Monday, April 28, 2008


Here is a wonderful song by Louis Armstrong.......
THESE are the things we should remember,
these are our daily blessings in life!!

I see trees of green........
red roses too
I see em bloom.....
for me and for you
And I think to myself....
what a wonderful world.
I see skies of blue.....
clouds of white
Bright blessed days....
dark sacred nights
And I think to myself .....
what a wonderful world.
The colors of a rainbow.....
so pretty the sky
Are also on the faces.....
of people going by
I see friends shaking hands.....
sayin.. how do you do
Theyre really sayin......
I love you.
I hear babies cry......
I watch them grow
Theyll learn much more.....
than Ill never know
And I think to myself .....
what a wonderful world!!


Friday, July 06, 2007

The 9 days are upon us

Eleven-year-old Liliane Gerenstein, born January 13, 1933 in Nice, France, wrote a heart-rending letter to God just days before the children of Izieu were sent to their deaths at Auschwitz:

This is real Emunah!

"God? How good You are, how kind
and if one had to count the number
of goodnesses and kindnesses You
have done, one would never finish
God? It is You who command. It is
You who are justice, it is You who
reward the good and punish the evil
God? It is thanks to You that I had a
beautiful life before, that I was
spoiled, that I had lovely things
that others do not have.
God? After that, I ask You one thing
only: Make my parents come back,
my poor parents - protect them (even
more than You protect me) so that I
can see them again as soon as
Make them come back again. Ah! I
had such a good mother and such a good
father! I have such faith in You
and I thank You in advance."

The number of children killed by Hitler and his Nazis is not fathomable and full statistics for the tragic fate of the children will never be known. Estimates range as high as 1.5 million murdered children during the Holocaust. This figure includes more than 1.2 million Jewish children, tens of thousands of Gypsy children and thousands of institutionalized handicapped children.Plucked from their homes and stripped of their childhoods, the children had witnessed the murder of parents, siblings, and relatives. They faced starvation, illness and brutal labor, until they were consigned to the gas chambers.This is the story of the children of Izieu - but there are no happy endings. In 1944 the Nazis from Lyon sent three vehicles to the tiny French village to exterminate the children of the orphanage known as La Maison d'Izieu. Here 44 Jewish children in age from 3 to 18 were hidden away from the Nazi terror that surrounded them.On the morning of April 6, 1944, as the children all settled down in the refectory to drink hot chocolate, the Nazis led by the Butcher of Lyon Klaus Barbie, raided the Home, throwing the crying and terrified children on to the trucks like sacks of potatoes.
The Jewish Children Of Izieu
The little children were deported to the Nazi death camp Auschwitz and murdered immediately upon arrival. Of the forty-four children kidnapped by the Nazis in Izieu, not a single one survived. Of the supervisors there was one sole survivor, twenty-seven year old Lea Feldblum.Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, who brought Klaus Barbie to justice in 1983, later wrote: "Forty-four children deported - no mere statistic, but rather forty-four tragedies which continue to cause us pain ..."
Sami Adelsheimer, 5
Hans Ament, 10
Nina Aronowicz, 12
Max-Marcel Balsam, 12
Jean-Paul Balsam, 10
Esther Benassayag, 12
Elie Benassayag, 10
Jacob Benassayag, 8
Jacques Benguigui, 12
Richard Benguigui, 7
Jean-Claude Benguigui, 5
Barouk-Raoul Bentitou, 12
Majer Bulka, - Albert Bulka, 4
Lucienne Friedler, 5
Egon Gamiel, 9
Maurice Gerenstein, 13
Liliane Gerenstein, 11
Henri-Chaïm Goldberg, 13
Joseph Goldberg, 12
Mina Halaunbrenner, -Claudine Halaunbrenner, 5
Georges Halpern, 8
Arnold Hirsch, 17
Isidore Kargeman, 10
Renate Krochmal, 8
Liane Krochmal, 6
Max Leiner, 8
Claude Levan-Reifman, 10
Fritz Loebmann, 15
Alice-Jacqueline Luzgart, 10
Paula Mermelstein, 10
Marcel Mermelstein, 7
Theodor Reis, 16
Gilles Sadowski, 8
Martha Spiegel, 10
Senta Spiegel, 9
Sigmund Springer, 8
Sarah Szulklaper, - Max Tetelbaum, 12
Herman Tetelbaum, 10
Charles Weltner, 9
Otto Wertheimer, - Emile Zuckerberg, 5

The month of Av is near. The 9 days and then Tisha B'Av. A time of reflection, recognition, understanding and T'Shuva.
I, for one, will be thinking deeply about this, about this little girl who was able to keep her emunah in the face of horror, and still praise Hashem.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Foolish Pleasure, & the true path to Hashem

You teased me,
Your eyes said you’d please me.
Your look gave me shivers,
of pleasure……you wanted “me”

But if to my ear I had held a shell,
I would hear the voices of others tell,
How you pleased yourself…..and very well.

Over a drink,
We drank each other in,
My thirst could not be quenched
And so I gave in.

I broke promises,
Closed my eyes,
No, no,… I don’t want to see
Images of what and who I might lose,
By this reckless gluttony.

Layer by layer, I unclothed my vows,
And gave myself away.

And oh, the passion and the joy
I gave my all, I wasn’t coy

I gave and took, and gave again,
I pleased you….
You took and took and took and then,
You……pleased yourself.

Oh, you foolish girl
Will you never learn?

