April 28, 2006

You Can Save a Girls Life

Nazanin is a young Iranian woman who has been sentenced to die for the crime of defending herself and her niece from rape. (story here and here)

There is a petition to save her life. THESE PETITIONS DO SEEM TO WORK at times. It certainly can't hurt to try and overturn this vile verdict and allow this young woman to grow.

Please sign. Please let your friends know.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:11 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 27, 2006

Things You Prefer Not To Hear

There are things one prefers not to hear, at least at the moment they occur.
For instance, when talking on the phone to your 12 year old daughter who is on an overnight trip;
Oh, there was an explosion nearby.
Its okay. Don't worry.
But everyone is okay?
Yes, don't worry. Oh, it wasn't an explosion, it was gunfire. The teacher was running around everywhere but now she is quiet.
Okay...as long as you are having fun.

cause, there isn't much that I can do with this information but pray it was only some gunfire and wasn't and won't be near my kid.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:58 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 26, 2006

Talking to G-d

I was talking to a friend the other day, inviting her to a function on our Yishuv, and as happens when two friends get talking the subject moved from the event to other topics. Kids, work, life.
And G-d.
I don't know how we got there, but soon we were talking about G-d and how we relate to Him, and prayer.
"I have trouble praying" she admitted.
Well, so do I...ritual prayer. The sort of praying one must do everyday, at specific times etc. etc.
I'm terrible at that. I don't really enjoy the time...I...and I know this isn't good, try to get it over with. Most of the time.
But...the prayers of the heart..this I can do this quite easily, I do it all the time. I keep up a running conversation with G-d sometimes...What a lovely day, thank you! Do you mind not sending us...how about some money here Hashem, we could really use it....G-d feels to me like a friend, Someone who is truly there for me, though sometimes I don't understand how and begin to wonder if I'm right. But usually I just talk to G-d.

She doesn't feel that connection. She believes in G-d, believes in the Torah but has a fear sort of relationship with Him. I'm not critcizing her btw, doing something because it was commanded by G-d and not because one wants to is a good thing. This is what G-d wants of her, so she does it. I guess we all do that to some extent.

But I like these free conversations with G-d better, and I think life would be much harder on me emotionally without them....and the conversation made me wonder....

How do you realate to G-d? How do you feel about ritualized prayers vs heart prayers? Why do you follow whatever religious path you follow? What is your impetus? Your understanding of the laws and why they are there?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:35 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 20, 2006

Judaism and Abortion

Meira has done it again; a wonderful blog post on the Jewish view of abortion. It is a must read. Go see for yourself.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 11:59 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 18, 2006

We Have the Words Right

The Israeli UN Ambassador has stated the obious to anyone honest; the actions by the Iran, Syria and the Palestinian government are declarations of war, calling the three an "Axis of terror".

The Palestinians of course want to play the "We'll condemn the actions of the other party and then you get condemned for defensive measures" game. Which generally works. Even if the original terrorist action is condemned by the U.N. and world at large they condemn Israel for any response save those that are basically worthless (targeting empty fields and such.)

The most recent attack, carried out by Islamic Jihadists, but condoned and applauded by Hamas caused the lives of 9 innocent human beings. A Hamas spokesman calling the actions "resistance... to Israeli crimes." A mother and wife murdered in front of her husband and children. 8 other innocent humans dead in the midst of a joyous holiday and the Palestinian government calls it defense. And the bomber promised that more are to come, more are to come.

Iran and Qatar will be giving the Palestinians $50 million each so they can continue their reign of terror. So what if the Western world doesn't help the government. Between the humanitarian efforts on the way to provide for the poor folks who can't get food or whatnot, and the help from other Muslim countries to help make more bombs, what incentive will the Arab- "Palestinians" have to stop their murderous attacks?

Well fed and clothed thanks to the west, and supplied with arms thanks to the
rest and they will have no reason to stop terrorism and teaching their children to hate, to raise their children to become weapons of mass destruction..

