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We are preparing to celebrate using new virtual methods, Rosh Hashannah. The other day I read a Facebook message and someone from my generation (growing up in the 50s and 60s,) asked how many of us remember getting new Fall Outfits for Yom Tov? Often they were wool or something very warm despite the temperatures that may influence something less, but it was September/October and we must be dressed appropriately for the Jewish New Year. I remember one year my mother sewed me a black & white hounds-tooth wools suit and I got this corduroy black corduroy hat that today has the 60s written all over it.
Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur were traditionally spent in shul, while my parents sat in the synagogue with all the other parents and grandparents, the three of us went to youth services and met up with our parents when their services ended. It was a solemn day of reflection and it also was a time to show off your best and make your parents proud.
After services on Rosh Hashannah, we would either walk home with friends or pack into my dad’s car for the short 5-minute drive home. Once home, the men in the family took off their jackets and loosened their ties, but we all remain in holiday finery. I would help my mother serve the traditional foods like homemade chicken soup with noodle kugel, and course after course I would jump up to assist. Momma made a tzimmis (a carrot, honey, prune sweet side-dish), sweet and sour meatballs, a sweet kugel with raisins, brisket, and or a roasted chicken (and sometimes we would go to the Shechitah days before to pick out our live chicken and watch the Rabbi, kill it, bless it, and make it kosher.) Can You Say Tradition?
That was Rosh Hashannah and ten days later for Yom Kipur again we would have our traditional meal before attending Kol Nidre Services. Much was the same as the week before, but in our home, my mother added Kreplach to the meal (a Jewish Ravioli.) After filling ourselves up to the gills with food, we began our 24 hour fast for the Day of Atonement. And just like Rosh Hashannah, my parents sat in the main chapel while my brothers and I went to youth services.
I miss those days – those were the days when my paternal grandparents attended our Shul and they were part of our inner circle, and years before my mother’s parents would join us for the break the fast 24 hours later. Again, break the fast was centered around food, fresh bagels, and rolls with condiments including LOX, also my mother baked Mandel Bread, Chocolate Chip Cookies, a yeast coffee cake. Food brought us together after a day of repenting.
Many of those traditions faded for me when I got married and moved away. It took me over 36 years to find a Temple where I feel accepted. However, this year I will not be able to sit in the sanctuary with my new family of Temple Friends I will be sharing in a zoom service like so many of us due to COVID. However, I hope and pray next year we can feel safe in coming together as one, and as we say at the end of the Yom Kippur service, “Next Year in Jerusalem,” May we say next year in our Temple/Shul.
2020 or 5780 has not been the best year of my life, nor the worst. However, I pray that 5781 will bring new peace to OUR LIVES so we may live in harmony. Even those of us who sing off Key should be appreciated for the value we bring to this world. We must make this year the first step to doing this and making it an everlasting journey for those that follow.
I ushered in 5780 last year with my Temple Israel Akron family. Sadly, too soon after that COVID crept into our lives and turned things upside down. However, if I have learned nothing else as I turned 70 in March, I am responsible for my feelings that can contribute to my happiness or sadness, and I have chosen Happiness! I have spent the last year reaching out and making new friends and relationships. I have continued to follow my dreams with newcleveleandradio.net. I have been a support system for my family encouraging them to follow their dreams and not settle because someone has told them to. I will go into the new yeat 5781 with new hopes and dreams and I will take the steps forward because that is what life is all about.
To all who may be reading this whether you observe the Jewish Holiday or not, know that I believe in you and all the good you too will put forth in the days to come.
Love, Karen KIKI
As I borrow the tag line from AGEMARCH.org and the founder, Barbara Rose Brooker, #AgeMagnificently, I challenge you to become the best YOU. By becoming the best versions of ourselves we allow ourselves to be open to the opinions of others and dialogue rather than argue or fight! We are all products of our environment, we bring to the table not only cultural differences but the interpretations of the culture we have (and are) experiencing.
My Jewish upbringing as a Conservative Jew is not necessarily the same as another who may identify as the same. Growing up my parent’s kept a Kosher home, however, on Pizza nights we all sat around eating Pepperoni Pizza off Paper Plates because my parents created their personal interpretation of the Kosher Laws. However, my Baube and Zayde would have said we were creating a ‘SHANDAH’ or a SCANDAL!
Whether my parents were right or wrong in the eyes of my maternal grandparents, they chose to create their version of keeping kosher.
Today we are living in a global society full of tags – we all need a tag line to be identified and often the tag lines do not give us enough information. They are often like sound bites that do not give us the whole story. However, #AgeMagnificently provides us a picture that with AGE comes Magnificent if we choose it.
