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Bubbe Wisdom by LouiseSilk
Unraveling the Threads of Life
Oct 19, 2010 | 143880 views | 0 0 comments | 109 109 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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Medicare
by LouiseSilk
Apr 16, 2015 | 195 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Coming up on my 65th birthday, I have been exploring Medicare. It’s not simple.  After enrolling in basic Medicare, you have to choose a supplement and a drug program. The best time to do this is during the Open Enrollment Period beginning on the first day of the month you turn age 65 or older. During this period, you are guaranteed to join any plan, regardless of any pre-existing conditions.

There are two basic ways to go: Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement known as Medigap. Medicare Advantage plans replace Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, while Medigap plans add onto your Original Medicare coverage.

Benefits and coverage under the 10 standardized Medigap plans are the same in the 47 states that offer them. Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage that varies according to each plan or organization and location.

Most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage. Medigap doesn't offer drug coverage, so you have to enroll in a separate prescription drug plan.

I chose Medigap because even though it has a higher premium (but still nothing close to what I used to pay for health insurance each month), there are no deductibles or co-pays and it works the same with any provider throughout the United States.  Best of all, it is a huge relief to sidestep the ongoing UPMC/Highmark battles.

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So Be It
by LouiseSilk
Apr 14, 2015 | 2598 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Cursed is he who dishonors his father or mother. And all the people shall say Amein.

Deuteronomy/Devarim 27:16

The Hebrew word amen, in Ashkenazi Hebrew pronounced uh-main, comes from the root emunah, faith, related to the word emet meaning truth. When we hear another reciting a blessing we respond with amen affirming that we believe what has been said. Amen occurs thirteen times in the Torah.

One rabbinic saying gives double credit to the one responding amen because to hear is akin to pronouncing. Another states that amen should not be recited in a louder voice than the one who recites the benediction because this might imply an attempt to upstage the original blessing. Another states that that all the gates of heaven open to one who recites amen and particularly it earns a child a place in the World to Come.

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Meet Me On Monday
by LouiseSilk
Apr 09, 2015 | 424 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
I describe myself as, slightly ahead and a little to the left and recently I met up with a dear old childhood friend who confirmed that: "Your designs are exactly what's going on. You are way ahead of everybody. So when you feel an instinct in your gut about something, go with it because it means that you're ahead of everybody and that's what you should be."

This brings me to my closing talk at the BubbeWisdom exhibit at the AJM of the JCC this Monday, April 13th, at 7:00. You may wonder: A closing rather than an opening? Quilts made entirely of scraps and remnants? A community quilt made from garnished materials? A spiritual tent for children? A table made of cut-up journals? A self-portrait of tiny french knots?

Come experience it for yourself: slightly ahead and to the left.
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The Count Begins
by LouiseSilk
Apr 07, 2015 | 282 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

 In the days of the Temple, Passover marked the ripening of barley by offering a special measure called an omer. The forty-nine day omer count begins on the second day of Passover in preparation to receive the Torah on Shavuot.

Jewish mystics use seven of the ten divine attributes to contemplate the count in terms of our personal and moral growth. There are books and web sites to help you follow along to this outline:

 1. Chesed of Chesed: generosity vs. lack of boundaries

 2. Gevruah of Chesed: strength that enables generosity

 3. Tiferet of Chesed: compassion of generosity

 4. Netzach of Chesed: perseverance in generous

 5. Hod of Chesed: sincerity of generosity

 6. Yesod of Chesed: connecting to the task of being generous

 7. Malchut of Chesed: accepting and including generosity

 8. Chesed of Gevurah: kindness in strength

 9. Gevurah of Gevurah: strength vs. rigidity

 10. Tiferet of Gevurah: balance and mercy with strength

 11. Netzach of Gevurah: persistence with strength

 12. Hod of Gevurah: surrender as an expression of strength

 13. Yesod of Gevurah: focused intention applied with strength

 14. Malchut of Gevurah: receptivity as an expression of strength

15-21. Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Tiferet: compassion

22-28. Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied Netzah: perseverance

29-35. Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Hod: surrender

36-42. Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Yesod: intention and connection

43-49. Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Malchut: receptivity and nurturance

Ritualwell, a project of Kolot: The Center for Jewish Women’s and Gender Studies of RRC and Ma’yan, the Jewish Women’s Project offer feminist resources and rituals to count the omer: The Kolot Egalitarian Omer Calendar and An Omer Calendar of Biblical Women By Rabbi Jill Hammer which offers this female version of the daily omer prayer:

Beruchah at yah, eloheinu ruach haolam, asher kidshatnu bemitzvoteha vetzivatnu al sefirat ha’omer.

