Post Pandemic Poem

I hope to live a few more years
and find a way to get more healthy.
I don't regret decades of beers,
but if death comes, I hope it's stealthy.

I have survived a year of doom,
with cancer, plague, and long work days.
And now I pick an FC Loom,
as evening sets, and vent malaise.

For though our woes seem oversized,
and future questions unsurmised,
I'm calmer, Jack, I got my own;
I rolled my sleeve and got me Pfized.

In six months' time we all will hug,
and kiss and lick (and so much more…)
Until there comes another bug,
And we mask up and go to war.

I wish the future generations
Will learn from our stupid slips.
Fly less, walk more, consume more local,
and god forbid, no cruising ships!

So wait a bit and don't take shortcuts!
Get vacced,
not vexed,
and wax poetic.
This too, I promise you, shall pass!
Lest masks become the new aesthetic…

Have you written to the FCC today?

Just posted this on Dear FCC:

Dear FCC,

I'm Ira Abramov and I live in Ramat Gan, Israel.
Net neutrality, the principle that Internet service providers (ISPs) treat all data that travels over their networks equally, is important to me because without it My freedoms of expression, usage and being informed are hurt.
A pay-­to-play Internet worries me because new, innovative services that can’t afford expensive fees for better service will be less likely to succeed.
My entire professional and activist life is based on the ability to learn through the net, communicate with and activate people through it. It's the real land of equal opportunities that can't be matched today by political and pricey educational systems. It's like taxing pedestrians for walking certain streets, reading the signs and walking to stores. It is an unfair and unjust tampering with an important public resource.

Sincerely,
Ira Abramov

Feel free to post your own plea!

A Eulogy for Yaron Abramov

English translation follows below. You are welcome to add your thoughts below in the comments.

את ההספד הזה כתבה ברובו אחותי ענת והוספתי לו בעצם מעט מאוד:

נגמר, אבא כבר לא סובל. אנחנו עצובים ושבורים, אבל מרגישים הקלה בשבילו.

יש מכם שהכירו אותו יותר ופחות. הוא היה אדם עם מאגרים עצומים של ידע מרתק, בהמון נושאים, ובפרט כל דבר שקשור לארץ ישראל, דתות, תרבויות, גיאולוגיה וארכיאולוגיה. מדריך תיירים עם מעריצים (ומעריצות) בכל העולם, אוהב לבשל ולאכול אוכל טוב, מתעד נלהב בכל סוגי המצלמות, מעריך גאדג'טים מסור, נהג-נווט אלוף, וכח העל שלו היה מציאת־חניות-בדיוק-ממול, והכל עם המון הומור אינטיליגנטי ומשחקי מילים. חלק מהדברים עברו אלינו בירושה בצורה כזאת או אחרת, וחלק פשוט העשירו את חיינו ויצרו חוויות משותפות נפלאות וזכרונות נעימים. בעיקר הוא היה אבא אוהב, מחבק ומלטף עם ידיים מופלאות שהעלימו כל כאב.

הוא נגע, לרגע, בחייהם של מאות אנשים שהדריך לאורך השנים, ויחד עם זאת היה אדם מאד פרטי. אהב לטייל בכל מקום, תמיד לגלות מקומות וכבישים חדשים, סקרן בלתי נלאה ומורה נלהב. הוא הפך חשדנים לציוניים נלהבים, וקיבלנו לאורך היום מכתבי חיזוק מקוריאה ועד ארה"ב. לא רק בארץ הוא הדריך, היה לו גם רומן לא קצר עם ברלין וכבישי גרמניה, ואפילו לגרמנים הוא הצליח להכיר את הבית של עצמם קצת יותר לעומק.

ובימים שלא עבד בהדרכה, אהב מאד את הבית שלו והשקט שלו, עם התה והאוסף מוסיקה, הספרים והסרטים הישנים… לרגע לא הפסיק ללמוד ולהתעמק, וכשהציעו לנו הבוקר שערוץ דיסקאברי יצלם את ההלוויה לסרט אנתרופולוגי על הלוויות, חשבנו שאין ראוי מזה לאדם שאהב כל כך לטייל ולפגוש אנשים, שימשיך לטייל בעולם בשידורים חוזרים לעוד הרבה שנים, כך או אחרת.

עוד לפני ימי האינטרנט ותוכנות הניווט, וגם אחרי, היו הרבה אנשים שהיו מתקשרים אליו לשאול שאלת ידע או כיוון והוא תמיד היה משאיר אותנו עם תחושת ביטחון שהגענו למקום הנכון.

הוא ייחסר בכל כך הרבה מובנים מעבר לכמה המילים האלו.

יהי זכרו ברוך.

And here I'll attempt to translate it for our international readers. It was mostly written by my sister with small additions by me.

It's over, Father no longer suffers. We are broken and sad, but feel relieved for him.

