Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I have heard from a respectful rabbi that Kollel system has its flaws. I was in a state of shock when I heard him say this. Could a real rabbi who learns in Kollel say there is something wrong with it? Well anyway he descibed these flaws. 1) Not everyone is meant for Kollel (many don't think that way). 2) You have to learn in Kollel (also many people don't think this way). 3) People use it as a way to fit in with the crowd and end up not learning for the sake of learning.

1) Yes not everyone is meant for Kollel. There are tons out there who would rather be working but they promised that they would sit and learn for X amount of years and X amount of children or they are placed under peer pressure and if they go against the system they face humiliation and children not being able to go to good schools. (kind of like that girl who was afraid to ask her teachers questions on Judaism).

2) You have to learn in kollel. For your average kollel guy its just a joke and every few minutes their out for a smoke or to talk and text on their phones. Maybe Schmoozing with a couple of guys but hardly ever learning. 3) they use it to fit in with the crowd as I mentioned before its peer pressure. Why do they learn (if they do) only to show off I learn or to not show off but prove they are meant for Kollel.

The rabbi obviously knew who/what he was talking to/about. I agree on all levels that he is right. He said that most should work instead of learn and waste their time. He said the System has changed from what it used to be 100 years ago. He explained that in the past you got married at 15 so by that time you had to set a life standard. They got married and if the man had leaned toward learning, he would be set off to learn and would be supported. If he leaned towards not learning he would set out to work. So now its a different system. If you are in a Yeshiva you must set off to learn in Kollel and expect to be supported. If you go to college you are set off to be single a loooong time.

The rabbi did say there are some Kollel's that the only way you can learn there is if someone promised to support you and that this is the right Kollel. Being that it was like Yissachar and Zevulin it is the ideal Kollel. May we all be Zocheh that we should live to see a time where all Kollels will be like this last one. Amen.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I was driving down J at around 9:30 and I noticed that Subway was empty. I dont mean three guys on a line empty I mean guy behind the counter board empty. Also I havent heard too many people taking out from it lately. So I ask is it really losing to the competition? I remember when people were so happy that it became kosher, could it be that no one cares or are monday night just not a good time?

Another thing I noticed was a place called Satmer Meats. Wouldnt you think thats just a great random name because theres such a great thing about getting Satmer meats more than any other type.

Well thats about it for what I saw on J. A funny thing I heard is that Yeshiva guys will read Yeshiva World News just to know what to shmooz about pretty funny. Any other weird jewish things?

Thursday, October 23, 2008


The crowd waits for both candidates to come in. McCain walks in. Everyone starts cheering for the modern day hero as he says thank you to the crowd of frummies. Obama walks in. The crowd instantly stops cheering which is then followed by booing and some tomato throwing. Obama does not say thank you. The candidates then take to their podiums. The first question is given to Obama. "Senator "Cough" Muslim "cough" Obama What will you do to settle this financial crisis?"
Obama: "I think we need change from the Bush Administration which my opponent Senator McCain does not give". There is an instant uproar of hate from the crowd and one Frummie runs up on stage and screams "You racist Bush is my Favorite president". This Frummie is now being dragged out by two men in suits.
Order has settled in finally and the same question is given to McCain.
McCain: "Obama is not the only one who can give change I can too and we will work through party lines to fix this. Cheers are heard from all sides". The next question is given.
Senator g-d send McCain what is you're stance on Israel?
McCain: "Israel is our ally and we need to help Israel in all possible ways". The crowd just cant get enough of McCain. (a sideline interview) Here we are talking to a Frummie in the stands what do you think of the candidates? "Well I think McCain isn't as good as Giuliani would be but we do with what we have and I just hate Muslims so that takes care of both". The next question is given to Obama.
Senator Obama and your stance on Israel is?
Obama: "Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel". As you expected the crowd hates it all the way. It seems that everyone is chanting "Don't vote for the Palestinian lover"
After 30 minutes of this we go to take questions from the crowd. A Frum woman asks one for Obama. "M.R. Obama what do you think of the fact that when you become president the Messiah will come for us.
Obama: "He will? Uh I mean.. Well I am not sure how to answer that one. But I will tell you what I think will happen if he does not come. I will change this country around to help everyone from the young to old. Obama then gets angry looks from every Frummie in the crowd.
Next a question also from the audience is asked to Senator McCain. "Senator McCain why is it that I like you better than Obama"?
McCain: "Well it seems that you all like everything from the Republican party. You even like my running mate's hair so much you turned into a wig style. As for Obama you don't like him because he is black and you guys are part of the JKK (Jew Klux Klan)". Nods of agreement are seen all over.

