It would have your book edited and proofread, design a cover and have it all printed and bound. It would also market and distribute your book – all at the publishing house’s expense.

That was, and still is, the good news about traditional publishing. Here’s the bad news.

Traditional publishers take a financial risk when they take on a book, especially if the author is new and untried. There is no sure way for them to know if a book will sell enough copies to recoup their costs and make a profit. That’s why they’re so selective about which books they gamble on. Many books that went on to become bestsellers were initially rejected by many traditional publishers until they finally found a home. Many good books never got published.

Because traditional publishers lay out so much money to get your book published, although they will give you an advance on a percentage of estimated book sales, they feel entitled to take most of the book’s revenue, and rightfully so. Bookstores also want some of the income from your book, and authors are usually left with the smallest piece of the pie. (Bear in mind that although royalties are often low with traditional publishing, it usually results in more books being sold than other methods of publishing).

Another downside to traditional publishing is there is often a long wait from the time your book is accepted until it hits the market.

The only other option is to self-publish. The advantages and disadvantages to self-publishing are the direct opposite of traditional publishing.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of self-publishing is there is zero chance of rejection. You also have complete control of your book, as nobody but you has the authority to make editorial changes. You could hire an editor, but you make the final decisions. You set your own price, and you keep 100% of the sale. Yes, bookstores will want a discount, but at least you won’t have to share what you get with a publishing company.

The disadvantage of self-publishing is you have to do all the work, and at your own expense. You have to find someone to design the cover, or do it yourself. You have to find a company that will bind and print your book. In the past, the only way to keep the cost per book reasonable, so that anybody would buy it, would be to print many copies. This whole endeavor would cost thousands of dollars.

Often, only when the self-published author had boxes and boxes of books delivered to his doorstep did he discover how hard it was to market and distribute a self-published book, leaving the author stuck with all those boxes of books he couldn’t sell.

This, however, doesn’t mean nobody was ever successful at self-publishing; some people with a good book and lots of determination have even been successful more than once.

Today, it’s a whole new ball game. While traditional publishing and self-publishing are still available, with the advent of modern technology, we now have the option to print our manuscript as an ebook or POD (Print On Demand).

Online bookstores like Amazon allow you to download your manuscript and put it up for sale as an ebook on their site, for free. You choose your price. They will take a percentage of the sales, but there is no up-front cost to you.

If you want to sell your book as a hard copy, there is the relatively new technology of POD. POD allows a small number of copies to be printed at a cost-effective price, eliminating the need to print many copies that may not sell. Books are printed as people order them, and as this can be done at a relatively low cost, the price of the book is kept within reason.

To have your manuscript published as a POD book, you would contact a POD company; a simple google search will show you the many choices available. The company will turn your manuscript into a book, and put it up for sale on the online bookstores. Most POD companies charge a fee, some times several hundred dollars. This is an expense, but still much less of an expense than doing things the old way. Many companies do not offer editing services, which mean they are not responsible for errors. If you want to go this route, take time to review different POD companies’ websites, as they vary widely in their prices and services.

Sounds exciting, huh? Well, hold your horses before you decide to run after these options. Weigh your decision carefully. Yes, it’s exciting, but let’s do a reality check. Are you a well-known author? If not, few people will know to look for your book. And unless you’re writing on an obscure topic, your book may have tons of online competition. Your book may end up on the tenth page in its subject category on Amazon. Nobody looks there. And from those who manage to find your book, only a small percentage will buy a copy.

That doesn’t make the situation. Like the old way of self-publishing, some authors have sold a substantial number of POD or ebooks by working hard to market them. Even so, it is very hard to do.

Whatever the disadvantages may be, these new options finally allow everyone’s voice to be heard.

My own take on the subject? You worked hard on your book, and your best chance of success is to get it published by a traditional publishing house, even if you have to keep trying different publishers until you get accepted, and even if you have to wait until they process your manuscript. I think this is the best option to start with unless you have good reason to rush. Traditional publishers are able to market and distribute your book to the widest audience. Their books appear in catalogs that libraries and bookstores order from. They pay all the expenses. Yes, you will likely get little royalty for each book sale, but in all probability you will sell more books this way.

Henia

Watch: Mr. Netanyahu, We Are Treated as Sub-Humans on Temple Mount [video]

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Thank you for all the work you do, Mr. Prime Minister. Please protect us from the Waqf-imposed Islamic law, implemented by Israeli police on Temple Mount.

