A week ago yesterday, which was Easter Sunday, bombs went off across Sri Lanka. When all was said and done, hundreds were dead and many more were injured.
Today, there was a shooting closer to home. In San Diego, one person was killed and three were injured in a shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue. Today is also the last day of Passover.
I hate to ask what is a simplistic question, but can’t we all get along? Is it so impossible to just live and let live? Why must we choose who is worthy and who is unworthy based on factors such as race, religion, sexuality, etc? At the end of the day, we are all human beings. We breathe the same way, we eat the same way and we use the bathroom in the same way.
For once, I wish I could watch the news without hearing that someone has been attacked or killed because of who they are.
May the memory of the person killed be a blessing to those who loved them.
Tonight is the first night of Passover.
Around the world, millions of Jews will sit down to the Seder and remember the exodus from Egypt.
Though the story is about one specific group of people are led to freedom, it speaks to everyone who has felt put down, pushed aside or made to feel like the other.
For me personally, this holiday coincides with the fact that there will soon be a change in my career. I will be walking through the desert of unemployment, with my creator walking silently by my side and praying for the professional manna that will support me until I am again employed.
I have to believe that something good is coming. G-d is not sending me to the proverbial professional desert for kicks and giggles. I believe that I will reach the professional promised land.
In this time of professional uncertainty and being that Passover starts tonight, I can’t think of a better song that “When You Believe” from the Prince of Egypt.
To have said that you survived The Holocaust took more that luck. Fate and perhaps split second decisions had a hand in deciding if one would become a martyr or a survivor.
Georgia Hunter’s 2017 memoir, We Were The Lucy Ones, tells the story of her mother’s family survived The Holocaust. She starts the story in 1939 as the Kurc family from Radom, Poland is celebrating the holiday of Passover. They are all together with the exception one of the sons who is living and working in Paris. Then the war starts and the family is torn apart. At each turn, it looks like they will join their slain brethren. But somehow, the family survives forges a new life far away from the hatred and terror that nearly took their lives.
This book is nothing short of wondrous. I could not put it down. There were points in the novel where I held my breath, praying that each individual family member would find a way to survive not just that moment or that day, but the war. It is a breathtaking story of survival, love and perseverance against all odds.
I absolutely recommend it.
Tomorrow night is the first night of Passover.
Passover, like any holiday is about family and tradition.
When I think of Passover, I think of my childhood and my grandparents. When I was growing up, all but one of my grandparents lived nearby. They were an integral part of my childhood, and I am forever grateful for the time I had with them. Looking back, I don’t think I would have the pride in my faith and my history, had my grandparents not been vocal in ensuring that their grandchildren were raised Jewish.
All four of my grandparents are gone, they passed away years ago. While I am not religious, Passover is one of those holidays that I celebrate. One of the reasons I celebrate is the memories I have of my grandparents and the love of Judaism they passed down to me.
To all who celebrate, have a Happy Passover.
It’s no secret to anyone who has kept their eye on Washington DC since the inauguration in January that it has not been a smooth transition from the Obama administration to the Trump administration. Not that the first few months of any Presidential administration is smooth, but this transition seems to be rougher than the previous administrations.
The latest gaffe coming out of The White House is Sean Spicer’s comments comparing the gassing of innocent Syrian civilians to the murders of Jews and others by the Nazis during World War II.
Sean Spicer should be fired. Not only are his comments rude, insensitive, historically inaccurate, but they were also uttered on Passover, of all days.
While both acts are reprehensible and should force anyone with a heart and a brain to reel in shame, horror and disgust, the fact that Mr. Spicer downplayed the Holocaust and fact that innocent civilians were killed by chemical weapons is more than enough of a reason that he should be fired.
Next time (if there is a next time), I suggest that whomever writes his speeches does their homework before coming to the podium.
Tomorrow night begins the Jewish holiday of Passover.
The holiday is celebrated by the Seder, which is both a meal and a retelling of how our ancestors went from being slaves in Egypt to being free to live and openly practice their faith.
