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joannie rochette [Feb. 24th, 2010|10:47 am]
i rarely seek out contact with anyone in a position of fame, but i have to admit to having tried to get to joannie rochette's web site to send an email of condolence to her. I know she will not respond, and i don't care, i just wanted to tell her some things. so, here is what i would write to her if her bandwidth was not all taken up.

Dear Joannie,

May g-d comfort you and provide you and your family with condolence and peace. There are no words to take away your pain, and I do not know you, or your family, but I want you to know that you are a role model for Canadians everywhere.

I think that as an athlete, you were always a great role model. That is not really the important part though. When the news about your mother passing away was reported, I think most people were hit with the enormity of the situation and could not imagine how or what you were going to do.

Your decision was to compete, and here is the interesting part. Regardless of whether other people thought they might have been able to do the same thing themselves, in the same situation, I think you have clearly shown us all the meaning of working through adversity.

When I heard reports all week about you coming to practice and not missing one- when I saw you skate flawlessly and then burst into tears, making it clear just how difficult that flawless skate must have been in such an emotional state-I was full of admiration for you. I plan on showing my children the video of last night and holding you up as an example of what grace under fire looks like. Even if you had come in dead last in the short programme, I would be holding you up as an example of what we can do even when things are difficult for us.

I would also have had respect for you had to chosen not to compete as well. I have complete respect for the team mate of the luger who withdrew. A person has to do what a person has to do- but that having been said, my admiration comes from your ability to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Even if you had come in dead last in the short programme, I would be holding you up as an example of what we can do even when things are difficult for us.

Another thing I wanted to share with you was a thought from Jewish Chassidic philosophy that was very comforting to us when my husband's father died. In Chassidic philosophy there is an idea that the spirits of our loved ones from the 3 generations before us are with us at every happy occasion we have. At my son's Bar Mitzvah, we took much comfort from the idea that my father in law was 'with' us, and that my grandmother, who had been very stressed about getting well to buy a new dress for the occasion was able to be with us and did not have to go shopping after all. I don't think there is a person on earth who could not think that your mother's soul was with you last night and will be there to cheer you on, forever.

I wish you all the very best- both in your skating and your personal life and hope that in future times, we have only happy reasons to support each other.

I read in a newspaper that many Canadian mothers who know about you right now are mothering you in their hearts and I can tell you for sure you have a mother here in Hamilton, Ontario. Good luck and much success in the rest of the Olympics- no matter how it comes out, i am proud of your accomplishments this week.

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greek shabbat menu [Dec. 11th, 2009|03:30 pm]
horiatiki (chunky greek salad)
tzatziki (pareve sour cream, cucumber, garlic, dill sauce for eladia patati)
Eladia Patati (greek latkes)
roasted potatoes
skordalia (garlic potato dip)
moussaka (beef, eggplant, tomato sauce, white wine, garlic, spices)
loukoumathes (honey puff donuts)
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boomdeyada [Dec. 10th, 2009|10:06 pm]
“It never gets old, huh?”
It kinda makes you wanna…break into song? Yep
I love the mountains,
I love the clear blue sky,
I love big bridges,
I love when great whites fly,
I love the whole world,
and all it’s sights and sounds,

Boomdeyada, Boomdeyada,
Boomdeyada, Boomdeyada

I love the ocean,
I love real dirty things,
I love to go fast,
I love Egyptian kings
I love the whole world and all it’s craziness

Boomdeyada, Boomdeyada, Boomdeyada, Boomdeyada

I love tornadoes,
I love arachnids,
I love hot magma,
I love the giant squids,
I love the whole world,
Its such a brilliant place,
Boomdeyada, Boomdeyada, Boomdeyada,
BoomdeyadaBoomdeyada, Boomdeyada, Boomdeyada,
BoomdeyadaBoomdeyada, Boomdeyada, Boomdeyada
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(no subject) [Sep. 21st, 2009|09:44 pm]
Even those who aren't particularly sympathetic to Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu, could get a good measure of satisfaction from this interview with British Television during the retaliation against Hamas' shelling of Israel.

The interviewer asked him: "How come so many more Palestinians have been killed in this conflict than Israelis?" (A nasty question if there ever was one!)

Netanyahu: "Are you sure that you want to start asking in that direction?"

Interviewer: (Falling into the trap) Why not?

