It's almost Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement, where we beg G0d to forgive us for our sins. But G0d can only forgive our sins against him; he can not forgive sins sinned against other people. Only the person you wronged can do that.
With that in mind, I ran off to shul for Mincha. A few minutes after I got there, my concentration in prayer was shattered when who should walk in but the husband of the woman who reneged on that photo job and then went batshit on me last Wednesday - which has proven to just be the first of many many many bad things that have been dumped on me since then, especially this week.
It took a lot of courage (and some swallowing of anger) for me to go up to him afterward and ask him to ask his wife for forgiveness for whatever it was that I might have somehow done to make her so upset.
And I want to do the same thing here - I want to ask everyone out there who reads this - from the real life friends to the internet strangers - for forgiveness, for everything and everything. Not just if I had intentionally or thoughtlessly harmed you - but if I've annoyed you; if I've posted something that made you upset, or made some comment that might have hurt your feelings.
Even for the things that were not my fault, things akin to my phone encounter on Wednesday, but where I still did something that made someone unhappy - and even beyond that, for times when it was justified, when I had to stand up for myself, or stop someone from doing something wrong - but, by consequence or necessity, I hurt someone - I beg forgiveness for that too.
Yesterday, along with taking advantage of the nice weather and Chol HaMoed to hit up the local gardening stores and start working on our tiny little backyard, I filled out the 2010 US Census.
It was an interesting feeling. It's been a long time since something made me feel so "adult"; like the first time I was allowed to cross the street on my own or the first time I drove on the highway by myself.
(Oddly enough, I didn't get that feeling with first kisses and sex and the like, despite that being almost the very definition of "adult". Perhaps I was too busy feeling other things at the time.)
Also, why would they choose April 1st to be Census day? To be the day you're supposed to count everyone staying in your household and give an accurate report?
I'd think that if there'd be one day on the calender that would disencourage truth telling, that would be it.
Avigdor Leiberman as Foreign Minister. That's like sending John Bolton in the UN.
At least it will keep him away from the local Arabs.
I wonder if this will lead to Israel leaning away from the US and having closer ties with Russia? The later is more likely the former, as Netanyahu is very pro-US. (Is there an equivalent word to "Sinophilliac" or "Russophilliac" for the US?)
I'm also not comfy with Barak staying as Defense Minister. I don't think he handled the Gaza war very well, and I think he would do the country more good in the opposition. Still, I think a centrist government, with Labor and Kadima joining Likud, would have been the best possible makeup at this point.
Worse, once again Shas is part of the new coalition, selling their soul and their votes in exchange for continued control of the religious ministries and a constant flow of welfare dollars. Even worse, they're getting the Interior Ministry portfolio. I believe in Israel as the Jewish homeland, and as a Jewish state, but I'm increasingly disliking Shas. At least Aggudah/UTJ isn't part this of the government - yet; I think NRP better represents the interest of the (sane) religious. But I'm sure they'll gladly join once they get the proper incentives/welfare money. Still, they're so very wrong on the issue of conversion, and I really hope Netanyahu doesn't compromise on that just to shore up his coalition's power.
I'm somewhat optimistic about the Netanyahu government. He's got a grasp of basic economics generally lacking in Israeli politicians, and as a right-winger, just like Sharon, he's in a better position to make a peace accord and have it accepted by the general public then a left-wing government would.
I randomly watched 24 last night, and it was very very good. I saw an earlier episode a few weeks back, which was enjoyable, this episode makes me want to go back and watch this entire season.
Some people, like my brother, adore the show and talk about it constantly (he brought back a boxed set of the first 4 seasons that he purchased in Iraq, subtitled into a dozen different languages, so it must have some universal appeal), but while I enjoyed the first season, I don't have the patience to sit down and watch something that long and time intensive.
But last night's episode was clever, intense, and most importantly, raised some very pressing questions about the Posse Comitatus act, private military contractors, and the general lengths the government needs to go to protect itself and its citizens. Important, pressing questions that everyone knows we need to talk about and deal with, but no one ever seems to address, as if hoping that if/when a situation like this does arise, Jack Bauer will show up and solve it for us, while taking all the moral culpability on himself.
So, if you're not watching this show, I highly recommend downloading or finding last night's episode somewhere and watching it. And I'll be watching next week.
I have to wonder - if the terrorists in Mumbai/Bombay hadn't, at one point, specifically selected out Americans and British for hostages at one of the hotels - would the media being paying nearly as much attention to the story?
It is a spectacular and well executed attack, rather then a conventional bombing - but I can't shake the feeling that it would only be getting a fraction of this attention if it wasn't for that one little above fact, which is being repeated over and over in all the reports.
There were 6 terrorists bombings in India this year (one of which killed more people then this attack did) and numerous others in the last decade - and they barely get a mention in the press. Pakistan, Israel, Russia, Iraq (which just had another terrorist bombing today!) - they all get attacked constantly, innocent civilians are murdered by terrorists there with disturbing regularity - and they barely qualify for a mention in the American press.
Why is this one different?