Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mr. Phone date.... Highlights from the Email exchanges...

I know this is a little old, but I read these to my friend who was like, "that's too funny NOT to put it on your blog." So, here we go... highlights from the frigid to meet and some snarky comments with which I did or didn't reply.

Simply put:
I'm not interested in hearing gossip or being the topic of gossip.

That's funny, cuz this is the guy that told me all about his exs, even some woman he never met.
I'm not interested in drama.
Which is why every Email I sent, he replied with a book to it.

A person is always a stranger until you get to know the person, and the only way you get to know the person is by talking.
The rest of the world does this in person.
Many a Rabbi of every denomination DENOMINATION? Buddy, are you sure you're Jewish? and secular scholars have all lectured about the same: The cornerstone of any relationship is communication, which is something that a married couple with a healthy relationship will spend most of their time doing, every day for the rest of their lives IN PERSON. In fact, it is the one activity that they do more than anything else. If that activity is too bothersome for you now, why would one expect you to embrace it everyday with happiness & joy for the rest of your life?  There is a difference between communicating and expecting someone you've never met to sit on the phone with you EVERY day for two to four hours. Also, body language is a huge part of communicating. I'm thinking this guy likes to lie because it's harder to lie when the other party can read your body language.

I recall a Rabbi giving a long shiur (lecture) Nice condescention! I know what a shiur is about religious people dating and during his lecture in front of hundreds of single people he advised the various techniques to avoid girls manipulating dates into meal tickets & the like. Yes, he described this to an audience made up of about 50% women. He strongly recommended to begin the process of elimination of people who were not yet serious about getting married by talking on the telephone No he didn't. The religious practice is to only use the phone to make the date and nothing else as a means to remove all other incentives from the dating process such as free meals, because those who were not genuinely serious about marriage, and instead interested in the free meal buddy if you're that worried about a woman leaching off of you how do you expect to support a stay at home wife and not think of her as a leach?, would quickly disappear rather than spend the time to get to know the guy. Ergo, if she protests too much, her priority is something else Yeah, I wanna know if you're lying to me, I want to read your body language. He also suggested a wide range of alternatives, including: Airport dates that sounds more like it (though I have never done that), going dutch (to remove the incentive for the free meal), etc. For me it's about not wasting my time (Bitul Zman is a sin) wasting time? You mean getting dressed and leaving the house? The time on the phone is as long as a date, which I consider the most precious thing that I have. I don't want to spend oodles of time, only to learn that it was just a game. So I guess that your panel of advisors who tell you that 2 conversations focused on getting to know one another for the sake of Kiddushin is "cuckoo" is:

wrong because it is for the sake of the mitzvah of trying to get married; This is not how you get married unless you're not in the same city.

and is really saying that the various Rabbi's and other authorities who have advocated for the same are "cuckoo" as well. No Orthodox rabbi has advised this. You are lying or twisting the truth. This is no surprise from one who is afraid of their date seeing his body language.

Again, I'm not interested in the drama (Your life is filled with a lot) my life is boring. you're the one dating anorexics & bulimics who run up credit cards, hearing the gossip (i.e. about your landlady) and I didn't hear any from you?, or being the subject of gossip I really wonder if this guy found my blog: I'm just looking to get to know a mature (not someone who needs a panel of advisors), motivated (a motivated person would diligently work at a relationship every day), marriage oriented (she'd be focused on learning as much about me as possible) person to determine if we're meant to be together. After all, "a successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day." - Andre' Maurois

Something that's important, one makes time to do. Obviously, this is not a priority unless whatever other agenda of yours is also achieved. Nope I don't have 4 hours a day to spend on the phone with someone I've never met and doesn't want to meet me-not even 2 hours. It works both ways, it's obviously not important to you to meet me.

This past week, I responded to another girl/woman who then immediately moved to speak by phone, whereupon we spoke day after day (I called her, she called me and we spent many hours talking to learn about one another. One conversation was 13 hours long lasting all night) seriously who has that kind of time? Does she not have anything else going on in her life?, and then we got together on Saturday night and visited the Brooklyn Museum for their First Saturday Program. While she continues to pursue me, I don't think that we're a good match for reasons not worth mentioning, as I have honestly described to her. I'm sure you'll complain to the next woman about whatever you feel was wrong with her AND me.

 ....Clearly your agenda is different from mine: You don't return calls, and days go by before you respond to e-mails because you were acting like we were already in a relationship and I hadn't met you yet. In contrast, the woman from last week, works all day, goes to graduate school at night and in between nevertheless made time to speak to me day after day I don't buy it maybe she takes one class but I doubt she's all that busy because she wouldn't have time for sleep. I'm very busy & successful in all my endeavors and don't have time for someone who wants to play games which is why I don't have time for you. You play games. Refusing to meet is a game. I'm looking for an Ezer K'Negdo who doesn't create drama and keep saying she can't or doesn't want to, but rather someone who will rise to the occasion and make the effort to make it work. I have found that she's not the exception, but rather she' s the norm You mean you date desperate women who drop everything in their life for a guy including fail classes? Yeah, I've seen women like that.: You're the exception, and again I have no idea what your agenda is. Just want to meet a nice normal guy... You're not him.

