"Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." 
Martin Luther King ,Jr.
As we celebrate the life and lessons of  MLK, Jr. this coming Monday, we are reminded of his teachings in Europe last week as the 1st New Year's baby in  Vienna, Austria was celebrated. It started out as a happy story which quickly warped into something rotten till humanity took over and compassion won in the end.  The story includes the influences of the far-right anti-immigration Freedom Party's approval in their last election and the Hijab wearing first baby's mom.  You can imagine how the alt-right xenophobes took to social media once the new family's photo was published and instantly, this innocent baby girl was bombarded with hate messages.  The only way to combat the freedom of hate speech is to overpower it with messages of acceptance, compassion and decency. 
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/04/world/europe/vienna-new-years-baby.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share&_r=1  And in this country, an unlikely ex-neo nazi is t aking up the MLK mantle to help reform misguided souls who gravitate toward the embrace of hatred.  Here is an interesting video of former neo nazi,  Christian Picciolini being interviewed by  Sarah Silverman .  Did you know that Silence and Violence are the reactions the "White Terrorist" like best when demonstrating their hate.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDP2TSHZqyI

"An eye-for-eye and tooth-for-tooth 
would lead to a world of the blind and toothless"
Tit for Tat...where will that lead us.  They boycott us, we boycott them.  But why the hate in the first place?  My conclusion is ignorance and the belief in false accusations.  Here is a letter signed by famous BDS supporters who stand behind Lorde's decision to cancel her Israeli concert, including Julie Christie, John Cusack, Eve Ensler, David Gray, Viggo Mortensen, Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Wallace Shawn and Alice Walker. 
https://artistsforpalestine.org.uk/2018/01/05/leading-artists-stand-with-lorde/   I'm convienced this list would be wittled down to just the deep-seated anti-semites if those on it were open to actual facts about their objections.  In the meantime, Israel has compiled their own list of BDS supporters who are now "boycotted" from entering the Jewish Homeland they criticize:   

"Immigration is not just a link to America's past; 
it's also a bridge to America's future." 
George W. Bush
Dreamers, Chaldeans, Haitian, Salvadorans, foreign 7-11 workers...the list continues to grow of the people (including children) who our current administration wants to expel from our country.  An unusual public bipartisan meeting took place this week to hammer out a compromise for immigration yet #45's demands could sabotage any hopes of agreements. One demand is $18 Billion over 10 years to build the Mexican Wall which, of course will be "happily repaid" by Mexico. He also wants to greatly limit future immigration to a select few from non-"Sh*thole" countries, though he said "he'll take the heat" to make the compromises...yet, how can you believe anything he says when he's a chronic liar. This impasse could impede on passing a funding bill which could domino into a government shutdown. 

"A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump 
and make a speech for conservation." 
Adlai E. Stevenson
Hypocrisy is alive and well within the ranks of the Justice Department.  The GOP generally prefers less government regulations and more State-led laws. Most republicans believe the people of each State should decide their fate not the "overreaching" Federal government.  But this theme is conveniently disregarded when it comes to Cannabis. More than half of our States feel Weed is an acceptable product to consume either recreationally or medicinally, yet it is a big No No for our nation's Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.  Maybe he's a closeted toker.  At any rate, this could be an empty threat as many States' AGs (even the Red ones) don't intend on following his memorandum.  
But the real issue regarding cannabis and the much more concerning Opioid addiction is how they are treated.  Should Drug addiction be a Criminal Offense or a Health Care issue?  Here is a detailed article which shows the comparisons of different countries attitudes toward narcotics. Who dumps their addicts in jail and who treats them with medical care?

"The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, 
but the voters of this country." 
Franklin D. Roosevelt
We are in an extremely polarizing era of our nation with very few people venturing into the center to find compromises.  One of the reasons for our polarized Congress is the increasingly segregated gerrymandered districts.  This causes congresspeople to veer left or right to gain votes from their constituents.  But, there is good news on this horizon as  North Carolina federal judges just ruled that their 13 districts were drawn unconstitutionally and will need to be quickly redrawn before the upcoming 2018 election. 
http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/09/politics/north-carolina-gerrymandering-case/index.html   The Supreme Court has 2 Gerrymandering cases on its current docket including Wisconsin with districts drawn by Republicans and Maryland with Democratic mapmakers. Also, Michigan will have a ballot proposal to require an independent commision to set our districts.  I'll keep you posted on this issue as news arises.  

