Sunday, August 31, 2008


About two years ago I'm on the phone with my naive friend. She is very smart and super awesome, but she takes the concept of l'dam l'chaf zchus a bit to literally. She hardly ever sees faults in the frum community even if they're staring her right in the face. She needs them to slap her.

During this conversation I was telling her all about people I've spoken to (and I have a very interesting well-rounded group of acquaintances). I was also telling her about how the community is basically divided in many groups of people who all have fun choosing labels for themselves. And then I told her the only labels people should use are the Sephardi/Ashkanazie type and BT/FFB. Cuz those are the only ones that are actually accurate. Then the conversation somehow turned to how BT are considered a lower class of being when it comes to shidduchim.

She did not believe me. She went on and on about how she and her sister had many friends in HS who were FFB and who had no problems with their being BT. She continued on about how the ones discriminated against are probably the type that aren't fully frum yet, and that would make sense, so there should be no criticism about it.

I told her "Sweety, you're wrong!" and she went and told me how Mrs. F married a BT (and I reminded her of Mrs. F's fathers BT status), and well...the convo must have ended there because I don't remember the rest.

For about a year after that she kept trying to convince me that there's no "lower class" relation to BT, they just like to marry each other because of the culture clash, especially like with the Europeans who are newly frum. What would they have in common with always frum Americans? It was an ongoing discussion with us, then we just stopped cuz it got into the "ok then, agree to disagree mode"

Then about 8 months ago (and I promise you this is how I was told the story) a random mom somewhere (I can specify Brooklyn) was looking through the HS yearbook that naive friend was in. The mom saw my friend's picture, decided she liked the way she looked, and then decided that her son should meet her.

What happens when a mom finds a picture of a girl in a yearbook? She calls her up.

My friend gets a phone call from this woman saying "Hello I am so and so, I saw your picture in HS yearbook, and I would like more information, references and so on, so that I can set you up with my son."

My friend says "Call Mrs. H, she is my close [married] friend and is a shadchan so she will tell you everything you will need to know."

A few days later naive friend gets a phone call from Mrs. H. and she said the following:

I received a phone call from so and so about a shidduch for you with her son. She was asking me a lot of questions which I answered, and then she asked me about your family and background. So when I mentioned you were a BT she said right away "No, I don't think that is what I'm looking for." She thanked me for my time and hung up. I personally think it is her loss. You are a great person and should not take this personally.

About a day later I received a phone call from naive friend and she says "remember that convo we were having on BT being somehow being a lower class?"

And I say "yea" and so she told me the story. And then tells me "You were so right."

SO I say "well you know, his loss. Poor guy it wasn't even his fault he couldn't date you, it was his dumb mom. "

She said "yea. oh well. "

I generally like being right in an argument, but with this, I really kinda wish I was wrong.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

How things work out

I was on the phone chatting with one of my friends and she says:

"You know, I really like talking to you on the phone, online you seem so mean"

I found that so funny. I asked her to expand on what she meant and she says:

"well everytime I say something that is slightly controversial you naturally find a different viewpoint and turn around my argument. You do that in a normal approach of just wanting me to understand that things are not one-demensional. Online when you do that, I just get bombarded with all your ims, and since you type so fast it seems as if you're yelling at me somehow. But on the phone it always seems like you're smiling or atleast calm. So I just like the phone better."

I started cracking up. And was like "wow, some people must really think I'm crazy. haha"

When I got off the phone I went to check what was going on in the blogworld. When I went to read Frum Punks lastest post he wondered whether or not I'm always complaining. Generally I don't complain alot. Just cuz of this blog (which is self-daignosed therapy) it seems that way. And well I am generally a pessimist. But I like to say I'm an optimist with experience. :-)

Anyway, the point of this post is how awesome it is that both my friends convo about online persona and frumpunks post came out the same day, and for me in the same hour. Which I find awesome. I love when these things happen. You know when you randomly remember about your friend that you haven't spoken to in about 3 months, and a few hours later you get a call from him/her and you honestly say "oh wow, I was just thinking of you."

Its kind of like that for me with these events. I find these occurances awesome. :-)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

People talk about my blog :-)

Over shabbos I was at shul having shalosh suedos with my super frummy friend. I mentioned the post Fasting While Pregnant. I know she doesn't read my blog, so her reaction of "Yea I heard about it" really shocked me. Apparently over shabbos lunch, her father, the guy I work with and another family friend where sitting around and talking about my blog.

