Category Archives: Judaism

Elie Wiesel

yarz
“Elie Wiesel, #Auschwitz & Buchenwald survivor, writer, 1986 #Nobel Peace Prize laureate, died on this day, in 2016.”

For more information on Elie Wiesel, visit –Auschwitz Museum

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” (Elie Wiesel)

Elisha Wiesel remembers his father, and how growing up under Elie Wiesel’s  guidance impacted him.

May his memory be for a Loving Blessing.

yahrzeit2 6

 

1 Comment

Filed under Holocaust/Genocide, Jewish History, Judaism, Lorri's Blog, Photography, Uncategorized, World History, World War II

Before, After

Trees exhale for us so that we can inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that? Let us love trees with every breath we take until we perish.

-Munia Khan

Nothing on this earth is standing still. It is either growing or it’s dying. No matter if it’s a tree or a human being.

-Lou Holtz

Photographs Copyright Lorri M.

Leave a comment

Filed under Artistic Work, Judaism, Lorri's Blog, nature, Photography, Quotations, trees

Community

We are all a part of a community, whether it is the fact we live in a city, town, rural area, apartment complex, housing neighborhood, particular street, we are all a part of a community.

Most communities are filled with diverse residents, the exceptions being specific communities, such as ones resided in by white populations, only.

In the majority of communities, we, the people, are a diverse blend of races, ethnicities, religions, economics, social flavors, societal influences, financial structures, educational backgrounds, ages, and so much more.  Just like the photograph above, community residents are filled with various bodily textures and tones, hair colors and eye colors, skin colors.

I am jewish, and live in a city populated with mainly Christians, a minority of Jews, Buddhists, and Muslims.  The Jewish community is small, as is the Muslim community, and Buddhist community.  The city is inhabited with a majority of white people, and a minority of blacks and hispanics.  Most of the citizens get along with each other, but there is still a lack of blending within the city, meaning that certain sections are inhabited by certain races, and/or ethnic backgrounds.

Although most get along, some of us have hardened with time, due to events that have converged within our communities, and due to suppression, economic oppression, and the current status of administrative hierarchy where we live.

Those of who are in their twenties and thirties often have different mindsets than the older generations.  People in their fifties, sixties, seventies, and older, often see issues through stubborn attitudes, attitudes set in stone, large rocks or boulders, not small stones or pebbles.

Younger people seem to weather the storms of life better, having a more open mindedness.  Not all, but most, appear this way.  They are more understanding, and more willing to be supportive of the human condition, such as the poverty stricken, the mentally ill, the individuals struggling to live each day due to financial inequality, and the black individuals, whose lives have been oppressed, misjudged, abused, beaten, killed, and literally thought of as nonhuman beings.

The ongoing marches and protests signify, to me, that the country is undergoing a drastic, and much needed, and necessary change.  And, I believe it is the younger generations who are facilitating much of it, due to their compassion and hope for betterment.  Of course, there are older people within the protesting and marching, no doubt about that, but the younger individuals are clearly making their voices heard.

Most of the protests I have seen, not only here in America, but worldwide, have been filled with a majority of white individuals protesting for civil rights, human rights, black rights.  We shouldn’t have to be protesting for black lives and their rights.  They are part of us, not a separate species, but human beings, and nothing less.

The photo above depicts nature, in its various forms, rocks, boulders, tumbleweeds, tree trunks, branches, leaves, earth, and so much more, inhabiting within, that we can’t see.  But, we call all these visuals ‘nature’, the natural world.  Well, guess what?  Human beings are human beings, no matter the color of their skin, no matter if they are black.  They should never be considered less than human, but should be embraced for who they are, individuals, human beings, life forces within our communities, to behold and respect.  Their black lives matter, and those of us who are not black, must show support for them, listen to them, try to understand them, befriend them.  Anything less is unacceptable, period.

 

Copyright Lorri M.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Judaism, Lorri's Blog, nature, Photography, trees, Writings

Review: Einstein and the Rabbi: Searching for the Soul

I finished reading Einstein and the Rabbi:  Searching for the Soul, by Rabbi Naomi Levy.

We are all an eternal flicker in the candle of time, and each of us is an illumination of the past, present and future. 

This beautifully written book, exemplifies our connections, and enhances the fact humanity is all encompassing, each of us a minute part of the entire.  One life is all of our lives, connected through human strands.  One death leaves a portion of our souls empty, voided.