Blessed are You, Ruler/Spirit of the Universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to count the Omer.

May we move out from our narrow constrictions to a more authentic life.

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The Emperor of all Maladies
by LouiseSilk
Apr 02, 2015 | 483 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

It remains an astonishing, disturbing fact that in America - a nation where nearly every new drug is subjected to rigorous scrutiny as a potential carcinogen, and even the bare hint of a substance's link to cancer ignites a firestorm of public hysteria and media anxiety - one of the most potent and common carcinogens known to humans can be freely bought and sold at every corner store for a few dollars. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

I’ve got quite the hangover from watching six hours over three nights of The Emperor of all Maladies. Last week I spent 14 hours watching the Roosevelts- but that’s another story.

One in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime making it a certainty that if you don’t develop it, invariably you will know someone who does.

Three episodes take us through an historical timeline of progress and setbacks interspersed with personal stories of both success and failure. The middle episode focusing on breast cancer was particularly heart wrenching, knowing so many afflicted women no longer among us.

A section is devoted to the tireless work of Mary Lasker, a socialite and philanthropist who all but invented health activism, as well as the American Cancer Society. A clip of her being interviewed by the chain-smoking Edward R. Murrow who died at 57 of lung cancer is particularly affective.

Throughout the series we see the setbacks, the breakthroughs and the tenacity of all to find the cure and eradicate cancer once and for all.
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God Bless Monica Lewinsky
by LouiseSilk
Mar 31, 2015 | 424 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

She tried public appearances. She tried being reclusive. She tried leaving the country, and she tried finding a job. But the epic humiliation of 1998, when her affair with Bill Clinton became an all-consuming story, has followed Monica Lewinsky every day. After 10 years of self-imposed reticence, and now hoping to help victims of Internet shaming, she critiques the culture that put a 24-year-old through the wringer and calls out the feminists who joined the chorus. Vanity Fair

I’m in, Monica. I get it. You have find your way out of the darkness in a way that offers insight and purpose. You are brave. You are amazing. yashar kochech

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Spring Planting
by LouiseSilk
Mar 25, 2015 | 588 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Everywhere I go these days, I hear talk of gardening. I, myself, was a bit of a gardener in my youth, but that is way in the past. Still I am fortunate to get all the benefits by living with a master gardener. I just went around our loft and counted 124 plus plants throughout the interior and that’s right, I don’t water a one of them.  

As exceptional as our greenery in the loft is, it can’t hold a candle to our roof top. For your enjoyment, here are two videos one from 2010 and one from 2014. Can almost smell that lavender and taste those peppers.

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Abundance
by LouiseSilk
Mar 24, 2015 | 616 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

We have a long history of Silk/Root seders. We write our own haggadah with a yearly theme and we pick the night that works for most, even though one year it didn’t even happen on one of the eight days. 

I thought this year would be different. With our seder scheduled for Saturday night, we would finally be falling into the first-night seder tradition, but I was mistaken. Saturday night is the second night.

Once again, that’s what works for us. My son and his family are coming in from New Jersey on Friday, will attend the Seder on Saturday and view my BubbeWisdom Quilt Exhibit at the JCC on Sunday. 

I’ve decided the theme for this year’s haggadah will be Abundance.

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Oy Gevalt- Again
by LouiseSilk
Mar 19, 2015 | 694 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

I grew up in the Federation philosophy understanding that our job as American Jewry is to support the programs and people of Israel and leave the politics to those who live on the land. Otherwise, I might have more to say about Netanyahu’s many blunders like going to speak to congress without Obama or stating that he would not consider the possibility of a two state solution. Instead, I want to remind you, that winning the election is still a far cry from controlling the 61 Knesset seats and there is lots of evidence that Netanyahu is a very average everyday politician who can easily sway in the direction of the wind. We have a long way to go in this ongoing saga, so batten down the hatches and write your check to the agencies that help k’lal Yisrael  in true tikkun olam.

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Celebrate Women’s Herstory
by LouiseSilk
Mar 17, 2015 | 494 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

It's time for all the women in America and all the men that love women, and all the gay people, and all the people of color that we've all fought for to fight for us now. Patricia Arquette, Oscars 2015

NYTimes: Making of  Malala

Gloria Steinem speaking about domestic violence and gender at Foreign Affairs Symposium at John Hopkins last month

Woman’s History Month website

Writing Women back into history with 2015 National Women’s History Month Honorees

the film: MissRepresentation

by the makers of MissRepresentation; a film about men: Mask You Live In



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