Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hamas cynically sacrifices civilians to make PR gains

The Czech Republic, which takes over the European Union's presidency on January 1, defended Israel's strikes against Hamas on Tuesday. The EU has called for a cease-fire to end the violence that has killed almost 350 Palestinians. But Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said Israel had the right to defend itself. "Let us realize one thing: Hamas increased steeply the number of rockets fired at Israel since the ceasefire ended on December 19. That is not acceptable any more," Schwarzenberg told daily Mlada Fronta Dnes in an interview.

France, which will hand over the EU's rotating presidency to Prague, has condemned Israel's strikes and the rocket attacks from Hamas militants and called for both to stop immediately. Schwarzenberg, a staunch ally of Washington, said Hamas had excluded itself from serious political debate due to its rocket attacks on Israel. He also indirectly blamed the group for the growing death toll, saying it put its bases and gun warehouses in densely populated areas. "Why am I one of the few that have expressed understanding for Israel? ... I am enjoying the luxury of telling the truth," Schwarzenberg told the daily. He said under the Czech EU presidency he would try to push through a policy that would lead to peace, saying "I would be very happy if it helped the Palestinians".

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The war out there

Ultimately the only defence against what looks like vicious hatred is clarity about who (or what) I am -in other words, self realization.

Hamas and the Israeli's in Hebron are mirror images of each other - both worship the false G-d of resentment.

Index for 2008

For more translations see Natan Alterman, Yemei Tzikleg
For more poems see Shirim veTehillim, Wake Up and Smell the Garbage, The Sea and Me, Ungulate, I laf you
For short film ideas see
For ideas about Jewdayism see
For short stories see
For musings on the place I now find myself in, Australia, see
For play ideas see plays and projects
Israeli writers
Israeli cinema
Jewish writers
People - Peter Esterhuysen, Zichrono Livracha,
For conversations about the environment and sustainable living see

The original intro to Manofesto (until end June 2009) was:

"I am a "hogeh deyot" - Hebrew for someone who thinks and puzzles a lot about things that are not necessarily directly related to my daily round. Here are thoughts on everything and anything from advaita (non-dualism) to Talmudic parables, short film scripts and poems, the necessary nexus between living joyful creative lives, and sustainable living, as well as humerous sketches and whatever else takes my fancy. Thanks to Zvi Jaspan of Kibbutz Tzora for providing me with the name for this blog."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

View from the (Sydney) Side

It says in the Talmud that G?d "hikdim trufa lemaka" - that G?d always creates the cure before creating the disease. So before G?d created the often pointless busy-ness of Sydney, G?dself created the sea and beach, and swimming and surfing and snorkelling amongst the rocks and fish and seaweed that G?dself also created, and the opportunity just to sit and look at the picture of the sun setting and the endless patterns of sea and people rising and falling, and feel the hot and cold and rough and smooth...

the sterile streets of Sydney
from which dogs and cats
have been vanished and banished
this is a landscape made for humans
and sometimes not even for them
its subterranean bars and casinos
with patterned carpets and dim lighting
the portals to a tattered hell

Jah is One

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A 1600 year old poem

ג,יט [טז] הוא היה אומר
הכול נתון בעירבון
, והמצודה פרוסה על כל החיים.
והחנות פתוחה
, והחנווני מקיף
, והפנקס פתוחה,
והיד כותבת; וכל הרוצה ללוות בא ולווה.
והגבאין מחזרין תמיד בכל יום,
ונפרעין מן האדם לדעתו ושלא לדעתו,
ויש להם על מה שיסמוכו, והדין דין אמת;
והכול מתוקן לסעודה

A free translation:

The Master Akiva says

everything is given on loan
and a net extends over all that lives
the supermarket shelves are stacked with merchandise
the credit card has no limit; but the store owner is everywhere
and every transaction is recorded;
anyone may take home what they wish
but the debt collectors visit daily
and repossess
whether humans are ready or not;
and these debt collectors can rely on their Boss
and the cosmic Law is a true one

and everything is readied for the feast

Saying 19, Chapter 3 From "Ethics of the Fathers", a section of the Talmud
For more translations see Natan Alterman

