Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Bat Mitzvah Speech

I don't think a lot of people managed to hear my Bat Mitzvah speech.  It came from the heart and I got so verklempt I could not get many of the words out.  Even Hubby, who sat in the front row, asked me for a copy so he could read what I said about him.  Here it is:


I am a Jew, and now, a Bat Mitzvah.

I am the proud scion of an ancient people, a member of the tribe of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  

My ancestors stood at the shores of the Red Sea, and my aunt and her family stood at the gates of Auschwitz. 

I am my mother’s Friday night chicken soup, my father’s Yiddisha songs and the sound of his shofar.

I am the proud sister of every Jewish doctor, lawyer, humanitarian, author, scientist, scholar and benefactor of society.

I am the survivor of every pogrom and persecution.

Together with my bashert, I stood under a chupah and pledged my commitment according to the Laws of Moses and Israel.

I love the USA but my ancestral homeland lies half a world away, in Eretz Yisrael. 

You can see my Jewishness on my face and on the walls and book shelves and doorposts of my home.

My Jewishness cannot be opted into or out of.  As Mayim Bialik said, Jewish is more than my religion. It is my identity, my DNA, my personhood.

Today I fulfill a promise I made only to myself. I did not have to learn Hebrew to please anyone or become “more Jewish”. The promises we make to ourselves are often the most difficult to keep.

My Torah portion, Ki Tavo, tells how Moses, nearing the end of his days and with his life’s work behind him, looked out on the Promised Land. He knew his people would go forth and thrive. I plan to do exactly that.

I thank my patient and extremely knowledgeable Bat Mitzvah coach Larry Wallace, who gave hours of his time and knowledge to help me reach my goal. I thank all of you for sharing this day and my journey. And I thank and honor the man who has supported me unconditionally in whatever dream or challenge I have undertaken to pursue over the last 50 years, since we were both teenagers, my husband Stu.

Shabbat Shalom.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Rabbi Wanted

In the heart of beautiful Central Florida, in America's largest and fastest growing active adult community - The Villages - is Temple Shalom. Our 600+ members are truly "A Family of Friends" - our motto. The great majority of us are incredibly active 55+ers. Our vibrant Sisterhood and Brotherhood provide many activities, outings, concerts and joyous celebrations of Jewish holidays and life events. We are oh-so-proud of our magnificent Temple and our beautiful Ark and Torahs. Our talented choir and soloists fill our well attended Friday night services with wonderful music. We love to sing! Built with love and filled with beauty, friendship and light, Temple Shalom is truly "the Center of Reform Judaism in Central Florida".

For the 14+ years of our existence, we have relied on lay leaders. Coming from a wide variety of backgrounds and from all over the USA and beyond, we have drawn upon the knowledge and talents of our members for conducting the services and rituals, Torah learning, sermons, and Bar and Bat Mitzvah tutoring (mostly for adults!). 

The time has come for us to welcome with open arms a learned Spiritual Leader who will touch our hearts, help us grow in our Judaism and guide us through the life challenges we face as older adults. We seek someone with formal training for the position, a love of music and "Yiddishkeit", an understanding of our unique demographics, and a deep knowledge of Jewish lore, prayer and traditions. Oh yes, and someone who wants to live in one of the friendliest and happiest retirement meccas in the USA!

Please visit us at www.templeshalomcentralfl.org to learn more about us. 

Shalom and Peace

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

44 Things

44 Odd Things You Don't Know About Me
1. Do you like blue cheese? IT'S JUST OK
2. Have you ever smoked? NO
3. Do you own a gun? I DO
4. What is your favorite flavor? CHOCOLATE
5.Do you get nervous before a dr visit? NO
6. What do you think of hot dogs? CHICAGO DOGS!.
7. Favorite movie? FREQUENCY

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? COFFEE
9. Do you do push ups? NEVER
10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? MY WEDDING RING
11. Favorite hobby? MAH JONGG
12. Do you have A.D.D? NO
13. What's one thing you don't like about yourself? I WORRY TOO MUCH
14. Middle name? ROCHELLE
15. Name three thoughts at this moment. I WORRY TOO MUCH. I NEED TO STUDY FOR MY BAT MITZVAH. MORE COFFEE!
16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? THOSE ICE FRUITY-WATER DRINKS, COFFEE. MORE COFFEE.
17. Current worry? THE ELECTION

18. Current annoyance right now? POLITICS! ENOUGH!!!
19. Favorite place to be? HOME WITH HUBBY

20. How do you bring in the New Year? MOSTLY QUIETLY
21. Where would you like to go? NAWLINS!
22. Name three people who will do this? ? ? ?
23. Do you own slippers? NO
24. What color shirt are you wearing right now? Army Green

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? NO
26. Can you whistle? YES
27. What are your favorite colors? DEEP RED, TEAL, AQUA

28. Would you be a pirate? NO
29. What songs do you sing in the shower? BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL
30. Favorite girls name? RACHEL
31. Favorite boys name? STUART
32. What’s in your pocket right now? LINT

33. Last thing that made you laugh? SILLY JOKE
34. Best toy as a child? MY BIKE
35. Worst injury you have ever had? FRACTURED ANKLE

36. Where would you love to live? I'M HERE IN THE VILLAGES
37. How many TV’s do you have? 3
38. Who is your loudest child?  NO ONE

39. How many dogs do you have? NONE
40. Does someone trust you? YES.
41. What book are you reading?  INNOCENT BLOOD BY MICHAEL LISTER
42. What’s your favorite candy? MOUNDS

43. What’s your favorite sports team? DA BEARS!
44. Favorite month? OCTOBER.

Monday, July 11, 2016

What I Love About Mondays

I once blogged about "What I Love About Sunday", inspired by the song of the same name. But I can even claim to love Mondays!

