Israel


 

 

It is the last day of the Jewish calendar. Tomorrow begins Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. This article is an important one for Jews and non-Jews around the world to read.

Namaste

Barbara

BJSquiggel

“Extreme polarization around issues facing Israel is one of the most difficult challenges our Jewish communities in North America face. On the one hand, there is a great desire among Jews to feel a sense of peoplehood or family resemblance, a set of principles, values and identifiers which connect us to one another. Until a number of years ago, one could say that participating in the revitalization of the Jewish people in the State of Israel was one of those core values. Despite deep differences in theology, culture and ritual practice, most of the Jewish world cried together when Israel hurt and rejoiced together when Israel prevailed.

On the other hand, the narrative of Israel around which North American Jews rallied had been a somewhat idealized one: one which promised that Jewish sovereignty would look different from the nations of the world. We were captivated by the notion that we might fulfill the Herzlian dream of Israel as a model nation-state to the world, emanating light, peace and unity of all peoples. Planting a tree in Israel was like planting a little bit of our souls in its soil. And there was no purer, sweeter place to breathe the air of being Jewish.

If this was the content of why Israel became a powerful “religious” nation in the 20th century, an emerging feature of 21st century Jewry is a growing fragmentation of the narrative. For some North American Jews, there is a growing discomfort with the direction Israel is heading as it confronts its geopolitical and internal realities. For them, today’s Israel isn’t fulfilling her mission of being a state that reflects their most previous values, responding to its challenges instead in ways that mystify their Jewish consciences.
Others remain stalwart in seeing Israel’s growth and development as a nation over the decades as nothing short of a political, religious, technological and economic miracle despite overwhelming challenges to its survival. Not only that, in a world with anti-Semitism on the rise, supporting Israel as a safe haven for the world’s Jews feels essential. For their friends or family members to speak of Israel’s failings mystifies their Jewish conscience. They might expect those views from people outside of the Jewish community or from anti-Semites, but it is nothing short of betrayal coming from one of “us.” There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground on this point: one is either loyal to Israel, or a self-hating Jew.

As difficult as it is for those of us who feel deeply bound to the Jewish State and those who feel disillusioned though ultimately loyal, it is critical for us as a community to be open to the possibility that those who express “anti-Israel” sentiments might be expressing deeply Jewish intuitions. We can choose not to fragment ourselves into camps and believe we are resilient enough as a community to hear what our fellow Jews feel they need to contribute to the conversation. If there is a truth with which we need to grapple together, we will all be stronger for it. Our dialog around Israel must be for us machlket l’shaym shamayim, one serving the highest of purposes, not one that tears us apart. At the end of the day, what it at stake for us all as Jews is how true we each can be in reflecting the face of Torah when we speak and act on our convictions. It’s not only remaining in relationship with Jews of all kinds but in the pureness of our intentions in how we engage in difficult conversations that we may discover again how bound we are to one another and find a way forward.”

–Rabbi Betsheva Meiri, Congregation Beth HaTephila, Asheville, NC

 

 

 

 

Townsville


2 Students, 1 Teacher Hurt in South Carolina Elementary School Shooting

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Members of law enforcement talk in front of Townville Elementary School, Sept. 28, 2016, in Townville, S.C.

 

BJSquiggel

 

Thank goodness this was a smaller school shooting. Much smaller than Columbine and Sandy Hook. May the angels guard the children in our world and protect them from all that would hurt hurt them. We need gun ownership to be much more regulated, at the least. I would love to see no guns but would be happy to see much tighter regulations. Thanks go out to the fireman whose bravery may have been larger than his logic, but I hope he is blessed for his bravery.

Namaste

Barbara

 

Cops As Killers


Growing up, a cop was a man that you would help you if you needed help. We had a volunteer fire department and I knew most of them and several of them were family.  In school they taught us policemen were our friends, and I had faith in that idea, faith in the police. Then  the day came when protesters to the Vietnam War at Kent State, Ohio were murdered by the National Guard (cops). I cried. I screamed. I lost my faith in cops.

