Monday, December 27, 2010

Winter Weather Washes Away East Coast

As the song goes, "the weather outside is frightful..." Well, I don't have a fire to delight me, but I think that most of my readers have spent the day indoors hiding from the cold, as I have. Though, perhaps they've been outside playing in the snow. Yesterday, I finished off my half gallon of milk having some hot chocolate and cookies. Now, I'm out of milk and so I'm drinking tea and munching on a nice turkey and fake cheese sandwich. I just don't want to go out to the store, though I really want to make chicken soup and I lack carrots and celery.

So, I was reading about the weather on VIN. It seems, according to the VIN article, that we only had about 24 inches of snow. I can't believe, I'm such a baby and I'm staying inside, for TWO MEASLY FEET OF SNOW. You have to understand, I'm from Buffalo. During the "Storm Of The Century that took place in November of 2000, they had predicted 2 to 4 inches of snow-nothing by Buffalo standards. People made the joke that when they said 2 to 4 inches, they made a mistake and that instead it was 2 to 4 feet. It was actually about 2 to 4 inches an hour combined with high winds, lightning, rush hour traffic and idiots who should know how to drive in it (all Buffalonians should), but they didn't. Since some of these idiots were bus drivers, many buses went sideways blocking the roads.

I had been working at the time at a customer service call center. A small number of us stayed in a hotel that night and actually went back to work the next day. They turned off the phones and put on a recording that we were closed because of the weather. We didn't have enough staff to handle incoming calls but we returned calls, instead. One woman I had been dealing with the previous day, I called her back and she said she had just called and gotten the recording that we were closed. I had to explain it to her. She was thrilled she happened to be on the desk of someone that was working that day. The buses weren't runing and I couldn't get home (I didn't have a car then for some reason) so, I ended up staying with a co-worker and her family. I used a barbie sweater maker with one her daughters.

Hmmm.... it's funny how a casual acquaintance was so welcoming.... Often Jews act like they are the only ones, but this non-Jewish co-worker extended hospitality that I haven't really seen from most Jews.

SWF, 41 hasn't given up like I have

I came across this article online about a woman named Tamar. She was desperate to have somewhere to go on Shabbos. She wanted a family to make her a weekly fixture at their Shabbos table.

NO ONE replied.

I take that back. A man replied. The article doesn't really say why she turned the man down after spending 45 minutes on the phone with him.

I've seen many single women who are BTs and converts pushing their way into a family they borrow on Shabbos or Yontiff. I tried to find a family of my own like that but, too many times did I see others who weren't really welcome to intrude upon the family they think has adopted them. One woman says to me about another convert that frequented her Shabbos table, "she thinks she's a part of our family..." Yet another convert gleefully told me about a month post-conversion that she figures one of the families she goes to for meals will find her a man. Little did she know the family she mainly went to thought she was about twenty years older than I am and she's actually younger. I don't know what happened with that, perhaps she did find someone through them or another family that had her to their Shabbos table.

Seeing all of this, I thought to myself, if this is what they are sharing about another convert, what do they think of these other converts that they aren't slipping up and telling me? I can only imagine! Furthermore, as an intelligent women, I drew conclusions about what they would be saying about me and even more so about what they don't EVEN say about me but that they think. I know husbands and wives sit around and talk about their Shabbos guests they don't like after they leave. They will deny it, too.

So, I commented on this article and explained to the woman that no one is going to "adopt" her, as she wants. People feel like it's on us single women to find someone. The problem with that is that most men aren't really trying to get married. So, who are we supposed to marry?


The following article was published in the Jewish Press in March and it's written by my friend, Rachel  Sommer.

By Rachel Sommer
Posted Mar 03 2010

Recently, I traveled to Israel with a group of college students. We were taken to visit the West Bank, including Hebron. While Jews make up only 20% of the population, (the other 80% are Muslims) we were reassured that Jews still manage to live full-fledged lives in Hebron.

When walking into Me'arat Hamachpela, I felt a chill run down my spine. This was where our forefathers are buried, where Judaism began! As we entered the cave we felt the holiness in the air, and praying there was a one in a million kind of feeling.

Hebron is the oldest Jewish city. It was here that a Jew first purchased real estate, when Avraham bought a piece of land to bury Sarah. Here was where our founders are buried; Avraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah and Adam and Eve as well. Hebron was King David's first capital city, until he moved to Jerusalem.

Hebron, located south of Jerusalem, has been the capital of the area since ancient times; there roads connect - east, west, north and south until Yemen. The name Hebron comes from the Hebrew word chibbur, meaning connection: the connection of the Jews to their ancient fathers and mothers.


By the Second Temple era, Hebron had been settled by Jews, and King Herod erected a huge building over the cave in a similar style to the Wailing Wall. The Machpela cave is the only public building in the world which has been active for 2,000 years! Over the years, one occupier followed another, and Jews suffered humiliation, pogroms, and explosions. The Romans sold tens of thousands Jews as slaves near Hebron. The Byzantines modified the cave and turned the left wing into a church; the Arabs imitated the Jews by transforming it to their holy place. The Mumlucks built towers on Mearat Hamachpela, turned it to a Muslim shrine, and prohibited Jews from coming closer than the seventh stair leading to the graves.

Jews have never stopped coming to Hebron whether as pilgrims or by coming to settle there - including famous Jews like the Rambam, Benjamin of Tudella, the Ramban, and the philanthropist Moshe Montefiore. To help the visitors there were those who carried the title "member of the patriarchs'graves" - their duty was to escort Jews who came to visit and pray at the cave.

When the Turkish Empire took over in 1517, many Jews were killed during pogroms while others were expelled. However, the Jewish community soon re-established itself and many Sephardic Jews arrived expanding the community. A large plot of land was purchased to establish the "Ghetto" and the Avraham Avinu Synagogue was erected. The first aliya of Chasidim to Hebron was in 1748. The Jewish population expanded slowly and in 1807 the community in Hebron purchased land in two locations; one is which is now called the market and the second called Tel Hebron. This purchase of land was signed and agreed to by the Waqf, the head of the Muslims. Most of Hebron's income in those days came via donations from abroad which were collected by shelichim (envoys).

In 1819, representatives of the Lubavticher community came to Hebron building the first Chabad community in Israel. In 1840, a second wave of Lubavitch Chasidim moved to Hebron, along with the famous Rabbi Slonim and his family. Thanks to his influence, an agreement of cooperation was signed between the Sephardic and Ashkenazi communities; they organized and maintained many public institutions. However, life was not easy, the Jewish community suffered from oppression and robbery from the neighboring Arab sheikhs, who blackmailed them and demanded money.

Slowly, Hebron began to develop. In 1907 a bank was opened in the city and wealthy Jews built new homes outside the "Ghetto" walls. Hadassah opened its first clinic in Hebron housed in the same building as the Lubavticher yeshiva Torat Emet - Chaim Israel Romano, a wealthy Turkish Jew, had purchased the building. The Jewish community grew to 1,500 (among 8,000 other residents).

World War I brought with it devastation. Many Jewish institutions were forced to shut down. It would be under the British Mandate that conditions would improve. As a matter of fact it was a day of celebration when the Kneset Yisrael relocated from Slobodka, Lithuania bringing 200 students and roshei yeshiva.

For generations, Hebron's Jewish population had good relations with their Arab neighbors, who benefited from the development of the city. All this was to change, however, when the British appointed Amin al-Husayni, a nationalist Palestinian Arab, as grand Mufti of Jerusalem in 1921.

Mohammad Amin al-Husayni was born into a wealthy Jew-hating family. Frustrated when his program to establish an Arab state that would include Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel failed, he concentrated on leading a violent campaign against the Jews and Zionism.

His appointment as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem put him in charge of all the Waqkf's funds, and he regarded himself as the guardian of all Muslim holy places in the Holy Land.

He called for a jihad against the Jews and all of his speeches were filled with violence and rhetoric. In August 1929, the Arabs publicly announced that they were preparing to slaughter all the Jews, and were waiting to get the order from the Grand Mufti.

While researching Hebron massacre I came across Hebron: Rebirth from Ruins, 80 years after the 1929 massacre, Hebron Lives! by Dr. Michal Rachel Suissa. The following descriptions are based on the book:

On Friday August 23, 1929, a yeshiva student was stabbed to death on the streets of Jerusalem. The same day a group of Arabs coming out from prayers at their Mosque marched in the streets of Hebron, shouting "Itbach al yahud!" (slaughter the Jews) and "Allahu akbar" (G-d is great). Throughout the day false rumors were spread that in Jerusalem, the Jews had killed thousands of Muslims, encouraging local Arabs to take revenge. The rabbi of Hebron went to the local commissioner, Abed Allah Kardus, to discuss the situation; the commissioner assured the rabbi that the Jews were secure.

Thousands of Muslims joined the mob in Hebron saying the order came from a-Husayni to kill the Jews. The mob broke into the Slobodka Yeshiva, and found only one student there, Shmuel Rosenholtz. They stabbed and stoned him; his blood spilled over the pages of his Gemarah. The British Commander, Major Raymond Cafferata, yelled at the frightened Jews who came to the station asking for protection; he ordered them to lock themselves up in their houses.