Mondays are of course, far, far better since I retired 4+ years ago.

Mondays mean the start of a new week and the start of anything means new possibilities and a chance to make this week better than last. The garbage from the weekend and the past week will be picked up and recycled (literally). Workmen will come and fix up the neighborhood. Life will return to its regular weekday beat.

So what's up for me for the new week? Trump planning meeting (today, maybe). Mah Jongg (Tuesday). Tyrant S3E2 (Wednesday, for sure). Getting the tile cleaned, colored and sealed (Friday! Yay!).

But  first, coffee!!


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Long Sigh Day

Today is my day for a long, stretched out sigh. How do I know this? My horoscope told me. 

My horoscopes have been pretty nice to me the last few days so I am happy to take its advice and chill, at least for today. I have my new Roomba to do the vacuuming and a beautiful sunny day to enjoy. It's also 20% off day at Big Lots so a trip to Leesburg or Ocala is on the agenda. A new movie will be in the mailbox and I have a best seller on the nightstand. 

Ahh, long sigh....

Friday, July 8, 2016

Israel Education Committee

I am part of a new Temple Committee - the Israel Education Committee.  We are still deciding if "Israel Solidarity Committee" should be its new name but I prefer the emphasis on education.

I only sent an email a few weeks ago to the lady who was starting the committee expressing my generic "interest" and I really didn't expect to be one of seven on the committee "board".  But I am happy to help. It is a topic I am indeed passionate about and I am a consistent complainer about the lack of learning opportunities offered by our Temple. 

I have an assignment. Truth be told, I have wanted to do this for a long time: to offer Jewish film nights. I thought about showing a film at our Havurah but it would crimp socialization and folks were not enthusiastic. Now I'll get a chance to research Israeli films.

I've seen quite a few and a lot can be pretty dull.  But I've ordered a new one, The Attack, and I'll review it and hopefully be able to offer it in November at our first Israeli Film Night.  Popcorn included!


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Out You Go

I love this meme! Of course I did read The Life Saving Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo but I could never bring myself to throw everything I own on the floor and decide if each item brought me joy. 

I did, however, today throw out two pairs of shoes that I loved but could not walk in and a favorite top that had grown an enormous farm of fuzzies.

It did not feel as wonderful as I had hoped since I have an innate aversion to destroying anything that might, in some mutated form or at a future time and place, be proven useful.  Of course, I am basking in the satisfaction of successfully doing something that is a bit of a challenge for me. 

But still, I think my bra and my scale and the electric bill are pretty safe!


Monday, July 4, 2016

Overheard At The Pool

Floating around on my orange noodle in the Springdale Neighborhood pool on the 4th of July.  Ah bliss!

There is very, very little actual swimming but there are lots of floaters (no, not dead fish) and plenty of pool walkers which is apparently a big new trend in exercising. You can catch a few rays, work on your tan, cool off and burn a few calories all at the same time. Plus one gets to overhear the scintillating conversation of fellow retirees. Here's a sample of today's "Overheard at the Pool":

'I had a great shot at the recently redone Saddlebrook golf course. 190 yards!

'We had a hot tub in Billings Montana on our covered patio. We could watch the snow fall from it.

'Have you tried the new smokehouse on Route 42 yet? They say it's good  (yes we have, twice, and it is).

'I landed three feet from the hole but the rest was downhill.

'I never want to see snow again! (me either)

'I guess we are blocking your swim path with our walking back and forth (yes).

'The re-done golf course is really nice.

'My granddaughter was here from Oklahoma and we went to Disney.

'I love it here!

 (I agree)


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Just The Facts

There needs to be a new word to describe people like me. "Type A" is what I'm usually called but it is not quite accurate. "Concrete Fact Counter Queen" might come closer.

I am one of those (I assume there are others like me) who want the Bottom Line and not all the asterisks*** or upsetting explanations or bewildering excuses. So how happy was I that my daily horoscope gave me permission to count to my heart's content!

Yes, I do indeed love my spreadsheets and I would never dream of leaving my checkbook unbalanced or not hopping on my scale every day. And as you know, Dear Diary, I am a faithful counter of all of my many blessings.

And that's my Bottom Line... 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

How Dumb Is That?

I've been on this planet many decades and although I've made my share of mistakes (or at least there are things I would have said or done differently), I am thrilled that none of them have wound up on the local or cable news stations. 

What has been making headlines for the past two days is the "secret" meeting between Loretta Lynch, our Attorney General, and Bill Clinton, our sleazy former President.  How these two ever made it out of law school (of course Bill is disbarred now for perjuring himself under oath) is a true mystery. What on Earth could they have been thinking?!?

I heard a news commentator (talking head) say that Bill Clinton is the smartest, most astute political being that ever was. She wondered if the whole meeting thing was a way to get Loretta Lynch to recuse herself and thus set the sure-to-come indictment of HRC (Her Royal Clinton) back until after the election. I say: for someone so "smart", Bill's f-ups have been of legendary proportions. 

I feel good about my own miniscule (by comparison) shortcomings. If the super-brainy and highly respected leaders of our country and the free world are such dopes, then I am truly a genius!