"From Moshe till Moshe, there arose none like Moshe." (famous Jewish folk saying)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Remember when

When I was a little kid, I remember when my parents would go out on a Saturday night. It was the days before VCR’s and renting videos. We used to watch the Love Boat and Fantasy Island. Da Plan, Da plane! and I am Mr. Rourk, you host!! Welcome to Fantasy Island.

But the big thing was popcorn. It was the days before jiffy pop, Microwave ovens and Orville Redenbacher. We used to use a pot on the stove, put oil in it, corn kernels and on a full flame, shake the pot until we would hear the popcorn popping. The smell of fresh popcorn. Not air-popped but real, oily, fresh popcorn.

So I was at the local shuk the other day and I saw a bag of popcorn kernels. And I decided to by it. My kids did not know what they were. So I decided to give them a history lesson. There was a time, when you could not pause your TV or tape a show. There was a time when the only movies you could watch were at a theater or a drive in. My grandfather used to own a drive in theater. There was no such thing as a microwave and popcorn did not come in a bag and take 2 minutes to make.

I said to my children, gather around and watch. The first thing they noticed was the smell. Ahhh, that smell that stinks up the whole house. Then they heard the popping and then, when you take the lid off, that beautiful white and crispy popcorn. Ahh I said, this was a benefit to living in the good old days. Things may have taken a little longer, but boy, did they seem better.

Makes you wonder if we really are better off than we were 35 years ago. Technology has advanced so much but the world seems like its much more screwed up that it used to be. Somehow I got to this from popcorn. To live in my head, what an adventure.

"... You declare, my friend; that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely 'anti-Zionist'. And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of G-d's green earth: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews -- this is G-d's own truth.

"Anti-Semitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind. In this we are in full agreement. So know also this: anti-Zionist is inherently anti-Semitic, and ever will be so.

"Why is this? You know that Zionism is nothing less than the dream and ideal of the Jewish people returning to live in their own land. The Jewish people, the Scriptures tell us, once enjoyed a flourishing Commonwealth in the Holy Land. Fromtthis they were expelled by the Roman tryant, the same Romans who cruelly murdered our L-rd. Driven from their homeland, their nation in ashes, forced to wander the globe, the Jewish people time and again suffered the lash of whichever tyrant happened to rule over them.

"The Negro people, my friend, know what it is to suffer the torment of tyranny under rulers not of our choosing. Our brothers in Africa have begged, pleaded, requested -- DEMANDED -- the recognition and realization of our inborn right to live in peace under our own sovereignty in our own country.

"How easy it should be, for anyone who holds dear this inalienable right of all mankind, to understand and support the right of the Jewish People to live in their ancient Land of Israel. All men of good will exult in the fulfillment of G-d's promise, that His people should return in joy to rebuild their plundered land. This is Zionism, nothing more, nothing less.

"And what is anti-Zionist? It is the denial to the Jewish people of a fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord all other nations of the Globe. It is discrimination against Jews, my friend, because they are Jews. In short, it is anti-Semitism.

"The anti-Semite rejoices at any opportunity to vent his malice. The times have made it unpopular, in the West, to proclaim openly a hatred of the Jews. This being the case, the anti-Semite must constantly seek new forms and forums for his poison. How he must revel in the new masquerrade! He does not hate the Jews, he is just 'anti-Zionist'!

"My friend, I do not accuse you of deliberate anti-Semitism. I know you feel, as I do, a deep love of truth and justice and revulsion for racism, prejudice, and discrimination. But I know you have been misled -- as others have been -- into thinking you can be 'anti-Zionist' and yet remain true to those heartfelt principles that you and I share. Let my words echo in the depths of your soul: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews -- make no mistake about it."
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From M.L. King Jr., "Letter to an Anti-Zionist Friend,"
Saturday Review XLVII (August 1967), pg. 76
Reprinted in M.L. King Jr., "This I Believe: Selections from the Writings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.")
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I am a huge fan of the pot/oil pop corn. I was in the shuk a few months ago and asked for a k. of popcorn kernals. A lady (customer) at the same stand put her arm around and explained that it does not work in the microwave, and it is for shopkeepers. I tried to explain to her that you can also pop it at home, but she didn't want to hear about it and tried very hard to argue with me that I really didn't want to buy it. Gotta love the shuk.
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