Friday, July 31, 2009

laundry woes

post tisha b'av i am always confronted with the laundry issue. how soon can i do it and how big of a zoo is it going to be in the laundry room in my 90% frum apartment building? usually the day after tisha b'av is a day i have work so its not as big of an issue. by the time i can do my laundry everyone else has done theirs. this year was different because i didnt have work today which is the day after tisha b'av. ive always thought that the halacha was that you couldnt do laundry after chatzot the day after tisha b'av because the the bais hamikdash was still burning on the tenth of av.normally this isnt an issue for me because i usually work the day after tisha b'av so i wouldnt be doing laundry until after chatzot anway. this year was different.
after much internal debate, i decided to do my laundry this morning early early because later today it will be a big zoo in the laundry room. though a little embarrassed to be doing laundry early early because it was before chatzot, i figured id do it anyway, who would see me? who is up so early? apparently everyone! there was already laundry left in the dryer from last night! there were already two loads in the spin cycle when i arrived in the laundry room! it was only 6:30 in the morning!
i did manage to get my two loads in the dryer before two other neighbors arrived with their laundry. so much for waiting until after chatzot! well, maybe they were having the same internal strife that i was, but just had to do it anyway. or maybe i got the halacha wrong. either way, i had clean laundry before eight am this morning. life is good.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

sinas chinam

i watched part of the ou's tisha b'av production at one of the local brooklyn shuls. as usual the topic of sinas chinam surfaced. but of course. it is tisha b'av.
sinas chinam - hatred for no reason or baseless hatred.. well i guess this explains alot. the charedim in israel throw stones at the chilonim on shabbos for a reason (or so they say) so that folly isnt considered sinas chinam in their eyes.
when someone doesnt act respectfully toward someone less frum or more frum this isnt sinas china because they've got a reason for their dislike.
the goyim hate us because we have (anything that they dont) so i guess this isnt baseless either.
perhaps the reason the bais hamikdash was destroyed was due to sinas chinam, but it will only be rebuilt through the mitzvah of v'ahavta l'rayecha camocha. - through loving your neighbor as one loves themselves. the geulah will come through having respect for others humanity even though they may not be our spiritual clones.
all varieties of jews, reform , orthodox, conservative, conservadox, chassidish, charedi, reconstructionist , modern orthodox, carlebachian, yeshivish, yeshivish modern , need to respect the others level of judaism. by doing this it doesnt mean you are invalidating what you believe in, it just means live and let live. the rest of the world doesnt differentiate. to them we are one big group of jew. to them the syrian jews of last weeks notoriety and madoff are one and the same- jewish with a capital J. unfortunately we jews havent all figured that one out yet.
to me this is the only way to be mekarev any one into frumkeit. be nice to them. dont denigrate their beliefs even if its not as frum as yours. this does not dilute what you believe in.
if someone is downright disrespectful this is a different story. im speaking of people who just have a pareve opinion of frumkeit.
its tisha b'av (still) let's try to end the madness already!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

more tisha b'av thoughts

some appropriate tisha b'av movies:
  1. au revoir les enfants
  2. the eichman trial
  3. the children of chabon
  4. shanghai ghetto

all of these are excellent. if you have any to add to the list, let me know.

tisha b'av

wishing everyone an easy and meaningful fast.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

open to interpretation

its so interesting how people assume. i was speaking to someone the other day and i told them i was cooking for shabbos. they later asked me who i was having over for shabbos lunch. this really floored me because this person was assuming that the only reason someone single could be cooking for shabbos would be because they were having guests. quite an assumption. this assumption of course would never even be in my radar. the the person who asked this question was male. this of explains alot. he would never cook for shabbos unless he was having guests and assumed everyone is like this. it is never appropriate to assume.
the worst however is when people assume and dont tell you what their assumption is so you cant set them straight. this happens all of the time. the worst is when someone assumes something, doesnt tell you their assumption and then is mad at you for something you never did in the first place. this is why its best to confront someone in a non-accusatory fashion and try to access the situation before making false assumptions and accusations.

Friday, July 24, 2009

love your neighbor.... or at least be civil!

tisha b'av is around the corner and it seems no one has learned anything since last year. there is still sinas chinam especially amongst g-ds chosen people. we are still too busy labelling levels of frumkeit to actually try and get along. we just keep missing the point. h-shem wants us to get along with one another not nit -pick chumrahs. until some semblance of civility evolves all we will be saying next av will be " same time next year" but hopefully not.

