happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, hanukkah – every night during this festival of lights!
May the lights of Hanukkah usher in a better world for all humankind.
May the lights of Hanukkah usher in a better world for all humankind.
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.
~ Rabindranath Tagore
there is something about 9/11 that can only be known by the people who experienced it in nyc. it’s a bond between new yorkers that did not exist before 2001. it was a day that has lasted for 13 years. it was a day filled with more fear than anyone could have imagined they would survive. god bless the ones who didn’t. god bless their families. god bless all of america’s heroes who rushed in to help. it was a day where the people in this city saw more acts of kindness and heroism than one would expect to see in an entire lifetime.
god bless us all in this world.
“Lord, take me where you want me to go, let me meet who you want me to meet, tell me what you want me to say, and keep me out of your way.”
i’ve been loving wayne dyer since the early 90’s. really, he should be my husband. . . .
here’s his advice for today:
Inspiration is a state of being here now in this material world, while at the same time reconnecting to our spiritual origins. In order to be receptive to inspiration, we need to eliminate the ego clutter that accumulates all too easily for most of us—after all, if we’re preoccupied with events and activities that have nothing to do with inspiration, we’re unlikely to notice its summons. So in order to achieve a reunion with our ultimate calling, we need to emulate the clear, uncomplicated world of Spirit.
This doesn’t mean that we should sit around doing nothing, awaiting Spirit’s arrival; instead, it means having faith that our spiritual connection flourishes in a life dedicated to joy, love, and peace. If our daily activities are so overwhelming that we don’t make these things our priority, then we’re disregarding the value of living a simple life.
My 12-Step Program for Simplifying Your Life
Here are 12 very specific tools for simplifying your life. Begin using them today if you’re serious about hearing that ultimate call to inspiration.
- Unclutter Your Life. You’ll feel a real rush of inspiration when you clear out stuff that’s no longer useful in your life:
If you haven’t worn it in the past year or two, recycle it for others to use. Get rid of old files that take up space and are seldom, if ever, needed. Donate unused toys, tools, books, bicycles, and dishes to a charitable organization.
Get rid of anything that keeps you mired in acquisitions that contribute to a cluttered life. In the words of Socrates, “He is nearest to God who needs the fewest things.” So the less you need to insure, protect, dust, reorganize, and move, the closer you’ll be to hearing inspiration’s call.
- Clear your Calendar of Unwanted and Unnecessary Activities and Obligations. If you’re unavailable for Spirit, you’re unlikely to know the glow of inspiration. God will indeed work with you and send you the guidance—and the people—you need, but if you’re grossly overscheduled, you’re going to miss these life-altering gifts. So practice saying no to excessive demands and don’t feel guilty about injecting a dose of leisure time into your daily routine.
- Be Sure to Keep Your Free Time Free. Be on the lookout for invitations to functions that may keep you on top of society’s pyramid, but which inhibit your access to joyful inspiration. If cocktail parties, social get-togethers, fund-raising events, or even drinking-and-gossiping gatherings with friends aren’t really how you want to spend your free time, then don’t. Begin declining invitations that don’t activate feelings of inspiration. I find that an evening spent reading or writing letters, watching a movie with a loved one, having dinner with my children, or even exercising alone is far more inspiring than getting dressed to attend a function often filled with small talk. I’ve learned to be unavailable for such events without apologizing, and consequently have more inspired moments freed up.
- Take Time for Meditation and Yoga. Give yourself at least 20 minutes a day to sit quietly and make conscious contact with God. I’ve written an entire book on this subject called Getting in the Gap, so I won’t belabor it here. I will say that I’ve received thousands of messages from people all over the world, who have expressed their appreciation for learning how to simplify their life by taking the time to meditate. I also encourage you to find a yoga center near you and begin a regular practice. The rewards are so powerful: You’ll feel healthier, less stressed, and inspired by what you’ll be able to do with and for your body in a very short time.
- Return to the Simplicity of Nature. There’s nothing more awe-inspiring than nature itself. The fantasy to return to a less tumultuous life almost always involves living in the splendor of the mountains, the forests, or the tundra; on an island; near the ocean; or beside a lake. These are universal urges, since nature is created by the same Source as we are, and we’re made up of the same chemicals as all of nature (we’re stardust, remember?).