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Chesed shel Emet

chesed shel emet

playing a board game
or throwing a few balls
(and then some more)
with someone else's hungry child
washing the dishes when your feet ache
because someone has to
the things that no one will see or praise you for

chesed shel emet
(kindnesses not done to earn brownie points)
playing with a child (your own or someone else's)
who has a slightly neglected air
some agonizing game
washing the dishes when you just want someone else to handle it
(just as they do)
throwing away someone else's rubbish just because
giving your attention to someone who really wants to be heard
allowing an impoverished dentist to do unnecessary procedures on your teeth just so that they can earn some money

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Using Judaism as a support for unconscious living

Don't buy Rubashkin/ Agriprocessors Kosher meat (also marketed as Aaron's Best, and Iowa's Best)

Everything can be used to awaken or to send to sleep, to numb and deaden. This includes what is termed "organised religion". It is obvious how Hinduism, Islam and Christianity may become a vehicle for adherents to cling to their various blindnesses and fears (including self avoidance, legitimising resentments). I cannot however, speak about these traditions with as much authority as I can about Judaism, (and there too I speak only with relative authority, not an absolute one), and how Judaism may incarnate in the lives of those who say they subscribe to it.

It is clear that the set of thoughts and stories that make up "Judaism" can be used also to awaken or to numb, and are. Here are some ways and contexts in which Judaism is used as a vehicle for numbing, desensitizing, closing down, shutting out: Take for example the shameful track record of the "religious" family who own the Agriprocessors losher meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa —the largest glatt kosher slaughterhouse in the world— and who repeatedly violated provisions of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act while US federal inspectors looked on and did nothing.

In undercover video footage filmed by PETA, workers can be seen "shocking animals in the face with electric prods, slitting their throats open and pulling out their tracheas while they’re still conscious, dumping them—frightened (PETA's adjective not mine) and desperately (PETA's adjective not mine) struggling—onto the ground in their own blood, and then waiting for them to die. Many of the animals struggled and stood up while blood was pouring from their throats, and they took several long (PETA's adjective not mine) minutes to die."

This "kosher" meat was produced under the following circumstances:

a) exploitation of poorly paid migrant workers

b) cruelty to the animals slaughtered there by said poorly paid migrant workers, for which the owners bear part responsibility

If you want to read more about this scandal here are some links:



and the rather horrifying


Here is an extract from the above link:

Statement of Lester C. Friedlander, D.V.M., USDA Slaughterhouse Inspector for More Than 10 YearsProfessional Comments and Opinions after reviewing PETA's Undercover Video taken at Federal Establishment #4653, AgriProcessors, Inc., Postville, Iowa:

"My name is Lester Friedlander. I am a veterinarian and worked as a slaughter line inspector for more than 10 years for the USDA. I have received repeated certificates of merit and commendation from the USDA, and was USDA Veterinary Trainer of the Year in 1987.

I have reviewed the video that was taken at Federal Establishment # 4653, AgriProcessors, Inc. in Postsville, Iowa. The video was taken by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and I have watched this video several times. In my years with the USDA, I have seen literally millions of cattle slaughtered, including hundreds of thousands of cattle that were killed in kosher slaughterhouses. The footage captured by PETA represents the most egregious violation of the USDA Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA) I have ever witnessed. I have supervised the kosher slaughter conducted by the Satmar sect and the Lubavitcher sect at my federal plants, and the procedure I saw on the PETA video bears little resemblance to the ritual slaughter that I am accustomed to.

The main problem with ritual slaughter is that there is much variation in the methods that rabbis use to conduct kosher slaughter. But, despite the lack of consensus amongst rabbis regarding proper kosher slaughter techniques, all slaughter must meet the minimum animal welfare requirements laid out in The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1978. The HMS Act of 1978 states that "the slaughtering and handling of livestock are to be carried out only by humane methods" and that "the use of humane methods of handling and slaughtering livestock prevents needless suffering of animals and results in safer and better working conditions for employees in slaughter establishments." The HMSA "requires" that humane methods for handling and slaughtering be used for "all meat" inspected by the USDA and FSIS.

