Friday, February 16, 2007

NOW who's kvetching??

Due to a mixture of being busy and being lazy, it's been a long time since I last posted here. I wonder if anyone still visits. What prompted me to come out of my hibernation was an IM from my old blogging friend, Orthomom - who it seems is being sued.

Via the NY Daily News:

A LAWRENCE school board member fed up with anonymous kvetching about her on a blog is going to court to stop it from calling her a bigot and an anti-Semite.

Pamela Greenbaum, who serves on the Nassau town's board of education, filed papers against Google over nasty comments posted about her on the Orthomom blog.

In the papers filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court, Greenbaum said she was "horrified" to discover that she had been labeled a bigot on the Google-owned blog after voting against using public funds for what she called "private school interests."

"I was even more horrified when I discovered the blog reported over 300,000 visitors," Greenbaum said in court papers.

Greenbaum alleges that Orthomom - which focuses on issues of interest to Long Island's Orthodox Jewish communities - slandered her by calling her ugly and an anti-Semite.

Greenbaum, who is Jewish but not Orthodox, seeks to unmask the blogger known only as Orthomom.

"Every day that the defamatory material remains on the Internet for all to see, I continue to be harmed as more such material is posted,"she said in court papers.
Now, as the many people who visit Orthomom know, she writes a lot about local issues affecting the community she lives in, with a large focus on the always-exciting local school board politics.
Well, apparently, Pamela Greenbaum's service on board has not given her the thick skin needed to survive in the political arena. For crying out loud, Asher Mansdorff had protesters picketing outside his dental office!! Politics a dirty game and if you're not prepared to take some heckling and name calling, go back to gardening.

Commenters on Orthomom's blog tend to vilify both end of the spectrum - and that's exactly the point. A blogger posts a news item, an inside tidbit, an opinion and it's up to the reading public to hash it all out and express their opinions. Is Pamela Greenbuam a bigot? Maybe. Maybe not. I don't know her and have no idea, but I'm smart enough to know that if some anonymous commenter called her one, not to think much of it.

I think Pamela made a big boo boo with this one and probably realizes it by now. Too bad . By now, many, many people who didn't read the comment on OM's post (I didn't until now- and I'm a frequent reader of OM) have now.

As I see it, the only person who loses here is Pamela Greenbaum, and only person who wins is Orthomom. Oh, and free speech.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Santa Revealed!

In an effort to combat the statistics of dwindling well-behaved children, the Pope actually introduced Santa to the whole word in a ceremony full of ancient rituals, elaborate costumes and dancing elves (who are reportedly ecstatic at the idea of finally leaving the North Pole).

While this unexpected move shattered all adult notions that Santa did not really exist, Corporate America is looking forward to the expected surge in toy sales.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

At least the weather's been warm

I just found this on Yeshiva World:

Williamsburg: Fire in Satmar Mikvah

A fire broke out a short while ago in the Satmar Mikvah located on Clymer Street in Williamsburg. The fire started in a dryer which dries the towels. B”H there were no injuries, and everyone made it out safely.

Now, if the towels were in the drier when everyone ran out, then...

Too much material here.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A new combat 'high' in Afganistan

This is great stuff. To all those who didn't even think Canada had an Army, read this:

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian troops fighting Taliban militants in Afganistan have stumbled across an unexpected and potent enemy -- almost impenetrable forests of 10-feet (three meter) high marijuana plants.

General Rick Hillier, chief of the Canadian defense staff, said on Thursday that Taliban fighters were using the forests as cover. In response, the crew of at least one armored car had camouflaged their vehicle with marijuana.

"The challenge is that marijuana plants absorb energy, heat very readily. It's very difficult to penetrate with thermal devices ... and as a result you really have to be careful that the Taliban don't dodge in and out of those marijuana forests," he said in a speech in Ottawa.

"We tried burning them with white phosphorous -- it didn't work. We tried burning them with diesel -- it didn't work. The plants are so full of water right now ... that we simply couldn't burn them," he said.

Even successful incineration had its drawbacks.

"A couple of brown plants on the edges of some of those (forests) did catch on fire. But a section of soldiers that was downwind from that had some ill effects and decided that was probably not the right course of action," Hillier said dryly.

One soldier told him later: "Sir, three years ago before I joined the army, I never thought I'd say 'That damn marijuana'."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

U'Netaneh Tokef- A Personal Request

A Gut Yur to any of you still visiting Just Passing Through. It's been a while since the last post and while I don't have anything prolific to end this drought with, I'd like to link to a great post that Treppenwitz put up after Yom Kippur.

Take a look.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Great Post

For those inquiring mind(s), I have no idea if the shas sold. Maybe someone did buy it or he just gave up. I was tempted to put him out of his misery and just buy it already, but I have my own set that unfortunately collects its own dust.

While I'm posting here, here's a great post by A Working Girl that I found worthy of passing on.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Any takers?

Another Shas update:

The shas is now down to $500. Doesn't seem like there are any takers. I guess everyone else out there also has a barely used shas collecting dust at home.

drastically reduced to $500...
I'm waiting until he throws in a free, also barely used, set of chumashim.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Eager Beaver

Update to previous post.

This was in today's e-mail:
BH a lot of people have responded and requested pictures. I am dropping the price to $550. First come first serve.
Wow. He's really eager to dump this set.

Eager Beaver

Update to previous post.

This was in today's e-mail:
BH a lot of people have responded and requested pictures. I am dropping the price to $550. First come first serve.
Wow. He's really eager to dump this set.

Eager Beaver

Update to previous post.

This was in today's e-mail:
BH a lot of people have responded and requested pictures. I am dropping the price to $550. First come first serve.
Wow. He's really eager to dump this set.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

At least he's honest

Once again the local e-mail list provides a little laugh.
Shas for Sale
I have a beautiful set for sale. It was bought as a gift 5 years back, and was NEVER used. All volumes are in perfect condition. Perfect for a chosson shas.
No indication if this was a first or second set, but if it was the first, I suspect we have a disppointed father-in-law somewhere. I hope he doesn't subscribe to this list.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Kids - Laugh or Cry?

You gotta love 3 year olds. This was posted on our community e-mail distribution list and it just cracked me up.
Hello. If you shopped at Brachs Wednesday night after 7PM, PLEASE check your grocery bags. It is very possible that my 3 year old put my keys in your cart. If you find them, I will be soo grateful.
I think every one of us can come up with a story or two about their child totally screwing them over, and yet, when you think back you just laugh. I remember how my son once locked the babysitter out of the house. She was hysterical and tried kicking in the back door (which I ultimately had to replace). Eventually the neighbor used his 20 foor ladder to climb into the 2nd floor.

Let's hear your stories.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Lag B'Omer Mini-Meme

I've been tagged by Orthomom & Still Wonderin' with the latest meme. While I didn't really 'actively' listen to music during sefirah (only talk-radio in the car, no mp3 player...), I didn't run away from it either. Here at the office we're all pretty much on top of each other and there's always music playing on someone's PC, so my first 'muttar music' would have been Tuesday night at the Aish Kodesh Hillula.

I don't remember which was the first song I heard since when I showed up, the Rabbi was speaking, I was squished and stuck on my feet and it was BOILING hot; I was just relieved the speech was over and I could move around again. Suffice it to say that the music performers were Eitan Katz and Nochie Krohn and everything they played was absolutely awesome. It also didn't hurt that the crowd rocked too.