Thank you for your time, and I hope you find that which you are seeking. Oh spare me!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Binah says there's "been a" fat discrimination in the Frum workplace

Over Shabbos, I had the chance to look at an old Binah magazine from January 24th of this year. It seems they were looking into the perks and pitfalls of the frum workplace.

What I found most disturbing was the serious discrimination. For starters, they give the example of Chana who supported a kollel husband for many years on a measly teachers salary. Eventually, her husband went to work as a rebbi in the boys division of her very same school. Well, her jaw dropped when she found out that a first year rebbi dwarfed her salary as a twelveth year morah.

Esther, who was also supporting a kollelnik, was told by an administrater to have her parents support her when they weren't paying salaries. Rina was a single girl "out of towner" living with roommates not parents. She was friends with some of the married teachers and found that they were making more than she was, even though at least one was still "being supported very comfortably by her father."

I'm really not suprised by any of this. The secular world has done it to me, too. I've been on job interviews where I was told that I could live with my parents so I didn't need a full time job to support myself. I couldn't live with my parents. My mother was dead and my father felt I was refusing to grow up. I was desperately trying. The money I would bring into a company would be just as green as what a white man with grey hair would bring in, but somehow, they don't see it like that. I was fired from one job for not sleeping with the boss' 50 year old friend who worked there, though it serves me right since I was sleeping with a number of the other guys in the company. (note that this was in 2002.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

No really who IS Sephardic? And other drama from the Jewish class....

So, you may recall my recent post where I discussed the three nusachs. Well, now we are after the midterm and we are discussing it again. The thing is that everyone says that if someone isn't Ashkenazi, they are Sephardic. However, what about Edot HaMizrach? Incidentally, that literally translates as communities from East. The professor says the Sephardim never intermarried to Mizrachi types. I say that's garbage. One of his arguments was that Pesach comes and what are they to do? Even if they take the husband's traditions how do they go to an Ashkenaz in-laws' house for a meal? Well, this is silly. First off, I asked my rabbi and he explicitly told me that kitnyos is NOT chametz. Second of all, it really is not that deep. Either you make sure that's the holiday that the Ashkenaz extended family gets or the Sephardic family makes plenty of items that you can eat. People know about this so they won't figure it's because her cooking sucks.

I was rolling my eyes in the last class. Of course, I don't know anything because I have a goyishe Irish last name.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Some pics from the Zoo....

I went back in August of 2009, but I'm pretty sure I never put pictures up. If I did, I apologize for the duplicacy of posting theme. Taking pics is a little hobby of mine.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Conversion controversy again? Or maybe it was a little twisted?

03/24/11    3pm

So, looking at some posts from the blogs that I follow, I found this post here by Rabbi Harry Maryles. Basically, it states that a woman, who converted through the Queens Vaad, and her husband want to make aliyah. According to Rabbi Maryles, states that the Queens Vaad was not being recognized. He or his commeters (I read it last night and I don't have the patience to see which) made some comment that now the Queens Vaad is not being recognized for marriages.

Now, I WENT THROUGH the Queens Vaad. I also know that my friend who converted with me (well, right before while I was in the waiting shower room) has already gotten married in Israel. She said when her mother-in-law brought in her papers they didn't even flinch, no waiting, phone calls, looking anything up-accepted on the spot.

So, seeing the post on R.Harry's blog, I was suspicious. I went to the MAMA article through the link on his post. Well, it turns out, the details were twisted a little bit. According to the article, "Fanny, who completed her conversion 10 years ago, could move to Israel registered as his non-Jewish wife, the Smiths cannot afford to do this. She would lose out on the financial benefit package that only new Jewish immigrants receive. The couple say they need these benefits to pay for their relocation."

Earlier on in the article, it says, " 'My wife and I live an Orthodox life and feel Orthodox, and we want to contribute to the Jewish state and live there,' Bruce Smith, a resident of Brooklyn, told the Forward. 'It makes us angry; it makes us upset.' "

While I agree that it's odd that they treat individuals who went through the vaad as gentiles, contribute? I mean, how do they contribute if they aren't rich American Jews coming to influx capital into the state? Instead, they are wishing to be carried by the state until they can float on their own. I'm surprised the state is paying for this. I was under the impression Nefesh B'Nefesh paid for the aliyah help and that they were funded by donations from rich American Jews. I have heard of state programs for people under certain ages with a bachelors degree where they contract to teach English or something, but not anything that everyone gets just cuz. Reading the article, I was wondering if maybe they didn't qualify for such a thing.

I still think there is something that isn't being said in the article. The RCA told me I wouldn't need a second conversion through them because the Vaad has a good reputation. If there was some funny business going on, where they were trying to hold control to get paid to convert, they would have offered to dip me for a fee. It doesn't make sense.

