Happy New Years!

I’m looking forward to a fabulous 2016 filled with good things for all of us. Thank to everyone who supported me and my blog this year.

Blessings to all!

Here’s a little inspiration.

 

 

 

 

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A Christmas Wish for you guys

I just wanted to wish you all Happy Holidays!

May your family feel the love, peace, and joy that come with the spirit of Christmas.

It’s a been a good year and I am so grateful.

Why I wish for the coming year and is that we can talk to each other and not be angry and vindictive.

That we can change the world in a positive way.

In the end isn’t it up to us ?

I love Christmas songs. Music can save the world!  You can’t be anygry when you sing and just by singing your breathing.

So here  are my favorites.Sing a long with me and lets change the world/

When I was in LPN school (before I became an RN) back in the day you got trained in the hospital.

We as students at Addison Gilbert Hospital  in  Gloucester, Mass carried lights and sang carols as a hospital tradition. Imagine me with a cap and a candle.

 

 

I love this. We didn’t sing in nursing school that’s for sure.

Here is a list of the top 100 Christmas Songs

Happy Yule/Solstice Be the light!

Happy Yule/Solstice

Here is an interesting video about Yule. It’s all about the the light.

 

History of Solstice

Winter solstice is an astronomical phenomenon marking the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied across cultures, but many have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time.

The pagan Scandinavian and Germanic people of northern Europe celebrated a twelve-day “midwinter” (winter solstice) holiday called Yule

Many modern Christmas traditions, such as the Christmas tree, the Christmas wreath, the Yule log, and others, are direct descendants of Yule customs.

Sol Invictus (“The Unconquered Sun”) was originally a Syrian god who was later adopted as the chief god of the Roman Empire under Emperor Aurelian. His holiday is traditionally celebrated on December 25, as are several gods associated with the winter solstice in many pagan traditions.

The place to be today is Stonehedge

 

 

Happy Chanukah-It’s all about the Neis

I love Hanukkah because it’s the holiday  of miracles and lights.

Light conveys both an absence of darkness and a quality that will help us to see — and understand — more clearly.

I feel like we all need lot’s of light right now.

A civil war and oppression from the west. Sound familiar?

The Story of Chanukah

“The story of Chanukah begins in the reign of Alexander the Great. Alexander conquered Syria, Egypt and Palestine, but allowed the lands under his control to continue observing their own religions and retain a certain degree of autonomy.  Under this relatively benevolent rule, many Jews assimilated much of Hellenistic culture, adopting the language, the customs and the dress of the Greeks, in much the same way that Jews in America today blend into the secular American society.

More than a century later, a successor of Alexander, Antiochus IV was in control of the region.”

He was waging war against Egypt and there was a rumor going around that he had died.

“The deposed High Priest Jason gathered a force of 1,000 soldiers and made a surprise attack on the city of Jerusalem. Menelaus was the High Priest appointed by Antiochus, but he was forced to flee Jerusalem during a riot. The King returned from Egypt in 167 BCE, enraged by his defeat, and he attacked Jerusalem and restored Menelaus, then executed many Jews.

When these happenings were reported to the king, he thought that Judea was in revolt. Raging like a wild animal, he set out from Egypt and took Jerusalem by storm. He ordered his soldiers to cut down without mercy those whom they met and to slay those who took refuge in their houses. There was a massacre of young and old, a killing of women and children, a slaughter of virgins and infants. In the space of three days, eighty thousand were lost, forty thousand meeting a violent death, and the same number being sold into slavery.

— 2 Maccabees 5:11–14

Antiochus decided to side with the Hellenized Jews in order to consolidate his empire and strengthen his hold over the region. He outlawed Jewish religious rites and traditions kept by observant Jews and ordered the worship of Zeus as the supreme god (2 Maccabees 6:1–12). This was anathema to the Jews and they refused, so Antiochus sent an army to enforce his decree. The city was destroyed because of the resistance, many were slaughtered, and a military Greek citadel was established called the Acra.

