July 8, 2016
Shabbat Shalom
Michigan Splendor
Pure Michigan was enjoyed by our family over the Holiday weekend with a visit to beautiful Omena* on the Leelanau Peninsula resting on Grand Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan. The wonders of Michigan are on constant display for grateful Michiganders and visitors. 

"Once you bring life into the world, you must protect it.  We must protect it by changing the world" 
Elie Wiesel

Two Responsibilities
In my opinion, we have two responsibilities to honor our Gift of Life. One is, to enjoy all life's glories and splendors  and the other is, to improve our world for future generations. Each day should be filled with attempts to fulfill these responsibilities. Elie Wiesel (of blessed memory) experienced the deepest horrors of Man's Inhumanity to Man but he never lost hope for a brighter future. I suspect he enjoyed each day of freedom as he also dedicated his life to retelling his nightmare to ensure it Never Happens Again... to any people, any country, anywhere and to help Tikkun Olam (heal our world). Though he went through Hell he will no doubt reach Heaven for the impact he left on Earth. May he rest in peace as his life was truly a blessing unto all.

During this patriotic season and to honor Elie's spirit we must remember that "all people are created equal" and that Love has no Labels.  He would have approved of this message:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MdK8hBkR3s  and while in this patriotic mood, please enjoy the finest rendition of our national anthem performed by the outstanding José Feliciano at the 1968 World Series at our own Detroit Tiger Stadium.  Give it a try, I think you'll enjoy: 

Good over Evil
For weeks... upon weeks... upon weeks, terrorism, death and destruction have dominated the headlines. When we lose champions like Elie Wiesel z"l, it forces us all, to step up the pace in our fight against evil. As Mr. Wiesel states, "indifference is the epitome of all evil". We must not be indifferent to injustice. But how do we best fight the injustice of terrorism?  How do we root out the hatred of people against people. Just this past week hundreds were slaughtered in Iraq, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.  Free Will is a virtues which has produced innovation, progression, inventions and creativity yet it also opens Pandora's Box to convince the vulnerable to choose the path of evil, hatred and destruction of our gift of life.  When will this hatred cease and desist?  Will it take decades or centuries? I believe Good does overcome E vil but how many more lives will suffer till humanity is more enlightened. 
Good always triumphs over evil to protect our humanity .

Clear Vision
If hindsight is 20/20 then foresight must be obscured. Our past actions are always in focus when evaluating them with the benefit of time and scrutiny, but while we are in the midst of Life it is difficult to see all angles to help us guide our way. This week the British Chilcot Report (detailed with over 2.5 million words and over 7 years of investigation) delivered a scathing critique on Britain's involvement of the Iraq War with Tony Blair at the helm.  At the time, many thought Iraq was a true enemy as they massacred their own people, invaded other countries, implemented chemical warfare, plus initiated a litany of other atrocities. Sure, in hindsight, we all see that the Iraq invasion may have caused more damage than good but were British or American efforts to eliminate Iraq's evil dictator right or wrong.  The world had just experienced history's worst terrorist attack with nearly 3,000 people murdered from all nations and the nation victims took to the offensive.  Those military casualties during the Iraq War deserve honor and respect for their sacrifices yet this report now suggests they may have died in vain.  

Righteous Choice
Humans are responsible for greatness and great suffering, but one thing we are Not, is Perfect.  No human including Moses, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi nor Martin Luther King was ever perfect.  All past, present and future politicians were, are and will be imperfect.  This November, we will choose a new president. Both  have flaws as do the people they plan to represent.  But one spews and represents evil hateful rhetoric and actions that could lead down a destructive and dangerous path and the other, this week was described as "careless" but not criminal regarding her email usage during her Sec. of State days. Even with the Libertarian candidate on the ballot, realistically the choice of our next president is either Trump or Clinton.  I know many people despise both options, but for those who live in reality, picking one is a bitter pill we must take.  For me the pill isn't bitter at all. Though she may not be perfect, Hillary Clinton is by far the more qualified, educated, experienced, rational choice we have. Trump on the other hand, retweets anti-semitic rhetoric and feins ignorance when confronted with his mistake.  Trump isn't anti-semitic himself but he is pandering to those who are. Bravo to Dana Schwartz, an employee of Trumps son-in-law, Jared Kushner, on calling out his complacency regarding his father-in-law's actions.  Since firing Trumps chief of staff, Jared has cemented his righthand-man status. Jared's curt reply was that Donald "does not at all subscribe to any racist or anti-semitic thinking." is pathetic.  But their racist followers were quick to reply with deviant sickening tweets bombarding Ms. Schwartz. An example is one referencing an Easy Bake Oven and a photo of Anne Frank. This is reminiscent of the attacks the last Jewish journalist endured when she wrote an article about Melania. This is exactly the point Elie Wiesel makes about ignoring injustice, which are the exact actions of Trump and his entourage. http://observer.com/2016/07/an-open-letter-to-jared-kushner-from-one-of-your-jewish-employees/

