Bubbe Wisdom Blog

Sunday, September 17th, 2017


Butterfly Installation

Butterfly Panel

Butterfly Prayer


I watched the ZooKeeper’s Wife last night. In this touching story, one of the holocaust victims is represented and then remembered by a Butterfly pin that she gives to the ZooKeeper’s Wife as she is leaving her to escape. Butterflies are a powerful symbol of transformation, delicate and beautiful but fragile and short lived.

The Butterfly Project opening today at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh uses that same image. Inspired by the poem “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” by Pavel Friedmann, a young Czech living in the Terezin Concentration Camp, the Project is a tribute to the lives of the young people lost in the Holocaust. Over 300 children painted individual butterflies learning about the children lost and invisioning a future using the lessons learned from the Holocaust to create a free, tolerant world.

My artist job was to integrate the butterflies into a meaningful, warm-hearted exhibit. I used red ribbons to attach the butterflies to the quilts. Red ribbons ward off the evil eye, fooling the evil, who is attracted to the red and away from the butterfly. I placed the butterflies in a beautiful landscaped environment and I offer them the blessing we bestow on our children every Shabbat.

The Butterfly Project Pittsburgh Exhibit is on view through December: Mondays,Wednesdays,and Fridays 10:00 a.m.– 2:00 p.m. Let me know what you think!

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Hebrew Lesson I- Rosh Hashanah-Head of the Year


Our Jewish calendar revolves around the moon, different from our daily English calendar that revolves around the sun. Because of this our day begin at sunset when the moon comes up in the sky. Every Jewish month begins with the sliver of a new moon and all Jewish Holidays occur according to the waxing and waning of the moon.

Normally we call the beginning of each new moon and month Rosh Chodesh but the first day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei is called Rosh HaShanah meaning head of the year.

Customs observed on Rosh HaShanah include the sounding of the shofar to bring us to the importance of the moment; special blessings to welcome the year; eating a round challah, symbolizing the circle of life; eating sweet foods with honey hoping for a sweet New Year; and extend wishes for a good year: L’Shanah tovah.

Reform Jews celebrate one day of Rosh HaShanah, while Conservative, Orthodox and Reconstructionist Jews observe two days. Reading the torah on Rosh Hashanah, we learn about Abraham and Sarah and the birth of their only son, Isaac.

One meaningful practice that I have always followed for Rosh HaShanah is Tashlich, a ceremony where we go to a body of running water to cast away all of of our bad traits by symbolically tossing bread into the water. This physical act inspires us to remember our actions, right our wrongs, and refocus ourselves for the New Year.

L’Shana Tov to all!!!

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Compassion For Self


Have compassion for your ego. It is doing two important jobs at once, which often puts it into agonizing conflict with itself. The ego’s first job is to maintain the integrity of the individual, personal self. It simultaneously has the job of seeking out the larger view in which the personal self is only a part. Both are needed.

God needs knees. Knees need God.

One one hand, we must sincerely ask for what we want. On the other hand, we must express gratefulness for what is already there, with no thought that God is not already present, with no thought that there is something we do not have. This is the proper way to talk to God: hungry gratefulness. Reader! Please have compassion for your poor ego doing so much sincere work!

The Instruction Manual for Receiving God; Jason Shulman; page 113

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

20/20: The Studio Museum in Harlem and Carnegie Museum of Art


Red People Pope

With All Eyes on the South, the Most Important Art Show in America Is Underway in Pittsburgh; John Ortved for Vogue Magazine

Powerful exhibit at the Carnegie, read the review in Vogue which is how it came to my attention. Many important artists I’ve followed for years like Jenny Holzer, Kara Walker, Jasper Johns, Louise Nevelson, and Teenie Harris, but also included: the simple poster drawings of a new artist for me, William Pope.L. His 8.5 X 11 framed statements pepper throughout the walls of the show and help to bring the work into a collective statement of where we have been, where we are and how far we have to go. Start with going to see the exhibit there till the end of the year.

Friday, August 25th, 2017

My Favorite New Material Find


This toxic political situation has garnished way too much of my attention, so much so, that I have wanted to share this information since I discovered it at the beginning of the summer, but as always, better late than never.

