Saturday, June 30, 2012

Well Something Has to Be Done About This State of Affairs...


On opening my email after Shabbat I received an email from a friend with this article from the Herald Sun. As a VIT registered teacher I find this quite disturbing. I would not want to work alongside someone who has been charged and convicted of the sexual assault of a child.

Morality seems pretty skewiff these days. We have some 'gay activists' like Mikeybear aka Michael Barnett of the Aleph fame or notoriety (depending on your point of view) and Bruce Ilama (I quite like ilamas as unique animals but there is nothing unique about the sleeze peddled by our dear ‘friend Bruce’) up in arms and running around like flapping chooks on amphetamines cackling furiously about Dr Miriam Grossman’s talk at the Glen Eira College theatrette at 2pm tomorrow. I am totally annoyed as I cannot go. It clashes with the Glen Eira Literary Awards at the Glen Eira Council Chambers for which I am short listed again this year. So I am tossing up whether to stay for the whole event or go dashing out down the road to Glen Eira College as soon as possible to hear Dr Grossman speak.

I like the sound of Dr Grossman despite the rubbish being spouted by Mikeybear and his mate Bruceywoosy.

Don’t get me wrong on this. I am very aware that yes, some people are gay by nature and that is who they are. They are human beings who live a different way to the norm and there you have it. They should not be discriminated against. They have rights just like the rest of us. They also have responsibilities, JUST like the rest of us.

Most modern democracies recognise gay partnerships and they can collect pensions and etc etc and the partner in a gay relationship has the same rights as a heterosexual couple in a defacto relationship or marriage.

Marriage however is the privileged state for a man and a woman who want to sanctify their union before G-D and inherent in that privilege is a great responsibility. Mikeybear and Bruce Ilama would not understand that, given that they are both probably atheists and hate religion of any sort from the brief over view I have given Mikeybear’s ranting and railings against all manner of people who disagree with him. It beggars belief to wonder why a person who is not religious and living a life style contrary to most religious beliefs would want to join an institution who foundations rest on the very beliefs that they are either a non believer or against.

I have never once in my trawling of Michael’s grubby little blog found one sensible rational post about anything of consequence. I tend to come away feeling icky and like a need a hot shower to wash away the mental grime and to say at least ten tehillim to cleanse the mind of his putrid postings. Apart from ogling near naked men in the gym he sleazes around (then posts about it) when he is not posting rants against Dr Grossman and Rabbi Shimon Cowen or anyone who holds views contrary to his own, he puts himself out on the net as a supporter or advocate for young ‘gay people.’

Now it is the last part that is the worry. Adolescence is a time when young people go through many changes that challenge them and form them. From being quite asexual, they begin to have an awareness of their sexuality and the sexuality of others to a much greater degree than before. It is certainly not an easy time. Yes, there are some people who know at an early age that they are gay, others who are uncertain and could go either way, others who are definite about their sexuality and heterosexual. It is the middle group I would not want Mikeybear or Bruce Ilama fiddling around with their heads.

Unbeknown to Mikeybear I have known quite a few gay or lesbian people in my time during Uni in the 80’s. Most of them were lovely people, but that does not make me want to try their lifestyle or even experiment with it.

In this uncertain world there are some kids who do experiment with or flirt with gay lifestyles before finding out it is not for them and vice versa. They may hero worship someone of the same sex who turns out to be gay. That places a lot of power in the hands of the gay individual to form a part of that young person’s awakening sexuality for better or worst.

The same thing with a young teacher who may have a student who is only four or five years age difference come on sexually to him or her, especially if he or she is an attractive and charismatic person.

What is the requirement for the teacher? Yep, you guessed it. It is not on. There must be appropriate distance at all times between a student and the person who has duty of care for this child. We live in sad times and sexualisation of everyday life has certainly taken over.

Gone are the days of innocence in year seven or eight. Now they all have boyfriends in primary school and some children I am told even have sex in primary school. I find the idea of children being sexual at that age quite repugnant. Childhood is for growing up not sexual relationships. Childhood is a time for children to be children and free from sexual relationships until they leave school at least. In our community, it is until they get married.

There is so much more to a healthy relationship with family and friends than sexuality.

Sexuality is a private and intimate affair between consenting adults of age who are preferably married. People have forgotten the real essence of relating to others. When we sexualise our lives haphazardly, life gets very messy. Believe me I do know having had a life before being religious and I would not swap any sexual relationship for what I have now, however sexy the guy and charming etc etc.

I believe marriage is a state of sanctification and holiness between a man and a woman. By denying the rite of marriage to same sex couples, I do not believe I discriminate because to be honest, there is no advantage other than the aspect of sanctification. Gay couples have all the rights that heterosexual couples have.

They are perfectly welcome to create their own rite of unification and call it ‘garriage’ if they like, but not marriage. Marriage is for a man and for a woman to be joined in holy matrimony and get the part holy or wholly. To make a marriage, we need one man and one woman. We need to teach our children to respect each other who ever we are and to relate respectfully to each other in life.

Lets bring back into our lives:








Gut Voch

Thursday, June 28, 2012

If you are proud to be Jewish....edited and added...