The next day, Sabbath morning, a huge mob of Arabs gathered on the streets, carrying with them knives, hatches and pitchforks. They broke into one house after another, raped girls along with mothers and grandmothers, torturing to death whomever they found. Men were castrated, women's breasts were cut off, eyes were gouged out, and guts were torn out of bellies. Many of the Arabs were the victims' neighbors and friends. The massacre took several hours.

Some heroic Arabs however put their lives in jeopardy by hiding Jews in their basements, thereby saving their lives. However, several Arab policemen participated in the massacre as the British watched. After the massacre the police gathered the wounded in the police station, leaving them without medical care. Two Jewish doctors did all they could to help, but combined there were 63 dead and 80 Torah scrolls burned.

Jerusalem's British governor did all he could to cover up the massacre - he even prohibited the Jewish newspapers from reporting on it. However, HaRav Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook, the chief rabbi, sent telegrams all over the world with the details.

As the British media began putting on pressure for investigation, the High British Commissioner, John Chancellor made a statement saying that those who were responsible for the massacre would be severely punished. He appointed a medical committee which exhumed 30 bodies and examined them. Their conclusion was that there was no evidence of torture, even though there were limbs severed and faces destroyed.

The British Colonial Office accepted testimony from Arabs and the British Police Chief, Cafferata, along with the Governor Abdalla Kardush, but refused to allow any Jews to attend. The leaders of the mob were put on trial, but most did not get any punishment.

In 1931, a group of families was able to return to Hebron. They worked hard to reestablish their community without any financial support. However, 1936 saw more Arab riots and the British forcefully drove the Jews out of the city. The Arabs looted and took over all Jewish properties.

The Jordanian army occupied the West Bank in 1948, and worked hard to root out all evidence of Jewish life. The Avraham Avinu synagogue was turned into a pen for sheep; a market replaced the Jewish quarter. The Jewish cemetery was destroyed as well. Beit Haddasah became an Arab school. For decades, Hebron, like the Western Wall and the Tomb of Rachel, was a place that Jews could only yearn for and dream about.

During the 1967 war Israel won an extraordinary victory. The old city of Jerusalem was freed, as well as the West Bank, including Hebron. When the Israeli forces arrived in the city the Arab residents surrendered, without a single shot being fired. Rabbi Shlomo Goren, the chief rabbi of the IDF, hoisted an Israeli flag on top of the Mearat Hamachpela. The next day when Ben-Gurion visited the cave, he announced, "Hebron is Jerusalem's sister" and urged Jews to return and build Hebron.

In 1968, Rabbi Moshe Levinger and Rabbi Eliezer Waldman led a group of Jews to settle in Hebron. Although times were hard, the settlers felt they were fulfilling a dream that had existed for generations. Slowly, the Jewish community grew and in 1969 the Israeli government decided to establish a Jewish town close to Mearat Hamachpela, named Kiryat Arba. The plan was to build a Jewish city, and the surrounding hills were reserved for that purpose. But soon the Arabs covered the hills with illegal construction to block the development of the city. However, by 2008, Hebron's Jewish population was over 7,000, and it had become an active regional center.

In 1997, under pressure from President Clinton, Prime Minister Netanyahu handed over 85% of Hebron to the Palestinians. The Jewish residents have become easy targets for Arab snipers who live on hills surrounding them. The Jews have limitations on where they can build, while the Arabs embark on a massive wave of constructions. In addition, Israeli left wing organizations like Peace Now, very often join together with Arab activists to try to obliterate the Jewish community.

With all that, the Hebron community is a reflection of the Zionist activity and achievement. It is an ancient community that has been driven out more than once, and always returned. Hebron is the root by which the Jewish nation stands.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Be nice to bicycle riders

I just read this piece on VIN and I want to take a minute to complain about people who run bicyclists off the road.

I forgot to copy my comment I submitted but I'll go back later and get it for the blog. I'm sure it will be fine.

Jaffa/Tel Aviv incident from VIN

I'm inside cuddled up in a blanket thanks to this cold weather so I thought I would blog a little and I see this interesting story on VIN. It seems some Arabs, including an IDF veteran were chased out of a Jewish neighborhood in Tel Aviv. The comments were back and forth. I summed them up and asked a question. I've pasted my comment below.

On the one hand, Arabs have been harassing Jews.

On the other hand, they were in the IDF so they are a different kind of Arab. They are the Arab that is part of a peace solution not a hate solution.
On the other hand, why did they have to get an apartment in a Jewish area? It says they were working in Jaffa, doesn't Jaffa have neighborhoods of each? I saw the indie film, "Jaffa" and in the movie there were neighborhoods of both. The people I was with said Jaffa is really just like that.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A little more venting about dating....

So, something I was thinking about when I was thinking about the demands men make on women to wear heels and make up on dates was the unwillingness of the male gender to pay for the date. Men gripe and piss and moan that they can't afford date after date in hopes of finding their missing rib. I wonder if the same men are men that expect their dates to layer the crap on their face and put their feet in the shoes that shove their entire foot forward into a tiny space that squeezes and crushes the bones. I told one of my friends I don't know how women can wear those things and she said that they wear inserts to make their feet feel good. I wasn't aware that shoe inserts could reverse gravity. 

It's funny how the same men who complain about how they can't find anyone and they only end up dating these horrible women can't see their own flaws. Women who are overly concerned about their external appearance only have externals. Generally women who are quality inside aren't sitting in front of a mirror talking about how pretty they are. Furthermore, these women feel a certain entitlement, and why shouldn't they? They spent so much time on their appearance it's like a job, therefore they expect you to spend money on them. They aren't investing their time and money on make up and such for nothing. They expect a return on their investment, gosh d darndit!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Poll on dating....

Hey what do you guys think?

If a guy keeps talking about wanting to go out for drinks while the girl repeatedly says she wants an afternoon date at starbucks, what's up? Is he lying about wanting marriage? How about if a guy is talking about sex on the phone? What if a guy is talking about "will you wear high heels for me"?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A little something I hate about dates

As everyone is alway pressuring me to "try harder to get married," I was thinking about what it is that bugs me so much about "trying to get married" and dating, especially dating in the Jewish community and I realized what it is. On the rare occasions that I've had a date, they feel like an interrogation. I don't sit there and ask personal questions but, the guys always seem to want to ask very personal stuff like why I converted. It's funny how they want to know personal stuff about me but they are unwilling to share anything about themselves. Do they think that spending a couple bucks on food for me really entitles them to know all my business? Am I the only one who thinks this?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Corrupt FFB world

This post began as a response to a commenter on Aztec Queen's guest post.

Personally, I always heard that the Jewish People are supposed to be "the priests unto the nations." Yet, instead Jews have this callous attitude that who cares what they think of us, they're goyim. I also heard that one of our scholar summarized the Torah on one foot as, treat people the way you would want to be treated, "the rest is commentary. Go and learn."

If the Torah's main point is to treat people the way they want to be treated, and our men are expected to be coddled by not having to work under the GUISES of Torah study full time, why is it we have become a generation of thieves and swindlers? When you ask people who've gone BT and gone back off the derech why, they say that the people were clanish and they didn't find a place in the world. Yet the FFBs are always complaining about all the intermarriage or all the people who aren't Orthodox. Why SHOULD anyone not raised Orthodox want to PUSH themselves into a "club" that doesn't want them?

Anonymous commenter says since us women don't learn Torah, we don't understand. Why don't you explain to me? Wait, before you do, I want to ask you to admit that men hate women and the line about women having greater binah is just lip service. If we are exempt from most of the Jewish religion on the basis of being naturally closer to G-d, then why is it that we know nothing?

That, I suppose, though is a side issue. Why is it that those who are supposed to be the most religious don't follow the Torah and then claim that we don't know what the Torah is. WHERE does the Torah say to lie cheat and steal? The people on the right point their finger at the Modern Orthodox and say we're not observant. I argue that the Modern Orthodox ARE the only observant ones. STEALING IS ASSUR D'ORAISA! Yet, who is speaking out othere than bloggers like myself, Harry Maryles and occasionally Heshy Fried?

The LOR's keep spitting out these trite feel good sermon's as their weekly "musar." Then again, it's their rebbes who are doing these things. I would like to see more members of the community challenging others for change. Like Georgie said that real Jews stick together. It's crap. FFBs stick together. I wonder when was the last time Georgie welcomed BTs and converts into her home for a Shabbos meal and made them feel welcomed. I wonder if she's like the vast majority of the community who makes sure we know we're not welcome.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Guest Post: Laughing so I Don’t Cry

Guest Post: Laughing so I Don’t Cry by AztecQueen 2000

Recently, my DH asked me why it is that I spend so much time thinking about the man-bites-dog images in our papers of rabbis, frum people, accused of horrible financial crimes. Or why did I HAVE to show him the YouTube video of that “nice” young frum couple making fools of themselves on the People’s Court. Why am I seeing so much of the bad side of the frum community, and making it into a big joke?

In a word: Disillusionment.

