§166 Modern indulgence

February 23, 2008

Finally Shabat again. It’s Friday evening. The kids just went to sleep. So did my wife. On the couch. I’ll just blog this and then I’ll wake her up so we can have that wonderful time with each other that we look forward to every week.

Yesterday we were at Misrad haPnim – Ministry of the Interior. We gave them the documents and all they needed to request visa for another year. Within a month they’ll call us and invite us for another examination where they ask each some questions and compare the answers. They’ve done it every year since 2004, and we’re getting used to it. They already know us there by now, and with 3 kids they’re really nothing to suspect any longer. But it’s procedure. Anyway, as soon as she gets visa for another year she’s finally eligible to apply for a citizenship! The woman there already gave us the form and told us what we need to bring. She wanted us to do it on the spot as soon as the extra year is confirmed. No need to delay it. Yeay! My wife will finally be a citizen. I hope she’ll get it before we whack away Olmert, so she can be a part of voting him away.

I’m having a real problem how to write stuff here. Any other wordpress bloggers experiencing the same? The window they give you to write in is stupidly small (admitting, there’s an optin to enlargen it, I just haven’t done it), the letters always appear a second after you write them and sometimes it gets stuck altogether. Really anoying. I thought “never mind” and tried to blog in notepad ord Word and then just paste it. The blog shouted “HAHA!!!” in my face. First of all the format looks nowhere near the way it did in the word processor, and the space between paragraphs gets stupified also. I’m getting really annoyed by this. Any ideas?

About Darfur. I went to the homepage of my government http://www.gov.il and searched the term “Darfur” in Hebrew (Of course there’s a famous person with the last name “Gov” at the front – because of a lucky name, he gets to represent the government…). Anyway, I found a bunch of nice stuff said like “The people of Africa has just as the people of Israel been suffering from rasistic persecution. Israel can not stay indifferent to the suffering of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in Darfur that have become refugees in their own country. This is why Israel sends as much help as it can to the victims of the tragedy in Darfur and is trying to find alternative ways to help the inhabitants of that area”.
Please note that these are words from the government. Not to be taken seriously. Especially since it was said in May 29th 2007 and I haven’t seen any results. Also some published intelligence material about Israeli concerns of Irani forces in the area of Sudan and their possibilities to reach Israel through the Negev. What really annoyed me was this:
“Discussion of the Prime Minister on July 1st 2007 about the illegal immigrants arriving from the Egyptian border. All refugees will be sent back to Egypt as per the understanding between Olmert and Mubarak, and Egypt will ensure their safety. When this is not possible they will be sent to the immigration which will put them in custody until they’re sent back home. Israel will talk to the UN refugees department about the refugees that are already here, and will push to send them back to Egypt. The POSSIBILITY of letting PART of the Darfur refugees stay will be EXAMINED only after a full stop of the illegal immigration is ensured” (My capitalization).
Wow, that’s really generous. And what is you opinion Mr. Olmert about the fact that this is exactly the way every single European country and the USA acted towards the jews under WWII??

I know Darfur is not Europe and the africans are not jews. But it touches me personally when I know that this very situation is what my grandfather was in. I just don’t know how I would be able to help personally. Donating money is so… “paying money to help your personal conscience”-thing. I’d rather do something real. Like adopting an orphan from there. Maybe not a huge contribution, sure. Nothing but a fart in outer space. But still I’ll be able to help someone personally, and help someone to get a life s/he would never be able to get otherwise.

Another reason that prime minister discussion annoys me is because what I read in this article from December 25th

Regarding adoption – is it selfish to want a Darfur baby? There are tons of children out there without parents. I wouldn’t matter “which” I got, it would be an equally great contribution to mankind in any way (that fart in outer space). So why dafka a Darfur child? Because I personally want the feeling that I’ve done something about Darfur?
Anyway if and when we decide to adopt I’ll not insist on a Darfur baby… besides, Israel and Sudan are officially “not-very-good-friends” countries if I’m not mistaken… and the refugees… I’m guessing it would be hard for a baby to jump the fence on its own.

*Trying to get out a horribly politically incorrect mental image*

Regarding donating money. The other day when I was doing shopping. As I stood with two big packs of diapers paying, the lady said:
-“Do you wish to contribute 3 shekels for children in need?”.
-“Exactly in what need are they? Can’t I go and help them personally instead of donating a mere 3 shekels? Are there any orphans? I’ll adopt them!”
-“Are you interested in any of our other special offers?”
So basically it’s just a new version of an Indulgence.
“You’re a westerner, and that means you’re living on the back of the people of the third world. People work long and hard hours for less than a penny an hour in order for you to be able to buy your coffee at this cheap price. But you can feel less guilty if you only pay us a mere dollar a week. We promise that all will go to help these poor people in need!
Of course, that is after we’ve taken the taxes, our own salaries, our costs of cars to reach them, etc. We promise that we will give the money directly to the blood thirsty dictator leader of the third world country who has promised he will make sure the money reaches the poor workers that he has enslaved in order to sell us cheap coffee”.

