Thursday, February 28, 2013

OFFICIAL TRAILER for Hava Nagila (The Movie)

   I just saw THE HAVA NAGILA MOVIE tonight at the Jcc in Manhattan. . It was  kitschy and cute at the same time.
     Hava Nagila is a song I have a love-hate relationship with . It is about the only song that non-frum Jews know . It kind of would define Jewish music to many. I always thought that it was such a shame because there are so many beautiful Jewish songs beyond  Hava Nagila that it made me resent that it was so popular. Yet many gentiles have sung   Hava Nagila because they loved the song. Harry Belafonte fell in love with the song  in the 1950's when he hung out in the village with his folk singer friends. He first performed hava nagila  at the Village Vanguard in the 1950's. He would always include it in his repertoire along with The Banana Boat Song.  He even included it when he performed in Germany in the 1950's. He said that he used to love performing it in front of Jewish audiences because everyone from babies to grandparents would get up and dance.
     Connie Francis, Elvis, Bob Dylan, and Chubby Checkers are others who have sung Hava Nagila.
     Hava Nagila originated as a hasidic niggun of the Sadigora Hasidim. It was later put to words in the 1920's. There is a controversy over who really wrote the words we sing today.
    Sometimes the song Hava Nagila was just as Jewish as many Jews wanted to be.
     The movie was produced by Roberta Grossman and written by Sophie Sartain. Roberta Grossman was at the screening tonight. She said that the movie has appeared in 80 Jewish film festivals. She feels that the movie has united the audiences who watch it. They go into the theater as individuals and they leave as a Jewish community. I would like to believe this to be true. The power of music is so strong. There are so much that can divide people. Music touches the core and has incredible powers.
     THE HAVA NAGILA MOVIE is being released in the theaters starting March 1. It is worth watching.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

love the life you have

      Sometimes a person can get distracted by all of the things one is striving for  that one does not notice all the good one actually has. Seeing how bad life is for others can make me appreciate my own life. Life may not have turned out how I would have liked it too, but B"H I  have a pretty good life. Its too bad that it takes seeing others misfortunes to appreciate what one has. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Turtle And The Hare

     When some people become frum they go full force . They quickly abandon all else and become the epitome of frumkeit. With other people its a process. They know what the truth is and then they slowly but surely internalize their ritual observance.  One does not choose to go full force or slow and steady , its a personality issue.
      I suppose the best way to be is the type who goes full force as soon as one decides frumkeit is it. When the Jews accepted the Torah they said ' na'asseh v'nishmah'  'we will do and listen' instead of 'tell me about it and then I  will decide'.
      For me it is not a choice. I am the type who needs the process to change myself. Its not that I never take a chance , but I usually take calculated chances not spontaneous ones. The joke is that even when one thinks something out before embarking on it there are still forks in the road that one would never had anticipated. G-d really does look out for us even when we act rashly. If only we paid better attention we would hear the warnings.

Friday, February 22, 2013


    Change no matter how welcome can be a shock to the system. Often things stay the same for so long one can't even believe that anything could ever be different.
     Have a happy Purim everyone. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ariel Fishman gives thanks to the 70 blood donors who saved his life.

   This is a most amazing story about someone who is alive today because 70 people gave blood. I gave blood once years ago and felt really ill afterward. I give everyone who is able to give blood credit. It isn't so simple and it  can do so much. It saves lives. Ariel Fishman is one such person.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Divorced Vs Single

     Is it better to be divorced rather than never married? I would think that it would be worse to be divorced than to be single never married or widowed. Often those who are divorced just want to be players and never marry again. They made a commitment and now they don't want to make a commitment ever again. Those who have never married before may or may not really want to get married but at least they aren't jaded by an awful marriage like someone who divorced might be. I never quite understand the logic of how someone divorced is considered best because they made a commitment. They made a commitment  but it didn't work out. Is that really better?
     I don't really think that either has an advantage.  Being single sucks ,but in the game of dating there can be a lot of unfair assumptions about someone's mindset based upon one's  marital history or non-history. Why not just get to know someone and their individual situation ? Oh I forgot. That would be too easy and not mystical enough. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

winter storm

     Every time the weather forecasters are correct about a storm they get cocky and people start to give in to the the storm hype, present company included. I didn't think that the hurricane would be as intense as it had been and it was. The snowstorm a week later was supposed to be really devastating but it wasn't . Super storm Nemo did not hit NYC quite as badly as predicted , thank G-d. The hype mad me nuts though. I had to go to work yesterday and I was dreading the ride home. It turned out to be not bad at all. Thankfully. As accurate as the forecasters are sometimes they still do not always get it right  and that's a good thing.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Picture Perfect

     Some of my friends have posted frumster profile photos that are a much better version of what they really look like. I always wonder if this is fair to them and whomever they meet on the site. The picture really is  them but it really doesn't look authentic. The picture looks so good that I almost don't recognize them. Sometimes even when someone actually resembles their profile photo when I meet them in person they don't always seem as I've imagined them. But when they have an enhanced profile photo, well... I am less forgiving.
      One guy had such an old profile photo that I walked right past him at our assigned meeting place. When I finally met up with him I was taken aback. He looked little like his photo and quite a bit older. Had I known what he really looked like I would never have met up with him. I suppose he thought it would not make a difference to me how different he looked from his photo. It may not have made a difference had I liked him,  I did not like him or how he really looked.
       It is important to have a flattering dating profile photo, but it should still look like you. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Open mouth, Insert foot.

     Siyag L'chachmah Shtikah- In other words , the way to be wise is to be quiet. I wish the yentas of midwood would take heed. If you want to look smart be quiet. If you want to look like an idiot ..... well just keep talking.
   I was hoping that this morning would be just a normal Monday morning where I get up early and do my laundry without being questioned by the yenta patrol. Alas , no such luck. An acquaintance sees me in the elevator and asks me if I am feeling well. I told her that I felt find all the while wondering if I looked ill. Then it dawned on me. She thought that if I didn't appear to be going to work that I must not be feeling well. What a fool. And WHY am I even having such a conversation? Why be such a yenta? Its not polite. Being polite would be simply wishing me good morning.
     A different day someone said to me "Why am I not at work?" She was so concerned. Tell me , why is it I have to tell anyone that I have a day off when I have a day off? Why does anyone even ask another such a question? If I did not have a job it would make me feel even worse to be so interrogated by all of these acquaintances. Familiarity really does breed contempt because all of these conversations make me want to ring some necks. I am really not a morning person and I don't like talking to people so early in the morning even on a day I do have work
       Sometimes I am able to just smile and nod at these questions but the best thing is to be obnoxious. Then no will bother to accost me the next time they feel like opening their mouth and inserting their feet in front of me.


     "Life and death are in the hands of the tongue." Every day I realize how true these words are. Words can form poetry  and words can be weapons. A person must be so careful what one says because sometimes as much as one tries to apologize one can't always erase the damage that one's words have incurred. One can apologize but the result is equal to an erased  piece of paper. The words are no longer there but the page is not as flawless as before the eraser was employed.
      There is a flawed saying that it is better to take a chance and apologize if necessary later . Some things are too severe for a mere apology to fix. An apology is always a good start, even if it is not always enough.