Noah Was a Brazilian


By Eli Ajzenman


There is a saying “be careful what you wish for, you may get it “

Speaking with Gary mid last week I was complaining about the slow growth of membership of Panim. Maybe I was doing something wrong, perhaps the format was not right. I spent many nights tweaking and searching other sites to see how I could improve the look.

 I have spent countless hours on posting on other blog sites, doing something i always disliked. That is self promotion, in this case, Panim promotion. However i am so passionate, and believe strongly in the concept of what Panim is and can be that I forwent my natural aversion to it and continued.

I even went to the extent of sending out a survey to members (more on that later) to try and glean some insight into the minds of our membership.

Of course I didn’t know about the impending Tsunami that was about to hit.

The weekend passes and come the wee small hours of Monday morning and what seemed to be a trickle of new members, from Brazil, turns into a Flood. After greeting 3 or 4 new members another 3 appear to have signed on, and then more at ever an increasing rate. I am struggling t o keep up and realise that something unique was happening.

As it stands Panim went from 96 members on Sunday Morning to as at writing 142.

Not all from Brazil, but now increasing from Israel, U.S, Canada, and even Sweden. (Yes I know Bruno is Brazilian). So if I wasn’t panicked before about improving the site, I am now. Now so many more people to keep interested. The pleasing part is that many of the new members are already contributing, not just in discussions but with photos, videos and music uploads.

I have a vision of Panim being the premier site for Jews all of the world to join, interact and discover all our wonderful brothers and sisters who make up Kol Israel. Whereas before I believed I now know its possible.

So to all the new members, Welcome and enjoy the ride.

Of course my deepest thanks have to go Mara who was the instigator of this surprising outcome. Her article published in Alef, a Brazilian on line magazine, prompted so many people to join. Kol Hakavod to you Mara. Your passion for Panim is amazing. Also a big thank you to the other admin staff, Gary and Esther, whom without I would have drowned in the rush. They as well have a passion for what Panim can be.

I must add that a number of our regular members, also without prompting joined in and help welcome and make the first experience of Panim a warm and fuzzy one. Thank you to them as well.

With the world in turmoil in the face of the financial crisis, some countries even declaring bankruptcy, Stock markets on a roller coaster ride, Israel without an effective government and unwilling or unable to even stop a “peace boat” entering Gaza it seems that once again the weeks Parshah, this week’s being Noah seems to bring some insight to our world. At least from a Jewish perspective.

The Flood is interpreted in many ways. It is seen as Din (judgement) on a world Hashem has decided needs to be punished for all its excesses, and some interpret it as spiritual cleansing. An immersion into a Mikvah. As the waters subside, the world breathes a breath of fresh air and Noah’s task is to rebuild it physically and spiritually.

Last week I sent out a link for a quick survey asking members to answer nine quick questions about their thoughts of Panim. Disappointingly we received a meagre 17 responses. I am including the link and extending the time for the survey for another week. Please if you care what appears on Panim, please take five minutes to answer this anonymous survey. Click here to start.

 I want to congratulate one of our members who had two reasons to celebrate this week. Nadia’s (nads) daughter won the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Award in Perth this week.  Nads also had one of her poems published in the Women’s Day. It is a national weekly magazine here in Australia.  The Poem “Captivity” appeared in Panim, before that. Thank you Nads, for sharing it with us.

It has been a big week here at Panim, and I am barely over the excitement. Thank goodness it’s Shabbat and I can switch off for a day.

To everyone, enjoy your Shabbat in which ever manner you do, with family, friends and loved ones.


Shabbat Shalom


4 thoughts on “Noah Was a Brazilian

  1. Eli – thank you for your hard work…

    A friend and mentor of mine says that when the TEACHER is ready, the students appear. It seems that G-d has decided you are ready for the “flood”.

    I know for myself, I was looking for a Jewish community, as I am still trying to figure out my own Jewish identity. You showed up on my Facebook page when I was ready, because the TEACHER will also appear when the student is ready.

    Shabbat Shalom Eli and the rest of Panim. I am glad to be here.

  2. Well, Eli, you’ve made me smile with the title of your blog … From Brazilian invasion to the flood, not bad … 🙂

    Nads, he did say ‘Woman’s Weekly’ when he told me about it and I was surprised myself to read it was a different mag 🙂

    Shorty so glad you are glad and glad you are here!

    Back to Eli – I felt so powerless that such a beautiful space was not being used by more people that I had to do something, and was very disappointed when it took so many weeks for the article to be published. And if we are passionate about Panim it is because we have you, Eli, our inspirator, guru, ‘the’ Boss himself! (I know I know you hate being called ‘Boss’ but it’s with love we say it).

    All in all, a wonderful week – Shabbat Shalom, everyone!

  3. Eli you certainly got what you wished for, the flood has begun and its not going to stop any time soon. I kept saying it was early days and to be patient but could see your disappointment in the numbers. You have opened the world to a wonderful site, all they need to do is reach out and join fellow Jews from across this wonderful planet. Brazil has approx 96,000 Jews, Australia has 89,000 we have a little way to go but we’ll get there. Panim has taken me out of my comfort zone and it will do the same for many more. El creator’s work has just begun, there’s another 14 million Jews to reach!

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