He began to oppress the Jews severely, placing a Hellenistic priest in the Temple, massacring Jews, prohibiting the practice of the Jewish religion, and desecrating the Temple by requiring the sacrifice of pigs (a non-kosher animal) on the altar. Two groups opposed Antiochus: a basically nationalistic group led by Mattathias the Hasmonean and his son Judah Maccabee, and a religious traditionalist group known as the Chasidim, the forerunners of the Pharisees (no direct connection to the modern movement known as Chasidism). They joined forces in a revolt against both the assimilation of the Hellenistic Jews and oppression by the Seleucid Greek government. The revolution succeeded and the Temple was rededicated.

occupy_maccabee

According to tradition as recorded in the Talmud, at the time of the re dedication, there was very little oil left that had not been defiled by the Greeks. Oil was needed for the menorah (candelabrum) in the Temple, which was supposed to burn throughout the night every night. There was only enough oil to burn for one day, yet miraculously, it burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the menorah. An eight day festival was declared to commemorate this miracle. Note that the holiday commemorates the miracle of the oil, not the military victory: Jews do not glorify war.

This week we commemorate the miracle and the light. We are the light. We have to stay the light.

Even way back then there were war mongering  power hungry wing nuts.

Who was Judah Maccabee? (by Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf)

The Greeks were different from other empires. They didn’t just want your land, your resources and your riches — they wanted your national essence, your culture. They wanted you to think like them, live like them and even be entertained like them. The problem was most Jews weren’t buying, and the Greeks didn’t appreciate that. So the Greeks brought pressure to bear on the Jews.

Women who insisted that their sons be circumcised were killed along with their babies. Brides were forced to sleep with Greek officers before they could be with their husbands. Jews were required to eat pork and sacrifice pigs to the Greek gods. The teaching of Torah became a capital crime.

The sages and their students went into hiding in order to study and preserve the Torah. Secret weddings were held. Most Jews did anything and everything to remain Jewish. Many were tortured and murdered for their defiance. A period of darkness and suffering descended upon the Jews of Israel.

The Hasmonean family was led by Mattisyahu and his five sons: Shimon, Yochanan, Yehudah (Judah), Elazar and Yonasan. Mattisyahu was a devout man who could not bear to see Judaism and the Jewish spirit crushed. It was his family that led the revolt against the vastly superior Greek forces. Mattisyahu understood that the battle was far less for national liberation than it was for spiritual and religious liberation. Though Mattisyahu’s valor provided the initial spark for the revolt against the Greeks, he died shortly after the rebellion grew into a full-fledged war. The mantle of leadership passed from Mattisyahu to his son Judah, and with that the course of history was forever changed.

Judah Maccabee was a fearless leader, a brilliant battlefield tactician and a man capable of inspiring thousands to take up arms in the battle for the preservation of Judaism. It was Judah Maccabee who conceived of ways for the Jewish forces to out-maneuver the larger, better equipped and seasoned Greek army. When at last the Jews captured Jerusalem, rededicated the Temple and witnessed the miracle of the oil, it was with Judah Maccabee as the leader of the Hasmonean family and at the head of the Jewish army of liberation.

The Jewish rebellion was a great event in Jewish history, but tragically, the war against the Greeks was also a civil war. Not all Jews sided with the Maccabees, who to some represented “the past.” Many Hellenized Jews aligned themselves with “progress” and with the future. As a result, Jews battled with one another for the right to define the future of Jewish life and the Jewish nation.”

A tradition of the holiday is playing dreidel, a gambling game played with a square top. Most people play for matchsticks, pennies, M&Ms or chocolate coins. The traditional explanation of this game is that during the time of Antiochus’ oppression, those who wanted to study Torah (an illegal activity) would conceal their activity by playing gambling games with a top (a common and legal activity) whenever an official or inspector was within sight.

dreidel

A dreidel is marked with four Hebrew letters: Nun, Gimel, Hei and Shin. These letters stand for the Hebrew phrase “Nes Gadol Hayah Sham”, a great miracle happened there, referring to the miracle of the oil.