So I can't remember what song it was, but it was Jewish, it was live and it rocked.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Uh oh

I realize that the 5-Towns is the in-place for rebbe's to visit, but are the 5-Towns now officially 'Zalmi's"? Should we now expect to see the Aaroni camp pitch a tent on Central Avenue next Shabbos? Do we need to hire extra security, put away our fire extinguishers?

A concerned citizen wants to know.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Go East young man

Seems that the Onion may not be so sarcastic after all. A couple of posts back I posted an article spoofing the current immigrant 'crisis', "Illegal Immigrants Returning to Mexico For American Jobs". I thought it was a funny read (judging from comments around here lately, it seems I'm the only one who thought so). Now I just came across an article on MSNBC that shows just how on the mark the Onion really is.

Americans make reverse commute — to India
Cutting-edge jobs, early-career experience draw the tech-savvy

BANGALORE, India - Nate Linkon graduated from college last year with a business degree and a lot of offers. But he made an unusual choice: to pack his bags and move 9,000 miles away from corporate America to Bangalore. In his view, there’s no better place to beef up his résumé — even though the pay is much lower.

“Yeah, I kind of look at it like a career trajectory,” said Linkon, 22, of Milwaukee. “You do this and you set yourself up for bigger things than you would making four times what I make now in Chicago or New York.”

U.S. companies have been sending jobs overseas for years — 130,000 already in 2006, according to Forrester Research, which analyzes the technology market. It projects that the number will rise to more than 3.5 million by 2015.

But now there’s a twist — U.S. workers are taking jobs in India for what they see as a long-term investment in their future. And Indian companies are recruiting them.

A mutually beneficial arrangement

“We don’t think doing things in India is a loss to the U.S.,” said N.R. Narayana Murthy, co-founder and chairman of Infosys Technologies Ltd., an industry leader in outsourced software services. Nor, he said, does he think doing things in the United States is a loss for India. Almost two-thirds of Infosys’ revenue is generated in the U.S. market.

Murthy, 59, is lobbying students at the Stanford Business School, where he is a member of the advisory council, to come east — way east — to Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley. With its Microsoft-like campus, Infosys provides support to big U.S. companies like Best Buy, Circuit City and even Microsoft. (Microsoft is a parent company of

“To add significant value to corporations from a country like India is an exciting opportunity,” Murthy said, “and to be part of that opportunity is one of a kind.”

Infosys’ profits are three times those of its U.S. competitors. One of the main reasons is salaries. The employees here — the software engineers — make about a quarter of the salary of someone doing the same job in the United States.

Still, a growing number of Americans are looking to Bangalore, where their money goes a lot further. This summer, 100 new U.S. graduates will start as full-time engineers at Infosys, with 200 more to arrive by the end of the year, part of a total staff expansion the company projects to top 50 percent this year.

Like Linkon, they are willing to take lower pay to get the hands-on experience they believe will make them more marketable when they return to a job in the United States.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Rabbis get woman-free flight

Niiice. Why does reading this article give me the creeps? And why is it that every trip by the "Leading Gedolei Yisroel" needs to be 'historic'?? If I recall correctly, R' Steiman was here just a few years ago (and I have a commemorative picture to prove it).

Let me get this straight. Strings were pulled and there will be no female stewardesses on the flight. They also purchased every seat in the first class section in order to prevent any women from sitting in the same section. Yet one item on their agenda will be to "raise funds for married yeshiva students...". How many students could have used the thousands of dollars spent on first-class-female-prevention?? How do I know that any funds I donate will not be used on further silly expenses like mechitzah's on all airplanes? How do they know that none of these stewardesses have a husband in kollel they need to support? (Ok, I admit that was a little tongue-in-cheek.) I really loved the touch of the private jet too. I realize it was probably donated, but still. What's the image being projected here?
"The journey has been exciting the ultra-Orthodox public for six months as it involves the rare cooperation of the two spiritual leaders. "
Yeah. There's a point we want to point out. We normally don't get along, but now we going together. Historic!

I realize that these are gedolei yisrael and require respect, In fact, I'd put my money on the fact that they had nothing to do with it but it was their 'aids' and askanim that choreographed this spectacle. As time goes on and I see more and more silliness, I just don't know what to think.

Two leading rabbis buy all first class tickets, ask El Al to only post male stewards on flight so they do not have to see women on way to America
Haim Levinson at ynet news

A modest first class flight:
Two leading rabbis set to fly to the United States concluded an agreement with El Al that would see them enjoy a woman-free and movie-free flight.

The Gerrer Rebbe, a Hassidic leader who will fly abroad on Sunday, asked El Al that no air stewardesses be aboard the flight.

El Al complied with the rabbi's request and on Sunday's flight to the
United States only males will look after passengers.

The Gerrer Rebbe and Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman, 93, another leading rabbi, will fly in a historic journey to visit American Jewish communities.

The journey has been exciting the ultra-Orthodox public for six months as it involves the rare cooperation of the two spiritual leaders.

During the visit the rabbis will seek to raise funds for married yeshiva students attending advanced Judaic studies programs.

United Torah Judaism enlisted its six MKs to bid goodbye to the two leaders at
Ben-Gurion International Airport on Sunday.

The rabbis will land in Los Angles where the Jewish community is eagerly awaiting their arrival. The rabbis will visit Jewish communities along the west coast.

The visit's highlight is an event that will be attended by 10,000 people. A private jet will fly the rabbis to
Montreal and Toronto.

The Gerrer Rebbe will fly to
Israel from Canada, while Steinman will visit Central and South America before returning to Israel.

The rabbis asked that the flight from
Israel adhere to the strictest standards of modesty. Their aides agreed with El Al officials that they will not have to see women during flight.

The rabbis bought all first class tickets on the flight to make sure no businesswomen are on board.

It was also decided that no films will be screened during the flight. Moreover, the backs of first class seats will be covered with plastic so that the rabbis won't even have to see the television screens.

Responding to the report, El Al said: "We do not report on our costumers out of respect for their privacy."

Monday, May 08, 2006

Like father like son?

We have a new budding blogstar! MoC's son, or MoC Jr. has entered the blogsphere with a great post "These are the People in the Mikveh Neighborhood". He's obviously inherited his dad's sarcasm and passion for acronym's. The question is, can he ride? We look forward to seeing more.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Illegal Immigrants Returning To Mexico For American Jobs

Courtesy of the Onion. Friggin' halarious

Illegal Immigrants Returning To Mexico For American Jobs

MEXICO CITY—As dozens of major American corporations continue to move their manufacturing operations to Mexico, waves of job-seeking Mexican immigrants to the United States have begun making the deadly journey back across the border in search of better-paying Mexican-based American jobs.

"I came to this country seeking the job I sought when I first left this country," said Anuncio Reyes, 22, an undocumented worker who recrossed the U.S. border into Mexico last month, three years after leaving Mexico for the United States to work as an agricultural day laborer. "I spent everything I had to get back here. Yes, it was dangerous, and I miss my home. But as much as I love America, I have to go where the best American jobs are."

Reyes now works as a spot-welder on the assembly line of a Maytag large-appliance plant and earns $22 a day, most of which he sends back to his family in the U.S., who in turn send a portion of that back to the original family they left in Mexico. Like many former Mexican-Americans forced by circumstance to become American-Mexicans, Reyes dreams of one day bringing his relatives to Mexico so that they, too, may secure American employment in Mexico.

Despite the considerable risk illegal immigrants face in returning across the border, many find the lure of large U.S. factory salaries hard to resist—at 15 percent of the pay of corresponding jobs in America, these positions pay three times what Mexican jobs do.

