Monthly Archives: March 2012

Sky Scenics, Senselessness, Shabbat,

It is time for Skywatch Friday! Visit here for more sky views from around the world.

This has been a busy week for me in regards to books.

I finished The No Potato Passover (and made three recipes from the many mouth-watering ones in the book).

I am in the midst of reading Prague: My Long Journey Home, by Charles Ota Heller. Mr. Heller graciously sent me a review copy, and I feel privileged to have received it.

Jewish Travellers in the Middle Ages sounds like an intriguing read. Hmm.

I must see the film Footnote! It comes to a local theater, soon.

Time to Come Clean on Shoah Role: French train company asked to open WWII files

The world is in a state of senseless acts, which evokes pure sadness in me, and words are inadequate in conveying my feelings. There is genocide occurring in African nations. Why? Where is the humanity? The murders of three children and a Rabbi at a Jewish school, was an act of violence that knows no logic. Three innocent children and a Rabbi. Why? It is horrific and mind-boggling to see the events unfold, not only in the Jewish community, but everywhere, worldwide. My prayers go out to all of the victims and their families, no matter where they are located.

I am also stunned and disgusted by the senseless, unfathomable killing of a young man, a 17-year old boy named Trayvon who was walking to his father’s girlfriend’s home in Florida from a convenience store after buying Skittles and iced tea. He was unarmed, Black, innocent and died screaming for help before he was murdered by a man who followed him, seemingly fearing for his own (the man’s) life. My heart is filled with deep sadness over this killing, and the murderer is walking free, at the moment, due to a clause in a state law. It is difficult to comprehend the unprovoked act, and as a parent, I find it more than distressing. I can’t begin to imagine how his mother and father feel. My thoughts and prayers go out to the parents of Trayvon Martin, the rest of his family and his friends.

Please take a moment to pray for and/or think of all of the victims of senseless acts, worldwide. Shabbat Shalom.

March 23, 2012 – 29 Adar I, 5772

All photography, writing, poetry, etc. is my copyright and may not be reproduced without my express written permission.


Filed under Films, Judaism, Memoirs, Photography

Jewaicious Review – The No Potato Passover

The No Potato Passover, by Aviva Kanoff is an exceptional cook book, in more ways than one.

It is not just a cookbook, but also a travelogue through cities and villages in Italy, through Croatia, Jamaica, New York, Czech Republic, Israel, Budapest, and several other locations, with accompanying photographs of both location and of recipe accomplishment.

The recipes’ finished products are delightful to look at in photograph form, and the recipes, themselves, are wonderful additions to the Passover celebration. I would make them year round, not just during Passover.

I tried three recipes, and was extremely happy with the results. So were my family members.

Baby Bok Choy with Garlic and Ginger came out fantastic. I served it with brown rice and chicken chunks.

I loved the Honey Mustard Poached Salmon.

The Chicken With Apricot Marmalade and Balsamic Vinegar Recipe came out divine. I thought I would never stop drooling. I served it with asparagus.

I highly recommend the delightful The No Potato Passover to everyone. It is not only a journey through cooking, but also a journey through inspiring and beautiful photographic locations.


Filed under Book Reviews, Judaism, Non-Fiction

Spring Beginnings at the Lake

I took the above photograph this morning at the local lake/park. I loved how the cherry blossoms were beginning to blossom, signaling spring beginnings.

Today is Wednesday, which means it is time for Nature Notes Wednesday and Watery Wednesday! Visit the memes to see more photos from around the world.

All photography, writing, poetry, etc. is my copyright and may not be reproduced without my express written permission.

March 21, 2012 – 27 Adar I, 5772


Filed under Judaism, Photography

Jewaicious Site Issues

My site is having issues for those leaving comments, not all of you, but some of you are asked to log in if you are a Word Press user. It is definitely a WordPress problem…here is a WP forum link regarding the situation.

