Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Kids say the darnest things!

When I was 4 and my sister was a baby, we had a live-in babysitter. The lady was from Kiev, Ukraine. She used to live next door to my father when he was growing up over there. My father used to be best friends with her son, and he was pretty close to the lady as well. When my mom was expecting my sister, my parents decided to hire that lady to be my sister's babysitter. So they flew her in.

The lady was not very bright. And according to my parents, she used to annoy me all the time (imagine that, at 4 I was already ticked by human stupidity). Basically my parents said she and I didn't get along. One day, she wanted me to do something that I really didn't want to do. She probably wanted me to clean up a mess I made or something, so we got into a fight, and I screamed:

"I'm going to call Mama and Papa and tell them to put you on a plane and send you back to the Ukraine!!"

apparently thats one story that all the relatives and coworkers heard.

Over Simchas Torah my favorite little young boy in the whole wide world, who was 4 at the time, got into a fight with some other little kids at shul. He got annoyed and said:

"I'm going to kill you and then sell you on ebay"

I told that story to all my friends and family :). What a mushy kid! (yes his parents punished him!)

When I was babysitting that kid, he manipulated me out of a cookie. I used to pick him up from his carpool, and then take him up to his apartment, where I would feed him and play with him. One day (happened to be the last day I babysat), he had A LOT of cookies in his apartment. Many different varieties. So he asked me for a cookie. I gave him one, and then he begged me for another kind as well. So I told him he could only have half of the one I gave him if he wanted both types. So he agreed. He finished the half-cookie, then he went and ate the other cookie (which was small- so he had it whole).

He started begging me for more cookies. And ofcourse I said no. I told him, after his salad, he can have more. He didn't like that, and so he kept on begging. Finally, he got fed up, he went into the tin, and took out one of the cookie packages- two came in a pack. He handed me the package, and said "Here, you have it"

I was like "No, I don't want, I don't like this kind of cookie"

So he was like "I'm sharing, you have to have, I'm being a good boy"

Since he had a good point, and I had laryngitis, I was in no mood to fight, so I opened the cookies, and was about to take one, when he said

"Can you share with me?"

and he said that with this adorable face, with his cute big blue eyes staring at me, drooping from his fake saddness.

And I couldn't resist so I shared the cookie.

Another story...

My moms best freind was on a plane. Her baby daughter was on her lap, and her 4-year-old daughter was sitting next to her. Next to them sat a guy, who the baby happened to be staring at. The guy on the plane started talking to the baby "Wow, what are you looking at cutie?" And he started playing with her. The four-year-old was like

"Maybe shes looking at you wondering why you so fat?!"

And her mom was so embarrassed. Apologized like 100 times. Then when we heard the story, the mother was like "Yes, so now we taught her, that she shouldn't call people fat, but plump" So we started laughing, imagining how little of a difference it would have made had she said:

"Maybe she's looking at you wondering why you so plump"

Anyway, I was in a good mood, and I thought these stories were adorable...I LOVE kids. :)

Monday, April 28, 2008

White Lies

I was reading an article on My Jewish Learning called May One Tell a White Lie? and I thought about lying. I'm generally not a liar. I have no patience to keep up with lies when and if I choose to lie, so therefore, out of laziness and for ethical reasons I choose not to lie. Much rather have everything out in the open, people will have to deal with the truth sooner or later.

What if the situation was different? Like with the example in the article, do you tell a guy his bride is pretty even if you don't think she is?

A friend of mine went shopping for a mothers day present. She came to my house, to show my family what she got her mom. She was so excited about the purchase. For about a week beforehand she was describing the necklace that her mom wanted, and how pretty it was; so when she came over, with the necklace, we naturally wanted to see it. Thankfully, I'm naturally cynical, so when I saw the necklace, and how impractical it was, I was able to get away with "whats your mom going to do with it, like wear it with what?"

But if I wasn't like that (like my sister is naturally sweeter than me), I would have nothing to say. My sister had no idea what to say. It was such an ugly necklace. I've never seen such an atrocity. After the girl left, my mom, sister and I were talking about how nasty the necklace looked, and then my sister asked my mom

"Ma, what would you do if we bought that necklace for you?"

And she was like "you wouldn't, you have good taste!"

So we were like "well, what if we didn't?"