FSIS recommends that establishments identify where and under what circumstances livestock may experience excitement, discomfort, or accidental injury while being handled in connection with the slaughter process. After you watch the video once or twice, view it again with your eyes closed; you can hear the frantic bellowing of the cattle. Now open your eyes, you can see why they are bellowing. The fear and distress that they feel is overwhelming. The carotids are severed while the cattle are upside-down. After severing, the cattle are released onto the floor, where some get up and thrash and hit their heads against the floor. When the esophagus and trachea are torn away, you can see the cattle extending their head, trying to relieve the pain. This is unnatural for cattle to do this; they normally keep their heads low. After the proper severing of the carotids, the cattle should be held in the restraint position for 30 seconds or longer, so they can bleed out thoroughly. There is unnecessary prodding before the cattle are led into the rotating drum. This prodding excites and distresses the cattle, and they are not at their normal gait. Rabbi Kohn, of Agriprocessors, said the throat tearing was done only to speed bleeding. From my experience, this is only done to keep up with the line speed.

Kosher slaughter as compared to conventional slaughter, is supposed to be much slower due to the procedures involved. Again it is economics that dictate the procedures used. Removing the trachea and esophagus could bleed the cattle faster, but at the expense of the cattle. Rabbi Weinreb stated that he found the procedure "especially inhumane" and "generally unacceptable" but wanted to find out how regularly it happened. That has no bearing on the intentions of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. Even if it is violated only once, the plant should stop processing animals until the company can implement a procedure to prevent the violation from occurring again. This is not like a baseball game—a slaughterhouse doesn't get three strikes before they're out. Only one violation is enough to stop production at a slaughterhouse under the provisions laid out in the Humane Slaughter Act. These statements are based on my professional opinion and on my own experiences working for the USDA for more than 10 years as a line inspector. "

Akk of the above is a testimony to the human capacity for unconscious and disassociated behaviour, all within the framework of "holiness".

Of course racist websites have used the whole Agriprocessors scandal as fodder for the usual dehumanizing generalisations about Jews that white supremacists have made for the last century. Expect more of this as economic conditions toughen and people start looking for someone to blame for their self-created woes.

Shirim ve Tehillim - Hebrew poems and psalms

See also bamisaadah-in-resteraunt

Hayiti melech hagevaot
veshafan haamakim
beyachad /betiyum
im peimot libi

Listening to Noah
singing "nanuah"
liquid love
smiling through tears
pure ghee rubbed
on a babies' back
feels just like that
a 1000 years
of lonely fear
hiding in fortress of the heart
dissolves just like that
im ayn haAyn Sof
az maayin noveya
hayofi hazeh

Habayit reyk
hamekarerr mefamzem lo
d'maot shel shalva
zolgot al lechyai

(The house is empty
the fridge is whirring
tears of peace
pour down my face)


In the small silence
I glimpse the great silence
that Solomon spoke of:
ki azah kamavet haahavah
mayim rabim lo yuchlu lechabotah
uneharot lo yishtefuhah...
for love is strong
as death a flame
blazing vast floods
cannot extinguish
nor rivers down.”
I take off my body
and stay at home

Yesh kav dak shemavdil bayn brocha vebroch

Lechora beyni uvayn aynut mavdil kesa'ar dak bilvad

Ani kevar mitgageya ketzat le yeladim
mibeyt hasefer
shelifnei shvuayim lo ratziti lachshov aleyhem
ki im hapreydah
lo nuchal lehaamik et hadoo siach beyneynu

yesh po eyze hefsed
eyze fisfus
eyze kishalon
shelahem vesheli
aval beikar


Elohim lo sheli
tayn shelo ekach
et ishti
veet Yaldai
kamuvan mayalayhem


Ani somech al boray olam
shesriday haosher
sheani pizarti yachzeru alay
bemukdam oh meuchar

Haetgar haikari

shel hamehager
leolam hazeh
hu limtzoh nekudat achizah
oh im lo ken
im ha rechifa

kol hapoalim (verbs)
avru bifnei /lifnei (?) vaadat hacharigim

tamid ratziti lehiyot
eved neeman
lemakor hachayim
ze matim li
lemakor hachayim shebee