Local Choice
Our Aug. 2nd primary election is fast approaching.  During these busy Summer days, you can vote now via an absentee ballot and fulfill your civic duty ahead of time. You can request an absentee ballot in person at your city office or order one online. If you are live in Oakland County, please vote in favor of the Zoo Millage Renewal and if you live in Bloomfield Township, please vote for Brian Kepes for Treasure. Thanks.  Remember, you must either vote the Republican side of the Ballot or the Democratic side.  You can not split your votes during our primary.  Yes, this should be changed but until then, we must abide by the rules.

From local elections to outer space.  Juno, the $1 Billion mission to Jupiter (launched 5 years ago), has reached its destination and is now orbiting our solar system's largest planet where it will stay for 20 months.  It will gather data that may unlock the secrets to our existence. After it has completed its job, it will crash itself into the planet for a self-destructive end. 
Juno and Jupiter
Brazil Probing
The Rio Olympic flame in Brazil will be lit on August 5th but issues after issues continue to spark concerns. Let's probe their mounting problems:
1. Zika - some athletes have cancelled and women of childbearing age should not expose themselves to the disease carrying mosquitoes that causes birth defects.
2. Government breakdown and economic despair - There is an interim president since the predecessor is expected to be impeached and their economy is experiencing their worst recession in decades.
3. Construction - has been bogged down since the start and some venues and infrastructure might not be ready by opening day.
4. Super toxic bacteria in coastal water  - sewage from local hospitals were mistakenly sweep into the waterway causing drug-resistant bacteria to infiltrate the coastline, threatening sunbathers and the sailing, rowing and canoeing competitions. 
5. Police and Firefighters on Strike - their strike has taken them to the airport as they welcome visitors with a not so welcoming banner.

Health Probe
Of course they were Italian researchers who found that eating Pasta is good for your waistline, but that's good news for all pasta loving souls like me.  The infamous "they" say, we should eat 10% of our daily calories from grains but remember, there are umteen pasta options to choose from. Choose wisely like durum wheat semolina, add veggies and healthy oil and you've got a perfect meal. 

Mental Health on Netflix
A new highly acclaimed sitcom called "Lady Dynamite" is spotlighting Bipolar Disorder and OCD in a respectful and enlightening manner. To take a peak, check out this article with the trailer:  http://tinyurl.com/Lady-Dynamite

Police shootings
Sadly, this week two African American men were killed by police officers in two separate incidents.  With our heightened sense of awareness for police overreach/brutality, these cases will (hopefully) be scrutinized. The first occurred in Louisiana when a 37 year old man, Alton Sterling, was selling homemade CD in front of a store and the 2nd occurred in Minnesota when  Philando Castile's car was pulled over for a broken taillight. Condolences to the family and friends of these young men and updates on these cases will be included in future emails.

Savory Shabbat Offering
For my parting Shabbat gift, here is Paul McCartney's "One on One" Summer Tour Set List, documented by Rolling Stone.  Paul provides a brief overview on each of his unique song selections from his trove of treasures.
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictures/paul-mccartney-inside-summer-tour-set-list-20160707 (press start in the top left corner to begin the video slide show)

Wishing you and your family a 
Sweet, Peaceful and Safe 
Shabbat Shalom 
Each week's message is now posted and backlogged here:
*Dassi (our granddaughter) in the wilds of Omena
 Happy Birthday!

