Posted by Ilana Angel
I was born in Israel and raised in Canada. I have lived in the USA for almost twenty years, but Canada is my home. I just watched this video of Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper and wanted to share. It makes me proud to be Canadian, and hopeful for Israel.
Speaking in Ottawa at a conference on global anti-Semitism, Harper said, “When Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand.”
Harper told the conference, “whether it is at the United Nations or any other international forum, the easiest thing to do is simply to just get along and go along with this anti-Israeli rhetoric, to pretend it is just about being even-handed and to excuse oneself with the label of ‘honest broker.”
“As long as I am Prime Minister, Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost. Not just because it is the right thing to do, but because history shows us, and the ideology of the anti-Israeli mob tells us all too well, that those who threaten the existence of the Jewish people are a threat to all of us.”
It’s huge when you consider Canada lost a bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council, which some say was because of their support of Israel. Other leaders should take the time to find their balls, stand with Mr. Harper, and do the right thing.
Bravo to Harper for being willing to say he supports Israel and not be afraid of the fall out. I do not live in Canada and this is not a political blog, so regardless of what you think about Harper as a politician, he did the right thing by Israel and that’s all I’m saying.
I’m not sure there will ever be a day when the world stands behind Israel and stops blaming Jews for everything. If we can put a man on the moon then I suppose there is always hope it could happen. Until then, I’m proud to be Canadian and keeping the faith.
Click here to here to watch Mr. Harper address the conference:
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
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November 8, 2010 | 9:03 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
Baywatch babe and Dancing With the Stars alumni, Pamela Anderson, is in Israel to be a judge on Israel’s version of Dancing with the Stars. I love her. I think she is funny, smart and smoking hot for a lady in her 40’s. She is not intimidating to other women because at the end of the day she is just another soccer mom, and a really sweet girl.
Anderson arrived in Israel on Sunday and said she plans to use her “powers of seduction” on ultra-Orthodox Jewish lawmakers in getting them to ban fur. I happen to think that is hilarious. I have friends who were offended by her comment. Really? Come on people. She was kidding.
As an honorary director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Anderson has done a lot of important work in helping spare the lives of innocent animals. Anderson said, “I have written a letter here to talk about not bringing fur back-and-forth into this country.” The letter was sent to Israel’s Minister of Religious Services, Yakov Margi.
She wrote, “I urge you to speak up for the millions of animals who are bludgeoned, electrocuted, and skinned alive for their pelts each year.” She also sent Margi a video of animals being killed saying, “Surely you agree the ways in which animals suffer and die in the fur trade violates Jewish principles, which strictly prohibit causing unnecessary suffering to animals.”
An anti-fur bill has been put on hold in Israel. Ultra-Orthodox groups are opposed to a ban because it would affect their wearing “streimels” which are the fur trimmed hats worn by married ultra-Orthodox men on Sabbath and Jewish holidays. The truth is the hat is not a religious obligation, but rather a tradition, and is not worn on a daily basis.
Representatives from the Hassidic community agreed to meet with Anderson in a Tel Aviv hotel sometime tomorrow to discuss the ban. Some are saying she will have a hard time using her popularity with Hassidic men but I beg to differ. With no disrespect to anyone, she may be more powerful that some people are anticipating.
Anderson praised Israel by saying, “It is wonderful there is no fur farmed here in Israel. It is very progressive and a wonderful example for the rest of the world.” As for her legacy she shared, “A lot of my career has been fun and silly. To be able to incorporate my beliefs and compassion into everything I do has… been inspiring.”
I’m not sure why I care when celebrities go to Israel, but I do. I love Israel and am so proud of the country that I suppose I take pride when someone comes to visit. Anderson is generating a lot of publicity for Israel and that is a great thing. It’s a wonderful country and worth visiting whether you are Jewish or not. It is the holy land and very special.
I imagine Ms. Anderson sitting in the hotel, all wrapped up in appropriate dress, and one guy, sitting the back, have a “Yentl” moment and falling in love with her. Or maybe it’s a “Crossing Delancey” moment and she spots the Hassidic Jew across the room and totally falls in love with a pickle salesman, decides to convert and move to Israel to open a fake-fur streimel shop.