And she was like "I'd wear it, tell you how scared I was that I'd break it (was a HUGE glass necklace), and then return it, this way you wouldn't feel bad"

And so that (plus the article I received by email) made me think about lying...Is it good to lie to make your kids or friends feel good? Luckily I was able to get away with not saying anything at all to my friend about what I thought about the necklace, but that's not always an option.

According to Hillel we're supposed to make the person feel good. But of course Shammai had something else to say.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Silver Kiddush Cup

Over Yom Tov while at someones house, and waiting for kiddush to be said, our host took out a silver kiddush cup. My mom, trying to make conversation said "We don't use a silver kiddush cup at our house because we don't like the taste of the wine after metal, so we use glass"

One of the kids was like "well yea, it ends up with a metalic taste."

But her father said "Yes, thats true, wine tasters use only glass cups, but for shabbos, you're supposed to use silver."

Maybe there's a halacha I'm aware of, but I doubt it. I highly doubt one has to use silver on shabbos. Infact, if one had to use silver on shabbos, then I'd be very concerned for the members of my shul, and many other shuls, when there's a kiddush. Because not only do they not use silver, but they use disposables plastic cups, which are as far from silver as I can imagine. And this isn't just a few "modern" people in my shul, the lack of usage of a silver kiddush cup is something I've seen in many shul's.

I was so fed up already, with all the crap I heard over Yom Tov (rice checking, anti-South Park- will blog about later), that I didn't bother answering him, and believe me, with my big mouth I wouldn't have been nice with my answer either.

I hate when a chumra or minhag is given halachic status when it clearly isn't one. There is nothing more frustrating in the entire world.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Checking Rice

Before I start the post, I would just like to say that if for whatever reason this post seems as if I am offending anyone, I am not.

Throughout the year there are many different forms of kitniyos in the house. Whether its rice, or beans we have it, in huge amounts, in many different varieties, and throughout the year, we find interesting other edibles in our kitniyos, which would be considered chometz (bits of barley). So, in HS, out of curiousity I asked one of my Sephardi classmates how they eat things such as rice and beans on pesach. So she told me that like Ashkanazie Jews have a Blumenkrantz, Sephardi Jews have something equivalent to guide them exclusively for kitniyos related goods that may have chometz associations. She assured me the book is not as thick as the Blumenkrantz, but she said that they can judge products based on that book. She told me, specifically for rice (I imagine it being the number one issue concerning the Sephardi community on pesach, after the actual chometz) they buy special "kosher for Passover" rice, which is checked already for them. I happened to have been interested in these things, so I found this idea of another industry exclusively to Sephardim in this wildly Ashkanaz driven community, to be fascinating. The fascination obviously didn't lead to much, afterall I'm Ashkanazie, so its not like I'm going to start concerning myself with which kitniyos is kosher for passover, but the fascination did help me remeber the story.

A few days ago, I don't remember why, I started discussing kitniyos with a family friend, specifically about rice. He was like "well, its not so easy for the Sephardim, they have to check the rice, grain by grain, three times before they're allowed to eat it on Pesach."

Remembering the discussion back in HS I said "umm, I asked one of my friends, and she said they have a book, and they just know which brands to buy, which are already checked."

And so he said "well, yes, but they have to check it three times also."

Admittingly, I know very little about Sephardi customs, but I do know what my friend told me, and I know the power of my own laziness.

1- If the rice is already checked. Why check it again? But ok, its Pesach and chometz IS a big deal, so I understand checking it once, so I'll give into the checking, but then there's

2- Imagine if one had a huuuuuge family, and before pesach they bought like 25 lbs of rice for Pesach, and now was required to spend hours checking it, while still taking care of the needs of kids, household chores and etc. I highly doubt she will find herself in the position to check her rice three times, grain-by-grain, if the package is already pre-checked for her, by some Rabbi that she trusts in a book. I would beleive its a chumra, or something people do if they buy unchecked rice.

If I'm wrong, and this really is the norm...I'm doing 2 things

1) calling up my few Sephardi friends and telling them they're nuts, and that I really respect them.


2) Thank Gd I'm Ashkanazie.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ayin Hara

The other day, for whatever reason, I remembered a story a friend of mine told me has happened to her. She was walking somewhere with her grandma and one of her grandmother's friends was walking towards them. When they met up, the guy did the typical "Omigosh, this is your granddaughter? WOW! She is so beautiful! Wow, she really is pretty!" and so on... When he was finished with complementing my friend, he and her granny did some small talk "Oh, so hows your son doing?" and "Hows your leg healing?" and so on...

