Wednesday, 24 March 2010

This Year IN Yerushalayim!

Pesach (Passover) is fast approaching. As Jews around the world prepare their homes for Pesach, cleaning, shopping, cooking, inviting friends and family to the Sedar night it is easy to get caught up in spring cleaning and making an event. However, the important part is to remember what Pesach is about.

In an earlier post we spoke of the Avos (our Forefathers) who first came to know Hashem and follow the One Living G-d. Yaakov and his sons went down to Egypt at the time of the famine and the Pesach story tells of our being saved by G-d from slavery to receive the Torah and come into Eretz Yisrael, a Nation, ready to serve G-d in Israel fulfilling Torah and mitzvos.

Around this time, many are planning a "walk for life" trip to Poland and certain concentration camps. An attempt to remember what happened. The video below links the importance of remembering the Hollocaust with the Exodus.

As we are reminded daily, we have to remember the Exodus and that we were strangers in a strange land. We were slaves in a land that was not ours. In todays time we are permitted to live in Eretz Yisrael once more, but we are far from free.

Sadly there are Jews who are not able to enjoy to spirit of Pesach fully. They lack the basic Kosher food required. They lack the ability to purchase new clothing, beautiful garments to feel like menchen and truly free to enjoy this special Chag.

There is a special mitzvah called Maot Chittim, specifically to help Jews in need with the minimum matzah they require to fulfill their obligation for the Sedar night. In truth it is an extended term indicating providing the poor with their Yom Tov needs.

While some like to travel to look at the remains of tragedies that occured, the Klaussenberger Rebbe, himself a survivor of some of the camps, teaches that the way to remember is by building and strengthening our fellow Jew. While some were bewildered at the time of liberation, the Klausenberger Rebbe was busy preparing burial for the Jews whose bodies liay in piles around. He made sure there was a Kosher kitchen, a synagogue and even was prepared to give up his own socks to make sure a little orphan girl had her feet covered.

As one survivor told her family, a major memory of Bergen Belson was that their first year there they managed to make matzot. Yes, right in the death camp, they made matzot. They remembered Pesach. Help us to honour the Jews who gave their lives throughout the history of the Jews, till today, not by walking through deserted spaces of doom, but through providing the basic needs to our fellow Jew to enjoy Pesach as it should be. In freedom with everything they require to feel like a Jew, to have self-respect, dignity and food fitting for a Yom Tov.

May we enjoy THIS year in Yerushalayim, all of Am Yisrael together with our Righteous Redeemer and our Final Temple.

Chag Pesach Kasher ve Somayach.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Removing Mold from Painted Walls

A problem we came across in looking for an apartment, and in some apartments we have rented here in Israel, has been that of mold. Mold can be found on ceilings and walls, in the bathroom, kitchen and other places where rain and other weather conditions affect the walls. Part of the problem seems to come from the way in which the walls are sealed.

In trying to find out what can be done to prevent mold or even to clean it once mold begins to appear, many suggested cleaning the affected area with bleach. A friend sent me this important announcement. Although it comes from the USA, the information is relevant here too. The rest of this post is as sent to me by my friend and is left in the first person, the speaker being the one who sent the information to my friend.

RED ALERT! No bleach! I used the bleach trick for removing mold in my sun room several years ago and ended up getting extremely ill afterward. The doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me but after a year I was ready to just lay down and die, it was that bad.

I found the Red Cross site online while searching for "headaches" and they had a box that asked if you wanted a nurse to contact you and I checked it. When the nurse called me she asked me to describe the symptoms and I didn't get far when she told me to stop, she knew the cause of the illness.

There is a certain type of mold that reacts with the chlorine in the bleach and creates an invisible gas that scars your lungs the first time it is created and you don't feel a thing. She advised me to use white vinegar and water in a 50/50 mix and do not rinse off. It will leave an acid base behind that helps stop the mold from regrowing for a long time.

My body is completely infiltrated with this mold now and I had to leave my house and continue to have some side effects from being so sick. It causes headaches along the trigeminal nerve pathway, I would actually have spasms in my eye balls that others could see, could not walk or stand up once the headache started, had about 6 headaches like this a day, lost almost 40 pounds in 2 months because I couldn't keep anything down.

The only thing that helped was IV's at the ER and serious pain meds and ice cold showers, wet towels frozen in the freezer and draped on me in front of fans and all the windows open, even during the coldest winter with snow on the ground.

This is a very serious problem and worth using the vinegar no matter what anyone else suggests. I live in Oregon and we lose babies every year to black mold because it infiltrates their lungs. Please pass this info to your friends, it might make the difference between life and death. (08/26/2009)


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