Eretz Yisraeyl nikneyt

beshiva drachim
uveaf beadama
uvakimat sefatayim

Beyisrayl afilu haparot mafginot
im shlatim vekruzim "dam haparot hefker"
ve "dam haparot eyno hefker"
aval beyn ko ve cho
adayin hofchim otam le meilay ohr
veketzitzot basar


kesheyesh li machshavot kvedot
az ani keze kaved
ukeshe yesh li machshavot kalot
ani af li kemo tzipor

meyeyfo baot ha machshavot hakveydot
meyeyfo baot hamachshavot hakalot?

kesheyesh li machshavot kveydot
ani tzarich ligror et gufi lechol makom (legorrer)
kebat aruva lemetziyut achzarit


Chaf mipesha ( I have done no wrong)

ma asiti
rak noladati
ani mipesha chaf

ma asiti
rak nashamti
chaf ani mipesha

pitom matzati
et atzmi
rak mitzmatzti
eynanyim patachti
mipesha chaf ani

eyn ma laasot
ani chafshi
eyn ma laasot
ani chafshi


Meyever laMilim

keta'ay machshava
eyze guf petzatza
matzu et atzmam
baderech lesham
lelo chazara
lelo takana

shalom ani kan
telatfi oti sham
mitachat leaf
umeyever leblaf

oniya veyam
ani po, aba sham
Avinu sheba.....
veanu lemata

milim shotfot oti
tishmeii, tishmeii
hagalim melatfim
ayn lehem kevar milim

birkat hayam ubirkat hasadeh
birkat mabateych hatzanuah veyafeh

shalom ani kan
telatfi oti sham
mitachat leaf
umeyever leblaf

oniya veyam
ani po, aba sham
Avinu sheba.....
veanu lemata

milim shotfot oti
tishmeii, tishmeii
hagalim melatfim
ayn lehem kevar milim


lerachem bechol otzmat harachamim
ulenachem bechol otzmat hanichumim
ulehanot becholl otzmat hataanugim
ulefakpek bechol otzmat hahisusim


she ani yoshev
im hagaavah hamutzneyt sheli
vehasheket hamitnasay sheli
vehamachshavot hamefuchadot sheli
al "pochazim vereykim"
shemedabrim unehenim
az ani meachayl leatzmi
lirot miever leshavrirut sheli
et/im hacheylek haeytan shebi


mi shekatav
"zariti yamai lahevel" taah
ki eyleh lo yamav velo yamai
vehayamim eynam
shel af echad


Lemitnachlim hamityavnim
beChevron uVeyt Ayl
Asher machru et nishmotayhem
letinah ulesinah
shebli oyev ayn lahem kiyum
shekofrim beachdut habriya veyotzro
shemeached otam veet shelo otam

Two Short Stories - Shnei Sipurim Ketzarim

Well that's a surprise - where are these stories? here at least is a title for a short story which has yet to be written, which concerns the Sydney bridge and the subtle things between him and her. Its called "Panic Attacks are a Pain in the Bum".
I'm sitting at my computer. I'm supposed to be working but instead I've given in and gone to a porn site, and am busy searching for clips with the tag “anal sex”, when my mobile rings. I quickly tun off the loudspeakers and answer.

"Greenhill Graphics", I answer in my business voice.
"I can't do this" says my wife.
"Just breathe" I say, "inhale and exhale."
Its no good, she says, I 'll have to pull over.
You were fine the other day, I say, you made it across fine.
Help she says, help me
Calm down I say, just calm down
Oh my G-d she says
Everything is fine, I tell her, its just a road like any other road, all you have to do is drive straight. I'll talk you through it the entire way. Just keep driving in the lane you're in and keep speaking to me and everything will be ok.
I have to pull over she says, help....
OK then pull over
I can't ...there's nowhere to stop.
Then keep driving...
Allright she says, I'm across now. Thanks.
She hangs up.
When did you shower last, she says, waving her hand in front of my her nose. The washing needs hanging up. And rember to get to school on time. The girls hate to be kept waiting. And take them something to drink.
When you get married you don't just marry your wife. You also marry your wife's parents. I did borrow a bit of money from them. Just so that I could finish my degree
That night I put my hand on her arm.
Not now, she says, I'm about to fall asleep.
I helped you across the bridge, I say.
Tomorrow she says, maybe tomorrow
I stroke her arm
Please, she says, I need to go to sleep.
Slowly, relunctantly, angrily, I withdraw my arm.
I curl myself up into a foetus like ball. My back turned to her, radiating hurt and anger and rejection.
She begins to snore.
Crossing bridghes is a pain in the bum.