Then of course they had to part ways. After the guy (grandma's friend) left, my friend's grandma said to her "Scratch your butt" My friend was like "What??" And her grandma was like "yes, quickly scratch your butt" My friend was like "WHAT?" And her grandma was like "if you don't scratch it, I will" And my friend was like "No, I'm not scratching my butt" and her grandma scratched it for her.

Another story, happened to me:

My grandma, sister, cousin and I were in the elevator in my grandma's building. In walks a fellow resident, as well as an acquaintance of my grandmothers. The lady realizes that my cousin, sister and myself must be the grandchildren, and says "Omigosh, they must be your grandchildren! So nice of them to visit their grandma, where's the other one? A boy right?"

So my grandma goes "yea, it is nice of them, the other one is also great, it's just that he is already finished with college, so he has to be at work." The lady smiles, elevator stops, and she gets off. As soon as the elevator door closed my grandma said to us "Make dooly" (which is making a fist and sticking your thumb in between the index and middle fingers). We were like "WHAT?" and my grandma was making them over and over again all around the elevator, she looked ridiculous!! She was like "That lady is evil, don't want her bad vibes on you."

I bet many of you think these stories are absolutely hilarious as well as completely insane. But I ask of you, when it comes to Ayin Hara, is your average "normal" person any better?

Ayin Hara generally makes me skeptical. After all, even by Kabbalistic standards it takes a complete tzaddik to be able to possibly affect you in any Ayin Hara sort of way. And lets face it, there aren't to many tzaddikim now-a-days and any tzaddikim wouldn't go around and give people Ayin Hara. Plus in order for one to be susceptible to Ayin Hara he has to believe in it. Therefore, recognizing you're a nut is simple and the solution to avoiding this occurrence. Giving power to a red string, or a yad, or any other symbol is just as insane as a Russian-granny telling her granddaughter to scratch her butt.

But GD forbid you wear Denim!

While at ShopRite my sister and I were quickly going through the isles in search for something. In one of the isle's was a frummy lady, wearing what looked literally like a black shower robe (a tad fancier, like, you may wear it to the beach), and a pink turban, towel material head covering. She looked absolutely terrible. I personally try to look a bit decent before I leave the house, I'm not super obsessed, but I do try to look decent; and my sister cares only a drop less than I do about what she looks like, yet we came into an agreement that neither of us would EVER leave the house like that. NEVER, unless our house were (Gd forbid) burning and we had to throw something on, because we were completely undressed.

As we were walking, I said to my sister "But I bet you, this same lady would never wear denim because its not considered "kavodik" to wear in front of Hashem."

My sister was like "oh yea, you're so right."

When I see people in Boro Park or Boro Park type people in Shop Rite, I honestly think they look ridiculous (those long unbrushed beards and shtreimals in 90 degree heat scare me). But at least they're wearing OUTDOOR clothing. When you're wearing a robe and towely turban thing, you're just asking to be blogged about! In my opinion denim is waaaaaaay more kavodik.

Monday, April 21, 2008


For yom tov lunch my family went to someone's house. These people are seriously frummy, and they try so hard to be typical, that it scares me. Sometimes people are just messed up. I mentioned something Moshe said to me about my Kosher Cheeseburger post, on how he went Pesach shopping and saw Kosher L'Pesach Pizza on sale, yet no one was making a big deal, while Gd forbid Talia's Steakhouse decides to come up with this idea of a kosher (parve cheese) cheeseburger, and everyone goes banana's. Well, so I told the host that frummies are totally messed up, because there really is no explaination to the ridiculous inconsistencies in their thinking. So he was like "Well yea, you have a good point about that, they shouldn't freak out about Talia's Steakhouse if they don't freak out about kosher l'pesach pizza."

So there I was, all happy, cause in the 7ish years our families have known each other, we really never agreed. So then, I mentioned what Jessica said in the same post about Kosher Subway in Cleveland and no one flipping out about the fact that there was kosher parve-cheese there, while in Brooklyn, frummies have created an uproar. So the guy-host (who btw is my super frummy freind's dad) was like "Well,there shouldn't be a kosher subway, people not as intelligent as the ones sitting on this table may get the wrong idea if they walk in and see frum Jews ordering meats at a subway."