All in all. I guess it's good thing I don't plan on making Aliyah.

As a side note: I believe (but don't know because I'm not really on top of these things anymore) the Queens Vaad is no longer doing conversions, but this could be since the rabbi who did more than half, maybe 80 to 90% of the conversions passed away a little over a year ago (right before the start of last Spring semester). The other rabbis are also getting on in years (most over 80).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Expanding upon that girl with her comments after class...

What I failed to say in my recent post, was how much this girl went overboard. She started out not so offensive, as I mentioned. Some of the over the line things she asked though was when she started asking which beis din I went through. Then she asked if I'm accepted where I live. I thought that was not so nice. She started harping on, "well wasn't it hard to give up...." ? How do I feel about keeping Shabbos alone every week since I just admitted that no one accepts me in my community. Yes, long winded, I have the blog and such but it's this, "I just want to step in and represent the Jewish people by letting YOU know that we don't like or want your kind," that comes through in these interactions. All I can say is that I'm sorry I actually thought I wanted to be Jewish now that I know how shallowness and self-absorbness is considered desired self attributes. I really believed Gd wanted me to convert. Now I'm left to wonder if any of it is real.

Now, I know what most of you are going to say: that I should move-leave NYC. I'm sorry, but I moved to NYC because I wanted to live here, not because I wanted to convert. As a marketing major, I need to be here because this is where all the marketing research/advertising jobs are. This is also where there is a school I want to go to for grad school (after a break from school, though and just working, I'm exhausted). Finally, I'm comfortable here. I know my way around and I just don't feel excruiatingly inclined to go to someplace new and acclamate myself to it, not even 'Jersey. I am not leaving New York State.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hilarious Jewish comedian!

In response to my last post, someone posted this video. It was too funny not to make as a stand alone post.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oh Joy, Jewish class!

You may recall this post. A woman in my class who had already been exchanging looks with another girl from class at the Hillel asked me if I was a convert right in front of my Muslim friend. Well, her friend asked me just now. We had our midterm today and since the classroom was in spitting distance from the building's entrance people were casually gathering in the entry way asking the question about X, do you know what that was? I got a question wrong that the sandhedrin was in Israel/Palestine. I put that it was in Babylon. I couldn't remember. So, anyway, I was walking with some classmates who walked out at the same time, two of them happened to be the two from the Hillel incident, the other one asked me while the others were talking if I had converted.

WTF? I mean, at least she had enough respect not to ask me in front of others, but seriously if people are so curious, get a book of converts' stories. I'm not some sort of Jewish convert oncomouse at your disposal! Oh, yeah, she, of course didn't stop with one or two questions, she kept going until I ducked into the cafeteria, of which we were, at that point, standing in front.

Oh, and she's not the classmate who found my blog. I'm still curious about that one. Send me an Email and tell me who you are, Mr. or Ms. "What a CU Tuesday." I already Emailed and asked anyone I thought it might have been. I'm guessing they found me from the link I put of the three nusach post on the page of a Syrian Jewish female friend that I had a class with last spring semester.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Jewish class: Three Nusachim

In my Jewish class, one of the readings assigned to us, discussed the three nusachs. I blogged about an obnoxious lady from my class who insulted me during a study session. Something I didn't discuss (because I was intending this full post on the subject) was when she was telling the Muslim friend of mine about how there's two kinds of Jews Sephardic and Ashkenaz.

While we all think this and say this all the time, it is actually incorrect. Ashkenaz are what we think they are. True Sephardim have meshed with the Ashkenaz and those that we call Sephardic are actually oriental. If you don't believe me, go into and punch in a neighborhood like Syrian Brooklyn (that's 11223 zip code). You will see several minyanim listed as nusach "edot hamizrach." The translation for this is, believe it or not, Oriental. I guess it makes sense, if you also pull up a Bukharian shul, you will find they also daven this nusach. Bukhara is in central Asia.

I first became exposed to this whole idea of three nusachs a good long time ago when speaking to a guy that was converting while I was also still in the process. He explained to me that there are two Sefardic nusachs. This was a long time ago so I don't remember how exactly how he put it but it was something like one being nusach Sefard and the other being Sefardic. Back then, I actually went into godaven and saw this edot hamizrach label. I didn't know what it meant, though, until this class... Oriental... huh...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Externals "R" Us!

I was just commenting over on a post on Frum Satire and a fellow commenter nudged me into the following comment about the high level of phoniness and emphasis on externals in the Jewish world.

This is super noticeable in the dating world. In other religions, the men are taught not to look at outward appearances but not so in the Jewish religion. Instead, women are told to cover up but men are told it's ok for them to look for arm candy, after all, they do have to be ATTRACTED to their wife. The Hot Chanie is born.