Netanyahu: "Because in World War II more Germans were killed than British and Americans combined, but there is no doubt in anyone's mind that the war was caused by Germany's aggression. And in response to the German blitz on London, the British wiped out the entire city of Dresden, burning to death more German civilians than the number of people killed in Hiroshima. Moreover, I could remind you that in 1944, when the R.A.F. tried to bomb the Gestapo Headquarters in Copenhagen, some of the bombs missed their target and fell on a Danish children's hospital, killing 83 little children. Perhaps you have another question?"

Apparently, Benjamin Netanyahu gave another interview and was asked about Israel's occupation of Arab lands. His response was, "It's our land". The reporter (CNN or the like) was stunned - read below "It's our land..." It's important information since we don't get fair and accurate reporting from the media and facts tend to get lost in the jumble of daily events.

"Crash Course on the Arab-Israeli Conflict."
Here are overlooked facts in the current & past Middle East situation. These were compiled by a Christian university professor:

BRIEF FACTS ON THE ISRAELI CONFLICT TODAY... (It takes just 1.5 minutes to read!)

It makes sense and it's not slanted. Jew and non-Jew -- it doesn't matter.

1. Nationhood and Jerusalem: Israel became a nation in 1312 BC, two thousand (2000) years before the rise of Islam.

2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.

3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 BC, the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand (1000) years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.

4. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 lasted no more than 22 years.

5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders
did not come to visit.

6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.

7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.

8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.

9. Arab and Jewish Refugees: in 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left (many in fear of retaliation by their own brethren, the Arabs), without ever seeing an Israeli soldier. The ones who stayed were afforded the same peace, civility, and citizenship rights as everyone else.

10. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.

11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.

12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own people's lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.

13. The Arab-Israeli Conflict: the Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.

14. The PLO's Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them.

15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.

16. The UN Record on Israel and the Arabs: of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.

17. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.

18. The UN was silent while 58 Jerusalem synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.

19. The UN was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.

20. The UN was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like a policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

These are incredible times. We have to ask what our role should be. What will we tell our grandchildren about what we did when there was a turning point in Jewish destiny, an opportunity to make a difference?

START NOW - Send this to 18 other people you know and ask them to send it to eighteen others, Jew and non-Jew - it doesn't really matter.
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menu work out [Sep. 21st, 2009|01:01 pm]
col nidre
greek souffle

break fast
homemade bagels
cream cheese
egg salad
tuna salad
orange juice
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MAX'S BAR MITZVAH SPEECH [May. 16th, 2009|10:27 pm]
Today, I am a man – Tomorrow, I will be fish. Thank you Mr. Avri
Balofski for the use of that joke. I am kidding – and a good thing
too, because we are having fish for lunch.

Rabbis Green, my dear family, teachers and friends I would like to
thank you all for coming to my Bar Mitzvah. I would especially like to
acknowledge a few people: Dr. Joel Goldberg for helping me learn my
Torah portion; My Mom and Dad - Mom for all of her love and support
and fine cooking which you will soon be enjoying – Dad for being there
for me, teaching me musaf, reminding me to practice and baking some
mean desserts to go along with Mom’s cooking; to my Bubby Marilyn and
Zaida Jack for always making time to be with me, their love and
support and for the amazing tallis that bubby made by hand for me; to
Safta Rachel for the beautiful tallis bag, all of our special times
together on Shabbat, Chaggim or even touring Israel – I wish Sabba was
here to see me on the bimah and share in this simcha ; to my sister
Ariel for putting up with all of my late night bar mitzvah practices
and for being one of my best friends; to all of the people who helped
prepare the meal and set up the room; and to all of you who have
travelled from as far as Florida, Montreal and Toronto and as close as
across the street.

In my Bar Mitzvah parsha, there are many important ideas that define
how Jewish people relate to the land, to each other and to God. Behar
means, “on the mountain” – meaning Har Sinai. The question is, “Why is
this parsha singled out for being given on Har Sinai – wasn’t the
whole Torah given on on Har Sinai?” This specific portion talks about
the laws of Shmita – the sabbatical year; the interesting thing about
Shmita is that it is a law that nobody in their right mind would write
– because you have to go a whole year without planting or reaping
crops. On top of that, there is a promise that in the year before
Shmita there will be a huge crop that will be enough food for three
years. Who besides God would be able to pull that off?

