Tag Archives: Staying indoors

Speaking up and Celebration of Purim

Tonight starts the celebration of Purim, for many known as the Jewish carnival. In many families it is a pleasant day for the kids they being allowed to dress up and them looking for presents which are sent by family members and friends. First the children were asked to fast and to keep those things that the like much, to share with others who have less then them.

From today until Schmini Shel Pesach the final day of Passover on Nisan 22, commemorating the Splitting of the Red Sea, the climax of the Exodus from Egypt, and the day when we focus on the final liberation, the one that’s yet to happen. We look at the days of or moments of liberation the Hashem has given to His People. These days we remember the time of Moshe and Estêr, but also we reflect on the way God is with us all the time.

Starting with the commemoration of the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from the wicked Haman his plot

“to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day,”

as recorded in the Megillah (book of Esther).

Esther before Ahasuerus, by Franciszek Smuglewicz, 1778

The Jew-hating Haman, appointed prime minister of the Persian Empire under King Aḥašvērōš, convinced the king to issue a decree ordering the extermination of all the Jews on the 13th of Adar, a date chosen by a lottery Haman made.
Mardəkī or Mordecai galvanized all the Jews, convincing them to repent, fast and pray to the Most High Elohim. After the first wife of the king had been executed for failing to follow his orders, he arranged a beauty pageant to find a new queen. A Jewish girl, Esther, found favour in the king’s eyes and became the new queen, though she refused to divulge her nationality. After Haman had required to kill the Jews Esther revealed to the king her Jewish identity, which would mean when the decree would be executed his beauty and loved one would be killed also. To avoid such drama Haman was hanged and instead of him Mordechai was appointed prime minister. A new decree was issued, granting the Jews the right to defend themselves against their enemies.

On the 13th of Adar, the Jews mobilized and killed many of their enemies. On the 14th of Adar, they rested and celebrated. In the capital city of Shushan, they took one more day to finish the job.

Since Haman had thrown lots to determine when he would carry out his diabolical scheme this remembrance period is also called “Feast of lots”.

Queen Estêr (Esther) is the heroine of the Megillah tale, and has been a character used in several films and some ballets. From a simple girl she could take a very high position, which made her able to use her influence to save the Jewish people. But this was only possible by revealing her nationality. She could have been quiet and let the Jews been killed, but preferred to speak, endangering herself. Though the king madly in love with her did not kill her but killed the man who had asked for the Jews to be killed.

Married to a non-Jew she was stuck having the privilege to live in a palace, and the years after this event was still unable to join her people in their celebrations. She had saved her people, but could not save herself from her ‘castle-walls’. She was trapped, living between two worlds.

We have to take care we get not trapped, but also that we do not stay silent. Certainly in these times when we can find more and more people who do find that this world only belongs to (trinitarian) Christians. Looking around and following the news, we hear several times a week how Jews are bullied or even how certain people try to kill Jews on the street (like the incident in Antwerp last week).

Rabbi Michael Knopf who writes extensively on matters of halakhah (the Jewish legal tradition) a few days ago wrote about Purim and the Responsibilities of Privilege and looking at our position in this world wrote:

We cannot be truly safe, truly free, truly prosperous, until everyone is safe, free, and prosperous.

He also remembered Martin Luther King, Jr. who wrote,

“I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” (“Letter from a Birmingham Jail”).

These coming days we especially look at the way God helped His People and how they acted in their life on the way to the Promised Land. Most of them never saw that place which could have been an ‘heaven on earth’. Throughout history we have seen many pogroms and years of torture and killings of our ancestors. These days we can remember them but also remember the liberation of so many. Because these days that is going to be our focus, how the Elohim is there to help us and to guide us to be able to live in a world which does not like the Children of God. Going up to Pesach, the climax of the year 15-22 Nisan, remembering the Passover and liberation of Gods people.

The Rabbi reminds us:

If you are reading this column, chances are good that you are among the ranks of the most fortunate people to ever live.
Mordechai‘ s challenge to Esther is, therefore, our challenge as well. When there are those in our world, in our country, whose lives are at risk, do we stand by, fearful that speaking up will cost us our position? Or do we remember that our fate is bound up in their fate, too, and perhaps we have attained our privilege for just such a crisis?

