Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Shavuos drawing-drawn with "Paint" on the computer

There was a lot of Obama stuff in the paper this weekend

So, I read the paper over Shabbos. I have yet failed to blog about it.

They were discussing Obama. In one article (Face to Face), the author seemed to think that Obama was on Israel's side because the issue of whether or not Iran will build nuclear weapons. I guess the idea is that if everyone is against Iran together it's better. I suppose that's better than nothing. However, it seems like this is not an ideal situation either, as it doesn't seem like such a stable allyship.

In the other article (Making It Harder To Buy A New Car) that discussed Obama, they were talking about the domestic automobile dealerships. It seems Obama is behind some restructuring that's going on in the auto dealership world. These domestic dealers each closed down a percentage of their dealerships. The funny thing is that the main branch doesn't gain or lose anything with an auto dealership. They are franchises. This will hurt the American auto industry and push more business to the foreign auto dealers. Therefore this will further hurt the economy. They explained in the article that Obama's people pressured the auto companies to do this. Ford didn't receive was GM and Crysler received, so they are not part of this.

Then I opened up the goyishe free paper (Metro, P. 4) and Obama was being criticized there because he wants terrorism suspects in the prison on the US mainland instead of in a prison at the US naval base on Guantanamo bay, Cuba.

On the same page in the goyishe Metro, there was an article about the restructuring at GM. The focus in the Metro's mini article is not on the effect on the dealerships but the fact that they will cut labor costs. I think this means they want to cut labor. I see here they're offering retiree health care insentive... the crown jewel of a bad economy and union job elimations through early retirements. Well, ain't that as American as apple pie?

The flag is from flickr Uploaded on August 11, 2007 by ladybugbkt
The Apple pie is from flickr: Uploaded on November 22, 2007 by hoveringdog

What should Isreal do with all the Russians?


Neeman: I'll appoint dozens of former IDF chaplains to conversion courts

Just to recap: the big issue is that there are alllllllll these patrolineage almost Jews and even some non-Orthodox conversions from overseas who are in Israel. So they aren't in the Arab society. Of course not, they are a part of the Jewish world in Israel. Tiny problem, while they are more Jewish than anything else, they AREN'T Jewish. So, the solution Israel came up with was to hand them conversions that they didn't earn. This is why alllll these other conversions needed to be overturned.

I'm not sure this was the right solution. However, I can't really come up with any good situation. Is it fair that someone who grows up knowing nothing other than Jewish as their religion becomes someone with no religion at all? You hear Jewish people say, what is your mother? You are what your mother is.

However, other religions have other criteria for being a part of it. The Catholic religion requires confirmation. I know someone who she and her husband had to go through confirmation to get married. The various protestant religion each require stuff like this. I think being baptized is also important.

The point is what should Israel do with these people? Is it fair to ask them to become Chareidi? I saw a blog poster suggest that they be given green cards (legal residency) instead of citizenship. I think that would only lead to the same problem we have now.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

FAKE CNN Poll: Don't help the Palestinians make money

There is a poll going around. I've had the link Emailed to me a couple times. They say it's a
CNN poll and Israel is falling behind. Every time people mail it out they say, "we better vote and get Israel ahead." I've heard that we should vote over and over again. Did anyone happen to notice that CNN's logo is not on thee page anywhere? In fact, on the page itself, NOWHERE does it state that the poll is put out by CNN. CNN is not in the web address.

This poll is put out by an individual. It's more or less a blog, like this. Don't you see all those ads by Google put all over the page. Someone said to me, "well it can't hurt to vote." Yes, it can because the maker of the site (no doubt Palestinian) makes money for every click on the site. So, the more you go, the more this person makes money.

This person is laughing the way to the bank... and you helped.

Money photograph upload from flickr. Username Pfala: http://www.flickr.com/photos/21313845@N04/2402698820/sizes/s/

The rabbis don't want women praying?


I know this article is about a year old but, I just found it. Apparently, the real controversy is that WOMEN ARE PRAYING together and they don't want that? Oh, I'm sorry, they are upset with women's prayer groups. To me, that's saying they don't want us praying at all. So, does it reallly say in the Gemara that women are supposed to be hated or are the rabbis that hate women putting it in there?

