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The Chabad House in Dharamsala

Chabad Dharamsala from Sarah Lehat on Vimeo.

The Chabad House in Dharamsala, initiated by the Droro Shaul, and was established in 2000. Before becoming a Rabbi, Shaul now 38, was simply an explorer searching for meaning. Through his journey he encountered many things he learned yet he felt he lacked one thing, the one thing that many of us seem to search for: spirituality. Being that he was in India he headed to the monastery, here he began his studies to becoming a monk. After giving it a fair chance he did not feel the emptiness in his soul fill with what he hoped would be great faith and so he turned to Judaism. Here he started to feel more absolute, the many questions he had seemed to be answered. He found purpose and meaning in his life.

This is when he opened the Chabad House in Daramsalla. The emissaries are working all over the area of Dharamsala, including the town of Meclod Ganje and the village of Bagsu; it became a designated place that offered travelers including the Jewish community in the area an array of services and activities. The purpose for the Chabad House is to assist the Jewish community physically and spirituality. It has made significant changes within the community; yet they are not solely for the Jewish demographic they are open to anyone who is need of assistance and in search of spiritual healing. If you happen to be lost and in need of food, you can count on the Chabad house to take you in; there have been numerous touching stories on how they have helped individuals coming from different background and different beliefs just because they find it their duty to give and help anyone who asks for it.

They offer course which they call “College Hbibota” which is described as a course that is a “journey of love in the depths of the soul” it is a six week program which explores topics such as; Tree of life, psychtheraphy according to the method of Baal Sheim Tiv, workshop testimony from Jewish cooking, relaxation and meditation according to the Kabbalah and many more. The Chabad House is not limited to just the school it offers many more courses and workshops and it also invites the community to help.

The Chabad House is now open year round and their arms are always opened to welcome anyone and everyone. Learn more on their site here

 You can donate here:

England: Wellspring Chabad
Barclays Bank, Account no: 40510947
Charity no 267217, sort code 20-82.94
IBAN: GB82 BARC 2082 944905109 47
Swift: BARCG22
Address: 2 Erskine House, Homesfild NW11 6HN London, UK

America Contact: The Inner Wellspring
Account no: 000192500627365
Swift: CHASES33
Address: 1376 Carrol St. Brooklyn, N.Y 11213, USA

Israel Contact: Yichuda Illah
Account no: 000000 296795
IBAN: IL750126150000000296-795
Swift: POALILIT
Address: P.O Box 15028, 76150 Rehovolt, Isreal

Australia: Dror Moshe Shaul
ANZ Bank
Account no: 183391648
BSB: 013214

India: Dror Moshe Shaul
Bank of India, Account no. 793110100005437
Swift: BKIDINBBCHD
IFSC- BKID0007931

Happy 86th Birthday Mickey Mouse

He is one of the most well-known and beloved characters around the globe, surely surpassing the Easter bunny and Santa Clause and today we celebrate his 86th birthday! Mickey Mouse alongside Minnie Mouse made their official debut in “Steamboat Willie”.

Steamboat-willie

Mickey Mouse Turns 86 today and there is not one grey hair on him, sure he has been wearing the same outfit for decades and his falsetto voice has not changed over the years, but I am sure the audience would be surprised to know that Mickey first started out as a rabbit. Yes a Rabbit, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was created by Walt Disney for film producer Charles Mintz. The resemblance is striking; although his ears were long like a rabbit and his feet were shoeless it is unmistakable that Mickey’s iconic look derived from Oswald. Being that Universal legally owned Oswald, Mintz refused to give Disney Brothers Studios more money and took ownership of the character. Adamant about not blundering again, Walt never again gave up the rights to any of his creations. Many do say it might have been a “blessing in disguise” because soon after returning to the drawing board Mickey was created. A few shorts were produced that did not get much recognition but once Steamboat Willie premiered in 1928 all that changed.


Steamboat Willie, named after Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill, and inspired by the first “talkie” The Jazz Singer, was the first cartoon with synchronized sound. This was the beginning of a fad that has not ended and has also made its way into history books. Mickey did not say his first words which were “Hot dogs! Hot Dogs!” until he was 1, in 1929’s The Carnival Kid. January of 1930 the legendary “Mickey Mouse Club” was created and within a few months 60 theaters were hosting clubs across America. Two years later there were over two million members. Some Famous members include; Annette Funicell, Keri Russel, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.

Mickey quickly became a star; merchandise with his face on it was sold everywhere. He was a comforting character to have at home, surely the only comforting mouse in many households. In 1932 Walt Disney was awarded an honorary Oscar for creating Mickey, he won three more honorary awards including 22 competitive “typical” Oscars which makes Walt Disney a record holder for the one person whom hold the most nominations and wins, ever.

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To this day, we continue to invite Mickey Mouse into our home; the lovable cartoon rodent has had an impressive career ranging from TV, movies, books, theme parks and even video games. His biggest success is being able to warm the hearts of children ranging from all ages; even a fellow 86 year old who may be celebrating his/her birthday with Mickey today.

Here at The Dina Collection we are fortunate to have original Drawings of Mickey Mouse and many other well known Disney Characters!

Solange Knowles Marries Alan Ferguson

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It was a picture perfect day for Singer Solange Knowles and now husband, Alan Ferguson who exchanged vows at the Marigny Opera House in New Orleans this Sunday. They rolled in riding white vintage bikes that matched her cream jumpsuit. During the ceremony, she wore a white gown made by her friend and collaborator; Humberto Leon for Kenzo, complementing the dress, were a statement gold cuff and a floor length cape. She ditched the traditional wedding gown and completely changed the game with all five outfits. Yes, five different outfits, all in white and all unbelievably chic. Three of the jumpsuits were designed by Stephane Rolland.

