Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Six13 - Chanukah (Shake It Off)

    This year there has been a flood of good Hanukkah videos. Love it. This one is kind of cute.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Technology and Change

     I have recently updated my internet service. You would think that this would make  me happy. Yes I am pleased that I have updated,  The speed is amazing. This time around it has been a major overhaul. Its kind of like how years ago every time I bought a new radio I would have to figure out how to use it. Oh the anxiety. Thankfully I have people to help me along with things. Updating is not easy for someone like me who enjoys when things don't have to always change so much. 

Hanukkah Explained By Christians

     This video is kind of like people watching a crash on the freeway. Its kind of awful but entertaining at the same time. Sometimes looking at how others view us make us feel more validated.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Adam Sandler - Original Hanukkah Song Video

    This is an oldie but goodie. I still love it. I love how he states that OJ Simpson is not a Jew well before the murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. Coincidence or foresight.? You decide.
    

Chanukah is Everywhere

In front of King's Highway Q train station, Brooklyn
Dylan's Candy Bar
 Chanukkah is everywhere if you would only just look. I always like to photograph moments of our Jewish holiday to counteract the overload of images from that other non-Jewish December holiday. Happy Chanukkah!
Dylan's Candy Bar


Dylan's Candy Bar

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hanukkah - Dreidel - music video by Jewish a cappella group Shir Soul - ...

    This video is actually pretty good, but they spend just a little too much time with the first song. Bear with them. Its really pretty good. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Maccabeats - All About That Neis - Hanukkah

    This latest song perhaps is not as snazzy as some of their others, but still cute. Enjoy...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Help

     I often laugh to myself about people who are not as independent as I am, but really the joke is on me. Even when its admirable to be able to do everything one's self , it is just as important to be able to ask others for help. This is something that is difficult for me and I know that it takes patience as well. Which brings me back to why I like to do things by myself. The problem is that as much as I would not like to admit it, I can't do EVERYTHING and thus there are times that I must ask for help from others. Then again, one is still an independent person even if one needs help from others every so often. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Rallies Scare Me

       There is something that always makes me a little nervous about rallies be they for Israel or save the whales.  There is always that underlying feeling that they could get out of hand. Aside from not understanding what their mission even was,  Occupy Wall Street unnerved me. But still until recently these rallies have ultimately been fairly tame.
        Lucky for us now that there is a black president there seems to be even more civil unrest, not unlike when there were the Crown Heights riots when David Dinkins was mayor of New York City. I do not think that they directly incited any of the tensions but I do not think that it is a coincidence that such unrest has occurred when either of them have been in office. First there was Trayvon Martin, then there were Ferguson riots and now the Eric Garner protests. It seems with the last two the emotions are at a fever pitch. There were riots incited by the death of Michael Brown and there were protest all over the country in a way I do not remember ever happening in my lifetime. Shortly after the pandemonium in Ferguson was the Eric Garner verdict. There have been massive protests in New York that I have fortunately have been able to avoid . People get a little crazy when these things happen. I think that there is an even deeper problem than racism in these cases  which is why I opt not to join up with the protesting masses. There often is police brutality with people in general. It is not just with non-white people. I also feel like these protests have taken on a life of their own. Case in point the burning down of twenty-nine businesses in Ferguson. I do not see the police arresting anyone who burned down those buildings. A bit scary don't you think?
        When I used to think about Arab spring and what is going on in France I could not understand how  these things could happen. With the tempo of the protests in the United States... . Well lets say I am less than calm. I think its time for me to take up saying tehillim for world peace.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Online fundraiser helping Jewish family whose Ferguson business was damaged - St. Louis Jewish Light: Local News - Online fundraiser helping Jewish family whose Ferguson business was damaged: Local News

Online fundraiser helping Jewish family whose Ferguson business was damaged - St. Louis Jewish Light: Local News - Online fundraiser helping Jewish family whose Ferguson business was damaged: Local News: Items are still for sale at STL Cordless in Ferguson. Merchandise is displayed on the walls, and goods are arrayed behind the counters. But on…
   I do not want to discuss the right and wrong as to what happened in Ferguson but I am posting this article because people tend to forget that there are Jews everywhere and that we can be affected by things that you would not think that we would be.

Monday, December 1, 2014

I'm Back

     I went out of town for the Thanksgiving weekend. It was so nice to visit my family. Its nice to be able to clear my head  and have a break from the daily grind. I find that going out of town really helps . Of course the other thing it does is make me realize that I need to get away more often.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

Getting Back To Basics

     I found the attack in Israel less than a week ago to be very disturbing . I am so happy that I haven't read about any of the evangelists "reasons" for why this attack happened. I have only heard requests for unity and peace among Jewish people and requests for people to reflect and appreciate their families. I have heard requests for us to  appreciate the lives we all do have. Finally.We are finally getting back to basics. We are concentrating on ahavas yisroel.  I think that this is because this attack happened in Har Nof which is home to the women's  kiruv yeshiva Neve  Yerushalayim. Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg z"tl  was the husband of Briana Goldberg, the front desk receptionist at Neve Yerushalayim. Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky  z"tl, was the husband of the former receptionist Yaakova Kupinsky. Rabbi Kalman Levine z"tl was the husband of a Neve alumna , Chaya Levine.
      From what I have gleaned online about the rabbis who were so brutally and tragically taken from us is  that they were dedicated to doing mitzvot and to helping others. They did not hide in ivory towers with their Judaism . They helped others grow in Torah and reach their potentials. They lived "the Shabbos Project"'s ideals. Coincidentally (or not) the shabbos project's shabbos was just a few short weeks ago.
      To mekarev someone to Judaism one needs to teach someone the intricacies of halacha without neglecting to include and implement good midos and ahavas yisroel.
      We need to continue the work of those who are no longer able to lead us. We must do it out of our love for others and out of our desire for them to experience how rich a life of Torah is. Okay, maybe I am sounding a bit evangelical, but I think this is the message to be learned.



































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Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Kansas City Connection

Friends remember KC native killed in Jerusalem attack | Local News - KMBC Home
      Earlier this year there was an anti-semitic attack in Kansas City. Last week there was a terrorist attack in Jerusalem . One of those murdered was Rabbi Kalman Levine who grew up in Kansas City. Rabbi Moshe Twersky , another of the rabbis who was killed in the massacre has a nephew who currently lives in Kansas City. A few years ago I attended a friend's son's bar mitzvah in Kansas City. Many looked at me quizzically. They did not believe that there are Jews in Kansas City. Well guess what folks? There are Jews in Kansas City and the Jews of Kansas City are making their selves heard. I am hoping next time we will hear about amazing positive events occurring due to Jews in Kansas City and with Jews who grew up in Kansas City.
     I have visited Kansas City twice in my life. I would like to say that the Jewish community of Kansas City is one of the kindest communities in the world.
      

