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Von Cello 

Post No. 2678
05/24/2009 08:02 PM
  
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What me suffer?

You have a good point. I agree that too much of Judaism is about remembering how we suffered. Someone once said that every Jewish holiday can be summed up with this:

The tried to kill us. We survived. Let's eat!

I think it is important to remember the Holocaust and the pogroms and expulsions in Europe but that should not be all that Judaism is about. It should also be about our successes, like being able to get back to our original country Israel. Like being able to achieve decent lives in America, etc.

I have pointed out to people that the reform oriented Jews have taken away many of the joyous practices of Judaism and emphasized the sad parts. For instance, Reform and Conservative shuls are packed on Yom Kippur, a day when we think about our sins and ask for forgiveness. But on a joyous holiday like Sukkos attendance is much lower. Also many reform oriented Jews do not put up a sukkah and eat outside during the holiday. That is a really fun, cool, thing to do and it is really unique. Christians and Muslims don't have an outdoor kind of holiday where they eat for a week in a tent. Chasidic Jews also dance in the street during this time and have bands and parties. But the reform stay home and watch TV like any other night. Maybe even watching a Holocaust movie and getting depressed.

It's time for Jews to stand upright again and shed the worn out skin of the Holocaust survivor. But at the same time we must never forget.
canarsie 

Post No. 2677
05/22/2009 05:13 PM
  
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scott goldberg in california 2040 talking to his grankids about the old country....
yes my children i remember when young we lived in the ghetto canarsie,we were forced into the camps..surprise lake camp,camp vakemus and the brook summer camp.we hid our jewish stars under our 200 dollar parka winter coats from macys.we were refused entrance while the others were allowed in,to yale harvard westpoint.They threw stones at us as we left our school, sorry, they were throwing snowballs at us.The police stopped us at every corner (it was 3 oclock and they were crossing guards).The uniformed men drove slowly down our blocks everyday to watch us and get us..to buy ice cream from their trucks.
o yes my children the old country and how we suffered..and those ovens.every day we went to the ovens,in the pizzarias on flatlands to eat great slices.

i guess im saying why cant we tell our kids about OUR old country .It was great.I know we are connected to your bubbys experience,the holocaust etc but also to our good lives.why must we accentusate our past of suffering and it was alot.
Von Cello 

Post No. 2676
05/22/2009 09:28 AM
  
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The Bad Old Days

Don't worry Canarsie, the Jews of today can tell their grandkids about the Palestinian suicide bombers who blew up school buses, pizza stores, and discos. They'll also be able to talk about the anti-Semitism in France and other places. How about that Ahmadinijad and his threats to blow Israel off the map. Oh, and let's not forget the terror plot just this week exposed in the U.S. of 4 Muslims who wanted to blow up some synagogues in the Bronx. No, Canarsie, I'm sorry to say there will be plenty of stories to tell.
canarsie 

Post No. 2675
05/22/2009 08:00 AM
  
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band (of jews) on the run

jews will now have to live without any more run away stories to tell our grandkids. no more tear jerkers about rocks thrown at jews by nonjews fearing no response.jews are out of stories about kings and governments forbidding jews to buy land,.jews no longer can enjoy the post birthday party chats when granma tells the kids about leaving the ghetto in fear.
All Because of Israel.. Damn Israel. Israel has taken from the jews their favorite story telling stuff,their best head nodding tales which brought together the lil ones,bonded them as jews. jews have to find something else to tell about..Maybe when grandma was rejected badly and had to runwhen she was outed by Harvard University and had to go to nyu..back in the old days of 2009.
Von Cello 

Post No. 2674
05/21/2009 08:54 PM
  
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Europe at its Finest!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TUWI9U2CLo&feature=related

Delightful!
Von Cello 

Post No. 2673
05/21/2009 08:46 PM
  
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Fleeing Europe

Well, let's see, at my Bar Mitzvah Sarah must have been around 90, which means she came to New York about 78 years earlier, so:

1971
- 78
______
1893

Wow! Hard to believe now in the 2000's that when I was a kid I had a living link to the pogroms of Poland in the late 1800's!
LN_Cello 

Post No. 2672
05/21/2009 07:29 PM
  
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Europe - then and now ...

Whaw, what a testimony from the people who lived to see it ... and flee it in time. What was the year your great-grandma left Europe, Aaron - somewhere late 1890's, early 1900's?