For me, Passover is more than just an elaborate meal with a story mixed in, which is then followed by eating a modified version of the Atkins diet for a week. While I am very proud and open about my faith and the history of my people, I am far from being labeled as ba’al teshuva (someone who makes a choice to live a more religiously observant life). Passover is about my statement to not only the wider world, but to my creator that I am who I am when it comes to my faith and I proud of that faith.
It is also the story of overcoming what seems like impossible odds and remembering the injustices done to us. Human history is full of tales of injustice, hatred, destruction and murder. By remembering the injustices done to us, we are able to be more compassionate and understanding to those experiencing the same injustice and hatred today.
To those who celebrate, have a Happy Passover.
Tomorrow night begins the Jewish holiday of Passover.
Most people who have some knowledge of Passover and the story of Moses.
Moses is born to Jewish slaves at a time in history when the Jewish people are enslaved in Egypt. Pharaoh is told of a prophecy that states that a newborn son of a Jewish slave will be his downfall. His soldiers are sent to kill every newborn son within the slave community to prevent this young man from reaching his destiny.
Tradition tells us that in an effort to save her son, Moses’s mother Yochoved, put her son in a basket and sets the basket adrift on the Nile. The basket is found by the Egyptian princess who takes Moses in and raises him as her own. Moses’s older sister Miriam, having followed the basket, offers the princess the services of a wet-nurse. That wet-nurse is Yochoved.
Moses grows up as a prince of Egypt. He believes that his destiny is set. But when he kills an overseer who is beating a slave nearly to death, he runs from Egypt in fear. This is the beginning of the Passover story and Moses’s journey to the man he is destined to become.
I am not that observant in my faith as some are. Like many adults, I was raised in an observant Jewish home, but I have chosen to be a little more lax in my religious observance. But there are certain traditions that I will always observe and Passover is one of them.
As a modern woman and a feminist, one of my favorite aspects of this story is the strong women who will, in each their own way, help Moses to reach his destiny. Whether it is his mother, who makes the ultimate parental sacrifice, the Egyptian princess he calls mother or his elder sister Miriam who is not going to sit idly by the wayside, this story, unlike many biblical stories have fully fleshed out, strong, capable and intelligent women. I am proud to be descended from these women.
The other aspect of this story that never fails to amaze me is the presence of hope. When all seems lost and the darkness is encroaching, sometimes all you need to pick yourself up and move forward is that little nugget of hope.
It’s that time of year. The snow is gone (hopefully), the plants and flowers are starting to grow and the Seder plate is on the table.
What is Passover without the retelling of the Passover story, a la, Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1956)?
Moses (Charlton Heston) believes himself to be a son of Egypt and a member of the royal family. But he is not. He is the son of a Jewish slave. When Pharaoh decreed that the infant sons of Jewish slaves were to be killed, Moses’s mother put her son in a basket. Sending the basket with her son down the Nile, she prayed that her son would be found. The person who found the basket was the Egyptian princess, who raised Moses as her own. As an adult, Moses discovers his true heritage and must goes against his brother, the Pharaoh Rameses (Yul Brynner) to free his people.
This movie, for it’s era is incredible. The special effects are a marvel. While it’s true that the cast is all Caucasian and the acting a little over the top for my taste, the movie still is a wonder to behold.
I recommend it.
Ask anyone who is looking for a job and they will tell you that the technical aspects of the process are easy.
Log in to whatever job search sites you use, input the keywords of your preferred profession, and hit the apply button for the job you feel you are right for.
What is not so easy is remaining positive. For every 10 or 15 jobs that a job seeker may apply for, he or she may only receive two or three calls or emails to set up interviews. After a while, this process can feel demeaning and degrading. What is the point of continually applying if the only response is crickets?
Passover is coming up this weekend. Passover is the story of Moses, a man born into the household of the Egyptian Pharaoh. What he does not know is that he is not the son of the Pharaoh, but of a Jewish slave. His mother sent her son down the river in a basket to prevent Pharaoh’s soldiers from killing him. As an adult, Moses learns of his true origins and will lead the slaves to freedom. But that journey will not be easy.
Sometimes, we need to travel through the desert a little to get to the promised land. We also have to have a little faith in whatever higher power we believe in (if we do believe in any specific higher power).
I have faith that I will find another job, I believe that my G-d somehow has a hand in this process. I just need to travel through the desert for a little while.