It's all about appearances. There's so much status jockeying and such. It's actually considered a good quality. People think of BY Rav Meir as some frummy school, but I've recently heard about how their application for the kindergarten concerns itself with whether the family spends summers in the catskills or not. Then I discovered that the FFB classmate who tried to brag down another classmate on her family going to Florida for both Pesach AND Sukkos.... went to Rav Meir.

The "religious" Jewish environment teaches phoniness and externals so it makes sense to mekarev by teaching externals.

The Ongoing Saga of My Jewish Class

I take a class, it's an upper level "core" or general studies class. We choose two classes to our liking in two different categories with three categories from which to choose. I previously took a class in Paradoxes, now I'm taking this class in the Jewish Diaspora.

Well, there's been little snotty comments and looks from various students in the class. I would say these come from students who are either A) older or B) FFB.

The first incident was with an older lady, in her 50's. She was one of the people I exchanged Emails with within the first couple classes. One day, I'm leaving class. I was on my way to restroom. She calls to me, "Nicole.." I was wondering what in the world this woman wanted with me but I figured it wouldn't be good. What can't wait and be Emailed to me? She wanted me to sit and read the reading to her. Oy, Vey! I told her I had to go to the bathroom. So, I actually recorded it for her and Emailed it to her. I had to read it anyway. She acted all weird about that. Also, I Emailed the group that exchanged Emails including her about it but I didn't give her name. The next class she snapped at me and told me not to give out her Email address-except I had already Emailed out that group, plus, I thought the whole group was on point that we were trying to exchange Emails with people in the class. Walking out of that class together in the hallway she said to me something about me not being Jewish. I said, "No, I am Jewish."  I told the story to a certain friend/blogreader who said, "it's called conversion." I wasn't going to throw this woman such a bone. I'm Jewish-end of discussion. Besides which, why COULDN'T I be a BT? Ok, I have an Irish last name, but still.... I could be a product of intermarriage with a Jewish mother and non-Jewish father. I could have changed my name. I actually did, but my original last name wasn't any more Jewish. It was English. Grrrrrrrrrrrr!

The other older lady was kind enough to start her crap today while studying with myself and a Muslim friend of mine who's in the class. Previously, there was an incident with "looks" in Hillel. I came in to get a burger and I saw she and another classmate begin to speak to each other with looks on their faces wondering what the hell I was doing there or whatever. It was a lot of looking at me and looking at each other. Ok, whatever. Well, today, class was cancelled. However, my friend and I made plans to meet in the classroom to study on the chance that anyone else wanted to meet with us to study. This other older lady came so she studied with us. At one point, she says to me, "you're a convert, aren't you?" I told that to a Sephardic not religious Jewish friend of mine after my other class and her jaw hit the floor that someone was so rude to do such a thing. Oh, please, I deal with this all the time. The woman went on to tell my Muslim friend (I don't think she knows we're friends because we don't sit together since my friend didn't see me on the first day until seats were pretty full then our professor told us to sit in the same seats) that people convert for marriage so no one likes converts and if they converted not for marriage it's worse because then we have no idea why they bothered. I really should have told her that I have Jewish ancestry, but way back. I probably do, but tracing my ancestry, I get stuck with my great grandparents who came from Germany.

Things like this make me wonder why the heck I took the class. I really debated it. I guess in the end I was hoping that the class might even tip my love-hate relationship with Judaism back to the love side of the scale. I really should have known better. Maybe I'll get blog fodder out of the course work at some point. Actually, I have one that I will post when I have time. I will also get to blogging about the FFB eventually.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mr. Phone date, the saga continues....

So, Mr. Phone Date and I have been exchanging Emails. It's very interesting. He said he's not interested in gossip. Oooo, I wonder if he found this blog. Anyway, that's a lie because he told me all kind of business on other women he's met either in person or on the phone. I suspected he wasn't really all that interested in me and that's why he didn't want meet/spend a couple bucks for a light meal. I was right. When I asked him about it he admitted that he thought maybe I was a gold digger so he was keeping me on the phone. He claimed he was at a rabbi's shiur then he followed shiur by (lecture), very nice condescention! Anyhow, while he says the rabbi encourages airport dates and he doesn't know what those are, he claims the rabbi also recommended sitting on the phone and not meeting. We all know that's garbage. Rabbis in the Orthodox world recommend making the date on the phone and nothing more or less.

Anyway, I told him it was very rude of him to ask me over the phone how much I weigh. He defended himself by saying that I tried to defend my way out of it. Really, I should have refused to tell him. If a guy were interested enough to meet me, he wouldn't ask because he would just eyeball it and I don't look like I weigh as much as I do because it's mostly muscle. I have large muscular calves and the tone in my thighs still even shows a little. When I lose more weight, I'll have nice toned legs and I'll just have to become a hot Chani to show them off. This guy replied to my Email telling me that I'm obese... yeah, according to the charts. Those charts also say I was overweight when I was a size 5 and my rib cage was showing. Besides which, a guy who calls himself "refined" should have enough tact to not ask a question like that.

