The Official TikkunGer Backup Blog

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

Archive for November, 2006

I am home, I am sleepy and yes I called Ima!

Posted by Avi M on November 30, 2006

I am too sleepy to blog anything now so all you get is a picture taken in Cali  that somehow looks deceptively Canuckistanian!

Oh and a link to a song called The F Word off of the new Bad Astronaut Album!

I will be back tomorrow to post something.

Nighty-night

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Leaving for Home

Posted by Avi M on November 29, 2006

Ok well I am heading back to Ottawa in just a few hours so this will be last post from LA until next year some time. I will keep things short and just say its been a blast and I love having a girlfriend. Oh and just for Ima here is a picture of the Kabbalah Center I took for you this afternoon.

No need to thank me, I know you love it.

We stopped by there this afternoon on our way home from a trip to the Holocaust Museum and I thought you would want me to snap a shot or two for you.

That’s it for now.

 

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For Your Listening Enjoyment: Yedid Nefesh

Posted by Avi M on November 27, 2006

I found it.

I listened to it.

I loved it.

I am sharing it with you.

Yedid Nefesh (in waltz time)

Yedid Nefesh in 3/4 time (think fast waltz). Emilia Cataldo has created a version that interweaves two voices in harmony.

More of these lovely Nigunim can be found over at neohasid.org

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Photo Post: Buggy

Posted by Avi M on November 21, 2006

Buggy

I snapped this one last Sunday on a day trip to the Getty with Tamara. I have no idea what kind of bug it is but looked like a cool bug so I snapped it.

PS the Getty is great!

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For Jessica Cuz She Loves Scientology

Posted by Avi M on November 17, 2006

Ok these photos where taken for Jessica because I know she has a huge crush on Tom and loves scientology.

So here you go from LA just for you!

 

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Leonard Cohen Says “Do Not Be Distracted and Watch the Tibetan Book of the Dead"

Posted by Avi M on November 17, 2006

This morning I was a little bored so decided to go hunting on Google video for some entertainment and I came across something I hadn’t seen in years. It’s a two part documentary by NFC on the Tibetan Book of the dead (also known as the Bardo Thodol) narrated by Leonard Cohen. So I decided to light some of Tamara’s Amber Incense and watched them both.

It’s a great exploration of the text and its spiritual significance both in an eastern and western context. I had forgotten how much of an influence this book has been on many people including infamous HinJew Richard Alpert aka Ram Das and Carl Jung to name but two.

Although I find it difficult to accept all of the assertions made in the documentary, for example rebirth as a bird or a wild pig, at its core the teaching of this text is a profound one. It is a tool to help individuals better face their own mortality and inevitable death with both dignity and honesty. Equally important is how it can be used as a tool to help see and work with daily life as a series of transitory moments of birth, death, and rebirth over and over again all with their own unique karmic consequences. Ultimately this book teaches that to live well is to die well and to die well one must have lived well.

The following quote is from part two really hits home, at least for me.

Anything that has a shape will crumble away.

Anything in a flock will disband.

We are all like bee’s alone in this world buzzing and searching with no place to rest .

So we offer this prayer

Delusions are as various as the reflections of the moon on a rippling sea

Beings so easily become caught in the net of confused pain

May I develop compassion boundless as the sky, so that all may rest in the clear light of their on awareness.

The Bardo Thodol

Also in terms of theological connections between the Book of the Dead and Judaism there is at least one strong connection and that is the notion of Rebirth which is presented in the Kabalistic teachings as the (process of) Gilgul Neshamot which I believe translates into the cycle or cycling of the Souls.

At any rate this is truly an interesting two volume documentary and I highly recommend checking it out if you have the time

Part I

Part II

 

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Interlude: Enjoy the Silence

Posted by Avi M on November 16, 2006

Words like violence
Break the silence
Come crashing in
Into my little world
Painful to me
Pierce right through me
Cant you understand
Oh my little girl
All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm
Vows are spoken
To be broken
Feelings are intense
Words are trivial
Pleasures remain
So does the pain
Words are meaningless
And forgettable
All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm
Enjoy the silence

 

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Visiting the Museum of Tolerance in LA

Posted by Avi M on November 16, 2006

Last Sunday I had the chance to spend over four hours visiting the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The building looks deceptively small from the outside but it’s filled with high-end/high-tech/interactive exhibits which really sucked me right into the content and purpose of the museum. Also I learned that it’s certainly not just a “Jewish” or “Holocaust” Museum as it touches on numerous topics related to tolerance, terrorism and war. Overall I found the museum very interesting although somewhat biased in that I felt that it was a little on the pro American/neocon side of things by overlooking what I believe to be some of the less flattering actions and behavior of America as well as certain Jewish organizations. However over all it was an extremely positive experience although emotionally difficult at several points during my visit.

I felt rather touristy most of my time there, that is until we arrived at the Holocaust section of the museum at which point things internally became quite turbulent and emotional for me. The older I get the more sensitive to suffering I seem to be, when I see pain in somebody’s eyes or hear it in somebody’s voice or I guess in this case it’s been re-created in a space I seem to really take it on. I find it quite difficult to stay composed and I usually wind up an emotional wreck. It’s interesting because I never used to be this way so I’m not sure what’s happened over the last few years but I seem to have connected at a heart level and in a way that I was unable to or just didn’t when I was younger. Anyhow I was pretty upset at one point and couldn’t do anything but stand and try not to blabber in front of everyone in the museum, so I just stood still and stayed with the feeling as quietly as possible neither indulging it nor dismissing it, just trying to be present.
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Non-Halakhically Jewish That’s what I am!

Posted by Avi M on November 15, 2006

Yesterday Steg wrote an interesting post on the topic of the status of non-halachick Jews and of course this is a topic very near and dear to my heart. Occasionally this is a topic which affects me directly as a convert to Reform Judaism and at one point was actually causing a fair amount of aggravation, stress, and all-around crankiness in my life. You see my girlfriend who is a Jew by birth and although is not frum herself is a member of a Chabad community in LA and so technically her community does not recognize me as actually being a Jew, anyhow I’ve already covered that here and here so I won’t reinvent the wheel with this post.

Basically with this post I just wanted to point out that this issue does not have to be a black-and-white kind of thing, there is room for dialogue and a need for mutual respect on both sides of the debate. Ultimately I believe it to be wrong and a mistake for Orthodox Jews to flat out reject non-halachick conversions but believe it is equally wrong for non-halachick converts to try and force the issue of acceptance from Orthodox Jews. It’s a complex issue and both sides need to try to understand one another’s positions and understand where each is coming from including the merits and limitations of each side understanding. Anyhow Steg’s post is well thought out and interesting so in my opinion worth checking out.

Be Well

 

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Photo Post: 23rd Century Metro

Posted by Avi M on November 15, 2006

LA Metro

Ok so its not really from the 23rd century but it does look like it , it was taken on Monday at one of the LA Metro Stations.

 

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