Bubbe Wisdom Blog

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

a Prayer for the New President

Hear Our Voice

May God Bless and Keep the President
A prayer compiled from Facebook comments by Alden Solovy, January 2017

May God bless and keep the President from …
… turning his back on refugees.
… abandoning minorities, the poor, and the disabled.
… alienating our allies and empowering despots.
… destroying LGBTQ rights.
… telling women how to control their lives and their bodies.
… destroying our country.
… irreparably damaging the Supreme Court.
… abandoning the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
… forgetting the truths that are self-evident.
… speaking then denying then speaking then denying.
… establishing a national religion, abandoning the separation of church and state.
… inciting even more racism, anti-Semitism, and misogyny.
… mocking the disabled, attacking Gold Star families, and denigrating women.
… disemboweling the Fourth Estate.
… unleashing sinat hinam.
… undoing this grand experiment in recognizing inalienable rights.
… being re-elected.

May God bless and keep the President …
… occupied with trivial matters to limit his impact.
… aware of all the communities he was elected to serve.

May God bless and keep the President away from…
… Obamacare.
… Twitter.
… the nuclear launch codes.
… Medicare and Social Security.
… the White House.
… acting on his misogynistic impulses.

May God bless and teach the President…
… humility, justice, and kindness.
… to keep his oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
… to build bridges of kindness and trust between all the peoples of the United States.
… to build bridges of kindness and trust between all the peoples of the world.
… the true meaning of compassion and human dignity.
… to see his inadequacies and his inappropriateness for the job.
… the difference between leading the nation and humiliating dissenters.

May God bless and save the President from himself, and save us from him.


Friday, January 13th, 2017

Democracy Now!

Democracy Now bumper sticker
Trump’s circus of a press conference on Wednesday convinced me that I cannot depend on a free informed press to help me discern the actual goings for the next four years and that my best chance for an accurate media view is to commit to the best national, daily, independent news program Democracy Now! hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. You can access it live 8:00AM or prescribe to the podcasts on Itunes. Meet you there!

From their web site:
Democracy Now!’s War and Peace Report provides our audience with access to people and perspectives rarely heard in the U.S. corporate-sponsored media, including independent and international journalists, ordinary people from around the world who are directly affected by U.S. foreign policy, grassroots leaders and peace activists, artists, academics and independent analysts.


Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Another Win-Win

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I have a sizable life-time’s worth of want-to-do fiber projects. That’s why I jumped on my deeply rooted desire to make floor cushions when Steve decided to replace his futon mattress.
Step 1: Retrieve an old rejected twin size futon.
Step 2: Use a saw or knife to divide it into 6 even parts being careful not to dislodge the fiber filling. Ask for help with this!
Step 3: Go to Salvation Army on half-price day and buy 12 pair of the biggest jeans you can find. (Look first in men’s and then big women’s.)
Step 4: Deconstruct the jeans removing under leg seams, waistbands, zippers, pockets and hems.
Step 5: Determine finished measurements for top, bottom and sides. Add ½” seam allowances.
Step 6: Piece and cut to size: 12 tops, 12 bottoms and 24 side pieces.
Step 7:Sew these into 6 pillow shapes- right sides together leaving open one edge for stuffing.
Step 8: Insert futon sections into pieced covers. Smooth out stuffing. Another time to ask for help!
Step 9: Use a strong quilting thread to hand sew the open edge.
Step 10: Gift them to your favorite family members who love to use floor seating.


Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Nest

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Every morning I awaken to a heart-warning cacophony of sights in the bedroom portion of our loft. It begins with a good night’s sleep on the great invention of a memory foam mattress and pillow.
Coming to my senses I meander through the family photographs that line the ceiling beams feeling the persistent love and support that surrounds me. As valuable as the photos, is the quilt wall that Steve created where my top dozen quilts shine in the indirect light of day.
To the right of the bed is a recent addition- my desk, computer and files. It’s great for many reasons, like keeping on top of my finances, but number one is accessing videos with my yoga mat enabling increased daily movement and flow.
I’ve mentioned my huge walk-in closet with every stitch of my clothing completely visible. Since I have been working with Sarah at SilkDenim, I have amassed a bounty selection of remade clothing for daily use, making it way more fun to select my clothing.
Across from my bed is my very favorite resting place in the whole loft. I spend hours on this crewel upholstered love seat passed down from my aunt- reading napping, and playing with my phone.
An embarrassment of riches making a reliably meaningful start to the adventures of the day.


Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

It’s Very Very Complicated

ojmadeinamerica

rebbe

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I am reading, Rebbe, a hefty 2529 iphone pages. It’s comparable in depth and size to another biography I read last year, Sinatra: The Chairman, coming in at 3386 pages. Add to that my recent marathon watching the 10-hour documentary epic on ViceLand, OJ: Made In America. Three magisterial biographies, three larger than life men, three recurring motifs of boundaries, dominance, and intrigue.

