So, without further ado, sit back...and read on.
Dentists. A few weeks ago some of my kids were watching a movie on TV...The Little Shop of Horrors. They weren't really into it, except for the scenes with the plant saying "Feed Me...feed me" At some point I told them -- hey, this is the best scene in the movie. They were slightly shocked by it...but I don't think there will be any long term psychological damage.
This should probably have an entire posting of it's own, but I decided to just address it quickly now. Perhaps in the future it will warrant followup. Is "The Giving Tree" a positive or negative book? What does it teach us? When I was younger, I used to think it was a great book for teaching about giving, chessed, and volunteering. In hindsight, I think the book's message is rather bleak. The message of the tree is not for us to emulate. We are not supposed to give and give till we have nothing left to offer. There doesn't appear to be any appreciation from the boy to the tree...its a give and take relationship (tree gives, the boy takes), and all the tree craves is love from the boy. At the end of the day, only when the boy is old and tired, does he devote any time to his friend the tree...who has nothing left to offer. So they live happily ever after, but I don't think the process along the way was very educational for the boy. I could hear the "Cats in the Cradle" playing in the background -- somehow connected to this...
However, if it weren't for Shel Silverstein, I wouldn't have known about one of his other classic books, which is by far, much more educational: Uncle Shelby's ABZ book. My mother in law would throw out this book every time she saw it in the house, and my father in law would go right ahead and buy another copy...
One of the Muqata's loyal readers sent us the following unphotoshopped picture from a cemetery in Israel.
Personally, I can't stand smoke. Not in restaurants, not in bars...and not at weddings. Secondhand smoking kills as well...smoking is murder. Period. Full Stop.
Got the following in my mailbag this week: An open letter to R' Matisyahu Solomon (mashgiach of the Beis Medrash Gavoha/Lakewood Yeshiva) in response to his lecture against bloggers at the Aguda Convention. If you haven't read it, print it out and read it when you have time. A word of caution; the Modern Orthodox world/Yeshiva University/OU rabbinate should not smirk at this, because their handling of the Lanner affair and their beit din was just as shameful. Only after a tremendous outpouring of anger did the OU do anything...
Orthomom posts a heartwrenching, yet respectful letter from an Orthodox person grappling with identity issues which appeared in the Jewish Press. A followup post disappoints with the responses in the JP... Important reading.
Many of you commented about the Olive Tree posting and how excited my kids must be. To tell you the truth, this is what happened after I went to the olive press:
I called up son #2 at yeshiva to tell him that his olive picking was successful, since we got 5 liters of oil from this olives. I explained that I drove to Itamar to the olive press, and it worked out well.
SMS conversation from my oldest, about 5 minutes after my phone call
Did you really go to Yitzhar?
No, I didn't go to Yitzhar. What R U talking about?
I knew you didn't go and were just joking.
The olive oil.
No, I really did get it pressed...but in Itamar.
Are you pulling my leg?
And you really got 5 liters?!??
You can read all about it on the blog...with pictures :)
Yesterday afternoon, I received an email from my daughter:
Abba, why didn't you put up any pictures of my caravan on your blog? :(
This blog is a no-win enterprise...sigh
The same daughter excitedly announced that she took pictures of a hachnasat Sefer Torah procession, which I agree are definitly blog worthy. Maybe Sunday I'll put them up.
Oh, lastly, a political tidbit:
Dr. Yossi Beilin, the MK from Meretz wrote this week:
We're really good in history. The right-wing opposition competes with the Olmert-Lieberman government over the question of who scares us more on the Iran question; who will cause more involuntary-immigrants not to come, more Israelis to leave the country, and more former Israelis not to return?I can't believe this man. How he compares modern Israel, with the IDF, to the Jews of Berlin is beyond understanding. Perhaps he's more Neturei Karta than Neturei Karta -- and that Jews aren't capable of defending themselves in Israel. He's wrong about history as well. As Shimon Peres loves to say, "There isn't anything to be learned from history."
This scare campaign is a blatant anti-Zionist act. If Berlin 1938 is here and now, then the conclusion is clear to everyone: The Jews should be packing their bags.
Our Minister of Education Yulie Tamir has just decreed that our textbooks need to remarkate the Green Line, and must stop calling the West Bank by it's historically Jewish name, "Yehuda vShomron" -- and refer to it only as the "West Bank." Luckily, she hasn't cancelled Chanuka yet.
MK Benny Eilon takes Beilin to task as well with an op-ed piece of his own:
He [Beilin] states "If Berlin 1938 is here and now, then the conclusion is clear to everyone: The Jews should be packing their bags". If Dr. Beilin were present during the London Blitz, he would have turned to Wiston Churchil and accused him of causing the disaster by provoking the Nazis with his pre-war hysteria.
No, it is not time to pack our bags; it is time to preempt the threat by fighting back against the axis of evil. Zionism is not about packing our bags and running when the going gets tough, it is about collective self-defense.
Israel is the one place in the world where Jews can defend themselves, where we don't have to run when we are threatened, where we can face our enemies head on. Yes, we do face threats, but make no mistake about it, the State of Israel can and will overcome.
And on that note, a Shabbat Shalom to all our readers.
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael