Monday, August 30, 2010

come dryve me unto shoppe will ye?

Languages evolve. This is something that everyone can agree on, Creationists and Darwinists alike.
If you were to read The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer you would need a dictionary to understand one sentence.
Here's an example...
Freres and feendes been but lyte asonder.
For, pardee, ye han ofte tyme herd telle
How that a frere ravyshed was to helle
In spirit ones by a visioun;
And as an angel ladde hym up and doun,
To shewen hym the peynes that the were,

Even Shakespeare can be challenging to the modern English reader. Olde English has different words spelling and even letters.

It is therefore quite perplexing to me how one olde english word somehow managed to sneak back into the vernacular.
I'm suddenly seeing it all over the place and it makes no sense. The word is shoppe. (pronounced shop-pi-peh)
So English dropped many extra letters as well as the e that used to end many words, and shoppe became shop just as olde became old.
Until now.
The Suit Shoppe
The Shoppes at Old Bridge
The Vitamin Shoppe
and so on...
I really don't get it. Is it supposed to sound upper class?
Hath thou any idea of what shoppes wovld look lyke back in the daye when shops were shoppes?
They were dirty smelly holes in the walls.
What's upscale about that?

I just don't know.
I suppose I'll jvste heade on over unto thy suit shoppe and get fitted for a newe tunic for yom tov....



Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I just finished reading about the memoirs of one Michael Keogh.

Michael was a British soldier during World War 1 who was captured by the Germans. He stayed after the war and joined some sort of police force.
One day in 1919 he happened upon a frightening scene. A young man who had been campaigning was laying on the floor surrounded by an angry mob. They were kicking and beating him and were flashing their bayonets. It was clear that this was going to end in death.
Michael saved the young mans life. He was in bad shape, cut and bleeding all over.

It would seem a heroic deed and perhaps indeed it was.

But the story isn't over..

He pulled the young man up and asked for his name...
"Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler"..came the weak reply

Was it still a heroic deed...?
Even though retrospectively he might have aided in the deaths of 50 million people?


Friday, August 20, 2010

The Mosque Controversy

I've been holding myself back this past week from commenting on the ongoing "ground zero mosque" controversy because I don't really like getting too worked up about current events, but I can't hold back any longer in the face of such glaring ignorance, stupidity, bigotry and small mindedness.

As Jews we should be even more sensitive than others when it comes to the government or angry masses dictating to people where they can or cannot build a house of worship.
The fact that masses just swallow every stupid word they hear from right wing talk radio hosts hook line and sinker scares me.
The fact that it's even called the ground zero mosque doesn't make any sense.
It's in middle of a bustling downtown and is 2 blocks removed from ground zero. When was the last time you were at the Empire State Building? Did you notice what was going on on 32nd st? Exactly. And yet you hear all these people saying "I don't want to see a mosque when I come to this hallowed ground as if the crescent will be embedded on the needle on top of the freedom tower.

And to the comparison of building a German culture center in Aushwitz.
Here's how I see it.
Imagine it's 1934 and some brave German moderate anti Hitler group goes ahead an builds a center that promotes a more tolerant Germany on the doorstep of Dachau..oh I'd welcome that with open arms.

The utter ignorance of the complicated workings of the Islamic world and a the use of a broad black brushstroke to color all muslims as one and the same is stereotyping at it's worst.
If people would only learn history they'd know that there have been golden ages in our past where Jews and Muslims lived very well together and fed off one another intellectually.
How many people even heard of Sufism, (the type of Islam practiced by the head of this mosque)?
Did you know that The Chovos Halvovos and Rabbi Avraham Ben HaRambam were greatly influenced by it's teachings?

There are radical strains and more moderate strains in Islam and Al Quaida sees these moderate strains as much as an enemy as they do any other group. All you have to do is look at Iraq where radicals are blowing up anything that smacks of being moderate.
Why on earth would we be making enemies of a more moderate muslim group in a time like this is beyond me. We should be doing all we can to encourage more moderate forms of islam.

The attack of September 11th was an attack by a terrorist organization that has a radical interpretation of Islam on all people of the world that don't ascribe to their beliefs. If this cultural center were to have been destroyed by the 9/11 attacks they would have danced on the ruins with the same zeal that they danced on the ruins of the world trade center.
This makes them my brothers in this conflict that grips the world.

I know this is not going to be a popular post but I believe this very strongly and I hope that one day when the mobs come for the Jews someone, somewhere will stand up and say something on my behalf.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

tragedy and response

Summer seems to be this odd stretch of time where we utilize the little time between the 3 weeks and Ellul to let loose and enjoy ourselves all the while accepting the inescapable string of tragedies that inevitably accompany this rumpsringa of sorts.

There have been so many tragedies this summer but there was one in particular that really struck me raw.
The horrific van/train collision in Israel which left an entire family dead is just beyond comprehension.

Imagine for a moment all the time and effort that it takes to build a family. All the moments, the joys of childbirth, the trials and successes and the countless simchas. How it could all be eliminated in 1 second forces one to think. To think deep long and hard.
What does it all mean?

But even more disturbing is the typical frum response to stories like this.
Sites like vosizneias and others have given us the opportunity to glimpse inside the mind of the anonymous frum population and it aint' pretty.

Typical response number 1: Oy!

Typical response number 2: Oy we need Moshiach already.
As if Moshiach is some kind of Superman like hero that we need to rescue us when we're in trouble..(assuming they don't mean the tzaar hashechina).

Typical response number 3: Oy Hashem is sending us a more ____________ (insert pet peeve here...)..which typically elicits responses that belittle the original pet peeve.

The truth one needs to be "sending us" any messages, and I would feel terribly guilty knowing that a family of 7 was wiped just to send me a message.

The message is in the occurrence itself. All one needs to do is sit and meditate for 10 minutes on the fragility of life and make personal adjustments accordingly.
Instead of turning outside ourselves for an action hero to come swoop us to eternal bliss, we should take control of what we do truly control, our minds and souls and find some measure of personal redemption.



Sunday, August 01, 2010

I'm a great big boy..I'm 5!

August 2005 I started blogging.

That makes David 5 years old.

It feels like yesterday that I posted my first silly post on my old blog and slowly found my voice and style of writing.
I feel G-dlike watching generations of commenters and bloggers come, leave their mark and disappear into the great unknown never to be heard from again.
While I'm fated to live to all eternity..
I look at a blogroll from 5 years ago, or the comments from back then and no one is around anymore.
So why do I still do this 550 posts later..?

Because I thoroughly enjoy writing and expressing myself.

Blogging is very different than writing for traditional media, in that you're not restricted by quotas nor are you required to fill pages with unnecessary words. I like that I can hone in on an thought, an emotion or an idea and let the bare minimum amount of words (and dots) create the greatest impact.
So even though 3-4 years ago I averaged 30-40 comments per post and now I get 3-4 I'll still write, because I feel the need to.

So I sit here and wonder, what ever happened to....nobody28...frumgirl.....
come running.....dreamer...chavera...sabra....sara sans h....
shopa and karl.......also a chussid......hbj...........
..fajita..frum idealism....eshet.....allie....
and so many others that have contributed to the liveliness of this blog of the years.
I hope you're looking down from a better place.

Finally I'd like to thank the good folks at the Make a Wish Foundation for making my wish a reality and finding people to comment and say such wonderful things. I feel real bad about lying about my illness though...

Well here's to another 5 years!