My Hair

Okay, I love my hair.  I really do.  I have long, thick, dark brown hair that naturally highlights about a dozen different colors in the summer. Or, it used to, it doesn’t get exposed to the sun. I now cover my hair.  Yep, I keep it under cover.  And I also love covering it.  I cover it because I believe it is something not to be shared with the general public.  Like the rest of my body, it has been created for my enjoyment and for my husband’s enjoyment.  I also cover my body with reasonable modest clothes.  I don’t wear a long sleeved sack cloth and call it good.  I enjoy shopping for and putting together creative outfits that keep me warm and beautiful.

I protect my body and my hair from people who aren’t meant to enjoy it.  I will discuss this further in the future, but I really feel that our culture has gone too far.  Just going to the mall reminds me how far this means.  Girls and women are EXPECTED to share their body with anyone and everyone.  Clothing isn’t created to flatter anyone, its created to highlight what society feels is sexy.  I could rant on about this for days, but I will rein myself in.

In short, I dress to flatter my body and to enjoy fun clothing.  I don’t dress so everyone has the ability to window shop me.  I cover my hair to reserve that part of my being for the private intimate relationship between me and my husband.  Intimacy is so much more than the act of physical relations between a husband and wife.  He knows me and understands my needs on a different level than the rest of my world, including my parents.   There is really nothing like the relationship between spouses. It was created for a good and beautiful purpose. Me keeping part of my physical being only for this part of me gives me that freedom.

Washing Dishes in Cold Water

Who washes dishes in cold water voluntarily? Me, that’s who!
As you may or may not know, observant Jews who are shomer Shabbat, that is, keep the biblical laws regarding the Sabbath, don’t turn on the hot water during our Sabbath. For some, that means not doing any dishes. For cray-cray people like myself who can’t stand to see dirty dishes anywhere, we wash with cold water. Which means I am only hopefully getting them really clean and use less soap because cold water isn’t so great at rinsing off soap.
Just recently I was standing at my sink on a Friday night reflecting on what I was doing. And why I was doing it. And what brought me to this point to happily wash dishes in cold water. I waited five years to have the privilege of being obligated and gifted with the Sabbath. A gift of rest. For 25 hours every week I am obligated to give up my technology and my time, to focus on my Creator and be able to experience the joy of this gift. In exchange, He asks me to focus on Him and not on the mundane tasks that distract me during the week. This exchange is so unequal. My tiny sacrifice of keeping up with my Facebook feed or having super scrubbed dishes cannot compare to what He has waiting for me every week and for eternity. Who needs clean dishes when you have this gift waiting for you? While my mind will tell me to wash them, my soul will be thankful for the gift. My gift of washing dishes in cold water, what I waited five years to receive.

Back In The Game

I haven’t blogged in what seems like years.  I really want to be back blogging, so here’s a good attempt! I have some new ideas and topics ready to discuss, as well as some crazy mundane things like what I’m making for dinner on any given day.  Don’t worry, this will not become a series of meal pictures.  I may discuss what I’m making in the kitchen, as its one of my creative outlets.  Other than that, this will be a blog about life in New Jersey.

Winter

Winter here is very different from home. First, the temperature. I am slowly becoming a wimp when it comes to this. Now, for me, freezing is when it dips below 50 degrees. Next winter, I just might not go outside! Plus, instead of constant snow, there is rain. Cold rain. But, it still is better than snow. Especially when snow turns to slush. Hopefully I will be able to handle the northeast next winter.
One highlight of this month though will be Jonathan arriving in a week. Be ready for tons of picture updates. I am going to try and print some out here too, so I don’t just have them online to look at. We want to spend some time with friends who live here, some Jonathan hasn’t seen for years. I am looking forward to sharing Israel with him. Funny, how I think of this country as something to share with him. I have been living here for almost 6 months, and I am taking ownership. Hmmm…I am very excited to see him and to travel with him around Israel.
People are leaving the kibbutz. Kinda sad. One is coming back, the others are off for good. Some more are leaving next week. Then, in a few weeks, another set of new people will be arriving. I am thankful to have my own room for now. A whole bunch of space just for me and my stuff. This will only last for a couple more weeks, then I have to share space again.
I have been in bed all day. Started yesterday with head cold symptoms, now the only thing that even tastes good are Cheerios. So, I’ve been eating Cheerios all day long. I probably should go get some more water, I’m just too lazy!

Friends

I think I’ve been updating this well, at least when I remember to. I had last week off, which was beautiful! I spent an entire day in Jerusalem, until the last bus left at 10:30 and then I had a night out with the girls. That was fab! We were saying good bye to one of the girls in the program, she leaves for the US this next week. Bittersweet happy times! When I go back to the US next August, she will leave near me, so that’s a big blessing for me. We had good food, good wine and incredible desserts. The best part of the night was conversation. I haven’t had that many good laughs since I left Michigan. One of the best times this past summer with friends was when my dear friend Shannon hosted a mini-reunion of MU people. We spent the whole afternoon talking and laughing about old times and our lives right now. It was an amazing afternoon and I cherish all my friends, present and past. Here are some pics from this past week’s get together as well as the one from the summer.

As you can see, I have the most wonderful friends! I miss all the ones in the US and I will miss all the ones that are leaving in a few weeks! I love you all!!!!