The letters also stand for the Yiddish words nit (nothing), gantz (all), halb (half) and shtell (put), which are the rules of the game! There are some variations in the way people play the game, but the way I learned it, everyone puts in one coin. A person spins the dreidel. If it lands on Nun, nothing happens; on Gimel (or, as we called it as kids, “gimme!”), you get the whole pot; on Hei, you get half of the pot; and on Shin, you put one in. When the pot is empty, everybody puts one in. Keep playing until one person has everything. Then redivide it, because nobody likes a poor winner.

A song

Chanukkah, Oh Chanukkah
Come light the menorah
Let’s have a party
We’ll all dance the hora
Gather round the table, we’ll have a treat
Shiny tops to play with, latkes to eat

And while we are playing
The candles are burning low
One for each night, they shed a sweet light
To remind us of days long ago

God made the sun and it shines for everybody. Ziggy Marley

Here’s is a cute short funny version of the story.

 

 

this video is great (Neis is the miracle) Let’s be the light this year. Let’s all be the Hanukkah miracle.

 

Happy Rosh HaShanah! L’Shana Tova! Doing services in my Moose jammies.

Tonight is the beginning of  Rosh Hashanah and I’m sitting and watching the sun go down. I am, again, in my little house on the hill by the lagoon with Barney my dog and MeMe my cat. Trying to go anywhere is impossible. I’m not upset about it. It is what it is. I was on call all weekend. I sat in my house and waited for the phone to ring. I do as much as I can in the house. I guess I could do more. Like clean instead of writing. Like purging things instead of editing video. The most important thing is to not do anything that will jinx the quiet. For two days once a month I’m a hermit. Which is fine.

What I miss is the past and that’s not like me. I am so firming standing in the present which is the other reason I’m sitting here by myself. I totally forgot about Rosh HaShanah.I thought it was next week.

Where I live if I meet someone Jewish I usually say “Oh your the other one!”

The fictional character Black CIndy is a better Jew than I in this respect.

I forgot to take tomorrow off from work. Way back when I always worked a few hours on Rosh Hashanah seeing patients who were home bound and could not get out. It always upset my mother. I would explain to her that back in the day when people  lived in little villages the family would automatically go visit the old and infirm just like we did on Rosh Hashanah when we walked the streets of Beachmont visiting older relatives.

L’Shana Tova

So as i’m writing this and I click on the Facebook Page of Temple B’Nai Israel  and this is there just waiting for me and I am in a puddle of tears. What a gift!

templewindow

Julius is my grandfather and Max was his brother. When I was young and we went to temple we sat in our row with my grandfather’s name looking down at us and I always felt him there. Grampa Jack.

I have not been to temple in years. I found this online. The Central Synagogue and its streaming live. I can do Rosh  Hanshana in my moose jammies. They even have a prayer book that you can download.

http://www.centralsynagogue.org/worship/live_streaming

Then I found this. Live Streaming and a chat room.

http://www.ourjewishcommunity.org/videostreaming/streaming/

So what is Rosh HaShanah?

Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה‎, literally “head of the year”) is the Jewish New Year. The Biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah (Hebrew: יוֹם תְּרוּעָה‎, literally “day [of] shouting/raising a noise”) or the Feast of Trumpets. It is the first of the High Holy Days or יָמִים נוֹרָאִים Yamim Nora’im (“Days of Awe”) which usually occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere. Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration, which begins on the first day of Tishrei. Tishrei is the first month of the Jewish civil year, but the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year.

The earliest origins of the Hebrew New Year are connected to the beginning of the economic year in the agricultural societies of the ancient Near East. The New Year was the beginning of the cycle of sowing, growth, and harvest, the latter marked by its own set of major agricultural festivals. The Semites in general set the beginning of the new year in autumn, while other ancient civilizations such as the Persians or Greeks chose spring for that purpose, in both cases the primary reason being agricultural – the time of sowing the seed and of bringing in the harvest.

