Monday, August 25, 2014

That Time of Year

Seems that about once a year, usually around this time. I run outta steam. If I were Ziggy, this would be a "No intro today" kinda entry, and then there would be a joke....or even the Superman how-to-tell-a-joke kinda thing. 

This past week has been another week of changes, neither all good nor all bad, but something somewhere in the middle. A new rhythm is developing over at Chez Wifely, and it will take some getting used to. Various medical support personnel are beginning to make appearances....the visiting nurse, the PT lady, the bath guy.....and I am grateful for that support. FIL seems more relaxed now that the daily stair climb is over.  More and more, his age is catching up with him, and as  much as he claims he's ready whenever, it's pretty clear he's not.  The speech is a little slurred, the thoughts are getting caught somewhere between the brain and the mouth and not turning into words as quickly as he wants. He gets frustrated, and there is nothing I can do to fix this. He's laughing a bit more, though,...but sleeping more.

And I am sleeping less. Between worrying about FIL and the heart-wrenching news of the week, it's hard to close my eyes and not feel sad. It must be the summer heat. People are just behaving badly world-wide. I read the paper and I wonder how stupid the masses must be to participate in this moral degradation... much less believe what they read even in the New York Times. What's wrong with just telling the truth every once in a while:
Charlie Rose of CBS interviews Khalid Meshaal of Hamas 


Hamas' charter calls for destruction of Israel and the elimination of Jews. Citizens of the State of Israel disagree with that assessment. By the way, not all Israelis are Jews, and not all Jews are Zionists. 


A cop stopped a couple of kids walking down the street. There was some kind of exchange. The cop shot one of the kids. Details to follow.

Senator McCain meeting with Syrian rebels.
The circle is around the man thought to be

 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadithe head of ISIS 



McCain attempts to influence foreign policy. He doesn't always do enough homework. His intentions may be good and sincere, but sometimes, he does more harm than good


These are three true statements. They are by no means meant to completely define or delineate the issue involved, yet each one is precise enough to at least identify a specific issue. Why can't journalists just say stuff like this without the spin and the slant and the baloney attached? Don't get me started on this nonsense!


Therefore, this is where I am going to stop for tonight. I am tired. My brains are running like hamsters on a wheel. There are so many topics on which I would like to rant, yet I cannot pick just one. 

So let's call it a week. Next week, I should be back in fine fettle and form. 


Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
For the record, GE may use some foreign made parts, 
but their fridges are pretty much all made in the US.
This should be a HUGE selling point for them. 




Monday, August 18, 2014

Long Day's Journey...

Dr. Michael Baden's diagram
I cannot stop thinking about the autopsy diagram that was released today. This wasn't close range; this was a guy shooting at someone from a distance. And I can't stop wondering what this cop was thinking as he fired at a clearly unarmed person. This was not Trayvon Martin struggling on the ground with cop-wannabe George Zimmerman. There was no struggle for a gun that precipitated an accidental shooting at that moment. This was someone pointing, aiming, and shooting directly at someone else. How much rage, anger, and fear was pumping through this guy's system when he, a peace officer, emptied his service revolver into this kid? 

Of course, this is the heat of August, prime riot time, when the tempers soar like the mercury in a thermometer. Heat, humidity, stupidity, and swat teams are fissionable ingredients in a chain reaction. It's not like the cops didn't have other "situations" from which they could learn to gauge what happens when stuff like this goes down. But they either weren't paying attention, or they wanted to play with all their new Iraq-leftover para-military toys.

Must we be like all the other kids and use our water cannon on civilians? Hey, Missouri! Are you trying to out-Tahrir Tahrir? Sure looks that way from the video tape.

Face it, there is a pervasive gun culture out there, and if you're not quite sure about that, then why was the cop behaving like one of the James Gang instead of Marshall Dillon? We have created a perception monster that is morphing from fantasy to reality with the help of video-games' I'm-more-macho-than-my-Kevlar-shirt-shoot-first mentality that permeates the air like tear gas. 

That cop shot that kid and all hell broke loose. Surprise! It's a racial thing and everyone in America knows this...even the good ol' folks in Missouri...who are insisting "this is not a race issue."  Yes, it is a human issue, but one cannot dismiss the aspect of race from this conversation.

And in not dismissing the aspect of race in this conversation, maybe someone will finally stand up and say in some official capacity that race is still an issue in this country. The despicable behavior of the House of Representatives for the last 6 years should be proof enough that race is still an issue in this country.

