Honoring the dead – teh Joooooooooooooooz part I of II

January 28, 2009 at 12:30 am (Judaism, Religion)

When someone dies, there are a number of conventions Jews use.

One is, upon hearing the death of someone, is to pronounce the “blessing”: Barukh Dayan emes. It means, “Blessed [be] the True Judge.” It is unique among the “blessings” of Judaism in that it does not follow the usual pattern (“Barukh atta haShem…” “Blessed art Thou, O L-rd”). In fact, it has none of the proper names of God. It seems a little strange, but is an important reinforcement of the belief that God is just, truly just, in all He does.

As it is written: “HaShem nosan, v’haShem loqoch; y’hi sheim haShem m’vorokh” (Iyyov 1:21), which means “the L-rd gave, (and/then) the L-rd takes away; blessed be the name of the L-rd” (Job 1:21).

After the names of the deceased, various honorifics are added. This is part of honoring the dead. (There are some abbreviations or statements added after the names of evil people who have died as well, but I won’t get into it.) The most common is a”h from alav hashalom” or aleha hashalom”, which means “upon him be peace” and “upon her be peace” respectively. It may be used for anyone.

Another honorific is: z”l from zichrono livrakha” or zichronah livracha” which means “may his memory be a blessing” and “may her memory be a blessing”, and sometimes translated as “of blessed memory.” It is often used for rabbis or other prominent people who have died.

Another one is ztz”l from zecher tzadiq livrakha” which means “may the memory of the righteous be a blessing”. This is used for particularly prominent and/or pious people.

Tomorrow: the Kaddish.

Dedicated to the memory and zechus of Cranky z”l. May the souls of the the deceased merit a place in Gan Eiden. Omein.

Hu ya’asei sholom bimoromov, Hu ya’asei sholom oleini v’al kol Yisroeil. V’imru: omein. Omein!

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Breathe with Me

January 27, 2009 at 12:30 am (Amusement, Music)

Quite haunting. Very nice. It’s in Russian: go to its YouTube page to read a translation of the lyrics.

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Apocalypse Please

January 26, 2009 at 12:30 am (Music)

From the CD.


This is from the group Muse. This was on one of the CDs that we listened to (“we” being myself and a girl I drove as part of a Church trip, the CD being hers; and a girl I’m interested in now, by the way; don’t know what to call her here).

A gorgeous song. Haunting. Nice. Exotic.

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In memoriam

January 25, 2009 at 11:42 pm (In memoriam, Personal)

Eil molei rachamim shokhein bam’romim hamtzei m’nuchon’khono al kanfei hash’khino b’maalos k’doshim ut’horos k’zohar horokia mahirim l’nishmas Yochanan ben Adam avinu sheholakh l’olomo. B’gan Eiden t’hei m’nuchoso. Lokhein baal horachamim yastireinu b’seiser k’nofov l’olomim v’yitzror bitzror hachayyim es nishmoso haShem hu nachaloso v’yonuach b’sholom al mishkovo. V’imru: omein. Omein!

God, full of mercy who dwells on high, grant perfect rest on the wings of Thy divine presence in the lofty heights of the holy and the pure who shine in the brightness of the heavens to the soul of [Cranky] son of Adam our father, who has gone to his eternal rest. His resting place shall be in the Garden of Eden. Therefore the Master of Mercy will care for him under the protection of His wings for all time and bind his soul in the bond of everlasting life. God is his inheritance and he will rest in peace. Let us say: Amen. Amen!

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Pronouncing certain Mandarin Pinyin consonants

January 13, 2009 at 10:28 am (Languages, Mandarin)

According to the Pinyin system used to transliterate Mandarin, the following letters should be pronounced as follows:
C – ts
Z – dz
Ch – ch
Q – ch
J – j
Zh – j
Sh – sh
X – sh

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The problem with love

January 6, 2009 at 11:13 am (Personal)

The “love” I am talking about is the care and compassion one feels for another person. Nothing romantic – just agape.

The problem is when one cares about another, there are whole new dimensions of worry and inconvenience, inconvenience which is set aside as such for the sake of something greater. It also means doing what must be done, despite one’s desires otherwise. Lots of sacrifice.

And caring for someone isn’t about grand acts. It’s about small, routine acts – pats on the back, expressing joy to see the person, checking in to see how they are doing with family and work, and they make a difference.

Life, for me, was so much simpler and easier when I didn’t have people to care about. One of the drawbacks of being active in the Church – more people to know, love, and care about. Despite all the inconvenience, though, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Keep on loving. It’s hard, but worth it.

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Short note on the Israel-Gaza War

January 5, 2009 at 11:27 am (Israel, Middle East, Palestinian Territories)

A lot of Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims have been saying that the Palestinians are attacking Israel because Israel stole their land. Once Israel returns the land, the attacking will stop. This warmongering doesn’t solve anything, they say. In fact, they say it exacerbates the problem.

But this land-for-peace proposal – how well does it work? Israel completely withdrew from the Gaza Strip and in return, what happened? Gazans began shelling Israel incessantly.

There is no evidence whatsoever that withdrawal brings any peace. One may argue that withdrawal simply encourages the Palestinians to attack Israel unprovokedly with impunity. This is what recent events have demonstrated.

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Happy New Year!

January 1, 2009 at 12:34 am (Personal)

I pray that everyone will have a happy, joyous, prosperous, safe, and healthy new year!

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