(here for more news, and here)
(The last article states 10 were killed, the rest say 9. I don't know if one more person died in the interm or not, at the time of this posting.)

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:32 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 14, 2006

Health Help Needed

A friend and a fellow blogger has need of some health information. You can leave the info here or on her blog, e-mail me or whatever....If you leave me the info I'll see that she gets it asap (which probably at this point means tomorrow night)

One of her sister's friend's daughters contracted lyme disease. The child has since undergone a radical personality change. The mom is understandably very upset. The child becomes violent for no particular reason, which was not this child's normal personality. Mom has looked online and talked to doctors to no avail. She really can use all the help she can get.

If you know of any help, if you have had a child who has had Lyme disease, or are a doctor, or are knowledgeable in this area, please contact Robin
or again, leave a message with me and I will see that she gets it.

If you blog pass this on. Thanks all

Rachel Ann

Posted by Rachel Ann at 12:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 12, 2006


Just that; have a chag kosher v'semach.
Hope you find the Afikomen and enjoy the seder.

Take care,
Rachel Ann

Posted by Rachel Ann at 01:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 10, 2006

Funky Radio

One of the things I do while working, to keep myself from going absoulutely nuts I listen to radio programs. One of the new stations I've been listening to is DECODER RING THEATRE via podcast. I've listened to two funky shows: the Red Panda, 50ish superhero with his sidekick, the Flying Squirrel, and BLack Jack Justice, the hardboiled detective and his right hand, Trixie, the Girl Detective. Think 30's all the way.

Fun, funky and just too good to be true. So swing on by and get an earful.

Oh, and if you listen to radio programs, versus music on the internet or talk shows etc, tell me what they are; blasts from the past or lightspeed future, they give me a kick and help me work faster.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 09:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Maybe, Just Maybe the World is Starting to Get It

Leaving Gaza mean moving the terror closer to the heart of Israel. Bombs have been falling steadily on Israel from the former homelands of Gush Katif residents. The normal response of Israel was to bomb the area where the rockets had been fired; ie empty fields.

Then, over the weekend, as all know, Israel took aim at the bombers themselves. At the end, 15 were killed, including a child.

I guess PA thought it would be the routine reaction; CHILD KILLED BY ISRAELI GUNFIRE, but at least from my reading the reaction has been somewhat muted. Oh, Annan is asking Israel to restrain themselves (why does he always respond only after Arab deaths? Not after assaults on Israel?) to not endanger civilian population, hard to do when the PA's think take your children to work week includes actions of war.(a sentiment that has come up in more than a few responses to various articles I have read) And the article I linked to talks about Israel taking "revenge" and not what it was, a self defense action. But buried in the article is this paragraph.

The first inkling that Israel's iron-fist response to the Gaza rocket attacks was having any impact emerged yesterday when a spokesman for the Islamic Jihad Party (IJP) - one of the principal militant groups responsible for firing Qassam rockets into Israel - said a week-long ceasefire would hold only if Israel stopped launching its attacks.

and this section:

Checkpoints, walls and barriers have reduced the number of suicide attacks committed by Palestinian militants, so the Qassam has become their favoured weapon.

Made from a piece of metal tubing, with four fins welded crudely on the end, it can be knocked up in a matter of minutes by smiths in Gaza.

It has a range of just five miles and has no means of steering but the amount of explosive it carries makes it a potentially deadly weapon. The rate of Qassams being fired from Gaza has increased markedly since the withdrawal.

In the face of these attacks, Israel has ramped up its response.

First attack helicopters would fire missiles at the Palestinians as they left a launch site. When this proved ineffective, army artillery was deployed to fire at the Qassam launch areas, before Israeli warships joined in with naval barrages.

Shifting strategy, the authorities created a buffer zone along the Gaza-Israeli frontier so wide that Qassams could not hit Israel.

which subtle shifts the blame back where it belongs, on the shoulders of those who started the war in the first place.