"Disaster gave me two things: 
a moment to react and a decision to overcome" 
Michael Dooley  
The death toll of 17 continues to rise with dozens still missing and thousands evacuated as mid-Californians were saturated with mudslides after numerous rainy days caused the fire-stricken land to erode throughout the region. Condolences to the victims and their families.  Hoping California gets a break from the ravages and results of Climate Change, which our EPA ironically removed references of from its website.
And while condolences are in order, Puerto Rico continues (after 4 month) to be devastated by the severity (also related to man-made climate change) of Hurricane Maria.  Half the population still have no power.  This power outage has far-reaching effect.  Puerto Rican Dairy farms need to dump their milk since there isn't enough electricity to power up refrigerator.  Also, many IV Bags of Saline, used by hospital here on the mainland, were produced on the island causing shortages in our hospitals. Day to day living without power is causing a spike in suicides. 
http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/puerto-rico-mental-health-crisis-article-1.3740562  May power, prosperity and peace return to Puerto Rico in a timely fashion.  To help with this effort, our friends at City Winery will be heading to the Island with essential supplies (diapers, shovels, extension cords...) for a three day farm rebuilding weekend.  If you'd like to learn more and donate to this worthy effort, there is their website: 

Congrats to Detroiter, Jason Heien, for winning the annual national Wahl Man of the Year beard contest.  Aside from the prestige, he will also receive a prize of $1,500 and an appearance in their national advertisement. Detroit Rules...I think they choose wisely:

"Without music, life would be a mistake"
Friedrich Nietzsche
I'm a huge fan of Walk off the Earth,  so, here is their latest creation, "Havana" 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61SWGdZ2p2M&feature=push-fr&attr_tag=2Hq80mIeyL-4hXQ9-6.  This tune is in honor of Senator Rubio's inquiry into the bizarre health concerns of our Cuban diplomats who experienced illnesses after an alleged "Sonic Attack" on our Cuban US Embassy. 
Wishing you and your family a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom.


Happy Birthday!

Jan. 12th
Dalia Shani
Jeffrey Slatkin
Susu Sosnick (Happy 75th)
Cheryl Linden

Jan. 13th
Robyn Lederman
Sheila Tyner
Rabbi Jonathan Kaplan
Judy Berris Herman
David Rosman

Jan. 14th
Barbara Curhan Mendelson
Christen Giblin
Debbie Robbins
Jon Liebman
Lois Rubin 
Rachel Wright
Tom Klein
Ben Weinstein

Jan. 15th
David Kurzman
Nora Cascardo
Jill Sherman-Marx (Happy 50th)
Martin Luther King, Jr. ( Born 1929)

Jan. 16th
Josh Berg
Susie Pappas
Janice Adler Traison

Jan. 17th
Bryce Sandler
Don Benyas
Perry Teicher

Jan. 18th
Yossi Peled
Judi Schram z"l would have been 68. You are missed.

January 14  (6-8 weeks)
Jewish Population Study will help us determine vital information about our community to help plan for our future.  Our last survey was 2005 and updated info is critutial so please participate if you are called.  Names and addresses will not be asked or used. 
For more info, please contact Linda Blumberg 

February 7 (Wednesday)
Fems For Dems
Candidate Speed Dating
The Corners
2075 Walnut Lake Rd.
West Bloomfield
Free Admission

February 24  (Saturday)
Jewish Historical Society of Michigan
Nosh Gen: A Night at the Schvitz
Re-discover this iconic building with current owners and special guests, Richard Meltzer (son of the original owner) and Rabbi Pinson (who is working to restore the Mikvah)
7:00 p.m. 
Dinner, Drinks and History