Dancing Rabbis


Post by The Jewish Standard. There has been so much tragedy in this world lately that I am posting some levity. This is such a cute video. I am expecting to see John Travolta make an appearance.


Survivor Describes Horrific Synagogue Attack - Inside Israel - News - Arutz Sheva

Survivor Describes Horrific Synagogue Attack - Inside Israel - News - Arutz Sheva  I am linking to this amazing testimony of Rabbi Shmuel Goldstein about his survival of the horrific massacre in the shul in Har Nof last Tuesday. It is such a miracle that he is alive and able to tell us his story. May he have a speedy recovery along with the others who were injured. Baruch dayan emet for those who were so tragically murdered there.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

CNN sucks

     I get email updates from CNN . Today is no exception. I realize that they are biased against Israel, but this morning took the cake. They informed me of the terror attack in Israel using "quotation marks" around the words "terror attacks"  as if to say it was not one. I felt like I was punched in the stomach. They were so clearly saying how little they care about Jewish people. It was not as though I did not know this, but it still hurts to read it. I have never been to Har Nof, but I have been to Jerusalem. I am so broken up about what happened in Israel to my Jewish brethren. As for the rest of the world, I am waiting for them to surprise me with respect  and compassion for my people. I won't hold my breath , but I will not give up hope either. Baruch dayan emet for those who were murdered in the terror attack in Israel this morning . Sending love and support to their families. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hatikvah - The Hope - The National Anthem of Israel - התקווה

      This is an amazing rendition of Hatikvah. Enjoy.

Family history come to life: Lost Holocaust-era dress designs uncovered

     This is such  a sad story. This couple sent these dress designs to their relatives in the United States to help get the wife a job and help them get exit visas. Sadly it was not fast enough to save them. The couple did not survive but these sketches do. They are hanging in the Milwaukee holocaust museum. They even actually made dresses from these designs. I cannot hold back my tears. Such beautiful dresses. Imagine what this woman could have created had she lived longer. Words cannot express how  sad it is for these lives to have been cut so short. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Kichel

     One of my favorite kiddush dishes is kichel. Its easy to buy them but I always thought it would be fun to make them. So I did.    I found this great recipe that I will share with you.

     ' 
This recipe is adapted from the book "The World of Jewish Cooking" by Gil Marks. 
Eier Kichlich
3 large eggs
4-5  tbsp granulated sugar, divided
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup canola oil 
1 cup all purpose flour

Beat eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy for 5-10 minutes.  Add 1tbsp sugar, salt and oil and continue beating mixture until thick for about 10 minutes. Gradually beat in the flour  until the mixture is smooth. 
Drop batter by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto parchment lined baking sheets. Sprinkle kichlich with 2-4 tablespoons of sugar , to cover. 
 Bake kichlich until puffed and golden brown for 20-25 minutes.  
Remove pans from oven and with a spatula transfer cookies fro pan to a cooling rack. Allow to completely cool before serving.  
Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a week or in freezer bags in the freezer for up to three months. 


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Brittany Maynard’s Tragic Death

       Is it me, or were you also disturbed by Brittany Maynard's suicide?  I read aish.com's response Brittany Maynard’s Tragic Death  which I found powerful.  I know that I was disturbed by it.  Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks you have heard of Brittany Maynard at 29 has decided to commit suicide rather than have treatment for her brain cancer. On November 1 she took a deadly dose prescribed by a doctor to commit suicide in Oregon.
       As it is doctors don't always want to do as much as we would like to help people live longer with medical care for serious illnesses so now this young woman is glorifying suicide. Will it become acceptable to commit suicide for those who suffer from depression? Will they close down the suicide hotlines?  Would it  be more comfortable to die than suffer with depression? Where does one draw the line? Even if what Brittany Maynard did was acceptable , why did she make it so public? It feels like there was an agenda.
     When older people decide that they have had enough treatment and opt out of more procedures due to illness it is a lot different than what Brittany Maynard did. Refusing treatment eventually made them pass on, but they did not actually cause their own deaths. She went the extra mile. If she just stopped treatment it would have been one thing, but suicide.... I do not think that that was the right thing to do. That's my 2 cents, not that anyone is asking. Suicide is not brave, living with whatever life throws you is brave.

Monday, November 10, 2014

1979 Making bagels by hand in Brooklyn, NY

    I found this gem online today. Notice how they aren't wearing gloves as they make the bagels. Does anyone know what part of Brooklyn this is?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hot Stuff

 

 I went to the farmer's market in union square today. Its one of the most magical places in New York City.  The Tai hot peppers really caught my eye. I don't enjoy eating  hot peppers, but they make beautiful pictures.
a bouquet of hot peppers

Thai Hot

Monday, November 3, 2014

Age

     There are so many inspiring people around today. Retirement age may be 65 but many are still working at their professions even part time. I do not know that retirement age should be raised because of this, but the point is many seniors are still living vibrant lives.
      I have an older relative who recently passed away at the age of 84. He was a lawyer and still worked almost until the end.
       Even among  those who are not working , many older adults do not live in nursing homes and are living independent , vibrant lives. I suppose that a big fear can be getting older and being debilitated. Unfortunately some people do, but not everyone does. It is nice to be able to appreciate the lives of those who are still vibrant contributors to society. One can always learn so much by speaking to them.
       

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Punk Jews

    So I just watched the documentary PUNK JEWS for free on YouTube. I had wanted to go to one of the screenings, but I hadn't managed to .
      I really did not know what to expect. I thought that it would just be a movie about people who go to the Thursday night 'Cholent'. It did include a lot of coverage of them, but they really were not the whole movie. Because of my preconceptions it was not until the end of the movie that I understood the message of the film. The message really was not that enlightening.  To be punk really means that a  person has their own way of doing things. This film is about Jewish people who have found their own ways of expressing their Judaism that does  conform to the mainstream. Some of the people used to be Hasidic and others started out as regular reform or conservative Jews. They all found their own ways of expressing Judaism. This documentary is a  cliff's notes catalog of unusual ways to express one's Judaism . I would not mind to see a more in depth version because I do not feel that the fifty-five minutes of this documentary was enough to cover this topic. To the credit of the filmmakers there is a Punk Jews play list on YouTube that includes more Punk Jews that were not included in the film. Perhaps these will be included on their DVD release.
      I know that many of you don't even want to spend the fifty-five minutes watching this film even though I posted it to my blog post, but I am not going to give a full synopsis . Watch it. Its free.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

DLST

     Tonight we are 'falling' back. We are turning the clocks back so that the winter days are shorter. It kind of stinks. Its finally nice and cool outside, but it gets dark out early . Bah! I will enjoy an extra hour of the day tonight!  Winter is on the way....

