Sunday, February 28, 2010

Who do you eat by? Where do you daven?

I made a mistake when I picked out my Jewish neighborhood and because of it, I'll not get a shiduch until I graduate college and move. Where I live is the next neighborhood over from a nice vibrant Orthodox and observant area. However, where I live... well, the shuls are Orthodox. I saw in the shul for Purim many observant-looking women with their children but, since the women don't normally come to shul, how would I get into families for meals? Well, it seems like the sane thing to do would be to contact the shul's office and the rabbi and ask to have meals arranged for me. I have tried this to no avail. Eventually, I gave up. Then I tried to find people online. I found one couple who's children were in their 20's and living elsewhere. At the point that this woman screamed at me that no one wants to host people and I'm not welcome here. Ok, I'm done. Oh, but, I started college shortly after this. So, I figured that I would move near my college. I was all set to move until I realized the place was completely misrepresented to me. So, I backed out of the move.

I just ran into a woman from the community outside my house. She was walking her dog and I was coming in from the megillah reading. Although, I had stopped at the grocery store and Pizza Palace Cafe for food and drink, so perhaps she was at the same megillah reading but, in one of the other women's sections. I flapped my giant Purim hand a "hello." She greeted me, "I thought you moved?" "Nope, I didn't end up moving." "Well, are you happy here... there's no singles here." "I'm looking for families. I find single women to be catty." "Men? Don't you want to meet single men?" "They don't want me. I'm on Frumster. They don't want me there."

I have to rant here because I get turned down for Shidduchim all the time ... because the men start asking who I eat by and where I daven. I have to explain that I stay home because I was told Im not welcomed here and I don't want to move to ghetto Ocean Ave in Brooklyn. At which point, the men kindly claim they will call back and that is the last that I hear from them. We have a real backwards society, us Jews. Normally, men are supposed to want the women and WORK for us. Remember? In the Torah, Yaakov WORKED for Rachel fourteen years, really because he worked seven for her then her father pulled bait and switch deciding that he should first take Leah whom Yaakov didn't want and yet Yaakov worked another seven for her again. The men should have such respect for women nowadays. Instead, us women are asked to throw ourselves at men to the extent that we should move. Meanwhile, some men complain that the women are too picky. Yet these same men turn me down, like a guy on Frumster who is two years older than me always pissing and moaning in the forum. However, he won't date a convert and he won't date anyone under a certain height...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

פורים שמח

So far, I have nothing interesting to report about my Purim. After Shabbos and a quick havdalah, I hightailed it on over to the shul. I was not fast enough though. Some, no doubt yekkish type, had started the megillah reading. So, I was stuck in the children's reading. The one reading the scroll in the basement for the kids was the Chabad assistant rabbi at the non-Chabad shul. Young and energetic, he floated around the room with the scroll in his hands. Whereas, most would be at a podium for their reading. He said it's his custom we were only to make noise if there was a title immediately following H***n's name. In this manner, we would only stomp and make noise ten times. I was totally bummed. I brought my brand new giant flapping hand and I wanted to use it. Well, it wasn't so bad because the ten noisemaking sessions we got it in were really good. Furthermore, we were finished in 27 minutes. He was reading at the speed of lightning and surprisingly I was able to follow not so badly.

פורים שמח

פורים שמח

פורים שמח

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ordaining of Orthodox woman rabbi or not?

So, it seems that R. Weiss has finally ordained Sara Hurwitz which is something that has been in the rumor mill as being in the works. Also, previously in the rumor mill, is the idea that Rabbi Weiss might be asked to leave the RCA for this. So, I'm not really sure if these are more rumors but, the word on the cyberstreet is that this has happened. Of course, the question has been asked as to WHY she can't be. The best answer was that the Torah says only men can be judges. Well, I have pasted in a comment from the VIN article.

While, I'm packing up and moving to Riverdale, I haven't heard a good Torah argument against her smicha.

Pashuteh Yid Says: Because I feel sorry for the fellow who complained about all the negatives on Jewish blogs, maybe one should be dan Rabbi Avi Weiss lchaf zchus, as gemara says that if a beis din unanimously convicts somebody, he goes free because they were not mehapech bzchuso.

1) So far, we have not heard that the woman will be doing anything against halacha. I.e., if she was going to serve as an eid kiddushin, that would not be allowed. Merely giving speeches in shul and visiting the sick in a hospital does not seem to be a major issue.

2) She is not paskening halacha, only teaching existing halacha, as women teachers in Bais Yaakov do all the time.

3) Many thought Sara Schnirer broke with the mesorah as well, for initiating the idea that girls should go to school.

4) Women have now in general become more educated. Whereas at one point there were no women doctors, now it is commonplace. Should we tell our daughters that secular careers are open to you, but religious ones are not?

5) Is this woman trying to become less religiously committed or more? I could understand if she wanted to go to a baseball game on Shabbos and eat a treifeh hotdog, she should be roundly condemned. However, she is trying to learn and teach Torah and help others. Is that a terrible crime?

6) As far as mesorah goes, we have women Neviim and Shoftim such as Devorah and Chuldah and Miriam and Sara, etc.

7) The gemara says that at one point, women used to get aliyos and lein.

8) In the time of the gemara, people were not allowed to read by candle on Shabbos. However, times changed, and because we now have bulbs that don't need adjusting, everybody accepts that they can be used. Do you ever hear a complaint that we are violating our holy mesorah of not reading?

9) When Moshiach comes and we abolish Tisha B'av will that constitute a breach of our mesorah?