Monday, July 20, 2009

call me mayer tamuz

i went to the jewish museum yesterday and i saw the most amazing exhibit. a man named mayer kirshenblatt painted his memories of growing up in opatow , poland. his daughter had encouraged him to paint his memories starting in 1967. eventually he realized he needed to depict jewish pre-world war II poland so that people will remember how jewish people lived, not just how they so tragically died. thus he began painting.
the paintings vividly and accurately depict orthodox jewish life in the shtetl. they also have a gentleness to them. mr. kirshenblatt had fond memories of his childhood hometown which are absorbed in the aura of his paintings. the paintings fill several rooms in this exhibit.
there is a video featuring mr. kirshenblatt and his daughter where they discuss the making of the exhibit. it shows them go to opatow where he points out the locations depicted in his paintings . he meets up with elderly poles who remember his family. there was an exhibition of his paintings in poland as well as an opening where many poles attend. its fascinating.
at the end of the exhibit there are blank cards where everyone is encouraged to write a jewish memory from one's own life in the spirit of mayer kirshenblatt's paintings in which he paints his memories. there is a wall where some of these postcards are displayed. i read a few of them and included my own memory with a very inartistic drawing of my own.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

im vs telephone

when i finally got a computer 7 years ago, i was introduced to the wonderful world of IM . its great, you can talk to someone and multi-task at the same time in a way not possible while chatting on the phone. i have found that more males IM than females. females tend to stick to the more old fashioned form of communication, namely the telephone. i being female love IM and wish more of my female friends would get in to IM. if my friends who call me late at night would only IM me instead it would be so much bettter. somehow i can unwind faster after a late night IM much better than a much too late night phone call. i really need to suggest it to them. the only thing is that some of my female friends are so technologically inept that it would be hard to get them to IM more. oh well....

Friday, July 17, 2009

love the one your with

i remember listening to a song as a kid where the chorus had the line "love the one your with" in it. i remember not quite processing what this really meant. at the time i would ponder how someone could be in a relationship with someone they really didnt dig just to be in a relationship. fyi, this is not something i ever do. thus im perpetually single. however, thinking of this song whose name i dont recall, its really made me think. does it mean more than what i had previously thought? does it mean like who likes you? let me explain. sometimes the thrill of the chase can be alluring, instead of going for a more available individual. subconsciously it can be scary . someone more available may really want to have a relationship. the reality is that mr. cool really isnt so cool and it would be better to pursue someone more solid.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

evil lurks

today i found out one of my co-workers has been back -stabbing my employer. i cant go in to details, but its really pissing me off. id love to expose the situation , but im afraid what the fallout may be. im glad im aware of the situation , but it sickens me that such folly is happening and that the back stabber is getting away with it. my only comfort is that the back-stabber might get sloppy and get caught.
the thing is , what the back stabber is doing clearly affects one of my co-worker's livelihoods. i dont know how she can live with herself. even worse... there are for sure some partners in this crime otherwise she would not have gotten so far with this scheme. where's a superhero when the day needs saving?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

the allure of the forbidden

often i hear people complain that they cant find a great frum guy/girl to date so they make that leap and say that just for that they will start dating non-jews. i never quite get the logic. first of all , some of the people i have heard say this are quite frum. what on earth would a gentile be interested in them for unless they may have heard said frummy is rich? at least go the non-frum date route first . if that doesnt work well.... then you can get back to me. the frustrated frummy may not be successful with the non-frummy, but at least if one marries a secular jew they will have jewish children. secular jews are still culturally more similar to frum jews because duh... they are actually jewish.
anyway, my mantra is "there are good people and bad people in every group, so dont let some frum bozo stop you from finding your jewish bashert"

Monday, July 13, 2009

priscilla's former son-in-law

2 weeks after lisa marie presley's ex-husband has passed away i have come to a conclusion. even though my first reaction to his death was "big deal?" , surprisingly i have come to another conclusion. la toya's brother's music reminds me of my teenage years. his music populated playlists and mixed tapes of several decades of teenagers. when i first listened to the youngest member of the jackson five singing thriller and off the wall he hadnt yet been accused of being a child molester and he still looked masculine. when i hear these songs i think of a more innocent time in my life as well as in the life of the singer of these songs. to me this is what is sad. a star had risen and has fallen oh so hard. unfortunately that rising star from my childhood shot up in to the wrong galaxy. he became a shining example of what not to be . for this i mourn.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

the goldbergs

in the early 1950's there was a television show called the goldbergs that was about a jewish family that lived in the bronx. the funny thing is id never heard of it until i happened to be at the jewish museum in manhattan with my sister and an episode was playing in the media room. this was before they created the fancy media room that they have there now. they used to have a bunch of televisions playing different videos and you could just come by and watch. it was great because you were introduced to shows you would have never been exposed to otherwise. when i watched the goldbergs episode that happened to be playing i had no idea what i was watching. once i found out i went back to the jewish museum to watch more. i also watched several episodes at the museum of television and radio.
the episodes that i viewed also included molly goldberg (gertrude berg) hawking sanka coffe which i found hysterically funny.
who knew this gem even existed? after i found it at the jewish museum i asked my parents if they had heard of the goldbergs. well of course they had. the show was a part of jewish american folklore. they had watched the show as children.
there is a documentary about gertrude berg that has recently been released called yoohoo mrs. goldberg. i cant wait to see it. me and the senior citizens. im not sure when i will see it especially since it is the three weeks, but its still good to know about. often jewish documentaries are re-released so if you miss them the first time around you can see them elsewhere . the jcc in manhattan often shows jewish films that have been previously released. i often go there to catch films id really wanted to see but unfortunately had missed. sometimes they can even pop up again at the quad or lincoln plaza .

