Monday, September 11, 2017

9/11/17

    It's that time of year again. It's time to remember 9/11. Much time has passed. There are teenagers who are studying for SaTs who were not yet born then.
      I still am brought to tears when I watch clips of the towers being destroyed ,of the people jumping from the buildings, and from the reading of the names.
       I remember those who lost their lives that day and I grieve with all who were left behind. No one truly knows how much beauty the world could have gained had so many not had their lives cut short. It's up to us to continue their legacy since they cannot. We need to let those who are important to us know they are as this is life and there are no dress rehearsals.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Reviews

     Whenever I look for a new doctor I always look on zocdoc or heathgrades for online doctor reviews. I used to have some faith in them when there was multiple favorable reviews. Now I am not so trusting in the good reviews.
      Recently I looked on zocdoc for reviews of a physical therapist I once went to briefly who was AWFUL!!!  Misery wants company so I was searching for insulting reviews but instead found glowing reviews. It looked as though he had written the reviews himself.  I do not know how someone who was  so incompetent and  unknowledgeable could have such glowing reviews . It really made me reconsider the validity of GOOD reviews on zocdoc and health grades. If  someone so incompetent and non compassionate could appear so competant it just made me realize how much I have to take the good reviews on these sites with a grain of salt.
    I am so sad to have my trust in online reviews broken. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Menashe | Official Trailer

    I saw this movie last night at the Angelika. I don't think that I have ever seen so many religious Jews at a movie theater  since the Kingsway on Kingshighway closed.   I would say that a good 75 percent of the audience was  frum.
       After the screening  there was a  q&a with the director Josh Weinstein and the lead actor Menashe Lustig. It was a very special event. Weinstein wrote this movie as a slice of life . He also knew that no matter what there would be a L'ag B'Omer scene. Most of the actors in the film had never been in a film before and had never been to a movie theater to see a film.
        Menashe is a film about a father who does not have custody of his son after his wife dies. His rabbi wants him to be married before allowing his son to live with him . I found it refreshing to see a film where the man is the one who has the custody challenge .
      This movie is slow moving but worth watching until the end. I loved the ending. I will not spoil the movie by giving away the ending. You will have to go see it yourself and then we can discuss it.
        It was nice to see an authentic movie about Hasidim that was not about the typical topics. It wasn't about misogyny toward women or about people going off the derech.  This of course is thanks to a director who wanted to tell a story that was close to the heart of the actors so it would be easier for them to portray. Menashe in real life was widowed and has a child who does not live with him. This film is not his real story, just his real nisayon.
         I think that one can sense that moshiach is on the way when a film like this can be made by non orthodox Jews who have a real respect for observant Jews and feel that their story is worth being told as a universal story. Sure this was filmed in Boro Park with Hasidim, but the fact they they were Hasidic was not the novelty, the father-son bond was. The beauty was how a less observant Jew could see this and want to show it to the world.
     Weinstein was able to sift through the "otherness" of Hasidim and create a universal story. The result is breathtaking. Its a beautiful story worth seeing.
    

Friday, August 4, 2017

Appreciating the Moment

     Life is so short. Don't save special clothing for special occasions. Wear them as soon as you can  Enjoy them as soon as you can. Its not to be pessimistic, Why not elevate the moment?
Every day is special so why not wear special clothing often instead of once in awhile. Appreciate  the moment. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Arab Terrorist slaughtered Jews tonight. We will not remain silent.

Kotel

     All the fighting about which Jews have the last word about who could pray at the kotel was so uncomfortable to listen to . Living in the United States I am so used to live and let live  in regard to non orthodox forms of Judaism. The kotel is a holy site for all Jews. The fact that Jews with different ways of expressing Judaism still hold this site dear is significant. Baseless hatred for our fellow Jews is what caused the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash and our galus.
     Now this war on the temple mount and more senseless deaths.
I have never seen the kotel this empty during the daytime. So sad. I pray for peace sooner rather than later. I love Israel. I pray for achdus of Jewish people everywhere and peace for all of us. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Drizzling

