Sunday, December 30, 2012


     Which is your kryptonite- noise or light? My kryptonite is bright light. I have very light colored eyes and bright light is something I shun. If light is too bright I feel possessed. I am also likely to get a bad migraine. While I don' t especially like very loud noise, the drone of daily noise does not bother me. I find  it comforting to listen to normal noises in the apartment building I live in. It makes me feel less alone.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


     There has been a lot of rage and violence in the world lately and I am not speaking about war. I am  speaking about the tragedy in the school in Newton , Connecticut or the man who killed the fireman or the man who pushed another man into the subway tracks.  What is wrong with this world?
     Unchecked rage can be very dangerous. One wrong move and an unbalanced person could be chas v' shalom pushed off the edge. What is about now that there is so much of this going on ? Is there more of this now than usual or is the media just reporting more of this lately?

Monday, December 24, 2012


     Some people are alone too much that when they speak it is like they are having a conversation with themselves and I am just eavesdropping. They won't let anyone get  in a word edgewise. I don't think they want anyone to interject. Their words are with themselves . It is such an awful affliction that they aren't aware they have. If I ever was like that I would hope that someone would tell me. Its an awful way to be. I suppose these lonely hearts should really blog. Sometimes blogging can be a long conversation with one's self . It can especially be this way when no one comments. I think that if lonely people would blog they might be less lonely. Of course they are sometimes just too depressed to consider any way to get out of their black hole .


     Sometimes I have crocheted hats or accessories that I later realize that I haven't used much and I don't think that I will use much so I unravel them and make something new. Sometimes I feel that life can be that way.  I keep trying to unravel and reshape outcomes. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012


     Another year of Hanukkah parties has come and gone. The same single people from last year were there. I asked a friend at one party whether they thought anyone at that party would be married next year. They got defensive and said that they would prefer to remain single than marry someone just to be wed. Well duh, but that wasn't the question. I am assuming that the couple who might be married next year would be marrying someone appropriate for them and not just to give in. Sadly I may be sitting next year with the same bunch of  jokers at yet another singles Hanukkah fest. Or maybe I will the lucky one to have hope and change occur. After all two can kvetch louder than one.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Jews and Education

     I think that as a people we Jews are obsessed with education. Those of us who are Torah observant are obsessed with Torah education and those of us who are secular are obsessed with having a good secular education. For better or for worse no matter how far from observance we stray we will always be the people of the book.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

glad to be a jew

     I never had the desire to celebrate x-mas. Of course I was the proud owner of a Chatty Cathy doll but did not know that was the name of the doll until a few years ago when I saw a picture of old dolls and I recognized that the doll had when I was four was a Chatty Cathy doll. I have a pretty good  memory so the fact that I did not know that the doll was named Chatty Cathy is not completely because I forget the name of  a doll I had long ago. My parents used to call that doll Chitty Chatty because Cathy was a goyishe name and they didn't want me to have a doll named Cathy. The really odd part is that I did get a Chrissy doll when I  was five and I remember calling her Chrissy. Chrissy  was a doll with hair that you could make longer or shorter. I guess by the time I was five I paid more attention to tv commercials and my parents weren't able to doctor the name because I didn't call the Chrissy doll anything but Chrissy.
     When I took piano lessons from a gentile piano teacher I remember her asking me if I wanted to see her light up her x-mas tree , By then I was eight. I was a little curious, but mostly I was just being polite when my piano teacher showed me her lit up x-mas tree. I always thought x-mas trees were kind of gaudy and all the red and green was a bit tacky for my taste. To this day I find the facades of churches to be rather scary looking , not that I ever had reason to be afraid of one.
      Gentiles at work are often surprised when I tell them that I do not celebrate x-mas even though I am known as the Super-Jew. I suppose its understandable. I find it hard to believe that anyone actually celebrates x-mas. Of course I never tell them this. X-mas is just another day off for me and I am more than glad to be a Jew.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The most important thing

