Monday, June 30, 2014

Yet Another Reason to Mourn


Remember them as the young men that they were, not just for how they were tragically murdered.

Achenu Kol Beis Yisroel

      I realize that those who are in mourning aren't supposed to listen to music during avelus, but I feel that since this song was sung at the kotel for Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and  Gil-ad Shaar , that it would be appropriate to post.

So Many Tears...

As We Mourn...

     As we mourn the murder of these three Jewish teenagers I thought that I would include this video that I just found on you tube. Senator Ted Cruz is a true friend of Israel. Thank you sir for speaking the truth.

Baruch Dayan Emet

A Moving Song

  I found this song on you tube. It is quite moving and sad.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Jerusalem - Father Of Abducted Israeli Boy Speaks Out

    Before I went to sleep last night I noticed this article online about Ophir Shaar , Gil-ad Shaar's father. Now we have heard from one of the fathers. May the these three teenagers return home soon alive and safely .Jerusalem - Father Of Abducted Israeli Boy Speaks Out  

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Women In The Spotlight

      I find it interesting how when there is a crisis where frum children are concerned they always spotlight the mothers of the victims and not the fathers in the news. This has been the case with the recent kidnapping in Israel and I remember when Ari Halberstam was killed they were constantly showing his mother speak but not his father. Other times I remember them only showing the mothers in the news. I think with Leiby Kletzky neither parent was shown in the news. 
       I always find it interesting how the frum  mother is allowed to be trotted out for sympathy but not the father. Is this because the father might look more recognizably Jewish and only cause anti-Semitic feelings so they only show the mothers? Or is showing a distraught mother more sympathetic in general even if she looks like an Orthodox Jew?  Or maybe a little bit of both. Do the fathers not want to speak out?  Its a bit interesting to me since so often women in the frum world are not allowed to speak in public and suddenly they are always speaking in public in a tragedy. I realize that the mothers of the three teenagers kidnapped are not charedi so the women are not completely hidden from public speaking, but I still find it interesting. The fathers have been shown with their wives in the news but they never speak. I have to say that I find it a little disturbing that they are never shown speaking about their missing children. I am glad the mothers are being allowed to speak, but it does bother me that the father's aren't shown speaking about their missing children.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


       Why were three boys in Israel kidnapped? I do not know, do not pretend to know and am not smug enough to pretend that I do know. I think that it happened for a reason but there are so many possibilities including reasons no one has yet or will ever think of on their own. I don't think that the point of all this is to actually figure out the real reason why. I do think that the reason it happened is to make people appreciate what they do have. It happened to make people appreciate their families that have not been kidnapped. I think it was for all types of Jews to pray together at the kotel for three missing brethren. I think that the idea of events like this is to force us to prioritize the important things in life because sometimes when things go well for people they get a little sidetracked.
      I think that tragedy happens so people take stock of themselves and try to better themselves on an individual level. Most of us deep down know what we need to work on. Now is the time to step it up so no more tragedy is needed to kindle the spark of progress within us.
     May all three young men return  safely to their families . 

Monday, June 23, 2014

How Frum Would You Go?

      I have friends who were not exactly shomer shabbas who for their spouse became shomer shabbos. These were  people who had at one time been shomer shabbos. I suppose they felt they could go either way with it and found spouses who were shomer shabbos and decided to observe. I think everyone has mitzvos they are flexible about  though maybe not be  as drastic as shabbos or not shabbos? Maybe more like TV in the house or no TV in the house? Or for others cover your hair when married or not cover your hair  when married? Or wear a black hat or kippah srugah?
       I guess the real question is what mitzvah can you add that you can still feel true to yourself and not like you are being forced to do by someone else. Its not so much whether a mitzvah is important or not , its just what you think that you are up to doing it  for someone else . Its about being totally honest because otherwise you are lying to yourself as well as someone else. A great recipe for divorce court.
       Sometimes its easy to look at others and say " Gee I would not do that for someone else " But who knows. Maybe you would. Maybe that other person in your life would make it important enough to you. I know that does not sound like the best reason to do a mitzvah, but their certainly are worse reasons to do a mitzvah than for love or shalom bayis.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Smoke and Mirrors