 

Now, we have cops killing a lot of people. A frightening number of people. Often they are minorities, some of them have even been entitled whites. Almost all have been innocent and trying to explain and/or being compliant with the cop.

 

Now cops are killing children. The first event took place in Cleveland, Ohio. I lived there 20 years. I know the city well. A black child, Tamir Rice was playing with a toy gun at a neighborhood park. A person called 911 and reported a suspicious person having a gun. They said it might be a toy gun. Meanwhile, Tamir is just minding his own business playing on a cold winter afternoon. A police cruiser comes racing down the street and quickly pulls up a few feet from this child. The cop in the passenger gets out and shoots Tamir dead. One second he is a child playing and the next he is lying on the snowy ground as his life force ebbs out of his body. His big sister then arrives and tries to go to Tamir and the cops refuse to let her near her brother. They made sure he died alone.

 

Tamir is not the only child or teen to be murdered by cops and most have been black. This has made me a staunch supporter of Black Lives Matter. Tamir was black. When he arrived in heaven, he looked like everyone else because we are all the same. The blood floods through our veins and arteries the same, our kidneys work the same, our hearts beat the same, our skin is the only difference.

 

I have attached stories about more of the same. I want to write about happier things, but the National Rifle Association and the cops won’t let the subject be out of the news for very long at all.

 

The way to positive change is for as many people as possible to know what is happening. Knowledge is power to make the changes that are required. Please feel free to give me your honest feedback in civilized language. I guess I should mention, if anyone hasn’t deduced by now, I don’t trust cops anymore. I am sure there are some good cops but recent event make is seem that there are not enough, not nearly enough. The bad and/or racist cops appear to be growing in numbers too fast to ignore.

 

Namaste,

Barbara

 

 

 

 

 

Video of police shooting that killed 6-year-old

autistic La. boy released

Last Updated Sep 28, 2016 7:10 PM EDT

MARKSVILLE, La. — The public is getting its first look at a police body camera video that shows two deputy city marshals opening fire on a car, killing a 6-year-old boy and critically wounding his father in Louisiana.

Prosecutors showed the tape in court Wednesday to support their claim that one of the deputies, Derrick Stafford, had a pattern of using excessive force — including last November’s fatal shooting of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis in Marksville.

Police say the officer’s chased the boy’s father Christopher Few after he drove off from an argument with his girlfriend. The video captures the moment the SUV was cornered, CBS News correspondent David Begnaud reported.

Defense attorneys argue the deputies acted in self-defense and claim Few rammed into a deputy’s vehicle before they fired.

 

9174320-g.jpg
christofer-few-left-with-jeremy-mardis-right-cbs-affiliateChristopher Few (left) and his son Jeremy Mardis (right).
CBS AFFILIATE WAFB

However, state District Court Judge William Bennett said the video doesn’t show Few using his car as a “deadly weapon” at the time of the shooting.

The court released the video to reporters after the hearing.

The shooting happened Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 around 9:30 p.m., CBS affiliate WAFB reported. Jeremy Mardis, who had autism, died at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds. His father, Chris Few, survived.

Parish investigators initially said marshals were chasing Few because of an outstanding warrant, WAFB reported.. However, WAFB checked with the Clerk of Court, the District Attorney’s Office, Marksville Police Department and City Court and did not find any outstanding warrants.

Col. Mike Edmonson said so far, their investigation shows the same.

WAFB has posted the first minute and 35 seconds from the shooting. They are currently reviewing the rest of the body cam footage.

Part of the video can be found below. Video may be disturbing and graphic for viewers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the child is safe


 

mother-child-playing-cat-her-baby-pet-floor-kitchen-home-49928308

Hi everyone,

I was gone taking care of my best friend who had surgery and my sister forgot to let you know. I apologize. I am back and full of energy. So we are off once again.

