Wednesday, April 30, 2008

the more things change, the more they stay the same

whenever i go back to visit my parents i always feel like a child again. both of my parents always insist on carrying my luggage for me...into the house ,into the car, off of the carousel ... its amazing. actually, i think that they are stronger than i am!! they are able to lift my bags better than i can. i plan on enjoying this as long as i can.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


over the past 5 yrs my mom has turned in to that jewish mother that probably everyone else out there has always had, but mine only most recently has become. my mom used to never pressure me about getting married . then that fateful birthday rolled around and then she never stopped. i know that i cant complain because ive only had 5 yrs of it, but its hell. its not like i dont want to get married. anyway , this pesach my mom decided to tell me that if u eat the afikomen you wont be an old maid. well i havent heard that segulah before. i would have remembered that one. and i always eat the afikomen on pesach, so i want my money back!! the only good part of hearing this old wives tale was that my sister who is also over 30 was in the bathroom when my mom mom shared this tidbit, so i was the one to relate it to her later. of course she took the high road and didnt respond.

the rabbi's daughter

during pesach i had alot of time to read. one of the books i read was the rabbi's daughter by reva mann. its an autobiography. while reva mann is a captivating writer, its unbelievable that someone would want to broadcast such a revealing self-portrait. apparently reva mann is the daughter of a modern orthodox rabbi in london. she was quite a rebel while she was in high school, but at age 25 wound up at a women't baal tshuvah yeshiva--- neve yerusahlayim. she doesnt outright name the yeshiva but by her description of it and where it was located (bayit vegan) and her naming of the neve "niche"(its real name) where the bt women would by their frummie clothing, its quite obvious. anyway, while at neve the author is trying to give up her old ways and get married to someone so she could live a torah true life. unfortunately the man she married was so frum he deleted the necessity for any romance even though they somehow managed to actually have three kids. sex to her husband was only a halachah , not to be enjoyed. eventually they divorce and the author finds a nice jewish druggie to hang with. somewhere along the way it is mentioned that the author has an older sister who is mentally retarded, and that her father was the son of the chief rabbi of israel. though reva's parents did not like her former life of a drug addict and sex fiend, they didnt approve of her yeshivish lifestyle either. in about the last two pages of the book i found out that after reva leaves her druggie rebound guy when her children are small, she takes an extended break from dating. it seems that even after the divorce she maintains some level of frumkeit. most of all she seems to be a lost soul. while i do admit that it was a riveting tale, i felt almost embarrassed for the author reading her story. even though these things may have happened , why tell the entire world?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


im going away for pesach, so im not sure when my next post will be. im going to visit my parents for the holiday. it should be interesting. family time always is. have a meaningful pesach all.


i saw the movie unsettled tonight. unsettled is a film about the gaza withdrawal in in 2005. the film is directed by adam hootnick . i was so glad to be at the screening tonight because adam hootnick, the director was there and there was a q&a session at the end of the screening. needless to say he is too cute for words. now to more serious business, the film itself. the film centers more specifically around 2 soldiers who are drafted in to carrying out the expulsion of the residents of gaza as well as 3 residents of gush katif and netzarim. 2 are religious and one is not. included in the film is a non-religious activist whose real reason for wanting the withdrawal from the settlements was because she didnt feel non-religious soldiers should risk their lives to defend and protect the frum settlers. settlers who they themselves had served in the army. she hid behind her party line of her grief over her sister's murder in the1996 purim terrroist attack. this could not justify her cold attitude toward the inhabitants of the gaza "setttlements". she had less rachmanas than the soldiers who had to carry out this tragic event.

it was heartbreaking to watch the soldiers prepare for a maneuver they did not fully understand themselves. some of them were crying when they had to evict people from their homes .when they heard the heartbreaking words of those who were being evicted they could not fight their tears.

it was quite heart wrenching to see the residents sing and dance at the end of their stay in gaza. i was so impressed . even though they knew on some level that they would be leaving they were able to rejoice in the remaining moments they still had, instead of just moping around in depression.

lior, a non-religious lifeguard who lived in gush katif was a reminder that not all of those who lived there were religious. his family chose to leave before being forced out. they took everything, including the roof. they wanted to leave with a good memory of their home, instead of being one of being physically ousted.

i cried throughout the movie. it was sad to see ariel sharon who had sanctioned the settlements to begin with, force people to leave those very places . the most sad part was to see jewish people being forced to evict other jewish people.

i think that the film was fair to all involved and the moments captured spoke for themselves.
i highly recommend it.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

creative (writing ) blogging

as a kid i really enjoyed creative writing. i always thought that i would make a career of it. well i didnt end up pursuing one because my dad told me that 'no one makes money as a writer. ' so i didnt pursue a grand writing career. the job that i do have does not makes tons of bucks either. i do realize that it is quite tough to make it as a successful writer. so i do understand why my dad said what he said. now im enjoying blogging. its my way of being a published writer without leaving my apartment.