This was the question of Esther’s time. This is the question of our time. As we celebrate Purim, let us honor Mordechai’s challenge, and recall Esther’s heroic response. {Purim and the Responsibilities of Privilege }

On the Israel Forever Foundation website and on Inspiration from Zion: This is a Love Story we also find the warning

Today we are not witnessing the Holocaust but there are world leaders who advocate for the elimination of the Jewish State. There are individuals who openly declare that the genocide of the Jewish people should have been completed. Antisemitism is again becoming something that is socially acceptable to express in public. {Purim: Not to speak is to speak}

And a question

In a world where Antisemitism is again becoming socially acceptable, where Jews are told that they cannot be both feminists and Zionists and many Jews are afraid to speak out about the injustices against our people – what message could be more relevant? {Purim: Not to speak is to speak}

 

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Additional reading

  1. Purim or Ta’aniet Estêr
  2. Beginning of weeks for the Feasts of deliverance
  3. The son of David on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread
  4. High Holidays not only for Israel
  5. 8 Reasons Christian Holidays Should Not Be Observed
  6. Observance of a day to Remember
  7. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  8. Day of remembrance coming near
  9. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  10. Solution for Willing hearts filled with gifts
  11. Vayikra after its opening word וַיִּקְרָא, which means and He called
  12. Deliverance and establishement of a theocracy
  13. Preparation for Passover
  14. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  15. Sukkoth, Gog, Magog, Armageddon, a covenant and Jerusalem
  16. Wednesday 5 April – Sunday 9 April 30 CE Pesach or Passover versus Easter
  17. Most important day in Christian year
  18. Most important weekend of the year 2016
  19. This day shall be unto you for a memorial and you shall keep it a feast to the Most High God
  20. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  21. 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception
  22. 14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus
  23. 14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast
  24. 14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain
  25. 14 Nisan a day to remember #5 The Day to celebrate
  26. Easter holiday, fun and rejoicing
  27. A Great Gift commemorated
  28. Jesus memorial
  29. Thinking about fear for the Loving God and an Invitation for 14 Nisan
  30. What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism

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Related articles

  1. Esther Nine: Purim
  2. Shabbat, Purim, and What Makes You Happy
  3. Of Hats, Pockets, Ears, and Hidden Messages
  4. If the Shoe Fits (Purim)
  5. Purim and Living Between Worlds
  6. Purim To The RescueThe Purim Miracle 1
  7. The purim miracle 2
  8. Deceit Meets Truth at PurimPurim… The Invisible Hand – By MarcPurim: Not to speak is to speak
  9. Purim or Feast of lots
  10. Purim Sameach!
  11. Purim | Looking Beyond the Smoke, Mirrors & Masks
  12. The Rebbe on Parashat Zakhor and Purim (March 23-24, 1940 in the Warsaw Ghetto)
  13. For Such a Time as This
  14. Kosher Wine and Show Tunes on tap for Purim
  15. Rav Avigdor Miller on Drinking Like a Goy on Purim
  16. The holiday of Purim
  17. #Purim Life Takes A-Way M’om’ents; Thy Divine Sight, Makes A-Weigh For More Meant/Mentorship of Meritorious M’om’entum’s Immaculate/Infinite/Evolutionary Worthiness Exalted Renaissance Orientated C’om’munion’s……………
  18. Purim, Exile, and Redemption
  19. Purim and the Responsibilities of Privilege
  20. The Coin Flip (Purim)
  21. Purim: The Upside Down Drama of Esther
  22. Esther 9, the Jews triumph, Purim celebrated.
  23. Purim 2018
  24. The Purim-miracle 4
  25. For Such a Time as This

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs

Looking at Autumn

In Belgium the chrysanthemums are again taking over the markets as if they want to be a floor carpet covering the whole city. They are eagerly waiting for a buyer to be taken to the place which is mostly empty for the rest of the year, but now so many people are running in each-others way. People can’t go deep enough in the pocket, to make sure they shall not have to feel guilty having forgotten the deceased, and the stallholders make good use of that guilty conscience.

English: Autumn Colours

Autumn Colours (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eagle and child inkling shows with her photograph on Second City that those coloured flowers also may be used in an other way than only decorating the tombstones. The Creator has not given the flowers for the dead, because they are nothing with it, but for the living. And even when nature seems to die, it does not die. this month may be the beginning of ‘killing sounds’, with hurling storms, falling trees, water coming too high, endangering many (like in the other ‘in-between season’ Spring). In many countries this is the marvellous time for photographers wanting to capture the miracles of nature and its wonderful colours.