 

 

 

 

If the Child Is Safe

Marian Wright Edelman

 

 

We pray for children

who sneak popsicles before supper

who erases holes in math workbooks,

who can never find their shoes

And we pray for those

who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,

who can’t bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers,

who never “counted potatoes,”

who are born in places we wouldn’t be caught dead,

who never go to the circus,

who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for children

who bring us sticky kisses and fists full of dandelions,

who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.

And we pray for those

who never get dessert,

who have not a safe blanket to drag behind them,

who watch their parents watch them die,

who can’t find any bread to steal,

who don’t have any rooms to clean up,

whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s dresser,

whose monsters are real

We pray for children

who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,

who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,

who like ghost stories,

who shove dirty clothes under the bed, and never rinse out the tub,

who get visits from the tooth fairy,

who don’t like to be kissed in front of the carpool,

whose tears we sometimes laugh at and whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those

whose nightmares come in the daytime,

who will eat anything,

who have never seen a dentist,

who aren’t spoiled by anybody,

who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,

who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for children who want to be carried

and for those who must,

for those we never give up on and for those

who don’t get a second chance.

For those we smother…and for those who would grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.

 

 

Mosaic of children from around the world, including, Kayapo, Indian, Native American, Inuit, Balinese, Polynesian, Yanomamo, Cuban, Tsaatan, Moroccan, Mongolian, Karo, Malagasy, and Pakistani.

Mosaic of children from around the world, including, Kayapo, Indian, Native American, Inuit, Balinese, Polynesian, Yanomamo, Cuban, Tsaatan, Moroccan, Mongolian, Karo, Malagasy, and Pakistani.

 

 

 

 

download

   Some children are homeless, hungry, scared, bored, sick, with no one to take care of them

 

 

 

A youth embraces his sibling as refugees and migrants reach the shores of the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey on November 12, 2015. EU leaders attending a summit with their African counterparts approved a 1.8-billion-euro trust fund for Africa aimed at tackling the root causes of mass migration to Europe. AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

A youth embraces his sibling as refugees and migrants reach the shores of the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey

From any Perspective


When justice burns within us like flaming fire, when love evokes willing sacrifice from us, when to the last full measure of selfless devotion we demonstrate our belief in the ultimate triumph of truth and righteousness, then Your goodness enters our lives and we can begin to change the world; and then You live within our hearts, and we, through righteousness behold Your presence.

We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end war;

For we know that You have made the world in a way

That all of us must find our own path to peace.

Within ourselves and with our neighbors.

We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end starvation;

For You have already given us the resources

With which to feed the entire world,

If we would only use them wisely.

We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to root our prejudice

For You have already given us eyes

With which to see the good in all people,

If we would only use them rightly.

We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end despair,

For You have already given us the power

To clear away slums and to give hope,

If we would only use our power justly.

We cannot merely pray to you, O God, to end disease;

For You have already given us great minds

With which to search out cures and healing,

If we would only use them constructively.

Therefore we pray to You instead, O God,

For strength, determination and will power to do instead of just pray,

To become instead of merely to wish.

BJSquiggel

The perspective is that I am not going to tell you from which path this prayer comes. Because what is important are the words of the prayer/ like all prayers they belong to us all

Amen

Barbra Swipes at Trump With the Truth


Facts Matter

Barbra Streisand in the Huffington Post

 

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listens to a speaker during the Midwest Vision and Values Pastors and Leadership Conference at the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights, Ohio on September 21, 2016. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listens to a speaker during the Midwest Vision and Values Pastors and Leadership Conference at the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights, Ohio on September 21, 2016. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

When a politician ends almost every sentence with “believe me”… don’t! He’s probably lying.

According to PolitiFact, Donald Trump’s statements are rated “false,” “mostly false,” and “pants on fire” 71 percent of the time. In other words, the majority of the time that Trump speaks, he is not telling the truth.