Some of you knew him better than others. He was a man commanding vast fascinating knowledge in a myriad subjects, especially anything and everything to do with the land of Israel – Theology, culture, geology and archeology. A tour guide with fans all over the globe, who loved to cook and eat well, loved documenting in all types of cameras, gadget appreciator, champion driver/navigator and his super power was finding parking spots right in front of where he needed; all of it with intelligent humour and puns. Some of those we inherited this way or another, and some just enriched our lives and created wonderful joint experiences and pleasant memories. Mainly he was a loving, hugging father with wonder hands that made all pains vanish.

He touched, even for a moment, the lives of thousands he guided along his years, and at the same time he was a very private man himself. He loved taking trips everywhere, always discovering new places and roads, a passionate learner and teacher. He converted sceptics to Zionists, and for the last few days we got letters from as far as Korea and the western USA. He guided people also overseas, he had a long love affair with Europe and its roads, and especially Berlin, where he managed to get even its natives to their own city a little deeper.

And on the days he did not work as a guide, he loved his home, with a peaceful cup of tea and music, the old books and movies. He never stopped studying and seeking deeper knowledge, and this morning, when the Discovery channel offered us to film the funeral for an anthropological docu about funerals, we felt it was the most befitting parting gift for a man who loved travelling and meeting people so much. This way he will continue travelling the world on reruns for many more years.

Years before the internet and navigation software, and many years after, many would call him up to ask for directions or knowledge, and he always left us with the confident feeling we arrived at the right destination.

He will be missed in so many ways beyond these few short words.

Blessed be his memory

We buried dad at sunset, at a pastoral corner of the cemetery. Parts of the funeral will probably play on Discovery in about a year. I'll try to let everyone know.

Ira.

RIP Yaron Abramov

I'm writing this post in English because It is meant to be a permanent page for people from all over world to leave their public thoughts and messages (since on Facebook things get washed away in the stream). You can also write us personal thoughts at yaron@abramov.org, both Anat and Ira will get your messages.

ירון אברמוב, 1947-2013

Dear Friends and family,

With a grave feeling of loss and a broken heart, mixed with the relief that his suffering ended,
we write to inform you that our beloved father Yaron has passed away last night.
The funeral will take place today, Monday, June 24th 2013, at 7pm
in Har Hamenuhot, Giva'at Sha'ul, Jerusalem.
From tomorrow we will be in the house we grew up with our father, in Derekh Hatatzpit 1, Ein Karem, Jerusalem.

If you need to contact us, use Yaron's number +972-544-304060, and one of us will answer

Ira and Anat Abramov.

חברים יקרים,בלב שבור וגעגועים, מהולים בהקלה על כך שהסבל שלו נגמר,
אנחנו כותבים להודיע לכם שאבא שלנו ירון נפטר אתמול בערב.
ההלוויה תתקיים היום, יום שני, 24 ביוני 2013, בשעה 19:00
בהר המנוחות בגבעת שאול, ירושלים.
ממחר נשב שבעה בבית שבו גדלנו עם אבא, בדרך התצפית 1, עין כרם, ירושלים.

אם יש צורך ביצירת קשר, אפשר להתקשר למספר של ירון 0544-304060, ואחד מאיתנו יענה.

עירא וענת אברמוב

Harlem Shake, Javascript Edition (Original v1!)

In case you are not completely fed up with it yet, my friend Or Cohen made a Harlem Shake for your Twitter feed. It's an early version, might get upgraded, might get ported to facebook. If you port it, let us know and I'll add it here…

  • drag the bookmarklet from this page to your browser's bookmarks.
  • skip over to twitter.com (your main feed, not the "connect" tab)
  • hit the bookmarklet and enjoy :-)

Refugees and Jewish Legacy

My Spidey Sense (actually a Google alert) notified me that a photo I took was used and credited with my name. It's an article talking about African migrants collectively declared criminals by Eli Yishai.

I just had to reply. Sadly the reply was over twice the length limit allowed. Instead of posting it split three ways, I'll just post it here.

Thanks for the photo credit, but I wish the report was a bit more complete.

1. Some of the Africans are Sudanese and some are not, it's true. some are was refugees and others are climate refugees.

2. Israel refuses to review their cases, and so none of them is declared a refugee and treated according to international refugee treaties, instead they are vilified and attacked. see the Molotov bottles thrown into houses where they live reported in the last few weeks, right after our local holocaust memorial day.

3. up until this last bust, the police and human rights organizations where actually in agreement – the refugee population is actually a very decent bunch and does not break any laws…

4. …other than crossing the border illegally of course, but do you know what's waiting for them in Sinai? Rapes and murders by Bedouins are abundant. The stories collected by our local social workers are truly horrible.

In sum, the migrants' problem is a global one. whether they are escaping the climate changes or turf wars for mineral mining, I blame the developed world for abusing the locals, and Israel should ask for help from the UN or at least the EU. either way, the Passover Haggadah tells us that in every generation Jews must see themselves as if they were the refugee, running from Egypt and looking for sanctuary. Eli Yishai should be ashamed for this racist, unethical and un-Jewish decision to declare them all criminals and make all Israelis accomplices to the injustice, rather than use help from the world to take care of this problem the humane way.