Our European mountains can enchant many.

There is something in the mountains which holds people there

knows also Sharon Wray who grew up in rural England and developed a love of the outdoors early on. She now lives in the Alps full time, and teaches in a primary school in Geneva. She is not in a bad place to ponder and contemplate the world around her, observing what makes people think and how people choose to live their lives. In those mountains you might say people can feel closer to the Creator and you have to do a big effort not to be taken or to be ‘handcuffed’ by the magic of the Creation.

In Friday thought #10 Beautiful Autumn she not only knows to get us with her words but also with her photographic eye.

P1050231

An amateur snap which proofs with, no photoshop, no colour enhancement, just the pure beauty of nature at its best, that each human eye which wants to open their eyes can capture the beauty of this world. – Photo by Sharon Wray from her article: Friday thought #10 Beautiful Autumn

After the Summer peak season her world perhaps gets a new fresh breath and the pages perhaps look turned over to a new chapter where the quietness has returned. Most people are now back at work and can not go into the mountains any more until their Winter holiday. The tourist places can throw away the commercialism with the skimmer. It can leave the locals again with their little secrets in their own personal paradise, deserted and beautiful.

But those who are not able to travel can also find stunning colours in the trees, the leaves and the heather, when they open their eyes and go outdoors in their own surroundings, taking fresh air.

Those who are clustered to their wheelchair, having such a physical condition that they can not go outdoors, could still find ways to enjoy the changing light and the changing colours out of the window.

Plonking yourself in front of Netflix or the x-factor becomes a typical thing to do when it’s raining outside, but it really doesn’t bring much positivity into our lives.

When our body does not want to do what we would love it to do, it does not mean we have to grunt in this season. Nobody has something to an old grumpy bear. With more people staying indoors, because they find it to wet outdoors, it is a good occasion to be more social active.

loves the interaction you can have by following television shows, such as following comments on Twitter whilst watching and discussing with friends. She writes:

Reading doesn’t have to be an antisocial activity either. With so many websites and apps available now to discuss books and reading, it is a more social way to spend those long cold nights that you may have realised. Joining a book club does not mean leaving the house; you can join a global book club by using an app such as Goodreads that allows you to discuss and review books from the comfort of your own home.{14 Creative Things To Do Indoors This Autumn}

We can not postpone it. In the northern hemisphere we see Summer heading off over the horizon, occasionally sneaking back to give us that last afternoon or two of warm sunshine.

In the meantime the cold sneaks in abruptly, whilst we were busy waving to summer, and we are left feeling rather miserable. Last night we lit the fire for the first time since last winter. That’s it now. No going back. {The First Days Of Autumn}

Why should we consider this the time

to say goodbye to the colours of summer and fall in love with wintery tones all over again. {The First Days Of Autumn}

Is this world not already too grey? Grey is everywhere right now. We would advice you to break the greyness by daring to go for more colour. Why not bright red? but some may consider that perhaps too stereotypical, red hues/berries/conkers/acorn associations.

Let us look forward to luscious blooms that come in a range of striking hues (that will never wilt or die). Perhaps you can look at Cosying up for Autumn to get some ideas. For some a Little Trip to the Dark Side may give some inspiration, though for us it is a little bit to dark. Why not brighten it up more?

For those who live in the city their thoughts could go with try to see the fun of the rain falling on the coble stones. when our heads go backwards in the morning, why not say loud “Good morning” and see the clouds between the houses or between the few trees fighting for their life in the city, while the fumes of the cars stay low by the ground.

As summer gives way to fall, and fall gives way to winter, we like so many others and Harvest & Home are moving the outside plants into the greenhouse before the first freeze.

The air is crisp and there’s no way to escape the cool wind blowing on my face. The plants have lost their vibrancy with spiders starting to take up residence between the leaves. The statues tell of a time long forgotten, as they too give way to the natural elements. {Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Camera Lens}

Let us not forget:

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. {Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Camera Lens}

and take the plants which would not be able to survive the winter-cold in a warmer place. And let us see the creativity and lust for work of the spider, having magical cobwebs by the little drops of mist clinging on it. Let us see the beauty and a story to be told in those cobwebs and statues that have clearly seen better days.