July 8th
Honorable John Dingell
Lily Kaye
Vicki Barnett
Michael Langnas
July 9th
Aubrey Topper

July 10th
Brad Schram
Ricki Rogow
Eldan Kaye
Julianna Smoot
Steve Bilow
July 11th
Hal Ostrow
Ed Lansat
Rachel Devries
Bonnie Otis
Paul Bensman
Brad Feldman
July 12th
Gail Fisher
Arthur Liss (Cousin)
Simone Vitale
Alison Pure-Slovin
Dylan Handelsman
July 13th
Zoe Weil
July 14th
Conrad Giles
Marla Drutz
Beth Stone
Sherry Margolis
Wren Hack

Yes, I write every word of these messages...mistakes and all. 
 Please ignore the typing errors but if I missed your birthday or 
got the wrong date,  
please let me know.

Hillary Rodham Clinton 
Donald J. Trump

10 days till the
Republican Convention
Cleveland, OH
July 18-21, 2016

17 days till the
Democratic Convention
 Philadelphia, PA 
July 25th-28th, 2016 

Michigan State Primary Election is
Tuesday Aug. 2, 2016

It is vitally important to be educated about our upcoming election.  Please view your sample ballot before the election and encourage others to do the same.

Sample Ballots
Our sample ballots are available to review online to help prepare you for voting. You can view the sample at 
The site will ask your county, city and precinct, then your ballot will appear.  Remember, you will need to chose either the Republican or the Democrat ballot.  But everyone living in the tri-county area (Wayne, Macomb and Oakland) will also vote on the Zoo Millage Renewal and I strongly request your YES vote on this important revenue source for our regional Zoo. In fact, if you want to learn more about the hidden gems of the Zoo, please save the date of Sept. 27th as we plan to host a Get to Know the Zoo event at our home.

Absentee Ballots
If you plan to vote absentee for either the August Primary or the November General Election, please check out this site which gives you all the details.  You can download your absentee application though you will need to give a reason of why you can't vote in person. Politically, they (Lansing) should remove the "Reason" requirement and just let anyone vote absentee.  http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,8611,7-127-1633_8716_8728-21037--,00.html

If you live in Bloomfield Township and plan to chose the Republican ballot, please vote for  Brian Kepes for Bloomfield Township Treasurer

Presidential General Election is 
November 8, 2016

August 17th  (Wednesday)
Ort Rub-A-Dub
Franklin Hills Country Club

August 28th (Sunday)
Hazon Detroit
(First Ever) Michigan Jewish Food Festival
Eastern Market, Shed 5, Detroit

September 8th (Thursday)
National Council of Jewish Women
Women of Vision 
Shaarey Zedek
Guest Speaker: Jenna Bush Hager
Honoring: Alicia Stillman and Ellie Slovis

September 13th (Tuesday)
Hadassah's Opening Meeting
Shaarey Zedek
Boutiques and Luncheon
Guest Speaker: Nancy Spielberg 
(director, producer, screenwriter)
For more info, please contact Carol Ogusky 
cogusky1@gmail.com or 248-683-5030

September 20th (Tuesday)
Jewish Women's Foundation
Women Lighting the Way
Detroit Athletic Club
Keynote Speaker: (gay rights)  Attorney Dana Nessel

September 22nd (Thursday)
Friends of the IDF Women's Luncheon
Tam-O-Shanter Country Club
For more info, please contact Paul Lebowitz
September 26th (Monday)
Dr. Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic
2016 Esteemed Women of Michigan 
Centerpoint Marriott, Pontiac

September 27th (Tuesday)
Detroit Zoological Society
Hidden Gems of the Detroit Zoo
Our home
More details to come

September 28th (Wednesday)
Yad Ezra Annual Dinner
Honoring (the wonderful) Rachel and Jason Zimmerman
Adat Shalom
More details to come

October 1st (Saturday)
Humber Design
Gigs for Digs
The Fillmore, Detroit
Concert by: JR JR (Indie-pop band from Detroit)

October 10th (Monday)
MI Women Win 
Our home
More details to come

October 13th (Thursday)
Michigan League of Conservation Voters
Innovation in Conservation
Awards Gala
Westin Book Cadillac Hotel, Detroit
Honoring: Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha 
Lifetime Achievement: Honorable Dr. Joe Schwarz

I'm happy to post events important to you, however I'm unable to include a website as too many websites increase the chance that these emails will not reach your inboxes.  If you want more info about an event, please google the agency sponsoring it.