I was super thrilled; because even though I know my dad occassionally sends around links, he doesn't usually send those type of posts, he usually does the KGB type or the Goyim do it too! kind. So I knew they read it on their own. Which fascinated me. I asked super frummy friend for more details, but she wouldn't give me any. She just refused to speak. So I did the next best thing, I asked the guy I work with. But super frummy friend kept shaking her head at him, and so he didn't tell me anything, and thats when I decided to bribe his little 10 year old son. :-).

Well, son didn't have any info. And super frummy friend kept yelling at him about how its an avara to accept a bribe, and whatever. And so, I'm basically left with the conclusion that there was loshon hara on more than just my blog. They must of been talking about me. Which absolutely fascinates me, because...

1- I'm almost positive about what they said. Super frummy dad was pissed that I said that frum cannot think for themselves due to camp and all the crazy hours kids have to spend with authority other than their own parents. While he was kvetching, the guy I work with stated how there was a discussion on the way to work about fasting while pregnant (because of me) which further annoyed Mr. frummy dad, who btw, I'm almost positive is the "yeshivish with eyes open" commenter on KGB/Yeshiva part 4.

Oh, my manager, who has no kids, and it seems it's because she was unable, got really annoyed at the concept that women fast. She was like "if you're blessed with a pregnancy you nurture it, you don't go and fast, thats ridiculous" but, what does she know? She isn't frum, right?

2- Any publicity is good publicity. I like that people read my blog, and I like that the posts are so perfectly blunt that these people have to discuss it to such a degree that their kids fear my reaction to it. If they really thought I was just a nut, they wouldn't feel so defensive to prove I'm wrong. Never mind attack my father about it for a long time.

Defensiveness means they have something to be ashamed of (in most cases). If they thought I was completely off the charts, they wouldn't bother taking what I wrote seriously, nevermind discuss it over shabbos lunch.

It's like when you lie and get caught, and you try to cover it with another lie, and you get all tense and nervous trying to prove it. Well thats kind of the way he was acting.

I love them frum people. I bet he wouldn't admit to the crazy shidduch stuff too. Probably would say "oo...the shadchan is your freind" and the fact that the shadchanim want to make money would completely be ignored by him.

It just makes me so happy that this has got to be some hard-core loshon hara (or else frummy friend wouldn't be so nervous if I found out what was being said) and coming from the super frummy type. :-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Personality Test Result

I took a personality test on cuz of my sister. This test has 125 questions, so only take it if you won't get frustrated (well, i did, but since I promised sister...). Anyway, These are my results. And most of the stuff is accurate (except for the thing with group work, I completely hate it, not just the responsibility thing). Ohh...btw, I'm the same as 5% of the population.

ENTZs are competitive, ambitious, commanding, and organized. You have an inquisitive and adventurous spirit. You do not like to be confined by strict rules or limitations on your freedom. As an ENTZ you pride yourself on being able to meet challenges by planning out activities in advance. Because of your gift for forethought, you always have a backup plan.

You bring strategic leadership to a group or team: you make plans, set them in motion, and motivate your friends, family, teammates, and colleagues to help you accomplish the goal. Although you like group work, you don't like being responsible for making sure that people follow through on their commitments.

You tend to become frustrated with people who are less motivated than you or who fail to accomplish what they say they will. You believe that power is earned through superior leadership and competence. Consequently, you dislike working on mundane or simple tasks and take pride in being ahead of everyone else in all you do.
You naturally find innovative ways to improve processes and outcomes. You are a driven, daring, and competitive learner, who enjoys determining how new concepts fit into an existing theory. You enthusiastically pursue new ideas and dreams. You are at your best when thinking out loud.

ENTZs are most often found in career fields where work emphasizes strategy and business enterprise. As an ENTZ you will be most satisfied and productive when you are involved in projects and tasks that emphasize innovation and planning. You are most interested in jobs that allow you to influence others and advance in your career.

Your strenghs include...
Confidence in tackling confusion and inefficiency.
Making thoughtful and precise plans.
Choosing the overall direction for a project or group.
Refusing to take "no" for an answer.
Turning interesting problems into solutions.
An enjoyment of mental challenge.
Generating quick resolutions to difficult situations.
Candor and decisiveness.
A tendency to initiate change.
Openness to any idea that allows a task to move forward.

You learn best when dealing with...
New, intellectually challenging subjects.
Future-oriented topics and subjects.
Active learning methods and group dialogue.
Competent teachers.
State-of-the-art information and technology.
Scientific and theoretical subjects.
Cutting-edge technology as a learning tool.