   I am not a fan of the rain but the weather has been so hot for the past week that the drizzly day today was welcome. I sat outside on the benches on Ocean Parkway this evening in the breezy drizzle which felt delicious. Not too many people were as daring as I was . Their LOSS. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Almond Cheese

    I recently made cheese out of almonds. I am not vegan  or lactose intolerant but I do like trying new things. This weekend I made a "cheese" out of almonds . I cant't say that it tastes exactly like dairy cheese, but its pretty yummy  as a spread or a sauce. It takes awhile to make but don't let that scare you. Its worth the effort.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Jew in the City Presents "The Sound of Silence" feat. The Maccabeats

  I wasn't sure I was going to like this, but I did. Technology is really taking over and its nice to have Shabbos when we take a break from it all and go back to the old days before smart phones. Heck I have always loved the fact that Shabbos is a phone free zone. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Wonder Woman

      I finally saw the new Wonder Woman movie starring Gal Gadot. I really enjoyed it . Its a movie in the tradition of the Christopher Reeve Superman movies. Gal Gadot gave the movie heart. She is Wonder Woman. I think its wonderful that a proudly Jewish Israeli woman was cast as Wonder Woman. But of course. Israeli women have army service so they are proficient in martial arts.
      The visuals of the movie are dazzling. The way Wonder Woman twirls as she fights the bad guys is cool.
       The countries that have banned the movie because Gal Gadot is an Israeli Jew well its their loss. Oh and it is pure anti-Semitism. To all the feminist who think the movie isn't feminist enough GET A LIFE !!!
        The movie is three hours . I think it could have been shorter, but for the price of movies these days I feel like a three hour movie makes it more worthwhile.
         I think that it is significant that an Israel Jewish woman plays this role of a superhero who wants to defeat the enemy so people can live their lives. I think that is what Israel wants. To live live their lives in peace. Wonder Woman kicks some #$## without becoming a hardened superhero. She inhabits this role and gives the movie its magic.
        

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Take a Break: Kosher Butcher

  This is from a few years ago but I hadn't seen it until today. Its really funny!!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Thanksgiving In June

     After five months my shoulder has healed.  Baruch Hashem. I am so grateful on so many levels. As usual after going through a life challenge one learns a lot about a subject one never knew about before and had never wanted to know about before.
     I am grateful for the  emergency room I went to . They are amazing people. They do their jobs and make people who are scared and in much pain feel human and hopeful. I am grateful for my orthopedist for his expertise and for his upbeat personality. I am grateful for my physical therapist who helped me regain the use of my left arm. It was nothing short of miraculous to go from weeks of immobilization to full use of my arm. When one goes through physical therapy it can seem like one is climbing an endless mountain. Fortunately I have reached the top of the mountain. 
     I hope you never break a limb . It is painful in a way you cannot imagine unless you have experienced it. The flip side is now that I have broken a shoulder I realize how truly miraculous healing is.
     Wishing everyone continued good health .
     

Monday, May 29, 2017

Soon By You Premiere

   I was at the Soon By You premiere at the JCC Manhattan this past Wednesday. It seemed like a lot of the audience was in the episode or friends with the creators. It quite an event. They had an ok comedian before the screening and a very cool Q&A with all of the cast except Z. There was an after party on the roof which included chicken and rice , cupcakes, wine and pumpkin pie that tasted homemade. I also got a chance to chat with some of the cast members and creators who were lovely.
    During the Q&A it was mentioned that they were thinking of making it a 5 episode first season. I really am looking forward to the next episode as well as future seasons.