Your urge to simplify and feel inspired is fueled by the desire to be your natural self—that is, your natureself. So give yourself permission to get away to trek or camp in the woods; swim in a river, lake, or ocean; sit by an open fire; ride horseback through trails; or ski down a mountain slope. This doesn’t have to mean long, planned vacations that are months away—no matter where you live, you’re only a few hours or even moments away from a park, campground, or trail that will allow you to enjoy a feeling of being connected to the entire Universe.
- Put Distance between You and Your Critics. Choose to align yourself with people who are like-minded in their search for simplified inspiration. Give those who find fault or who are confrontational a silent blessing and remove yourself from their energy as quickly as possible. Your life is simplified enormously when you don’t have to defend yourself to anyone, and when you receive support rather than criticism. You don’t have to endure the criticism with anything other than a polite thank-you and a promise to consider what’s been said—anything else is a state of conflict that erases the possibility of your feeling inspired. You never need to defend yourself or your desires to anyone, as those inner feelings are Spirit speaking to you. Those thoughts are sacred, so don’t ever let anyone trample on them.
- Take Some Time for Your Health. Consider that the number one health problem in America seems to be obesity. How can you feel inspired and live in simplicity if you’re gorging on excessive amounts of food and eliminating the exercise that the body craves? Recall that your body is a sacred temple where you reside for this lifetime, so make some time every single day for exercising it. Even if you can only manage a walk around the block, just do it. Similarly, keep the words portion control uppermost in your consciousness—your stomach is the size of your fist, not a wheelbarrow! Respect your sacred templeand simplify your life by being an exerciser and a sensible eater. I promise that you’ll feel inspired if you act on this today!
- Play, Play, Play! You’ll simplify your life and feel inspired if you learn to play rather than work your way through life. I love to be around kids because they inspire me with their laughter and frivolity. In fact, if I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: “Wayne, you’ve never grown up—you’re always playing.” I take great pride in this! I play onstage when I speak, and I’m playing now as I write.
Many years ago I was given a tremendous opportunity to appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The man who took a chance on me, booking me even though I was an unknown at the time, was a talent coordinator named Howard Papush. It was my first big break, and I went on to appear on The Tonight Show 36 additional times. Now it’s my turn to say thank you to Howard. He’s written a wonderful book titled When’s Recess? Playing Your Way Through the Stresses of Life, which I encourage you to read. (Howard also conducts workshops that teach people how to play and have fun in life.) In the book, Howard shares this great quote from Richard Bach: “You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.” I couldn’t agree more—by all means, get back in touch with your real, playful self, and take every opportunity to play! Notice how it makes everything so sweet, and so simple.
- Slow Down. One of Gandhi’s most illuminating observations reminds us that “there is more to life than increasing its speed.” This is great advice for simplifying your life—in fact, slow everything way down for a few moments right here and now. Slowly read these words. Slow your breathing down so that you’re aware of each inhalation and exhalation…
When you’re in your car, downshift and relax. Slow down your speech, your inner thoughts, and the frantic pace of everything you do. Take more time to hear others. Notice your inclination to interrupt and get the conversation over with, and then choose to listen instead. Stop to enjoy the stars on a clear night and the cloud formations on a crisp day. Sit down in a mall and just observe how everyone seems in a hurry to get nowhere.
By slowing down, you’ll simplify and rejoin the perfect pace at which creation works. Imagine trying to hurry nature up by tugging at an emerging tomato plant—you’re as natural as that plant, so let yourself be at peace with the perfection of nature’s plan.
- Do Everything You Can to Eschew Debt. Remember that you’re attempting to simplify your life here, so you don’t need to purchase more of what will complicate and clutter your life. If you can’t afford it, let it go until you can. By going into debt, you’ll just add layers of anxiety onto your life. That anxiety will then take you away from your peace, which is where you are when you’re in-Spirit. When you have to work extra hard to pay off debts, the present moments of your life are less enjoyable; consequently, you’re further away from the joy and peace that are the trademarks of inspiration. You’re far better off to have less and enjoy the days of your life than to take on debt and invite stress and anxiety where peace and tranquility could have reigned. And remember that the money you have in your possession is nothing but energy—so refuse to plug in to an energy system that’s not even there.