Monday, October 27, 2014

I Can Complain

     One phrase you won't hear me say is "I can't complain" . I will complain and don't stop me.  The worst thing to do is to wax poetically about how I should not complain when I need to vent. If I am allowed to vent I will quickly vent and then it will be over. If I am not validated I will continue to harp about what is bothering me . Let me vent and just say nothing. I know that it shouldn't matter if others dismiss my venting, but it does. I just need to be heard. I guess that's why I like blogging. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Shabbos as a Project

     This was the shabbos that everyone was supposed to be mekarev non-frum Jews and have them keep shabbos for one day. A lofty idea. I am not in to kiruv so I was not so excited about the whole deal. Kiruv events are often created solely for those they want to mekarev and the the designated kiruv professionals. I guess this is okay but what about the rest of us who actually are frum but could use a little inspiration? What about a global shabbos that is like a shabbaton for all Jews not just those you want to mekarev? We could all use a boost of enthusiasm about religion. Maybe just I do, but I suspect its not just me. We continually lament those who go OTD when really the time to work on those who are OTD  is before they become OTD.
     If there is one thing that I have learned about modern health is to to practice preventative care. Go to the doctor for routine check ups. Take  necessary medication. Eat healthy foods, take vitamins. The same can be applied to frumkeit. Strive to make mitzvot less rote and more mindful.
      Torah observance should not just seem like a list of rules to follow, but a lifestyle one wants to follow and one should desire to follow the mitzvot.
       I think that expanding our circles to include less observant Jews is bigger than making it a "project". I have friends who always invite their non-frum neighbors for Friday night shabbos dinners  and include them  as guests at their family simchas. This to me is a more natural way of kiruv.
       Lastly , I think that enhancing the singing of zemirot on shabbos or singing with one's family or friends after havdallah instead of just rushing off to do weekday activities might deepen our commitment to being observant Jews. Mitzvot can sometimes become so rote that we forget how enjoyable they are .
     

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Statue of Liberty Reimagined

     I found this painting at the Jewish Museum on my last visit there. I could not wait until July fourth or Labor day to post this picture. I guess the artist envisioned the statue of liberty as a blond. I love that America is written on her crown in Yiddish. I don't have a lot of snappy commentary. I think that the picture says it all. Would have loved to see a picture of the same five people fifty years later. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Shavua Tov

     Sometimes seeing all the happy families together can be depressing. I almost felt that way this yom tov. I say almost because halfway through my pity party at shul I saw the other side of someone I envied. Someone who seems perfect and seems to have the perfect life is not so perfect. One of her angelic children was acting not so angelic and she was not so angelic toward that child. That was all I needed. I am no longer envious of her . I still would like to have a family but I am no longer envious of hers . I am embarrassed to say that sometimes when I actually see that someone else's life is not as wonderful as I once thought, I feel better. I wish that I could just say that I saw all of the happy families around me at shul and still felt content with what Hashem has given me without just feeling better about my lot because I was given proof that someone else does not have it as good as I had thought they had. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Is this the UWS?

     Occasionally throughout the years people would comment after I told them where I live and say "Oh, the singles building" I of course would look at them like they had 3 heads because  what I notice about my apartment building is all of the young couples.  Others have called it the kollel building or the yeshiva, which I would call more accurate.  Fast forward to this week. I have noticed that there are more single people on my floor than couples. To say there are more singles than couples is an understatement. There are three apartments with couples and seven apartments with singles. Oy . The singles are taking over in Brooklyn . Now we know there is a single's crisis. That or perhaps the city is getting so pricey that the single and frum have deserted to Midwood. A  sad state of affairs.
     

Monday, October 6, 2014

Shabbos

   I am posting these two videos together because they are both Shabbos related.
      Anyways , its interesting to see Paula Abdul embracing her heritage. I do not know if she will become shomer Shabbos, but I think its cool she is giving it a try. I know that those in charge of the Shabbos Project are hoping everyone who makes the effort to keep Shabbos this one Shabbos will continue to do so. I think that it is a wonderful way of raising awareness about Judaism to non- Shabbos observing Jews. I also think that it would be great if reform and conservative synagogues would promote it as well. They would not really be promoting keeping Shabbos as the Shabbos project suggests, but it perhaps it would get some of the Jews who attend their services to become more involved. Though it would be amazing if everyone would be fully shomer Shabbos, everyone is not going to be just because we want them to. Then again there is such thing as baby steps and it is not all or nothing. Just because someone is not completely observant it does not mean they should just throw in the towel as some extremists are so quick to  say. A person has so start somewhere and every mitzvah a person does has value.
      Finally  I will devote a few words to the 'shabbos app' that threatens to invade Shabbos as we know it. I am not so sure it is really halachically correct and if it is it would be more for an emergency or for a medical doctor to use . Even before cell phones and texting people were tempted by not being able to watch a favorite television show. Before vcrs and dvrs people were even more tempted. I equate the Shabbos app to setting the timer of your tv to go off at a certain time so you could watch a show you may miss on Shabbos. Actually, it is probably more permissible to do this than use the Shabbos App.
       Smart phones are a bigger yetzer harah than the internet on the computer ever was because it is so much more accessible. It fits in your pocket and it turns on so easily. It is easy to get attached . I am not as attached to texting perhaps because I was not a teenager when it was created. I can see how you can get attached to it since its on a cell phone and one can stay connected all of the time. I of course resisted getting a cell phone when it first came out for that very reason. I don't really want to be that accessible to others. Call me anti-social, I do not care. I do have a smart phone now and I use it often and find it a necessity, but my ablility to be off the radar is missed with all this wireless connectivity.
        Whenever there is new technology, there are pros and cons about  it. I like Shabbos because I am able to turn off technology. Its not that I do not have a yetzer harah to want to be connected to technology during Shabbos, but the rested feeling I have after Shabbos because I was forced to find other ways to amuse myself and I was able to turn inward and reconnect with friends would not be possible if I did keep my smartphone on or any other mode of technology. Its so nice to be able to have an actual conversation with people without them looking downward to check their phone, without them taking a call, without the blare of the televison or radio. I want the Shabbos smart phone cover that says MUKTZAH on it  in fuschia  to thwart any temptation of using it on Shabbos. Even if the Shabbos app is permissible I do not think that it is in the spirit of shabbos and I think that its only really ok in an emergency.But thats just me. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Mendy J- Sim Shalom (Official Music Video) מענדי ג'- שים שלום

   When we said Sim Shalom  during shmoneh esreh today it made me remember the old men singing it in shul when I was a kid. This video is an update on the tune that they sang in my shul as a kid, but this version is equally enjoyable. With all the unrest in the world this is such a lovely song for peace.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fall


     Fall is my favorite season . When I go outside on a crisp day it feels wonderful. I can finally breathe.  It  makes me feel alive .