Brooklyn Half Marathon

    The Brooklyn half marathon was last Shabbos. I don't always know before hand when it will be but when I walk on Ocean Parkway I find out. The runners hit Ocean Parkway at about 9:00 a.m when a lot of people are on their way to shul. Seeing the runners people watch for a few minutes as they go on their way. The cutest thing was when Jewish runners would see us frum people lining Ocean Parkway watching the race. At least 4 different runners wished us good Shabbos. They may have been running in a race, but they remembered it was Shabbos when they saw other Jews. It was really heartwarming to wish them good Shabbos back.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Soon By You Episode 4: The Dates | Soon By You

  I am now posting the fourth episode of Soon By You. I think that this is the best episode yet. David and Sarah F. finally go on a date. The date is at Little Shop of Crafts which I have actually been to. I loved how the date went and how it ended. It may be cliched, but its definitely something to think about.So often things go well until that one thing comes up that we think is a deal breaker. That something that  maybe years from now we realize should not have been a thing at all.
       Another favorite part of this episode is Sarah J's skype date. There are always the girls who will try just anything to find a man. even have a skype date with an Israeli when their Hebrew isn't up to par.
      The event that Noa runs at MJE is hilarious. These characters are never more real I know so many single women like Noa. She probably will be single at 40, but when she does find the one he will be exactly what she was waiting for.  The older single man is also very funny. He is like an Elyahu giving sage advice to the younger ones.
     
       Now that I have given away the whole story go watch episode 4. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Soon By You Episode 3: The Shabbat Meal

. Okay you knew I  was going to have to post the third episode of Soon by You. The premiere of the fourth episode will be shown at the JCC Manhattan on Wednesday night or on YouTube on Thursday May 25. No one is asking me to post this information but if I could be instrumental in art possibility imitating life well.... Why not?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Soon By You Episode 2: The Follow Up

I decided to post the next episode of this web series so no one has to wonder what happens next. Enjoy.

Soon By You - Episode 1: The Setup

   Srugim this isn't but its entertaining nonetheless. Its a chronicle of  orthodox Jewish dating on the Upper West Side in Manhattan.
      This series is about twenty some  things and it makes me realize that not much has changed in dating for Orthodox Jewish dying for twenty something's since I was in my twenties. Not sure if its good or BSD but it just goes to show there is nothing new under the sun.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

Essence

     I often hold on to momentos too long thinking they will hold the memory of someone in my life. The longer I hold on to that thing the less it contains the memory of it's former owner and the more it becomes just a thing. My aunt had lived in my grandmother's house for years after my grandmother had passed away . For a long time I felt her presence there and would think that my grandmother would join us in the family room at any minute. After a long while it just became a house and though the house still had the same musty smell that it had when my grandmother lived there I no longer expected to see her pop into her home. When I see pictures of her cheerful smiling face I still miss her but now her memory lives in my heart not in her house   or her things.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Creativity

 Being off of work due to a shoulder injury can be a challenge for a creative person. You  can't crochet ,knit, or use a camera (perhaps just cellphone photos). One thing that I have been able to enjoy is cooking.Though one armed cooking can be a challenge its still doable. Cooking can be creative and its a necessity. I also wanted to try not to gain a ton of weight.One website that I have become obsessed with is mind over munch. This website includes many few ingredient healthy and budget friendly ingredients.The website is kosher consumer  friendly because there are lots of vegan and vegetarian options and substitutions listed in the recipes. I've discovered black bean brownies,lentil dishes and veggie burger recipes to name a few. Cooking has been a challenge for me lately, and it has been nice to spice it up with some fun and nutritious recipes
    As a bonus.I have not gained wait since my injury.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Twinsters 2015

   This is the story of twins separated at birth that didn't even know that the other existed until one saw the other on a video posted on facebook. What is truly amazing about this story is that though both young women are glad to have found one another they don't necessarily wish that they grew up together they are more concerned with moving forward.The full film is on YouTube and I'm posting it here.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Between a rock and a headstone

Between a rock and a headstone: Ayel Morgenstern, a kindergarten student in Boca Raton, Fla., and her family were reading reports of the vandalism at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery…This is an amazing story . A 6 year old decides to paint 150 or so  rocks for the 150 or so headstones that were desecrated in St. Louis where her great grandmother was buried. In turn the funeral home gathered students from the three Jewish day schools in St. Louis representing all levels of Jewish observance to place the stones at the cemetery. So much unity and love has been created after an event that was so heinous.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Bar Mitzvah Project

