Saturday, 24 December 2011


Shalom and Happy hanukkah:
Tonight it the 5th night of Hanukkah.
It has been a quiet celebration this year, quieter than what we planned. But that's ok.
We had planned a Hanukkah feast, but the weekend before we found ourselves heading off for the last of The Yellow Ribbon Programs and that meant using the money for gas.
Mark is still unemployed, still looking for work.
We praise G-d his unemployment has been extended. And he does get paid for going to the Yellow Ribbon.
And I shall share about that another time.

That following tuesday, Mark awoke rather sick. It seems he had picked up some stomach virus. Which meant my making a big pot of chicken soup for my beloved instead of potatoes latkes for the first night of hanukkah. Thankfully with ginger-ale and soup, he was right as rain the following day.
So the next night, we had fish and chips, one of our favorite meals for hanukkah, since it is cooked in oil.
We spend a lot of time together, my beloved and I. Mostly because niether of us has jobs.
But while a job is needed, I do not complain about the time we share. We talk so much. We take walks together, study and pray together.
I see the pain in my Mark's eyes. He feels he has failed me in that he has no work to support us. But that isn't his fault. My Mark's isn't a lazy man; just sitting on the sofa, playing vidoe games while we live on the Taxpayers dime.
And yet in those same eyes, I see love. I see how much my husband loves me.
And what does that have to do with Hanukkah?
This is the time of miracles. When a ragtag band with the Hand of G-d upon them, won the battle the Syian-Greacian army that was determine to rid the world of every hebrew man, woman and child. To rid the world of Torah and the hebrew tongue. If it had not been for that hard fought battle, the miracle of a young virgin girl concieving in her womb the Messiah would have never occured. If there had been no Hanukkah, there would have been no Christmas.
The miracle of a war won. Of oil found. Of a Child concieved. All duringing this time of miracles.
And the same G-d of ole is still performing mircales. He still has His Hand upon His people, upon all who would call upon His Name.
And that is why I can light the lights of Hanukkah.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Touch Felt Around the World

She was known for her beauty and amazing blue eyes. She was known for love of children and love for dance. Forever 36, our last memory of her was entering a car that would crash, the crash taking her life.
But I shall forever memory her for that touch.
 I call it the touch felt around the world.
It was April, 1986. Diana, Princess of Wales, in visiting a hosptial, actually reached out and shook the hand of a man, dying of Aids.
Her Highness's single touch of a dying man, a fellow human being, literally changed the world's view of Aides and Aides patients forever.
I believer the Princess of Wales would agree with me that we have come a long way, and yet still have a long way to go.
Today is the one day of the year that I think about returning to nursing.
Notice I said think about.
But that part of my life is over and by the end of this evening the feeling will be gone.
But I can still be part of the battle; by speaking out in Aids Awarness and giving when I have the money to do so. By visiting the bedside of the sick, whatever their ailment, not being afraid to touch them with the love of Yeshua, with the love of a fellow human being.
I write this in memory of the Late Princess of Wales, Diana.
Taken far too soon.

World Aids Day

Today is World Aids Day.

The day holds meaning for me because when I began my career as a nursing assistance, it was during those early years of when hearing "you have aids" was a death sentence. When people were afraid to be in the same room with someone had Aids, let alone touch them, eat or drink after them. When even doctors and nurses refused to see or care for a person with Aids. When even family memebers were turning their backs on family members.
I remember well the evening I found myself working with Aid patients. I was going in to check on two new patients, I actually tripped over the door stopped. The two male patients laughed and I laughed too. It was funny, and I didn't fall, which was even better.
I introduced myself, letting them know I would be their CNA for the evening.
They both asked for pitchers of water. So I went and filled their pitches and returned.
Both men appeared shocked that I returned so quickly.
"We're not use to recieving such service."
Why not, I asked.
"You don't know, we have Aids. No one comes in here unless they have to."
I didn't know. So I told them, if they didn't mind, I would need to wear gloves, but I no problem taking care of them.
A few minutes later, the head nurse called me to the nursing station. "You don't have a problem taking care of those men. Their gay you."
"They have Aids."
"So, I'm not going to kiss or have sex with. I believe that just as Yeshua walked amoung and healed the Lepers of His day, I believe He would walk amoung and heal Aids patients."
So that night, I was given all four Aids patients on that floor until I left that nursing home.
I then went to work for an  nursing agency where I continued working with Hospic patients, including Aids patients.
Several of my former Aid patients actually rally and are now doing great, living full lives. But most have indeed passed on.
I remember each fondly, with a smile and tears.
We have come a very long way in the battle to rid the world of Aids, but we still, as a nation and the world at large still have a long way to go. May we see the world rid of this disease soon.
I write this in memory of all of those who have gone before us.
I write this, in the belief that one day, Aids, will be nothing more than a memory.

