Thursday, October 30, 2008


In public school, we're not allowed to celebrate holidays in the school, but we are permitted to teach about them if we include all holidays. My principal, who is a very unreadable and weird lady announced on the PA that tomorrow will be "dress up as a storybook character day". On my way out the door, she happened to ask me who I was dressing up as. I looked her straight in the eye and said "Shylock". I also advised my staff to ask the principal if she was dresing up as Ms. Trunchbowl !(Don't worry they're used to my warped sense of humor)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Artscroll phrase

This is a weird Artscroll phrase. Page 20 A3 Abaye says “I am like Ben-Azzai in the market of Tiberius”. Note 33 “Abaye often used to make this declaration when he was in a jocular mood”.
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

Follow up and also, Spiders give me the creeps

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

Lakewood Falling Down?

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

Euphemism for what?

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

What a Difference!

"I can’t imagine a more obscene candy, yet the Cahreidim haven’t banned it yet"- Yes I meant Chariedim. I had a typo, and Gilmour was making fun of me. Poor Gilmour, he had fever all of the last days, and we didn't make it to hang out with Jacob Da Jew. My family + Gilmour and his family went to one shul around the corner from us a night and aside from the insane amount of candy, we had a great time. We went to daven during the day with my brother in law, and the timing and amount of candy was perfect. It's easy to ignore whatever "shenanigans" may have gone on-I didn't know anybody, and I didn't care. There was a seudah in the shul after hakafos, and Mincha after that. My own shul I am told didn't end until 3:30 or so. I don't have it in me to go for so long w/o becoming crazy from claustrophobia. One more thing, kudos to my brother in law who carried his son on his shoulders for a majority of the hakafos. My nephew if quite the character and had a stuffed torah and flag. He was very funny in who got a ceremonial bop (or as we call it in my family a Ka-bong!) as he was paraded around the shul. He has his fathers sense of humor.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Hocker’s Strike Back! (Or Why I Hate Simcahs Torah)

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:
  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. The drinking. This is not Purim, get a life people!
  8. 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

Artscroll fun phrase of the day!

"These words are thus understood to convey an exegetical allusion."
Have thesaurus,will travel!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Artscroll words and phrases of the week

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

Eating with the Lion

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

Yom Ha- Ki-PURIM!

Have you noticed all of the Clopping going on for all of the "Zachreinu L'Lchaims" and other holiday inserts? In that spirit, Lakewood Falling Down presents an excerpt from last years anonymous Purim Newsletter. This was authored by originally by DK.

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 .

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Who's in Charge? (or Mrs. LFD hates fighting)

This post was inspired by Mrs. LFD. This past week, (Parshas Vayelech), when I came home from shul my wife asked me what the Rov spoke about this morning. I said one of the things he spoke about was Moshe choosing a leader for B'nei Yisroel and presenting him to the people. Mrs. LFD was thoughtful and said this is a lesson for anybody who is a "Rebbe". Look at Lubavitch, Bobov and Satmar. Once at least they were respectable (no lashon horah please) coherent sects. Now, they are another news item for any news agency to point out how even the "right wingers and devoutly pious"" fight over power & money. If the past generations of Rebbes would have clearly stated and written down who is suppose to take over, there would be so much less sins chinam, (at least publicly) because the law would be laid down. This is clearly the leson Moshe is teaching us. One of the things that Rashi says is that Moshe told Yehoshua "everything depends on you. If necessary, take a rod and hit them on the head because every generation has one leader, not two." A leader, my Rov said has to be able to be forceful when needed. If Moshe hadn't told us Yehoshua would be our leader, do you think we would have even made it across the Jordan? So from Lakewood Falling down goes out my (our) first Kol Korie! A ban on anyone happy enough to be a leader without the courage to lay out concrete plans for the future.

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

Post Rosh Hashonah

So we've moved into the new year (5769). The stock market crashed, got bailed out (pending the house vote) and life goes on. I really try to have kavanah and daven for a good year for everyone, but It gets hard to concentrate for so long. I'm struck by how fast the Chagim seem to zoom by. I told Mrs. LFD, you know you're old when you know most of Davening for Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur by heart (well a lot of it anyway). There are always some things that bug me about Rosh Hashonah davening. First of all, I may be turning into a grumpy old man because my seat in my shul is right next to the main door, and I can hear the kids running back and forth screaming. I actually got one of the gabboim at one point. The kids, quite creatively strung a bunch of plastic hangars across the coatroom and were having a volley ball game. While entertaining, they were also spiking the ball (laffy taffys) onto the younger kids heads for fun. Call me a kill joy. I also sit right under an air conditioning duct. My shul has the airconditioning set at 66 degrees. When I'm sitting still, and especailly when I'm fasting, which to all intensive purposes I am until 2:00 on Rosh Hashonah, I get cold. I have no desire to come down with a cold before going into Sukkos. Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy. Of course there are the tunes. Now, I like a majority of the tunes my shul uses, but some are downright dirge-like. I looked around the room at one point expecting to see druids in long robes. Who else chants like that? Last on the list of things I don't like are the shul talkers. I actually went over to a pair of them during krias hatorah and said "There is no talking during krias hatorah on Rosh Hashonah or any other time". Of course, the person I was talking to was coincidentally then called up for an aliyah... Oh well, at least I got to have my fish head!