31 January 2010

The Man and The Tree

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Talmud, Taanit 5b
- A man was travelling through the desert, hungry, thirsty, and tired, when he came upon a tree bearing luscious fruit and affording plenty of shade, underneath which ran a spring of water. He ate of the fruit, drank of the water, and rested beneath the shade.

When he was about to leave he turned to the tree and said: 'Tree, oh, tree, with what should I bless you?

"Should I bless you that your fruit be sweet? Your fruit is already sweet.

"Should I bless you that your shade be plentiful? Your shade is plentiful. That a spring of water should run beneath you? A spring of water runs beneath you."

"There is one thing with which I can bless you: May it be G-d's will that all the trees planted from your seed should be like you ..."

Image Courtesy: Artist Michoel Muchnik

30 January 2010

Strange World

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Is this our last chance to say all we have to say
Hiding here inside ourselves we live our lives afraid
So close your eyes and just believe in everything your told
Cause in this land of great confusion it's easy to give up control

Strange world people talk and tell only lies
Strange world people kill an eye for an eye
Strange world dream one-day we'll see the light
Strange world believe and everything will be alright

And this is the place where everything begins and ends again
No secrets left to find no seven deadly sins
This world that we have wasted has kept us very well
When science now is sacred who will save us from ourselves

Strange world people talk and tell only lies
Strange world people kill an eye for an eye
Strange world dream one-day we'll see the light
Strange world believe and everything will be alright

[Violin solo]

Strange world people talk sometimes I wonder why
Strange world people kill still no-one hears their cries
Strange world burn these thoughtless tears out of my eyes, eyes

Strange world people talk and tell only lies
Strange world people kill an eye for an eye
Strange world dream one-day we'll see the light, ahh, ahh

Strange world people kill and people hate and
People talk and people kill and still I wonder wonder why, why

"Ké", Kevin Grivois. Being the son of a Cherokee mother and a French father, his music often reflects his cross-cultural background. His popularity in Europe as a cult icon was cemented in part by the fact "Strange World" sold over 3 million copies, and topped radio charts in the UK, Italy and Germany as one of the most requested songs of 1996 - Information Wikipedia

26 January 2010

Israel studying Haiti adoption of quake orphans

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While Israel extends aid to orphans in Haiti, relief efforts for survivors is still done by teams of rescue and redemption of the Defense Force of Israel, see this video:

Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog has instructed the staff Social Affairs Ministry to look into the possibility of adopting Haitian children, orphaned in the devastating earthquake which hit the island almost two weeks ago, Israel Radio reported on Saturday.

The ministry's director-general Nachum Itzkovitz was instructed by Herzog to jointly inspect, together with Finance Ministry deputy director Rafi Barak, Israel's ability to legally adopt the orphans according to the relevant international treaties as well as to international adoption laws.

"We are proud that that Israel aided the horrible distress in Haiti and we have a moral obligation, as human beings, to aid these children," Herzog said.

"I consider [the adoption] a completion of Israel's humanitarian aid in Haiti," Herzog said.

"This is a great effort which aside from aiding the children will bring great joy to families that wish to adopt a destitute child," the Social Affairs minister added.

Herzog also said that Israel would work in "full cooperation with UNICEF to bring dozens of children, in line with the demand which our ministry has already noticed" from local families.

"We must be broad-hearted and understand that it is a beautiful act of mercy," Herzog said.

Israelis had reportedly contacted the Welfare Ministry over the course of the last week, inquiring as to the possibility of adopting Haitian orphans.

Read more about in; http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1144507.html

24 January 2010

Will We Can Dream?

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In the music seems so easy...

If I Can Dream
There must be lights burning brighter somewhere.
Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue.
If I can dream of a better land,
where all my brothers walk hand in hand.
Tell me why, oh why,
oh why can't my dream come true?
Oh why?
There must be peace and understanding sometime.
Strong winds of promise that will blow away
all the doubt and fear.
If I can dream of a warmer sun,
where hope keeps shining on everyone.
Tell me why, oh why,
oh why won't that sun appear?
We're lost in a cloud
with too much rain.
We're trapped in a world
that's troubled with pain.
But as long as a man
has the strength to dream
he can redeem his soul
and fly...
Deep in my heart there's a trembling question.
Still I am sure, that the answer's
gonna come somehow.
Out there in the dark,
there's a beckoning candle, yeah.
And while I can think, while I can walk.
While I can stand, while I can talk.
While I can dream.
Please let my dream come true...
Right now.

