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


       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


       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


      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


     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


     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.