The power of feed-back

Lily of the gardenI have really been wondering why I stopped blogging as often lately.

One of the reasons could be because I am too busy. But it does not sound right. I do spend lots of time doing things that take time that I could skip and write instead. I have been writing regularly and consistently for days in a row, with discipline and determination, but I have never chosen to write and share publicly.

Because when I choose to share publicly, I am being very careful of what I have written.

I want to choose the proper topic, so that it would be appealing to my readers. Interesting and informative. Also thought provoking and inspiring. It then becomes more difficult to decide what will fit the criteria.

Then I censor myself a lot.

Then I doubt my syntax, grammar and style.

Then time goes by and somethings comes up to cut the inspiration.

If I get distracted, I lose track of what I had wanted to write about.

If I get interrupted, I lose the desire to share about the initial idea, and maybe another topic starts invading my feelings and my need to share about, but it does not fit the criteria of either being interesting, inspiring or thought provoking, it has become more selfish or attention grabbing and I resent those blogposts from others so why would I do the same to my readers and impose a boring self-absorbed post with no added value?

So in the end, I keep writing for myself, privately, with least efforts to correct, rewrite or build a real blogpost that would be looking like what I have wanted to do in the beginning when I had in mind to share my one day at a time, in a fashion that would draw attention to my passions and topics of choice. And in the end I resent myself for being quite lazy after all and neglecting my readers and my blogs, both in English and in French.

A sad reflection on a depressed mind.

Many around me often wondered why I was not taking medication for my depression. I have recently been working with a coach with the goal to achieve relief and inner peace and transform my outcomes in life, in order to truly shine and reach my full potential. I have shared with her about my mental conditions very early in the process but luckily for her, this was not a condition that she had ever suffered from, and since she is not a therapist, it was not easy to predict how difficult things were going to be in the process of our work together: I dreaded the moment when she was going to let me know that I needed to try medications again otherwise we were not going to see any progress arrived at a certain point, the same way it had always seemed to happen every time I had been determined to work on myself.

This could mean that indeed, the solution IS medication so that I can lift the lid that blocks my path to self development. Unfortunately, every time I meet that time, I have to remember that I have been on medications and that, if I have to agree that the medications were useful in some ways, they were killing so many of the other things that make my life have a purpose in other ways, and in the end the benefits were fading to the point of disappearing completely to leave me worse than before and I started being able to relive again only after I had finally weaned from the medications!

A healthy diet and a regimen of daily exercise have been much more efficient, even if they are much more work than just taking pills and visiting regularly a doctor and a therapist. Every time I have fallen back off the horse, I have seen the depression come back very strongly. Unfortunately, the exercise and a lighter weight and better physical form have not kept the depression completely at bay, and when it has come back, it has also impaired my ability to sustain the very hard discipline that it takes to keep the healthy diet and exercise, because it impaired my interest in everything including those things that were helping.

Sometimes, asking for help is not asking for a fix. Today, I know that the kind of help I receive from acknowledgment is greater and more effective than any kind of medication. I need the stroke of compliments on a job well done despite the perceived imperfections of it. I need the recognition of the work I choose to show publicly because I believe it can speak to others and reflect on what is shining and burning inside even when I feel it not.

What have we done?

 

Lightning in the night sky

 

At the time I am writing this I am waking up to the news that six individuals have been arrested in Israel for the alleged murder of a young boy sixteen year old named Mohammad Abu Khieder who was abducted on last Wednesday morning and found dead burnt in the woods outside of Jerusalem East. This was less than forty eight hours after the discovery of the slain bodies of the three Israeli teens, Eyal Yifrach, z”l, Naftali Frankel, z”l, and Gilad Shaar, z”l, after a grueling intensive eighteen days of search and hope.

 

What have we done?

 

My heart sunk when I learned the news about the disappearing of the three teenagers, aged as my two boys and I prayed as intensely as I could for their safe return. My heart sunk again when I learned the news that they would return home lifeless. My heart sunk so many times in the interval praying for the families who were showing their beautiful resolve and demeanor all along the grueling weeks of anguish about their sons and loved ones. My heart was tight and my tears always on the cusp of my eyelids when I saw and read the words of those three mothers who stood up under the microscope that is so often geared at the place, this tiny homeland our hearts soar for, that receive so much hatred and criticism when its people show so much grandeur and qualities of the heart and dignity even in the face of despicable tragedy.