To be magnificent means to be “admirable in action; displaying great power or opulence, especially in building, way of living, and munificence. Magnificent(adj) grand in appearance; exhibiting grandeur or splendor; splendid’ pompous.” However, leaving out pompous, we can be admirable in our actions if we accept that all people are created with goodness, some may need a little more guidance than others. Opulence does not necessarily reflect wealth but the rich and kindness of one’s personality. We can all build a world of fairness that will lead to the growth of FAIRNESS! We can walk straight and tall with our heads held high without stick our noses in the air, avoiding the truth. Facing the truth is not easy but no one said that change was easy!
If we age magnificently from birth we will no longer be judged by a number, a color, gender, sexual preference, or no preference. Our religion will be accepted and our traditions will not be frowned upon. We will be the BEST of OUR BEST while lending a hand to someone who may appear to be different. It is time to accept differences and come together.
It is time to make a Change – Do it!
I have to believe that we are all connected and continue to be, even when our bodies are no longer here…when we cease to breathe and our flesh is no longer alive with blood pumping through our veins. I have to believe that we somehow still communicate, have interplay, that our energies relate to one another in ways that we are not aware of. I have to believe that we all matter and that it matters what we do and how we live, and that we live. I mostly have to believe that loving matters, and that the energy that love generates, that our caring for one another, and our support for each other is necessary. I have to believe that the space in between one human being and the next is not a void or a distance…but an invisible glue that is our human connection. #saratoga #saratogasprings #love #lovematters #brother #create #creativephotography
First they came for the communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me
And there was no one left to speak for me.
– Pastor Martin Niemoeller
4/24/20 Amy Ferris Says it for me:
He’s now claiming that he put the idea out there ‘sarcastically’ just to see what would happen. The idea of humans injecting disinfectant into their bodies. He’s now back peddling. Rewinding. Saying it was just a joke. He wasn’t serious.
This is what I have to say to Donald trump:
Fuck you. Fuck you for being an asshole, fuck you for treating human life so shabbily, for testing people’s hearts and souls day in and day out. Fuck you for making this horrific and devastating pandemic meaningless in your eyes. Fuck you for treating the United States of America like some porn star you fuck for kicks and then want her hushed and silent. Fuck you for not instilling hope, for not inspiring compassion, for not inspiring dignity or decency. Fuck you for humiliating people, for bullying people, for making fun of people. Fuck you for treating human life with such cruelty & disdain – what a disgraceful vile creature.
Sarcastic, my ass.
Get outta our house, you’ve dirtied & sullied it quite enough.
Like many of you, I did not expect that hunkering down would be easy, but I also did not expect my emotions to rise and fall numerous times during the day. However, my reality is more like living on a teeter-totter than a roller coast. When something sends me to the top, I feel my heart beating extra fast, numbness in my dangling feet, and tension in my arms as I hold on with a fear of heights and falling. Yet, when I lower myself and touch the ground, I feel as if I am being pushed down as my knees sink into my chest, and my head leans down, almost in a fetal position…
This is not how I expected to spend the Spring of 2020. As summer 2019 came to an end, I was making some positive life changes beginning with working out every day, developing better eating habits while finding an inner peace that helped strengthen my relationships, new and old. And then, one day, I hurt my knee, and the best-laid plans of this ‘chick’ changed overnight. Instead of working out, I was attending Physical Therapy. The weight loss and physical changes that I had made began to diminish and try as I may keep that positive attitude; it teased me with bouts of anxiety and depression.
2020 was to be the year to get my new bionic knee (total knee replacement) and return to daily workouts and redeveloping my positive plan. If you have been following my journey, you will know that I had surgery seven weeks ago, and yet I am not as recovered as I would have thought I should be or planned to be. I am having excessive nerve type pain in my knee to my ankle, and I am walking with a limp, which is throwing off my whole right-side, causing aches and pains. I think this discomfort is noticed more due to the limitations of the STAY AT HOME and BE SAFE PLAN.
This pandemic has touched all of us, and for some, it includes the loss of a parent, child, friend, or relation of someone you know. Trying to do what is right is simple, but it can feel painful, both physically and emotionally. The physical pain comes from the change in our routines, and that affects our emotional state as well. If you are like my family and me some days, you get inspired, and you do something active like cleaning out a drawer, reading a book, baking, or planting a garden.
Whatever it is, it most likely makes you feel accomplished, and that, in turn, raises your endorphins, increasing your wellness state.
It may not be easy to do something each day to provide this endorphin rush and try as I may do so, I find I am napping and vegging out, losing time to nothingness. Some nothingness is good for us, but too much can be infectious. It is not unusual for us to feel like we are riding the waves, and the rush may make us feel physically ill. However, we each have this opportunity to turn it into that “aha” moment. We can do something that erases the ills and leads us to health.
This pandemic time will end when it is supposed to end. We can do our part now to stay well, so when that day comes, we will walk out with pride and confidence for a better tomorrow.