Sissel - Can't Go Back

Girl don´t be sad

You know what you´re not missing
No reason to feel bad
He don´t mean much with his kissin'
You´re going to make it through
You have always been surviving
I´ve got faith in you
And I know you´ll get it going
But you can´t go back
to what it never was
to repossess,
what you never owned
But you can´t go back
to what it never was
This is that time,
this is that time
when you´re better off alone
Girl don´t you see
There´s nothing more to see there
You´ve got a friend in me
And I will always be here
And you know it won´t be long
Until it´s all behind you
You will meet someone
Someone´s bound to find you
But you can´t go back
to what it never was
to repossess,
what you never owned
But you can´t go back
to what it never was
This is that time,
this is that time
when you´re better off alone
Even alone at night
You will be alright
You´re so strong – you will get over him
And there will be times
That I´ll expect these lies
Not to comfort – but remind you
But you can´t go back


And coupled with these two pieces, there is a third and most important message that I want to convey. Tshuva! It's never too late to be better. No matter what we've done, Hashem is our father and if we are serious and really repent, He will forgive us. THERE ARE NO EXCUSES! No matter what we tell ourselves, that life wasn't fair to us, that we need more love, attention, etc. etc. There are no BUT'S and NO EXCUSES. Hashem wants us to live in a certain way, and to obey His rules, and we can't wriggle out of them, no way! For instance, someone might say, "Well, I give a lot of Tzeduka, and I have a lot of Shiurim, so that will tip the scale, might as well have some fun in this life too." Or a person might say, "It's so unfair, I got stuck in this loveless marriage, but I have 4 kids, so I can't really walk out on my wife, but why can't I find true love, I deserve to be happy" NO EXCUSES. If life is so bad with your spouse, then you must change your life first, and then hope to find love, but not to sin during your marriage.
Life is sometimes hard - there is no question about it. But we can't question this hard life - we have to try and live with Simchas Hachaim, to live a life of happiness and joy, while believing wholeheartedly in our religion, and trying to live up to it. And there is so much good in this world; we have to focus on the positive; give your attention to trust, respect, honesty, abundance education and peace. We will never run out of good things because there's more than enough to go around for everyone. You have the ability to tap into all the good stuff this world has to offer and you will dissolve negativity. We can do it!
"The key to everything is the way you start. All beginnings are hard, because you need to swing things around from one direction to the very opposite. But once you have made a start, you will soon become accustomed to your new direction and it will no longer be so difficult. Therefore you must marshal all your strength and steel yourself to make an energetic start. You must begin each time with ever-renewed fire and passion for Hashem. Start as if you had never begun before at all."
(Rebbe Nachman of Breslov)

Monday, July 03, 2006


What is the definition of gratitude? How can we be grateful when life keeps handing us lemons? How much lemonade can we make?
GRATITUDE is - Making something of beauty out of what we do have, incomplete as it may be.
The Mussar teachings on the attitude of gratitude are tough, because they don't let us feel sorry for ourselves, no matter how little we may have. One Mussar master began a talk with a thump on the table and the words, "It is enough that a human being is alive!" Then he ended his talk right there.

There is a story -- maybe an urban legend, but full of truth nonetheless -- concerning the famous violinist Itzhak Perlman.
One evening, Perlman was in New York to give a concert. As a child he had been stricken with polio and getting on stage is no small feat for him. He wears braces on both legs and walks with two crutches. Perlman crossed the stage painfully slowly, until he reached the chair in which he seated himself to play.
As soon as he appeared on stage that night, the audience applauded and then waited respectfully as he made his way slowly across the stage. He took his seat, signaled to the conductor, and began to play.
No sooner had he finished the first few bars than one of the strings on his violin snapped with a report like gunshot. At that point, Perlman was close enough to the beginning of the piece that it would have been reasonable to bring the concert to a halt while he replaced the string to begin again. But that's not what he did. He waited a moment and then signaled the conductor to pick up just where they had left off.
Perlman now had only three strings with which to play his soloist part. He was able to find some of the missing notes on adjoining strings, but where that wasn't possible, he had to rearrange the music on the spot in his head so that it all still held together.
He played with passion and artistry, spontaneously rearranging the symphony right through to the end. When he finally rested his bow, the audience sat for a moment in stunned silence. And then they rose to their feet and cheered wildly. They knew they had been witness to an extraordinary display of human skill and ingenuity.
Perlman raised his bow to signal for quiet. "You know," he said, "sometimes it is the artist's task to find out how much beautiful music you can still make with what you have left."
We have to wonder, was he speaking of his violin strings or his crippled body? And is it true only for artists? We are all lacking something, and so we are all challenged to answer the question: Do we have the attitude of making something of beauty out of what we do have, incomplete as it may be?
The Hebrew term for gratitude is hikarat hatov, which means, literally, "recognizing the good." Practicing gratitude means recognizing the good that is already yours.
If you've lost your job, but you still have your family and health, you have something to be grateful for.
If you can't move around except in a wheelchair but your mind is as sharp as ever, you have something to be grateful for.
If you've broken a string on your violin, and you still have three more, you have something to be grateful for.
When you open up to the trait of gratitude, you see clearly and accurately how much good there is in your life. Gratitude affirms. Those things you are lacking are still there, and in reaching for gratitude no one is saying you ought to put on rose-colored glasses to obscure those shortcomings. But most of us tend to focus so heavily on the deficiencies in our lives that we barely perceive the good that counterbalances them.
The Hasidic teacher Rebbe Nachman of Breslov writes, "Gratitude rejoices with her sister joy and is always ready to light a candle and have a party. Gratitude doesn't much like the old cronies of boredom, despair and taking life for granted."
There is no limit to what we don't have and if that is where we put our focus, then our lives will inevitably be filled with endless dissatisfaction. This is the meaning that lies behind the great biblical proverb, "Who is rich? Those who rejoice in their own lot" (Pirkei Avot 4:1).
When you live charged with gratitude, you will give thanks for anything or anyone who has benefited you, whether they meant to or not. Imagine a prayer of thanks springing to your lips when the driver in the car next to you lets you merge without protest, or when the water flows from the tap, or the food is adequate?
When gratitude is this well established, it is a sign of a heart that has been made right and whole. Gratitude can't coexist with arrogance, resentment, and selfishness.
I've decided to try my best and be grateful - not only for the obvious, but for those things that I thought were not benefiting me - and as I live my life, day by day, I see that even those experiences that bought me pain, have also bought me joy, and and have certainly been a teacher to me. So I am learning from each experience.
And I am grateful
(subject matter and parts of this article were taken from the writing of Dr. Alan Morinis - "The Path of the Soul")

