“I have no face”, a tale of Ambulatory Coercion

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Above: Woman in chador overlooking the Bosphorus from the Topkapi Palace, Istanbul.  (Michel Botman Photography, June 2009)

The contrast between the dark clothing and the luminous landscape inspired a short piece about the Islamic veil.  (October 2009)

I have no face
No smile
No eyes
I have no body I am a dark shadow
Amongst dark shadows

I wear a jail over my head
Over my mind
Over my soul
I am nobody

I am a dark shadow
Amongst dark shadows

They talk about freedom
Where is my choice?
Where is my voice?
I live in a dark cage

I am a dark shadow
Amongst dark shadows

They talk about honour
About acid
And stones
I live in the dark ages

I am a dark shadow
Amongst dark shadows

I long for liberty
I long for new statutes
I long for rights
I long for light

I am a dark shadow
Amongst dark shadows

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Who is a Jew? Should Judaism recognize children of Jewish fathers as halachically Jewish?

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A recent study conducted at Germany’s University of Tubingen of three thousand year old DNA from Tutankhamun’s mummy identifies King Akhenaten as his genetic father and proves that Queen Nefertiti – King Akhenaten’s wife – was not his mother as was previously acknowledged.

National Geographic article

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Conversion catastrophe

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.Young Russian Jewish girls near Kikar Hamedina, Tel Aviv.  (Michel Botman Photography, 2007).

Reflections on Paul Lungen’s excellent article regarding Israeli Rabbi Michael Melchior’s warning that “Haredi Jews slamming the door on conversions that don’t comply with their own narrow unwelcoming approach is leading to a conversion catastrophe.”

CJN article.

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Happy Happy …

Nous avons passé les fêtes en famille à Fort Lauderdale. Pour le réveillon de nouvel an, nous avons fait un petit feu d’artifice dans le jardin de la maison de Rica et Aron.  C’est devenu une tradition familiale.  Ces dix dernières années, nous avons passé quasi tous nos réveillons en Floride, et à chaque fois nous achetons des feux d’artifices.  Ça fume, ça pique aux yeux, ça pue la fumée, ça fait un boucan du diable … les enfants adorent !



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Coureur de bois

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On January 28, 2010, I was invited to take the Oath of Citizenship in front of Judge Gill in Toronto. Lindy and Noah took the morning off in order to be present. It was quite a joyous and meaningful event – particularly for Noah, officially welcoming his dad in the community of “coureurs de bois”.

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Clothes for Haiti

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Four days after the massive January 12 earthquake that devastated Haiti, Lindy heard on CBC radio that a collection of clothes was being organized at the North York Civic center. We spoke about it together, and decided that we would try to collect clothes for the children of Haiti.  Noah was very enthusiastic about the perspective of getting involved and being able to help in a very concrete and positive way.

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Two hundred and fifty trees adopted during Noah’s Bar Mitzvah!

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Noah’s Bar Mitzvah, on November 12, 2009, was truly a wonderful and meaningful event filled with joy and profound emotions.  It was fantastic to have all our closest friends and family around us, and for Noah to have all his school friends and many of his teachers present.  Thank you all again for sharing this wonderful event with us!

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Noah’s Slide Show

Click on the link below to see a short sideshow played at the Pride of Israel on November 12, 2009, during Noah’s Bar Mitzvah.  Enjoy!  Noah’s Slide Show on You Tube

For best quality please select 720P at the bottom right instead of 360P.

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Michel’s few words at Noah’s Bar Mitzvah

Before I start my speech, let me start by telling you what I am not going to say today. Continue reading

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