Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Thoughts On A Seige

I listen to NPR a lot not because I want to - but because it's the only station I get in my office.  Obviously, with the war raging in Eretz HaKodesh right now, there have been a fair amount of interviews and BBC reports.  But no one yet has dared to ask one simple question.

I can't understand how journalists can interview a Hamas spokesperson and not ask why there are no bomb shelters in Gaza. The technology exists, the will to dig holes or tunnels, exists.  I want to know why (well, I do know why), and I want to world to know why.

There are no bomb shelters in Gaza because the goal of Hamas isn't to protect its people, or stop the occupation.  The goal of Hamas is to get as many of its people killed as possible, because they know the world, like these journalists, want to blame Israel and wring whatever concessions they can out of them.  Like releasing more murderers.

Because the ultimate goal of Hamas is to destroy Israel, but they can't do it because that's not G-d's goal.  G-d's goal is that Israel not only survive, but prosper, while the enemies of Israel whither.  By their own choice the Palestinians have sealed their own fate.  Because in order for Israel to survive, her enemies cannot.

So don't be surprised if the number of dead Arabs in Gaza goes sky high.  That's Hamas' plan.  And if the people of Gaza go along with it, then that means it's their plan too.

If the Arabs bothered to learn Jewish history, they would know that the 600,000 Jews of the Yishuv in 1947 defending Israel's existence is the same number of Jews who fought for the land and won under Joshua ben Nun, 40 years after the end of Egyptian slavery 4000 years ago.  Which means that their attempts to destroy Israel then, just as now, were and are destined for failure.

Am Yisrael Chai. The people of Israel live now, and will always live, Boruch Hashem yom yom.

 

The Eyes Of Hashem. . .

I cried as I watched this, knowing how I feel personally about the war raging there now.  But the Rebbe is, and always will be, right.

Monday, June 30, 2014

#bringmoshiachnow

Tonight is Gimmel Tammuz, the third day of the Jewish month of Tammuz, and the 20th anniversary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's passing.  I am a Chabadnik, and remember, in detail, the incredible pain of losing the Rebbe, the Nosi HaDor, the leader of the generation, 20 years ago today.  

As if that wasn't bad enough, on Gimmel Tammuz in Eretz HaKodesh, the bodies of three perfect angels, three holy martyrs to the will of HaKodosh Boruchu, were found.  I cannot help but note that there some significance to this day, and the overwhelming sadness I feel.

I was alone in my office when I checked my email and saw one stating Baruch Dayan Emes (Blessed Is the True Judge - said upon first hearing of someone's passing).  My first response was to wonder who in my community had died.  

I was in shock to learn that Eyal Yifrah (19), Gilad Sha’ar (16) and Naftali Frenkel (16)  had been murdered.  Shocked because I, along with millions of others, held out hope that the animals who kidnapped them had kept them alive to ransom them.  I cried, called my husband to tell him the awful news, and cried again.

And this is how I feel.  If G-d allowed this horror to happen so we could pray to Him, to beg Him, to acknowledge that He is the only One we can count, then mission accomplished.  We did it.  

Now what is G-d going to do for us in return?  We asked for our boys back, and we got body bags.  Time to demand G-d give us what we need.  Bring Moshiach NOW - our redeemer, the holy messiah, so this madness can end now.  We earned it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Getting the Message Loud and Clear

As I've mentioned before, I work as a Registered Dietitian in an acute care psychiatric hospital.  One of my many duties is to offer group nutrition classes in each of the four units each week.

Over the course of my teaching, I have often encouraged my patients to take advantage of the public library system, for all the right reasons.  It's a clean, quiet place to go that allows free Internet access. Today, the Holy One Above decided it was time for that to change.

On my way home I decided to drop by the library to pick up a book I had on hold.  While close to my house, it's a library I rarely use, and haven't been in for a while.  So I thought it was strange when I entered the building to find myself confronted by a sign saying it was illegal for anyone to harass the staff.

How weird is that?  Real weird, considering it didn't take more than 5 minutes for me to understand what that was all about.  As I waited in line to check out, I watched a young man talk on and on about how the Reference Librarian refused to speak to him, and how all he wanted to do was communicate and she wouldn't communicate.

Everyone else in line, and even the Librarian herself, was trying to ignore him, but he wouldn't stop.  And he wouldn't move.  He stood by the entrance/exit talking to the Librarian who had to be a good 20 feet away.