22 January 2010

Donate by Shopping

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Red Cross Ready products

Red Cross Products focus on everyday safety, wellness and preparedness. Everyday emergencies come in many forms -- colds and flu, winter road conditions, even a new baby with a fever. The Red Cross wants families to have the confidence and peace of mind that goes along with knowing they are prepared for all of life's everyday emergencies. Baby wellness items, emergency radios, books on family caregiving, auto safety products, hand sanitizer, disposable gloves and preparedness kits are included in the initial line of "Be Red Cross Ready" products available online and in retail outlets across the country.

A percentage of sale from each of these products will support the American Red Cross. See below to choose from our Be Red Cross Ready product line.

Click here to view products and how to donate by shopping

20 January 2010

Concrete Solutions

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It’s obvious that many of the buildings that collapsed during the Haitian earthquake were poorly designed or constructed. In Haiti, because there is virtually no lumber for building, structures have been made of concrete blocks, often with inadequately reinforced concrete frames. But to suggest that the country simply be rebuilt to a technically higher standard is to take a shortsighted approach.

Op-Ed Contributors: Eight Ways to Rebuild Haiti (January 17, 2010) An internationally financed rebuilding effort, involving scores of architects and engineers drafted to work with the Haitian authorities, should take a longer view of Haiti’s future, supporting a gradual, profoundly well-thought-out physical transformation. Their work will demand determined physical reinvention and, where appropriate, architectural innovation.

Haiti’s government had already begun considering new planning and building codes. It’s still crucial to finish that job, to establish standards that not only reduce the risk that structures will collapse in hurricanes and earthquakes but also help Haiti build for the future. But this isn’t just a question of better-quality steel and concrete; it’s also about choosing where not to build. Far too many buildings in Haiti have stood on deforested, unstable hillsides, and new building strategies must dovetail with environmental repair schemes.

Furthermore, the urge to rebuild rapidly should be tempered by a thorough examination of new designs for safer, more energy-efficient and less expensive structures. (Keep in mind that the cost of construction relative to income in Haiti is at least five times greater than it is in the United States.) For architects and engineers from Haiti and overseas, that’s a huge responsibility.

In few places can the usually glib phrase “design for life” have greater meaning. Now, for the most awful and imperative reason imaginable, Haiti’s government and its international supporters have the opportunity to turn stark devastation into the beginning of a new standard of living.

John McAslan is an architect.

17 January 2010

How long will be remembered?

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Haiti is the time to be reminded. But how long will be remembered?

"Those who pass us by, do not go alone, do not leave us alone. Leave a little piece of yourself, take a little of us" - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

His people should be guided to develop education and economy, can not stop at only the reconstruction and treatment of the wounded. Haiti needs planning for the next 20 years to eradicate the lack of modern education, implement actions to promote the local economy and create jobs with minimum income.

The Haitian Revolution was the only slave revolt successful history. In 1791, three years before the "French Jacobins" abolish slavery in the colonies, the slave Toussaint L "Ouverture led a legion of blacks who won the three major powers of the era: France, Spain and Britain.

Inspired by Enlightenment ideas, he freed the slaves in Haiti long before the British, who posed for posterity as the first to abolish slavery. Haiti then begins its long journey of political isolation and economic .. In a time when U.S., Brazil and all Spanish America was slavery, the Haitian rebellion was condemned and the area did everything to prevent the "contagion" of the Haitians. However, after 2 centuries of corruption and lack of education, spread the misery to this day, all with the connivance of the modern world.

The time is right to transform Haiti into a nation that takes care of its people.

Give real "help with love" is to help transform the other's need in abundance, making achieving a virtuous cycle for the next generation of Haitians".

Note: Written by Roder Rock (my dear husband), and given to me with kindness!
I thank him for it.

Tzedakah: Charity

I come back to remind everyone:
What is meant by charity in our lives?

Tzedakah - Charity is a fundamental part of the Jewish way of life

Jews traditionally donate at least ten percent of their income to charity. The the homes of Jews generally, have a "pushke" (a box for collecting money for the poor). Young Jews continually going from door to door to collect donations for various worthy causes.

- In the prayer of mourning (when the moment of death), it is common to include a statement that will make a donation to charity in memory of the deceased.

- Donating to charity is an almost instinctive Jewish response to thank God, to ask forgiveness from God, or to ask a favor from God.