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Tuesday, June 26, 2006

This is an article I read recently that really touched a raw nerve. Can anyone else relate to this?
The Break Up
by Lauren Freedman
Three years ago, I went out with a boy I already knew. We'd met a few years before that, when he dated a friend of mine. He was a great guy. So when someone suggested setting us up years later, I was game.
We dated. He broke my heart.
Today is the anniversary of my first meeting with a man who changed the way I look at the world, at relationships; at everything - the relationship is long over now, but the lessons I learned have remained!
We had clicked powerfully at the beginning and, just as things seemed to be getting serious a few months later, he took a conversational detour one night: "I have no feelings for you," he informed me. I don't have the same ache in my heart for you as I did when I was away in Israel and yearning for you.

I felt as though I'd been tossed off a bridge.
Apparently, things had just... shut off.
For three agonizing weeks, I hung it out while he consulted various friends, rabbis, and his kishkes. The final answer - delivered via a friend! - was that he just couldn't. Just couldn't do it.
And then came the explanations from his proxies: He has intimacy issues, he'd shut down weeks before, he couldn't sustain it, he's afraid of commitment and afraid to rock the boat of his secure life.
I hadn't been the only one, I knew. He'd been engaged and broke it off, and, besides the dramatic ups and downs with the friend a few years earlier, hadn't been able to get into serious relationships.
"This isn't about you," a friend who knew him told me. "He shouldn't be dating. He is toxic."
"But he's a really good person," I protested.
"Perhaps," she said, "but how good can he be if he's leaving a body count behind him?"
In the end, we met once more and I told him that he was wonderful and kind and decent and would be a loving husband and father... but that he owed it to himself - not to mention to any women he might date - to work out these nefarious intimacy and commitment issues. And if he didn't, he shouldn't be dating.
I moved on, and I forgave him, and I would think of him only in passing... and without any bitterness at all.
Flash forward to last year. An email exchange and then a phone call to my office one day, and it was as if I'd spoken to him just the day before. We'd always cracked each other up, always had an easy, fun, simple intimacy... always just liked each other. And, in a moment, it was back and we both commented on it.
"I forgot how funny you are!" I said.
"I didn't forget how funny you are," he replied.
But I had. I'd forgotten how much I'd liked him, how much I'd loved him. And I had forgotten how he'd broken my heart.
Just as I was thinking that it was too bad we couldn't be just friends, he asked me if I would have a cup of coffee with him.
"A friendly cup of coffee or a date cup of coffee?" I replied, perplexed.
"A date cup of coffee," he said, evenly.
"But why?"
"I never got over you."
"Never got over me?" I laughed. "The last time we spoke, you said you 'had no feelings' for me! Why would this time be any different?"
He explained: He remembered everything I had told him that last time we saw each other, and I had been right. He had had serious problems with intimacy and commitment. He had been seeing a therapist, had worked on them, and now, he said, he felt ready to try. He had support and awareness and motivation.
I laughed - vindication coming three years later. But now that I remembered how crazy I'd been about him, I remembered how I'd been hurt. And I didn't want it to happen again. I wasn't sure. I said no.
I kept saying no for a week or two, until he finally went to see a teacher of mine and - with me anxiously awaiting her more-wise-than-me verdict - convinced her that he was serious, and ready to work. He was in a different place.
And so it began, Again.
The connection, the friendship, the fun, the chemistry were all there - but better. He was more emotionally available, more sensitive to my needs, patient with my own fears. For a few months, it just felt good, despite my occasional worries that he'd shut down like he had before. He termed these my "emotional pings" and was supportive and patient and kind each time.
He opened up more than he had before - more, he said, than he'd ever been able to before - and I understood the deeper issues. His fears, the reasons why he had behaved the way he had. He took responsibility for hurting me, for the fact that he ran. He understood my fears, and he was patient with my own imperfections and struggles.
At first, I was afraid to "let go" and trust that the relationship was real; I kept waiting for him to run, but he reassured me with his words and his actions and things were good. I slowly let myself go, let down my guard, believed that this might be, at long last, It. I stopped wondering when he would disappear and I trusted him. I was happy.
We discussed the future in general terms. We spent time with each others' friends.
When people - his friends more forwardly than mine - pressured me about when when when, I laughed them off. I knew he needed to take his time, and I was in no rush. I could wait; he was worth it.
But then it began.
It started slowly. A night gone sour, he revealed too much and withdrew. A bump in the road. I thought.
The sourness clung to us somehow. He couldn't let it go, needed space and more space. I tried to give it to him. I tried to ignore my own discomfort, my own fears. I tried to soften my own dramatic responses.
Our dating expanded to include a roving cast of therapists, rabbis, trusted friends, experts - parachuting in to help him explain that he was having trouble communicating, trouble moving ahead.
It was a classic case: like me, he comes from a less-than-Brady-esque family, and then he lost his parents at an early age. He learned early that love leads to loss and that letting someone in would lead to pain.
But he was trying. He needed time, space. He needed me to help him work through his fears, his problems.
His therapist explained that letting me in was terrifying because he'd learned too many times that love leads to pain and loss.
But I was already in. And I believed in him. And I believed in us, and I believed - devoutly, more than almost anything I'd believed before -
that our imperfections balanced each other out, that our strengths made the other a better person. Never had I felt more acutely the sense of having been made for someone. It wasn't sunshine and roses, but I knew that together, we could build something solid and true.
And so I rode it out as best as I could. As soon as I thought I couldn't take it anymore, he'd reappear - the man I adored, respected, admired - and I'd remember why I was still there.
All The Experts concurred with what I saw: He was working so hard, trying so hard... and I loved him more every day for it.
But then finally the twisting and turning stopped and it happened. Again.
He just couldn't do it. He couldn't move forward. He was sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry...
He kept repeating the word, as if it meant a thing. As if the word could do anything to make me feel whole when I was shattered, when I felt utterly foolish for having waited it out, for believing in him, for giving him chance after chance after chance...
As if there was anything that anyone could say that could ease feeling abandoned by someone who had become my best friend.