UGH! Are there any decent guys left?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hadag Nachash is in California today!!!

Just a little shout out to Hadag Nachash that I saw in concert Sunday night. They are in San Diego tonight and I believe they are already there. In that spirit do I post their song, California and the lyrics that someone put on YouTube.

we went on a trip on the ROUTE ONE
to the right trees, to the left the sea
the car is huge, swallowing the petrol
the cruise-control is embedded on a 100 *(KPH)
everything's so pretty, makes you feel like crying
hitting (making) a U-turn every other minute

we climbed to the lookout to view the Pacific what a nice day, ABSOLUTELY TERREFIC "dude, check it out, there's a whale we can ride on his back all the way to Japan!" stepping on it *(the pedal), goading the engine there's nothing like American car- nothing! we entered the studio IN THE POCKET with a little like we'll bang all the rhymes just like Haim Heffer *(Israeli poet) record the whole album and go back to the green boundary *(Israeli '67 boarder line)

in the studio everyone's enthusiastic with the gear
and also from the "flower" *(weed) the DUDE got us
we went out to cool off in the RED WOOD forests
we went a little deep and got a little lost
pull the camera out and do some documentation
hold your hand steady, dude you're losing focus
Yossi take command, do some editing
Yo, dude, check out the echoing
endless cruises man check the scene, stop the car and let's get down to the beach light up a "small one" *(joint) we gotta have something to burn oh now I got the "mancheese" I gotta'eat something yo dude check it out- a seal (hau-hau) Shaanan, stop being a moron.. California California, you're so hot yeah I’d love to go down with you X2 California California, my darling i have to ask- is it all real? -end-

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hadag Nachash Comes To NYC to Kickoff the Celebrate Israel "Season"

I caught the subway train followed by then transfered to the downtown 6 train at 5:38pm. I had very little wait which is just unheard of on a Sunday. Of course, my 6 train also got stuck in the tunnel thanks to a sick passenger on the train ahead of me. I still got there in time to get pretty good seat-about 6:10 after getting through security. People actually streamed in until just before the show when I noticed it suddenly got really full. Of course, they couldn't start just quite on time which I expected. However, they did start shortly after on time. The show was kicked off with remarks from various politician/diplomat types from various Jewish and Israeli groups. One of them read off all those reasons for not boycotting Israel. It's a cool list, but I can't imagine too many people haven't heard it several times before.

I realized I should hit the lou. I missed the group's entrance, but I figured that was better than holding it until I finally go and miss the beginning of one of my favorite songs. Groups always do the best songs towards the end of a concert. My timing was good since several women came in behind me and I just escaped standing in a long line.

I came back in and realized the aisles were full of people... I squeeked by people and found my way back to my seat-not that I was sitting. They released a bunch of blue and white balloons which I was a couple rows behind, so a small number came to me as they were tossed about in the crowd. Some went on stage while the guys were performing and they smacked them away and they performed.

My favorite of the group, Shlomi Alon, looked hot. He grooved and jammed his body into sexy girations as he played his various saxophones, the flute or sang. The guys drank water and put towels on their sweaty heads. The crowd was kinda boring, especially as far back as I was. Hardly anyone around me was dancing. It was so unreal. My friend got me into Hadag Nachash all the way back in the summer of 2009 and they have come to NYC to perform a bunch of times and every time I missed them. I remember last year, around Purim they came. I saw it posted on the leader singer's Facebook page during the time they were performing.  Finally, though, I was seeing them in front of me. I should have asked someone to pinch me!

Eventually, the lead singer of the group, Sha'anan introduced the various guys in the group. Then Guy Mar, the DJ, introduced him. Soonafter, he said they were about to sing their last song. My jaw dropped. This was impossible. They hadn't sung the Sticker Song. Sha'anan said in an interview once that this is the song to which Americans actually know the words. It was a teaser, though. They acted like they were going to go off stage and they went into a huddle on the side of the stage. I was standing there, stunned, it's not possible that it's over. They are still on stage. People were leaving. I wasn't going to leave yet. It seemed like an eternity. Then they came back to their spots and did the "Shirat Hasticker" that made them famous. They actually did another song after that. Then that was it.

I went out of the auditorium to buy a CD or two and a t-shirt. I was taking waiting for the table to calm down when a group of people taking pictures of themselves pushed me into the table. "Do you have to do that right here?" That group of people broke up and all the sudden I was standing next to Sha'anan, the lead singer, "oh." It all came together. I stammered, "I'm standing next to Sha'anan!" He smiled and walked by me padding me on the shoulder as he passed. "He just touched me, holy cow!" I was for sure grinning from ear to ear.

I asked the t-shirt girl, "are any of the others here?" She was like, "sure, right there.... there... there... all over.." I grabbed my jacket, sweater and CDs in a big klump and staggered away still in a daze. The security guards screamed and yelled trying to get everyone out of there. Grrrrrrr!

