Sunday, March 30, 2008

More on my super frummy friend

By reading the comments from the last post, I remembered another hilarious story about my friend. Keep in mind, this girl goes to a completely secular college, and plans on going into the medical field.

Her first semester in college she registered to take art history. Art history was specifically a requirement for her major (which at the time was education). A few weeks into the class, she realized that the nudity from all the art bothered her, and so she dropped the class. Her excuse was that she planned on changing her major anyway, so why should she subject herself to nudity? (Ironically, her major has something to do with medicine, which, has ALOT of anatomy and bio...ohh...and when its time to take clinical, she'll most definitly need to TOUCH guys!)

Anyway, we often get into the discussion of shomer negiah. Now, I happen to be shomer with guys I date and such, but I hug my cousins and my uncles and other relatives, I shake hands at interviews, and I'd give hugs to close family friends; for her, that just isn't good enough (not that I care, but its a fun discussion). Once when we got into a discussion on being shomer negiah, she said something like "you need to be careful to avoid pregnancy", I don't remember the context that she said that in, but it wasn't totally far fetched. But I remember telling her something like "you do realize you cannot get pregnant from making-out, right?" And she was like "well, if someone is really careful" I told her "NO, it is physically IMPOSSIBLE to get pregnant by making out" and she was like "well, that depends on the protection" and that was where I realized that she had NO idea what making-out was, and it was my job to enlighten her...and mind you, I was telling her this with my mom sitting next to me cracking up. After I told her what it was, she said "oh, ok, well I didn't know what it was"

Then, last summer, we got into another discussion about shomer negiah. Over the summer my mom's best freind and her children come over every shabbos (they live in a different country, and come to the US to visit for a few weeks over the summer). The oldest child is a boy and he was 15. He is like a baby brother to me. I literally grew up with him and my sister fighting, and us going to each others houses every friday (when they still lived in the States).

Anyway, during our (my friends and mine) discussion on shomer negiah, the concept of judging others came up. She told me I shouldn't judge frummies so much. So I told her that frummies judge everyone more than any other group of people I know. I told her that if I went and hugged the boy (moms friend's 15 yr old son) neither him nor I will think anything of it. I also told her, that if I were to hug him, and frummies saw, they would judge me and think I'm some sort of whore. She was like "no, thats not true"

Sure enough...I went over, hugged him (he was so confused. lol), right infront of her. She was like "I don't think any less of you"...I said "but Gd forbid your younger sibling does that when she grows up, huh?" And she was like "yes, I wouldn't want her to do that!" I completely forgot about that story. Completely. But then a few weeks ago, we got into another discussion, and she said "but don't you remember how I didn't judge you when you hugged him?"

And well...I told my mom, and she was like "well, I guess she just proved she did judge you if she remembered that."

Saturday, March 29, 2008

College and my frummy friend

Shalosh suedos is a time of fun conversation. My super frummy friend, my mom, my sister, and myself help set up the shalosh suedos at my shul. We have loads of fun, because the conversation is usually my family against her (my family= "modern", my freind super frummy). This week, we had loads of fun, because another lady was there, and she came with her baby. Her baby happened to be the topic of most of our convos.

After shalosh suedos itself, as we were waiting for Havdalah, an 11 year old boy came running over and asked "why do babies put everything into their mouths?"

We tried to explain it and were like "at that age (11 months) babies don't really understand anything other than taste and they know that is their mouths, plus they're teething" So, the kid was satisfied with that answer, but my super frummy friend, decided to show off what she learned in college and she screamed out (yes in shul, thank Gd no one was around)...

"He needs to satisfy his libido through oral fixation"

I was in shock and I wasn't sure I should say anything because the baby's mother was just kind of giving her this look, like "WTH did you just say?"

The situation was amusing. Because when I did decide to speak I was like "do you have any idea what you just said?" And she was like "Yea, I learned in my psych class, Freud said that."

So then the baby's mom was like "Do you know what libido (we decided not to enlighten her on "oral fixation") is?" and she was like "I thought I did, but based on your reactions I guess I don't" So we told her what it was, in the nicest way we could, and then the mom goes "You're telling me that my 11 month old is sticking things in his mouth becuase of his sexual desires?" And so, I informed my friend, that screaming anything out in shul, that Freud said, is bad. It's simply bad. Bad move for shul.