English: Autumn colours at Levens Park

Autumn colours at Levens Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Additional literature:

  1. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet
  2. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend
  3. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 3 Black Mass, Horror spectacles and pure puritans
  4. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God
  5. All Saints’ Day
  6. All Soul’s Day
  7. Being fit to take care of a garden
  8. When the wind blows hard on a tree
  9. What happens when we die?
  10. Dead and after

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Further reading

  1. Autumn: third season of the year, when crops and fruits are gathered and leaves fall, in the northern hemisphere from September to November and in the southern hemisphere from March to May
  2. Autumn Harvest for Wildlife and Humans
  3. Autumn Splendour
  4. Autumn Glory; Far from Being Drab and Dull, Autumn Should Be a Season of…
  5. Get Some Autumn Colour; as Summer Flowers Fade, Hannah Stephenson Suggests…
  6. Let Those Autumn Colours Set Your Garden Ablaze with Reds and Gold
  7. Let Autumn Colours Set Your Garden Ablaze
  8. Brighten Up the Autumn
  9. Flowers, the typically showy reproductive organs of angiosperms (flowering plants)
  10. Flowers of the quarter-million species of angiosperms
  11. Flowers for All Occasions
  12. Flowers, like seeds, leaves, and stems, have contributed to human cookery
  13. Conscience and Moral Development
  14. When Conscience Meddles with Ethics
  15. Flowers for Our Dead
  16. Dried Flowers an Easy Way to Capture Nature’s Beauty
  17. Photos from the Pumpkin Patch

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  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (givemeliberty01.com)
    In the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail and implored the protection of Saint Nicholas, there lies a small market town which is generally known by the name of Saint Nicholas
  • The Many Priceless Gifts With Gardening, and a First Frost (growingwithplants.com)
    Last night we ‘almost’ had our first killing frost. We gardeners know the routine – rushing home barely enough time to haul in everything that is frost tender, throwing sheets over dahlias (for some vain reason – as if we need any more!), or packing in begonias, citrus and succulents on the porches so dense that one can’t even get to the dog food or to the recycling bins.
  • The dark, ripe smell of a summer’s end (newstatesman.com)
    Autumn came early this year, the pavements of our corner on Schwarzbacher Straße and Storkwinkel littered with dry leaves and falls of horse chestnut, Virginia creeper and barberry lighting the fence lines with cool flames of crimson and mottled gold. This is the season when the Berlin suburbs come into their own, the usual tidiness softened by drift and straggle, the manicured lawns vanishing under the damp browns and russets of sumac and Turkey oak. I have never understood why so many gardeners favour straight lines and narrow, regulated borders; perhaps they think wildness could work only in a larger space. Whatever the reason, this predilection for a strict and entirely human order makes their gardens almost impossible to enjoy in summer. That is the season for moving around the city by S-Bahn, gazing out into the accidental green spaces where the plant life is free to run riot between stations.
  • The 10 Creepiest Urban Graveyards in the Country (hotpads.com)
    Some of a city’s most interesting sites are often its graveyards. This Halloween, let the ghosts guide you through forgotten or quirky corners of local urban history. Many offer special tours around this time of year, but they’re worth exploring anytime. Here are a few standouts nationwide.
  • More going to Europe’s festive markets (southwalesargus.co.uk)
    The history of Christmas markets dates back to the late middle ages and originates from the German speaking part of Europe.The Bautzen market, in Saxony, is thought to be one of the oldest recorded, dating back to 1384.The Dresden Christmas market, first held in 1434, remains popular to this day, still attracting in the region of two million visitors a year and featuring more than 60 stalls.

    In many German towns the Christian festival of Advent often coincides with the opening of the Christmas market or ‘Weihnachtsmarkt’.

  • Nature, Pixelated – Issue 17: Big Bangs (m.nautil.us)
    It is winter in upstate New York, on a morning so cold the ground squeaks loudly underfoot as sharp-finned ice crystals rub together. The trees look like gloved hands, fingers frozen open. Something lurches from side to side up the trunk of an old sycamore—a nut-hatch climbing in zigzags, on the prowl for hibernating insects. A crow veers overhead, then lands. As snow flurries begin, it leaps into the air, wings aslant, catching the flakes to drink. Or maybe just for fun, since crows can be mighty playful.

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Filed under Lifestyle, Nature