10) Rashi's daughters put on tefilin. Women are not obligated in Shofar or Sukkah, but universally do them anyway. They can take on additional mitzvos if they are sincere. I personally don't judge people's sincerity. I leave that to the RBSH.

This debate ought to center around specific halachic issues, as to what she can and cannot do with each point being brought from a source. Merely throwing around vague terms like yes Orthodox, not Orthodox, yes Mesorah, not Mesora have very little meaning. Our Mesorah is to follow halacha, so that is where the debate must center.

I am not saying I agree with this new idea, as I don't know enough about what she does and the whole arrangement. I am just suggesting we analyze it without letting our emotions run wild and instead focus on the intellectual and halachic ramifications. Rabbi Weiss has done much good for the klal in the course of his career, and he deserves to be given a fair hearing.

Updates and question about NYC in 1975...

So, the gabbers behind me have actually gotten quiet, who woulda thunk it? Also, the professor cracked the whip a little better on Monday when students were talking.

Now, I have been given an informal assignment. The professor was telling us about something that happened in 1975 in the NYC economy. He said, "go home and ask your parents." Well, my parents are dead and actually they didn't live in NYC in 1975, either. That's the year I was born. My mother never lived outside of Buffalo but, my father was actually stationed in Bayonne, NJ when he was in the Navy. That would have been in the sixties, though. Also, he's dead, so...  So, I turn to you, my readers, many of whom who are in NYC and some might be old enough to remember, to tell me about the financial crisis in NYC in 1975.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ding Dong the wicked witch is dead!

The wicked witch is my homework. Dead is finished....

Also, a foreshadowing of a post that looming in my mind...

Anyway, HASHEM helped me with my homework!

Pulling out my hair over my homework...

Ok, I was an idiot. I took at least two classes that I knew would be hard and I'm also taking sixteen credits total. I'm sitting here trying to do my homework for corporate finance and I can't figure out what formula I'm supposed to use to arrive at the answer. The instructor told us on the first day that since there is a take home test we should have our friends who work on Wall street do the take home portion for us and teach it to us so we know how to do it for the in class exam.  So, do I have any readers who are in finance that maybe can help me? I'm pulling out my hair, here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


So, I just have to vent about one of my classes and three other students in the class. They won't shut up. They sit behind where I sit (about three rows back) and they just talk the whole time. There's two guys and a girl. The girl sits in the middle. She's one of those giggly "hair-make up & nails" types. She's talks to one of the guys while the professor is explaining something then when the professor moves on to the next item she'll have the other guy explain it all to her. We're only about 5 classes into the semester. This has already been going on the whole time. Today, the professor actually put her on the spot and asked her questions to show that she wasn't paying attention. She just guessed a couple times and got the right answer. As soon as the professor was attending to a question that came from the other side of the room, she was right back to talking to one of the guys. I turned around and looked and he said, "I'm explaining it to her." I was giving them, "shut up" looks the whole class and with about a minute left of class, she says, "OMG!" and rolls her eyes at me. I said, "that's funny, because that's how I feel." She rolled her eyes at me and I said, "all I hear is you three talking behind me. You want to flirt with them, go in the hall and do it but, I come to class to learn." I wish the professor would do something but, he probably won't. WTF?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Grossman and the Jewish community...

"With all due respect I think it is about time public finds out that Jews will stick for each other."

It's a funny thing about that. When we are talking about sticking together in a way that's easy, you know, huffing and puffing on the internet and maybe at Shabbos tables, of course Jews stick up for each other. Nevertheless, how many times to people stick up for converts? We're Jews. No, they want put us on to the death penalty, so to speak. Very rarely do members of the community do favors for me. Perhaps, they don't help an FFB with the little things so much, either. My point is that it's easy talk about being for Jews when it's a situation where you perceive a Jew as being threatened. The reality is that when it becomes two Jews, our little caste system goes back into play and we pick and choose who we'll back. What if he had killed a Jewish woman, would we still be upset? I doubt it. What if he wasn't Jewish, would people rally around and call this unfair? I doubt.

Here we go with the double standards again.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Some Tropper tapes are in better circulation than previously...

So, they've been talking about this black and white recording that was made from a hidden camera. This is now up over at the Troppergate blog as well as on YouTube. So, on Troppergate, they are discussing why Shannon is innocent. I think there's a heavy belief that Tropper is guilty. I just submitted the following comment:

Oh, puh-lease!

I've known some manipulative women who try to recruit me to their ways and I think she's just like them. I've never met any of these people but, I know what happened.

She wanted money for her custody hearing and let it slip to Tropper. She did things around him to turn him on (like eat innocently provocative-a favorite of the manipulative girls) then he made the offer. She had in mind all along that when she wanted out, if he didn't let, she would pull something like this. They are both guilty. I don't buy for a second that she was manipulated. Usually men wait until they have clues that they will get a desireable response before offering to give that kind of money for sex. Which brings me to the most important point. If she's such a sweet innocent girl, why did she take the money?

Those Who Say Don't Marry a Ger/Gyoress II

The original poster over on the Daas Torah blog has commented on my original post. So, I am posting my response to her. However, I'm also using that longish response to begin a new post on the same topic.

Over and over again, I hear that parents object to a potential shidduch between their precious little FFB and a gyoress (or ger). Usually the reason cited is that they don't want to deal with in-laws who aren't Jewish. Well, what if such parents don't exist? I mean, what if the potential shidduch's parents have both passed on? This also destroys the argument that you have to worry about interference from non-Jewish grandparents. I suspect, though, that no man would look at my profile on Frumster long enough to see that even if it were in my profile. They would see "convert" and that would be enough for them.