Do you see in this article that the men are calling women monkeys? I think they probably hate women so much that they figure if they stop the women from praying, G-d will never do anything for the women, creating a cycle where they have an excuse to treat us even worse. These men are completely and totally sexist. G-d help these men.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Christian* friends are asking why I converted to Judaism

The joys and wonders of Facebook that you can find almost anyone with a full name, if it's not too common or with a full name and some information like where they live or went to high school or college.

So, I thought it would make a good blog topic. I also figured that it would save me the trouble of typing an answer over and over. Yes, my journey to Judaism is here on the blog but, it's not so straight to the point and it's not really written for that particular audience.

The Christian background is as follows. I was raised secular Catholic, but a religious Catholic grandmother lived with us. Around fifth or sixth grade, my older sister started going to a youth group at a Weslyan Methodist church in the area. It seems that some friends of hers were going, not that they were religious. I think one of them was forced to go by her parents.

Like many other younger sisters, I wanted to do whatever my older sister did. I wanted to hang out with her. I thought of her as cool by default. After all, she was the older sister. So, I started going to this youth group with my sister.

Incidentally, she did happen to start going when I was having some craving for religion and G-d in my life. So, she caved and I went to youth group with her and her friends. As time passed, she and her friends because to grow bored of the group and their dropped until it didn't exist. However, I continued to go every Friday night. I began making my own friends there and it became my thing, instead of hers. In addition to youth group, I would attend Pioneer girls (a sort Christian girls scouts group) and Sunday morning services. This was my journey to that religion.

Fast forward to a time when I was 20, almost 21 years old on summer break from the Weslyan Methodist college I attended. (Maybe at some point I'll blog the journey into and out fire and brimstone Baptist, but not today.) This is where the removal of that religion came into fruition.

I had been having some doubts but, mostly I put them out of my head. I found conflicts between the "Old" Testament and the "New" Testament. How am I supposed to believe an Eternal G-d could take such a limited form as a human being? I was aware that word used in Isaiah (which supposedly prophesizes the birth coming from a young woman/virgin) translates as young woman, not virgin. How about the big one. G-d can NOT change. If He does not/can not change his mind, what's with the changes made in this "New" Testament? Pastor says we still follow the Old Testament, but then he says I don't have to learn the kosher laws or keep Saturday as the Sabbath.

I found conflicts between the *New* Testament and the *New* Testament. How come there are two different genealogies given for J? How come Friday to Sunday is not really three days and three nights? How am I supposed to believe the Almighty kept this doctrine in tact if the math is wrong? If He didn't keep the doctrine in tact, perhaps this is not the truth.

There were probably even more thoughts that caused me to leave the other religion.

So, I went back to that college for one more semester and the following semester I started attending a state school.

I mentally evaluated what I believed in now that I was shedding my old beliefs. I decided that I didn't have any problems with the "Old" Testament. Somehow I found out that Judaism is from this religion. I knew one Jewish person, a college guy with ADHD that I knew from the ADHD online discussion boards (interesting side note that this was back when the internet was a baby and it was limited to providers like AOL, Prodigy and CompuServe.) So, I emailed him.

However, I didn't convert at that time. From that point until I started my conversion process, if I were asked my religion, I would either say that I didn't have or that my beliefs were Jewish, however, I never converted.

Now, I have converted to Orthodox Judaism. This is what's right for me.

*A note to those reading for this posting. It was difficult to come up with the particular balance for this particular post as to using Xtian vs. Christian and so on. I decided that since this post is written to my friends from college, rather than strangers, I would write this in the manner less offensive to them. Hope that my Jewish readers understand. We wil back to Xtian and Xtianity at the next post.

Monday, May 18, 2009

More EJF vs. RCA...

I just submitted this to: http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/05/ejf-promotes-conversion-for.html

Another point to be made is that not all RCA batai dayanim are in the same classification as what discussed above.

I recognize that they are talking about Rabbi Avi Weiss at one point. This is Orthodox rabbi as close to Conservative, as you can get. He pushes the envelope. What is my point? He is, by far, not representative of the entire Orthodox world.

People like Rabbi Tropper want the world to be black and white. He has made accusations about all RCA rabbis and batai dayanim based on the most controverial rabbi. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if the RCA continues to include this rabbi just to annoy Tropper.

