Friday, March 27, 2009

The Toilet Paper Dilemma:
Podcast interview with Amichai Lau-Lavie

by Noam Dromi

Amichai Lau-Lavie

click here to listen to the interview

It was an impossible situation for Amichai Lau-Lavie. He was “sitting on the john one Sabbath afternoon” and realized that there were no more squares of toilet paper left from the pile that his older brother had precut in advance of the Jewish day of rest. On the Sabbath, observant Jews are called upon to cease from creation; to be and not to do. In this Orthodox Jewish household, tearing toilet paper off the roll was considered doing, because “you take something that is and create a new entity” and was therefore not allowed.

The absence of precut toilet paper on that particular day was actually the result of 4 year old Amichai’s discovery that the squares burned beautifully when he feed them to the Sabbath candles, a ritual he had taken to practicing when his father and brothers would leave for synagogue. Somehow he was never caught and the burning continued unabated.

So there he was on the toilet, horrified to discover that there were no more toilet paper squares and wrestling with the decision of whether he should cut a square off the roll or not. Would he tear (a sin more serious than even burning) and risk the wrath of the Lord or not wipe his ass and risk the wrath of his mother?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


A weekly torah takeaway by Amichai Lau-Lavie

A year-long Jerusalem Journey, action by action, verb by verb. Each week I pluck a verb from the Torah portion and set it reverberating both with its context and with my own. Let's make this a conversation, and talk our walk.

March 25, 2009

M. and I broke if off on our fourth date. Sparks weren’t flying. We sat down for an honest conversation, sharing our disappointment. I drove home a few hours later in a bad mood, a fog of self doubt and anger: M., and love, and work, and the endless to do list, and my writing, and all that talk about crisis being opportunity. Can’t I just linger in crisis mode for a minute?

It was a beautiful sunny day; I was at least able to acknowledge that. The roadside from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was wild with yellow, purple and green. I wanted to stop the car, get out and go into the fields to pick flowers, just like I used to do when I was a kid. Why bother? Who cares? In the fog of bitterness, even the flowers became just another problem. How exactly am I going to stop in the middle of the highway?

Then a song came on the radio, an Israeli classic, “talk to me with flowers” – DABER ELAI B'FRACHIM

It got me. I had to smile, and then find a bus stop, and park, and pick, and fill the passenger seat with a bunch of bright yellow sunshines. (They are called Hartziot in Hebrew, and they emerge en masse for spring and I don’t know what they are called in English - have never seen them in the U.S.)

The song helped. The flowers helped. A few days later and I’m still in a bit of a funk, but I’m not that angry anymore. The voice helped. The voice that sort of called out (or in) to me (from me?) and said: listen to the lyrics of this song, and stop the car, and go pick flowers before the sun sets and the highways ends, and quit whining.

THAT voice.

When, later that night, I open the third Book of Moses and turn to its very first word – there’s, I think, that voice again. It’s calling out to Moses from inside the fog that is clogging up the holy tabernacle, calling out from within crisis: pssst. Over here…

Exodus ended with a crisis: the tent of meeting is completed, but a cloud of smoke is filling it up so that Moses cannot enter. The cloud – God’s presence – does not depart, and the book ends with a cliff hanger.
And then –
“God called to Moses and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting.”(Va’yikra/Leviticus 1:1)

In Hebrew, the word “called” is va’yikra – literally, ‘and He called.’ This verb gives this third Biblical Book its name. In Latin it’s Leviticus – named for its secondary title – the Book of The Laws of the Levites. Essentially, this is a book about the details of devotion. I prefer to call it the Book of The Call.

The Book of the Call opens with the solution to the crisis: The Call. From within the mysterious cloud/fog/God a call is heard, followed by actual words. Moses writes it all down, and what is being dictated is poetry - not in its strict sense. The Book of the Call is mostly laws and regulations about a worship system that no longer exists, but that’s only one way of reading it. The more imaginative, mythic and mystical ways of reading Va’yikra are less interested in the historical descriptions of bygone sacrifices and altars and are much more intrigued by what all that has to say to our personal possibilities for making meaning, creating intimacy, and finding inner peace.

Is it arrogant of me to say that I equate the song on the radio to the Call of God from within the tent? God knows I’m no Moses. But perhaps wake up calls come in many different shapes, and a song on the radio is just one, random, variation.