Now, moving on to the "revocations," the number of these revocations is few and far between compared to the number of conversions out there. I, as a convert, wanting to take the side of the one who's conversion, often find it hard to, as usually the rabbi has a good solid case for revoking the conversion-the conversion that should not have happened. I'm glad that I went through a beis din with a pretty solid reputation. I know that the girl who converted at the same meeting as I did, has already married IN ISRAEL. She sent her papers over to her now mother-in-law who took them into the beis din where she lives near Tel Aviv where they were accepted on the spot without questions or anything.

Also, if you think about it, an FFB could be blacklisted in the same manner that gerim are "revoked." Rabbis could suddenly refuse to give references for them and a community could speak about how they fell off the derech and they, too, would no longer be able to do anything in the Jewish community (like get an Orthodox mohel or get their kids into an Orthodox school) if they came back on the derech.

When BTs come back, they are questioned. I was told by a BT that several people have accused her of being a gentile who didn't want to convert. Where's her proof that she's Jewish? Why didn't she read Hebrew? I've also heard of BTs who got rejected for Aliyah.

Finally, when someone's precious little FFB is over thirty and still not married, perhaps one should consider that a gyoress might be a viable option.

Do men and women need to have the same level of education level to be compatible?

The question was posed over on the END THE MADNESS board. I thought it was an interesting one. I'm posting my submission here. It may or may not go up on his board. He likes to reject submissions.

The interesting thing about this was that when our parents were marrying, women often didn't have college. My mother was above the norm because she went to a business school and worked in an office. From that generation and older, you find men with REALLY high education levels married to women of little or no education. Nowadays, however, men with a PhD want a woman with a PhD. I feel like I surely won't find anyone until I at least get my bachelor's, possibly my master's. At which point, I might have to worry about fertility issues.
Personally, I find it interesting that divorces rates skyrocketed as women left the home in favor of the workforce and these women became more educated. When there were great gaps, the divorce rate was much lower.

Last April, I was looking at a Frumster profile of a guy that I thought was perfect for me. I actually stared at this profile for a good ten/twenty minutes debating if I should send to him. I didn't contact him because he has a PhD and I figured he would turn me down because I don't even have a bachelor's at my age. Men don't even stop to consider that I may have had an unusually rough life that prevented me from finishing my degree. Right or wrong, this has become the reality of the criterion from men when they are looking for a marriage partner.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A request of my readers...

I'm trying to stay overnight in Brooklyn two different times. One of them is Wednesday night. I have a speech screening from 6 to 7pm then we have class again on Thursday because don't have class tomorrow. The other time is Shabbos Purim and the motzei after. I have class at 9am in Brooklyn and I have to hear the megillah before class, don't I? I don't get out of class until 11:45.

So, I thought I would turn to my readers. I know you all love me. Perhaps this could be added to my list of times when the community has come through for me? For those that don't live in Brooklyn, many of you know people who do that you could ask. I find people are more ammenable to these things when a middle person that they know has asked. I tried the "See You On Shabbos" site once and I was turned down for a Shabbos. So, I'm really turned off from that site and don't want to try it for Shabbos Purim. Besides which I need motzei, too.

A mind has been upgraded!

One of the blog commenters who has said some nasty things in the past about gerim has sent me an Email apologizing. I just think this is really great. It shows a little bit of progress being made.

As I've said before, one should look at the individual and not their "background." There are good gerim and bad gerim. There are good BTs and bad BTs. There are good FFBs and there are bad FFBs. One cannot judge someone based on these criterion alone. I would like to ask FFBs who agree with me to speak out on behalf of gerim. Perhaps, you could bring it up at a Shabbos table. Please teach your children that it's important not to judge someone negatively if they were not raised FFB.

We cannot help the family we were given by HKBH for whatever reason. However, we do have control over our observance destiny as we get older and become teens and young adults and even older than this. Actually, so to, the FFB begins to have a real choice as to whether they will stay on the derech or fall off. Let me make it easy for you, you're not missing anything, you really aren't. Ladies, drunk men trying to sleep with you? Nope, you are not missing anything.

Play in the snow?

On Wednesday I was told to, "get out and enjoy the snow." Oh, have I turned into an old fart! Yet, I am young. I tried to find a picture indicating how much I played in the snow as a kid, which I have since taken down. I don't know what my dad was doing on *MY* snowmobile, but that's right, I had my own snowmobile. Although, that didn't last long. I kinda crashed it into a tree before I even graduated from the course at the local Snow-goers for kids under a certain age but over another age to be licensed to drive a snowmobile on public property without an ad-ult on the back of the same machine. So, I got this Bravo when I was 10 or 11 for December 25th. Hmmmmmmmm... as I look at this picture, I'm starting to wonder if that was a chance to have another snowmobile in the garage. I think we had two other snowmobiles.

Meanwhile, I have many other snow memories from childhood. After all, in Buffalo, we have snow from October or November until at least March, usually April and once even May. At my father's house, I would take the dog outside and hollow out under the picnic table. I was Julie, from the book, Julie and the wolves. The dog was, of course, one of the wolves.

