The Official TikkunGer Backup Blog

Just like the tittle says, this is my emergancy backup site

Archive for May, 2006

Some Days Just Start off Beautifully

Posted by Avi M on May 31, 2006

I woke up early, about 5:20 a.m. this morning. You know it was one of those natural spontaneous without an alarm wake ups, the kind that start off by feeling refreshed and happy to be awake. It’s 6:11 a.m. now and I’ve already had a cup of tea, snapped two dozen shots of the beautiful rising sun and am enjoying my transition into this new day. It’s going to be a scorcher of the day with a predicted 32°C accompanied with heat warning, but it’s only 17° right now and so I will go for a bike ride at 7 a.m. while it’s still cool enough to enjoy getting exercise.

Days that start off like this one just have a sense of optimism infused into them and it’s nice to be able to ride this kind of energy because it doesn’t always come my way. This morning has a real sense of spaciousness to it, not emptiness just spaciousness in the sense that there is room for maneuvering psychologically, what a beautiful feeling.

I think today is going to be a good day!

TTYL

Have look at a few more shots of the new day in Ottawa, just click here.

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Yetzer Hara, Fundamentalism, & the Self-Deception Game

Posted by Avi M on May 28, 2006

Before I really get into the meat of this post let me begin by stating that, I am diving into things from a heart/gut level and a place of assumptions rather then one of academics. It is highly likely that I am (at least in part) misappropriating some of the terms and concepts used in this post in order to better serve my point of view, so reader beware.

It’s been an interesting weekend both personally as well as globally, and I’m increasingly amazed at how small this planet has become at least in terms of how easy it is to find out what’s going on the other side of the planet. It absolutely amazes me that I can pick up the phone and speak to somebody in Los Angeles or that within minutes of an earthquake taking place in Indonesia we here in Ottawa know all about it. Yet, with all of this information it’s still easy to be emotionally, psychologically, and civically detached (in a non-empathetic sort of way) from what is going on around us both near and far. I’m sure that one could argue that we’ve simply become oversaturated and so the body and mind simply begin to shut such things out as some form of defense mechanism. Regardless of what the causes may or may not be, I’m simply interested today in providing myself with the possibility of looking at things in another way, a more spiritual way.

Yetzer Hara

As always it’s very easy for me to get wrapped up in a sense that my life is crap, I’ve been hard done by as a result of (insert appropriate life tragedy here), but this weekend I was again reminded of how unfortunate becoming locked into such a myopic pattern can be. I really see this as being routed not so much in real pain and suffering but actually more rooted in my own Yetzer Hara, at least going by my own possibly misguided definition of what Yetzer Hara means. I don’t actually see it so much as an evil inclination but rather as a misguided inclination towards self-obsessing about one’s own predicament in a way that creates an artificial sense of separation from others as well as the world one in habits.

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Tikkun Atzmi; yes I’m an outtie by nature but I need to remember I’m also an innie

Posted by Avi M on May 25, 2006

Well the last few days have been extremely productive and positive and I much like Tamara, seem to have hooked up and hitched a ride on the productivity train. I would like to say that I’m at least a small part of the reason she is getting productive and tackling her to do lists, because I know she’s definitely a huge part of me getting on track with stuff. I guess it would just be nice if we’ve got some sort of reinforcing healthy spiral/feedback loop thing going on, and so hopefully that’s the case.

My last post which was about feeling like I was coming out of a cocoon or being reborn phase of life didn’t quite come out the way I intended it to. I don’t think I did a very good job of expressing what I really meant and that was made sort of obvious by comments left on the blog, not that I’m criticizing anybody because I’m certainly not. The bottom line is my post was vague and thrown together without enough thought. Also I may have overlooked one or two things when I was writing the post and I think that some of the feedback I received regarding it was very instructional in pointing that out.

Also during a conversation I had this morning on the phone I realized that I was being a little edgy and aggressive about political views and I was sort of projecting this vein activist vibe, it was both ugly and inaccurate in terms of capturing who I am. So I think I’ll clarify things with this post a little bit.

I really am coming out of a huge introspective/reflection period of personal development, both academically as well as spiritually. Well, I suppose I am now feeling like it’s time to stand up on my own 2 feet a little bit more than I have been this past year. Using the newborn metaphor I think my last post overlooked (as was pointed out) the need to relax and remember that I’m in many ways like a newborn infant. Of course I’m referring to the conversion process but also in terms of so many other things that I’m not even going to bother going into with this post, just trust me when I tell you this.

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Feeling Spiritually Activated & Corporeally Engaged

Posted by Avi M on May 23, 2006

Today’s been a very good day even though I know that I could spin it in another direction and turning it into crap, but nope not going to happen, isn’t free will just beautiful. Today’s the first day that my month-long state of mental fogginess is actually gone. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my chest and it’s quite liberating. I’ve managed to lean into things that I’ve been avoiding and I’ve accomplished more in terms of crappy/unpleasant work in one afternoon, then I have in weeks. You know the kind of work I’m talking about, the calls you don’t wanna make because you screwed up, and fixing things you’ve made wrong. Anyhow it’s been one of those days, and I feel really good.

So on to the point of this post…

This morning with a renewed sense of vigor I sat down on my computer and started doing some stuff and I had a few wake-up calls. Not so much a bout my own life, but rather about the world in general.

First off this morning on CBC radio one Maud Barlow was interviewed, for those of you who don’t know who she is, well she’s an activist involved in numerous things and is pretty famous in Canada. Anyhow she was going through her accomplishments and what she was up to now and some of the crisis that are currently going on. I was reminded or rather made aware of how I had been way too wrapped up in my own small life and even then only focusing on a small part of what’s really important in it.

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My court dates been set, it’s time to be judged

Posted by Avi M on May 23, 2006

I received confirmation yesterday from my conversion, program coordinator, that I have indeed been invited to meet with the biet din on Monday June the 5th at 10:45 a.m.

I guess this is the last real hurdle left, but I am rather confident it will go well, I mean after all, the rabbi is not going to send me to meet with the biet din unless he is confident that I am ready.

After this all that is left to do is my ritual Brit and then to the Mikva immersion ceremony to go.

If I understood the coordinator correctly all should be said and done by the second week of June at the latest. Wow that is just around the corner, that’s scary!

Anyhow thanks again to everybody who has been supportive, encouraging and helpful during this process, you guys made it a lot more pleasant, fun, and friendly,

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The can you judge a Jew (TkG) by his books challenge

Posted by Avi M on May 22, 2006


Okay so as promised, here are pictures of my huge and vast Jewish bookshelf. All right, the truth is it’s not huge, and it’s far from vast, but it is a bookshelf, and they are Jewish books. This is a small collection of books I’ve gathered over the last year and a half and they pretty much reflect the entire breadth of my interests begin in early on in the conversion process going right up until this past weekend, when my last purchase was made.

To be honest, I am very curious to see how people size up my Jewishness via a few pictures of my book collection.
So anyhow, I suppose I’ll just end by saying let the armchair analysis began!

Important to Note Added: I just realized that I’m not actually a Jew, so I may actually not qualify in terms of legitimately being able to play this game, lol.

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If you can’t judge a book by its cover, can you still judge a Jew by his books (a challenge)

Posted by Avi M on May 22, 2006

It’s Victoria Day here in Canada, which means it’s a holiday and so I’m trying to take it easy today. I thought I should maybe do a little bit of posting today, but was struggling with the topic until I ran across a post the Frumpter  blog, on how one can tell a lot about another person simply by looking at their bookshelf. The post suggested that people send him pictures of their books and then he would do some sort of personality analysis of them. Well although I like his idea I think it could use a little further development/tweaking and who better than myself to take up the task.

I have a serious interest in technology and education, specifically interactive learning and activism, which seems to be evolving out of the blogging/social networking Web 2.0 evolution taking place these days. Alright so basically am throwing a challenge out to all you J-Bloger’s, it’s pretty simple and if people participate, I think it should be quite fun and interesting.

Instructions (suggested)

  1. Take some pictures of your Jewish book library, I’m suggesting, we limit it to Jewish literature simply to keep some sort of sense of theme going.
  2. Post the picture is on to your blog, make sure you have a title something like ”  The can you judge a Jew by their books challenge” a more standardized post title will help readers find other participants on JBolger, but this is just a suggestion.
  3. Next simply wait for people to comment on your pictures and books, and let’s see if people can size you up accurately or not.
  4. The last thing I would suggest is that the analysis be framed in the context of living life jewishly, but again, that’s just a suggestion.

If you like this and you want to participate in it yourself, maybe others do as well. So, I strongly encourage you to share the challenge with others. Maybe we can create something huge and fun with this.

I’ll be posting my pictures shortly and am looking forward to reading people’s take on my books and my living jewishly.

TTYL

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Iranian Anti-Semitism Now Available in Bright Yellow (repost)

Posted by Avi M on May 20, 2006

Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking a fair amount about the topic of anti-Semitism in general, but in no way did I ever think that something this extreme was so possible today. I mean, sure I understand that things are heating up in the middle east for numerous reasons and that somehow, everything seems to get tied to Israel and anti-Semitism, at least superficially. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised considering recent statements coming out of Iran regarding Israel’s impending destruction, but what can I say, when I heard the news about this new Iranian dress code with a special color coding for various religious minorities, I was just completely floored.

Like I said I had been thinking about anti-Semitism, a fair amount, but it was of a much more personal and probably paranoid nature. You see, recently, I’ve noticed that a lot of people are coming to my site via Google searches for the term “JewTube”, which is a term I thought I had coined ( yup I’m an ignorant kid) as a sort of cute little catchphrase for YouTube videos of a Jewish theme and or nature. Guess what, JewTube actually seems to be a derogatory term used by various neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and I’m sure an assortment of other lovely anti-Semitic groups, to describe what I suspect they believe is the Zionist controlled mainstream media

Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking a fair amount about the topic of anti-Semitism in general, but in no way did I ever think that something this extreme was so possible today. I mean, sure I understand that things are heating up in the middle east for numerous reasons and that somehow, everything seems to get tied to Israel and anti-Semitism, at least superficially. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised considering recent statements coming out of Iran regarding Israel’s impending destruction, but what can I say, when I heard the news about this new Iranian dress code with a special color coding for various religious minorities, I was just completely floored.

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A quick post just to say parents sometimes do rock

Posted by Avi M on May 19, 2006

Wow, what the whirlwind day, or rather afternoon spent with my mother!

The last month has been strangely exciting and awesome in many ways, but in some others, it’s been perpetually disorganized chronically confusing, and I seem to have been plagued in many ways by a dementia like mental haze.

Another factor is that I’m starting to feel the economic crunch of being back at school and not gainfully employed, I’ve managed to maintain a half decent quality of life, but I’m starting to feel the crunch. I mean, I have a one-bedroom apartment, elegantly decorated and furnished, but done so in an economical fashion, but I am living month to month in terms of my budget, and I’m not use to not having enough money to do with as I please. I mean my bills get paid, but it’s the fun stuff you know emergency money for a plane flight, because somebody is to come up to visit, etc. A year ago none of this would’ve been a problem, but that’s not the case now.

I have to watch out, because once I get into the habit of breaking my budgets or starting to rob Peter to pay Paul things run the risk of falling apart really fast in my world. That’s not a complaint just a reminder to myself so that I don’t forget to pay attention and keep the commitment I’ve made to myself about being on top of my finances.

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Tamara Eden: Quote of the Day: Success

Posted by Avi M on May 19, 2006

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