The candidates leave and and the debate is over. Lets ask some one what their thoughts are on tonight's debate. We ask a man with a black hat. "I have to say McCain did a way better job when it came to answering and he knows us better, he did mention us being part of the JKK which is true. As for Obama he didn't acknowledge the crowd so he did a poor job". (reporter) "Okay one more question. Did you think the crowd gave Obama a chance"?
(guy with hat) "Of course the crowd did. Just once Obama started lying to everyone they started to hate him".

Now that's it for tonight the next battle between these candidates will be in the voting booth.


Yes it was. I loved it from the minute it started. My shul has the most spirit of any other shul I know of. Yes there are other great shuls to be at but this one kicks. The night had it all with singing, dancing, drinks and even though I just couldn't go any further I felt like I owed it to everyone to keep on going. We had the screwing of the light bulb dances going on, the good old jumping up and down and stomping of the feet. Drunk guys yes, Chabad guys no. I did want some of the lubavs to come in and fill up the place. Our place was short on people but we made with what we had and it was awesome. 2 hours of this and we all decided to finish up.

So we get up to Hagbah (the part where you lift up the Torah) and everyone starts making a big deal about it. "Its all on one side" was the big fuss who can do Hagbah its just so heavy. To tell you the truth the Torah wasn't so heavy even with it all on one side. Now if you ask me I say everyone overreacts when it comes to Hagbah. People make it seem like its the heavy weight championship and only the strongest of Jews can do it. So they look for the lone sober guy in shul to do Hagba. When lone sober guy is in middle of picking it up everyone leaps forward to make sure he doesn't drop it and grabbing on to any part they can to protect it.

So we finished at 8:00. I desired some more dancing and I had heard Chaim Berlin was going to go late into the night. I headed over there at Eleven fighting a strong wind. Yeah it was real windy out there. To my disappointment it was a dead place. Nothing compared to what I had a few hours before. The dancing in Chaim Berlin was slow to not moving and the singing was..... there was no singing just a little more than a hum that's all.

The morning I headed out towards my shul and once again we rocked Simchas Torah. Much more people were there than at night. We ended at 1:30 and then After Mincha again we had something. Many kids wanted to get in on the fun. I feel bad for the young ones they always get hurt or squashed in between people.

Now my legs are sore and I can hardly walk straight. Ive got to admit this has been one of the best Simchas Torahs yet.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


The minyan is an essential part of any shul. Its what makes up what kind of shul it is. If one person would be missing from the minyan, it just wouldn't feel like your in the same shul. These are the guys who don't go to the kiddush club. They may be board members depending on what type of shul you go to. You'll see the people of the minyan be the chazzan for mincha and maariv. They talk in middle of shul but also daven, unlike the guys from the kiddush club (who only talk). If one or two things in the shul go "wrong" they wont blame the rabbi as the kiddush club guys do. They also wield the power that none others have. being the majority of the people in the shul the minyan can put pressure on others and get their way. You wont see much of the minyans power since its kind of hard getting them to agree on one subject.

Many a times the minyan is only a certain sect of judaism (e.g. Satmer, Syrian, Litvish). Other times the minyan is very diverse covering all walks of judaism (e.g. Child Ish's Shul). Some Minyans start off as a band of all walks and then split into two different Minyans (one in a basement). then comes the Minyan that's not in a shul at all. Its called The-Motzei-Shabbos-In-A-Random-Guys-House-Minyan. Don't know how that started, very common.

The Chazzan. The first type of Chazzan is the one for only Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur and maybe Maariv for sukkos and Pesach. These Chazzans get paid good money for stressing their vocal chords and making shul take longer while singing obscure tunes and stretching out words to make them sound like a yawn. I have heard people say that a good chazzan attracts people to the shul. I on the other hand think its a turn off. I have heard these types of chazzans getting the boot for very random reasons. The other type of Chazzan is a guy from the minyan above. Its a better job, no firing. He wont sing anything and your time spent in shul wont be long. Ooooh wait, he does sing l'cha Dodi but even then there is no stretching of the words.

The Gabbai. He is the guy who picks who gets what aliyah and hands out those plastic cards. He does just about everything, from reading who sponsored what this shabbos to who gets P'sicha. In some shuls their are more than one gabbai. Some shuls the gabbai is supposed to keep people quiet. Then there are those self appointed gabbai's who nobody likes. They just like to run the show. Throughout all my years I have never seen a Gabbai blamed for anything. Obviously he has a good job but tough too.