When interacting socially, you...
Speak with energy, excitement, and enthusiasm.
Reply quickly with unrehearsed responses.
Prefer communicating in person.
Are forceful and to the point.
Become impatient with extraneous details.
Take pleasure in weighing the pros and cons of various alternatives.
Are persuaded by reason rather than emotion.

You are motivated by...
Situations requiring tough-mindedness, vision, and strategic thinking.
Opportunities to acquire new knowledge.
Having your hunger for problem solving satiated.
Seeing your vision become a reality.
Opportunities to create efficient systems and encourage people to become more competent.
Exercising leadership and management skills.

In order to maximize your potential...
Really listen to what others are saying.
Stay with an activity until it is truly mastered.
Remember to consider emotions and feelings.
Consider all sides of an issue before deciding.
Practice being a good follower.
Reflect before making decisions.
Give praise and show appreciation more readily.
Allow others to contribute their ideas and strategies.
Don't overlook the small details.

Only in the Frum community...

1- Only in the frum community can you consider a guy a bum because he actually works

2- Only in the frum community can you consider someone an "older" single at the age of 22.

3- Only in the frum community do you solve a shidduch crisis by further separating the guys and girls.

4- Only in the frum community do you have parents going into heavy debt to afford their sons not working.

5- Only in the frum community do parents discourage their sons from working

6- Ony in the frum community is a girl considered a slut/whore for sleeping with her boyfriend of a year, but not a slut/whore if she sleeps with him after only knowing him for a few days just because they got married.

Oy...the frum community...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Kids are so cute

A few shabbosim ago I was at the house of this kid I used to babysit. He is 5. He came over to me and said "Alita (thats what he calls me), guess which camp I go too."

So I listed like 5 of the boys camps I know names of, and he goes "NO! I tried to give you clues, but you just won't get it! I go to DAY CAMP!"

I was like "Oh wow, day camp, you're such a big boy."

He says "Yea, and my friend Zacky goes to sleep away camp which means he has to sleep forever, the whole summer. And when he's not sleeping, he has to play sleep!"

How cute is that?

Yeshiva/KGB part 4

Part 1- The inability to express oneself.
Part 2- Excessive Banning
Part 3- Lying as a survival mechanism

Part 4- No kids allowed in the city.

My mother grew up in Moscow. Moscow was the major city in the former Soviet Union (currently a major city in Russia). The city was a place full of tourists and life. Over the summers, the government did not allow children under the age of 16 to remain in the city. They were considered to much of a nuisance for the delegates and other important summer guests to put up with.

Over the summers my mother went to a small stinky little town in Moldova to stay with her grandparents. She went to camp a couple of times as well. She would go every summer away from her parents. This went on since birth (well, first summer of her life mom went with her for nursing purposes- story confirmed by grandma).

The government didn't like children much, but they did like to control people. The official reason for the kids leaving, was in order to keep the town clean and quiet for the tourists. IN reality it was for the government to prevent the kids from having to much time to spend with their parents. Remember, this was the Soviet Union, they had the kibbutz like mentality of communal raising." With the kids spending summers away from home, the kids don't take after parents, rather after the society and the crazy government rulings. Which leads to a form of thought control.

For the frummies spending summers in the city is a huge social stigma. They think "If my kids remain in the city, what will people think? What if they think we can't afford camp?" and fear that the end of the world is coming in reference to their children's shidduch prospects. There is definitely alot of KGB in this system as well. Having senseless social stigma's such as this one are ways for the Rebbeim to structure and control the kids to be a certain way. It's all a matter of thought control.

Camp is up on the list for stupid things frummies do without knowing why. Every summer thousands of couples feel as if they are "required" to send their kids to camp. They run amok claiming that the city is no place for the children to spend the summer; if you ask what it is exactly that's wrong with spending the summer in the city, they'll answer you with something stupid such as "There's nothing for the kids to do" or "All their friends are leaving, they shouldn't be forced to stay alone."

I find it hard to believe that in NYC there would be nothing for the kids to do as well as their being alone in a city full of millions of people.

Anyway, the stigma is there and its mostly attached to shidduchim. My sister's friend got bribed to go to camp. Her parents promised if she agreed to go to camp, they would give her horseback riding lessons (something she very much wanted). Other friends were forced to go to camps and found themselves going to different camps every year in hopes of finding one they actually liked (the people, the amount of freedom, the food, etc). These parents bribe/force their kids to go to camp because of the mere facts that HS applications and shidduch resumes find it important to look into camp references.