- According to Jewish tradition, the spiritual benefit of giving to the poor is so great that when a "poor" needs help, in fact he (poor) is making a favor to the person who can help you. The poor is that giving the opportunity to perform Tzedakah. In fact, the poor is who is actually helping the donor.

- A study by leading charities in the world, found that 24.5% of all the "mega-donors" (people who donate more than $ 10 million a year for charity) are Jews. Jewish generosity is not limited to Jewish causes ...

16 January 2010

More 45 doctors and nurses to Haiti

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Brazilian professionals from different areas are preparing to go to Haiti to provide humanitarian aid to victims of the earthquake of the last 12 days. The Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil, will send 45 doctors and nurses to the Caribbean country.

Firefighters across the country equipped with travel supplies, sensors, location and removers load. The volunteers also take medications, non-perishable food and communications equipment.
Fourteen Brazilian military were officially killed by the quake, in addition to the medical founder of the Pastoral of the Child, Zilda Arns.

R7 News

15 January 2010

Israel Defense Force - IDF sends aid to Haiti

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Note: There will be no pictures of victims in my posts on Haiti, injured or dead, in respect of the families of the victims and to you all. - Isha Shiri

Israel sends aid

The Israel Defense Forces* aid mission to Haiti left Israel overnight Thursday with equipment for setting up an emergency field hospital. Around 220 soldiers and officers are in the delegation, including 120 medical staff who will operate the hospital in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.

The original plan was for the IDF to first send a Home Front Command rescue team, followed by medical teams.

But after contact was made with the Haitian authorities, the army and Foreign Ministry decided that the Caribbean country's most pressing need was extra medical staff. Nearly every hospital in Haiti was destroyed in Tuesday's earthquake.

The mission includes 40 doctors, 20 paramedics and 24 nurses, as well as medics and medical technicians. Around a third of the delegation is made up of reservists who were called up specially for the mission.

The IDF's chief medical officer, Brig. Gen. Nachman Esh, said that while the field hospital will largely treat trauma patients, similar to those encountered in a war, specialists in various other fields have also been sent.

"We expect to have to deal mainly with trauma cases, but when we arrive there, we also expect to encounter the secondary wave of infections and diseases, as well as the routine cases that the local hospitals would usually deal with," Esh told.

By Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz Correspondent in Haiti, and News Agencies

14 January 2010

Jewish Organizations Helping Haiti

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Magen David Adom began assembling a team of experts as part of a larger American Red Cross mission. The team will establish field clinics in cooperation with local rescue groups and the Red Cross, and Israeli volunteers will help search for the thousands thought to be buried under the rubble.

MDA also said Wednesday it was considering expanding its team to a full field delegation of doctors, paramedics and medics that will join the other Israeli rescue missions.

Meanwhile, an Israeli coalition of humanitarian groups, IsraAID, is sending a 12-man search-and-rescue team, which includes emergency medical staff.

The IsraAID team has been underwritten by contributions from the American Jewish Committee, the Washington-based B'nai Brith Intentional as well as the Canadian B'nai Brith branch and the Venezuela-based Central American branch.

Several Jewish groups have also launched emergency fundraising campaigns to help with relief efforts. Those groups include the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), B'nai B'rith International, B'nai B'rith Brazil, the American Jewish World Service, the Canadian Jewish Congress, and others.

We need you, want to help? Visit the organizations named in this post to learn more.

Jpost.com staff, AP, Yaakov Lappin and Judy Siegel contributed

Staff of the Israel Defense Force to help Haiti

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IDF medical teams are preparing to spend two weeks in Haiti and to see an average of 500 patients a day, Chief IDF Medical Corps Officer Brig. Gen. Nahman Ash said thursday.
Search and rescue efforts at the collapsed UN headquarters in Port-au-Prince, a day after a powerful earthquake struck the Haitian capital city.

The delegation will consist of 121 members, including 40 doctors and five search-and-rescue teams. The delegation will lift off on two planes at 8 p.m. from Ben-Gurion International Airport.
Ash said that the field hospital would likely be set up in an area in or around the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and would remain for at least two weeks.

"We assume that in the first stage we will deal with trauma patients and then the next round will be people suffering from infections and secondary illnesses", Ash said. The field hospital, he said, would have surgery rooms, and several beds in an Intensive Care Unit.

The planes will land on Friday and the field hospital will likely begin operations on Saturday. Soldiers from combat units are also being sent to provide security for the Israeli delegation.