On a more serious note, I'm sure the RCA could nit pick apart the EJF conversions. Actually, I know of a woman who converted through them in about six months. If the RCA ever converted someone in six months, EJF would be on that story like white on rice.

Finally, I'm sure you're curious, as to who I am, what my story is and from where I get some of this information.

I made my giyur through an RCA beis din just before Rosh HaShanah. At my first meeting with this beis din, I was grilled by about ten gray bearded rabbis (maybe one didn't have a beard or the beard was salt and pepper-you get the idea, though.) At the second meeting, I was grilled by about six rabbis. I had two rabbis speaking on my behalf.

I haven't celebrated Xmas or Easter in about ten years. I have not worn pants since October of 2007. I do not wear low cut or elbow-revealing shirts. I have not had a TV in over two years. I would say that my good friends don't have a TVs. Most of these friends are kollel wives. I am shomer negiah. As you can postulate, I'm not the example of an RCA convert they would like to hear about in order to rip RCA apart.

I am knowledgeable about what is being done in conversions, as I have a Yahoo discussion group. I have 40 women who are either converting or have converted. I am a member of another Yahoo group with sixty something members and I used to be a member or a large group that promotes EJF conversions. Additionally, I have spoken to conversion candidates not included above. I would say that I have spoken to about seventy converts or candidates or more.
*Photo from flickr: Uploaded on August 30, 2008 by zeevveez

Rebuttal to blog post regarding conversion

I'm about to submit this to the comments for this page I found (I don't know what will happen after I submit it. Perhaps, they will find me too controversial and refuse to post it: http://www.canonist.com/?p=763

I don't think it's true that anyone in the Orthodox world has uniform standards. What I find (from speaking to a number of converts and those in the process) is that standards are lower if you have some patrolineage, Jewish spouse/ significant other/previous non-Orthodox conversion. This is true whether you are in Israel or the US whether you deal with an EJF beis din or an RCA beis din.

I think it's pretty disrespectful and presumptious of EJF to state that their conversions are somehow better than RCA conversions. Furthermore, if they are an organization set up to deal with intermarrieds, how come they are consistently dealing with single people?

Finally, it's interesting that EJF should state that you can't "revoke" a conversion when they are the ones famous in the conversion world for "revoking" a woman's conversion because she wore pants. I will, however, agree that I've seen some poorly done conversions. Although, I have seen this from both EJF conversions and RCA conversions.

*Photo from flickr: Uploaded on August 30, 2008 by zeevveez

Saturday, May 16, 2009

One of a kind photo

I bet you've never seen anything like this!

Apparently, the Israelis were trying to vote in the Palestinian election. It looks like the girl at the table is having trouble keeping a straight face. I can't look at this picture without laughing.

Nu, you wanted a Kosher Computer?

NU , you wanted a Kosher Computer..
I don't know if you know this but they are now selling Kosher computers (Made in Israel) called DELLSHALOM. It is selling at such a good price that I bought one. Mine arrived yesterday.

If you or a friend are considering a kosher computer, you should know that there are some important upgrades and changes from the typical computer you are used to, such as:

The cursor moves from right to left.

It comes with two hard drives--one for fleyshedik business software and one for milchedik games.

Instead of getting a "General Protection Fault" error, my PC now gets "Ferklempt."

The Chanukah screen savers include "Flying Dreidels"

The PC also shuts down automatically at sundown on Friday evenings.

After my computer dies, I have to dispose of it within 24 hours.The "Start" button has been replaced with "Let's go!! I'm not getting any younger!" button.

When disconnecting external devices from the back of my PC, I am instructed to "Remove the cable from the PC's tuchus".

The multimedia player has been renamed to "Nu, so play my music already!".

Internet Explorer has a spinning "Star of David" in the upper right corner.

I hear "Hava Nagila" during startup. Microsoft Office now includes "A little byte of this, and a little byte of that."

When running "scandisk", it prompts with a "You want I should fix this?" message.

When my PC is working too hard, I occasionally hear a loud "Oy Gevalt"

There is a "monitor cleaning solution" from Manischewitz that Advertises that it gets rid of the "schmutz und drek" on your monitor.

