Home > Diary, Thoughts > Home… And Reflecting

Home… And Reflecting

December 20th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

As always… to be home safe and sound is a blessing beyond measure. As I have been noting here in my blog, I went abroad with my teenage son, my musical partner Barry MItterhoff and his lady friend Gayle. We did a gig in Bilbao, Spain and then to the Middle East where we played three gigs in Israel. You see so much in the news here in America that has so little to do with reality anywhere and everything to do with ratings in the ongoing jousts between the sundry talking heads. Some people here at home were chiding me for going to the Middle East based on the sensationalist nonsense we had been seeing. As always, our task is to avoid contempt before investigation and I spent a lot of time in contact with friends on the ground, so to speak who assured me that life was going on in the aftermath of the ‘war.’ I would never have risked the life of my young son if I thought there was any danger whatsoever… and there wasn’t.

My point here, is that what I saw in the grand little country of Israel, was a deep love of the music that has sustained me all my life. Was there a consensus of political opinion? Of course not. Was there a consensus for a deep and abiding love of the spirit? Absolutely! I wrote mostly about the delicious food I encountered while overseas. What’s not to like about a good meal? It’s a little harder to write about the spiritual intangibles that make life truly worth living. I experienced a fellowship of the spirit that that still surrounds me even being home for several days. You can’t quantify this.

In the past, I have been taken to task for working in Israel and for supporting that country in spirit. Frankly, I don’t care. I’m entitled to my opinion and you… collectively to yours. So be it. Opinions are like… well, that nether portion of your anatomy. Everyone’s got one.

Here at home, we are still reeling under the cloud of that unspeakable tragedy in Connecticut. My daughter’s elementary school is under a whole new set of rules for dropping off and picking up our kids. I cannot imagine the pain and horror of losing a child. I have outlived my parents as I should in a ‘normal’ world. I hope my kids will outlive me. Tragedies like this always spawn a torrent of editorializing. Again… nice for ratings… sorrow for those involved. That there is evil in this world is undeniable. There is also great good… and being the eternal optimist I am, good will ultimately prevail.

Nuff said. When I passed through Immigration at Dulles International, I said to the officer… ‘It’s great to be back in what is, to me, the greatest country on earth.


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  1. Brett
    December 20th, 2012 at 07:50 | #1

    Welcome Home Jorma,

    Blessings to you and your family and to Israel! Looking forward to many more great shows in 2013! I’ve been seeing your shows for over 30 years now and still look forward to the next one.

  2. Mike Copeland
    December 20th, 2012 at 08:43 | #2

    I support Israel also. I might like to travel there someday. Thanx for spreading the good will. I was at the show at the Beacon (drove 500 miles to see it) and Sugaree brought tears to my eyes. I believe that education and music is the best path to enlightenment. But, there are and always will be obstacles on that path.

    The daily obscenity of the talking heads and politicians trying to one-up each other while wallowing in the blood of the victims in Connecticut is a new low, even for us. I have not heard anyone speak about providing real education about guns in schools, places of education. The irony is enormous. More laws, signs, procedures are not going to stop anyone bent on evil nor give the kids and educators the facts they need. I’m offering my services as a firearms instructor to talk to kids and parents free around here, still no takers.


  3. Richard Cowles
    December 20th, 2012 at 09:13 | #3

    Welcome home…Thanks for all the pics and meal updates,I enjoy them.I also like the term sundry talking heads.I will retain that for my own personal use if you don’t mind.As always you project a positive attitude…Thanks

  4. Jeff
    December 20th, 2012 at 09:48 | #4

    As a resident of CT and someone fortunate to have visited Israel I could not agree with you more on all points. Welcome home, and continue to lift our collective spirits. L’chaim!

  5. carlo pagliano
    December 20th, 2012 at 10:11 | #5

    Your optimism is a certainty, Jorma! As always. And that sounds like the queen of the songs. Like your songs open endless horizons in our little lives and always helped us to overcome the entanglements both spiritual than personal one has to settle when the “forests are deep”, and You always show there’s a blue sky waiting behind, and we move onward every day that way, “independent from the weather”, “the sound of Rock will solve all problems!”
    Nothing else but rock, Jorma’s Rock!