There he was-cool and aloof standing against the wall... SHLOMI!! I went up to him and stammered, "ummmm, are you Shlomi Alon? Can I get a picture?" He was soooo super cool and offered to hold one of my CDs in the picture that I recruited some guy to take of us while said guy's friend offered to hold my lump of jacket and sweater that I was actually going to put on the floor.

I was supposed to have a picture of Sha'anan, too. After having gained my bearings I found him again and asked for a picture, but the stranger I recruited for that picture never actually took the picture as I discovered on the subway.

Sooooo, cool! I met the guys from Hadag Nachash! YAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!! I even have a picture to prove it! That's me next to him right there in my new Hadag t-Shirt!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

YAY!!!! I figured out cool stuff on Blogger!!!

So, I just figured out how to pull all my posts from the now defunct and put them over here so I don't have to do it painstakenly anymore. While I was there I also ran across my stats. Over twenty five thousand people had viewed my blog over the years. I thought that was cool, but I'm sure it's chomp change compared to some other bloggers.

As always, guest posts relevant to my blog are always invited. Irrelevant spam guest posts are not invited... They'll Email me anyway, though.

Also, I had a chance to look through old posts in the last couple days. I shall blog about that when I get a spare minute.
I was just thinking that it's possible people can see the beginning of my posts in their dashboard so I thought I would help along any of my followers who haven't found their way to the new site.

We're Golden... Aren't We?


Take a look at this link regarding a company most of us know and buy from:

It’s really crazy that they are averaging a cool half million per staff member per year. Somehow, that seems a little…. Not kosher…. I mean really, is THAT normal? Why is Michal even bothering to look up information on a frozen veggie and Cholav Yisrael milk company, anyway? That’s a good question.

So it seems the people at Golden Flow seem to have gotten word that their company name was not so Golden. FINALLY-after 24 years of business, they figure this one out. I mean they can make a cool half mill per employee in sales but they can't figure out that their name sounds more like a liquid you get rid of than one you might drink? 

So there I was cooking my Broccoli for Shabbos when I noticed that the label now says, “Golden GLOW” instead of the previous, “Golden Flow.” “Hmmm,” I wondered if it could somehow be a knock off. I pulled other vegetables out of the freezer to look at their packages. Of course, I soooo did NOT have time to be doing that but I was stunned, “could something like this have really gone down without me hearing about it BEFORE I saw the packages?” I examined and compared old packages and new packages. Yes. It is definitely the same animal… (vegetable!!! Mineral….)

The best part of all is that this means I beat Heshy Fried to some really cool material!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Originally written in 2007
The gist of these two parshot is the building of the Communion Tent according to the instructions from previous parshot, Terumah and Tetzaveh. I could go through and state every detail of what was done, however, every detail given was previously mentioned and thus, is merely reiteration. Instead, I’m going free style based on the parshot.
I notice that in speaking of the Sabbath laws the phrase, “no matter where you may live,” was included. Could this be a foreshadowing of the future exile from Israel? Perhaps, that was important because they were traveling and thus, once they made it to “the land of milk and honey,” they might be tempted to drop the Sabbath? Here, also, the Torah states not to ignite fire on Shabbos, but says nothing of any other type of work. Although, the Shabbos prohibitions that come to my mind stem from the prohibition against fire lighting.
When I read about how there was too much in the way of materials, this seems to warrant discussion to me. How come we don’t have this problem anymore? Are the Jewish People becoming superficial and thus, like the rest of the world? Also, let me note that the items brought to the building site were probably items borrowed without intention of return from the Egyptians. Because of that, the people would have been keenly aware that these items come from G-d. Unfortunately, in modern times, recognition that all comes from G-d is really only given lip service. If people really believed that, then why are they keeping up with the Cohens while synagogues and Jewish charities need money?

I would also like to use this opportunity to speak about the two menorahs. In Terumah, the purple Torah (Kaplan translation) has commentary that there is actually dispute as to what the original menorah really looked like. There’s the traditional menorah that even the gentiles know. Then there’s the Maimonides menorah. This menorah has straight branches instead of curved ones. I noticed one day walking down 108th Street that one of the Sephardic shuls had that menorah on their building and I processed this. While Maimonides is studied by both Orthodox and Sephardic Jews, I read somewhere that his teachings are more predominant within Sephardim. So I noticed that they put his interpretation, rather than the mainstream interpretation on their building. If you want my opinion, I’m going to bet they’re both wrong based on the fact that there’s differing opinions. Besides which, without the Temple, does it really matter?

I noticed that the incense altar is made in gold and the sacrificial altar made in copper. Being that the incense offering is regarded more highly than offerings, it makes sense that they use the more precious metal for this altar. There are fireplace tools and a screen for the sacrificial altar but not the incense altar. I suppose the incense altar wouldn’t get as messy as the sacrificial altar, as well.


