Wednesday, October 28, 2015

As Seen on the Train

 I usually try to zone out while on the subway. There is always so much crazy there that I would rather not acknowledge.
 Every so often I do pay attention and find some really cool signs
as well as people with hokey get ups...

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Shabbos Project

     Kiruv is a wonderful thing but I wish that the Shabbos project was not mostly created to produce orthodox Jews  and more to strengthen every Jew's connection to Shabbos. I was in Kew Gardens Hills this Shabbos and did go to the kabbalat Shabbaos service as well as to the havdallah service that was part of the "Shabbos Project" . I did not sneak in. Every type of Jew was welcome. Re-reading this makes me laugh at the thought of a frum person having to sneak in to kabbalat Shabbos or havdallah.
     I have been frum my whole life but I could you some boosting . Everyone could . I don't think that the unaffiliated Jew  has to be in their own bubble while joining in for a Shabbos program. The proportions do not have to be just so. The truth speaks for itself.
      The excited tone provided in the kiruv professional's outreach needs to be extended to those who are already observing. We still need to be reminded of the beauty and not just the rote rules of observing Shabbos. An "NCSY" style havdallah every so often in a shul can add a feeling of joy in observing the mitzvot. We have to make sure that those who are already observing still feel that excitement the newly observant feels or what a child feels while observing Shabbos and other mitzvos.

Monday, October 19, 2015


     When I was in my twenties I needed to break away from my family to become an adult. Now I feel like I want to be near them more. I feel the passage of time more now. Its funny how time does that. It makes me realize what is truly important. 

Richard Nixon In His Own Words HBO Documentary

     I decided to watch this documentary last night to enhance my nostalgia of the old days . Well, with Nixon as it turns out its the bad old days. This film tells the story of Nixon and Watergate. Well, the first revelation that I wish was not so is how anti-semitic anti-Mexican and definitely not politically correct he was.  It was awful to hear a United States president speak about Jewish people in such an insulting stereotypical way.  The saddest part was that he was the one who recorded his conversations for posterity . Some things are best not documented.
   Another interesting part of the movie was seeing a young John Kerry, Pat Buchanan , Alexander Haig , Barbara Walters and Dan Rather. I hadn't realized how long these folks have been in the public eye.
     If you are the type who think we should go back to the olden days think again. They weren't as good as you imagine they were.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

I'm That Jew - Words by Eitan Chitayat

  I just saw this posted on facebook and it really resonated. It is too bad that so often it is dire situations that make us feel more united . Either way , I love the message here. I am spreading it further by posting it on my blog...

Monday, October 12, 2015

Its all in a Name

     I have a friend who is no longer frum and does not like being called by his Hebrew name any more. Its kind of funny how upset he gets because his Hebrew name is not so different than his English one. Finally the truth came out. It was not so much that he did not like his Hebrew name anymore its just that it reminded him of his former life. His Hebrew name represents his old life that he does not want to be reminded of by using  his Hebrew name. Interesting. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015


     Over the past ten years I have watched a lot less television and have been on the computer , specifically the Internet much more than I had ever watched television. I have been trying to watch more television lately so that I won't be on the computer as often. Watching television is so much more enjoyable without interruptions which motivates me to stay off Internet devices while watching television.
      A book is superior to television as a night activity but sometimes I admit that I do not have the energy to read a book. Television is still better than just Internet activity at night. Watching a television show with limited commercial breaks helps expand the length of time I am able to concentrate that I have lost from constant Internet use.

Francine's interview - FRANCE - #HUMAN

    This story is bittersweet like the chocolate in the story must have been. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Gym Attire

       I usually exercise at home these days due to time constraints. I used to attend Livingwell Lady and after they closed I used to go to Lucille Roberts in the Manhattan. Both are all women's gyms. The set up of Livingwell Lady was a little better because there weren't any windows that looked out into the street. The only men who were in the club were a rare male instructor who was usually gay anyway. Otherwise they never let men in the gym when I was there. A lot of frum women went to Livingwell Lady. Most wore usual gym attire of pants or shorts. Many married women wore tichels. Some wore long baggy shirts over sweatpants . I never saw anyone wearing a skirt to exercise in .  I did not attend the Lucille Roberts on Kingshighway in Brooklyn because there is a window that faces the street  in the exercise room. I would not particularly want people watching me exercise regardless of what I wear to exercise. Instead I had joined the Lucille Roberts in Manhattan. They also had a window to the street in there gym but they were not on the ground floor and you could only really see people inside from the shoulder up and only if they were right by the window wear the treadmills were so I opted to join there.
      I have heard that these days there are many frum women who go to women only gyms who wear skirts to the gym on the possibility of a man entering the premises. This of course is their choice but I am not sure how this is more modest . If one is bothered by the remote  possibility of a man there then one should not really be exercising in front of a man no matter what one is wearing. If there are men there it is quite provocative to wear a skirt while exercising because you will be giving a better "show" unless you are wearing loose pants underneath said skirt and the pants would really be what was making the outfit modest not the skirt. I think that the best thing is to go to a frum sponsored exercise class if this is the issue. Exercising in front of men in a skirt or otherwise  is not modest and if one feels the all women's gyms do not enforce the no men on the premises policy going to a frum exercise group is your best bet. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Just a Part of Life ?

     I ran into someone I had not seen in a while yesterday. A seventy something  someone whose mind is failing her. At the event that I saw her there were a lot of people who non-chalantly said "oh well that's age for you. " It really made me take pause. This acquaintance was always a bit daffy, but she was always intelligent and nice. Though there are those who do deteriorate in their seventies , not everyone does. I would even venture to say that most do not. When its someone just a few months ago that  was vibrant and all there and now they are not its really sad. Its hard to just brush off as being a part of life when one sees the contrast so close together.
     As a post script this seventy something woman was very happy. She was singing and so happy to be with her son who was with her. If one's mind has to go at least let the pleasant parts stay. She still found a way to be happy even though her life will never be what it once was.