This concludes this chapter of shul politics any other ideas?

Thursday, October 16, 2008


This past Yom Tov was filled with much randomness. First I got a look at my Esrog which doesn't have a Pitom (one of the most important parts to an Esrog). Its kosher since it was pulled off the tree like that. Still don't know why I have to return my Citrus fruit back to Israel cant I just bury it? My grandfather had a very weird looking Esrog. It was sort of anorexic.

Anorexic Esrog

It was a freaky looking Esrog. You may not be able to see but it was like it had a grip handle right around it. My Lulav was the perfect Lulav. I never enjoyed shaking a lulav like this one. Its perfect. It flaps its branches into a fan like position and then pops back into a spear like lulav. You have a few types of lulavs. One just wont bend in any direction (kind of like the one I had last year). Another is just too spread out and you are constantly trying to adjust those bands they put on it to keep it together. Then there is the awesome lulav which is just right (I feel like Goldilocks now) not too floppy and not too straight.

Hoshanos was a little funny on the second day. I went to a shul with a lot of older folks in it. The chazzan started hoshanos and he was moving around the shul. I started Hoshanos and didn't move at all. Somewhere in the middle of the line it just wasn't moving. The chazzan passed me as he went around, which should not have happened since I started not so far away from him. In the end they gave us time to go around if you didn't yet.

My stay in the sukkah so far has been pretty good. No rain or bugs, it has been nice weather. Hey does anyone sleep in the sukkah? I don't, even though its supposed to be a temporary dwelling and all. Well I am running short on subjects here so Chag Sameach y'all.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


You start out looking for a minyan for mincha so that way you can move on in your Erev Yom Kippur schedule. Your schedule includes of 1)davening mincha 2) saying attaras nidarim 3) throwing crumbs into an ocean 4)waving chicken around head 5) shower 6) eat till you bust so you can survive this upcoming fast 7)stay in shul for a good two hours on a prayer that normally takes 5 minutes. 8) read next days list.

So you decide to attack item number one on you list. You run around looking for a quick minyan with your busy schedule. You find an average paced minyan not the one you wanted but you'll take it. As you're in middle of chazzaras hashas you are bombarded with kids requesting you to give their tzedakah box a little more than a dollar. To the first one you give a righteous amount. To the next not so much and to the third you decide not to give at all. He gives you a look as if you are going to get it from the man upstairs for not giving him.

After mincha you look at you're list and cross off mincha. You look at number two "saying attaras nidarim". You try gathering three people together but everyone said it before Rosh Hashana. You flip back a few pages and take a glance at your list for Erev Rosh Hashana, you don't see you wrote attaras nedarim. You think why didn't I write it down for erev rosh hashana. Genius has then struck you and you say "If I don't throw out my list in one minute all my previous nedarim are annulled". You feel as if you are the smartest person in the world you and your list are going to beat out everything (you then notice a guy in the corner with one of those electronic schedulers and think of dumping you paper list for the electronic one) .

You then head out to do number three on your list. You're on your way to throw your bread in an ocean. You bring your machzor or small pamphlet with you. As you are throwing the very last of what you have into the ocean, a bird swoops in to eat all the crumbs you threw. You don't know if the bird is allowed to eat it or just the fish in the sea. You end up not caring as long as you are atoned for all of your sins. This then gets you thinking if the bird is going to get to it first, why not just feed the pigeons outside your house (you have heard of when the fish eats it they die so why not downsize the large population of pigeons).

Next you head out to get a chicken. Time is running out till Yom Kippur sets in. You feel you just don't need a chicken and since there is almost no time left, you chicken out and go for the money waving around head. This gives you more time to take shower and get ready to stuff your face. You are done showering and now are stuffing your face with tons of food. You remember hearing to drink a lot before a fast since its mainly the drinks that count. You also remember hearing to eat salty foods so you can retain the water in your body. Wait, the more salt you have means the more water you need. You then are in state of panic what to do? You have absolutely no clue. You decide to text cha cha to see what they tell you. Another dilemma has appeared before you texting is bad and right before Yom Kippur. Should you have texted cha cha? you decide to forget it and what was done is done. So as always you are waiting for the text which is taking more than long enough for them to answer. What kind of shoes are you going to wear you begin to think. The white sneakers those older folks wear? is that supposed to be a sign of cleanliness like a kittel is or just to match the kittel for fashion purposes? You decide to go with the slippers.

