Am Yisrael

The Big Birthday!

Bangkok

Thailand

September 20, 2015  

Hello,

My Birthday weekend has come to an end.  It was a quiet day today after two wonderful events.  

On Friday night, my actual Birthday, September 18, I decided to attend synagogue Sabbath services where I gave a brief talk appropriate for the day and the location.  

On Satuday night, I had a typical birthay party with both old friends and new friends.  We enjoyed a variety of Thai food dishes and two birthday cakes: fruit cake and mocha layer cake.  

Of course, I gave a short speech and thanked my friends for celebrating with me. (Photos attached.)

And thank you all for your birthday wishes from around the world.

Below is the text of my remarks at Synagogue.

Be well,

Jan

.....................................................................................

Temple Beth Elisheva

Bangkok, Thailand

September 18, 2015

Friday

My Dear Family.  My Dear Friends,

Shabbat Shalom.

I am Jan Robert Polatschek.     I live here in Bangkok.   I am a member of the congregation Temple Beth Elisheva.

Today, September 18 is a special day for me.

On this very day in New Rochelle, New York, Ruth Rebeka Lifson Polatschek and Otto Siegfried Polatschek became the proud parents of a six pound eight ounce baby boy.  The date on the Hebrew calendar was 15 Elul.

The Pilgrimage Part III - The Ride

The Pilgrimage

Part III – The Ride

On my escape from the boisterous city streets of Santa Fe, I miss only one turn but I quickly right my way and drive north on Highway 11.   After Highway 11,the route is west on Highway 70 towards Esperanza.  I am ever hopeful for a pleasant day.

I am driving an unfamiliar standard shift vehicle on an unfamiliar busy road.  And what if my Spanish is inadequate in case of who knows what?   Still, I anticipate a trouble-free pilgrimage to Moisés Ville.

On the outskirts of Santa Fe on Highway 11, I encounter a honking congestion of vans, panel trucks, tractor trailers, construction vehicles, cabs, cars and local buses that all maneuver for an advantage on the less than adequate route.  I recall the outbound artery in New York City called the Boston Post Road in the Bronx with clothing stores, small markets, and an unending gamut of gas stations, vehicle repair stalls, used tire shops and a car wash or two.

It’s a short distance on my map from Santa Fe to the turnoff to Route 70, but on the ground, will I ever break free from this ugly traffic? 

The Pilgrimage Part IV - Moisés Ville

The Pilgrimage

Part IV – The Destination - Moisés Ville  

 

As they approached Jerusalem, the Seven Hills were clearly visible to the ancient pilgrims.  And from afar, the towers of the Canterbury Cathedral surely beckoned to the medieval faithful.   But out here on the plains of Santa Fe, no landmark guides this determined traveler.  No signs.  No mile stones.  In the midst of vast fields, nothing at all rises on the horizon from any direction.

Tbilisi: An Accident?

Tbilisi

Georgia

October 1, 2012

Monday 

Dear Rabbi Kantor, 

cc: Family and Friends

What happened today, was it an accident?

After yesterday's tiring journey from Bangkok to Tbilisi, after a late breakfast today, after several telephone conversations with two hotels, after a period of indecision and finally a decision, after waiting for an appointment who never showed up, finally, at about 11:30 in the morning, I began my stroll in Tbilisi.

Mysterious Jewish Cemetery

Yeghegnadzor

Republic of Armenia

October 19, 201 

Dear Family and Friends, 

 My grandfather, Herman Poláček, had a dry and sometimes biting sense of humor.   Yet, he always delivered his remarks with a twinkle in his eye and a broad, devilish grin that spread from ear to ear across his round Slavic face.

When my Grandmother poured him a cup of coffee, black as night, he took a sip, smiled and said, “Warm ist es.”  (At least it’s warm.)   When she served a delicious Czech-style meal, he laughed and said, “Die bidienung ist sehr schlecht hier.”  (The service is not so good here.)

After he had purchased a burial plot he proudly and comically announced, “Es hat eine gute Sicht.”

Wedding of Miriam and Zev

Tzfat

Northern District

State of Israel

October 29, 2012

 

Larry Benowitz

Boston, Massachusetts.

USA

 

Dear Larry,

 

cc: Friends and Family

 

Thank you so much for inviting me to your daughter’s wedding.  I am sure that you and Brooke and all of your family are delighted that your daughter Miriam has chosen Zev Padway to be her husband.

 

I was happy to make a slight detour in my travels in the Caucasus and fly from Tbilisi, Georgia to Tel Aviv.  I rented a car for the beautiful drive north past Haifa and then east to Tzfat.  What could be more inspiring than the farmlands on the open plains and on the rolling hills of the Galilee?

 

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