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Hey all!

Welcome to my blog!
I made this blog to talk about my thoughts and feelings about publishing, as well as my book called "That Day In September." You can check it out at: I am a senior and I'm looking for a job in the publishing world. if anyone knows of anything, please let me know.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hey all : )

Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful fall season; the days getting shorter, the leaves changing colors. Man, I love it. Of course now that I relocated to San Diego, there are no seasons (sniff, sniff) it's just 70's all year round. Not that I'm complaining but I truly am a winter gal, I men I was born in December after all. I'm just sobering how all my readers are doing and if anyone has read any good books lately. Also, another article of mine will be in the jewish press shortly so keep an open eye for another article by Rachel sommer. Have a good one!

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Article written for the Jewish Press

A Young Orthodox Hardware Designer
More Articles By Rachel Sommer
Rachel Sommer
Posted Oct 06 2010
Respecting our young designer's wishes, we will refer to him by initials only. R.S., an engineer by day and professor by night, is an ambitious and unique individual whom we can all learn from. He graduated college early because as he says, "I could hardly wait to put my hands on the real thing."

At 26 years of age, he is six feet tall, slim and the youngest of three siblings. His keen intellectual prowess is not discernable at first glance. However, besides working as a hardware engineer and teaching in two different colleges, this young and humble man has designed secure communication systems for the government and military for the past five years.

As a college student, R. S. was interested in encryption hardware design and a career path naturally followed. His team designs the chip in missile launching systems - literally the brain in the center. He is very proud of his contribution to the safety of the country. "It's a great feeling knowing you're designing systems and products that protect our freedom," he says.

Even at this young age he is a project manager and in charge of people double his age, and many older employees come to him for professional advice and suggestions.

Part of what he works on is encryption - a way to send a message to someone without the fear of anybody else reading it. The sender and receiver share a common encryption key. The sender encrypts the message with the key before transmitting it to the receiver, who then decrypts the message before he reads it. Nobody else in the middle can intercept and read the message, since they do not have the key. Without the key, the message is just a random string of characters.

R.S. gives an example: "A simple encryption algorithm, code name 'atbash', like the Hebrew gematria term, involves transposing each character into its opposite character in the alphabet. Therefore, "A" is replaced with "Z" and "B" is replaced with "Y" etc." This program is known as "Transposition Cipher." This is a very simple example; of course in real life the work is much more complicated.

In his line of work, the product has to work 100 percent all the time. The young engineer explains: "Let's say you open your Blackberry and it doesn't work- you're mad; but if you launch a missile and it doesn't hit, then you are dead!"

Knowing that you are designing systems and that people will actually live or die based on how well they operate is exhilarating, he explains with a serious expression on his face. When he watches the test trials of his missile hitting the mock tanks, seeing the debris and explosions, he feels a definite "high." The young scientist does not want to know what it would feel like to not have his design operate in the field; brave soldiers may lose their lives.

When I asked if his job requires constant re-training, R.S. answers: "Although it's a unique field, the competition is fierce. You always have to keep up to date, so I am free to select any training I feel is necessary and the company will send me. My team and I have to be better than good and so we do whatever is necessary to make that happen."

R.S. says that in school you learn just the basics, but in the real world you have to transform all that knowledge into something new, creative and practical based on the current economic conditions. This is the reason why he chose to teach as well; school teaches the theoretical while at work one learns the practical. He tries to bring the practical knowledge into the universities, so that when his students go out and apply for a job, they are ahead of the game.

As busy as this fine young man is, he finds time to play chess, learn with a chavrusa and is even the gabbai in his shul. He also makes the time to do community volunteering and offer a helping hand wherever and whenever he can.

As talented as this fine young man is, it's not easy to be an orthodox Jew in this type of field. All the company's gatherings and parties are on Saturdays, and of course R.S. and a few more orthodox Jewish employees are unable to participate. His dream is to one day be able to open his own company and make things more convenient for his orthodox Jewish employees.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NEW Life

Hey all!
I know, it's been forever, but I had a huge life change: I got married! I also moved to the west coast. Talk about H-U-G-E changes!! I am still getting adjusted to everything: the new place, lack of subway (sniff sniff) and my new job which I am really enjoying!
I can't believe I haven't been blogging for so long! Shame on me : (
Anyway, I will try to blog more.
I am currently working on a 2nd book while fixing yet again, my 1st one. I met with fellow author Anthony Cardieri who wrote "Luck of the Draw," which by the way is an AMAZING book, and everyone should read it. He gave me great pointers about my book and thanks to him, I'll hopefully finally manage to get my book into bookstores!
Ciao for now,

Friday, July 30, 2010

I'm baaaackkk

hey all!
i know i haven't written literally forever, but it's only because i've been so busy.
i got engaged memorial day weekend and am moving cross country, talk about big changes!! phew!
anyway i'm hoping my followers still rad my blog and i hope none of you forgot about me because i didn't forget about you : )

i was in california this past week since to set the place up (ya that's where i'm moving to), and now i am in seattle, washington for a reunion--busy, busy, busy!
i just finished an awesome book: it's called teh boticelli secret by marina fiorato. it's about this part time whore who finds out many things about her childhood. i learned a lot of italian words as well as their culture.
other than that, there's just too much to say right now, i guess that's what happened when you don't write for a while.
however, i gotta go help out.
peace and love, have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

my article!!

