Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Lovely Suprise

     I did not manage to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving parade on tv today, but I saw a posting on facebook  of the dreidel float spinning in front of Macy's toward the end of the parade.  I wish I could have seen it there live. Now I know that moshiach truly is on the way.


Happy Second Night of Hanukkah

Happy second night of Hanukkah!

Happy Thanksgiving and Hanukkah

     Happy Thanksgiving and Hanukkah! Its so fun to say. I don't especially like people combining the two holidays and calling it Thanksgivingkah, although its a step above Christmasakah since Thanksgiving is a secular holiday. 
      I am thankful to be living in the United States. I am grateful for the freedoms we have here that we do't even realize we are so fortunate to have. I am grateful to live in a country where I can openly celebrate Jewish holidays.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Jewish Museum New York | Light My Fire: A Hanukkah App

The Jewish Museum New York | Light My Fire: A Hanukkah App    The Jewish Museum in New York has created the cutest app for iPhone and android. Its a Hanukkah app. You can choose a menorah which is a replica of a menorah from the museum. You can read about where this menorah is from. You can choose a location for the menorah to be lit and then you can virtually light the menorah on your phone. They even have the brachot listed on the app. Its  just adorable.

Happy First Night of Hanukkah

Happy first light and night of Hanukkah. Though I don't mind Thanksgiving sharing the spotlight with Hanukkah, I'm glad that Hanukkah gets to have the first night on its own. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


      To live is to live in uncertainty. Everything that seems certain one minute can turn uncertain the next minute. All we know for certain is the present and that is only if we are truly self aware. To live with confidence is to live knowing that only Hashem knows what is going to happen  and to have faith that everything in life will be for the best.
      Easier said than done....

Monday, November 25, 2013


      Living in the age of the internet is amazing. When you go to a  museum you can download a free app for the audio tour . You almost don't  have to go to the museum because there are thumbnails of the exhibit in the audio. Then again  nothing compares to experiencing  actual paintings.
      Yesterday I went to the Jewish Museum in New York city to see the Chagall exhibit. His more Jewish oriented works were there. Marc Chagall nee Moshe Segal was born in Belarus in 1887 . He later lived in France and due to World War II ended up in the United States. This exhibit has paintings he made in the 1920's to 1940's . Through his paintings he expressed his fear of impending doom on Europe's Jews in that time period. When one looks at a Chagall painting one really has to stand back and take it all in because there is so much imagery on every inch.
       There is one dark spot in the exhibit. Chagall had a strange interest in Jesus and liked to use Jesus imagery in his paintings to use him as a symbol of Jews. I realize that when one studies art there is a lot of Christian art involved, but it disturbs me that a Jewish artist who  escaped Europe during the holocaust would be so intrigued by  it and used it in his artwork. I am not sure if I can recommend this exhibit with a full heart because of this imagery. Its just a little much for my taste. Perhaps just download the Jewish Museum Chagall exhibit app and see for yourself  if it is worthwhile. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

More on Apologies

     Sometimes when someone continually does something disrespectful of others there is no place for a verbal apology. One just has to change their behavior and be a better person and MAYBE then they can be forgiven. Sometimes a person can just go too far in the bad direction and there is no turning back. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Three decades later, the effects of synagogue shooting are still being felt

Three decades later, the effects of synagogue shooting are still being felt  Thirty five years after a white supremacist opened fire, killing one , and wounding two others outside of a conservative synagogue after a bar mitzvah  the man who did this was executed by lethal injection. This man did this purposely to kill Jews. He also was a racist serial killer who went out of his way to kill black people. He shot and paralysed Larry Flynt. This happened so long ago many may have forgotten about these crimes. Unfortunately John Paul Franklin got to live almost forty years longer than his victims had. I linked to an article from a few years ago to retell the story of hate that happened so long ago. Its important not to forget.... 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thanksgiving and Hanukkah

     I love the fact that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah come out together this year. Its too bad that it doesn't happen more often.I think Thanksgiving and Hanukkah are a better mix than the usual Hanukkah / Christmas mix. Thanksgiving is a big holiday but its not religious so I like its pairing with Hanukkah.
     Sometimes Hanukkah is close to Thanksgiving- like the first week of December, but its not usually together like this year will be. Its kind of nice because there won't be work the first day of Hanukkah which will  be fun.
      I actually prefer when Hanukkah does not overlap with Christmas, but if it has to share the limelight with another holiday this year its best that it be with Thanksgiving. Every Jewish holiday is about thankfulness as in our survival as a people etc, so I think that its good that a holiday of hakaras hatov like Thanksgiving will be sharing a day with Hanukkah this year.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Beyond off the Derech