Unlike spring, fall always seems like new beginnings to me. Perhaps its because of Rosh Hashannah and the fact that my birthday is at the end of the summer. Maybe its a left over feeling from my school days. September and fall were always the beginning of the school year.
          Whether or not you like fall, I wish you a good fall and a shanah tovah.

Monday, September 29, 2014

American vs Delta

     Since 9/11 less people have been flying. I don 't know that its because they are afraid of terrorists. I think it is more that they have less money due to the economy . In any event there are fewer flights and smaller planes flying to many cities.  Less than a year ago American airlines has sent the smaller jets onto flights to the Midwest city that I often visit. When they first did this unsuspecting me booked a flight with a window seat. Big mistake. A window seat on  a small plane is an invitation for claustrophobia. I think the aisle seats were more money. Now I know why. Unless you don't have a tendency to get claustrophobic  you should shell out the extra shekels for the aisle seat. When I sat in that ill fated window seat I looked so uncomfortable that the flight attendant let me sit up front in an empty aisle seat which also happened to be a preferred seat.
         Though since my claustrophobic interlude last year I have been sure to book an aisle seat on the left side of the plane I have decided to try another airline. This time it was Delta. It has a smaller  space in the airport than American but their planes have plusher seats that are the same measurements as American's.  Unfortunately on either airline some people should be required to pay for two seats since they are so big that they are sitting in their seat and halfway in mine. On Delta there was only one restroom instead of two which was sufficient. No one over five foot five can maneuver in AA's   restrooms on their smaller planes.
            Both airlines have top notch flight attendants. Both airlines have small seats, but Delta's are more comfortable. American has two dinky restrooms and Delta has one roomy restroom. The prices are somewhat equivalent on either airline.  Delta still gives out a tiny bag of pretzels with soft drinks, American just has soft drinks on board.I think that I will stick to Delta for now, but I will still consider American depending on  price and schedule . Its good to have options.
        

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Peace

       The badge of honor these days is running on empty. The less hours one sleeps nightly the better. I try not to get caught up in all of that. It can be so tempting but I know deep down that running on empty is not really most efficient . One really can accomplish more if one factors in a good night's sleep and a little down time.
        I guess it really depends on what your tendencies are. I tend to want to do everything at the same time and find it hard to slow down. There are others who are lazy and don't care that they waste time. For the lazies a big dose of I gotta do it all yesterday would be in order.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Introspection

       Going away for holidays is optimal. It helps give perspective that I would not have had if I had stayed home . I like staying home but its easy to get stuck in a rut when one stays home too much. Hopefully I will be able to hold on to this positivity and energy when I go home and get back into regular life.
           Shana Tova for a new year and a fresh beginning of 5775.
    

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Machmir at all Cost

      I am a bit disturbed by an article I read in tablet magazine about a charedi man who made a hullabaloo about switching his airplane seat because he was seated next to a woman. Aside from the fact that if this was so important  him he should have flown with enough men to fill a row if that was so important to him I believe their are bigger issues at stake here. Why is it that this seems to be the most important issue to observance? Does this scenario happen really THAT often or is it  so juicy that it gets a lot of air time?  I really would hope the major focus of torah Jews would be to promote ahavas yisroel . Do not poo-poo me. Sinas chinam is why the bais hamikdash was destroyed. Even though some chumrahs seem really important to some more than others I think that being machmir for one's self is ok but when it hurts or bothers others is it really making the mitzvah more mehudar?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rosh Hashanah

     It is so hard to believe that Rosh Hashanah is right around the corner . I don't feel like I have accomplished all that I wished I would have  this year and now its ending. Oy. I guess I will have more to do next year.
     Wishing everybody a happy, healthy and sweet new year.
 
    

Monday, September 22, 2014

Holidays

      It has been a crazy 5774. With all the tragedy I think that it is equally important to revel in what is  magical and enjoyable in life. We have a new year upon us and we need to take stock of all of the good we have been blessed with and how fortunate we are to be alive. Life can be rough and life can be sweet and as long as we have life we have a chance to perfect our lot.

       Wishing everyone a sweet new year.

The Maccabeats - Home (Medley) - Israel

  Always thinking about Israel....

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Maccabeats 20 Years Later.....macc

   I love the Maccabeats, but you really gotta love this guy. He looks like he could be the Maccabeats 20 years later. All kidding aside, this is really cute.

Shalom Sesame: Rosh Hashanah Hannah

    I can't believe I missed this video a few years ago. Its a hoot.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11/14 the Bar Mitzvah Memorial Year

     9/11 or Patriot Day as I once noticed they are calling it is again upon us. I still have a knot in my stomach when I think about it. It was the day America's innocence was lost.
    What can I say. The world is in just as big a mess if not bigger than it was 13 years ago. I suppose its the bar mitzvah memorial year. Now what would the haftorah be?
     A thirteen year old is a big  kid. There are thirteen year old kids out there who for them 9/11 is a history lesson. Time just goes on... I guess this how elderly people feel. One remembers certain events so clearly you almost forget how long ago they occurred.
    I pray for peace in the world . I pray for peace in the United States.  I pray for peace in Israel. I pray for an end to terrorism.
   

