Posts in On Our Mind

Encouraging Loneliness

September 13th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind No Comment yet

A headline from the Wall Street  Journal, “Innovation in Health Care” report reads: Government Role in Fighting Loneliness. More accurate would be: Government Role Over the Years in Causing Loneliness. So many government policies have been factors in breaking up families, reducing the need for belonging to churches and social groups, and making people think that they can “make it on their own” (with government assistance) rather than needing human support and connection. Before spending taxpayer money to combat loneliness maybe we could just roll back all sorts of government innovations that increased it.

9/11 and Hurricanes

September 11th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind No Comment yet

As devastating as the weather has been to so many people, neighborhoods and cities, it is better to face the ‘wrath of nature’ than the hatred and evil of people as America did 16 years ago today.

Dreadful Weather

September 7th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind 1 comment

The powerful storms that we have watched battering cities, islands, farms, and every kind of human habitation have brought pain and suffering. They have also exposed human heroism and sadly also human venality and evil. The one thing they haven’t done is “prove” the evils of climate change, global warming, or the need for the so-called “Paris accords”. The callous cynicism exhibited by those environmental activists and professional agitators at this time is shameful.

Your Next Postcard = The Transcontinental Railroad of The 1860s

August 15th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind 2 comments

When the Golden Spike was driven in the spring of 1869 to join the railroad that came from the east to that which came from the west where they met in Utah, a new era of human productivity began. Anything that facilitates human connection brings positive results whether it was the telegraph in 1844 or the telephone, radio, television right up to the Internet in our time. Every time you pick up the phone to connect with someone, positive steps are set in place even though you may not know the eventual result. When you write someone a postcard and drop it in the mail, it might end up as significant as the first time it became possible to ride the rails across the continent. We never know what can grow from the seeds of human connection. Try it!

The Bluest Skies

August 4th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind 3 comments

The bluest skies – are not – in Seattle, amazingly enough. We landed here last night and there is a smoky haze obscuring the sky and much else due to fires in British Columbia. Years of experience tell us that the skies are still blue and the water is still actually glistening. It’s just obscured right now. We need to see past the haze, just as we need to do with much else in life.

How My Israeli Children Are Different from Me – guest post

July 25th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind 1 comment

I love reading the blog posts of a woman who writes from Israel under the name “Jewish Mom.” She has given permission to repost what she wrote after the slaughter of the Salomon family at their home on Friday night. I have put an asterisk next to terms that may be unfamiliar to many of you and written a glossary at the bottom. I apologize if that makes the article more difficult to read, but I think it very worthwhile.

When I was growing up in Baltimore, I learned which neighborhoods were safe and which neighborhoods were dangerous. Which places I could go to, and which places I should carefully avoid.

And since I moved to Israel 24 years ago, I’ve been doing the same thing.

When I heard that 2 Israeli police officers had been shot to death and, later, there was rioting in and surrounding the Old City, I shook my head with concern and decided to nix the outing I had been planning to daven* this week at the Kotel*. When I heard that 3 members of the Solomon family celebrating the Shalom Zachar* of a newborn baby boy, were murdered by an Arab terrorist around the corner from my daughter’s high school in Neve Tsuf, I got more scared and started keeping our doors and windows locked at all times.

Looking out for Number One, just like when I was growing up.

But my kids and kids around Israel have been responding differently to the recent tragedies here…

Yesterday, my bat mitzvah girl’s summer camp cancelled their planned outing to the Jerusalem Forest and took all the girls to the Kotel instead.

Another daughter’s youth group decided to move the location of the scavenger hunt they had planned from downtown Jerusalem to the Old City.

And it’s not just my kids.

Yesterday, several high school girls approached me and my daughter when we were in a store and handed us a slip of paper they had prepared with a psalm, urging us to read it for the safety and security of Am Yisrael*.

Then this morning at the light-rail station, some elementary school girls handed me a toffee attached to a note that read, “The Race to a Million Blessings: Say a blessing over this toffee for the elevation of the souls of the Solomon family victims HY”D*.”

Seeing how my kids and their peers are reacting to current events has made me realize that when I get scared, I do what I did when I was growing up. I look out for Number One. I stay away from the Old City, I lock my doors, I nervously check out the Arab passengers standing beside me on the light rail (that man’s too old to pull out a knife, that woman’s with her baby, so there’s no way she’s about to start stabbing people with a pair of scissors.)

And these Israeli kids, in their own way, are also looking out of Number One. But their Number One, I’m realizing, is different than mine. For them, their Number One is Am Yisrael* and Eretz Yisrael*. The Jewish people and the Land of Israel. And praying for Hashem’s protection and mercy upon them.

