Monday, August 29, 2005

Mazal Tov Mindy!!

May the little one be zoche to grow to come to Torah, to Chupa, and to Ma'asim Tovim!! :) (Not necessarily in that order ;) )

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Soldiers of G-d

This photo is by Jodi Klinetsky Sugar. It's on the wall to my room and I absolutely love it. The title is by her as well. It's beautiful, no? :)

Sakrfys: Open up to Heaven

I really thought today
That there was no way
For us to change the way we are.

Let's take a look around,
Anything goes and no one frowns,
Everyone's happy in the wrong way.

The life we have is so real,
The challenge of it makes us feel
Like giving it up and living the easy way.

We gotta open up to Heaven,
we gotta put our trust in Him.
He wants to hear our prayers,
He really wants us to join Him.

We cannot live this way,
We gotta change the day
From a failure to a victory.

We gotta open up to Heaven,
we gotta put our trust in Him.
He wants to hear our prayers,
He really wants us to join Him.

שמע קולנו ה אלקנו
חוס ורחם עלנו
וקבל ברחמים וברצון
את תפילתנו

שמע קולנו ה אלקנו
חוס ורחם עלנו
וקבל ברחמים וברצון
את תפילתנו

...from disproving what I felt today.

Do You Want to Know?

It's something I've thought about a lot recently. There are so many bad things going on. A young yeshiva buchor from London, engaged to be married, is stabbed to death in the Old City. People desecrate the Name of Hashem. People cry. People get sick. People hurt other people.

Do you want to know? Would you rather remain blissfully oblivious to all those things that you can't do anything about?

Knowing creates responsibility. If you know something's wrong, it's up to YOU to fix it.

Are you up to that terrifying challange?

I don't know if I am. I'm scared of the world.

יהודי לא מגרש יהודי

We've heard the quote so often in the past few weeks, with the traumas of the disengagement and the constant rallying against it. People dressed in orange waved flags with this mantra, yelled and cried it to the soldiers, and used it as their motto.

But look a little deeper. Literally translated, the phrase means "A Jew does not expel a Jew." Does this only mean physically? Are there times when a Jew spiritually expels another Jew? When a Jew makes an impression on another Jew that causes them to run from Judaism because what they see is hypocritical or inconsistant? When the cruelty of one person 'expels' others?

I think it's a really good mantra. I think it's something we should continue holding up, regardless of how the disengagement turns out. This applies to us all over the world.

So, physically, spiritually, emotionally:
A Jew DOES NOT expel a Jew.

Or at least they shouldn't :(

Sakrfys: Sibling Rivalry

Your way's wrong and my way's right,
When are you gonna see the light?
You call y'self frum, y'aint even Yiddish.
Too modern, too black, Yeshivish, Chassidish.

Which yeshiva did you learn i?
Which seminary did you say?
Who's your rebbe and what's your hashkofo?
Are you bichlal worth my time of day?

Oh Hashem, you hate this rubbish,
It makes You kavyochal sick to the stomach
We are all Your kinderlach
Harbeh drochim laMakom....

I don't care what kippa you wear.
You are my brother love me if you dare.
It's okay whatever nusach you pray.
Hashem hears us all, to Him there's many ways

We are all brothers, Hashem is our Father
Let's make Him proud, respect one another.
We have different paths, can still have the love,
We are all children of the above...


I learn...

I learned three things this past Thursday. There was a goodbye party for one of my co-workers, and I started to understand why people have "issues" in the "real world"

1. I left my lunch at home. There was lots of food-bagels, cream cheese (3 different kinds), tons of cake and cookies, muffins...basically, I could have made up for lunch and dinner! But...I ended up going to the store and buying potato chips and an apple juice for lunch. Why? Hmmm...'cause I keep kosher. And the food wasn't. It wasn't even a question of whether I would eat it or not. And after I helped set up, I washed my hands off instead of licking my fingers like everyone else. 'Twas interesting to learn that about myself. I wish I had that kind of self-control when it came to dieting! ;)

Since I wasn't eating, I did a lot of watching. I noticed that people do a lot of hugging. Or rather, the guy who was leaving did. Leaving aside shomer negi'ah issues, it was interesting to watch. The women usually were fine with it, but the guys most certainly were not. You have to understand-this guy is an older fellow, really friendly to everyone, and he was genuinely sad about having to leave everyone-the hugs were truly sincere on his end-but it was interesting how some people were really uncomfortable about it (including myself...but I don't touch unrelated guys as a rule, so it's different). Most of them just gave a kind of loose, half-hearted hug, but one guy actually jumped out of the hug and stepped about 3-4 feet away from the hugger to continue his conversation with him. It was almost like he was trying to proove that even though he participated in a hug, he was still manly and non-emotional.

