Tuesday, January 15, 2013

if i'm god....

If we say “I’m god” or “we are all god” then we might as well say that whatever it is that we say about god, we really say about ourselves. For example: “God is great” – “I’m great!” or “I don’t know what god is” – “I don’t know what/who I am” or “god is a revengeful motherfucker” – “I’m a revengeful motherfucker.”  We can notice that for most people those feelings often change, only the ultra-religious or the true atheists (very few of those who call themselves atheist are actually atheists...) will stick to their guns. 

I begin to think that the Buddhist idea, that there is no external god, but rather a higher self that we all have within, and is more like a state-of-mind that we all need to strive to achieve, is really the only idea that doesn’t reject a spiritual notion on the one hand, without falling into religious or atheist traps. 

This may be what Buddhists mean by breaking out of the samsara, this illusionary, anxiety-driven vicious circle we are all trapped in like lab-rats, chasing false notion of self/god, trying to justify our existence in one way or another, while the only justification is the fact that we are here, now, and that’s it. Simple.   

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hi-Tech Childhood

I can’t really put myself in any particular mom’s box, because much like in my life in general, I’m not really fitting to any particular box. Surely though, I have my preferences, views and beliefs as for what’s right for children, at least for my children. For the past 3.5 years I tended to prefer everything Waldorf-like, for my children but also for my family and for my own well-being as an adult. As I posted in “Child-Centered ,” I’m not pushing my children to read or calculate too early, I prefer imagination-based games; outdoors time, cooking together, and I really do think television is harmful for everyone who can’t put a limit on it, which pretty much puts all children in the category.
At the same time though, I learned to acknowledge my children’ unique needs and preferences – and by the way, I also think there are no “special need children” or “special children” – all children are special and therefore have special needs. Take my son’s analytical mind for example; he keeps asking about letters and punctuation Hebrew marks in a children books while completely ignoring the magical drawings; he also demonstrates a high interest and understanding in technology, to my dismay. In fact, when he was few months old he already knew how to operate the simple CD player in his room, and a few months later he was helping my mother to activate the TV on the right channel for the DVD. The way from this to my smart-phone was too short. In no-time he learned by himself how to download games or picking a movie. It was then that I realized we may need to consider getting him some device of his own (so I can use my phone when I need it…). Being a mindful-parent means seeing and respecting our children as they are, rather than respecting a method or an idea just because it responds to my own deeper dreams or anxieties.
At first, I was naïve enough to consider a toyish lap-top or smartphone, there are even toyish tablets. But if there is one thing I am proud of the way I raise my children, is that following the amazing Malka Haas’s famous theory and practice, my kids prefer to deal with “real” stuff. They like drawing and writing with “real” paints and pencils, not the childish stuff; they prefer the real piano over the kids’ version on batteries and for a strange reason they often prefer adult music (whatever that means) over children songs. This is not to say their room isn’t filled with toys, children books, music and kids’ craft, but when it comes down to it, they will pick the “real stuff” (with food too, by the way). And so the same goes for the computerized entertainment platform.
After doing some brief research, we found a tablet that was just right. It’s “real” yet designed “for 4-40” (he is almost there, I’m officially out…). It’s also perfect in my husband’s eyes, whose parenting philosophy sums up to: “now you will see it’s fun to be a parent. You won’t see him around much.” For me it raised a bunch of mixed feelings (of course): yay, we found something that is great and safe for him, oy, he will play with a screen all day; yay he will develop skills I didn’t even know exist in the human evolution, oy, I won’t be able to talk to him much anymore.
But the truth is that in the few days we have it, it works perfectly: Not only does it serve as the ultimate incentive (or bribe, you decide), its actually teaching him responsibility, and it pushes me harder in my parenting skills. I now emphasize our quite time, book-in-bed becomes slower and sweeter, caressing in bed early in the morning is valued, looking me in the eyes while I put snow-boots on him is a fun-game; it pushes me to emphasize what’s really important, instead of the mundane power-struggles that seem to always be there with toddlers.  
So now my soon-to-be 4 years old has a tablet. I don’t. 

