To Vaccinate Or Not To Vaccinate?


With more and more people getting sick both in France at large and in our school, vaccination against the A H1N1 virus has been on my mind a lot lately. I have noticed (on FB mainly) that some folks got the vaccine or had their children vaccinated. I have also phoned a cousin of mine who is a family physician to ask him his opinion before making up my mind.

What about you? What are your thoughts and plans about the epidemic?

Weekly Review with Painting


On My Blog

Photo Memes:
Fall Beauties for Ruby Tuesday
Swiss Windows and Doors for Window Views

I Really Should Be Working

Rachel Sarai’s Vineyard, a book review

Parshah Post: Vayetze

Elsewhere in the JBlogosphere

Mom in Israel hosts the latest edition of Haveil Havalim

KCC (the Kosher Cooking festival) is up at Pesky’s

Mimi of Israeli Kitchen reviews a cookbook

Leora illustrates the parshah, Yaakov’s ladder and sheep

SuperRaizy shares Five Fun and Useless Thanksgiving Facts

International Rabbinic Fellowship, a post at Morethodoxy

Therapydoc shares a Different Thanskgiving Story

Shabbat Shalom!

Parshat Vayetze


וַיִּיקַץ יַעֲקֹב, מִשְּׁנָתוֹ, וַיֹּאמֶר, אָכֵן יֵשׁ יְהוָה בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה; וְאָנֹכִי, לֹא יָדָעְתִּי

And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said: ‘Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.’

We all have or had dreams, especially as children and teenagers. Yet sometimes, as we grow older, we tend to look at our former dreams with benevolent nostalgia while we are convinced that realism dictates that we put them aside.

Whenever we are tempted to surrender youthful dreams and only see them as impractical hopes, we should remember Rabbi Shlomo Riskin’s words:

The fact of the matter is that a person can dream when he’s asleep and can dream when he’s awake. But only the dreams that one dreams when he/she is awake can become transformed into the visions which change reality.

In this week’s parshah, when Yaakov wakes up from his dream, he realizes that God is everywhere around us, not just in our dreams and prayers – the most common interpretation of Yaakov’s dream is that it is an allegory of prayer.

May we be persuaded that we can move from dreams to visions and from visions to reality as long as we keep in mind that God is “everywhere around us”.

Last year’s parshah post: Emotion-Packed Parshah

Rachel Sarai’s Vineyard


A few weeks ago, Deborah Rey was kind enough to send me a copy of her book – I dare not call it a novel – Rachel Sarai’s Vineyard. I read it and was so moved by this reading that I wished to let some time pass before writing about it.

As an adult, Rachel Sarai visits the person she has called “mother” for years while the latter is dying. She tries and confronts the old woman to understand the pain and the abuse she had to endure from her during her childhood. She needs to have answers and she is intent on getting them.

As you read the book, you experience the pain Rachel Sarah suffered as a little girl. Like her, you need to probe into the past so as to interpret what the child remembers. You follow her as she questions her life story and hovers between past and present.

Rachel Sarai’s Vineyard is a very intense and emotional book which deals with child abuse, the Shoah, motherhood and coming to terms with a painful childhood.

I Really Should Be Working


– We have a face-to-face meeting with parents tonight and I am still wondering how I will find words that they might relay and that will have an impact on the students and improve the way they learn English.

– I have 30 papers to mark on a sales meeting between an American and three Japanese that turned sour for lack of understanding and sensitivity; wish me luck. The full article is here.

– It’s high time I booked my February flight to Hong Kong to visit my brother and his family but I can’t decide whether to fly with Cathay Pacific or Air France. Has anyone in the blogosphere ever traveled with Cathay Pacific?

– After two months as the proud and fascinated user of an Iphone I still marvel at all the things I now do on my phone. However it seems that some countries are far ahead of France when it comes to performing everyday tasks on their cell phones. Mobile payment is one of them. Are there things you wish you could do from your phone?

It’s Friday Again


On My Blog

Last Flowers for Today’s Flowers
Simple But Lovely for Ruby Tuesday
Remembering Through Little Things for Think(ing) Green Thursday

Today’s Jewish Thinkers

Weekly Recipe: Lentil Stew

New Bathroom

Elsewhere in the JBlogosphere

Last Sunday’s edition of Haveil Havalim is up at ImaBima

Go To The Ant, Sluggard, See Her Ways And Become Wise (Proverbs 6:6), a post by Rabbi Fink

Lessons from Twenty Years Ago, a post by Shimshonit

Mother in Israel reviews The Girl Who Played with Fire. She will be hosting the next edition of Haveil Havalim

Leora shares beautiful photos of seasonal changes in NJ, Autumn Leaves and her daughter reading to Bell the dog

Shabbat Shalom!