Monday, December 11, 2006

Am I My Brothers Keeper....?

OK that’s it.

I was going to ignore the whole thing, but I checked Drudge as I usually do, and there it was staring me in the face!

I mean if Drudge thinks it’s important enough to link-to on his site, who am I to ignore it?

I am talking about ElAl and Shabbos observances or the lack thereof.

Let’s take it from the top.

We have a “medina” called Israel. Before I go on I should mention that I am an avid Zionist, not in the Ben-Gurion/Herzel sense but I do strongly believe in the land of Israel, and its right to exist.

So this wonderful country (and I really do love the place) with it’s tremendous attitude, and love for all of mankind has an airline. Actually more than one, but were talking about one specific carrier called ElAl.

ElAl’s slogan is “Feel at home anywhere in the world” and they truly do go above and beyond. From the moment you get in line to check in you’re greeted by that signature attitude that only an Israeli has. I love it, as soon as that young woman snaps, “are you sure you packed your bags yourself?” I feel right at home.

Sure there are those that require the posh dignified check-in of British Airways, or the bland American Continental, or even the suave Lufthansa, but I prefer the warm and friendly (cough) environment of ElAl.

OK, so it seems that they flew on Shabbos to make up for flights that were missed due to a strike. “Nu voos is azoy geferlach?” I asked my friend Moshe yesterday, “they had a “heskim” not to fly on Shabbos” was his staunch reply, “and they broke their word.”

OK, Iych her. They said that they wouldn’t fly on shabbos, they had a dire circumstance and they flew.

I don’t see what the big deal is.

If we are talking about Chilul Hashem, the fact that such a tumult was raised is only amplifying that Chilul, is it not?

Yes they flew on Shabbos, no it was not business as usual, and that would have been that, but instead we have a massive Chillul Hashem going on, and who is at fault? ElAl, or the kuchleflech that are stirring the pot?

We are not talking about a mom-and-pop shop here, were talking about an international Airline that made a decision to fly stranded passengers home.

On a side note, I was reading the English Hamodia this shabbos, and right on the front page was the whole story, including a paragraph about a fellow that had bought a bunch of tickets for a wedding, and was told by his poisik to accept the financial loss that would incur, and order new tickets with a different airline.

That raised my temper quite a bit; I don’t think I need to explain why.

Anyway, is it my business whether or not somebody else is michalel shabbos? And if he insists on continuing am I obligated to ruin him financially?

ElAl is not the only one, there is the classic example of Egged, a bus company that operates on Shabbos, yet we don’t see mass boycotting of the bus service do we?

Before you step into your favorite local taxi do you ask him if he drives on shabbos?

These are but two examples, I think the esteemed rabbis should get back to the problems that are at hand, such as ,,,,,,, well whatever problems there are, and leave ElAl alone.

There I feel better already!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Personal Story

Not so long ago my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. At first I didn’t notice it but as time went on it became very apparent.

Instead of going to visit her, and dealing with it, I chose to withdraw.
I used to go up and spend some time with her at least twice a week, now months had gone by and I was just ignoring the whole thing..

Last night I finally pulled together the courage to go up and see her.

As simple words could not describe what I felt, I figured I would try this way of communication.

A throne rocks to and fro, and a queen sits therein,
The day is about to end, or perhaps about to begin?

The minor things in life surround her, in marble and oak,
As time slowly begins to lash her with its black velvet cloak.

Eyes that were always filled with wisdom, with warmth, and with care,
Are clouded by the shadows of what once was, by the images of yesteryear.

As I approach her I look happy, confident and sure,
Kneeling before her I yearn for the eyes that once shone so pure.

Recognition had ceased just a few months ago,
Yet her blank look tore through me, it just hurt so.

Her face was towards me as she continued to stare,
“Do you know me?” she asked hesitantly, it was too much for me to bear.

I kiss her hand as I turned to leave, saying I’ll be back very soon,
What happened next broke me, she started humming her tune.

A melody that has been sung by mothers throughout the years,
Accomplished what nothing else could, those notes released the tears.

She continued to hum, not even knowing I was there,
and tears poured from the depths of my heart it seemed so unfair.

I cried for the good times we shared and for the bad as well,
I just wasn’t ready to let go yet, there was so much more to tell.

She finished her song, and started to speak,
I strained to listen; her voice was just so weak.

“My parents come to visit me” she said, her face growing sad,
“My mothers name I am able to remember, but not my dad.”

You look so much like my father she said, but I just can’t remember his name,
I know it I told my grandmother, I am called by the same.