Anyway, I said to my mother "this is why frum girls should not be going to secular colleges, they don't know what the heck they're talking about"

My mom said "but they need to go, what else will they do?"

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tranquility Bay

Sorry but I really do not have time to post, but this really disturbed me.
The Babysitter mentioned it in her post, and until I read the article I thought frummies decided to randomly start a battle against boot camps.

This really is bad. And I'm wondering what the whole story is, because there have to be bits is the article from the daily news.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Beyond Stupid

I was having a discussion with one of my friends about Israel. I will not repeat the entire discussion because it is long, bland and stupid. I do not know why I wasted my time on it. But I will repeat one part, the dumbest of it all...

I mentioned how Israel has the best human rights policy of all the countries in the area. And while there are countries that recognize "Palestine" as a legitimate soveriegn government, it doesn't really matter, because those countries are antisemitic and don't really give a crap about Israel, just want the Jews expelled. And I mentioned how those countries treat Jews as second class citizens.

So she responded that my point was invalid because Israeli's treat Arabs unequally as well.

I responded that if anything Israeli Arabs probably had it better than the Jews. They weren't drafted or required to serve in the military, yet they had all the same benefits (voting, Knesset, etc).

So here's the stupid part...

She says "You contradicted yourself. If the Arabs have it equal in Israel than they'd be drafted. 'separate but equal' doesn't really work!"

Yea...I knew before I was dealing with an idiot. But that argument was something I expected from a mental retard (no offense to anyone that really cares about being PC)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Facebook is assur

I meant to post this a while back, but I couldnt figure out how to get pix off of my laptop that I figured it out, I can officially make you all feel like sinners! :)

Thank "frummy" for notifying me of this ban!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

No words...

The following is an article that my grandma thought my family would find interesting ('cause we're frum, and she saw something about a Jewish holiday in a secular newspaper). I don't even have words to describe how annoyed the article made me. So here it is, and you all can get annoyed as well! This is from the free Metro newspaper that one can get by almost any subway station, and the article is written by "Rabbi" Kerry Olitzky.
It's called
Jewish Holiday of Acceptance

The story of the Jewish holiday of Purim sounds like it could have been written by crime novelist Raymond Chandler. A pretty young dame with a secret marries a guy with a whole lot of dough. What follows is a tale of intrigue, deception, money, sex, murder and, ultimately, redemption.
It’s also a story of intermarriage. The pretty young dame was Esther, and she had to hide her Jewish identity from the Persian king, Ahashuerus.

But all those adult-themed components of the story — the thinly veiled sexual innuendoes, the horrendous slaughter of the villain Haman's relatives in revenge for his misdeeds, and any difficult questions about an intermarriage gone right — are swept under the rug to create a kinder, gentler holiday we can share with our children.

Esther was raised in a household, where the religion of power and influence was of greater importance than the religion of her ancestors. Synagogue attendance and Jewish education were not priorities.

So when she meets someone who isn’t Jewish but can give her everything she wants and more, they marry. Eventually she comes to identify strongly with her people and, luckily for all of us, her husband the king also throws in his lot with the Jews at a crucial moment in history.
Today, it’s no secret that intermarriage is not looked upon favorably by many in the Jewish community. Other ethnic and religious groups in America feel challenged by intermarriage as well. In extreme cases, family ties are severed, but mostly it causes a lot of heartache. The reason is usually attributed to assimilation. Parents fear that if their children marry outside of the religion, the religion won’t last very long.

But that doesn’t have to be the case. Certainly some Jews have left the fold, but we also have hundreds of thousands of non-Jewish family members who are equally dedicated to preserving the Jewish identity. Purim is a good opportunity to honor and thank them.
In the Purim story, Esther and her uncle Mordechai were heroes, but so was King Ahashuerus, who “married in” to the Jewish people. If we are willing to bring the intermarried into our Jewish family, we too will live to see another day.

