Monthly Archives: September 2013

Sunday Scenes – September 29, 2013

carmel

Life is good…my son, Scott, has been here this week from Japan. Just him, as he was here on personal and work-related business. Words can not describe how good it has been to see him, look at the fantastic smile of his, and just generally feel the maternal emotions swell up for him, due to his physical presence. I love watching him and my daughter interact, and also how he interacts with the Grandies, and how they interact with him. My heart is full.

He flies out tomorrow for a three day conference put on by his company, and then next Friday he will fly back home to Japan, where he lives with my daughter-in-law and grandson.
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I finished reading Unexpected Gifts, and my reaction to it was unexpected.

I am thoroughly enjoying the novel, Max, by Howard Fast

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Books Reading, Read, To-Read, and More

mikveh israel

The photograph above was taken by me a few years ago. It shows the synagogue interior of Congregation Mickve Israel.

Thank you to Leora’s book review: Short Story Review: The Oxford Book of Hebrew Short Stories, I now have another book to read. My library was able to get it from the main branch, and I picked it up this afternoon. I also picked up Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, by Matthew Dicks, and another book entitled Max. by Howard Fast. Speaking of Howard Fast, I bought his novel, Second Generation at a used book shop.

Between the three library books and the one I bought, I will be busy the next few days. Oh, did I mention that I am in the middle of reading Unexpected Gifts, by S. R. Mallery?

I finished reading The Memory Palace: A Memoir. It was a good read.

The Chicken Lady of Jerusalem: A Life of Giving, the Remarkable Story of Clara Hammer, looks to be an inspiring book.

Margot: A Novel, by Jillian Cantor seems to have a unique take on Anne Frank’s sister.

Thoughts go out to my friend, hoping she will get through the next few days of emotional moments.

I am sorry for the update, I inadvertently left out a link.

© Copyright 2007 – 2013 – All Rights Reserved – No permission is given or allowed to reuse my photography, book reviews, writings, or my poetry in any form/format without my express written consent/permission.

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Lorri M. Review: Great House

greathouse Healing and the need for validation are significant aspects within the pages of Great House, by Nicole Krauss.

The lives that unfold are not necessarily connected in the present, yet connected within the time continuum, within the folds of history dating back to the destruction of the Temple. One desk, with a locked drawer, sets off questioning within each person involved in the story. Insights begin to illuminate, fostered by an inanimate object, and the desk is often looked at as almost human-like. The desk is seen by some as a sense of security, yet it is really more displacing to the one who owns it. That is one of the sad issues in the story.

Krauss has created mindsets that encompass the various folds of the Jewish religion, and encompass the issues that Jews have faced throughout history.

The inanimate may harbor memories of the past, just through the process of ownership, but in the living are where memories are housed, within compartments of the mind. At times we choose to open a compartment and remember. At times we keep those memories locked in a compartment, never to be released. Yet those memories remain within us, running through our DNA, our veins from one generation to the next.

Krauss enhances the themes within the pages, and one in particular, transitions back to the destruction of the Temple. Great House is an analogy and metaphor for the Temple and what it stood for. It was THE GREAT HOUSE. We all hold the key to our unlocked stories, albeit, some might be to painful to release. As a whole unit of Jews, they hold a collective key to their past, a past blighted by the destruction of the Temple/Great House, the foundation of Jewish education and history that is carried through the generations, with cognizance or otherwise.

The Jewish people needed to heal through the centuries from all the losses, genocide, destruction, and statelessness. The sense of belonging that is the glue holding them together is a strong theme within the pages, although to some it may seem minor.

Memory and loss might lie dormant within the minds of some of the characters, much like the inanimate desk with its locked drawer. But, at the surface of the different individuals reigns the sameness of reclusive living and aloneness, and the sameness of memory’s repression of Self, and memory’s distortion of the past.

This was my second reading of this novel, and I am glad to have reread it, and did find it still, if not more, illuminating the second time around. Nicole Krauss is brilliant with word-imagery and in infusing the reader with questions to ponder regarding Judaism, its history and its legacy. Questioning and seeking answers is not unique in Judaism. I recommend Great House for those reasons.

© Copyright 2007 – 2013 – All Rights Reserved – No permission is given or allowed to reuse my photography, book reviews, writings, or my poetry in any form/format without my express written consent/permission

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Sunday Scenes – September 22, 2013

boulder reflection

Masada uncovered and its possible riddles.

Masada
-Looking into its soul.

Mini Colosseum believed discovered in Italy.

Rio De Janeiro yields archaeological finds, including a toothbrush belonging to the Emperor of Brazil.

I am in the middle of reading The Memory Palace: A Memoir.

I read Great House for the second time, and am glad I did.

All rights reserved © Copyright 2007 – 2013 – All Rights Reserved – No permission is given or allowed to reuse my photography, book reviews, writings, or my poetry in any form/format without my express written consent/permission.

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Sukkot, Structure, Links

wood shelter

While walking through a trail in the woods a couple of months ago when in northern California, I came upon this structure, pictured above. I wondered, is it a shelter that was built to rest in on a hot day? It is only tall enough for an adult or two to sit up underneath it, at its highest point, and for a few children to sit or lay down under. I also thought of a Sukkah, and wondered if it was built for a family to sit under during Sukkot. It looked quite strange in the middle of the woods, the only structure there.

Today’s “Religion” section of the Huffington Post has a lovely article regarding Sukkot.

Judaism 101 has good information and explanations.

Chabad has excellent information and tips.

Pumpkin Challah, anyone? How about apple and honey challah?

Read a heart-warming article on one person’s grandfather and his etrog collection.

Wishing those who celebrate Sukkot a joyous one! Chag Sameach!

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Foliage and Stream

stream and foliage

What a fascinating article regarding artifacts found near Temple Mount, including a gold medallion with a menorah etched in it. More and more artifacts, artifacts from Before Common Era (BCE) have been found near there, lately.

During these Days of Awe, I find it very rewarding that Judaica is continually enriching our lives, whether by new findings or whether by prayer and practice.

Have a peaceful day. Shalom!

© Copyright 2007 – 2013 – All Rights Reserved – No permission is given or allowed to reuse my photography, book reviews, writings, or my poetry in any form/format without my express written consent/permission.

Sorry for the update. I uploaded the wrong photograph.

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