A Searing Essay About a Four-Month-Old Child Separated from his Family

4-Month-Old Refugee Romania

 

This is a heartbreaking article and photo essay: “The Youngest Child Separated From His Family at the Border Was 4 Months Old.”

 

Yes, that’s right. Four months old!

 

 

Advertisements

Teaching Respect. Teaching Kindness

Frontline Holocaust Education

 

Judaism. Christianity. Islam. Central to all three Abrahamic faiths is love, especially others. From the book of Exodus: V’ahavta l’reacha kamocha, And you shall love the stranger as yourself.

Congregants of all three faiths have recently been the victims of deadly hate attacks in what was supposed to be their sanctuary. A place of faith, of safety, of love.

Love comes naturally. It is what we are born with. The same can be said of altruism. Hate is something learned. And hate has been on the rise, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Anti Defamation League, and Simon Wiesenthal Center.

An insightful article from PBS Frontline explores how to teach about the evils of anti-Semitism in schools through Holocaust education. Moreover, Holocaust education is about fighting hate directed against all groups.

That piece depicts a project in which saplings from a chestnut tree have been planted at important locations throughout the U.S. And this was not just any tree. The chestnut in question was the one Anne Frank described in her diary as she peered out the window from her place of hiding. “From my favorite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine,” wrote Anne Frank. “As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances might be.”

 

 

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/with-anti-semitic-incidents-in-schools-on-the-rise-teachers-grapple-with-holocaust-education/

The Future Is Here

Notre Dame is more than a building. She will be rebuilt. However, there’s another fire that shocks us. Climate change. And the Earth, once destroyed, cannot be rebuilt. This speech should leave everyone speechless. This brave, wise, and compassionate little girl, Greta Thurnberg, is a courageous leader. It is her generation that will have to confront what has and will happen to our beautiful planet. In my mind, she’s a hero!

God Is Neither Straight or a Dude

Pavlovitz God Is not a Dude

 

“God not a dude.” Very well said! Descriptions of God in the Jewish bible (Tanakh) are just that; they are not meant to be taken literally, as God (Hashem) demands “He” not be seen (especially in Exodus). Pavlovitz points out “ruach,” the spirit of God is a feminine word. I’ll add “shekinah,” also spirit, which is described as a feminine quality. All people were and are created equally; we are brothers and sisters.

 

Why Students Should Learn to Be Kind to Animals

From the window of his attic study, Janusz Korczak fed the sparrows every night. In his writings, he recalled stepping into a swampy area to save the life of an insect. These vignettes illustrate Korczak’s holding all life sacred, much as he did for children, the smallest people.

It has been my experience that children (and adults) who are kind to animals are also kind to their fellow human beings. Sadly, the converse is true regarding those who treat animals with cruelty.

Animals hold a certain magic for most children. They seem to relate to their their fellow creatures. And many animals do likewise for children, especially dogs. Many adults who love animals are those who become “little again.” As this beautiful article so aptly illustrates, learning to treat animals kindly reinforces empathy. And as a teacher of students with disabilities, all this holds extra truth.

So, with this, I turn to the article. “Humane education, which teaches students about animal welfare, fosters empathy and can inspire students to become change agents in their communities,” writes teacher Julie O’Connor.

Source: Why Students Should Lea”rn to Be Kind to Animals

During Pride Month, a Very Unhappy Anniversary.

Pulse Club Anniversary - Twitter

Two years ago this day, a deranged gunman entered and shot and killed 49 people, wounding 53 others at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. These people are in our hearts and thoughts; we ought not afford their attacker the attention he sought. Yet, in this outburst of lethal hate, love prevails, just as it did at the nightclub. After all, in the name of a comic book anthology, “Love Is Love.” This book comes with a hearty recommendation.

In a thoughtful tribute, the New York Times today remembered the victims and survivors of this atrocity. Indeed, these are lives lost or forever changed. Shamor v’zakhor: observe and remember.

This year was different from last. Since then, there was the tragic Parkland shooting. Indeed, Marjory Stoneman Students were present, with a very important message to tell. A photo anthology from the Orlando weekly captured the moment. Yes, guns are the problem. or at lease a major part of it. An interactive graphic shows the number of shootings that have occurred in 5-, 10-, 15-mile radii from the Pulse nightclub since this day two years ago. there were 175 shootings within 5.2 miles , 199 shootings at 5.8 miles, 282 shootings at 7.5 miles, all the way up to 392 shootings at 15 miles. Across the nation, deaths by firearms – both shootings and suicides – that is 93 deaths on an average day.

The day after the tragedy, commentator and writer John Pavlovitz penned a beautiful, haunting poem on his blog. “The Forgotten Children Killed in the Pulse Shooting.”  The 49 victims were human beings, loved and treasured by their parents.

“Not statistics, not people groups, not causes or culture war symbols, not illustrations or examples or stereotypes or case studies.

Children.

Someone’s children.”

Or, in the words of Janusz Korczak, these adults who were once children, were:

“individuals who are people, not people-to-be, not people tomorrow, but people now, right now, today.”