That kind of pain, of course, can be healed only by time. But the secondary pain is the voice whispering constantly in the back of my head that I was a fool, that I put myself in harm's way, that I should have known better.
Could I?
In retrospect, it's easy to go back and point to this and that, all the signs of the eventual ending. But it would be just as easy to point to all the things that gave me - and everyone else - hope.
#1: Clarity about why you're dating. From that first phone call, the agenda was on the table: This relationship was about seeing whether we're suitable for marriage.
It was on the table because I had a warning sign: the previously crashed and burned relationship. But he took responsibility for that.
#2: Expressed readiness to get married. He acknowledged the problems that had derailed him before, had worked on them, and had support this time. When someone dates and dates and dates, says dating expert Rosie Einhorn, some meaningful change has to happen before he or she can take that step forward. It could be going into therapy, some sort of a psychological breakthrough (an epiphany of sorts), or some galvanizing event - but something has to change. It's nice to think that we're all just waiting for the right person... but chances are that the thing that needs to be set right is within the person who can't move ahead.
#3: A normal progression of feelingsThe real warning signs for me started when the gloom descended - when he claimed he couldn't move forward while I was ready to go ahead. There needs to be parity in a relationship. Once either partner feels that the other is significantly ahead, that's a major warning sign - especially if the one lagging behind is one with a history of commitment or related issues.
All relationships have bumps, but there are warning signs when there's a constant tangle of worries about feeling "pressure" (especially when you're not pressuring), a surfeit of inexpressible fears, or some other knot that prevents the normal progression of a relationship. Things don't need to move at break-neck speed, but they do need to move.
Sub #4: Owning your own issues. I was being shlepped from therapist to rabbi and back, helping him work on the issues he had that were blocking us. I was only too willing to help him in whatever way I could, to look at how my actions were affecting him, etc. This is a normal part of any relationship. But I should have grasped more clearly that the issue was his, not mine.
A romantic relationship, I realized too late, is too volatile a connection to "try" as a test case. His issues should have been resolved - or at least progressed significantly - before I entered the picture. He should have first "tried" with his friends, his family, his therapist... not his girlfriend. You can't do that sort of work in a relationship where the question of "breaking up" is always on the table. The safety both sides need isn't there. It was a totally unreasonable expectation of himself, and an unfair burden to place on me.
#5: Get a game plan. Ultimately, says Rosie Einhorn, in a case like this one, where it's the second time around, the game plan should be very clear: 10 dates, and then a decision (for example). When she suggested that, in retrospect, this would have been a good plan, I immediately knew that it would have been too much pressure. My boyfriend-that-was could never have agreed to it. And therein lies the answer: Could I have predicted the outcome? Perhaps so. It's one thing to not rush a relationship, but knowing from the get-go that minefields surround every possible
move indicates that, in fact, he just couldn't do it.

So now... with all the glorious, clear vision of hindsight, perhaps I could have known. Perhaps I did set myself up to be knocked down once again. But does it matter? Maybe there's a lesson to be learned, and hopefully I will internalize it - once my wounds have closed over a bit.
For now, I feel as if I gambled and lost. I was given a taste of something so sweet - being with a man so worthy of love and respect, who made me feel like I was a better woman when I was with him - and it was taken away from me for no good reason I can really accept.
But at least I know that I had the courage to gamble.
And I just have to be ready when the next bet comes along.

:The author's name is a pseudonym. :
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Any stories for Margarita Girl relating to this?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


It's time to turn off the light
I am going to close my site.

I hope you enjoyed my posts
It was my pleasure to be your host.

Your comments were always a delight,
Even when bloggers got into a fight.

My friends, this is the end .....
My last entry I do now send.