At my mother's house, sometimes, I would shovel the driveway with the landlord and his kids. I was good friends with the youngest. I think, though, her father and stepbrother probably did most of the work and we were probably in the way. We didn't mean to be, but we were young. When my mother would splurge and pay to have the driveway plowed (maybe 3 or 4 times in my life), she would have the guy leave the plow dung in a pile in the backyard, so us kids could go sledding on it. It was my job to take out the garbage, so in the winter, I put it on a sled and tugged it to the end of the driveway. I used to love going tobogganing. My class used to go to a park once a year for a field trip and I looked forward to the toboggan slide. I had a kiddie toboggan at home but, it wasn't the right size for the toboggan slide at Chestnust Ridge Park.

We weren't much into snowmen, we were more likely to build forts and snow statues. I entered a contest at my school one year. I didn't win but, it was fun to go to the winter carnival. My mother never played in the snow with us kids but, I hope if and when I ever have kids, I'm not such a fuddy duddy and I get out there in the cold with them. I think the snow creations will still be my favorite. That's the problem with New York City. Where do you make a snow turtle or a snow race car? I don't know too many people who have a lawn big enough for them. If you made it at the local park, you wouldn't get to see it after you made it or work on it in spurts. I guess you could take pictures for memories. I wish I had pictures of those snow creations I used to make. I don't know if NYC gets enough snow to really make cool stuff, though.

Salute to Subway...

Oh, no, I just realized, I left out Subway in Kew Gardens Hills.. I practically live in that place. They even do catering and party orders. Now, don't you wish you had known that before you ordered pizza for your superbowl party? There is free delivery but there are minimums. I think officially it's a $20 minimum. However, if you live right there near them which is near Main & Jewell in Queens, they might be willing to deliver a smaller order. You have to ask them. They have it all on their website:

They are also under the Vaad of Queens

718-544-SUBS (7827)

Pizza Palace Cafe (VHQ):

I just posted  the menu for a newish kosher pizza/dairy place in the area. Pizza Palace Cafe. They are located in Forest Hills. They are under the Vaad of Queens. They have a really great selection. They speak English. My friend who lives in Sunnyside, Queens (a start up community near Manhattan) says they even deliver to her. Although, there's a delivery minumum. I'm not sure what it is. I do know that an egg platter was not enough for delivery on Wednesday when I was snowed in, so I ordered dinner, too. Anyhow, kosher restaurants have a revolving door thing in Queens and since they have eggs and no one else (Kosher and in Queens) does which I just so happen to like to eat but, hate to cook, I want them to last.

So that's... Pizza Palace (VHQ) 63-60 108th 718 997 7492

They are Cholav Yis and Kemach. Sushi, pizza and Bagels.

Pizza Palace Cafe (VHQ): Menu cover

Pizza Palace Cafe (VHQ): Pizza, Calzones & Bourekas

Pizza Palace Cafe (VHQ): Sushi

Pizza Palace Cafe (VHQ): Bagels, breakfast and pastries

Pizza Palace Cafe (VHQ): Ice cream, Hot beverages, Entrees, Daily Fish specials, Soups

Pizza Palace Cafe (VHQ): sides, heros, paninis & salads

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A message to single men looking for arm candy as wives...

A man can only marry a woman that he can atttract. So, a man can not just wait and wait and wait for a frum version of Pamela Anderson or whatever "image" they want. Over and over again men turn down REALLY attractive girls saying that she is not pretty enough. I've heard this from a shadchan but, I'm not one bit surprised. I haven't even gotten a date from Frumster, I've only spoken to TWO guys on the phone from Frumster. I got a whopping ONE date from SYAS and talked to one addtional man on the phone that I didn't like.  I'm not ugly, by any stretch. I was beating men off me with a stick before I converted.

Frum men have become spoiled and picky. All they ever say is, "that's nice but, what else you got?" I know they tell you men that you're competitive but, this isn't a freakin competition. This is finding someone you feel comfortable with. I'm sick of this, "well I'm ONLY attracted to..." crap. Yeah, I don't buy it. You're looking for a woman who will make a good mother to your children, not a supermodel. FIX your priorities already!

Those Who Say Don't Marry a Ger/Gyoress

Well, over on the Daas Torah blog, he has posted the topic, "Should One's Child Marry a Ger?" and discussion has ensued. Arguments are being flung back and forth. The guest poster who wrote this has some concerns that I would agree are legitimate. However, some of the statements are outrageous. The comments get even more interesting.

First of all, she is worried that this person would fall off the derech. I think this is more likely with a BT because a convert has to fight so hard for their conversion. Second, she is worried that there will be questions about the Jewish status of the children, that they will be revoked. Ok, there may be problems with Eretz Yisrael, however, I think this is the minority of cases. Furthermore, I've heard of BTs getting hassled, too. Certain cities in EY are supposed to be more problematic in this regard. Third, Daas Torah adds that now one has to worry about upsetting their spouse with regards to the commandment to love a ger. Oh, come on! This is not what the Torah meant by love the ger. Normal lively discussions in the bais are to be expected. Intentionally not considering an otherwise compatible shidduch BECAUSE they are a ger/gyoress, however is not loving us.

The first comment on the post is by an Eddie who stuns the blogreaders with, "I do no wish to insult any Gerim, but a shiksa may come out of the mikveh Jewish, but her deep genetic character is still goyish..."  The blog owner chimes in with, "Are you saying that if one has a choice of marrying two women that one should give preference to the ger? The Torah says to love them - it doesn't say affirmative action is required."