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

tour of jury duty

jury duty has really changed in the last six years since i last served. free internet service is available while one waits in the juror's room. it still doesn't put jury duty any higher than work on things id like to do for the day, but it did make things more interesting. you only had ten minutes to surf, but i was able to check out a few blogs which helped brighten up the day.
this tour of jury duty i got to see the movie about jury duty. i dont know if its different than the one i saw last tour of jury duty because it was six years ago. my favorite moment from the film was how they re- enact a "jury ordeal". whats this you say? apparently they used to drop people in the river if they were accused of a crime . if they floated it meant they were guilty, if they sunk they were innocent. the purpose of this film is to remind us how lucky we are to have trial by jury instead of a jury ordeal. or jury duty ordeal as it were.
i think that the hardest part for a juror is to be impartial. ive never actually been on a trial, but i would imagine that it is quite challenging, especially with a criminal trial.
fortunately i was dismissed from jury duty today and i do not have to be on a trial. i am soooo thankful. the best part is that i now have a letter stating that i served jury today and i dont have to serve again for another EIGHT years!!! whoohoo!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

jury duty

tomorrow i get to do the one thing i like less than going to work. jury duty. i called in to see if it was necessary. apparently the voice recording thought so. i've packed my mp3 player, knitting and melissa gilbert's new book of memoirs prairie tale. hopefully this will keep me occupied. despite all these preparations, im sure i will be bored out of my gourd. i love this country, i just dont love jury duty.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

her sister's keeper

i saw the movie her sister's keeper this afternoon. i was totally expecting a run of the mill disease of the week movie but was pleasantly surprised.
this movie is about a family whose two year old daughter is diagnosed with leukemia so the family has another child who would be a genetic match to their sick daughter in order to be able to save her. when the younger daughter (abigail breslin) is 11 years old she sues her parents to be medically emanicipated . she does not want to have to donate a kidney to her dying sister.
cameron diaz plays the mother. cameron diaz is a such a lightweight actress that she makes the role of the crusading mother of a sick child appear unsympathetic. perhaps this was intended. ill have to read the book by jodi picoult to find out.
jason patric plays the father. he is amazing . i havent seen him in anything in awhile. aside from being smoldering and sexy, he is a great actor.
joan cusack plays the judge . she is playing a career changing part if you ask me. usually joan cusack plays an oddball character. this time she plays as serious as you can get. i almost didnt recognize her.
watching this movie one asks oneself the unaskable. if one chas v'shalom has a sick child and one knows by having another child there might be a genetic match to ones sick child would one have another child? of course this second child will have to undergo many medical tests to help save the first child. many painful procedures. would one still try to have that second child? did one want another child ? or did one just have another to save the first? is this fair to the second child? i dont think there are any clear answers, just alot of think questions.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


when i was younger i thought life was more black and white. now i realize that things arent always so clear cut. im not as judgemental or at least i try very hard not to be. i have learned that people sometimes do stupid things. sometimes people do things totally out of character because they are lonely or because life hasnt been too kind to them. this doesnt excuse wrongdoing, but it does mitigate harsh judgement.

its easy to judge others because we think we could have acted differently in a given situation. perhaps we would have. perhaps we dont really know if we would have unless we have been given the same challenge with the other persons personality.

some are equally hard on themselves as they are on others. this is not good either. everyone isnt as strong as we think we are.

sometimes we cant understand why someone else is the way they are because we have never encountered anyone who is like them and we ourselves arent like this person.

to say the least, things are not always what they appear.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

life without call waiting

i remember when i was first introduced to call waiting. it was was in college when i shared a phone with my roommate in the days of yore before cell phones. call waiting could have been around for a long time before i was in college. i do not know. call waiting is just one of those frills that my parents never had and still dont have. i would say that they dont know what it is , but because i have it and so does my sister and my brother who is married probably has it, i know that they have heard of it.
in truth, we managed with 7 people not to have call waiting. we survived. im not sure how . but we did. after sharing a college phone with a not so talkative roommate and even with just my not so- phone loving self, i still am not sure how we managed. but we did. sometimes when i call my parents there is a busy signal. this of course is unusual this day in age. not only can we contact people when they are anywhere we can also always get through to them or at least get through to their voicemail and leave a message. i think that when someones friend or family does not have call waiting we strengthen the midah of patience. in new york this trait can be in short supply. not a bad idea to work on it. i of course have no choice but to work on it. my parents have just 2 in their household these days because all of my siblings and i live on our own now. if they didnt have call waiting when i was growing up why start now? on the flip side i have to be grateful that they do have an answering machine!