I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year.
May Hashem bless you & all those you hold dear.


~~~~ Margaritagirl~~~~

Friday, September 02, 2005


She woke up on Shabbos morning and looked at the clock near her bedside.
8:45 am.
Her first thoughts were not of her husband, nor of her children. As she opened her eyes, her very first thought was of him…….She had been dreaming of him, and suddenly awakening, had to face the reality that he was not with her. Nor would he be all of that day.
We shall not go into all the little details that make up a day. But the day did finally come to an end. The lovely Shabbos, that was meant to be a day of rest, a "Yom Menucha," was the hardest day of the week for her and had been so for several months now.
All day she had been thinking of him. Wanting to be near him. Wanting to tell him something funny that had just occurred to her. Wanting to share some story from her past, or tell about an amusing incident that had happened at work this week. Aching for him, she did all the things one must do to get through the day without any unpleasantness in her household. Her family must not know what is lying behind that agreeable smiling face, as she serves the shabbos food at the table. Nobody can see into her heart, into her very being, as she struggles to keep a smile on her face, while all the time thinking of the last time she was with him.
And so the day ends, the havdala has been recited……….She reaches for her cellphone, turns it on, and checks for messages. None. Ok, ok….don’t panic, she tells herself….. After all, shabbos has just been over for 20 minutes now. He will call very soon. And she is so sure that he will want to meet her tonight. He loves her as she loves him. Of this she has no doubt. She spoke to him just hours before Shabbos, and she was with him just yesterday. But - she wants to be with him every minute of every day. Not just yesterday, and maybe tonight or possibly tomorrow, if he can break away from his family. Yes, he is also committed to another. He has another life just as she does. It is very hard for him as well. She knows that.
She has already showered; she is wearing something new that was purchased with just him in mind. . She had been to the beauty salon the day before, had in fact spent hours just for him. She is in a perpetual state of readiness for his last minute calls; she knows that they cannot plan in advance; they must wait for the opportunity, whenever it will be. She understands; it is hard but she understands.
A close girlfriend had called on Friday, wanting to get together on Saturday night. She hemmed and hawed, and finally said that she would love to, but would not be certain that she could go until after havdala., Could her friend call her back then? Yes, of course, the friend said, and now – here it was – Saturday night. He calls. He tells her that he is going out with his family to a friends house. He speaks in a friendly casual way, but she knows that underneath that light manner, is a heart that beats for her. But he cannot say it, and he knows that it is foolish to say it. He is more logical than she is. He sees things for what they are. Dreams are for children, and he is grown up.
They love each other – that is a fact.
Her friend phones and yes, she is free to see her friend. They make plans for the evening, and all the while there is a hole in her heart that seems to be getting bigger and hurting more and more each minute. She tries to ignore it.
She will go out with her friend.
Tomorrow. She will see him tomorrow…………….
The phone rings...........He asks "Sherry baby, can you come out and play? I miss you."
She calls her friend..........who, of course, understands, she cancels her plans with her girlfriend - and with a happy heart goes to meet him.

Two natures beat within her breast.
The one is cursed, the other is blessed.
The one she loves, the other she hates.
The one she feeds will dominate!
I understand my friend, I do not want to judge her; she is a wonderful person and a true friend to me.
They met purely by chance
Theirs was not an office romance
How could they have known in advance
The course this would take - this dance?
Do you think that they suffered no pain?
Do you think that they felt no shame?
And who, is the first one to blame?
The were drawn like a moth to a flame.
He melts inside, each time they meet,
She hears his name, her heart skips a beat.
How do they describe this feeling
Pure ecstasy, blissful, heart-healing.
Floating away to another place....
Far away - leaving no trace
Just the two of them in paradise.
Where they can be as one with no compromise
They hold on to their beautiful dream
Is it possible?
But from this dream, they must return
Back to their senses and realization
Back to a world they wish to escape
Awakened to the truth of what's right and what's wrong
And what is not theirs - at least for now.........

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Here's a cartoon that I scanned from this week's
New Yorker........clever......made me smile!

And - here's a sign that I saw in a friend's house, that I really liked and made a copy of. It is now hanging in a prominent place in my office and is getting quite a lot of comments..........what do you think?



A son and his father were walking on the mountains. Suddenly, his son falls, hurts himself and screams; "AAAhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!"

To his surprise, he hears a voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain, "AAAhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

Curious, he yells: "Who are you?"

He receives the answer: "Who are you?"

And then he screams to the mountain: "I admire you!"

The voice answers, "I admire you!"

Angered at the response, he screams; "Coward!"

He receives the answer; "Coward!"

He looks to his father and asks: "What's going on?"

The father smiles and says: "My son, pay attention."

The father screams out, "You are a champion!"

The voice answers: "You are a champion!"

The boy is surprised, but does not understand.

Then the father explains: "People call this ECHO, but really this is LIFE.

It gives you back everything you say or do.

Our life is simply a reflection of our actions.

If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart.

If you want more competence in your team, improve your own competence.

This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life;

Life will give you back everything you have given to it.

Monday, August 08, 2005


I've gotten quite a few e-mails from readers who comment on my blog; most of them are complimentary (thank you) and some of them have complaints; They write that my posts are too cutesy, my posts are too sad, my posts are too happy and la di da, my posts are too goody, goody. One person noted that I should give my page "FIRE & LIGHTNING". Another is upset that I do not respond to the rude comments that some leave for one another. He says that it shows that I condone such crude conversation. ???? There is no pleasing everybody, and furthermore this blog was started by me in order to express my feelings, my views on life, and for a place to vent and get feedback. Enjoy!

And now - in case you care,
From some of you, I have been hurtin'
Friends and bloggers, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain.

I blog my thoughts on life
I try to explore each and every highway
Against all odds, and from my heart,
I do it my way

Criticisms, I have a few
But then again, too few to mention.
I write from my point of view
And I see it through without exemption

I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
But more, much more than this,
I do it my way

There are times, I'm sure you know,
When my subjects caused quite a row.
But through it all, when there is doubt;
I read it through and kicked it out.
I face it all and I stand tall;
And I do it MY way!

I write, I read, I have a laugh,
I've had my fill with those who quibble.
My style won't change - not by half,
My thoughts on life, I continue to scribble....

To think I do all that,
And may I say - not in a shy way,
No, oh no, not me,
I do it my way!

For what is a person, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels
Let the records show - I take the blows
And I do it MY way!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

IS IT BETTER TO "BE AN ISLAND"? Never to let anyone see behind the "stranger's" face?

