Monday, September 25, 2017

DAYS OF AWE




These days are truly “Days of Awe” both secular and religious.

The religious significant is important for Jews of all persuasions: “The ten days starting with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur are commonly known as the Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim) or the Days of Repentance. This is a time for serious introspection, a time to consider the sins of the previous year and repent before Yom Kippur.

One of the ongoing themes of the Days of Awe is the concept that G-d has "books" that he writes our names in, writing down who will live and who will die, who will have a good life and who will have a bad life, for the next year. These books are written in on Rosh Hashanah, but our actions during the Days of Awe can alter G-d's decree. The actions that change the decree are "teshuvah, tefilah and tzedakah," repentance, prayer, good deeds (usually, charity). These "books" are sealed on Yom Kippur. This concept of writing in books is the source of the common greeting during this time is "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year."

Among the customs of this time, it is common to seek reconciliation with people you may have wronged during the course of the year. The Talmud maintains that Yom Kippur atones only for sins between man and G-d. To atone for sins against another person, you must first seek reconciliation with that person, righting the wrongs you committed against them if possible. (Jewish Virtual Library)

But the concept of repentance for personal sins is also significant in Christianity; “Mat. 6:12 says "Forgive us our sins against You as we forgive those who have sinned against us.” 


Islam has the concept of “Twaba” which may be similar but is not accomplished by individual prayer but by following the directions of the Quran and praying five times a day. I am sure that need I need clarification. 

However none carry the concept of a period of time other than the immediate as a requirement for reflection.

The secular meaning for these days includes the forces of nature; hurricanes and earthquakes with tremendous loss of life and material destruction. There are the worldwide events including the growing tensions between us and North Korea that could result in a nuclear calamity. Also the Congressional conflict over Obama care and the debt Civil unrest in Venezuela, as well as the Kurds who are holding today a non-binding referendum on independence from Iraq and perhaps Turkey. The Catalonians again wish to do the same on Oct.1. Genocide in the Sudan and in Myanmar continues. I could go on and on.

Fortunately the Yanks secured a postseason spot, the Whoos a 15 point underdog beat Boise State by 20, and the Jets crushed Miami. Sadly the Giants lost by a 61 yard field goal in the last second. Yes it was not a lost weekend.

FOR YOUR PET.



Plainfield Celebration of Animals
Sunday October 1, 2017 1:30 PM
At Leland Avenue Park (Next to Cook Elementary School) 
739 Leland Ave. Plainfield, NJ
Free Admission
All are welcome

Plainfield Celebration of Animals Sunday October 1 at 1:30 PM

The Friends of Sleepy Hollow (FOSH) Animal Initiative Committee is holding its 18th annual Celebration of Animals on Sunday October 1, 2017 at 1:30 PM at Leland Avenue Park, (next to Cook Elementary School, 739 Leland Ave.)  Plainfield, New Jersey.  The event is free of charge and open to everyone, with or without pets, to celebrate the importance of animals in the lives of human beings.   “Anatole France’s quote ‘Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened,’ says it best,” said Maryellen Chanda, Animal Initiative Celebration event chairwoman. Held in conjunction with the Feast of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals, representatives of local religious and spiritual traditions will offer blessings for all animals. In addition, the Union County Mounted Police will bring three horses to participate in the blessing. “All are welcome to bring their pets to receive a blessing,” said Ms. Chanda. Birds must be caged, cats must be in carriers, and dogs must be on a leash or in a carrier. Pets that are uncomfortable around other animals should be left at home. A photo can be brought to represent them for a blessing. The theme of this year’s blessing will be ‘First Do No Harm’ to raise people’s awareness on how to live in harmony with the animals in our area. Water will be available for the animals and light vegan refreshments provided by Ester’s Treats will be served after the blessing. For more information about the Celebration please call 908.256-3858 or visit www.foshnj.com.

The Animal Initiative Committee (AIC) is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to increasing people’s awareness of their responsibility for the well-being of all animals. The Committee was formed in March 2000 after Plainfield’s contracted animal control kennel was closed due to over 600 counts of animal cruelty.  “Wildlife and companion animals are being needlessly killed due to inadequate facilities and lack of education programs,” said Mrs. Chanda.  The AIC has always focused on the problem of overpopulation of dogs and cats, especially community cats. It implemented a very successful trap, neuter, and return (TNR) program for the latter. “We continue to emphasize the importance of the use of available spay/neuter programs in controlling dog and cat populations, but we can only succeed with the active support of both the community and City Administration,” Ms. Chanda stressed. “We are much in need of volunteers to help with this important effort”, she concluded. For more information about the Animal Initiative Committee, please call 908.256-3858

Friday, September 22, 2017

HEALTH CARE 5778



Septembers last’s week will be a very important and critical one for the American Public.
I am referring to the Trump-GOP latest attempt to destroy the ACA aka Obama Care.

As a retired and very tired physician I personally hold no brief for ACA which has completely change our health system from one that was patient oriented to a business benefitting insurance companies and mega hospital groups. Bureaucrats and other lay people now make the decisions on how an individual receives his acre. But that is a subject that would take at least two blogs which I do not have the present time or will to write about. Moreover I have covered it many times in the past.
  
This week the Senate leadership plan to bring the  Cassidy/ Graham b ill cosponsored by Senators Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) for vote. This vote has to be done before the Sept.30 expiration of the GOP devised Senate regulation requiring a simple majority 51 votes or 50 plus the VP’s tie breaker to pass on bills that will affect the budget.

The proposal would slash health-care spending more deeply and would probably cover fewer people than the July bill, which failed precisely because of such concerns. Under the new bill, starting in 2021, the federal government would lump together all the money it spends on subsidies distributed through the ACA marketplaces and expanded Medicaid programs covering poor, childless adults

Although it does eliminate the requirement that individuals purchase health insurance or pay a fine; it also eliminates the ACA’s guarantee of affordable health insurance for people with preexisting medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer. State officials would be able to let insurers charge whatever they wanted to the infirm and the elderly and also could let insurers reinstitute lifetime caps on coverage

It revokes the ACA’s expansion of the Medicaid program, which provided health coverage for millions of the working poor, and turns Medicaid into an underfunded block-grant program to be administered by the states. GOP rhetoric about federalism and local control is smoke designed to obscure the real goal, which is to dramatically slash the federal contribution toward Medicaid.
Almost every physician based medical society as well as hospitals and many other organizations have come out against it. There has been no open if any committee hearings and floor debate has been strictly restricted.

Fortunately I believe that we not worry it will pass. Sen. John McCain announced on Friday that he'll vote against the Graham-Cassidy Republican health care bill, putting the future of the legislation in peril.

McCain complained about the process, criticizing the lack of debate and committee time for legislation that would remake the country's health care system.
"Committees of jurisdiction should markup legislation with input from all committee members, and send their bill to the floor for debate and amendment," McCain said in a statement.
"That is the only way we might achieve bipartisan consensus on lasting reform, without which a policy that affects one-fifth of our economy and every single American family will be subject to reversal with every change of administration and congressional majority."

One Republican believes in the Democratic process. It would be great if more members of both parties in the houses of Congress would subscribe to that principle and not just vote as their party leaders wish.

That should hold true in local and state politics.

( some material from the Washington Post)