dear friends

note to the reader:  i read the following essay, exactly 1,000 words, to friends at the celebration of my turning 60.  the essay is followed by a hebrew glossary of the italicized hebrew words. The letter h, when underlined, has a guttural sound.

dear friends,

all thanks first to dear g-d, hashem, who gave life to us and has kept us alive and sustained us and brought us to now.  and thank you dear friends for being here, and for all the hospitality so many of you have shown me in your homes on wonderful shabbos.  and thank you rony and genine for making your home the place of this simha, and may there be ever more simha for each of us and for our world, please g-d.

hanukah is such great light for all of us, todah lah’el.  eem ayin hatov, i was born on aleph b'tevet in los angeles on the morning of the seventh day of hanukah, and at that moment it was 6:15 in the evening of the eighth night of hanukah in eretz yisrael with the 8 lights burning in so many homes in the yishuv, in the year hey tahf sheen zayin, 5707, 1946.  thank you en sof for giving me that, it's when i most would have wanted to be born, with those eight hanukah lights shining out of eretz yisrael, eem ayin hatov.  and thank you hashem for bringing me half way now through the journey of at least 120 years that we all wish for each other.

at this time in my life i want and intend bizraht hashem to rise above worries and negative thought patterns and keep getting farther away from them, and to be feeling better and better, and to be feeling really good as much as i can.  and i want to know who my zivug is and be with her, and have children, please g-d.  and i want to keep learning more torah all my life, and keep asking questions as i learn.

david hameleh is one of the people who has most inspired me.  i think david might have suffered sometimes from major depression, for he sometimes had such intense mood swings.  i’ve experienced major depression several times in my life and thank g-d i’m out of depression now and may we all be feeling good bizraht hashem.

when i was 24 i read sefer bresheet for the first time, and the part that touched me the most was when yosef met his brothers in meetsrayim and revealed himself to them - something in that story made me relate so much to yosef and to yehuda and to all their family, which is our family, and the story affected me so strongly emotionally.  years later i was thrilled to learn that i was born under parshat vayigash, where yosef reveals himself to his brothers and is reconciled with them.  for years i would weep when yosef would weep in this very touching story.  thank you hashem for giving me this parsha.  it's the parsha i most would have wanted to be born under, it's so positive, it's full of meetings whose purpose is peace and out of which come peace.  i also really relate to the haftorah for vayigash which is from yehezkel, perek lamed zayin.  it talks about two sticks becoming one stick, and about healing the breach between yehuda and yosef - it’s about israel uniting.  it also makes mention, in g-d’s name, of a future david, and of a future brit shalom.  eem ayin hatov, allow me to tell you that i believe the brit shalom, the covenant of peace at is just as much in the spirit of the brit shalom mentioned in yehezkel as any other brit shalom that will appear in this world.

eem ayin hatov, if anyone here has ever thought they were just as much mashiah, just as much a part of mashiah as anyone else, please raise your hand now.  i hope and guess that more than one hand will be raised.  i’ve met several people who consider themselves just as much mashiah as anyone else, and i’m also one of those characters when i’m in my best state of mind.  bli neder i will not claim to be more mashiah than anyone else, and instead, as long as i’m healthy in spirit i will be able to continue to believe that i’m just as much mashiah, just as much a part of mashiah as anyone else.  i’m not going to take the kavod away from another and I hope no one will try to take the kavod away from me.  so let’s call it jamm, which can stand for just as much mashiah.  and we each can feel jamm about our own selves or about anyone else and that’s okay.  and the real mashiah is we, not me.  we are the mashiah, anu hamashiah.  anu, not ani.  the yood in ani in this case is up in the clouds, in the ego; the vahv in anu in this case is more humble and is resting on the ground.  let’s stop waiting for mashiah, let’s be mashiah.  it’s jamm, and it’s the difference between ani and anuanu hamashiah.  and may anyone who wants to feel that they’re just as much a part of this mashiah thing as anyone else go ahead and feel that, and that’s fine.  so let’s start jamm and anu hamashiah.  and let’s start it in tsfat, because that’s where our tradition tells us that mashiah will start.  and let’s have a jamm mashiah party at the end of every hanukah, to keep the light going, to be that light for each other and recognize the greatness in each other and the times each of us does indeed go into ruah hakodesh.  let’s be inspired and stay inspired and help each other and recognize the navi in each of us because we’re all connected to en sof in so many ways that we can’t even begin to comprehend or imagine.  it’s awesome and you’re awesome and anu hamashiah, just as much mashiah, jamm.  thank you dear g-d and dear friends in g-d.  anu rabim anu ehad – we are many we are one.  thank you.


aleph b’tevet – the first day of the hebrew lunar month of tevet
ani –
anu – we
anu hamashiahwe are the messiah
anu rabim anu ehad – we are many we are one
bizraht hashem – with the help of g-d
bli neder – literally, without a vow; without making a vow
brit shalom – covenant of peace
david hamelehliterally, david the king; king david
eem ayin hatov – literally, with eye the good; with the good eye, with the eye that
     tries to see the good in things and in people, with the eye that’s not jealous
en sof – literally, there is not an end; another name for g-d
eretz yisrael – the land of israel
haftorah – a selection from the prophets or writings of the hebrew bible that is
     read in synagogues on shabbat after the weekly torah portion is read, with each
     different torah portion having its own different haftorah selection
hamashiah – the messiah
hanukah – the eight day festival celebrating miraculous victories and a miraculous
     burning of oil lights in the temple for eight days when there was only enough oil
     for one day
hashem –
literally, the name; g-d
kavod – honor
meetsrayim – egypt
navi – prophet
parsha – weekly torah portion
parshat vayigash – weekly torah portion of genesis  44:18 – 47:27
ruah hakodesh – divine inspiration
sefer bresheet – book of genesis
shabbos – shabbat; the sabbath day of rest that begins before sunset on friday and
     ends on saturday night
simha – a happy occasion or celebration; happiness
todah lah’el – literally, thanks to the g-d; thank g-d
torah – the texts and teachings of yahadoot which is judaism
vahv – sixth letter of the hebrew alphabet, and last letter in the word anu
yehezkel, perek lamed zayin – e
zekiel, chapter 37, (verses 15-28)
yehuda – judah, the fourth son of israel and the fourth son of leah
yishuv – the settlements of yehudim (jews) in eretz israel, the land of israel, before
     the modern state of israel was declared in the year 5708, 1948
yood – tenth letter of the hebrew alphabet, and last letter in the word ani
yosef –
joseph, the eleventh son of israel and the first son of rachel
zivug – partner, soul-mate