I love birds, especially the White Wagtail, known in Hebrew as the Nachlieli. Earlier this week, my brain felt like it was being crushed from all kinds of pressures and I was starting to feel down. I went out to talk to Hashem - the only solution - and asked Him to pick me up, pronto! Hashem answered me almost immediately. As I was walking home from that life-saving personal prayer session near the Lachish River east of Ashdod, a fauntless Nachlieli pranced right in front of me. Whenever I see one of these birds, my heart fills with joy. The Nachlieli I saw some time ago inspired a melody that appears on my Whispering Soul album - here's a taste:
61 posts categorized "Hashem's creations"
A rare bulls-eye solar eclipse will frequent the USA on the amazing date of Aug. 21, 2017, which in the Hebrew calendar is 29 Av, 5777, Erev Rosh Chodesh, the eve of the new month of Elul. This will begin 1:15 PM EDT, a time that is known as Yom Kippur Katan, or "little Yom Kippur", which is essentially the kickoff of the 40-day penitence period between the beginning of Elul and Yom Kippur, which corresponds to the third period of forty days and forty nights that Moses spent with G-d on Mount Sinai atoning for the Jewish People until Hashem fully forgave them on Yom Kippur.
What is the metaphysical meaning of this rare solar eclipse, and that fact that the umbra - the full eclipse - will be exclusively over the USA?
Our Rabbis taught, When the sun is in eclipse it is a bad omen for idolaters... if in the west, it is a bad omen for those who dwell in the west... (Succah 29a). If you're trying to strengthen yourself in emuna, the solar eclipse is good news for you. Nevertheless, unlike other wonders of nature like lightning and shooting stars, one does not say the blessing of osah ma'aseh breishit when witnessing the solar eclipse.
Among other reasons, as I highlighted in the image of the Gemara Succah page 29a below, total solar eclipses come because of rape, sodomy and bloodshed. And, it's a bad sign for whichever part of the world witnesses it. What's more, this comes at the beginning of "teshuva time" as we mentioned above.
We all must do teshuva, big time. But, a complete solar eclipse that only the USA will see? That is a shout from Above - America, get your act together, Come back to the Almighty and cast away all your legalization of what the Torah calls abominations. This is also a warning for anyone in Israel who prefers the "American" lifestyle to the Torah and emuna lifestyle.
Sure, the chorus of agnostics will chime in and say, "This is a natural phenomenon that would have happened anyway." We here at the Beams are not out to convince anyone or to proselytize. We're here as an emuna (faith) resource to help anyone who so chooses to live a happier, healthier and more meaningful life. If you choose to ignore Hashem's voice, go ahead. Nevertheless, one who does choose to ignore and refuse to heed the shout from Above, doesn't have the sense of an ox or a mule (see Isaiah 1:3).
Anytime is a great time to come back to Hashem - let's start right now. The little things are what counts. Let's look around us and see what we can do to make another human happy. That's not difficult at all - just start with a smile. Don't forget, today is "Love Day" - see our post below this one:
Urgent Update - 4:30 PM, Israel
Our good friend Ira from www.astronomyisrael.com just informed us that tonight in Israel, there will be a partial lunar eclipse. According to the above Gemara, we here in Israel must first correct ourselves and urgently do what we can to strengthen emuna and come back to Hashem. Since the maximum eclipse is only partial, it's still a gentle warning from Hashem. Let's not wait for the volume to get louder.
This isn't my roof, but it's pretty darn close. Every morning and late afternoon, my balcony suffers from a pigeon infestation. We put a pool on the balcony, but even though it's covered, somehow the pigeons can tell that there's water there, so they fly over looking for some poolside fun. What do they want? Are they looking for me to walk outside with a tray of icy pina coladas and frozen grapes on a stick? Are they looking for a summer pigeon fling? The problem is that my balcony is high up, and it's not covered by another balcony. Supposedly pigeons like high places. So fly to the Azrieli Towers, you disgusting pigeons!!
Here's what my days have turned into. I get up at about 6:30, and try to be as quiet as I can. Sleeping Beauty (David) must be woken up no earlier than 7:15. After tiptoeing to the bathroom and back, I open my closet door which has a mirror on the inside, and begin the 45-minute face cream/makeup/voodoo ritual. My bedroom window faces the balcony, so while applying my makeup and chanting curses on my enemies, I spot pigeons attempting to land on my pergola and pool.
