Monday, May 29, 2023

Techinot (Prayers)

I'm not a religious person, and I certainly don't define myself as such. However, I do believe in God and in the power of prayer to Him.                                                                            

I've got a small, cute book  with a fine brown leather cover in my possesion. It's a techinot  (plural of techina) book -  a collection of personal prayers, written mostly from the female point of view. These prayers cover all aspects of life: health, finance, success, longevity, old age, birth giving, poverty; you name it, it has it.

front cover

I've mentioned this little book in a previous post-  a post written on the subject of leather (animal skin) as a popular  material for coats/bags/ purses - and entitled 'Cool versus Cruel' (31.1.2016).

back cover

I enjoy reading in this book as the prayers are written so beautifully that they sound more like poetry to me. The language is hebrew. There's also an english translation of 'techinot', but I'm not familiar with it.

I wanted to buy the book for a person I care for, but I was told at the store that this version was  sold out. There are other formats if one is interested.

Anyway, I consider this tiny book , the most important book in my life. Unlike other books in my possession, this one is not for sale/ donation/ giving away. It's always with me - relevant , helpful, and making me feel good.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

The ' Talking' Clock

                                                                             desk talking clock

Once in a while, when trying to put  things in order, I come upon my mother's desk 'talking' clock - a device meant to help the visually impaired. 

During the last decade of her life, Mom  was almost blind , as a result of  the glaucoma disease, and could not see the numbers on a  clock. So, we bought her a talking clock so that she could hear  the time.

The amazing thing is that the clock kept telling the time some seven years after her death. I didn't know a battery could last that long!  I had all kinds of thoughts about it, especially that there were other things that puzzled me. The fridge and air-conditioner both suddenly stopped working after her death, and couldn't be repaired; the engines were totally dead. It was as if these household items "died of a broken heart".

Anyway, her intense blue eyes stayed beautiful till the last moment.

Whenever I come upon the above clock, I turn to the music of Andrea Bocelli, the blind italian tenor. Bocelli was diagnosed with glaucoma at the age of 12, but he completely lost his eyesight , according to biography, after an accident. His music reminds me of Mother, especially that she had a good voice and liked to sing  a lot, mainly cantorial pieces (chazzanut). Her and mine favorite cantors were Malavsky and Kossowitzky.

                                      Mom  wearing dress with yemenite embroidery.

Friday, May 12, 2023

"Fake It Till You Make It"

The 'fake' element is everywhere: in the news, in science, in high-tech, in relations between people, relations between countries etc...  

 The worst form of fake is within the family. Fake family members will pretend to care about you and love you, but they'll disappear when help is needed. There are many examples of parents and siblings left to struggle alone with their problems , especially health issues. It's very frustrating when one realizes that  a trusted family member has been faking intentions towards you all along.

Fake science is called pseudoscience, and it consists of beliefs that claim to be scientific and factual, but are incompatible with the scientific method. For instance, health alternative therapies and remedies.   I must admit, I don't care whether these methods are considered fake, as long as they help me, and some of them do help me.

Fake news are deliberately fabricated to deceive readers and  spread misinformation for various reasons, mostly political, ideological  ones partly for business interests or for fun.  We have them all the time, and they do society a lot of damage. During the last years, fake news travel fast via social platforms (Facebook, What's up, etc...).

There's, sadly, no compassion among people or countries. Relations are based mainly on Interest - interest in things that might offer mutual or one-sided advantage. 

The approach of  'fake it until you make it'  is sometimes seen in the Hightech industry - which is highly competitive.  By pretending to have certain skills and projecting confidence, one believes it's possible to achieve a  dream job.

 It's a cruel world, and it's difficult to  live real  in a fake culture.

Friday, May 5, 2023

Islands of Longevity


I've always wanted to visit the islands of  Ikaria (Greece) and Sardinia (Italy) - the 'Blue Zones' (zones of high life expectancy) where people live better and longer.   For various reasons, so far, the visits have never been carried out.

Ikaria is located in the Aegean Sea. It derives its name from  the greek mythology figure of Icarus. One gets to Ikaria by plane or ferry from Athens.

Sardinia is a big island in the Mediterranean Sea. Its 'blue zones'  where people, reach an  advanced age (90+, 100+ ) are mainly located on the territory of the cities Ogliastra, Barbagia , and Seulo. One gets to Sardinia by direct flight from various european cities, or by flight and  ferry from mainland Italy.

                                            centenarian at work (*web picture)

Many believe that only 25% of our longevity is determined by genetics, the remaining 75%, by our life style. No secrets about the life-style here:

In both the above islands, the diet is Mediterranean (plant based : fruit, vegetables, whole grains, etc..); dairy (in small amounts) made from goat milk;  locally caught fish.  Meat is eaten sparingly;  wine is drunk in moderation - 1,2 glasses of wine daily.

Life in these zones is simple, natural, and slow-paced; it includes  working in the garden or on farms, walking, mid-afternoon napping. Family ties are most important;  so is socializing .

                        socializing at the market place

The elderly are considered by the younger people ,a resource , not a burden.   Thus, old people get much respect and support for their wisdom and experience. That's the way it should be.