The reason these questions are asked on HS applications and on shidduch resumes is obviously because of the Rebbeim's need to control the public. Think about it. If a kid spends 10/12 months at school, with a very tight schedule, 8:30-5 four days a week, and then 8:30-12:30 twice a week (not including HW time) the kids have no time to think, speak, or socialize with anyone that may be deemed inappropriate. The kid/young adult, spends so many hours invested in school work, that it is nearly impossible to have any life outside of school. The Rebbeim control the education of the schools, therefore for 10 months out the year, the Rabbi's get power.

For two months over the summer, the kid suddenly has free time to explore and think and read books or watch movies, which may have him/her question the authority presented to them for the 10 months during the school year. To ensure the power remains, Rabbi's had to enact some sort of summer system to get the kids away from their accustomed environments, into a more sheltered and structured one- summer camp.

With summer camp, Rebbeim can ensure that children will not ask questions because their schedules are filled with just enough fun to keep them from resenting the learning. Even if the kids are at day camps, they come home too tired to really enjoy the quality education idleness can encourage.

The Soviet Union wanted the kids away from the parents to ensure they wouldn't accidentally teach kids anything anticommy, or teach them anything at all. The USSR was all into government control and communal learning. They liked the idea of thought control. Something that today's Rabbi's seem to be instating into their control.

Reminds me of the Pink Floyd song from the wall,
"We don't need no education We don't need no thought control No dark sarcasm in the classroom Teacher, leave them kids alone Hey!, Teacher, leave them kids alone "

Hey Rabbi's leave them summers alone!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Jewish guy gets buried with his vodka.

Such Jews

I was watching Shawn Johnson win her gold medal today on the balance beam. When that was over, I stayed up to watch men's high-bar gymnastics. When it came time for Jonathan Horton to go, the first thing that went through our (mom, sister and me) heads was how cute a shidduch Shawn and Jonathan would make.

Shawn- 4'9"
Jonathan- 5'1"

The only problem standing in the way of this shidduch is the age gap.
Jonathan is 21, and Shawn is 16.

They have the same interests, and their parents reacted in the same way when their kids medaled. Plus, they'd have "pedigree" gymnasts (what my mom calls it) for kids. The perfect little shorties to make the Olympic team in about 30 something years. They'd also be very cute and adorable. Who wouldn't set up such perfect genes together?

We're such Jews. What other family would sit there and imagine a shidduch between two completely random strangers they "know" from TV?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Parenting and the TV

My family has a huge TV, like 46" in our living room. It is flat screen, LCD, high definition, cable, and some other random stuff I can't mention because I know nothing about the actual mechanics of TV and special things that all men like when they watch football or something (my dad, b"h is not into sports).

So, well, I've been raised with a TV. Not always such a big one, but there was always a TV. When we moved into the house, there were always TWO TVs and a computer (we've had a computer in the pre-mouse days).

My mother was ALWAYS on top of what we (my sister and me) watched. I wasn't allowed to watch Friends until I was 15. Mom let me watch it at 15 because she said they don't act as promiscuous from when the show first began, which I can tell, since I'm watching re-runs now all the time. I wasn't allowed to watch Will & Grace ever, and to this day, I can't bring myself to watch it, because I'm almost expecting her to turn the TV off. I mean, its not that mom was anti-gays or whatever, she knew I knew about homosexuality, it was just that the show, in her opinion was too dirty, and she felt that it wasn't something we should be watching.

Now, I watch whatever I want. I don't like it when my dad is in the room when I watch Gossip Girl (he calls it the tramp show) and the episode of Gilmore Girls in which Rory lost her virginity to Dean (who was married) was definitely not an episode I wanted my dad in the room for. But whatever. Life happens, and my parents (mostly mom) were always aware of what I was watching, and always spoke to us about what we were watching. I never liked One Tree Hill because I felt it was too slutty and dumb to even bother getting into. My mom never prevented me from watching it, it was a decision I made on my own, because I didn't like the first few episodes. When girls in my school would ask me to tape it for them, I would, but it really bothered both me and mom that the girls were watching it, probably without their moms even knowing.

A 10 year old at my shul watches South Park and Family Guy which really bothers me. I cannot understand what his parents are thinking. The shows are way too crude for anyone under the age of about 16.