I like you Pamela Anderson. I love it that you are in Israel, and I hope they really listen to what you have to say. Fur should be banned for no other reason, in this instance, than the killing of these animals does not fit into Jewish law and at the risk of crossing a line, I think rocking a fake fur streimel is hot. Very Jewish, and very hot.
There are some things that have nothing to do with religion, but with doing the right thing. You can make a small alteration and still be able to honor traditions and maintain beliefs and dignity. I hope Pamela is successful in her quest, and has a wonderful time in Israel. As for the Hassidic men not getting sucked into her powers of seduction, keep the faith!
November 5, 2010 | 12:41 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
This blog is making it’s way around the internet and I wanted to share it. I don’t know who the woman is who wrote it, but I love her. I think she is a wonderful mother, and truly understands what it means to love a child. Whoever you are, know that I think you are fabulous, your child is delicious, and you are perfection.
My son is gay.
Or he’s not. I don’t care. He is still my son. And he is 5. And I am his mother. And if you have a problem with anything mentioned above, I don’t want to know you.
I have gone back and forth on whether I wanted to post something more in-depth about my sweet boy and his choice of Halloween costume. Or more specifically, the reactions to it. I figure if I’m still irked by it a few days later, I may as well go ahead and post my thoughts.
Here are the facts that lead up to my rant:
1. My son is 5 and goes to a church preschool.
2. He has loved Scooby Doo since developing the ability and attention span sit still long enough to watch it.
3. Halloween is a holiday and its main focus is wearing a costume.
4. My son’s school had the kids dress up, do a little parade, and then change out of costumes for the rest of the party.
5. Boo’s best friend is a little girl.
6. Boo has an older sister.
7. Boo spends most of his time with me.
8. I am a woman.
9. I am Boo’s mother, not you.
So a few weeks before Halloween, Boo decides he wants to be Daphne from Scooby Doo, along with his best friend E. He had dressed as Scooby a couple of years ago. I was hesitant to make the purchase, not because it was a cross gendered situation, but because 5 year olds have a tendency to change their minds. After requesting a couple of more times, I said sure and placed the order. He flipped out when it arrived. It was perfect.
Then as we got closer to the actual day, he stared to hem and haw about it. After some discussion it comes out that he is afraid people will laugh at him. I pointed out that some people will because it is a cute and clever costume. He insists their laughter would be of the ‘making fun’ kind. I blow it off. Seriously, who would make fun of a child in costume?
And then the big day arrives. We get dressed up. We drop Squirt at his preschool and head over to his. Boo doesn’t want to get out of the car. He’s afraid of what people will say and do to him. I convince him to go inside. He halts at the door. He’s visibly nervous. I chalk it up to him being a bit of a worrier in general. Seriously, WHO WOULD MAKE FUN OF A CHILD IN A COSTUME ON HALLOWEEN? So he walks in. And there were several friends of mine that knew what he was wearing that smiled and waved and gave him high-fives. We walk down the hall to where his classroom is.
And that’s where things went wrong. Two mothers went wide-eyed and made faces as if they smelled decomp. And I realize that my son is seeing the same thing I am. So I say, “Doesn’t he look great?” And Mom A says in disgust, “Did he ask to be that?” I say that he sure did, as Halloween is the time of year that you can be whatever it is that you want to be. They continue with their nosy, probing questions as to how that was an option and didn’t I try to talk him out of it. Mom B mostly just stood there in shock and dismay.
And then Mom C approaches. She had been in the main room, saw us walk in, and followed us down the hall to let me know her thoughts. And they were that I should never have ‘allowed’ this and thank God it wasn’t next year when he was in Kindergarten since I would have had to put my foot down and ‘forbidden’ it. To which I calmly replied that I would do no such thing and couldn’t imagine what she was talking about. She continued on and on about how mean children could be and how he would be ridiculed.
My response to that: The only people that seem to have a problem with it is their mothers.
Another mom pointed out that high schools often have Spirit Days where girls dress like boys and vice versa. I mentioned Powderpuff Games where football players dress like cheerleaders and vice versa. Or every frat boy ever in college (Mom A said that her husband was a frat boy and NEVER dressed like a woman.)
But here’s the point, it is none of your damn business.
