Saturday, November 28, 2020

Discipline and Slogans


Discipline is the name of the game; nothing important  can be achieved without discipline -  self - discipline, as well as national discipline.

 There are countries in the far East  that have managed to keep the covid-19  virus under control: Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong-Kong, Thailand, Vietnam..... 

Discipline in these countries is instilled from childhood. People there have respect for  rules and for authority. Above all, they respect themselves and those around them. 

The western countries on the other hand,  rely on slogans,  and seek what seems to be the easy way out  - vaccine.  Slogans can lack clarity , and  even be confusing. Protests and pressure of  citizens against restrictions, don't make things better.

'Stay Home'  - the most memorable slogan during this pandemic , means what it says : stay home. You may leave the house for basic necessities only, and for a short time.

At first it worked well, but then people lost patience and started giving their own interpretation to the slogan. According to this interpretation, the problem lies merely in confined spaces with no adequate distancing among people. 

Well, I'm not so sure about that. I don't dare yet going for a long walk in the park or sitting and eating in the outdoor spaces of restaurants and cafes. The virus, in my humble opinion, is in the air waiting to strike both indoors and outdoors. Masks and distancing may prevent that, but not hermetically.

Anyway, we shall have to wait and see the impact of the vaccine on the virus and its victims.


Friday, November 20, 2020

Genealogical Quest


My grandfather's mother was a 50 year old widow when she decided to leave the small home town in north-east Romania and try her luck in America . Her  children followed her (except my grandfather whose wife objected to emigration).

 Over the years, I got intrigued by her figure (knew about her only from family stories), and so when I retired,  I embarked on a genealogical quest to find out about her american saga. I had very little to begin with.

Genealogy is a highly fascinating subject. It requires a lot of time, work, effort, patience;  there are many frustrations on the way, and yet the reward is immense. First of all, it gives one the chance to learn about oneself. I've found out I had skills unknown to me before, such as analyzing and evaluating evidence from various sources.

It may give one a sense of pride, even superiority.  It's Me with the initiative and curiosity,  not the others in the family, especially not those in America with  all the archives at their disposal. 

Through genealogy one gets to grasp the real meaning of what is known as ' blood connection'. I felt devastated several times, for people I'd never met and never exchanged a word or photo with.

Examples:  a young adopted boy slaughtered his whole adopting family: parents, little sister, grandma, grandpa. The grandma was my relative (G.grandmother's granddaughter). That happened in San Diego, California.

In Florida, a couple with two youngsters (a son and a daughter) got divorced. The father, my relative (G.grandmother's grandson), died  of a heart attack. The mother got murdered by her jealous boyfriend shortly after. The two youngsters became orphans.

Both cases have shattered me. I started my genealogy quest  for pleasure, and there I was soaking in tragedy. There were of course pleasant surprises too  Among the grandchildren of my G.grandmother   - a most valued Michigan senator , and his sister, owner of a big, famous radio station.  The senator died shortly before I started my quest. His eldest daughter and her family still live in the area. His two other daughters live in California.

I had moments that made me smile , For example, I managed to get my G. grandma's picture from the descendants of two of her daughters (she had three daughters and three sons with her). One daughter was working class - a  cook (she and her husband owned the restaurant though). the picture of my G.grandma in the cook's possession was that of a simple, coarse woman; whereas the picture kept by her more educated, younger sister looked  ..refined.There was even a husband's picture and he also looked rather  refined.

wih granddaughter in her arms

refined look 

widower of G.grandma

the two daughters S. and M.

 daughter S.(cook) and husband M. - restaurant owners


 younger daughter M.  and  husband B.

I could write an interesting book on my genealogical journey, but I  probably won't.

Thursday, November 12, 2020



Election campaigns resemble more and more a political circus, and regardless of the final result,  we feel relieved when it's all over.

Prior to the Election Day, candidates usually make heavy promises (jobs, money, control) to specific groups in the population, to increase the number of their voters.

In my country, for example, the lucky group that gets it all is the ultra orthodox ('haredi') community. These people provide lots of voters (each family with an average of 7-11 kids). 

Almost no political coalition is possible without the 'haredi' parties.   The participation in the coalition  gets them close to power and money. They are in fact a 'state within a state' with budgets, schools, privileges. 

Corona virus outbreak has revealed the extent of the above alarming situation. All  governments past and present are  blamed for it. The current PM is accused of 'selling' the country to the 'haredim', of bringing about complete disintegration of the already fragile, highly heterogeneous nation - and asked through weekly protests -  to resign.

In the USA there's a lot of talk now after the elections, about "healing the nation". How, exactly?

It's not only Trump , but all those millions of people who have voted for him in 2016 and now - almost half of the nation. If from the very beginning one shows nothing but contempt for their candidate and their voting, then what is to be expected of them now. They might try to do the same to Biden and his supporters - namely,  delegitimation. 

Oh, well,  God can make things work in the right direction. There's, however, need for praying.






Thursday, November 5, 2020

November 2020 - Week one


First rain - torrential but refreshing, and much needed.

I've received a nice present - a special winter blanket; love it, love at first sight.

I'm very fond of tahini (tahina) paste ; it's healthy, delicious, easy to prepare (sesame seeds' paste, water, lemon juice, garlic). It goes well with pita bread and other products. Home made is the best. I've bought the jars of sesame seeds' paste of which the tahini is made, for the whole month of November.

The elections in the USA make me think of the dollar. The  dollar is the reserve currency of the world; it's what helps americans print money like there's no tomorrow, live well, and even send aid to other countries. Will it retain its status as the global reserve currency? Time will tell.The elections and covid-19 are sure weakening it.

Coronavirus is still here, and I'm not optimistic. I'm afraid the upcoming vaccines are not the end of it. Masks and social distancing are a Must, and yet even people who abide by the rules might get the virus. Nothing is sure about it. May God protect us!

Hoping for the Best.