THE STRANGER...... (Billy Joel)

Well we all have a face,
That we hide away forever;
And we take them out and show ourselves,
When everyone has gone.
Some are satin, some are steel,
Some are silk and some are leather,
They're the faces of the stranger.....
But we love to try them on .
Well we all fall in love,
And we disregard the danger;
Though we share so many secrets,
There are some we never tell.
Why were you so surprised,
That you never saw the stranger?
Did you ever let your lover,
See the stranger in yourself?
Don't be afraid to try again,
Everyone goes south,
Every now and then;
You've done it, why can't someone else?
You should know by now,
You've been there yourself.

Once I used to believe,
I was such a great romancer,
then I came home to a woman
That I could not recognize
Though I pressed her for a reason,
She refused to even answer
It was then I felt the stranger
Kick me right between the eyes.
I may never understand
How the stranger is inspired,
But he isn't always evil,
And he is not always wrong.
Though you drown in good intentions,
You will never quench the fire
You'll give in to your desire
When the stranger comes along

We all put on a face to the world, (that's when we wear the "stranger's" face.) We have a private face, our true face; which no one ever sees; but then we fall in love, we let our guard down, and reveal our true face to that one person and sometimes that person needs to put on the "stranger's" face himself. Deep down, he is still the same person that you love, but sometimes he may seem out of character. If that is so, and you see the "stranger" in his face from time to time, "true love" will always offer a reason for strange behaviour. There are times when even a true, true love, occasionally acts like a "stranger".
Then again, sometimes you think you know the person's real self, and it turns out that he was actually the "stranger" all along..........
Even though that may happen, and many times does, we should not be afraid to try to love again, and trust someone again...........

I think that this song is an exploration of the secret self we all have, which we all hide from others... but eventually, this self will always reveal itself, and it will always have its way.
What do you think? This song really intrigues me and I wonder how others interpret it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


I was in New York the other day and rode with a friend in a taxi. When we got out, my friend said to the driver,
“Thank you for the ride. You did a superb job of driving” The taxi driver was stunned for a second, then he said. “Are you a wise guy or something?”

“No, my dear man, and I’m not putting you on. I admire the way you keep your cool in heavy traffic.”

“Yeh,” the driver said and drove off.

“What was that all about?” I asked.

“I am trying to bring love back to New York,” he said.
“I believe it’s the only thing that can save the city.”

“How can one man save New York?"

“It’s not one man. I believe I have made the taxi driver’s day. Suppose he has twenty fares. He’s going to be nice to those twenty fares because someone was nice to him. Those fares in turn will be kinder to their employees, or shop-keepers, or waiters, or even their own families. Eventually the goodwill could spread to at least 1,000 people. Now that isn’t bad, is it?”

“But you’re depending on that taxi driver to pass your good will to others.”

“I’m not depending on it, “ my friend said, “
I’m aware that the system isn’t foolproof, so I might deal with ten different people today. If, out of ten, I can make three happy, then eventually I can indirectly influence the attitudes of 3,000 more.”

“It sounds good on paper,” I admitted,
“but I’m not sure it works in practice.”

Nothing is lost if it doesn’t. It didn’t take any of my time to tell that man that he was doing a good job. He neither received a larger tip nor a smaller tip. If it fell on deaf ears, so what? Tomorrow there will be another taxi driver whom I can try to make happy.”

“You’re some kind of a nut, “
I said.

“That shows how cynical you have become………”

We were walking past a structure in the process of being built and passed five workmen eating their lunch. My friend stopped.
“That’s a magnificent job you men have done. It must be difficult and dangerous work.” The five men eyed my friend suspiciously.
“When will it be finished?”
a man grunted.

“Ah, that really is impressive. You must all be very proud.”

We walked away. I said to him, “I haven’t seen anyone like you since ‘The Man of La Mancha.’”

“When those men digest my words, they will feel better for it. Somehow the city will benefit from their happiness.”

“But you can’t do this alone,”
I protested. “You’re just one man.”

“The most important thing is not to get discouraged. Making people in the city become kind again is not an easy job, but if I can enlist other people in my campaign….”

“You just winked at a very plain looking woman,” I said.

“Yes, I know,” he replied, “And if she’s a schoolteacher, her class will be in for a fantastic day.”

Imagine what life would be like if this campaign of goodwill would succeed.

HERE IS ANOTHER EXCHANGE, WHICH IS SUCH A WAKE UP CALL TO ALL OF US; At a funeral service, everyone left the cemetery except for the mourning husband and the rabbi. The husband remained at the grave for a long while; finally the rabbi approached him. “The service is long over, it is time for you to leave,” he said.
The man waved him away.
“You don’t understand. I loved my wife.”
“I am sure you did,”
the rabbi answered,
“but you have been here a very long time. You should go now.”
Again, the husband said,
“You don’t understand. I loved my wife.”
Once again, the rabbi urged him to leave.
“But you don’t understand,” the man told him,
“I loved my wife-----and once, I almost told her.”
Can you imagine the sense of shame if you have to stand at a grave and bid farewell, and realize then what you didn’t say when you could have, when you should have, when there was still time?
(from the book “Words that hurt, words that heal, by Joseph Telushkin)

We are now in the 3 weeks. Soon it will be Tisha B’Av. We will fast, we will try to repent for the sins that led to the destruction of the Bais Hamikdosh, because of ill will---Because people were not kind to one another.
The classic story of Kamtzu and Bar Kamtzu tells it all.

Can we, perhaps, start the repair with one sentence at a time? Say thank you to the toll booth attendant. Compliment your neighbor on his tidy lawn. Remark to the salesclerk that she looks like she lost some weight and how nice she looks. Tell the teller in the bank how efficient she is, and that it is a pleasure to do business with her.
Can we do it??

Sunday, July 17, 2005

FALLING IN LOVE.........Only fools rush in?

It’s what we want. What we’ve always wanted, since we were barely in our teens. We listened to the songs on the radio, watched it in the movies, and oh….we wanted to feel that wonderful love, love, love.
Ever wonder why the phrase is “falling” in love?
According to my dictionary, the word fall means the following;
A disastrous overwhelming defeat or ruin,
A sudden, involuntary drop to the ground,
decline….descent….and so on.
Sometimes love can feel like the closest thing to heaven and sometimes love can feel like you've been run over by a car. You actually “fall”, you plummet downward. Love is the best thing for the heart, but it can tear your life apart. It's as sweet as summer rain - but it can hit you like a train, and fill your heart with pain.

Here is an excerpt from an article, titled “The Telephone Call”
Please God, let him telephone me now. Dear God, let him call me now. I won’t ask anything else of You, truly I won’t. It isn’t very much to ask. It would be so little to You, God, such a little thing. Only let him telephone now. Please, God, please, please.
If I didn’t think about it, maybe the telephone might ring. Sometimes it does that. If I could think of something else. Oh, please ring, please.
This is the last time I’ll look at the clock. I will not look at it again. It’s ten minutes past seven. He said he would telephone at five o’clock. “I’ll call you at five, darling.” I think that’s where he said “darling”. I’m almost sure he said it there. I know he called me “darling” twice, and the other time was when he said goodbye. “Good bye, darling.” He was busy, and he can’t say much in the office, but he called me darling twice. I want him so much, I miss him so much. I’ll be good, God, I will try to be better, I will, if You will let him phone me. Oh, please let him phone me now.