We are heading into the presidential election cycle. You better be damn well prepared for race, racism, sex, sexism, and plenty o' homophobia being issues in this country. 

But right now, at this moment, I have other things on my mind.

The natural end of life has begun its leisurely descent into this house. There is no illness, no cataclysmic event, only the slow, relatively peaceful "wind-down" (or so my father-in-law calls it) of nine+ decades of living. His body is tired. He's achy. He has the tiny appetite of an old guy....which really does mean two bites of whatever and a giant bowl of ice cream. The stairs have now gotten the better of him, and we've moved the senior son's childhood captain's bed into what had been once the living room, then Ziggy's study, and now, a bedroom. I hung lined drapes in the two open arches, and even installed (yes, I used power tools) hold-backs so they're not in the way during the day. I've brought down the Bose wave radio and the assorted accouterments he likes having around.  The coat closet beside the living room now has his shirts and polar-fleece jacket collection. We're getting a health aide to assist with bathing et al for he is a modest man and is not comfortable with the idea of me doing this. Meanwhile, he remains fiercely independent and insists he doesn't want anyone hanging around here all day.

At 93, FIL's still pretty sharp, enjoys a good laugh, but he's napping more and more. He's in relatively good shape, the pacemaker having helped his quality of life tremendously, but he's slowing down perceptibly now. He's okay with the process moving at a natural pace, and I am trying to be okay with him being okay with it.  I encourage him to listen to MPR* more and he makes jokes about forgetting things...only I know that really bothers him a lot when he can't remember the word for lemonade which he loves. I know he's looking forward to being a great-grandfather (yes....that would mean I am going to be a grandmother) and says he will hang out until he sees that baby...but then all bets are off.  

So for now, my job is to continue making sure he's okay, that he gets all the yogurt and ice cream he wants, and that he's engaged in something mentally challenging....like kitchen updating. You see, I told him he's supervisor-in-charge. He liked that idea. He told me to make all the decisions and he'll supervise the workmen. More likely, he'll get their life stories and repeat them all to me at dinner. 

And I'm okay with that. 


Wifely Person' Tip o'the Week
Being born is fatal; we all die eventually.
No one gets out alive. 

*Minnesota Public Radio - home of The Prairie Home Companion and all things newsworthy.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Kurdish Katch-22

Just the other day, I received the following email:
I don’t actually read your blog, but here’s a good topic if you’re willing to take a break from Hamas and Israel.
from the NY Times: U.S. Jets and Drones Attack Militants in Iraq, Hoping to Stop Advance
So we dropped some more bombs in Iraq last night.. the article itself isn’t anything you haven’t heard on the radio already. The Times picks comments make me sad though – very split between doing nothing and doing more.  Do we let the IS run amuck in the region and keep killing everyone or start in with our forces again?  There’s no real good answer here.
My correspondent is correct, of course. There is no real good answer here. A whole lotta new questions, but not one comes with an answer. 

Caught in the middle of the Middle East, and with much too much exposure in this game of drones, the Kurds are getting it from all sides. They are not their own masters. There never was a single country called Kurdistan…it started with a bunch of small principalities, grew into an amalgam of emirates usually under the “influence” of a caliph-type overlord, and eventually a few bigger states. But endless war took its toll, and by the end of the 16th century, the country was divided up and taken over by the Safavids (Persians) and the Ottomans (Turkey.) Now, that area straddles Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Armenia. Despite their regional, religious, and cultural differences, the Kurds considered themselves Kurds and dreamed of being in charge of their own land. 

The jihadists fight under the banner of ISIS/ISIL:The Islamic State of Syria and Iraq / The Islamic State of Syria, Iraq, and the Levant. The group goes after the smaller, more diverse ethnic populations with a convert-or-die position. One group, the Yezidi, are clinging to the top of a mountain trying to escape. Some who remained in hiding below have been airlifted out, but the ones on the mountain are dying from hunger, thirst, and exposure.

While the attention of the world was focused on other battles in the Middle East, ISIS/ISIL were marking the doors of non-Sunnis and targeting them for death. There is substantial photographic evidence of crucifixions, beheadings, point- blank executions, and other barbaric practices that are impossible to fathom in the 21st century.

My mind keeps cycling back to gas chambers. And ovens. And mass graves. And silence. The world was very silent when news of the Final Solution emerged from Germany. There was no outcry protesting the murder of Jews at the beginning…or the middle, for that matter…except from other Jews. In America, we have  louder voice, but not loud enough to get President Roosevelt to let the passengers of the St. Louis disembark in the United States. On June 6th, 1939, the St. Louis sailed back to Germany.