Canarsie, I just read an article about a young Dutch photographer, who was born in Odessa and left as a 6-year-old (18 years ago). Her parents felt they couldnot live there as a Jewish family with a small child.
Von Cello 

Post No. 2671
05/21/2009 11:36 AM
  
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Europe

That's interesting. Boopsie Sarah told us stories about how the Poles would grab a Jew off the street and tie him upside down to an ox cart and drag him through the streets with his head getting scrapped on the pavement. She would hear the screams from her house. That is why her parents sent her to the U.S. alone at the age of 12! She talked about how scared she was on the boat and how when she got off she knew no one. It must have been terrifying. I also had a neighbor from Poland who told me how the Poles would kick him in the balls and laugh as he fell to the floor. He later ended up in a concentration camp but survived. His hatred of them was palpable.

Due to these stories and what I learned about the Holocaust and what led up to it, I always had mixed feelings about Europe. Yes, they produced Beethoven and Da Vinci, but also Queen Isabel and Hitler. When I went to Europe, especially in Italy, I kept seeing graffiti of swastikas. It got me sick. When I was in England I was reading plaques by the Tower of London and stood in shock as I read one about how the English expelled all the Jews. (I always thought of England as my motherland. Big mistake.)

So I could not imagine, after what my great great grandmother went through to come here, to turn around and go back to Europe. But, I guess if my life circumstances brought me there I would adjust. You can't hold onto anger generation after generation.

I've read the opinion of some that the influx of Muslims into Europe is kind of a karmic payback for what they did to the Jews. Who knows. All I know is I'm glad Sarah got to have that moment where she stood all dressed up with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, all successful and living in peace.
canarsie 

Post No. 2670
05/21/2009 05:53 AM
  
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4 generations! wow..my mom was born in odessa ,until 5 she lived there.
and now i am actually the one who came to THESE shores in spain,i hope my great great great remembers me too.
Von Cello 

Post No. 2669
05/19/2009 11:50 AM
  
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Great Grandma aka Bopsie Sarah

My great grandmother, who we used to call Boopsie for some reason was a very kind lady. Whenever we would go to her house for a visit at some point all the children would assemble around her (usually she'd be in bed) and she would tell us the story of how she came to America from Poland. The Jews were persecuted there so her parents sent her to the U.S. when she was 12. She worked in a sweat shop for very long hours only to make a few cents a day. But she worked hard and eventually married and had four children, on of which was my grandfather who lived with us in the downstairs apartment. It was amazing that I actually knew one of the family members who first brought our family to these shores! Some of my family had been here a few generations before she came. And a few came after her. She made little dogs out of knitting and used to make bottle covers and such. She baked a little bread when I was born. We kept it in the bread box. It lasted until I was 16 years old which is amazing. We used to call it my brother. She died shortly before the bread died. Maybe it was only meant to last while she was alive.

[Twilight Zone music}

That's about all I remember. She used to sing some Yiddish songs while I played guitar. And of course she was there at my Bar Mitzvah! We took a 4 generation picture with me, my parents, my grandparents, and her!

"Those were the days my friend ..."
Von Cello 

Post No. 2668
05/18/2009 04:55 PM
  
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Dead Cello Lives!

We interrupt this webpage to bring you this important bulletin: Due to the illness of the cellist who was supposed to play at tonight's meeting of the NY Violoncello Society, Jeffrey Solow will be performing -

Dead Cello by Aaron Minsky!

canarsie 

Post No. 2667
05/18/2009 03:52 PM
  
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darvin

never knew darvin was pregnant.i recall that snowy day.and your great grandma.if you have pics ,id love to see them elsewqhere or here.
TJ 

Post No. 2666
05/18/2009 12:45 PM
  
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Sandy Binder was leader of Glee Club. She was a tough cookie. I give Mr. Mendelson a lot of credit for being so laid back during all the screaming.
Von Cello 

Post No. 2665
05/16/2009 04:26 PM
  
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Map Year

I forgot that we were in the same class that year! We had three teachers because I think we were supposed to be Darvin's class and she went out on maternity leave. That still happens in public schools. It is a good career for women who want to have children because they can leave for 6 months and get back in. First we had Jacoby but I think she was older and was only doing it until they found a longer term sub. I forget who was next. Isn't that weird? Then I think Darvin came back at the end of the year. I had her again in 6th grade. She was kind of humorless as I recall. I remember Sandy Binder as being the slicker teacher who kids were more excited about. But my memory isn't that clear from that time. Yet I can see a few things in my mind's eye now that I'm thinking about it.

