Walking On Instagram
“Take only memories, leave only footprints.” – Chief Seattle
Spain, New Zealand, Chile, South Africa, Colombia, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Thailand, Poland, Israel..
The World Is Smaller
“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe”. Lao Tzu
The world shrunk a bit more when people started posting youtube videos. The planet is full of normal people having normal lives and not always the crazy place the media makes it out to be. Music, dance and singing has always been a way to engage people in a common conversation. People want to feel connected to each other and they are just as curious about us as we are about them. Here are some of my favorite youtube videos that show this.
Wndows Of The World
Windows Of The World
“When God looks out his window, he sees beauty, love, rainbows, smiles and happiness everywhere. When I look out of mine, I wish I was looking out of God’s.” Anthony T.Hincks
I love architecture and i especially love looking at windows. I always wonder what world exists behind those windows. Will it be familiar or strange? Windows are to look out from, not into. There is nothing more mysterious than looking from the outside into an open window.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Ten Beautiful Churches In the World
“The choir always tittered and whispered all through service. There was once a church choir that was not ill-bred, but I have forgotten where it was, now. It was a great many years ago, and I can scarcely remember anything about it, but I think it was in some foreign country.” Mark Twain, the Adventures Of Tom Sawyer
If you are building a temple to God, you are going to want it to look good. Lets be honest, you want God to be impressed with your work. You can’t just throw something together at the last moment and hope it will work out. It takes time (800 years sometimes). I have a problem with all the ornate churches in the world. I think it is confusing to God to see all that gold and all the poverty that is always nearby. But these are quite beautiful and very impressive.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem,Israel
St Peters Basilica, Rome, Italy
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
Westminister Abbey, London, England
Church Of the Spilled Blood, St Petersburg, Russia
Notre Dame, Paris, France
St Stephens Cathedral, Vienna, Austria
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Talinn, Estonia
Mosteiro Dos Jerónimos, Lisbon, Portugal
Places That I Have Been To That You Might Want To Go To Someday
“Rover did not know in the least where the moon’s path led to, and at present he was much too frightened and excited to ask, and anyway he was beginning to get used to extraordinary things happening to him.” J.R.R. Tolkien
I always have a list of places in the world that I want to go to which may or may not become reality. But sometimes when I’m looking for a photograph, I see all the amazing places that I have already been. Hope you get to visit some of these someday!!!
Iguazu Falls Argentina
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Angor Wat and Ta Phrom, Cambodia
Easter Island Chile
Maktesh Ramón, Israel
Naoshima , Japan
Rotorua, New Zealand
Machu Picchu, Peru
Safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa
Halong Bay, Viet Nam
Natural Health Products From Different Countries That I Can’t Live Without
“We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.” Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast Of Champions
Manuka Honey is made by bees that feed the Manuka trees in New Zealand. It has antibacterial properties and has been used by the Maori in their tonics and remedies for many years. Manuka Honey is graded with UMF rating. A rating of 20 or above will give you the strongest medical benefits. Under that number, it is still expensive and tastes good and acts like other honey. I use it for everything. It is particularly good for colds and wound healing. You can get it on Amazon.
Japan is a country of specific etiquette. Correct manners are very important to the Japanese. It’s very easy to embarrass yourself in Japan as an American. Japan is a society of cleanliness. It is a culture of bath houses and onsens. You have never seen so many people brushing their teeth and gargling in public restrooms. Japanese are obsessed with Gargling With Salt as a cure for everything. My Japanese friends carry salt when they travel. According to my doctor, it’s a home remedy that really works. They also carry handkerchiefs in case there is nothing to dry their hands with in a public restroom.
I stumbled upon Twenty Per Cent Arnica (ours is five percent) in Israel when I hurt my knee in Tel Aviv. Your bruise can be gone in two days. I found it at a homeopathic pharmacy on Ben Yehuda Street. I use it very sparingly till I get more.
Coca Tea is used in the Andes to help with altitude sickness- which it does. I drank it every day in Peru. It also gives you an energy boost without the caffeine spikes. I usually drink it as my second cup of coffee. It is also good if you have an upset stomach.
Olive Oil in Spain cures everything. If you are sick, it will make you well. If you are fat it will make you thin. If you are short, it will make you tall. I also use it as a make up remover.
