Thursday, May 28, 2009

Destiny and Taking Chances

Before I moved to Israel I was a fearful kind of person. In my childhood I feared conflict and thus was an easy target for bullies since I was to afraid to learn how to defend myself. I was also afraid of making mistakes and failure, even though I made a number of mistakes and failed at a number of different things. Later in life I was afraid of loosing my job in order to take a chance and chase after my dreams.

Two years of being Israel has helped changed much of that part of myself. I no longer fear failure and I no longer am afraid of bullies. I am not afraid of loosing my job, and as time goes on I am less afraid of taking chances. So this leads me to an important decison that I need to make in the next few months after I move. It will concerning chasing after a dream that I let fall to the wayside when I was younger, and I only revisted a few times during my adult life.

At some point a male has to decide if he is a man or a boy and is he strong or is he weak? This was my greatest fears in my youth because I felt for so long that I didn't have the tools to make my life what I wanted, instead I made my life what other people wanted. Coming to Israel has changed that because first of all coming here was a dream that I developed because I knew it would force me to face my fears. I also knew that no matter what happens I would not leave Israel, except to visit a place, and I was here for better or for worse. That includes war, that includes world ridicule, and that includes the possibility of having to stand alone in order to do what is right.

So with this upcoming decision I am going to be making it at a time when times are tough all over the world. It is a time where it seems like all of a humanity is crying out for a different path that what we have inherited and that there are many people who are being awakened to their true purpose in life. I have learned so many interesting things within the last two years of me living in Israel as to where I can say that I have lived more in the these last two years than I have most of my life.

Maybe it is because I am becoming less fearful of really living, even if that means that some uncomfort is involved. Even if that means standing against the slings and arrows of all kinds of people I don't have to stand there and take it. I can be a man, pick up the closest thing to a weapon and defend myself. I can also be that man who stands up for others or provides that shoulder of support for others.

This decision that is coming is one that I have been feeling coming on for some time now. I realize that now that I am 34 I can't wait any longer to truly decide if I am going to make my own destiny or am I going to allow others to dictacte my life to me? Now is the time, and I have gained many of the tools that I need to accomplish something that gives a man a sense of mastery of his destiny and that is FREEDOM!

I was once asked by a woman I went out with once to play a word association game. The game was a bit of a psychology test. She would say a word and I would have to respond with one word, the first word, that popped into my head. I think I mentioned this story in another post. She went through various words, but my response to her on one word caused her to have a question mark look on her face. What was that word you ask? FREEDOM! What was my response you ask.....ISRAEL!

What does that mean to me, you ask? It means so many things. It means that I no longer have to fear walking through the streets at night, fearing the penetrating glances of others. It means that I no longer have to explain myself to others. It means fluency in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic. It means that when I fail and I fall down, I will immediately put my hands to the ground and push myself back up. It means I no longer will accept being grouped with people who don't share the same moral outlook as myself. I don't have to accept other peoples interpretations of who I am. I am who I am, I am who I say I am, and I am the only human who gets a say in that matter at this point in my life. Yet, most of all it means Israel. True Israel is not yet a free country. Unfortunately, we are influenced by pop culture, the after affects of Western colonialism in the Middle East, the fear of becoming the Torah based society that we are supposed to be. Yet, this is our country and we can fix these things. We can be more than we currently are, but we have to be willing to stop talking about it and do it.

It also means that I don't have to accept my faults. I can choose to stop making the same mistakes, and I can choose to turn away from un-Torah like and unproductive behavior. This has always meant that there are people and things I may have to walk away from, but I am an expert in that. I know how to hold them, I know when to fold them, I know how to walk away when the dealings done.

I had many heroes when I was a kid, but at some a man has to become his own hero. When I turned 28 every time I thought of heroics I thought of myself. I saw my own face in that mirror, being the type of hero I needed to be, at least for me. I am not the most powerful, and I am not the most intelligent. Yet, I am the best Ehav Ever (אהב עבר) that has come of the assembly line. They litterally broke the mold when they made me, and no other Ehav Ever has stepped up to the plate and tried to fight the good fight like I have. Narcasitic? Maybe, but I can't help it, that is who I am.

So that is that. Next week I will work on plotting out my the possible paths I should take with this decision. This has always worked for me. I basically write out what it is I have to do and I work out all the possible ways to do it. I list the pros and the cons, the good and the bad, the hard parts and th easy parts. Then I go through it and make my decision. I won't say publically what this decision is until I make it. Yet, when I do make it will be wonderful. because I make my own destiny It will be a story for the ages, and maybe, just maybe, it will be another addition to the Chronicles of Ehav Ever.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

People Love Drama?