Still, the danger is very real. When 31-year-old illegal Arizona resident Ignacio Jimenez sought employment at an American plant in Mexico, he was shot at by Mexican border guards as he attempted to illegally enter the country of his citizenship, pursued by U.S. immigration officials who thought he might be entering the country illegally, and fired upon again by a second group of U.S. Border Patrol agents charged with keeping valuable table-busing and food-delivery personnel inside American borders.

"It was a nightmare," Jimenez said. "Many became disoriented and panicked, and some were mixed in with immigrants going the other way across the Rio Grande and ended up swimming to the wrong country."

He added: "My cousin almost drowned. They fished him out and sent him back to wash dishes at T.G.I. Friday's."

Many say the trip across the border as illegal Mexican-American emigrants offers them a chance to land the American jobs in Mexico they never have been able to get as illegal Mexican-American immigrants in the U.S.

"It has always been my goal to have a good American job," Johnson Controls technician Camilla Torres, 27, said. "Many Mexicans now see Mexico as the land of opportunity. Mexicans will not stop trying to get here, no matter how much the Mexicans wish we would not."

Indeed, the trend of illegal re-emigration is causing great resentment among the local Mexican population, and tension between Mexicans and illegally re-entered Mexicans—dubbed repatriados—continues to build.

"I hate these Mexicans, always coming back here to Mexico from America and taking American jobs from the Mexicans who stayed in Mexico," said 55-year-old former Goodyear factory manager Juan-Miguel Diaz, who lost his job to a better-trained repatriado last March. "Why don't they go back to where they went to?"

Still, Jimenez, Reyes, and hundreds of others say they have no choice.

"The American Dream is alive and well in Mexico," Reyes said. "If I work hard, save my money, and plan well, I will be able to send my children to a good school—and who knows? If they study hard, perhaps they will get jobs someday at the new plant General Motors is building in China."

Monday, May 01, 2006


This is funny. (Hat tip Life of Rubin)

Reminds me of something that happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I was getting off the subway when a group of African American 'Yout's' get on. They're in mid-conversation and one of them goes:

"...and you know who's really good? You know that Jamaican guy? No wait, he not really Jamican. He's like JEWISH Jamaican. You know that guy?..."

Heshy who??

So Heshy's gone and it seems no one's really noticed. A shame, he was really entertaining. Maybe I'll go over for a Shabbos meal one day.

I have one request Heshy: rather than "smash your $ 3,000 toy (presumably your computer) at your next BBQ party", can't you just donate it to me??

Friday, April 21, 2006

Train accident

I'm not sure why I'm bothering as I don't think anyone visits here, but yom tov is over, I'm stuffed with chametz and content, so what the heck.

Coming in to work today had me sitting on the train with some 'train-buddies' when I began getting blackberry messages of co-workers who will be getting in late as a result of disrupted service due to a person getting hit by a Long Island Rail Road train. As I relayed the news to the train-buddies, our reactions to the news made me wonder. Rather than, 'Oh my gosh, that's terrible' or 'I hope he's ok', I found our first reaction was more like 'crap, I hope this doesn't affect our line', or 'why couldn't he pick another line to jump in front of the train?' or 'I hope they don't put us on shuttles like the last time this happened'... crazy, no?

Do you think we were the only twisted ones with those first reactions or do you think the same?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Today's Bombing

The restaurant owners, who were inside when Hammad blew himself up, escaped with only scratches. Customer Atef Huda, an Arab taxi driver, was convinced they were spared because of their acts of charity.

"They give food, what's left, to the poor. Anyone who is poor who asks for food, they don't take money from them," Huda said. "That's why they were not injured."

One never knows. Interesting that it was an Arab who made the observation. I guess their charity was non-denominational.

No Justice No Peace!

From Ha'aretz

Ultra-Orthodox protesters on Sunday called off a mass rally over the continued incarceration of a man accused of murdering his infant son, Israel Radio reported.

The rally had been cancelled after rabbinical sages vetoed the protest, citing the heavy damage caused to major streets in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in the city.

On Friday, dozens of ultra-Orthodox men continued to hold violent demonstrations in Jerusalem's Meah She'arim neighborhood to protest the detention of Israel Vales, 19, who faces manslaughter charges in connection with the death of his three-month-old son.

Municipal officials say that 30 large waste receptacles were destroyed, causing an estimated NIS 140,000 in damages.

Vales was arrested ten days ago after his son, Rafael, was hospitalized in Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, in critical condition and signs of physical abuse.

The father initially claimed his baby had fallen from his arms while he was trying to put him to bed. Examination revealed that the infant had sustained serious brain damage and had extensive bruising that pointed to longterm abuse. Vales eventually confessed to having abused his son since birth. The infant died in hospital last week.

Vales is expected to be indicted for manslaughter shortly. Vales' wife told the police and a radio interviewer that her husband had never hurt their son and that no signs of abuse were apparent.

Friday's demonstrations took place near Kikar Hashabbat and Yehezkel Street. Demonstrators threw rocks at passing cars and turned over or set on fire about 30 Dumpsters.

Rocks were thrown at firefighters and a municipal waste disposal crew sent to the site, and one city worker was slightly injured.

I have a couple of questions after reading this.

What's the protest about in the first place?? Do they all know the individual and are protesting his innocence or is it that they really have no clue as to who this Vales is, but the fact is that he's chareidi and therefore must be innocent? After all, we all know that a frum man will never hurt his child. What happened to due process? I'm sure the system is flawed and may be biased against them at times, but that's the judicial system. Isn't one of the 7 mitzvah for b'nei noach to create a justice system? Maybe it's only for B'nei Noach and not for B'nei Yisrael.

I'm sick and tired of people rioting and making a ruckus just because things are not going your way. And yes, it IS mostly one segment of the frum society that does these shameful acts, so I don't feel that I'm disparaging one community here.

Municipal officials say that 30 large waste receptacles were destroyed, causing an estimated NIS 140,000 in damages.

Lastly, I can't understand why the city doesn't just say 'enough' and let them destroy their own community if they want to. Just about every riot, hafganna, protest, whatever you want to call it, takes place in one community. As far as I'm concerned, let them burn every bus stop and every garbage bin in their neighborhood but why deliver new ones the next day?!? Let them worry about the masses of garbage accumalating on their own streets. Let's see if they attack the garbage trucks coming to pick up their garbage then!

Come to think of it, I wouldn't put that past them either.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Say what?

From today's news:

Military intelligence has arrested a group of terrorists who planned to assassinate the leader of the Hezbollah militant group, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, a senior Lebanese military official said Monday.
I love it. So when Hezbollah does what they do best, kill people, they're 'militants' and 'freedom fighters' and when someone tries killing them, they're 'terrorists'

Friday, April 07, 2006


I was 'link surfing' during some downtime and came across this great post by Pscho Toddler who writes about his completion and impending siyum (I assume the siyum already happened by now) of Bava Kama. He writes about the dedication and commitment needed and his attempts at various different topics before landing with Bava Kama. His description of learning mussar brought some chuckles:
...if you’ve spent time reading these types of books, you know that despite being in a language that is readily translatable, the structure is such that it seems to be a series of really long run-on sentences, with large subordinate clauses, and you really can’t get from the subject to the predicate for a good half a page or so, and by the time you do finally reach the end of the sentence (all the while translating in your mind (and verbally) from Hebrew to English, maybe with breaks to look up the occasional esoteric word) you have forgotten what the beginning of the sentence was about, and, to be honest once again, you no longer care, because you’re so glad to have finally found a period.