Heye everyone!
I wrote an article for the Jewish Press! Yes, they published my article! It took me a long time to write it, I had to do a LOT of research but it finally is out there! The article came out 2 weeks ago but alas, they forgot to put my name! I was soooo upset! But they did write an apology note on the 3rd page of the paper. Anyway, please feel free to check it out at:
Please let me know what you think! In case you cannot get to the page, here is the article:
More Articles By Rachel SommerRachel Sommer
Posted Mar 03 2010

Recently, I traveled to Israel with a group of college students. We were taken to visit the West Bank, including Hebron. While Jews make up only 20% of the population, (the other 80% are Muslims) we were reassured that Jews still manage to live full-fledged lives in Hebron.

When walking into Me'arat Hamachpela, I felt a chill run down my spine. This was where our forefathers are buried, where Judaism began! As we entered the cave we felt the holiness in the air, and praying there was a one in a million kind of feeling.

Hebron is the oldest Jewish city. It was here that a Jew first purchased real estate, when Avraham bought a piece of land to bury Sarah. Here was where our founders are buried; Avraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah and Adam and Eve as well. Hebron was King David's first capital city, until he moved to Jerusalem.

Hebron, located south of Jerusalem, has been the capital of the area since ancient times; there roads connect - east, west, north and south until Yemen. The name Hebron comes from the Hebrew word chibbur, meaning connection: the connection of the Jews to their ancient fathers and mothers.

By the Second Temple era, Hebron had been settled by Jews, and King Herod erected a huge building over the cave in a similar style to the Wailing Wall. The Machpela cave is the only public building in the world which has been active for 2,000 years! Over the years, one occupier followed another, and Jews suffered humiliation, pogroms, and explosions. The Romans sold tens of thousands Jews as slaves near Hebron. The Byzantines modified the cave and turned the left wing into a church; the Arabs imitated the Jews by transforming it to their holy place. The Mumlucks built towers on Mearat Hamachpela, turned it to a Muslim shrine, and prohibited Jews from coming closer than the seventh stair leading to the graves.

Jews have never stopped coming to Hebron whether as pilgrims or by coming to settle there - including famous Jews like the Rambam, Benjamin of Tudella, the Ramban, and the philanthropist Moshe Montefiore. To help the visitors there were those who carried the title "member of the patriarchs'graves" - their duty was to escort Jews who came to visit and pray at the cave.

When the Turkish Empire took over in 1517, many Jews were killed during pogroms while others were expelled. However, the Jewish community soon re-established itself and many Sephardic Jews arrived expanding the community. A large plot of land was purchased to establish the "Ghetto" and the Avraham Avinu Synagogue was erected. The first aliya of Chasidim to Hebron was in 1748. The Jewish population expanded slowly and in 1807 the community in Hebron purchased land in two locations; one is which is now called the market and the second called Tel Hebron. This purchase of land was signed and agreed to by the Waqf, the head of the Muslims. Most of Hebron's income in those days came via donations from abroad which were collected by shelichim (envoys).

In 1819, representatives of the Lubavticher community came to Hebron building the first Chabad community in Israel. In 1840, a second wave of Lubavitch Chasidim moved to Hebron, along with the famous Rabbi Slonim and his family. Thanks to his influence, an agreement of cooperation was signed between the Sephardic and Ashkenazi communities; they organized and maintained many public institutions. However, life was not easy, the Jewish community suffered from oppression and robbery from the neighboring Arab sheikhs, who blackmailed them and demanded money.

Slowly, Hebron began to develop. In 1907 a bank was opened in the city and wealthy Jews built new homes outside the "Ghetto" walls. Hadassah opened its first clinic in Hebron housed in the same building as the Lubavticher yeshiva Torat Emet - Chaim Israel Romano, a wealthy Turkish Jew, had purchased the building. The Jewish community grew to 1,500 (among 8,000 other residents).

World War I brought with it devastation. Many Jewish institutions were forced to shut down. It would be under the British Mandate that conditions would improve. As a matter of fact it was a day of celebration when the Kneset Yisrael relocated from Slobodka, Lithuania bringing 200 students and roshei yeshiva.