Members of the delegation received vaccinations on Thursday to prepare them for the stay in Haiti which is known for its poor medical infrastructure, Ash said.

Home front Brig. Gen. Shalom Ben-Aryeh, commander of the delegation, said that there was hope that the search-and-rescue teams would still succeed in rescuing people trapped beneath the rubble. He said that the pictures from Haiti were reminiscent of the last rescue mission Israel launched to India in 2002.

"We have experience that after several days it is still possible to rescue people," he said, adding that one of the first missions once the teams arrived would be to search for an Israeli woman who is still missing

13 January 2010

AJWS collecting donations for Haiti aid.

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"The American Jewish World Service" (AJWS) is collecting donations in response to Tuesday's massive earthquake in Haiti, which registered a 7.3 on the Richter scale.

Donations to Haiti AJWS's Earthquake Relief Fund, which can be made at - www.ajws.org/haitiearthquake - will help AJWS's network of grantees in Haiti to meet the urgent needs of the population based on real-time, on-the-ground assessments.

We are assessing where the gaps in service and are putting in place a process to help specific communities that might not be immediately served ot herwise, said AJWS Vice President for Programs Aaron Dorfman.

Because of the economic and political situation in Haiti, disasters like this have devastating consequences throughout the country.

Our long-standing partnerships with grassroots organizations in Haiti allow us to reach the Poorest and most remote populations with the speed necessary to save lives.

Founded in 1985, American Jewish World Service (AJWS) earned its eighth four-star rating from Charity Navigator in 2009 as well as an "A" in rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy.

Israel is already helping Haiti

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Israel sends mission to Haiti to help analyze necessary*

Jerusalem, Jan 13 (EFE) .- Israel today sent a diplomatic and military delegation to Haiti to assess aid needed after the strong earthquake of 7 on the Richter scale that struck on Tuesday the Caribbean country, the military said in a statement .
The mission, which started around noon, is comprised of Israeli military experts in the fields of engineering, medicine, logistics and rescue.
Your goal is to "examine the possibilities to offer help" to mitigate the consequences of the earthquake, which was the epicenter 15 kilometers southwest of the capital, Port au Prince.
There are no data on victims or material damage caused by the quake which hit the poorest country in the Americas, but are circulating the first images of the dead, brought down buildings and rubble.
They also considered sending a field hospital, including doctors and medical equipment, as well as humanitarian aid such as food supplies and tents for those who have remained homeless.

12 January 2010

Mrs. Miep Gies, In Honor

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"We will never forget your kindness, thank you"

The office secretary who defied the Nazi occupiers of the Netherlands to help hide Anne Frank and her family for two years has died, the Anne Frank Museum announced today.

Born Hermine Santrouschitz on 15 February 1909 in Vienna, Austria, Gies moved to Amsterdam in 1922 to escape food shortages. She lived with a host family, who gave her the nickname Miep.

Gies was the last survivor of the few non-Jews who supplied food, books and company at the secret annexe, above an Amsterdam canal warehouse, where Anne, her parents, her sister and four other Jews hid for 25 months during the second world war.
After the annexe was raided by the German police, gathered Gies Anne's notebooks and papers and locked them in a drawer.

The teenager's diary, which she was given on her 13th birthday, chronicles her life in hiding from 12 June 1942 until 1 August 1944.
Gies refused to read the books and papers, saying that Anne's privacy was sacred ....
... read more about at: The Guardian, UK.

10 January 2010

Institute Gerdau

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President; Mr. Jorge Gerdau Johannpeter.

In order to contribute to the development of the communities it serves, the Institute created in 2005, the Gerdau Institute, it responsible for policies and guidelines for Social Responsibility Gerdau. Last year, we invested US$ 50.0 million, more than 800 projects, with participation by more than 9.170 thousand employees.
Gerdau is convinced that only the transfer of resources is not enough to transform reality. "Therefore, we extend the coverage of social projects that support through the mobilization of its employees, customers, suppliers, communities, government and social institutions".
Research Interests: Culture and Arts, Education, Sports, Environment and Sustainable Development.

07 January 2010

Letter from Bill and Melinda Gates

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With the license of Mr. Bill and Mrs. Melinda Gates, I'll publish in full letter signed by them on the site; "Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation"

I believe that Bill and Melinda are examples of altruism. In today's world, there are 10 million people so rich that 5% of the total wealth of them would help nearly 1 billion people in need around the world.

According to an article in Forbes magazine, Gates has donated about 40 billion dollars to charity since the year 2000.