When I was still young, impressionable, and attending Torah shiurim in an attempt to become frum, I heard a rebbetzin say over and over again, “Torah study is like no other. If you study trigonometry, you don’t become a triangle. If you study literature, you don’t become a book. But, if you study Torah, you become a Torah person.” I really took that message to heart. Torah study makes one into a better person, a living embodiment of Hashem’s will. Someone who can be honest, care about their fellow man, and live a life devoted to mitzvos.

Some five years later, I am having an increasingly difficult time justifying that stance. When the Kolko story broke several years ago, I chalked it up to an anomaly. Now, between Kolko, Tropper, the Deal rabbis, Balkany, the Spinka rebbe, the show of force for Grossman, and Rubashkin, I’m not so sure. Additonally, I’m surrounded by all the little “reminders”: those who would cry “anti-Semitism” because they got a ticket for blocking a fire hydrant during Mincha. The shopkeepers who will charge lower prices to well-known customers than to strangers. The shaitel-clad ladies pushing new designer strollers into a WIC office. And, as a bit of a cherry on top of this scandalous sundae, my chavrusa’s reaction to the 19-year-old Flatbush girl who ran over a Chinese delivery man because she was too busy texting to control her car. “Oh, he’s only a Chinese. This poor girl’s life is ruined.” Really? He’s dead, and she’ll probably get a year in jail at the most. I’d say the poor delivery guy got the shorter end of that deal.

There are two responses one can have to this level of scandal in such a short time. For a prophet, the answer is a piercing cry of “EICHA!” “How?” How is it that people who are learned in the Torah can commit crimes that even the non-frum world considers immoral? Many of these crimes were committed by rabbis! These are, by and large, not some am haaratzim that dropped out of yeshiva in the tenth grade. These are revered men, community leaders, men who have received a semicha and devoted their entire lives to learning every nuance of the Torah. How can they commit these crimes? And how can we, as a community, stand by in silence? How can we make excuses? How can we blame the secular world for catching on and making them pay?

But I’m no prophet. I’m not on the spiritual level of Yermiyahu; I’m not very learned, and nobody would listen to me anyway. So I take the fool’s way out. Like the comedian who makes jokes to hide his depression, I laugh so that I don’t have to cry.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sheisty Sheitel Saga: Geogie Is Upset With The Jewish Community

Georgie spoke out and at about 5 mins into this video on VIN's update post, she criticizes the community for not sticking together. The video is boring and there are holes in it. She said she had to custum make a wig in less than 24 hours because the "poor girl had nothing to wear." Oh the DRAMA, spare me! She could wear a tichel into the office so  obviously she could leave the house in it. Most of the commenters over on VIN are asking why she couldn't wear the fall she had.

Personally, I know that hair from a wig would look like the wig in question if it went through a machine EXCEPT for fo the fact that the hair was coming out of the cap of the wig BIG time. So, let me explain what I, a non-sheitel wearer bases this on. I have forgotten to buy conditioner before and times that I have I have washed my hair anyway, with only shampoo, in the summer, I NEVER dry my hair, I let it dry. So, if I didn't use conditioner and went to bed with a wet head, I could wake up and my hair be fine since I don't always toss and turn in my sleep or I could wake up and my hair would be pretty tangled. Like Judge Millian said, "this is human hair, it's supposed to behave like human hair."  I have been able to painstakenly unknot my hair, too.

The biggest problem is that the more you hear, the more it doesn't make sense. The cover-ups that they try to pass off as "explanations" aren't matching up. Was the phone forwarded to Sylvia or Georgi in France?

My final verdict is that the wig should have been fixable. I agree it wasn't, but it wasn't fixable because the weave came out and you can see the whole top of the head has come out. A washing machine is not that rough that a custom made sheitel should fall apart like that. I base that on how, according to wikipedia, a custom wig is made and the fact that your clothes would fall apart if a machine was that rough. The hairs are supposed to be knotted into the cap. Also, according to the wikipedia article, they are single knotted at the edge and double (more secure) knotted everywhere else. The hair was coming out from the top of the scalp of the wig. That doesn't make sense. The more I think about it, the more I'm starting to think that the hairs must have been glued in to the scalp, which would make it a VERY cheap wig.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Judge Millian Is Not An Anti-semite

Besides for the fact that her husband is Jewish, here is additional proof (another amusing case with a Jew but this time it's the other guy who gets it from the judge.)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Sheisty Sheitel Saga Drags on....

So, supposedly some rabbi from VIN talked to both Georgie's and the couple. Then he wrote this up to make lame excuses for them. As usual, several people jumped in and said, "I knew they were innocent."

I found three comments where people proported legal knowledge while making asisine statements. This is the reply I submitted. I really wanna hear from more women who wear a sheitel.

If you look at the video when the judge is showing the damage right before she gives it to them. She says about how the weave is coming out. You can see the weave. That is NOT a custom sheitel. That's a weave that's sewn in to the wig. $3k sheitels are not made like that. All you have to do is look at the Wikipedia article on wigs to know that. It's called a weft.

Re: Comments 154, 183, 202

It's criminal or civil. If it's Civil law, then it's common law or Statutory. NYS supreme court is just the lowest court in NYS. "Supreme or civil" is wrong. I don't have a law degree but I did take business law last spring. This is like stuff we did the first week, like law 101 stuff. There's no way someone has a law degree and doesn't know this. NYS uses both common and statutory. Common means that we go by precedance of other cases (Stare decisis). Statutory means a law (statutes) was passed through state or federal senate.
As for "Dan leKaf z’chus” – judging someone favorably until they are proven to be guilty, when are frummies going to start judging converts favorably?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Wigtastik People's Court Episode

Well, this is on some other Jewish blog already, but I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and post this People's Court episode. Also, I point out to Chaim1, she's wearing nail polish. I guess she's not observant.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Michaltastik Food Corner

I really like the advice that the nutritionist gives. A lot of these things are what I go by. Rather than an all or nothing approach, I try to bulk up on healthier choices and limit my bad choices. I've cut back on cookies and nearly eliminated pizza. I'm cutting back on grains because I've noticed they are a pretty high calorie count and I don't even feel like they taste that great. I'm quieting my sweet tooth with fruits, sweeten vegetables (butternut squash with brown sugar on top and even tea (with two spoons of sugar instead of 6 that I used to add). Those are better choices than cookies. When I do eat cookies, I take 2 or 3 out of the package and then put the package away.

I also like her advice to cook ahead of time and freeze items. I usually cook on Sundays. I also make frozen veggies when I'm tired. You just plop them in a pot of water and boil them. If you scrub your potatos ahead of time you can make a real meal pretty easily. Boil veggies. Put a potato in a pan of water an cover and put in oven. Put a piece of chicken in the oven, maybe with some water in the bottom-not covered, for an extra yummy chicken sprinkle chopped nuts from the processor on the chicken. an you have a meal in an hour at 400 or hour and a half at 375.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turning Down Unwanted Advances From Yucky and Dirty Old Men

Hat tip to my friend Rivky who hat tipped her friend Liz for this:

HE: Can I buy you a drink?

SHE: Actually I'd rather have the money.

HE: Hi. Didn't we go on a date once? Or was it twice?

SHE: Must've been once. I never make the same mistake twice.

HE: How did you get to be so beautiful?

...SHE: I must've been given your share.

HE: Will you go out with me this Saturday?

SHE: Sorry. I'm having a headache this weekend.

HE: Your face must turn a few heads.

SHE: And your face must turn a few stomachs.

HE: Go on, don't be shy. Ask me out.

SHE: Okay, get out.

HE: I think I could make you very happy.

SHE: Why? Are you leaving?

HE: What would you say if I asked you to marry me?

SHE: Nothing. I can't talk and laugh at the same time.

HE: Can I have your name?

SHE: Why? Don't you already have one?

HE: Shall we go see a movie?

SHE: I've already seen it.

HE: Where have you been all my life?

SHE: Hiding from you.

HE: Haven't I seen you some place before?

SHE: Yes. That's why I don't go there anymore.

HE: Is this seat empty?

SHE: Yes, and this one will be if you sit down.

HE: So, what do you do for a living?

SHE: I'm a female impersonator.

HE: Hey baby, what's your sign?

SHE: Do not enter.

HE: Your body is like a temple.

SHE: Sorry, there are no services today.

HE: If I could see you naked, I'd die happy.

SHE: If I saw you naked, I'd probably die laughing.

Capitalism: A Love Documentary

We're watching this documentary in my Business ethics class. The guy is really funny. The only thing is that he is a sucker when it comes to Israel and endorses those other guys. However, when it comes to what he has to say about big corporations, he speaks the truth. In this documentary he really uncovered Reagonomics and how they were a turning point in the US economic distribution. Looking back, I can see it as these were my formative years. I always heard that if I just go to college, I will get a good job. By the time I got to college, I started to see better. That's why I refused to take out loans to attend college and put a roof over my head. Now, I get financial aid, so things are different.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Round two of the dating maze...

I'm pasting in an exchange from the comments that took place from my cell phone to someone identifying themself as, "anonymous."

