Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Gloria Yousha
Scene Around 

Scene Around


Flying safely home (I hope)...

As you read this column (written the day before I am flying to Chicago), I will have already returned to Central Florida, expecting the high heat, although I was told that Chicagoans are feeling 80 plus degree weather these days.

(And I am needing to cool off a bit!)

I am also trying to recover from the heart-wrenching Memorial Day weekend that just passed.

This year (actually for the first time in my life) I felt the true meaning of the holiday... and I realized it's not supposed to be dedicated to barbecues and pool parties! (However, that's what is always planned.)

All my neighbors had American flags flying and when I went to raise ours, my spouse (a Korean War veteran) reminded me that it should fly at half-staff at least half the day. (I had forgotten and apparently so did many of my neighbors who kept asking me if our flag was at half-staff because we had a death in our family.)

I then remembered that Memorial Day was a tribute to our servicemen and women who were sent into harm's way, especially those who made the highest sacrifice for our freedom. (The barbecues and parties were fine as long as we remembered those sacrifices.)

In fact, my spouse and I attended a special patriotic ceremony at our local VFW Post where he is a long-time member. There was a barbecue planned there also... but not before a somber ceremony and prayers giving thanks to those who fought and sacrificed in all the wars this country has taken part in.

For much of the weekend, I watched the History Channel on television. They featured a special presentation, narrated by actor GARY SINISE, centered around the experiences of 12 service personnel from different branches, titled World War in HD (high definition). Much of the film was in color and very, very graphic, especially when the Nazi concentration camps were shown, with bones stacked high; morbid conditions suffered by our Jewish people and others; and unimaginable tortures. I cried. I'm sure those of you who saw it cried also.

I was then reminded about other special days when we should fly our beautiful American Flag:

Today, June 6th, D-Day, (the Normandy invasion during WWII); June 14th

Flag Day (which is my birthday. When I was little, I thought the flag was flying in my honor!); July 4th, (Independence Day): Patriot's Day (the attack on the U.S. on Sept. 11th) at half staff; Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October; Veteran's Day, Nov. 11th; Thanksgiving, 4th Thursday in November; Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7th at half-staff; New Year's Day; Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday, 3rd Monday in January; Lincoln's Birthday, Feb. 12th; and Washington's Birthday, 3rd Monday in February.

There are more days to officially fly our flag. Please consult the Internet and let's get Patriotic!

JFGO pays tribute...

The Jewish Federation's Mensch last week was as follows:

"On this Memorial Day Monday, we honor our Veterans as the Menschen of the Week. Jews were and still are an integral component in the defense and the maintenance of American security. From the battles of the Revolutionary War to the fields of Bosnia and now to Afghanistan and Iraq, Jews have proudly served in the Armed Forces of the United States.

We honor them for their bravery, dedication to our country and their overall Menschlekiet."

(As the proud wife and mother of Jewish men who served in Korea, the Persian Gulf, and Iraq, thank you to JFGO for their acknowledgement.)

A "red flag" warning...

I recently heard from BILL KAHN. The information he sent is certainly worth repeating:

"Here is a scam that is making the rounds in local area, and your readers should be aware of the 'Sob Story Scam.'

There are a number of variations to this story, but they basically have the same thread. You find yourself walking into a store that primarily attracts women shoppers. As you approach the door, you receive a compliment by a woman standing outside the store. She is poorly dressed, has messy hair, possibly wearing slippers. She looks out of place with the women who are going into the store.

After the compliment, she mentions she is waiting for someone to pick her up but they are late. At this point she has established some rapport with you, so you stop. She begins sobbing as she tells you her story of woes, her sickness, her grandkids sickness; she has no money for basic medical needs and so forth. She doesn't ask you for financial help, but pulls on your heart strings to the extent that you want to help out this poor woman.

What can I do to help, you ask yourself? Your inner self says to open your wallet and give her some money. However, with all of the 'Red Flags' you should walk away.

If you stay around long enough you'll see her drive away in a nice car. This type of story can play out in a number of ways and in a number of places. Men are also hit up but with a different twist.

(At least when someone is really begging for a handout, they are up front about it.)"

Another JFGO mensch...

Perhaps one of the youngest people called out for mention by the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando recently is JONAH GOLDBERG, and I must say, deservedly so:

"Jonah Goldberg is in 10th grade at Lake Mary Preparatory School and has made a big impact on the Greater Orlando Jewish community this year in his involvement with BBYO, Rebels AZA #442, and J-Serve.

Jonah was recently elected as the BBYO North Florida Regional S'gan, or vice president of Programming for a region covering Orlando, Tampa,

Sarasota and Naples. He will be working with Jewish teens throughout the region on chapter programming and implementing the Aleph Zadik Aleph's traditional five folds programming (social, athletic, Judaism, community service and education).

Jonah is the current Godol, or chapter president, for Rebels AZA.

Rebels recently won the prestigious Spirit award at Spring Regional Convention in April and brought home the Spirit Stick to the chapter.

Thank you Jonah for all that you do for our Jewish community!"

(Let me repeat that... Thank You, Jonah for all that you do!)

One for the road...

Jonah Goldberg

This column covered the subject of war and service men and women. So, this joke seems suitable since it is about a long ago war in history and Jews:

The time is the French Revolution.

Yossi lived in a small French village and one day, his friend Ari came to see him after returning from a trip to Paris.

Yossi asked Ari what was happening in Paris as he had heard a lot about the war and the fact that they were regularly using the guillotine.

"Yes, you heard right," said Ari. "Conditions there are as bad as can be. They are chopping off people's heads in the thousands."

To that news, Yossi moaned, "Oy Vay! Whatever will happen to my hat business?"

(Business is business, after all.)


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