How about no more disaster movies or bad reality shows with hosts who become Presidential candidates and decide to march us into hell, how about no more limited TV series that fill folks up with fear & worry & shaking in their boots – keeping humans under the covers for days on end. Please, no more crap about the end of the world and who’s gonna save us – fuck, man, no more of that. Please, no more dreck about millions of folks dying from pandemics and the apocalypse and for the sake of all fuck, no more movies where people are trapped in buildings and elevators and homes and cruise ships for weeks & weeks & weeks on end wishing they could see and touch and hug their loved ones. No more of that shit. No more. No more spending hundreds of millions of dollars on movies and TV series that could be spent on bringing humans joy and love and truth and a few hours of glory and grace into their hearts. There are so many fucking Heroes and SHEroes and Warriors and Goddesses and Mensches and WOmensches in the real world, so many, real ones, humans who put their lives on the line every single fucking day and none of them, not one of them, wears a cape. Those folks are wearing humanity straight out. Make movies about redemption because who the fuck doesn’t need to believe that their mistakes can turn into their mission – who doesn’t need that? Find those folks, make those movies. Make movies about the human condition – folks who scale mountains of rejections and piles of sorrow and make it to the other side and stand up tall and inspire the rest of us that we too can fulfill our dreams. People need to be inspired and encouraged – to believe in beauty and goodness again, to have hope, to find love; folks need to sit in a movie theater – or stare at their massive flat TV screen – and think: holy shit that IS me up there, that IS me. Make movies that fill humans with the belief that they too can change the world not because they need to be SuperHeroes but because they are SuperHearts.
Reality TV gave us trump, dumped him in our living rooms where he was firing folks without even so much a care in the world and look what he’s doing now – the same exact shit except we’re all paying the price of his cruelty and ignorance, and all those disaster movies – look, look… we’re all sitting in our homes wondering who we know who will die next from this horrific unbearable pandemic that is giving us all the heebie fucking jeebies, so how about throwing some compassion & hope our way, some good sexy humor, ROMComs and love stories where yes the people up on the screen are in their 50’s and 60’s and 70’s and the lines on their face are the lines we remember because they are us, how about making movies about the human spirit and the irrefutable magnificent power – the superpower – of humanity.
How about giving us some of that?
Best & warm,
Okay, so, I’m sitting here reading a bunch of my own writing that’s in a folder on my computer that says: GROOVY WRITING because, you know, quarantining, and this writing is a few years old… and so, I open the folder and I start reading – and WHOA is me – this really charming funny weird as all fuck animated series PILOT that I wrote a few years back – OF MICE AND MENSCHES: ANIMALS IN GROUP THERAPY and yes, it’s registered with the WGA, so no stealing this idea, and I’m thinking: wow, this shoulda gotten made into a series, yeah, this shoulda gotten made… and now I’m getting comfy on the couch and I’m re-reading this little novella – that’s in the same folder – that I wrote a while back, a sexy little love story – and thinking….yeah, this shoulda been published and …. okay, stop the presses: holy fuck – holy fuck – I just got a text from my very favorite bartender who just texted: ALL RESTAURANTS are closing in Pennsylvania as of right now. And right now is RIGHT NOW, which means no Bar Louis, which means I need a Xanax.
I love you all.
Hold tight, stay safe, fall in love with YOUR MAGIC; fall in love with the words that you write, that pour outta you onto the page, fall in love with your creativity, your talent, your sexy crazy ass art, fall in love with your beauty, fall in love with the music you make & the dances you choreograph and the photos you take and the poems and the prose and the plays and the movies you create… and mostly, mostly fall madly head-over-heels in love with your own badass gorgeous messy life.
(Amy I love being a BADASS)
Today was an amazing day, the first of many Sherapy: Therapy with Sherry Amatenstein. Sherry is an NYC-based psychotherapist and author. Her podcast is a little unconventional for some. Still, it is becoming more traditional, especially to Millennials, as well as working professionals who want to participate in therapy but are limited on time and travel. Each episode of Sherapy is a 50-minute therapy session. The aim is to demystify and destigmatize psychotherapy. Too many people in distress still suffer silently. None of the participants are her private patients. On Sherapy, a person can receive complimentary therapy and remain anonymous. If interested, please contact Sherry at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am so excited to have Sherry Amatenstein on our podcast show real she may be heard by clicking on https://newclevelandradio.net/sherapy-real-therapy-with-sherry-amatenstein-3/real-therapy-with-sherry-amatenstein_podcasts/ – choose a streaming service to listen to this podcast.
Sherry Amatenstein (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) is the author of The Complete Marriage Counselor: Relationship Saving Advice from America’s Top 50+ Couples Therapists; Love Lessons from Bad Breakups; and Q&A Dating Book.
She writes advice columns for www.womansday.com, www.thirdage.com andwww.brides.com, and is frequently called upon to give relationship advice on many national radio and TV programs, including The Today Show, Early Show, Inside Edition, GMA Live, CBS News, and HuffPost Live.
I hope you will enjoy the show and learn more about yourself by listening to others share their journeys.