    

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

UWS

     The haven for religious Jewish singles is the UWS (upper west side, Manhattan) I lived there for a year in college, but not since. When I graduated college most of my friends moved to Brooklyn or Queens so that's what I did. By the time I really thought of moving to the UWS as an option I had been working for a few years and was able to support myself without the help of my parents. If  I would have moved to the UWS  I may have needed some supplemental contributions from my parents. I liked being able to pay my own way so I opted to stay in the outer boroughs.
     Eventually I could afford living on the UWS comfortably if I had roommates, but in the end I opted to use that type of rent to pay for an apartment sans roommates. Why pay so much money to live with roommates? Even good roommates move on and then you are stuck struggling to pay the rent until you desperately search for a roommate you may not even like just to pay the rent.
       Some will say that it is worth overpaying to live on the UWS because there are so many singles there that it is likelier to meet one's bashert there. This is probably true. People like to delude themselves and say that few on the UWS marry because there is so much choice. That is not really true. Though there are many confirmed singles there I know many who have met and married their spouses because they lived on the UWS.  Unfortunately the only way that I could afford to live  there comfortably is if I had several roommates. After having lived in my own apartment for years this does not appeal to me at all, especially since there is no guarantee that this type of arrangement would be short term.  Whenever I had roommates, even good ones, it did not feel like it was really my apartment. I cannot say I really want to go back to that.
          If I had the money to live as I do now on the UWS  I do not want to live like a grad student at this point . I want to enjoy my life, enjoy my space. I  do want to get married, but I also realize that my life right now is my life and I can't keep living life on hold. I have friends who will say one should only live in a basement apartment until one gets married because it will be an incentive to get married. Maybe, but maybe you will just end up  being middle aged and living single  in a basement. That would really suck.
      

Monday, September 8, 2014

Holiness

     I remember learning in school, probably for the benefit of those who did not come from frum homes that where a ba'al t'shuvah stood it is a holier place that someone who always was frum . When I thought about it at the time I was thinking in terms of someone who did not grow up religious and then became religious.
     After awhile though I wondered what the meaning of  ba'al t'shuvah really is. I think when we say someone who did not grow up shomer shabbat and then becomes shomer shabbat, by t'shuvah we just mean that they are returning to being frum, but not so much that they are doing t'shuvah for transgressing. If one did not really know what sins one was transgressing  being an unobservant Jew is actually t'shuvah  really necessary?
     I thought some more. There are others who grew up religious , went away from it and then became frum again. I think that this type of person is more under the category of a ba'al t'shuvah. They knew about halachah , went away from it and then they returned to observance. This is a high level, because when one returns one has truly elected observance .
      Those who grew up irreligious and then became observant Jews really lie under the category of being 'born again' Jews. I have heard this term for ba'alei t'shuvah before , not always with such positive connotations, but it is an appropriate title. When people are 'born again' they have a lot of fervor for what they believe as do people who finally find frumkeit after years of being 3 day a year Jews.
        Alas , years later  I was taught that really it is more difficult to stay religious than to have been a chozer b'tshuvah because one always stuck to it even without having tried whatever else was out there. Kind of like na'aseh v'nishmah. We will do and we will listen. It is quite admirable to remain religious with true kavanah without going out to sow one's wild oats.
       Then again no matter how one comes to or stays with observant Judaism it is holy in its own right so why do we need to label one person as holier than the other? Maybe that's the point. Its all how you look at it. Everyone is holier than everyone else depending on how you look at it.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Cool Neighborhood?

      Recently I have noticed a change in the demographics of Midwood. It seems there are more Yuppies. Really. Lately when I sit on the benches on Ocean Parkway I see people jogging. It was not just once. Its been often. Is Midwood finally becoming hip and cool? I would say not quite, but maybe the Yuppies who cannot afford to live elsewhere are beginning to populate the area. I say bring it on. We need to shake things up around here. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Joan Rivers Dead At 81 - What Happened and Remembering Her

Moscato in the Cosmos

       Earlier today I was lounging around reading a magazine. Okay , I was reading Cosmopolitan magazine. Anyway, as I was reading it for a moment I thought that I had too much wine for kiddush when I spotted an ad for Bartenura moscato wine. I took a double  take and yes, its true. Bartenura wine has an ad in Cosmopolitan magazine side by side with an ad for Madonna's Material Girl clothing line which mentions Coney Island. I wonder if the ad for Bartenura wines is just in magazine editions being circulated to subscribers  in Brooklyn or if the ad has gone nation wide .  Inquiring minds want to know.....

Friday, September 5, 2014

Comedian Joan Rivers dead at 81

   During the week Joan Rivers was on life support there were many who davened for her recovery. On facebook it seemed that only her English name was recovered.  Her Jewish name was not known to use to pray for her health. It was quite interesting to read the desperation. It was touching and interesting. Some felt that the prayers were only valid if her Hebrew name was used. It is so wonderful that they wanted to daven for her recovery . I think that no matter which name was used Hashem surely heard our prayers even though she still passed away too soon. I do not think that lack of use of her Hebrew name had anything to do with the reality  of her passing. For reasons unknown to us it was what happened. Rest in Peace Joan Rivers legendary comedienne whose Hebrew name I do not know. You are already missed. Baruch Dayan Emes. 

Joan Rivers on Why She'll Never Retire

      Unfortunately comedienne Joan Rivers  passed away yesterday. What a sad day. I thought that she would be able to pull through, but alas that was not meant to be. I have been scouring you tube for a good clip of Joan and this is what I came up with. Its an interview featuring Joan and Melissa Rivers. Its priceless.
      I feel like Joan's life was cut short. I suppose I should believe that she passed because it was her time, but I also kind of believe that if that surgery had not been botched she would be alive today. Could have , would have should have, but I still wish things were different. Here we are again facing life, facing death.
      No matter what I think should have happened, I still am forever grateful she kept working for as long as she did. She managed to make me laugh so much  and brightened many days.
      Joan Rivers never retired because she enjoyed what she was doing and was blessed with the energy to be able do it until less than a week before she passed away. She worked hard to be who she was and earned the right to speak her mind. I respect her perseverance . I admire her staunch support of Israel. Not only did she defend Israel politically  but she also made appearances even  via satellite onto Israeli television shows. She was not just there to defend politics, she was with Israel to entertain and help people enjoy life. She had much tragedy in her life and had the strength to soldier through it and laugh and help others laugh. This is not something many have done. This is not something many have the opportunity to do.
        I realize that her humor is not for everyone, but she made me laugh a lot and I felt pride when she defended Israel to the press at a time when many others have not. She was brave enough to put herself out there and make a difference where many others have not and will not.
       Joan Rivers, rest in peace. Baruch Dayan Emet. You will be missed. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Birthdays

