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.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

More clarification on the Lashon Hara about me...

So, I thought I would expand upon the earlier post.

It seems as though, a good 3 to 4 years ago while I was in the process, someone started by saying that I wasn't serious about my conversion. Now I know that this is why my process was dragged out. It's funny because I keep running into girls who are sleeping around while in the process. One girl wasn't just sleeping around, but dating a mormon. She gave her number to anyone. I would say she wasn't serious. Another girl asked me if they would check if she had her period when she went to the mikveh for conversion, as well as the fact that I overheard her on the phone degrading Jews.

Nevertheless, I have remained the bad guy.

Recently, you all saw the whole story of how I posted on my Facebook status that I was looking for hospitality in Brooklyn so that I don't have to be in a bind regarding my last class which ends at 4:55 pm. I got a message from someone (married guy, actually) who does NOT live in Brooklyn reacting as if I had messaged him and put him on the spot. Then he got back to me by phone, that he found Monsey. When I said that wouldn't work, he went on and on over and over again, emphasizing that I had an ORTHODOX conversion.

See now I understand what was going on. He heard this gossip that I was not serious and he was reacting basedon that. Here's the problem with that: If I was not serious when I converted, why did I convert? If I had a boyfriend that I was hiding, I would have been married by now. Why have I turned down countless non religious or barely religious guys that the community/shadchans have pushed on me? Furthermore, I challenge anyone who says this about me, to back themselves up. Honestly, I can't even imagine where it could have legitimately come from. No one in my community really took the time to get to know me while I was in the process. According to my source, it came from where I live and it came from a rabbi's mouth. I pretty much know what rabbi they are talking about. He barely talked to me. I suppose he was taking the word of women who don't keep Shabbos or kosher...

Also, I want to point out this is supposed to be old gossip that never died, so the argument that it comes from my experience of being soured on the religion in the last couple months is invalidated.

Inside the Orthodox Men's Sex World

So, over the past week, such as erev yontiff and on yontiff, I learned some hot gossip and happenings. In particular, I've heard from some Orthodox men and some OTD men about the Orthodox sex world or lack thereof. Apparently, they are being cracked down on. First thing I heard from several men is that Craiglist received some big crackdown and now they don't know where to find the cheapest whores. I'm told that for some Frumster has become the new Craiglist. I also heard from an inside source that the website of choice for others is whatever version of is going on. One chubby guy was begging me and asking me if I had any friends for him. 

I'm not sure how successful the Orthodox men are at getting it. I am, however, very sure they are trying. A guy was able to tell me something that he found out by accident. He was in an official building taking care of something (not that) in downtown Brooklyn and repeatedly seeing these Jewish men all headed in the same direction. A couple of the guys asked him if he was there for the "program." Well, you know how us Jews are, we like to have information. So, he followed the crew of Orthodox, mostly Chasidic men and asked someone about the room to where they were all heading. It turns out, this "program" was for those who got caught soliciting prostitution. Oy, vey! Meanwhile, I bet these wives thought their husbands were off "learning Torah." This is what women are supposed to financially support the household for?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Life Is Not ALL Bad...

I just wanted to take a second to clarify something. My life probably seems a lot worse from my blog than it is. The truth is that mostly it's boring and busy with school. It so happens that the garbage with my community is one of the more interesting facets of my life.

Now, if you read the last post, you know what drama I'm talking about. However, many people seem to be misunderstanding something: people, who likely barely knew me decided what they thought about me and rambled it on and somewhere along the line, people who probably knew me just as well, accepted their truth as fact without stopping to think that maybe you shouldn't listen to what others say about people. It makes it even worse if a rabbi was involved in the repeating of myths.

Anywho, most of my life consists of my ignoring the corrupt Jewish community. I have friends from school and a very good friend that I worked with in 2005/2006. What I don't have, is close friends who are Jewish. I have a ton of acquaintances who are Jewish but, FRIENDS? I scratch my head if I try to come up with Jewish friends. Some of the acquaintances have done or said something that created a barrier to where I couldn't think of them as friends, ever. Others are just simply busy little social butterflies who have many close friends in their friend-etoire. One of the nice things about my acquaintances at my college's Hillel is that people aren't so into gossiping like the married women are. Most people have no clue that I'm a gyoress, because they don't, upon meeting me, hurl at me questions like, "what's your background? Where did you go to bais yaakov?" etc. Part of this might be due to the fact that when you go to someone for a meal, they really know you're not an FFB. FFB's have people. They have aunts, uncles, friends they went to camp with and friend of a friends. BT's and converts can be in this unfortunate position of not having people. The cold, dark reality is that people LOVE to take advantage of, or at least pity those less fortunate. Perhaps this ties back into what a commenter said a couple posts back or so about people wanting gerim to be helpless. We come in helpless and at the mercy of those with yichus and strings and unfortunately some of them want to keep us at their mercy. Another commenter said that the number one reason people go OTD is how the community treats them. I actually think this is more true of gerim and BTs than FFBs. After all, most FFBs that go OTD do do so for theological reasons. Some even had some nice yichus before going OTD. I read online somewhere that one person (not impossible to find out but, I don't want to say) was turned away a couple times from an OTD support group because of his yichus.

Ok, well, this post turned into an ADHD brain fart... and my friend is tutoring me in math tomorrow morning so, I must sleep my brain away...

Friday, September 3, 2010

CONFIRMED!!! Queens Jews have been running their mouth on me!!