I am big on being proud of being Jewish.  I would rather be a proud Jew than a self hating Jew  or for that matter a self hating person of any sort. If we are uncomfortable personally with being Jewish and expressing our Jewishness, how can we expect a non Jew to feel comfortable with us being Jewish.  It is usually non religious Jews who are self hating.But by the same token,  I know many great, wonderful  non religious Jews who are  very proud to be Jewish and to have wonderful warm Jewish Homes. The fact that they are NOT religiously observant does not make them any lesser beings in G-D's eyes.
Part of some objections (from friends) to me moving to the country is the fact that I will be 'away' from the Jewish communities.That maybe so so in distance but spiritually I will always be close and I feel it is better to have work and be self supporting and able to pay rent than living off the charity and good nature of others. It is only an hour away and to my way of thinking it is really not a big distance at all. There are people with family in NY and the USA or Israel and that is a lot further.
My son will be Jewishly proud despite the best efforts of some who bullied him, telling him that they were Jewish and he was not, telling him that I adopted him and the list goes on.
I had an interesting discussion with a young girl today about this very topic. It is the home life that makes a child a proud and balanced Jewish personality, not the school or the youth group. They help, but it is up to you the parent to ensure that he or she knows what it is all about. If you as the parent give mixed messages, then expect the child to grow up confused and unsure of his or her identity.
Be proud of yourself, your religion and your lifestyle.
I recently have had some very uncomfortable communication with biological family members. They do not accept me for who I am. Does that make sense. Well let me clarify.
I grew up in a non religious home of any sort. Religion was not present in our house at all. No crosses, no mezuzot. We have Jewish heritage on the Leeds side and my mother's side, but is she Jewish? I honestly do not know. I suspect she may have surprises in her geneology and one day I will find out. My father's mother was Irish and of Catholic heritage but due to distance and other attitudes within the family they did not practise any thing to the extent that they could not find a batismal certificate for my father when he came to be married to my mother in Sydney in 1953. So the Anglican priest did a two for the price of one, he baptised my father and then married him to my mother. You see, Gran had forgotten to baptise any of her three boys. It just wasn't important. But all three boys were circumcised. That was considered more important.
The bookshelves of my grandfather and grandmother's house were lined with books on the holocaust. Either my family had an avid fascination for the gory and grim details of warfare and human cruelty or some aspect of the pintel yid sparked in them and they had almost every book that came out on the holocaust post World War II. When I started to read around age five I developed an insatiable thirst for knowledge about anything and everything. I read quite a lot of these books before my grandmother realised it was not really the right sort of reading for a six or seven year old girl. I still used to find the key when she was resting and sneak into my Uncle's room and 'borrow' books, carefully arranging the other  books so there were no gaps.
My father's family love books. My father's older brother had a library of well over 10,000 books and probably had read every one of them at least once. He was in his mid thirties and unmarried. His collection had probably grown from childhood. He had a book case full of holocaust literature, Jewish history, World War I and World War II, Japan and Germany, Aboriginal History, Society and Birds, lots of books on birds. He also collected eggs of different native birds and had a cabinet with these all carefully categorised and labelled. He was known as an authority on native species of birds in the South West of Queensland and Australian species as well as being knowledgeable about birds world wide. He read until he married at 47 and presumably continued to read unabated to today similar sorts of books, but adding beekeeping and bee care along the way to his knowledge, as he retired to town and kept bees for a living at one stage.
My father read history, sciences, national geographics, science journals, books on guns and livestock. My father's younger brother read mainly about horses and horse breeding. He later developed a taste for trashy literature thanks to the wife he married whose main focus in life seemed and still seems to be the basics of human bodily functions and interactions. She introduced him to Mandigo a text that is hardly historical in nature about the African slave trade fictionised with emphasis on the sexual relations between slave women and the white plantation owners. She also liked a tawdy historical romance series about Angelique a woman of questionable morals who was continually having adventures, mostly of a sexual nature that involved rape, seduction and forced sexual cohesion, having children and leaving them in out of the way spots for them to reappear back in her life at some later stage at the right moments. Methinks there was a desire for subjugation and summary submission of a physical nature if one is to go by her reading material and behaviour.
I liked Histories other than the holocaust which both horrified and fascinated me, horses, animals,sciences, stories like the condensed Reader's Digest texts that came every quarter or half year.
  I remember reading To Kill A Mockingbird when it first came out, The Source James Michener and Exodus, crying over the assassination of JFK and his brother Robert when that happened a bit later. I was 9 when JFK was assassinated.  My mother could not not understand how I could sit with full colour Life photos of a composed Jackie Kennedy in her blush pink suit blood stained and speckled with the brain and bone fragments of her late husband bawling like a baby.
   'Why are you crying, stupid girl?' she asked me. 'You did not know him.'
   'But he was such a nice man.' I wailed between sobs. 'He was a good man. His poor children. They have no father. His poor wife. She has no husband. He's dead because some bad man killed him.'
   'Rubbish. How do you know he was good. He is an American.'  My mother never forgot or forgave the Americans for coming into the war late and helping the allies. You see she was on the other side. She also did not forgive my uncle for having all this literature on the Holocaust and she used to believe that he did it just to spite her as an Austrian and to rub salt in the wounds of the losing side. She did not like Americans and would go on and on about the 'arrogance of the american soldiers' and her contempt for the Austrian and German girls who 'went over to the other side and had relationships with the USA Army Corps for a 'few Hersey chocolate kisses'  would simmer to the surface twenty or more years later.
I called her a Nazi several times. It is true that she was brainwashed. Anyone who grew up in Germany or Austria at the time she did would have been bombarded with propaganda about Jews and developed a very skewed idea of who and what were Jews and homosexuals and communists. All Jews were secret communists anyway according to Mum. My mother was a closet Nazi for as long as I knew her. The first time I called her a Nazi she slapped my face roundly and several times. I immediately burst into tears and told her that her slaps proved that she was one and then I shot at her, 'I know what you did to all those poor Jewish children and their parents because look how you treat me, your own daughter. You are cold and hard as rock.'
I remember her taunting me and trying to get me to throw something at her or to hit her. I never did because some how I knew if I did it would only serve to fuel the fires against me. I actually could not hit my mother or physically abuse her. I developed a sharp tongue to defend myself. I learnt  from her to give as good as I got in the verbal abuse stakes. She hated me with a vengenance and knew if she made disparaging comments about 'your precious Jews' she wouold never fail to get a rise out of me.  By the same token I never missed an opportunity to point out to her the evils of the Nazi philosophy and their cruel acts. Our war of words has continued without end. I have never changed my loyalties and she hers. My grandmother was a point of refugee and peace in my life until I was sixteen and then she died. My role in the family was set as that nasty ungrateful and sloppy girl who fancied she was an artist and intelligent, but in reality she was a stupid, over emotional not set for a good future at all. My father tried to make the peace, but it was not to be. She would threaten to leave him with myself and my second brother and take my youngest brother and go back to Austria. He must have lived on a knife edge for most of his married life. She was not an easy person to live with.
I grew up with the idea of German Nazi = cold, murdering with out a conscious, scientific experimentation at the expense of others pain and suffering. Being Jewish = suffering nobly, wisdom, compassion, laws of the bible, respect and understanding. My grandmother and I also talked about what happened and she was not half so emotional as my mother. From her, I received far more factual and unemotional accounts of the world, people and its history. My mother took sets against people and would poison everyone she could against them. That did not make her very popular with others.
Anyway we all have our failings and at 90 years of age she is hardly likely to change for anyone. The irony is that her father was Jewish because his mother was Jewish. She could have spent time in a concentration camp if the right people knew a little of her family history. That part she conveniently ignores.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The plight of a Young couple In Israel


I am just going to put up the story of these two young people as it was sent to me. Financially I am unable to do much at the moment, (I can't even help myself), but if I can inspire someone else to give them a hand, well and good. I have published bank details for those of you who would like to help them through the Shomron Liaison office.

This it their story. I have reproduced it as it was sent to me. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. hashem should bless them to build a house that stands and may they merit to see the rebuilding not only of their house, but of the third Beit Hamikdash.

Dear friends,

Four months ago, Yisca Federman and Elyasaf Oyerbach got married.

The young couple had decided to build their house in Havat Gilead, in the Shomron. Elyasaf was expelled from his house in Neve Dekalim which was in Gush Katif (Gaza strip). After being deported from his home, he went to the beautiful Shomron Mountains and built a new house. He hoped that this will be the place he will be able to put down roots.

  Unfortunately, the bulldozers were sent by the authorities to this house too. The house was destroyed completely. Elyasaf did not give up and he started all over again- determined to build another house. It wasn't long before Yisca joined his efforts.