Yishai Fleisher

Armon Hanatziv Teen Terrorist Gets 3 Life Sentences

Monday, July 11th, 2016

The Jerusalem District Court on Monday entenced of Bilal Abu Ghanem of Jabal village, a 14-year-old terrorist convicted of involvement in a stabbing attack on bus passengers in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv area last October, to three cumulative life sentences plus 60 years. The attack resulted in the murder of Alon Gobbrg, Haim Habib and Richard Leikin HY”D. The other attacker was killed by security forces.

The terrorist, who was 13 at the time of the attack, was convicted last May of two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a knife. The defense argued that the boy did not carry out the actual stabbing and was only involved “to scare Jews.”

The court did not accept the argument that scaring Jews was an appropriate leisure activity for youths and convicted the boy of the charges.

David Israel

A Soldier’s Mother: Today, In My Little Country

Monday, April 18th, 2016

In my little country today, a bus exploded and 15 people were injured. Some seriously. Some moderately. Some lightly. People began calling right away – a son to check on everyone here; my mother to check as well.

It’s what you do…first you worry about your family…and then you realize that even if you are blessed – that your family is fine…there are families now rushing to the hospital, rushing to call others, waiting to speak with doctors, praying…praying…making deals with God and with themselves.

At first police hesitated and now it has been confirmed – in my little country, our enemies intentionally exploded a civilian bus, intentionally targeted innocent passengers heading home from work, from shopping. In my little country, again we mourn.

We mourn and we yearn for a day when our enemies will choose to talk instead of kill. There is no justification for what was done today. It is not about the occupation, it is not about economic hardships. It is…it was…it always will be about hatred. So long as they hate us enough to kill…even the most innocent among us…there will be no peace.

Paula Stern

A Worried Wife And Mother

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis,

I was pleased to see the letter from a reader titled “Not of This Generation” in your July 12 column, as well as your reply to her over the following two weeks.

I’m also one of those people who are “Not of This Generation.” My friends and I thought your response to the letter writer was perfect, so I thought you might just be the one to help my husband and I resolve our conflict.

We have five children who are all married with lovely families of their own. I know that is a great blessing. My friends always tell me how lucky I am, and I thank Hashem every day. But still have problems.

My husband has his own business. He worked very hard on building it and making it what it is today. In our younger years there were days he never came home. He actually slept in the office. Four years ago my husband started to turn over the business to our children. Two of my sons are professionals so they weren’t interested; our three other children – two sons and one son-in-law – became very much involved and are in the business today.

As you might imagine, there has been some sibling rivalry but my husband managed to smooth it all out. I just hope that (after 120, as we say) there won’t be any split in our family. I’m always frightened of that and my husband to some extent shares my sentiment; however, he does not think there is anything to really worry about. I think he is deluding himself because he doesn’t want to face such a possibility.

In one of our family conferences we pointed out to the children that there is room for everyone if they chose to live in peace but if they opt for acrimony and contention, not only will the business collapse but the entire family will be in jeopardy as well. They all nodded their heads and assured us it won’t happen. But I could see from their expressions that our words hadn’t penetrated.

When I mentioned this to my husband, he said I was getting carried away. Rebbetzin, I have seen families where cousins, aunts and uncles are not even invited to one another’s weddings. Several of my friends have this very problem and tell me that jealousy destroyed their families and businesses.

I have another problem. My husband is 69 and thinking of retiring and moving to Florida. I ask him, “What will you do there?” He replies, “I’ll do what other people do. I’ll play some golf. Maybe I’ll take on a hobby. I always wanted to paint but never had time for it. I’ll to the gym. I’ll play cards. I’ll go boating. I just want to relax and live my life without pressure.”

To make me feel better he tells me, “You can have a wonderful relaxing life. You’ll find many friends. You can learn new hobbies. And then there are things we can do together. We can go out to dinner, to lunch – you won’t even have to cook. There are so many great restaurants in Florida. The weather is good. We can join other friends and have a good time.”

It all sounds wonderful and under normal circumstances I’d love to move to Florida. My sister lives in Boca Raton and I could take a place right near her. Additionally, I have many friends in the area and I know I could have a nice social life. But I’m just so concerned about our children. Perhaps “children” is the wrong word because they are adults, but they will always be my children. My husband tells me I’m being ridiculous, that we can’t watch them forever.