Martin Niemöller, a Lutheran pastor and outspoken foe of Hitler, is best remembered for a little poem he wrote. That poem has morphed into a thousand memes, but the original is quite succinct and sufficient:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist. 
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
 
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
 
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Folks, I get the part about not getting in the middle of a civil war. I get the part about Muslim v. Muslim violence is a whole ‘nother bag of crazy. And I get the part about not getting in the middle of another Middle East debacle. I get all that and I pretty much agree with the “no boots on the ground” thinking. But how do we sit here in silence and let the Kurds die the same way the world let us die? How do we not get involved? We are damned if we do and damned if we don't.

My correspondent was spot on when he said, “There’s no good answer here.” There isn’t. As the governments try to navigate the morass, the one thing we can do is NOT be silent. 

6,000,000 Jews died because the world was silent when people were needed to stand up to genocide. Now, it’s our turn to stand up to be counted in the quest to get the would-be victims out of harm’s way. 

NEVER AGAIN applies to everybody.

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
If your neighbor refuses to stand up to genocide, make sure you do enough standing up for three people. A little extra never hurt. 




Monday, August 4, 2014

When History Is In The Balance

Had this great weekend planned: my college friend Wendy was here for a family wedding, so we had an exciting Saturday planned....until FIL had a little episode and I spent a less-than-thrilling Saturday with the ambulance corps and the ER folks at St. Joe's. Wendy is the ultimate good sport and I am thankful she was supportive, kind, and full of funny stories to tell. She also delivered the best line of the weekend when, upon arrival at Chez Wifely, she spied good ol' John Deere in the garage and cried, "Oh my God! It's the tractor!" That just tickled me to pieces! 

Now, if all goes according to plan, I'm springing FIL tomorrow afternoon......

Meanwhile, back in the real world: for those of you who understand the vagaries of the Jewish lunar calendar, tonight happens to be the exact 4th anniversary of the blog. The very first one, WELCOME TO MY WORLD was written on Erev Tisha b'Av, and tonight is Erev Tisha b'Av.  At that time, it was the Haredi, the ultra-orthodox, who were tearing the country apart. This time, it's the world at large. 

There is a little piece floating about the net these days by a fellow named Yashiko Sagamori which may or may not be a pseudonym but regardless of who or what he is, I think is a brilliant questionnaire for any one claiming sovereignty over anything. When confronted about restoring Palestine to its former glory, express interest in that storied past. Here are 12 very serious questions you want to ask:

1.    When was it founded and by whom?
2.    What were its borders?
3.    What was its capital?
4.    What were its major cities?
5.    What constituted the basis of its economy?
6.    What was its form of government?
7.    Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?
8.    Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?
9.    What was the language of the country of Palestine ?
10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine ?
11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese yuan on that date.
12. And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?

The same set of questions can be asked about any country, including Israel, and if you know history, you know the First and Second Kingdoms meet the criteria.

The point is that history must be addressed alongside the hopes and dreams of a state to be created as Palestine. And that state must be recognized...one that is a brand new entity in the truest sense of the word.

Sitting here on Erev Tisha b’Av wishing I was sitting in Jerusalem…or Herzliya for that matter, I am so saddened by the growing hate and venom in the streets of London, Paris, Antwerp, Hamburg, and now, New York City. The most cosmopolitan cities of the world….festooned with banners of hate and destruction. Calling for the destruction of Israel and the death of Jews, there is no way to say this is anti-Zionist; let’s just call it what it is: anti-Semitic hate speech.

Israel is not perfect and there are actions by the IDF which could have been better planned or executed and no, they are not off the hook, but you cannot fault Israel or the IDF for defending the people of Israel. ALL the people of Israel. That includes the enemy combatants who find themselves being treated in Israeli hospitals. It includes the injured from Syria who are being treated secretly in field hospitals near the northern border. No one asks for an identity card or the politics of their families….they are provided with the best possible medical care.

When the King of Saudi Arabia issues a statement that says, in part,
This [international] community, which has observed silently what is happening in the whole region, was indifferent to what is happening as if what is happening is not its concern…. It is shameful and disgraceful that these terrorists are doing this in the name of religion, killing the people whose killing Allah has forbidden, and mutilating their bodies and feeling proud in publishing this….They have distorted the image of Islam with its purity and humanity and smeared it with all sorts of bad qualities by their actions, injustice and crimes.

you have to wonder how much weight his words carry.  He called what’s happening in Gaza a crime against humanity, and he pretty much lays the blame on Hamas. But at least he stood up and said something.

