Daily Archives: February 24, 2010

WE HAVE A DATE!!! (Immigration Update #654)

I hold in my hot little hands a love letter from the USA Consulate in Montreal. Well, it’s a bit impersonal, but it’s asking me to show up and visit, and to bring the kids!!

We have our appointment in April (of this year) which is further away than we had imagined, but still at least we have something scheduled. It means that we may be free to move by the end of April. There are a lot of decisions to be made, weighing up the pros and cons and everyone’s best interests.

Apparently the interview is the final stage, and that’s when they decide whether or not to let us into the country. It’s really a formality from what I understand.

So I have two months to make sure I have all the paperwork together (that I had ready 6 months ago!!), take more passport pictures, and make some decisions about a moving date. (But technically we are not supposed to take any steps whatsoever to sell houses or end leases or give up jobs, until we possess the visas.)

I have been sitting on this news until the KoD and I could inform the kids together, which we did tonight. I have to say the whole thing has been rather anti-climactic at this point. The kids were excited but seeing as we still don’t have a final moving date it’s hard for them to conceptualize. We just want to be there already. By the time of our appointment it will have been 14 months since we got married. 14 months of waiting. 14 months of limbo. It’s soon over though. Yippee!!

But we are looking at the positive – we have a date, we have an idea of timing and we can start to move forward and plan for happily ever after in Monsey.

Just wanted to let you all know.

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Circumcision – bodily harm?

In furtherance of our discussion the other day about circumcisions, I came across this news article today in VosIzNeias :

Helsinki, Finland – A couple who had a British rabbi circumcise their baby boy has been found guilty of conspiracy to commit bodily harm by the Helsinki District Court. The court ordered the parents to pay their child 1,500 euros for pain and suffering.

The court ruled that the procedure met the characteristics of bodily harm as the baby was circumcised without an anasthestic. Furthermore, the rabbi who performed the circumcision is not licensed to practice medicine in Finland.

The prosecutor had sought to convict the couple on grievous bodily harm charges or the conspiracy to commit such harm. The court, however, dropped the charge to conspiracy because the parents did not themselves perform the circumcision.

The rabbi circumcised the week-old boy at Helsinki’s Jewish Community Centre last spring. The baby was later rushed to hospital because of excessive bleeding.

Expert witnesses testified that circumcision complications are very rare. That said, the court ruled that neither the rabbi nor the parents can be perceived as having willfully caused the problems that arose after the operation.

Finland’s Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that male circumcision carried out for religious and social reasons and in a medical manner does not constitute a criminal offence. At the time it pointed out that the circumcision of Muslim boys is an established tradition and an integral part of the identity of Muslim men.

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Miriam’s Cup

A twitter buddy of mine was clicking through Eichlers.com and came across this – a cup for the Passover Seder that initially looks like Elijah’s cup, but on further inspection it is actually a “Miriam’s Cup”. The site has one Elijah’s Cup for sale, but three different Miriam’s Cups. (*please note, since this post was put up Eichler’s has clarified that the three Miriam’s Cups vs one Elijah’s Cup is only in this specific “Emanuel” collection. For more Elijah’s and Miriam’s Cups go here)

I had never heard of Miriam’s Cup at the seder before and I set out to find out what it means, is it feminist, conservative, reform, or modern orthodox?

I came across this website (not sure which brand of Judaism the writer is from) which I think takes it a little to the extreme – what with dancing at the seder with tambourines and all. (Also there is a section for the feminization of some brachot….) But I do like that it encourages the celebration of women in our history. The cup is apparently filled with water, not wine, based on the Legend of Miriam’s Well and is not meant to replace Elijah’s cup during the seder. From what I understand the whole point of it is that women in our history, according to this website, have not been acknowledged enough – “their stories have been too sparingly told”. The whole Miriam’s cup idea started out as a Shabbat ritual and evolved to have a place at the seder.

I am still researching. I have to say there are parts of this that really sound interesting and different, and parts that just will not gel with our celebration of Passover. From the reading I have done so far it seems a liberal tradition. Perhaps if I would ever have a women only Seder I would include Miriam’s Cup. But then again, isn’t the seder long enough without it?

I have to read more – just read (on the same site) about some people putting an orange on the seder plate as a gesture of solidarity with Jewish lesbians and gays and others marginalized within the Jewish community…..An orange?!!

Please let me know your thoughts on Miriam’s Cup, if you know anything more, have been to a seder where there has been one, would you include it in your seder, and as usual, your thoughts on this subject.

PS I am a little surprised that Eichler’s carries them, in my mind they are a RW Orthodox store, but I guess they have to cater to everyone.  But it’s a pleasant surprise nonetheless.

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Wednesday’s Wacky Signs

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