If frummies tell you TV is dirty, tell them to just censor it. They would not only prevent their kids from seeing things they feel they shouldn't be seeing, but be practicing good parenting skills.

About TV being a waste of time...

My sister studied for her AP European History exam by watching a show on the History channel with my dad. She said the show was an exact replica of what was in her notes. She got a 4 on her AP!

I used to babysit an awesome little 3 year old. His mom used to let me watch an hour of TV with him (which is two-TV shows). Usually at least one show was Curious George. When I was watching with him, there were almost always questions.

In one episode George deflated a soccer ball and wanted to buy a new one. He thought about how he would make money, and decided to have a lemonade stand. To this, the three-year-old asked "what is lemonade?" So I said "well, it's kind of like juice made out of lemons" He was like "Like apple juicy?" And I said "well Apple Juicy is made out of Apple's" So he goes "oh, so like Grape Juicy?" And I said "no, grape juicy is made out of grapes" and he listed about 3-4 juices until it hit him that juice was actually the juice of a fruit. TV made him curious to ask the question to learn something from it.

Then there was another episode where George was watching a squirrel hide acorns by digging them up in the ground. The acorns were either eaten later, or ended up sprouting and growing into new trees. A few weeks later, 3-year-old and me were taking a walk, and a squirrel was digging in the ground, and the kid goes "He's probably looking for a nut! And if he doesn't find it, it'll just grow into a tree! Right?"

Well, there was no way he didn't get THAT from the TV!

Obviously too much TV is bad. No one is advocating a no-sensor, 12 hour TV marathon for their kids. But with some TV and some nice good shows, your kids get to relax and possibly learn something.

Funny story about the 3-year-old. I was once babysitting him after his grandmother was with him the entire day. The kid took off his socks, and I was like "why are you taking off your socks, are you hot?" And he giggles and says "No, I'm being intimate"

I walked away and started cracking up. Then when his mom came home she was like "he was probably watching soap opera's with my grandma, and seen something" And the kid ran into the room and overheard the use of the word "intimate", and as a good mom, so he wouldn't remember the word (why should he, he's three) she said "Entenmanns, did you think about having something by Entenmanns?"

So yea...With good parents, your kid could probably even get away with the occasional soap opera. While I wouldn't recommend that, I don't think one should blame the TV for all the problems for something that clearly should just have been censored by a parent/guardian.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rabbi's Ban Dating!

*My attempt at Satire*

The time has finally come when all girls can give off sighs of relief because shidduch dating has been banned. Infact, all forms of dating were banned. Why? Because dating was found to be the number one cause of divorce.

At a convention yesterday in Lakewood, 15 of the greatest Roshei Yeshiva got together in hopes of finding a cure for the divorce crisis that has flooded the community. They sat and scratched their heads, played with their beards and thumb-dipped over Gemara's for hours brainstorming, until it hit them, that dating was the problem.

The Rabbeim said that even under the restrictive system of shidduch dating guys and gals get to know each other well enough to have expectations in the marriage which isn't good because they lead to disappointments when they are not met.

The Rebbeim decreed that dating was a goyish concept anyway. They referenced the Torah, and decided that since our Imahos and Avos didn't shidduch date, there was no point for us to do so now. They said that it was time that we truly returned to the derech and have faith in the ultimate shadchan, and rely on Him and our parent's servants when it comes to shidduchim.

The poor people were outraged, for they had no servants, so the Rebbeim declared (this morning) that ma'aser will now be 20%, with 10% going straight towards the "Eliezer Shidduch Institute" which hires "Cananites" (or Mexican's in our case) to help aid the poor in finding shidduchim.

Once an "Eliezer" returns with a girl for a son, the wedding is required to take place within a month of meeting (any longer and expectations may form).

Rebbeim are hoping this no-dating policy works, and with the help of the Ribono Shel Olam, no expectations will be formed during the time of engagment.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The texting mess

I was reading The Text Message Mess on and I decided that I completely disagree with the lady. She feels that shortening the words is a disgrace to the English language, but I feel that people like her are just old.

Here are a few points

1- Texting has a limit of 160 characters per message, if words are not shortened, multiple message will need to be sent, which not only is annoying, but may be expensive at the same time.

2- Shorthand has been around for ages. Its been a skill many people (mostly secrataries) had to learn and develop. Shorthand is even worse than texting. Atleast text messages use English letters, shorthand looks like a funky version of arabic with a drop of random characters.