I mentioned that he was really friendly. He's amazing. He's the kind of guy that knew everyone's name, and remembered them from forever ago. So many people came from all over for his goodbye party-because made an effort to be friendly to everyone he met. He always said hi to people-but not just a hurried "hi" flung over his shoulder. It was a "Hi, Jennifer, how was your mother's surgery?" and then he would actually stop and focus on the answer. He cared enough about people to learn about them, and thereby left his mark.

It's lihavdil like the story of R' Yaakov Kaminetzky, where the nuns from the nearly abbey came to his funeral, because he used to say "Good morning" to them as he passed them every day. It made such an impression that they realized that he was a very special man and wanted to be there to say goodbye to him.

The way you talk to people is SO important!! This obviously extends onto blogs. PLEASE be careful with what you say and how you say it. Think a little!! The impression you make is lasting, and you are responsible for it. And it takes so little to create hatred or love....

Monday, August 22, 2005

Capture the Moment

At one of my jobs, I have to take old newspaper photographs (as in photos that were used in a newspaper-not the newspaper itself), identify them, and assign keywords to them (so one doing a search for "ballerinas" will be able to find photos of them).

It's really fascinating work, and I've learned a few lessons. I'm working with pictures from the first half of the 20th century, a time far removed from's fascinating to see the differences in priorities. The pictures from 1939-1945 don't show grisly photos of men bleeding and dying, but rather portraits of handsome young men dressed proudly in their uniforms, off to do service to their country, or of ostentatiously decorated officers shaking hands or speaking or looking at maps with other decorated officers. The portraits of soldiers...there aren't usually captions that go with these pictures, just names. Were they in the paper because they recieved a Purple Cross for saving a fellow soldier's life? Or was it a death notice? Killed in action...

Another thing that struck me were the many many pictures of screen "legends." I wonder where they are now.. The dashing bachelor and the ravishing maiden, the world-renowned soprano, are (if they're still alive) old, perhaps in nursing homes, no longer able to hold a fork on their own. Certainly not out wooing everyone in sight, their looks faded.

All I see is the picture. I make up my own story...but sometimes I wonder-what happened to the people?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Did You Notice?

Tu B'Av was on Shabbos Nachamu. I just found that in'erestin.'

Friday, August 19, 2005

New music!

Lvnsm27 introduced me to a new Jewish band called Sakrfys. (Or maybe they're not new, I'd just never heard about them before ;) ). They play secular style alternative (so my very wise sister says ;) ), pretty good music, I think. But the point is their message, which is absolutely beautiful.

Lemme know what you think!

Note: I am not writing anymore about Gaza. I can't. I have this thing inside me...I just can't talk about it anymore, and I'm not even sure how I feel about it anymore...except sad. It's too painful. So I'm gonna blog about other random stuff. But לבי במזרח. But look at the pics Joe Settler put up about the amazing Jews helping other amazing Jews in the Old City.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Evictor and Evicted

As long as they realize that they're sisters, there's hope.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

250,000 People!!

All davening together at the Kosel for Rachamim. Whatever happens in the next week, we'll need lots of rachamim and siyata dishmaya. Go look at the video. It's absolutely beautiful. Breathtaking. All kinds of Jews, dressed in all different colors, as Jews are wont to do. But all davening. That's all. No riots, no shouting, just the soul of a nation lifting its voice up to the only One who can help.

Edit: Read a first hand account at House of Joy.

Miniver Cheevy

by Edward Arlington Robinson

Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
He wept that he was ever born,
And he had reasons.

Miniver loved the days of old
When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
The vision of a warrior bold
Would set him dancing.

Miniver sighed for what was not,
And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
And Priam’s neighbors.

Miniver mourned the ripe renown
That made so many a name so fragrant;
He mourned Romance, now on the town,
And Art, a vagrant.

Miniver loved the Medici,
Albeit he had never seen one;
He would have sinned incessantly
Could he have been one.

Miniver cursed the commonplace
And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;
He missed the medieval grace
Of iron clothing.

Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
But sore annoyed was he without it;
Miniver thought and thought, and thought,
And thought about it.

Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
And kept on drinking.