I noticed when they made Aaron’s belt; it was made of wool and linen. I have heard and read amongst Jewish law, that you can’t mix the two for clothing. Is the mixture prohibited because it is a consecrated combination? Or could Aaron’s belt been scandalous?

In the last paragraph of Exodus, it speaks of how the Cloud of G-d would rise from the Tabernacle to indicate when the people were to move on. The Tabernacle was a tent, a temporary place. Earth is a temporary home for people before they go to the world to come. Any given Jewish neighborhood in America is a temporary home away from Israel. G-d is constantly effecting changing in our lives. The temporary should not be frowned upon as it is. Anything temporary is awaiting change, hopefully improvement rather than a downgrade.

Judaism versus the other guy...

Originally posted 12/14/08 and written in early 2007

Judaism and Xtianity: The Differences by Trude Weiss-Rosmarin dissects the differences between the two religions. Some aspects of this include: the G-d idea, miracles, sin, earthly pleasures, faith vs. law and J. I intend to mix book summary with personal experience to discuss this topic. Therefore some may find things in this discussion that are not in the book.

The Jewish G-d idea is monotheistic. The Xtian G-d is the trinity. If you talk to a Xtian, they will tell you they are monotheistic, however this is not accurate. Their argument is that G-d takes three different forms but, that it’s still one G-d. However, one of these forms is supposed to be a human form. If you take that away, there can be no “father” and thus you just get one G-d. A kindergarten math lesson would tell you that if you take away two so that you get one, you did not start with one, but three. Not too mention, if G-d is Omnipotent and Eternal how can He allow Himself to take a form that is power-restricted and transitory?

In Judaism, miracles are a foot note. In Xtianity, especially Catholicism, they are central to the religion. Weiss-Rosmarin points out that many have been duplicated by “black magic.” Thus, they do not seem to be that great of a litmus test upon which someone would base their faith in which version of G-d is our Creator. Another point to be made is that if faith is more important than works in Xtianity, why then, do they need their god to prove himself to them? What happened to the importance of faith?

In Judaism, sin is the result of choices made against G-d’s will. You atone for it by changing your behavior or asking for forgiveness and meaning it. In Xtianity, sin is something with which you are born in your soul. You atone for it by belief in J who was god’s son and also god, according to them. This god was then crucified for everyone’s sins. How can G-d be Eternal and yet die? How can G-d hate the sacrifice of one’s children and yet do what he hates? Does it make sense for an Omnipotent being to do what he hates?

In Judaism, earthly pleasures are something G-d gave us to enjoy while we are here, in moderation. In Xtianity, the ideal is the monk living in the mountains having given everything up. He does not get married and have kids. He has no money. He does not wear nice clothes. He does not eat steak or hot fudge sundaes. He does not drive a convertible on a sunny day with the wind in his hair. The only thing he gets that the Jewish guy does not get is a ham and cheese sandwich. Is this a sensible trade off?

In Judaism, the law rules over faith. In Xtianity, faith rules over law. At least that’s how it seems on the surface. The author of this paper sees it another way. In Judaism, you follow the law that the Creator laid down for you because you have faith. If you didn’t have faith, you would not think that He gave the Torah, so you would just do what you want, no? In Xtianity, they work on faith. They are on step one. The Jews are on step two.

In Judaism, views of J vary. Some hold that he is a false prophet. Some say that he was a rabbi. Most certainly, he was a mortal. The author of this paper has nicknamed him.
”the hustler,” because those who believe in him have obviously been hustled. In Xtianity, he is the cornerstone of the religion. He is god-incarnate. He was both god and a mortal. Again, how can a mortal also be god?

In conclusion, Judaism is obviously a more advanced religion. Jews can do math and grasp that one god minus two gods equals negative one for the religion. Jews do not need miracles to prove their faith. The Jewish G-d does not call His People “sinner” until the sin has happened. The Jews are encouraged to enjoy life (with proper moderation.) The Jews follow the law since faith is already there. Additionally, J was not our Eternal G-d, since he was not eternal, he was a mortal.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

From my old stand up routine

Originally posted 12/14/08

Some of it had to be edited out, either because it has to be performed or because it wasn't appropriate for someone who's become a religious Jewish girl to post....
I have to warn you up front…. I may be a little hyper tonight… I you see… I…. um…. Well… I couldn’t find my Ritalin before I came.
Guys and their bad pick up lines crack me up. I’m at the Laundromat folding a sheet. This guy asked me if I was going to Atlanta. Yes, because they only use sheets in Atlanta, so, if I’m folding one, I must be going there…. imagine look-90 percent perplexed, 10 percent annoyed.
This guy sent me several Emails asking me to call him because he said he was too technically-challenged for Email. But, he was able to send those Emails. He said he needed help. But, hey, I’m blonde, I couldn’t possibly figure out what he was up to.
Some advice to the ladies: When guys ask where your father is, they are about to run game on you. They want to make sure he’s not around to have your back. I like to tell them, “don’t worry about where he is. I was in the Army and I know how to shoot an M16. It's me you have to worry about.” At which point they usually walk away. Some who are particularly dumb, don't get it and I walk away.
Or how about when you're walking down the street at night and the men drive real slow next to you? "I have your license plate number and I'm calling the cops." ZOOOOM, they take off.
For the Latin crowd: Don’t you love when white people try to speak Spanish? Yo hablo es-pan-olo The "H" in "hablo" of course being pronounced.
I may be a cracker…. But I’m not a boring WHITE cracker…. Like a saltine…. A chez-it is much more accurate choice. Since I’m a cheesy cracker myself.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

ADHD and Judaism come together....