     I have a friend who has lupus and when she has a flare up she takes medication that can make her face puffy. The  last time she had this she was very self conscious and did not want to go anywhere outside of work .
The crazy thing is that though I knew her then I do not remember her looking moon faced from the medication. Even looking at those pictures I don't see it. Some of it is that when its not you imperfections look less noticeable. The other thing is that when you are friends with someone you see them you don't notice their imperfections.
     I never paid attention to my grandparents wrinkles, I just loved them because they were my grandparents.
     Ever meet someone of the opposite sex who is very attractive and then as you get to know them even though you still may find them very attractive you kind of forget what they look like and just see who they are? Beauty is like a label or a fancy advertisement. It might lead you to someone but unless their essence matches up to their reality its all just smoke and mirrors.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Age Issues

      Nothing more depressing than someone telling me a guy I may be interested is interested in finding someone a lot younger than I am  even though he is my age. It explains a lot- like why he has never asked me out, and though I suspected as much, its still upsetting. Men so have the advantage. What makes it difficult is that age is something that's a fact, its  not something one can do anything about. I try not to let the age thing get to me but this time it hit me like a ton of bricks.Then again, there is no guarantee that a guy looking for a much younger woman will find that much younger woman even if that is who he seeks. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

No longer Off the Derech.

     I am always fascinated when I read about the OTD community as being a community. When do they stop calling themselves OTD and just consider themselves non-religious Jews ? Is it when they stop their internal dialogue and just fade in with  the rest of the less religious Jews? It is true that they have issues that others who grew up less observant do not have when they fade in with the rest of the world, but somehow by calling themselves OTD they are not really assimilated Jews they are still just OTD .  The derech is still in sight. Do they really want to go off the derech or do they want being off the derech to be their identity? Sometimes I really wonder.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Just One Week Ago...

The sound quality on this is not the greatest, but I thought that it was worth sharing in any event. May they get the opportunity to sing together again very soon.

A Safe Return Home

      When I think about the teens who were kidnapped  in Israel it makes me think of my brothers when they were teenagers or kids that I know because they are like kids that I know. They are like Jewish kids that I know. It just jolts me once again in to the realization that so many people are out to hurt Jewish people . They hate so much that they want to hurt civilians.It could be anywhere in the world that Anti-Semitism rears its ugly head.
          It makes my stomach turn to think about the harm that these innocent teens  may be subjected to . My head knows but does not want to go there. I pray that Eyal, Gil'ad and Naftali  are returned to their families immediately. Until then , I hope that wherever they are that they know how much they are loved and missed being prayed for by people all over the world. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Return Our Boys


    May Eyal, Naftali and Gil'ad be safely returned home to their families. 

What Would You Choose?

      What would you do if you found out you weren't really Jewish? I without a shadow of a doubt am Jewish and there is no way that I will ever have this conundrum, but it is always a fun what if????
      I think that the bigger issue is what religion would you choose if not Judaism? I can't imagine practising any religion other than Judaism, especially since I think that all other religions are bogus. I suppose if I wasn't Jewish I would  be no religion.
       I guess the hardest part of choosing Judaism  is knowing about the holocaust and how so many people still hate Jews. Would I choose Judaism knowing this?
      If I was married I would definitely choose to be Jewish if I found out that I really wasn't Jewish. If I was adopted by a Jewish family I would want to be Jewish even if I hadn't been born Jewish.
     It is odd to think about because my whole life has been a Jewish life and to find out your whole life is not really what you thought it was could be such a shock to the system. I think that if I found out I really was not Jewish I would try to experience life without Judaism for a little bit before deciding what I would really want to choose. Maybe that sounds strange because I am Jewish  and as a Jew  I do not want to be anything else but a religious Jew.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

In the Moment

      I always like to have  something to look forward to,  especially when I am engaging in activity I would rather not be . It is good to have something to look forward to but it is equally important to appreciate the moment. Though I am quite good at looking forward to positive future events I am also quite good at anticipating possible negative events. This is not necessarily a minus  as long as it does not prevent me from enjoying the
 present which is still awesome.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Modi's Big Black Jewish Wedding

 This is really funny. As they say the frummer one is the blacker one is... This gives that saying more meaning... Perhaps that is also part of the spoof.... 