 Like him, she too was deported from her home which was in the Federman's farm in the Hebron Mountains.  In the middle of the night police troops broke into her family's house, forced her 8 younger siblings out to the cold, dark night and destroyed the house and everything that was in it. The very next day she went back to the ruins of the house and started clearing them. Her family rebuilt the house, and again it was destroyed by the Israeli police. 6 times they built their house and 6 times it was dismantled. No wonder that Yisca joined Elyasaf in rebuilding his house at Havat Gilad.

Yisca and Elyasaf spent all of their savings and all of the money they got for their wedding to build a beautiful, well equipped house.

Words can't describe the joy of watching the young couple establish the foundation of their new home. So many tears were shed, prayers said, and hopes wished for them to get to this exciting moment.

On Monday Tamuz 5th, in broad day light Arab intruders broke daringly into their house. The plunderers broke the furniture, spilt the content of the closets and set fire to the house in three different spots. When Yisca and Elyasaf returned home from work, they saw smoke coming out of the house. They immediately called the firemen, but despite all their efforts, the house was completely burnt. All they could do was sit and watch their dream house burn up.                                                                                             

This brave young couple's story is not a story of privet people. This is a story of courageous young people who were born into a life of caring for our people's future. Their life is a life of devotion to the Jewish people and for the holy land of Israel. Not only that they did not seek a more comfortable life, but they chose to be pioneers and conquer the hills of Samaria. It wasn't an easy choice, but they have a strong and undeniable faith that this is the right thing to do. That this is the best way they can act in the behalf of our people, our land and our Torah.

Not all of us have their mental strength. Not all of us can choose to lead our life the way they do- so unselfish, so devoted to the cause. But many of us feel that their struggle is our struggle and their pain is our pain. Let us not be indifferent! Let each and one of us, open our hearts and our wallets and help them. Let us all be part in this courageous act of conquering the land.  May G-d bless us in all of what we do, and may he help us in the task of maintaining the land of Israel.

Bank details to assist them.

Attached 4 photos.
Donations can be made for the reguler accounts:

Shuva Israel - The Return Israel Fund Inc.
Account# at Citibank: 95733396
111 Great Neck Road, Great Neck, NY., 11021, USA
Routing number: 021000089
Swift Code: CITIUS33


For residents outside USA :

Details at Bank of Jerusalem

Account Name: Lev El Lev
Account Number: 300056876

IBAN: IL85 0540 3000 0030 0056 876

Bank of Jerusalem Ltd.

Bank of Jerusalem's Details at Correspondent/Intermediate Bank

Bank Name: HSBC Bank USA, N.Y.
Account Number: 000305529

Fedwire Rt. Code: 021001088

Chips ABA#: 0108

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Bank of Jerusalem's Details at Correspondent/Intermediate Bank

Bank Name: Royal Bank of Scotland, London
Account Number: 10004703


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Bank of Jerusalem's Details at Correspondent/Intermediate Bank

Bank Name: Deutche Bank AG, Frankfurt

Account Number: 100953608700


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Bank of Jerusalem's Details at Correspondent/Intermediate Bank

Bank Name: Toronto-Dominion Bank, Toronto CA

Account Number: 0360-01-2314348


Coming Back from House Hunting in Drouin

Going out of the city this afternoon was such a relief. The hills roll on into the distance and it is a fiercely freeing sight. The highway winds over them - a flat black licorice strap set amid the green fields dotted with black and white fresians, creamy gold cows and an assortment of horses, sheep and alpacas contentedly sitting or grazing. The cars and trucks buzzing busily over the long freeway seem frentic with the thrum of the race for $ and the brusqueness of living to survive the competition for space and place in city living. By contrast, we get to the small towns, meetings with real estate agents and others we encounter and they are just plain nice. No fuss, just bloody nice people who do not want to bite your head off or read you the wrong way.
My son relaxed as soon as we hit Berwick and could see the environment turn to green and brown around us. He's a bit sick of looking at houses and frankly so am I. I just want one I can call home for at least a couple of years if not more. Who knows? More people might see the advantage of a small town life, yet not too small. We are looking for a place on the outskirts of town. I do not want to live in the town, but on the edge - in the burbs if you could call them that. I want to sit on a deck and see trees and bushland and that is what I can see from one older house which is $80 a week cheaper than our two bedroom noisy and dusty flat in North Caulfield. This house backs onto a creek and there is a dairy up the end of the lane. For my son, there is a shed. It is very important for him to have a shed. for his bikes. Everytime I have arrived back from my forays of house hunting apart from the usual question of 'Can we move yet/' invariably I am asked 'Did you see a good shed? or 'Did you get a shed yet?' The shed is more important than the house. Maybe we could live in the shed and store the bikes in the house. That is a thought. A cheap primus stove in the shed would make roughing it a whole new experience. The cat and the bikes could have the house and we will put a swag in the shed. Only kidding or Joke Joyce!
Saw a lovely house for a bit less than I am paying now. Four bedrooms, two bathrooms, walk in wardrobe in the master bedroom, tiled floors and new. Totally unlived in. Brand spanking new. But it is too big for us. I know what I want and three bedrooms is big enough for us. Even two bedrooms and an office or study will do. The yard was too steep and also what do I need four bedrooms for unless I want to run a bed and breakfast business for people who want a bit of a country stay. Maybe when I am working and have a deposit to buy my own place in a couple of years or more. Then I can have a small holiday place on  small farm with maybe a small house for me and two or three cottages. One day. Have to finish my novel first. My first one that is.
Glen Eira Awards on Sunday and I cannot figure out whether I am better off not winning anything and just getting the spurt of jealousy from being short listed and not winning a prize and then writing furiously for  few months for another competition and deciding to submit to journals as well or winning something and sinking into that smug sense of self congratulatory satisfaction of 'Oh, well, I am pretty good or that wasn't even one of my best stories or poems' mood and wanting to look over the other entries to see what they were like and thinking about the craft of the whole exercise.
I have to say that I did work on Weep in Silence afterwards and added something which made it a better story. It missed something that explained the relationship between the mother and the daughter better. However it still works without the additional paragraph and I think it was two or three sentences. I have to look at my story about a boy whose house is destroyed by the government in Israel. He lives in a hilltop community. I am dissappointed that it did not even get short listed and will go over it and I will ask Carol Middleton how to improve it. Maybe it was too politically incorrect? Who knows?
Going back into the city this afternoon was an occasion filled with reluctance and a longing to stay in the space and fresh air. we saw the most divine sunset and it just filled me with wonder. Hashem is the best artist, THE BEST EVER. I wanted to weep with joy from the pure mix of colours and the shades of light from the setting sun. Thank  you G-D for letting me live this life to see such beauty.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dr Miriam Grossman and 'Sex Education - Protecting our children's health