You will notice that one of the themes for my bar mitzvah is being
environmentally friendly. From the digital invitations, to the
centrepieces that we will be replanting – we have made an effort to
reduce waste. Having respect for the land is something that we learn
from this week’s parsha – just like the Shabbat we are commanded to
observe every week, the land is given a Shabbat that lasts a year
after every six years that it is worked.

In the parsha we also learn to have respect for our fellow Jews. We
are told that we must care for our fellow Jews like we would care for
our own family. The torah instructs us to prevent our fellow Jews from
becoming poor by lending money interest free (kind of like the banks
these days) and investing in his business. We are told to give Tzedaka
like you would give to a brother so that no Jew feels like they must
leave the nation. In the spirit of my parsha, I will be giving money
to Tzedaka.

I would like to close by saying I’m glad that you all came and that
the hard part is over – please enjoy yourselves, I know I will.
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what does shabbat mean to you? [Apr. 21st, 2009|01:06 am]
I have been thinking about this a lot lately, since we are somewhere around 4 years of more observance.

My whole life, we always celebrated Shabbat Dinner at my house. We were not shomer Shabbat, but every single week, we would all sit down to Shabbat dinner together. When I was little, it was at Bubby Esther or Bubby Marion's houses, and later, at our house. We were not particularly observant, but we were not allowed to make plans for Friday night until after dinner.

Consequently, we all brought friends home for Shabbat dinner- Jewish, non-jewish, no matter. Birthdays were often celebrated on the Friday of that week, and we made a point of all being together for at least an hour or two. after dinner we watched love boat, and fantasy island, or some other show, or went out with our friends.

Saturday was on and off a time to go to shul. mostly off, but we were not strangers to the building. later on we shopped or did whatever needed to be done. i did swimming stuff and ate out and pretty much ignored shabbat for most of my life, other than friday night dinners, really. i thought that being shomer shabbat seemed like a restrictive, pain in the ass kind of deal which was totally inconvenient and, well, like i sa

Marc's parents were shabbat observant, but somehow to me, it always seemed more or less stressful and not very pleasant to observe like that (this was not a reflection on them, but on me.) When Marc's dad died, i was the shiva slave, working my butt off from 6 am to 11pm and finally, on friday afternoon and saturday, in agony, i was able to take it easy, because the mourners are not mourners on shabbat and i did not have to 'serve' them. it was january and as i played cards with my niece and shabbat approached it's end, i could feel the stress slipping back in, with the knowledge that after havdalah i was going back to slave mode.

After Marc started saying Kaddish for his Dad, we started going to Shul regularly and because it was such a great place, and people opened their homes to us and welcomed us as guests, we were exposed to what observant shabbat. suddenly, i started to see the benefits, as well as my husband! prior to his father's death, he had been working 7 days a week and now, he was taking at least one off!

These days, Shabbat is seriously a day off and the only one i get. i am often tired from working hard and spend a lot of time reading, playing games with friends and family and enjoying myself. we have a lot of friends who do this, or some variation of this and what this means is that shabbat is our most social, most fun and most anticipated day. every week wehave an amazing time and we have all made some sacrifices to do so, but on the other hand, the benefits so far outweigh the detractions i am not sure that there even are any detractions!

anyways, i need to go to sleep, but just wanted to see what other people think if they feel like answering as well...
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pesach inventory for next year [Apr. 16th, 2009|10:00 pm]
1 matzah meal
2 large potato starch
chicken soup mix
2 cake meal
1 can cocoa
1 can icing sugar
dried minced onion
black pepper whole
2 sealed box of sweetener
2 imitation vanilla
1 pure vanilla
1 coffee whitener
2 salt
instant coffee
2 pkgs chocolate chips
2 10.5 ounce bars chocolate
3- 3 oz bars chocolate
tea (unflavoured tea)
1 kedem blush 1.5 litre

matzah meal look for jerusalem brand
chicken spice
onion powder
garlic powder
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Sweet Noshings [Nov. 16th, 2008|11:09 pm]
When sweetnoshings friends you, it is me. I still have yet to do the search for the name, but it is what i hope to use for the business!
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Article about the accident last weekend. [Oct. 9th, 2008|09:04 pm]
I have to admit, that it is rare that the Spectator reports something well enough to bring tears to my eyes, but this article did. Of course, I also got weepy when Rabbi Green talked about it in Shul on Col Nidre, so maybe it is because I know them personally and am so grateful that instead of a tragedy, we have a miracle.

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