Watching the star Sirius in early October

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 – Kansas City, USA

At 6:15 AM Daylight Time, I saw Sirius about two hand breadths above the horizon, just a bit east of due south. This was about one hour and ten minutes before local sunrise.

The constellation Orion was correspondingly just a bit west of due south.

Compare this with my earliest sighting this year on August 21st. Then, Sirius rose only a short time before sunrise.

More importantly, Sirius was then roughly 20 degrees ahead of the sun. Today, Sirius was about 80 degrees ahead of the sun.

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City Planning in Jerusalem

Urban planning in the Municipality of Jerusalem could call itself “Terrestrial Jerusalem” based on a long-standing phrase from the Jewish tradition. Try pronouncing “Yerushalayim de’le’Tata” – yeh roo shah LIE yim dĕ lĕ TAH tah.

The literal translation of this Aramaic phrase is “Jerusalem of Below.”

Jerusalem Below
Jerusalem Below

We humans try to develop the earthly Jerusalem consistent with the values of the Divine Jerusalem – Jerusalem of Above.

So what constitutes the Jerusalem of Above?

Patience, my friend.


I feel justified in having stolen the original logo from a disreputable organization. I made significant changes such as rewriting a Hebrew language title with this traditional one in Aramaic.

What looks like Arabic script is nonsense. I scrambled the original Arabic title into figures that are not Arabic letters. This line of figures represents the character of a holy Jerusalem that illuminates the entire world.

Dogs – Barkers and Neighbors

The ‘barkers’ never get the idea that I’m a friendly neighbor.

Mostly, my neighbors’ dogs have gotten used to my presence. In one case, for instance, I lived in an apartment where I shared a landing with a neighbor. I had to pass her door every time that I entered and left my apartment.

I wasn’t surprised that her dog barked as I climbed the stairway up to the landing when she first moved in.

Soon enough, though, this dog recognized my footfalls, not to mention my smell. It would still run to the door to check out what was going on, but it didn’t bark.

If this dog had had any doubt whether I was friend or foe, I greeted my neighbor with a friendly “Hi” and a friendly face.

Contrast this with a ‘barker’. The driveway of the family home abutted our neighbor’s driveway. Nearby, starting at the end of the driveway, my new neighbor had three dogs. (That’s a story by itself.)

I hadn’t yet learned the lesson of this post – that some dogs never stop greeting a neighbor with barking.

I had some friendly conversations with my new neighbor, visible to the dogs. In order to stop the barking, I naively asked my neighbor if she minded whether I bring over some dog biscuit crumbs to share with the dogs through their chain link fence. She told me that it was fine.

The dogs got used to the idea that I might have some biscuits. Two of them were well trained. They eagerly sat down. Sometimes, I gave them nothing, though; sometimes some biscuit crumbs. Regardless they didn’t bark.

The ‘barker’ never stopped barking – whether I fed him or not. He was actually so high-strung that try as he would, he couldn’t really sit. He’d lower his rear end, and then up it would pop.

Where I live now, I pass a neighbor’s doorway on my way to a laundry room. His/her ‘barker’ still won’t stop barking at me. At times, this dog even barks when hearing the building’s front door open.

It looks like I have a ‘barker’ as a non-neighbor.

Return Envelopes

Until recently, return envelopes in bills,* for instance, have been inserted in mailings with the flaps turned forward.

Not an especially big deal.

I take out a bill and want to replace it in the mailing that I received, but the flap gets in the way.

This should be the worse thing that ever happens to anyone!

Then all of a sudden, I received a few bills from the same businesses, and the return envelope has been inserted turned around in a sensible way.

What happened?

Is the Vast Eternal Plan changing?


  • bills in the mail – Why not? I often pay them electronically, but I like the offline paper copy. Among other things, the paper copies remind me to enter the electronic debits into the register of my checking account. If I were a rich man, perhaps I wouldn’t bother to balance my checkbook.
  • Actually, I am a “rich man.” My riches include children and grandchildren who live practically around the corner, good health (for my age, having reached the milestone of 64 years old as I write this), and on and on.

A dialogue line that could have been

In Plain Sight – TV Series (2008–2012)

In an early episode – perhaps even in the pilot – U.S. Marshall Mary Shannon wants to relax next to her pool. She has tried to leave behind her boorish, hick background, but her mooching mother and sister have run away from a jammed-up situation to stay with her “awhile.”

Mary tries to be the adult in a relationship with a mother who has never grown up. Mary’s negotiating with Jinx (her mother) develops into a noisy squabble.

Jinx realizes that neighbors might hear their raised voices, and their poor behavior may reflect badly on them.

“Shhh.” Jinx tries to lower the noise level – which is really her own noise level.

“People will think that we’re trailer trash,” Jinx squawks.

Mary’s rejoinder is lame. The writers were having a bad day. (I have forgotten what the response was.)

Mary’s telling response could have been, “But Mom, we are trailer trash.”

What is a Jew?

A Jew is a member of G-d’s Covenant from Mount Sinai.

We don’t have a single culture. Jews around the world often live more like their neighbors than like Jews elsewhere.

We have a religion, but that’s not the entirety of being Jewish. Some Jews are not religious — or say that they’re not.

Some of our rituals are not from the Covenant. We’ve developed some customs and adapted some.

We are a traditional peoplehood but of several tribes and clans. However, this peoplehood is formed by the Covenant.

No Covenant, no Jews. No Jews no Covenant.