This is a talk that I want to go to and I do thank Mikeybear and Bruce Ilama for drawing my attention to it.These two 'interesting individuals' for their own reasons have railed against this Dr Grossman in their usual fashion  - presumably because her commonsense and down to earth approach to teaching children about themselves and sexuality goes against their propagandist stance.
Here is what they have to say about her which makes me all the more keen to go to the talk.

and of course our old 'dear friend' Mikeybear

From all accounts it is being chaired by Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen and as an educator of High School children I feel it will be beneficial to attend. For the very very reasons that they try to howl her down and people like her, who obviously talk commonsense and have done their research, I want to hear what she has to say and it sounds as though her book may be an interesting and good read. At least it will not raise my blood pressure like some books I have recently read. I have gone back to very benign readings and constructive ones. The Glen Eira Library has a great Judaica section and I will look forward to utilising it when I am in the country. Nothing like a good book on a quiet evening surrounded by nature and the fresh air of the Gippsland. I can reccommend Rabbi Avraham Twerski's book on Chasidic Discourses.
By the way, this talk by Dr Miriam Grossman (not our Miriam Grossman who has recently gotten her PHD) also from the USA should be very interesting and enjoyable. It will be at the Glen Eira College theatre on July the 1st, that is this coming Sunday. I will have a full day. I also am attending the Glen Eira My Brother Jack Literary Awards. I have been short listed in two categories. The short listing came at a very down moment for me, filled with self doubts and self conscious about my lack of work and still smarting from the tirade I received from a previously 'close friend' about my lack of writing skills and my 'failures as an educator and writer as well as a person and a role model' I now do not even have to receive a prize to feel a bit better. The fact that the Glen Eira Literary Festival entries number in the hundreds makes me feel better.
I now will go and write a couple of new stories and poems for entries in other competitions and try a few journals as well.
I am having a crack at The Age Short Story competition which is only a month or so away. There the competition is very stiff as it attracts well over 1500 entries or more. Got to be in it to win it though, like anything.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

While we enjoy relative safety in our lives.....


While we enjoy relative safety in our lives, there are others who are not so lucky. There is a community in Israel whose lives have been continual hell for the last seven years as the Israel government is meandering like a bull shot in the shoulder, goring his own herd. The community of Nitzan is made up of many of those families from Gush Katif. They were uprooted from their homes in 2005 and now they still face threat from the rockets being showered on Israel from the Arabs that the government has tried to make peace with through the 'gift' of Gush Katif. In doing so, they also gave away their commonsense.
Rockets still thunder and thud into Israeli buildings and especially schools or places where children are. They know our weakness is our love for our children and families. One also has to wonder whether they really love their families or children to act the way they do.
There are two kindergartens in Nitzan without a bomb shelter. Can you imagine sending your child to a kindergarten in this atmoshere with NO bomb shelter nearby to give them a fighting chance of survival. I cannot. My heart goes out to those Israeli mothers and fathers and grand parents and other family members who have to endure this state of affairs. Let's try and fix what we can, DONATE to them to get BOMB SHELTERS. Also let's look long term and annex Judea and Samaria. It will be the only way we will have peace is to stand firm and claim our birthright. There is no other option left to us except of course to pack up and go. Then the last person to leave Israel turn the lights out please. The world will then be plunged into the darkest times it has ever known.

Two Female Accademics and the saga of sex workers


Two interesting articles I have recently read about two prevailing attitudes towards 'sex workers' or prostitutes - women who get money for allowing themselves to be abused sexually, physically and emotionally by men who have the money and desire to do so.


The  writer of the first article gets it more right than the santimonous patronage of the second article's author Catherine Lumby. I laughed out loud at her article and thought to myself how out of touch is this woman in her safe little ivory tower and so detached from the realty of these women and young men's lives.
I did taxi driving years ago for about five or six years. I drove at night because I hated traffic and I also liked the peace of driving at night. I gave it up when it became increasing dangerous to be a taxi driver, not just female and not just a night driver. Some of our best customers were the workers at the brothels. massage parlours and their customers. Some people for the obvious reasons did not want it known what sort of establishments they frequented and the workers had to get to work and be returned home.  By the nature of their work, a lot of them  did not think it such clean work as they often were zonked out on drugs to block the despair and pain of the daily abuses that they endured from customers. I and other drivers used to drive to work and home a woman who had horrific scars criss crossing her face from a broken bottle a violent and obviously dissatisfied customer dragged across her face. The workers would talk to you about the diseases, the awful things they were required to do by some customers and what were the consequences of refusals for them. You often didn't want to know. From what I heard and observed second hand about this industry, there is nothing noble or even pleasant about this 'profession' unless of course you are the pimp living on someone else's earnings and misery.
Dr Caoline Norma is more correct in saying that the sex industry is based on the exploitation and degradation of another human being. We need to move beyond that sort of behaviour in this modern world. However there are still some people who live at a very instinctive and base level. They are ruled by their animal natures and always will be unfortunately. The Craig Thompsons of this world are not an anomaly but more the norm.
I think there is a lot to be said for education of women and young men, making them smart enough and educated enough that they do not have to sink to the level of selling their bodies to survive. Sex workers are simply vulnerable people who have been taken and exploited yet again and again by those persons who are callous enough to do so and  in perusing their own agendas, they dehumanise other beings for personal material gain.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Shabbes Korach and Ayin Hara

