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Showing posts from August, 2019

How Natanya's Pen Pal Became Homeless on Tisha B'Av

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As a young child in school, I remember being taught about Tisha B'Av, as the day that both temples were destroyed.

As I grew, I learned that more sad things happened on that day.  While the Jews were in the desert, on the doorstep of Israel, they complained about not wanting the holy land.  G-d responded with a decree that they would wander for 40 years in the desert, until that complete generation died.  This too happened on Tisha B'Av.

Of course, the first Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians on that day.  About 500 years later, the second Temple was destroyed by the Romans on the same day.  The ruins of the outer wall of that temple are what people call "The Western Wall." 

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.  In that same year, Queen Isabella of Spain expelled all Jews who refused to convert from her country.  Which day did that happen?  You guessed it. 

On August 1, 1914, Germany declared war on Russia.  This was the beginning of WWI, WWII and …

Would you like to become orthodox?

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Would you like to become orthodox?  Okay, okay, we don't have to go there.  At the very least, I won't be the one to tell you not to.  At the same time, we all have change waiting to happen that seem as impossible and ridiculous as becoming orthodox.  The socially awkward might expect their family to accept them as such, since "it's who I am."  To change this would be selling my soul.  I'll write more about this next week, but for now I want to share how impossible change happens. 

Anyone who has made life changing decisions can look back and pinpoint three stages in the change.  The first stage is the build up.  Let's use the example of someone with a debt addiction.  They could have 50 years of suffering from their problems, and still bang their head against the wall.  In this stage, there's lots of back and forth.  I want to change, but I don't really want to change.  Maybe I can manage my suffering with minimal change etc.

The second stage is t…