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson is the messianic figure who transformed his movement, Chabad-Lubavitch, into one of the most dynamic and widespread organizations in the Jewish world. Rebbe explores Schneerson’s overarching philosophies, his influence on a variety of world leaders through his private nightly one-on-one meetings, and the process of transformation as he moved from spiritual leader to savior archetype.

Frank Sinatra’s unforgettable talent defined 20th century in American high-life. He was a true masterful genius of the musical note, unceasingly combining the best material, musicians, arrangers, and producers for the finest possible version of each of his songs, at the same time being a deeply flawed, erratic, callow, and thuggish personality.

O.J.: Made In America is a sobering epic that redefines domestic abuse, police investigation, race relations and the criminal justice system. The murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman on the evening of June 13, 1994 remain officially unsolved but Simpson was later found liable for their deaths in civil court and then went on to commit nefarious other crimes that led to his incarceration.

These defining cultural tales of modern America are extraordinary on many levels- a rich methodical deconstruction of not just each man but his environment, community and society that created him. It will take hours upon hours to ponder and digest this powerful collection of unshakeable, and haunting stories about America, society and ourselves but trust me, it’s worth it.


Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Rosh Hodesh Tevet

chanukah16

This week along with Chanukah we welcome in the tenth month on the Hebrew Calendar-Tevet. Rosh Hodesh, the celebration of that little sliver of the moon barely visible in the sky, is a renewal opportunity for women and men to gather for Jewish learning, spiritual exploration, and life passages celebrations.

This year, along with Chanukah and Rosh Hodesh, our family used the opportunity to celebrate a graduation. Whenever I want to create a unique ritual I use this resource housed in the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Ritualwell.org is an inspirational blend of tradition and innovation that encourages all of us: Jews by birth, Jews by choice, friends, and seekers of all kinds to make meaningful moments in time.

Our Rosh Hodesh Prayer:
Thank you for this holy moment of the New Moon. Renew this month with goodness, blessing and joy; with peace, forgiveness and liberation; and with service to self, family and community that we might reach our full potential.


Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Part II: Rid Children of the More Is Better Myth and Guide Them To An Authentic Relationship With Money

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It is our work to replace the scarcity systems that drive the profit-at-all costs mentality to philosophies built on principles and practices of sustainability. One of the most important gifts I give at this time of the year is a contribution to my granddaughters’ 529 educational fund. Tax free for me now and for them in the future as they use it to educate themselves, it is a true gift with a conscious.

Kids Unbranded: Tips for Parenting in a Commercial Culture from The Center For A New American Dream offers concrete ways to inspire responsible stewardship rather than the accumulation of cash or things with some of these suggestions:

Help your child/grandchild understand that every product is made from materials extracted from the Earth and that material things don’t just disappear when the garbage picks them up.

Teach your children/grandchildren what happens to the accumulation of stuff and how when we consume lots of plastic, heavily packaged goods and products that easily break, we leave a heavy burden for future generations.

Seek out sources of Earth-friendly products that are durable and make from biodegradable or recycled materials.

Be a role model. Avoid impulsive shopping. Limit your consumption of products that deplete the earth.

Introduce your child/grandchild to books and other materials that reinforce these messages.

Share your process of reflection, deliberation, and decision making around money issues and invite your children/grandchildren to contribute their ideas.


Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Part I: Be Known For What You Allocate, Not What You Accumulate

tzedakah

True wealth, or well-being, can’t be found in a static balance sheet, no matter how large the accumulation of financial assets. Wealth shows up in the action of sharing and giving, allocating and distributing, nourishing and watering projects, people and purpose that we care about with the resources that flow to us and through us.
The Soul Of Money by Lynne Twist

Are you losing your patience with all those year-end requests for contributions? Are you concerned about the amounts you give away- is it too much? Is it enough? Is there more you could do?

According to Jewish tradition, a minimum of 10% of our net earnings are earmarked for tzedakah. Our Hebrew word tzedakah literally means “righteousness.” It’s the right and just thing to do faithfully discharging our responsibility, more than charity, an elective act that goes beyond the call of duty.

If you are concerned about what 10% of net earnings means in Jewish there is a Rabbi who developed a calculator that works with your tax return to help you determine your obligation.

If you’re like me, you will hem and haw as I am doing this very day concerned about making impactful decisions that truly satisfy the tzedakah call.


Friday, December 16th, 2016

Jewish Humor

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I heard Michael Kasny speak about his newest book on Jewish humor: Let There Be Laughter: A Treasury of Great Jewish Humor and What It All Means. He and the book are funny, even if he never really gets to what it all means. I did an earlier blog on Jewish jokes which you can see here. That got me wondering about newer jokes having to do with Donald Trump. Here are a few of the ones that made me giggle:

I asked a Jew who he was going to vote for as president.
He said, “Well, the last time Jews listened to a bush, they wandered in the desert for 40 years.”

What’s the difference between God and Donald Trump?
God doesn’t think he is Donald Trump.

Minorities have the race card, women have the gender card, homosexuals have the gender card, white men have the trump card.

