Saturday, October 27, 2018

Sadness

    After Shabbos I turned on my phone and was jilted into the real world . There was a bloody attack in a Conservative shul in Pittsburgh. I felt gut punched reading the news followed by tears. It was the worst anti-semitic attack on a synagogue in the United States ever. Its the kind of record no one ever wants to happen.
    It was done by a white man who came with a lot of artillery. He was on a mission to kill Jews. Whenever I hear people say Jews are white. I say bullshit. When the white supremacists were marching in Charlottesville  they were chanting about not wanting the Jews to replace them.
     This attack happened across the street from the church that the late Fred "Mister" Rogers used to attend. So it was in Mr. Roger's neighborhood. So sad. The only thing that makes the pain a little smaller is knowing that there were inter faith vigils in Pittsburgh and in Union Square in NYC for the victims. People care that this happened and they share our pain . That certainly is something that Mr. Rogers would approve of.
    Praying for a better week. Praying for the families of those who were murdered , for those who were injured , and for peace. Sending love and condolences to the Jewish community  of Pittsburgh. We are all in mourning . 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Reflection

     Unfortunately a lot of people that I know have passed away in their prime this year. It really gives those of us left behind time to reflect and make whatever life we all have meaningful as there are those who aren't fortunate enough to be able  to make the most of their lives anymore. Its easy to pontificate, much more difficult to actualize. Nonetheless I will try to appreciate , enjoy and make meaningful the life that I have.
      Have an awesome Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah!

     

Monday, August 6, 2018

Keep Quiet Official Trailer 1 (2017) - Documentary

  A few years ago I had heard the story of a Hungarian neo-Nazi who found out he was Jewish and then started exploring his Jewish roots. This documentary is his story.
     Basically his Jewish , Holocaust surviving maternal grandmother hid her Jewishness from her grandson. When her grandson becomes involved in anti semitism she still did not mention to him that she and his mother are really Jewish , making him Jewish as well. Later it is revealed  that he indeed is Jewish. He is thrown for a loop.
  Szegedi goes to a local orthodox rabbi to explore his roots. This is not an easy task. Is he ready to atone for his past ? The rabbi gives him a chance but he also tells him in order to repent he must go through all of the steps of teshuvah. The rabbi realizes that this level of teshuvah cannot be done overnight, but he believes another Jew deserves this chance.This film is the story of the beginning of this journey.
   It is quite amazing that Szegedi did not commit suicide upon finding out he is Jewish. I think that just living another day with such knowledge is its own living hell. I also understand why many doubt his sincerity. That said I do believe that he should be given the chance to repent. He is still a young man. It seems he is single as well. I am not sure what kind of woman would marry him knowing his past. Perhaps someone with the same type of background.
    I think that the saddest part is that his mom and grandmother failed to reveal their Jewish heritage with him before he became such a rabid anti-semite. His hatefulness is not their fault but perhaps they could have stopped him before he had gotten so entrenched.
    I hope Szegedi succeeds in his teshuvah. If he does he can be a shining example to others 
   

Sunday, August 5, 2018

WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? - Official Trailer [HD] - In Select Theaters J...

  If you see one movie this year this one should be it.
  Months ago when I heard that there was going to be a Mr. Rogers documentary I knew that I had wanted to see it. I loved his show at 3 or 4 years old . I thought he was really speaking to me as I watched . I loved the puppets and his message. He reminded me of my parents when he would say he liked me just the way I was.
      Once in awhile on a sick day from work I would listen to the calming voice of Mr Roger's Neighborhood instead of the circus of the daytime talk shows that were on.
       When I watched this documentary it reminded me of his greatness. He treated children with respect. He fought to create quality children's programming. He promoted kindness toward others and the value of everyone including ones self. Mr. Roger's neighborhood was all about Love Your Neithbor. It was no mistake.
         Even after Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was over when there were events in history when children needed someone to help them get through it the newscasters would ask him to make a public service announcement. When it came to 9/11 they approached him for his wisdom. Mr. Rogers, like all of us was thrown for a loop. It was so frightening and awful. Even so , he managed to come up with a message. He told kids to look for who was helping and trying to fix the situation. When you see that there are those trying to fix the situation you know that everything will be ok. He also encouraged people to be tikkun olam which he said in Hebrew. It is up to us to save the world. If we could all be like Mr. Rogers and be a little kinder the world will certainly be a better one.
          Bring tissues if you go see this film. Mr. Rogers saw the good in the world and he really was what he preached. I did not remember how wonderful he  until this documentary reminded me. He was a kind gentle person who encouraged others to be the same . He made it look so easy. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Women Hatzalah Service 'Ezras Nashim' Serve Brooklyn Community/ 23QUEEN

  I could not find a preview of the new documentary 23QUEEN which is about Ezras Nashim , the women's hatzalah unit, so I included this clip .
     This film is the story of the creation of a women's version of Hatzalah that was created because the regular Hatzalah would not let them join . It boggles the mind how people so frum would not think that it would be important to have women paramedics for the frum women to call. It certainly is more modest.I applaud their efforts.
     The film was interesting. It showed how hasidic women have minds of their own in terms of wanting to establish their own hatzalah group and actually doing it.
    I found the film enlightening but I did  not love it. The best part of the film was the background vocals by Perle Wolfe.
    The women did not want to call themselves feminist but feminist  means  different things to different people. RBG did a better job of defining feminism than this film .I will review RBG at a later date. To me being a feminist means women being women but also being able to pursue  a career and any other hobby or pursuit one desires. This does not mean one wants to be a man or like a man and it does not mean having a career (or being a member of hatzalah) means that a woman does  not want to marry or have a family. Maybe Ruchie Frier the founder of Ezras Nashim   did  not want to spell this out but obviously this is what she believes. At the end of the movie she does admit that she would not be where she is (a judge) if not for the women before her who forged the way but she pussyfoots around it by saying that she is different. No she is not. She is exactly the same. She is a judge who is frum and her family is important to her. The documentary RBG showed that Ruth Bader Ginsburg though not an orthodox Jew embodied this ideology. She is a lawyer and a judge but felt her family and personal life are just as important. I suspect those who masterminded RBG were more skilled at spinning their story, but its a shame that 23QUEEN was not able to give me this feeeling. I am so proud as an observant Jewish woman that someone like Ruchie Frier is a judge and like Ruth Bader Ginsburg has  a very supportive husband, but I am sad that she seems more scrappy than  confident in her achievements.. Then again RBG is in her a 80's so she has had a lot longer to be confident in her achievements. I guess we have to wait 30 years and see. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Three Identical Strangers

   THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS   is the most wild ride. Its the story of a Jewish adoption agency in the sixties that decided to separate twins and triplets without the knowledge of their adoptive parents.
    I can't imagine finding out at 19 that there are two other people in the world who look exactly like me. It is so interesting to see how the story unfolds. Even though there is tragedy and these boys have to deal with the weight of their story it is still amazing how they found each other despite such great effort to keep them apart. If you ever believed in bashert, this movie has it ins spades. These brothers were destined to be together despite evil forces that conspired to confirm otherwise.
    As I watched this documentary it boggles my mind how a Jewish adoption agency could have done this not as many years after Mengele yemach sh'mo as one would like to imagine.
    I love how the parents , relatives and friends were included in this documentary, especially the aunt with the haunting voice.
     Though so  much of this documentary has been included on you tube it does not cover it all.
 This is  the ultimate nature vs nurture in reality. I highly reccommend it.