Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Yes, that's my father"

…for Sol, Joe and Jakob

three generations linked by love.

I lost my father
In the chaos I chose life
I lost my father

Guilt and years of tears
Until my son, my own son
Found my Dad again

A faded photo
Placed gently in my aged hand
“Yes, that’s my father”

A link to the video and the message below were sent to me by a very dear college friend, Eve Finkelstein Thomas. We had been out of touch for a while, as I live in NH and she in NJ, but reconnected a few years ago. If it wasn't for Eve and our friend Bill Comins, Gordon and I may never have married! Eve would continuously (lovingly) badger me all through college "You know, you should really be dating Gordon, he is so sweet, he'd be so good for you!" Gordon was her accompanist and we were all part of the same small circle of friends in the Jazz Department at Temple University. I was way too "out there" with my manic panic hot pink hair and punk-esque fashion sense for quiet, conservative (back then), fresh from the midwest Gordon to be seriously interested in. I tended to prefer  guys who were not very good to me. I did not have the best judgment, back then, although I was very good at choosing friends (just not boy friends)! You can listen to Eve singing with her husband jazz bassist Craig Thomas here, click on "The Night I Fell For You." She is a gifted singer and when I was young I wanted to sound exactly like her, with her rich, soulful voice. (I still don't sound anything like Eve, my voice is still quite breathy and thin, but I've learned to appreciate it for what it is.) AND Bill, well if he hadn't recommended that Gordon sit in and play at my brother's wedding, this whole 26 year love affair would never have really happened! I had asked Bill to accompany me on a tune I wrote for my brother and sister-in-law as a wedding gift--and Gordon ended up being the "wedding guide" as this was the first family wedding and at that point he'd gigged at so many Jewish weddings he knew how to get us organized. This is extremely funny because he was NOT Jewish then, and hardly knew any Jewish people at all until attending college at Temple U in Philly with all of us! You can check out Bill's exquisite handcrafted artisan guitars here. He truly is an artist and amazing musician as well! You can listen to Bill playing one of his magnificent guitars here. We LOVE YOUSE GUYS!!! 

But this post isn't about our 29 year friendship. So back to the main story...

I am sharing this video with you because it is beautiful, heartbreaking and incredibly important. I cry every time I watch it. Sol is Eve's father, Joe her brother, Jakob her long lost, beloved and never, ever forgotten grandfather.

Meet Sol and Joe, two zisa neshamas, (sweet souls):

From Joe, Eve's brother:
This video has been named a finalist in a national competition sponsored by YouTube, and if it wins in its category, Best Storytelling, following a period of public voting, it will receive much national exposure and be placed on the YouTube home page.  This will help the Museum gain further exposure of its World Memory Project, which is seeking to index millions of records of Holocaust victims, a project to which I have devoted much effort, in the hope that others will be able to learn more information, as we did, about Holocaust victims.

“Yes, That is My Father” tells the story of how I learned the fate of my grandfather, who died in the Holocaust, located his grave, and ultimately found a photograph of my grandfather, which I presented to my father live on film.  My father had not known what happened to his father, how he died, or where he was, and had not seen a photograph of his own father for 65 years.  If you have not viewed the video before, I hope you will.

Be sure to share with your friends and social networks and encourage them to vote by clicking the little yellow button with the heart in the bottom left hand corner of this link. (Voting is open only until March 28th. You cannor vote directly from the YouTube site, but you can through the link provided above, AND you may vote daily, but just once a day, so vote often if you think of it. It would mean a lot to Eve's family.)

Thanks in advance for voting (often) to select this video as the winner and for spreading the word and encouraging others to do so.

Best wishes and thanks.


You can read more about Eve and Joe's parents, Sol and Goldie, and their incredible survival as kids through the Holocaust in their book: 
I Choose Life I reviewed the book here in 2009

I call this day upon heaven and earth as witnesses. I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. And you shall choose life, so that you and your children may live. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

visit The Imaginary Garden

haiku my heart at recuerda mi corazon


  1. This was so moving! I definitely voted, so keep us informed of the winner! I wish I had seen this when I was teaching. Every spring, I taught "The Holocaust Through Literature," a program that I initiated for my eighth grade students. Parents would ask me why -- it was a parochial school, after all -- and I explained that we could never allow such atrocities to occur in our world again. I researched through the Jewish Library Association what books would be appropriate for that age group, and I showed videos, and planned outings. We went to the Holocaust museum in NY and the smaller one in Cherry Hill, NJ (close to my school.) A film such as this one would have been very useful. Whenever I invited guest speakers, they rarely had photos, and this video really would have helped.
    Sorry for the length – I was just so moved by this. (BTW, my son is a recent Temple alum!!)

  2. This is heart wrenching and amazing. Thanks for sharing, I hope it wins!!! I will vote.

  3. Dear Laura, thank you.
    You are an inspiration to me
    and so many.
    I pray continually for your healing.

  4. I lost my father almost 25 years ago, and still think what it would have been if he is around today!

  5. I am weeping... Today was a day for tears. I was with my aunt recording holocaust stories .. And I wrote a poem about it. Xo

  6. I do not cry easily. The anticipation, reverence in which this man viewed the photo of his father filled my eyes up with tears. The fact that he asks forgiveness overwhelmed me. Thank you for this share.

  7. Beautiful. Love is so beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  8. Awesome ~ breath taking ~ I am speechless ~ sending you lots of hugs and healing energy ~thanks, wishing you a great weekend ~ namaste, carol ^_^

  9. I don't know what to say...
    other than thank you.

  10. Touching. My husband's father lost both his parents in the Holocaust.

  11. This is so very moving...I lost many family members during the Holocaust..

    and just lost my father this past week.


    thank you

  12. What an incredible post on so many levels. Thanks so much for doing such a good job putting it all together and sharing with everyone.

  13. stunning, in the way that opens one's heart, wrenches the senses and says, these are stories we need to know. Thank you.

  14. What an incredible story. I voted for it and will post it on Facebook tonight. I am so sorry you are feeling badly right now, but I hope you are feeling much better soon.

  15. there is so much here to drink in....i will return late saturday. thinking of you and holding you close.

  16. dear one,

    thank you for this profound offering of love and remembrance. it is an honor to add my vote of acknowledgement. life stories such as this bypass all differences or separation and unite all hearts in the family of man.
    may we all embrace our shared humanity and live in love, respect and peace.


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