     Everyone always talks about those who radically fall off the derech. While there is always quite a bit to discuss about them  there are others who fall off the path more quietly. Some people start to lose their bearings while looking for their soul mate. They try every means of meeting their mate but still nothing seems to result in marriage. Slowly they become lax about shabbos. Suddenly they go from contemplating dating secular Jews to contemplating dating gentiles. Being an observant Jew is not a task meant to be performed alone. Sometimes there are those who become overwhelmed by the loneliness of being single and shomer shabbat. I myself can get overwhelmed but being an observant Jew is too much a part of me for me to abandon it. I have friends who are not so strong . This post is not about tooting my own horn. It is hard for me to give others chizuk when I understand very well what they are having difficulty with. In a way a lot of the outreach that is going on needs to be directed at singles because they are at great danger of being lost .Some kiruv organizations often ban frum singles from their programming but they are missing the point. These singles need kiruv even if they are "just" going to these events for the singles aspect. They could do a lot worse than finding someone less frum to marry.
       It is so frustrating to be single and religious especially as a woman. At thirty you feel like and old maid. Divorced men think you are selfish because you don't have children even though the only reason you don't have any is because you are single. In the secular world many say they don't want to marry unless they want kids (and even then they may not marry). In the religious world no one wants to marry a woman unless they think she can have x amount of children. I have friends who are starting to think that since they may be too old to have kids that they don't care if they marry someone frum or even Jewish. I am not condoning their thoughts but I can understand why their thoughts are going there.
       Perhaps the reason I have remained steadfast is that though I think that having children is for marriage I also believe that having children is not the only reason to get married. Getting married is about the two people building a life together, spending holidays together, growing together as people and spiritually. Its not that children should not be a part of this, its just that if it isn't it does not mean someone should not marry. Being alone for life is not a better choice. Giving up who one is spiritually should not be an option either.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pigeon Invasion

     In case you do  not know I am not much of an animal lover. For about six months last year - from October to April - I had a pigeon living under my air conditioner. It was such an awful feeling.
     It all started out on Simchas Torah when I looked outside my kitchen window and I saw two pigeons sitting on the window ledge under my air conditioner. They may have been congregating there all summer but I hadn't heard them over the noise of my air conditioner. After Simchas Torah I noticed that they only left their post under the air conditioner on occasion to  forage for food.
      Both pigeons started out under my air conditioner during the hurricane but post hurricane only one remained. Thank goodness.
      I tried to get the super of my apartment building to put up bird spikes under my air conditioner, which he said he would do, but he never did . For six months I heard a pigeon cooing outside my window day and night. Sometimes it seemed it was actually inside my air conditioner. Thankfully one day right before Pesach I noticed that the pigeon was no longer outside my window. The invasion was over. I was blissfully alone.
       I even noticed that there were less pigeons outside on the fire escape this past summer. I don't know if it was just my imagination. Whatever the case, I am more at peace without knowing, seeing or hearing them around.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Too Special

     In the olden days when people used to make everything for themselves life was really simpler. You don't realize that many items in your wardrobe are unusual or custom sizes if you are making them yourself, you simply are making something that will fit . So often I have to go to stores with special sizes for items in my wardrobe. It is the biggest pain . Why must I be so special.? Its so much easier to buy things off the racks. 
      I have thick curly hair in a society of straight haired people, I have  high prescription contact lenses and glasses. I have sensitive skin. I require so many  niche purchases. I am always overjoyed when I find product
that can be purchased in a standard non-specialty shop . Its no fun being so special. Then again I bet I am not the only non-standard sized person out there. Yes, misery does like company.

Monday, November 11, 2013


     I once  had a coworker  who would say that it was easier to apologize after doing whatever she wanted to do than it was to ask permission first.. Perhaps this is true, but some things aren't so easy to apologize for and it is much better not to do in the first place. Sometimes no amount of verbal apology will result in reconciliation.Sometimes rifts run too deep and some things cannot be undone. I think its better to be considerate of what one does and says . Life isn't a dress rehearsal.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Technology at its Best

 This product is all kinds of amazing. It will revolutionize the lives of the visually impaired. I have heard that the price is in the ballpark of $2,500 , which is a little pricey, but even that is a small price to pay for the service it gives someone.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sleeping on the Q train....

    Who hasn't done this? You get lulled to sleep by the rocking of the subway and suddenly your head is resting on someone else's shoulder. Its rather embarrassing, . But it happens daily. I love this photo. I just had to post this.

Monday, November 4, 2013

To Be Known For

  Lately I have been watching old reruns of the Mary Tyler Moore Show. The clip that I have included is the theme song from the show, but not the full visuals . This you tube clip only included the end of the theme song with Mary Tyler Moore throwing her hat in the air and a woman named Hazel Frederick to her left donning a scarf, glasses and a scowl. In Hazel Frederick's 1999 obituary there is mention of her having been the scowling woman in the opening theme song of the Mary Tyler Moore Show.
    Though I can be a bit of a trivia buff, this little tidbit disturbed me. Imagine the most interesting part of a person's obituary being that they were in the background of a television series theme song. Granted , the Mary Tyler Moore show had been a very popular television show, but still.
     To my knowledge I have never been accidentally featured in any television series theme song. If I ever would be I hope that fact would not be the most notable thing in my life for people to remember for generations to come. Hazel Frederick's story certainly is a cautionary tale .