Originally posted on 12/14/08

So, there's this thing from the Aruch Hashulhan instructs you in the "Jewish" manner of tying your shoes. For those of you who aren't familiar with this, you are supposed to don the right shoe, don the left shoe, tie (or in the case of my boots, zip) the left *then* tie (zip, velcro whatever) the right.

When I got home today the right boot was unzipped. That means I had one unzipped boot for about five hours. I'll be alright... I thought I had more kavanah than usual davening today... I suppose it came from the lack of kavanah while donning my shoes.

Everyone wants to set me up but, no one really wants me to get married

Originally posted on 12/11/08

I want to beef about the Orthodox Jewish manner in which mates are selected for you. Unfortunately, most of what I have to say has probably been said so very many times. When one is looking for a spouse in the Orthodox Jewish world, they go to a matchmaker known as a shadchan. If the match gets married, this is known as a shidduch.

One problem in the Orthodox world is that EVERYONE wants to be a shadchan. I mean, yes, it's a mitzvah to make a match, but, it's not so simple. A real shadchan spends hours pouring over their laptop looking at their spreadsheets trying to find two people who seem like they belong together FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.

At best, these amateur wannabe shadchans try picking out someone they they want to marry off and they put them at a table for a meal with a bunch of people of the opposite gender hopefully are age appropriate and remotely compatible.

Unfortunately, more often than not, they are trying to set people they don't know well enough to determine if they are compatible. Someone recently invited me over for a meal. When I was there, it comes out that they invited someone for my benefit, but they didn't say it outright. He wasn't even Orthodox. He was Conservadox.

Another type of attempt at a shidduch that I would like to vent about is what I call the "Beauty and The Beast" type. This is where a man women don't want, usually a dirty old man, persuades people to try to coerce a girl into to dating him. They usually use some awfully grimey tactics, too. They try to make you sit next to the person. They will get together a whole shul and make sure that the seat next to him is the only one available. They will invite him over when they've invited you over. When you're in the kitchen washing for bread, they will have sent him in behind you and no one else is waiting to wash. They pretend they are interviewing you for a job then they bring up how they have someone for you. They scream and yell at you. They tell you if you don't settle for one of these HORRIBLE HORRIBLE men, you'll be alone for the rest of your life.

I will gladly take the trade off. When you marry someone you spend the rest of your life with them. You touch them and do other things with them. You bring children into the world together. If I don't want to be in the same room with a man, he's not a good candidate to be my husband.

I miss the good ol' days when I was still in conversion and I could just say, "I'm not allowed to date."

Great post! Would love to talk to you too. will send an email.
By Over The Rainbow on Everyone wants to set me up but, no one really wan... on 12/14/08


Originally posted on 12/11/08

I thought it would be appropriate to start my blog off with an introduction.

I'm Michal. I grew up in the suburbs of Buffalo as Nicole. Now I live in Queens. I started studying for conversion on the 26th of Elul in 5766. I completed it 2 Hebrew years later, on the nose: 26 Elul 5768.

I studied very hard. I learned to read, speak and write Hebrew. I read 32? 33 books? I read all kinds of stuff online, mostly when I wanted specific information. Early this year, I found a shul where they let me daven there in the morning before work. The rabbi there actually answers my questions. This was very good because before that I had a rabbi who agreed to be my conversion rabbi but, he didn't really speak to me so much.

Through someone from this shul where I have my question answering rabbi, I got my final conversion rabbi. Although, those last months still seemed like an eternity.


No, I'm REALLY moving the blog over here

When I originally put up this I was going to move everything over here. Instead, I bought a domain for a year but now I am going back to a free domain and so I will be blogging over here from now on but I will be starting out by re-posting over here, everything from the other blog. This is nice since my readers will get a chance to see my oldest posts... enjoy!

Commisioners with their head in a bubble

The news story that I first ran across

The actual transmission

While I think that married women should be trying to stay at home during the formative years of a child's life because I think day care and low grade babysitters aren't the best options, I do think these guys are totally out of touch with reality. They are talking about strengthing society by forcing mothers of HeadStart kids to become stay at home mothers. One of the commissioners says, "as we can strengthen marriage we can decrease the children that we have to reach..."

HeadStart kids have married parents? Outside of Boro Park? I mean, I'm sure some do, but my understanding is that HeadStart is minority women single mothers.