For generations, Hebron's Jewish population had good relations with their Arab neighbors, who benefited from the development of the city. All this was to change, however, when the British appointed Amin al-Husayni, a nationalist Palestinian Arab, as grand Mufti of Jerusalem in 1921.

Mohammad Amin al-Husayni was born into a wealthy Jew-hating family. Frustrated when his program to establish an Arab state that would include Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel failed, he concentrated on leading a violent campaign against the Jews and Zionism.

His appointment as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem put him in charge of all the Waqkf's funds, and he regarded himself as the guardian of all Muslim holy places in the Holy Land.

He called for a jihad against the Jews and all of his speeches were filled with violence and rhetoric. In August 1929, the Arabs publicly announced that they were preparing to slaughter all the Jews, and were waiting to get the order from the Grand Mufti.

While researching Hebron massacre I came across Hebron: Rebirth from Ruins, 80 years after the 1929 massacre, Hebron Lives! by Dr. Michal Rachel Suissa. The following descriptions are based on the book:

On Friday August 23, 1929, a yeshiva student was stabbed to death on the streets of Jerusalem. The same day a group of Arabs coming out from prayers at their Mosque marched in the streets of Hebron, shouting "Itbach al yahud!" (slaughter the Jews) and "Allahu akbar" (G-d is great). Throughout the day false rumors were spread that in Jerusalem, the Jews had killed thousands of Muslims, encouraging local Arabs to take revenge. The rabbi of Hebron went to the local commissioner, Abed Allah Kardus, to discuss the situation; the commissioner assured the rabbi that the Jews were secure.

Thousands of Muslims joined the mob in Hebron saying the order came from a-Husayni to kill the Jews. The mob broke into the Slobodka Yeshiva, and found only one student there, Shmuel Rosenholtz. They stabbed and stoned him; his blood spilled over the pages of his Gemarah. The British Commander, Major Raymond Cafferata, yelled at the frightened Jews who came to the station asking for protection; he ordered them to lock themselves up in their houses.

The next day, Sabbath morning, a huge mob of Arabs gathered on the streets, carrying with them knives, hatches and pitchforks. They broke into one house after another, raped girls along with mothers and grandmothers, torturing to death whomever they found. Men were castrated, women's breasts were cut off, eyes were gouged out, and guts were torn out of bellies. Many of the Arabs were the victims' neighbors and friends. The massacre took several hours.

Some heroic Arabs however put their lives in jeopardy by hiding Jews in their basements, thereby saving their lives. However, several Arab policemen participated in the massacre as the British watched. After the massacre the police gathered the wounded in the police station, leaving them without medical care. Two Jewish doctors did all they could to help, but combined there were 63 dead and 80 Torah scrolls burned.

Jerusalem's British governor did all he could to cover up the massacre - he even prohibited the Jewish newspapers from reporting on it. However, HaRav Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook, the chief rabbi, sent telegrams all over the world with the details.

As the British media began putting on pressure for investigation, the High British Commissioner, John Chancellor made a statement saying that those who were responsible for the massacre would be severely punished. He appointed a medical committee which exhumed 30 bodies and examined them. Their conclusion was that there was no evidence of torture, even though there were limbs severed and faces destroyed.

The British Colonial Office accepted testimony from Arabs and the British Police Chief, Cafferata, along with the Governor Abdalla Kardush, but refused to allow any Jews to attend. The leaders of the mob were put on trial, but most did not get any punishment.

In 1931, a group of families was able to return to Hebron. They worked hard to reestablish their community without any financial support. However, 1936 saw more Arab riots and the British forcefully drove the Jews out of the city. The Arabs looted and took over all Jewish properties.

The Jordanian army occupied the West Bank in 1948, and worked hard to root out all evidence of Jewish life. The Avraham Avinu synagogue was turned into a pen for sheep; a market replaced the Jewish quarter. The Jewish cemetery was destroyed as well. Beit Haddasah became an Arab school. For decades, Hebron, like the Western Wall and the Tomb of Rachel, was a place that Jews could only yearn for and dream about.

During the 1967 war Israel won an extraordinary victory. The old city of Jerusalem was freed, as well as the West Bank, including Hebron. When the Israeli forces arrived in the city the Arab residents surrendered, without a single shot being fired. Rabbi Shlomo Goren, the chief rabbi of the IDF, hoisted an Israeli flag on top of the Mearat Hamachpela. The next day when Ben-Gurion visited the cave, he announced, "Hebron is Jerusalem's sister" and urged Jews to return and build Hebron.