3- Why don't people take into consideration the use of acronyms?

The author asked: "Can somebody explain what makes people so busy that they can't take the time to spell out simple words and phrases?"

Back to acronyns. Why are people in such a rush that they don't just write full names, and such out? Why not just spell out New York instead of the NY? Why oh why? Well, because we feel like it. Makes life easier.

We ARE in a rush. Teenagers are sneaking texts while in class, they don't want to get caught. They have to fit in as much info in as few texts as possible. Then there's always taking other people into consideration. When I receive text messages at work, I have to sneak them just like the teenagers. The shorter the message is to read, the easier it is for me, and the quicker it is for me to write back, the safer it is for me.

We live in an age of information and communication. We are constantly in a rush. That is just how the current era is.

I think this lady, as well as all the other ancients should leave their kids alone, its not like these kids are perverting the grammer, they're just messing with the spelling. English is not a set-in stone language when it comes to spelling (ie colour and color). Messing with spelling is no big deal. Its frum people who make up words such as "video machine" and say dumb things like "I was by her house for shabbos" instead of "I was at her house for shabbos" that should bother this woman and people like her.

KGB/Yeshiva Part 3

Part 3- Lying as a survival mechanism.

As seen in post 1 and post 2 the frum community is full of psycho control freaks trying to one-up themselves by coming up with crazy chumras. They ban everything and anything and then spy and tell on each other to ensure their control remains intact. The obvious outcome of being in costant fear of doing something wrong, is doing it anyway, but lying about it; making lying a survival mechanism when it comes to being frum.

The ability to lie has become a survival mechanism. People lie about how frum they are and go miles away to go on beaches just so they won't get caught and have their kids kicked out of school. They lie about where they go on vacation and they lie about what they eat and how they dress. This is all because of pressure from the schools.

When it comes to "outside influences" frummies are Kings at lying. They master things like hiding TV's in refrigerator boxes to get them into houses, and then hiding them behind furniture, or hiding little TV's under their beds. These people have to constantly fear their neighbors will find out or their kids will innocently squel about the TV's (or internet, or secular books, or newspapers) so they teach their kids to lie. On school admissions applications people are known to lie about the availability of TV and internet access. Heck, in 10th grade half the girls just forged their mom's signatures on notes saying they were allowed to use the internet (because it was just so dumb to ask the moms, they all used the internet already-with her permission).

What about how BT's are suggested to "conveniently leave out" information of their past, such as how they might've attended Public School?

What about people who lie to their kids on their ability to support them in kolel? The one's who are hugely in debt, yet claim they can afford 5 daughters marreid to bums, just so the girls get "good shidduchim." Lying comes naturally to the frum.

What irks me most is when these people justify their lying by claiming that all they're doing is "Playing the Game." They're not playing the game, they're lying because they lack scruples and fear the opinion of their neighbor more than Gd. If they really beleived in the work of Gd, they'd stop lying and trust Gd to make everything work out, simply because they're doing whats right.

The KGB was no better. The KGB was so incontrol that people adapted lying as a second langauge. I had friends growing up who were taught that everyone lied, because their parents had the Soviet mentality instilled in them. These girls used to lie about everything, and they lived in the US!

Back in the former Soviet Union, my mom had family that was affiliated with Jewish groups (super hidden stuff), therefore, around pesach time, my mom's family was able to get matzoh (not that they had any idea what Pesach was, or why they ate matzoh, but they did know matzoh was some sort of Jewish food). My mom remembers how she was told not to share the matzoh and not give it or show it to anyone.

In the Soviet Union lying was more than just hiding matzoh. It was a fact of life. The people had to constantly cheat and steal in business. If they were honest, they wouldn't be able to survive. Kind of like the frum people, if they are honest about their pasts, their actions on vacations and weekends, and honest about how much secular influences they allow in the home, they'd never get their kids in the right school, and then their kids wouldn't be able to find the right shidduch, and then they end up as good as dead. They're nothing.

The frum community needs serious help. More Rabbi's have to start concentrating on how sad it is that lying is a fact of life, and find a solution. They need to practice their own teachings, especially those on bechira-each person having a level they're on, and the grow in it, because they are ready to take the next step, not because Insert yeshiva institutions name here decided the families are required to keep certian things.

Anyway, there will be a part 4 next week. :-).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cooking Carnival

An email was sent to me by Leora stating that the 33rd Kosher Cooking Carnival was posted.