Friday, April 11, 2008

l'chaim to life

i have a married friend who used to comment about how she thought how much more awful it is for someone with children to pass away young than for an unattached person to have an untimely death. needless to say this thought didnt go over well with me. i believe that every person's life is equally important and there is no issue of one person's life being more valuable because they were lucky enough to have had a spouse and children. perhaps if the single and childless one had lived longer they may have had a spouse and a child. furthermore, the one who dies young who has been married has gotten the opportunity to have a spouse. the one who dies young with children has had children. im not invalidating the fact that someone who passes away and leaves small children behind does not leave many suffering. all i want to say is dont do the freakin' comparisons. all scenarios are sad. and of course i do have a friend who did die young and did leave behind a husband and young children. and yes i do think this is most sad, i just dont think that its not as sad for someone to die young without ever having gotten married, without having a child, without having great love in their life. someone single may have touched others greatly through other venues , through friendship, tzadakah,chesed, and being there for one's family. when we speak of the holocaust we dont say "well six million died , but two million were single, so it was really only a great loss of four million jews" chas v'shalom!
i had a friend years ago who had told me she wouldnt have gotten health insurance unless she had children. i remember being horrified with her attitude . i remember asking her why she wouldnt have thought it important to obtain health insurance just for herself? why wasnt she important? and what would she have done had something dreadful happened to her and she had needed health insurance, but didnt have it? what then ?
i have elderly relatives who have never married , and they dont have kids. i am who i am today because of them . and i dont mean that i am single because of them. i mean that i am who i am because they have added so much to my life. they didnt have kids, so they were there for me. i have a great aunt who passed away when was three who i to this day remember . she never had a biological child to remember her, but all these years later i remember her and how much fun i had playing with her. no one knows how many lives have been touched by one seemingly simple individual.
every life is important and valuable . every life that leaves this world is an equal loss, because once they pass away the world is a different place. we all are important and we all have the ability to make this world a better place. who are we to be so cavalier as to decide whose life is more important? who are we to play g-d?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


i saw the movie jellyfish on friday. though it is a little slow moving i did like it. after seeing it once i would like to see it a second time so i can catch all of the nuances i may have missed. the movie has a few different stories going on at once. one story is about a waitress who breaks up with her boyfriend , finds a little girl at the beach and gets fired. the next story is about a couple who gets married (our waitress is at work here) and the wife breaks her leg at their wedding. this couple seems so real i almost felt embarrassed witnessing their dialogue. the other main story is about a Filipino woman who is working in israel as an assistant to older women. even though she does not speak hebrew, her employers ( children of the elderly women) somehow think she's a good caretaker for their mothers. they are right. these two are guests at the wedding . some of the most wicked humor is employed in this story. the elderly charge tries to communicate in german to the Filipino woman because she doesnt understand hebrew. she of course just speaks hebrew and german. the Filipino woman just speaks english and Filipino.i know if i try to speak french , i start speaking hebrew because thats the first language i think of when i think of a foreign language. these scenes were hilarious!!
the heaviness of this movie was tempered by humor and supernatural special effects. the eyes of the little girl who is found at the beach are so expressive that they beckon one to a time of one's innocence. they sent the waitress batya back to confront her childhood demons. at some point i thought that this child was really batya as a child.
the picture painted of the Filipino woman and her employer seemed quite realistic. much better than the picture of foreign workers displayed in the movie james' journey to jerusalem(a disappointing movie which i do not recommend.)
the ending is magical. im tempted to give it away, but i wont.
this is another movie that shows the human side of israel. this is so important. its important to remember the strife. its important to realize that those enduring this strife are individuals full of love and life and emotion just like you and me!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

shared custody

its bad enough when i have a relationship which breaks up, but to be honest, its no walk in the park when this happens to my friends. especially friends who break up who used to be part of my chevra. who gets the friends? even a relatively reasonable couple who breaks up can make this transition difficult for the friends. like who do you hang with saturday night when each calls you up separately and wants t0 get together? of course there are always those who were friends with one party or the other to begin with and will stay friends with their pre-relationship friend. what happens when you were equally close to either party? then what? i abide by the policy of whoever calls me up first. of course this is always difficult because the second party might call me up with more appealing plans. previously it wouldnt have made a difference because if the second caller had a better plan we could have all done the second plan as a group. now its more complex . thats why i abide by my rule. otherwise things can get sticky. this gets easier, but it takes time. of course i do realize that its worst for the couple who has broken up. im just saying that the friends are like kids who now have to contend with a broken family of friends. and that ain't easy either.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


very important news here:
  1. dunkin donuts has punch cards now. buy any 5 hot drinks , get the 6th free. i figured this out when i spied a hole puncher near the cash register. i figured that meant punch cards were in the vicinity.
  2. april 29th is ben and jerry's free cone day. 12pm-8pm
  3. april 30th is baskin robbins 31cents a cone day 5pm-10 pm
  4. oh and pesach precedes these great events april 19th at candle lighting time-april 27th at havdalah .
  5. happy spring!!