Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rosh Hashanah, 5769

aveenu malkaynu

our father, our mother
nurturer of the soul
the rabbis tell us
we have five levels of soul
three in the physical body
two outside of it
I don’t pretend to understand
the intellectual arguments
I prefer to relate on
an emotional level

I feel the spirit when I climb
to the top of a mountain
and gaze at the beauty all around
I feel it when I chant in a group
the resonance in the room
bringing tears to my eyes
I feel it when I bake and cook
playing with the dough
and chopping the vegetables

nurturing the body
but first acknowledging the maker
our father, our mother
with a prayer of thanks

©2007 Linda H. Feinberg

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Endings and Beginnings

(Pickerel Weed, colored pencil drawing on black matboard.)

Summer is ending and fall beginning. The pickerel weed (member of water hyacinth family, pontederia cordata) will be gone soon and before we know it, ice will be on our lakes. The good part is that the mosquitoes and ragweed will also be gone soon. Most of my friends and readers know that I love winter, cold and snow, so I'm happy!

The month of Elul is also ending soon and Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) starts at sunset on Monday, September 29th. Elul is a month of reflection. Usually on serious subjects, but sometimes not. My reflection last week and this one was on computer problems. But I now have a new motherboard and video card, so perhaps I can focus on the holiday and new beginnings. I plan on cooking the traditional foods and Joe will add a little something different too.

May it be a good year, filled with joy, peace and good health for all. L'Shanah Tovah.

Chapter Twenty-One Enroute to Iran via Submarine

After breakfast Natan asks, "Commander, can we meet with the sled team that we will be working with?"

"Natan, the team you will be working with are both standing watch right now. I will get word to them that they can meet you in the wardroom at 1330. This will give the officers a chance to finish lunch without rushing and you can use the wardroom with some privacy. I can't imagine trying to make you do that in my stateroom."

Mark laughs, "Oh, I agree, Commander that would be a little tight."

At 1330 quartermaster first class Brian Greenberg and radioman second class Hal Michaelson knock on the wardroom door. Natan opens the door and invites them in.

Natan introduces himself and Mark then the four shake hands and sit down at the dining table. Plans are discussed on how to disembark from the submarine taking both Natan and Mark out by sled along with the gear they are carrying. Mark also makes a point of how they can be retrieved, plus the signaling process they will use to insure the team who they are.

Brian asks, "Are we correct in understanding you want us to take you only within thirty meters offshore?"

Mark replies, "Yes, we would like to travel just below the surface until we reach that distance. From that point on we will inflate the floatation devices. We will mount our air tanks onto your sleds and snorkel to shore."

Hal questions, "Will we be retrieving your gear when you are returning as well as yourselves? We need to know in order for us to insure we have the appropriate hookups on the sleds. I imagine you want us to just reverse the process and that means we also bring your tanks back."

Natan answers, "We will be taking back everything that we have not used while in the desert. We do not want to leave anything behind to indicate we were there. Yes, we will need our tanks for the return to the sub."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Chapter Twenty Setting an Insertion Date into Iran

Natan begins by saying, "Captain we want you to transport us and to retrieve us as we have already accomplished two IDF missions with you as the commanding officer of the submarines we rode in on.

"Our mission will take anywhere from six to eight weeks to fully accomplish what the Mossad wishes to learn. Mark's and my greatest concern is how to be extracted if we develop circumstances that jeopardize our safety and requires us to abort the mission for Israel's sake not just our sake."

"Natan, I remember having you and Mark on the two missions you speak of. I feel comfortable with both of you doing this even though there is tremendous risk. What are you really asking me? Will my submarine always be around in case of emergencies? Based on the information I know, we cannot wait offshore for you. Can we stay in the area, yes if I am given orders to do so? Is that what you are waiting to hear?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ten Letters

Hebrew usually goes from right to left, but I created this bookmark to go from bottom to top, reflecting the Hasidic story, Ten Letters. The full story can be read in the book “Hasidic Tales” by Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Skylights Path Publishing. In summary, an illiterate man’s prayers are valued more than a famous rabbi’s. He only knows the first ten letters of the Hebrew aleph bet (alphabet), but he recites them fervently, asking God to make them into words. It’s a beautiful story and I think many of us can relate to it, especially when we don’t know the words to pray.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chapter Nineteen Getting Acquainted

They choose to have breakfast at a quaint restaurant they walked by the previous afternoon.

While sitting at the bay window in front, they notice the man who has been tailing them enter the same establishment.

"For crying out loud, this asshole is getting ridiculous," spoke Hamid.

Only this time the man approaches them and asks if he can sit at the same table for breakfast.

"We know that you are not the secret police because you are too damned obvious," rattles off Hamid.

"You're right I'm not. I am your ride to the noon meeting you have today. I will meet you in the lobby at 1100."

"Can we be sure you are telling us the truth?" spoke up Kamil.

"Your fourth cousin sent my boss the information you were coming and my boss wants me to spend some time with you to see if you are what you say you are."

"What are we ?" spoke Hamid.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Chapter Eighteen Planning To Insert Into Iran

While Natan is speaking with Yosef on the phone, Mark is hanging blown up satellite pictures of their two target areas on the walls.

When Natan hangs up Mark says, "Lets lay out a grid for ourselves as how we need to enter Iran, time to the first target area, time spent at the first site."

"Mark what is the distance you have measured from the closest entry point to the first area?"

"Just under a hundred kilometers," replies Mark.

Natan says, "My thoughts are that they deliver us by submarine, and then they take us as close to shore as possible by underwater sleds."

"You know, Natan, this operation can never have an emergency extraction. If we get spotted inside of Iran, no one is going to do a fly by to get us out. It's our tits in the wringer."