      Another birthday is here. Ugh. I am happy to have another birthday, but I always find them to be a time of intense introspection.  This year is a big birthday. No I am not sharing with you the number so don't bother asking. Then again every birthday for the past few years has seemed like a big one. I had hoped I would have accomplished more of my dreams by this birthday, but alas I have not. I suppose that everyone feels that way around their birthdays. Then again, there are a lot of wonderful things that I do have in my life. I have good friends and family . I have been writing a blog since January 2008, which is something not many can say :). As a kid I had always wanted to be a published writer, which I am via this blog.
      I have heard people say that its better not to have expectations of life because then one won't be disappointed, but I am not sure that that is the best way to live. If one does not have any aspirations one may never be disappointed, but one also may never feel gratified that one has achieved any goals. I think its good to have things to look forward to . One may not ever have all one wishes for , but I think that hope is a good thing.
     I am looking forward to a fulfilling year ahead and I am grateful to be celebrating another birthday.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Mighty Escalator


         New York City is such and old place. I never forget my first trip to Macy's in Herald Square . I will never forget noticing the presence of escalators from another era. I do not know if those escalators were even around in the 1950's when my parents were growing up. Over the years they have renovated Macy's many times. No matter how big the overhaul those old escalators have remained.
        This week on an outing to Macy's Herald Square I noticed that there are a few new fangled escalators in the newer balcony section. Otherwise the vintage escalators have remained.
          I would say it feels comforting to still see the vintage escalators, but if I said that I would be lying. Those escalators are from a bygone era before I was born. The escalators are more fun in the vain of the vintage trains that sometimes run during December.  It feels so odd that so much  past architecture has left us, but the mighty escalator remains.
      I wonder what unjustified architecture will be around in another 60 years for the next generation to ponder.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pizza Time

     It is so easy to ruminate about everything that is wrong with life. I wish could be more like these Snoopy mugs. I would much prefer to be busy over thinking pizza. I really must make a concerted effort to focus on what is enjoyable in life (like pizza.) instead of  hyper focusing on what is uncomfortable  about  life. Life is going to be what it is going to be whether one is optimistic or pessimistic. I can choose what color glasses to look at the world through. Its a lot more pleasant to look at  the world through rose colored glasses than to look at the world with grease smudged glasses . Unless of course the grease is from pizza.....

Monday, August 25, 2014

Who Occupies Gaza?

                                             This has been  what I have been saying all along...... Love this.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Free Gaza From Whom?

      I am always confused when I hear about those who want to free the Gazans from. I know that they seem to really  mean the Israelis, but in my mind this really makes no sense. Don't  they want to free them from Hamas or the Palastinian authority?? Gaza isn't part of Israel anymore so would not that make more sense? Oh that's right, it does not make sense. The only thing anyone wants to do is blame Israel and the Jews. Silly me.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Citizens of the Subway

yuppie child and frum child
 I love watching people on the trains. It is always fun to guess the relationships of those sitting in such close proximity to one another .
  The two little girls in yuppie child and frum child are just so cute.  I purposely cut out the parents from the photo. The kids were just so cute and just acting like kids   proving that people are people no matter where they hail from.
   The second photo was more confusing. At first glance it seemed as though this was a couple wearing blue on the train together on a random Sunday. After a closer look I am not sure that they even know each other's names.
   
are they together or just sitting beside each other?
As we approach the last photo I posted called together , we see that though there are so many disconnected people on the train  there still are some who 
ride with their friends  and it is apparent that they indeed are friends. It is so refreshing.

 When I first moved to New York I used to people watch
constantly. After awhile I got caught in my own
bubble and started looking inward instead of outward on the trains. Sometimes that
has been to my advantage. Sometimes there is
just too much weirdness on the trains that it is better to
be engrossed in a novel or a song on my ipod.
     Lately I have been paying more attention
to my surroundings and noticing the photo opportunities on
the subways. Now that I have an iPhone it is a lot easier
to secretly snap a photo. I feel like there really is a softer
side to New York City that I had not noticed until I
began photographing random individuals. It has been a
nice surprise.
together 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Spin the Egg

     There are two events that if I wanted to I could attend almost every night of the week and they are shiva and singles events, not necessarily in that order. I am not sure why that is, but trust me it is. I am sure that there are gold diggers who pay shiva calls to find shidduchim. Shiva houses are full of lonely people . Death makes people want to strengthen interpersonal relationships because  one never knows just how long one has on this earth so its imperative to pair up as soon as you leave the mourners home.
    Singles events can sometimes make one feel as somber as a house full of mourners. They can certainly be depressing. Not unlike avelus. Singles events can definitely make one contemplate life and how one is afraid one may have to live life singularly , without a spouse because these singles events can make the possibility of finding a spouse seem so bleak.
     Singles events and shiva  go together like egg whites and yolk.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Farmer's Market

      Its the beginning of the harvest season and the union square farmer's market is in full swing. The most tasty veggies and fruit are available. I had the most succulent nectarine today that I purchased there. I did not know that a nectarine could taste so superb. I also noshed on some tangy sweet yellow cherry tomatoes.
 When you eat vegetables that were harvested often the same day they are sold one has a new appreciation for how food was intended to taste.
    Produce shopping at the farmer's market in union square is very calming even though it is located in the midst of the concrete jungle. I try to buy a lot of produce there. It supports local farmers and the food is healthier because it is local. It is not all completely organic, but it is fresher because it travels less to get to my table.
    I highly recommend the greenmarket in union square if you live anywhere near Manhattan. It is the largest farmer's market in the area. It is open Mondays , Wednesdays and Fridays.

Rallies

     I will admit that I do not always go to rallies. I hate crowds. But today I decided to go to the tail end of a pro-Israel rally that was held in union square. When I got there an Israeli man was singing Hebrew songs and people were fervently dancing . It was quite intense. It was heartwarming to see people have such zeal. There was a nice mix of young and old as well as quite a few gentiles. I heard Pamela Geller , an anti- radical Islam activist speak and I was there for the final Hatikvah. 
     Singing Hatikvah at the end of this rally was most poignant. The world is a mess and we sang the national anthem of Israel whose title means hope. If that is not powerful I do not know what is. 
     I am not really sure what a rally accomplishes, but I do know what this one has given me. It was nice to see a large group of people that I have never seen before supporting Israel. 




Sunday, August 17, 2014

Happiness

      Robin Williams had a lot of fame and fortune and yet he still suffered from mental illness and committed suicide. Wealth, fame and fortune do not necessarily prevent one from being depressed. We all think it might , but it does not. One can be poor and live a really enjoyable and fulfilling life. It is so sad that a man who was able to lift the spirits of others was not able to lift his own .
     
       

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Do You Pass the Israel Test?