Hmmm, that's funny, Eddie, because the way Hashems states in is "when a ger comes to convert" which is interpreted that the ger was meant to convert. As for Daas, now come on! Who really has such a choice to make with such perfect ceterus paribus? So don't go to a shadchan and ask for a ger but, agree to consider one. If a shadchan tells about someone and you suspect they are sending a convert to you because you agreed to consider one and not becauase it's a good match, you ask, "why is the person being suggested to me? I'm not hearing any common threads between us." I had a situation where the same shadchan kept suggesting over and over this same convert who was younger and wants a thin girl. I asked for older, up to ten years. Also, I'm not thin. I'm not fat, but I'm not thin, either.

I think, though, people have to start thinking about what's really important. This is not Subway. You can't stand there and tell them, "one of those, one of those, one of those, no-not that. one of those..." You think about what's important and you go from there. Incidentally, "stack or scrape?" is not important.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What about those super bowl ads?

It’s pretty much common knowledge that the super bowl advertisements are in a league of their own. These ads are the most unique, the most expensive and the most talked-about. During the super bowl is when advertisers debut their new commercials, especially the commercials that are supposed to grab a viewer. Super bowl viewers expect that more than half of the commercials will be new. Another notable item is that people will watch the super bowl, only to watch the commercials.

In the past, there have been some famous commercials to make their debut during the super bowl. In 1984, there was a landmark commercial which introduced the Macintosh computer by maker Apple. In 1993, there was an ad where Michael Jordan and Larry Bird competed in a basketball shooting contest but, they had to do things like bounce the ball, “off the highway” and make the basket, “nothin’ but net” in a competition for some McDonald’s food. Finally, in 1995, there was the introduction of the Bud-Weis-Er frogs.

This year, it seemed like there were some recurring themes in the commercials throughout the super bowl. There were a number of commercials where animals were acting human. Denny’s had two commercials featuring chickens that were acting human. They were highlighting the “grand slam” breakfast. The badger playing the violin for was incredibly cute. Furthermore, there was even a commercial were humans were acting like dolphins for Emerald’s nuts and Pop-Secret.

There were a number of ads that featured men without pants on. The most notable of these showed men in their underwear and was sponsored by This made me want to NOT go to I hope I never work in that office, as well. I felt this commercial was in poor taste. Dockers also put out a commercial called, “I Wear No Pants.” This one made a little more sense to me. At least one can see why a pants company might use this theme in an ad of theirs.

My friend’s favorite commercial was, “Playing Nice.” This was a Doritos commercial where a little kid smacks his mother’s date, “Keep your hands off my mama. Keep your hands off my Doritos.” I really liked the commercials for Doritos more than any other sponsor. In “Funeral,” a guy is buried in Doritos while he watches sports. In “Dog Collar”, the dog is wearing a collar which will not allow him to bark so he takes it off and puts in on the man with the Doritos. Then the dog takes the Doritos. Of course the man can’t say anything because he gets shocked if he speaks. In “Tim’s Locker,” Tim goes after someone who stole Doritos out of his locker. He throws a Dorito into the throat of the innocent bystander. The Dorito is depicted as a sort of a weapon. I liked Doritos commercials the best. I felt they were the most interesting and innovative. They grabbed me as a viewer. I would want to buy the product; however, Doritos are not kosher so, I will not be consuming any Doritos as a result of this commercial.

While I liked the Dorito commercials the best, there were other commercials that I noticed because of their marketing angle but, didn’t necessarily like. For example, the commercial, “Comfortable Skin” which I thought was a little too feminine to reach most of the male audience. My friend turned to her husband after the commercial and asked him if he grew a vagina watching it. This is an ongoing joke because he overheard men discussing skin care products in the barber shop, of all places. He said it was so bad he grew a vagina just overhearing it. It doesn’t seem to me that men would be attracted to a product with a commercial like this. The commercial starts with a man at birth. It then shows the man getting married and having three babies followed by his wife sending him out to check on a noise with a flashlight. Women would like this ad. I don’t think men would. Usually putting babies in a commercial is done when women were the target audience, not men. Women would like the idea of sending their man out to check on a noise. All four of us watching the commercial felt this way. I think a better angle and strategy would have been to show a man playing in the mud with his teenage son but, still-looking young. Then he uses their “manly” product to wash of this dirt he acquired in a manly fashion. The fact that he was spending time with his teenage son would draw in the girlfriend or wife who might buy the product for him.

So, this year’s super bowl did not seem to air any landmark commercials, like Macintosh or the Budweiser frogs. However, since super bowl commercials are the most expensive commercials out there, they are surely worth reviewing. While I doubt they will go down as some of the greatest commercials ever, we saw some interesting and innovative commercials from Doritos. Now that we’ve reviewed this year’s ads, the only task remaining is to wait for next year’s super bowl advertisements.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Double standard

No, I'm not talking about male chauvinism. I'm talking about the double standard that there is one set of rules for the Jews from birth and another set of rules for the converts.

I passed by an Orthodox high school today and witnessed some of their girls leaving. There were two clusters of three friends that I saw. All six girls were wearing tight jean skirts above the knee. One was wearing a skirt with a slit that went way up the back. The most disgusting thing I saw, though, was that one of the groups of girls was flirting with each other. This included a girl grabbing onto the behind of another one of the girl.

So, I blink the wrong way and I have to listen comments about "bas yisrael" doesn't do this or that but, they grab each others touchas? Some guy asked me for my phone number at Kosher Delight a couple weeks ago. He called my phone incessantly while I was eating. After I ate, I met up with him, supposedly we were going to go for coffee but, he stood there on the street asking me the usual, who do you eat by? where do you daven? I told him I didn't think I was right for him. So, he tells me my skirt was too short. Well, how can that be, when all my skirts are longer than what the FFB girls are wearing?