Now, I was like "Ok, um, What? I mean, its kinda obvious the place is kosher, everyone inside is frum, most of the guys behind the table are in kippas, I 'mean there are signs all over" He was like "well, no, its not that obvious." And there I was all annoyed.

A while later, I started a convo (with my friend, which her dad overheard,and joined into) about how Rebbeim must have think-tank like conventions (such as multi-billion dollar corporations), because there is no way to explain the BS that comes out. If you pay attention to what you learn and what your friends/neighbors learn in HS they always somehow correspond. Like if your Rabbi decides to talk about playing ball on shabbos, the halacha teacher in your neighbors school will also within a few weeks of your Rabbi giving the speech (I am aware that there is the Daf and all that, I was just making a point for conversation). So anyway, I mentioned how ridiculous it was that this year, we noticed how there was this ridiculous trend on talking about salt-water. Some Kosher supermarkets SOLD salt-water, my freinds teacher gave a class on how to make salt water (yes, this is true), and my Rabbi mentioned how one is supposed to make salt-water before shabbos (this year, specifically mentioning salt-water not food in general).

So I started discussing how we make as little as possible before the actual yom tov, because we don't like to freeze our food, and we like everything freshly made. Then I said that the Rabbi said "If you make salt water ON yom tov, you should make it differently than the way you make it on a normal day." So I said "Well, I don't know where Rabbi's come up with this stuff, considering I really do not know anyone that makes salt-water on a regular day, its pretty much exclusive to pesach sedars."

My friend's dad was like "Well, you're right no one makes salt water on a regular day, but you should make it differently than you WOULD think to make it."

I was like "Well, honestly, I don't THINK about making salt water, its a pretty menial task, I just put either salt or water in first, depending on whats easily accessible at the moment I choose to make it" So he and this boy at the table was like "well, we put in a bit of salt, then a drop of hot water..."

And I found myself thinking "WTF? These people have a system!?"

And here I am literally thinking "I need new friends"

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cute video

This video was made by "secular" people for "secular" people. By some feminists I'm sure, about dating. Its so cute. All you need is a few changes and you got the typical frum family. Gotta love how we think we're so different, but really not.

The Sad Truth About The Typical American Relationship

Btw, I received the video from Frummy :). I give credit where its due.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


The following blog "This is Zionism" disturbed me. I do not have time to post my own opinions (I really should be writing a paper), but I felt it was only right if I share it with all of you.

I didn't have time to read other posts, but I did skim, and I was seriously disturbed. After you read the post that I linked to, you should scroll down and read about the kind of antisemitism that is around.

It's scary.


I'm under a lot of stress between work and school (the ridiculous amount of papers) and pesach cleaning, so I'm taking out all my stress on frum people. If I appear a bit angry, or psychotic please excuse me. After pesach I will calm down, until about a week before finals.

So I was asking someone if they had a TV in their apartment (friend, got married, was curious) and she responded "well, no, but we have a 'video machine'"

I don't know about you, but it annoys me to tears every time I hear someone say "video machine". What freakin idiot decided to call it that? Its a TV with a VCR. Yes, its a TV. A DAMN TV! CALL IT WHAT IT IS. THERE IS NO SUCH A THING AS A VIDEO MACHINE! I welcome you all to google "video machine" and realize that no such thing exists. Frum people need to learn English, or stop being so self-conscience that they have a TV -that isn't hooked up- in their house. What's the worst thing that will happen?

Then theres the people that say "by" for everything -I fall under this category sometimes as well, but I try to watch myself, because I know how stupid I sound-. Here's an example

"I was by Rena's house for shabbos" ...Ok, thats nice, but were you IN Rena's house, or just walking by?

Or "When I stayed by my sister at camp" ... Were you a regular camper and you happened to share a room with your sister, or did you visit your sister and stay with her, during a visit over shabbos?

I'm not asking people to speak perfectly. I'm ok with slang, and mispellings. Its just really irritating. My friends constantly send me their papers to edit for them, and then I see sentences (for term-papers that are worth like 70% of their grades) that read :

"When Hector was staying by his grandmothers house in France..."