Here's the beginning of the second one.

At exactly 12:40 Ruben pulled over and parked the taxi in a loading zone. Making sure no rangers were in sight, he crossed the road and went into Luigi’s.
The usual asked the blonde haired girl with the mole on her left forearm.
yes please said Ruben He
He kept an eye on the other side of the street until his sandwhich was ready. She handed it to him in a brown paper bag together with a paper serviette.
He paid and crossed back to his taxi. He drove down Riley street until he came to Commonwealth park. Today was his lucky day – a woman was just leaving a parking space! He took his keys and cellphone and smokes from the car, and strolled across to a bench in the shade of a large wild fig tree.
With a sigh he sat down and lent back into the bench. He glanced at his watch. He’d give himself 20 minutes, then get back on the road. He closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them he discovered a large black bird, like a crow, had hopped onto the other end of the bench, and was curiously eyeing the brown bag in his hand.
Shoo said Ruben
The bird did not move, except to cock its head to one side as if to listen to Ruben better.
Go away said Ruben. He bent to pick up a twig to throw at the bird. He threw it and the bird flapped off with an alarmed caw.
Ruben relaxed back again and slowly and methodically opened the paper bag. He withdrew the sandwich wrapped in waxed paper and, so as not to lessen the pleasure, slowly opened that as well. The sandwich lay inside, two large slices of sourdough bread with a crisp, flour dusted crust.
He raised the sandwich to take a bite. The bird flapped down and settled on the bench again, a little closer.
I’m warning you, said Ruben.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

On sacrifice - korbanot

Sometimes the best sacrifice you can make is sacrificing the desire to be rid of your boredom,or at least not acting on that desire, but rather to remain with it. Don't flip on the tv/don't go open the fridge to browse around / don't pick up that magazine or newspaper - just stay karov (near) to G?d/ Being, who now pesents Itself as boredom

דע מה למעלה ממך--עין רואה, ואוזן שומעת, וכל מעשיך בספר נכתבין
"Know what is above you, an eye that sees, an ear that hears, and all your actions are written in a book" - This is an ecological descriptor: whatever we do has impact and alters everything irreversibly.
You can't just come to shul ane expect to have a meaningful experience without doing some preparatory work - avoda shebalev. Prayer is the expression of gratitude or of your deepest wants, but to arrive at either of these some work needs to be done first.l

Parshat HaShavua - the Weekly Portion

Why Yaakov "had" to become Yisrael - Parshat Vayishlach

Yaakov's name is associated with the following words:
ikuvim - inhibitions, blockages
eykev - heel, therfore ikvot - footprints, laakov achrei - to follow someone, to track them
akuv midam?
Yaakov's strange and symbiotic relationship with Esav
(Why do I use the Hebrew names and not the English equivalents. Explain)
Did I dream it or did I read in a foreword to Freud's "Moses and Monotheism" (that have never been able to find since)
Yaakov received his birthright through deceit and trickery (no matter the nobility of the imputed intention for his actions) and ever since then the children of Esav have resented the children of Yaakov with an envy and fury they themselves cannot explain. Of course Esav was free not to sell his birthright to Yaakov - his complicity and abdication is not often highlighted enough. But nevertheless Yaakov is perhaps tainted permanently by his acts of duplicity - the end can never justify the maenas enough to dissolve the karmic burden they create ?? - to necissitate a change of name along with an accompanying change of essence...so yaakov must become Israel - the one who has wrestled with G?d and over come. Of course what it means to overcome G?d is not a stone that should be left unturned

When Isaac Babel failed his self-imposed "become a cossack" test he wrote that in the end he remained "a man with glasses on his nose and autumn in his heart." This can be sen as a rearticulation of the famous archetypal stereotype of the Jews as Jacob: "Ish Tam, yoshev beohalim..." an innocent man, a dweller of tents" as opposed to the more active and virile Eysav, "ish sadeh" - the man of the field - kind of reminds me of Yitzchak sadeh, the founder of the Palmach.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Projects and plays