So lately I have been checking out other people's blogs and YouTube videos in comparison to the last few months of simply working on my own videos, and I have been finding that people seem to love drama. What I mean is that it seems like there are some many debates and arguements going on about a range of topics, which lead to the name calling and very few solutions. Now I love a good debate as much as the next person. Yet, the older I get the less I care about debate and the more I am concerned with the discussion of putting solutions in place.

As I mentioned before, I was not always this way. There was a time when I liked to be a part of the drama crowd. I complained on a number of things, but very seldom worked on solutions. That was until one day was I shown a path that led to action and that action involved working with kids. The concept being that if you could direct, redirect, or change the mindset of a child before what I call "pop culture" gets to them you could in turn change the world.

What I have noticed though that in some of these drama debates, these kinds of words get lost in the need for more debate and more drama. It is like some people get so lost in the debate that actually outlining solutions is not as important as keeping the debate going. That is completely fine, if that is what people really want, but to me it would seem that working on solutions would be the prominent issue. I have been chalking this up to the fact that I grew up in a different environment where there were people who were through talking and debating the drama and instead they were doing something about the drama.

It is like saying, if a community structure is the problem then all you have to do is build a PHYSICAL community. If adult pshychology is the problem, you start working with the kids in order to prevent them from taking up a failed pshychology. If a lost culture is the problem, you do the research and try your best to fill in the gaps. If particular people are the problem, you do the best you can to bring them to the table and if they refuse you cut them off and excommunicate them.

These things can be talked about all day, but putting them into action changes the whole landscape. That is just the way I see things, and maybe I am wrong in my thinking. Yet, I guess for most people they need the drama. Besides drama sells and it keeps peoples' attention a lot longer than quick and speedy resolution. I guess that is why the soup opera industry is so popular.
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Latest

It is so funny how the written aspects of this blog are quickly becoming updates between the time when I do videos. I can't help it, but I really enjoy making the videos. I also feel that it is easier for me to express myself in video where in writing I am confined by my ability to type and how well I can make the words express what goes on in my brain. I once even experimented with that voice/typing software several years ago and that didn't work very well for me. So for a while I feel like the videos are the better way for me to do this.

So on to the latests news in the Chronicles of Ehav Ever.

Computer Updates

So I finally found a cable that I can use to recover my old hard drives from my laptop and even from some older hard drives that I had sitting around from my OLD OLD computer. For those of you who weren't checking out my blog back then, several months ago my laptop crashed and left me without access to my life which is on my computer. You can read about it here. So now I have gotten access again to all the old information, photos, fonts, etc. that were a staple of my Chronicles. So in other words.

Okay so this video has nothing to do with anything, but I found that video so funny.

Moving Soon

So at the end of July I will be moving to a new apartment. I don't know exactly where yet, but I am thinking about moving out of Maale Adummim to Jerusalem. Living here in Maale Adummim has been great, and really like it here, but it could be that I have outgrown it and I need to move into Jerusalem proper. I had offer to move into a Jewish building that was in the middle of an Arab neighborhood, but that just wasn't something I can do at this point in my life.

Pretty much every option I am looking at is in or around Jerusalem. I couldn't even imagine living more than 10 minutes away from Jerusalem. I like the vibe of Jerusalem and it may be because it is the spiritual center of Israeli and Jewish culture, but it is so hard for me to explain it. I just can't get enough of the energy I feel when I walk the streets of my country's capital. I never felt this way in any other place, and I always want to keep this feeling until my last breath.

Of course I had to go back to the resturant Coffee Joe where I found pancakes and this is how I felt.


A few months ago I was interviewed for a in the works documentary about racism, prejudice, and culturism in Israel. I may have to do a reshoot, but I really enjoyed the fact that I did it all in Hebrew. If they do the followup of me I am a bit more prepared. My Hebrew is good enough to do it, but I find that I am better if I write out my ideas first.

This also gave me the idea that I may take the video chronicles I do and make them into a documentary of myself. I may even submit it next year for the Mixed Roots Festival, so we will see. I am starting to map out what I think would be a good documentary of who I am and what I feel about things.

The Joke of the 2 State Solution

So I have been keeping up here and there on the issue of America and Europe's concept of a 2 state solution to try and solve the middle east problem. To be quite honest, after living here more than 2 years I can say that the two state solution is a joke and is not a realistic solution for the middle east. It also begs the question of what right do the western countries have to dictate to the world what is a solution.