And whether it is or is not a ‘legitimate’ way of deciphering this, or any other act in which we are called to action by inner or other voices within or without – what really matters to me is the ability to respond – the activation of response-ability.

What really matters is how we react once called, how we make room for the still small voice that is sometimes a burning bush and sometimes a bunch of flowers.

Yesterday, at the Mandel Institute, a small group gathered to read a new book about Jewish theology. “Sacred Attunement,’ by Michael Fishbane, is a challenging read, but already in its first pages I am captivated – here too is The Call. The Hebrew verb ‘Vayikra’ does not only mean ‘to call out’ – it also means ‘to read.’

Fishbane, one of the world’s leading Judaic scholars, calls this act of heeding the call/reading the words, ‘attunement’:

‘…the first task of theology is to provide a perspective that would place one firmly upon the earth and set forth a framework for the entirety of existence – such as humans may know it in their life-realms. We are not one kind of person when we walk on the earth feeling hunger or love, and then an entirely different sort when we listen to music or talk about theology and religious experience. We are always one and the same; we are always mortal creatures living in this world. So how might we proceed? – Perhaps by paying closer attention to the concrete realities of our lives, as we experience them on earth; and by rethinking how we constitute our daily existence through thought or action, and how we fill in or explain unsettling events that occur all around (P. 13).

The blue vase on my desk is brimming with yellow flowers tonight, and the third book begins.

A Mobile Maven at Work in Wisconsin: Nightmare Version
By Marge Eiseman

Did you ever have a nightmare about how a certain Storahtelling event would go? See if your version can top this: I spent weeks preparing Parashat Mishpatim, including a special in-town consult with Jake, only to show up on the morning of the service to an empty synagogue. Apparently, 7 inches of snow was enough to cancel the service for the families who were driving, and they tried to call me to cancel about 45 min. before the service was to start (I was on the road without my cell). Later on, I heard from some of the 25 people who did show up LATE, that they ended up having a service anyway, but didn't call me back. Ok, I was nice about it. Let's reschedule for the next family service, one month later, parashat Vayakhel. I picked Ex 35:30 - 36:7, when Bezalel was named and called to the part where Moses has to tell the people to stop bringing stuff because they had too much stuff. I called this show, "More than Enough" and had a perfect song by Jana Stanfield ready to go. I kept dreaming about this every night, waking up in this parasha, wondering what was going to happen, and praying for the flow of inspiration. (What else would I ask for when concentrating on Chochmah, Binah and Da'at "CHaBaD" but the Divine flow of Shefa?) I was doing this one solo, which makes me a bit nervous and until 3 days prior, I didn't know who was going to read the Torah, but it was the rabbi's wife and an older woman who I know loves to read (and kept offering to read more than I asked for!)

Add to this, I was really feeling lousy -- woke up with a horrible migraine/sinus headache and a sore throat. Oh this is going to be good.

At least it didn't snow. I got there early, coffee in hand (and 2 excedrin migraine in my system already). The rabbi and his wife, Sandi, are there setting up chairs, and I casually mention that I'm glad she was willing to read each line as I translate...and she looks at me crooked. "You didn't get that message?" "No, but it's ok. When Ruth gets here, I'll tell her. Don't worry!" The service starts 15 minutes late and I see Sandi go over to Ruth to explain the bit about reading each line and waiting.

The service is horrible -- no pace and no ruach. And there are 50 people here including lots of kids! Is it me? I don't think so!

And finally, it's my turn. I start to speak, and my voice hurts. I apologize that I might not fill the room as I usually do, but I give it a shot. Opening scene and begin with the Torah service. I call up the 1st aliyah, and notice that both readers are standing there. What's up? Sandi is reading 35:30-35 but Ruth is sure that she reads first. It turns out she had prepared 35:1-7 not 36:1-7!!! "Can't you just translate what I've prepared?" OMG NOOOOOO!!

I move Ruth out of the way, and Sandi reads, and I translate. By now, my friend Shirah jumps into the breach -- "I'll read from the Chumash and Ruth can follow in the scroll" and we make our way through the rest of the Torah reading.

