Community Voices

Readers advise how they cope with life’s unpleasant ‘stuff’

I recently asked readers how they are managing to cope with all the unpleasant “stuff” that is swirling around us. Many of you responded and shared your feelings on coping. Here are a few replies:

Bea Hines.JPG
Bea L. Hines

▪ One of the ways I cope with the negative things is to avoid negative energy (and the people who exude it) and stay positive. Not watching the negative, hateful news or internet feeds help a lot. I know this is like sticking my head in the sand, but sometimes one needs to back off and look at the big picture. I have plants in cast off recycling bins... gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes. And collard greens, beans, radishes, onions... Yeah, it is brutal [work] in the summer, but a good way to sweat out bad energy.

I also ponder Joshua 1:9 [in the Bible] ‘’... be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”.

So... how do I make sense of it all? 1: Stay positive. 2: Avoid the negative sensationalism of the media. 3: Get my hands dirty. 4: Try to stay strong and courageous. — Jane Potter

▪ Here is how I cope with today’s horrific news: I read the Bible and know that the end is coming soon. But I also have faith that God is faithful to us and He promised that He will always be with us, until eternity. I am not afraid of what’s coming ... but by getting closer to God and obeying Him by His word and by prayer, my family and I will be triumphant in Jesus Christ. — Nidia Gralewski

▪ I have been meaning to write to you for a while now, just to tell you how much I enjoy your column. ... We seem to share the same attitude towards life in general. You asked how do we make sense of all the negative things. I have been praying a lot in the past few years, real serious, deep and meaningful prayers. I have also done novenas. I was brought up Catholic, but I have attended services in many different religions. — Ana M. Valenti

▪ When I decided I was sick of all the bad news, I found the Good News Network on GNN that I read on my iPad. ... People have tuned to GNN as an antidote to the “barrage of negative news stories.” Good news is not in short supply. — Judy Pruitt

▪ My wife and I also use the power of prayer to get through each day. After taking the dog for a walk, we say our prayers before breakfast. Afterward, I try to read one passage of scripture and then we begin our day. We are blessed with good health and neighbors but a serious amount of stress and unease comes from the television set. We both feel that a lot of today’s news is not appropriate for children... The majority of people are good and are struggling to raise their families and do good by others. We are bombarded by the negative. Our nation is divided by different opinions and lacking in leadership who would work on a peaceful compromise or solutions to obvious problems. Prayer gets us through it all. — Steve and Lynda Jenkins

▪ One of the things that helps me deal with life is reading your column. You bring comfort and joy in your heartfelt words. I shall always remember hearing you sing at the Miami Woman’s Club and what an uplifting experience that was. May you continue spreading serenity for many years. — Dolly Macintyre

Author to speak

Bestselling author Edwin Black will speak at five South Florida venues, Jan. 30 through Feb. 1.

The kick-off event will be 7 p.m. Jan. 30 at Temple Emanu-El, 1701 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. His presentation is entitled, “Israel and International Law — The Historical Underpinnings.”

Black is the author of the New York Times bestsellers “IBM and the Holocaust,” “The Farhud,” and “Financing the Flames.” He is the winner of numerous awards, including The International Human Rights Award, the Moral Compass Award, Justice for All Award, Moral Courage Award and Drum Major for Justice Award.

In addition, Black will speak Jan. 31 at Brauser Maimonides Academy in Fort Lauderdale and at Katz Yeshiva in Boca Raton at times to be announced.

Also, at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31, Black will serve as scholar-in-residence at Young Israel of Hollywood in Fort Lauderdale.

On Feb. 1, Black will speak at Chabad-Lubavitch of West Boynton Beach at a time to be announced.

For more information, call Carol Flatto, South Florida chairwoman of Americans for a Safe Israel, 305-527-8137 or

Oneg Shabbat services

Oneg Shabbat services will be 8:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, at Temple Beth Tov, 6438 SW Eighth St., West Miami. The temple’s Sisterhood will present light refreshments.

Shabbat morning services will be 9:15 a.m. to noon Saturday. The synagogue will host a Shabbat lunch after the service. The special “dessert” at the luncheon will be a Tu B’Shvat (Jewish Arbor Day) Seder with a special “Haggadah.”

Tu B’Shvat celebration

In keeping with the annual Tu B’Shvat celebration, the Association for Jewish Special Education (AJSE) and Jewish Disabilities Awareness and Inclusion Month, there will be a special exhibit featuring AJSE materials and photos from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, at Temple Sinai of North Dade, 18801 NE 22nd Ave. in North Miami Beach.

Attendees will be able to participate in the 19th annual Tu B’Shvat celebration from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The event will include games, music and refreshments. Call 305-205-3846 for more information.

Holocaust Education Week

Commemorations for Holocaust Education Week, Jan. 28 to Feb. 2, will be held at various locations throughout Miami-Dade County. The commemorations will attempt to keep the legacy of the Holocaust alive through the presentations of cultural, academic and personal perspectives. This will be done through a series of film presentations, lectures and community discussions throughout the week.

Exhibition Opening Day is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, at the Miami Beach Regional Library, 227 22nd St. in Miami Beach.

Speakers for the week will include Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, Peter Hayes, Henry Flescher, Fred Mulbauer, Avner Avraham and Gerald Lob.

A communitywide program of the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach, a Committee of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, all events are free and open to the public. For more information or to make advance seating reservations, call 305-538-1663.

Black opera singers

Miami’s black opera singers will be featured in a special concert celebrating Negro spirituals in a concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, in the Wendell Narcisse Performing Arts Theater at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center.

The pre-Black History Month celebration is called “Art of a Spiritual” and will feature soprano Kyaunnee Richardson; mezzo soprano Iris Roberts; baritone Angel Refuse; and bass Rohan Smith. Karl Richardson is the pianist. The concert will also feature the Voices of Heritage.

The concert highlights the technical complexity of the old Negro spiritual and celebrates the boldness of the ancestors while enlightening today’s generation. The concert will feature 15 songs performed by the artists. Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased online at and in advance at the center’s box office 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday. Call 305-638-6771 for group rates and more information.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Religion Notes, c/o Neighbors, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.