I flip out. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Unless their English teacher is frum they're in trouble with that sentence!

It's the same as handing your teacher "Hector said Baruch Hashem, after he heard the news of his grandma's recover"

I don't know if I'm insane or not, but I think its completely ridiculous that the English language has warped so much, in just ONE community. I wrote an entire article for my school newspaper on the consequences of misusing the word "nerd" (something that is done quite often within the frum community). It was satirical, but at the end I told the girls to smack their fellow classmates for the sake of the world. Don't make me want to smack you :-p!!

Btw, please do not attack me for any grammar/spelling mistakes, after all, this was just a rant! Though I really mean it in terms of English papers. If you speak improperly at least write your term papers properly!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Kosher L'Pesach Oven

My rabbi said that in order to make the oven kosher l'pesach one needs to put it on self clean. I knew that, and I've heard several opinions on that. Like some say you need to self clean twice or something.

The thing that I do not understand is why on earth does one need to cover their oven with aluminum foil if it gets self-cleaned? Any chometz would NOT be eaten by a dog. Its ash. No other word to describe it but grey/black ash.

Why would you foil the oven? I do not understand that. I understand covering the stove, for it doesn't get self-cleaned. It isn't put into like 700 degree heat to burn, but the oven IS.

I don't get it. I really don't get it.
Why do frummies have to make their lives any more difficult than they already are?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Focusing on Aesthetics

Over shabbos we had close family friends over. The lady of the family was discussing how she wouldn't daven at a shul in which the Rav did not wear a black hat on shabbos. In the beginning she said she wouldn't go to a Rav who was clean shaven, but she took that back. She also said she wouldn't want a Rabbi who was under 30.

Anyway, her husband wears a srugi, and her family is considered "modern" and she's totally accepting of being referred to as "modern", yet her Rav has to wear a black hat.

Her husband thought she was nuts. Afterall, if someone has smicha (by orthodox standards) it really shouldn't matter if he wears a hat or not, nor should matter if he were young.

Moshe Rabenu did NOT wear a hat.

Rambam did NOT wear a hat.

Ramban did NOT wear a hat.

Hillel was really young when he became one of the greatest rabbi's and I could bet he didn't wear a hat as well...and guess what, I can bet she goes by Hillel... anyone wanna bet on that?

Focusing on whether or not a Rabbi wears a hat is full of crap. Just like with the priests there are lists of Rebbeim who have mistreated women (I guess different from the priests, considering the priests have a different sexual orientation) and, those Rebbeim wear/wore hats.

If anything kippa srugie wearers are the way to go. The people are INLINE with the world, they can focus more on what should/should not be moderated when it comes to secular society, because they actually KNOW the society they're living in. They don't live in a bubble and they have a well-rounded secular education, something very few black-hatter Rabbi's have.

She really ticked me off. That was a comment I really didn't expect from her, and I consider her one of my "normal" friends.

My non-religious relatives sometimes see guys with beards and hats walking in the street, and they automatically assume he's a Rabbi. And I'm always like "why do you think he's a Rabbi?" and they're like "well, he looks like one."

Coming from non-religious relatives is one thing, but to go and pick a Rabbi because he "looks like one" can mean you go and declare a random Amish guy a rabbi. Its really annoying. I mean, yea, I'm sure she would make sure she agrees with his points-of-view on things and such, so an Amish guy wouldn't fit because he wouldn't be knowledgable of such stuff, but a srugi wearer can be just-as knowledgable or even more knowledgable.

*shakes head*

I took her five year old to the side, and told him "You know, Moshe Rebenu did not wear a black hat" and I plan on reminding him of that every once in a while :).

I'm so mean. :)


My super-frummy friend, my sister, my like a sister friend (long story) and my mom were having a very interesting discussion, mostly for amusement purposes, on whether or not frum people today are messed up. We went into a whole long discussion on how if we're supposed to do everything based on minhaggim then we shouldn't be washing our strawberries with soap and water (grandma's had their soap made out of lard, not exactly the "kosher" substitute for bugs, now is it?), and checking lettuce through x-ray lights, and the fact that I'm pretty sure most of my great-grandparents did not wear hats and such. I also said that if we really wanted to be frummie based on minhaggim we should all be dressed in robes and turbans.

