Wednesday, October 27, 2021



Occasionally, I get hurt by someone's behavior and feel helpless and frustrated; there's nothing I could do about it to ease my anger. The 'kapparot' ritual has given me some idea, but I haven't put it into practice yet , probably never will.

Kapparot (plural of kappara - atonement) in Judaism is a ritual performed on the eve of Yom Kippur ( the Atonement Day), by which the sins of a person  are symbolically transferred to a fowl (usually a hen - for a woman, a rooster for a man).

The fowl is passed over one's head three times, and there's a prayer to be said; in English it sounds like that: "this is my exchange, this is my substitute, this is my atonement. This rooster (hen) will go to its death, while I will enter and proceed to a good, long life and to peace".


The ritual is considered by many as  cruel, and rightly so. Why transfer our sins to the fowl? what has it done to us? Why does it deserve this kind of treatment? because it's about to be slaughtered to provide  meat  for our meals?(The alternative proposed is to use money instead, which will then be given to charity).

Like many others, I'm against this ritual and against slaughtering animals (although, I admit , I eat meat now and then, out of habit and of fear the body might face shortage of some vital nutrient).

Now, what about the idea I got from this ritual?  I could mention three times the name of the person who has done me wrong , and say the prayer by which my sins will be transferred to him/her (omitting, of course, the death part in the prayer. I  wish no one to die ). Let him/her carry and deal with this burden, as revenge for  misbehavior towards me.  It may sound stupid and or childish, but talking or writing about this possibility makes me already feel a little better:)

web pictures


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Professor Emeritus and the Chinese Law


There was a sad story in our Media, some two weeks ago. A well - known professor of philosophy, and literary critic, aged 88, sitting in a wheelchair surrounded by boxes full of his archive files - in an appeal to the public: 'help me, don't let them throw me out of my flat'. To make a long story short, he owed a lot of rent money, and so he got a court order asking him to evict the flat.

I  was especially intrigued by the comments to the story.  The commenters mentioned  the university, colleagues, students, the Ministry of Education and other factors which should , according to them, intervene and solve the problem.  No doubt, the problem will get solved, but I asked myself how come nobody mentioned his children, his family? 

'Perhaps he doesn't have any', I said to myself and went to check with the Wikipedia. Well, he does have children - two sons from his third ex-wife (also a professor). The rumor has it that he used to beat his wife, and so they have all three estranged themselves from him . If the rumor is correct, I can understand them, and yet at his age and condition, they should have shown some forgiveness and empathy, not leave it all to the State and the public.

The story has reminded me of a Chinese law ( no, not the notorious one which allows a couple to have one child only) - a law from 2013 which requires children to keep in touch with their parents who are 60 and older, in addition to making sure their financial and spiritual needs are met. If children do not comply, they face fines and lawsuits. I think every country should have such a law.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Politicians and Photos


I usually dislike  politicians, but there are a few exceptions. One of them is Angela Merkel, until recently the chancellor of Germany. There's something nice ,human and honest about her, that one doesn't find in the others.  Besides, I have a photo of her as a.....nudist :)

I feel uncomfortable to publish the photo here, although she looks great in it. If you're the curious type you could look it up on the internet.  It is a photo with three young nudist girls - students; one of them is Angela. 

The photo appeared in newspapers and magazines. She was asked about it but refused to comment. Representatives of Germany in various countries were also asked about the photo; they too refused to comment.

The general belief is that it is her in the photo. First, the physical resemblance. Secondly, the background. She grew up in communist East Germany. The photo is believed to have been taken at the nudist camp Costinesti (at the Black Sea), in communist Romania.

After the second World War, nudism was encouraged under communism, as a way of returning  to embrace Nature, and as a symbol of rebellion against the old order of things. It was believed that Angela Merkel was a member of a nudist movement called "Free Body Culture" (in german - Frei Korpercultur").


Another politician for whom I have a 'soft spot' is Boris Johnson the current P.M. of Britain. 

There's a photo involved here too. It shows Boris as a young volunteer on a kibbutz (agricultural collective community) in Israel. In summer 1984, he and his sister Rachel were volunteers at kibbutz  Kfar Hanassi in northern Israel.

According to his sister, he worked in the communal kitchen, scrubbing pots and pans; according to a leader of the kibbutz he also worked in the fields.

 B.J. in Israel - desert mountains in the background

Anyway, he looks very cute with his short pants and blond hair. How could you not like him.


Friday, October 8, 2021

Things Have Gone Too Far

The other day, I  was looking for some water-based paint to re-freshen a few furniture pieces in my home. These pieces are easy to clean and move, hence my wish to protect them and prolong their life.  

Over the years, I had to take some hard decisions such as replacing old, but beautiful ,solid wooden items that I liked, with lighter items - just because I didn't want to work hard , or be dependent on cleaning ladies.

While in the store, I heard someone call my name with a question mark intonation at the end. I turned my head but saw no one familiar.  After a few seconds, I heard my name again and a woman, whom I did not recognize,  approached me and introduced herself. She was an acquaintance, a former neighbor. 

Her mask was under the chin, but with or without the  mask, I couldn't have recognized her, as her face was totally changed. She looked different, obviously as a result of  plastic surgery.

I'm very much in favor of people trying to improve their appearance and confidence by softening wrinkles, even reshaping the nose which is right in the middle of the face - but changing the whole face - that's crazy.  

 Not young, not wealthy... not ugly either, just an ordinary woman;  so what's got into her, why all this?I didn't ask her any questions. I hoped, perhaps, she'd raise the subject herself, but she didn't. So , though shocked, I tried to behave naturally.

She rearranged her mask to cover nose and mouth, and keeping distance, we exchanged a few nice, polite words for old time's sake.