     A big tradition among reform  and conservative Jews is their bar/bat  mitzvah project. Often when I read about their mitzvah projects I wonder if a kid could do the listed project on their own. Among some of the projects that I admire because it looks like the kid could really do them is of a kid who with his mom worked at a Jewish food pantry for poor people, a girl who with her friends made quilts and then donated them to the poor. My new favorite project is of a boy named Ari Blumberg in Dallas who made and  donated special toiletry bags to a hospital  for chemo patients. I saw this posted on facebook by a woman who was the recipient of one of these bags. This is a simple act that generated so much joy .
     Of course this is the essense of life. Its not just the grand gestures that makes the world a better place. Its the little things that when we choose to do them the world becomes a kinder space.

Monday, February 27, 2017

FNN: VP Pence Speaks Against Anti-Semitism During Visit to Vandalized Je...

   Vice President Pence visited Chesed Shel Emes cemetery in St. Louis last Wednesday when many St.Louisans went to help clean up the vandalized cemetery. Governor Greitens who is the first Jewish governor was also there. The vice president spoke and helped clean up the cemetery.  This act was so comforting and significant to me. The vandalism put me in a state of shock and sadness. It was as though the vice president was coming for a shiva call for a cemetery that housed so many bodies of people who had loved the United States and had been so grateful to be here.The vice president's word's denounced such a heinous act . I have great hakaras hatov for Vice President Pence for showing up in our time of need.
    Unfortunately another Jewish cemetery was descecrated in the same fashion this weekend in Philedelphia. We Jews have our work cut out for us to fight anti-semitism. Its good to know that the vice president is on our side.

Chesed Shel Emes

    Last week there was a horrific act of vandalism at the Chesed Shel Emes Cemetery in St. Louis.  I have grandparents, great grandparents and great -great grandparents buried there as well as many aunts and uncles. Chesed Shel Emes Cemetery was established in the late 1800's.  My great-great grandparents were buried there 1919-1920. When I heard that nearly 200 headstones were knocked over I felt like the wind was knocked out of me.When  I heard the newscaster say that they weren't yet calling it a hate crime was when I was certain that it was. Headstones are made of STONE. Stones are VERY heavy. One stone overturned could be a prank, not over  100 overturned.
     Today in Philadelphia another Jewish cemetery was vandalized in the same way. My heart goes out to those whose loved ones are buried there.
     They will find out who committed these crimes but its just as frightening to find out who the perpetrator was.It could be a white supremacist , but it could also be a so called leftist. Unfortunately there is no shortage of those who dislike Jews.

Alone

     When one has an injury one realizes one isn't as alone as one thought but on the other hand one realizes one is more alone than one would like to be.
      Several years ago an acquaintance of mine had fallen ill. She was single. Fortunately her 82 year old mom was able to help her. After she recovered she told me that she realized how lucky she was that her mom had been around and was  physically able to help her.She also realized that she really needed to find others to be close enough with in the event she needed someones help in the future.After all her mom was 82. At the time I could relate . I was single then I am single now. Of course now I understand this even more.  It takes a village as they say because as independent as a person is and I am fiercely independent,one still NEEDS others. We don't just need people for what they can do for us we need others for what we can share with them. People can be so vulnerable. Its not good to be alone. I think I have had enough alone time to satisfy me for quite some time.
         

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hugs

     One thing one realizes when one injures an arm is that it takes two arms to give a hug which is really sad because when one is injured one could really use a hug. I  can't give a hug now and I can't really receive one on account of my left shoulder....
      One of the hardest parts of recovery is mastering the art of patience. I am mostly a patient person but when it comes to healing I want it done yesterday. This of course is not how healing works . It takes time and it takes patience. Healing takes time. Even harried  New Yorkers have to wait to heal. Its just the way it works. A person MUST adjust to the situation or one will have a very unhappy several months.
        Fortunately the hardest part is the beginning. I had to get used to using one hand. One doesn't realize how much one uses both hands for so many tasks. Now that its been 3 weeks I have  gotten used to it .  Now that its been three weeks I also know that I am 3 weeks closer to recovery which in itself makes it easier.
         I have also been fortunate to have friends and family who have really been there  for me and are helping me get through this difficult time.
      As of Friday I finally got my focus back. Until then I could not concentrate enough to read a book. Injuries to the body effect the brain as well. No matter how together a person is it takes a little time for ones psyche to adjust.
      I am looking forward to some hugs in the not so distant future as everyday of my recovery continues. My shoulder injury has forced me to slow down which is good.Its just too bad it took fracturing my shoulder to do so.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Snow Day