When we sit on the floor to read the Book of Lamentations, it is as if we all sit on the side of the road watching the destruction of Jerusalem. We do this every year lest we forget that we have lost Jerusalem before this, and now there are those who would see us lose this, our chiefest jewel, once again. And this is what Hamas just hasn’t figured out: this is our home. We built it, once, twice, three time's a charm, and we will defend it, whether we wear the uniform of the IDF, a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, or maybe even a long skirt and a tichel.

It’s just that simple.

Wifely Person’s Tip o’the Week

Looking for something fun to do? Go see DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE on the Centennial Showboat. It’s so worth the price of a ticket!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Not Enough Dead Jews


A while back, a friend told me,
This is the real truth: Israel exists because an obscene number of Jews died and the ones who were left couldn't stay where they were. So they partitioned part of the Turkish empire called Palestine. It was the only way to stop what would've been an overwhelming wave of refugees who would not, could not assimilate into a Christian country.
I think he was right. No, actually, I know he was right. No country wanted the dregs of the Holocaust and driving them into the sea really wasn’t a viable option. There were 6,000,000 dead Jews already. More dead Jews would’ve been in exceptionally poor taste.


Felix Bonfils: Jews at the Wailing Wall c. 1880s
What do you do with the leftovers? Someone finally figured out the best thing to do was send them home. After all, Jews had never really left the land. Immigration had already started picking up back in 1878 and a new, working economy was beginning to take shape with the support of Jewish investment from all over the world. And if anyone so much as glanced at history, they would’ve noticed the only independent sovereign nation states that ever occupied that barren strip of sand were The First Kingdom (1000-586 BCE) and the Second Kingdom (538 BCE - 135 CE) and both were Jewish nation states. There had never been a Palestinian, Arab, or Muslim independent state on that land. In fact, until 1948, it has been conquered territory, a vassal satellite, a colony for the Babylonians, Persians, Hellenes, Romans, and ultimately the Ottoman Empire until the Brits took it over as The Mandate For Palestine in 1922.

In other words, this little strip of land has always been Jewish for more than 3000 years. Jews have always been there. Jerusalem is there. The Temple Mount is there. Jesus was there. So this really isn’t a debatable issue. If the Egyptians get to have Egypt, and the Syrians get to have Syria, and Babylonians and Assyrians get to have Iraq, why should Israel get special treatment and be denied residence in their own country…where Christians, Arabs, Druze, Baha’i, and Jews all get to be citizens with civil rights, voting rights, driving rights, and all the other rights regardless of religion? Why is that such a big deal? Sounds downright Western to me!

Meanwhile, in the rest of the Islamist world, Sunnis blow up Shi’ites with impunity. They destroy each other’s markets and mosques. They blow up their own co-religionists over a difference of interpretation. Children die by the hundreds. The noble rebels overthrowing the tyrant Assad have become the gangs of Syria, murdering and destroying anyone who does not go along with their brand of whatever. Where are the demonstrations in London for those dying Muslims?

Over in Iraq, my G-d! This borders on genocide on both sides. Now, ISIS, this new roving band of miscreants, are expelling and killing the Christians who have lived there since the birth of Christianity. The Yazidis and the Shabaks, two other religious sects, are also being targeted for expulsion and murder. Where are the crowds in Paris to decry the murder of Muslims and Christians alike?

As Libya falls victim to yet another round of sectarian violence, where are the crowds in Berkeley to protest the slaughter of those innocents?

But as soon as Israel fires back to put up a defense against the endless barrage of missiles meant to destroy Israel… knowing that what Hamas would do to Jews would make Hitler, Eichmann, and Goebbels look like amateur hour…the world cries FOUL!

Fighting back is an offense to all sorts of people, not just those in Paris and London.  The Muslims in London call Israel the aggressor…. I suppose they also think London brought the blitz on themselves. In Paris, they call Israel “war mongers.”… they don’t count the bodies on the buses, in the cafes, or at the hotels as human bodies just because these people were going about their daily business when they were blown to smithereens by homicide bombers. In Antwerp, they insist that Israel end control of the borders, allow all manner of free import.  And then what? Israel starts the state-run program for discount funerals?