Fortunately, the best part of the day was the stretch and by now, adrenalin has mixed with caffeine and excedrin, and I'm feeling no pain, so when its all over, I sang "More than Enough"

"I have more than enough of all that I need, to do all I can do, be all I can be. As I go through this day, this is my creed, I have more than enough of all that I need."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


A weekly torah takeaway by Amichai Lau-Lavie

A year-long Jerusalem Journey, action by action, verb by verb. Each week I pluck a verb from the Torah portion and set it reverberating both with its context and with my own. Let's make this a conversation, and talk our walk.

March 17, 2009

Tuesday, March 17th 2009 marked 996 days since Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was kidnapped by Hamas. The campaign to free Gilad has become a sad reality on the Israeli streets: billboards, posters, bumper stickers and T-shirts portray his picture and a single word, in his handwriting: ‘hatzilu’ – help. While Israeli officials shuttle back and forth between Cairo and Jerusalem in an attempt to seal the deal of release before Olmert’s government steps down, Shalit’s family have set up a protest tent outside the Prime Ministers’ home in central Jerusalem. Thousands gather there daily, signing petitions, showing support. Additional tents were set up alongside the original tent of the Shalit family. Youth groups, tourists and activists fill this small compound, while across the street another tent is pitched: Israelis who want Gilad to come home but are protesting the steep price tag. Hamas demands the release of an estimated 300 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails in exchange for the one Israeli soldier. Some of these prisoners have been convicted of violent terror attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians. Israel is torn between its codes of loyalty to its soldiers on the one hand – and fear of surrender to the Hamas on the other. This is not the first time Israel is faced with this dilemma although it’s been a long time since such negotiations focused on a soldier who, according to all accounts, is still alive.

At the tent compound this morning, people were tense. I went over with my sister. We stopped to read the hundreds of messages and wishes pinned to the walls of the tent. The Shalit family were not there - summoned to the Prime Ministers’ office for a debriefing on the negotiations, which seemed stuck. “We will not budge from here until Gilad comes home,” Noam, Gilad’s father later announced to the media, before sitting back down inside the tent of protest, also dubbed here as the ‘tent of hope.’

Tents, gatherings, and reasons for public discussion about values and priorities are what this week’s Torah tale ‘Vakhel Pikudei’ is really all about. Maybe there’s some clue here, some way to look at this terrible tension and heartbreaking dilemma with new eyes. As the Book of Exodus comes to an end, the first public project of the Hebrew People is also concluded. The Tabernacle – that elaborate worship tent complete with golden props and mobility options, gets the final touches before the ribbon is cut. The tabernacle, ‘Mishkan’ in Hebrew – ‘the dwelling place’ is also known as 'Ohel Moed’ – the ‘Tent of Meeting,’ or the ‘Tent of Special Occasions.’

One of the first Special Occasions that happen there, just before the official celebrations of completion – is a gathering, called for by Moses:
"And Moses gathered the congregation, all the children of Israel, and said: These are the words which God has commanded, that you should fulfill them." (ex.35:1)

The Hebrew for ‘gathered’ is ‘Va’yakhel’ – and this is the only time this word is used in the Torah as an active verb. Moses activates the tabernacle by assembling his people and inviting them to ‘gather round’ for a public address that will strengthen their sense of shared narrative, meaning, and identity. The tent, a temporary dwelling for the divine, merely marks the means to the end – a place to gather so that the many will be united as one. Every community needs a symbolic collective ‘home’. Later on it will become the site where animals are sacrificed and incense is perpetually linking earth and heaven, but for its first use – the tent is just a tent. No matter how elaborate that tabernacle was – or, for that mater, how lavish its subsequent replacements – temples and synagogues and other institutional ‘places’– the main focus was and remains - the people – gathered, if briefly, as one. With so many current ‘tents’ folding up due to the economic crisis it is important to remember that gatherings of all sorts have to and will continue, however and wherever recreating temporary collective sense of ‘home’. Tents are temporary, but intention lasts.

At the tent of hope this morning, in the middle of the ancient city of endless tents, emotions were raw. The gathered hopefuls were waiting for good news, held together by good intentions and by a symbol that stands for all that Israel is ideally about – homeland – a place to be safe, and proud and just happy to be home. Even the bitter debate about the price of freedom and the value of each individual life couldn’t take away this sense of urgency – this sense of shared destiny. It’s bigger than all of us, and at times like this, it reminds us of what our values and yearnings are really all about. Parents want their kids back home. period.