I speak for myself (though most probably for many others too) when I say that I know I really need to learn more. While I was schooled in mainstream yeshiva's, I never really enjoyed learning and as time passed by I've reached the point where I can't 'make a leining' on my own any more. It's sad and will hit me even harder when my son begins to learn gemara. I better get cracking. Mazel Tov Psycho for finishing and inspiring!

Hat Tip Heimish

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Boro Park Riots

Such a kiddush Hashem.

I wasn't sure I heard right until I logged on to the local news tonight. Boro Park riots?? Fighting the police, lighting garbage on fire. Suddenly I'm getting Me'ah Shearim hafgana flashbacks all over again. Those were always fun, weren't they? The last time we saw those images was during 'Sheitel-gate'. I'm wondering if some quick-thinkers used this opportunity to get rid of their chometz?

The police report that the individual was stopped for talking on his cell phone while driving, refused to hand over his license and registration and struggled with the officer. Locals describe the police officer as punching and assaulting the 'elderly' and 'fragile' old man unnecessarily. Why do I have a feeling that the first account is probably more accurate? Especially when I hear the 'community activist', Isaac Abraham being quoted.

As always, check out the Chaptzem blog for the latest 'unbiased' reports.


This made the front page on some local newspapers.

I knew that I'd be reading this before long:

...But protesters didn't heed the warnings and ran through the streets, some yelling, "Nazi Germany!" at the officers.

This sickens me. Of course the arresting officers were a bunch of anti-semitic KKK members as well.

Here are some more pictures in response to our neighborhood loony, Heshy, who claims it was 'just a few kids blowing off steam'

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


If it weren't for my Israeli uncle, I would have never known who Habakkuk was. For all those Tanach illiterate yeshiva boys like myself, Habakkuk is one of the neviim in the Trei Assar. I had to look it up to be sure.

With elections coming up in Israel, the new Kadima party's stance, together with the recent palestinian/hamas election results, the average Joe can understandably be confused. It seems that Habakkuk had it figured out a long time ago. Take a look at 1: 9.

כֻּלֹּה לְחָמָס יָבוֹא, מְגַמַּת פְּנֵיהֶם קָדִימָה וַיֶּאֱסֹף כַּחוֹל, שֶׁבִי

(on a related note, why is it that any time I need a decent biblical quote, the only place to go is a christian site??)

Mr. Prime Minister? I'm up here....

Acting PM Olmert seems pretty smitten by Sharon. Is it because he misses his old
friend Sharon, or is he waiting for her to pull a 'Basic Instinct' leg-cross?
The drool on his lip seems to indicate choice B.

In this photo released by the Israeli Government Press Office, acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, right, talks with American actress Sharon Stone during a meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, March 12, 2006. Stone is on a five-day visit to Israel sponsored by the Peres Center for Peace. (AP Photo/GPO, Amos Ben Gershom)

Friday, March 03, 2006

What the heck do you call THIS mem?!

Even though this one looks real silly (who think up these questions???), it's a good thing Airtime tagged me in an effort to keep me in the blogging world. I haven't posted in ages.

A: My brother-in-law living in Jerusalem telling me he just had a baby boy.

A: Some old-fashion ring. I hate the gay music tones.

A: Trying to send out the weekly shul e-mail on time for once. Unsucessfully I might add.

A: Don't know. I really don't text much.

A: Mine, but to cover all the bases, I think couch should be an option here.

A: I do have a cell phone so I can spare you from TMI here. Brown shirt, brown tie. Just for the record, that's the only brown on me.

A: Four Brothers.

A: Glasses, cell phone and usually underwear.

A: Beige with some pattern I couldn't even begin to think about.

A: $26.01 which is unusually high for me. I never have money. Will be about $.65 less in about 10 minutes as I'm way overdue for a coffee.

Q: What is your favorite part of the chicken?
A: I'm a pulkie guy.

Q: What's your favorite town/city?
A: I don't know. I could tell you some that are on the bottom of the list, but not the top.

Q:I can't wait to (til)...?
A: Shabbos

Q: When was the last time you saw your mom?
A: hmmm..about a month ago

Q: When was the last time you saw your dad?
A: about 2 months ago

Q: When was the last time you talked to them?
A: Spoke to my father yesterday, mother was Tuesday.

Q: What did you have for dinner LAST NIGHT?
A: Pizza bagels. Gotta love em. (disclaimer: the wife does usually put supper together, but she was going out last night)

Q: How long have you been at your current job?
A: I never really paid much attention, but holy crap, almost 7 years?! Can that be??

Q: Look to your left. What's there?
A: A spreadsheet tacked to my cube wall, next to a picture of one of my kids.

Q: Who is the last person you spent over $50 on?
A: Myself. Selfish of me, I know.

Q: Whats the last piece of clothing you borrowed from someone?
A: A ski mask earlier this week. It WAS -10 degrees.

Q: What website(s) do you visit the most during the day?
A: My Yahoo and Gmail

Q: Do you have an air freshener in your car?
A: Yes

Q: Do you have plants in your room?
A: No, but maybe I'll think about it. Supposed to clean the air.

Q: Does anything hurt on your body right now?
A: Surprisingly not after skiing for two days earlier this week.

Q: What city was your last taxi cab ride in?

Q: Do you own a camera phone?
A: Yes

Q: What's your favorite Starbucks drink?
A: I try not to spend more that 75 cents on coffee.

Q: Recent time you were really upset?
A: This week. >:-/

Q: Have you been in love with anyone?
A: Sigh, I remember the days. Kidding. Yes.

I now tag Krum, Mirty and Swiftie

Thursday, February 09, 2006

This breaks my heart.

Please watch this video of the recent events in Amona. I don't care what your political leanings are, this is just horrendous.


King Solomon Logic?

Hmmmm, I've been waiting and watching for a couple of days and I'm surprised that Orthomom, Krum and even Yeshiva World seem to have missed this doozy. I'm not sure what the background information is here, and obviously there's more to the story than reported in the paper.

It's the "War of the Roses," Brooklyn-style.

A judge has ordered a soon-to-be divorced couple to live unhappily ever
after in the Borough Park home they shared for 18 years - by having a wall
built smack dab in the middle of their dining room.

Millionaire sweater manufacturer Simon Taub was granted permission during
divorce proceedings in August to divide the home with sheetrock walls, so
he wouldn't have to relinquish it to wife, Chana Taub.

Simon, 57, would have his own kitchen, bedroom and bathroom in a
900-square-foot area on two floors of the 49th St. home.

"I don't wish this on anybody," said Chana Taub, 56, whose husband owns
homes across the borough, including the house next door. "I hope God will
help, and somebody will straighten out this whole thing."

Chana Taub has appealed Judge Sarah Krauss' ruling. But if the decision is
upheld, the former lovebirds could be walking into the same home, divided
in two - just like in the 1989 film starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen

The wall drama began in August when Krauss granted the wife an order of
protection against Simon Taub, who owns TechKnits Inc. of Williamsburg.

But citing the husband's heart condition, Krauss approved his bid to build
the wall, saying, "I am not going to be excluding him entirely from his

"The best way to deal with this is to split the home," Krauss said,
according to court documents - even though the husband owns the house next

Krauss, who recused herself in December following objections from Chana
Taub's attorney, Susan Settenbrino, also offered a court-mandated outline
for postmatrimonial bliss.

"Neither party shall interfere with any of the electrical, plumbing,
phones or other systems located in their respective portions of the
marital residence," Krauss wrote.