I quickly glanced it (I plan on looking over it more thoroughly later) and some of the recipe's really seemed interesting. I strongly recommend you all check it out. :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Addicted to the Olympics

I am an Olympic watcher. Heck, I'm an addict; since shabbos ended, our TV has not shut off during the hours the games were playing. I obviously cannot watch the games at work, but I watch from the moment they begin later at home (8-whenever they end). Last night I stayed up till 12:30 watching men's gymnastics. And today, I'll stay up till they end again, watching ladies gymnastics.

The other day while watching the ladies gymnastics qualifications, it became clear that the Chinese government is full of it. The Olympic committee said that atleast 4 of the girls on the Chinese team were under qualifying age. So they checked the passports of the girls on the team, and stupidly said that they must be qualified. Seriously now...This is the chinese government, they LIED. I don't know how many of you watched the gymnastics, but one of the girls was in no possible way 15. She looked 12. Its horrible that the Chinese were given permission to host. Makes me upset.

Anyway, for happy news...

On Sunday, I saw Michael Phelps and the US swim team beat the stinky French (pun intended ;)), the face Phelps made was priceless.

I get so excited watching swimming, mostly because I used to take swim lessons, and I love to swim. Earlier while watching Phelps win his 10th Gold (overall olympic career), I was in absolute awe at how they can do the butterfly stroke so quickly. The butterfly is probably the hardest stroke and not only did these guys have to swim for 200 meters, but they had to do it super fast.

Absolutely amazing how talented people could be.

I want to go for a swim and I want to meet Michael Phelps :-)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fasting while pregnant

One of the most annoying things in the world is the fact that there are women who listen to men about feminine things. What am I talking about? Women who fast while pregnant because the Rebbeim say they should.

Rebbeim are a bit delusional in my opinion when it comes to pregnant women fasting. I can't quite grasp the logic. A woman that is pregnant CAN bend on many rules. She can eat milk after eating meat with a much shorter wait in between. A pregnant woman, is responsible for the life inside of her. She has to ensure the baby has the nutrients it needs, and the hydration to take away the toxins from her and her baby.

It is common knowledge that after Tsha B'av and Yom Kippur there are many premature births. This cannot possibly be a pro-fasting sign, or can it? Well, in the frum world, anything could be considered a good sign.

Ladies, if you're vomiting blue juice, don't be dumb, break your fast, especially if you're pregnant. Forget the Rabbis. Until they get ovaries and a uterus and bleed every month for a few years on schedule, they're not exactly the greatest advise givers.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

KGB/Yeshiva part 2

This is part two of the KGB/Yeshiva system

Part II- Excessive banning and propaganda usage in the name of protecting society.

When my father was younger and was still living in the former Soviet Union he and his family used to listen to the radio show "Voice of America." However, the way he listened to it wasn't in the same way we'd listen to the radio; he listened to it while the windows were closed and while the radio was in the middle of the room, and not near the walls, so that the neighbors couldn't hear it and tell on them- through the spy network discussed in the first post.

My father grew up listening to the Barry sisters in the same fashion. He had their record and would hide it while he wasn't home, and would listen to it far away from earshot. When my aunt started bringing friends home from school, the records disappeared. My father suspects that it was because my aunt's friends were not Jewish and were capable of telling on them if they saw evidence of Jewish music.

Books like 1984 were banned.

Sounds like the frum community, no? While it was illegal to listen to the Voice of America in the USSR and listening to the wrong radio station "here" in frummyville is more of a social stigma, the comparison still fits. The frum community is such that if you violate a taboo, you may as well kiss your chances of a happy life away.

The control the Rebbeim and crazy frummies have over the entire frum world is an outrage. The fear of the unknown (aka secular) world trickling in is so great that the frummies ban everything, without using any rationality behind their actions. The insecurity they have towards their own beliefs leads towards this irrational banning. Looking at their current actions, it is clear the frummies are no different than the KGB. Just like the Soviet government feared an uprising and ensured that any knowledge of western government was avoided and they tried to portray their twisted form of government as the best, so do the frummies try to portray their communities as the ultimate form of living, exclusive only to their own kind.

The Communists used excessive propaganda against western ideology, just like frummies use excessive propaganda against any knowledge that is not their own. My mom told me once, that there were speakers coming periodically to classrooms discussing how bad America was, and why it was great to be Soviet. Hmm...I never heard of frummies having speakers teach about how bad American culture is?