- Forget about the Cash Value. I try not to think about money too frequently because it’s been my observation that people who do so tend to think about almost nothing else. So do what your heart tells you will bring you joy, rather than determining whether it will be cost-effective. If you’d really enjoy that whale-watching trip, for instance, make the decision to do so—don’t deny yourself the pleasures of life because of some monetary detail. Don’t base your purchases on getting a discount, and don’t rob yourself of a simple joy because you didn’t get a break on the price. You can afford a happy, fulfilling life, and if you’re busy right now thinking that I have some nerve telling you this because of your bleak financial picture, then you have your own barrier of resistance.
Make an attempt to free yourself from placing a price tag on everything you have and do—after all, in the world of Spirit, there are no price tags. Don’t make money the guiding principle for what you have or do; rather, simplify your life and return to Spirit by finding the inherent value in everything. A dollar does not determine worth, even though you live in a world that attempts to convince you otherwise.
- Remember Your Spirit. When life tends to get overly complex, too fast, too cluttered, too deadline oriented, or too type A for you, stop and remember your own spirit. You’re headed for inspiration, a simple, peaceful place where you’re in harmony with the perfect timing of all creation. Go there in your mind, and stop frequently to remember what you really want.
A man who personified success at the highest intellectual and social levels would hardly seem one to quote on simplifying our life, yet here’s what Albert Einstein offers us on this subject: “Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury—to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind.”
Wow! I’d say this is pretty good advice, wouldn’t you?
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
~ Dr. Seuss
~ Kevin Heath
for two and a half years now, i have lived directly across the street from the thai mission. the doorman at the thai general consulate has worked there for 41 years, although i didn’t know that until today. i really don’t know very much about him at all, actually. he speaks very little english and i’m sure we have never had a conversation lasting longer than one minute – until just now. on my way back home from walking ivan, he crossed the street and waved me over to let me know that today would be his last day, and in his very broken english said the following:
you haven’t been around much lately and i was hoping i would see you before i left. you are one of the good ones, a big heart, kind – i know it and god knows it. i wanted to make sure to say goodbye to you – god bless you.
i am putting that on my top 10 nicest things ever to happen list.
“If you see good in people, you radiate a harmonious loving energy which uplifts those around you. If you can maintain this habit,this energy will turn into a steady flow of love.”
~ Annamalai Swami
2 of my brothers volunteering at ground zero 12 years ago.
god bless every one of us.
“As for those that carried out these attacks there are no adequate words of condemnation. Their barbarism will stand as their shame for all eternity.”
–British Prime Minister Tony Blair
shana tova v’chatima tova
or, good year and good seal in the book of life!
wishing all the best health, lots of love, prosperity, wisdom and joy every single day this year.
A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of Root Beer and he started his journey.
When he had gone about three blocks, he met an elderly man. The man was sitting in the park just feeding some pigeons.
The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the man looked hungry, so he offered him a Twinkie.
The man gratefully accepted it and smiled at boy. His smile was so pleasant that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer.
Again, the man smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.
As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the man, and gave him a hug. The man gave him his biggest smile ever.
When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, “What did you do today that made you so happy?
“He replied, “I had lunch with God.” But before his mother could respond, he added, “You know what? God’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!”
Meanwhile, the elderly man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and he asked,” Dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?”
He replied, “I ate Twinkies in the park with God.” However, before his son responded, he added,” You know, he’s much younger than I expected.”
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Embrace all equally!
the bidding will begin at 3 million dollars, but i suspect it will fetch much more – what do you think?
the original schindler’s list (the real list, not the movie!) is for sale on e-bay.
i bet someone will be willing to pay 10 million for it. place your bet in the comment box below.
and the winner gets . . . . (insert drum-roll here ) . . .
“The List is Life.”, Schindler’s List”
― Thomas Keneally, Schindler’s List
i don’t know anything about paula deen except that she’s a famous cook. i’ve never watched her on tv, heard her speak or even heard anything about her ever. is it true that paula deen is being disgraced for using a bad word 30 years ago?
i just watched a clip of paula deen on the today show where matt lauer harshly (in my opinion) interviewed deen, who appears to be genuinely distressed by using the bad word 30 years ago, has apologized, asked for forgiveness and says she is not a racist. she went on to say,
“If there’s anyone out there that has never said something that they wish they could take back, if you’re out there please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me. Please, I want to meet you.”
did i miss something big here? i’m feeling a bit confused because if that is not the truth, i suspect a boat load of people would have come forward by now to deny that what she said is true. if it is indeed the truth, i want to meet the person who has never said something horrible too! are the networks really dropping her show & destroying one woman’s career because she made a mistake while someone had a gun to her head in a hold up and she called them a bad, bad word?
please do not confuse what i’m saying by thinking that i believe her name calling was appropriate. i am 99.99% sure that i have never called anyone by that word, but i’m also 99.99% sure i have said many horrible things in the last 30 years that i wish i could take back – and not even at gunpoint.
seriously? is this a good use of media? resources? time – or, anything else? how about a little forgiveness here? maybe some compassion? or even better, a little looking inward by all of the peeps pointing fingers . . . if using bad vocabulary once was the worst thing i had ever done, i think i would crown myself queen of the world.