Reading this book almost brought me to tears with the beautiful, structured prose, illuminating Rabbi Levy’s concept of soul, and her defining such, through her journey searching for the answers to her questions.

I recommend Einstein and the Rabbi:  Searching for the Soul, to everyone, no matter your faith, and no matter whether you practice any religious faith, or whether you are an atheist.  It offers something for everyone.

The photo above was taken several years ago, inside Temple Mickve Israel, in Savannah, GA.  I was astonished that I was permitted to take a photo of the Torahs in the Ark.

The photograph above is of the front entrance to the Skirball Cultural Center.  They are currently closed due to COVID-19, but their online exhibits and resources are invaluable.

All photographs and writings are the copyright of Lorri M.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Jewish History, Judaism, Lorri's Blog, Non-Fiction, Photography, Uncategorized

To the Edge of Sorrow

To the Edge of Sorrow, by Aharon Appelfeld, is a profound book, in many aspects.

Appelfeld leaves nothing to the imagination, as far as word-imagery, illuminating not only the physical horrors, losses, and sorrows of war, but also the emotional perceptions, repressions, and ability to forge through each day, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour.

Jewish partisans struggle from hunger, extreme cold temperatures, living in trenches, life on the run, living in a Ukrainian forest, during World War II. They are adamant about fighting the Nazis.

Judaism is a central theme, within the pages, and how it’s education is part of the partisans’ daily ritual. Whether believers, or not, it is expected that the entire group participates, because their leader is determined that morality will survive the horrors thrust upon them.

Through this daily aspect, some of the group are able to cope better, with their difficult situation.  Others are impacted more emotionally, causing them to reflect on their life, their loved ones, the comforts of home.  The effects, and how each person is affected, is important in the context of the group, as a whole.

The story, with its characters, and depictions, still lingers within me, and will, for quite some time. It is one of those books, that for me, is difficult to let go of.

I have been an avid reader of Aharon Appelfeld’s books. Sadly, this was his last one, as he died in 2018.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Holocaust/Genocide, Jewish History, Judaism, Lorri's Blog, Novels, Uncategorized, World History, World War II

Review: David Plotz’s Good Book

good book

Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible, by David Plotz is an interesting book on one man’s perception after reading the Bible.

Plotz read the Bible beginning as a child in Hebrew class. He read snippets throughout the years. While at a Bat Mitzvah, he began reading passages of the Torah. This fueled the fire that began his journey to read the entire Bible.

He found the Bible to be weird, especially the language and how it is not always cohesive and/or easy to understand.  He was astonished at some of the stories in the Bible that verge on the bizarre with some of their eccentric and archaic content, such as vengeance, murder, stoning, plagues, slavery, and other forms of physical punishment, etc., and especially regarding the nature of G-d.

Plotz’s train of thought is that scholars and religious leaders have made the interpretation and translation of the Bible difficult and hard to understand, and almost an arduous task to do so.  He feels that most religious leaders (of all faiths) have selected certain sections, chapters, quotations, and etc., from specific books of the Bible to fit what they deem is necessary to hold their congregation in tow.

He also feels that every person should read the Bible, because it holds a wealth of knowledge, and also gives Jews food for thought to argue over.  Where Christian faiths hold Jesus as their savior, Jews have had to argue the facets of the Bible with each other, throughout the centuries, not necessarily accepting the words at face value.  Argument is a Jewish tradition.  This has made them stronger, and has given them the freedom to doubt, to believe, and has bound them, historically, as a separate group of individuals.

When Plotz began reading the Bible, he was an agnostic, and wasn’t overly involved in it. When he finished reading the Bible, his mindset had changed.  In order to find out how, read Good Book yourself. You will come away with a deepening sense regarding how other Jews perceive the Bible.

Good Book, by David Plotz is much more than an interesting look at the Bible through one man’s eyes.  It is a journey of faith, understanding, insight and extreme questioning. His interpretations, feelings and thoughts about his journey are frank, filled with harshness and often with extreme humor.  The reader often finds him amused, awed, disgusted, appalled, yet with the desire to continue forward with his reading.  At times he found the stories difficult to understand, and difficult to read due to their horrific content, yet he found much of the Bible fascinating.

This is my second reading of this book, and reread it, once more, for a book discussion.

© Copyright Lorri M. – 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.

1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Judaism, Lorri's Blog, Non-Fiction, Uncategorized