In the old days, I would go to great lengths to obtain any piece of clothing that has made of hemp. It started at the Lilith Fair where I purchased the nicest jumper I have ever owned- until this year. You may not be familiar with hemp used in clothing but you are most certainly familiar with rayon, a cellulosic fiber derived from wood pulp since 1938. It usually has a high luster quality, giving it a bright shine, some comparing it’s feel to silk.

My new favorite fabric is Modal, the second generation of rayon. Modal is a high wet modulus rayon, which has virtually the same properties as regular rayon plus high wet strength and extra softness, making it especially useful for body contact clothing such as lingerie and undergarments. This is how I am enjoying it- in both my favorite new pjs and yoga tops.

Modal is wear resistant and can be machine washed and tumble dried without shrinking or getting pulled out of shape. It performs much like cotton and can be mercerized for increased strength and luster. Modal is about fifty percent more water-absorbent per unit volume than cotton. It’s designed to dye just like cotton and is color-fast when washed in warm water. Textiles made from modal are resistant to shrinkage, fading and graying. Check it out- probably on sale at your local Macys!

Friday, August 25th, 2017

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters


I. I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost…I am helpless
It isn’t my fault. It takes me forever to find a way out.

II. I walk down the same street. There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall again.
I can’t believe I’m in the same place. But, it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.

III. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in… it’s a habit. My eyes are open, I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.

IV. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.

V. I walk down another street.

Portia Nelson

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Truth To Power

PA Article 1 Section 27

Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar; Traveler, there is no path, the path must be forged as you walk.
Antonio Machado, Border of a Dream: Selected Poems

Article 1, Section 27 of the state constitution, also referred to as the Environmental Rights Amendment, passed by referendum in 1971: The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.

A decade after AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH brought the climate crisis into popular culture, Former Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight with An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power that shows that while the stakes have never been higher, the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion.

Scientists Agree;There are real dangers;It’s our duty; We have the means; It makes economic sense; We’re doing it together.
What you can do to take part in solving the climate crisis.

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

The Result Of A President Bigot

Large Adult Goat

Imagine if these people faced actual oppression.
Nobody is trying to legislate away their right to marry.
Nobody is trying to make them buy insurance to pay for “male health care.”

The law never…
Enslaved their great-grandparents
Robbed their grandparents
Imprisoned their parents
Shot them when unarmed.

There is no massive effort at the state and local level to disenfranchise them of the vote. There is no history of centuries of bad science dedicated to “proving” their intellectual inferiority. There is no travel ban on them because of their religion. There is no danger for them when they carry dangerous weapons publicly.

Their churches were never burned. Their lawns were never decorated with burning crosses. Their ancestors never hung from trees.

Their mothers aren’t being torn away by ICE troopers and sent away forever. They won’t be forced to leave the only country they ever knew. The president has not set up a hotline to report crime committed at their hands.

They are chanting “We will not be replaced.” Replaced… as what?

I’ll tell you.

Replaced as the only voice in public discussions. Replaced as the only bodies in the public arena. Replaced as the only life that matters.

THIS is ‘white people’ oppression: We used to be the only voice. Now we hold the only microphone. THIS is ‘white man’ oppression. We face criticism now. We were free from it, because others feared the consequences.

THIS is ‘oppression’ of white Christians in this country. Christmas used to be the only holiday acknowledged, now it’s not.

I would so love to see these people get all the oppression they insist they receive, just for a year. Just to see.

Give them a world where you ACTUALLY can’t say Christmas. A world where the name “Geoff” on a resume puts it in the trash. Give them a world where they suddenly get a 20% pay cut, and then 70 women every day tell them to smile more.

Give them a world where their polo shirt makes people nervous, so they’re kicked off the flight from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis.

Give them a world where they inherited nothing but a very real understanding of what oppression really f**king is.

Give them a world where if they pulled up on a campus with torches lit and started throwing hands, the cops would punch their eyes out. Put THAT in your Tiki torches and light it, you sorry Nazi b*****es.
Julius Goat@JuliusGoat

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

Gerrymandering- Do we choose our legislators or do they choose us?

Fair Districts PA

It is past time for redistricting reform in PA. The current process is redistricting gone wrong—a process driven by partisan politics, mapping technology, big data, and outside money. The result is gerrymandering: the practice of manipulating voting districts to benefit parties, not people.

With Gerrymandering:
Your vote counts less.
We get fewer options at the ballot box.
Voters feel frustrated and disengage adding to increasing unaccountability.
Politicians lose civility and important problems remain unsolved.
We are left with a non-functional democracy.

Redistricting will next happen after the 2020 census. There is time to put fair redistricting standards into place by appointing an impartial, independent citizens commission to direct the process but we have to change the PA constitution:
Both the PA House and Senate must approve the fair-districts bill during a single session
Both the PA House and Senate must approve it again in the next session
Citizens must then ratify the amendment in a ballot referendum

The Bills:
PA Senate Bill 22, a bipartisan proposal introduced by Senators Lisa Boscola, a Democrat, and Mario Scavello, a Republican, in February 2017.

PA House Bill 722, a bipartisan proposal introduced by Representative Eric Roe, a Republican, and Representative Steve Samuelson, a Democrat, in April 2017.

Call your representatives and ask them to support SB 22 and HB 722 because they provide multiple safeguards for a fairer process, ensure a capable and demographically representative commission, and reduce the major political parties’ ability to manipulate district lines.

Take action and support independent redistricting to make your vote count as it should.

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Tisha B’Av 5777


Looking back at previous postings acknowledging Tisha B’Av, I find it sad and ironic that in 2013 I was attending a demonstration about the unfair systems of our democratic society. Today, I will go to my regular Tuesday with Toomey continuing the same protest of unfair systems of our democratic society.
When will it end? Where will it stop? We must continue to #resist!

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

First No Russia, Then No Collusion, Now That’s Politics, What Next????


Big chunks of the story are on the record, or have happened in full view of the public. We’ve got Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., having released emails that showed him helping to arrange a meeting between Russian contacts and Trump campaign officials in the hopes of obtaining damaging information on Hillary Clinton. We’ve got Trump having fired the FBI Director, James Comey, for reasons he later told NBC News were related to the FBI’s investigation into Russia. And we’ve got a special counsel, Mueller, having been appointed and reportedly investigating Trump for obstruction of justice. Nate Silver

This healthcare legislation is so confusing and threatening that it’s easy to let it side track our attention. BUT LISTEN AND WATCH: the bigger action is the Trump-Russia story.

Listen closely to Eric Swalwell on Rachel Maddow last night.

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

Loving Acceptance


You cannot control the world, the country, your town, the mood swings of those you love, but you can try to create around you a little bit of space that is all your own, a place where the rules of interaction you’ve chosen make sense and your actions have integrity. Sharon Salzberg

Clearly recognizing what is happening inside us, and regarding what we see with an open, kind and loving heart, is what I call Radical Acceptance. If we are holding back from any part of our experience, if our heart shuts out any part of who we are and what we feel, we are fueling the fears and feelings of separation that sustain the trance of unworthiness. Radical Acceptance directly dismantles the very foundations of this trance. Tara Brach

May the roots of suffering diminish. May warfare, violence, neglect, indifference, and addiction also decrease.
May the wisdom and compassion of all beings increase, now and in the future.
May we clearly see all the barriers we erect between ourselves and others to be as insubstantial as our dreams.
May we appreciate the great perfection of all phenomena.
May we continue to open our hearts and minds, in order to work ceaselessly for the benefit of all beings.
May we go to the places that scare us.
May we lead the life of a warrior. Pema Chödrön

May I be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit.
May I be safe and free from injury.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety.

May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of of understanding and love.
May I be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself.
May I learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving, and delusion in myself.

May I know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day.
May I be able to live fresh, solid, and free.
May I be free from attachment and aversion, but not indifferent.

Love is not just the intention to love, but the capacity to reduce suffering, and offer peace and happiness. The practice of love increases our forbearance, our capacity to be patient and embrace difficulties and pain. Forbearance does mean that we try to suppress pain. Thich Nhat Hanh

All content © Copyright 2017 by Bubbe Wisdom.
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