Monday, December 29, 2008
Volunteer United Hatzala EMT in serious condition after this morning's terror attack in Kiryat Sefer. As Jameel is an EMT in the same organization, he notes there is going to be a nationwide prayer service for his fellow medic at 3:30 PM, Israel time. Please add Aryeh ben Varda to your prayers (as well as for the safety and security of IDF soldiers, going into battle in Gaza)
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Note 15 : The Yerushalmi explains the basis of this cognomen.
Encarta- cognomen: a nickname or name that describes somebody, e.g. "Billy the Kid"
Have thesaurus will travel!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Well, next week, we will be very close to “the festival of lights”. Working as a frum Jew in a mostly Non Jewish atmosphere, I’m always amazed at how Chanukah, which really is a series of great miracles done for us, gets for lack of a better term “Christmasized”. What’s even weirder is how I’ve let myself get sucked into the mentality, and maybe sadly, I enjoy it a little. Here is what I mean. First, I have to (and want to, with a great staff) give presents. Now, I know how many Christians hate that the Heysuess (pronounced Jesus) has been taken out of the holiday. I don’t want to come across as a “politically correct” nerd, so I give them actual Christmas cards with a little $ (none of your business how much) and a lottery ticket. They are extremely appreciative, and want to reciprocate, and they do. Have I jumped on board the exchanging gifts at the holiday season bandwagon? The answer is yes. The other part of me that is always irked is how my co-workers will compare the two. Let me tell you, there ain’t no such thing as Hannukah Harry, but I laugh when they ask all the same. And the I feel guilty for minimizing our great miracles to silliness. That’s the “irked” part. Also (guiltily) I enjoy seeing them being able to “relate” to me just a bit. I think that Chanukah does get the short end of the stick by us, the religious. This lets other religions pull at it and make it something it’s not, and this is why. On every other Yom Tov, we are actively involved in it and it is outside of the workplace. On Purim, you wouldn’t give Shelach Manot to a non Jew, and you are busy. The other Yom Tovim keep you busy in shul, or away from work. You usually don’t bring your lulav and esrog to shul on Chol Hamoed, so the holiday is more of a private thing. Not so with Chanukah. Every store from Path Mark, to CVS has the obligatory Chanukah stuff. At least one (usually non religious) co-worker will bring in sufganiot or left over oily latkes. A staff that eats together can share the “holiday spirit” together. There is always the obligatory electric menorah at the holiday party that you feel obligated to be at, especially since the boss ordered kosher food just for you. Yes, I get a little sucked in, and it’s not a good thing. I just have one non breakable rule. No mistletoe in the classroom.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I was very proud of my son's report card. He got mostly A's. The thing I liked most about it was the teacher wrote a thoughtful and individual message. I was very impressed. Many teachers write generic messages like "your son is a sweet boy and a joy to have in class" (yes I do this in public school, but my students are profoundly retarded, so it's true). They don't really think about the impact the comments can make on your child, not to mention their Chanukah tip! Here is the part where I say prepare yourselves. Mrs. LFD and I have noticed when we go to PTA there is not a lot the teachers have to say unless there is a problem. So arm yourselves with some pointed questions that will draw out the best about qualities of your child. This is good for you, and the teacher too. I know that I forgot to prepare for our daughters PTA, and the teachers told us "She is very smart and funny, she talks with an 8th grader's vocabulary" (She's 5 years old). They gave us a bag of corn chips with a sticker on it for her, and after 30 seconds, we were done. It was a waste of time (other than showing we care about our daughter). I believe they would have had more to say if we asked them some questions. Here is one Mrs. LFD always leads in with:
1. "Hi, please tell me something positive about my son." Not that there is too much negative, but it reorients the thinking.
2. Who is my child's best friend? This will help you gauge if the teacher is aware of social dynamics in the class.
3. What is your recommended bed time? This gives the impression that you value your kid's teachers opinion of what goes on in the home. And good teachers really do know a thing or two about bed time.