Solange broke all traditional “ideals” even further by having her court and family also wearing all white, husband Alan Ferguson was sleek and handsome in his all white suit. Her sister Beyoncé too was dressed in all white who was accompanied by Jay-Z and daughter Blue Ivy, also in white.

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Knowles Commissioned photographer Rog Walker to take the official wedding portraits, as well as the jaw-dropping all-female family tableau that has been circulating the internet. The night appeared to be a memorable one with many highlights; one of them being an adorable choreographed dance between Solange and her ten-year-old son Daniel Julez to “No Flex Zone” by Rae Sremmurda.

 

Wednesday Wisdom – Neil Young

“Rock and Roll can never die” 

Neil Young hands Matt Furman for The Wall Street Journal

Neil Young is one of the most enigmatic, brilliant and accomplished musicians to have emerged in the mid 1960’s. Co-founder of the band Buffalo Springfield and being one the most influential song writers and guitarist of his generation, he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice! “Hey Hey, My My (into the  black)” “Old Man”, “Harvest Moon”, Rockin’ in the Free world” and “Heart of Gold” , a Number 1 hit, are all time-transcending songs and he continues to create.

Today Neil is 69 years young, 2014 was another amazing year for him too; two albums released, a film premiered, his 2nd book published and the Crazy Horse Tour!

Although he is known to be a loner and often a dark soul there is no doubt he is a wise one. Here are a couple of wise quotes taken from his songs.

“As you go through life, you’ve got to see the valleys as well as the peaks”
“As I get older, I get smaller. I see other parts of the world I didn’t see before. Other points of view. I see outside myself more”
“The ’60s was one of the first times the power of music was used by a generation to bind them together”
“If you follow every dream, you might get lost.” – The Painter
“Respect Mother Earth and her giving ways or trade away our children’s days. – Mother Earth
‘Some get stoned, some get strange, but sooner or later it all gets real.’ –  Walk On
‘Imagination is my best friend.” –  Razor Love
“It’s going to take a lot of love to make things work out right.” – Nicolette Larson, Lotta Love

Celebrating Kurt Vonnegut, Jr

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On November 11, 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana, one of the most influential American Novelist of the twentieth century and one of the great Humanist of his time was born. “Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishments after you are dead.” Kurt Vonnegut, Jr exerted this energy and you can see this sort of selflessness and light attitude throughout his works and his life.

Vonnegut enlisted in the United States Army while attending Cornell University, majoring in Chemistry, the army transferred him to Carnegie Institute of Technology and later to the University of Tennessee. During this time his mother, whom many claim, is to be the only women he truly ever loved, committed suicide the night before Mother’s Day. This is only the beginning of his compelling life.  Once World War II came around he was reassigned to a combat because of lack of man power. Vonnegut was imprisoned in Dresden where he was captured. Fortunately, he was part of a group of American prisoners whom survived the bombing in an underground slaughterhouse where he was being sheltered which the Germans called Schlachthof Fünf (Slaughterhouse Five). Having to witness the allied firebombing of the city and complete devastation of its outcome, these experiences inspired his famous novel Slaughterhouse-Five. He would not write this novel for another 20 years or so. He notes “I thought it would be easy for me to write about the destruction of Dresden, since all I would have to do would be to report what I had seen,” He claimed this work to be a “failure” but it is clear that the audience disagrees, it quickly became a bestseller and helped recognize Vonnegut as an exceptional writer.

Report on the Barnhouse Effect was Vonneguts first published short story, around the same time he moved to Cape Cod to fully dedicate his time to writing. His first Novel Player Piano (1952) depicting a dystopian era in which human workers are replaced by machines, an ironically relevant theme in our current society, is also theme that has makes a constant appearance in all his works. The Sirens of Titans(1959), Cat’s Cradle(1963) as well as various other short stories shortly followed. When the 1960’s came around his style of writing started to morph and had more autobiographical approach. This is when Slaughterhouse-Five came along as well as other renowned works like Breakfast for Champions (1973) which also became a best-selling novel.

Vonnegut distinct and persuasive writing style combined satire, humor and science fiction to create some of his best works. His novels were celebrated and even closely studied; various universities had courses that analyzed Vonnegut’s writing in depth. Little do his fans know but he too had a career as a graphic artist beginning this career with the illustrations for Slaughterhouse-five and continued to develop with Breakfast for champions.  Some of his other works were exhibited at the Margo Feiden Galleries Ltd in New York. Nanette Vonnegut, Vonnegut’s daughter, published a book of her father’s drawings in May of 2014 entitled Kurt Vonnegut’s Drawings.

Also recognized for his political views, Kurt Vonnegut was a lifetime member of the American Civil Liberties Union and was known to frequently address many moral issues. In 1968 he signed the “Writers and Editors war Tax Protest” pledge which vowed to refuse tax payment in protest against the Vietnam War. He was also not shy in voicing his opinion which did cause controversy at times. Isn’t this what we love about Vonnegut though, his true to self comments.

Vonnegut’s influence extends beyond literature, his wit and artistic bohemianism accompanied by his political point of view have made the audience recognize him as a strong intellectual character that abandons social conventions and although has gone through hardships he has been able to stay optimistic and true to his beliefs and craft.

Happy Birthday Kurt Vonnegut and thank you for your influences

Happy Birthday Kurt Vonnegut and thank you for your influences

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning to do afterward.” — Kurt Vonnegut

And in Celebration of Veterans day or in his case Armistice day, here is a quote from Breakfast of Champions.

“So this book is a sidewalk strewn with junk, trash which I throw over my shoulders as I travel in time back to November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.

So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things.

What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.

And all music is.”

– Breakfast of Champions (1973)