I immediately turn, run over to the window, and BANG! BANG! BANG! on it as hard as I can. You know, in order to scare away the pigeons. (And also to wake up my lazy princess of a husband.) I watch in evil glee as the pigeons scramble to fly away as I mutter curses in their direction. My glee is doubled (does that even make sense?) because out of the corner of my eye, I see my husband jump up out of his deep sleep, startled by the BANG! BANG! BANG! noise. I laugh my wicked laugh and go back to painting my eyebrows.
Then, as the sun is setting, the disgusting pigeons come lookin' for some front row seats so they can admire the gorgeous sunset from my balcony. One day I'll post a picture, G-d willing. As I'm feeding the kids dinner, I see the pigeons coming back, and I can't get over how stupid they are. Don't they remember how I traumatized them in the morning? Why can they remember to keep flying back to the same spot, but they can't remember the BANG! BANG! BANG!????
So in between serving my kids, I keep running over to the dining room window and bang away again, as I scream at them to "Get away from here, you disgusting pigeons!!" Okay, it really sounds like, "GET AWAY FROM HERE, YOU DISGUSSSSTTTTIINNNGGGG PIGEONS!!!" When I'm too far away, but I can still see the pigeons, I send one of my kids running to bang on the window. So far, thank G-d, I haven't broken any windows. Yet.
Of course, the problem isn't the pigeons. It's the DISGUSTING mess they leave behind, if you get my drift. I can't stand it!!! So for the past three summers, I've been dealing with this aggravation. And you can be sure I've been complaining a lot about it. A LOT.
In the midst of my endless complaining, my inconsiderate husband decided to point out that there could be way worse problems to have than pigeon poop infesting every corner of your balcony that your kids use, and, oh yeah, the pool too, because that cover sometimes sinks into the pool so water ends up sitting on top of it. When the pigeons see this they go crazy like a bunch of wild beasts that just found a watering hole in the middle of the African savanna in the middle of July. Wait. It is the middle of July, right? OMG! I missed my dad's birthday! Better call him real quick and explain that I'm too preoccupied with murderous thoughts about pigeons to call him on his birthday.
Do you know that every single time I wanted to write the word pigeon, I started writing the word pie? Does that mean something? You know, subconsciously?
So the princess is right. The piegons (that's it, I'm fed up of correcting myself!) are just an aggravation. And an aggravation is much more preferable than a serious challenge. So, I'm telling all of you fellow piegon-haters out there, don't sweat the minor aggravations. Because when you think about it, wouldn't you prefer a minor aggravation to something more serious?
I have just one more thing to say: DIE, PIEGONS, DIE!! (I apologize to all animal rights activists for my incredibly insensitive feelings of rage and frustration toward helpless creatures.)
Alao, do you like this amazing "I can't believe it's gluten-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free" chocolate swirl cheesecake that I made? It's OUTSTANDING!!
My heart is breaking. I had to get rid of LBC (Little Black Chick) last Thursday night. David wouldn't let me keep him. I only had him for two days, but somewhere along the line we got so attached to each other. My little chick used to follow me around the house, picking up crumbs as he walked. I gotta tell you, this little guy was sharp. Like I wrote last week, he figured out right away that I would hold him on demand. So when I was bathing the kids, I brought him into the bathroom to hang out with us, and he actually walked onto my foot and stood on it, looking up at me and wondering why I wasn't holding him.
Even as I worked, you can see how he wanted to be with me all the time. He actually jumped up onto my foot as I worked at the dining room table. Do you have any idea how hard it was for me to take that picture?? I couldn't see what I was doing, and it took about 100 tries, but miraculously I got it. That's how long LBC was sitting on my foot.
We were so in love, my little black chick and I.
Oh, and I almost forgot - I really did bring him to bed in the morning because he started chirping at six in the am, and I am not fully human at that hour. I need about 30 more minutes to morph back into a human from a zombie. If not, I'm pretty scary. Think Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video. You remember the zombies digging themselves out of their graves and pulling their nearly falling-apart bodies across the ground? That's what I look like if I have to get out of bed at 6am.