Rabbi Kerry Olitzky is the Executive Director of the Jewish Outreach Institute.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Once again the contributors to the Readers Write forum in the Yated have found a way to amuse me...

A few weeks ago a girl wrote a letter to the Readers Write forum of the Yated. She was a HS student who was obviously sick of midterms. She wrote about how some girls stay up as late as 4 a.m. to study for them. She declared that this was not only unhealthy, but completely unnecessary. She wanted to know why schools felt midterms were necessary when regular tests cover the same material and require a lot less stress (less late night studying, lower percentage of grade, etc). In last weeks Yated there were responses to this girl. I found them quite humorous.

A piece of the first response read:

While taking midterms, you have to stay up many late nights, which will train you for the future. You'll appreciate this when you'll be cleaning for Pesach, taking care of a newborn, and preparing dinner for your husband.

A piece of the second response read:

Be'ezras Hashem, when we are mothers, we'll have to stay up to the wee hours of the morning with our babies. We'll have to clean our house, work at our jobs, etc.

And here I was thinking that midterms are there to prepare you for real life in the sense that you'd need to know certain information to get by in life. Learning how to manage stress is also a very important part of it. Then there's also prioritizing. Lets say you have a music midterm and a math midterm in the same day. Music is something you could careless about while you recognize that while math may seem complicated it is very important in developing skill of thinking logically (problem solving) as well basic "practical" things such as arithmetics without a calculator. A student would have to learn to study for both, yet leave more room for math. Or, if say the student is a music major (some HS's have majors), then the student would have to learn not to focus so much on math, yet still pass.

If I were to explain to a student why midterms were important, I'd say because of the constant need of knowledge in today's world, learn to manage stress as well as learning how to prioritize. However, I am obviously not the typical Yated reader, because these ladies who responded literally meant midterms are only good in training one how to stay up late. However, what I fail to understand is how these girls do not realize that a woman's body naturally produces hormones (starts in the last few months of pregnancy) which help enable her to stay up late with the baby and still be able to function/focus pretty well throughout the day. Also, humans are generally creatures of habit. If you train them to live on coffee for the first few weeks after the baby is born, no amount of past experiences of HS would even matter.

So anyway, theres more on the issue. Lady #2 wrote about how even though it is important to learn to stay up late, it is unfair to the girls that fail the tests and end up without HS diploma's anyway. I have three questions for her:

1) Why does it matter if she passes or not if it seems like the only point to midterms is so that the girls learn to stay-up-late. If these girls that fail get used to staying up as late as 4 a.m. even without passing the midterm, they have supposedly accomplished the reason for midterms to begin with. So why does it matter if these girls fail or not?

2) What about the girls who do not stay up late (because they don't need too) and they pass the midterms with flying colors . Are these girls not going to be as good mothers/wives because they are born naturally gifted, given that they do not need to stay up late studying yet still pass? Are they missing out in the point of midterms if they sleep and pass (b/c they happen to know all the material?)

3) What about girls who naturally stay up late, for no reason at all, because they are naturally "night owls" in personality. Should they be exempt from taking midterms because they are naturally inclined to stay up late anyway?

Hmm...I wonder what these Ladies would answer if I seriously submitted these questions to the Yated.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Drinking on Purim

The OU posted an article called It is Not a Mitzva to Get Drunk on Purim. While I do understand the consequence of the crazy drunken teenagers (and adult men) I absolutely despise the idea that the OU is in a sense reversing halacha because they seem to fail in their child disciplinary skills.

The article itself does not make sense at all. Rabbi Weinreb was not denying the halacha of getting drunk on Purim "One is obligated to become intoxicated on Purim until one cannot distinguish between Haman and Mordechai (Talmud, Megillah 7b)." But was rather saying that we should ignore this halacha because it may endanger lives.

Here is a piece of his article:

The fundamental rationale of our opposition to alcohol consumption by teenagers on Purim is the fact that drinking often leads, especially among youngsters, to serious medical consequences. It is instructive that among the strong supporters of our campaign have been members of Hatzoloh, the rescue and ambulance corps, who report that Purim does not go by without incidences of toxic reactions to alcohol requiring emergency treatment, to driving accidents, and sometimes even to deaths.

These considerations of health and pikuach nefesh (the saving of lives) easily transcend whatever mitzvah might be involved in drinking on Purim. Secondly, and very important, is the fact that it is against the law for an adult to knowingly provide alcohol to individuals who are under age. While there may be exceptions when wine is served for ceremonial purposes, clearly that exception assumes that no more than a symbolic quantity is ingested. Teachers or rebbeim who supply minors with wine or liquor on Purim are in violation of the law of the land.

I personally think that this is yet another case of inconsistency amongst frum people. Firstly, they often say everything goyish is bad (generally) and so therefore we should not follow in their ways. However, after bar mitzvah a boy is considered a man by Torah. By Torah the concept of "teenager" doesn't really exist (yes theres the whole "trial" thing until 20, but its not the same). If one goes by Torah, the concept of teenager shouldn't exist either. Therefore, banning alcohol for teenagers (or boys over the age of 13) only makes it harder for them to fulfill their mitzvah to get drunk on Purim.

I am by no means advocating that these boys be allowed to drink as much as they want (partially because of the law he mentioned) but I think a ban is the wrong way to go. In my humble opinion, frummies should learn to properly discipline their children as well as properly educate them (those yeshivos teach them NOTHING about real life nevermind anything about alcohol poisening). Basically, I am suggesting (though this is definitly too late) that prior to Purim boys yeshivos should take a few hours off from "learning" and learn about the risks of alcohol. Also, like any other yom tov, boys should be OFF from school (I know they are, but I mean the often mandatory visits to rebbeim) and not forced to come in for chagigah's or seudos with rebbeim. If they are at home, they are more likely to behave.

I just really don't understand the concept of banning anything. Why not be simple and tell the boys "boys, while it is a mitzvah to get drunk, it is simultaneously a sin to put your life at risk." The "good boys" will listen, the bad ones will not.

However, these same "bad boys" will ignore this ban anyway, and be the ones vomitting in the streets, while the "good boys" will be completely sober without the fulfillment of a mitzvah.

Way to go. I see the headlines of the future-

"Bread is now allowed on pesach- even though it is prohibited by the Torah- because the excessive amounts of cholesterol being consumed by the average Jew exceeds the amount the body can break-down on any given week, therefore, any man over the age of 45 is prohibited from keeping pesach. By allowing bread consumption these men will not feel as hungry as they would on a regular pesach, which would prevent them from their natural tendency to take an extra bowl of soup or another peice of steak on pesach. And it is because we know that the men will not listen when given appropriate dietary pesach-friendly ideas that we have to go through with this ban"

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A new "crisis" in the community

I'm a bit late in reporting this since it's been discussed in the Yated for a few weeks now, but there is another crisis in the frum community. This crisis has no name (or atleast I didn't see any official terms). This crisis is about the many people who are apparently leaving Brooklyn and moving to Lakewood. All the frummies leaving Brooklyn are leaving the yeshivos making the Brooklyn schools empty. This exile to "Ihr HaTorah" is apparently putting the "established shuls and yeshivos " into danger- they may not survive the "loss" of all the people.

Yes, this is the new "crisis." Lakewood is taking people away from Brooklyn, and people actually care! In my opinion it would be alot better if all the psycho lazy (yes, I called them lazy) kollel yungerman, and general pro-kollel people move away from Brooklyn. Fewer nut jubs coming up with crazy chumras in a location that actually effects me...hey, maybe people will stop complaining about Kosher cheeseburgers if they all leave to "Ihr HaTorah"

Anyway, the Rebbeim as well as many Jews who fear change, are pretty stubborn about staying in Brooklyn, and they're trying to show the benefits of living in Brooklyn. One guy mentioned that while real-estate in Lakewood is a lot cheaper, the transportation to and from the city is very expensive. He also mentioned that Lakewood does not have "corner stores" in which the residents can just buy things real simply, but the shopping requires the use of a car- and a car costs money, it is a depreciating asset, as well as a liability (gas price, insurance).

As much as I would love if they all move to Lakewood, this guy made a very good point, one that I cannot refute. I for one, think that the NYC or any city area is the best place to stay for financial reasons. More job opportunities as well as investment opportunities. In Brooklyn for example, after a real-estate slump the price of a house does not diminish as much as it does in non-city areas. In Brooklyn a house would go down only about 20% as opposed to somewhere "out-of-town" a house can go down as much as 40-50% (don't ask where I get this, I read way to many business journals). So, aside for the cheaper transportation, real-estate is definitly something to think about, because while it appears to be cheaper in Lakewood, Brooklyn has a more stable real-estate market.

Another guy said that "During the two thousand years of golus, it has often happened that Jewish communities had to run away from persecution, abandoning the towns they lived in. But why do we have to voluntarily abandon our established communities, without any signs of persecution or natural disasters? There is no apparent reason"

Now this guy is just so easy to attack its not even funny. Firstly, change is essential to life, so is growth and progress. Progressing to a town that is called an "Ihr HaTorah" is something that should not be taking a backseat to a town that isn't as full of Torah learning (Brooklyn). If one has an opportunity to move to such a "holy" city (next in-line after cities in Eretz Yisroal) then why shouldn't they? Who cares about establishments. We're Jews. We're the nation without a land. Our nationality isn't "physical" but rather spiritual. Shouldn't these guys give up on the gashme of Brooklyn and move to the spiritually filled town of Lakewood?

Secondly, this guy doesn't understand the concept of evolution. People as well as animals and plants tend to evolve. This evolution is something that is good. Us Jews have finally evolved into recognition of the perputual hatred we have towards us. We have finally realized that we should abandon our communities BEFORE we are forced to, by war or by pogroms. So this guy should really think long and hard about man's progress, and think about if he really wants to wait for persecution, or beat the next pogrom.

So readers, the Yated calls this massive migration of Jews to Lakewood the new crisis. But is it really?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The more things change the more they stay the same

While I was reading other people's blogs today I came across Aidel Knaidel's post "the fear lives inside" ...and it made me think of "Ephrams Essay" from Everwood which was read at the end of an episode. The episode played years ago (I think '04), and I remember it so well. I actually used it in my schools newspaper. Anyway, here is his essay:

"The more things change the more they stay the same. I’m not sure who the first person was who said that, maybe Shakespeare, maybe Sting. But at this moment, it’s the sentence that best explains my tragic flaw: my inability to change. I don’t think I’m alone in this. The more I get to know other people I realize it’s kind of everyone’s flaw. Staying exactly the same, for as long as possible. Standing perfectly still it seems better somehow, and if you are suffering, at least the pain is familiar. Because if you took that leap of faith, jumped outside the box, did something unexpected, who knows what other pain could be waiting out there. Chances are It could be even worse. So you maintain status quo, choose the road already traveled it doesnt seem that bad, not as far as flaws go, you’re not a drug addict, your not killing anyone, except for maybe yourself a little. When you finally do change i dont think it happens like an earthquake or an explosion, where all of a sudden we are a different person. I think its smaller than that. The kind of thing most people wouldn’t even notice, unless they looked really, really close. Which thank God they never do. But you notice it and inside you that change feels like a world of a difference and you hope that it is. And you hope that this is the person who you get to be forever, and you never have to change again."

-Ephrams Essay

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Davening for Others

The other day my friend and I were chatting online and she received an email. The email was on saying Tehillim on Purim for shidduchim, because Purim is such a holy day. One of the concepts was to help fight the shidduch crisis through prayer. The concept, was to assign everyone a parruk of tehillim for each name they submit, and in this way, the entire sefer tehillim will be said (hopefully) several times throughout Purim for those in need of a shidduch.

My friend told me about this email, sent it to me, and suggested that we submit each other's names, instead of our own. The idea behind this was that if you daven for someone else who is in the same situation you are in (in this case single, or "in shidduchim) you are more likely to get a positive response from Hashem.

I'm sure I've heard of that before and just didn't really think about it, but I'm wondering on whether or not it really holds any truth to it. Does it really matter who I'm davening for if its obvious I want the shidduch for myself? I don't mean this selfishly, I happen to love this friend dearly, and I would love to see her get married (hopefully after more than just 3 dates), but I'm really curious as to this "daven for each other" business.

If I'm on a mission to daven for my friend everyday so that she finds a shidduch, and she simultaneously davens for me everyday, is it really because we're davening for each other that is supposedly "working" or is it that we're actually davening (saying tehillim) everyday. I mean, I know myself, if I were to set out and say tehillim every single day for myself, I would probably lazy out, and be like "oh, so-and-so just told me about her really cute neighbor, and I'm tired, why not skip a day?" but if I were davening for my friend, I'd feel guilty skipping a day, and be MORE likely to stick to the "everyday" thing. Infact, I have such a guilty conscience, that unless something literally prevents me from saying the tehillim I would make sure to say it.

So, my question is, is there some sort of Torah, Chazel, Rashi .. behind this "davening for each other works better" or is it just because you're actually finally davening, and strongly commited out of guilt?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Terrorist attack and the Scare Tactic

Unfortunately there was a terrorist attack in Israel. I do not have to many details, but people died, and so therefore its bad. Unfortunately, I feel like I can't really do anything to help the situation. If it were up to me I would've bombed those terrorist bastards 100x's over and totally ignored the UN, the US, and whatever other country or "peace organization" says. But unfortunately (fortunately for the terrorists) the world does not listen to what I have to say (yea I vote, but you know what I mean). Anyway, here I am, being a NORMAL person, and I'm putting blame where blame falls- on the terrorists. Yes, the terrorists in Gaza! Not the evil frum girls who do not dress tzniously or the evil Jews for not having achdus and for not having Kevanah in our tfillah.

Back at my HS there were posters all over the place part of the A"wear"ness campaign. Each poster had a different picture, but the one I happen to vividly remember is the one that had a picture of a blown up bus in Israel (obviously after a terrorist attack), that was on fire, and fuel was being poured on it. The fuel jar read "Immodesty." The concept of the poster was to scare girls into dressing more modestly. After all, its our own fault that the terrorists are entering our yeshivos isn't it? I mean, its not at all the fact that Jews have been and always will be hated. Nope, nothing to do with that, its the fact that girls don't dress tzniously. The posters also showed pictures of low-necklined blouses with a picture of a safety pin next to it, so that the girls use safety pins to make their outfits more modest. Those a"wear"ness posters have been irritating me for years. And now that I realize I should've taken down a poster and kept it, its too late.

My sisters HS earlier today had an assembly. The principal told the school about the terrorist attack and told them that it would help if the Jews had achdus and had kevanah in their tefillah. After the speech one girl walked into my sisters class and said "I hate those stupid Arabs" and another girl said "it's not the Arabs, its us."



Seriously, I am the only one (aside from my immediate family) that sees that something is SERIOUSLY wrong with this practice? Come on people!!! Its the fault OF THE ARABS! Antisemitism isn't our own fault. Its not something we WANT or CHOOSE. No normal person wants to worry about getting shot by a psycho terrorist. We don't CHOOSE this. It's not because we wear "untznious" clothing or because we don't daven with full kevanah or becaus of any reason that we can be blamed for. The only people to blame are the retarded psycho terrorists. If anyone starts dressing more tzniously out of fear that their at fault, I recommend therapy. If anything this psychoness makes me want to go out there and parade around in a bathingsuit to prove a point that a terrorist attack will not be a direct result of it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Kosher Cheeseburger

I'm sure many of you have heard about the uproar surrounding the new kosher cheeseburger. The beef is real beef, while the cheese is tofu (parve). This new "cheeseburger" is being served at Talia's Steakhouse.

I have seriously come to believe that frum people need a lesson in logic. Not only do these wacko frum people create uproars when they are unnecessary (sheital store, concert) but the arguments used to justify them are simply twisted, illogical, and inconsistent, especially in terms of "Talia's Steakhouse"

The first argument is just beautifully (note sarcasm) written up by one of the YWN commentors on their post about this issue. The commentor said the following:

"do we have to be like goyim in e/t we do!!! we copy the way they dress do we also have to eat what they eat? "

I would also like to question (partially because of A Simple Jew) why nobody complains about pizza, sushi, chinese food, or just about any other food, but they choose to attack the cheeseburger? Why not KD? I happen to describe that place as the "Kosher McDonalds + more" to my non-Jewish or non-religious friends!

On the blog "A Simple Jew" I found the perfect reply to this, and he wrote:

"Throughout history Jews who kept kosher have eaten what was available in the countries that they lived. The key is simply that it must be kosher – and if it is, then it is. End of story"

The second argument against this cheeseburger is that of "Maaras Ayin", that it may appear as if we are doing something wrong. I guess I would see that point, if it were CONSISTENT. Seriously, how many people spread margerine on their baked potato or corn while eating flieshigs? Or how about parve ice cream being served at flieshig restuarants?

The NY Post article quoted an anti-cheeseburger frummy: "Any Jew who keeps kosher knows a cheeseburger is not permissible. But . . . what happens if a young kid, a 10-year-old, goes in there and says, hmm, maybe cheese on a burger is OK?"

I would like to ask him why it is, that for years we've been smearing our baked potatoes with margerine, and eating parve ice cream in restuarants, and no one said anything, but NOW suddenly, they all seem to care! Shouldn't you teach you then already fear your 10-year-old will think ice cream is alright after a burger? or after chulent on shabbos?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Was Moses High?

A new study by an Israeli psychologist "suggests that Israelites may have eaten hallucinogens" while in the Sinai desert.

OY, the things people will come up with these days!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Alvin and the Chipmunks

Due to the fact that my previous post had to do with my HS I remembered something that happened that had me laughing for weeks.

When I was in 10th grade I had a free period everyday after lunch. It was absolutely the best thing for me. Everyday I shared that period with a friend of mine (we were the only two 10th graders with that period free) and twice a week we shared that free with a few other 10th graders.

One of our assignments for 10th grade English class was to read a book off of the "approved" school book list, and then make a presentation in front of the class. One of the girls did Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and as her presentation she brought in the cartoon episode of "Alvin and the Chipmunks" when the chipmunks did a play on the book (or went into a fantasy world of it, I don't remember details, sorry). The teacher of course approved it, after all this IS Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The thing is, the girl only presented the 10 minutes of the episode that had to do with the book.

The next day was the free period I shared with many of the girls. The 10th graders had their own lounge (which is where we hung out), and the lounge happened to be the home of the "video machine." Considering that we were bored, and the girl still had her video, we decided to play it and watch the entire episode of "Alvin and the Chipmunks."

By 10th grade I was already used to my school (or so I thought). Before the video was put on, they made sure that one of the girls would keep a "look-out" to ensure that no teacher catches us watching- Alvin and the Chipmunks.

I told them that they need not worry. I happened to have immunity (because of my program), but they didn't listen. I still found it rather funny, how they feared that the school would somehow penalize them for watching Alvin and the Chipmunks! Considering we did not "get caught" I have no idea how the school administration would have reacted. However, even after everything the school put me through, I find it hard to believe they'd care about Alvin and the Chipmunks.

How I know my HS was a brainwashing factory

The following did not come out as well as I had hoped...Oh well:

High School was definitely a brainwashing factory. There is no way that place conveniently got stuck in my subconscious without any "professional" effort involved.

When I was in 11th grade my classmates and I were having a discussion on kollel at the shul (where we had lunch) and in entered a classmate and close friend of ours Ariella (name changed to protect identity). Ariella joined into our conversation and said "How could you guys not want learners, do you want your husbands to abuse you?"After the initial shock wore off we all attacked her. We argued "Ariella, just because a guy is a full-time learner doesn't mean he has less chances of beating his wife." To that she had nothing to answer but "Kollel husbands learn how to treat their wives properly by learning Torah, the other guys do not learn such things." So we replied with "Yes, but guys that work and learn as well, treat their wives just as nicely. Guys with morals, without Torah, do so as well." Conversation ended there.

Also, once in 9th grade, I brought in my 8th grade year book from public school. A bunch of my new friends surrounded it so that I can show them my crush (this was during lunch, so no teachers around). A few girls that were on the "frummer" side also wanted to take a look, and one girl said "wow, that's so scary, did you like, ever see a gun?" I had no idea what to answer her, but I said "no, that's not as common as you'd like to think"

Then of course there was the time I said something that was obviously right out of frumville but thank goodness I was able to yell at myself after that!

Anyway, if you think these situations are just "coincidences" I urge you to think otherwise. I assure you that my school (as well as many B"Y) really do brainwash people. Here are the ways I think they get us.

Firstly, my HS had uniform. Uniforms as convenient as they are in preventing peer pressure, and the "I have nothing to wear" stress of the mornings, are really just a tool used to conform all the girls, especially true of the HS I went too.

Our HS did not just have a uniform in which we had to wear a specific blouse and a specific skirt, but we had a SPECIFIC rule for which COLOR socks and shoes we can wear. We also were not allowed to wear any "loud" jewelry or dangly earrings. Nor were we allowed to wear our hair down. We had to have our shirts tucked in. In the winter we were not allowed to wear boots once inside the school. The uniform was strict as well as strictly enforced.

"What you choose to wear says something about who you are"
After years of wearing a uniform in elementary school (like most girls had done prior to entering HS) plus the even stricter uniform of HS leaves little room for individuality, or the ability to have it really reflect "who you are", in fact, the reverse usually happens, in that the girls tend to change themselves and reflect what the uniform wants them to be. And that is why they have cases of girls believing their husbands will beat them if they do not learn full-time (which is a symbol of conformity in today's society).

One of the years that I was in the school 2 girls got kicked out because they were caught, in Florida, on a beach wearing bikini's. Basically, not only do the girls have to abide by uniform while they are in it (which even I cannot argue that) but they have too when they are hundreds of miles away, in a different state. I understand if they wore bikini's made out of the same pattern as our uniform skirt was. But this is ridiculous. This is the extent of the control.

Aside from the strictness of uniform, I believe the narrow-mindedness applied when hiring faculty shows the brainwashing of the school.

The school did not allow any non-frum teachers. They did not allow any teachers to be "more modern" than that of the school. Often times in class we would discuss chulent recipes, and dating, and "views on pledge of allegiance" with teachers that taught secular subjects!! Its like , fine, when learning halacha we can discuss shabbos recipes, but with the math, history, or science teachers, is that normal? Ofcourse, because your entire school teaches that if you do not eat gefilte fish, its "bad for shidduchim" if you do not conform, your kids will be more likely to go off the derech. Its almost like they care more about their stupid pettiness than they do about TRUE Judaism. Its like, they somehow care more about the ridiculous baseless chumras and minhaggim then they do common sense, truth, and happiness. You want your kid to be a dumb idiot, or allow him to decide for himself? How likely is it that a BY teacher will tell you "decide for himself?"

Oh. Then there's the time my teacher told me that I was too stubborn to be able to get married. So I was like "no, I'm just too stubborn for the average guy, but I don't want average. I want a guy that is argumentative and wouldn't mind an argument or two himself." And she says "Guys like that do not want to argue with girls" Now, aside from the fact that LITERALLY my entire family is loud, stubborn, and argumentative, I found that hard to believe, because they're all married (rather interesting marriages, but lasting). But my teacher was literally telling me that guys don't like stubbornness, and girls have to be "calm, nice, agreeable, etc." (Many girls attacked her for this, but I forgot what traits she got them on). She literally believed this, and a few of my personal friends literally kept their mouths shut while dating because they feared the guy would not want them. (one friend had an entire dream of being a stay-at-home mom, once married she's going for a masters because "he wants me to work", I asked if she even discussed it on dates, and she says "it didn't come up" I find that hard to believe that career goals NEVER found a way into any of their convo's).

Also, there's the time they planned a Lakewood shabbaton (I did not go, I am terribly anti this kollel nonsense), but that Monday the girls came back singing "We can, We can, We Can, We can support our men" And ofcourse they all agree to become professionals, mothers, caretakers (aka slaves) in the name of "Torah learning"

If uniform in clothing, and uniform in faculty don't do it, I don't know what does. But my school definitely brainwashed us. And all that stuff above is just my speculation on how.