But do the facts matter to Donald Trump or many in the media who are too entertained to correct his lies? We saw how Matt Lauer didn’t challenge him. Chris Wallace, the Fox News personality who is hosting one of the debates, has gone on record saying that facts are not relevant to him. This should be profoundly unacceptable to the American people. Our country and its stability is on the line. Facts do matter!

When Trump throws around words like “crooked,” he’s really describing himself and he doesn’t even know it. In psychological terms, it’s called “the disowned self.” Psychiatrists have explained how a person who refuses to recognize his own flaws will often project them onto other people.

As an article in The Washington Post recently said, “Trump’s history of corruption is mind-boggling.” This is a man who has bankrupted companies, reneged on bank loans, and cheated small business owners. For someone who claims to be a champion of the people, his m.o. is actually to stiff the little guy. Trump is notorious for refusing to pay painters, carpenters, plumbers and all sorts of vendors the money he owes them. The contracts he signed mean nothing to him. After the work is done, he’ll offer pennies on the dollar and say, If you don’t like it, sue me!… knowing full well that these mom-and-pop businesses don’t have the resources to take him to court. Even so, he’s been sued nearly 1,500 times over the last 30 years.

What has Donald Trump ever done to serve others? He only cares about promoting himself.

To those supporters who believe he’s a rich businessman and think he’s going to make them rich… get the facts straight. Investors in his failed casino ventures lost 90 percent of their money between 1995-2005. When the going gets tough, Trump vanishes. He eventually filed for bankruptcy, leaving others holding the bag.

And this man has the nerve to insult Hillary, who has always cared about other people? From the time she was in college, she’s been working to improve the lives of others… women, children, minorities.

What has Donald Trump ever done to serve others?

He only cares about promoting himself.

While Trump was being investigated and then sued by the Department of Justice for refusing to rent apartments to black and Hispanic people… Hillary was in Texas helping to register black and Hispanic voters.

While Donald had to be shamed into coming up with the contribution he promised to veterans… Hillary actually got legislation passed when she was in the Senate to expand their health care and other benefits.

While Donald has vowed to appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn the ruling on marriage equality, Hillary declared that “gay rights are human rights” when she was Secretary of State.

Trump is both spreading and reflecting bigotry and hatred. He said a judge was not capable of doing his job because of his Mexican heritage.

One in five of his supporters believe slavery should never have been abolished and61 percent believe President Obama wasn’t born in the United States. For five years, Trump has wasted our time with his crackpot birther conspiracy theory. Only now he has suddenly had a conversion, but he doesn’t even have the decency to apologize. And he has the audacity to say Hillary started it all… another outrageous lie. He sounds like a child on the playground trying to escape punishment.

Hillary Clinton was right to denounce Trump’s racism, sexism and xenophobia. … [H]e has the nerve to say he’s going to make America great again??

He’s basically a bully, but like all bullies, he’s a coward at heart. He skipped out on a debate because he didn’t like the moderator. He can’t handle the tough questions. He’s so thin-skinned that as soon as anyone challenges him, he sues them.

Hillary has been attacked right and left for decades and is still standing.

She has negotiated with leaders around the world to keep us safe from nuclear threat because it would destroy the planet… while he shockingly said, “If we have nuclear weapons, why can’t we use them?”

And he has the nerve to call her “trigger-happy”? “Unstable”?

His ignorance is astounding.

So how come Hillary is not getting credit for all her accomplishments? It goes back to something I’ve felt for many years…strong women, powerful women have always been suspect.

Some men are challenged by strong women… afraid of them… and some women are jealous of them.

Strong women have too many opinions for some people… they prefer women who are quiet. They want us to speak less and smile more. After Hillary answered questions on national security, Reince Priebus complained that she didn’t smile enough. Well, guess what… there was nothing to smile about. As she said, this is serious business.

And Trump says Hillary doesn’t look presidential? What does that mean… coming from a guy who looks like a raccoon in a tanning bed… with a flying squirrel on his head? That’s what a president is supposed to look like? A wrestler who dies his hair blonde?