Anonymous said...

my response to you as seen on aish

What is a Jewish woman

Becoming a giyores is more than just keeping the mitsvot. Jewish people are different. Maybe not physically although the gemoro says their teeth are. They are 'rachmanim' kind, shameful, and do chesed. And I would add for women more than men. In eishes chayil, she is happy that her husband not herself sits at the head of the people. Reading some blogs one is resigned to the fact that their giyur proccess has not taught them that. Unless they are prepared to work on these traits Jewish men will not come running.

November 25, 2010 10:19 AM

Michaltastik said...

the Jewish people are shameful.

yes they are which is a violation of the Torah.

Btw, why dont u tell me where sexism is endorsed in the pentateuch, i havent run across it.

November 25, 2010 11:08 AM

Anonymous said...

i quoted you eishes chayil maybe you think its only just a song sung on friday night but it happens to be in the tnach in mishlei. Sexism is embodied in the bible being the only reason for womans creation. Because the man cant be without her. No other reason is given. Unlike animals where both sexes were created together, women came as an afterthought. Shameful perhaps is the wrong word and you understood it out of context. 'bayshonim' is the hebrew word. It means not being brash.

November 25, 2010 11:43 AM

Michaltastik said...

most jews are brash.

November 25, 2010 4:07 PM

So, "Anonymous" turned out to be none other than CHAIM1
I hate to break it to you, but Jewish people are not more kind than non-Jews. I would venture to say they are less kind. "And I would add for women more than men." You would add WHAT? Construct a proper sentence if you want to argue with educated people. "In eishes chayil, she is happy that her husband not herself sits at the head of the people." It doesn't say that. I just checked. What I did find was that it said to give this woman credit for her merits. I stand by what I said before. The Torah doesn't support this idea of dumb wives who do nothing but pop out babies and tell her husband he's wonderful. Actually, the husband of the eyshes chayil should be telling her how wonderful she is.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Generation Y and Their Nasty Character Traits

As my regular readers know, I am a 35 year old who had a long break from college as the need to provide myself with a roof over my head was more pressing than my self-actualization of learning towards a bachelor's degree. I don't know what it is about the students who sit by the wall instead of the middle or by the windows, but it seems like I'm consistently screaming at those students to shut up in class. The more important question is, "why is no one teaching their students and children not to talk in class?"

I can't say that I'm perfect and I never talk in class myself. However, one of the differences, is that myself and others from my generation, talked in mini-transitions, (like attendance or working on problems on your own) not out-and-out during a lesson. If we were ever asked to shut up, it was by the teacher and we didn't argue about it.

Today's college students are different. They are arrogant and think that somehow they have the right to talk in class. Who am I to tell them what to do? NO! When I can't hear the professor because kids-ahem children- are yammering away behind me, I have the right to get mad. So, as you can guess, there is a story with this. I take a math class on Mondays and Wednesdays that is really hard and moves at the speed of light. The course covers pre-calculus, matrix algebra and calculus-all in one super fast moving course. We are not math majors and the math background of the students stretches beyond the spectrum of what it's supposed to since many students aren't even at the pre-requisite level when they take the course and others have taken calculus 2.

On Wednesday in class, I was distracted by noise behind me, so I looked back to give the talker a dirty look. Over and over again, the same girl was sitting there teaching another girl the material that the professor was teaching. It's nice if she wants to help someone, but either do it after class or show the work without talking. I finally said, "do you mind?" She shut up. However, yesterday, I think it was a different girl who was talking, I'm not sure. When I kept turning around and the girl was seeing me turn around and give her "the look," and continued to talk, again, I finally snapped, "do you mind?" She actually says to me, "I wasn't talking." WHAAAAAAAAAAT? I mean I *saw* who was talking and she saw me giving her dirty looks. She looked right back at me and kept talking. The professor spoke up and pointed out that the noise seems to always come from the same section of the class. This is true.

What is also disturbing is that while these two times, it was Asian girls, it's very, very, very often FFB Jews. In math, there are two FFB-JAP girls who sit with another girl in the middle of them. I'm not sure if the girl in the middle is Jewish because her last name is more generic and could go either way. She wears pants. I do guess, though, that she's a  MODERN orthodox type, if nothing else, because her friends strike me as the types who would never talk to a non-Jew. I could go on and site examples galore of how many classes I've had where the Jewish students talk and talk with absolutely NO respect whatsoever for others. Those others could even include Jewish students or the professor. It has not yet happened where the Jewish students disrespected a Jewish professor so fervently in one of my classes. Although, when I've had Jewish professors, there were either no other Jews in the class (two classes, ok one class had only one other, but she's not a JAP), the class is online (one class), the Jewish professor is not Orthodox (two classes) or the Jewish students don't show up because attendance does not count (one class).

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Dating Maze on Aish and My Response

So, one of my readers sent me this link because the writer is very much like me. Although, I think I'm much more flexible than this Rachel. I also wouldn't be asking these women for advice because I know what FFBs wanting to sound nice say to converts about dating. I also know what they REALLY think about us. Anyhow, my responses are below. Who knows if my comments make it onto the site.

Ugh! Some of these comments are so condescending. Where do I start? #2, "find a convert" Translation: "get your hands off OUR men, you are NOT a real Jew, no matter what your papers say." That's right, we know what you people mean when you say that. Of course, Abbey went ahead and said it.

#10-Mark, NO KIDDING! The FFBs are dating at 18 and considered too old at 21, 22... how can 34 be too old?
"spend money to look really nice" Are you serious? That only matters if she's getting decent suggestions with whom she can't get a second date.

#17-Cory, men want younger women. Men in their mid 20s are looking for 18.

#20- Mrs. Epstein, Rachel, do**NOT** go to Anna Aronovitch. ****NOT***** NOT*****

Several people suggested that she try to make friends with Jewish women both married and single. I found THAT pretty much impossible. Born Jews will put a wall up against being friends with converts.

Rosie and Sherry, "take a dating vacation" of 6 to 8 weeks? Hahahaha, I haven't been on a date since May. I've had ONE suggestion since then. He tried to talk dirty to me on the phone the first time I spoke to him. Oh and I love the way FFB women think we can't make Jewish food. I was baking challah with women while I was in the process and they were like, "you bake challah like you've been doing it your whole life." Cooking Jewish food is seriously not that different from cooking traif. LOL!!!! Mentor? No one wants to be a mentor to converts and BTs. Everyone is clamouring to "do kiruv." However, if you tell them, invite people over and be nice to them, they get nasty and explain they want visibility.

Now, speaking directly to Rachel, (unedited)
I'm in basically the same situation, except my parents are dead, not in another country. I'm 35. I am willing to date men 10 years older. However, 40 to 45 year old men won't consider a 35 year old with blond hair, blue eyes that can pass for 17.
My rabbi wanted me to go to this dating coach. She told me to wear tight short skirts and too much make up. If you look at the women who are married, including two converts I know who married dafka after they converted, they are the women as such. Men are attracted to shallow women. I don't know why. However, I've discovered this. Of course, they complain about all the shallow qualities of these women. Nevertheless, look around you. You will see who gets a man and who doesn't.

Honestly, I don't think anyone can give any answer you want to hear. You state, " I am looking for a man who has kindness, patience, warmth, and an integrated life of Judaism and career. I also prefer a man who has not married previously and does not have children." You ask, "Should I be willing to date someone who doesn’t have all the qualities I am looking for? Should I hang on to my ideal checklist? Or should I take a bit of a break to sort things out? "

Your "ideal" checklist is a tall order. You have to weigh how much you want X, Y and Z in a spouse against how much you want to get married. My bare minimum requirements are much more bare than yours and I SITLL can't even find first dates. I am on Frumster. I've tried SYAS and the shadchans wouldn't even work with me. I am not shallow and I won't become shallow to get married. That's what the men want. I want to be me more than I want to get married. It is what it is and this is where I am and likely will remain.

The verdict for me has been to accept that I won't get married. I have my non-Jewish friends for friendship. Unfortunately, on the rare occasion that I start to become friends with Jewish women, their husbands step in and push me out. I am back in college finishing my bachelor's that I never finished, so I live with my nose glued inside the books. As such, I don't have time to be lonely.

comparing and contrasting fashion websites

Every company has a company culture and a unique “personality,” if you will. This persona often comes through in a company’s website. Fashion companies are no different from this. The more different the two companies, the more different their websites would be. Two fashion companies that fit this example of being at opposite ends of the spectrum are Chanel and Deb shops.

Chanel is located at Their website reflects their personality. Like many luxury brands, the site uses dark colors and luxurious images. The backdrop is black. Their tabs are labeled: Chanel News, fashion, accessories, fragrance, make up, skincare, fine Jewelry and watches. Above these tabs are videos that begin to travel in luxurious homes. One scene is a glamorous winding stairwell. There are two scenes that seem to be a living room. One actually looks like it could be a patio. Finally, there is a scene that moves over their store. You see the European looking building with an awning that prominently displays the name, “Chanel.” There are no prices on the home page. One has to dig to find the prices that do exist and are only for certain products on the Chanel site. The mood is clear. This is a brand for the upper crust.