Letter from Bill and Melinda Gates

- More than a decade ago, the two of us read an article about the millions of children who were dying every year in poor countries from diseases that were long ago eliminated in this country. One disease we had never even heard of—rotavirus—was killing literally half a million kids each year. We thought: That's got to be a typo. If a single disease were killing that many kids, we would have heard about it, because it would have been front-page news. But it wasn’t a typo.

We couldn't escape the brutal conclusion that—in our world today—some lives are seen as worth saving and others are not. We said to ourselves: "This can’t be true. But if it is true, it deserves to be the priority of our giving."

We sent the article to Bill's father, Bill Gates Sr., with a note attached that said, "Dad, maybe we can do something about this." And he helped us get started.

We created the Gates Foundation in 2000 because we believe in the principle that every human life has equal worth. The life of an impoverished child in a developing country is as precious as the life of a middle-class kid in a developed one. A family struggling to make ends meet in an American inner city matters as much as a family thriving in a safe, suburban neighborhood. Today, billions of people never even have the chance to live a healthy, productive life. We want to help all people get that opportunity.

We know it can be done because this is a unique moment in history: Scientific and technological advances are making it possible to solve big, complicated problems like never before. If these advances are focused on the problems of the people with the most urgent needs and the fewest champions, then within this century billions of people will grow up healthier, get a better education, and gain the power to lift themselves out of poverty. Warren Buffett shares our sense of optimism, and we are deeply humbled by his decision to give a significant portion of his resources to the foundation.

We're so hopeful about the potential for rapid progress that we've decided the foundation will spend all its money in the next 100 years. In this century, our world has the opportunity to fulfill the great human promise that all lives have equal value.

Bill Gates and Melinda F. Gates

05 January 2010

Happiness Project

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The Happiness Project began operations in April 2001 offering five days of pure fun and joy for children and adolescents from poorer classes with cancer.

Each week selected us the childrens cancer treatment in hospitals to participate in project. Monday to Friday, with one brother and parents can stay in wonderful hotels and participate in various tours: theme parks ("Hopi Hari", "Parque da Mônica", "Playcenter", "Mundo da Xuxa"), beach, shopping, bowling, cinema, museums, and now also a full day of leisure in Cologne, an extensive experience in S. Lourenço da Serra, in 2005.
At night, after a day of surprises and fun, are visited by volunteers who go to hotels deliver a kit of art, books, toys, etc. Making them more comfortable and happy after receiving a "good night" special.
On Friday, many activities are held at the headquarters of the Project, including the performance of two clowns, theater professionals, who make the party the kids through a retrospective of the week. Children receive an album with photos of trips and the certainty of returning to treatment with more courage and will to live.

But the project goes well beyond a week of happiness... continues to maintain permanent contact with families through letters, phone calls, taking birthday party cake, party and gifts to the house of children, and donated food baskets and offer vocational courses at its headquarters.

Location: Av Arnolfo Azevedo, 201 – Pacaembu, S. Paulo - Brazil
More information go to: felicidade.org.br/projeto.html

02 January 2010

The love unconditional - The flow of energy that opens us to the world

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Being an ish chesed (a man of kindness)

One of the main goals of Judaism is to help man to improve themselves spiritually for it to become an ish chesed, a man of kindness. Not surprisingly, therefore, that the first Jewish patriarch, Abraham, personifies Sefirah, the Divine attribute of chesed - kindness, generosity and boundless love.

Generous and selfless, Abraham was always concerned with the welfare of others, respecting and loving all human beings and surrounding them acts of kindness and generosity.

Hospitable, the first Jew used his wealth to accommodate the travelers, the doors of his tent was always open to all those who went there. Anyone, angel, beggar or even idolatrous, could come into your home and eat at your desk, or relax in one of their tents. Abraham also shared with others his wisdom and knowledge. To save someone else's suffering and death, did not hesitate to take the necessary, even risking their own lives. Abraham is the paradigm of the Jewish ideal - kind with Gd and with men, the Talmud teaches that anyone who has compassion for others certainly descended from the patriarch.

In Kabbalah, the "Sefirah of Chesed", symbolized by Abraham, represents kindness, altruism, sharing, give unconditional love. It is the flow of energy that opens us to the world and makes us reach out to others. In Hebrew, the word that means "love" is "ohev" and comes from Ha'v' - "Give". True love, Judaism teaches, consists of acts of giving and kindness.

*Image courtesy *Jewish Fine Art