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?