"No litigant should have to endure this kind of abuse," Settenbrino said
of Krauss' decision. "There should be recourse for such orders without
having to spend $200,000 [on the appeal]."

Simon Taub's attorney, Frank Snitow, said the wall would separate portions
of two floors, but only give about 25% of the home to his client.

Snitow cited the home's proximity to Simon's doctor's office, a nearby
synagogue and his four kids, two of whom still live in the house with his
wife. "I don't think it's an extraordinary measure under these
circumstances," he said. "This is one of the largest homes in Borough
Park. You could even call it a mansion."
I also seem to recall a Gilligan's Island episode with a similar theme.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Biting the hand that feeds you.

Nordics find generosity no shield from Muslim wrath.

...For years, Scandinavian countries have been among the most generous with aid to the Muslim world, but that generosity has stood for little in the scandal over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

In the past week, Scandinavian embassies have been set ablaze in Lebanon and bans have been put on Danish exports, creating a row that threatens to unravel the substantial goodwill Scandinavia had in the Middle East.

..."The general perception in the Arab world of the Nordic countries as tolerant and generous has suffered a huge blow," said Ole Woehlers Olsen, a senior advisor at the Danish Institute for International Studies...

..."That is why is has hurt so much to see the pictures of flags being burned and all the threats against the people who are there to help the Palestinian people," said Fathie El-Abed of the Danish-Palestinian Friendship Association...

I have a better perspective. They're all bunch of ingrates and the sooner the western world realizes that, the better off we all are. Let the Arab and muslim countries step in and take care of their 'bretheren'. Just don't hold your breath.

Friday, February 03, 2006

They're ALL one big cartoon

I'm sick and tired of the whole friggin world pandering to the muslim masses when they decide something offends them and then go on rampage. Free speech, religious insensitive...I don't give a crap. Of all people, these towelheads have long ago lost their right to protest ANYONE being insensitive to their feelings. As far as I'm concerned, live by the sword, die by the sword. You don't like the cartoon?! Awww... off with your head. Do you have any idea how many insensitive cartoons I'd be able to find in the muslim newspapers on a moment's notice?!? Since when do they give a shit about other people's holy sites, holy objects or holy people?

And now, in an obvious ass-licking exercise, the US grabs its own ankles and condemns the cartoons while for once, the Europeans- and yes, even France, are sticking to their guns.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Washington on Friday condemned caricatures in European newspapers of the Prophet Mohammad, siding with Muslims who are outraged that the publications put press freedom over respect for religion.

By inserting itself into a dispute that has become a lightning rod for anti-European sentiment across the Muslim world, the United States could help its own battered image among Muslims.

"These cartoons are indeed offensive to the belief of Muslims," State Department spokesman Kurtis Cooper said in answer to a question. "We all fully recognize and respect freedom of the press and expression but it must be coupled with press responsibility. Inciting religious or ethnic hatreds in this manner is not acceptable."

"We call for tolerance and respect for all communities for their religious beliefs and practices," he added.

Major U.S. publications have not republishing the cartoons, which include depictions of Mohammad as a terrorist. That is in contrast to European media, which responded to the criticism against the original Danish newspaper that printed the caricatures by republishing the offensive images themselves.

Monday, January 23, 2006

I've got a busy day ahead of me but I saw an article in today's NY Post that I'll bet $10 Orthomom is writing about as we speak. Let's see if I get this out first.

Breaking News: Borough Park is the baby-boom capital of NY. Wow. Who would've ever thought. What did surprise me is that BP beat out Williamsburgh. All those Yuppies have now ruined Williamsburgh's chances in this contest. Rats.

All in all, while I'm personally not one for 12 kids, I thought that those who were interviewed gave a wonderful perspective.
"Children make our households beautiful" said Faigy Schwartz
Faye Cisner, a mother of 8 ("with more on the way"), describes her daily routine which includes daily never-ending laudry and meals served in shifts:
"There's juggling. It get's a bit overwhelming. But it's an amazing experience," Faye said.

"Each child is a jewel."
She ended with what I though was the best line in the article:
"My goal is to have every child go to school and to sleep with a smile. You can't sell that," the proud mom added.
Kol HaKavod Faye. In an age when the paper brings us more and more misery, with children getting tortured and killed in their own homes, you bring a true yiddishe perspective and a kiddush Hashem.

**Update: I was right. Orthomom WAS writing this up too. Ha.***

Friday, January 06, 2006

Meme of 4

Orthomom tagged me with the latest meme. Sorry it's taken so long to put this together Mom, but I've been kinda busy lately. By now, for all I know Orthomom has already started another 'meme' which is ricocheting across cyberspace.

Here goes:

4 jobs you've had in your life:
  1. I worked in a crystal & china warehouse. You know what they say about an elephant in a china store? Well, it's true.
  2. Mashgiach/Baker in a farfel manufacturer. One of the toughest, yet fun jobs. Comes to teach you that no matter how hard the job, if you have someone fun with you it's all good. Speaking of which, if anyone found a Band-Aid (it may have been a little mangled from the mixers) in their Streits, Seasons, Heimishe's mine. Bon Apetit.
  3. Waiter at a large borscht-belt hotel for a Yom Tov.
  4. Advertising Agency
4 movies you could watch over and over: While I enjoy watching movies, I'm really bad at remembering most of them. Here's some that come to mind:
  1. The Godfather. Any of them
  2. Scarface
  3. Dumb & Dumber. Now that one I watched many a time.
  4. I'm having trouble with a 4th, so here's one I recently watched for a second time: The Big Lebowski. Classic.
"Saturday, Donny, is Shabbos, the Jewish day of rest. That means that I don't work, I don't get in a car, I don't ride in a car, I don't pick up the phone, I don't turn on the oven, and I sure as shit don't fucking roll! Shomer shabbos!"
4 places you've lived:
  1. Miami
  2. Jerusalem
  3. Toronto
  4. Queens and Brooklyn, New York
4 TV shows you love to watch: I wouldn't call what I have at home a TV. It barely gets a handful of channels and I haven't turned it one in like a year. Who has the time?? But here goes:
  1. Seinfeld HAS to be here.
  2. Recently got into Curb Your Enthusiasm. Tied here is Family Guy.
  3. I liked Alias when I watched. Is it still on?
  4. Everyone Loves Raymond.
  5. Married With Children. I needed 5.
I have to mention some older classics like Cheers, Simpsons, Gilligans Island, The Honymooners, NYPD Blue...

4 places you've been on vacation:
  1. Aruba
  2. I must confess that my Yeshiva years in Israel should probably be classified as 'vacation'
  3. California
  4. I really need to get out more.
4 websites you visit daily:
  1. My Yahoo
  2. Gmail
  3. Haaretz
  4. A handful of my favorite blogs
4 of your favorite foods: I'm going to have trouble with this one. I really don't have favorite foods and am not much of a food connoisseur. Creme brulee?! What the hell is THAT?!
  1. Does coffee count?
  2. A good steak
  3. Grilled Salmon
  4. I've recently acquired the taste for sushi. After feeling left out for years, I love it now!
4 places you'd rather be: Another tough one. What IS it with these questions? After answering the question earlier, I'll just say I'd rather be on vacation. Any vacation.

4 books you'll read over and over again: I read a lot of books. Mostly fiction novels when I get my hands on them but occasionally books of substance as well. Like movies, I usually don't remember which I liked better than others. I can't say I'd read any over and over unless I'm desperate (no magazines in the can maybe?)
  1. Most of Nelson DeMille's books have been really good
  2. The DaVinci Code was really good. No shocker there, right?
  3. Since this is a J-Blog, I'm compelled to say any of Slifkin's books, but not really.
  4. Uncle John's Bathroom Reader. All of them are great.
There. Done.