     Growing up the mantra always was that if you have a good Jewish education you are good to go. You will remain frum and that's the end of the story. But is that really true?
      Without a doubt it is important to have a solid Jewish education to be Torah true Jew. How else would one know what the mitvzvos entail? But is it the end of the story? Without a doubt it is not . In my opinion remaining frum is all about attitude, not about how strict one's Jewish education is or how strict one's parents are. Does the school give a kid a good feeling about being frum? Does a kid's parent make being observant seem like something that is positive instead of just a list of don't do this and don't do that? A family or school may not be so right wing but if they infuse a love of Torah and make a kid feel positive about it this can go a long way. Or I can tell you  if a kid only has very negative  experiences in school or at home in regards to living a Torah true life well, he/she will for sure go off the derech.
     We are fortunate enough to live in a country where Jewish people are treated well so staying Jewishly connected is not a given. However, just because being Jewishly connected is a choice instead of being kept in line as a Jew due to anti semitsm, it does not mean that people will opt out. It just means that Jewish education and parents need to be all they say they are and rely on the power of the positive  as opposed to the power of  the negative. We are observant because living a Torah observant life is the best way for a Jew to live as opposed to only being Torah Jews because being "goyish" is negative.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Locked up Abroad - Hasidic King of Coke S06 E13

 I recently stumbled upon this on you tube. It is quite unreal. Watch it until the end before you form an opinion. You won't be sorry.

P.S. now that I see that this has been taken off of youtube I will add a bit more of a summary. This is a story about a hasid who turned into a coke dealer, but after two stints in prison finally did tshuvah after seeing second hand the effects of cocaine on a person. Apparently he had not before that. After leaving prison he has become a drug counselor. I find this to be an amazing story. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tom Lehrer - Hanukkah in Santa Monica

   I found this song by accident a few years ago. Its really cute. As it turns out  its  a really old song that I just had never heard of . Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Matisyahu Performs "Happy Hanukkah" - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Wow, so now that Matisyahu has shed his kipah it was safe for him to write   a Hanukkah song. Very interesting. Though Adam Sandler did not wear a kipah for his Hanukkah song, he at least mentions one. Oh the irony. That said , I do enjoy Matisyahu's song. Its just a long time coming.
     The evolution of the pop culture Hanukkah song is quite curious. There was a long time where if you listened to the radio there were only X-mas songs in December then along came Adam Sandler who in December 1994 sang his 'Hanukkah Song' on Saturday Night Live. It was a silly song but somehow it caught on and has played on the radio every December since. Next came the Maccabeats with their song Candlelight that hit you tube by storm with millions of hits. The secular media went crazy . It was the first time shomer shabbos Jews gained notoriety for a Hanukkah song. Now Matisyahu who is known for being a hassidic reggae singer now isn' t hassidic, but has come out with a Hanukkah song. Now a Jewish singer who is popular in the secular world as a singer has come out with a Hanukkah song. We've come a long way folks.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lipa Schmeltzer "Believe in a Miracle" Music Video

     I have to say that this video is a little strange. Its part The Hebrew Hammer and part Honika Elektronika. I would not say that I dislike it , but its almost a farce. I have never understood the obsession of frum people with black music, not that there is anything wrong with black music. It just seems like when really frum people want to seem cool they seem to want to sing rap style music.