On the Road Again: Champ Hill

Boker Tov:
Back to our trip to Rochester.
After we leave GettryBurg, PA (see post from 11-16-2001) we were once agin on the road.
The sun was high and the weather was great;  the air was crisp and had me longing for hot apple cider.

On our way, we stopped a warm and visiting little town known as Champ Hill. It was a great place to stop and stretch our legs.
As well as an wonderful place to take pictures:

A carpit of fallen leaves. I leaarned my beloved had never had the joy of kicking through a pile of leaves or even have a leave fight. So we had to have a little fun playing in the leaves.
This is All About Wedding Cakes. It's by appointment only, so we couldn't go in.

The homes are so lovely, the feel that one gets is the warmth that comes from the charm of a small town.

Our time in Champ Hill was far too short. We have to come back.

A Jew With A View: Roses In November

A Jew With A View: Roses In November

These pictures are from my morning walk a few days ago...

Friday, 18 November 2011

Good Night, Sweet Angel: Part 2

Boker Tov;
It is a cold morning here in Virginia. In the 30s. So it is a hot coco morning.
I awoke thinking about baby Jazzlyn Grace. I have so many pictures of this lovely girl with the big blue eyes. I had never held her or heard her coos, but I am just imagine.
The death of anyone we love, even if we know they are in heaven. It is times like thess we ripe our garments ( the picture of the heart being ripped open) and declare:
 Barukh attah Adonai Eloheynu Melekh ha’olam dayan ha’emet. Blessed are You, O Lord our G-d, King of the universe the true Judge (or Judge of truth). 
The death of a child is the worst pain a parent could have.
I remember the months I struggled after Mark and I lost a child to miscarriage. A child we never saw or heard. It took time and the support of a loving husband and a Faithful G-d to get me through. And knowing our little one was with her Creator slowly, slowly eased the pain.
At times like these we reach for words:
G-d needed another angel, so He took him/her. With respect, when humans die and go to heaven, they remain human, their not turned into angels.
We are not needed in heaven. That is where we go when our work is done. We are needed here on earth.
When our loved are taken, it is their time to go.
But knowing this doesn't ease the pain. Nor should There is a hole in our lives, our family, our heart that can be mended, but not fully healed until we are together again. G-d is closest to times like these, holding us close.
Anger is normal too. I remember being so mad with G-d over His taking our unborn child. There will be no baby scents and nappies, no baby coos and first tooth, no first day of school, first dance, no seeing this precious one married under our huppah or grandbabies.
The wordss came slowly, softy...."Quiet day you will understand...this is not that day...."
His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. Sometimes that is enough and sometimes we storm with,
That's it???"
And sometime we just have to lean back into the Father's Arms and let Him hold us, knowing He loves us.
And weeps with us.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Good Night Sweet Angel

Yesterday morning bright and sunny.
And then I recieved the news that a friend's three month old granddaughter Jazzlny was found in her crib, blue. We prayed that The that gave us Jazzyn would allow her to remain longer.
But the Holy One, Blessed be He, had other ideas.
Today, as I prayed for Linda and her family, I remembered something I would a few months back and felt during this time of questions and tear, it would encourage:
From 11th April:
It is hard, even impossible to understand how a loving G-d would take someone so young. It is times like these that people of faith draw on G-d. I repost something I wrote awhile back that gets me through moments like this:

In Judaism, death is not a tragedy, even when it occurs early in life or through unfortunate circumstances. Death came to the world because of sin, but one day, through Messiah, that shall be removed. Our deaths, like our lives, have meaning and are all part of G-d's plan. This does not mean that G-d condones to actions of murders; they shall indeed face judgement, in this life and in the next, for their crimes.
In addition, we have a firm belief in an afterlife, the world to come, where those who have lived a worthy life will be rewarded. Knowing that G-d has created a place for the rightious, while our hearts are ripen open with the death of a loved one, we know where they are and one day, we shall join them.
Times like these do not make me question my faith in G-d or doubt that He is. It enforces it. For only G-d can make sense out o fall of this.
I am reminded of quotes from two of my favorite books: C.S. Lewis's The Last Battle J.R.R Tolken's The Return of the King.

From The Last Battle: There was a real railway accident,” said Aslan softly. “Your father and mother and all of you are–as you used to call it in the Shadowlands–dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.”
And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
(C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle (HarperCollins: New York, 1956) p. 228.)