People like to talk about their "Aha" moment.  This was my "Oh no" moment.  I squinted my eyes to get a good look at him - he definitely could have been one of my patients, although he didn't look familiar.  But he sure acted familiar.  I noticed the It would have been best for all if she had.

Next time I get around to teaching a group at my facility, I won't be advising anyone to check out their local library.  In fact, I may limit my advise to telling them all to stay home.




Wednesday, May 7, 2014

One More Embarrassing Moment

I took a break from my clinical job today to attend a training session on preparing the dietary portion of my psych hospital for government surveyors.  The class started at 8:30 and the warning was ominous: if you are late, the fine is $100 and you won't be allowed into class.

Which translates to me becoming a frantic lunatic on the freeway, nee parking lot this morning as I scrambled to make the 15 minute drive in 30 minutes (if you've ever driven in rush hour anywhere, you know what I mean).

I had just about made it to the LA-USC Medical Center Patient Services structure (it's more than a building - it's a block long statement) when I ran head-on into the Sheriff Department's security check-point.  That meant lining up all my bags (I could win big prizes on Let's Make A Deal with the crap in my purse alone) on the conveyor belt, and stepping through the metal detector.

Yes, it went off. And yes, they had to wand me.  But that was nothing compared to the "knife" they said was in my purse.

Okay, what is it with men.  I have a purse and a bag (think shopping bag, only fashionable), and the cop couldn't determine from the screen which one I had to dump out?  I ended up dumping out both, which cost me time and my happy countenance, which I knew I'd need to get through the day.  

Happy that they couldn't find the knife (although they did get a glimpse of my personal life), they let me go, although I didn't know where I was and how to get there.  The kindest nurse (Eliyahu HaNavi dressed as a black woman) ever saw my look of distress and led me halfway through the hospital to the meeting room, which I nearly refused to leave for fear of getting lost (I was gonna hold "it" in all day).  

Just another adventure with G-d at my side.  Hopefully, next time, He'll drive.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Discharging My Duties

As a Registered Dietitian, I work closely with psych patients in a locked acute care facility five days a week.  During that time, I assess their nutritional needs, and give nutrition education classes.

In one class last week, I met a patient who got to talking about his love of Chai tea.  Well, I love it too, only Chai Green Tea by Stash.  I promised him a tea bag last Friday, and when I learned he was being discharged today, decided to make good on my promise.

Only one little problem - he was discharged early this morning, before I had a chance to see him.  Oh well, I told myself, sometimes things work out that way and I put the tea bag back in my lab coat pocket and went about my duties.

On one of the units, a nurse was sick, and I decided to give her the tea bag.  So when I bumped into the social worker for that unit, I gave her the tea bag with instructions to give it to the nurse.  As we were leaving the administration building after a meeting, I hear this voice call out: "Hey, you owe me some tea!"

Sure enough, there stood the discharged patient, back to pick up some belongings.  I turned to the social worker, plucked the tea off her clip board, and handed it to the patient.  He was shocked that I remembered him, and that I remembered the tea.

Seriously, what are the chances that I would see this patient in the administration building at exactly this time?  Not very good.  I visit the administration once a day, and that time varies.

G-d wanted this young man to have that tea, and He wanted me to give it to him. I love when that happens!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kindred Spirit

Pesach just ended, leaving me with a cold and the satisfaction of having read a wonderful book.  Kindred, written by Octavia Butler, is set in the modern era (1976) and the antebellum South, a time-travel saga that was hard to put down.

Written in 1979, somehow I missed this novel, which pits Dana, a 20th century black woman, against unknown forces that transport her to 19th century Maryland, to a plantation just in time to save the white master's son.  Over and over again.

Through Dana, and Butler's cast of characters, we get a taste, frightening no less, of slavery in America.  As a Jew whose family was safe on America's shores by 1924, I missed dual Holocausts - one against black slaves in this country, and the other, more well known, to Jews in Europe.  As Dana mentioned between trips through time, it appears the Germans learned a lot from 19th century slave owners.

Perfect reading for a holiday dealing with slavery and redemption.  While I played no part in America's horrific past, I cannot help but feel guilty that it happened at all.  And more than a bit ashamed.

I did not seek out this book.  I found it on the "New Book" shelf, and liked the time travel aspect.  In the end, I found the eye opener about slavery, and all its evils, the most redeeming quality of all.