Somehow from that conversation we ended up discussing Moshe and Rambam and Sephardi Jews, and whether or not it makes sense when Sephardim wear black hats (I for one think its annoying, it makes me lose all respect for them, in Europe goyim wore hats, in Morocco and other such sephardi oriented countries they did not, so why should they wear them here?). So, a rebbetzin (not of the shul B"H), overheard part of the convo and commented to my mom "wow, girls having such deep conversations, girls are supposed to talk about hair, nails and boys"

Firstly, I don't think our conversation was that deep, considering most of it was done for amusement purposes; and secondly, WTF?

Really now, I pride myself on the fact that I don't only talk about hair, nails and boys. And my freind and sister do as well. My mom taught us to think. My sister-like -friend also prides herself on the fact that she thinks.

Before I get to the point of this blog, I will admit that yes we are girls, and we tend to discuss hair, nails and boys -and shopping-, but only cause we are girls, and somehow we have a license to do so.

So anyway, this rebbetzin is one of those women who cares more about shopping, her clothes, her nails and her sheitle more than she cares about her own kids. Really now, she is ok with the fact her kid cannot speak any language but Spanish (the language the nanny speaks)! So, for her to say something like that somehow implied she was more feminine than us, or more normal, I'm not really sure what she was implying but the fact that we shouldn't be having deep conversations, because thats not girly.

So my sister-like-friend (who despises her) was like "yes, that's because women who only think about hair, nails and boys are the ones that really are insecure about themselves so they have to focus on such stuff"

So the reb (not even realizing she was being personally attacked), was like "but I know so many women who only talk about that and they're really happy"

SO my sister-like-friend continued: "they're not happy, they're ignorant. They don't know why they're happy, they're told they're happy. Normal smart girls do not talk about hair and nails, they aren't that ignorant, they have more important things going on in their lives."

The reb was so dissed. I was trying so hard not to laugh. When we told my father the story, he was like "you shoulda said that women like that marry ignorant men as well" ('cause her husband is as much a reliable rabbi as I'm a 6'2 black man). hehe

was some fun stuff. :)

But anyway, this is the second time I was told that I should be talking about shallow things. My super frummy friend and I were infact together the first time I was told as well. I have no patience. I like to shop, and I like new clothes, and I like looking good. But there's only so much to talk about.

Like, yea, "the new skirt is brown and the new top is tan...OMG! it was on sale too!!!!"

Umm...am I the only female outside of my immediate group of friends that doesn't see this as an adequate convo?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Don't beleive in free will? Cheater!

This article Behavior: An Absence of Free Will, a Tendency to Cheat was emailed to me by my Metaphysics professor. Two studies were done that suggest that those who doubt free will are more likely to cheat. The article is really short.

The first study seems completely annoying, and I'm not sure I would've cheated. But the second study promised $1/right answer. If I were promised $1/right answer I think I woulda cheated as well.

This was a study, not a regent. If I were to get caught all my regents would be disqualified. But then again, I would feel guilty about lying during a study.

Bikinis on the Beach

When I was about nine-years-old (pre-frum years) I remember asking my mother if I'd be allowed to wear a bikini to the beach when I became a teenager. I thought that wearing a two-peice bathing suit was like the greatest thing in the world, and I guess I thought it was a privilege or something or else I cannot understand why I asked my mom. Anyway, I will never forgot how my mom answered me, I didn't understand what she said at the time she said it, but I did remember it, and to this day I think it was one of the greatest things she ever said.

She responded "You can, but I don't understand why you'd want to."

I remember asking her "Why wouldn't I want too" and to that she said:

"You'll see when you're older."

I remember thinking "wow, thats so cool" and not really understanding what she meant. I thought she was a complete nut...like really, why WOULDN'T I wanna wear a bikini like the girls in Saved by the Bell or California Dreams did?

Sure enough, when I got older, I realized that I didn't want to walk around the beach in a bikini (and I had about 1.5 years as a teenager before I was frum in more ways than just keeping kosher and mildly keeping shabbos).

A few months ago at work, my coworker (22 yr old- dating 38 year old guy) was telling me about the parties she goes to with her boyfriend. She was telling me how theres drinking and drugs. And because its a Russian party, the guys are really drunk and all smoking (if not drugs, then definitly cigarrettes). She said that the parties tend to be fun in the beginning, because of the dancing, and if she watches her boyfriend she can have him leave before he gets himself in a really bad state. Anyway, she was like "you should come once." I was like "I don't think its really my thing" and she was like "Oh right, you probably wouldn't be allowed to go anyway."