  6. mutt
    December 20th, 2012 at 11:00 | #6

    Welcome aboard from abroad Cap’n.
    A very Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year to you
    and the entire Hot Tuna Family.
    With special hugs fur your new secretary and spouse.

    The Land of the Southern Cross is as it should be –
    All is Calm All is Bright.

    New pigeons continue to roost and the message is being carried.

    Onward indeed . . .

    Your travels are the envy of many and may be summed up by the wordsmith Samuel Langhorne Clemens:

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”.

    Peace and Love to All.


  7. Dave Millard
    December 20th, 2012 at 11:17 | #7

    Well, I never would have thought you going to Israel is something you should have been chid (past tense of chide) about. I guess some people are too sensitive for their own good or too eager to look for negativity. Glad you had a great time – spending some time out of the country does give you a different perspective on our media.

  8. Allan Richter
    December 20th, 2012 at 11:39 | #8

    G-d bless you and your family, Jorma. All the best.

  9. Barbara Jacobs
    December 20th, 2012 at 12:27 | #9

    Israel is a beautiful country. Great people, food, beaches.
    I’ve been there many times and returned safe and sound.
    It’s a place that has a security presence in the streets because it’s surrounded by countries that aren’t friendly to its existance.

    It’s where members of my family lived when they had no homes to return to after
    WW11. A few of my grandparent’s friends still live there. They’re in their nineties now and could have moved to the USA but prefer to stay.

    My grandparents are gone now but I still visit their friends in Israel.
    They stuff me with home cooking: potato kugle,apple strudle,cheese blintzes, challah.
    Fresh lemonade and home-flavored teas.
    All kinds of soup.
    Made with love and served with hugs and kisses.
    They look at me as I’m taking the first bite and say:
    “So, how is it? Is it good bubbela?”

    That’s why I’ll continue to go visit there.

  10. Brett
    December 20th, 2012 at 13:15 | #10


    Happy Holidays to you and yours Jorma!!


  11. Ben
    December 20th, 2012 at 13:43 | #11

    Yep, like those nether regions of the body that everyone has, here’s my opinion: People who criticize Israel are either anti-Semites or are concerned about heavy-handed defense tactics employed by the military. Anti-Semites can take a hike. As for alleged heavy-handedness, what would you do if you were surrounded by forces that wanted to end your existence? It’s a big planet, and there is room on it for Israel.

  12. Barbara Jacobs
    December 20th, 2012 at 14:05 | #12

    Agree, Ben.

    Israelis are survivors.
    They have a wonderful sense of humor and enjoy having fun. They live their lives with a passion for every day.
    I don’t mind seeing military on the streets there.
    In Israel, the people are being watched-over, rather than merely watched.

  13. eaglesteve
    December 20th, 2012 at 14:13 | #13

    Welcome back home to the USA Captain.

  14. Joanne
    December 20th, 2012 at 15:01 | #14

    Thanks for such a positive attitude Jorma!Anti-Semites can go to —-, you know what I mean.Loved all your food/meal up-dates and photo’s…what’s better than great food, great music and love? Nothing!
    It looks like I will have to travel this year to make it to a Hot Tuna show, so be it…OR or MD? I could never miss not seeing you folks! It would be a year without sunshine!!!!
    Wishing you and your family a Joyful, Happy Holiday!

  15. Ed Pauley
    December 20th, 2012 at 17:39 | #15

    Thanks for sharing words of wisdom. Every time I venture abroad, I realize how the news distorts and clouds our perceptions thanks to rating wars and too much airtime to fill. A lifelong news attic, I’ve been on a self imposed news blackout for two months and can fill my spirits lifting.

