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Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows and the Kabbalah


Nina Amir talks about Harry Pottter and The Deathly Hallows and  Kabbalah – Jewish themes.

New Harry Potter trailer features Jewish mystical themes

July 5, 3:11 PMJewish Issues Examiner

… having something to live for, which Harry professes to have, could be seen as a spiritual, if not just a Jewish theme, as well. The Kabbalah Centre claims a person can achieve immortality via Kabbalah; Voldemort claims he is the one who can live forever. Maybe his is a Kabbalist of the dark sort–the kind we are warned against?

I suggest Jews [and others] go see the Harry Potter movie, or rent the old ones (or read the books) and look for bits and pieces of Jewish mysticism. You might be surprised at what you find.

Read the full article at:  http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7363-Jewish-Issues-Examiner~y2010m7d5-New-Harry-Potter-trailer-features-Jewish-mystical-themes?cid=publish_facebook%3A7363

Watch the trailer:

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Freedom of the artist.


“There are only two kinds of freedom in the world; the freedom of the rich and powerful, and the freedom of the artist and the monk who renounces possessions.”
—Anais Nin

I don’t seem to be able to acquire the former any more and I don’t want to be the last one, so I think I need to concentrate on the one in the middle. The artist. This includes not only a painter, or sculptor , etc. but a writer, a composer, etc.  A creator.  If artists gets rich, they are are often looked down on as commercial. And their power is not usually – at least universally -recognized until after their death. But the title does come with a certain amount of freedom.

Space photo for July 5. Japanese Kibo complex of the International Space Station


Backdropped by Earth’s horizon and the blackness of space, the Japanese Kibo complex of the International Space Station was snapped by a NASA Expedition 23 crew member while the space shuttle Atlantis was docked with the station in May.  NASA/AP

http://www.csmonitor.com/CSM-Photo-Galleries/In-Pictures/Space-Photos-of-the-Day/Space-photos-of-the-day-07-02/%28photo%29/4

Writing Forum from Longridge Writers Group.


I subscribe to a free newsletter for writers from. Longridge Writers Group.  One of the regular items is a forum/advice from Donna Ippolito and her answer of the week.

This week it was  – Is it usual for writing to get harder?
Thank you Donna.

See (and subscribe 🙂  ) to the newsletter at http://www.thelongridgewritersgroup.com/T6020/rx/wc13/webletter_070510.shtml

Donna writes: “It’s a heady experience to pour out a first draft, yet the real art of writing is in the rewrite. Some people hate revising because they’re looking for perfection rather than seeing writing as a process. In the first stage, you write at white heat and without judgment. No matter how imperfect, however, this draft represents a heroic victory over the tyranny of the blank page.

Now you can shape and sculpt that nice, juicy pile of writing without having to worry about inspiration. In this phase, you rely on craft. Perhaps you’ll take Chekhov’s advice and routinely throw out the first three pages. You’ll study your own characters and their behavior, getting to know them even better. You’ll read your words out loud. You’ll ask whether this or that page of action, dialogue, or rumination truly advances the plot, reveals character, heightens the drama. You’ll look at verbs to see if you’ve chosen the strongest ones. You’ll cut all the fancy words, eliminate all the useless adjectives and adverbs.

By the time you’re done, the finished piece will read as though you did write it in a single, inspired burst even if it took two, five, eight, or even twenty drafts to get it that way. In the process, you’ll have to sacrifice some beloved phrases, sentences, passages, scenes, chapters, or even sections, but they aren’t lost forever. Keep the ones you love best in a file or a box or a drawer where you can retrieve them. Some choice image, description, or dialogue that you cut from this story might be perfect for another later on. As Anaïs Nin reminds us, nothing is lost but it changes.”

Space shuttle Discovery launched on the 4th of July, 2010.


Launched on the Fourth of July Launched on the Fourth of July

Space shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew launched at 2:38 p.m. EDT on July 4, 2006 to begin their journey to the International Space Station during the STS-121 mission. The shuttle made history as it was the first human-occupied spacecraft to launch on Independence Day. During the 12-day mission, the crew tested new equipment and procedures that increase the safety of the orbiters. It also performed maintenance on the space station and delivered supplies, equipment and a new Expedition 13 crewmember to the station. This mission carried on analysis of safety improvements that debuted on the Return to Flight mission, STS-114, and built upon those tests.

Image Credit: NASA

Musician born July 5th. Janos Starker. Cellist.


Have you figured out by now that I like cellists? Here’s another one.

Janos Starker was born [July 5, 1924] in Budapest to a father of Polish descent and a mother who had immigrated from Ukraine. His two older brothers were violinists, and the young János (named for the hospital in which he was born) was given a cello before his sixth birthday. A child prodigy, Starker made his first public performances at ages six and seven. He entered the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest to study with Adolf Schiffer and made his debut there at age 11. Starker began teaching other children at age eight, and by the time he was 12 he had five pupils. Starker counts among his strongest influences Leo Weiner, a composer who taught chamber music. Zoltán Kodály, Béla Bartók and Ernő Dohnányi were also members of the Liszt Academy faculty.

Starker emigrated to the United States in 1948 to become principal cellist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under Antal Doráti. In 1949 he moved to New York to become principal cellist of the Metropolitan Opera under Fritz Reiner.

In 1951, he became a founding member of the Suk Trio with Josef Suk and Julius Katchen.

In 1952, Starker became principal cellist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra when Fritz Reiner became the music director. In 1958, Starker moved to Indiana University and resumed his solo career, giving hundreds of concerts on every continent.

Since 2001, Starker has limited his activities to teaching, master classes and occasional performances with his long time partner, the pianist Shigeo Neriki, and his son-in-law, daughter and granddaughter, violinists William, Gwen, and Alexandra Preucil. He still actively teaches and views teaching as his responsibility to the next generation of cellists.

Read more