Monday, March 28, 2016

Finding Vivian Maier .... and ourselves

     I just watched the documentary Finding Vivian Maier. It is a film about a man who bought a box full of negatives at an auction and discovered photos of an amateur photographer. The photos were amazing. They were never displayed anywhere until after her death. The man who found these photos found out that Vivian Maier was a nanny and took these amazing photos as a personal hobby that no one knew about. Now that they have been discovered they have been exhibited in galleries.
    What struck me about this film was not just that it was a shame that she was not able to profit from her talent but that she did not bother sharing her photos with friends. No one  really ever saw these amazing photos. No one would have really found them had the storage area where she had kept her photos had not been cleared out and auctioned off.
       Like Vivian Maier there is so much about others that we do not know. There is so much about ourselves we do not share. There is so much potential in each of us that is not being maximized or shared with others. After watching this film I was really glad that I post my photos on facebook and sometimes on my blog. Pictures are not just two dimensional. They show so much about the subject and the way the photographer relates to the subject. It tells a story and evokes emotion.
      There is a lot of  potential in everyone. Its important to try and figure out what it is and try to not to just keep it to ourselves.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Matters of Prejudice

     I admit that the current terror situation  all over the world has made me leery of Muslims .The thing is its not always so easy to tell who is actually a Muslim and who is not. Some Hindus or even Syrian Jews look Muslim. The other thing is that even people who actually are Muslim are not necessarily part of ISIS and should not be harassed. They are just as scared of ISIS as us Jews are.  I  work with someone who is Hindu who looks very Indian who is starting to feel paranoid when people ask her about her ethnicity. I would never think she was Muslim as I know many Indian people and can tell the difference. It really made me take pause when my co-worker said this. As scary as the thought of terror is on a American soil there are those who are innocent that may physically look like the enemy . I am not super liberal, but it is heartbreaking  to see someone who is innocent being harassed or made to feel uncomfortable just because of what they look like . I am not sure what the answer is, but I do think that it is important to acknowledge  the delicate nature of this situation. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


   Purim is one of my favorite holidays. I hate when people try to equate it with Halloween.  We dress up in in costumes to signify the hidden miracle . Very meaningful. Halloween probably stole  its customs  from Purim. I know very little about Easter but they probably have egg hunts because they stole it from the seder plate and they probably have Easter baskets because there are years when Easter and Purim fall out near each other.
  Have a happy Purim everyone!  Celebrate our endurance as a people. 

Purim 5774 in Yerushalayim | 2014 פורים בירושלים

     I found this on you tube . Its really cute. Purim in Israel is so much fun. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Shoshanas Yaakov - Lev Aryeh 2015 (NEW) Purim Music Video - Catwalk

    I always feel like I am  being lazy when I post a video instead of writing a real post, but I will be posting this anyway. I am so looking forward to Purim so I am posting this song that I found on you tube today. Enjoy. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Truth is Stranger than Fiction

      The 2016 presidential primaries have been a three ring circus. I am happy to see that someone has been capitalizing on the craze , namely the producers of House of Cards. House of Cards is a series on Netflix about a ruthless couple in politics. The recent season is about a fictionalized 2016 presidential primaries race. There are so many shades of the "real" primaries presented in this series. Some of this is because there is always so much corruption in general. Part of it is  because there is nothing new under the sun. Then again truth is stranger than fiction and the "real" presidential race indeed is strange. Watching House of Cards Season 4 was refreshing because it for once was not as crazy as the current political circus. Hashem help us all.

Monday, March 7, 2016

The New Flavor of the Month

     I just finished reading the new flavor of the month OTD book by Chaya Deitsch. Its called  HERE AND THERE: LEAVING HASIDIM , KEEPING MY FAMILY. It won't make the National Enquirer like most of the garbage OTD tell alls, but its the best and most realistic of them all.
     Chaya Deitsch grew up Lubavitch in New Haven , Connecticut. She had normal loving parents but she always had a curiosity for the secular. Growing up she slowly pushed the boundaries and eventually she completely went off the derech.
     I think that the biggest difference between Deitsch's book and some of the other OTD memoirs is that she wrote it at fifty instead of in her twenties or thirties like Deborah Feldman, Leah Vincent and Pearl Abraham. The other difference is that Deitsch does not have a dysfunctional family that she instead blames on religion like many other OTDers do. She just did not exactly fit in to frum society found her place in a more secular life. She also remains close to her family. I have the feeling more people are like this than those who write sensational memoirs blaming their bad choices on their religious upbringing ( like Leah Vincent. cough cough. )
       I really enjoyed this book. It gives me hope for the world. Perhaps it will help those who are searching make peace with their choices and hopefully it will give people with children who do go OTD hope that they can find a way to keep lines of communication open with their OTD children. Life does not usually happen the way we plan it to . This is yet another illustration of that. This book shows that no matter what path people take they can still stay together as a family. Isn't that really what the Torah intended?