Ten years without Ofra. A story of its own kind.

b”h


Ofra Haza. Worth noticing.

Ofra, as usual, this entry follows your yearly anniversary date after it has already passed.

As usual, and I am glad about it, this day had been remembered the way it should be.

This time, the 10th for the world and the 5th for me, my main focus was drawn to feelings, reflections and insights.

A reconciliation to find with your passing. A love to feel while remembering. A sadness to experience, from within and not artificial at all. A recollection to make of what it has always meant to me to concentrate on you, to live my dreams within your music and to mirror myself in your eyes.

This is not an ode to an idol I prefer to worship because I am somehow too lazy for a prayer to G-d.

It’s an a little dramatic expression of gratitude, one of the main teachings in Judaism.

Ofra herself was a strong believer, turning to her Creator in good and bad times.

Once, after an especially urgent appeal by her, He just called her back to where she had always belonged to.

– We were left behind, some feeling empty and wretched and full of despair on account of her loss for this world.

But others understood the message well, the message that not the person was the main focus in this story of hers; it’s what she had to share, to  g i v e .

Ofra hadn’t been a taker that much. She received – and gave back. Gave back without hesitation. She gave her love, dreams, music, appreciation, time, devotion, ideas.

She gave us her soul and finally, her life, being honest to her Creator who had blessed her with the gift of life; and us, with the gift of having known her.

“Why, why crazy mind”, why so much appreciation to a singer, a simple Israeli woman who died ten years ago at age of 40+? Why so many exalted words, such a lofty atmosphere being created in this post?

Again, it’s a feeling of gratitude which forces me to write.

An unshakeable feeling of closeness, of brotherhood. And finally, of deep love. The way I’ve become, apart from my mother’s life-time work, was very much influenced by Ofra Haza. It’s part of her merit that I know where I belong to.I think it’s just naturally that I see it as my assignment to contribute to my friend’s long-lasting memory.

This time it has not been too much done on my behalf, but many thoughts have gone through my heart. I don’t consider Ofra being a world star. She is rather… a star of the world.

A very special treasure, to be discovered.

May her memory remain imprinted on the minds of those who knew of  Ofra.

May her merit be the good impact she made on her fellow human beings by the belief she taught, the values she was faithful to, the music she loved and lived, the treasures she gave to us.

תהיי נשמתך צרורה בצרור החיים.

Isralike

Museum and me – Berlinian impressions 2

b”h

The human being always directs his most attention to things familiar, known and/or dear to him. A connection is the most important thing. No matter where or how. It’s part of his behaviour.

That’s what I’ve learned the last days.

As for museum (museums – hardly an acceptable plural), in Berlin I used the opportunity to enter one or two – after a long time of observing solely “wild life”.

The first day I’ve spent at the Jewish Museum, the whole daytime until dawn. (Not a very smart decision because afterwards I had to discover the “rest” during twilight and cold darkness.) The Jewish Museum, I must acknowledge, is full of everything. It’s really crowded with objects worthy of seeing them. It’s full of photos, items and – description plates. Perhaps the second most important thing in a museum.

On my feelings I had during my Jewish Museum visit – and afterwards while visiting other galeries – I understood what characterizes my behaviour at “cultural sights” the most:

I basically go to a museum or an exhibition to look for things I know or have seen, things I’ve already liked most. You understand? I believe most people visit these places in order to find something new, to see things they’d never find anywhere else. Or if to a concert, then to hear music one would not normally come across.

But me, I get most delighted when stumbling upon something good, old, familiar. I cannot go visit museum or listen to musicians playing something I’ve never heard of. A slight conservatism of a strange direction. I’m not sure whether this is the purpose of a concert or an exhibition. Yet in cases of pleasure of this sort, I don’t like taking risks. Because I don’t like the feeling of being disappointed, of having wasted my time.

It’s as if I was meeting old friends instead of trying to find new ones.

So now, back to the keyword –  what does a Jew look for in a Jewish Museum?

I believe, he would look for items he’d be able to feel connected to.  To be honest, more or less I went through and learned about Ashkenazi Jewish history already years ago. If then I get to a museum of exactly this culture, I don’t know how to react.

And so I was wandering around and what caused my real interest?

When I found stories telling of Jewish youth of today and how they maintain their lives. When I saw posters and photos from the beginnings of Jewish resettlement in the HolyLand.

But here comes the real highlight of the visit:

In the special exhibition on Kosher food and food rituals in other cultures (amusing and really entertaining topic, very well presented!!) I ran into a recording of Jewish food blessings.

By a Yemenite rabbi!!

Nothing could erase my smile afterwards.

(For people who don’t know my Yemenite story, just take it for granted that anything Yemenite wams my heart 24 hours a day.)

And then as the top of the whole adventure, I got to see a episode of one of the funniest TV series ever. “Avoda Aravit”, Arab Labour.

Israeli series in Hebrew. In the museum.

What does one want more?!

Except for, well, reading from an old Torah scroll in another exhibition in another museum.

You see, my guideline sounds something like

“To go out in order to go in” or “to leave in order to return”.

Funny thing. My mother educated me culturally since year 1 and before.

And I go there in order to return to my own “kitchen and sewing box”.

But at least, I have fun!

Sometimes there’s no need at all to bite the bullet. 🙂

Isralike

Chanukkah and more….

b”h

<<Zur Mishelo – Eshet Chayil  – soundddddddd…>>>

It’s Chanukkah time and Chanukkah reminds me again of the fact that Jewish holidays will soon return to us.. in a couple of months after this 8-day-long festivity…

Yemenite Chanukkah

So what’s so special about holidays?

Well, I thought yesterday, the special thing is mainly that the meaning of this or other holiday  is discovered at its very end and not, as one might think,at its start… This so far as my observation is concerned. I doubt I’d “feel” any holiday

date approaching if I’d not

think about it and what this means to me. The same is with any date, symbol, place, event or word. Just as things becom

e within reach and memorizable only after you know their name or at least have any idea of them in mind –  same

with meaning. Same with holiness.

Things become meaningful, valuable, holy if you grant them such attributes. To realize why something is meaningful, valuable, holy you have to enter the perspective of the one who gave them these attributes. ….

Well, anyways, back from philosophy to Chanukkah,

my Chanukkah feeling will probably be only fully developed at the time when I light the last candles and sing the last songs. Is it something to complain about?

Don’t think so. I suggest holidays are made to teach you certain things, to make you think of them & their impact on you (if you allow it to be unfolded). Some holidays, if you le

arn enough about them, might even change some character traces or sometimes even your view on life. Those should then be called the “grand holidays“. Perhaps that’s why the Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement are called “Yamim Noraim” (more or less to be translated as the Days of Awe).

I suppose this happens because during the special days, one becomes familiar with them while celebrating. And I think this might very much be the real purpose of each holiday. As one of my friends and teachers once said, it’s not the dates we celebrate, we celebrate dates because of the thing

s happened and their significance for us.

Whatever.

Wish you an enlightened, joyful and warm Chanukkah!

Isralike


<<<Shir la’ma’alot – Eshet Chayil – sounddddddddddd…>>>