Republicans play dirty and their smear tactics unfortunately work. As they say, “If you repeat a lie long enough and loud enough, people will believe it.” And that’s what’s happening and it’s terrifying.

We can’t allow ourselves to be swiftboated again. We can’t let that happen to Hillary… a woman who has the temperament and the experience to be president… unlike Donald Trump, whose idea of foreign policy was bringing the Miss Universe pageant to Russia. How can you support a man who says, “Women… you have to treat them like sh—“ and believes such hateful things about 51 percent of the American population?

We cannot allow America to fall into the hands of a narcissist who has shown no regard for anyone but himself…

These views are deplorable. Hillary Clinton was right to denounce Trump’s racism, sexism and xenophobia.

And then he has the nerve to say he’s going to make America great again??

Here are some more facts. The New York Times just reported that household incomes rose for American families by 5.2 percent last year, according to figures from the Census Bureau… the biggest one-year increase since 1967! Household incomes are now higher than when President Obama entered office. The stock market is above 18,000, which means it has more than doubled since Obama came into office.

If we want the country to continue to improve, we must continue President Obama’s incredible policy work, successful despite the worst opposition we’ve ever seen in Congress, and vote for Hillary Clinton — and down the ballot for Democratic senators and congresspersons who will not be negative and obstructionist. Instead, they will work with her to get legislation passed on gun control and campaign finance reform. My heart sinks when I read that billions of dollars have already been spent during this Presidential election cycle. Just think what that kind of money could have done for medical research… our schools… our infrastructure.

We cannot allow America to fall into the hands of a narcissist who has shown no regard for anyone but himself… a bigoted and misogynist reality-TV character with no political experience and no qualms about lying loudly and often.

There is NO equivalency between these two candidates. Only Hillary Clinton has the skills, the knowledge, the temperament and the compassion to lead this nation.

 

Barbra Streisand 2016

Barbra Streisand 2016

Black People Aren’t Crazy


 Trevor Noah Gets Real on Police Shootings: Black People Aren’t ‘Crazy’

‘The Daily Show’ host turns serious while discussing yet another spate of police shootings.

Matt Wilstein

MATT WILSTEIN

09.22.16 12:15 AM ET

As protests raged in Charlotte, Trevor Noah opened The Daily Show on Wednesday night by asking the question, “How do you laugh when the news is sad?” As he did earlier this summer just hours before a sniper left five police officers dead in Dallas, Noah turned more serious than usual as he discussed the latest spate of cops shooting unarmed black men, focusing on the killing of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

After showing video of Crutcher putting his hands on his car in compliance with the officers, Noah said there is no way that he wasn’t “cooperating” with the police, as they have asserted. While we will never know all the facts of any situation, even when there is video evidence, Noah said, “What we do know is this: It seems extremely easy to get shot by police in America, which is not right.”

Naturally, the officers in these situations tend to deny that racism played a role in their actions, but Noah suggested that they “possess a bias they don’t even know they have.”

“That looks like a bad dude,” the cop in the helicopter can be heard saying of Crutcher in the video. “What exactly about that man looks bad to you from all the way up there in your helicopter?” Noah asked. “He’s not holding a weapon, his hands are up. He doesn’t even have a hoodie on, I mean, isn’t that the universal symbol for ‘bad dude’? You can’t tell anything about this man from up in the helicopter except for one thing: He’s black.”

Noah admitted that even he is guilty of “implicit bias,” sometimes seeing a black man and imagining he might get mugged. But to those who wonder why black people are rioting over these incidents, he had this question: “If the only time you encounter black people is when you’re policing crime, then your only experience of black people is that they’re criminals.”

Nothing is going to change “racial bias” overnight, but Noah said the “one thing you can do is not think black people are crazy for feeling oppressed, because every time they see a video of themselves being engaged by police, it ends with them getting shot.”