Well, a kind person from Queens found out a while back and they just told me that they were told by a reliable source (which was also disclosed to me) that people in Queens have been running their mouth on me. Now, I spent two years in the process and I'm nearing my two year anniversary since my conversion and the phone calls just stopped this summer when someone point blank asked me if I was observant. Apparently, someone decided that I wasn't sincere and ran their mouth to people who ran their mouth and so on. The rabbis apparently joined in the listening and speaking of lashon hara.

It's interesting, here I am, with my life on my blog but, they'd rather listen to each other tell my business.

Yes, I've been turning more and more sour since my conversion. I imagine that Hashem weeps some big fat giant tears as they rip me apart. The Jewish people are supposed to be "priests unto the nations." To me, that means an example... a good example. I have really seen some horrible sides of people.

We hear that story over and over again about the guy who gossiped and then was instructed to open up a feather pillow into the wind. Then he is asked to go and collect the feathers. I know you've all heard or read this. This is a story about why you shouldn't speak lashon hara. The absolute important point of this is that you shouldn't speak ill of others. If for some reason, it turns out that you are wrong, you can never get that back because the person you told has told others and even if you go to them and say that it turns out you were wrong and the gossip wasn't true, first off, they've already told others, second of all, it will always be there in their mind.

You've all seen it here on this blog. Time after time, I have had these tribulations in the Jewish community. I'll be honest. They have really soured something that was once sweet that was inside me. For those of you who have contributed to it, I hope you're proud of yourselves. It's good thing Jews don't shave with razors because it should be awefully hard to shave without looking yourself in the mirror. Of course, somehow, I think the people in that category prance around and pat themselves on the pat. They probably thing they are good and innocent. Destroying another person, though, through your words is serious business. I'm quite sorry that no one seems to be able to impress that upon people.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Guest Post: No yeshivas for us! Homeschooling in Orthodox Brooklyn

No yeshivas for us! Homeschooling in Orthodox Brooklyn

By: Michelle Kleinman

When my older daughter was not yet two, the big question that started coming up was “Where are you sending her to playgroup?” I got this question from everyone, from my in-laws to strangers on the street. Truth is, I hadn’t really thought about it. Since I am able to stay home with my children, the idea of sending them away at such a young age seemed rather silly. At that age, the experience can best be described as daycare. So I was honest. I said that I would keep her home with me for a few years.

Judging by my family’s reaction, one would think that I had offered to drop them off in the jungle to be raised by wolves. “What will you do when they’re older?” I was asked. “If you don’t send them to playgroup, no yeshiva school will accept them.”

Fine. Yeshiva tuition’s expensive anyway. I’ll just homeschool them.

Since that time, I have gotten exceedingly annoyed at the questions that have been hurled at me. Interestingly enough, only one question was about their educations. One of my relatives asked my how I would teach my sons Gemara. (Since I don’t have any sons yet, I’m not sure. But I might slip some Gemara lessons to my daughters…). This actually surprised me, since I do not have any yeshiva background myself. I expected to be asked “How will you teach Chumash?” “How will you know what to teach and when to teach it?” In matters of Limudei Kodesh, these are the questions which nag at me. However, there have been almost no questions in that regard. In fact, one of my neighbors said that girls’ schools were created primarily to keep girls out of trouble! Instead, here are the questions I get most, and the snarky responses I wish I had the cojones to deliver…

1.I couldn’t stand to be around my kids all day. Maybe you should have thought of that before you had six of them!

2.How will your kids learn to socialize? We’re talking to you, aren’t we? Believe it or not, there is more involved in homeschooling than locking your kid in the closet with a stack of textbooks!

3.How will they make friends? All the groups you want to send them to are full of non-Jewish and non-Orthodox kids. Oh, no, not that! They might learn that non-Orthodox and non-Jewish people are actually human! Call ACS, please!

4.I knew this one family that homeschooled their kids and they all turned out isolated and weird. And I know this one family that sent their kid to school, and she was bullied so mercilessly that she has deep-seated psychological problems to this day! Not all socialization is positive!

5.But you’re thinking of public school. Yeshivas don’t have bullies in them. Then why do so many people ask me about dealing with bullying? Kids are kids, some are going to be obnoxious jerks, and if you think a yarmulke or a Bais Yaakov uniform will change that, you’re living in dreamland. (Michal note: I actually read an article in like Binah or something that said Yeshivas have a BIGGER problem with bullying that public school.)

6.Why don’t you want to send them to school? Because Bais Yaakov is expensive, and, judging by the graduates, none too impressive education-wise. (Michal’s note: No kidding they have these 19 year old seminary graduates who bolt to Lakewood in the middle of the year because they were only “marking time”).
7.  How will you prepare them for the adult world? Certainly not by shoving them in an environment that discourages autonomy and independent decision-making at the expense of groupthink. I'd rather teach them responsible decision-making skills that are in line with their values, rather than provide the answers before they've even thought of the questions. Moreover, I don't think any sane parent would really want their children handling about 90% of the decisions that adults have to make.
8.What if they want to go to school? They’ll go. New York requires a boatload of paperwork to homeschool. Between the paperwork, my kids’ personality, and the fact that we could probably swing a year’s tuition (money talks louder than most people care to admit), they could probably get accepted somewhere.

The common theme here is not an overarching concern for my children’s education (which, if I recall, is the actual purpose of school), but a concern that my kids may learn something other than closed, ghettoized world of Brooklyn Orthodoxy. And, really, that’s reason enough to want to keep my kids home!