“If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.”
~ Mary Pickford
back on retreat! well, sort of. . . i’ll be spending a good part of the summer out of the city and i’m currently enjoying another week at my friend susan’s house in upstate ny, which i refer to as susan’s resort. the resort is on a mountain in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees, amazing landscapes and all kinds of wild beasts. everyday, rain or shine, i am compelled to go for a long ride to take pictures.
on today’s journey i was listening to wayne dyer speak about the tao by lao tzu. tao is chinese for ‘the way’. i’ve listened to this cd many times over the last several years and never get tired of wayne dyer speaking about lessons of the tao, which of course any taoist knows, cannot actually be spoken of. if you don’t get that – no worries. to simplify the idea, i can only suggest that it says something along the lines of, ‘we need do nothing for all to be done perfectly’.
after driving for about an hour or so, i realized that i hadn’t noticed any real photo ops. this has never happened before. i always see something photo worthy on my excursions up here in god’s country. maybe i was so into listening to wayne, i had driven right by places that i normally would have stopped for a photo or two. how unusual. i decided to pay particular attention to the scenery and looked carefully so that i would be sure not to miss any beasts hiding deep in the woods. driving about 5 mph for the last 10 miles home, i looked and looked as i listened to wayne talk about finding peace through the tao and how all that is, is already perfect, ect. . . .
as i drove up the driveway of susan’s resort, i was astonished that i had arrived home picture-less. normally this would have upset me but i felt happy to have had the opportunity to listen to wayne talk about the tao suggesting that to be one with what is, is the way to peace or, (in my words) all things happen for a reason & if you just go with that, you’ll have peace.
when i got out of the car, i let ivan out of the back seat and then went around to the passenger side to get my bag and my camera. i almost laughed out loud when i discovered my camera wasn’t in the car, but had been sitting on the kitchen counter inside the house the entire time.
wouldn’t that just be the way of it??
“The wise man is one who, knows, what he does not know.”
~ Lao Tzu,
Tao Te Ching
click here to read about the super sweet blogger award nomination from shaun.
and click here to read about my new liebster award from mary!
and be sure to check out the musings of these 2 amazing blogger-peeps!
“Gratitude is the memory of the heart.”
~ Jean Baptiste
it’s only natural for americans, when there is a terrorist attack – especially on u.s. soil – to get caught up in the news reports and emerging details. i do it too.
since many more details are likely to emerge for the next many moments, may i suggest that just for this moment, we stop whatever it is we are doing and pray. people need our prayers now – lets send them.
peace to all.
this is chris:
now read what he’s done for my family – and just try not to cry!
A conversation with a former college friend led to a dream-come-true experience for the Cagnassola family of Westfield.
Thomas Cagnassola, 44, explained that he ran into his friend and former fraternity brother Chris Johnson at a New Year’s Eve party four years ago. Knowing that Johnson was in the construction field, Cagnossola casually asked his advice on having an elevator installed in the English Tudor he shares with his wife and children.
Johnson, founder and chief executive officer of the Parsippany-based Hollister Construction Services, said while he had noticed that Thomas was often carrying his daughter Sara, then 5, he didn’t understand why his friend would want to undertake such a massive project.
Cagnassola explained that as much as he and his family wanted to remain in their home, built in 1932 by his grandfather, it was becoming increasingly difficult for his young daughter Sara, born with cerebral palsy, to navigate.
“When Chris said he’d like to help, I knew he was sincere but what I didn’t expect was that he not only picked up the ball and ran it though the end zone, but he kept going through the band and out the back door,” said Cagnassola.
Establishing the charitable foundation Strides for Sara in 2009, Johnson made it his mission to first find Sara a wheelchair which would allow her to remain in the Westfield School District. Without the chair, Johnson explained, Sara would have to be bussed nearly 45 minutes away to the Mountain Lakes School District.