New Year, New Experiences


One of the things I’ve enjoyed is travelling around Israel. I did find this chain of coffee places, Aroma. AWESOME!! Israel has it’s own version of Starbucks. Anytime I get near one of these, I feel compelled to stop in, I’m out of control, I know.
This year will be a first for me, in that I have someone coming to viisit me in another country. WOW!!! Jonathan is coming in February for a week. He hasn’t been to Israel in a very long time, so we will get to see a little bit of this incredible country together, some things for the first time. He will also get to see friends of his that he hasn’t seen in YEARS, so I’m sure we will both have an amazing week.
Another experience I have had is to stand on a border with a country that has had quite a violent past with the country I’m residing in right now. I’ve been on the Syrian and Jordanian borders of Israel. I’ve only been at the Canadian border of the USA and I can’t say there is the same kind of history there. This whole trip has been incredible for me.
What will this year bring for you? I’ll leave you with an email forward I received today…think about it, this year can and will be different.
Happy New Year, everyone!
Health:
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
4. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did in 2009 .
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily.. And while you walk, smile.
Personality & Character:
11. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13.. Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don’t take yourself so seriously.. No one else does.
15. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree…
Social Relationships:
25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything..
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business. g
31. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your family & friends will. Stay in touch.
Life:
32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change…
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37.. The best is yet to come…
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

This isn’t much of a blog if…

one doesn’t actually blog in it.  I was so discouraged by my other blog, that I kinda forgot that I started this one.  Ok, I”ll be better, I promise.    So last weekend was this memorial day of sorts for victims of the Shoa.  The rabbinate (religious officiating body) of Israel declared this past Sunday (really the Hebrew date of this past Sunday) as a day for all the people who lost family members in the Shoa but don’t know the exact date of their death. So this weekend was kind of sad. The day ended with a presentation by the high schoolers about their March of the Living trip they just returned from. They go to Europe and visit work and death camps operated by Nazi Germany. A survivor from the kibbutz accompanies the students on this trip. The trip looked amazing. I would actually really like to take a trip like this by myself. I know it sounds semi-creepy, but I don’t think you can have compassion until you’ve stood in a room full of shoes that were worn by thousands of people who were killed, simply for something they were born into. Or stood in a train car made for cattle transport where hundreds of people were crammed into, on the way to their death. That’s why I want to visit these horrible sites. As a student of history, I know that awful things happened at these places. I also know that if we try to forget the past, it will be repeated. Right now, in parts of Europe, any person can’t wear any type of head covering worn for religous reasons.
I am attaching an email my mom sent me, it’s so true, read it and send it to everyone you think who will continue spreading the message.

ALL EUROPEAN LIFE DIED IN AUSCHWITZ

The following is a copy of an article written by Spanish writer
Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez and published in a Spanish newspaper on Jan.
15 2008. It doesn’t take much imagination to extrapolate the message
to the rest of Europe – and possibly to the rest of the world.
REMEMBER AS YOU READ — IT WAS IN A SPANISH PAPER
ALL EUROPEAN LIFE DIED IN AUSCHWITZ
By Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez

I walked down the street in Barcelona , and suddenly discovered a terrible truth – Europe died in Auschwitz .. We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned
a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world. The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.
And under the pretense of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance,
religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride. They have blown up our trains and turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime. Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they
plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts. And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition.
We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for
people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.
What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe .
A lot of Americans have become so insulated from reality that they imagine America can suffer defeat without any inconvenience to themselves.
Absolutely No Profiling! Pause a moment, reflect back, and take the following multiple choice test.
These events are actual events from history. They really happened! Do you remember?
HERE’S THE TEST
1. 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by:
a. Superman
b. Jay Leno
c. Harry Potter
d. A Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40
2. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and
massacred by :
a. Olga Corbett
b. Sitting Bull
c. Arnold Schwarzenegger
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40
3. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by:
a. Lost Norwegians
b. Elvis
c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
d . Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40
4. During the 1980’s a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon
by:
a. John Dillinger
b. The King of Sweden
c. The Boy Scouts
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40
5. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
a. A pizza delivery boy
b. Pee Wee Herman
c. Geraldo Rivera
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40
6. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old
American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair
by:
a. The Smurfs
b. Davey Jones
c. The Little Mermaid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40
7. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens , and a US Navy diver
trying to rescue passengers was murdered by:
a. Captain Kidd
b. Charles Lindberg
c. Mother Teresa
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40
8. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
a. Scooby Doo
b. The Tooth Fairy
c. The Sundance Kid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40
9. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
a. Richard Simmons
b. Grandma Moses
c. Michael Jordan
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40
10. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
a. Mr. Rogers
b. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Wild Bill’s women
problems
c. The World Wrestling Federation
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40
11. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles
to take out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one
crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by
the passengers. Thousands o f people were killed by:
a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
b. The Supreme Court of Florida
c. Mr Bean
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40
12. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
a. Enron
b. The Lutheran Church
c. The NFL
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40
13. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
a. Bonnie and Clyde
b. Captain Kangaroo
c. Billy Graham
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40
No, I really don’t see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you? So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no
longer be allowed to profile certain people.. They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents who are members of the President’s
security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winner and former Governor Joe Foss, but leave Muslim Males between the ages 17 and 40 alone lest they be guilty of profiling.
Let’s send this to as many people as we can so that the Gloria Aldreds
and other dunder-headed attorneys along with Federal Justices that want
to thwart common sense, feel ashamed of themselves — if they have any
such sense. As the writer of the20award winning story ‘Forrest Gump’ so aptly put
it, ‘Stupid is as stupid does.’