A year and a half ago there was a terror attack next to the Old City’s Jaffa Gate, and the young father of a large family was brutally murdered while walking home from work. That Friday night, my then 15-year-old daughter informed me after candle-lighting that she and her friends were going to daven at a minyan* next to Jaffa Gate that night.

And I told her: “You can’t go to Jaffa Gate! There was just a terror attack there yesterday!”

“Eema*,” she responded slowly, as if speaking to someone who didn’t fully understand her language, “of course I know there was a terror attack there. That’s why we’re going there!”

I recently heard a French-born father of 11 Israeli children speaking about what it’s like moving to Israel. And this what he said:

“Moving to Israel is like climbing a very high mountain. You are climbing and climbing, you are breathing hard and sweating from the steep climb. And then you achieve the impossible–you reach the top. And when you get there, you sit down to catch your breath, and you turn around and find your children sitting there, at the peak.

‘How did you possibly make the climb up here? It was so steep and high and difficult!’ you ask them.

And your children answer you, ‘We didn’t have to climb at all. We were born here.’”

*Glossary:

daven: pray

Kotel: The Western Wall; The Wailing Wall

Shalom Zachar: a celebration that takes place the Friday night after a baby’s birth

HY”D: God will avenge their blood

Am Yisrael: the nation (people) of Israel

Eretz Yisrael: the land of Israel

minyan: a prayer group

Eema: Hebrew for Mommy

 

Forget Father’s Day & Dismiss Mother’s Day

July 17th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind 6 comments

I know that neither of those two calendar highlights are close to us which makes this a good time to reconsider them in the cold light of clinical analysis.

Why does the culture make such a big deal about these two arbitrary days while nobody thinks of establishing a Husband’s Day and a Wife’s Day?

Reason 1: A culture fundamentally hostile to the traditional Biblical family model, is not keen on celebrating husbands and wives. Recognizing a mother or a father makes no comment about whether mom and dad were married when they conceived you or whether they invested years in raising you in the cocoon of their love and commitment.

(more…)

Thousands will Die

July 13th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind No Comment yet

The pop-up on my computer suggests that  I contact my Congressmen to tell him not to tangle with Obamacare. Seemingly, the same Republicans who years ago wanted to push Grandma off a cliff in a wheelchair (I don’t even remember which election cycle that was from)  are now planning to kill thousands. Where is the pop-up asking me to contact my Congressmen to ask those who support Obamacare or think it didn’t go far enough in socializing medicine whether they look forward to an American Charlie Gard case, where bureaucrats will tell parents where, when and how their children will live or die?

Happy 4th! Gaze Up At Those Fireworks Towards The Heavens

July 4th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind No Comment yet

NUMBERS 21:10
And Moses made a snake of copper, and put it up high on a pole, and it came to pass, that if a snake had bitten anyone, when he looked at the serpent of copper, he lived.

ANCIENT JEWISH WISDOM (Rashi)
…and does a copper snake really have the power to cure? Of course not. But when it made the Israelites look upwards, their eyes were drawn to heaven and their hearts were reminded of their Father in heaven and that cured them….

JOHN ADAMS LETTER TO ABIGAIL ADAMS JULY 3, 1776
I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and ILLUMINATIONS from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

ROD OF ASCLEPIUS

In Greek mythology, the Rod of Asclepius is a serpent-entwined rod wielded by the Greek god Asclepius, a deity associated with healing and medicine. The symbol has continued to be used in modern times, where it is associated with medicine and health care,

Do You Know Who Is Fighting America’s Real War?

June 20th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind 5 comments

Back in the 90s I wrote a book, America’s Real War. In it I demonstrated how a deep canyon cuts through American culture. On one side are all those who believe that Biblically-based Judeo Christian values are vital for our nation’s survival. On the other side are those who view such values as primitive obstructions to progress. America’s real war is not between America and Russia, or China, Or Islam. Nor is it between rich and poor, blacks and whites, or men and women. It certainly isn’t between Jews and Christians. It is a war between those who see Judeo Christian values as vital and those who see them as obsolete barriers to progress. There are rich and poor on both sides. Blacks and whites on both sides. Men and women on both sides. And yes, there are both Jews and Christians on both sides. Whether today’s children will grow up in an America that bears any resemblance to the country that won World War II depends upon which side triumphs in America’s Real War. We are currently working on a new edition of the 20 year-old book with new chapters explaining, among other things, the bizarre alliance between secular fundamentalism and Islamic jihad.

X