The Hebrew Hammer - Trailer

See The Light

     I went to Touro college many moons ago and when I was there one of my Judaic studies teachers presented us with an interesting quandary. He was under the impression that even with as many bts there are there are more people going off the derech. I do not know if he is right or wrong .To me its irrelevant. I just think its an important question. I don't even remember what specific class he taught.. Was it halacha or was it chumash?  I do remember this question. The rabbi who asked this of us certainly understood the issue. He was rumored to have had a son who was on his way off the derech. Even though this question was posed quite awhile ago it is just as relevant now. He proposed that everyone should find where they feel comfortable religiously and stay there. The room was filled with young women who went through the school systems of modern orthodox to more yeshivish .
     The truth is when all is said and done, one really has to figure out where one belongs and inhabit that space. If one feels more comfortable with the right wing  philosophies one should stay there. If one feels  more modern orthodox one should stay there. I have seen a lot of different versions of orthodox and as much as the black hat community feels that they are superior they are really not all that different than modern orthodox in my opinion because they are both orthodox. The only difference is that the yeshivish folks follow a stricter dress code on the whole than modern orthodox . For me there is also a feeling of big brother  is watching you (and I don't mean G-d) in the yeshivish camp whereas I don't feel  as stressed and I feel more accepted among the modern orthodox camp. But this is just me.
       I think that staying frum when one has grown up that way is often being assumed rather than cultivated. I grew up in the Midwest and the school I went to did give a person a good feeling about being Jewish and religious. Many of the kids who did not come from religious homes did eventually become shomer shabbos themselves. We were allowed to ask questions. Even so, things weren't always perfect. The kids who came from rich families often got the better parts in plays and other honors. A lot of our teachers were from the New York area even so and they brought with them attitudes that were prevalent at the time. After living in the New York area I see that New York Jewry is another animal altogether for better or for worse. As frum as many are here there is a great pull from secular society no matter how insular one is. New York is the fashion center, and has a lot of culture that is not always so good. Where I grew up you were a bit more sheltered even if you may not have been as ritually observant. Even in the age of the Internet general culture is  still more conservative outside of New York .
     That said, with all of the Jews who live in New York there should be a way to keep people interested in remaining frum as opposed to being frustrated. There are so many reasons for people going OTD. There really is not a one size fits all cure. We CAN find an answer though, even if its just our own personal reason for staying on the derech. Let the light of the Hanukkah candles lead the way.

OHEL Chanukah 2011 Music Video: Reach for the Stars!

I really like this video. I realize that its an ad for ohel, but I appreciate the meaning as well.

Really The Original Al Hanisim (Izhar Cohen, 1974)

   I used to love listening to the israeli hassidic song festival albums as a kid. they had such good voices. This is a great rendition of al hanissim.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012


      When I was a kid my grandmother made the best cookies. Sometimes I would even bake cookies with her. I asked her for the recipe but when I made them they did not come out the same as when she had made them. By now I don't even know where I put the recipe. Its somewhere in my mom's house.
       My other grandmother did not like to cook so much , but she made the most wonderful matzoh balls. They were delightfully light and fluffy. I don't know why I had never asked her for her recipe and now I can't. She passed away eleven years ago. Now I am buying matzoh balls from glatt mart.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Happy Holidays?

     Every December I hear some disgruntled gentile wax on about how they wish people would forgo the PC Happy Holidays greeting and just say Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah. The crazy part is when people say Happy Holidays I kind of think that they mean Christmas and New Years , not Hanukkah , so I don't understand all of the fuss. I personally prefer the catch-all phrase Happy Holidays because then I don't have to outright wish someone a Merry Christmas. The other reason I like  the phrase Happy Holidays is because you don't have to decide whether or not to wish someone a Happy Hanukkah or Merry Christmas, you are just covered by saying Happy Holidays. It doesn't offend me if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas instead of the generic Happy Holidays, but I would prefer Happy Holidays. Unfortunately I work in a service profession where you kind of have to be polite and say one of those phrases so this December, Happy Holidays it is.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Monster in Law

     I recently had the occasion to meet the mother of a very handsome Jewish actor who shall remain nameless. Whenever I see a hot young actor or any guy I may be  interested in I never really consider what his mother is like. When I met the mother of this actor I just thought how much I pity the woman he marries. His mother is a shrew. I got along with her , but  the fifteen minutes I had to deal with her were enough to know that she is a pill. Maybe she is the reason her son is single. Perhaps she scares away all prospective wives. Who knows.
      When a person marries someone they also marry their family . It is also important to see first person how one's prospective spouse deals with his parents and how he would act around his parents with you. One does not need years of observation to access, just have one's eyes wide open while one is scoping out the potential situation.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

crazy for crochet

     Nothing like cool weather to coax my creative juices. I have been crocheting up a storm. I have taken a photo of my most recent creations- a capelet and 3 curly girl scarves crocheted by a curly haired girl.