Being that I'm getting into this late in the game and that everyone's probably been tagged already I won't tag anyone. If someone actually reads this and feels like they want in, go ahead. I did it on my own last time. If you really want, let me know and I'll post an update tagging you.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Crazy Limies

Brit Jew marries dolphin
Unusual wedding: British woman marries her beloved dolphin in Eilat ceremony
Joe Kot

Till death do us part? An unusual wedding ceremony was held in the southern resort town of Eilat on Wednesday, as Sharon Tendler, a 41-years-old Jewish millionaire from London married her beloved Cindy, a 35-years-old dolphin, Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Thursday.

The groom, a resident of the Eilat dolphin reef, met Tendler 15 years ago, when she first visited the resort. The British rock concert producer took a liking to the dolphin and has made a habit of traveling to Eilat two or three times a year and spending time with her underwater sweetheart.

"The peace and tranquility underwater, and his love, would calm me down," the excited bride said after the wedding.

After a years-long romance, Tendler decided to embark on the highly unusual path of tying the knot with her beloved dolphin. Last week, she approached Cindy's trainer Maya Zilber with the extraordinary request.

Zilber accepted the challenge and "talked the idea over with the fellow," who apparently consented.

'I'm not a pervert'

And so on Wednesday afternoon, the thrilled bride, wearing a white dress, walked down the dock before hundreds of astounded visitors and kneeled down before her groom, who was waiting in the water.

Cindy, escorted by his fellow best-men dolphins, swam over to Tendler and she hugged him, whispered sweet nothings in his ear, and kissed him in front of the cheering crowd.

After the ceremony was sealed with some mackerels, Tendler was tossed into the water by her friends so that she could swim with her new husband.

"I'm the happiest girl on earth," the bride said as she chocked back tears of emotion. "I made a dream come true, and I am not a pervert," she stressed.

Tendler said she and her newly wed husband will probably spend their wedding night bowling.

"But what kind of children would they have?" one of the children in the crowd asked his father.

Friday, December 09, 2005

The resurrection syndrome

Following up on Jameel's post lamenting the decline of the j-blogsphere, DovBear comments that there's nothing to worry about. I for one don't feel qualified to pass judgment either way as I'm more of a silent reader than a prolific writer/commenter. I just do this gig to feel like I'm part of the clique.

One thing I have noticed is what seems to be a "resurrection syndrome". As they started to get more popular and become more of a blogsphere cornerstone, a few bloggers decided to call it quits. Either they just disappeared, leaving their readers to wonder if they were kidnapped by the kanoim, or they just explained they weren't up to it anymore and said farewell.

Suddenly they're back from the dead.
  • The GoldolHador said farewell and promised he's not coming back. Sure enough, a short while later, he's baaaack.
  • MoChassid, one of the first blogs I started reading, also retired- claiming a loss of desire and new job pressures. Once again, the temptation proved to be too strong and as of late he's added to his biking tale's those of his latest OHEL 'acquisition'. Keep writing Mo!
  • Then (and I may be a bit behind the times on this one) I recently notice a blog that I think was really my first blog experience, arise from the dead too. Hasidic Rebel was one of the first of his kind and spawned many an imitator, before he suddenly vanished leaving us scratching our heads and with a lame Yahoo group instead.
So DB and Jameel, now that the big fish are back maybe things can still be interesting...

Time will tell. In the meantime, I'll still be reading (and maybe posting a little too)

Tehillim for Shifra's Brother

The brother of our blogfriend, Shifra, went into open-heart surgery yesterday. After some scary moments, Shifra tells us that, while he still has a long way to go, things are beginning to look a little better b'h.

Please have Rephael Chaim Ozer Yisroel ben Basya Yocha in your tefillos for a complete refua shelaima.

StillWonderin lists Tehillim kapitlech: 6,13,20,22,23,30,32,38,41,51,86,88,91,102,103,121,130,142,143 as the ultimate refuah sh'leimah tefilot. Please say a few.

In the merit of our prayers, may Rephael Chaim Ozer Yisroel ben Basya Yocha be granted a full recovery.

**Update: Please be sure to check up at Shifra's site for updates**

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Quick trivia question I just realized:

What's the similarity between Thursday night at the local kosher supermarket and Saturday night at Blockbuster?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Am I not Meme-worthy?

Man I HATE it when I write something and it doesn't post. Here goes again...

The other day Orthomom started this j-blogsphere i-Pod meme. Basically the way this works is you,

1. Turn on your mp3 player.
2. Hit shuffle.
3. Put the first fifteen songs that come up in a post. No matter how embarassing. No cheating!

...and then you 'tag' few other bloggers to keep it going.

And so, I waited to be tagged by someone. and waited... Perhaps I should start commenting out there a little more. So I can take the hint and I'll just do it myself then.

Here's what I got:

  1. My Name Is Mud-Primus
  2. For Your Life-Led Zeppelin
  3. The Noose-A Perfect Circle
  4. Stinkfist-Tool
  5. Fly Me To The Moon-Frank Sinatra
  6. The Sky Is Crying-Stevie Ray Vaughn
  7. Buffalo Soldier-Bob Marley
  8. Habanera-Andre Rieu
  9. Ranenu-Shwekey
  10. Shuvi Nafshi-Shlomo & Eitan Katz
  11. For Yohoshua ben Nun & Calev-Chaim David
  12. Bleeding Me-Metallica S&M
  13. High Time-Grateful Dead
  14. The Trees-Rush
  15. L’man Achai-Moshav Band
(I'll admit that I was tempted to cheat when Shwekey came up.)

While a lot of bloggers hate being 'tagged', there's a few I'd like to see get this:
...and don't forget, if you break the chain you'll have 7 years of bad luck. You can blame Orthomom for this one.

Update: Since I'm not sure if any of these tagged bloggers visit this site, feel free to let them know.


Since no one seems to be reading this blog anymore, I feel like I should point out one of my past posts that is still getting comments on a regular basis.

Ok, it's probably just one guy with an agenda, but who cares? Comments are comments.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Free Bodies..

So Israel has returned the bodies of the Hezbollah terrorists killed in the infiltration attempt earlier this week. And what do they get in return? Diddly squat. Surprise surprise.

When I was reading this story last night, the explanation given was that Lebanon stressed that if hezbollah didn't get their bodies back, Israelis would be kidnapped and in order to maintain the 'peace', they should be returned.

Excuse me? Unless the bodies were returned Hezbollah was threatening kidnappings?!? Isn't that what got them killed in the first place?!

Honest to God, what the heck was the logic behind returning these bodies, or any terrorist bodies? Whatever happened to deterrence? If you were to tell me that if Israel would have a policy of holding remains, than their enemies would be less-inclined to return Israeli remains too... that's what they do ANYWAY! How many terrorists did Israel have to release to get one civilian and 3 bodies of killed soldiers? Like 400. Not to mention that we still have no information on a handful of Israelis still missing. Why would these 3 be handed over free of charge?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

He's Baaack...

Where are all those betting pools? Godol returns and I barely see a peep in the blogsphere? What did it take, 12 days?

Or is it not Him?

(At least he came back with a good post.)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Say it ain't so GH!!

Who would have ever thought?! The one and only Godol Hador has officially retired.