While hosting a golf outing for Strides for Sara, Johnson mentioned the need to a colleague who serves with him at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
“He said, ‘We just bought a brand new wheelchair for my mother but she passed away. It’s never been used,'” said Johnson.
“Next thing we knew a Hollister truck pulled up and dropped off the wheelchair,” said Cagnassola.
Once he’d secured the chair, Johnson said he was “off and running.” Each year, Strides for Sara has been hosting a fundraising event with the long-term goal of installing an elevator inside the Cagnassolas’ three-level home.
This March that dream became a reality. After working with an architect and finding contractors and subcontractors who were willing to donate their time to this labor of love, the three-and-a-half story addition was complete.
Johnson explained that the project, which took a little more than five months to build, began with a ramp at the mud room level. Cagnassola said this ramp, which allows Sara the independence to go outdoors and visit with friends in the neighborhood without having to ask her mom for help, is just one of the examples of the ways the team took all of Sara’s needs into consideration.
Johnson said the kitchen and bathroom areas are now ADA-complaint. In addition, an electrician has outfitted the home so that through an iPad, Sara is able to adjust light and heat settings as well as see who is at the front door.
“Sara is the fifth generation of our family to live in Westfield. My dad and grandfather are both Westfield High School graduates. This house means a lot to us. If it weren’t for Chris and the Hollister Foundation we would have had to move to a ranch, I’m sure,” said Cagnassola, who added that it was thrilling to watch the project come to life. “This is a fairy tale for any family with special needs. It’s like something right out of one of those television shows.”
Through his company’s charity, The Hollister Foundation, Johnson has raised more than $500,000 to promote awareness for organizations that foster children’s advancement through education and healthy initiatives. The organization supports a range of charities including Strides for Sara, United Way, Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Hugs from Home, and The Center for Autism.
Additionally, Johnson is a supporter of the Ryan Wolf Kossar Foundation, the CJ Foundation for SIDS, the Development School for Youth, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Family Services of Morris County and Fairleigh Dickinson University, according to Hollister’s website.
Sara’s First Ride
Once the installation was complete, Sara reserved her first ride for the man who made it all possible–Johnson. The entire Hollister team, along with the subcontractors who donated their time and talent to the project, were at the Cagnassolas’ home for the inaugural ride.
“It took four years of grit, determination and, most of all, love for Sara to see this project through, from getting permits and approvals, to raising donations and holding fund-raising events, to completing the construction work,” said Johnson. “All that effort came together when we saw the big smile on Sara’s face as she took her first ride on her elevator. It was a wonderful moment that reminded us of why we are committed as a company to building stronger communities by doing what we can to help those in need.”
Johnson said intially he had been thinking only about how the elevator would improve life for Sara but after taking their first ride together, Sara’s reaction made him realize the full impact this gift would have on the Cagnassola family.
“She said, ‘Now my mommy doesn’t have to carry me – it will help Mommy,'” recalled Johnson. “It was pretty moving.”
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the place,” added Andrew Goetting, Hollister’s Business Development Manager.
Johnson said he was motivated to help his friend’s family because he always believed Sara should be offered the same opportunities his own children have.
“It’s important to give back,” said Johnson, a 2011 finalist in the Corporate Citizen of the Year category of the 2011 NJBIZ Business of the Year awards program. “But the actual gift was to us. After we finished, you felt good, like you could run through brick walls.”
Cagnassola said he can’t thank Johnson and his team of contractors, electricians and plumbers enough. “You’ve not only transformed my home but also my daughter’s abilities,” he said.
For more information about Hollister Construction Services, visit the company’s website .
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.
~ Lao Tzu
i was never much into parades, even as a kid. they always seem too crowded and uninteresting when there are so many other cool things you could be doing in the city that has everything. . . then 2 things changed. 1. i got my press pass which allows me to get into open spaces away from the crowds and take photos without someone banging my elbow as i press the shutter button, or waving a paper flag right into the center of my shot. and 2., last year when i discovered that the easter parade isn’t a parade at all! the easter parade is just a whole lot of people aimlessly wandering around 5th avenue which is closed between 47th and 57th streets for the occasion. people get all dressed up for the sole purpose of having their picture taken in their best bonnets and it’s crazy fun. here are some of my observations about the nyc easter parade:
first, the easter bunny looks nothing like the white fluffy one i knew growing up in the suburbs of nj:
second, some people apparently confuse easter with halloween – which i like because halloween is my second favorite holiday, following my birthday:
the creativity is amazing! everyone wants to be seen and they all want to be photographed which makes a press pass completely unnecessary – when they see a camera, they come to you and pose for a shot.