We are not all that observant. We are not fully shomer Shabbos but we are traditional, keep a kosher home and go to synagogue. We support Israel. And we are regular readers of The Jewish Press who very much respect your views and opinions.

My husband is convinced you will agree with him. If that’s the case, I’ll accept it. My husband acknowledges that many families have become divided because of money but he assures me this won’t happen with our children. They come from a good home. Their parents and grandparents (maternal and paternal) imbued them with love and family responsibility.

The children are encouraging my husband to retire. “Dad, Mom,” they say, “just go; we’ll be okay. We won’t do anything radical without discussing it with you. And we’ll come down to Florida a few times a year and you’ll come visit us here.” And then they turn to me. “It’s not like you’re moving to a different country Mom. It’s no big deal. It’s only a two-and-a-half hour flight.”

And yet I’m still very nervous, Rebbetzin. I do hope you can address my problem and that you’ll do so sooner rather than later because my husband is ready to go ahead with his plans.

I wish you a happy and a healthy new year. Your column and books have been blessings in my life.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Hellenism is Alive and Well in America

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Sorry to spoil your Chanukah. While many people consider the leftists in Israel the Hellenists of today, the term more fittingly describes the Jews of the Diaspora who have the ability to move to Israel, but prefer to identify with the foreign country and foreign culture where they live.

This is exactly what a Hellenist is – as Webster’s Dictionary states: “A person living in Hellenist times who was Greek in language, outlook, and way of life, but was not Greek in ancestry, like a Hellenist Jew.”

This description fits the American Jew, or English Jew, or Australian Jew of today. They prefer a foreign language over Hebrew; they prefer to live in a foreign land; and they chase after foreign cultures, outlooks, and ways of living, to be just like the Americans, loving baseball, the movies, the New York Times, addicting to American TV shows, fashions, cars, Presidents, and American ambitions, just like the Hellenists did in the time of the Greeks, abandoning their holy identity as Bnei Yisrael, their own Hebrew language, their beards and Hebrew garb, to become clean shaven, tunic-wearing copies of the Greeks, going to their bawdy theaters, concerts, brothels and pubs, rushing to their sporting events held in the nude, and even extending their foreskins to hide the holy mark of their circumcisions so they would look like everyone else at the baths.

Ask any Israeli leftist what his identity is, and he will answer, an Israeli, or a Jew. Ask your average American Jew what his identity is, and he will answer, an American. This is true Hellenism. Today it’s called Americanism, that’s all.

Even the Chanukah dreidel makes this distinction clear. In the Diaspora, a kid spinning the dreidel understands that “A great miracle happened THERE.” In Israel. Not in Paris, Melbourne, or New York. He instinctively realizes that the real Jewish place is Israel. That’s where Jewish history happened, and that’s where it is unfolding today. The Jewish child naturally understands that Israel is his true home, until his parents and Hebrew school teachers and rabbis and Federations brainwash him into becoming a Hellenist like they are.

Chanukah and Purim are both holidays established by the Sages, but we only recite the joyous Hallel prayer on Chanukah. Why? Because, even though the Jews were saved on Purim, it was only a partial salvation since they were still living under the Persians in a foreign land. At the end of the dramatic victory, Ester was still living in the palace with Achashverus, the goy.

In contrast, the salvation of Chanukah and its joy were complete, for the victory led to renewed Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel and the eradication of Hellenism. Our true joy can only come when we are in the Land of Israel being our true selves, as we say in the Psalm we recite on Shabbat before Birkat HaMazone, the Grace after Meals: “When the Lord brought back the exiles to Zion, we were like those who dream. Our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongues with joyous song.” In contrast, the Sages decreed that we should recite a different Psalm during the week after eating (not that anyone bothers or wants to remember): “How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?”

There is no true Jewish happiness in Brooklyn or Beverly Hills. Thus, the Sages established that it be written on all Diaspora dreidels: “A great miracle happened THERE,” so that every child would know (before he was brainwashed) that true Jewish happiness, heroism, and life happens THERE, in the Land of Israel, not in foreign lands among the Greeks and their modern-day counterparts, who, instead of wearing sandals and tunics, wear Florsheims, designer sport jackets, and ties.

Happy Chanukah!

Tzvi Fishman

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/hellenism-is-alive-and-well-in-america/2012/12/07/

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