My life, sans the drinking part ;)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

On Censorship

Two things (neither directly having to do with the other):

1. I'm working with a lot of old ספרים at work, which is, of course wonderful and quite cool. Some of the books have stamps in them that say that they have been approved by the "censor" of such-and-such town. In a others, I've found the following passage (or similar). It emphasizes the fact that no matter what the Jews did, they were being watched, and that people were just waiting for a reason to accuse them of being traitors to their sovereigns and thereby worthy of disposing...they obviously had to be pretty careful.

גם אלה החכמים יבינו מדעתם כי לא כגוים שהיו בימי חכמי הש"ס ז"ל הגוים האלה אשר אנו מתגוררים בארצותם כי המה היו עובדי כוכבים ומזלות ודבקים בכל התועבות לא ידעו את ה' ואת דבר קדשו לא הכירו אבל העמים שבזמנינו את ה' יראים ונותנים כבוד לתורתו עושים משפט וצדקה בארצותם וחסד עם היהודים דחוסים תחת כנפיהם וחלילה לנו לדבר או לכתוב שום גנאי עליהם וכ"מ שנזכר בספרים גוי או נכרי או אומות העולם וכדומה הכוונה על אותם עכום שהיו בימי המשנה

2. A blog is a bit like one's home. People come and go, visit as they will, and bring their thoughts and ideas with them. In general, I love visitors, and I love comments ;) However, I ask you to wipe your feet on the mat before you enter. If you bring filth in, I'm afraid I'll have to ask you to leave. There are plenty of other places that revel in such things that you can enjoy. If you bring it here, your post will be deleted, as at least 6 or 7 have already been. Thanks and have a great day!

Monday, August 08, 2005

"Defen"itions of TRW

1. What influenced (positively and/or negatively) your decision to attend college?

A few things. I went to a school that didn't condemn college, as I think I've mentioned before. We have a "college guidance counselor" that you can sit down with to discuss what you want to do, just like there's a "seminary guidance counselor." I also had some awesome teachers (Mrs. W., Mrs. L., even Mrs. B. went to college! ;) ) who supported me along the way. It wasn't really a choice for me. When I came home from sem, I was told to either get a job or go to college. I guess I was just lazy and didn't want to work yet, (although I certainly have a ton of work for school anyway!) plus, I really couldn't see myself as a secretary for the rest of my life (although I did that for quite a bit as well.. ;) ). I also love learning, and this was the only (formal) way that I could continue it. There are certainly atmospheric issues (and I don't mean the air) in college, and I remember the trauma of the first day of orientation, but I still enjoy the learning...

2. Within which historical period, if any, would you choose to be reborn? Why?
I had a very hard time with this question. Possibly the time Shlomo, because even though things were certainly not perfect, they were pretty near it. The Bais Hamikdash was in its glory, the king was the wisest in the world, and everyone all over was aware and conscious of Hashem's rule over all. Or possibly Chizkiyahu's time, when every child on the street knew the answers to the hardest shailos. No. The time of Moshiach. When the world is truly perfect, and we understand.

3. Truth or Dare?
Truth. Usually. depends on the person. If I know they won't be able to phrase the question that leads into my soul, I'll let them try it. But very few people can do that to me...(kinda like Anne's "kindred spirits")

4. Why did you start blogging? Do you continue to blog for the same reason(s)?
I got a blog name 'cause I wanted to post on Stx's blog ;) I actually blogged because I couldn't stand the tremendous amount of negativity and awfulness that I found on blogs, and I decided I had to combat it in my own tiny little way. I still try to do that, but my blog has become way more personal than I'd meant it to be originally...

5. What character trait or habit (not necessarily your own) irritates you above all else?
It used to be hypocrisy, but it's become negativity and cynicism. It ruins not only the life of the person doing it, but (at least the day of) everyone with whom they encounter.

6. (You know how people "make statements" with the things they say and do?) WhatÂ’s your statement? What do you want your statement to be? What statement would you make if you knew it'd be the last thing you did? What statement would you like to avoid making? [No answer required. I just wanted to ask the questions.]
I'm not going to answer this one, but thank you for asking it. It puts a different perspective on my actions. :)

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Rashi's 900th Yartzeit

I just wanted to link to ClooJew's blog where he discusses Rashi's 900th yartzeit, which took place on Friday. It just struck me. I guess 'cause Rashi's time is the time in Jewish history that I'm really studying, so it struck a cord within me. He's so important, so real to us today, 900 years later. What would we be without Rashi? He saw that Torah was getting lost, so he used to leave notes on the rebbiim's desks in cheders with the answers to "unanswerable" questions. And for us his word is almost pshat!

Just take note.

