Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Thought of the day...

I was driving home from work (funny-it's in the exact same location as the place I will start school tomorrow! ;)) today, and as I can get off the beltway at a few points and still get home, I was keeping an eye on the traffic. And I got to thinking-It's all smooth here, this lane is great, I'll just wait till the last exit and get off there.
But wait! I didn't need to get off the last exit, I needed to get off at MY exit! Soo...lesson on complacency-even though things may be comfortable and changing takes effort and can be frustrating, there's no point in staying where you are-you'll just miss your exit and have to turn around...which takes a whole lot more work...

Sunday, August 29, 2004

She's Back!!

Just thought I'd mention that a very special person has come to us for an undisclosed amount of time...she'll eventually be returning to her home in the Holy Land, but we need to find her a companion to go with her ;)
In other news, I start school on Wednesday...tuition rose again (as usual..oy) and caused Leati to leave :( But at least I'll be doing something semi-constructive!!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Following the status quo :(

I was reading through blogs and realized that everyone's are the same-mine included: "I'm different, and I'm going to prove it by blogging rebellious/catchy/self-absorbed nonsense."
But I AM different!! Really!! (Or something-doesn't everyone want to be special?)
Was looking at my play tonight, got distracted...I wish I could write!! Where's my purple Muse?
(I refuse to explain. I'm in a mood...I hate being typical-but with billions of people in the world, how is one a unique individual? When I'm in a better mood I'll talk about tafkid and t'chuna)

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

On Sunglasses and Tinted Windows, Part II

So what's the connection to tinted windows? Cars in general are also a way that people separate from the world. It's funny, cause we think of cars as ways to get to people. On the other hand, we also use cars to get away from people as well. And even when we travel, be it to or from people we love, we are separate from those around us. All of the cars on the highway, in the next lane, in front of us or in back of us, are essentially distant. We shut our windows tight and focus inward, turning up our radio, or turning to the person in the passenger seat. Having a 20-45 minute drive to school/work (depending on traffic), I've been thinking about that a lot.
Did you ever see your friend in the car next to you? You can see them every day, you could have just come from their house, but it's sooooo exciting when you see them on the highway. Why? What's so exciting about seeing someone again after just seeing them for four hours? It's because you're in a private space in your car, surrounded by unfamiliar territory. When you see a friend, suddenly you have someone to whom it's safe to wave at, smile at, talk to, whereas before it was just you and "all the other people on the road."
Some people might say that it's the same with walking down the street, as many people deliberately turn away so as not to meet people's eyes (again, the eye thing-it's personal contact), but there are also many many more possibilities for encounter with people when you stand next to them, under the same roof or the same sky.
Dunno if all this makes sense...it's just my thoughts for the day..;)

Of Sunglasses and Tinted Windows, Part I

It's summer. Fun in the sun! So I was thinking (I do that occasionally) about sunglasses-it's interesting-people who wear them (and I'm including myself here) are essentially cutting themselves off from the people around them. No, wait, let me finish. When you are having a conversation with someone, what do you look at to tell them you're listening? Their eyes. How can you tell how a person's feeling? Their eyes. The eyes tell so much about a person, more than the mouth will ever tell you. (Yes, Stx, that's what's so amazing about yours! I know you're closing them as you read this...but wait-that would be technically impossible ;) )
So back to the sunglasses, people put them on to block the sun. Right? But then they "forget" to take them off when they're in a dark building. I don't think they're intentionally thinking "Okay, I'm hiding from the world now," but you DO feel different when you look at people through sunglasses then when you don't (course, there's a whole long speech on that, but that's for another day...)
So essentially it's a seperation from the world! Now, some days we need that...

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Update on Judaism 101

R' Amos gave me the name of someone to call to speak at UMBC. So I was nervous to call him because I have this fear of failure thing, and apparantly not too many people went two years ago, the last time something like this happened.
Anyway, after calling three different numbers (each number sent me to a new number-I felt like I was on a treasure hunt!), I finally spoke to him. His wife had just given birth. Right now. Today. And he answered the phone. And spoke to me like I was a mentch. So I am extremely embarrassed...

Random Thoughts...on Nuclear Warfare!

According to my brother's magazine, Popular Science, the British Ministry of Magic Defense has invented a shield for their tanks that explodes any shells that come up against it...so what does this mean practically? People will stop sending bullets in war (aka conventional warfare) and will have to move on to non-conventional methods that can't be protected against...like nuclear, etc. Doesn't that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? :)
(We neeeeeeeed Moshiach!!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Hypocritical for a sec...

Wow. I am sitting at my computer, speechless. There is so much hate out there. Hashem, please please bring Moshiach! Why can't we like each other?? I don't know why I'm posting this except for the fact that tears came to my eyes and my heart started racing.
Call me emotional. Fine.
I just read a blog (and no, I'm not going to link to it) that had so much hate for it. No matter if you're Chassidic, Black Hat (which I didn't even know was a term, but apparantly it is..), or Modern Orthodox. Or anything else for that matter. There are people out there, I don't know (or ever want to know) who they are, but sit and write blogs or comments on blogs or whatever and post them on the Internet. And the purpose? To say bad things about other Jews. Mean, horrible things. Closed-minded, thoughtless things. I really wish I could cry to this particular person, hug him (tho I technically wouldn't do that), and show him that frum people are good! There are so many people who love the Jews, love each other and themselves! How do you get through to a mind that refuses to listen? (Or as someone I know says, are "so openminded that their brains fall out").
Well..that'll stop my foray into the blog world for a while. I can post on my own site, and check those of my friends, but people are really sad, scary, and hurt out there. I only wish that they could meet some of the people that I've met.
And to the person who I'm specifically talking about, if you somehow find my site and post nasty, hurtful things on it, I am going to delete them. So please don't bother. I have no problem with different ideas, but if your point is ONLY to condemn other people, you can ask me for references, and I'll refer you to some of the most amazing people in the world. And there are quite a few of them that I know. And I'm only one person in this huge world. So imagine how many you could find if you asked around or tried to look for them.
I hope everyone has a wonderful, enlightening, inspired and G-d filled day.

Dress Code

I wanted to bring up my opinion on dress, that I think has not yet been mentioned by either Stx or Devorah or anyone commenting on their blogs. (Well...it's been brought up, but I wanna give my take)
I was driving yesterday with a not-yet-frum woman and we saw an "I love Tov Pizza" bumper sticker on the back of a car in front of us that did a very illegal and dangerous action. She turned to me and said "It's so funny to me when the Orthodox people do things like that. Becuase they give off an impression of being so religious, and yet they still are not any better than me!"
That kinda scared me. A lot. Because our whole purpose of being here is to raise Hashem's Name in the world. Dressing and acting the way we do either elevates it or drags it in the mud. So if you choose to send the message to the world of your Jewishness, that's a wonderful and amazing thing. BUT-be aware that this is what you are doing and act accordingly-every second of the day-as much as you possibly can. This means going beyond what you should-always! Going the extra mile is a prerequisite!
(Note that the achrayus is on us-NOT to judge other people that don't act correctly, but to fix it within ourselves...what bothers us about other people can be traced to a fault within ourselves-it's a sign that we need to work on something-tolerance, if nothing else...)

Monday, August 16, 2004


Since none of my comp sci friends actually answered the question (just commented on it..), I figured out all by myself how to add links. And I actually wrote the code and inserted it into my settings! (Check it out on the sidebar-lower down). With the help only (always) of Hashem, I did it! ;)

P.S. for Stx

I really wanted to comment on something in Stx's blog, but apparantly there aren't allowed comments for some reason, so I'm going to comment here. See R' Reinman's personal statement regarding One People Two Worlds. Why was it necessary? Becuase people are sooo quick to condemn the "closed, Orthodox world." Have they ever actually seen it? Or, like people's reactions to so many things, have they only seen the hype and media on that and made their decisions based on what they are fed by others...?
Try it before you knock it! Or at least do some extensive research...(hey, I'm not saying everyone should take a class on Matthew, but then again, now I can give an enlightened opinion on it...and it WASN'T my choice-I fought it tooth and nail)

Sunday, August 15, 2004

On dating

Not that I would know...but I was reading through some of the profiles on one of those websites (which, incidentally, I don't think should be available to those that aren't signed up-like me, because all I'll do is analyze:), and everyone says the same thing: "I'm ortho but I don't fit into the box" or "I'm modern ortho because I believe in the importance of secular things as well as Torah".
Well. Just for the record, I consider myself orthodox and I'm proud of it! I know that everything comes from the Torah, so the question of whether secularism fits into that life is kinda dependent on your perspective and priorities. Labels are so silly, cause they have so many different meanings for different people...but then how are you supposed to describe yourself? Dunno..I guess you actually have to go out and meet people rather than just posting four lines that describe yourself that sound the same as everyone else's four lines-"I'm frum, but don't worry, not toooooo frum." In'er'stin'
Love yourself for who you are. If you are okay with where you are going spiritually (as long as you're going up!), you shouldn't need to defend yourself or put down another person's way of life. I really really really hope that's how I act. ('Cept when I play Devil's Advocate...)

