A Note on Comments

I’ve had some great comments on this blog lately and I’m delighted with them. Whether it’s a correction or a question, I welcome anything constructive that readers have to say. Feel free to discuss, and don’t worry about pleasing me, please!

That said, recently there have also been a rash of non-constructive comments that are nothing more than spam. “This is a great blog – keep up the great work!” is nice on the face of it, until I realize that the “person” posting it is doing it to leave a link for “American Sewer Service” or “Hot Bodies R Us.” My time is valuable, and so is that of my readers, so I delete all comments that I judge to be primarily a cover for free advertising. I also delete anti-Semitic comments, and anything else that seems to be intended as flamebait.

Please do keep on commenting and asking questions! And I will persist in carrying out the trash, so we can have a nice place to chat.

 

 

Is Accessibility Of Public Spaces So Impossible?

I read this post with tears in my eyes. I spent a year in Jerusalem in school, hobbling around on a cane, or on bad days, crutches. I had come to study, but the bulk of my energy that year had to go into simply getting around. Now that my disability has progressed, I think often about visiting and then sigh, because even the thought is exhausting. I love Jerusalem with all my heart, but every step outside my apartment was a struggle. As a Diaspora Jew, I am hesitant to criticize too much, but as a Diaspora Jew whose heart longs for more time b’aretz, I am very glad to hear an Israeli voice speaking up.

Reblogged as a thought-provoking closer to Jewish Disability Month.

Martin Luther King Day, 2014

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ – the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr

Today we in the United States celebrate Martin Luther King Day. A few days ago, I noticed articles about it being a Day of Service, not a day “off” but a day “on.” And every year, I wonder how many people have already planned the day, and wind up just feeling guilty and avoiding the whole thing. I wonder how many aren’t “off” to do “service.” So here is a project for those of us who are not cleaning beaches or sorting coats or working at food kitchens:

If you are in school, and working one or more jobs to stay in school, and there is no free time….

If you are the parent of young children, or a sick child and there is no free time…

If it never occurred to you that today is anything but a holiday, and you needed a holiday, darn it…

If you are working two or more jobs just to keep body and soul together and there is no free time…

If you are a celebrity, and a million people are making demands on you…

If you are disabled by physical or mental illness, and your options are limited…

If you are overwhelmed by life, for any reason at all….

There are still ways we can do for others.

I can say “thank you” to the person who does me a service.

I can drive carefully, with regard for the lives and safety of others.

I can speak kindly to the person who is in my way.

I can give others the benefit of the doubt.

I can speak up for someone else who is being mistreated in a way that may seem small to me but may be big for them.

I can acknowledge the humanity of others, by my manner and my speech.

If in a world of billions, even a thousand of us do one or more of these things, the world will shift. The balance will be altered. Try and see.

Jewish Geneology

I’d like to introduce my readers to Dr. Laura Schulman and her blog. This is the first of a series of posts about Biblical stories, with wonderful additions from midrash and the Zohar.

Elsewhere in the blog she writes vividly about living with bipolar disorder, and I heartily recommend those posts as well.

Happy reading!

2013 in review – Thanks for reading!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 49,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 18 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Nelson Mandela z”l

English: Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gaute...
Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gauteng, on 13 May 1998 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you see the letters z”l after a person’s name, it means “may their memory be for a blessing.” The wish seems almost unnecessary here: Nelson Mandela was a blessing in life to his country and to the world, and his memory will certainly be for a blessing as well.

He did not seem to make his choices out of fear, no matter how legitimate the reasons for fear. If more of us could learn that one thing from him, our world would be a better place.