     This is a little slow moving, but good. I of course passed the Israel test.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Candy Crush

      For about a year I was a candy crush addict along with several of my Facebook friends. Eventually I broke free from my addiction. I still have Facebook friends who are candy crushing including several in Israel. I imagine they are in the rocket shelters playing candy crush. I bet Mark Zuckerberg did not envision Facebook games as a diversion during war in Israel but I think he would click the like button if he knew .

Friday, August 8, 2014

Ari Lesser - Boycott Israel [Hebrew Subs]

   This is quite a song. I think that I have seen it before, but this seems like a good time to post it. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Missing Tile Syndrome

      I just saw this on you tube and I just had to share it. It is so true. Yet another midah to work  on.....

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tokyo Stands With Israel

  Thank you Tokyo for standing up for Israel . Beautiful singing.

Grown Up

     As a kid one always imagines what fun it will be to be an adult. One can stay up as late as you want, you can do whatever you want . Then you grow up . Reality sets in. As a kid you only noticed the fun stuff adults get to do. As an adult one gets to find out all the adult things adults have to do. Adults pay taxes. Adults have jobs. Adults are aware of current events . Adults come to realize how illogical life can be. It would be nice to be a kid again, but alas that ship has already sailed.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein | Let us draw strength

    I found this video to be very inspiring during this difficult time for the Jewish people as a well as for Tisha B'Av. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Spontaneous Pro-Israel Rally Erupts in Response to Protestors

   This is truly miraculous and heartwarming. 

No Justice

     So many times in life when someone not so upstanding does something improper people just chalk it up to thinking that they are not such good people and do not give it a second thought. Other times someone who is good most of the time can do something questionable and the world criticizes them like no body's business. I really do not get it . Isn't a reprehensible person responsible for their actions? Just because they are always a jerk is not green light to be awful. Is it just easier to harass a usually good person for misbehaving ? If so there is really no justice in the world.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Brooklyn Love

      I just finished reading  the book Brooklyn Love by Yael Levy. It's the story of four Orthodox Jewish young women in their early twenties looking for their basherte. At first I was not sure whether or not this was going to be a story that was good for frum Jews or bad for frum Jews. At first I thought that it was a more negative portrayal  but as I kept reading I realized that it is a  positive portrayal of looking for love in Brooklyn , it is just not a sugar coated view of it. It is an easy read. I do not want to give too much of the story away, so you will have to read it for yourself to get the full 411. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Shiva

     I just got back from a shiva call. My friend's younger brother passed away. I did not know him well, but he was a lovely person. I feel so sad for my friend and her family. Shiva calls always make me introspective. It makes me contemplate the meaning of life. A friend or loved one could go at any time. It is so important to spend as much time as possible with them and always make sure they know how much you care for them. Life is unpredictable and relationships are what make life worth living.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Joan Rivers Epic Interview for Channel 10 Israel

  Joan Rivers does it again. She gives a great interview and even manages to give a great joke as a solution to end the war! Amazing! Love her!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Upside

      The upside of the situation  in Israel is that I am really mourning the fact that we are in galus and the destruction of the bais hamikdash like we Jews should be doing during the three weeks. I think that a lot of Jewish people who don't even know the significance of the three weeks or maybe never even have heard of shivah assar b'tammuz or tisha b'av are feeling sad for what is going on in Israel right now .
       It also seems like the three weeks have been even longer this year. It really stinks. I pray for a quick end to this war that will stop hamas once and for all . I pray for peace for Jews all over the world and an end to all anti-Semitism. I pray for peace for all people  all over the world.
        On facebook there is an "event" that is posted that in case you don't know about I will mention. The event is that there will be a world wide simultaneous davening of the shema at 12 pm EST, This "event "is to be held through August 5 which is Tisha B'av. It can be a difficult time of the day to do this if one is at work, but we should all try to do the best we can.  I participated today. This shema is being said specifically for the safety of the IDF during this war as well as for  peace .
        

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Ottendorfer Libraray


     I have often passed by this building when I have been in the village and did not pay much attention to it. All that I would notice is that it says  bibleothek  which means  library in French.  Eventually I took a closer look and read the plaque on the library which states that the Ottendorfer branch of the NYPL is the first New York public library. The architecture is really cool from the outside. When I went inside it did not seem as quaint.
    This library is located at 135 Second Avenue between East 9th St and St. Marks Place in Manhattan. It kind of makes me feel like I am in a foreign country when I look at this building because it is so old.





Achdus?

     There is a lot of talk about achdus lately. I think that there is less in fighting among us due to the war in Israel but is there really achdus? This weekend I read a letter to the editor in a midwestern Jewish newspaper . There was a kiruv organization that did a day of Jewish unity, which the author lauded, but they queried whether or not those who organized this day of unity would show up to a community wide holocaust memorial even if women spoke. My guess sadly is that they would not , though they should.
     I am not sure that I understand the holier than thou stance that is often taken. I had a friend who wanted to protest the Celebrate Israel parade in Manhattan for letting gay people march for Israel with their own banner. I replied to this person that if he wanted to address those who organized the parade about these issues it would be much more productive than simply not showing up to the parade. Not showing up to the parade makes more of a statement about not supporting Israel and no one will know they did not show up because a small group of people marched under the banner of being gay and Jewish. The parade really just is about supporting Israel not about what one's affiliations are. One really has to look at the big picture.
    Lately at "community wide" Jewish events yeshivish people do not always attend because reform or conservative rabbis speak  even if it is not a religious ceremony, like a Yom Hashoah memorial event. A less affiliated Jew may actually attend a program for a more affiliated Jewish event. When I was a kid this was not so. I went to an orthodox school in the midwest and remember attending from school a holocaust memorial program that was held in a reform temple. It was not a religious ceremony by any stretch, but it was a Jewish event. My school was more modern orthodox , perhaps if they were more charedi we may not have attended. I think that for a holocaust memorial it is important for all stripes of Jews to attend communuty wide events.
     On the flip side , I have been to rallies for Israel in Manhattan that have included all Jews in attendance even when there has been a woman rabbi or cantor speaking.
     There need to be more events that Jews of all stripes and affiliations attend where those who are more charedi attend that are not necessarily a kiruv event. We really are one people no matter how religious or not. There are events that exist where this can occur but many opt not to attend. If your really want to do kiruv this would do it more than an actual kiruv event . I do not mean that one should attend and try to mekarev someone, I mean to attend and show you are part of the klal. This does more for frumkeit than a kiruv event.
     