It has been a pleasant Shabbat and while I am sad to be missing the 18th Yarhetzit of the Rebbe ORM I certainly do not want to share my bug with other people. We did get to Shule this morning but when we arrived back home, I spent the rest of the day reading or sleeping which is not really what Shabbat is about. It is about the elevation of one's spiritual life and neshama one day a week. I guess it was a healing Shabbes.
I actually like this Parsha. Shule was crowded as there was an Aufruf (a bridegroom being called up to the Torah the Shabbat before his wedding. The Kalla or bride is not allowed to be present. It is considered bad luck for the Hatan and Kalla to meet in the seven days before the wedding.)
It was an interesting week this past week. I went to see a Rav from Jerusalem who is very effective in negating Ayin Hara or the Evil Eye. A great friend and teacher of mine asserts that Ayin Hara only works against you if you believe in it. I am of two minds because I believe that if someone is jealous of you or has negative feelings about you or anyone, it creates an energy that is destructive. I feel as if I have seen examples of it in action and it can definitely be present between siblings to some degree. More ony thatlater.
In this week's parsha we see an example of it in Korach who wants to be Cohen Godel. He is jealous of Moshe's and Aron's position. It is not enough for himy thathe is a Levi with his own role in the scheme of things and responsibilities,the wants more than Hashem was prepared to give him. The earth opened and swallowed himyalive. That is afterthe actively tries to hinder Moshe and Aron and makes fun of Moshe. It must have been  a shocking thing to witness. A sign of Hashem's raw might and power.
My reading over this Shabbat was also focussed onyswallowing but of a more everyday kind. The reciting of the Birachat Mazon and aftertBrachot. It appears that the correct recitation and careful recitation of both the Birachat Mazon and Borenefashot is a sigula for good health and good parnossa if we do it properly. I have resolved aftertthis Shabbat reading to eat bread and recite the Birachat Mazon once a day. I am very slack in this as I do not eat bread every day but now I have resolved to do so. Also to use a bentcher to recite all aftertbrachot and I will get one to carry with me at all times. There is a rav in BenaitBrak I think, who used to carry his bentcher with him at all times and ensurey thathe recites the aftertbracha from the bentcher with appropriate concentration and kavanna. We should also say the bracha She Hakol with particular kavanna and emphasis. There were two stories I read where two people were in great danger and they asked for a glass of water and said the She Hakol bracha with particular focus and Hashem created a miracle for them.
I am trying now in my life to pay particular attention to food brachot as I feel the Master of the Universe will give me parnossa and will give me success in my search for a house in Drouin and will help me in my search for parnossa. I have already seen evidence of the Divine Hand in this and will in the weeks to come.
I have resolved to make my house in Drouin when I get the house that is right for me, a home that will welcome the Jews wandering. Any Jew who comes to my door will get a meal and a place to sleep especially on the Holy Shabbat, if we are home and if there are people who are wanting a retreat in the country and we are staying with friends in the city of Melbourne, we will work on before hand. But I want my house to be a real home for my friends as well as me. I am looking forward to Shabbats in the country where we will celebrate with davening, parsha study and Torah as well as good food and fresh air and quiet. No more noise of trams,tdust and shaking of the flat in the city and the cramped quarters. I will look out onto green hills rolling away as far as the eye can see. I will smell fresh grass and euclyptus trees,thearing the chatter of birds and buzz of small insects going about their business and I will have work, blessed work hatlong last.
Back to Ayin Hara before I go. The Rav took some lead and melted it in a small crucible spoon over a burner and as he did so he chanted kabbalistic verses. Then he took a small aluminia saucepan and waved this over my head and prayed pouring the molten metal into the pan.
Then he showed me the way the metal had formed shapes of faces and there were some sharp shards like knives and a chained row of droplets joined together. The faces were people who wished me ill or were jealous and jealousy is very much connected to Ayin Hara, and the sharp shards were the knives that people attempted to thwart my life in a variety ways,the described it like 'sakin be gav'. There were atlot of them. LOL as if I did not know, even in my own family. He described one person in particular who was very jealous of me and tried for many years to control and to chain me down and prevent me from making a success in my life because my lack of success is that which would be necessary for that person to feel somehow validated in his orther life. I feel somehow relieved. I came away with renewed determination to succeed in my life despite the odds and to take a risk in doing what I need to do for my son and myself. Hashem is on your side if you dare to do but by the same token make sureyit is morally and ethically right. If one is careful one does get success if one desiresyit for a good cause.
Gut Voch.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Migron: Another Gush Katif? Panel discussion held at South Caulfield Hebrew Congregation, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

                                                                                                      With G-d’ Blessings B'H
 Saturday 16th June 2012

At the South Caulfield Shule this Motzei Shabbat there was a gathering to hear a panel discussion and view video clips on the present disturbing situation at Migron. The evening was ably chaired by Rabbi Y Barber, Rabbi South Caulfield Hebrew Congregation and the panel included Yossi Aron, writer and Chazan at South Caulfield Shule

 Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen, Institute for Judaism and Civilization

 and Moshe Elkman, Convener of Friends of Migron International

and two short viewings on  the proposed destruction of
the Migron community of 300 Jewish souls, which is situated on a strategic hilltop in the
hills of Benyamin just fourteen kilometres north of Jerusalem.

Yossi Aron spoke emphatically and passionately about the tragedy of the situation at Migron. He has recently returned from Migron where he met with Aviela Deitch, spokesperson of the Migron community.

Yossi outlined some of the complexities of the legal issues surrounding land ownership in the area. He also referred to the role of anti settler activists who brought about a Supreme Court challenge regarding ownership of portion of the land upon which Migron stands. (Migron residents believe that without that activist intervention a compensation agreement could have prevented destruction of the settlement.) The court ruled against the settlers and rather than facilitating a compensation agreement called for evacuation by August 1. As a result of the Supreme Court ruling the government have had their hands tied. Fearful of international reaction including possible approaches to the Hague if there is an attempt to circumvent it, Netanyahu even forbade any of his Ministers to vote for legislation that might have legalised Migron (among other settlements). Accordingly, barring a miracle, our remaining role is to support the settlers during the trauma of their resettlement.”

Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen spoke from a legal and spiritual perspective on whose right it is to own the land and to utilise the land.

He explained the differences between G-d given or what in the secular tradition are called “natural laws” and laws created by governments Even secular law traditions acknowledge that “positive” or human laws can not contravene universal principles, which are ultimately Divine (“natural”) in origin, and for this reason Governments and individuals can be called to account for crimes against these laws. Under universal law, all land, is owned by G-d and therefore it is G-d’s to do with it as is
G-d’s will to do. This fact is recognised by a well known Muslim cleric Sheikh Professor Abdul Palazzi of Rome, who was educated in a Cairo theological school where many
contemporary Muslim Imams are trained. G-d, according to Jewish, Islamic and Christian tradition, gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people. Moreover, because it is a holy land, that is, a land in which alone the Jewish people can fulfil all the commandments of the Torah, it is inalienably Jewish; it is a Jewish land “in essence”. Under Torah law, all human beings who accept upon themselves the universal laws set out biblically for humanity, known as the Noahide laws, are entitled to live in the land with the highest level of welfare and wellbeing.

Finally Moshe Elkman
read an emotional letter from Aviela Deitch, spokepserson for the Migron Community, where she thanked Melbournians for their support and urged them to support the petition campaign being run to "Save Migron" signed by over 4000 people to be presented 1st July to Mr Netanyahu...Elkman said that part of the Jewish ethic is that " a Jew should never give up!"

A video clip was shown of the terrible events of September 5 in 2011 when three
houses at Migron were evacuated and destroyed without any warning in the middle of the
night by a black clad, riot-shield bearing special squad of government troops. The residents of Migron are not terrorists, but loyal and law abiding citizens of the state of Israel. The government has made a terrible mistake here and one wonders how they will rectify it.