Deb Shops, on the other hand, conveys a different mood, to go with their image. They can be found at: Their home page is bright with a white backdrop. There are three alternating photos on their home page. One of the photos shows some regular girls gathered together in Deb clothes outside having fun. Another shows two girls dressed up in some of Deb’s affordable formal attire (less than $100 for a homecoming dress). Finally, the third scene in the rotation shows some products, they are jewelry, socks and shoes. On this website, the pictures that come up are stationary, as opposed to Chanel’s site where the scenes had a camera moving through them. Also, on the Deb website, the prices are prominently displayed. Deb uses pink to accent their white website. There is no mistaking; Deb is for the girly girl. They are especially for girls in their teens and twenties. Their website reflects this by feeling young.

As we have seen, the luxurious Chanel website is dark and sleek with a rich feel to reflect their prices and high-end image. They sell to both genders and on their website, no gender identity communicated. Deb Shops has a website that feels young and feminine, like their customers. They communicate their prices clearly for their value-oriented consumer. These two websites are worlds away from each other, just as the stores behind them.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

He was dying to be a better teacher

I want to thank Daas Torah for finding me interesting articles to blog about. Here we have an article about a teacher who possibly commited suicide.

The teacher recieved a score of less than favorable and his local newspaper, the LA Times, saw fit to publish this for all to see. There are a number of issues here.

I'm all for trying to eliminate teachers who can't do their job. However, looking at standardized test scores? Couldn't it be that he inspired his students and so when they went to take their next standardized test, they were nervous and choked on it. I personally get nervous and choke on tests. I try extra hard to start off the semester well so I'm not nervously trying to pull up a less than ideal grade. Anyhow, talking about me is getting off topic.

I feel like this data could be tainted in any number of ways. For instance, what if this man just had less talented students than other schools. If it were a more poor district, the kids are less likely to have good genes. This could skew the data.

What about you guys, my readers? What do you think could taint data like this?

Monday, November 8, 2010

He's only Chinese....

A friend/blogreader was thinking about making a guest post about this, but, I thought I'd go ahead and write the post. Apparently, a frum girl from Brooklyn was driving and texting, so she ran over a non-Jew. Well, she went to jail. I mean this poor girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. Never mind the Chinese guy... who cares about him? He's not EVEN Jews. After all, non-Jews don't matter, right?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chicken soup

I had a great mother, but, I have to say, she had this mentality that everything was sooooo hard and places were sooooo far. What in the world brought this up? Well, recently I've gotten into making chicken soup from scratch. My mother made chicken soup two or three times in my life. She used to say it was sooooo hard to make chicken soup from scratch and I just can't figure out what she's talking about. I mean I put a bag of baby carrots, chop some celery and onions and some other stuff and boil it all into a pot. I put a piece of chicken into the oven while that's brewing and in an hour or two I have yummy soup that I can freeze or refrigerate and heat up just as easily as a can of soup. I can also do chicken-less chicken soup either with a powder or pan drippings which I ALWAYS save when I make chicken. They also come in handy if I wanted to make gravy. I've done that when I have chicken nuggets in the freezer so I can dunk them in gravy.....

Oh, man, I'm hungry....

Let's see if anyone other than Wingate and/or Aztec Queen comment on this post...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

CUNY's Finest... thank you, NYC public schools

I have blogged before about some of the crazy comments on ratemyprofessor that students at my school make about the professors. It's always the same schtick. They pick on the teacher, but they can't spell and their grammar sucks. I had, at one point, looked through professors who are not business professors in an attempt to find more stupid comments. I actually concluded that non-business majors were smarter, as I couldn't find any doozies like those from business professors.

It seems I was wrong. Yeah, I know, happens once in a blue moon. :-)

Here I am taking English 2 that everyone takes. The professor has us read aloud sometimes. Some of these other students can't read anything with more than two syllables. "Perversity"- too hard, "constitute"-too hard, "voyeur"-too hard and the professor actually defined it in class at one point. Oy, veh!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Responding to another Email....

"i need an advise i am in a very bad situation my wife is a convert since she was a girl and now she went wild please let me know if i can ask you your opinion "

I'm guessing you're either an FFB or English is not your first language because I have trouble following your poor English. Why am I supposed to be able to help? Because I'm a convert? If her parents made her convert then maybe she never wanted to convert. I can only imagine what you mean by "went wild." Do you realize what the FFB girls are REALLY like? Ok, not all, but many of them are pretty wild when no one is looking. Furthermore, is your life so squeaky clean? You're not cheating on her? You're not on Craigslist trying to find a piece of @$$?  I'll tell you, the number of times I hear stories. From my black friend who says married Jewish men are always soliciting her for sex to a gay male who says the same of Orthodox men married to women.

I'm supposed to try to help you? Who's going to try to help me? It's a dog eat dog world and I see an aweful lot of people in front of me with their hands open. Do I look like a charity or something to you? Why don't you ask a rabbi and leave me alone?

Responding to an Email...

Note: I've tried to post this twice on the Yoseph Robinson thread, but it wasn't taking....perhaps it's too long. So, I've sent it to you direct. DES


I wrote the original comment asking you to look at the Emes V’Emunah blog piece, as well as to comment on Yoseph Robinson. Although you now have opened up discussions on both topics, in neither case did your discussion go in the direction I was hoping it would go.
Harry Maryles noted your ‘deep pain’ over the bias you endure from the frum community. You too describe that bias….often, and in no uncertain terms. However, what emerged from Yoseph’s death was a picture of someone similarly situated – who probably experienced the same bias, and more – who remained an incredibly positive person (I too knew him personally).
I was hoping you might consider how Yoseph was able to maintain such a positive attitude, in spite of the adversity he faced. Alternatively, and even harder to do, might be an exploration of why and how you have become so swamped in negative feelings….the ‘deep pain’ that is very clear from many of your posts.
I felt that discussing these issues might help you in the long run.

However, your post about the Maryles blog was limited to your back and forth with ‘chaim1’…..hardly helpful, especially given how limited this guy’s capacity is to come to an acceptance about geirim and geirus. Why bother with him? Yet, that give and take absorbed not one, but two recent posts, and the message of the Emes V’Emunah blog was totally lost in the shuffle.

And now, in spite of the incredible inspiration to the community at large that resulted from Yoseph’s murder, you focused instead on the dribble of some few and far between mindless fools. And you ran with it. Any review of the events surrounding his murder will yield the unmistakable conclusion that the Orthodox community’s reaction was AMAZING; hundreds packed his funeral, and an entire group of rabbis and activists accompanied him – to Jamaica, no less – for burial. Hardly the stuff for negative spin.

Whether you like it or not, you and Yoseph share a huge commonality. He took his struggles and challenges, and worked to inspire. He did so during his life, and he certainly did so in his death. I envy his portion in the next world…..few can accomplish so much, in so little time.

Your blog, OTOH, is a chronicle of your personal pain, much of it against our community for failing to live up to your expectations of us. You’ve chosen to share that pain in a public forum. Like Harry, I feel your pain, and wish it were better. It certainly could be better, but your negativity about the situation is, IMHO, less an indication of the situation, and more a spotlight on you.

At the end of the day, each of us can't change the world; only our own respective Daled Amos. That holds true for all of us, you too. So, I will again suggest that it’s time to take an overdue look at your reactions to life’s challenges. I think it’s time to consider how your own pain may be fueling the difficulties you’re encountering with life as a Jew.

Good luck. If anything, be aware that there’s many – like me – out here in the blogosphere who are supporting you through this tough spot in your life. I really hope it works out. I don't, however, agree with BeeZee: no one has the ability to "make sure things turn out right". Life can be tough...there are no magic cures for that.



I would like to turn the tables for a moment and point something out. I have posted countless posts that are not Jewish. My blog is not a "chronicle of animosity towards me" because of these posts. However, no one seems to read any of those posts. I get very few comments on those posts, with exception of some of my friends and regular readers. The vast majority of posts that people seem to actually read are those Jewish posts. If those Jewish posts seem like a "chronicle of animosity," I don't know what to tell you. The reality is that my process wasn't even that bad. However, once I converted, I have gotten a bit of animosity from the community. I guess they failed to make me aware that constant harassment is a part of being an Orthodox Jew.

When I first converted, I wasn't in college and of course I wasn't dating anyone. I was harassed to try to get married and I was harassed to go back to college. Trying to meet someone involved more harassment to get my bachelor's, so I decided to take a break from trying to date and I went back to college. As soon as I went back, I was under pressure to drop out. In fact, a woman told me to drop out and then I put on my Facebook status, "I most certainly will not be dropping out of college." She had the nerve to make some comment as if she were not one of the people who told me to drop out. Yes, I'm sick and tired of everyone. I know some people who have converted have had a nice warm fuzzy experience, but I have not. To a large degree, I have withdrawn myself from the community and I exist in a bubble. I have accepted that the Jews who I thought of as my friends are not. What friend, tells you not to do your best? I will continue to push myself to do my best in college and anyone who tells me not to, I don't consider a friend.

As for Yoseph Robinson, what I saw was the negative reactions. I saw the nasty comments online, I came across Facebook comments saying "NO ONE Jewish should go to this." That's what I saw. I call them like I see them.

