Friday, October 31, 2008

Zoe in her Blossom Costume

She loves it, and struts around like the Queen of Halloween in it. She has brought much cheer to several older women (80's), my vet's office and assorted other folk. She even loves the headpiece. Go figure.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Racism and the Election

The overt and covert racism in this campaign morally offends me. And it's morphing into a sort of surrogate -- religious intolerance. That religious intolerance is a thin proxy for the underlying racism. I wrote an article about it on Blogher called Racism is a Soul-Eater and God doesn't like it either."

One of my co-editors, Nordette, posted a list on her own blog of racist events in this election.

BlogHer editor Maria Niles, posted two brilliantly written pieces about this called The Political Rhetoric of Race and Racism Invokes Historical Perspective and Potential Backlash" and Racism and the race: What's white privilege got to do with it?>

Nordette also has written a very fine piece on BlogHer called America's Dark Night of Soul: I'll Take Hope Where I Find It For Now.

Please do check out the fine writing and research by Nordette and Maria.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The adventures of Zoe, auto traveler

Zoe, my rescue bichon frise pooch, LOVEs going for a ride in the car. She wears her doggie harness/padded seatbelt with pride as she takes in the fall foliage or props herself up on the armrest to look forward. I had to switch the windows to "child control", because she was using her paw to press the window button, makingit go all the way I am sure this was a paw accident, but it did happen regularly...hmmmm.

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Buy a Costume and help a child in Uganda, too

The site is donating costume profits to help children in war ravaged Uganda. They have costumes for pets, kids, adults. Here is what their site says:

About us

CostumeStudio is a website carrying one of the worlds largest selections of all occasion costumes and other Halloween related items. We are a company who supports children around the world in need. This Halloween we have teamed up with Invisible Children and will be donating 100% the profits from your purchases to help children in the war-torn region of Uganda. In a sense, we are giving away Halloween.

It is estimated that five billion dollars will be spent on costumes this Halloween. Five billion dollars would feed over a hundred million starving children for an entire year. We are hoping to remove the barrier of entry to doing good by creating opprotunities that integrate into people's lives. We are enabling people to incorporate good into people's everyday lives. On every product page is the exact donation amount you will be giving to help children in the war-torn region of Uganda.

Many musicians and celebrities are also teaming up with the endeavor to support their favorite causes and MySpace has pledged their support in spreading the word through the largest social network in the world.

Thank you for being a part of this and giving these children hope.

CostumeStudio is brought to you by goodsociety.

And yes, I bought my dog a costume. She will be a flower. I bought a friend's Yorkie a costume too -- she will be a bee. This is such a neat way to help and have fun a costume for yourself or as a gift!

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Yom Kippur in Kiev - 1987

I am lifting this entire post from This Blog
The storty is so moving it deserves to be reproduced in its entirety.

When "perestroika" became a reality in the former Soviet Union, Jews after many decades of forced assimilation were finally able to live openly as Jews again. The next year, in 1987, a young Chabad rabbi, sent by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, was leading the services in the main synagogue of Kiev on Yom Kippur night.

Announcements of the Yom Kippur services had been posted all over Kiev and Jews responded eagerly. Old men who remembered accompanying their parents to shul as children, young families who wanted a taste of their heritage after more than a half- century of Soviet persecution, and youth in their teens who barely knew they were Jewish, flocked to the main synagogue.

The services began with the cantor chanting Kol Nidrei. The moving melody stirred the hearts of all those who had come. But as the service proceeded, the Chabad rabbi sensed feelings of disappointment beginning to surface. After all, most of the people had never before even been in a synagogue; none of them knew how to pray together with the cantor. Despite the best intentions, Hebrew- Russian prayerbooks, and his explanations in Russian, he could sense that the people were becoming bored, and within their hearts a question was beginning to take form: Were these the prayers that20they had yearned for so many years to be allowed to say?

In the middle of the services, after the silent prayer said while standing, known as the Amida or Shemona Esrei, the young rabbi decided to make one more attempt to strengthen their involvement in the proceedings. So he ascended to the lectern and began to tell them the following Baal Shem Tov story:

One Yom Kippur, the Baal Shem Tov was praying together with his students in a small Polish village. Through his spiritual vision, the holy Baal Shem Tov had detected that harsh heavenly judgments had been decreed against the Jewish people, and he and his students were trying with all the sincerity they could muster to cry out to G·d and implore Him to rescind these decrees and grant the Jews a year of blessing.

This deep feeling took hold of all the inhabitants of the village and everyone opened his heart in deep-felt prayer.

Among the inhabitants of the village was a simple shepherd boy. He did not know how to read or even follow from the prayerbook; indeed, he could just barely read the letters of the alef-beit, the Hebrew alphabet. As the intensity of feeling in the synagogue began to mount, he decided that he also wanted to pray. But he did not know how. He could not read the words of the prayer book or mimic the prayers of the other congregants.

So, he opened the prayer book to the first page and began to recite the letters: alef, beit, veit - reading the entire alphabet. Then he then called out: "G·d, this is all I can do. You know how the prayers should be pronounced. Please, arrange the letters in the proper way."

This simple, genuine prayer resounded powerfully within the Heavenly court. G·d rescinded all the harsh decrees and granted the Jews blessing and good fortune.

The Chabad Rabbi paused for a moment to let the story impact his listeners. Suddenly a voice in the Shule called out, "alef." And thousands of voices thundered back "alef." The voice continued: "beit," and the thousands responded "beit." They continued to pronounce every letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

And then they began to file out of the synagogue. They had recited their prayers.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Autumn bliss

The weather is turning. There is something magical about this time of year. I find myself praying more, loving the air more, breathing more deeply and seeing things with a crisper vision. Everything seems heightened in this season, more focused, intense.

Yes, the economic state of the nation is dreadful. Yes, the war rages. Yes to the acknowledgement of a zillion horrible things.

But yes also to life, to color, to joy. Yes to the quickening of the soul that autumn brings. Yes to the gift of autumn.

Thank you, God, for reminding me of exuberant bliss. Thank you for the feeling of home, of cozy nights by the fire. Thank you for simple pleasures in an extraordinary season.

God's World

O WORLD, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart. Lord, I do fear
Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year.
My soul is all but out of me,—let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

--Edna St Vincent Millay
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