And from The Return of the King:
Gandalf:Gandalf: Farewell, my brave Hobbits. My work is now finished. Here at last, on the shores of the sea, comes the end of our Fellowship. I will not say "do not weep", for not all tears are an evil. It is time, Frodo."
Sam: What does he mean?

Frodo: We set out to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me.

Sam: You don't mean that. You can't leave.

Frodo: [hands Sam the RedBook book] The last pages are for you, Sam.

Frodo: [Voiceover] My dear Sam, you can not always be torn in two: you will have to be one and whole for many years. You have so much to enjoy, and to be, and to do. Your part in this story will go on....

We all are authors in this jounral called life. Our stories interwine and weave into the tapestry of the universe, of heaven itself. The black threads of pain and sorrow are those that bring out the bright, rich colours of joy. Those who have passed on to the afterlife, either heaven or hell, have set down their pens. Their portion, as Frodo stated, is complete. Just Frodo passed the RedBook onto Sam, for he had many pages more to write, so do we, who are still walk upon this good earth.
And one day, we too shall hear the crash of a train and find ourselves in Aslan's Land, where He shall begin to tell us The Great Story, the Story we, ourselves are part of and that goes on forever.

Jazzlny  finished her part of the Great Book: we are left to continue to write ours.
May those who have gone before us rest in peace and may the G-d of All Comfort comfort those left to mourn.
We miss you, Jazzlyn.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Gettryburg, PA

Boker Tov:
Gerryburg, PA.
One day we hope to spend more than a few fleeing nights in this remarkable city;
But right now, here a few pictures from our brief time....

Gettysburg Pennsylvania Movie Theater -

This is the Gateway Theater. 
On the Reel to-do list. Since we're going to be here long, I did some research:
The Gateway Theater is a state of the arts theater and is the home of the "Fields of Freedom" movie. Field of Freedom is an unprecedented look at the Battle of Gettysburg, and  has eight  movie screens.
 I hope lots of leg room. Mark and I are tall people.
 Featuring giant viewing screens, landmark Gateway Theater boasts the most advanced sound and viewing technologies for the ultimate experience possible at a movie theater. Two theaters feature the largest digital movie screens in the country - three stories high.
Yeah, we need to come and stay longer than a night.

Looks like a cool place to eat, but Old Eagle was still close when we checked out.

The fire is as cozy as it looks....

Alas, we have to leave far too....

But now refreshed..we are on our way to Rochester, New York....

On the Road Again: Part Three

Boker Tov:
So after crashing in GettysBurg and getting a pretty good night's sleep, Mark and I took our time preparing for the day. We should reach New York by evening, so we didn't feel a need to hurry.
Our hotel room at the Courtyard Marriott in GettryBurg, PA.

And yes the bed was quite comfortable...
One of the nicest things about this hotel is the internet is secure. There is wireless internet service in each room. You don't even need your own computer cord; just plug your baby in and off you go. I had a lovely talk with the night manager. She has a son station here in Norfolk and the family has plans to get together for the holidays. I told her make sure they visit Bush Gardens while in town, one of the best places to be for the winter holidays.
The morning meal was pretty good as well, though I couldn't eat it all. The only thing missing is the Starbucks coffee. Once out of Virginia, we had yet to find a Starbucks.
Not good.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Happy Veteran's Day

Boker Tov:
11-11-11 Today we remember all those who have given their lives for this nation, so that each of us may enjoy the freedoms we have, including to protest, to speak out against their government, the freedom to or not to worship.
Today we give thanks to those who have served as well as those who still do.
Today I remember cousins who are deployed and praying they return home safe.
Today I give thanks that my soldier is still home.
A very happy and blessed Veteran's Day.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

On The Road Again. Part 2

Along the I-95, Virginia.

The Beauty and Glory of G-d's Creation.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

On the Road Again

Boker Tov:
Well, we're on the road again.
I do need to catch up on the others two we have been on. Each connected with the Yellow Ribbon Reingeration Program.
But more about that later.

We set out for Rochester, New York a few days ago. While it is about an ten hour drive from Virginia, I told Mark I prefer to break the trip into two days. This way we arrive safey and he will be refresh and alert for his training.
And after what we went through the last two trips, Mark was willing to go along.
So Monday afternoon, after packing and setting the house in order, headed out for our next adventure.
And you know Moshe and Abraham had to go along.

The weather was wonderful; sunny, cool, but not cold. The interstate ablazed with the autumn colours.
But my favorite part of the trip was just riding with my beloved. Whether we were singing with the radio, listening to the news or just talking, laughing over silly, private jokes, I still love the simple pleasure to be with the man I love.