Don't Be Stupid

 It is good to give people the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes I feel you have to to give others the benefit of the doubt but don't be stupid. I think its important to be leery of others. There are a lot of people who are trying to take advantage of others.When I have a bad feeling about someone and then they act like a creep I trust my instincts. I don't think that suspicious people who have proved themselves to be evil deserve the benefit of the doubt. But that's just me. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014


     I used to dislike being unique. I always wanted to just blend in with others. I would have loved to have lived the cookie cutter life of getting married in my twenties, having kids etc. Alas this was not meant to be. Its not that I have given up but I know that a person does  not always get everything one wants in life. Recently I realized that by not being the cookie cutter image I have learned to be more. Because I have been challenged I am able to relate to others a lot better than people for whom things came easier to. Even so,  I would like to believe that I would have been understanding to others even if I had not been challenged.
     Over the years I have met women who have gotten divorced who said that they could not understand the plight of singles until they suddenly were one . Even when some of them remarried they still were a bit more compassionate toward singles than they had been before.
     I have met yeshivish people who for various reasons lived among more "modern" orthodox communities and began to appreciate them as most people who grew up outside of New York would.
     It can be a lot easier to be mainstream, but it does not always make you a better person.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Labels for Less

      Sometimes I find Brooklyn a bit too much to stomach. I encountered a naive Brooklyn native this chag who had a disturbing way of defining liberal shuls. She defined a certain shul as being liberal due to the liberal  dress of folk who attend and  not by the height of the mechitzah or the hashkafah of the rav. I found it odd because I have attended yeshivish , modern orthodox and chabad shuls and unless there is an unusually low mechitzah or the hashkafah of the rabbi of the shul is liberal I would say they are all equal. I suppose I am in the minority but I have been to all and I don't find them all that different. Just because the people may dress differently does not immediately define how liberal the davening is . It may define the hashkofah of the congregants, but to me this does not define the actual strictness of the davening. I also think that the hashkafah of chabad and yeshivish are pretty similar if you take away the rebbe /mashiach issue. Maybe its just me though. I did not grow up in NYC and view Judaism a bit differently. Where I grew up anyone shomer shabbos would daven in the same shul together. Here everyone likes to label everything. Labels only mean something if there is an actual standard that everyone goes by, if there is no standard then what does any label mean?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Shavuot Fever

    For the most part  I prefer fleishig to milchig yom tov food with the exception of cheese cake. I really love having cheese cake on Shavuot. Have a wonderful Shavuot all. Don't eat too much cheesecake. I know I will!

Monday, June 2, 2014

About Edon

Just one more note about the Israel Concert until next year....
     One of the featured performers was Edon Pinchot who was on America's Got Talent. I admit that I never watch the show, and since I'm not a teenage girl I was not aware of his existence until Sunday. When he performed it was as if he was the fifth Beatle. All the teenagers were screaming and videotaping with their iphones. He was a good entertainer and sang very well. The stage this year was cool because they played videos in the background when Edon as well as the others performed. He is also very humble.
       A lot of people left the concert when I did. There was a herd of 13-14 year old girls walking behind me when I left. Suddenly one of the girls turned to her left and spotted Edon and his dad leaving the concert as well. They started screaming like he was Justin Bieber or whoever is the teen idol these days. Edon looked a bit overwhelmed as a few of the girls took photos with him with their cell phones. It was actually kind of cute to see. It seems fame has not gone to his head. I almost took a photo of the mayhem, but decided against it. Instead I included his Novocaine you tube video. Enjoy.

More notes on the Parade

      Yesterday was a beautiful day for the parade. I will include some photos I snapped.

 I got to the parade for the last forty-five minutes of the parade. I was there when  they thanked the Jewish Community Council and the police department for all of their work for the parade. I never get there on time to see the beginning of the parade so the least I could do is see the end. Oh, and I went to the concert in Central Park afterward.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Salute and Celebrate

      The Salute to/ Celebrate Israel parade is today on Fifth Avenue in New York City. I plan on attending and supporting Israel. I have gone most years that I have been living in New York . They say that this is the fiftieth year for the parade. Pretty cool.
       I used to go to the parade because its a very social venue. Lots of singles, lots of old friends. Now many friends have moved away or are married. It can be awkward seeing married friends. They wonder why I am not married yet have never suggested any prospects for me. I try not to let it get to me. I love watching all the people march in their support of Israel. Its also nice to see the mix of people in the crowd although it seems there are less who come to join than there used to be. Then again maybe there is the same amount as always but since I've become accustomed to the New York crowds it does not seem as crowded. No matter. I plan on joining the festivities today.


       I bought a vase years ago for flowers my myriad of dates would bring me. At first I didn't have a vase because though I like flowers, I normally don't buy them for myself. After getting a several bunches of flowers and creating makeshift vases out of jars I actually bought a vase. Lately I have not had many flowers to fill my vase with . Maybe I will start buying myself flowers to fill the void......