Maybe the clock’s fast. I don’t know whether it’s right. Maybe he had to stay late at the office. Maybe he went home, to call me up from there, and somebody came in. He doesn’t like to telephone me in front of people. Maybe he’s worried, just a little, about keeping me waiting. Maybe he’s hoping that I might call him. I could do that. I could telephone him.
I mustn’t, I can’t, I shouldn’t. Oh, God, please don’t let me call him, please keep me from doing that. I won’t telephone him. I’ll never call him again as long as I live. He’ll rot in hell, before I’ll call him up. You don’t have to give me strength, God, I have it myself. If he wanted me, he could get me. He knows where I am. He knows I’m waiting here. He’s so sure of me, so sure.
Maybe I mis-heard him. Maybe he said for me to call him at five. “”Call me at five, darling.” He could have said that. It’s so possible that I didn’t hear him right. I’m almost sure he said that… “call me at five, darling”.
I’ll think about something else. I’ll just sit quietly. If I could sit still. Maybe I could read. Oh, all the books are about people who love each other, truly and sweetly. Why do they write that? Don’t they know it isn’t true? Don’t they know it’s a lie, it’s a god-damned lie? Why do they have to say it, when they know how much it hurts. Damn them, damn them.
Please God, please. I’ll count to five hundred, please let him call before then, please.
One, two, three, four, five…………..
go ahead you can have my heart,
It's been through a lot
a little more won't break it.
I might look ready to fall apart
but give it everything you've got
this heart of mine can take it.
you can't appreciate the sunshine,
till you've seen the rain
Tell you something you can be sure of
there can be no perfectly pure love
you can't have love
you can't have love without pain.
you take the heartache away
and you'll never hold on to the things that remain
you can't have love
love without pain.
so you cry a tear every day,
or you find out that you've lost
more than you've gained.
give me something i know is real
make it strong enough
so there can be no doubt about it
being numb that's no way to feel
I'd rather suffer love than live my life without it
can't expect to climb a mountain
and see no rough terrain
even if I find that I'm hurting
that's ok cause one thing for certain ......
and of course, the answer is......yes, yes, yes, is grand, even with all the pain, and the uncertainty, and the wishing and waiting and hoping - it's all worth it. For what is life without love??
That's my opinion and my experience....What about you?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


It's a hard life after all, it's a hard, hard, life....

As I sit in the train, I look about me. I see a wrinkled old lady, lugging two heavy shopping bags full of gift-wrapped boxes. Did she spend her last dime for these gifts? Will the recipient appreciate her good intentions – or will she still be considered “the old nag?”

There, sits a shabbily clothed man. A brown paper lunch bag rests on his lap. He looks beaten – tired and overworked, unappreciated and under-estimated. He probably works too many hours – and all this, for what? So that his wife can keep up with the Jones’? (or the Schwartz') So that his children are not deprived of anything? And is his family grateful for all this – or do they demand more of him?

Here stands a woman, deep in thought. Are her thoughts cheerful – or is she thinking about the argument she had with her husband this morning? Does she dread going home to him?

I see a young man carrying a bouquet of flowers. Are these flowers for his mother who is in the hospital, dying? Or are they for the woman whom he wishes to impress? If so, will she act or react as he expects her to?

In all aspects of life, people try so hard to please, and suffer so much in the process. Their suffering, however, would be diminished or even forgotten if only their well-meant efforts were appreciated.

I sit here and watch. Practically all the people about me are tired or depressed, or worried, or heart broken, or confused, or………

What a sad world it seems to be.

Any thoughts on my thoughts?? Do you ever feel this way? And don't tell me that I'm being unduly's reality.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Once upon a time, in a tiny hut, there lived a little old man, whose name was Mr. Stone. He was a very poor man and, because of this, he had to work many long hours, hunched over his work-bench. Although everyone knew Mr. Stone as a simple shoemaker, he was, in fact, a deep thinker-----a philosopher. As he sat, night after night, mending shoes by the light of a dim candle, his mind wandered into far-away places. He pondered the mysteries of the world in general and of people in particular. In a word, he wondered what made people "tick." HOW DID PEOPLE GET ALONG WITH ONE ANOTHER. HOW SHOULD PEOPLE GET ALONG WITH ONE ANOTHER.....
One dark, moonless night, Mr. Stone was deeply engrossed in his work when he heard a knock at the door. He couldn't imagine who would be calling upon him at this late hour; nevertheless, he set aside his work and labored his way to the door. When he opened it, he saw a man whom he had never seen before, and he knew instinctively that he would never see him again. Mr. Stone invited the man into his hut and offered him the only chair he possessed. When they started talking, Mr. Stone realized that this was no ordinary man. This mysterious visitor knew everything about Mr. Stone; he even knew something nobody else knew---that Mr. Stone was a thinker. The man invited Mr. Stone to join him on an exciting journey. He told Mr. Stone that he would see interesting things during his trip, and that he would learn a great deal from it. Mr. Stone was very curious. He decided to join the man and see for himself what this was all about. He locked up his hut, and away they went.
It was still dark when, from afar, they saw a towering castle. As they approached it, Mr. Stone saw how magnificent it was. The marble pillars were beautifully engraved; they were decorated with gold and silver trimmings. The precious stones, which were embedded in the castle's walls, shone so brilliantly, they practically lit up the night.
The two men entered the castle. They walked through a long and narrow passageway until they reached a big, closed door. Mr. Stone looked at the man expectantly; the man opened the door and led Mr. Stone in. The room was huge. There was a large table in the center, with all kinds of tasty food set on it. It looked like a feast had been prepared for the many people who sat at the table. Mr. Stone noticed, however, that all the people sitting in the room were thin and emaciated; they looked like they hadn't eaten for days. If they were so starved, he thought, why don't they eat? He also wondered why they looked so glum and didn't even talk to each other. Then he looked at them a little closer. Their arms were unusually long; strangely, they were also unable to bend their arms at their elbows. As a result, they were able to spoon the food out of their platters, but they could not bring it to their mouths. This, thought Mr. Stone, was frightfully sad.
The man then showed Mr. Stone into another room which was strikingly similar to the one they had just left. There was, however, a difference----the people in this room were joyous and friendly, and were happily partaking of the delicious food which was before them. They too. Mr. Stone observed, had long and unbending arms. Despite this handicap, they ate. As Mr. Stone watched, he saw each person dish the food out of his plate and feed his neighbor with it. Nobody in the room was able to bend an arm; yet, they were all able to eat.
The man led Mr. Stone out of the room and out of the castle. They looked at each other for a brief moment, and then the man disappeared. Mr. Stone walked homeward----back to his hut, his work-bench, and deeper thoughts.
C'mon people now,
Smile on your brother
Ev'rybody get together
Try and love one another right now...........
~~~~~~~~~So, whaddayasay guys? Although we all kid around and fight things out, it's all in good humor, isn't it?