Can we as Jews find it in ourselves to put aside all differences and throw our weight behind Migron and other threatened communities and say, No, not this time? It did not work with Gush Katif in 2005 and it did not work with Yamit in 1982. We need to
establish ourselves as an enduring entity. Let us all stand our ground and say “No, Migron stays. Annex Judea and Samaria. A whole and healthy Israel is more beneficial to us as Jews and also the Arabs who live in Israel. Let G-d bless the government of
Israel with new insights and greater faith to do the right thing by
this community.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Drouin - the nicest little Victorian Town


Just back from Drouin where Nir had his first day at his new primary school. It is so nice and the people are nice. He has a great time and is looking forward to going back there for a day next week before we start in Term three.
There is one major problem though and that is accommodation. It has been harder to get than I thought it would be. Limited income and the fact that I have not had a steady job over the last few years has made getting a house or even a flat horrendous. Landlords prefer someone who had been steady employed for the last x amount of years and not a single parent with a primary aged school child. The count is four knock backs so far and I have two more applications in and two or three more to put in early next week. I am praying and hoping and praying.
Work appears to be much easier if the comments of the people I have put my CV in for CRT work is anything to go by. They want CRT's and I am going to take a load of email addies with a photocopy of my card and a covering letter to at least 22 primary schools in the area and four or five high schools. One of the joys of this area will be knowing that I only have to work three days a week or four to have a comfortable lifestyle and be able to save money.
On the way to Warragul I saw a new estate which was amazing and I thought longingly why aren't we getting a rural Jewish community in the Gippsland. I looked out over the new housing estate in East Drouin and imagined a Shule and a Mikveh and a kosher supermarket with a creche for the babies and a bus service into Beth Rivka and Yeshiva or even Yavene college from here.

This is a beautiful new estate on the east side of Drouin. I love the Gippsland and the people are civilised. They are nice friendly, civilised country folk who wish you a good morning and they are nice if you are nice and polite to them. It just amazes me how nice and civilised the people in country Victoria are. I have been in the city too long.
I looked at this site with the new houses going up and thought why on earth don't around forty families pack up and make a community here. It is one hour on the freeway from Melbourne. Why do people want to go and live in boganville places like Frankston. Here you can buy new houses for $259,000 and they are four bedrooms, two bathrooms and garages with a big back yard that is clean and clear air. There is a Coles and a Woolworths in Drouin and I am sure that if families came to Drouin that there would be an enterprising person who could make a kosher supermarket with meat and Halav Israel products and if it was a great problem someone can just buy a few goats on a few acres or also go to one of the dairy farms to watch the milk and we could start a new cottage industry with Drouin Kosher Milk and Cheeses. We could even have a Drouin Kosher Cafe. The shule would be up on the hill set amid the rolling hills of the Gippsland and not far from Mount Baw Baw. Please  G-D help people to see that the country is good and you do not have to be near the beach. There are rivers and mountains too.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Amalya's Cafe what do I like about this cafe and a short reference to last week's parsha Shelach

I have always loved Amalya's cafe because it has something that is hard to replicate. Atmosphere. It has  a very hamishe feel. It feels personal. I remember in another life, I was and am still a  real  coffee shop freak. I love good coffee and I love sitting in a coffee shop writing and watching people, eavesdropping on conversations and sometimes using funny turns of phrases  or incidences in short stories or poems. Yeah, beware being related to or friends with a person that writes anything. We weave a tapestry of life, events, experiences and characters together into some seamless beauty that may not be recognisable to the person on the outer but it is there. We cannot help it. It is a subconscious aspect that is often disconcerting and not intended in any way maliciously, but to enjoy the art of the story teller and the story is to delve into the mysteries and intricacies of the story and examine what a certain event meant to a person and to tease apart the emotions and the ideas behind events and to make sense of it.
Why write a story? There are many reasons to tell a story. Sometimes stories are painful to write because you give up a part of yourself to the story. I once read the story of a friend and teacher. It was about a child she had lost and buried.It was called The Coffin. It was one of the saddest stories I have read  and yet it was one of the most positive. Not all of us can lose a child and come away with a positive insight -albeit a painful insight through which you grow.  Many of us can or have lost a child or not, but we  all can identify the feeling of loss and what is gained from loss because with everything lost there is gain. When you fictionalise loss or gain you are able to add insights that may increase the awareness of a certain event in a person's life. You are able to open the doors of perception into a certain experience. A reader may feel differently to you about your topic, but he or she is able to gain insight in the experience of another or indeed examine their own experiences in a fresh light.
Personal growth comes only through painful experiences it has been my experience. Sometimes there is joyful growth, but on the whole, why do we grow more through painful experiences? Because through pain we see other people more clearly and we empathise. The more painful experiences we have the greater our capacity to have empathy unless we are frozen solid through grief. That also happens.
Some very good writers are extremely intuitive. They have a gift from early childhood and they continue to develop it through out their lives. Some come to write later in life. Elisabeth Jolley was one such person. Age and experience tempered the pace of her writing. Others are blessed with natural insights into the psyche of others and events that surround them. Others are creators of good stories that may not go into great detail and psychological analysis of characters but they can tell a good story. It is not an easy craft to attempt but a rewarding one on a personal level. There is a sense of excitement in starting a new story and a sense of satisfaction when you have finally finished the 100th draft of your story and you feel it has somehow clicked into place. That latter feeling is hard to come by. I personally tend to edit over much and miss some element needed in the story.
Anyway let's go to more spiritual pursuits, not that writing is not a spiritual process of discovery, it is very much so.
Last week's parsha on the meraglim - the spies to suss out the land of Eretz Israel teach us a lot about Shmirat Lashon. This was very relevant and I am posting it as a reminder to my self more than anything else.
While Hashem did forgive the nation of Israel, they were to die in the desert and their descendants had to wander in the desert another forty years. That should tell us something. When we try to destroy someone with lashon hara it is actually ourselves we are destroying because we distance ourselves from the land of Israel and Hashem.
Here is another clip I found very interesting.
Those of you who want an insight into the temple mount and its importance. Loved this. It was very calming listening to this series of shiurim.
A good week all of you. May we have the zehus to make the pilgrimage to a rebuilt holy temple and the cohenim will begin their avoda anew and the Levis also to make make the music even more holy to bring kedusha into this world.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Interview and other mutterings of the day

Well our family was in bed by 8pm last night and I must have fallen asleep before and gotten a good seven hour sleep because now I am rested and raring to go. Going to Trafalgar and back for my 2 pm interview and doing other things yesterday really took the stuffing out of me. I must be getting old or just city soft and unfit. I remember years ago, going into Charleville for an interview in the morning at 10am and as it was 145 kms away from my father’s property I had to leave about 7.30 – 8  am and once the interview was over by   11am being back on the road again home in time for lunch at one pm and then going out with my father after lunch to do a bit of mustering sheep on the motor bikes till 4.30 – 5 pm and it did not phase me one bit.  I would stay up to read until 9 or 10 pm and then get up around 4.30 or 5 am when my father used to get up in the morning for his first tea of the day.

The interview – I did not get the job for the following reasons. Going back to Melbourne I reflected on why I did not get it. It is an interesting activity after an interview – reflection on what happened and how you can present yourself better to a panel of teachers interviewing you for a job.

1.       The interview was over way too quickly for me to be considered a serious candidate. I arrived early and they gave me a sheet with their questions on it and while I wrote down a few notes I did feel incredibly nervous going in there knowing I was going before a panel of three teachers – the principal, the deputy and probably the head of the HISE faculty  Amanda. I had understood on the phone that it was an interview and they did not tell me I would be going before a panel. The question sheet was filled in and II walked in at 2pm and was back on the road at 2.25pm. For me to be considered seriously I would need to have been there for half an hour.  At least.

