Friday, July 30, 2010

can people really change?

i had a professor in college who used to say that people don't change, not even from religion. at the time i didn't realize what he meant. now i do. people can change certain behaviors within themselves but one can't change ones essence. one can channel ones anger in a positive fashion and not give in to ones gut reactions. but they are still there under the surface. a shy person can force their self to be more social, but innately their first gut reaction will be to be shy. an overly sensitive person will always have such sensitivities even  though they may be able to rationally confront a stressful situation. ones core make up is g-d given. what we do  have control over is how we channel these attributes.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


i never thought id see the day when i would be moderating comments on my blog. i dont even get that many comments! the thing is im getting sick of deleting the japanese comment spam so  i decided that it was time to moderate for awhile.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

dancing at auschwitz

these two videos i have just posted are just amazing. they bring tears to my eyes. such  triumph. this man has survived the horrors of auchwitz,  was  able to have a family and  to return to the sight of such terror and show that the best revenge is living well. he survived , had children and grandchildren and is still able to smile and laugh and dance.

People dancing at Auschwitz : im sure most of you have seen this, if you havent, its worth a look. be sure and watch it until the end.

I Will Survive: Dancing Auschwitz.Part3

Sunday, July 25, 2010

the stoning of soraya m

i finally have given in and have subscribed to netflix. the main reason i did this is because netflix has some dvd titles that i really want to see and the library does not have them. so i caved and now im hooked. one of the dvds that has just become available is the stoning of soraya m. what an eye opening movie!
the stoning of soraya m  is set in iran of the 1980's where a husband wants another wife but doesn't want to have to pay alimony for divorcing his first wife and doesn't have enough money to have two wives so he decides to accuse her of adultery  so she will be killed . this film is based on a true story.
a few days after i viewed this film i read in the paper that there is another woman in iran who they were thinking of stoning because she "committed adultery" . this is 2010 folks. what up?
recently marie claire magazine featured an article about a father who killed his daughter because she was "disgracing the family honor". the daughter had become americanized and had a boyfriend . this is why her father hit her with his car, put her in a coma and then she died.
when i first saw the stoning of soraya m  and the newspaper article i had felt so grateful to live in the united states where this kind of sexism does not exist. when i read the marie claire article i was outraged by how such sexist mores can be transported to this country even if just within a family.

Monday, July 19, 2010

tisha b'av past

the most dramatic tisha b'av i have experienced was when i was 13 years old and in sleep away camp. on the evening of tisha b'av  a shiur was held outside overlooking a lake. on the other side of the lake the camp created a fire that was burning as the shiur was going on. it was surreal. looking back i think its amazing that they were able to create this fire situation without burning the entire camp down.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

pet peeves

one of my biggest pet peeves occurs  at sinks that are  located in  public restrooms. it bugs the heck out of me when someone washes their hands at a sink and then lifts their hands and shakes off the water before drying them. invariably i am the one who gets their post hand washing water on me after their big shake. i don't want to be included in their hand washing. if you have to do the wet hand shake keep your hands low in the sink when you do it so you don't splash anyone!
another pet peeve of mine happens (big surprise!) on the subway . the new subway cars are one long bench instead of having indentations  that separate the benches into separate seats. many people didn't like the old benches because some people were too fat for them . i say lose some weight! with these new benches there is always some joker trying to put her purse between you and them when you are sitting next to them. it wouldn't be so bad if there was a lot of room. but usually it means that there is less room and you get to squeeze against them and their bag . if they didn't put it there you would have a comfortable amount of space to sit and it wouldn't be big enough for  another person to squeeze between the two of  you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

age limits

turning 35 was scary for many reasons most of all because that was the age limit for so many singles events. i had heard horror stories about 36 year olds who had to lie about their age just to get in.. even if you could get away with it how long could you keep lying about your age and still want to get in. not long after i turned 35 the dreaded age cap turned into 40. so then i feared turning forty.
of course nowhere along the way did i ever consider the fact that i could have gotten married before these dreaded age caps and avoid the whole lying to get in part. the worst part of lying about your age to get in to a social event is that once you've pulled the wool over every one's eyes and actually have gotten into the event you realize it wouldn't have been such a bad thing if you were barred from attending because the event turned out to be so gosh darn depressing .
i realize that sometimes life can surprise you and some people actually do get married, but im still waiting for that miracle. until then i will be pushing the age limits.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

religion and personality

i think that its so interesting that when people try to set people up that the focus is on  specific ritual observances  without mentioning the mindset behind them. someone can dress the part but not believe in what they are doing.  on paper someone else may not seem to be so ritually observant, but have incredible kavanah about what he does do. this is why all of the labels in the world on frumster wont ever begin to tell me the religious level of a potential date. frumster does give everyone a chance to state what  their level of judaism is, but the personality section would tell me more about their religious level.
if someone is so rigid that they always have to have the last word then most likely they are just as rigid in their religious beliefs no matter how ritualistically staunch or lax. if someone is a live and let live type  then they probably feel this way toward religion. if someone is the keeping up with the jones' type this will manifest in their religious beliefs. they will want a fancy kiddush because everyone else does, will follow the hippest chumrahs.
of course its important to know the nuts and bolts of a potential's religious level, but it only means something if one considers their personality = mindset.

Friday, July 9, 2010

more mourning

every year i look forward to the end of tisha b'av and the three weeks. it is always such a serious time. this year im looking forward to the end of the three weeks, but i keep thinking , "and then what?"
im still in avelus. in fact this year i was very glad it was sephirah when i was first sitting shivah. during the three weeks everyone is mourning. misery does love company.
then again after tisha b'av ends i will still have another eight and a  half months of avelus.....

Monday, July 5, 2010

life goes on....

i went back to the midwest to visit my mom for july fourth. it was the best way i could have spent the past five days. its been three months since my dad has passed away. so much has happened since then that it seems more like a year. going back to my parents house sealed the finality of it all in my mind. when you don't live nearby one's mind can play tricks. going back to the scene of the crime made me face the reality that my dad is really gone. the weird thing about the passing of a parent is that you somehow miss the things that annoyed you the most about them. we are all moving on which is very important, but its sad just the same. one chapter of my life has closed . another has begun.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

summer blues

when i was a kid i loved summer. summer meant freedom . summer meant fun. now summer means airless subway stations, not quite cool enough shabbos meals , and even frizzier curls.
as an adult summer really loses its previous esteem. i think that two and a half school-less, jobless months cancels out the heat and humidity. tell me again what the advantages of being an adult are?