If you think that me allowing my son to be a female character for Halloween is somehow going to ‘make’ him gay then you are an idiot. Firstly, what a ridiculous concept. Secondly, if my son is gay, OK. I will love him no less. Thirdly, I am not worried that your son will grow up to be an actual ninja so back off.
If my daughter had dressed as Batman, no one would have thought twice about it. No one.
But it also was heartbreaking to me that my sweet, kind-hearted five year old was right to be worried. He knew that there were people like A, B, and C. And he, at 5, was concerned about how they would perceive him and what would happen to him.
Just as it was heartbreaking to those parents that have lost their children recently due to bullying. IT IS NOT OK TO BULLY. Even if you wrap it up in a bow and call it ‘concern.’ Those women were trying to bully me. And my son. MY son.
It is obvious that I neither abuse nor neglect my children. They are not perfect, but they are learning how to navigate this big, and sometimes cruel, world. I hate that my son had to learn this lesson while standing in front of allegedly Christian women. I hate that those women thought those thoughts, and worse felt comfortable saying them out loud. I hate that ‘pink’ is still called a girl color and that my baby has to be so brave if he wants to be Daphne for Halloween.
And all I hope for my kids, and yours, and those of Moms ABC, are that they are happy. If a set of purple sparkly tights and a velvety dress is what makes my baby happy one night, then so be it. If he wants to carry a purse, or marry a man, or paint fingernails with his best girlfriend, then ok. My job as his mother is not to stifle that man that he will be, but to help him along his way. Mine is not to dictate what is ‘normal’ and what is not, but to help him become a good person.
I hope I am doing that.
And my little man worked that costume like no other. He rocked that wig, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
To this little boy, you looked wonderful on Halloween! I love Scooby Doo, Daphne was my favorite, and now I want a costume like yours. You are a wonderful young man and I am very proud of you and your Momma. I hope you got a ton of candy and had a great time.
You are very lucky to have a Mommy who loves you as much as yours does. I love my son like that too. Being a mother is a very hard job and not everyone is good at it. You mother however, is a rock star in the Mom world. I wish you health, happiness and love, always.
To the mother who wrote this blog, you have my respect and admiration. I’m sorry that the women at school were so stupid. I’m sorry that your son felt nervous about what people would think of him. I’m sorry that we live in a world where you needed to even right this blog.
I am happy you wrote your blog, and that I found it. I am happy you shared the love and support of your child and had the courage to not only write the blog, but share your photo. I am happy that on a day my heart ached for humanity, you restored my ability to keep the faith.
November 4, 2010 | 8:43 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
Have you ever been dumped out of the blue? Completely blindsided? I have and it’s brutal. It knocks you on your ass and can take forever to recover from. When it happened to me, I cried like a lunatic and it was not the pretty, tears falling in slow motion down your cheek, beautiful cry, but rather the sobbing, snotty, blotchy faced, gross cry.
Imagine how great it would be if you knew ahead of time that you were getting the boot. You could have a ton of Kleenex in your purse and a bottle of wine ready at home so the second you walk in the door, the drowning of your sorrow can begin. You could have the perfect response ready to knock the wind out of your dumper’s sails. It would be awesome.
Thanks to Facebook, women all over the world can be one step close maintaining their dignity when being dumped because there will be no shock. Journalist David McCandless recorded 10,000 status updates for the keywords “break up” or “broken up”, and discovered that spring and pre-Christmas are when you are most likely to get dumped.
McCandless is a British journalist and graphic designer who compiles data in interesting visual ways. He’s done some pretty cool stuff and you can take a look at his website at David McCandless. His new book “Information is Beautiful” is fantastic. The idea that data can be art is really wonderful and I am going to order the book.
Bravo to McCandless for giving the heads up on being dumped, and then providing something interesting to read while we are at home with our wine, Kleenex, and 18 cats, wallowing in self pity. Clearly he’s a giver. You’ve got to love Facebook. Where else can you create your own farm, be friends with people you don’t know, and know when you are getting dumped?
According to this scientific data, the two times during the year where you are most likely to get dumped, are right after Valentine’s Day and before spring break. Really? These times are so predictable maybe that is why they work. It’s obvious so you think it won’t happen, then when it does you are in shock that the person you love has such massive balls.
