Friday, July 29, 2022

'Dancing To The End Of Love'

I never get tired of listening to Leonard Cohen's song 'Dancing to the end of Love', and viewing the various Youtube videos presenting it.

The song itself, Leonard's low voice and his warm smile, serve as a charming background to dancing couples, most of them approaching the end of love  Sad, and yet so beautiful! 

These couples dance "like there's nobody watching them" (famous quote), concentrated only in their dancing moves and partner. The physical dance  is an outer expression of the inner feelings of love, kindness and sensitivity towards the partner.

Browsing through the video clips I came upon a pleasant surprise : my favorite male  film actor, Al Pacino, in a scene from the movie that brought him the Oscar, 'Scent of a Woman'. Pacino, playing the role of a blind, medically retired army lieutenant, is  dancing with the young woman of his choice, to the music of the above song. (By the way, I may be wrong, but as far as I remember, Dancing till the end of Love  was not the original song in that movie).

Anyhow, both Leonard Cohen, the singer and song-writer, and Al Pacino the movie actor - are very charismatic, and a delight to our senses.

Friday, July 22, 2022


There are people  among us with known allergies to various food components. Eating out means gambling with life for these people. Yet, they  keep doing it and trusting the waiter and the chef  to take care the served food is without the fatal allergens.

Every now and then we read and hear about allergy caused tragedies. The most recent one - the death of a 22 year old israeli allergic to milk , on a trip in Colombia. News like this leave me  hurting inside and speechless.

I remember well when my father (no allergies) was offered to work for a while after retirement. He consulted his family doctor who was not happy about it because of the daily commute involved. 'But I don't drive, just sit on the bus chair', he said. 'Well, that's it', she replied. 'You sit, and sitting is bad for your high blood pressure'.

His work was mostly physical , albeit of a light nature. She was not worried by that, only about his daily commute to and fro work.

Go figure! Millions sit in cars and drive for hours, and she made  a fuss over less than a two hours commute (40 min to, 40 min. fro)! She was referring, however, to an existing health condition (high blood pressure) of a person at a certain age (retirement age) when things might deteriorate and become a kind of gambling with life (she did use the phrase 'don't gamble with your life').

We tend to philosophically say  'All of life is a gamble'. Still, by taking the right measures, we can minimize, avoid, prevent - in fact, control - to a certain extent,  the gambling side of life.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them


'Can't live with them; can't live without them'. Men say that about women, women say that about men, siblings and cousins say that about their families.  The saying expresses frustration with someone or something you ultimately cannot give up. 

I myself use this idiom to refer to people in general. As I advance in age, I become more aware of the wicked, treacherous nature of the human kind. Humans weaken you when you mostly need strength. They'll  criticize you at a time when you're in need of support and compassion. 

And yet, in spite of all, we need people, 'we can't live without them', their companionship , their wisdom or ..stupidity. (In a previous post I mentioned Barbara Streisand 's famous song "People, people who need people...").   We're constantly on the look out for interraction. Isolation is not the answer, and we've seen that during the two and a half year of pandemics.

In order to avoid getting hurt or wasting precious time exchanging futile words with some rude, infantile human being ,one can train oneself to keep distance from certain people. It's possible and quite efficient.

Anyway, I believe in God, pray to God for help and protection, and this gives me, among other things, confidence in my ability to handle humans.

I definitely have to buy some new shoes.

Monday, July 4, 2022

The Blessing From Stefanesht


The  90+ year old age actors who're still on the stage are a wonder. Being able to memorize the lines and moving according to the script - is nothing but a miracle.

One of them is the israeli actor Yaakov Bodo. (Bodo short form of 'Bodoaga', which is , I think a distorted romanian word. It should probably be 'Bodega', meaning 'wine bar'). 

The actor was born in a small town called Stefanesht (north-east Romania, border town with Ukraine).

The name of the town is known to many of romanian and israeli jewry, as it was the place where the prominent rabbi Matityhau Friedman lived for 70 years. (In 1969, his remains were transferred to the cemetery Nachlat Yitzhak in central Israel).

They say, that whoever was born in Stefanesht  carries the blessing of the above rabbi. Yaakov Bodo is definitely blessed: with a versatile talent, successful carreer, awards, longevity, good family, admirers.

His uncle (his father's brother) was  our neighbor for some time. The uncle and wife were also blessed with longevity (they both died in their mid 90-s).The uncle was also blessed with 'golden hands'; he was a tailor of the highest skill. He worked at home, alone, with some help from his wife, and was able from his earnings to move to a new, better location.  

Their only son studied engineering. I don't exactly know what has become of him as we lost touch after their move to another city. As far as I  know, the son kept the original family name of Bodoaga. He wasn't tempted to shorten it to Bodo as his cousin, the actor, did.

I don't remember knowing anyone else from the little town of Stefanesht, blessed or not.  I was born not far from Stefanesht, but there was no train connection, and in those days other forms of transport  were rather scarce, so we've never been there.  As far as the rabbi was concerned I heard stories about him from my parents, and others , and it felt natural to wish to pray at his grave.

portrait of the rabbi

He's not alone; additional members of his family are burried near him  which makes the place not easy to access, given the many visitors that come to pray here.

leaflet cover

There's a sign with his name indicating the direction to the tomb. The area has a wooden roof above, so it's easily detected.

direction sign