4. How is my child coming in in the morning? This will help you gauge if the teacher is looking at the kids moods. Everyone has good and bad days, and teacher need to be aware of this, especially Rabbaim.
Well, if you have any other suggestions, feel free to add to the list, and good luck!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
One of the main points of humor is that if it doesn't have a bit of truth to it, it won't be funny. I think in some ways they do equate Lakewood with Yerushalyim. I would like to see the mitzvah of yishuv promoted the same way not speaking loshon horah, or keeping Shabbos is pushed. To send your base to Yerushalaim would hasten the end of our Galus, but if we do that, where would Lakewood be?
Getting back tothe Dvar Torah, the Rosh focused on how learning Torah creating "Ohelot". Since learning Torah insulates you so much, Yaakov was protected from Esav because he was on a "different world, insulated from outside influence, not like the NEBUCH college man, who has an understanding of the outside world, and is distracted".
Isn't the NEBUCH college man exactly who Lakewood is extending their hand to? In what way should Lakewood be Falling Down?
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Sorry Guys, This One is For the Ladies.
This is Mrs. LFD. I know that I always say I won’t blog. However, this time I will make an exception. And no LOZ, the Mr. still cannot have his own secret blog! And I am still not interested in my own blog either.
I am not known for making these fantastic shopping finds as I actually hate shopping (the title for best finds and saves goes to Mrs. Gilmore,) but I recently had such a great experience with a web based company no less that I had to share. The company is called http://www.candygirldress.com They are on the west coast and they feature gowns for flower girls, pageant dresses and tuxedos for boys of all ages (sizes go up to boys 18!) The gowns are beautiful and at the moment they are having a sale and also are featuring x-mas (read Shabbat) dresses. The prices are also amazing.
Let me share my experience with them.
I needed lilac colored preferably matching dresses for my daughter and my niece because they were in a wedding party. The kallah sent us some pictures of dresses to give us an idea of what she liked. These pictures were from another website. That website did not instill confidence and my sister and I found bad ratings so the hunt was on. With about two weeks to the wedding we needed something fast. We came across this website after some time searching and found beautiful dresses. However, they did not have sleeves. My daughter is already of an age that I felt she could not go sleeveless. I called the company and asked if they could send some matching material so that I could make sleeves. Not only did they agree they also sent the material for FREE. When I called to confirm they thought that they had already sent my dresses (I ordered for both me and my sister) and no problem they would send it that day NO COST FOR SHIPPING. It turned out that when the dresses came the material was with the dresses already so I did not have to wait for a separate box. Now, I am not naïve and most good companies will accommodate their customers but it really was exceptional service... keep reading and you’ll see. This was in September.
I had been meaning to e-mail them a thank you with a picture so that they could see how nice it looked with sleeves (they do offer sweaters to go with the dresses but not in matching fabric.) I recently e-mailed them the thank you with a picture. In the e-mail, I also noted and that the pin-on flower belt got ruined (my daughter decided to go skating on her belly) and I asked if I could purchase another one. They e-mailed me back a You’re Welcome and that they would be sending the belt for FREE! But wait, that’s not all, I wrote back to say that I appreciated it and that I would be recommending their website. I got another e-mail from them saying “thank you for recommending us. No wonder we have been getting lots of sales recently. JOHN” How nice was that!!!! They were accommodating, you could get an actual response from a person and they have amazing!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Anyway, most yeshivas these days are really hurting financially. The market has caused people who used to donate $100,000.00 to maybe $10,000.00. Even worse, those of us who are poor like me went from the $25.00 table at the Chinese auctions to the $10.00 tables. You get the idea, there is less all around. Just to keep in the Lakewood Falling Down spirit, I'll point out that Kollel life when you depend on others is going to take a big hit. No more free ride. Anyway, Mrs. LFD tells me of a couple she knows that interviewed their first child for a certain yeshiva. The first kid means you pay full tuition. No discounts, we need the money, so pay up. I have no problem with this, a yeshiva can't run on air. The interview went well, and everybody was happy. Until the yeshiva in question expressed the desire for the Mr. to consider removing his wedding band. What? This is now priority? I know that there are Mr.'s in this yeshiva who wear a ring. I am hoping this is a fluke. I was once reading a blog (please excuse me I can't remember who's, please comment if it was you so I can link) about a girl pointing out how it's unfair for the single girls at weddings when they "shop". A wedding ring is like a giant "not for sale" sign that makes it easier. That aside, I can understand if you interview for a Chassidish yeshiva, and they tell you sorry, you need to have long payos and dress the part. But for our mainstream yeshivos, especially the more middle of the road ones, don't alienate people. I wonder if these parents are still on the mailing list for donations. Come to think of it, they probably are. They wouldn't dream of taking Nekamah. Sort of a catch 22 don't you think?