Be physically and mentally prepared to shop in the Spice Market in Istanbul, Turkey. Be in a good mood. You will have many best friends and marriage proposals. Years ago, a man working there told me of the health benefits of Turmeric. Though the market is known for saffron, I had also heard turmeric was good for illnesses. I’ve been taking it ever since and most recently bought some at the Arab Market in Jerusalem.
At Ver A Paso market in Belem, Brazil I got some Brazilian Ginseng from the Amazon. It is used to build your immune system and give energy. They had a lot of interesting health products including many kinds of natural Viagra (seemed to be a big seller) but that was the only one I knew.
I came back from Argentina with Yerba Mate and a Yerba Mate cup and straw. Yerba Mate is the national drink of Argentina. Besides being a stimulant with less caffeine the coffee, it is packed with nutrients. It can boost the immune system, burn fat, increase bone density and help with digestive problems.
Marula Oil is a highly anti-inflammatory plant oil from South Africa and is known for it’s very high antioxidant count and light texture. It is naturally soothing, fast-absorbing and suitable for all skin types including reactive and sensitive. ( that would be me). My daughter gave a small bottle to her wedding guests in South Africa. I loved it. I get it on Amazon now as well.
The Last Rabbi Of Piotrkow, Poland
“Summer came. For the book thief, everything was going nicely. For me, the sky was the color of Jews.” Marcus Zusak The Book Thief
It is hard to visit a place where a war has thrown your family into chaos and left many of them dead – even if you had not been born, yet. Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie’s grandfather was the last rabbi of Piotrkow. We stopped there with him on our way to Warsaw.
The Great Synagogue of Piotrkow, was built in 1793 after thirty years of planning. It was a famous site in Poland. The synagogue was severely damaged by the Nazis and serves as a public library today.
We saw the remains of a polichrome wall painting of the Torah ark, riddled with bullet holes.
We met with Polish teenagers from a high school Jewish studies program. Most of them had not met Jews before.
Amichai tells them that his grandfather was Piotrków Trybunalski’s last chief rabbi, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Lau. Following the German occupation, Rabbi Lau was ordered by the German authorities to represent the Jews of Piotrków Trybunalski and carry out the German’s commands. The Jews were sent to the Pyotrkow ghetto and he tried to help them and organize life for them there. In October 1942, Rabbi Lau was deported to Treblinka with his congregation and murdered. He chose to stay with them. One of his sons was also on this transport and he too was murdered. Rabbi Lau’s wife was murdered in the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany. Three of his children survived and immigrated to Israel after the Holocaust. Amichai read the story where his father writes about the last time he and his brother saw their father. They were five and sixteen years old.
“For the first time in many months, my father approached me and kissed me on my forehead as I was sitting on the couch. A warm tear fell from the corner of his eye, landing on my cheek. “Let us follow the example of our patriarch Jacob, who arranged his family in preparation for the conflict with his hostile brother Esau. Jacob divided his family into three camps, hoping that at least one would survive,” this is how my father explained his plan for survival. Mother and our youngest brother, Israel-Lulek, who was five, were sent to hide with a neighbor, to wait out the hell-storm of the deportation. Father decided to send me and Shmuel to the glass factory. He imposed on himself the same fate as that of his community, to stand together with them, to be deported, to partake of whatever fate would befall them. “Just as a shepherd does not abandon his flock to a pack of wolves, so I will not run to save myself, abandoning my flock.” This is what he said regarding his decision to report for the deportation.” Naphtali Lau-Lavie,
When Amichai finishes his story about their survival, there is tense silence. Some of the kids are tearful. He did not tell his story to preach morality or to cast blame on those who only knew of the Nazi regime from history books.
He told it to transfer an optimistic message of hope and faith in humanity. The wish is to apply these lessons in today’s world to eradicate the racism and xenophobia that still exists in every society.
Everyone has questions.
The students seem to want to understand the Jewish experience during World War ll. It’s important for them to know what happened. They also wanted to know how Trump got to be president and what it was like to live in Los Angeles. I always find that no matter where I am in the world, we are more alike than different.
I have to thank Amichai for bringing both his unique form of spirituality and his personal story to Poland. I will always be grateful for your kindness and humility in helping us process the difficult things we were seeing.