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"It is better to take refuge in Adonai than to trust in human beings; better to take refuge in Adonai than to put one's trust in princes." -Tehilah 118:8-9

Purim in the Air...It's all Good

Thank you, Muqata, for reminding me that Rosh Chodesh Adar means that Purim is right around the corner.

In honor of Purim, this month's posts will be nothing but fun and positive.

Quit your laughing. It's a goal, okay? Contrary to popular belief, goals are good.

And speaking of good, we'll kick off our Purim Positivity by exploring the meaning of "Tov" the Hebrew word for "good":
What does "good" mean? The first use of this word is in Genesis chapter one where calls his handiwork "good". It should always be remembered that the Hebrews often relate descriptions to functionality. The word tov would best be translated with the word "functional". When looked at his handiwork he did not see that it was "good", he saw that it was functional, kind of like a well oiled and tuned machine.

via The Ancient Hebrew Research Center
For something to be good, it must have a purpose. Makes sense.
The tet is the initial letter of the word tov, "good." The form of the tet is "inverted," thus symbolizing hidden, inverted good--as expressed in the Zohar: "its good is hidden within it."

...Of the eight synonyms for "beauty" in Hebrew, tov--"good"--refers to the most inner, inverted, and "modest" state of beauty. This level of beauty is that personified in Torah by Rebecca and Bat Sheva, who are described as "very beautiful [goodly] in appearance."

"Good" is beautiful, and much like true beauty, it often exudes from beneath the surface. Again, makes sense.

So, first good topic of the month: Hiking in Israel.

I'm a big fan of taking a walk. The longer the walk, the better. Needless to say, when I came across this article in the JPost, I was nothing short of motivated to take a hike (yes, every single pun intended):

What's Not to Hike?
No one knows that better than Israel's foremost father-and-son hiking duo, David and Eran Gal-Or. For the Gal-Ors, co-authors of a series of hiking guidebooks, Maslulim, subtitled "Falling in Love with Israel Again," an eight-month hike the pair took brought about unexpected benefits. What started out as a way to celebrate Eran's completion of his IDF service morphed into a complete career change for David, and for Eran, a chance to earn a living while pursuing his passion.

I wonder if they publish Maslulim in English...

Reading the JPost article made mewant to do this only I'd do it to raise money for textbooks in Israeli public schools. The classrooms in Israel (unlike those in UN-guarded, US/European-funded palestinian schools, aka Terrorist Training Camps) do not come stocked with textbooks, let alone a lot of other supplies and accoutrements Americans take for granted. Students in Israel are dependent upon their parents to purchase their textbooks each academic year, leaving many students carrying many different editions of the same book, or even no books at all. These kids deserve textbooks and all the structure unified resources provide.

Sadly enough, if you Google "Israeli school textbooks" you'll get headlines like "Israeli Textbooks and Children’s Literature Promote Racism", "Othering and Identity: Exclusion Practices in Israeli", and "Report says Palestinian school textbooks portray Jews badly", but you see nothing about the lack of funding for and organization behind the stock of textbooks for the Israeli public school system.

I want to hike Israel. I want Israeli kids to be provided with good textbooks at no cost. So, in the spirit of staying positive, I'm going to believe both things will happen "for such a time as this".

Chag Purim Sameach!

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posted by Shoshana @ 7:31 PM

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