You are viewing rabjeff

jeff, birthday

The date for the 60th anniversary of the creation of Israel was, on the Hebrew calendar, this Shabbat, May 10, but to avoid the sabbath it was moved up to Thursday, May 8.  Since I was a child, I remember knowing that I was born the same year as the State of Israel.  When I was 13 the Israeli embassy organized a gathering for all the kids who were being bar/bat mitzvah that year.

I always have some ambivalence about the day.  With all my criticism, I feel I should celebrate this day, but most observances are so uncritical and even chauvanistic that I don't want to be part of them.  This year I was glad to be part of a celebration/observance by Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, right at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park in Manhattan, chaired by Rabbis Ellen Lippmann and Brian Walt.    We sang, symbolically planted two trees, had a mincha service led by Rabbi Simkha Weintraub and Debbie Friedman, and Rabbi Gordon Tucker taught about the guarantees of universal human rights in the Israel Declaration of Independence.   For me it had the right balance of celebration and criticism, and I got to do it with lots of old friends.  I even saw Rabbi Leonard Beerman whom I knew from peace and progressive work when I lived in Los Angeles 30 years ago.

There is a web page about the event here.  There are links there but photos of the event are here.  I appear in a number of the photos, but I don't think I look particularly good in any of them.  The text of Rabbi Tucker's teaching as a Word document can be found here.

Saturday afternoon/evening our Havurah observed the occasion.  We ate mostly Israeli food, shared stories about our connection to Isreal and important experiences, and sang songs.



Nice quote

In the year 2054, the entire defense budget will purchase just one
aircraft. This aircraft will have to be shared by the Air Force and
Navy 3-1/2 days each per week except for leap year, when it will be
made available to the Marines for the extra day.
Software is like entropy. It is difficult to grasp, weighs nothing,
and obeys the Second Law of Thermodynamics, i.e., it always increases.
It is very expensive to achieve high unreliability. It is not uncommon
to increase the cost of an item by a factor of ten for each factor of
ten degradation accomplished.
Although most products will soon be too costly to purchase, there will
be a thriving market in the sale of books on how to fix them.
In any given year, Congress will appropriate the amount of funding
approved the prior year plus three-fourths of whatever change the
administration requests -- minus 4-percent tax.
-- Norman Augustine


Re: Nice quote

I don't see how this post has any real relation to the original post, nor why it belongs on my blog.

I am inclined to remove it, especially since it was posted anonymously, but I'll wait a day or two for the original commenter to amplify publically or privately.