We arrived in GettyBurge, PA around 8:30 pm and after a supper of pizza, and lousy pizza at that I crashed.
And Mark decided this was a good time to take a picture of my socks.....
I think their cute....

I Married Calvin

Boker Tov:
One of my favorite Cartoons is Calvin and Hobbs.
I love that little guy and adore Hobbs;

Little did I realize I would one day marry Calvin...
Have to admitt, he is rather cute...

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Giving. Thanks

Boker Tov;
My mother always says one really can't speak about Thanks Giving without giving thanks.
Thanks why she would give to the Food Bank and ask around her office and where she attended church to make sure everyone had somewhere to send Thanks Giving.
I am thankful to be married to such a man. I rmemeber the very first time we went food shopping together and he picked up one of the food bags for the Food Bank. He said he didn't like the idea if sitting down to supper and knowing others didn't have anything to eat.
So for the most part, we try to give to the Food Bank before Shabbat, that way we know there that a faily would be site down to a family meal (whether shabbat or not).The past yeat, we have not been able to give as often as we wish, which hurts, knowing the need is even greater.

This year we learned the Jewish Family Services has not one, but two Food Closets. One for the general public (the director said she will turn no one away) and another for the Milk and Honey Closet, this side closet collects food that is kosher. Since we keep kosher, no problem there. So we buy enough for both. This day a family in need can enjoy shabbat meal.

The Hebrew word for tzedakah is often translated as charity. But tzedakah actually means something slightly different; it means justice, righteousness. According to our Sages tzedakah means we have an obligation to give to those in need.
We don't just give when we "feel the urge" or even guilted. It is an awareness that we are indeed our brother's keeper. It is done to prove how good, how holy, how g-dly we are, but because a fellow human being is in need. We give knowing "we enterian angels unaware."
We give because there, but by the grace of G-d goes us.
We give to say thank you to the G-d Who gave to us.
How do you say "Thank you to G-d?'
Share your bread.

Friday, 4 November 2011

The Joy of Oatmeal-Cholocate chip Cookies.

Boker Tov;
A few days ago, I decided that it was time to make some cookies for my beloved.
I think a large part of this was due to the fact that once again our apartment is freezing.
The heats has kicked on a few times and then it is no more.
So we have once again broken out the heaters and sweaters. I figure a little baking would warm up the house.
So yesterday, I made some oatmeal-chocolate cookies. As I had, the front rooms of the apartment warmed up as well as making the house smell good.

"Ahhhh...cookie..... :) "

"Hmmm.....cookie..... :) "

Giving thanks for the cookie...

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Jolly Rogers Was Here

Boker Tov:
A few days before Halloween, I spotted this flag on top of the apartment building across the street from ours.
"Mark, that looks like a pirate's flag."
It is, Mark said. It went up Friday.
Our neighourhood is big on Hallaween, so this really didn't surprise to see it.

But I thought of my buddy Beth, knowing she loves all things pirates, so I took this picture.
Besides, I thought was kind of cool.

Autumn in Ghent.

Boker Tov:
While out for our walk yesterday afternoon, we spotted down the street we were walking.

The streets of Ghent paint a lovely picture in the Autumn, often remind me of the picture puzzles my mother loves to work on.
We do a lot of walking in Ghent. The Laundry Mat we use is right there on the main street, along with the Naro, where we rent our vidoes and of course Star Bucks.
Many of the homes in Ghent are works of art. Many dating back to 1890s to 1900s, you can just imagine the stories they tell.
We spend a lot of time in Ghent during our courtship. So much so that this is where we chose to live when we got married. We laughed about the fact we actually started getting serious about where our relationship was heading around this time eight years ago, when Mark began to think about how to ask me to marry him and I was wondering when he would.
We had no money and the winds of war blew all around us. But so did love and a future together.
Ten years later, we have come full cicrle. Now married and living here in Ghent, we have no money, and Ghent is still amoung our favorite date spots. We still laugh and talk about G-d and His Torah, about books we have read and what we imagine our life looking together.
I would like to see the no money part change, however.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

I Think Pink Would be Nice....

Last Sunday Mark and I were sitting at breakfast, doing a little daydreaming about finding and buying our own home.
I have always imgained a Pink or Peach coloured two-story family home. Pink or Peach. Such peaceful colours...

"I don't think so, Laini..."
"But Mark, picture it....the outside painted pink or peach...a pink bathroom, powder blue kitchen and I even have the colours picked out for your Man Cave...."

"The same colour as the lily in the center of this flower arrangement..."


Hmmm, I don't think Mark likes the ideas for his Man Cave.....