  16. Bob Kelly
    December 20th, 2012 at 21:50 | #16

    Welcome home,looks like a great time was had by all.. a great father and son road trip indeed, as for the folks who question or, opinion ate Jormas religious beliefs or his choice of Travel plans..take a big step back.. Peace to all

  17. cyndy consentino
    December 20th, 2012 at 23:30 | #17

    Dear Jorma,

    Welcome back to the good ole USA!! Glad you enjoyed the trip with Zach, a special time for you and your son!
    Yes much sadness in the last week-my heart breaks every day! many new angels in heaven!

    Be well,

  18. Paul
    December 21st, 2012 at 09:39 | #18

    So well said… I love this country so much. It gave refuge and opportunity to my family. I just wish that all those who died in the holocaust from my family had the chance to escape to this beautiful country as well…

    Welcome home! Love to all….


  19. Tim from Philly
    December 21st, 2012 at 16:53 | #19

    Israel full of positive spirit among great social and political division? Sounds like home. Rock on Brother Jorma. Count me proud to be your countryman. Welcome home.

  20. Tim from Philly
    December 21st, 2012 at 16:59 | #20

    Jorma I hope the Genesis double encore theme will be exported home from Israel

  21. Barbara Jacobs
    December 21st, 2012 at 18:37 | #21

    Actually, Israel is safer now in many ways than Manhattan.

    Unlike here, residents there have served in the Army and are prepared for the times when things are so out of control.
    It’s not the same Israel of the past but the potential for violence is always there, the same as in Manhattan.
    Whoever chid Jorma for going there with his son probably would not have chid him for visiting Manhattan with him. Their lives aren’t at risk there in Israel, any more than they would be in Manhattan.

    As usual, the fear-mongering is more political than factual.

  22. joe in dC
    December 21st, 2012 at 21:28 | #22

    Now is as safe a time as any to visit Israel or any place for that matter.
    Just gotta go when the going is good.
    Or one will never go.

  23. Rj King
    December 22nd, 2012 at 03:08 | #23

    Welcome back to the good ol’ U.S.A., Jorma.
    As is typical, you blog inspires interesting comments.
    Things were tense a couple of months ago in Israle, but have settled down. A family of friends who live on a Kibbutz wrote daily, and that is truly one of the blessings of the interwebs.
    At that time, the people on the Kibbutz were spending a lot of time in bomb shelters. Everyone there has a gas mask. Sirens were going off repeatedly. One of the daughters is still on active duty so she spent many nights sleeping in her uniform, her boots beside her bed.

    Americans have a somewhat distorted view of modern armed conflict. In modern warfare, the fighting is often contained to a relatively small area. A friend of mine is married to a man who works in international relief. She had not seen her husband in over 6 months. There was a relative period of calm, so she flew with their 6 year old son for a visit, even though there was fighting right over the mountain- a mere two and half miles from where they stayed.
    There is now a cease fire in Israel. Even though they are often short lived, let us hope the cease fire in Israel holds. Bob Dylan was once asked if he believed there would ever be peace in the Mideast. He said he believed the peace would last about as long as it takes to reload.
    Now the peace in an idyllic town in Connecticut has been shattered. Lives are forever altered; plans and dreams destroyed; families grieve. America will go on, but it won’t be the same America as it was a week ago on Thursday. Another piece of our lives has lost its carefree innocence.
    Social media can be a PITA, but it does have a positive side. One thing that is going around is the idea of doing 26 Act of Random Kindness in memory of the 26 children and teachers and administrators who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary. Even if it is as simple as offering a grocery cart cowboy a pair of gloves on a cold, windy day, we all have to look out for each other.

  24. Rj King
    December 22nd, 2012 at 03:16 | #24

    P.S. – hope my misspellings and random omissions do not render my post too hard to read. Oh, well. Just like real life, I can’t back & fix it now! 🙂

  25. Ariel
    December 22nd, 2012 at 04:57 | #25

    To put together the two themes of the school violence and Israel, here’s a solution to the heart rending situation in American schools: Learn a lesson from Israel and implement real security in schools (and I don’t mean just one cop walking around a school, but security personel and metal detectors, whatever it takes.) You think this solution is too expensive? How much are your kids worth? Ask Israel, fact is security works!