     The best part about the snow today is that I have plenty of food and I didn't have to go to work today. Here are a few pictures I took from my window.Love the snow   stripes on my window.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The in Between

     I haven't had time off of work like this since my dad passed away almost 7 years ago. Being home due to an injury is different than being off for a  death in the family. I had always hoped I would have extended time off for maternity leave but alas life is full of surprises.
      It took me a little bit to be at peace with my situation. Bone healing takes time and nurturing. As much as I would like it to be healed yesterday I know it takes time.
      My favorite line people spout is to enjoy my time off. I don't miss work but I would not call having a fractured shoulder enjoyable. Its not the worst thing in the world but I would much prefer to have extended time off for a fun reason. Broken bones hurt and make it hard to sleep without waking up a gillion times.  For me an awesome vacation includes good sleeping. I'm also not such a homebody. I like being out and about.
     Its easy to get swallowed up by work responsibilities and forget to nurture one's social life . A shoulder injury is quite a reminder. Being social is important to well being as much as being able to afford one's life. Being social makes life worth living. Right now I'm not really social or working. I am speaking to good friends more often which is something I must continue once I recover. As much as I would like to socialize right now I really need to rest up. When I am all better I will be back on the merry-go-round. Some of my perspective has changed but so much is easier said than  done.

I Spy a Mezuzah

   I am not a football fan but someone posted this on facebook and to see an American commercial with a mezuzah in it is pretty cool

Monday, February 6, 2017

Independence

     I am always  amazed by people who love being "the sick one" to get attention. If they aren't really sick they will  invent an ailment. They love attention even if its negative. I am the opposite. I don't want to be ill and I try to do it all without  relying on others. It is important to know when to ask for help but often I am too impatient to wait for others to get their act together so I do things myself. as much as possible. There is a balance between asking for help when one needs it without being overly needy.
   I tend to want to be more self reliant than is necessary but  that isn't all bad. Being motivated to be self reliant is a good motivation to achieve instead of having to be self reliant because everyone has tired of your pity party. I have to learn to cut others slack for not living up to the high standards I have set for myself.
   
   

   

Friday, February 3, 2017

Life, Animated

     I just saw a very uplifting documentary called Life, Animated.. LA is a film about an adorable little boy who is diagnosed with autism at 3 years old. His love for Disney movies was the bridge to communicate with others.
     Though this film is pretty standard kid is autistic family  learns to cope stock, the animation is enchanting. For this alone the journey is worthwhile.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Stuck in the Past

     Trump is like the early 60's, Hilary is like the late 60's and Obama who created more race riots since 1965 is like the mid 60's. Its 2017. Can't we glamourize a different decade or forge a new path? This one's getting old.

Khaled - C'est la vie (Clip officiel)

   This is a great song. It was remade in Israel a few years ago during the war in Gaza. Its good in every language.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Panel on Discuss Monday Night Massacre: Trump Fires Acting AG. Part 3 @A...

    This really cracks me up. Just watch the first two minutes. Basically the clip is trying to say that all he double toothpicks breaks out on shabbos when The Donald can't consult with Jarrod. Who knows if this is true or not but its fun to see them mention shabbos and politics.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Fragility of Life.