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Sometimes it certainly looks that way.
Many times there is no cure for a marriage that has died…a marriage that is “flat-lined” and cannot be resuscitated. No therapist, rav, or marriage counselor has been able to help revive the relationship; In a marriage like that, you might have to “pull the plug”. A divorce is certainly a painful experience. For the husband. For the wife. For the children. For parents. Divorce should always be the last option. After everything else has been exhausted.

Sometimes you don’t give a damn if the neighbor’s lawn is greener than yours.
The only thing is……...…you’d like to have a nice lawn too!!

A divorce gives one a second chance to find a partner for life who is truly a “soul mate”. With the right partner one can do anything, be anything, say anything……..They simply connect!! The value of such a connection is priceless. They are 2 halves of one whole.

It’s wise to remember the following song, and then review
you DO have; what you MIGHT HAVE, is something good that is
lost and can be found again.
I was tired of my lady,
We'd been together too long.
Like a worn-out recording,
of a favorite song.
So while she lay there sleeping,
I read the paper in bed,
And in the personal columns,
There was this letter I read:
"If you like Pina Coladas,
And getting caught in the rain.
If you're not into yoga,
If you have half a brain.
if you'd like making love at midnight,
in the dunes on the Cape,
Then I'm the love that you've looked for,
write to me and escape."
I didn't think about my lady,
I know that sounds kind of mean.
But me and my old lady,
have fallen into the same old dull routine.
So I wrote to the paper,
took out a personal ad.
And though I'm nobody's poet,
I thought it wasn't half bad.
"Yes I like Pina Coladas,
and getting caught in the rain.
I'm not much into health food,
I am into champagne.
I've got to meet you by tomorrow, noon,
and cut through all this red-tape.
At a bar called O'Malley's,
Where we'll plan our escape."
So I waited with high hopes,
and she walked in the place.
I knew her smile in an instant,
I knew the curve of her face.
It was my own lovely lady,
and she said, "Oh it's you".
Then we laughed for a moment,
and I said, "I never knew.
That you like Pina Coladas,
getting caught in the rain.
And the feel of the ocean,
and the taste of champagne.
If you'd like making love at midnight,
In the dunes of the Cape.
You're the lady I've looked for,
Come with me and escape"..........
My mother always says,*
" Before you buy new - see if you can repair the old"
What do you bloggers think? Any experiences? any stories?