I'm really sick and tired of this double standard. I saw these girls walk out of an Orthodox school, so the excuse people make that, "they must be BTs and this is where they are at," doesn't work.

What else you got?

The problem with the shidduch crisis cannot be solved by shadchans offering matches that are closer in age because the men want such insane age gaps. In order to fix this, they are going to have to change the mind set of the men. The men have dating ADHD. They always want something new. They just want to see choice after choice. I was talking to the hillel rebbetzin today who has been doing shidduchim and she says the men just turn down woman after woman. Even a pretty girl, they will turn down. I know with me, they ask stupid questions and then find some reason to turn me down. When I was in the gentile market, I was beating men off me with a stick. Now... well, forget it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Leave your children in the dust, it's kollel or bust!

I was just reading this post where a kollel type whines that some are asked to leave kollel to go get a job. He feels kollel families are of a higher caliber and should be exempt from paying tuition for their children's schooling.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just sit around and do whatever we want and not have to worry about working!

If they tell stay-at-home moms they have to leave in order to work, then why shouldn’t fathers have to work? Having a mother at home with young children is surely better than the local Mexican lady watching the kids, don’t you think?

I always find it amusing that people who are SOOOOOOOO worried about their milk being tainted with pig’s milk by anti-semites that they keep cholav yis, yet they leave their children and kitchens unwatched and in the care of antisemitic babysitters.

Why can’t the men get a job like receptionist that would afford them significant down time where they can learn at their desks? I know, yes, there is a stereotype that this is woman’s work. Maybe we need to get over those stereotypes already.

Related posts:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

They are considering letting gays in the Army

I just read this article where they discuss possibly letting gays into the Army openly. Actually, they are currently allowed in the Army but, they are supposed to keep their sexuality private, or at least not flaunt it. Well, the current policy is best.

If we were to have those openly gay in the Army, they would likely get beat up. When I was in AIT (Advanced Individualized Training) two guys got caught being amorous in the barracks. Of course, I didn't see it. However, we all heard about it. I was actually at the Drill Sergeant's when one of the guys was speaking to the drill sergeant. He couldn't wait to get out of there. He was scared for his safety. They did an emergency leave for him just after midnight the night it happened. They did that so he wouldn't loose a day of leave by leaving at 10 or 11pm. Then they prepared discharge papers and he came back from leave only to be discharged, at least this is how I understand it. Actually, I think there are more gay or bi-sexual men out there than we know about. In some classic societities, I believe it was the vogue. Now, it is in transition from being shameful to vogue once again. At least that is how it seems to me.

This totally reminds me of where I went to college the first time.

Short version:

Long version:

And you might, if you are astute notice a comment below by someone with the same first name as the filmmaker... Yep, that's right, the filmmaker is one of my readers. He didn't ask me to put it up, though. However, he did Email it to me to see what I think. I like the short better than the long.

Apology from blog reader to me

Shalom Michal,

I received an email today from a reader of Daas Torah. He took me to task for 'savagely' tearing into you in the comments on the blog.

I know I have strongly disagreed with you. I even know that I have chastised you for some over-the-top statements and tone. I continue to disapprove of much of how you present your case; and disagree with some of the perception of the issues. For all that, I in no way meant or mean to demean you; and certainly I do not mean to 'savagely' tear into you. The sin is grave enough when done to any human being; and gravely compounded, as you know, when done to a convert.

Please accept my apology if I have embarrassed you or mistreated you privately or publicly. What's more, since the sin was done in public, I would appreciate it greatly if you would help me and post this on your blog. I will ask to do the same on Daas Torah, or at least in the comments there.


mordechai scher

CUNY Proficiency Exam...

This is an overdue post. I took an exam a little over a week ago called the CPE or CUNY Proficiency Exam. For those who are outside New York City, you are likely wondering what CUNY is. This stands for City University of New York. This is the network of 2 and 4 year public colleges within New York City's five boros. There is only one SUNY campus here. It's quite down-played, too. So, you may have heard me discuss that I go to Brooklyn College. This is a 4-year CUNY in Brooklyn. If you read the Daas Torah blog, you saw Jersey Girl make comments about Queens College, assuming that I go there. Queens College is another CUNY which is actually about a 30 to 45 minute commute away by public transportation or bicycle. (There's three legs to the journey by public transportation.) It's maybe 10 minutes by car from me, although, I rarely enjoy that option. I'm sure you are wondering why in the world I commute almost two hours when there is another CUNY in my backyard. The reason is simple, Brooklyn had the major I wanted. Queens did not.

So, enough of that. Every student at any CUNY is to take this exam between 45 and 60 credits. It is a writing exam. I want to say that it was easy but, I will feel pretty stupid if I say that and for some reason I failed it, now won't I? I was granted 67 of my 82 credits in my transfer into Brooklyn College. So, I was caught off guard by an Email during the Fall semester that I would have to take this test. I called the testing office and they explained it to me. So, I went in and filed for a deferral and I took it in January when I wasn't in session.

The topic that I had to write about for the essay had to do with the effect that technology has on reading and writing among the masses. I've been writing so much more since I started the blog. This is something I never would have done. I spoke about how I feel for me personally, the internet has improved my writing ability because I get more practice, because I have this blog. I closed my CPE paper by saying that each person chooses whether to use technology as a tool to grow in their reading and writing or a medium which makes you lazy and "u find ur starting 2 rite like this..."

