Verona Arena

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Even the Verona Arena – a Roman amphitheatre which is internationally famous for the large-scale opera performances given there – has red details.

On Tuesdays, just post any photo you like (it must be one of your own) that contains the color RED and then link to this blog.

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Almost Back To School Weekly Review

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On My Blog

Photo memes:
Not Juliet’s Balcony for Today’s Flowers
Palazzo Wall for Ruby Tuesday

To Trust or Not To Trust?, kids, the Internet and two books

Weekly Recipe: Potato and Zucchini Curry

French Jewish Resistance

Parshat Ki Tetze

Thursday Musings

Elsewhere in the JBlogosphere

How I Make Shabbat in Two Hours, a very useful post by Mother in Israel

Contrast in Jerusalem, Baila, her daughters and sisters give a hand at a Meir Panim soup kitchen. Since she is a dedicated Israeli, a devoted mother and wife and a great blogger, you can also nominate her for The Nefesh B’Nefesh Second International Jewish Bloggers Convention by clicking here and filling in the form.

Michael davens at Shira Hadasha and has started at a new yeshivah

Jack explains why some blogs fail

If you thought laundry could never look artistic, Leora has a photo which will make you smile

Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday Musings

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– I am enjoying my last days of “freedom” before we go back to school next week, next Tuesday to be precise.

– I finally got my school supplies: a blue booklet for marks and absence and a dark blue notebook to keep track of what we do in class. In case this wasn’t clear, blue is my favorite color.

– The deputy head gave me my schedule this morning. Suffice it to say say that I hope it won’t change one iota.

Inglourious Basterds has just been released in France. I saw it two days ago and would advise anyone to do the same. It is unusual and violent but excellent all the same.

The latest edition of KCC (the Kosher Cooking Carnival) is up. It was compiled by Chana, a registered dietitian and author of Food for the Soul: Traditional Jewish Wisdom for Healthy Eating.

Parshat Ki Tetze

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כִּי-תֵצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה, עַל-אֹיְבֶיךָ; וּנְתָנוֹ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בְּיָדֶךָ וְשָׁבִיתָ שִׁבְיוֹ.

When you will go out to war against your enemies, and God will deliver them into your hand, and you will capture its captivity.

This is what Rabbi Twerski writes about this verse:

Torah commentaries are unanimous in interpreting this verse as referring also to the internal war a person must serve against the yetzer hara.

The yetzer hara, evil inclination, is unfortunately something all of us must always fight against, a kind of constant battle. Besides in the month of Elul we are expected to be even more focused on our faults, regret them and strive not to repeat the same mistakes again.

Sadly as we grow up we also realize that we are continuously fighting the same battles and this may seem daunting and discouraging.

As if to make things worse, the first part of this line shows that our own willingness to engage in action must come first. No miracle will come from heaven, or elsewhere, unless we “go out to war”.

However the rest of this verse assures us that, as long as we are willing to defeat the yetzer hara in our lives, we are not alone: God will assist us. Progress is possible provided we make God an assistant in our efforts to be different and better people.

French Jewish Resistance

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Numerous Jews took part in the various movements of the French Resistance during WW2. However some chose to join the M.J.S. (Mouvement de Jeunesse Sioniste) to bring specific help to the Jews that needed it.

Paul Giniewski who was an active member of the M.J.S. during the war has just written a book about this organization and its activities.

Indeed unlike the majority of the French population, French Jews, as well as the foreign Jews who had fled Germany and other Nazi-occupied territories, needed forged papers, hiding places and money to stay alive.

The movement was set up in 1942 and its creators saw their mission as being Jewish rescuers of Jews. They established their headquarters in the maquis in a chalet near Grenoble and joined forces with other Jewish rescue groups to smuggle Jewish adults and children into Switzerland and Spain.

They also worked with other French Resistance organizations, considering the liberation of France as part of their duty as French citizens. In fact Paul Giniewski recalls that he forged papers for French partisans who were also policemen. What’s more the organization occasionally got help from loyal French priests. Thus when he and other Jewish partisans were arrested by the French militia, a local priest intervened before they were executed and they were freed.

The M.J.S. was made up of right and left-wing Jews, some were religious while others saw themselves as atheists. Rabbi René Kapel was their chaplain and offered spiritual help along with lectures about Jewish history and Judaism.

Unfortunately the book which recounts these events, Une Résistance juive. Grenoble : 1943-1945, has not been published yet but I am very eager to read it.

Potato and Zucchini Curry

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1 onion
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 potatoes, cubed
1 big green or yellow zucchini, cubed
2/3 tomatoes
curry paste or powder
cilantro or parsley
yogurt (optional)

Fry onion until light brown. Lower the heat and add crushed garlic. A few minutes later add cubed potatoes and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and curry. Cover and simmer for at least 20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked. Add the yogurt and cook for a few more minutes. Add coriander (or parsley) towards the end. Serve hot with rice or naan.