5 months old...plays with my laptop...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Why - The philosophical Child

Somewhere on the second week of December, which makes my son 3 years and 10 months old, he reached the stage I longed for, the “why” stage.
Although at the root of the philosophical inquiry we find the “what is” – i.e. the conceptual questioning, when a 3 years old ask “what” – like me son did until now, I suspect the philosophical content is not there yet. For example, my son would ask: “what is flavor?” de facie a highly philosophical question, one rooted in nothing less than the Platonic tradition. But since I know the context, and I know he asks it right after tasting something new, what he really means by this question is “what is that strange, unfamiliar flavor” using a really poor grammar, the result of mixing Hebrew and English in one short sentence.
And so I knew my son, like any kid, will reach what I define as the “philosophical stage” of young children when he will start using the “why” question, which can be dreading for so many parents (my mom: “wait until he starts asking ‘why’ all the time”); but for me it was a celebration.
Fireworks. In his head it were the philosophical fireworks exploding in his brain that is now so thirsty to start making sense of this crazy place we call ‘world’. In my head it was the “big party on the beach” fireworks. Yay so happy. The journey is about to start.
When he asks “why” I am forced to question it myself. “ya, why indeed?” when he asks “why” repeatedly I am forced to regress to the actual origin of the event, or at least to the point in where me too meet my aporia, my beginner mind, my genuine: “I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.”     

Amitai's background. My question...Shouldn't it be the other way around? NO!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Such a simple word, or is it? Perhaps for some people, but not for me. It is so very charged.
We want to think that in the past it was easier, simpler: people spent their childhood years in the same house, got married and bought a house in the same neighborhood, or at least in the same town, where they were born, where their parents still live.
But the truth of the matter is that it was never that simple. People always emigrated, searching for the “golden ticket,” whether it meant more food (which can be seen in the Bible), better education, freedom to practice their religion, better-paying job. For some, like me, it was the opportunity to Be (who we really meant to be), without the persona that others see us through.
For years I didn’t feel “at-home” in my home-country. I moved from one place to another in discomfort. Then an opportunity occurred to live for a few years elsewhere. Few years in grad school turned into a career; a career brought me to my future husband and two kids.
Two kids who were no longer sharing the same childhood experience that I did, on its flavors, sounds, words, climate, smells, views. I started to call “home” to that place I was born at. Children do that to you, if only because you suddenly relive your own childhood, and if that happens to be in another language, in another place, then it all comes back.
I started pondering: Do I go back to that place from where I escaped (unconsciously, nevertheless), and that is so easy to miss and love from afar? Or do I stay in the only place that my children call home? Which experience do I want to share with my children, the one of “that place” or the one of the immigrant? The Other? Furthermore, regardless to those all-too-convenient Romantic memories of quite Friday afternoons and bright sky, the reality is also packed with traits that are not so Romantic.
It is in my character to be the wondering Jew, the unsettled philosopher who never, no-where feels at-home. When I’m there, I enjoy it as a time-off, but I am not really part of it. I’m a visitor. And even as a visitor I get tired of the intensity very quickly. When I’m here I don’t feel connected, really connected. The stories at the news do not seem to concern me. The nursery rhymes are not mine to sing to my kids; even the local version of my religion doesn’t feel authentic to me and my family.
Tea-bag wisdom suggests that home is a feeling. Maybe what I need is to reconstruct my own understanding of what home is for me.
Here I have more friends, yet there I feel less lonely. Here nothing can happen, yet there I feel safer. Here it’s too cold. There it’s too hot.
I like it here. I like it there. I do not LOVE it anywhere.   

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

chains of an old child

את - שיצרת אותי יש מאין,
מביאה אותי למחשבות איון.

את, שגמלת מהר מהחלב
מזינה אותי בחֶלֶב הארס עד היום.

נחשים שחורים, צבועים
ממסגרים את פרצופך כמדוזה.
הו האשליה.
משכפלת את דמותך סביב.

צא דיבוק

Friday, October 26, 2012


Happiness cannot be the end, it is a by product of doing/achieving something else.

Having children having me

I love my kids to death....there is nothing and no one I love more than i love my children. And yet, I find myself jealous of my childless friends, free-spirited women, travelers, citizens of the world. I find myself miss my free, relaxed afternoons, actually mornings, afternoons and evenings, when i could sit and enjoy my coffee, not worrying about staying up late and being tired the next day (because i could sleep later than 6...); going out for some "me time" without feeling I have stop-watch behind me...I miss knowing i can go anywhere anytime I want to, dream myself and live unknown dreams of my own, regardless to the future of those who depend on me. I wouldn't turn the wheel back because i wanted my children more than i wanted anything else before and since, but still...