Guest Poster: what's different about gerim?

Why are Geirim (converts to Judaism) subject to discrimination within the Jewish community? Why would a community that outwardly proclaims openness, is in fact most insular? The reasons are many and nuanced but in the end, it is the fear of the ‘outside’, those not in the community that defines every group.

From childhood on, the individual is taught that he or she is a part of something much bigger than themselves. The affiliation to a particular group makes them special and every expression of narcissism is discouraged. Love means fidelity to the group, not the self.

Those on the outside, the ‘others’, are by necessity rejected and more often than not, hated. The concept is simple. Within the group is love and safety. Outside the group are outsiders, ignored or barely tolerated. When those from outside the group join the group they are suspect. They may cling to aspects of their prior lives, loves and priorities. If the outsider says ‘Yes, I have ideas of my own that I have learned along the way’, the group is often fearful of being undermined. This is not unique to converts. The relationship in-laws have with their child’s spouse is often undermined for the same reasons.

When the group demands ferocious loyalty, love and self abdication and abrogation, you can be sure that group also offers up ferocious hate to those outsiders and those within (Geirim) who do not see eye to eye with them. The greater the hate of the ‘others’, the greater the fear (and nuanced hate) of those who join the group. The Geirim are the unknown and by virtue of their past lives are different. Thus to some, the greater the hatred of the ‘other’ becomes an expression of piety and fidelity to the group.

Geirim can articulate their emunah with great clarity and passion. They come to that clarity and passion despite familiarity with the 'outside' world. FFB's fear the outside and just about anything and everything from the outside. The unknown ‘outside’ is the threat. Some geirim can tell you how Shakespeare can influence the soul with great beauty, passion and insight into the human condition. Many FFB’s can barely spell the Bard's name, because for most FFB's the great writer is treif. Other geirim can tell you how art can transform time and space. Virtually all FFB’s has never learned how art has transformed empires and great ideas.

Put a crayon into the hands of a young child and watch art be created. Play music and watch toddlers dance. Art of all kinds is an integral part of who we are. We need not fear the ger who understands this and other ideas. Geirim do not come to us to pollute us. They come to infuse us with what brought them to life- kibbul ohl malchut shomayim. They bring us a better understanding of our world. They are oxygen.

The unspoken truth is that in many FFB communities, the outside must be feared. Many gedolim with who have more than a passing familiarity with the ‘outside’ are marginalized because of that fear. It always amuses me to see how many people simply poo-poo brilliant Rabbonim like JB Soloveitchik, Yitzchok Twesky, Aharon Lichetenstein and a host of others because they are 'educated'. Neither the Rambam nor the Abarbanel would be able to make a minyan in Boro Park nowadays!. How many FFB's today know the Vilna Gaon was a mathematician? How many know Jonathan Sacks has probably forgotten more than most people will ever know?

Michal and other geirim threaten the FFB establishment because her world is broader. She sees a whole lot more of the magnificence and magnitude of Creation and the potential of humankind than most FFB's. She threatens the FFB world because her crap meter is highly sensitive and tuned. She can see right through the phoniness- and that scares a lot of people because that threatens the status quo.

The FFB community has to hide behind the idea that they reject the outside because of some phony sense of frumkeit and genuine ehrlichkeit. In truth, it is their own shortcomings and not the outside that scares those most of all.

An enormous part of the FFB community is imperiled because the shtetl model doesn't work here in the 21st century. A look at the State of the Community confirms that. In many ways, we are in a free fall and just playing for time. If a substantial part of the community cannot now support itself, what on earth would anyone believe it will get better over time, with even more distance from the realities of what it will take to make it in the 21sy century?

Truth be told, it is geirim and a large segment of the BT community that will have an enormous impact on the frum community- and that scares a lot of people for a lot of reasons, especially the current 'power brokers' and their followers.

Geirim may not be authorities on bishul akum or dofen akumah- and that scares a lot of people. They do know what must be done with abusers. They do know how criminals must be treated. Geirim have a moral compass that many fear because of it's clarity. There is no ambiguity in their sense of right and wrong any more than there is ambiguity in their emunah.

The community tolerates that ambiguity because they hope that if necessary, they will benefit from it. A lot of FFB's could learn a lot from geirim and that scares the daylights out of them. Not a lot will admit to that, but it's the truth.

Monday, February 1, 2010

If you would have told me then that in 2010...

I don't celebrate the secular New Year's, as many of my readers also do not, so you will have to excuse the fact that this post is about a month late. Nevertheless, as I look forward to the new semester, I am glancing back, as well.

If you would have told me back in the 1970's where I would be in 2010, I would have been too young and the whole thing would have evaded my mind.

If you would have told me in the early 1980's that there would be available these little clear plastic things I can stick into my eyes to see fine without glasses and that I would wear glasses instead, I would never have believed you. You see, I hated my glasses so much and I used to hide them. One time my mother couldn't find them and she promised a popsicle or something like to any kid who could find them. All the neighborhood kids were looking.

If you would have told me in 1984 that I would someday move to New York City in hopes of becoming a professional actress, I would have believed it. You see, it was around 1984, that I had a solo in "songs from Oliver!" at school. I was the flower girl. If you told me that I would give it up to become a religious Jewish girl, I would have been perplexed. I had never even met a Jew and organized religion was something foreign to me.