The problems in the middle east don't revolve around Israel and our issues with the Arab world. The problems really revolve around the legacy of western powers who have spent the last several hundred years colonizing and then messing up a number of countries around the world. I think I can express this better in a video than I can in writing it. Yet, what I can tell you is that if the western world would stop feeding money into the region (both to us in Israel and the Arabs) , take back their weapons they are supplying to both sides, and let us solve our own problems the middle east would be a different place.
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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Everybody Wants a Peice of Me

So if you go down to some of my previous posts you will see that I did a video on Israeli national indentity and Jewish Migrations into West Africa. Now it seems that some of the Hebrew Israelites on YouTube are offended. They are a comical bunch, and they say some really funny things. (At least it is funny to me.) I have never understood why they go out searching for conflict, but they have to realize that they can't win that one with me.

My recent Hebrew Israelite stalker has been trying to force me into taking down the videos I did, as if he could actually force me to do that. It has always interested me, as a former I am right and everyone else is wrong kind of person, how some people go out of their way to try and make themselves right and everyone else is wrong. When I was in the mode of thinking I had the answers to the universe, I kept it mostly to myself. My logic was because I was right and the world was wrong, there is no need for me to beat people up side the head with it.

I have come a long way in that regard, and maybe that is why some of these types gravitate towards trying to either prove me wrong, hurt my feelings, etc. What they don't realize is that they can't hurt my feelings, only I have the power to do that. Also, what they don't realize is that when a person confronts me to debate me, especially when I know I am right, I will take the debate to all kinds of angles and I won't stop until they get tired of dealing with me. I am methodical, I take my time to craft my arguements, and I respond without reacting. (Yes I was on the debate team in high school.) I have also had a lot of experience with getting emails from people who disagree with my views, even though I don't try to force anyone to accept my views. Yet, this whole situation has given me some ideas for some new videos.

Note: All of the above took place on YouTube.
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Friday, May 1, 2009

Food for thought: Holy Pancakes

People often ask me, would I ever move back to the United States, and my answer is no. There is nothing for me there, and Israel is my home. Yet, there was one thing that I do have to admit I knew was going to be a problem. That is to say something I knew I was going to miss. What is that you ask?.......pancakes.

I love pancakes, and when I lived in the states trying to find kosher pancakes was ALWAYS a problem. Sure I could have made my own, and I did make them for Passover (that is to say the FOR Passover kind of pancakes that don't rise.) Yet, there are just some foods that I always liked to have made for me.

Maybe it harks back to my childhood when my mother would make the world's best banana pancakes, banna nut bread, and cookies. Ah yes, those were the days. That is until the evil years came when we moved to the suburbs and the pastries came to a halt, and what was once rivers of pancakes and banana nut goodness became a desert void of pastrioral delight (I know that is not a word!)

So every time I visited Israel I could never find a place that made good pancakes. There was one place I found while on a tour north of Tel Aviv, but those pancakes were nothing compared to what I had known in my childhood. There was also a place I found in 2004 in Jerusalem that made some of the best waffles I had ever had, but when I went back to them in 2007 they had become a sushi place. It was that I knew that I was going to have to say goodbye to pancakes, and thus that was the only thing I feared about living in the Middle East. The loss of good kosher pancakes.

Yet, today a light shone forth from the hills of Zion. (Literally, Jerusalem is also known as Zion.) During my time in Jerusalem today to pray at the Kotel (Western Wall) and to find some good lotion I decided to stop off in one of the local coffee/resturants where I once met a date. I thought I would just stop in and have the same brunch I had the last time. You know, eggs, toast, salad. (Here in Israel salad is also for breakfast). When they handed me the menu I was shocked to see something that I haven't seen in more than 2 years. It was a parting of the maple seas, if you will. This was a different menu that they didn't have the last time I was there. This menu had............

PANCAKES! Truly, it was a blessing that by chance I decided to go to that resturant. What joy as I sat waiting for the yummy goodness. They even had banana pancakes. Yet, the true test was the taste. One bite and a wave of emotions overflowed as I remembered my youth, with my mother making those gold cakes on the griddle and log cabin syrp (I have completely forgotten how to spell it) glistening in the sun light.

So as I ate my pancakes with salad on the side. Life took on a whole new meaning. Zion took on a whole new meaning. Truly this is my home, in the Land of Israel, the holy land, in Jerusalem, the holy city, and there are pancakes. I now miss nothing, I lack nothing, and the light of heaven has shone down on me for I have partaken in Israeli holy pancakes and thus there was joy across the land stride.

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