Godol has led the jblogsphere for quite some time with his insightful posts and his wit. While I may not have agreed with everything he wrote (and even if I did, I certainly wouldn't have said so in public), he got me to think about many things that most people in the frum world are just blase about.

Farewell GH and may the tides of fortune treat you well.

Just remember that if your boss and your boss's boss don't throw you that promised work, you better come back.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A Rebbe Story

It's always other people's posts that get me to write something here. I'm really not much of a writer, I'll be the first one to say it.

Airtime is back from the Holy Land and posting again. Welcome back Air. (On that note, I've also noticed that Still Wonderin' seems to have crawled back out from under the bed; at least just for a few minutes at a time. Seems he still has bills to pay.)

Airtime's post today reminds me of a story I once heard.

This guy brings his little boy to the Rebbe (I don't remember the rebbe, but does it really matter?). When he gets his audience he says to the rebbe, "Rebbe, I think we need to enroll my son into advanced studies. I know he's only 2 but he's going to grow to be a godol b'torah and lead klal yisrael!"

"Hmmmm" remarked the rebbe while thoughtfully stroking his beard, "you think he's a genius. And why is that?"

The father, still excited, answered that "he's always walking around the house wrapping his hand around his other arm like he's putting tefillin on! At 2 years old! I'm telling you Rebbe, he's going to be great."

Still stroking his beard, the Rebbe answers, "I hate to break it to you, but the kid's not a genius. You just need to start going to minyan in the morning."

But who am I to talk.

Steven Plaut's French Solution

The French Solution

By Steven Plaut | November 7, 2005

There are very few things as amusing these days as watching the French grapple with their backyard intifada. The suburbs of Paris are now more dangerous than Jenin, and the French are getting their comeuppance for decades of snootiness, anti-American and anti-Israel agitprop, and decades of cowardice.

Paris is now being targeted by violent rioting hordes. For years the French accused American racism of having produced the race riots of the 60s and 70s in the US, as well as the Los Angeles riots after the Rodney King business. And the French are sure that only Jewish cussedness and just plain Israeli evil lie behind the behavior of the Palestinian pogromchiki. The Gall of Dem Gauls!

Well, now that the French are experiencing their own intifada, we suggest that they resolve the problem using the very same plan that they have been trying for decades to impose upon Israel.

Yes, comrades, it is time to implement the Land for Peace Plan, Paris style. Here it is:

The French Solution: Land for Peace

So after leading the Solidarity-with-the-Baathists movement in Europe during the recent Gulf War, France now enjoys its own intifada by urban Moslem resistance fighters in suburban Paris! Of course, this is all on top of France's long history of supporting Islamist fascism and Palestinian terrorism.

A few years back during a trip to Israel, French prime minister Lionel Jospin urged Israel to make concessions for peace. More interesting yet, in documents relating to his visit, Jerusalem was called the ''capital of the Palestinian Authority.'' And what do the French consider to be the capital of Israel? Tel Aviv, of course. A few years later, French President Jacques Chirac used the occasion of his visit in 1996 to announce that ''Syria has a moral right to demand return of the Golan Heights.''

These French politicians may be on to something important. Never one to back down from a challenge, I have prepared a set of proposals for consideration by the French people, so that they not only can preserve peace in Parisian suburbia, but also can achieve a full, lasting, and just peace with their urban resistance opponents.

First, until this plan is implemented in full, we must insist that the French government acknowledge that there is no military or police solution to the problems of violence in its suburbs and only through recognizing the legitimacy of the demands of the murderers and rioters outside Paris can the problems be resolved.

Second, we all agree that territory must not be annexed by force. Therefore, we can also agree that Germany has a moral right to demand the return of Alsace-Lorraine, for the French aggression in 1945 and its consequent occupation must not be rewarded. ''A full withdrawal for full peace'' should operate here. Further, France must agree to the return and rehabilitation of all ethnic Germans expelled from Alsace-Lorraine after World Wars I and II, as well as all those they define as their descendents.

But this, of course, is just the first step toward a solution, as no aggression can be rewarded and France has much other stolen territory to return. It took Corsica from Genoa, Nice and Savoy from Piedmont; as the successor state, Italy must get back all these lands. By similar token, territories grabbed from the Habsburgs go back to Austria, including Franche-Comte, Artois, and historical Burgundy. The Roussillon area (along the Pyrenees) must be returned to Spain, its rightful owner. And Normandy, Anjou, Aquitaine, and Gascony must be returned to their rightful owners, the British royal family.

Not even this is enough for the sake of peace. Brittany and Languedoc must be granted autonomy at once, recognizing the Breton and Occitan Liberation organizations as their legal rulers. This leaves the French government in control over the Ile de France (the area around Paris).

That, however, still does not solve the problem of the Holy City of Paris, sacred to artists, gourmets, and adulterers. The Corsicans obviously have a historical claim to the Tomb of the Emperor Napoleon, their famed son, as well as the Invalides complex and beyond. For the sake of peace, is it not too much to ask that Paris be the capital for two peoples? The French authorities must agree to prevent French Parisians from even entering the sacred tomb area, lest this upset the Corsicans.

The Saint Chapelle and the Church of Notre Dame, of course, will be internationalized, under joint Vatican-art historical auspices. Indeed, the French should consider it a compliment of the highest order that so many people see Paris as an international city.

The French have nothing to complain about. They will enjoy the benefits of peace and retain control of the Champs Elysees.

Actually, come to think of it, even the Champs Elysees may be too much. Recalling the French position that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel, perhaps the true French capital is not Paris at all, but Vichy.

Monday, October 24, 2005

A Looong Davening

This past Shabbos has its reputation as being one of the longer Shabbos davenings. You have Hallel, Hoshanos, and Koheles all packed into the program that it can take a while.

Of course, when davening takes a while, you'll always have people, hopefully good-naturedly, cracking a comment or two on the length. When the ba'al shacharis was taking his time and singing at every possible point (and not realizing that the kehilla wasn't joining in- a sure sign that they've had enough...another potential post), the guy sitting next to me turned to me and asked if someone can tell the ba'al shacharis that he had an appointment on Monday that he really needed to keep.

What really irked me was when someone told me that Joe Schmo was also complaining about the length of the davening. This is the same Joe Schmo that with his baseball hat & coat still on and his daughter trailing behind, without fail saunters into shul to his seat at 9:45 when davening started at 8:30 and then proceeds to talk through out whatever davening time he has left.

complaining?!? He just GOT there!

Friday, October 14, 2005

I’m in the nude for dancing

By Robert Dex, South London Press

HUNDREDS of clubbers are descending on the country's only nude disco every Saturday night.

The craze for letting it all hang out on the dancefloor is pulling in punters to South Central in Kennington Lane.

Clubbers have to wear shoes to protect their feet in case of smashed glass but the only pants to be seen in the whole place belong to the bar staff.

Even the DJ is naked behind his decks, though fully-clothed bouncers are stationed outside to stop clothed clubbers stumbling in unawares.

Jamie Rocket, 29, who helps organise the Starkers! night, said naked clubbing was an exhilarating experience.

He said: "When people are naked they can feel inhibited or exposed but when everyone is the same that disappears.

"Some people like the way it feels, some people like being looked at and some people like the view.

"A lot of it grew out of that clubbing generation in the 1990s which had the philosophy of being free and at one with the crowd.

"All kinds of people come along, men, women, singles, couples, gay, straight. It's open to everyone."

...and just when I was wondering about...

And for any male clubbers worried about the temperatures taking its toll on their manhood, the venue boasts "excellent heating".