The Tent of Hope outside the house of the Prime Minister is a sad but true reminder of the fleeting nature of all that is. Ehud Olmert won’t be living here for long, and, hopefully, Noam Shalit and his family won’t be on this street corner much longer either. Maybe, even before 1000 days of captivity are up – he will get to gather his son once again in his arms, and they, and everybody, will come home.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hadassah Gross and relative Purim 2009 Jerusalem


A weekly torah takeaway
by Amichai Lau-Lavie

A year-long Jerusalem Journey, action by action, verb by verb. Each week I pluck a verb from the Torah portion and set it reverberating both with its context and with my own. Let's make this a conversation, and talk our walk.


The Yeshiva next door to me was blaring happy Chasidic music by 10am on Purim morning. BLARING. I was probably not the only one within a 2 miles radius with a hangover and a headache who was getting over Purim night revelries and trying to get some sleep. Oh well: This IS a 24-hours-long holiday and the music was kind of hilarious. A few advils and fresh coffee later, I walked outside - the yeshiva was packed with men and boys - dancing inside, or standing in small clusters outside in the sun, smoking, laughing. They were dressed in their Sabbath finest - shining black coats, white stockings, fur hats - though some were sporting a red fez. Across the street, two soldiers - a man and a woman, leaned against the railing, watching the scene - both in full uniform but also with some sort of glittery antennas on their heads, like giant caterpillars, guns slung across their backs. Everybody jumped for a second when an explosion was heard right nearby, and two seconds later everybody relaxed - just another firecracker - one of many. Purim is an official day off in Israel and the mood on the streets of Jerusalem is definitely a bit 'off' -colorful, not too edgy, but with just enough of a freak factor. The previous night, Hadassah Gross (in a great outfit) and 400 others reveled away at the Lab, raising a sizable amount for the Jerusalem GLBT Open House. The fabulous freak factor at this party was pretty high.

But for me, the most fantastic factor of Purim in Jerusalem was the reactivation of communal exchange. The streets in my neighborhood today were full of little delegations rushing from home to home: children in costumes delivering little bags of baked goods, candy, wine bottles and fruit baskets to family and friends. The religious obligation of Purim includes the exchange of food items between people - each person or family is required to deliver at least two food items to at least two people. The religious world takes it seriously: It's a big production - creativity and creative packaging score high, especially during tough economic times.

I spent the rest of Purim day at home, hosting friends for an ongoing open house S'euda - A Purim Feast (a daytime feast being an additional requirement on this oh so favorite holy day). From noon on, friends come through, each with a bottle of wine and some kind of food item. A. brings a fresh plate of pancakes with a bowl of whipped cream, dressed in his mother's purple jacket and a giant pair of purple sunglasses. M., a pirate, brings a bowl of passion fruits. S. brings trays of fresh gefilte fish. My mother brings fresh baked cinnamon cookies in a pretty porcelain dish. The feast lasts into the night. People come and go, we laugh a lot, catch up with friends, meet new ones. It was a great way to spend a day and a great reminder of how vital gatherings like these are, especially in this digital age and especially in times of stress, fear, economic pressures. Facebook is fantastic - but fresh gefilte offers nourishment of a deeper level, responding to our real craving for 'real' gathering, for the public intimacy that reminds us of what 'we' is all about.

The human yearning for collective celebration goes way back and is manifested in millions of ways. 'Party planner' may just be the world's third or fourth oldest profession. One of the most successful but problematic parties in the Bible happens to be at the heart of this week's installment of Exodus. Ki Tisa brings us the Golden Calf, one of Judaism's early attempts with the subsequently reviled act of communal revelry.