2.       My experience in VCE history in teaching and knowledge is limited at present. I would have to do a lot of work and learn the text that I am teaching the night before and literally be learning with the students. Basically I have a sketchy idea of Russian History having done my own reading as well as the fact that I did revolutions for the twentieth century China and Japan and have done the English Revolution – Oliver Cromwell and his round heads lopping the head off poor old Charlie the I and of course the French Revolution where they chopped heads off and made it an art form – la Guillotine and the American Civil War which I consider on par with the French revolution and its impact on the world and thinking of the times and today.   Of course on a more general level there is the industrial revolution which changed society from an agrarian and rural based population to a urban population.

3.       I had the feeling that they already had someone for the job but also their body language at the end and the way the Principal did not meet my eye. I think they thought I was unsuitable or not what they were looking for, because she did make a comment at the end which told me that ‘ok, thanks for coming for the interview but no thanks.’ Politely of course and there was a lack of warmth at the end which chilled me out a bit.  Anyway it is all good for the experience and I will come better prepared to the next interview and do a bit more research on the school and also what is needed for the position. It all happened very quickly.  Too quickly for my liking. Anyway I do hope I can get some CRT work there and at other schools in the area and once they know me I can apply for contract or ongoing positions in the area. It is only 15 or 20 minutes from Drouin which is handy.

I am at the moment still smarting from the lack of communication with my ‘family’ in Qld. Their level of hatred is incredible. Also the phone call from my aunt in Sydney. I am sending back a book she sent me in 2010. Given that I am Jewish and she knows my feelings on some things, I thought the book she sent me called Mirror a picture book was highly insulting. It is Arabic propaganda and I am not going to say that exactly that but I am sending the book back to her with a polite letter along with some pictures of the Fogel family and other victims of terror. I think one of my cousins is involved with one of the Liberate Palestine movements in Sydney and of course I am on the side of the oppressors and that is part of their push to see me as ‘unhinged and mad’ because everyone knows the ‘poor’ Palestinians are a bunch of useless set upon rabbits carrying Kalashnikov rifles and wearing bomb belts and we are a bunch of people who just want our land back and to practise our religion in peace and build a good and honest society for the world.   I have the awful feeling that we are going to see such a rise in anti Semitism even in Australia and it chills me. As Jews we cannot depend on compassion from anyone except our own and even then we have to be very, very careful both in society and the work place. Even then there are some Jewish people who behave in a distinctly unJewish way. I have a computer file stuffed full of emails from someone who insists on battering me with these missives telling me what a degenerate person I am, immoral and totally unfit mother and deranged, accusing me of child abuse because I am taking my son to the country and telling me that I would prefer to hold my hands out and beg charity rather than get a job.  Obviously this person has no real knowledge of who I am as a person. I have never taken charity by choice. Just because I cannot go out and do manual work (which I have done in the past when I needed while applying for apporpriate employment - taxi driving, waitressing, survey assistant, cleaning, fruit picking and the list goes on) as I do have a bad back with ex rays to prove it and family obligations. This woman who shall remain nameless and if I was her, I would want to remain nameless because she is a total moron. The only thing she has going for her is money. It just shows how kind Hashem is. If people can't use their brains or do not have brains, G-D gives them money to protect themselves. She sends me obsessive emails which I now just file without reading them and I don't answer them because they are full of unsubstantiated crap about what a loser I am. Occasionally I will answer one if I am bored, but for the main part I am just going to ignore them.
And G-D while you are doling out the weekly share of money, I just want enough to pay my bills and rent and to look after my son's welfare well and his mental and physical health and to continue learning and to write my book on bullying finally. It has been a long time in the pipeline. Also I want health for my son and a peaceful life, please G-D give him good friends and also thank you for the opportunity to be bullied by above mentioned woman as it just gives me more information and grist for my novel on bullying and additional insights into the character of a bully. It was fascinating that I was accused of kicking a person who is down. Now, I am the single parent with no job and financially absolutely with my back to the wall and on the receiving end of all this abuse, yet I am accused of being the 'bully'. Interesting, I must say.

Judaism requires self control and subjugation of the animal soul. That is probably why we attract attacks from people who are controlled by the animal and instinctive side of their nature. They look at us Jews and say, ‘Oh Wow that is too much work. All that study and work on oneself. Let’s stick it to ‘em.’  We are a light unto the nations, but unfortunately a light that many who prefer the safety of darkness to cover their misdeeds try to snuff out. Islam is not the religion of peace. It is the religion of darkness and hatred. It was started by Ishmael who was put out of the tent by Sara who saw what he was doing to Itzchak. It is a religion of mockery that cannot stand to be mocked in turn. It is a religion of fear and that is why I feel pity for Muslims who are normal moderate, average every day people. When their religion spouts such hatred of Jews then surely some people will wake up to what they are about.
I cannot understand how people gravitate towards a religion like Islam that is so misogynist, misguided and malicious. The Prophet was an asshole by any normal standards - woman hating paedophile with a perchance for bloodshed, war and cruelty. A sick man and yet there is a religion in the world that has billions of followers which just goes to show that there is a streak of violence and competitive narcissism in every being. Their basic doctrines are essentially flawed.

However they do know, that when last Jew is killed the world will end as we know it and there will be no more compassion as the world will be given to a creed and lifestyle philosophy that is self destructive and violent. That is why the Islamic takeover of Europe and the middle east failed just over a thousand years ago. There was a violent revolt and the the Christians won because they proved themselves equal in cruelty to the Muslim Moors. In fact the crusaders of the early second CE millenium made the Islamic warriors appear civilised.  Of course there were other mitigating factors and that is over simplified but if you drag it down to the basics, there you have it. War is a nasty exercise and experience. No one benefits (except the arms dealers,  the hospitals and cemetries) and it appears that the human race still has not learnt their lesson.  W A R Worthless, Anger Revolting.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Went to a very interesting couple of Shiurim on last shabbat


Two young Israeli men spoke and both talks were good. It will be the one thing along with the davening at shule and also Rabbi Sprung's Shiur and Leor Broh's droshas I will miss on my shabbosim in the country until we can come in for a shabbes with friends in the city. It will mean that I will treasure each moment of the davening and the shiurim even more intensely.
However it says in the Talmud that one needs to be supporting one's family and if I can do so, it is my duty to do so and not just to take any only $12 an hour job doing simple work but to take work in the profession I am trained in and earn a good wage.
Anyway the topic of one of the talks was the importance of saying the after bracha called the Birchat Mazon which is a long prayer that we thank Hashem for the sustanance from which we have benefited. It was a practical shiur. No one had ever spelt out to me before the time we need to say this prayer is as long as we are still digesting the food. The young man talked about the miracle of food being translated into energy to do Hashem's will and it is quite amazing. I will say the birchat Mazon with new vigor and insight now. Here is today's halacha.