Chachma Bagoyim Ta'amin

Two reasons for the title:
1. I'm reading this book, Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews: A History. It's fascinating-written by a former Catholic priest who believes in the concept of Jesus, but not in the New Testiment. He says that the New Testament was written by people who were trying to kiss up to the Romans, but had to knock someone, so knocked the Jews. It's a thoroughly researched book, and has much more credibility than a lot of history books I've read before (and yes, I have read quite a few...for pleasure ;) ), but over 700 pages...so that'll be my summer reading (unless HP6 comes out!). What's so fascinating is that he's really religious...but I'm not sure what his credo is exactly (course, I'm only on about page 120, so I'll let you know if anything changes)
2. The musical Wicked not only is 99% clean, but has a wonderful message about benefit of the doubt and how things can be totally oppostie how they seem. There's also this beautiful song at the end-For Good. It's all about friendship and how friends can impact people's lives. So to all my friends I say:

Like a comet pulled from orbit as it passes the sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder, halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better
But because I knew you, I have been changed for good.

Like a ship pulled from its moorings by a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird in a distant wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better,
But because I knew you, I have been changed for good.

My favorite line? "You'll be with me, like a handprint on my heart.." B"H I have quite a few handprints on my heart!! (Especially the purple one...)
My day
1. 11-4 Hillel Board meeting. But you must understand that I am a member of the board of no typical Hillel. The Director is the amazing, wonderful, and altogether great Rabbi Amos Levi!! So my task for this semester (aside from getting ready for Toronto..) is to make a Judaism 101 seminar series. I really really want to do it, but I'm gonna need some help...any ideas? (This is going out to my readers-all two of them...if that..)
2. Setting up for Sheva Brachos for my 1st grade morah's son
It feels like there're more hours in the day than that...so where did they all go? Scary...

On Trivial Matters

I don't know how long I'll actually keep at this blogging thing, but for now, these are my thoughts of the evening. I was playing Trivial Pursuit tonight with my family, and got to thinking (as I'm sure others have done before, Miss K.) about board games...what is their purpose? I believe it was R' Tatz who said (on a video for 9 Av two years ago when I was in LA as a counselor in Kol Neshama-the video was shown at Aish LA) that playing games is simply a way to waste time-as if it's not bad enough that we have such a short life, we then want to "kill time," basically a different way of saying "killing ourselves." We only have a certain amount of time here, and we'd like to spend it as fast as possible? How can this be?? And more...it's sometimes really hard to be constantly involved in learning 24/7. So what do we do? As humans (rather than angels) we are constantly rising and falling-never standing still. So if we make every moment, even our "relaxing" ones, for tachlis and growth, then it is still lishem shamayim and NOT a waste of time.
So my point? I'd like to think that tonight's game was a way of spending time with my family and trying to improve on my Kibud Av Va'Em and my Vi'ahavta Li'reacha Kamocha (loving your fellow like yourself). It's also interesting that it's becuase of Vi'ahavta Li'reacha Kamocha that I am NOT allowed to play it-except for the Disney version-with certain other people..;) )

Saturday, August 14, 2004

The joys of learning posting

So now that I've entered this dangerous and time-consuming world of posting, I'd love to learn a few things-like how to link my words to other sites-tho I might have just found it. (Being a history major at UMBC, this is all very new to me..) Testing...
(10 minutes later...) K-so I'm learning this as I go along-now how do I add links (like fellow posters or websites I want to publicize) to the side of my blog page? Any ideas? (Hey-computer science majors and minors...this is for you!)

All the fault of the puppy

K-so just in order to sign a post on a blog, I am forced to make a blog...Devorah, you didn't do it, it was Stinks...it's always her fault, ya know? So this is my life..now knowing that eventually this will somehow get out to the world, I'm going to try and be careful, but I slip sometimes..;)