Play about suburban Jewish boys who go on a camp with some of their male teachers and the kind of revelations and bondings they all have - where the sluice gates of love and support for the slightly reserved and afraid teacher is opened, where boys learn their big lesson (ask David Camp about his interaction with Yitzchak Notoledo). "Go for it sir"; "come on sir you can do it" and so on and so forth. Creating a space where we can turn and face our fears, and young boys can be initiated into their roles as men.) [ See my non-existent article: on changing the Bar Mitzvah into a meaningful - and demanding - right of passage. Also see Reviewing-age-of-bar and bat-mitzvah] About finding your authority, or your 'power animal' as Carlos Castenada called it??

There could be some nice role reversals in it, like when they're crossing a raging river and "the master" gets swept away and is rescued by some of the boys; perhaps some love or lust interest, with a female teacher there that a master (and several of the boys) have a crush on; perhaps a scene where two boys in a tent are having a midnight torchlit chat and the one boy tells his tent mate that he has a crush on his sister and peeks at her undressiing and the oyther boy says sies, that's disgusting, but once his tent mate has gone to sleep he masturabates...a sweet ultra truthful slice of life, one religious boy who is wrestling with many things, need to set up each characyter in the school environment early on, to establish what their issues and wants are, before we take them out of their environment into the wild, where stuff can get fluid and there are some breakthroughs, even if afterwards the old patterns will close in on them again, like water that's been pushed out of a place that keeps flooding, and it slowly trickles back in till the possibilities are back underwater....

Could have one teacher who has been "forced" to come on expedition and hates it, they're physically frail and naarfi, but strong in other ways, a strange combination of weakness and strength, the strong person whose afaraid of their weakness and has over compensated, the strong person who is just strong, the physically strong person who's exposed as weak - reversals and ???? ( forgetting my script writing theory)...you know who this is based on, right, the humerlous "leader" etc etc.

A meditation on the different kinds of strength there are, on Israeliness vs Diapora Jewishness for example,

See Dr Tim Hawkes article "Educating for Adulthood on p. 27 of Independence Vol 34 No 1, also appeared in SMH on 8 September 2008. See also "Growing adolescents into adults" by Andrew Lines, about his "The Rite Journey" program on pg 31 of Independence Vol 34 No 1. See www.theritejourney.com.au and Steve Biddulph Manhood, 1994. Hopefully my desire to connect and be of service will make some of this grwow and blossom.

Interesting permutations of the question "what is it to be a man" especially the Jewish baggage where so many of the experiences we have had have been emasculating. Could bring Laurence Price in on this, David Bilchitz (one of the characters could be gay), Marc Radomsky. Could have a teacher like Mr sak, brittle? militant? blind? physically incompetent? hurt? (combo of Mr Sak and Mr Mink) the boys laqugh at his incompetence, explore the peer dynamic of the boys and how it fades and alters as the masks come off and people cannot hide any more...either cos things go wrong or because it is designed to challenge them...

Young precocious boy with beret who brings teapot and Jack Kerouac books to read - on the road - also sporty boys 0f- different kinds - different abilities.

They're lying on their sleeping bags near the dying embers looking at the stars
right wow (remeber adolescents aren't great with silences)
Do you think we are inside the universe, or the universe is inside us
whadya mean
I mean, like,

They daven ??? - some of the boys come, some don't - some tension betwen the different teachers about the different offerings
There used to be a fat butcher in Rocket Street Yeoville (Johannesburg, apartheid South Africa, a famous street lined with Bohemian eateries, music venues, ethnic shops) who had fat sausage fingers and a blue apron with white stripes and blood stains on it and white clothes on underneath it and probably gum boots on his feet - and he would stand behind his metal and glass display fridge with the boerewors and pork chops and T bone steaks and rump steaks, and behind him was his plump immigrant wife, probably with a hairy chin, and behind them on the old style white tiled wall were pin ups from Scope magazine - busty blondes and brunettes in stars and stripes bikinis, because in prudish South Africa you couldn't have full nudity or even toplessness, even in men's magazines - and I always wantd to get a photograph of him staring blankly into the camera - perhaps he had cold shark eyes - with the pin ups behind him an the dead muscle in front of him - and call it "meat."