 

And then I learn the news about yet another horrific murder of a young boy. Who has apparently done nothing else than bear his origin in a family that is not a Jewish family, and speculations about the kidnappers went horrible very quickly, from rumors of it being a horrible crime of honor to the screams of revenge from nationalistic and extremist right-wing Jews.

 

I live very far on the globe from where all these events are taking place and yet it feels like it is happening outside my windows. Because I am a Jew and because I grew up loving Israel like my motherland and yearning for it the same way I yearn for other places far away that I bear in my heart and feel exiled from. I have grown up a Jew believing that it is my responsibility to hold a life of higher moral standards and to raise awareness to those moral standards in all ways that are in my reach.

 

I have seen the same higher moral standards in the way the family of the slain Israeli teenagers have conducted themselves, and I wanted to show my respect during this period of shiva, the seven days of deep mourning that follow the burial. Respect that include keeping silent until the mourner speaks and respect that means listening to what the mourner is wanting to hear about his or her grief, and not bring my own issues into the conversation, but only bring my compassion and love and support.

 

And then because it seems that other individuals have expressed their own ways in a horrific way of alleged revenge, in a senseless act as horrible as the death of the young yeshivah boys, as brutal as their despicable murder, as barbaric and inhuman in the supposed name of retaliation, I cannot stay mute and silent and I want to scream “what have we done?”.

 

I am thinking, without knowing who the suspected people are or come from, that they also have a family who love them, or so I do hope and sometimes I hope not: because how unbearable their pain must be that they are becoming the example of the forbidden acts that all our torah is laying out page after page? Where is the higher standard of a nation of priest that has to shine light into the darkness?

 

During seven days we are supposed to show all we can to tend to the needs of the mourners and make the transition into their shattered for ever world they will have to reenter after they buried their child. Knowing that this transition is tainted with the scare of escalating violence, discussions of whose blood is holier than the other, hatred and debates that do not do any kiddush hashem is breaking my heart even more.

 

I do not want to live in a world where things are so polarized as to whether there are “us” and “them”. I have dedicated myself to always rise when I hear discrimination between human beings because I strongly believe that there is only one human race under one Creator and that each of us is unique with a unique purpose and meaning and that the death of a single individual is the end of a world of possibilities. I strongly believe that our mission is to repair a broken world where we are separate and that it is morally wrong to emphasize those separations with discrimination.

 

This is not a time for justification. This is not a time for hatred and revenge which are forbidden by the laws I personally want to claim I abide to. This is a time for silence and increased acts of kindness, a time for building, including building bridges and relationships. If it is also a time to pursue justice, always, I do not want to be an avenger, I want to study and understand where justice is because I want to believe I am humble enough to admit I do not know.

 

Please pray for the safe return of our sons

Please pray for the safe return of:
Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah
Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim
Eyal ben Iris Teshura
 
 
 
Holy Blessing One, my heart is heavy with fear and sadness on behalf of Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrach, and Gil-Ad Sha’er. I am overcome by the worry of their parents, family, friends, and community. I pray too for the safe return of all children around the globe who have been taken from the loving embrace of their families. Let them be safe. Let them be reunited with their families – alive. Let me feel safe and appreciative of those in my life. Let us all feel the safety of our connections. Amen.
 
 

Bring Back Our Boys: A Prayer
G-d of the prisoner,
G-d of the captive,
The voice of anguish echoes across the land.
Our sons,
Kidnapped, hijacked,
Torn from their lives and dreams,
Are held captive by violence and hatred
By those who would take our land
And destroy our people.

Guardian of Israel,
Bless those who have dedicated themselves to returning
Our sons to safety and shelter.
Grant them skill and wisdom
In this hour of need.
Give them the tools they need in the days ahead.
Bless their work.
Let success be close at hand.