I told her "I don't think I wouldn't be allowed to go, I don't think my parents would prevent me from going, its just that why would I want to go?"

She was like "yea, I wish I had a good relationship with my parents."

And truthfully, I really am thankful to my parents for raising me like this. I don't feel jailed when my friends go out Friday nights. I don't feel like a psycho religious idiot when I'm not wearing a bikini on the beach, nor do I feel jailed that I cannot experience a party with drugs and alcohol like my coworker so often does. And I do not feel jailed simply because I was taught to RATIONALLY make my decisions as opposed to just being told what to do.

This whole thing reminds me of a really bad date I was on. The guy asked me "What would you do if your kids came home and said they didn't want to be frum anymore" -at this point I already hated him- so I was like "I don't know, cry?"

He was like "well its good you said cry, but do you want to know what I think?"
So I was like "alright , tell me" (in my head I was like 'Enlighten me oh wise one!" and rolled my eyes)

And he responded "I would prevent it from ever happening. My kids would not come home and tell me they don't want to be frum."

I was like "Ok, so how would you do that?" And he went on blabbing about some nonsense. I hated him, and I had no patience arguing. I mean, Moshe Rebbienu's kids were basically "off the derech" you really think some idiot in "Flatbush" would have a sure way to keep his kids ON the derech?

If anything his kids would probably be at the highest risk - but what the hell...what do I know?

There are a few other stories like this, but I cannot really remember them. But my point in telling them, was that the frum community is full of crap. Fortunately, there is a bright side, and that is that all communities have their share of crap. The problem is, is that the frum community points out flaws in secular communities and says "look, you see, they're full of crap, thats why you should be frum" Or "hey look at that tramp, she wears a bikini on the beach and 5 guys dumped her after she naively thought they wanted more than just a one-night stand"

My parents raised me to see the crap in my own community, and to think "really, what about the crap going on here?" or "yea, but I know about 3 girls that wear bikini's and are in monogomous relationships" and judge bikini wearing by the statement it makes about MYSELF not about the trampy girl.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Mmm...Drain Food!!

At shuir my Rabbi was explaining how to clean the chometz from shabbos for pesach. He said that one option is to throw the leftover crumbs of bread down the drain (as complicated as that may be for some homes, it may be the best or only option for others). The funny part was that he went onto explain that the drain is chometz, but to ensure kosher usage of it on pesach, one should pour a bit of bleach or ammonia product down the drain (NOT together!!!). He said that we pour the chemical down in order to ensure that no one would eat what is in the drain.

With this my mom and I started cracking up. We went home, told my sister, and she started cracking up. I mean, really now, does anyone really have the desire to eat food from the drain? Do the water bugs add a zest you can't seem to find in your spice cabinet? I mean, really...it never even occured to me to clean the drains. I always learned that kosher l'pesach applied to foods that were edible, and things that could touch the foods... such as soap/dishwashing liquid, cleaners that are to be used ON pesach should not contain starches from kitniyot. I never thought that something so ridiculously disgusting as drain food would even be considered. Really...drain food?

Anyone wanna come over for heart healthy drain food?

Sunday, April 6, 2008


The other day I was at a friends wedding. Many girls I haven't seen from HS were there, and they did the typical "OMG, I haven't seen you in the longest time! What are you doing with your life?"

When the question is addressed to me I always answer "I'm in college and I work."

Then they ask "Really, OMG, thats soooooo nice, what's your major, what do you work as, where?"

And so I answer "I'm majoring in Philosophy and Law and I work for rent managment."

Most of the time I pretend to care about what they're doing and I say something like "So, what are you doing?"

And, I always know what to expect, either a) education b) some sort of therapy c) accounting or d) psychology - social work.

It has always bothered me how completely uniform the yeshiva system makes this girl out to be. These girls cannot, and do not know how to think for themselves. Yes, there are a few girls that would actually really love education or social work, or being therapists or accountants but I'm pretty sure I'm safe in saying that a majority go into these fields because they're the "in" thing to do.

