The taste of freedom

What is freedom? Asked themselves Jews the day in which they left Egypt. What are we going to be? Went on saying those who did not dare to ask themselves such questions little before. What is the taste of getting up in the morning not being forced by anybody to do things you don’t want to? Dared to think people who were still bearing on their bodies the signs of a cruel slavery. Freedom is to sacrifice the god of your oppressors to the true G- d answered Moses explaining the rules about the Passover lamb. You are going to stop being the slaves of men. In order to be free to be the slaves of G-d, went on to explain Moses. You will taste the real freedom since the exact instant in which you will be commanded to observe the sanctity of shabat, when you will not enjoy anymore the opportunity to eat any kind of meat you might like, with the duty to eat only unleavened food during the days of Passover. Time went by. New generations arrived. People who did not find satisfying answers for the questions they had. Is this real freedom? Ask themselves Jews everyday when coming back from an uninterrupted seven days of work. Is this my true identity? Go on saying people who are not used to ask themselves what is the real purpose for which G-d put them in this world. Is this the true taste of freedom? Dare to think some Jews challenging a world that thinks Divine rules are a limitation for human expression. Freedom is to be able to think as a Jew. And not as the world wants you to, answers Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Rebbe, whose main purpose in life was to save his brothers and sisters from having similar thoughts and life approach to all other nations on this earth. Freedom has the taste of kosher food. Of matzah, maror and charoset. Freedom lies her. In the daily strenght to eat unleavened food when all the world around you eats chocolate eggs. Freedom is to be able to sit at a seder table and to tell without shame and fear the story of the Exodus from Egypt for the hundredth and thousandth time to your children. Freedom is this. To raise your head when the world would like you to stay down and cry. And shout with all the air you have in your lounges: am Israel is still chai. We are still here, thanks to all Moses of each generation. And no evil, no assimilation will ever have the power to erase matzah from our seder table.

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may your soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life

We are here again. For the 14th time. Since that Nissan 3rd during which it was decided from Above, your life was at its end. How could I imagine the kiss I received from you was forever the last one? How could I know I would not feel your strong arms around me before leaving my home? How could I foresee that one day I would have found myself  thinking of you as a light ray, a soul staying under the Heavenly throne, a person who comes to visit his dears only during night and dreams? For every tear I am sheding for you today, I have a special memory to think inside me. As those hot days spent in the Jewish Cemetery of Venice, washing and cleaning tombal stones of Jews dead five hundred years ago. Because you were scared that, one day, nothing will last of those precious engraved words. Discovering the symbols of ancient Jewish Italian families, as the two hands for the kohanim, the lion for the famous Leon da Modena, the eagle for the nobles. Or those endless journeys to Stasbourg to buy  kosher food and meat when you decided it was worthy to travel one and a half hour more in order to go and see the beth hamidrash of Rashi, where he used to study and bring down to this earth heavenly words and explanations. And that Menorah Lego shape. Which you proudly showed me after having worked on it for nigths and days. It should have been the realizzation of your dreams. The Menorah was a miniature plant of the Italian Jewish Museum you were dreaming to build. But in Heaven there was a different plan. And it was decided you were desired there, directly under the Celestial Throne. During this day in which it seems to me I can still hear your voice and not  the kadish said in your memory, I wish you look from above and you smile. Because you are proud of your children. Whom, in every moment of their life, try to go on with your interrupted job spreading and showing the only thing will last after we are not here anymore, is our good deeds and beliefs. Your love for Judaism, for its roots, for its ancient messages perfectly fitting future generations, is always with us. As you are. My dad, my dear papi. May your soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life (as you taught me to say for those who were not with us anymore)

Gheula, Aviva, Ronnie, Gady and Naty

 

Killing values and children

It’s morning. It’s night. It’s time to start a new day. It’s time to end all of them. It’s life. It’s death. It’s values. It’s culture of killing. It’s fathers. It’s children. It’s Toulouse. It’s France. It’s 2012. And still people die because of their religion, because of being value oriented, because being Abraham children. Because following G-d and His laws. Beacuse believing in the right of everybody to live free in the world without being scared to go to a Jewish school. Values and children are dying in our world. Civil values and Jewish children. And if those who are scared to openly condemn these murederers calling, if those who don’t dare to give terrorists their true name and are afraid to put a stop to their crazy race against life, if they think that their being non-Jews, their not belonging to the eternally persecuted nation, will be an emergency exit for them. This time they are wrong. Because the fight of this anti values world starts from Jews. But will not stop there. All unfaithful people will be condemned. Unless the world understands that going against Jews is killing the civil values at the base of all democracies.

A new page in lifebook…

Today I changed the sheets of the beds. I looked for the most comfortable pillows. I opened the new bed covers I was keeping for a special occasion. I cleaned the floor, I finally moved from its unnatural place the picture of the children. In the old frame. It was standing in the corner of the room for more than three months. Waiting for a special guest to come. I removed all the papers from the desk, I cleaned the dust of two weeks on the printer. I moved the curtain, making it appear as a hotel piece. I sprayed roses parfum in the room. I switched off the light. I locked the door. And I breathed deeply. I am ready, spiritually and materially, to be a real mother in law. In my home. Suddenly I feel as I am my mother. The way she uses to welcome us in her home is always so unique, making you feel as somebody was really waiting for you. And as this somebody is really, really happy to see you. So, with G-d’s help, in a few hours I will open a new page in my life book. A page that speaks about grown up children and their new way of being part of the family, a page relating a story of history. And how it repeats itself. From generation to generation, from mother to daughter, from daughter to grandaughter. To son in law. Welcome to my life new old members of my family. I hope that though immersed in a new life, here, in your old room and with the new sheets, you will always feel home.