Donald Trump is going to be the next president, but the real winner is Melania Trump. Now she can call herself the First Lady instead of the Third Wife.

How many Donald Trump supporters does it take to change a light bulb? Look, we can change the light bulb. That I will tell you. We’re changing it, ok? And I understand what you’re saying, I hear it all the time. People call me and say “Is the light bulb really dead?”. That’s what they are asking me, its unbelievable. The light bulb is in big trouble, that I can tell you. But we are going to change it.

I’d like to make another political joke, but it would just end up being president!


Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Another Disastrous Attempt At Divinity

mac-miller-the-divine-feminine

I was walking to my local library when a billboard caught my attention: The Divine Feminine. Looking closely I saw it had something to do with rap music. I did the research. The Divine Feminine, Pittsburgh native, Mac Miller’s fourth album, came out in September and is a long-winded rap about his relationship with love and the female body.

Miller is talking about physical love and the distance between two people. To quote a review: “There’s a very real connective tissue to these ideas of space and intimacy. It’s about contact and togetherness, closing the gap between people; about being in unison and growing apart, and all the stages in between. It peels back and exposes the many layers of love—romantic, schmaltzy, sensual, carnal, wilting. It’s easily his most intoxicating release yet, an odyssey of soulful compositions paring down his expansive and eclectic soundboard from the last few years into something distinctly cozy and pleasant.”

What can I say? Maybe it’s his youth? Maybe it’s his culture? Maybe it’s his sexual orientation? Maybe it’s his lack of depth and understanding? But from my point of view, as a well-seasoned person in the ways of Divinity, it’s sad but true that Mac Miller has totally missed the mark.

Go to Ram Dass here for more understanding.


Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Finally: A Break For Alzheimer’s

memory-loss-alzheimer-reversed

First Reversals of Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer’s Disease is a November Commonwealth Club release. The speaker, Dr Bredesen of the Bucks Institute, reports on an integrative, holistic approach to AD.

The most evident symptoms of AD were identified as being poor memory, being easily overwhelmed and getting lost. Dr Dale Bredesen presented information, slides, and short videos on Alzheimer’s disease predicting the number of sufferers in the years to come, the impact on society, and some examples of his patients who had reclaimed their memories. He showed that the current mono-therapy treatment is failing because AD is a metabolic disorder involving 36 metabolic imbalances that the current therapy does not address.

Then Dr. Bresdesen describes his comprehensive, personalized therapeutic program designed to achieve metabolic enhancement for neurodegeneration (MEND) based on the underlying pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease involving multiple modalities. The first 10 patients who have utilized this program include patients with memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), or subjective cognitive impairment (SCI). Nine of the 10 displayed subjective or objective improvement in cognition beginning within 3-6 months, with the one failure being a patient with very late stage AD. Six of the patients had had to discontinue working or were struggling with their jobs at the time of presentation, and all were able to return to work or continue working with improved performance. Improvements have been sustained, and at this time the longest patient follow-up is two and one-half years from initial treatment, with sustained and marked improvement.

His results suggest early in the course of the disease cognitive decline addressing metabolic processes and using a therapeutic system may be the key to success. Great to know that there is hope if we address the symptoms opening as so as they begin to occur.


Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

#themessytruth

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There were five things on the ballot on November 8th, 2016: the presidency, the Senate, the House, the Supreme Court and the character of the country. Progressives lost all five. But the thing that hurts the most is losing on the character of the country – the idea we’re going to be divisive as a country. So we have to start there, and reassert that we want to be an inclusive country where everyone gets treated with dignity and respect. I’ll tell you this: If you believe that “love trumps hate,” you can’t be marching around saying that and looking more hateful than Trump. Van Jones

There aren’t many things I watch on regular television, but like many of you “This Is Us” has captured my attention. Last night, knowing I could watch the concluding episode on demand later in the week, I made the decision to watch Van Jones on CNN. Jones has a vision to move beyond anger and disbelief into a heart-opened Love Army embracing not only the vulnerable Americans targeted by Trump supporters but also the supporters themselves.

I follow Van Jones. I donated money to his vision The Dream Corps. He is the voice of progressive reason. He takes to and listens to everyone. A Yale-trained lawyer from Tennessee, an activist during the late-Nineties in Oakland, President Obama’s former green jobs czar and currently a regular on mainstream media’s CNN.

Last night’s special examined the raw state of our union in the aftermath of Trump’s victory. It had it’s good (Michael Moore) and its bad moments (Rick Santorum). There was nothing earth shattering but I tolerated most of the information and was moved by a discussion about the choices facing a thoroughly educated, highly motivated undocumented American/Mexican woman. But then it happened. The next program came on and there was Trump speaking to a crowd- as obnoxious as ever. I can’t and won’t stand him. I just won’t. I vow to turn him off and not watch or listen to him-not now and not for the next four years. Thank G-d I have podcasts and programs like “This is Us” to help me because it’s going to take some concentrated effort.



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