So I wrapped him up in a towel and lay him on my chest and went back to sleep. The first morning, I really did take him to Zumba with me. I wrapped him in my patented towel-bird-wrapping method and off we went. I checked up on him between songs, and he was asleep, until about halfway through the class, when I suddenly noticed him standing on the edge of my purse, looking for me.
A few of the women started freaking out, so I decided to teach them a lesson and shoved little chickie in their faces until they were completely traumatized and ran out of class. I'm just kidding. I didn't really do that. But I wanted to. It's just a tiny bird, women!!
My youngest son, Natan, also became attached to him, and held him wherever he went, too. Pretty soon, it turned into this giant complicated love triangle, where Natan and I were fighting over who gets to hold little birdie, and my husband was getting jealous of all of the attention I was giving to my chick. By Thursday, he threatened me: "It's either me or the chick."
I told him to give me the day to think about it, as it was a very hard decision to make. By the afternoon, I had reluctantly come to the conclusion that LBC wouldn't be able to pay the bills and support my outrageous spending on workout clothes. So I decided that I would choose hubby after all.
I found him a good home with a friend who lives down the street. Of course, I had to interview her and her children, and asked for three references. Once I had cleared that, I had them come over so I could supervise their interaction with the chick and point out everything they were doing wrong. Oh, what fun. After Natan went to sleep, I tearfully brought birdie over to his new home. It was a very difficult separation.
I was mad at David for three days after that.
The worst was the next morning, when Natan woke up before I did, and I could hear him walking around the house saying, "Birdie? Efo (where is) Birdie?" Oy, it was so sad!
Just in case you don't believe that I'm really that crazy, I improvised a "birdie carrier," in which I wrapped him in a towel and put him in the front of my jacket. I washed dishes, fed the kids, and even drove around town like that. Come to think of it, I should have strapped him on my back like I used to do when my kids were little. Or I could have worn him on my head on top of my tichel (scarf hair covering.)
Of course I was trying to figure out why Hashem made this whole crazy, seemingly unnecessary. 2-day experience happen. Here are the two messages that I came up with:
1) I have issues. Serious issues. Gotta start working on them one of these days.
2) Everyone needs love, no matter if they're a bird, a plane, or Superman. Especially children. Kids need a whole 'lot of love. So let's do our best to give it to them.
Now I've just got to figure out a way to get back at David for making me get rid of him. Any ideas??
During a recent hitbodedut (personal prayer) session in the citrus groves east of Ashdod, I spotted something I've never seen in Israel - wild parrots (see image above, which I took). At first, I thought they were some escaped parakeets from the nearby neighborhood, but that seemed odd because they were so large. When I came home, I did a search and happily discovered that they are wild Asiatic parakeets, aka as "Ringneck" or "Long-tailed" parakeets. I spotted a male and female that exactly resemble the ones in the prototype photo below. Our beloved holy homeland is a haven for all types of exquisite birds and wildlife. For sure, such sites inspired King David to compile Perek Shira. Our sages tell us that he knew the language of the birds, flaura and fauna. Thank You, Hashem!
For all types of reasons, I hadn't had a chance to swim in the Mediterranean all summer long. Here in Ashdod, we have a "Mehadrin" beach with separate hours for men and women. But, during the summer vacation, it's packed. Now, with vacation over, I took advantage the empty beach and went for a swim one late afternoon. When I came back to the shore, I saw an immobilized jellyfish that a wave had thrown onto the sand. I contemplated that if we could photograph the evil inclination, it would probably look like a jellyfish - gooey and unsightly.
The world is like a stormy sea. All kinds of waves throw you all over the place, no matter how strong a swimmer you are. You get stung all the time and you can hardly sea what's stinging you. But, when you walk into the study hall and begin learning Torah, your soul is on dry land. Now, like the jellyfish washed up on shore that you couldn't see so clearly in the water, your evil inclination becomes apparent in all its ugliness and it becomes immobilized.
But, if you do go for a swim, beware of the jellyfish. Likewise, the moment we close our Gemara, we must keep our eyes open for the evil inclination; its tentacles can really sting.
We're having a hot summer - let's cool off with some refreshing and invigorating glimpses of Hashem's magnificent universe, thanks to award-winning photographer Richard Sidey: