asher553: (Default)

They surround her,
the seven planets,
but she burns toward
the pallor of his face.

And he's so far away,
in the heavens of the Earth's sphere,
but he yearns for her,
her golden fire.

The moon's shadow stretches
over the sun's face.
Forever, day and night,
they are touching up above.
And it's not enough for him, not enough for her -
just for a moment, and then on.
And so, each day, for countless years,
he dies in her light, and she in his.
Sunset of a pink dawn,
lost love.

Time and again in their despair
they darken for a moment:
eclipse of the moon,
eclipse of the sun.
Yet in this pursuit
the illuminate the sky,
captive in their orbits,

הם סובבים אותה,
שבעת כוכבי הלכת
אך היא בוערת אל
חיוורון פניו.
והוא רחוק כל כך,
בשמי כדור הארץ,
אבל נכסף אליה
לאש זהב.

צל הירח
אל פני השמש נמשך.
תמיד בין יום ובין לילה,
נוגעים שם למעלה,
וזה לא די לו, לא די לה -
רק לרגע והלאה.
וכך כל יום, שנים אין ספור,
הוא מת באורה,
היא באורו.
שקיעת זריחה ורודה,
אהבה אבודה.

לא פעם בייאושם
הם מחשיכים לרגע,
ליקוי ירח
וליקוי חמה.
אך במרדף הזה
הם מאירי שמיים,
שבויים במסלולם
בלי נחמה.

צל הירח
אל פני השמש נמשך.
תמיד בין יום ובין לילה,
נוגעים שם למעלה,
וזה לא די לו, לא די לה -
רק לרגע והלאה.
וכך כל יום, שנים אין ספור,
הוא מת באורה,
היא באורו.
שקיעת זריחה ורודה,
אהבה אבודה.
asher553: (Default)
I'm on Goodreads. My first post there is my review of Toni Morrison's 'The Bluest Eye'.
asher553: (Default)
Nice break from the heat, a busy day just taking care of stuff around the house. Tomorrow, Monday, back to work! I am liking the new gig, and it's great for training and experience.
asher553: (Default)
Just another fun day in Portland!

I got up bright and early and drove to the shul in the Southwest Portland neighborhood where I used to live. The weather was nice, and we had a good turnout.

After davvening, I headed back home to downtown. Some studying, housecleaning, laundry - and then it was time to head down to the waterfront for today's rally.

I met up with a friend from our political community - she was standing near the great big flag and was easy to spot. We had a good turnout and I think morale was very high.

The folks from the other side were there too, of course - many of them wearing masks, banging on drums, or tooting those noisemaker horns to drown out conversation. And of course there were the obligatory chants of "Nazis go home!"

Today's demo was a logical continuation of the June 4 event. But there were some important differences. The June 4 rally was held at a park, on Federal land. (The Mayor would have liked to deny us a permit, but he has no jurisdiction over Terry Schrunk Plaza, so it wasn't up to him.) The event went well, but it was a bit claustrophobic: we were surrounded by a phalanx of law enforcement keeping us separated from the counter-protestors, who greatly outnumbered us.

This afternoon we met in the open, in public space, at Waterfront Park. There were no battalions of police officers, maybe only one or two cops in sight. And it was not a static rally, but a march - we walked north along the waterfront and back, being seen and heard. So I think in those ways it was a much stronger statement.

And the oppo weren't there in nearly the same numbers as before.

We got maybe a few hundred yards down the waterfront when we had to stop and pull back - the antifas were hitting us with pepper spray, and two or three people went down. Some of our security people served as medics for the affected folks. Eventually we regrouped and kept moving.

I didn't stay for the whole thing because I don't have unlimited endurance for these kinds of things - and I was hot and tired and I've got a job to go to Monday morning. But I was glad I went, and I was very encouraged by the high morale and the sense of momentum. Also I was moved by the number of people who'd made the trip from their homes in the more conservative, rural parts of the state to make an appearance in uber-liberal Portland.

I took a few photos which I'll try to post later. Meanwhile, the Oregonian has a decent write-up on the event, with lots of photos.
asher553: (Default)
I haven't been following the McMaster story closely, and I like to be careful in forming my opinions. So as a balance to the Caroline Glick article I posted earlier (previous post on DW / LJ), here is a Twitter link to Mark Dubowitz, which comes to me by way of Lee Smith. Dubowitz asserts that, contrary to the view of Caroline Glick and some others, McMaster has a very solid record of being tough against Iran and a strong supporter of Israel.

Also (via a friend's comment at FB), here's a series of YouTube links to a recent interview with McMaster.
asher553: (Default)

'The Israel angle on McMaster’s purge of Trump loyalists from the National Security Council is that all of these people are pro-Israel and oppose the Iran nuclear deal, positions that Trump holds.

McMaster in contrast is deeply hostile to Israel and to Trump. According to senior officials aware of his behavior, he constantly refers to Israel as the occupying power and insists falsely and constantly that a country named Palestine existed where Israel is located until 1948 when it was destroyed by the Jews.

Many of you will remember that a few days before Trump’s visit to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו and his advisers were blindsided when the Americans suddenly told them that no Israeli official was allowed to accompany Trump to the Western Wall.

What hasn’t been reported is that it was McMaster who pressured Trump to agree not to let Netanyahu accompany him to the Western Wall. At the time, I and other reporters were led to believe that this was the decision of rogue anti-Israel officers at the US consulate in Jerusalem. But it wasn’t. It was McMaster. ...'
asher553: (Default)
So, the first day went really well and I'm happy with my decision. Aside from the pay rate, this looks like it's going to be a 1000% improvement over my last gig in every single area where I was dissatisfied. It's a team environment, not a cube farm, so I'll be working with real live people. They are taking training seriously and it's clear I will be gaining a lot of new skills over the next 90 days. (At TheBank, I learned to reset passwords and ... reset passwords.) The location is in a hotel downtown, not a prison-like building out in the boondocks. And it's only 90 days, so even if I end up hating it - which is unlikely - I can put up with it for that long.

BTW this is a different gig from the one I was looking at earlier. The onboarding process seemed to take forever, and they kept demanding more and more information about my employment history, and started asking me to dig up pay stubs and W2s from three years ago. For a position that doesn't even start until 8/21, I began to wonder if it was worth it. Suppose they wanted some piece of documentation that I just couldn't provide? What if I missed all this work time and ended up not getting the job after all?

So I started looking at other options, and when this other agency called about this position, I jumped on it. I interviewed Monday and the manager must have liked me, because on Tuesday I got the call from the agency that I got the job. Email from the agency with the usual paperwork, sign it, scan it, send it back, done and done. And Wednesday - yesterday - was my first day at work.
asher553: (Default)
'And the Crooked Shall Be Made Straight', the debut novella by Shmuel Yosef "Shai" Agnon, is a tale of identity theft. But it's really an abdication: the self-absorbed and grandiose Menashe Chaim willingly sells his one article of monetary value - and with it, his good name - like Esau selling his birthright. To be sure, he duly agonizes over the decision, but never simply says "no" and walks away. This passivity and helplessness is Menashe Chaim's defining trait. "Even his climactic gesture of defiance and devotion ... [is] a decision not to act," notes translator Michael P. Kramer in the foreword. His final downfall (epitomized by the loss of his tefillin, symbolizing his bond to his religious and earthly responsibilities) is the logical culmination of his state of passivity. His wife Kreindel Charne will continue on without him. But effectively, Menashe Chaim is already "dead" at this point.
asher553: (Default)
I'm working on a third reading of Toni Morrison's 'Jazz', and I realized there was something nagging at me about the book. The story seemingly has a "mistake" in the narration, and I realized I was reminded of Agnon's story 'In the Heart of the Seas', which also seems to include an error by the narrator. In both cases (the second shot that's never fired, the tenth man who's named but not counted), the author is pointing us toward a more sublime truth.

August 2017

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