After 20 minutes of no activity, my PC goes "Schloffen."

Computer viruses can now be cured with some matzo ball chicken soup.

The Y2K problem has been replaced by "Year 5761-5762" issues.

If you decide not to shut down the computer in the prescribed manner, the following message appears: "You should be ashamed of yourself."

When Spellcheck finds an error it prompts "Is this the best you can do?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Pope Is A Dope

Inspired by this blog post and comments:

So, I was reading my friend's blog and this guy comments about how the Jews weren't so nice to the pope when he came to Israel. He says we're the laughing stock on the Catholic blogs. One of the Catholic blog posts is here: http://blog.catholic-convert.com/?p=4103

This is just more outrageous stirring of anti-semitism. For starters, the Pope has been encouraging Catholics to pray for the conversion of Jews to Catholicism.Just google: conversion Judaism without quote and look at the recent articles.

The pope did not come to Israel on a friendly mission to the Jews. First, he wanted to protest a museum display. The display was in regards to someone's anguish that they felt the world, including the Catholics and their leader, was kicking the Jews when they were down during the Shoah.

Furthermore, it seems like the pope came on a friendly mission to the Arabs, not the Jews. If one considers that the Palestinians are a threat to the Jewish state of Israel, it seems to make perfect sense that we may not be overly welcoming to the Pope in these circumstances. In the picture above, you see where the pope's loyalties lie. That is the Palestinians army, not the Israeli one.

I feel the need to remind people that the Arabs spent several months firing Qassams missiles into Israel. While Hamas did announce an immediate ceasefire back in January, there were quite a few missiles that did make come into Israel proper. An average of almost 9 rockets per day were fired at Israel in 2008. Many schools were hit. Israeli children were injured. Where was this in the news?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In the goyish world, children are the future

I don't know what they think in the Jewish world. It seems to me like they expect men in kollel to be the future and they are the only ones who count in the Jewish world sometimes. At least, they are always trying to pressure people into sending their money there.

Yet here I am reading in the Yated, a teacher who hasn't been paid since February wrote in to ask the public to reallocate their charity spending to the Yeshivas and Beis Yaakovs.

Don't get me wrong. I've heard about this phenomenon before. I hear all time about how most of the schools don't pay on time. For those who read the post I put up before: Frustrated in Far Rockaway, a woman is frustrated that single teachers get engaged to Lakewood guys and get married mid-school year leaving their students in the dust with a sign, "Lakewood or bust!" This woman was concerned it's disruptive to the students psychologically for them to have so many teachers leave like this.

I had intended to post a follow up preposition. Why not have teachers sign a contract that they will stay for the full school year, with penalty of a fine taken out of their final pay check if they don't complete the year. Well, now you can see this is not exactly very threatening when they've become accustomed to working on a volunteer basis.

Now, I am not a teacher. I don't have kids and I'm not even married. Perhaps, I am no one to comment on this. I can't help but think that the children, not the adults, should be considered our future. This is why they pay public school teachers more. They figure they will pay them more to attract better teachers. This in turn is supposed to help the children.

Additionally, one might consider that most of these teachers are supporting kollel husbands on this measly pay that they don't even get paid. So, these yeshiva bochurim that we place above our children are being punished by this, as well.

Oh, Bomb us, is helping his people that he claims are not his people


I'm disgusted with all this pity on the "Palestinians." Now our government is giving them assistance and considering them victims. Have our senators gone mad? Shouldn't they know better after NINE-ELEVEN? Shouldn't they realize that the Arabs are not our friends. Look at their track record. I guess the rest of the world just misses the fact that they were relentlessly sending Qassams, which are rockets, into Israel.

It seems to have been forgotten that Israel owns the land, not the persons from Gaza. The land was owned by Britain and they allowed Israel to be settled by the Jewish people. At some point, Israel sectioned that part of their country off for the people who had previously had the nation. However, this is not good enough.

Hat tip to someone named Zev Isaacs to sending this to the Yated "Readers write" section (p.126)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A little late... Happy belated Lag B'Omer

Yes, I actually drew that myself in Paint. It's not from the internet. Please don't copy, either.