To clarify, you spend Valentine’s Day with your lover, get sucked into the holiday, are convinced it’s love, and then as soon as Valentine’s Day is over, and you are walking around on a cloud, you’re dumped. Or, as you plan to spend spring break together, you are dumped so he can fly off on holiday with his buddies and screw around without the guilt of us being at home.
Granted these times of the year are probably skewed to younger folks because I don’t know a lot of 40 something people updating their Facebook status updates to include a break ups, but you can assume these young kids will one day be 40 something and their pathetic dumping patterns could very well carry on to when they are grown ups.
According to the chart, another popular dumping time is about two weeks before Christmas. That’s just wrong. And cheap. Seriously people just hang on until after the New Year. Suck it up. You are screwing up your karma by dumping someone right before Christmas. Even for Jews this is bad. Who will take us to the movies and out for Chinese food? Selfish.
Monday is the most popular dumping day, which is perfect. The one day that is already horrible now has a big black cloud hanging over it. Summer and Fall are the safety zones in terms of break ups and the one specific day of the year you are probably safe is Christmas Day. That’s because you’ve already been dumped and are alone so there is nobody to dump you.
The dumping season has begun. It could happen at any moment so be prepared. Have a bottle of wine standing by and keep Kleenex in your car, home, and purse. Start a farm on Facebook so you can stay busy, keep the phone number and driving directions to the local animal shelter handy so you can race out and get a cat, and remember to keep the faith.
November 3, 2010 | 8:20 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
If I spent 142 million dollars on something, and in the end did not get what I spent all the money on, I would be pissed. It is mind boggling that Meg Whitman spent so much of her own personal money on a campaign that did not make her Governor.
She told her supporters, “Tonight has not turned out quite as we had hoped. We’ve come up a little short, but certainly not for lack of hard work, determination and a clear vision for making our state better. We overcame great obstacles to get this far, and I could not be any prouder.”
You blow through 142 million dollars and that’s it? You came up a little short? Do you think she fell asleep crying? Woke up crying? Does she have so much money that 142 million dollars is not a big deal? No matter how rich, that has got to hurt.
She could have been a hero to California, and an inspiration to other wealthy Americans, if she had simply given that money to the education system. Schools are suffering, and she could have made a huge impact with that money. Hindsight is 20/20, but this was a no brainer.
Could she have spent half the money and run the same campaign? Could she have started her ad campaigns later in the season and saved a ton of cash? If she had agreed to pull negative ads at the debate with Brown, like he did, would she have won? We’ll never know.
This is not a political blog. I am writing about the fact that there are a lot of people, with a lot of money, and they need to help the state, rather than worry about running the state. How many scholarships would 142 million dollars provide to needy students?
Being a Canadian citizen, I don’t vote. This is not about bashing Whitman because I am a Brown supporter. This is about a mother who thinks it’s wrong that teachers, who are educating future generations, need to buy their own school supplies because there is no money.
Whitman may in fact give a lot of money to help people, but all we’ve heard about is how much money she spent on becoming Governor. I feel bad for her. I imagine she is heartbroken to have invested 142 million dollars into something that has become nothing.
I hope this election leads to change. We can’t continue to buy into the American Dream rhetoric when the country is falling apart. This is the United States of America and it’s time we all united because if we go on like this much longer, it may be impossible to rebuild.
To add insult to injury, Meg Whitman can’t even console herself with a big fat joint to take the edge off. Damn it California, how much can one woman take? No win AND no pot? As we begin the madness that will be the run to 2012, all we can do is hope for the best, and keep the faith.
November 2, 2010 | 7:44 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I do not vote because I am not an American citizen. I am Canadian who lives and works in the United States with a Permanent Resident Alien Card. I’m not sure why I’ve never applied for citizenship. No reason really. At this point my green card expires the same year my son turns 18 so I figured I would wait until then, and we could both vote for the first time together. It’s a sweet thought, but also totally lame.
I considered myself a Democrat for a long time, and living in California, a predominately Democratic state, I never felt an urgency to vote. My vote was not going to make a difference was my thought, which is utterly ridiculous. Every single vote matters, and if I am going to live here, pay taxes, and suffer through the economic crisis, my vote not only matters, but is important and should be counted.
Over the years I have become more of an Independent. I think there are scary choices from both the Republican and Democrat side. I think there is also promise from both sides. When I vote, and one day I will have the privilege to do so, I will not vote along political lines, as much I will vote for people who can restore our country to it’s glory. To vote for an idiot, just because he is a member of my party, is idiotic.