You notice the time and you have 1 minute before Yom Kippur starts. You begin to worry ahh! I didn't eat as much as I should have. You quickly clean up, put the phone on charge (you never did get the text) and are off to shul. You say to yourself Maariv is a short prayer it cant take that long even with a Yom Kippur style. (2 hours later) You are still in shul and are whispering to a friend about the up and coming baseball playoff teams and who you think are going to win. You chose the dodgers and he chose the Phillies. You end up making a bet, nothing about making promises has crossed your mind yet. You are finally about to end and the chazzan is up to Kaddish the last one. just as you thought he was about to end he suddenly breaks out a Yaseh Shalom that lasts for a few minutes. Everyone is just staring at him as to why he is not finishing as he goes for another round of Yaseh shalom. You eventually make it home.

Next day you come back in to shul. You feel a little tired wishing you could have made a coffee. In the middle of Musaf you decide to read the English to understand some of what you are saying. You come across the things the Kohen Gadol does on Yom Kippur. You read about all the slaughtering and chucking of the goats, you begin to wander what would happen if PETA existed back than. In the end you manage to make it through Musaf and then Mincha afterwards. Now it comes time for Neila. Also your stomach is telling you that you need food now! you decide to stand the whole Neila and have some kavana at the last prayer on Yom Kippur.

It doesn't work to well, you drifted onto the food you need. Now you feel like you are going to faint as you really didn't get a good meal before hand. Its a race to see what going to come first you collapsing or the chazzan finishing. The chazzan seems to be losing the race as he decides to Schlep threw this Neila. No you say I can't stand the whole time I'll die if I do. Another few Oy Oy Oys from this chazzan and your not going to make it you think. Finally its time to hear the shofar after Neila. Wait the rabbis saying something. Shofar is to be blown after Maariv. Ugh this better be a kaporah you say. Well you remember that Maariv after Yom Kippur is only three minutes with kaddish, Aleinu and L'david.

You finish Maariv (Not making the any of the kaddishes with the minyan) and some how found the energy to run home. You take the first bite of food and a drink of orange juice and you feel as if you are a new person. Also you feel you might have accomplished something this Yom Kippur. But there is no need to worry you ruined this sense of accomplishment with the fastest Maariv ever. You never noticed this and it flew over your head as you think "thankfully there wont be another Yom Kippur till next year".

Friday, October 10, 2008

SHABBOS SHUVA DRASHA (a little late review)

It came shabbos shuva and I had absolutely no idea where I would go or even if I would go to a drasha. Then it came around 4:30 and and after much thought, I decided to go to R'Goldwasser's Shiur. I got in and then they started saying tehillim, which I thought was a great idea catching everyone at the moment. He had a great Shmooz he even cracked a few good jokes. He went from the topic of forgiving people (obviously) to we have to help everyone in the community to everyone should be a shadchan in these hard times. In fact it was a great Shmooz I didn't tune out for a second. There was only one subject I didn't agree on. Texting.

Yes he went on about texting well not just texting all electronic items and how you should be less dependent on them since they bring in the yetzer hara (which I agree on). But he mainly stuck to texting. He brought a point the Babysitter had said "People feel like they aren't talking to someone so they also feel they can say/write whatever they want". He gave proof to this with an example of someone texting one hundred texts on Shabbos. I don't agree to this since sending letters or emails is exactly the same. Wait, on emails he did say there was a problem. Even without the point of emails writing in general takes the cake. So sorry R'goldwasser cant say I agree.

I still liked the shiur and it left me on a higher note than when I came in. For all you who didn't go to his Drasha you missed something good. Next year I may choose him again.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I have recently seen a big increase in the popularity of the new Smart car. In the city its a big help when it comes to parking, especially when you live in Brooklyn where the people here like to make the parking hard for others. Its got great gas mileage. They say it has a good crash test rating, although I have no clue how a small car like that is able to not be pulverized.

The smart car has now infiltrated the Jewish community. I really don't understand it. At first I saw someone driving it and said to myself "Why would he drive a smart car" but I didn't think too much about it. Then I saw another Jewish person driving one and thought "how could a Jewish person drive a smart car when he expects to have 20 children?". It goes against everything we believe in. We the people of the station wagon and minivans have decided to change are ways and go for a small car that can only hold 2 people? What happened to having a dozen kids in a trunk? How can you offer rides to random people with just a small car? Imagine three people trying squish in for a ride, its not happening.

I just don't see the smart car being a smart choice for our community.