Make a clay statue of my wife as earth godess, with me and the boys clinging to her hips and breasts and legs like the tiny pygmies we are, or become, in her presence.

And now for something completely different

She is so sweet
I kiss her feet
without her I am
not complete

(dans to da rythm of da beat, da beat)

the rest unfortunately, is in Hebrew...you can still get a sense of the rhythm even if you don't understand the transliterated words

keta'ay machshava
eyze guf petzatza
matzu et atzmam
baderech lesham
lelo chazara
lelo takana

shalom ani kan
telatfi oti sham
mitachat leaf
umeyever leblaf

oniya veyam
ani po, aba sham
Avinu sheba.....
veanu lemata

milim shotfot oti
tishmeii, tishmeii
hagalim melatfim
ayn lehem kevar milim

birkat hayam ubirkat hasadeh
birkat mabateych hatzanuah veyafeh

(mechabelet yafa
eyze guf petzatza...)
what a pretty terrorist
with a body like a bomb

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wake up and smell the garbage

It's never too late to imagine another life for ourselves, a life beyond Kentucky Fried Cruelty and Big Maconformism

If our children strive to lead lives that look like ours, with the same hogging and duplicating of resources within narrow family units, with the same addictive and unconscious consumption, with the model of two cars in the driveway and 40 appliances in the energy inefficient home and at the energy inefficient school and office, we can expect the ongoing collapse of biodiversity and unpredictable climate change, and we can expect the social problems that accompany a social order which does not facilitate community, ecstacy, simplicity and belonging.

The house that evasion built
has marble foyers
and concierges
and rubbish out the back

The clock ticks
"sustainable homes
sustainable communities
sustainable homes
sustainable communities"

Sunday, December 7, 2008


The triumphalist and monofocussed Israelis living in Hebron must be understood in the context of the Anti-Jew ethnic cleansing that took place there in 1929
and the Islamic terror that blows up pensioners and children on a Tel Aviv bus must be understood in the context of Palestinian disposession
and Palestinian dispossession must be understood in the context of a 3000 year old narrative that has placed Zion and Jerusalem at the centre of Jewish life, and in the context of European and Arab Jew hatred
and European and Arab Jew hatred must be understood in the context of the general human propensity to avoid and to blame and to project and to fear
and the general human propensity to avoid and blame must be understood in the context of a
G-d who is the G-d of creation
but also of destruction

Finding the right rebbe-guru

Don't worry so much if the rebbe is the right rebbe, worry more if you are the right student. There are make fake gurus out there, charlatans of the highest madreyga (caliber), but there are even more fake students out there, who pretend they are up for transformation, as long as it is transformation in their own image, according to their expectations and their dramas. For them the guru is just a bit player in their production.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jah is One

Almost everything that has been invented for human comfort has a concomitant cost in discomfort, pain and destruction for some other human, animal or environment somewhere else on the planet.

Yes to taking children on school trips to landfill sites, waste treatment facilities, factory farms, abbatoirs, cancer wards, cosmetic laboratorys etc etc so that they can see the underbelly of our so called civilization
yes to circuses that don't use animals
yes to humble ways of spending time together
yes to physical activity amongst nature's renewable resources
yes to us in competition with ourselves
yes to acknowledging and nurturing ourselves and others
yes to building community through mutual acts of help
yes to sacrificing the lesser for the greater in ever expanding circles
yes to the simple joys that dissolve addictions
yes to integration and remembering

No to cling wrap
no to food products grown in distant places
no to too much variety and choice
no to advertising in general and advertising on blogs in particular (seeing as they are one of the only uncontaminated vehicles for expression)
no to deodorant and nail polish
no to useless plastic bags
no to unnecessarily large or fast cars
no to the "sport" or hurting and killing animals that are not needed for food
no to air conditioning and fast food
no to casino's and commodified sex
no to dimly lit places where people try unsuccessfully to loose themselves
no to pretense