Friday, September 30, 2005

Europe Died in Auschwitz

Someone sent me an interesting piece apparently written for the Free Republic, written by a Spanish journalist named Sebastian Villar Rodriguez. I can't vouch for the veracity of this, but it seems to have been picked up by a few blogsalready.

Europe Died in Auschwitz
By Sebastian Villar Rodriguez September 23, 2005

I was walking along Raval (in Barcelona) when all of a sudden I understood that Europe died with Auschwitz. We assassinated 6 million Jews in order to end up bringing in 20 million Muslims!

We burnt in Auschwitz the culture, intelligence and power to create.

We burnt the people of the world, the one who is proclaimed the chosen people of God.

Because it is the people who gave to humanity the epic figures who were capable of changing history (Christ, Marx, Einstein, Freud...) and who represent the origin of progress and wellbeing.

We must admit that Europe, by relaxing its borders and giving in under the pretext of tolerance to the values of a fallacious cultural relativism, opened its doors to 20 million Muslims, often illiterates and fanatics that we could meet, at best, in places such as Raval, the poorest of the nations and of the ghettos, and who are preparing the worst, such as the 9/11 and the Madrid bombing and who are lodged in apartment blocs provided by the social welfare.

We also have exchanged culture with fanaticism, the capacity to create with the will to destroy, the wisdom with the superstition. We have exchanged the transcendental instinct of the Jews, who even under the worst possible conditions have always looked for a better, peaceful world, for the suicide bomber.

We have exchanged the pride of life for the fanatic obsession of death. Our death and that of our children.

What a grave mistake we made!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Stolen Creditcard

There's a guy in my office who's had his creditcard number stolen a couple of times, the latest time being last week.

He's at his desk looking over some charges that this person made when he says "what's"

Being the only Jewish guy here in the office, why do I find myself being automatically defensive??

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


When Cindy Sheehan began her one-woman protest out at George Bush's ranch in Texas I sympathized with her, even though I disagreed with her. After all, she did lose a son and had every right to want answers. Even after she made her stupid comments regarding the Iraqi war and Israel, I still held back from judging her too much.

Then, as the media attention grew and every liberal/commie and anti-war idiot around gravitated to her, I started losing patience. As time went on, she seemed to be less of a grieving mother and more of an attention-loving protester. First she had claimed her protest would only be for the summer. Then she took her cause on a nationwide tour. Is it even her cause, or has she now farmed herself out to the anti-war movement?

Then yesterday she was arrested while protesting in front of the white house. When I saw the images, I lost whatever little amount of sympathy I had left for her. As she's being arrested, she looks like she's having a ball.

"whooHOO! Look at me! Take more pictures of me! This is fun!"

I'm sorry, but she's lost all her credibility and I think she's just dishonoring her son's memory.

Just my two-sense.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Truth and Consequences

ClooJew has a great post about how every action, physical or spiritual, has a consequence. A great read as we head into a week of selichos.

I also was at a speech by Rav Ephraim Wachsman last week where he spoke about the exact same thing. ClooJew was first though.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Always blaming the Jews

Listening to Imus In The Morning last week I heard something worth passing on.

Imus had some guest on the phone and they were talking about the situation in New Orleans. At some point, the guest admonished Imus from blaming the devastation on the Jews. Understably, Imus was a tad defensive.

Imus: "What?! I never blamed the Jews. What are you talking about!?"

Caller: "Sure you did. I heard it all. Why does everything have to be blamed on the Jews?? They had nothing to do with all of this."

Imus: "Listen, I know alot of stuff gets blamed on the Jews, but I haven't heard anyone blaming the Jews for this one. I certainly haven't! What are you talking about?!"

Caller: "What do you mean? I've heard it all over. "It's all the fault of the Levy's""

Thursday, September 15, 2005


U.S. President George W. Bush writes a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a Security Council meeting at the 2005 World Summit and 60th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York September 14, 2005. (REUTERS/Rick Wilking )

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Rich history of synagogue desecration by Arabs

Elder of Zion has a great post about the Arab's history of destroying synagogues. He's got newspaper clippings from years past which detail their savageness and lack of respect for any other religion. Take a look.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Jack Kelly: No shame

Jack Kelly: No shame

The federal response to Katrina was not as portrayed

It is settled wisdom among journalists that the federal response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina was unconscionably slow.

"Mr. Bush's performance last week will rank as one of the worst ever during a dire national emergency," wrote New York Times columnist Bob Herbert in a somewhat more strident expression of the conventional wisdom.

But the conventional wisdom is the opposite of the truth.

Jason van Steenwyk is a Florida Army National Guardsman who has been mobilized six times for hurricane relief. He notes that:

"The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne."

For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 2002. But after Katrina, there was a significant National Guard presence in the afflicted region in three.

Journalists who are long on opinions and short on knowledge have no idea what is involved in moving hundreds of tons of relief supplies into an area the size of England in which power lines are down, telecommunications are out, no gasoline is available, bridges are damaged, roads and airports are covered with debris, and apparently have little interest in finding out.

So they libel as a "national disgrace" the most monumental and successful disaster relief operation in world history.

I write this column a week and a day after the main levee protecting New Orleans breached. In the course of that week:

More than 32,000 people have been rescued, many plucked from rooftops by Coast Guard helicopters.

The Army Corps of Engineers has all but repaired the breaches and begun pumping water out of New Orleans.

Shelter, food and medical care have been provided to more than 180,000 refugees.

Journalists complain that it took a whole week to do this. A former Air Force logistics officer had some words of advice for us in the Fourth Estate on his blog, Moltenthought:

"We do not yet have teleporter or replicator technology like you saw on 'Star Trek' in college between hookah hits and waiting to pick up your worthless communications degree while the grown-ups actually engaged in the recovery effort were studying engineering.

"The United States military can wipe out the Taliban and the Iraqi Republican Guard far more swiftly than they can bring 3 million Swanson dinners to an underwater city through an area the size of Great Britain which has no power, no working ports or airports, and a devastated and impassable road network.

"You cannot speed recovery and relief efforts up by prepositioning assets (in the affected areas) since the assets are endangered by the very storm which destroyed the region.

"No amount of yelling, crying and mustering of moral indignation will change any of the facts above."

"You cannot just snap your fingers and make the military appear somewhere," van Steenwyk said.

Guardsmen need to receive mobilization orders; report to their armories; draw equipment; receive orders and convoy to the disaster area. Guardsmen driving down from Pennsylvania or Navy ships sailing from Norfolk can't be on the scene immediately.

Relief efforts must be planned. Other than prepositioning supplies near the area likely to be afflicted (which was done quite efficiently), this cannot be done until the hurricane has struck and a damage assessment can be made. There must be a route reconnaissance to determine if roads are open, and bridges along the way can bear the weight of heavily laden trucks.

And federal troops and Guardsmen from other states cannot be sent to a disaster area until their presence has been requested by the governors of the afflicted states.

Exhibit A on the bill of indictment of federal sluggishness is that it took four days before most people were evacuated from the Louisiana Superdome.

The levee broke Tuesday morning. Buses had to be rounded up and driven from Houston to New Orleans across debris-strewn roads. The first ones arrived Wednesday evening. That seems pretty fast to me.

A better question -- which few journalists ask -- is why weren't the roughly 2,000 municipal and school buses in New Orleans utilized to take people out of the city before Katrina struck?

Jack Kelly is national security writer for the Post-Gazette and The Blade of Toledo, Ohio (, 412-263-1476).