If you would have told me in the late 1980's that in 2010, I would be in college studying a math-heavy major, I would have told you there was no way. At one point, Math was my worst subject. I was a year behind in Math and a year ahead in Reading and Spelling. Nevertheless, in 1991, I stunned myself. I went from being a student who could barely pass Math to gettng in the 90's.

If you would have told me in 1990, that in a couple years, my mother would stop speaking to her sister, I would have said, "never!"

If you would have told me in 1991 that my grandmother was going to outlive my mother, you would have been met with a stunned silence, this was just not possible.

If you would have told me 1991 or 1992, that I was going go to college for something Math heavy, I still wouldn't have believed you. You see, I figured this new found Math-ability was a freak accident. Besides, I already had figured out that I was going to go to Houghton College and major in French/Spanish education. Well, I came in one end but, never really came out the other end on that one. Who would have thought? Surely not me!

If you would have told me in 1992, that my mother was going to leave this world in a year, I would have known it was true. You see, I had a dream, no not a Martin Luther King kinda dream, but a creepy glimpse into the future that my mother was going to pass. Of course, I put it out of my mind. Although, I remembered this once again when I heard those fateful words, "they don't think she's going to make it through this surgery."

If you would have told me in 1996, that I would someday convert to Judaism, I would have believed that one. This is when I first started thinking about converting. I left Xtianity and the Xtian college. I didn't pusue conversion, I didn't want to jump from one religion to another and figured if I still wanted to convert later, then perhaps it would be more than a passing fancy.

If you would have told me in 1997 that I would join the Army in two years, I wouldn't have believed that one for sure, even though, I had been in ROTC. I was only in ROTC because a friend convinced me to join.

If you have told me in 1998 that I was going to live in San Antonio, TX from February 2001 to April of 2002, I wouldn't have known what to say to that.

If you would have told me in 2000 that in a year, the World Trade Center was going down, I would have said "impossible," even though I had never been to New York City.

If you told me 2001, that I would go back to college but change my major to Business with a concentration in Marketing, I would have believed you. In the late 1990's, I formed this current new career goal of marketing or marketing research.

If you would have told me in 2002, that after two years of living back in Buffalo, I would move to New York City, perhaps I would have come straight here. I had always been thinking about living here...

If you would have told me in 2004, that I should go back to college, I would have refused. I was burned out from trying to attain that goal and I had given up.

If you would have told me in 2005, that I would drop acting to become a religious Jewish girl, I might have believed you. It was only a year later that I did so, by now I was at an age where time has started to move faster... or seem to, at least. Besides which, I had thought of converting back in 1996, remember?

If you told me on July 16, 2008 that my father was to die of throat cancer in just over a year, there's no way I would have believed that one. I likely would have stammered, "he doesn't-he never smoked." Furthermore, if you would have told me that he was going to marry his girlfriend at the time, I would have raised my eyebrows, "I don't know...."

If you would have told me in 2009 that at two o'clock in the morning on February 2, 2010, I'd be posting on my blog, somehow, I don't doubt that I would have believed that.

I no longer try to plan my life. I plan to keep kosher and Shabbos and the rest... well, I guess the rest I find out as my life unfolds. I mean, I do hope to graduate, soon enough, I hope. Although, I think time might just slow back down for that one... you know how it is... time is funny like that.

Why I think Tropper is guilty

I'll tell you why I think he's guilty.

This organization was lying and making stuff up before this whole thing blew up. They garnered their support under the claim that they were preventing intermarriage, they were doing a good deed. Yet, some of us know that they were converting more than just intermarried folks. They were working with anyone they could get and taking payment for it-about a grand per conversion. These include single women with and without children. I know of a single man they converted. They converted entire families: man, wife and child(ren). I know this from seeing online posts from people who were working with this organization on a Yahoo group, "Orthodox Conversion To Judaism" which I am no longer on.

Furthermore, since they gave me the heebie jeebies I stayed away from them, but, I've heard of them doing conversions in less than a year. I thought that was the problem with the RCA? Why weren't they being open with the public that they were also converting many who were not intermarried? Did anyone give EJF permission to call themselves the source for "Universally Accepted Conversions"?


The Tropper thing hasn't been resolved...

So, over on the Daas Torah blog, there is a post about how another Jew who is unconvicted but, accused of something went to rabbis to ask them to drop the investigation into Tropper.

There's an INVESTIGATION? Really? This is the first I've heard of such. I thought they were going to claim the tapes were fake over and over again until people forget about it.

Dude! The tapes are not fake. She (we all know who "she" is) needed money and "worked it" until she got it. Then she figured she would just cry victim so she wouldn't have to own up to promises she made him. I noticed how she dropped this when her case against the ex was done.. coincidence? I think not. She's guilty, too. Everyone wants to feel bad for her. She's a 32 year old woman. She knew what was up when she took money from a man, puh-lease! Why rabbis in Israel would convert a woman who really admitted to prostituting herself is beyond me.
Incidentally, I've had too many female friends like her who tried to teach me her "game" to not spot what was going on.

What does P stand for?

So, my Marketing prof. sends out and Email containing the following:
Did you know that the water pressure throughout the US plunges during the half time show? This is true! Advertising falls under which of the 4 P's?

So, I Emailed her back, that it apparently falls under P for Plumbing.

Very corny, yes. She thought it was cute.

Perhaps, though, it falls under P for Pressure... as in water pressure... or maybe Plunges. Maybe... P is for what people do instead of watching the advertisements.

Hey, when is the superbowl and who's playing? I'm in such a bubble.