Of course Hamas blames Fatah for the attacks but who's suppose to be running the show over there anyway? And that sentiment is echoed by plenty as well.

There isn't a sesimic change, but a small change in attitude that I'm noticing. I've talked with others who notice the same thing; but I'm not everywhere hearing everything...so I wonder if anyone else has noticed this as well.

Is the world waking up?

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Almost There!

The house is Pesach ready. I'll be cooking today and tomorrow for the Yom Tov....It will be a quiet one this year- no guests for the seder and no joining up with another family as we have done in the past; just our little group.

The quiet will be nice; the last couple of weeks have been rather tumultuous: between getting ready for Passover, things to do for my daughter's wedding, the kittens who are a handful and a half, my work and my husbands possible new job, plus assosrted illnesses, lice attacks etc. I need a quiet evening at home.

We don't have lengthy seders, never being among those who have had the "How long can we go" race. I think our style of seder is catching on as it seems more and more people realize the benefit to actually ending the seder before midnight.

We are without our oven this Pesach, so cooking will be an adventure. There are certain meals that require an oven, that I will either have to forego or depend upon the generousity of friends...I've received several offers of others to use their ovens already. But for the most part I'll just try to stick with top of the stove cooking. There goes pizza lasagna...Oh well.

I love this time of the year, I love the berak in routine, love Matzah. There are foods I start craving during this period of time that I don't crave the rest of the year.

Borscht is one of them. The craving for borscht does return a couple of times a year, but during Peasch I just go crazy for it; potatoes nice and hot, scallions, sour cream on top: that sweet sour combination just fills me up. I'm like a kid that way; I buy a couple of bottles of the premade stuff, but the last bottle never gets used up. My craving ends about half-way through. I think I'll try and make my own this year; perhaps I'll even try a meat version, though that means forgoeing the sour cream.

Both my dh and I have work this Pesach, but I'm going to try and get away at least one day, and take the children into the city to do something; a museum or whatnot. There are certainly enough places in Jerusalem to visit, and we need the family time, the just us time, to do something OTHER than hang about the house.

I must stop one day at Sefer v'sefel and get something to read. I'm without books again! I would like to another Jodi Picoult book; I read her book MY SISTER'S KEEPER, and was very impressed. I also finished Lazer Brody's "THE TRAIL TO TRANQUILITY"...also quite excellent. I want my own copy so I can put his plan into action.

Not much else going on...

Posted by Rachel Ann at 07:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 08, 2006

So Why Couldn't I Think of This?

Or what can't be bought on e-bay.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 08:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 06, 2006

I Can't Believe It!

Follow the links: the post and picture you behold is of the GRANDson of a friend. The mom of the child use to babysit my kids! Now she is a mom herself. Time hasn't really passed that fast has it? I guess it has.

Mazel Tov Shulamis on your gorgeous son. May he bring you much nachas....and keep you up at nights ;-).

Posted by Rachel Ann at 10:34 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Mind/Body Connection

A recent article in the Jerusalem post linked modest dress with better body image. Apparently religious Jewish -Israeli girls (I don't know if this would apply to other religions) focus their attention on their skills as future wives and mothers rather than on the physical body. They are less likely than non-religious girls to have problems with anorexia and bulimia, and to have a more positive, overall image of themselves.

That all sounds grand, and may be true in some cases, however several comments on the article seem to indicate a less than sanguine.

Cross-Currents also discussed this issue (in a more timely fashion!) here and here.

I don't have enough experience to really comment. I just know my own daughter and she is not yet concerned with body image. We have raised her to think about the inner beauty more than the outer beauty of a person, for that is the beauty I feel is true and relevant in life. A good, well cared for soul is more important than the body that hosts it...though care and attention should be given to the body as well.

I hope she remains more internally focused all her life.

Posted by Rachel Ann at 06:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack