The Official TikkunGer Backup Blog

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

Archive for August, 2006

Photo Post: Meet Carl

Posted by Avi M on August 27, 2006

Meet Carl Da Bug

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A Prayer for Humility and Gratitude

Posted by Avi M on August 26, 2006

 

Lord, you have CREATED me in total uniqueness
Not better, or worse than others but simply different.

You my beloved Creator have endowed me
With every attribute needed to play my special role.

You have given me a strong and beautiful mind Lord, one capable of great insight and possibility, but too often I only think with arrogance and negativity.

You have given me a strong and healthy body Lord, one capable of doing many good works, yet too often I am lazy and selfish seeking only to use it for my own pleasures.

You have given me a loving heart capable of great compassion Lord but all too often I refuse to share it with others.

You have given me the ability to speak with elegance Lord yet I often choose words that belittle, hurt and diminish.

Everything I have dear Lord you have given me and yet too often these gifts are wasted because of my own ignorance.

Despite this my Lord you never leave my side, patiently waiting for me to begin making use of all that you have given me.

You have indeed blessed me with this life, blessed me with my gifts, and blessed me with my special role.

But your greatest gift my Lord is showing me the occasional glimpse of what it is you see in me.

And so with body, speech, and mind I pledge myself to you with this prayer of humility and gratitude.

Lord I will learn to take responsibility and strive to become all that you have created me to be.

 

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New Lemonheads Track Released

Posted by Avi M on August 22, 2006

AH yes life is good, Evan is back and he is with Jay, Bill, and Karl!

Lemonheads

No idea who I’m on about then click here or here.

Kick back, close your eyes and imagine a candle lit rec-room adorned with Husker Du, and Doughboy posters. The smell of week old stale wine fills the room and there is no such thing as email.

Are you there yet?

Ok, now ask yourself where did all you plaid flannel shirts and combats go?

Alright now you’re ready to have a listen!

PS not sure here but it, sounds like “Dino” Jay Mascis is playing fuzzy electric young’esk guitar on this track.

Holly shit this song has completely lifted me out a rather numb feeling this evening and into a nostalgic and slacker’ish state of total euphoria.

TTYL

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Kushner on the Holiness of Kashrut

Posted by Avi M on August 22, 2006

As part of my growing kosher observance I’ve been spending a fair amount of time studying up on the topic. I’ve been trying to get a wide cross-section of opinions, attitudes, and approaches to the subject because I think this is the best way to educate myself on the importance and significance of keeping kosher. I believe doing this helps lay a solid foundation in terms of the philosophical and practical underpinnings of this observance, helping me to come up with a viable framework for making it happen.

This is very important (IMO) as a Reform Jew because there really is not much in terms of clear instruction or a lot of support in place to help individuals learn about Kashrut or why it is worthy of consideration if not practice.

So on Sunday, I came across a very interesting video clip by Harold Kushner, on the topic of why “Conservative” Jews keep kosher and I was absolutely blown away by it. It wasn’t some huge theological diatribe on the subject, just a quick short and to the point video. I took his message as simple, honest and by far the best and most convincing argument for embracing the practice of Kashrut in a sincere and committed way.

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Photo Post: Indian Idol

Posted by Avi M on August 20, 2006

In the eye of the Buddha

 

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Catching up on another meme

Posted by Avi M on August 20, 2006

A week or two ago Tamara Meme’d me to do the following.

    1. Grab the nearest book.
    2. Open the book to page 123.
    3. Find the fifth sentence.
    4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.

There was nothing immediately next to me so I walked over to one of my bookcases, and the only skewing I did was, I purposely went to a bookshelf that didn’t have any Jewish books on it. I figured I do a lot on Jewish stuff and I would be too easy to go that route. By avoiding this bookshelf I got a more random sample that in my opinion.

Anyhow, my book is entitled “NLP for Lazy Learning – how to learn faster and more effectively” by Diana Beaver.

The following is from page 123 of the book and beginning with the 3rd sentence.

Lazy language learning is a fascinating world. You have already learned so much about logical levels and modeling that you will be able to work wonders with a few tips I shall give you.

Take on the identity of a native speaker. This gives you the freedom of behaviors of the other language – to do things, without embarrassment, that you would not normally do, like waving your arms about.

Model the teacher, so you get into the physiology of the language: take on all their movements, facial expressions -everything; you will be surprised how much information you pick up.