Thursday, November 20, 2008
2. The Bloods- and not to be outdone,
3. The Cryps. They could fight what colors go on the tribal Degel
4. Just so I don't discriminate, I'll throw in the Latin Kings.
6. YU guys.
8. Modern Orthodox.
10. United Union of Professional Clowns (linked in case you don't believe this exsits)
11. Pig Farmers Union
13. Hatzolah of Flatbush- Hat Tip to Logic 613!
Truthfully, I don't know why people want to be a part of the Jews. It's a difficult path, and if your not an FFB, you can encounter more discrimination than Barak Obama at a KKK convention. Do non Jews really feel we are the chosen people and want in? Maybe some of them. I have two black "Israelites" in my school who believe Ashkenazic European Jews are totally fake, and not Jews at all. To them, I am a faker, and not just because I'm orthodox. They believe that they are the chosen. I also get weird comments at times, but maybe it's just me. Feel free to add to the list.
On another subject entirely, my spider phobia continues with this article that a spider is missing-in space!
Monday, November 17, 2008
1. We want to be
2. Our Gedolim want us to be.
Of course, this is just my opinion. A certain Rov told me that his cousin did the english translation of Eim Habonim Simaycha, and he's now been ostracized and his fellow yeshiva crowd have branded him a Zionist. Crazy, if you even translate a book about the greatness of Israel, you are no longer one of them.
The other item was an article on Foxnews.com. It is a story about the Israeli Mafia, and a car bomb that killed the Kingpin of a crime family. You can read the whole story here. My question is, to the average "Goy" is there a difference bettween a Chasidishe Guy with long curly peyos, and an average non religious Israeli. Opinions anyone?
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Also, welcome to my good friend davenedbydekoisel !
May his blog have many hits!
For any of you out there who can tell me how to put hebrew letters into my blog, I'd appreciate it.
Now I used to love the show Thunder Cats, and I did have a Liono sword when I was a kid. That's why I cracked up when Artscroll translated the word "Hey Vav Yud" as Ho!
Kiddushin, 30 b2. Yes, I know it's from last week, but as I said in the beginning, it's been a busy week.
Have thesaurus, will travel!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
First, a shout out to Lion of Zion, Jacob Da Jew & Tr8ergirl who have linked to my blog. Thanks!
Usually we don't have guests Friday nights so we can go to sleep early, but someone asked if we could have a guest, & we never say no to a Shabbos guest. So we were up. Well on a short Friday night who should come knocking? Was it angels like our forefather Avrohom? Maybe, but what may be an angel, my family sees as our old downstairs neighbor Jacob Da Jew. My building was very unique when Jacob lived here, we had the perfect balance of personality types. My new neighbors are really nice, but hey, Jacob Da Jew is Jacob Da Jew. Being Jacob, I decided to have a L'chaim courtesy of Gillmour-who-lives-across-the-hall-who-had-rum-from-Mr. A-who-lives-downstairs-who had-left-some-in-Gillmours-fridge. You have to read it in one breath. My kids love Jacob, especially my daughter. We had a nice visit and a walk in the unusually warm November weather. The lord works in mysterious ways.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
So it's Thursday night chaos as usual, and we're trying to make Shabbos, clean the house, do HW with the kids, and of course blog. Mrs. LFD says to me for the millionth time "I wish Moshiach were here". Less stress you see, along with a genuine desire for Moshiach. My Rov and neighbors have told me some very interesting stories about Moshiach being here in 2009. Here is a LINK to The Cool Jew that I found (I have no idea who he/she is I was just surfing for Moshiach 2009 on Google). What do you think? And of course, Moshiach will decide the shaitle question!