My Bar Mitzvah service was at Temple Sinai in Lawrence, NY. The party was at a catering hall called the Carlyle. We picked a place that no one else did to make it different. It was a big event in my life at that time. I remember it snowed heavily that night. I made a speech and said something about how we all may be spending the night there and everyone laughed. I remember a food fight developed on the dais table that got me upset. I remember one of our neighbors, a girl probably in her early 20's who I never saw dressed up before. She had a low cut dress and long, long nails. I guess that was considered classy in Brooklyn in the seventies. I think the band let me play a number with them on guitar. Maybe "Proud Mary"? I remember the candle lighting. The bands used to play jazzy riffs as people came up. Today they often have DJs who play rock, etc.

I just went to my niece's Bat Mitzvah about a week ago. Things haven't changed all that much. Now they have DJ's and dancers. It's really loud and hard for the adults to talk. But I think it still makes memories for the kids that they hopefully will cherish.
canarsie 

Post No. 2664
05/15/2009 12:52 AM
  
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i was indeed at your bm..your great gramma was there too?
it was in a theatre or someplace not like leanords of greatneck..
ill try to get the pic 4 u.

i recall 3 teachers but why ? i dont kno why they kept changing..it was map year too as darvin taught maps every day.
Von Cello 

Post No. 2663
05/14/2009 07:48 AM
  
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4-6

How cool! I forgot about that. If you have a class picture I'd love to see it. That was the year we had 3 teachers. I remember we had Jacoby and Darvin. I had Darvin again in 6th grade. But I forget who the other teacher was. Do you remember?

I think you were at my Bar Mitzvah. I forget all who were there but I think others included Marc Lufshis, Kenny Upart, Jerry Charif, Wayne Forman...
canarsie 

Post No. 2662
05/13/2009 03:47 PM
  
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disunion

you were in my class too. 4-6
i see the pic here in fb...darvin..
Von Cello 

Post No. 2661
05/13/2009 09:04 AM
  
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Debbie Nemeth

If I'm not mistaken I think she was the first girl I ever kissed. That was about it. We were in 4th grade after all!

As for the reunion, I wouldn't go unless I had a friend or two to go with. I had some friends in Bildersee but probably they are not going. Most of the people would be folks I had nothing to do with, or people you might want to keep away from anyway. That was a weird time and a weird place. I don't know if I really want to go back and revisit it. High school and college reunions make more sense.

"If all you got to live for is what you left behind, get yourself a powder charge and seal that silver mine." - Grateful Dead
canarsie 

Post No. 2660
05/12/2009 03:14 AM
  
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debbie nemeth ring a bell?

in face book shes there and recalled you.
as for reunion i wouldnt go unless you got pple there you want to spend 75 bucks talking with.i mean you can contact friends anyway in fb and get together anytime. this thing a big getogether..alot of moving about..
Von Cello 

Post No. 2659
05/11/2009 07:50 AM
  
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Church of Bob

I guess you must have heard of the Church of Bob. It is a group of people who worship Bob. They actually have services and replace the word God with Bob. It's funny, but I can't imagine actually spending Sunday morning doing that. But I guess it would be fun to do once.

Glad mom is hanging in there.

If you are actually going to the reunion maybe I should go too. Who is going? What's it cost? And can we tell the DJ not to play disco music?
canarsie 

Post No. 2658
05/10/2009 03:41 AM
  
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reunions


well its almost summer anyway and we are off to moms in flo all summer. seems she refuses to kick that bucket..thank bob!!

shes got a nurse livin with her and this summer we 4 will add company.

yes i am attending the bildersee reunion at el caribe brooklyn in july. ill fly up the day from flo and camp out that night at sisters in stat island.

reading all your posts and your vids on youtube
Von Cello 

Post No. 2657
05/07/2009 09:31 AM
  
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Rockland Jewish Reporter - Q&A section

Aaron Minsky, aka Von Cello, gets interviewed by the Rockland Jewish Reporter in the May issue. You can read it here:

http://www.jewishrockland.org/page.aspx?id=198762

I discuss the Von Cello Band and my book Beyond Faith. I also talk about life in the Hudson Valley.
Von Cello 

Post No. 2656
05/06/2009 07:43 PM
  
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Meanwhile, back on the bayou...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V98p-qrbK1c&feature=related

Doesn't get cooler than that!
Von Cello 

Post No. 2655
05/05/2009 05:06 PM
  
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The Grateful Dead Revival Show

Someone shot some footage of Von Cello playing along with the band at the Grateful Dead Revival Show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEeWbeLMWX4&feature=channel_page

There's a long cello - violin duet at the end of the clip.
Von Cello 

Post No. 2654
05/03/2009 11:48 PM
  
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Hello Hong Kong!

Look who just subscribed to my videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_drcRMXwkY&feature=channel_page

He must have seen this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_ngvQEd_eA


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