This dismay is almost too much to bear.
Return Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Elad Yifrach
To the cradle of their parents’ arms,
And the refuge of their homes,
Speedily, in life and in health.
Bless their families with endurance and faith
That they will soon be reunited in the fullness of joy.
Bless our boys, in their captivity,
With hope and courage.
Grant them the strength and fortitude
To face, chas v’shalom, any shames or tyrannies forced upon them.

Rock of Israel,
Hasten their release.
Grant them lives of Torah and parnasa,
Rich with health and happiness,
Joy and peace.
Let rescue be near.

.ברוך אתה ה אלוקינו מלך העולם מתיר אסורים
Blessed are you, Adonai our God,
Sovereign of universe,
Who releases the captive.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Endless Winter 2013-14

No way I want to keep that much #snowSnowed in again #Westchester
   Early childhood center new post sign

Winter 2013-14, a set on Flickr.

When enough is enough already.

I have then to remember how beautiful Mother Nature can be thanks to some chosen still.

But for an every day look at the temperatures and the landscapes, I have had enough of it.

This winter is brutal and endless. Bring the next season on please!

The Ripple Effect

Samuel Asher Sommer z

Sorrow – by Rebbeca Schorr

When sorrow strikes, it knows how to hurt.
It can also bring words to spring you into doing something to make the hurt be useful.

As I am carefully choosing some words to share publicly here, a family is getting ready to bury their son, their brother, their grandson, their cousin, their nephew, their friend, and to face the awful reality to go on living without him forever.

I have known the mother who is going to have to do this today for many years online, as she was one of the first rabbis I encountered when I started blogging and when I was later trying to get our own rabbi to give it a try. She is known as @imabima on Twitter and Rabbi Phyllis Sommer. When she received the devastating news that her second child, in June 2012, had leukemia, she started chronicling the difficult journey until the unfathomable moment “Superman Sam” died on Saturday morning.

There is so little I can do when I am “just” an online friend, when the country is wide and the distances long, to accompany the family in this most painful day. So I choose to let my own followers know about the story, if they have never heard about it yet, and if they have already I remind them how I care about it, and how it hurts to have yet another tragedy to share.

If you do not know the Sommer family, you can get to read what has been shared and how Sam made an amazing impact of thousands and thousands now of readers. And if he has been able to do so via the power of social media, you can only imagine how much more impact his life of eight years must have had on those who held him in their embrace. This is a terrible loss, but his legacy and his memory will be for a blessing always if we continue doing something in remembering him.

His mother will shave her head on March 31, 2014 as part of a fundraiser for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for pediatric cancer research, launched by #36rabbis and now followed by others. If you are compelled by the story and do not know what to say, just donate something to any of these brave and positive people who want to raise awareness as well as incredibly needed funds for research. So that we don’t have to keep telling you about those wonderful children who touched our lives and left us crying their loss.

I donated to the #RabbisInTheBackRow, because this is where I would sit if I was present in the room, and also because those with less hair should also see big dollars on their donation pledge. I can’t shave, and I am not a rabbi, but I can write and call you to action, a small one can have such a ripple effect indeed.

Thank you.

 

John Fitzgerald Kennedy – Archives vidéo et radio Ina.fr

See on Scoop.itUS Presidential Politics – Foreign and Interior – Since Obama Re-Election 2012

Au coude à coude avec le républicain Richard Nixon, John Fitzgerald Kennedy est élu président des Etats-Unis le 8 novembre 1960. Il prendra ses fonctions le 20 janvier 1961.

Otir‘s insight:

50 years after his assassination, tribute and retrospective as viewed by France at the time. 

See on www.ina.fr

The Truth 365: A National Priority

See on Scoop.itUS Presidential Politics – Foreign and Interior – Since Obama Re-Election 2012

During the recent government shutdown, vulnerable childhood became a hot topic of discussion. Elected leaders from both political parties held press conferen…

Otir‘s insight:

Cancer is so emotional an issue but it doesn’t mean we’re approaching it the best way we can through policy. These kids wereliving proof of that. 

I find it utterly shocking that it is always a matter of profit, that funding research is being part of a business-like mentality and not a building-life or repairing the world attempt so that we can restore our hope and our faith in having done something to re-tip the broken balance. 

See on www.youtube.com

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