I have been to the varied forums and there is no helpful information on them. No user suggestions apply to me. I do not have the “must be logged in to comment” checked, never have, so it is not that. It appears that hundreds of users have the same issues. It could be thousands (maybe many have not gone to the forum), who knows, but the WP forum shows hundreds with the same issue. It appears to be a WP problem for some of us

I am not sure what the problem is, but I have the same one, trying to leave replies on my own blog. Please bear with me during this time of trial and error. All of my settings are correct, so it isn’t that. Nobody is blocked, nothing checked in order for you to have to log in, etc.

Update…probably not Gravatar issue, although they share the same data, now.



Update: It appears to be Gravatar motivated, along with WP, as they share the same data. Here is a staff response:


We’ve recently updated our commenting system.

Now if someone tries to comment with an email address attached to a account (or Gravatar account, they’re the same), they’ll need to sign into before they can comment.

If commenters have forgotten their password they can request a reset:

How nice that they didn’t mention anything to the users about the change.


Filed under Uncategorized

Skies and Shabbat – March 16, 2012

When you find yourself looking for guidance or religious comfort, do you reach out for answers or suggestions, or look up at the sky and pray, or do you seek the answers elsewhere?

I find the sky to be a great source of comfort and reflection, and am often awed by its beauty, from the tones and contrasts, to the weather conditions, the sky never looks the same from one day to the next, especially if you are standing in the same spot, looking upwards.

Try it, you might be surprised and find comfort or a sense of serenity.

Shabbat Shalom!

It is Skywatch Friday, today. Visit here for more sky scenes.


Filed under Photography

Jewaicious Review – Who Shall Live: The Wilhelm Bachner Story

Samuel Oliner and Kathleen Lee have have written a compelling and important book regarding the Holocaust. The details in Who Shall Live: The Wilhelm Bachner Story, were obtained from first-hand accounts, beginning with the account of Wilhelm Bachner, a Polish Jew.

Bachner managed to gain a job with a German architectural company by posing as an Aryan. With an engineering degree from a German university and the ability to speak flawless German he was hired to headed a group of construction workers. This afforded him a pass by which he could leave and reenter the Warsaw ghetto at the close of the workday to be with his wife and extended family.

During his employment with the architectural firm, he was able to rescue dozens of Polish Jews by having them pose as Aryans, and by giving them false work permits, false identity papers and and other false identifying documents. He hired some as construction workers, working in the very company he worked in, some he gave clerical jobs to, and others he found work for in other capacities. He also managed to hide others with reputable and trustworthy individuals.

Bachner’s fierce determination and courage saw him through the most adverse of situations, and he never waivered when he saw an opportunity to save a Jew. There were times when his very existence and identity were questioned, but with his strong will he learned to be assertive, almost aggressive, with the SS and other members of the military under Hitler’s command. His identity papers, his university degree, individual Germans who verbally vouched for him, and the fact that the company he worked for was important to Hitler’s cause, saw him through the worst of times.

He and his wife managed to emigrate to California in 1951. His story is told through interviews given by him before he died in 1991, and by interviews with relatives. Interviews were also provided by surviving Jews that he saved, and through their family members. Documents were photographed from archives, and research was painstakingly done in archives.

Samuel Oliner and Kathleen Lee left no stone unturned in telling the story of Bachner, along with the story of his family members. The dozens of Jews he rescued were more than willing to tell the story of how Wilhelm Bachner was the primary force in their survival.

The historical value behind Who Shall Live: The Wilhelm Bachner Story is extremely important, as it focuses on the fact that there was Jewish resistance to the horrific events that unfolded during the Holocaust. In my opinion Who Shall Live: The Wilhelm Bachner Story belongs in every public library, every college and university library, and every personal library. It’s importance as a historical telling can not be emphasized enough.

I personally own and have read this book…three times.

All photography, writing, poetry, etc. is my copyright and may not be reproduced without my express written permission.

March 15, 2012 – 21 Adar I, 5772


Filed under Book Reviews, Holocaust/Genocide, Judaism, Memoirs