|July 31, 2014||Let’s Not Tell Hamas!||no comments|
|July 29, 2014||An Oxymoron When It Comes To Jews||no comments|
|July 24, 2014||The Yogi’s Life Of Constant Change||no comments|
|July 17, 2014||Bad News For Us Fast Food Vegetarians||no comments|
|July 15, 2014||A Writer’s Wisdom||no comments|
|July 10, 2014||One Of A Kind||no comments|
|July 08, 2014||Hoarding||no comments|
|July 02, 2014||Steve's Garden 2014||no comments|
|July 01, 2014||Buyer Beware||no comments|
|June 26, 2014||Be Impeccable||no comments|
Five misfortunes befell our fathers ... on the ninth of Av. ...On the ninth of Av it was decreed that our fathers should not enter the [Promised] Land, the Temple was destroyed the first and second time, Bethar was captured and the city [Jerusalem] was ploughed up. -Mishnah Ta'anit 4:6
Tisha B'Av begins this Monday evening but let’s keep the commemoration to ourselves, not to give Hamas any hint of our divided and be conquered history. Instead, let’s use it as our opportunity to unite firmly in right over might and forge a peaceful path in the Middle East.
Legend has it Ernest Hemingway bet a group of friends that he could tell a story using only six words. He grabbed the nearest napkin and wrote: For sale: baby shoes, never worn. He won the bet.
The Six-Word Memoir® project began after 9/11 to encourage people to express small portraits of individual grief. It has continued on in many forms including Oy! Only Six? Why Not More? Six-Word Memoirs on Jewish Life.
People of the Book Need Words!
It’s been a long time since I mentioned my yoga practice but as with all things it’s path is quite unpredictable. I now have 200 hours of teacher training under my belt and have been certified to teach by Yoga Alliance.
Today, I went to my regular LA Fitness class (Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30) only to discover that my very favorite teacher will no longer be working there. Ugh! It’s like going to the pancake house and finding out they changed their pecan syrup to blueberry. My first reaction is to say, “Well that’s the end of LA Fitness for me.” but maybe it’s just possible this is just the change I need in my practice. After all, yoga is a process is it not? We will see?!??!
For sure it will encourage me to more regularly attend Yoga with Phyllis at the Squirrel Hill Library (Tuesdays at 5:30 and Saturdays at 10:00). Phyllis, the elder stateswoman of yoga, is the reason I have my teacher certificate. If you’ve never tried- this would be the place to start your practice and watch it grow.
Did I tell you I am now a teacher at Our Clubhouse (formally Gilda’s Club) subbing as needed and teaching Thursday nights at 6:00 when the Clubhouse is open? For anyone whose life has been touched my cancer, there is nothing better than a little gently yoga at Our Clubhouse to calm the nerves.
Healthy plants and trees yield abundant flowers and fruits. Similarly, from a healthy person, smiles and happiness shine forth like the rays of the sun. B.K. S Iyengar
I just learned that my favorite fast food: The Boca Burger is not healthy! How could that be? Because Boca Burgers are made from soybeans bathed in a product called hexane. Hexane extracts the oil from soybeans, a necessary step to making most conventional soy ingredients. Unfortunately, hexane, a byproduct of gasoline refining, is also a neurotoxin and an air pollutant.
The Cornucopia Institute has developed a Guide to Choosing Non-Hexane Meat Alternatives and the Guide to Choosing Non-Hexane Nutrition Bars to help us support the companies that have committed to hexane-free soy ingredients.
Like any food, there are good and bad choices. It’s time to start making my own!
The process of writing fiction is totally unconscious. It comes from what you are learning, as you live, from within. For me, all writing is a process of discovery. We are looking for the meaning of life. No matter where you are, there are conflicts and dramas everywhere. It is the process of what it means to be a human being; how you react and are reacted upon, these inward and outer pressures. If you are writing with a direct cause in mind, you are writing propaganda. It's fatal for a fiction writer. Nadine Gordimer
(JTA) — Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, the father of the Jewish Renewal movement, has died at age 89.
A maverick rabbi from an Orthodox background who spent time in the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, Schachter-Shalomi transitioned over time toward a New Age, neo-Hasidic approach, gaining a substantial following on his own but also influencing other Jewish denominations.
His nontraditional approaches to Jewish spirituality, including services marked by ecstatic prayer, drumming and dancing, eventually morphed into the Jewish Renewal movement.
Known to friends and followers as Reb Zalman, he lived out his later years in Boulder, Colo., where he died Thursday morning after being ill for some time. An associate told JTA that he had been battling a pneumonia infection in recent weeks.
The movement he started had its origins in the 1960s, when Schachter-Shalomi began instituting meditation and dance during prayer services. He sought to fuse the mystical traditions learned while he was Lubavitch with the sensibilities of the modern world in an effort to revitalize a synagogue practice he found stultifying.
He eventually broke with Chabad, founding the P’nai Or Religious Fellowship in 1962 and a havurah — a lay-led congregation with no central leader — in Somerville, Mass., in 1968. He ordained the first Renewal rabbi, Daniel Siegel, in 1974.
Schachter-Shalomi led prayers in English set to popular tunes, translated Hasidic texts on mysticism into English, promoted ecologically friendly kashrut and encouraged Jews to create their own colorful tallitot, or prayer shawls.
In 1993, P’nai Or merged with Rabbi Arthur Waskow’s Shalom Center to become Aleph, the Alliance for Jewish Renewal. The Philadelphia-based institution has ordained some 80 rabbis.
Born in Poland in 1924 and raised in Vienna, Schachter-Shalomi’s family fled the Nazis and eventually landed in Brooklyn in 1941. He was ordained as a rabbi in 1947 from the Central Lubavitch Yeshiva. He later got a master’s degree from Boston University in the psychology of religion and a doctorate from Hebrew Union College, which is affiliated with the Reform movement.
His last teaching post was at Naropa University, a Buddhist-inspired Colorado institution.
“This man is a Hasid,” Rebecca Alpert, a professor of religion at Temple Universty, told JTA several years ago in an interview about Schachter-Shalomi’s influence. “No one could possibly duplicate his sagacity, presence and magic.”
I was catching up with an old fiber friend recently and told her about my success making memory quilts. She suggested I might have a market working with hoarders.
Her idea brought me to my own forms of hoarding because I’ve been spending my last stretch of studio time trying to get a handle on my materials. I started sorting in the effort to find a place to house the denim we will repurpose for SilkDenim- yes, another form of collecting, for sure, but a story for another time.
Quilters are known for being very attached to their fabric collections: The one who dies with the most fabric, wins! It’s crazy to realize that I have enough quilting fabric to make- I ‘m just guessing here- an easy couple hundred quilts with what’s on hand.
In the effort to streamline the collection, I removed all of the small precious scraps- anything less than a ¼ yd and am in process cutting them into usable strips that I will use to create Gee’s Bend type bed quilts for an upcoming exhibition.
I have always said one can never have too many quilts- but now I wonder-could I possible be a quilt hoarder too?
I knew something was fishy the one (and only) time I walked into a Hobby Lobby. The sign in the window said something like: we close on Sunday so that our employees can rest. Since when does a retailer close on Sundays????
Inside there were other hints- framed pictures of Christian imagery; a book by the owners that showed them in front of a church (or maybe it was a cross) on the cover; lots of Christmas type decorations even though it wasn’t Christmas. They had a great selection of whatever it is we were after that day, but I knew I would never step foot in that store again. This is clearly a company with a point of view that is not my choice to support.
When I saw that Hobby Lobby had taken contraception to the Supreme Court, I wasn’t surprised. The ruling yesterday made me uneasy and scared but I took a little comfort reading this article.
In 2012, Hobby Lobby, operated by David and Barbara Green, contested the so-called "contraception mandate" in the Affordable Care Act. This part of the law initially required organizations of a certain size to cover FDA-approved contraceptives in their insurance plans. The Greens, along with a Mennonite family that owns a company called Conestoga Wood, said that four of the listed contraceptives violated their religious beliefs because they might possibly prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman's uterus. Even if they weren't taking the drugs themselves, they said, they felt morally culpable for paying for their employees to take them.
The question was whether this was a legitimate claim under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act: Did the mandate "substantially" burden these companies' ability to practice their religion, and did the government have an alternative way to accomplish its goal of providing contraceptive access? For that matter, could companies even have religious-freedom rights? Does paying for contraceptives actually count as a substantial burden on someone's religious beliefs?
In 49 pages authored by Justice Samuel Alito speaking about religious liberty, followed by a 35-page dissent on the basis of a violation of women’s rights from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Court said yes to all of the questions.
Good news is that this decision is limited. It doesn’t necessarily prevent women who work at Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood, or other religious companies from accessing birth control through their insurance plans. If the government uses the same exemption it has set up for non-profit organizations, employers cannot deny affordable birth-control access to their employees; they just don’t have to pay for it. Maybe it’s not so bad to work at Joanne’s or Michael’s after all?
Impeccability begins with a single act that has to be deliberate, precise and sustained. If that act is repeated long enough, one acquires a sense of unbending intent which can be applied to anything else. If that is accomplished the road is clear. One thing will lead to another until the warrior realizes his full potential.
The Impeccable Warrior is a sacred being on a sacred journey in a conscious state of true acceptance that whole-heartedly respects and honors all. There is no win, no lose, no accomplish, only true intentions free of arrogance and humility formed into timeless and flawless oneness with nothing outside or beside, against or for.
Performing each action to the best ability fully engaged in the moment living on the edge at all times, not thinking about the action, not thinking about the results of the action, the warrior has no regrets, suffers no remorse, no missed opportunities, no lost moments of pleasure.