1) It is always proper to recite Birchas Hamazon loudly and clearly, as saying it loud ensures that all the words are recited properly and also brings about better Kavanah, concentration and understanding of the words being recited. (See Mishna Berura Siman 185 S"K 3)

Moreover, it is praiseworthy to always recite Birchas Hamazon from a Siddur or Birchon, and not recite it from memory. (See what the Mishna Berura Siman 185 S"K 1 quotes from the Sefer Hachinuch and the Sefer Chasidim)

2) This is especially important on Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh and other times when additions are added to the text that aren't recited on a regular basis (e.g. Retzei or Ya'aleh V'yavo) as saying it loudly and from within a Siddur will make it less likely to inadvertently omit the required additions of the day. (Mishna Berura Siman 185 S"K 3)

The talk plus today's halachot are to ensure that I say the after bracha and the birchat Mazon with renewed vigour.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Gems from Chassidius A great Story

I hate to plagiarise but I must tell this story. I have been reading Rabbi Avraham Twerski's not just stories along with a bit of Russian 19th Century and early twentieth History in case I have to teach it next term in the country.  I do like Twerski as he is good for the soul and quietens the mind along with a little meditation and Yoga practice.
This is a great story.  You have a chasid (follower) of the Rabbi of Tolna who is a lumber merchant. He makes a deal with a non Jewish guy to buy some of his forest for lumbering and it was a verbal contract. However when the price of lumber fell, the merchant wants to renegotiate the deal naturally enough. This non Jewish guy is very clever. As the civil court would rule in favour of the merchant he asks the chasid if they can go to his rabbi and get the dispute ruled by Jewish law.
The Rebbe listens to both sides and then rules in favour of the non Jewish poritz or fellow by saying that the Talmud pronounces a curse on those who renege on agreements.  this non Jewish fellow is really impressed and pleased with the decision of course, but he tells the Rebbe, 'In our courts, the process is much longer and if the litigant is displeased with the decision, he can take it to a court of appeal and then a higher court and so on. There are several levels of appeals available. What recourse to appeal does the merchant have if he so wishes to appeal?'
The Rebbe just smiles. Then he tells this story. Once there was a wolf that attacked a flock of sheep. The animals fled but the wolf pursued one and was just about to catch it in his mouth. He had it by the tail and it was nearly lunch time or dinner. Anyway it was going to be a good meal for the wolf. However out jumps this lion from a thicket of trees where he had been resting and grabs the sheep. The wolf is outraged. Afterall it was his sheep and he had caused it to leave the flock.
The lion disputes this as he says to him that he has just as much right to the sheep as neither the wolf nor the lion had paid for it. They agree to go to the fox who is the wisest and most canny of all animals. (Notice we do not say honest or law abiding here, but canny and wise. Wisdom can be used for incorrect purposes.)
The fox rules that the sheep must be divided equally between the wolf and the lion. He shechts the sheep and divides it in half. However he noted that one portion was slightly larger than the other and he decides to make it even by nibbling away at it a little.When he does that, he realises that he must have a nibble on the other side to even it up and so it goes on. The fox is a terrbly fair animal. He nibbes one side and then at another, and oh dear, he even notices an uneven edge here and then on the other side of mutton until, what pity, there is nothing but bones and skin left for the lion and th wolf to consume. '
The Rebbe then tells the poritz that the scenario he has just described is what happens in the civil law courts. The lawyers and barristers nibble away at each side with the disputed assets. When it finally reaches a decision, all that the litigants have left are the dry bare bones. He added that Jewish law may not have an appeals court but both litigants are likely to benefit from the judgements passed.
This story was first told in 1840 but it is apt in describing the legal system of today about which no one should be fooled that it is about justice,  but about lawyers and barristers being paid big bucks for mucking around and playing the legal system. There are probably some people out there on the side of justice, but sadly there are few and far between.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

It's a Mad Mad World out there...

Just to inform  myself of the goings on in society I read some Age articles today. I wish I had not. This one is particularly worrying..

My only comment is ' for G-D's sake let kids be kids and stop these hysterical psychiatric diagnoses.' The world is getting madder and madder by the moment or else there are a lot of people who have done psychiatry or psychology and they need employment, so what do you do? In good consumer language you create  market where there was none before.
The whole concept is Orwellian, totally, totally ridiculous. Do NOT tell me that you can predict a child's life from kindergarten. You cannot. a lot of things happen between the ages of 3 or 4 and 20 and even then you do not know.
We are trying so hard to control our environment and leaving so little to chance. Some people are missing the point. There is a G-D and watch out because He will have the last laugh. (or She)
A gut week all.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Never underestimate the place of Prayer in one’s life

We should never underestimate the power of prayer in one’s life. To be caught up in the muck of jealousies, pettiness and ego trips of those around us is only to be demeaned and demoralised.  There are people who will go out of their way to destroy and demoralise others; because that is the only way they can feel fulfilled in life.

We search for those who are our kindred spirits. People who love others for who they are. People who are not malicious and do not need to feel powerful at the expense of others. Just because you have a talent for something does not mean another person can not develop their talents but in a different way.  You need to build your fellow beings up, not bring them down.

I have attracted a lot of negativity in the last weeks since just before lag be omer. There is a lesson in it. Part of it may have to do with patience with others because in their short comings I may have insight into my short  comings. I had  woman who  acted in a mentally deranged manner  chasing me around a venue spewing forth rather vicious comments about my age and how I am deranged woman the age of a grand mother having a child and how disgusting I am. She followed me making circles with her hands indicating that I am a nut. She spoke to her son who is a bit older than my son making really disparging comments. All very upsetting and frankly I  do not need it.

I am on the brink of being homeless. We are being evicted on the 29th July 2012. I have had people tell me it is my fault that I have not gotten a job or that I should stay in the city, it is simply a matter of time.  However  it is quite unreasonable to expect someone to stay in a place where rents are so high and chances of employment are very slim at the moment. At present I am looking for a house in the country near a small country school for my son. I believe it will be the best for both of us. Once we find the place it is necessary to find help financially to shift. At least there is much more chance of employment there in the area than where I am now.

We have spent nearly three years in a pokey, noisy, dusty flat and it has nearly driven me mad.

I have had people tell me in a  rather nasty  way that I should  see  a  doctor  because I seriously need help  and  that I have mental health issues that is why I am unemployed. These people are not psychiatrists but make their assessments based on I do not know what. I do not have a job and I need a job to support myself and my son. I do not need work in an accountant’s office or a bookshop or a stationary shop or to be a legal secretary (the last mentioned takes training, skills and experience that I do not have and have no interest in having). I want my employment in teaching or writing or editing or something creative that pays..

So for now I am praying and keeping out of the way of people who try to drag me down into the morass pit of their darker side. Prayer uplifts and heals. It takes you up away from the soul destroying pettiness of much that tries to catch us in this life and pull us down.

Gut Voch