Maybe this is because we’re losing the body count competition.  Maybe if more Hamas rockets landed on the schools of S’derot or on supermarkets or even happened to bring down a plane, there would be enough Jewish body bags to get their attention. Or maybe, the IDF should’ve left the tunnels alone so that Hamas could’ve staged their planned Rosh HaShannah massacre extravaGaza in order to demonstrate to the world that Hamas just wants to kill Jews. Kill? Try exterminate. It’s a better fit.

It took a lot of Jews marching into gas chambers to get the world to notice Hitler was serious about the final solution. How many body bags does Israel need to fill to get that same attention?

Not one single body bag. The world already knows.

The world is standing in silence while Muslims slaughter Muslims. You think they’re going to raise a finger to stop Hamas from killing Jews?

Guess again.

The Palestinians should have a state. Their own state. Not our state. They need to have a government more interested in their citizens than in bloodshed, in spending capital on infrastructure than on tunnels, and promoting education and economy instead of Iranian missiles to nowhere. When the people are more important than the rhetoric and there is a partner for economic growth and development, there will be peace.

Gaza sits on the same kind of land as Israel. There is not a reason on the planet that it should not be green, growing and healthy. Except one: Hamas.




Wifely Person's  Tip o'the Week
When in doubt, call Cousin Perdie. She knows everything



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Four Years In the Blog-o-sphere...and still chugging along

Saturday just happened to be July 19th. Now, I’m sure most of you have no idea why July 19th is important because in truth, it is not one of those giants amongst days….like, say, May 29th…with that great trifecta- the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the birth of JFK in 1917, and the arrival of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on the summit of Mount Everest in 1953. But like that date, this one has personal significance for me.

My very first blog entry appeared on July 19th, 2010. That means I’ve been doing this every week for four years. That means I’ve since then, I’ve written 208 episodes making this one 209. For someone who thought she had nothing to say, 208 episodes at approximately 850 words per is a whole lotta words.

On my first anniversary in the blog-o-sphere, I wrote about what I’d learned in that first year. Not much has changed. I find the same issues going round and round, but what has changed is the expanse of my fact-checking ritual. I figure if one was going to talk about the biggest/best thing I've learned in doing this it would have to be that there is no excuse for not doing my homework. If I quote, I cite the source and provide a link wherever possible. I find I cannot abide bloggers/posters/op ed writers who do not vet their sources to back up their facts. You can opine into next week for all I care, but make sure what you present as facts are just that.

It's also an excruciating exercise in temper control. One blog in particular stands out as the most incendiary yet clearly not-read episode. Which only lends credence to the idea that a whole lotta people only read one sentence per graph and then draw their own conclusions, right or wrong. It takes a long, cold glass of seltzer to get my blood pressure down enough to prevent me from responding with nasty-grams. You know...the whole discretion is the better part of valor thing. I think I'm getting better at that part. Or not. 

And as dreadful as it might sound, having this blog has been a tremendously freeing experience. I get to write whatever the hell I want to write. I get to say what I want to say and I have been taken to task for some statements. That's okay. I figure if people take the time to write, then I should at least read what they have. 

And course, there was lesson number 10:

   Always include something to embarrass your children. A blog isn’t nearly as much fun to write if your kids aren’t rolling their eyes after you write it. You don’t even need to mention names or even personal details; all you have to do is express an opinion. That’s usually more than enough to send at least one of them over the edge.


After four years, I’m pretty sure a mother with an opinion is embarrassing enough without having to mention said mother has a blog AND a pretty stalwart world-wide readership these days. Since neither guy is terribly interested in what said mother has to say on any topic, they are pretty much in agreement that the world is a pretty crazy place….especially if people are voluntarily reading whatever it is said mother has to say on any given topic on any given week. Good thing I'm not required reading around here.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I am loath to remind you all that we are entering the dreaded election cycle. I, for one, am wondering what I'm gonna do with Mmes Bachmann and Palin for comic relief. I have to find some new candidates on which to pick. Do let me know if you have any suggestions. 

So as we kick off Season 5, onward and upward. Let the wild rumpus begin!  (Apologies to Maurice "Vilde Chaya " Sendak for borrowing his line!)



The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
The best root beer float is made with A&W and coffee ice cream.












Monday, July 14, 2014

Between The Keyboard And The Chair

War is not tidy. It is not sanitary, sanitized, clean, nor anti-bacterial. War creates chaos, rubble, dirt, and dead bodies. These days, however, war mostly creates photo ops and sound bites.

Doesn’t much matter which war, but the most gruesome picture wins. No one reads the caption; no one vets the picture. If you have a really good picture, you can haul it out periodically and say it was from yesterday even if it was from a decade ago…or even a different war. As long as there’s enough shock value in the shot to get it on the front page of the world’s morning editions, you’ve succeeded.