Interesting, I really do love Neuro Linguistic Programming, also known as NLP and have done tons of training and certification work in it. Unfortunately it seems to have fallen by the wayside the past few years, and I’m thinking maybe I should invest a little bit of time refreshing myself on the topic.

Anyhow, there you go.

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Shabbat 6000 a la TikkunGer

Posted by Avi M on August 19, 2006

Apparently earlier this month, I was tagged or something similar to participate in a Shabbat 6000 challenge put out by Leah from Accidentally Jewish.

I’m really sorry to have overlooked your challenge, I completely missed it. Next time if I don’t reply or acknowledge it please drop me a line because it probably has not made it onto my radar.

Anyhow, below is a quote from her original post on the subject.

I am asking that you write one post about a peace.  Not in the abstract, not a military plan to get to peace, but about a day of peace in your own life.  You might remember a day in the past or envision a day in the future.  It might be just a wonderful lunch you had near Ben Yehuda or the imaginary birth of your first grandchild.

I challenge each of you to take a mental break from the war for 15-30 minutes and share with us your vision.  What does peace mean to you?  What does peace smell like to you?  What does peace taste like? 

Is it a root beer float on a hot summer day?  Is it baby powder?  Is it the weight of Torah in your arms?  Is it waking up in high thread count sheets in the arms of your lover?  Is it using the bomb shelter to store bikes? 

I want to read about your vision of peace. 

Sorry Leah I’m just not a quantitative kind of guy who’s going to be able to describe in technical/physical examples what my perfect day is, because I don’t think it’s going to be a cup of coffee, or not a cup of coffee. It’s not going to be a walk in the forest or a beautiful sunny day per se, but rather how I’m able to perceive and experience such a day. That is what is going to make or break it as a “Shabbat 6000” experience for me.

If anything my life has taught me that I can be in the perfect physical environment and for whatever reason, I am completely unable to appreciate it because I’m in some sort of internal state of turmoil. I’ve also been in situations that were completely painful to those are round me and I was absolutely at peace, so as I see it, at least in my case it’s such an internal thing.

And so with that, I think I’ll try to answer your question by drawing on a few quotes from a book entitled The Empty Chair “Finding Hope and Joy” by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.

I think this first quote is an excellent example of what my perfect day might start off like.

You are wherever your thoughts are.

Make sure your thoughts are where you want to be.

A perfect day would start off with my mind being focused, centered, and appreciative. I would be sporting an attitude of gentleness and compassion towards myself as well as a sense of gratitude for the many different opportunities the day would certainly bring.

And this takes me to my final quote which I believe is the essential next step in creating such a perfect day.

If you believe that you can damage, then believe that you can fix.

If you believe that you can harm, then believe that you can heal.

To me this perfect day is about being able to cultivate a mindfulness that is in just the right place to see how beautiful a day it is. I’m not talking about some egotistical self-deception. I’m talking about being able to see my worthiness despite whatever shortcomings are certain to find their way into my consciousness or show up in a situation.

My perfect day is one where I realize that although; I’m going to make mistakes I’m also going to be able to fix them.

My perfect day is one where not only am I able to be kind and gentle but am also able to get back on the ” Kindness” wagon, when and if I fall off of it because I lost  my sense of gratitude and/or optimism either towards myself, others.

When it boils down to it, I guess my Shabbat 6000 day of peace is one where I’m able to act perfectly even in my imperfection. I am able to keep my perspective fresh and infused with optimism, even when it is difficult.

Especially when it’s difficult!

I can’t speak for anyone else, but that sure reads like a perfect day to me.

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My “The I Am Jewish Movement” Meme

Posted by Avi M on August 17, 2006

Okay so here’s mine, and approximately 6 hours before my self-imposed deadline. It’s something of a rush job and although I think it’s honest and very first thought best thought, which means I didn’t do a lot of filtering, editing, or censoring it does come off a little bit on the touchy-feely side. Maybe I should add that I kick small animals, and don’t like to recycle, LOL.

Whatever I don’t really find it all that bad, so it’s what I’m posting. I think that unless I get any huge criticism, complaints or threats somehow related to its content, I will be submitting it to the Jewish lights people tomorrow.

Of course as always, feedback and constructive/gentle criticism is always welcome.

