Thursday, July 30, 2009

Krembo's Wings

Some things can bring tears to one's eyes.

Adi Altschuler established here in Israel, at the age of 16, a youth movement for all children named the Wings of Krembo.

What is a Krembo? It is in Hebrew: Creme + bo = there is creme inside.

Why Krembo? Adi says that Krembo's are manually packed, one at a time and we should behave to all people the same way.

Adi volunteered at the age of 11 taking care of a handicapped boy called Kfir. She decided that Kfir should be member of a youth movement together with other children of all ethnic backgrounds and religions.
She established the Wings of Krembo movement.
The movement is doing a great job, but lack funds to do more.

Please have a look at this video of Adi on You Tube and this second video. Both are in Hebrew with English subtitles.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What Ski, Avocado and Subaru have in common?

Yesterday we visited Jerusalem. We saw the Temple Mount, where once the Temple stood and now the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque are situated. From there we went to the Via Dolorossa and visited Bet Hesda - Bethesda near st. Anna Church. A group of Catholics were standing near the remains of the pools where according to the Christian tradition Jesus healed a man on Shabbat. The priest leading the group told them that Jesus angered the Jews because it was done on Shabbat, breaking the Jewish law.
As far as I know the Jewish law doesn't forbid healing people on Shabbat and here in Israel everything needed is done to safe lives on Shabbat like any other day. Life is at the highest level of importance in the Jewish tradition, we call it Piku'ach Nefesh.
A group of Christians listening to a story where the Jews are accused of doing something that makes no sense to a fellow Jew, doesn't help improving the relations between the two religions.

What does it have to do with Snow Skiing, Avocado and Subaru?
Well in the sixties of the last century someone brought Avocado trees to Israel. It was a great success until farmers started planting Avocados at such a rate that there were too many.
In the eighties the Subaru was brought to Israel. Subaru was an unknown brand from Japan. But in Israel people fell in love with the car and as a result the roads of Israel became filled with Subaru's.
It reminds me of Moishe who opened in the heath of summer a snow ski equipment shop in Eilat and after a week a bunch of similar shops were opened nearby.
Why? If it is good for Moishe it must be good for others too....

We call it "Herd Mentality" when people adopt a view without checking the facts. Isn't enough to tell a beautiful story about a good person who healed a sick man? Is there any need to link it to the evilness of the Jews? Evil persons can be found in any people.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Anne Frank one of the "Greatest Dutchmen"?

Anne Frank was a Jewish girl born in Germany and educated in the Netherlands, who became an icon after her death. As many young people of her age, she wrote a diary. The diary called "The diary of a young girl", describes the hardship of the Jews in the Netherlands during the Holocaust from her point of view.
Anna died just before the end of WWII in Bergen Belsen concentration camp.
After the war her father Otto, who survived the Holocaust, published this diary, which was translated into dozens of languages.
Anne and her family lost their German nationality in 1933, because of the anti-Semitic Nazi laws and they became stateless. Most people who know her story, think she was a Dutch girl, but as a matter of fact she never became Dutch.
Ironically she was nominated as the eighth on the list of the "Greatest Dutchmen". After WWII the Germans returned the German nationality to the Jews, who lost it under the Nazi regime.
The Dutch were not so generous.
Both my parents who were active members in the Dutch Resistance in Holland during WWII had the Polish nationality and had to wait till 1953 to become Dutch. My father had to report himself every month or so to the Dutch police being a foreigner.
My mother was afraid that we would be sent back to communist Poland and it caused her many sleepless nights.
It didn't bother the Dutch that my parents could have been killed in the Resistance or in a concentration camp, but the law must be kept strictly, specially for the Jews.
About 10 years later I became Israeli and so are my wife and kids.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Why Polar Bears don't eat Penguins

In nature animals have natural enemies that hunt and eat them. The lower the animal is in the Ecological pyramid the higher is the risk. The animals that eat plants are hunted by those that eat meat. The smaller the animal is the greater the danger.

Animals that live in extreme environments suffer also from weather like in deserts or polar areas. In these areas food is extremely scare and every little piece is used.

Once I was asked why Penguins are not eaten by Polar Bears.

The question intrigued me, but the answer wasn't clear to me.

As far as I could recall I never saw a picture of a Polar Bear eating a Penguin.

It took me some time till I solved the riddle.

The Polar Bears live in the Northern hemisphere and the Penguins

in the Southern hemisphere, so they never meet....

This YouTube video shows the impossible meeting.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Srebrenica remembers its dead

When I read the following article in the Dutch paper "De Volkskrant", I got really furious:

Srebrenica herdenkt zijn doden - Srebrenica remembers its dead
Published on July 11, 2009 08:35, updated 08:37
Srebrenica / DEN HAAG --
In the Bosnian village of
Srebrenica Potocari was on Saturday the commemoration of the genocide in 1995. In the cemetery around the monument more than five hundred victims got also a decent burial. Victims whose remains were buried in the mass graves of Muslims during the last twelve months and were now identified.
International Commission for Missing Persons (ICMP) has so far identified a total of 6186 victims of the massacre after the fall of Srebrenica on July 11, 1995. This was done using DNA testing by comparing ten thousand pieces of genetic material from bones in the mass graves with tens of thousands of blood samples from survivors.

The Bosnian Serb army conquered
Srebrenica and massacred some eight thousand Muslim men and boys as a result. The Dutch UN battalion Dutchbat could not prevent the genocide. The genocide is commemorated each year on July 11 on the square near the parliament in The Hague.

What really happened is "slightly" different as you can read here