I'm swamped in negative feelings, huh? I don't know about that. Like I said, to a large degree, I'm removed myself from the source. I stopped trying to interact with Orthodox Jews. That pretty much took care of any negativity I had in the past. I have one or two friends left, but, I'm not bothering with new people.

"I really hope it works out. I don't, however, agree with BeeZee: no one has the ability to "make sure things turn out right". Life can be tough...there are no magic cures for that." You quoted BeeZee wrong. No maybe no one can make it turn out right. However, when people go out of their way to see my situation and then they have me over for a Shabbos or a Yontiff and verbally attack me, I'm supposed to feel happy about it?  If a person or a group of people keep kicking you, you don't go back for more-unless something is wrong with you. You guys seeem to expect me to just keep going back for more verbal attacks. The fact is that the Orthodox community seems to enjoy being mean to me. I'm not going to subject myself to it.

Eye on Fashion: Pret a Porter vs. Haute Couture

When it comes to clothing and fashion, the ready-to-wear and the haute couture are at opposite ends of the spectrum. While nowadays, the ready-to-wear dominates, it wasn’t always this way. Who or what caused this switch of fashion dominance?

There was a time when today’s prĂȘt-a-porter, which is French for ready-to-wear, was instead “off the peg” clothing. This is what the poor masses wore. The rich elite, on the other hand, instead wore haute couture, which is French for “high sewing.” Fashion vocabulary comes to us in French because fashion was born, if you will, in Paris, France. An Englishman, Charles Frederick Worth fathered the Haute couture art in 1858. Prior to him, the sewing artists remained anonymous. Mr. Worth, on the other hand, wanted to become a household name. The fashion show was borne out to display a designer’s works. The high-end consumer would attend placing orders of the designs they liked which would be created according with their fabric of choice to their measurements.

As the industrial revolution took place, a large difference in cost for the manufacture came about. The waves of immigrants, many Eastern European Jews that came to America provided a ripe opportunity for cheap labor. The Lower East Side in Manhattan is a historically significant area, as many of these immigrants were living and working here. During this time of the 1800’s, department stores were also becoming part of the landscape in the United States.

Perhaps, it is because of these technological changes. Perhaps, it is just a coincidence. However, this is the time that fashion shifted from Haute couture to the current default, prĂȘt-a-porter. New York City, as a fashion center marked itself on the map. Another push to the ready-to-wear came in the 1940’s and 1950’s came as the middle class emerged. Many of these middle class women enjoyed freedoms, not previously enjoyed by women, as they spent hours wandering around department stores and shopping centers.

What was to become of the Haute couture? It still remains, as a driving force behind that more prevalent ready-to-wear. It distinguishes its designers and gives them an edge in their ready-to-wear collections. While many have forecasted the demise of couture, it seems that it will always have a place in fashion, even if it’s not such a large place, as they carry the lure of being for the elite. For those of us who would not even bother dreaming that we should have the sort of money for that, we are blessed that ready-to-wear affords us stylish knockoffs.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sharia Law in Democratic Non-Muslim Countries?

This is a little it of a recurring theme over the past week that I've been seeing these sorts of things in the media. I saw coverage that we may be dealing with this in Michigan. Then I later saw coverage that muslims have certain legal loop-holes from British law.

I was curious about this. I dug further and  googled to find out about the situation. It turned out a bunch of fundamentalist x-tians were being overly dramatic. A bunch of xtians  went to an Arab festival and tried to hand out xtian pamplets. They were arrested for disturbing the peace. I'm sorry, but to say that "sharia law is being enforced" is only readying the public to say "the boy is crying wolf" if something really did happen. Sharia law being enforced in the US would mean that women who both are and are not Muslim would be forced to wear the hijab.  I have a friend who is Muslim who is not a hijabi, as they call it. She meets all the other requirements they have for their own code of tznius: covered elbows (with a shirt underneath much like us Jewish girls-however they do full length not 3/4 length sleeves, the split of the legs covered (usually accomplished with a "butt covering shirt" and legs covered all the way down. ) She is Muslim, but it wouldn't matter. They would want her arrested for not wearing a hijab. The police would come into people's homes and make sure no one has any liquor. Thankfully, these were xtians running at the mouth. Hopefully, such a thing never happens, though. I like my vodka, thank  you very much.

The second thing that I saw online, involved a muslim police officer in Britain. He was assigned to guard the Israeli embassy. He requested to change duties because he was uncomfortable with the task he was given to do. Now, how many people can just ask to not do the job their boss asked for because they don't want to? AND NOT get fired? Lucky him! Well, truthfully, I don't think the Israelis want a Muslim guarding their embassy. It could have been worse. He could have taken the assignment and snuck his friends in so they could bomb the place or something. Perhaps, the mistake was in assigning him that duty at all on the part of his superiors.

Whew! Everything has worked out just fine so far. However, perhaps these incidents are still a little uncomfortable for us as Jews. Let's hope it doesn't get worse.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


So for my English class, we have a theme of war... conflict... so, we're reading books on or taking place during war and writing papers about them.

So, the first one was a graphic novel, Persepolis, by this woman, Marjane Satrapi, who grew up in the days where is it was Iran and Iraq that dominated the news. Oh, did I mention, she grew up in Iran? Now she lives in France. Which is funny because in Iran, they had to wear a veil and in France women are not allowed to. I guess we know how she felt about the requirement.

Now, we've just finished up this book called, War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning. The author, Chris Hedges, is a war correspondant. His work seems to obviously favor the place that wants to call itself Palenstine. Now stupid me, I mention that to my teacher after class. He gave me some statistics of how many deaths there have been. It was like 1300 versus 5. I thought, "great, we're winning." The professor likened the Israelis to a bully.

So, I was thinking about this since then and I've had some more thoughts. For example, maybe only 5 made the statistics, but what have all these othere Arab nations been doing to Jews? In Persepolis, there was one Jewish family she knew. They killed them. In fact, they did it on Shabbos. The fact is that the things that come out of the mouths of the rest of the middle east are this idea that Jews don't have the right to be there. The reality is that their ancesters killed someone to obtain that land from them. In the US, we slaughtered the Native Americans until they gave up this land to us. Then we were kind enough to make some reservations for them where they can sell cigarettes and gamble.

What are your thoughts on war? Do you think we could permanently eliminate war from the planet?  Do you think it's like a drug addiction?

Friday, October 8, 2010

shidduch crisis = spoiled brat crisis

Much discussion has been made about the shidduch crisis and what causes it on this blog, other blogs, amongst the rabbis and lay persons alike. I would like to propose that the shidduch crisis is a direct result from the trend from mommies spoiling their little brats.

Everyone says that most of the singles don't really wanna get married. They say they want to get married, but can't find anyone because this is a good way to get friends, family members and random nosy and intrusive Jews to shut up. Why should they want to get married, though? They are usually living with their parents. They are paying little to no rent and doing little to nothing of the sweating of running a household. They might get mad at me and tell me, "I help out!" I'm sure they do. However, helping mommy is not the same as all of it being your responsibility. Besides which, parents today are not raising their kids with the mountain of chores of yesteryear. I'll be honest. I didn't spend full days on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor, as my mother and grandmother did. They had no choice. Their mothers required it of them. My grandmother told me a time or two that she had tons of chores and her parents and older siblings were outrageously mean to her. She married the first guy that asked her to get out of there. She was lucky that she married a good man. Many of her friends married to go from the frying pan to the fire.

This supposition I make gains ground if you think about the fact that there is not a shidduch problem in the chasidic community. If I'm right, of course there wouldn't be. These women have so many kids. I recently heard of a woman with TWENTY-THREE kids... oh and they tell me she still looks like a ballerina. In these families like this, the older siblings are raising the younger siblings. I know a boy who was raised, as he tells me not chasidic, litvish. However, I've seen his childhood pictures. He and his brothers sport peyos and his mom had 12 kids. That sounds chasidic to me. What's my point? Well, he also tells me that he was changing diapers at age 9. Soooo, seriously not spoiled! If you talk to one of these families in Kew Gardens Hills or Flatbush, they will tell you that their boys need to learn and only the girls can help out but, they can't because they have.... whatever is the Orthodox equivalent to soccer practice and dance class for girls. They are busy having a life that mommy gave them the priviledge of having.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Post Long Overdue: Yosef Robinson

I'm taking a break from studying to put up this post that I've been meaning to write, but haven't out of procrastination that I should do more informal research pre-blog posting.

I was asked, I don't remember if it was by Email or in the comments, to write about this man. I was actually thinking about doing so. However, I just want to point out that I wonder if I was expected to comment on this convert who died in an untimely manner purely because I'm a convert or because most of the other prominent Jewish bloggers wrote about it (not including the 20-somethings who mostly write about shidduchim, there's so many of those).

Anyhow, so I think most people know that a black male convert around my age was working in a liquor store in Flatbush, Brooklyn. The store got held up and the robber demanded Jewelry from Yosef's girlfriend-almost fiancee who had JUST gotten there. Yosef got in the middle and the robber took it out on him instead, meanwhile the girl was in the store's back room. That is the basic story.