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Happy purim, the feast of natural miracles…

Good morning world, says the voice of the lady while singing her preferred song. And naturally breathing to take some air in her lounges. Have a nice walk, wishes the mother to the son. And naturally walking he approaches his new goal. What a wonderful sight, says the tourist when hit by the blue of the sky mixing with the blue of the sea. And naturally using his eyes, stops the magic moment on a camera. I love you so much, whispers the young husband to his newly married wife. And naturally feeling his accelerated heartbeat, hopes that these feelings will never stop to exist. Hello world, announces the blogger moving his fingers fast on the keyboard. And naturally connecting memories, knowledge, inspiration and neurons to the words running on the screen where he is writing. Let’s make a party, says Achashverosh, and bring my wife too. The queen doesn’t want to appear. And naturally the king orders to kill her immediately. Find me a new queen, commands the king realizing he is alone. All the girls of the kingdom are brought to him. And naturally he chooses Esther, whose Jewish identity is not revealed. Haman becomes the most important minister of Achashverosh reign. everybody must bow him. But Mordechai doesn’t want to. And naturally Haman thinks it would be good to get rid of him. And, why not, even of all the Jewish people. Mordechai sends a message to Ester telling her she is the only chance of salvation.And who knows if it was only for this that you happened to be the queen. Esther is afraid to go and ask Achasverosh to save her brothers and sisters.She goes anyway. And naturally Achashverosh listens to her requests though it was thirty days he was not seeing her and though she was fasting since three days.We wake up in the morning and we take everything for granted, the fact we are breathing, that we are able to see, to walk, to feel, to think, to exist. There is such a day in which we rejoice for natural events. It is called Purim. And it reminds us that all those tiny, insignificant, usual, things, are never by chance. That Achashverosh could get married with the girl just behind Esther. That Mordechai could be in the synagogue instead of being there in the exact moment and hear the complot against the king. That Haman could remain an insignificant deputy. Instead of becoming the most important king minister. That the king could see the greenish face of Esther, due to three days of prayer and fast. Instead of giving her the chance to go and speak to him. Purim is the feast of natural miracles. Of small, insignificant, unnoticed facts, that happen in the most natural way. Soprannatural events, that bring, seemingly by chance, to the salvation of the Israeli nation. And to the daily existence of biliards of people. This is Purim. The day in which nature is asked to remove its mask and reveal the hand of G-d behind every event. From the tiniest one to the most magnificient and unbelievable natural fact.

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How much do you depend from external world?

In year 2012 there is still somebody who disconnects himself from the web. In order to be able to remind himself there is another life dimension. In which it is possible to live without wires, net, and electromagnetic waves. In  year 2012 there are still people who, deliberately, take out the breath from their cellphones. Though that important call should arrive a few seconds after they oushed off. In year 2012 there are those who assign to a timer the task of switching off their dining room lights. And the most interesting article of the week, will not have any chnace to be read. When the timer declares it’s time to go to bed. In year  2012, believe it or not,  there are houses where food must be enough for supper and the next lunch. In which fires will not be used for 25 hours. And rice, lasagna, meat and fish will be kept at the rigt temperature on a food warmer. Making you think they  forgot to tell you time machine was invented. And it works well, indeed. In year 2012 there are some people who, deliberately, look at their children’s eyes. Listening to them, concentrating on thoer words. Being able to attach to Maslow’s pyramid of primary  needs and values the label ‘family’In year 2012 there are people who, without having being fired, stop to work. They don’t look for new customers, they stopo being obsessed by statystics and sales. And they are able to see G-d’s hand as the starting point of everything they own. In year 2012 there is Joseph Cedar a film maker whose movie was nominated to Oscars, who walks for 2 miles to get to Salomon Goldwin Theatre. Because during that day nature cannot be modified. Though you could win the most desired prize in the world. In year 2012 there is an American senator,Joe Lieberman, who ran for the presidentials a few years ago, who writes 230 pages on that wonderful invention called shabat.  The gift of rest. A story about his true self. That is able to come out again every seventh day. A magic island in the routine life, that helped him getting new energies in serving his country. In year 2012 there is Beppe Severgnini, an Italian journalist, who sees in seven days of disconnection from the wb, the biggest challenge ever happend on earth. A journalist who three different television channels are fighting to have. In order for him to tell his unbelievable adventure. based on a brave week lived without internet (but with cellphone, fax and television). Internet addiction test.  From tomorrow offline for a whole week. He declares in 140 characters on Twitter. Maybe ignoring that in year  2012 there is a whole nation who challenges technology and itself once a week. To try and outride the world addiction test. A bunch of people who disconnects for twentyfive hours of shabat, the Jewish holy day, declaring weekly the right of living without any incursion from the external world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYQ30D0eppc&feature=related