as you see, the ‘bonnets’ were exceptional which may have made this woman feel like hers wasn’t quite good enough to flaunt, so she just carried her bonnet.
i loved this guy because he had a great bonnet with a troll in it – and he also had awesome eggs. he hand painted his eggs and filled them all with an intention of love – i love that!
if i were the bonnet judge, these two would have received the 1st runners up award just for being so incredibly cool:
but this lady would have received my vote for first prize. not only did she have the biggest bonnet, i have to credit her for lugging it around all day with a smile on her face.
subconsciously it may have just reminded me of the meaning of the day.
i hope your day was happy – blessings to all!
“The symbolic language of the crucifixion is the death of the old paradigm; resurrection is a leap into a whole new way of thinking.”
~ Deepak Chopra
Barry Dennis demonstrates here how true wealth is found in letting go. We already have so much more than we think! More time, money, energy, love and joy.
“It all started with a soccer ball.”
~ Barry Dennis
my introduction into all things jewish came mostly from the weinstein’s. debbie weinstein was my college roommate and one of 798 jewish peeps in my freshman year dorm complex which housed 800 people. debbie always invited me to her parents home in boston for the holidays and it was there that i got accustomed to the seder rituals. being the token goy, i didn’t have to actually participate in the prayer and hebrew readings so i was only familiar with the big picture and didn’t really know exactly what was going on. the truth is, i was there for mrs. weinstein’s good cooking, and mr. weinstein’s jokes – which were usually at my expense, but funny none the less.
after we graduated from school, i continued to go to the weinstein’s on jewish holidays and by that time i thought i had learned everything i needed to know about what to do at a seder – even though i never had to actually do anything. . .
then one year debbie’s brother mark got married and everything changed. this year, we had to go to mark’s in-laws for passover. i guess they expected me to be jewish. or maybe they felt obligated to make sure i was aware of their collective suffering as a race. or maybe, debbie didn’t tell them she was bringing me and they were just pissed off about that – i don’t know. whatever the reason, they were intent on teaching me how it’s done by making me to eat things i didn’t want, participate in the readings and pray in hebrew. with 5 or 6 seders under my belt, i felt like i could handle the situation just fine – until marks mother in-law asked me if i knew the answers to the 4 questions, which i couldn’t quite remember. i was mortified because i did know the questions were central to the seder. i’m sure it didn’t happen this way at all, but i recall seeing dark red horns growing from my skull in the tiny reflection of her eyeballs. i blame mr. weinstein for my lack of knowledge because i’m positive he must have been making me laugh too hard to pay proper attention to this part of the ritual in years past.
this post serves to save all goyim who may be put in a similar situation this evening during a passover seder. first, i would like to point out out that there is really only one question and four answers, which i would not advise pointing out to seder host.
here is what you’ll need to know:
Why is this night different from all other nights, from all other nights?
On all other nights, we may eat chametz and matzah. On this night, only matzah.
On all other nights, we eat many vegetables. On this night, on this night, maror.
On all other nights, we do not dip even once. On this night, on this night, twice.
(A vegetable (usually parsley) is dipped in salt water and eaten.)
On all other nights we eat while sitting upright, but on this night we eat reclining.
and you may also want to know that mark has since re-married a nice girl from a nice family who i am sure, would not make me eat anything i didn’t want. tonight i will celebrate passover in nyc with the enzer’s, as i have since debbie moved to chicago. i will read, pray in hebrew, answer the question(s), have a good time with good people, and as always on passover, be missing mr. weinstein’s enormous laughter.
gut yontiff to all!
To break the bonds of anger,
To live with gentle pride.
To break the bonds of shame,
To live with humble strength.
To break the bonds of envy,
To serve each other in joy.
To break the bonds of guilt,
To accept all G-d’s gifts.
To break the bonds of fear,
To love with fullness of heart.
To break the bonds of lust,
To love with fullness of being.
To break the bonds of loneliness,
To receive a hand of hope.
To break the bonds of neglect,
To reach out a hand of help.
To break the bond of tears,
To see with awe and wonder.
To break the bonds of loss,
To rejoice in all G-d’s works.
© 2011 Alden Solovy and http://www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.