The excessive banning and propaganda in the former Soviet Union and the excessive banning and use of propaganda of the modern-day frummies are eerily similar. It's no wonder they say the first communists were all Jewish (well, 70% Jewish).

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fettuccini Alfredo

Because we are now in the 9 days, I figured it would be a good idea to share a tasty and simple milchig recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo.

You will need:

1 3.5 oz grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup of heavy cream
1 lb fettuccine pasta

First you have to bring a pot of water with a bit of salt to boil. Then add the fettuccine and cook for about 10 minutes. When ready, drain water.

While you cook the pasta, combine the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese in a sauce pan. Put on low flame, and stir constantly, until cheese is well melted into a thickish sauce. Small chunks are OK.

When the sauce is ready, pour it over the cooked and drained fettuccine. Mix well. And voila!

Bon Apetit!

Elders of Zion

Every time I see an article or an antisemitic blog about "The Jewish Conspiracy" or "The protocols of Elders of Zion" I always ask myself why a group of people who believe that Jews rule the world, would act in the way they do. Their entire thought process is completely irrational. Isn't it the "If you can't beat them join them" policy that should be in effect here?

Here is a quote from Mark Twain:

Concerning the Jew

"If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the milky way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of; He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world's list of great names... are also out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; The Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains.

What is the secret of his immortality?"

from the article "concerning the Jews" Harpers (1899) see "The complete Essays of Mark Twain" Doubleday (1963) Pg. 249

Many people question the very same thing Twain questioned. They cannot fathom how such a small nation was able to survive everything. Some groups call us the devil, some call us demonic and evil. All the while, they try to kill us.

I don't understand why they would try to kill us. It makes no sense to me. In the end, they know we'd win. It's already a part of history. It's what happens. So why don't they just join us?

Life is all about survival, and leaving behind a legacy. Once you have a child, you're basically guaranteed a legacy. However, your legacy only goes as far as your descendants. So if your descendants will end up dying out, and fading out in history, your legacy ends there, but if your legacy gets passed on over and over again, and not destroyed, then its as if you survive as well.

The antisemites understand that there is something the Jews are doing right that keeps their traditions and legacies alive and well, yet they try to destroy us. If the important thing is to be the last one standing, wouldn't you join the group that stood against the other great nations? Wouldn't that make the most sense?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The 9 days

When I was in HS one of the chassidish teachers told us that during the 9 days, you're not allowed to shower, and that you're only allowed to take sponge baths. Us girls were extremely grossed out, decided that no matter how frum we become later on in life, we'll still never keep the no-showering for 9 days thing. And then our next teacher came, and told us that not only are we allowed to shower, but since we're single and female, we're encouraged to shower. She said that we just have to make sure not to overheat the water, and she basically spelled out the rules. So we were happy, and felt extremely relaxed, considering that we WERE allowed to shower.

Years later I went to visit a camp for a couple of weeks, and one of the girls said that she was allowed to take hot showers, because she normally took cool showers, so for her, it was a bit of a discomfort to take a hot shower. She made all the girls jealous. And I just sat quietly in the corner thinking, "its the middle of the summer, we don't have air conditioning, its not the end of the world to take a cool shower." And so it dawned on me, that modern times do not exactly promote the "we forget the temple doesn't exist" type of a lifestyle, even on the 9 days.

For example. We have air conditioning. So if you don't take the greatest shower, you're still relatively clean, because you're not sweating nearly as much as you would 100 years ago. Secondly, the 9-day menu's at the restuarants don't necessarily make you forget about meat. Don't get me wrong, I LOOVE my meat. But I can definitly give it up and head over to one of the many delicious milchig cafes for the weekly meal I have out. Heck, going to Renaissance Cafe is a treat in most cases. Have any of you tried their Filet of Sole with Almond sauce (if you haven't you should do so!!)? Thirdly, the whole "not wearing clean clothes" thing is a joke. Its not like your clothes is literally dirty, its just stepped on, by your own clean feet, on your clean floor, OR was worn on top of your clean clothes for what, 5 minutes? It still smells fresh when you do wear it.

This whole 9 day hype thing is annoying. You either make yourself uncomfortable or stop pretending too. OR, just teach your kids that the fact that there is war, constant fear of danger, and anti-semitism. These are everyday signs of galus and your kids will understand. To fake out for 9 days is a joke. Especially these days.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for keeping 9 days, its tradition, and its good for us to have days set aside to remind us of our galus. But to kid ourselves into thinking that we're really suffering during the 9 days, is something that should be discouraged.