I love watching election coverage on television. I miss Tim Russert, may he rest in peace. He was brilliant at political correspondence and always explained things in a way I not only understood, but could also hold my own in a discussion about it. I have not found someone as good as Mr. Russert to walk me through these elections. With ads and debates focused on lies and hate, I miss having Tim here to break it all down.
Voting is an honor. Every single vote counts. By “counts” of course I mean unless there is a hanging chad, in which case your vote doesn’t mean squat. I have lived in the United States for almost twenty years. My son is here, and these elections will affect his life too. It is my obligation as a mother to make the world a safe place for him to grow up in, so not voting means I am not doing all I can ensure my child has a good life.
Election Day is an opportunity for the average person to make a difference. The country is a mess, and while we can blame a lot of different people for getting us to this place, if you don’t vote, part of the blame falls on you. I am blessed to live in the United States of America and while I am not allowed to vote, I appreciate all of you who do. Make time today to have your voice heard. As for who you vote for, I’m keeping the faith.
November 1, 2010 | 8:45 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I fainted when my doctor told me I was pregnant. We had been trying for so long, the news I was finally going to have a baby was overwhelming. I wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember. It was my dream as a little girl, and being a mom is the greatest accomplishment of my life.
I used to pretend my dolls were babies and I always dreamed of motherhood. I wanted to have four kids. I was one of four so I imagine that’s why. In the end I was blessed to have one child, and from the moment I knew I was going to be a mom, my life was wrapped about him.
When I had the ultrasound to tell me the sex of the baby, and they said it was a boy, and cried. I wanted a healthy baby, but if I could have picked, I would have asked for a son. I always wanted my first child to be a boy.
Once I left the doctors office I wanted to buy my unborn son a gift. I thought about a stuffed animal, or an outfit, but as I drove home I passed a Judaica store. After looking around I decided to buy my son a tallit. It was a gorgeous blue and gold prayer shawl.
I took the tallit out often over the years. Whenever my son hit a milestone, like walking, talking or tying his shoelace, I would write about it and tuck the paper into the tallit. If my son was sick, or struggling in any way, I would pray for things to be better and tuck those prayers in too.
I would put my son to bed, pull out the tallit, and tell it all my hopes and dreams for this little boy. It was the first gift I ever bought for my son, yet over the years, it really became a gift to me because it held all my prayers for the life I brought into the world.
When my son had his Bar Mitzvah, I took the tallit that had been my comfort for so long, and I placed it on his shoulders. It was a profound moment. All the hopes and dreams I had for my baby were a part of that tallit and when I placed it on him, I made a promise to my son.
I promised to always pay attention and listen, and never lose sight of what a blessing it was to be a mother. I believe in my heart, and know in my mind, that I am a good mother. I love this child with all that I am, and am doing a good job raising a wonderful human being.
This weekend was tough. With each stage of a child’s life, there are parts that are easier and some that are harder. I find the older my son becomes, the more questions I have. Am I doing the right thing? Giving him the tools to be happy and secure?
It’s been a looooooong time since I was a teenager, and while I like to think I remember, I really don’t. There are so many things going on in terms of peer pressure, homework, hormones, stress and temptations. Can I properly guide my son through the landmines that are the teenage years?
My son is really great. He is caring, sensitive, funny, smart, popular, handsome, charming and an all around happy person. He is all the things that you want for your kids to be. He is also a teenager, finding his way while transitioning his relationship from those of a kid to a grown up.
I’m not saying at 14 he is a grown up, but just that it’s a new ball game. Everything is changing for him, but it’s not him I’m worried about. It’s me. Am I doing a good job? Am I being supportive enough? I am giving him the room he needs to grow?
I have endless questions. I want my son to be happy. I don’t care what he chooses to do for a living, or who he chooses to love. What I do care about is that he is happy, healthy and safe. I want him to reflect on our life together and think I did a good job at being his mom.
To my son, I love you Buddy. You are a great kid and I am very proud of you. I know being a teenager is hard and you’ve got a lot going on. Know that I am here, and you have my support. Be strong, believe in yourself, do the right thing, and no matter what, keep the faith.