Friday, July 25, 2014

Joan Rivers -- GOES OFF on Epic Israel/Palestine Rant

   Joan Rivers is an 81 year old working comedian. Some people are quite amazed that she is still working. I can agree that she sometimes is a little off color in her jokes, but one thing that she gets right is her staunch support of Israel. She has said what needs to be said and is not apologetic. You go girl!! Thank G-d you are still a relevant celebrity  because people need to hear these words . Many people love you and your work, so they will want to hear your words.
    On that note, shabbat shalom everyone. Shabbat Shalom to you too Joan. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Control

      At the risk of sounding blasphemous and with no disrespect for what is going on in Israel and the world over, I will present a problem that I am having . I am so overwhelmed by it all. I was doing okay until I heard of local threats of anti-semitism. That sort of threw me off the edge. Its not that the thought had not crossed my mind but until one sees mention of it in print (on facebook no less) it seems only abstract. I feel like I need to curb my obsessive checking of facebook for updates on Israel. I do not mean to ignore anything, but just to be a little less consumed by it. I realize this sounds cold since our brethren in Israel are always thinking about it, but I'm sure even they need to have other thoughts in their minds.
      Life is full of unknowns  even in more mellow times. I am not one who deals well with uncertainty. I realize that most of life is unexpected as we are not in control of our destinies. This is so hard to internalize. I suppose now is as good a time as ever to work on this issue . Perhaps it will help give me the peace of mind I am searching for.

Boycotts

     Everyday I hear of another company that is anti-Israel and we should not buy from them. Sad to say, there really should be a list of those companies that are pro-Israel because I am getting dizzy hearing the list of those that are anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian .
      I find it hard to listen to the news.... So much anti-Semitism. Its the three weeks no less. I pray the war is over before shabbos nachamu. I hope the world is at peace before shabbos nachamu. There is so much to be resolved. We can only do what is in our power to help bring peace . We also must pray. A lot. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Train Fun

        As you know I really dislike the subway acrobatics , but there are some thing that I do not find annoying on the train. On my way home from work yesterday there was a guy who was able to solve the Rubik's cube in one minute and fourteen seconds. It was mesmerizing. Another cool moment was when three little girls and two mothers sang "the itsy bitsy spider" with the hand motions. It was so cute. Lastly I like watching the middle aged men who go on the train and sing 1950's music.
      So you see there are some things I do not mind seeing on the subway. Sadly the activities  I dislike on the subway occur much more often than the activities I do like.
      

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Social Media

      The most surreal part of this war in Israel is the immediate knowledge of what's going on via facebook , twitter, etc. I am able to hear updates in real time. Its good, but its also so weird. The world is definitely smaller than it used to be.
   

Bargains

     Recently I have been trying to save money so I bought  a watch from Kmart. It was a cute watch, but the band would break every few months and it cost more to replace the band than it would to just buy a new watch . So I kept buying a new watch from Kmart. After awhile I realized I was not saving any money at all so I broke down and bought a Swatch watch. Those usually last slightly longer than the warranty, which is 2 years. Sadly this ends up being less money than constantly buying a cheap watch and wondering how long it will last me.
    It can be frustrating though because for so many things I have to buy quality product that it would be nice to be able to get away with buying the cheap brands. I can't buy Payless shoes because they aren't comfortable and I have a job that requires me to be on my feet .  I am highly myopic so I never get a good price for glasses in an optical shop. They only give good prices to people whose vision is below -6.00.
     Sometimes paying for quality is better than just getting the cheapo product because the quality product last longer and in the long run may cost you less. It is a challenge to figure out which products the cheapo version will suffice for and which product the more middle ranged priced item will end up being the better bargain for.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Israel

This picture says it all. 

Pray for Peace on the 16th of Tammuz

    By now many of you may have seen this video posted, but I thought that I would post it anyway.
     What is going on in Israel right now , right before 17 Tammuz and the three weeks is terrifying. It is also a bit surreal. It kind of feels like the end of time and that the world is going to change . Kind of like 9/11 , but this time it is focused on Israel and Jewish people specifically. In France there were pro-Palestinians who herded Jews into a shul , threw rocks at them and chanted "Death to the Jews". Fortunately the police stopped them before it got worse. This is not good.
       When people say "Never Again" in regards to the Shoah, unfortunately today we are seeing this unfold. Being anti-Israel is always code for being anti-Jewish. Hopefully this war will end soon, like yesterday. I do not even want to visit where my fears have taken me.  I believe Israel will get through this and become a force to be reckoned with.
       My fears lie with Obama as president of the United States in the longest seeming presidency ever. When tragedy hits people show their true colors. Sometimes one would prefer not to see who some really are. Other times people surprise you for the better.
      I pray for peace for all people around the world. I pray for the safety of our brethren in Israel, France, the United States and Jews everywhere.
      I hope that I won't be just holding my breath for good news for the future and that peace will really materialize.

Chocolate


     I did not know that there is a chocolate festival in Israel. Love it. Love that chocolate has a season in Israel- from Rosh Hashanah to Pesach .

Friday, July 11, 2014

Miracles


A rocket hits a gas station but does not blow up because they had a tank of benzine which is less likely to blow up than just gas. They were able to cool both tanks quickly so they did not explode. It is truly a miracle.
   Have a good Shabbos. Let there be peace in Israel.  . 

Oseh Shalom Bimromav.....


    Usually the gentiles at work do not really speak about middle east politics. This week was different. One of my co-worker's children was in Israel for  a  Birthright Israel trip and was due to return last night  (he did)
so everybody was looking online and actually had an interest. It is always frustrating when middle east politics are discussed at work because they don't have my perspective as a Jew and I don't always have patience for what they have to say. Many have no clue why anyone would want to visit a country like Israel where war on its shores can be a possibility. They do not understand the Arab Israeli conflict and it can be hard to explain. They do not understand the strong answer  to the Holocaust that Israel is.
     I admit that I am not sure that I want to move to Israel, although I have not completely ruled it out either. I do want to spend time there again. It is a very special place and a very special place to be Jewish, The holidays come alive there. The chumash comes alive there.
      I pray that the war in Israel will stop soon and that peace will prevail.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Code Red Song

This is an amazing song that a kindergarten teacher in Israel made up to help kids cope with the rocket attacks. The kids are so cute. So sad they have to go through this. What an amazing woman to make up this song.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Wedding in Ashdod

     This is obviously quite horrible, but on the other hand quite life affirming. There is a war going on in Israel and yet these people were trying to have a wedding until the rocket showed up. Its really quite moving to see how even despite such conditions people are trying to live their lives.