BTW, recommended reading:
What Did They Think of the Jews? by Alan Gould
Shadal by Daniel Klein
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
While reading Rav Elyashiv's comments about sheitels on YWN, I felt annoyed. Lion of Zion pointed out to me the following:
"hakham ovadia yosef has already assured all sheitlach. period. it seems some ashkenazim now are just catching up to this (wouldn't want the sephardim to seem frumer.) on the other hand, iirc the lubavatcher rebbe said sheitlach are preferred, because a woman is likely to take it off than a hat. gluckel of hameln (17th c. ashkenaz) writes in her memoirs that she was impressed with the frumkeit of the men when she moved to metz because they didn't wear wigs (or something like that, it's been a while since i read her book)"
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Jocular -with a playful joking disposition (Encarta)
I didn’t know Abaye was such a funny guy. I also make declarations while in a jocular mood, don't you? Is there a list of Talmudic knock-knock jokes somewhere? Hmm... oh well,
Have Thesarus Will Travel!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
My friend holeycow sent me this top 10 website that's kind of funny, and makes a great follow up to Why I hate Simchas Torah.
On a completely different topic, I found this article and was getting the "hebbie Jeebies" all day. Spiders really freak me out.
Monday, October 27, 2008
This is my first political post, so bear with me. I am McCain person. I don’t think he’s great, but to ignore Obama’s choice of whom he surrounds himself with, is ridiculous. To approve of anti Semites and then claim your are ignorant doesn’t give me great confidence in your judgment abilities. People who ignore this are saying –it’s OK to be stupid. I also can’t believe that a split Yerushalaim is acceptable to any Jew. This is an idea Obama supports. I titled this post LFD? because I know of many in Kollel’s that are voting to have Uncle Sam, (now Uncle Obama if he wins) provide more social programs to enable them to keep learning. I had company for Shabbos lunch that pushes the same line, that our tax dollars are going to social programs anyway, why shouldn’t they support Torah? The answer I would give in these times are that first, if the economy continues to fail, those who are in businesses who voluntarily support their kids will not have businesses left. Most Jewish Businesses are small businesses, and just like Joe the plumber, they will be taxed until they will have problems keeping a profit. The second answer is from Obama’s own statements he’s more a socialist than a liberal. Do you want to exchange money for poor ideas? But I guess in Lakewood Ir Hakodesh Yerushalaim doesn’t matter, as long as you are shteiging away…
Thursday, October 23, 2008
So for all of you folks with that need to know, I was in Glatt Mart with my kids shopping for Shabbos. They were really behaving well, no fighting, and I had dragged them with me to Mincha at Landaus. I even had my son go around with the tzedakah box. But I digress. They were being really good waiting in line when I saw the dreaded euphemism-pop. I couldn't resist, and told my kids they could each have a lollipop for being so well behaved. I showed my daughter the dreaded pop and bingo- a photo op for you! As you squeeze, goo comes through the hole in the middle. The candy company that makes it is called Emzee. They call it the "Fr-ooze" pop. What would you call it? I call it disgusting!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
To me, when I was a kid, Simchas Torah was a great time. We got to stay up late, dance, get a flag, and pretty much do whatever we wanted. In my shul, since there were so few kids, we got to get up and sing “Ain Adir” if we wanted to. And of course, we got to help hold the Torah. I felt so grown up. Fast forward 20 years and I hate it. Here are some reasons why:
- Bidding wars. The first issue is the silly grins the gabboim get on their faces when the bidding on aliayas starts. You also can’t really judge how bad the economy is when some Hocker bids $15,000. 00 on Chosson Torah. Many shuls have tried different approaches to stop the madness, but to no avail. And why should they when a large chunk of change will be coming the shul’s way and you get a Kiddush sponsored to boot!
