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Middle Eastern Musings

Friday May 30, 2014
  It was the fifth day. It was the sixth day. It was, at last, Shabbat. Fortunately, my family’s much needed weekly opportunity to focus on consecrated matters had arrived, once more. Neither the virus that was sweeping our home nor the rice that had gotten burnt did anything to preempt the arrival of this special day.   To wit, one of our children changed from his army garb to his other uniform, i.e. his black and white one....
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Thursday May 01, 2014
  At a wedding that Computer Cowboy and I merited joining this spring, I watched a small child, lauded by the beaming approval of her mother, intentionally, and repeatedly, destroy and then lead other small children to destroy, many beautiful, meaningful, and expensive floral arrangements. Those actions took place in public, under the watchfulness, or lack thereof, of hundreds of guests and tens of family members. Trashing the property of...
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Wednesday Mar 26, 2014
    During a concert in Jerusalem, Rabbi Shlomo Katz reminded his audience that in everything we do, we can approach our activities from the focus of “how can we serve Hashem” or, has v’shalom, from the focus of “how can we serve ourselves.” These two approaches are mutually exclusive.   Consider, as Rabbi Katz pointed out, the nature of Chanukah candles. Such exquisite lights are prohibited from...
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Thursday Feb 27, 2014
  MEM 137: Another Tekkes   I cried. Despite my sons and daughter’s beliefs to the contrary, I blub only when touched by meaningful stimuli. Authenticity is one such inducement. The truth-based people, images, and emotions I witnessed at my soldier son’s latest army ceremony created a new need for me to get teary.   Consider, first, the kinfolk that were there. Rather than cringe at the notion that they were...
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Monday Jan 27, 2014
      It is said that Shabbot is a taste of Gan Eden. It is claimed, as well, that it is better to receive “payment” for our thoughts, words, and deeds in Olam Haba than to receive payment for them in this reality.    Even so, there are times when the barriers among the spheres momentarily thin and we are privileged to see far away worlds. A recent Tu’ Bishvat seder, which Computer Cowboy and I were...
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