October 15, 2008

Giving good help: IsraMac and One to One training with Bill Huber

WIth One to One Creative Trainer Bill Huber
at the Atlanta Apple Store in Lenox Mall

As a dual citizen of the USA and Israel who pecks away at her Apple MacBook in both countries, my non-tekky skills (and confidence) get enormous boosts from sage sources on both sides of the pond. Thanks to my dual help systems, IsraMac and to Bill Huber, I can do much more than check email, surf the 'net, and manage myriad aspects of my life electronically.

IsraMac (Israeli Macintosh users discussion list)

This critical first line of defense and troubleshooting is a prized free information source for hundreds of subscribers (not just Israelis or locals!) on most things Macintosh. Almost daily, I get an emailed digest of Q&As on topics ranging from Mac OS tips and tricks to software updates (and crises), items for sale, and requests for service technicians, tutors, and translators. This Yahoo Group's special focus on issues specific to Israeli Macintosh users covers, for instance, Hebrew language compatibility and Mac-friendly (and -hostile) Israel organizations, companies, banks, government offices, and Internet Service Providers (with workarounds, if available).

The IsraMac community of newbies-to-gurus posts questions and answers. For example, guru Tzvi Fabian recently shared a link to Hebrew-English silicone removable keyboard KB Covers! Now solved: my dilemma on "converting" my keyboard from English to Hebrew characters, and back (avoiding cumbersome and inelegant individual Hebrew-letter stickers (they don't stick well) or opening the onscreen Keyboard Viewer (cumbersome)!

To subscribe, send an email to isramac-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

Atlanta Apple Store superhero

More than five years ago, at Atlanta's Lenox Mall, I brought a sick Mac to Bill Huber who then held the brainiac title, Apple Store Mac Genius — Apple-selected and -trained to know Mac tools, systems, and products. And because not all Geniuses are equal, when the One to One membership program was born, I knew instantly which former Genius would be my One to One Creative Trainer. So when I am in the USA, Bill guides weekly customized training sessions to suit my learning needs. While he remains his signature kind, patient, good humored, respectful, and keenly intelligent self, it is Bill's patience that most boggles my impatient self.

Bill has helped me manage electronic data, streamline backup procedures, and enhance my blogging "chops." I have learned to use Mac applications that I would not have attempted alone, among them Keynote for presentations (such as setting up text and images for my video, Coexistence Kindergarten), iMovie for video production, and GarageBand to manage audio files of interviews I conduct. (Watch Scoring Points for Israel, my interview of Josh Gomes, American shooting guard on Israel's Ramat Gan basketball team.) 

October 08, 2008

Yom Kippur 5769: "Tamar, Why do Jewish people vote Democratic?"

Sharing a meal with hungry people and
engaging with them in loving ways at
Open Door Community, Atlanta, Georgia
Yesterday, coincidentally(?) two days before Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, my neighbor Judy and I had a lively two-hour rambling chat on all manner of subjects, save one. Years ago, we had decided to steer clear of politics. Yet in 28 days, we would be voting in the national election for US President and on issues and representatives, hot topics on our minds.

And so Judy confessed, "I cannot resist asking you one question." "Fire away," I encouraged.

"I've long wondered," Judy probed, Why do Jewish people vote Democratic, especially after George W. Bush and the Republican party have been such great friends of Israel?" "Great question, and a fair one," I replied.

Core messages 

Neither presidents nor kings, pundits, bosses, rabbis, nor specific groups decide who earns my vote. For many Jews and others, the Hebrew Bible, especially the books of the prophets inform our core values and visions of a just and decent society, our individual and communal responsibilities to bringing it about, and requirements for leadership. The Democratic party principles, platforms, and policies more than those of the Republican party align with these core messages. On Yom Kippur, we read from the book of the prophet Isaiah verses that encapsulate these messages.

Isaiah 57:14 - 58:14

Later, searching to share with Judy Isaiah's teaching, I stumbled on this creative translation/interpretation by Rabbi Shefa Gold.

... those greedy corporate warmongers!
They are like the troubled sea,
Whose waters stir up filth that pollutes the land,
For them there is no safety, there will be no peace.
... Oh sure, I hear their prayers every day,
They say they want to learn my ways. Hah!
As if you were a people doing righteousness,
Who has not abandoned decency and compassion!
... They say, "Don't you see we're fasting?
Don't you see how holy we have become?"
But on your fast day you wear clothes
that were made by Chinese prisoners,
And shoes that were cried over
by terrified children in loathsome sweatshops,
And the books you hold in your hands,
are filthy with the tears of dying forests...
And your investments fatten the rich,
who are destroying this land.
You think this is the kind of fast I want?
A day that will feed your self-righteousness?
You call this a fast?
... Well, I'll tell you what kind of fast I would desire from you...
Unlock the chains of your greed and habit,
Free you from slavery of being blind consumers,
Let the oppressed worker go free
by raising the minimum wage.
It's a disgrace I tell you!
The fast I want is one that will inspire you
to share your food with the hungry,
To redistribute the wealth of this land fairly,
To build affordable housing for the homeless,
And to welcome back the people you have thrown out of your hearts,
Even the ones in your own family.
... If you banish corruption, hatred and apathy
from the innermost places of your heart,
If you stop blaming everyone else,
And instead extend your hand to the hungry,
And lift up the ones who have been beaten down
by this unjust system,
Then your light will shine forth, even in the darkness.
... From your inspiration people will reestablish
the values that have been desecrated,
And restore the foundations of decency
that have been laid by your ancestors,
And you shall be called 'Repairer of Brokenness,'
'Restorer of the Way'...

May we merit a sweet year, join in repairing our broken world, and elect a just and wise President on November 4.

My related post
5768 (2007) Yom Kippur thoughts: Our choices do matter