Its one thing to straighten your hair because its a trend (doesn't lead to any long term damage), but to go and allow a "trend" to decide your future seems absolutely ludicrous to me. Its ridiculous that when I go to a wedding I hear these girls who are all in either Touro or Brooklyn literally going for the same things.

I almost always have someone tell me "wow, you have a unique major" though I am in a sort of predicament because I do not know what I'm going to do with my major, I feel a sense of pride that I am unique. I feel special that I'm not "typical." Because, not only is my major unique, but so is the job I currently have. No girl I know has anything to do with real-estate. Most have jobs as "assistant Morahs" and over the summer they work at a camp, where they're lucky if they don't have to pay to work!!

The yeshivish system is ridiculous. Everything is "typical." I'm sick of typical. I'm so sick of everyone being the same. The few people I keep in touch with from my public school days are all going for something different. Sure there's a speech therapist and accountant, but EVERY person is doing something else. Something I cannot say for my frummy friends. Throughout history Jews have been persecuted and not given the liberty to work at whatever job they wanted. They had no choices but to remain in business and usury (something the goyim absolutely hated us for). But now that we have all the choices that we can ever need, we're remaining with the same mentality we had when we didn't have them.

Shame on us for remaining "typical" and not using our yiddishe kop for creative purposes.

Shame on us for being proud that we're "typical"

Shame on us for conforming too much...there's only so much conformity necessary in a society, and it usually doesn't exceed speaking the common language and wearing clothes (general, as in not walking around naked. I didn't mean one has to wear the 'trendy' ugly masculine looking suit on shabbos)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Boro Park

Over shabbos a guy at shul (who I trust) told my mom two stories. One that happened to him and another that happened to someone else at our shul (who I also trust).

For the first story, keep in mind that the guy is extremely "modern". He IS frum but he doesn't wear a kippa except for shabbos, and he wears jeans and whatever else qualifies as "modern." He decided to go to Boro Park. He went into one store, and the salesman- really frum, typical "Boro Park" type- came over to him and asked him :

"are you from the neighborhood?"

The guy from shul replied "No, I'm from Sheepshead Bay"

The salesman said: "I think you should look for kitchens in Lowe's or Home Depot, the kitchens here are more high-end"

Guy from shul: "Do you know whats in my pocket?" And he left, came back a few hours later and spoke to the store manager and was like "How could he say stuff like that, imagine if I were a goy?"


Story 2 (as was told to me by the guy from story 1):

Lady from my shul went to a store in Boro Park with her cousin and another lady to buy furniture. One of them was wearing a short skirt (I guess that means just covered the knee), and two were wearing long skirts. They walked in, asked where the furniture was, and they were told "third floor." They went to the third floor, the place was dark- most of the lights were not on. They shopped around for a while and they realized the lights went on. In came a sales lady with a few customers. One of the customers saw the lady from shul and her cousin standing and waiting, and she said to the sales lady "shouldn't you be helping them, they were here first?" The saleslady replied in yiddish "They're goyim they can wait."

Lady from my shul understands fluent yiddish. She came over and said in yiddish "This furniture costs $12,000, my cousin has $12,000 cash, she was going to buy the furniture without haggling, now, not only will she not buy the furniture, but she'll never buy anything in this store again."


Wow I hate Boro Park, but for a bunch of other reasons, these are just stories that remind me on why.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


My sister was just reading an essay she wrote on racism out loud, and it reminded me of a story that happened a few weeks ago in class.

I take Social Philosophy, which is like Political Philosophy, but instead of just a bunch of theories, it shows how it effects the social life of each type of political theory (or something like that). My professor was discussing Mills, who is a black-guy that wrote papers about how racism is actually part of the foundation of the American System. We then went on to discuss how his theory may just be accurate by using the CERD (Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination) report against the findings of racism in NYC public schools (sorry, cannot find the link for that). The findings seemed to prove Mills' theory right. The professor also brought out statistics on how Blacks and Hispanics do not get as much out of a college education as white people do.

One Polish kid in my class (had the whole blond/blue eye thing going for him) raised his hand and was like "yea, but thats not because of the system, the black and hispanics tend to major in subjects such as 'African-American' studies or "Racism" or "Latin American Studies" as opposed to majors that are practical."

I happened to agree with him. Because that is the truth. But I wasn't stupid enough to raise my hand and say that to the professor. The Hispanic girl in my class was so ticked off. I was rather amused.