- Next is the “cool guys” who go out for a smoke with all of the kids milling around. Way to set an example you Hockers.
- The orchestration. This is a time of year when shul board members and hockers come into their full prime. From telling you where you can dance (or even worse, that you have to dance), to what kind of candy you are allowed to even give your own kids, these guys are in their element on Simchas Torah. Heaven forbid you want to sing a different song after singing the same “Anah, anah anah…” 200 times.
- The dancing. I don’t really know what non Jews call dancing, but endlessly marching around in circles and occasionally stomping one foot seems a lot more like an ancient druid ritual than dancing. This is what Jews call dancing. Why can’t I stand on the side if I feel like it without some board member or hocker trying to pull me into a circle just so I can get my foot stomped on?
- The time. There should be a Kol Korei on Hakafos that last more than 15 minutes, and that’s stretching it. I always get so mad, some hocker/board member has stretched the Hakafa out really long and had been holding the heaviest torah, and sweating all over it. They come over and practically dump the darned thing in your lap and go on to more pointless foot stomping. It’s really annoying.
- No real food in most shuls on Simchas Torah night. I need to have something more that cake if I’m going to be held hostage until 11:00 at night. BTW, I’ve offered to co-sponsor some food along with two other friends, but the “board” doesn’t want it so it will not be happening. And for the record, I’m not davening with my shul on Simchas Torah.
- The drinking. This is not Purim, get a life people!
- The sugar factories. When I was a kid, we got peanuts, chick peas, sponge cake and a lollypop. Last year there was so much candy I thought my kids would go into sugar shock. Certain shul members noticed that the gross lollipops that the shul picked out. They looked like a male’s privates with a hole in the center that squirts up goo when squeezed. Thank you Pazkes. I can’t imagine a more obscene candy, yet the Cahreidim haven’t banned it yet.
So do you hate Simcas torah to? Feel free to add to the list. Chag Samayach!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
It was nice to end a mesechta on Yom Kippur and start a new one on the next day. I asked my maggid shiur why we learn Gittin before Kiddushin, the other way makes more sense. He smiled, and said "the classic Yeshiva answer is that G-d always provides the cure before giving the sickness". Again, I stand by the name of my blog.
On to the Artscroll words and phrases.
Kiddushin, page 3b1, note 1 translating the 3 middos on which the world stand, is referred to "the principles of hermeneutics"
hermeneutics: (Encarta dictionary) the science and methodology of interpreting texts, especially the books of the Bible.
Adduced, adduces, adducing: (Encarta dictionary) to offer something as evidence, a reason, or proof. Can't Artscroll use the word "proves"?
Exegesis: (Encarta dictionary) the explanation or interpretation of texts, especially religious writings.
And the phrase for you to translate: "Just as a maidservant departs her masters jurisdiction when she is emancipated." Now I know what this means, but I thought Artscroll was supposed to be for us laymen. The translations and notes in Kiddushin are more choppy and difficult to plow through.
Oh well, Have thesaurus, will travel !
