Diamonds from the sky

Diamonds from the sky. Unexpected hail storm in Harare. (Michel Botman Photography, Zimbabwe, 2011)

Going back to Zimbabwe, the land of so much love and so many dreams, after such a long absence, had filled us with both anticipation and enthusiasm as well as with some gut wrenching apprehension – not unlike going back to visit a long lost relative that one loved dearly but knew to be in poor health and frail condition.

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Passing on my blue genes and watery dreams

Michel and Jules, Cannes, French Riviera, 1975.

To Noah, with love, always …

Life is passing by – fast and furious, like a torrent fed by the eternal snows of the Kilimanjaro.

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Berlusconi on Middle Eastern subjects

Ruby (aka Karima El Mahroug) in an undated photograph (thx to our friends at Google Images)

Who knew that Berlusconi was inclined to spend that much time on Middle Eastern subjects?
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Canada … Obama … Osama …

A proud admirer ( Michel Botman Photography, Ottawa, March 2010)

Canada just experienced a radical shift to the left of the chessboard.  Yet by some ironical twist of sense, our conservative Prime Minister, the honorable and musically inclined Stephen Harper, got reelected with a perfidious majority … “with a little help from my (Quebec) friends”, he was heard singing jovially the next day …

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Spider?

Gorky Park

Russian immigrants exercising in "Gorky Park" (Michel Botman Photography, 2006)

A (true) story, in honor of India and all our friends from that wonderful place.

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Angel in the snow

Angel in the snow (Michel Botman Photography)

Last weekend, Noah and I walked back from Rabbi Goorman’s house after his Purim sleepover.  While crossing the ravine, just after the small bridge, I spotted a young sprout shooting off the ground on the side of the path.  It was maybe 5 centimeters tall – at most – but of an incredibly bright tender green, contrasting sharply with the frozen mud and dark snow around it.

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Time for Men’s Day?

Noah in tuxedo

Noah in tuxedo (Michel Botman Photography, 2007)

The situation of women in North America and Europe no longer bears much similarity to the situation of women in the rest of the world – particularly in Africa, Asia and Muslim societies by and large.

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A sad day for women

South Luangua, Zambia. (Michel Botman Photography 1994)

How can one still take UN decisions seriously?

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Grow up, North America!

Grow up North America!

National Post, April 2, 2009

Canadian nudity laws may be in need of an update
A reflection on an article by By: Daniela Syrovy

A couple of years ago, I wrote to the National Post a letter regarding the excessively prudish and stuffy attitude of many North Americans towards nudity and particularly towards “family change rooms” in public swimming pools.  An extract of my letter was published in the National Post of April 2, 2009 (above).

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Judgment Day

Judgment Day

Judgment Day, St Augustine. (Michel Botman Photography, Dec. 31, 2010)

Between Christmas and New Year, I drove up the coast from Fort Lauderdale to St Augustine.

I arrived in St Augustine on New Year’s eve.  The sun was low, the shadows long like the night ahead. I saw a head to toe black and white preacher at the corner of St George and Cathedral, built like a redeemed heavy-weight, giving pamphlets away to anyone passing by. I took a photograph, quickly, instinctively as always. He looked at me over his shoulder and handed me one.

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Evening walk to St Augustine

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To be or not to be Jewish? The future of Judaism without shades

The Nuremberg law of genetic "Jewishness"

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.Above: The Nuremberg law of genetic “Jewishness”

Rabbi Farber : “Sixty per cent of North American Jews would not be able to break the threshold of proving they’re Jews”

Reflection on Paul Lungen’s article “Israeli Rabbi to discuss conversion issues”. Canadian Jewish News, November 11, 2010.

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From Paradise to Persecution: Laura’s Story

Sephardi Synagogue, Jewish quarter, Rodos. (Michel Botman Photography July 2009)

The story of Laura Codron by Noah Botman, June 2010.

There are few places on earth more beautiful than the island of Rhodes. This sacred island of the Greek god Helios is overflowing in ancient sights and bathed in glorious sunlight. The serene feeling of the warm Mediterranean on your feet and the vibrant cloak of colours surrounding you add every aspect of bliss to this island Shangri-La. For over 400 years a Jewish community thrived here. On July 19th 1944, 1900 Jews were deported to Auschwitz. Among them was a 17 year old girl named Laura Codron.

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Walk with Israel

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Above: Noah; leaving Ontario Place

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Not a yellow polka dot bikini …

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.Above: “Stop the oppression of women in the Islamic World”

International Society for Human Rights (ISHR)

A few months ago I wrote a letter to CBC host Matt Galloway regarding his interview of Farzana Hassan, communications director for the Muslim Canadian Congress.My letter addressed a slightly naive remark made by Matt Galloway during the interview, claiming that wearing a burka should simply be considered “a free personal choice”.  Below are a few extracts from that letter offering a perspective on the burka controversy. In its urgency, the debate against the burka, niqab and other full-body coverings imposed by Islamic Orthodoxy is specifically about denouncing women’s freedom of choice being repressed, not only in traditional orthodox Muslim countries, but also in the heart of moderate Muslim societies or even within non-Muslim nations.

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