The day is said to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of humanity’s role in God‘s world. Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar (a hollowed-out ram’s horn) and eating symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a “sweet new year”.

The Hebrew common greeting on Rosh Hashanah is שָׁנָה טוֹבָה “Shanah Tovah“, which, in Hebrew, means “[have a] good year” or similar greetings.

The Food

As we heard from our friend Tova (Black Cindy) the food is an important part of the Holiday. Being together and eating together was so important and I have a years of wonderful memories of meals in my Nana’s House and then my parents place in Boca Raton.

“The blessings have the incipitYehi ratzon“, meaning “May it be Thy will.” In many cases, the name of the food in Hebrew or Aramaic represents a play on words (a pun). The Yehi Ratzon platter may include apples (dipped in honey, baked or cooked as a compote called mansanada); dates; pomegranates; black-eyed peas; pumpkin-filled pastries called rodanchas; leek fritters called keftedes de prasa; beets; and a whole fish with the head intact. It is also common to eat stuffed vegetables called legumbres yaprakes.”

I have to say I’ve never had a black eye pea in my whole life. My mom loved the apples with honey. I have no memories of fish heads. My mom did make  a mean tzimmes. My favorite was brisket with potatoe kugal on top. YUM.

“The use of apples and honey, symbolizing a sweet year, is a late medieval Ashkenazi addition, though it is now almost universally accepted. Typically, round challah bread is served, to symbolize the cycle of the year.[25] Gefilte fish and Lekach are commonly served by Ashkenazic Jews on this holiday. On the second night, new fruits are served to warrant inclusion of the shehecheyanu blessing.”

http://judaism.about.com/od/holidays/a/Rosh-Hashanah-Food-Customs.htm

So we had the apples and the honey, gefilte fish, chopped liver, mazol ball soup, tzimmees, brisket, potaoe kugal, sometimes chicken. My mom would have a story about everything. Honestly, I think she made half the stuff up and for desert she would make some wickedly awful thing with jello with things inside that would totally gross me out. It’s like brownies with nuts. Leave my jello alone. That was probably for the new fruit. As much as it grossed me out I would do anything if she was here to make this for me.

She also made cakes. I’m sure she made a honey cake. Here is a recipe. I’m not sure if it was her’s or one of my aunts.

recipe

The other part that I loved was the music. Our cantor growing up had the most amazing voice. It was like being in the presence of angels.

I bet you never heard anything like this.

I watched the second streaming and there was a nice Rabbi talking about how are always busy and we don’t stop to reflect. So I turned it off and now I’m enjoying the silence, the thoughts, the memories.

L’Shana Tova to my friends and relatives! Rosh Hashanah is for everyone.

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_%28United_States%29

“Independence Day of the United States, also referred to as Fourth of July or July Fourth in the U.S., is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire.

Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that day. Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed

Coincidentally, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but another Founding Father who became a President, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831, thus becoming the third President in a row who died on the holiday. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4, 1872, and, so far, is the only U.S. President to have been born on Independence Day.”

A few years back I spent the 4th in Guatemala and I had a great time but it was really weird.

Today I thought I’d share some photos of some of my favorite July 4th spots.

Here we are at the beginning. Only kidding.

Here we are at the beginning. Only kidding.

Boston

DSC_0207

right near here the best concert ever! Pops goes the 4th.

right near here the best concert ever! Pops goes the 4th.

Sebago Lake , Maine My Happy Place

sqaw island sebago lake maine

sunset at shaw acres

Colorado

DSC00097

Boulder, Colorado

Boulder, Colorado

New Mexico

Taos Road to the  rez The Cowgirl Santa Fe

Sitting on a sailboat in Elliot Key

Elliot Key

Key West

DSC05389

Key West

Stuart

photo_2

Jensen Beach

DSC_0085

Happy 4th of July!

flag

AMERICA (1924) — D.W. Griffith, Neil Hamilton, Carol Dempster, Lionel Barrymore

AMERICA (1924)
Starring: Neil Hamilton, Carol Dempster, Lionel Barrymore, Louis Wolheim
Directed by D.W. Griffith

Memorial Day 2015: Remembering Uncle Edward Gelman

My Dad, Arthur had two brothers Melvin and Edward and one sister, Millie. I never met my Uncle Edward because he was killed during WW2. But I knew him through stories my dad would tell me and I know that my Gramma Bertha and Grampa Max thought about him every day.