My dad once told me World War II was the first real “photog’s war.” He explained that even though there were gruesome photographs taken during WWI, everyone had a camera in World War II and journalists were everywhere. The amount of photographic documentation is overpowering. Even the Nazis were copious about taking pictures of how the Final Solution was going. So it should come as no surprise that in subsequent wars, we were treated to up-to-the-minute pictures of the horrors taking place somewhere else in the world. And everyone who wants to get a message out understands the power of video gone viral. It’s really neither the medium nor the message that counts; it’s the image. The old TV adage, if it bleeds, it leads, is seriously ramped up.

Rabbi Yosi Gordon, a well known educator in these parts, is in Israel for the summer and had been posting his thoughts on his Facebook page. Yesterday, he made a comment that whacked me right between the eyes. He wrote:

Some terrorist organizations have all the luck. I really hate the idea of killing — what was it? — 17 members of a family in order to eliminate a Gazan police chief. It’s not a question of proportionality. It’s a question of 17 members of a family. Even if we “knocked” on their door with phone calls and fake bombs and a birthday present from Amazon. 
Jeffrey Goldberg is right again. If Hamas dies better than we do, they win. And they will die much better than we will, because babies crying in shelters is kids’ stuff compared to babies being all blown up. Emotional trauma is serious stuff, but dying is forever.

This is the voice of frustration with the media, and I think he’s spot on.

You have to wonder why the press is not marveling at Iron Dome and the fact that hundreds of rockets launched at Israel are being destroyed mid-air. You have to wonder why the media hasn’t exploited the human shield Hamas has set up as a barrier to air attacks. You have to wonder why there is not worldwide outcry at a government deliberately telling its population to stand up and die. And you have to wonder about a government who, knowing lobbing missiles at another, better-armed country will provoke a response, digs tunnels to smuggle but does nothing to provide underground safety for its citizens.

But maybe that’s just me. I always thought part of a government’s responsibility was to protect its people, not preach on television about how to embrace death. Clearly, I was mistaken.

So what are the choices?

Yosi suggests:
So here is how Israel can stop the war: don’t bomb. Tell the world, We’re staying home. We love peace. We’ll defend ourselves. Iron Dome and shelters and other defensive measures will keep us safe. We’ll invite the press to show pictures of Israelis trembling in protected areas, dashing for safety, embracing screaming babies, soothing terrified children. Tsahal can continue to do stuff that doesn’t photograph well, like undermining tunnels. But we’ll be the peace team. This has never happened before, in all of history. It will make headlines all over the world. What if they threw a war and one side didn’t show up?
Would that that were an option. 

But there are things we can do, too. All of us. On whatever "side" you're on. It doesn't matter, and the most obvious one is to stop clamoring for the 60-second new cycle. That constant spinning does more to spew mis’n’dis-information than Faux News. All of us aid and abet that process every time we share something on social media that we have not personally vetted in some way for accuracy. All we are doing is giving hatred a chance; we are adding to that mass of chum floating around cyberspace and it stinks, it’s wrong, and it’s unnecessary.

Yehuda Kurtzer, in his blog entry in The Times Of Israel, writes:

There is a long-standing critique of social media that many of us self-style our personal “brands” and images in ways that are far different (and look better) than the more complex realities of our lives; in crisis, and in moments of profound anxiety, this narcissism quickly transforms from being harmless to being destructive. Coupled with the built-in nature of the media – which reward speed and wit more than long-developed substance – the pitfalls of instant commentary and vitriolic response emerge easily, and the usefulness of the media for public discourse are undercut by their own limitations. 

Talking about it does not quite drive the point home. He suggests that for an observance of the Fast of Tammuz, we abstain from spreading hysteria on social media. The fast, albeit a minor one, is observed on Tuesday, July 15th, and, like the Ramadan fast which is taking place now, extends from dawn until dusk. Why not use that period to abstain from spreading hysteria on social media?

We can be silent for a day. We can take a moment to read all the way through instead of skim. We can make it a point to verify before we share. 

If everyone thought through that process, if everyone took a moment to think, "What message am I sending?" we are half way to honesty. 

The other half can be found between the keyboard and the chair, and again between the mouse and the monitor. 

The choice is ours. 



The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Know any widows or widowers?
When they are having grieving moments, it's all about them, not you. 
Unless you have direct experience in that condition, you don't know. 
Try to remember that.