Thursday, July 31, 2014


     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.


     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


      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.


     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.


     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


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.


     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


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.

Friday, July 4, 2014


     The movie Ida was one of the selections at the Jewish film festival this year. I was not able to see it during the festival due to scheduling conflicts on my part. Recently I walked by Lincoln Plaza Cinemas in Manhattan who were showing the movie and read the review they posted on a billboard outside the theater. The review made it sound like an incredibly boring film. A few weeks later my co-worker said she saw it and recommended it to me. I eventually did see the film.I can't say that I recommend it. The cinematography is breathtaking. Though a recent film it looks like it was filmed in the 1960's. The acting was good, but the film was VERY slow moving. Had I been watching the film at home I would not have finished it.
       Ida was about to take her vows as a nun when she is finally informed that she is really Jewish and that her name is really Ida Lebenstein. She was hidden in the convent during World War II. Though this may be a spoiler, I found the ending to the film rather unsatisfying. Unless you are into slow moving, artsy , foreign films skip it.


Happy July 4!

       Happy July Fourth! The world is a mess, but I get the day off of work today so I am happy! Have a good Shabbos as well!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The length of Days

     The eternal question as to why some people are blessed with long lives and others are given shorter is always on my mind in times of tragedy. I think that the only thing to say is that we do not understand Hashem's reasons for things. We have to appreciate the blessings in life that we do receive.
    Sometimes I get angry at others who say that they know why Hashem has done this or that. I suppose if it makes it easier for them to cope it does not bother me, but it bothers me when they want to force their opinion on others because really they do not really know the true reasoning for things , they just know what works for them.
     All I know is that three Jewish boys had their lives extinguished just because they were Jewish. Who knows what they could have accomplished had they lived longer lives. Then again in their short lives they caused some of the most amazing prayer sessions  and achdus that I have ever seen. Something about their kidnapping hit a nerve so deep within Jewish people .  We are still in galus.  May we only have more bracha .May moshiach come speedily in our days.