Thursday, December 30, 2010

The worst pain in the world...


The worst the world.. the're going through
right now



Friday, December 24, 2010

System Bypass


System Bypass:
1. The use of an alternate route to bypass an existing system.

We've all come across a scenario in popular culture or in real life where system bypass comes into play.

A safe holding a treasure has an alarm system that fails, the system needs to be bypassed for the safe to be opened.

A highly sensitive computer comes under attack and causes a system meltdown in a nuclear power plant and only the Director knows how to bypass the failing system and safeguard the nuclear centrifuges.
You get the picture....

Why am I wasting your precious time with this?

I think that it holds an important strategy in raising and educating children.
Let me explain.
There's "The System".
The System is Community, School and Family.
Then there's The Treasure and the Source of Power. That is Hashem.
When we are young, the system is synonymous with what it's protecting and representing.
The System is our way of approaching Hashem and thus, in a way, represents God in this world.
This is why when the system fails for many they go off the derech and lose interest in everything.
After all there was a system wide meltdown.

But this doesn't have to be the case.
Children need to be taught that Hashem exists and can be approached independent of The System.
There is a System Bypass.
We just have to hand them the codes and tools.
We need to give them an appreciation of Tefilla. We need to teach them that you can talk to Hashem and feel close to him.
They need to know that their relationship with Hashem is strong, unique and can withstand anything.
And most importantly that the relationship that we have with Hashem is completely independent of The System which by nature is human and capable of failing.
So even if there is a colossal system wide failure Hashem doesn't come crumbling down with it, rather He's the one you can go running to...


Sunday, December 19, 2010

a conversation in music


If music is the language of the soul and heart

.....then most modern music
is small talk.

I don't have much..
..........patience for
small talk


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chillul Hashem

The proud father stood before his ten children looking into their eyes one by one. He gave them to understand in a low and serious voice the importance of preserving the honor of their family. He expected them to behave like model citizens and to make sure that the family name is not shamed.
The boys filed out of the room deeply impressed and determined to carry out their fathers wish.
However, their determination did not last very long. A few weeks later one of the boys was caught stealing and was arrested while the other brothers stood around wringing their hands and moaning, "oh what have you done to our father's honor? How could you shame us like this?"
A week after that saw one of the boys get drunk and beat a cop over the head with a baseball bat. Once again the other brothers, were hissing and murmuring, "oh no..what have you done to our fathers honor!"
Then, a month after that, one of the brothers decided to start wearing a clown costume, red nose curly hair and all, all over town. He wore it to work and out on the street. And the other brothers were overcome with shame, "Oh how could you walk around like that, you're shaming our fathers name??"
Some of the brothers even made websites and forums with much digital hand wringing, discussing whether or not this behavior is considered shaming their fathers name, and how it compares to the other preceding occurrences.

Then a month later the first brother was arrested again for stealing. This brought much consternation from the other brothers. They even organized a protest outside his home holding crudely drawn signs denouncing their wayward brother. This odd group of shouting signholders, clown and all were chanting in unison "Daddys Honor - Daddys Honor" and were drawing a crowd of curious onlookers.

In the meantime the father was somewhere looking down and shaking his head at his silly children, as if to say, "Do you think this is what I intended with my speech?"
"I never meant for you to be caught up in, and obsessed with not shaming my name day and night! You're all kind of missing the point. Just act normal and behave because that's how decent normal human beings ought to behave, then my name will automatically be honored. "


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Miraculous Moments

Here's a thought about Chanukah that I've had for awhile.
We're so used to reading and mentioning the Chanukah miracle in passing, a sort of G rated version of events. But if one studies the History of the Chashmonoim finds a dramatically different picture.
The bloody battles of those times (elephants and all) left thousands of Jews dead in the most greusome fashion.

After the miracle..the Jews lived in peace for just a few years before a long succession of Hellenized and corrupt Chashmonai Kings ascended the throne. Many, like Antygonys, had tens of thousands of Chachomim killed in horrific bloodbaths.
Less than a hundred years after Chanukah the Chashmonai Kings invited the Romans to settle the Civil War, and that was the beginning of the end.
So not only didn't the idyllic times last long, they helped bring about the ultimate destruction of the Bais Hamikdosh that they had purified.

And yet we see the power of a miracle...a moment of time when some light shone through the darkness.

A moment of hope that lasts until today.

Life, after all, is comprised of moments. We all have our moments, and the good moments ought to be celebrated, even if they are followed by relapses to old habits. One must shake off the dust and strive for another moment...and another...

This is what the story of Chanukah teaches us.

It's a subdued Holiday..we sit and reflect at the flickering lights, even though we know they won't last long. Still, we bask in their beauty...and then come back the next night..and light them again...adding another light...then another..


Thursday, December 02, 2010

Night 0

those that love to..
drive around
cruise the town and...
...peek into windows
at twilight others light..
sing, dance flow
windows aglow

I too like
I prefer to go
on night 0

you see..
...there are those
that connect the first night
genesis of light
..others prefer 8
symmetrical postcard

but oh so many
...connect to night 0
the night..that the menorah
.....sits still
at the window sill....waiting
in the dark...
.....the twenty fourth

and I drive around town the stillness of the night
and I see them
..sitting at their menorahs
in the dark...
...smoky breath
the silver reflecting
in their faces
...young..and old
a housewife on a rocking chair monochrome
man pouring oil
until it.....overflows
....all over the place
blank teenagers
.....transfixed stares
by the lights of night 0

I even saw one man...
...dancing with his children
who were trying desperately break free

truth be told
..the miracle
of 1 light lasting 8 nothing

It's getting from 0 to 1
...where the true miracle lies

Happy Chanukah