If you are confused and do not know what is going on then you my want to start here

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The “The I Am Jewish Movement” Meme

Posted by Avi M on August 17, 2006

The “The I Am Jewish Movement” Meme

I came across something rather interesting as I was looking through Jewish lights fall 2006 catalog. The Jewish lights people have put together an interesting contest of sorts. Actually, I’m not sure that contest is the right word, but basically what they’re looking for is people to write a short essay on their personal experience or understanding of what it means to be a Jew. Submissions will be eligible (for possible) publication in an upcoming book on the topic.

Anyhow here’s a quote from the page.

In 2004, Jewish Lights had the privilege of publishing I Am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl, edited by Danny’s parents, Judea and Ruth Pearl. The book captures the reflections of 147 Jews—some famous, some not—from twelve countries, representing the spectrum of Jewish life and belief. Each of the contributors explains what it means to them when they say Danny’s final words: “I am Jewish.”

It was our hope that I Am Jewish would motivate people throughout the Jewish community worldwide to think more about their lives as Jews—and it has. Since that time, we have seen the birth and exponential growth of “The I Am Jewish Movement”—and it continues to grow today. Now we would like you to become a part of this life-changing movement.

Although I’m sure this is at least in part a “marketing tool” I think it’s of great opportunity for people to reflect on their Jewishness and also to connect and share with other Jews. So to show my support and help promote this project, I’m going to start up a “The I Am Jewish Movement” Meme.

Here’s how it’s going to basically work.

  1. Click here and read up on the rules and details.
  2. Post a blog containing your 500 word essay, as well as information on what Jewish lights is trying to do.
  3. Make sure your post includes your choice of three bloggers you’ve selected and tag to participate in this challenge as well.
  4. Keep your fingers crossed and hope you get into the book!
  5. E-mail your submission to the Jewish Lights people at this address sales@jewishlights.com

Okay I know that my essay hasn’t been completed yet, but trust me, I am 278 words into a draft and it will be done and posted later today before midnight my time.

I realize my first meme (the Jewish books that define me meme) didn’t take off all that well, but I really think what Jewish lights is doing is great, so I hope others will agree and help out by supporting this initiative in spreading the word.

Okay so whom I going to tag, let me tell you!

Steg from The Hall of The Goblin King – cuz he is a cool dude, who can quote weird stuff from fight club and because he tears his own toilet paper!

Leah from Accidentally Jewish – well basically because I like her, and because her blog just got roasted by

Last but not least

Tamara from the TamaraEden Blog – just because she’s my girlfriend!

Again I think this is a great initiative, and I really encourage people to support what Jewish Lights is trying to do.

TTYL

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Hashem, Gratitude, the Body & Spiritual Stewardship

Posted by Avi M on August 16, 2006

The last day or two have been interesting ones. Not in any earth shattering sense, it’s just that I seem to be “physically feeling” life a little bit more. I’m not sure how to explain it other than to say that in the last day or two I don’t seem to be experiencing things so much as a passive recipient of what life brings my way, it feels more like I’m engaged in an interaction with everything around me. I guess I’m just feeling more like I’m a participant in some sort of co-creative process. Yes I think that’s it, I’m feeling like I’m part of life as opposed to having life happen to me. I don’t think this is some huge lofty, transcendental realization just some thing subtle, and it seems to be rooted in my body.

Actually it’s not so much a purely physical thing, there seems to be some sort of interaction between my form (body) and my consciousness (thinking, aware, mind). I can’t say that this is something that I’ve never experienced before, but if I have it’s been a longtime and I can’t recall ever feeling quite like this.

So what exactly am I feeling like, okay I’ll tell you!

It’s not a sense of frustration or depression, but it is a sense of discomfort. It’s a physical sense of discomfort, as opposed to an emotional one. For example last night I attended a birthday party for my stepfather, which required me to put on “grown up clothing” something I haven’t been doing lately, because I’m sort of in a cocoon school mode. When I say “grown up clothing” I’m not talking tuxedos, seriously, it’s like a plaid short-sleeved shirt, and a clean pair of cargo shorts that are just above casual. However I was really uncomfortable, everything felt tight and restrictive and I absolutely couldn’t stand it at first. Okay so I’ve obviously put on a little bit of weight which isn’t great, but it’s fine, because what this is really about is a realization that I have not been checking in with my body for a while now.

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