Unfortunately, there was another story from this. That story is the story of many Jews who had to make comments about his conversion and such. After all, a convert was in the spotlight. Lacking the decency and middos to keep their mouth shut, they questioned the yiddishkeit of a corpse. As usual, white Jews were hating a black. They were hating a convert. They were hating a man who possessed both qualities. Most distastefully, Jews, even perhaps other Jews of color, were putting in their two cents. So, am I just another Jew putting in my two cents? Perhaps, I am. I suppose that's what a blog is, no?

I did not know this man, personally, which is why I was hesitant to blog about it. However, that's exactly what I want to talk about. How is it that people who didn't know him or inside information about the levaya could be going around running their mouthes? What am I talking about? Well, for example, a person might have posted levaya information on their Facebook status and another would come in and state that, "no Jew should go to this man's funeral." I saw articles online that mention that he was being buried next to his grandmother in Jamaica. The comments flourished that he was obviously an insincere convert and that he was obviously not being buried Jewish.

As a convert myself, I've felt the hatred towards us and I know how it can get out of hand. My inquisitive and analytical mind was thinking, "considering how they hate us, if he wasn't being buried Jewish, they would have flat out stated that instead of leading people towards that conclusion WITHOUT stating it. If he lost his connection, why was he complaining about a ex-wife raising a daughter not-so-religious? Finally, I can't see Brooklyn Jews giving business to a store that had a defunct Jewish convert working there. The store would have gone under. Therefore, I want to see if these accusations are warranted. They were not.

So, I asked a friend who knew him what the story was. She told me that he was indeed buried next to his non-Jewish grandmother. HOWEVER, she also said that some rabbi from Brooklyn went to Jamaica to bless or pray over or something the plot of land to make it all kosher to bury him there. I have more news for those of you who are still skeptics. Over yontiff, I stayed in Brooklyn and while I was there I was speaking with someone and the conversation actually changed to the Yosef Robinson topic. I didn't have anything to do with that topic change. Unbeknowst to this woman, I was plotting this post. She stated, unprobed, all of that which my other friend had told me. She knows the rabbi who "Jewish-ized" the plot of land, personally. Apparently, Yosef's family said they have no problem with a Jewish burial, but they really wanted him buried next to grandma. The rabbi flew down there and made it happen.

Now, seriously? To the those Jews that did, speaking lashon hara about a dead person? Can you stoop much lower than that? Incidentally, I tried to comment on one of these articles that speaking lashon hara of the dead is outrageous. Somehow, it didn't make it up. The media is out to mold your mind. As usual, the zombies followed.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Are You a Child of the 80's?

I found this list online and I wanted to share it on my blog. I relate to almost all of these statements, how about you?

Are You a Child of the 80's?

Take a look at this list. If you can identify with more than half of them, you are a child of the 80's.

•You know what "Sike" means.

•You know the profound meaning of "Wax on, Wax off".

•You know that another name for a keyboard is a "Synthesizer".

•You were only cool if you hung out at the Roller Rink and actually knew how to skate.

•You can sing the McDonald's Big Mack Filet-o-fish, quarter pounder, French Fry song while jump roping.

•You wore 3-8 different colored socks in layers and thought that the more you could wear the cooler you were.

•You know who Mr. T is.

•You actually believed for a minute that K.I.T. (The night rider) actually was real.

•You know who Fat Albert is.

•You wore fluorescent, neon clothing.

•You could break dance, or wish you could.

•You wanted to be The Incredible Hulk for Halloween.

•You believed that "By the power of Greyskull, you HAD the power!"

•Partying "like it's 1999" seemed SO far away.

•You thought that Transformers were more than meets the eye.

•You wanted to be on Star Search.

•You can remember Michael Jackson when he was black.

•You wore a banana clip at some point during your youth.

•You remember the garbage pail kids, and owned some.

•You knew what Willis was "talkin' 'bout."

•You HAD to have your MTV.

•You always wondered why Tootie always wore those skates.

•You actually thought "Dirty Dancing" was a REALLY good movie.

•You watched Purple Rain over and over again.

•Your all time favorite movie was Footloose and you actually thought that Kevin Bacon was HOT in it!!!

•You remember the episode of Good Times when Flo broke down after James' funeral.

•You remember when ATARI was a state of the art video game system.

•You own any cassettes.

•You were led to believe that in the year 2000 we'd all be living on the moon.

•You remember and/or owned any of the Care Bear Glass collection from Pizza Hut or any other stupid collection they came out with.

•Poltergeist freaked you out.

•You carried your lunch to school in a Gremlins or an ET lunch box.

•You have pondered why Smurfette was the ONLY female smurf.

•You know what leg warmers are and probably had a pair.

•You wore biker shorts underneath a short skirt and felt stylish.

•You had a Swatch Watch with the Swatch Guard.

•You thought UTFOs "Roxanne, Roxanne" song was the bomb!

•You remember when Saturday Night Live was funny.

•You had Wonder Woman or Superman underoos.

•You know what a "Push Up" ice cream is.

•You had to come in the house when the street lights came on.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I need school advice

So, I have to pick out like topics for some of my classes and I am open to any advice. You can comment or Email me.

English two: the theme the professor picked is, "Perceptions on a call to arms." I have to do a 12 page paper on this, well a further subtopic, of the research variety. I theorize and argue something in the paper. Any ideas?

Fashion Marketing: I have to pick a fashion company and research them. I'm asking myself why the hell I didn't take Ethnic marketing instead, but I know why. This profess had good reviews and the class is a hybrid instead of long once a week meetings like Ethnic.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Michaltastik Vs. Chaim1

he saga continues.... This just came out of the post comments from that Almight FFB isnt' that Almighty... post. This guy just doesn't give up. He has to be right. So do I, though.

chaim1 said...

You didnt read my post on emes. I also know how to make a succa. I have made many in my time. Did you really think that that was my question. Do you think i am dumb. Or do you think all FFB are. You have a condescending attitude to men. This shows through on all your posts. This is not considered a Jewish attitude however true it may be. In orthodox Jewish practice there is no equality of the sexes. The man is supreme. The woman is there to help him achieve his perfection not hers.

When i said catholic i didnt mean it literally. I meant you came from wanting more meaning in your life. More spirituality. I wrote this on emes as well. After reading more about you, I may be mistaken, it seems you were looking for truth, which is not exactly the same.

You found it in Judaism and settled for the easiest type of it.

About your shidduch prospects, considering your army background I would have thought an israeli would be more your type.

You write he has to bend. Did it ever occur to you that you may also have to. It is no use looking at others, who are better off, one has to make the most of the life one has. And as you write they are also still single, it hasnt helped them.

September 27, 2010 12:34 AM

Michaltastik said...


Nope, didn't read it. I'm crazy busy with school. I don't think you are dumb. I'm too busy to go running around to find out what you mean. I assumed you thought *I* didn't know how to make a Sukkah. I don't have a condescending attitude towards men. However, I don't appreciate the condescending attitude that men like you have towards women. The man is not supreme. Hashem made woman out of the man's rib... you know, his SIDE, not his foot so that she should step on woman and not the head so that we would rule over man.

I don't see how you say I settled for the easiest type of Judaism. I'm Orthodox, not Reform.

Why would I be right for an Israeli because I was in the Army? My Army service was like going camping to an Israeli and the US Army is different. That sounds to me as dumb as the people who set up a guy and a girl because they sneezed in the same direction or something stupid like that. Besides, the ones in the states are all fat and disgusting.

It has a occured to me that I have to bend. I went from looking for a guy up to 3 years older to being open to 10 years older. My requirement of looks is that I don't want to hurl when I look at him. That includes chubby men (but not rotund), men with gray hair, and balding men. You should hear the FFB girls my age. They want a guy who makes more than they do when they make 6 figures. He has to take them to Broadway plays and have a car and so on. Also, see what another commenter said after you wrote this. The guy wants this that and the other thing when it comes to women. If I didn't require Kosher and Shabbos, I could do very well by men.

Hey, should I go off the derech so I can marry a decent guy?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Favorite Army Story

So, here I was already a phase 5a (read five alpha) soldier* and I had a weekend pass. I had been put on duty (sit in the hallway), but I had it covered. I was planning on coming back to cover my shift which was in the afternoon on Sunday. I figured no one would notice anything as long as the shift was covered. Well, I was wrong, One of the drill sergeants apparently noticed that I was both scheduled for duty and going away on a weekend pass.

So, I showed up to my shift and there were three of us there. Gail Matolkowski and Danielle Burton** and myself, of course. Burton was a phase 5 not  alpha who was asked by that on the ball drill sergeant, Drill Sergeant T., our female drill sergeant who was actually attached to my platoon, really she wasn't around much because she was going back and forth with her ex-husband who actually taught in the school, but not my job, another job in our company, though. Remember, I was in school for my job training. Anyhow, We called Gail by her first name because I was the only one who could pronounce her long Polish last name. There are a number of Polish persons in Buffalo, so I was accustomed. So Gail was the one person who was without a doubt on the shift. There was no disputing that. However, she asked if we would cover for her phase 4 self so she could go and buy necessities. I felt sorry for her because I knew it was hard to get out when you are phase 4. Actually, it wasn't hard when I was phase 4, but that's another story.