In 1968, Rabbi Moshe Levinger and Rabbi Eliezer Waldman led a group of Jews to settle in Hebron. Although times were hard, the settlers felt they were fulfilling a dream that had existed for generations. Slowly, the Jewish community grew and in 1969 the Israeli government decided to establish a Jewish town close to Mearat Hamachpela, named Kiryat Arba. The plan was to build a Jewish city, and the surrounding hills were reserved for that purpose. But soon the Arabs covered the hills with illegal construction to block the development of the city. However, by 2008, Hebron's Jewish population was over 7,000, and it had become an active regional center.

In 1997, under pressure from President Clinton, Prime Minister Netanyahu handed over 85% of Hebron to the Palestinians. The Jewish residents have become easy targets for Arab snipers who live on hills surrounding them. The Jews have limitations on where they can build, while the Arabs embark on a massive wave of constructions. In addition, Israeli left wing organizations like Peace Now, very often join together with Arab activists to try to obliterate the Jewish community.

With all that, the Hebron community is a reflection of the Zionist activity and achievement. It is an ancient community that has been driven out more than once, and always returned. Hebron is the root by which the Jewish nation stands.
Read Comments (4)
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I loved this article!
Date 06:03, 03-4, 10

This article was so inspiring to read. I am so happy to hear that college students have taken up the cause to visit Israel and learn about its culture. I remember visiting Hebron many years ago and the author captured the city quite well.
A Moving and Informative Article
Date 09:03, 03-4, 10

I agree that this article was very inspiring. I, too, have been to Hebron and although I was aware of the holiness and the great legacy of this place, I was not conscious of just how integral it is to the history of Jerusalem. Thank you for providing me with this enlightening background information and for doing so good a job of outlining the importance and uniqueness of Hebron and all that it stands for.
Excellent! We need to read more about Hebronץ
Date 04:03, 03-7, 10

Thank you very much for writing this article- we need to read more about Hebron. When I visited Hebron there were many many people there - both Jews and non-Jews. There was also a large group of children celebrating on the courtyard lawn. It was so heartwarming - I can only encourage everyone to visit Hebron, to tour the Jewish community and speak with the Jewish residents there. You will never regret it. It may very well be the best day of your visit to Israel.
Shula Schwartz
Ther's somthing about hebron
Date 01:03, 03-8, 10

This article is doing a great job by informing many Jews (like me), who know very little about the connection between the Jewish history and Hebron. Great research! Great writing! Thank you again for this beautiful article.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

for you israeli readers...

מגי קרסון היא נערה טיפוסית
השנה 2035. היא רוכבת על בית הספר
heliscooter של אמה, אוכלת ארוחות
שהוכן על ידי עוזרת רובוטית, ואת יכולה
לחכות כדי הנסיעה שלה עם גבר
עשה מושבת חלל.
כאשר שני ניצולי בספטמבר
11, 2001 מתקפת הטרור על
מרכז הסחר העולמי לספר הסיפורים שלהם
הכיתה שלה, היא מוצאת את עצמה עמוק

יום אחד היא מועבר בזמן חזרה
לניו יורק ב -5 בספטמבר
2001 - עם הרשעה שיש לה
ניתנה לו הזדמנות להתריע את העיר
ובכך להציל חיים של אלפי
אנשים חפים מפשע.

אבל מי יאמין לה? לוקח
היתרון של העובדה שכולם
מאמינה שהיא תהיה ג 'ניפר Applebee,
העשרה הממוצע מברוקלין; היא מנסה
להיפגש עם ראש העיר ג 'וליאני אך היא
אסור להיכנס העירייה. בזמן
ריצה סביב boros העיר, היא
מצטייר שני נערים שאפתנים;
ההורים שלה בעתיד. כאשר הטוב ביותר שלה
חבר קייטי מחליטה לזרוק יום הולדת
ארוחת בוקר ב מגדלי התאומים על
בבוקר של 9 / 11, 2001, הממשמש ובא
אסון הופך אישי, ו
מגי / ג 'ניפר מחליט לפעול.

מה היא יכולה לעשות כדי להציל את המגדלים?
יכול לשנות את ההיסטוריה? ר 'ב' זומר,
יליד ברוקלין שגר בניו יורק
בתקופת פיגועים, מתבסס על
על רקע ניסיון אישי
חומר. קריאה היא זו האמונה
רומן מעוררות מחשבה.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

feb 4---Fixie

Hey all,
Just wanted to say hi. Man this weather is crazy. It snowed yesterday then in the afternoon it was nice. Today was nice and over the weekend it will be beyonddddddd freezing. Oh well. I have nothing new to say about my book or publishing, though I'd like to dedicate today's blog to my late dog named Fixie. I had her between ages 8 and 18. She was an amazing dog: loyal, loving, smart, the whole package. Unfortunately, she died because she was very sick, but she is always on my mind, especially when her birthday comes up. Today was supposed to be her 14th birthday. R.I.P. Fixie, you are truly missed.