Saturday, October 11, 2008
So we had a great Shabbos meal this week. We were really excited for a lot of reasons. First some of our favorite guests were coming (my favorite twins), and Lion of Zion & his family! Now Mrs. LFD and Lion grew up together in the same community, and their parents are friends, so it was really nice. We also for the first time in a while had a new guest, a friend of Jacob Da Jew, who I found out davens with my brother in law. Mrs. LFD's brother and Lion have kids in the same school and grade, so all in all we had 9 plus us in our little 2 bedroom apartment. We ate and talked until 4 in the afternoon, and the kids didn't "melt down" until 4, so we had some nice "grown-up" conversation at the table. We covered everything from the Flatbush eruv to solving the problems in Israel. One of the topics was having tzedakah collectors come into your simcha. By our wedding, we set up a table for them slightly outside the main hall, and gave $ to the maitre'd to give to collectors. We didn't want our guests hounded. Mrs. LFD made a salt and pepper kugel, one of my favorites, and a carrot kugel that even my fussy kids both ate. We had great chulent and kugel, and Mrs. LFD got to make one of her pastrami-flower topped deli platters. We were all together from different walks of life, enjoying each others company and ideas. Now that's a great Shabbos!
Monday, October 6, 2008
STUMP THE ROV:
Q: If a non-board member klops on the Bimah on Rosh Chodesh to signal Yaaleh Veyavoh, is it considered a good klop or does a board member have to klop again? Similarly, if a board member and non board member klop to signal V’sain Tal Umatar at the same time, does one klop negate the other, and are fines imposed on the unauthorized klopper to be used for the building fund?
A: In both cases, the klop must be repeated. A non-board member may utter the words "Yaleh Veyavoh" aloud when he gets to it in Shemonah Esrai, for a small fee, but klopping is for board members only.
V’sain Tal Umatar is different because you need at least a week to get used to it. Since many more klops will be needed, the addition of a fine for non board klopping may be imposed to keep the unauthorized kloppers from getting carried away with themselves.. Our shul will be adding a small gold plaque on the “Klop Chart” for all those who klop properly. If you would like to sponsor a board members name for the Klop Chart, please send an email to the shul president at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Sunday, October 5, 2008
PS- a thank you to my friend Moshe who provided the picture on a get well card I got 8 years ago after shoulder surgery. The Taco Bell Chihuahua Rebbe has chosen a successor!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I get home from work first. I open the letter and scan it. When the Mrs. Comes home, I ask her if she's been to drop off little-lakewood-falling-down at school while wearing her flip-flops. She doesn't recall one way or the other, so with a grin, I give her the letter. So even with the long sleeves, sheitel and floor sweeper skirts it seems there is a problem. Out of curiosity, I asked my neighbor, Mrs. Gilmour if she got the same letter. If this was a general statement, I'd take it better than a specific letter. Yup. Mrs. Gilmour got one too, and investigated via her friends that also have their daughters in the school. As it turns out, the letter only went to some parents. Like I say, Lakewood is falling down. I will make a point of asking if a woman's ankles are actually considered airvah, and I will follow up with an answer. But it does get better. We went to orientation night and the principal asked the moms not to dress the kids as if they are going to a wedding. School has arts & crafts, she says, so the kids will come home dirty at times (true of any good preschool program). So one mommy (possibly a "Hot Chanie") asks if her daughter can wear a short skirt... I have to give the principal kudos for not rolling her eyes. She gently explained that in school there is davening, parsha, etc.. and that the girls need to learn to dress approriately. I don't know if this mom got a letter home, but hey, she's not as hot as my wife's toes.
Friday, September 19, 2008
68b1 note 12: The shamir cleaves asunder to any hard object it comes in contact with. Asunder: Encarta-into separate parts, pieces, or places
69A1 The Gemarah is listing illnesses, one being blindness. The note translates blindness into heralopia, of which I can find no definition!
69B1 I just love this due the alliteration. Instead of saying an alternate text, the note reads “a variant version of text”.
Have Thesaurus, will travel!
Monday, September 15, 2008
Anyway, I got to thinking about Japanese cars. Do sales drop on Pearl Harbor Day? And just how did the Japanese start making better cars than us? The obvious answer is that we bombed them! Let’s just take a look at history. Bomb the Japanese, get Honda and Toyota. Bomb Korea, get a Kia. Bomb Germany and get Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, and Mercedes-Benz. Now I finally know why we’re at war with Iraq! We need better made Iraqi cars! Now if Mr. Bush could only bomb Detroit…