Context: Moses has been gone on the mountain for 40 days and the people of Israel are impatient, tired of waiting for absent leadership; they pool their jewelry towards the construction of a unifying golden totem in the shape of a young bull. They call it "God", place it in the center of the camp and prepare to party:
"And they rose up early the next day, and offered burnt-offerings, and brought peace-offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to make merry." (Ex. 32:6)

'Make merry' is the key phrase here. In Hebrew 'Le'tzachek' - translated elsewhere as 'to make sport', 'laugh', or 'revel'. It's a loaded word from other Biblical references that often hint at sexuality and 'play'. A valid translation may also be 'fooled around'. Either way - they were having a pious party - celebrating what to their minds was a satisfying unifying factor, a cause for celebration. They may have gotten it wrong in the iconography department, but those who made merry that day in Sinai score high points for successfully satisfying the primal human yearning for a sensory experience of the sacred. Peter Pitzele reminded me when we studied this story last year that revelry and revelation are closely connected in this story; almost complimentary actions, or perhaps, cause and effect. Had I been there, would I have reveled along? Probably. I like a good party. I crave that nourishing sense of 'we' that is sometimes found on the dance floor or around a dinner table or on a balcony in Jerusalem balcony one fine March day.

By 10pm all the guests have left, the full moon hangs over the balcony, and the live music from the Yeshiva next door is still blaring: a very interesting version of Hava Nagila. 12 hours late and these guys are still reveling on. I salute their devotion, put in earplugs and pull the plug on Purim 2009.

Monday, March 09, 2009

“Upside Down, Inside Out”
Storahtelling Purim Shpiel at Temple Beth El in Stamford, CT

Saturday, March 7th, 2009
By Justin Wedes

Everybody loves a good Purim shpiel. It is the one time of the year when Jews everywhere can rejoice in the wondrous art of duplicity, embodied in the story of Esther’s deception- and subsequent confession- before King Achasverosh. This year, Storahtelling sent its Shpielers simultaneously to New Orleans and Stamford, CT, and what follows is a report from the northern front:

A fanciful shpiel calls for a fancifully fearless troupe, and so it was with this production, entitled ‘Upside Down, Inside Out’. Leading the story was MC Jake Goodman, accompanied by fellow Maven and shape-shifting actress extraordinaire Megan Sass. Musician Channa Rothman served as the light-hearted link between Maven and music, assisted by accordio-pianist Justin Wedes (myself). Temple Beth El of Stamford provided the shpiel with liturgical wings, in the form of Cantor Rachael Littman, whose readings from the Book of Esther- all in shifting costume- enchanted the Shpiel-goers.

To the delight of congregants young and old, Mordechai à la Megan uncovers plots against the government and urges his dear Hadassah (Esther) to save the Jewish people in her most alluring palace attire. Esther, also à la Megan, contemplates her difficult situation to the melody of Don’t Cry For Me Jews of Shushan, all while Haman- guess who plays him!- feigns concern for the King and cracks up the audience with his thick Indo-Franco-Slavic musings. In the end, the amused audience became participants as they grappled with the same questions that faced Esther as she summoned her strength to approach the King with her plea. And in modern life just as in Shushan, in the end the winners and the losers aren’t so clear- but everyone left with something to laugh about: Chag Purim!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

A weekly torah takeaway by Amichai Lau-Lavie

A year-long Jerusalem Journey, action by action, verb by verb. Each week I pluck a verb from the Torah portion and set it reverberating both with its context and with my own. Let's make this a conversation, and talk our walk.

March 5, 2009

Purim, the big dress-up holiday is less than a week away and it’s high tide for last minute costume shopping. (Purim being the annual Jewish holiday strongly resembling and closely associated with Mardi Gras – 24 hours of storytelling, mandatory drinking, masks, cross-dressing and generally turning things upside down as spring begins.)

So I went shopping this week, seeking a dress glamorous, modest, affordable and spacious enough to reflect my changing needs. Hello recession and hello Size 12.

A man buying fabulous ladies’ evening wear in discount stores and vintage boutiques is a no brainer in Manhattan but a bit of a goose chase in Jerusalem. It’s also raising lots of eyebrows, especially in those second hand stores managed by pious orthodox ladies, mostly trading among themselves. Suspiciously, the saleswomen look me up and down– who is that blue sequin dress for? Oh. My Purim pretext does not soften their stance. Even though prominent rabbis, going back to the 15th century, have permitted cross dressing on Purim “for the purpose of fulfilling the duties of the holiday and increase of joy,” most contemporary Orthodox authorities, increasingly more extreme in many areas, do not encourage too much levity or boundary crossing.

A recent legal ruling by Israel’s former Chief Rabbi Eliyahu stated that Jews should not even dress as Arabs on Purim ‘for security reasons.’ Purim is celebrated but suspected as too problematic, too fun, just tolerated. The ladies at the store sold me the dress, but didn’t crack a smile. (And now I have to return it - that’s another story.)