Its Saturday evening now. This long stuff I wrote above took a while. I stopped and saved it and had that wonderful magical time with my wife. Watching Friends. The Marathon’s over. We started this summer from the first episode of season one, and yesterday we saw the final episode of season 10. Then I went to congregation. Kids had been sick so there were too tired to go, so Elisheva stayed home with them. There was a beautiful testimony of a woman whose house burned down a few weeks ago. On the floor of the burned living room they found a burned piece of paper, and the only visible word on it were “The Lord will bless you and keep you”. They framed it and brought it to show us. I missed the sermon because I was teaching the kids today (that’s why I went without the rest of the family). As soon as I came home we left for a small gathering of our neighbours. Celebrating the baptism of their son (it’s a 30-year old son) which was one week ago. We ate and had a great time, talking to people, bonding. Emunah, our two-year old loved their two dogs. She actually ran after them to hug them. The dogs were about the same size as she… Efraim was a bit scared of them at first but came around after a while.

After that we’ve had my sister and her fiancé here. They’ve decided to get married within 2 months instead of August. Yeay! And we’ve also decided to go to Haifa together next weekend or the weekend after that to visit our grand father. He is in an old age home up there and we’re his only family in Israel. We don’t visit him often enough, but it’s very far, and I have a large family, no car, and work 6 days a week. You do the math. But now we’re finally going. Just gotta synchronise it with my wife’s parents and make sure they can babysit our kids. We’ll only bring Talitha, the 4-month old baby.

Now it’s eleven o’clock. Tomorrow a new week starts. I’m gonna take a shower and then go to sleep. Goodnight!

Annoying thing of the day: People keep saying Christopher Columbus, when his real name was Cristobal Colón! And they also claim he discovered America.
Word of the day: Halleluyah – it’s a good word to shout out spontaneously once in a while
Paradox of the day: “You can reduce the risk by taking many risks”
Question of the day: “Why is it so hard and expensive to adopt and so easy and cheap to make your own?”

Du tror inte på det här eller hur, men visan handlar om okända djur…



  1. I like your question of the day…. As a childless person myself, I have considered adoption. The amount of heartache, stress, financial pressure to get a child where you have no clue as to the family history, medical issues whatever is a very big thing.

    Sometimes it makes me sad that there are people in the world who have such beautiful children and dont care for them properly and don’t really want them. Someone like me would love them and give them a good home.

    But as always, I know that God has a plan for us all…..

  2. That’s the thing. There are so many children in the world without proper homes. Shouldn’t we care for them first before we make new…? But it’s so much easier and cheaper (and fun!) to make new…
    My wife has definitally been pregnant for the last time. But I’m not sure Talitha is our last child… we’ll see in a few years.

  3. Its not always easier or cheaper to make them on your own. Some couples spend thousands for medical help to get pregnant.

    I wish it was easier to adopt unwanted or homeless children. The paperwork and the system makes it beyond overwhelming let alone the criteria that you must meet to adopt.

    Heck, just trying to adopt a dog from an animal shelter these days they want your full life history, a home inspection, hundreds of dollars and a sworn statement of your good intent towards the animal. The shelters make the cost so high, that it is rediculous and people cant afford to adopt from them. Therefore the pets get euthanized.

    Sadly I feel that they do the same thing with the children. But instead of euthanizing them, they throw them out into the streets and into horrible circumstances, institutions, and other unspeakable places. Heaven forbid that they be adopted out of their race or country!

  4. Everyone knows it was the Scandinavian Vikings who discovered America.

    Or were they Jews? http://www.jewishstore.com/Books/Products.asp?ProdID=1871055601


  5. Haha! From 1622! Yea… there were many viking in the 17th century… lol!
    But the first one ashore in America on Cristobal Colon’s journey was Colon’s jewish doctor (so I’ve heard). I’ve also heard that Colon may have been a converted jew who secretly still believed in judaism, as he for unknown reasons postponed the day of departure with one day. The original day of departure was on tisha be’av.

  6. Colombus set off to find India the same year the Spanish Monarchs decided to expel all the Jews from Spain (1492). I’ve heard that Columbus’ ship-doctor was also fluent in hebrew (as far as one could be fluent at that time) and was supposed to act as a translator. Apparently they wanted to find some of the 10 lost tribes.

  7. Well, if you hear the Mormons (Church of LDS) tell it, it was they who discovered America… they came over directly from Israel in biblical times (I kid you not) They are spending tons of money digging in the hills of Utah looking for archeolgical proof of this……. *eyeroll*

  8. Colon, not Columbus! =)
    And I’ve heard the mormon’s version of that… lol! But “they”? Are the mormons a “people” and not just a faith that anyone can join? I’ve heard the story that the indians are the ten tribes and that Jesus also came to them, and he is the same as one of those Mexican pagan indian gods. If I remember correctly.

  9. In any case, the first Europeans in America were the vikings.

  10. It is a faith anyone can join (but until the 1960’s not black people – and still predominantly whites). They actively encourage people to convert. They send their young (just out of high school) on missions. Which is… to other cities across the country and world. They go and live for several months in someone else’s home receiving no money and all they do day after day is spread the word of the LDS faith.

    The LDS faith has alot of very good ideas. They have some great family values that I think are outstanding. However, they are basically a whack job cult. Still, I know many very normal beautiful members of said church who are true believers in God’s word so it just makes you go hmmm.

    Visions of Jesus have been seen all over the world. He has been actually interpreted in many ways by many different peoples. Which is what I find so interesting and why I think God tries to send messengers of our understanding so his message is available to as many people as possible – see my post religion is like a car.

  11. BTW… I miss your harpoon comments on my blog. Maybe I need to be more religiously outrageous? Say Jesus was the ultimate hippie or something!

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