Time was passing and here Burton and I were on duty wondering what was up. Eventually, we realized that our six hour shift (noon to 6pm) was almost over and this girl still hadn't shown back.  So, just after five o'clock, I dragged Burton down the hall to talk to Drill Sergeant N. with me. She was unsure. I assured her, "so, I'll do the talking, just come since I need a battle buddy to talk the drill sergeant."

What she didn't know was that I knew this drill sergeant respected me as a phase 5a soldier. I had been there for a while at this point. Actually, I was already finished with school being held over for a physical training test that I couldn't even take because I had some serious injuries. I had problems with my shoulder and both of my ankles. I actually still have these problems today, although, they are much better.

"Drill Sergeant," I started, "so I was scheduled for CQ*** with Phase four Private Matolkowski. Private Burton here was kind enough to do her a favor and offer to cover for her so that she could get some shampoo and soap from the store. She felt sorry for her. She left just after noon taking advantage of the good nature of a phase five soldier. While I know you don't have to care, however, I thought I would point out that she is scheduled to come back on at 9pm tonight for another shift." (This was normal when you were phase four, you pulled two to three times the duty of the phase fives and why we cut her some slack.) "I just thought I would tell you this, Drill Sergeant, in case you wanted to make sure she worked extra hard after a phase five soldier covered her shift and she hasn't even worked all day."

Drill Sergeant N. replied, "Oh, don't worry, she'll be working hard!" with a big smile on his face. We got off duty at 6pm and she still wasn't back, but Drill Sergeant N. was right there at the desk by the entrance just WAITING and WATCHING for her.

Did I mention that Private Gail Matolkowski was under 21? Well, she was! This is important because apparently, she scampered off to the post's bar, Sports Co. for some alcohol. Tsk, tsk, tsk! She came in drunk. While normally, a drill sergeant on duty was off in the back room probably sleeping, like I said, drill sergeant was looking for her! Since she was phase four and under 21#, she got slapped with two weeks of extra duty and had money taken out of her pay, not to mention, it went on her record.

Now, before you get mad at me, realize that she only got caught breaking the rules because of me. If she hadn't come in drunk, she would have just had to scrub the floors on her next shift instead of sitting at the desk in the hall doing nothing. Although, it's true that if I hadn't said anything, drill sergeant would have probably been sleeping and she wouldn't have gotten caught, it's entirely possible that he would have been there or caught on that she was drunk on her other shift. It's also entirely possible that she would have been ratted out by someone else since she was just at the bar on post which was adjacent to the bowling alley... oh and we alll frequented it.

*phase 1 to 3 are in basic training, phase 4 is the first 4 weeks of your job training, phase 5 is after that and phase 5a is I don't remember how many weeks after phase 5. However, it is important to note that phase 5a soldiers have been there the longest and have a certain amount of respect. After phase 5a is permanent party.

**Not their real names.

***CQ stands for Charge of Quarters, this is another name for duty.

# It's against the rules to drink from phase 1 to 4 in the Army. Furthermore, the drinking age in the Army is 21, no matter what state you are in or I should say was, as I've been out for a while and things could have changed.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Soorrry, but the almighty FFB isn't that almighty

I got a comment or Email last week that I should take a look at Emes V'Emunah because I inspired a post. I've been busy with school, but I had a chance to look at it last night. A rather arrogant commenter decided he wanted to put me in my place.

Chaim1 states, "I dont understand this post at all. With all due respect to geirim and BT's why do you think  an FFB should consider you. Or better put it the other way round why dont you consider your own kind. Why must you 'move up'. It is true in history Moses, (zimri!), Joshua, Samson, Boaz, David, Solomon and i suppose many others preferred Geirim. R Z Hacohen discusses it. But they were usually princesses or something similar. Geirim and BT's are 'lower grade' they cannot marry a cohen for instance. I am not sure how a married cohen becomes a BT. Does he divorce his wife or are they all considered 'challolim'.  There is a 'caste' system in judaism. Oh I forgot R Amram Blau. there is some version in the gemoro that everyone runs to marry a giyores. Of course the main example of 'onoas devorim' is telling a ger what he wants was. i suppose a BT would be the same."

I don't understand your comment at all. With all due respect, why should a Jewish from birth man who is single/divorced and over 35 refuse to consider anyone? Why don't you clarify what is my own kind? You mean another convert or should I marry a WASP? Because first off, there aren't that many converted men out there. Furthermore, most of them aren't former WASP converts between the ages of 35 to 45. I'll have you know that I am a descendant of Betsy Ross. Also, it really wasn't that long ago in history that WASPs were automatically considered superior to Jews. So, why don't you explain to me how I would be moving up, simply by marrying someone who's parents raised them religious and they are Jewish. I see you are an FFB by the fact that you can't write a paragraph without making errors. I'll clue you in: you may not start a sentence with if, and, or but. You started one with but. 'challolim' should be followed by a question mark and not a period. Furthermore, "what he wants was"? I think you mean "what he once was."

Finally, who the hell said I am only open to an FFB? I am totally open to a BT. Also, I'm single never married and I would consider divorced with a kid in tow. However, I think it's crazy that the parents of and men over 35 should be so picky. They are worried about, "what people would say" if they married a convert or BT. They don't bother to consider that people would talk about it and then it would pass. Instead, they stay single and people talk about, "nebach, he's 38 and never married..." and THAT isn't going blow over like marrying a girl who isn't an FFB Bais Yaakov girl.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Twister? A Twister?

This tree snapped and fell on the wall
So, there was a pretty bad storm that swarmed through my area last Thursday. Since Time Warner's crappy equipment broke and I have to wait unti Sunday for them to come, I was sitting in the kosher Subway working on some math and listening to music on YouTube. I heard a huge thunder snap and the winds starting raging. I turned to one of the guys working, "uh, maybe you should close the door," as he was actually said, "I'm going to close the door. It had been propped open. The door didn't stay closed. He was holding it closed as he told his co-worker, get the keys so we can lock it. The other guy said, "but what if someone wants to come inside?" I said, "people better already be inside by now, or they'll be in trouble." You couldn't see out the windows. The water was coming down against the windows blurring anything you would have been able to see. There was a third guy who was just getting off his shift, "I was going to jog home. I can't jog home in this. Should I spend $2.25 on the bus or wait it out?" The guys were like, "I don't know, what if it doesn't die down? It's pretty intense."

As it cleared, we could immediately see a tree down on the sidewalk. I went over to my netbook and facebooked that there was a storm brewing outside. I confess here that it was pretty much over by the time I pried myself away from looking at the storm. I tried to get back to my math. A woman came in to use the phone to call hatzoloah for someone. Her cell phone wasn't working. I guess some carriers were being so heavily used the signal was jamming (not my carrier, though). My friend called me to ask something about her math that she was working on. She is taking the same class, but has a different professor. I told her we just had a huge rainstorm here in Queens. I looked at my watch. It was ten to six.
The owner of the Glatt Kosher Subway Liron Shamsiav came in, "I saw it! I saw the twister!" He put on his Chaverim jacket and headed out. "I have to go find people to help!" He and some of the other Chaverim guys came through a couple more times before I left. He made sure to tease me, "Michal, you can't get home, you have to sleep in the Subway tonight!" I said, "I'm about to leave." He said, "the buses aren't running."
I went to someone's house for a little bit. The buses still weren't running when I left. I had to walk home, but went about half way with some others who were also stuck with the buses not running. It took me roughly forty-five minutes. I left just after 10pm. A friend called me at 10:27pm and I was almost home. I was stopping in a shul to use their bathroom, so relieved that something was going on inside, so that I could find a bathroom. Did I mention medium and large drinks at Subway have free refills at Subway? There's only one kosher subway left in New York City.

My street wasn't touched, by the way. I took these pictures yesterday. There is a tree that landed on a car Jewell which I saw when I was on the bus and I heard about more, including there's a video on YouTube video where they went out driving to find some damage worth filming. I was just too lazy and pressed for time to take pictures other than what I saw walking down Main street for a couple blocks.

Eruv Yom Kippur Apologies

I suppose this Email should have gone up sooner, but I've been outrageously busy. Plus, Time Warner's crappy equipment has already crapped even though I only just got internet at home this summer. So, I'm stuck back on the neighbor's signal or at the kosher subway, where they let people use their signal. I got an Email on Friday from someone who stopped talking to me months back. It was titled, "hi!" and in my innocence I was thinking Hi! like she wants to see what I've been up to and so on. DUH! I should have known better.

Yom Kippur looming overhead means that Jews are apologizing to people they have no intention of ever speaking to ever again in their lives. Maybe I'm a little cynical, but I think there is something phony about "hi!" The reality is that this girl can't stand me, thinks she's better than me and so on. She just wanted her pass for Yom Kippur. Maybe it's better if people keep their arrogant attitudes that fester underneath their sweet exteriors in check in the first place.

I didn't reply to the Email.