In other news, may these nine (now eight) days that we're in lead to גאולה and may we merit reverse the שנאת חינם and bring משיח before this ט' אב.


Friday, August 05, 2005

Today's Incident in Israel

My sentiments (almost) exactly. I dunno if I can forgive them for killing...

"I can forgive the Arabs almost anything. I can forgive them for killing our children. The one thing I cannot forgive them for is that they forced our sons to become killers."

--Golda Meir

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis

No, I didn't buy it for myself. But someone else did! (And it was a confirmed anti- that suggested it ;) ). After spending about two weeks on the first two sentences, I realized I was translating a word with a meaning that made absolutely no sense and that's why my sentence didn't either.

[For interested parties, I was trying to figure out how "uti" could be used as "ut" (which it can) if there was no subjunctive in the sentence and if it was right next to "neque" (which negates it). It just made absolutely no sense! But then I realized that "uti" was really the infinitive of the verb "utor" and suddenly the world was right again.]

The moral of the story? Look beyond your comfort zone. Sometimes things don't make sense 'cause you're trying to force circles through square holes. Stop, take a good look, and try to see the picture another angle. Sometimes you just have to turn over the puzzle piece before it'll fit onto the puzzle.

Ad of the month: IM ;)

In an effort to allow for some breathing space between interviews, I'm just going to mention my thoughts on IM. It's a lovely thing, Instant Messenger. As a general rule, I hate talking on the phone. Especially the cell phone. It never has reception, someone's always talking to loud, and your time is literally money-they add up every second.

The cute little yellow guy, though, just lets you talk when you want, what you want, to whomever you desire. You don't have to rehash your last 5 years with someone (they've usually read your blog anyway and KNOW what you've been doing the last five years...incidentally, you never know who reads your blog...former roommates, former stage managers, former elementary school teachers ;) ), and you can just get to the point and ask them what you need to ask them. There's no need for small talk, 'cause the whole point of IM is to make the conversation quicker. And there're no long distance fees! ;)

But I just realized something else cool about it. I've been missing someone 'cause she hasn't been on IM recently. I see her nearly every day, and when I saw her today, I told her I had missed her online presence.

She responded: "Why don't you just call me?"
Me: "Cause then I'd have to talk to you!"
Her: Look (Complete with the eyebrow raising..)
Me: "No, it's just that I don't even have to say anything, but I know you're there, 'cause I see your little IM box where you said hi and it doesn't say she has logged off yet!"
Her: Sigh

It's just a presence. With some people you can sit in a room and not talk to for hours, but the point is that you're with each other. You can be on the phone (arg!) for an hour and not say anything (be doing something else) for a full 20 minutes of it.

I like you.

Monday, August 01, 2005

There's something so beautiful about rekindling a friendship. Or at least lighting the match. I pray it'll catch.

An Interview From Across the Pond (Karl's Interview)

1. If you were a book, which would you be? Why?
Hmm...a type of book?
A battered, dog-eared, book, with pages that have been lovingly turned for years by generations of parents and children, causing laughter and tears, pain and joy.
A specific book? A diary maybe?

2. As you are so well travelled, which place would you want to live in and why?
You should have taken warning about this question from Eli7's blog. Ah well.
ISRAEL!! Or rather, ארץ ישראל. Why? It's where I belong. Where all of us belong. Period.

3. What was the craziest thing you have ever done?
Well...I'm a bit of a goody-goody.
For me, it was absolutely nuts to go to LA when I was finishing 11th grade to be a counselor in a theatre camp. I knew nothing about it except that a singer that I semi-idolized and had met twice had given a glowing recommendation about me to the director and that it was something I had always dreamed about, even before I knew it existed. And it was anything but ordinary ;)

4. Which is the most gashmius item you can't live without?
Non-tangible? Music. I'm the biggest sucker for Broadway musicals you'll ever meet. I know all the songs by heart, can't stop...I got rid of my Rent soundtrack, though. I decided that even though the music is incredible, the theme is really not so good for my soul, so I decided to chuck it. A very hard thing for me to do. :/

5. What has been the biggest life changing crossroads in your live so far? Do you think you made the right choice?
I know it's a cop-out, but I don't feel like I've made a life changing decision yet. There are times when I feel like the decision I'm making will affect the rest of my life, but nothing that strikes me per se. They (whoever They are, I do not know) say that there's a Chinese curse "You should have an interesting life." B"H, I haven't had one. I don't think I've had to make any earth-shattering decisions. IY"H the next one I have to make will involve a guy and the rest of my life ;)