But where adults are not allowed to tread – children are still highly encouraged. The kids costume market is doing great - every street corner has cheap wigs, Dora the Explorer outfits, little Obamas, clowns – and – the best seller on the Ultra Orthodox street – the costume of Aaron, the High Priest. It’s elaborate, pretty, and - Biblical, hence kosher. Boys roughly between the ages of 4-9 dig it and the streets of Jerusalem on Purim day are filled of little Aarons in white dresses and shining turbans. I do remember seeing a little girl wearing it once but I think that’s rare.

Why is Aaron so popular? Clearly, among biblical and/or Jewish historical figures, Aaron does have the most complex and colorful outfit – made for the runway. But more importantly, I think that on some levels, kids, no matter of what religion or sector, love super-heroes and magic. Aaron, the High Priest, highest ranking Jew within the community – wearing a golden oracle with 12 precious gemstones, tinkling with little pomegranate bells, and wrapped in a silken cape, is the closest we got to Harry Potter.

What it comes to dressing up Jewish style – and not just for Purim – Aaron and the Levites set the tone. In this week’s Torah tale, ‘Tetzave’, the interior design of the Tabernacle is wrapping up, and the design team’s focus shifts to the outfits of the official crew. Every stitch, color scheme and tassel of the priestly wardrobes is accounted for in this chapter of Exodus. Seemingly tedious, these details are about more than meets the eye. The garments of the priests, especially those of the High Priest, are built for comfort and safety during the complicated ongoing maintenance of the highly flammable tabernacle. But, like all uniforms, each item also conveys symbolic meaning. From sash to shawl - each garment is also a metaphor – a materialization of abstract concepts, embodiments of the layers that make up the eternal soul as clothed within the human body.

As is written in Vogue: It’s all about layers.

Exodus 28:41 sums up this chapter of high fashion for the high priest with God’s instruction to Moses:

“And you will dress Aaron you brother, and his sons with him; You will anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, and they will minister to Me and officiate as priests.”

The Talmud, when analyzing the symbolic factor of the priestly collection, identifies each object with a human quality, and a specific role. The tunic, for instance, the basic linen dress worn by each priest, reminds Rabbi Dosa in Tractate Yoma of Joseph – and of his Technicolor tunic: “The tunic of the High Priest atones for the bloody tunic of Joseph” – remembering visibly the sin of the ten brothers who sold their kin for slavery and lied to their father. Aaron’s coat becomes the carrier of guilt – but also the conduit for remorse and transformation.

No wonder the kids like Aaron the High Priest – he himself is already a masked myth – a dressed up Joseph (whose famous coat, according to legend, was a hand-me-down all the way from Adam – the first one to ever wear a garment.)

Dressing up on Purim is an opportunity to put on a mask so that we can be more of who we really are. ‘Persona’ – Greek for ‘mask’ is how we define ourselves in our ordinary daily lives. For one day, by dressing up – we get to dress down – reveal our inner selves to our selves, safely, masked…

I know, it’s complicated and psychologically risky and few of us go there for real, for the stake of revelation is high. My experience is that there is a real pay off to becoming something other your usual self for a period of time: great truths unveil. Learning happens. Scholars write about ‘masquerades’ as times when we are reminded of who we are behind our mask, play with our inner super hero, concealed self/selves. It’s about play in its deepest sense – and it’s scary. And so most of us don’t Purim, or do it real drunk (which is part of the idea and really helps) or do our best to tone it down.

That’s fine, folks, but it could be fun, too. C’mon, Dress up…

One more word about cross dressing: why do we use the verb ‘dress’ when describing the act of putting on any clothes at all? Why don’t we say ‘garment’ or ‘shirt’? There is surely a perfectly legitimate reason – but I’m just amused that there is cross dressing hidden in the very daily language of English speaking males.

Anyway. I still have to find the perfect dress. Stay tuned. If you are in Israel on Shushan Purim Night, March 10th – come see the selection and dance with Hadassah in Jerusalem. Here’s the link:

Elsewhere, be fabulous, don’t drink and drive, and raise a glass to transformation, facing East – Hadassah will toast you from Zion: To Life!

And send pictures.