I always wondered what would have happened if he lived. What would he have been like (My Dad said he was a good kid.) Would have he have married? Would I have more cousins?

American cemetery in Cambridge,England

American cemetery in Cambridge,England

I found this today and I was able to leave a flower.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56289977

Death: Apr. 23, 1945, Isle of Man

USAAF WORLD WAR II
Passenger M/Sgt. Edward Z. M. Gelman Lost
Hometown: Massachusetts
Squadron: 532nd 381st Bomb Group
Service# 11030709
Awards: Bronze Star
Pilot Captain Charles E. Ackerman Lost

Target: Ferry Mission
CASUALTIES NOT LISTED IN MACR
Date Lost: 23-Apr-45
Serial Number: #43-38856
Aircraft Model B-17G
Aircraft Letter:
Aircraft Name:
Location: southern side of North Barrule Isle of Man
Cause: Pilot error, 31 service men lost.

Reports from the time of this crash stated that no combat operations over Germany were planned, so servicemen from nine different units were billeted for a week’s leave to Northern Ireland. The men chosen were the support servicemen, the ground crews, armourers, mechanics and fitters – people who kept the aircraft flying, combat-ready and safe. Some of those men had been on duty since June 1943 and for most this was their first real break. This ferry flight from Ridgewell in Esssex to Nutts Corner in Northern Ireland with a normal crew and a large number of passengers was on course flying in low cloud when it crossed the coast of the Isle of Man. The flight, piloted by Captain Charles E. Ackerman was never to reach its destination. Shortly after the aircraft passed over Glen Mona and Corrany before flying into the steep southern slope of North Barrule about 200ft short of the summit of the hill. The aircraft disintegrated with most of the airframe being consumed by fire. The crash killed all 31 crew and passengers on the aircraft.

The sadness of this tragedy was compounded by the fact that it happened just two weeks before the end of the war.

plaque at crash site

plaque at crash site

http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/pages/isleofman/iom43-38856.htm

Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 43-38856 of the 534th Bombardment Squadron, 381st Bombardment Group, flew into the southern side of North Barrule on the 23rd April 1945.

The aircraft was on a ferry flight from Ridgewell in Esssex to Nutts Corner in Northern Ireland with a normal ferry crew and a large number of passengers.  These passengers were additional aircrew and ground crew travelling to Northern Ireland for a short period of leave.  The aircraft was on course flying in low cloud when it crossed the coast of the Isle of Man.  Shortly after the aircraft passed over Glen Mona and Corrany before flying into the steep southern slope of North Barrule about 200ft short of the summit of the hill.  The aircraft disintegrated with most of the airframe being consumed by fire.  The crash killed all 31 crew and passengers on the aircraft.

American Cemetery in Cambridge, England

American Cemetery in Cambridge, England

This was the second accident on the island involving a B-17 in less than 10 days, the previous accident also detailed on this site.

http://www.americanairmuseum.com/person/55109

http://www.americanairmuseum.com/unit/326

The 381st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Ridgewell, Essex between June 1943 and April 1945. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for bombing shipyards at Bremen, whilst under heavy attack, on 8 October 1943 and the second was awarded to the 1st Bomb Division as a whole for flying without fighter protection to bomb aircraft factories at Oschersleben on 11 January 1944.

When Adam was 13 we went to England for 3 weeks and we went to visit our Uncle Edward’s grave in Cambridge, England. It was amazing experience. They help you find the grave and then take you there with sand so you can take photos.

photo

American Cemetery in Cambridge, England

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_American_Cemetery_and_Memorial