Frumster's more modern than I suspected

I finally had my first chat on Frumster.com, which I joined a couple weeks ago. While I was in the chat with the man. I started hitting all the buttons. There's buttons for playing games on the computer with the man I was chatting with. There's a button to call some 1-800 number and talk to the guy on the phone without exchanging phone numbers (ok, maybe that could have it's advantages for those who don't type so fast.)

Also, while not a modern/not modern thing that organ music is interesting. I'm not sure if I love it or hate it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Leaving their students in the dust, with a sign "Lakewood or bust!"

From the Yated: Frustrated in Far Rockaway.. "readers write" section on Page 6 and 116:

A woman writes in because she is seeing that unmarried teachers find their bashert and leave in the middle of the school year. I agree. I, myself, know of a situation where a girl got married and left in the middle of the school year. It seems that these girls are always marrying boys from Lakewood.

The solution that Frustrated in Far Rockaway sees is for the chosson to learn in her area until the school year ends and then go back to Lakewood. I would like to add another possiblity. Perhaps, they can postpone marriage until the end of the year.

I've already blogged about how I feel about kollel.

Frustrated in Far Rockaway, I applaud you for saying that children matter more than learning adults. Adults should be able to adapt without disrupting children's lives, not the other way around. I like another thing this woman says. She points out the friends and distractions in kollel. I'm so happy that someone besides me realizes that maybe these men are socializing sometimes rather that really sitting and learning ALLLLLLLLLL day.

This woman hopes that the rabbis would realize how disruptive this is for the kallahs students and begin to speak against it. As you can see, I agree with her wholeheartedly.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My process story.... Year one and four months...

I promised some readers of Frum Satire... many moons ago my story of my process. The story up until I started the process is on here. However, the actual process story is not.

When I started actually studying Judaism was on the 26 of Elul of 5765 (2006). I had been thinking about converting and I had prayed about it. This was the date when I started working for this Jewish guy. As I was using his kitchen, I learned how to function in a kosher kitchen. I learned some other things like meat and dairy are not eaten together and ham/pig is never eaten. I couldn't get enough. I asked this boss to tell me more but, all he said was that I could google it. So, I did.

I found JEWFAQ.org and NJOP.org. I started reading about Judaism on the internet. About a month later, I contacted NJOP and told them I wanted to start learning Hebrew. The rabbi that responded gave me three books to read. He said that when I finished reading them, if I still wanted to convert, to contact him again and he would give me contact information for a sponsor and let me in enroll in Hebrew classes.

I read these three books ("To Be A Jew," "Becoming A Jew," and "This Is My G-d") and started to look into moving to a Jewish neighborhood. This rabbi was available to answer some questions during this "preconversion" phase. For example, he referred me to the beginner's service at Lincoln Square Synagogue. I attended there until I moved to a Jewish neighborhood.

So, I was very excited when I found my apartment in a Jewish neighborhood. I called around to find my first rabbi before I even moved in. Finally, I had a rabbi so I was actually in the process. He gave me some assignments and I finished them dutifully. I wrote a paper on this and a paper on that. He assigned more. I wrote more. Eventually, I started writing papers he didn't ask for and Emailing them to him. He was doing that thing where he never scheduled meetings with me or he made me wait for an hour and then he left, "oops, sorry, I have to go."

As the year with this rabbi progressed, he actually blew me off more and more. I thought, shouldn't he be seeing that I follow through and shouldn't it mean something?" Eventually, I had rabbis coming to me asking, "what is going on with your process?" I had to tell them, "I really don't know." They wanted to know, "what do you still have to study?" "Ummm.. I'm not sure." "What feedback does your rabbi give you?" "Umm... he really just kinda says hello, how are you and I have to go."

So, various rabbis were telling me to change rabbis. I wasn't sure about this because I thought it would hurt me in the end.

When I had major issues with almost every woman in the shul trying to set me up with horrible men and while I was still in the process, no less, I decided it was time to change rabbis AND SHULS. There was a shul I had been eyeing, anyway. It was closer to where I live. I would see it on the way to and from shul.

While I was looking to change rabbis between this first and second rabbi, I found a shul by my work that was accepting of women coming in the morning. I started going to Shacharis before work.

We'll pause here... and continue another day.