 I haven't posted in awhile.  I wasn't sure that I had wanted to share what has been going on with me . Although I have a blog I am a private person. Alas I opted to share.
  A week and a half ago I fell and broke my shoulder. Some  random people helped me off of the street restoring my faith in mankind.
   Having an injury forces a person to slow down and think about life. Aside from resolving to be a better money saver it made me aware of the fact that aside from  my actual paycheck and insurance I don't miss work AT ALL.  I don't even miss my work friends which actually surprised me . Before the accident I longed to work part time but felt it would be hard financially. Now that this has occurred I know that when I return to work it will be part time for awhile before I am able to resume full time. I don't think that wanting to have a break or work part time is why I fell but I do assume it was meant to be that I have a break from work right now and having a shoulder injury was the way it was made to happen.
     Being out of work also helped me realize though its easy to spend too much , its also painless to be thrifty ,
     Though I enjoy living alone, I see how having a roommate could be helpful in this situation.        
    With Hashem's help I will be back to my old self sooner than later. Meanwhile I am catching up on my netflix queue.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Politics

   
 
One thing I have learned from working is not to talk about politics unless its in a neutral way. This gets tricky because sometimes its hard to figure out what actually is neutral. Most of the time I get it right because I usually don't say something political unless I know it is neutral.
     As it turns out it is more entertaining to be neutral about politics than to have a strong opinion one flaunts all of the time. The only way you really get to hear the other person's views unfiltered is if you actually listen to the other person's views without waiting to share your own divergent ones.
     It really has been quite simple not to share my political views during this election cycle because I did not particularly like either candidate and every evil quip that I heard about either candidate was something I could relate to. I did  not even know who I would vote for until I was in the voting booth with my pen filling out the oval.
      At work its simple not to speak politics because often there is so much diversity that most people know politics is a taboo subject along with religion. I think that people should adopt this attitude in social situations as well. Politics is a tricky subject. Often people think its their way or the highway . Its best to leave one's politics at home when one knows one will be in a social situation. Mostly people have their minds made up. You really aren't going to to change any one's mind.
    I think that its good to have Jewish people on all sides of the political spectrum. Political tides change all of the time and you never know who you might need to help you.
    I haven't heard so much about this topic, except for those on the left who just disparage him, but Jared Kushner having such a close relationship with the future president can be good for the Jews or bad for the Jews . Hopefully it will be good for the Jews .Only time will tell. It is on his shoulders . There never has been an observant Jewish first son in law. I hope that Jared knows how important his actions are and that everyone is watching him twice as much because he is Jewish .
       Ultimately I am hopeful . I really do not have much choice. I was hopeful when other presidents were elected whether I voted for them or not. I do not think that its Armageddon time as those on the left believe , but I don't think that everything is roses and candy either like many on the right believe. Only time will tell.
  

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Multiculturalism at its Best

     I work in an office with a very diverse cultural environment. It is so diverse that all but two of the "white" people are Jewish.
    After many years of working in a culturally diverse environment one learns to be very careful of what one says about racial differences. Or more accurately one NEVER speaks of anything that could be misconstrued as being racist in any way shape or form. One learns that EVERYONE is bigoted about some group and that darker skinned people analyze their skin tone more than any  white person ever could imagine.
     One also learns that most of the affirmative action multicultural casts get it wrong. When working in an office with as many cultures as the United Nations its more of a matter of fact  than an issue . Of course the office I work in is multi-cultural as happenstance , not because they set out to make it so.
     My thoughts on working in a multi-cultural environment? Its quite nice . One gets to learn a lot about other cultures. Those I work with have learned more about Orthodox Judaism than they ever thought they would.
      The thing is America is very multicultural though sometimes it appears to be just white or black. Its really quite a shame. There really are many cultures in the United States though the media seems to focus on their agendas.


Monday, January 9, 2017

Relief

     When one finally sees the light at the end of the tunnel its amazing. It almost seems unreal. There is a shroud of uncertainty thinking of what life afterward  will be like without this thorn,  but I know that it will definitely be better. There is no way it can't be. People say that change can happen in the blink of an eye and then nothing is ever the same again. In this case this change has taken many years to arrive. Relief is finally on the way. I feel better already.

      

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Change

     Change is so hard at times. I often want to implement change but don't. Sometimes I feel so in control that I cannot imagine change coming from outside of myself. Sometimes things have seemed the same for so long that it seems that change is impossible . Then boom . Change is delivered to my  doorstep. The change is probably just the push I needed, but a pain in the neck just the same .