The Abelow Elul Update
Shalom to all!!
Note: The following email update ( below) was written 2 days ago, before the twin suicide bombing attacks that killed more innocent Israeli Jews - killings that continue to take place thanks to the planned or unplanned incompetence of the world powers to stop the murderers -(somewhat similar to WWII - when it comes to the lives of Jews). So, I wanted to add in some thoughts about the latest happenings.
It is at times like these that me must remind ourselves that this world is but a corridor to the next world. We cry and scream out to G-d over our losses and question his actions/inactions, as this "matzav" continues, as we should. Yet we should also hold on to our belief that we live our lives according to the Torah so that when we do leave this world, however we do, we move on to the "world to come", and we leave all the pain and suffereing of "this world" behind. Our physical bodies are only the phyiscal cases to house our souls while we travel through this world, but they are not needed in the world to come. Although the above is the "emet", it is still no comfort to all of us left behind who must deal with the losses of our loved ones, acquaintenences and fellow Jews as they are taken from this world.
May "this matzav" come to a quick conclusion, and may we all assist in bringing about the redemption of AmYisrael, Eretz Yisrael and the world, quickly...
Well the new year has begun!!!
Yakir has officially begun the Israeli school system by going to a public school gan in Efrat! (Note: in Israel, most schools are public schools, and many public schools are religious - this is the gadlut of Israel). Tachlis, that means that Yakir is in a gan with 34 other children and 2 gananot!!
Of all the ganenets in the system his ganenet is one of the best. So we are very thankful that he got her for a teacher. She is childcentered and friendly to the children. The assistant is very disappointing. If it wasn’t for the head ganenet we don’t know if we could’ve started him in the public system yet.
Rachel, the professional ganenet, with an MA in early childhood education, is having a tough time dealing with this new educational reality of such large classes.
Yakir is doing really well adjusting and likes his new gan and Ruti, the head ganenet. He says to Rachel in the morning, “Imma, play with me for a minute and then you can go.” He is doing better than Rachel is! He is such a big boy and developing really nicely.
As for little Itai, he is doing fabulously. Growing bigger and bigger by the day. He has the biggest smile and laughs when tickled! We look at Yakir’s baby pictures and they look exactly alike, it’s unbelievable! We are enjoying him a lot. Yakir loves being a big brother and takes very good care of Itai. He always runs over to give him kisses! Today Itai gave a real hearty laugh when playing with Yakir. It was very exciting! He loves his big brother!
The yamim noraim are upon us and our goal is to unpack as many boxes as possible before the chagim start. Wish us luck.
As for me and Rachel, B"H, we are enjoying now being parents of two beautiful little boys....and that says it all. That is what life is all about, enjoying our kids and growing with them, and we are loving it.
America is changing - beware and be cautious
Right now America is being squeezed from the "right" and from the "left" and the future of America looks very sketchy.
Today, I read a few interesting articles, describing different aspects of the changes that the USA is going through currently, and neither one, unfortuanately, is good for anybody who considers America the land of the free.
One article describes the depth to which the democratic party is failing Americans and America in exchange for a more liberal/unAmerican America.
This article is written by Dennis Prager, an American Jew who is very much respected by many, Jew and non-Jew alike, for defending Judeo-Christian values in America.
The other articles I read off of various media pulications (MSNBC, Yahoo news etc) on what is scary about where the American administration, (Republican administration under Bush), is taking America with the US Patriot Act (and the steps that the administration wants to take to expand the government powers under this act, allowing more and more intrusive government authorities on personal information and activities - erasing little by little the privacy that Americans think they cherish).
Each article alone might not sound so scary, but reading them together paints a scary picture about the direction that the USA is heading.
Personally, it is quite scary to see America moving in both of these directions. To me these two different "programs " are a sign of the fragile state that the USA is in right now, and a road map (sorry for using this now cursed term) to the direction that the USA is heading.
There are many, many Americans active in fighting against one or both of the above "programs", trying to stop the dangerous slide the USA is falling into (i.e. a liberal un-American America and a police state), but momentum is not on their side. On the one hand the fear of terror is allowing the Bush administration to gain more and more federal powers, to the detriment of the citizens privacy, and on the other hand, the liberalness of America is growing and expanding as we speak - making America less and less the melting pot it used to be and more and more a free for all country where anyone can do anything, and where citizenship doesn't even matter! It is hard to see either of these "programs" come to a halt and reverse themselves.
On the one hand I fear for the changes that America is going through, because America has been very, very good for the Jews and it has been a light unto the nations in many ways. However, I do not believe either of the above mentioned "programs" are good for Americans or for Americans Jews and ultimately they both will change America into a much scarier place to live. I'm more scared for Ameica's future than hopeful. I see these "programs" as a strong sign that is becoming stronger and stronger, a red flag, so-to-speak, for American Jews to leave the USA and come home to Israel. Here we have plenty of other problems and issues that are scary, but at least Israel is our homeland, where in one shape or form, we are impacted by living here in very positive ways.
Kansas is no longer the home Dorothy felt comfortable in - the USA is changing in very scary ways and there truly is no place like home, and that true home is in Israel.
May Hashem look after all of us on this blessed earth that he created, especially in todays topsy turvy world filled with terrorism and hypocrisy, and may we look after ourselves by accepting the scary reality around us and acting accordingly, instead of ignoring it and living life as usual - even though the reality is staring us right in the face.
I don't have optomistic thoughts on where the world is leading our puppet leaders with regards to the future of the State of Israel. Even though it is scary, it ultimately doesn't bother me, because hakol biday shamayim chutz m'yirat shamayim, and ultimately, everything will end up good. Good for Am Yisrael and for Eretz Yisrael. We still will probably have some very painful bumps in the years ahead, but ultimately, Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael will come out whole (whatever that means). I can't see how we will get there, but that's why I have faith in the one above and that is why I'm active in trying to bring to that future good about and not passive. But for now, the ikar for me is living and growing as a Jew and as a person in this special land we Jews call our inheritance and our homeland. May we take the steps to earn this inheritance and keep it!
With Teshuva, Tzedakah and Tefilah may we all be redeemed.