Friday, March 28, 2008

Have change ready... if you cross
the Bridge
....before you get to it

Do you...
....have to.. toll?


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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Praise the Lord...

Thank God...
that he has shown us
great kindness..
by feeding our growing
appetite...and collective
with scandal..
after story..
after scandal...
after story..
oh God..
please do not forsake us now..

Thank you..


just a thought..

you just Know that someone's
been on the Internet
for a really long time
when their email address


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Purim Roundup

Actually, it's not really a Purim roundup. It's just a look into the archaic world of Graggering and Banging at the mention of Haman.
It's extraordinary how this Minhag has evolved over the years.
I've run some independent tests myself and I'll be happy to share them with you.
The absolute worst in terms of volume and the mess it leaves is definitely the party snappers.
The party snapper registers about 60 decibels which is slightly higher than a pin dropping in an empty room.
I felt really bad for my kids throwing them down so hard and not getting much result.

Just above that is the normal banging on the table or stomping of the feet...which registers about 70db.

Next, comes cap guns which is one step above a banging hand but leaves a smell that according to pre-megilla announcements makes old men woozy.

Coming in at 75db is vigorous banging on the table which is fine for 5-6 Hamans before blisters start appearing.

Until now I've been discussing noisemakers that fall into the category of universally accepted weaponry.
There's a whole new class of weapons that strikes fear into most congregants.
There was this family one table over to the right. I knew right away, we were in for trouble from the size of their bag and the way they were smuggling it into shul.
There was an old cranky man at the above mentioned table who I just knew would not be happy.

As the first Haman came into view I heard the crackling of plastic as all kinds of roadside bombs, WMDs and fog horns were being hastily assembled under the table. At about 10 seconds to launch they all hit the floor, hands over ears like an artillery unit on the battlefield. I cringed and prepared for impact. BOOOOM
When the smoke cleared I looked over at the poor old man expecting him to be irate.
Instead he had this bewildered, strange smile on his face.
It wasn't until the end of the Megilla that I noticed his hearing aid firmly embedded in the sheet rock 40 ft to his right.

Without a doubt, the king of noisemakers is the good old fashioned Gragger. Which makes loud and sustained noise without blisters or smoke.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The DoTL Chasunah Plan

I would like to humbly propose a wedding plan that would take care of all the problems that we face vis a vis weddings these days.

The Rabbonim need to state that just as a Bris is a mitzvah and needs to be performed as early as possible in the day, so too a wedding.

Now close you eyes and imagine all the guests coming for Shacharis and immediately after Aleinu the Mesader Kiddushin calls out Boruch Habo and the Chsson walks down the impromptu aisle while the men are still putting away their Tefillin....on with the show. You then have the Kesubah read, Brachos Wine..broken cup..Mazel Tov! Off to a side room to nurse the baby..I mean for the yichud room.

Then most people will just grab a doggie bag and head to work while close family and friends stay for the meal and dancing. By 10-11am the whole thing is finished...and everyone could proceed with their day..

Imagine how much money is saved.
Bagels and lox instead of hungry guests expecting fancy smorgasbords.
No more late nights and exhausted mornings.
No more Bochurim battling middle aged dancers who are shuffling along dreaming of bed.

Hmm I think I'm onto something...


Sunday, March 16, 2008

moments of bliss, kesser

It’s 11:10..
After Krias Hatorah..
spiritualy sated
Mind saturated..
With words of wisdom..
Soo good...and deep..
And stimulating..
glints off my..
Silver tallis atara..
The scent..of burning kugel..
Just the right amount..
Saturates my senses...
Wraps around my soul..
The chazzens beautiful voice..
Completes the journey..
To somelace sublime..
beyond time..
Swaying..side to side...
I get swept up
in the roaring crescendo..
Kesssseeerrrr Yitnu Lechooo...
Kesser..The Crown..The highest
Of the sefiros...
Godly emanations...
first glimmers of creation...
deepest of Gods desires..
Stoking..the divine fires..
Of pure love..and give..
To love..and forgive...
My voice..rises..Kessserrr
i promise..
my pathetic
beautiful crown..
I pledge..
My deepest desires...
To you...
And thank you for this day
For this moment..
of bliss...
For this



Thursday, March 13, 2008


I came home this afternoon to find something I never thought I'd see. Something sooo lacking in Lakewood.
I held it in my hand and could not put it down.
a weekly paper magazine with advertisements and a few scattered lame articles!

What took so long for someone to figure this out? That this is just what we've been lacking.

Oh I can't wait to delve into the contents of Links!
Thank you..
Thank you.....


Monday, March 10, 2008


During these difficult and trying times here's a tasty distraction.


Something about that tasty little herb hmm

It just looks so symmetrical..


The word oregano comes from the Greek, meaning “joy of the mountain.”
It's believed to calm nerves.
The ancient Greeks would have their cows graze in oregano fields and were convinced it resulted in tastier meat.

Fun Fact: Did you know that oregano just barely lost out to parsely, sage, rosemary and thyme in auditions to appear in the famous Simon and Garfunkel song Scarborough fair?


Thursday, March 06, 2008


Not hounded..
By the hounds..
the vicious sounds
From.. places..
We need to be..
Step after step
Terra firma..gravity
Keeps me firmly..
Rooted to reality..
Hand in (palm)..
Of the world..
Heart s_t_e_a_d_y
Always readY
I CAN rise above..
Feel the love..

Not hounded..
By tempers..flaring
By hot searing..
ANGER...that removes
Us..not so politely..
(come with me, sir)
From any semblence of
Of reality..any
Semblance of any
Semblance of


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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

his laurels

his laurels

a king sized bed
....with Egyptian cotton
............and fine
down pillows


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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Thoughts on an unfortunate affair...

I will begin by saying that I have no clue as to who the parties involved really are and I'm not trying to judge anyone personally.
These are just thoughts that have been swimming around my head the last few days.

How fickle we've become.
After a week of listening to banter back and forth..
I'm trying to come up with a proper word to sum up our community..
Not sure those are strong enough. But one thing is clear, we're drowning in this strange concoction of being too secure with ourselves and insecurity.
As someone who is passionate about music and also dismayed by popular Jewish music these days I feel like this whole issue is a microcosm of Jewish life in general these days.
Yes I agree, relatively speaking Lipa Schmeltzer is a talented person. But when I hear his music, I hear a kid in a candy shop, entirely not true to himself. There can be so much emotion in music and even in non-Jewish music and yet we choose to steal the cool wedding intro guitar riffs and song intros to make it sound "goyish". If that's not pathetic I don't know what is.
Do you think there's a single person in the world not listening to 50cent because Lipa has some half hearted guitar riffs in his songs??
I sometimes look around and I feel like I'm drowning in immaturity.
Geshmak, heimish, abi mleibt, wooohoo. Sure..everythings good..calm down I'll move my car when I want to. Oy..Mi K'Amcha Yisruel, we're so great...and all I hear is Insecure..Insecure....Insecure..
What about striving for higher?
What about true meaning in life?
Where is Kotzk or even Kierkegaard..?
Have you ever gone to a modern day "concert" and come out truly uplifted?
What's with this frivolous self glamorization?
Who the heck is anyone fooling?

The true shame is...that such bans don't come from the bottom up.

I know that there's the important concept of Kol Yisroel Areivim but that doesn't mean that one has to be dragged down by the smallnesses that happen to define our community now. I've turned inwards a long time ago and stopped only viewing myself only through the prism of the community. I think if more people did that, then we can build something special from the ground up again, without all the trappings of mass insecurity. We could build a religion not smothered by our sub culture but inspired only by our relationship with God.