  26. carlo pagliano
    December 22nd, 2012 at 08:25 | #26

    Thanks for always posting on Fur Peace TV the core of USA music flowing through the Fur Peace Station so abundant, tingeing the spirit of that musical history by ‘musicians extraordinaire’ over the immensity of their ancient prairies. The only window open over these great interpreters of today’s musical scene on those American rooths.

    Glorious Happy Birthday Jorma!
    Steady As She Goes

  27. Cyndy Consentino
    December 23rd, 2012 at 10:24 | #27

    Dear Jorma,

    Wishing you a wonderful Birthday!

    Be Well

  28. Steve Finkelstein
    December 23rd, 2012 at 10:41 | #28

    Happy Birthday, Jorma. As they say in Israel, may you live to be 120!

    I am so happy for you and your family that you got to spend time in Israel with your son, Zach. It is truly a special place to explore and experience with your child, and serves to connect generations, not only yours and your son, but with all who have gone before. And as far as safety is concerned, there is probably no safer place to bring your family. I was there in December 2008 with our daughter for her Bat Mitzvah and never felt that we were threatened or in danger.

    Jorma-Next year in Jerusalem. Am Yisroel Chai.

  29. Hamneggs
    December 23rd, 2012 at 11:10 | #29

    Peace and Love All Ways
    Happy Birthday

  30. Rich Patchkofsky
    December 23rd, 2012 at 11:22 | #30

    Well said!
    Happy Birthday!

  31. craig healy
    December 23rd, 2012 at 11:39 | #31

    Well put. Just keep spreading your particular brand of joy .Everyone forgots we read to much about the actions of governments and their endless follies while the world is made of many good and kind people just trying to get by and thats who have chosen ,kudos

  32. eaglesteve
    December 23rd, 2012 at 13:57 | #32

    Happy Birthday Captain………… And many mo’!

  33. Joanne
    December 23rd, 2012 at 14:33 | #33

    Wishing you a birthday full of love, happiness and great food!!!!

  34. Mike Anderson
    December 23rd, 2012 at 17:24 | #34

    Happy Birthday, wishing you many more.

  35. December 23rd, 2012 at 17:58 | #35

    Hapy Birthday, Jorma. May you and your’s have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  36. johno
    December 23rd, 2012 at 20:07 | #36

    Jorma – HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAPTAIN! (as Harvey used to call you). You don`t look a day over 50! A double “GENESIS” in Jerusalem – wish I was there.

  37. Susan Neal Hall
    December 23rd, 2012 at 20:34 | #37

    Enjoy your special day, with all it has to offer!! Happy Birthday Jorma!

  38. Barbara Jacobs
    December 23rd, 2012 at 20:45 | #38

    Happy Birthday!

    Jorma asked on an earlier blog-post, how the attack in Benghazi could have been allowed to happen by our government. Why wasn’t there adequate security put into place, especially after Ambassador Chris Stevens’ requests?

    We now know that the State Department failed.

    Hilary Clinton is too tired, dehydrated and whatever else her excuse is, to testify.
    Mrs. Clinton is being advised by Bill.

    I call him “Bill The Bullshitter”.
    Time to explain, Hillary.

    Even Bill Clinton had to stop sneaking out in the middle of the night, to go from Ron Burkle’s house to David Geffen’s house.

  39. December 23rd, 2012 at 22:16 | #39

    hi! Glad to hear you think good will prevail in this world. These are trying times indeed- being a kind loving person it is often heartbreaking to see this beautiful earth so polluted and to see all the evil in this world. As a mom of a toddler I wonder what kind of life we will live from this day forward. I am always happy to hear optimism about this world! Bless you

  40. John B
    December 24th, 2012 at 11:03 | #40

    Merry Christmas Jorma.

  41. Doug
    February 28th, 2013 at 13:46 | #41

    Kol Chavod Jorma.