Wednesday, October 29, 2008

At a shuir

Imagine this situation:

You find yourself at a shuir/speech and you find out that the speaker is someone who has blatantly lied to you on numerous occasions.

You find yourself in this awkward situation of not knowing whether or not you should walk out of the room or just stay-put and listen, just to avoid the drama of people noticing that you're leaving the shuir- something you would never do otherwise- which may get them suspicious and/or vocal about their curiosity.

So you decide to stay-put (to avoid the loshon hara and drama, leaving would ensue) only to find out that the topic of the shuir is about lying.

Throughout the shuir the speaker makes excellent points on why lying is bad and gives excellent examples and explanations on the consequences of lying. But you can't seem to really appreciate the points because you really know the speaker, and you know that everything he's saying is truly hypocritical in your eyes, and taking his words seriously just makes you feel somewhat inept.

During the speech you try not to laugh.

Finally the speech is over and your friend starts going on and on about how amazing the shuir is. What do you say to her?

You can't lie and say "wow the speaker was amazing" because the very reason you didn't like the speech was because of the speaker. But if you say anything (assuming you're talkative) neutral, such as "the content of the speech was excellent" your friend may notice something is off.

What do you do?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We need it too

The following is a smart letter in the Yated, in the sukkos edition. The girl makes an excellent point, and as I was reading what she wrote, I was all like "wow, this girl is awesome!"


Dear Editor,

I'm pretty sure that I am speaking on behalf of many Jewish girls. I'm sure they will agree with me on an issue I've finally decided to voice my thoughts on.

A "frum-from-birth" person is born frum and born to live a religious lifestyle. She has no choice; she was born that way. She's expected to do all the mitzvos, no questions asked. Chas veshalom if you ask questions about Judaism. A baalas tshuvah, however, becomes frum on her own free will. Why? Because everything, Judaism and all the mitzvos, were explained to her, detail by detail. She asked myriad questions and she got answers. This was all probably through a kiruv organization.

"FFB's" however, are expected to act frum with no explanations. Judaism isn't explained to us. To whom should we address our questions without anyone's eyebrows being raised?

In school, lessons are being taught, but questions arise. You can't ask questions in school because, number one, there are too many, and number two, because classmates and teachers will think you've gone crazy! Well, maybe not all my classmates, since I'm sure I'm not hte only one. After all, I'm a normal, smart, yeshivishe Bais Yaakov high school student from Monsey and no one suspects a thing. I'm actually considered one of the more yeshivishe and frum girls of my class, but I still harbor questions! So you never know, there are may be so many more like me.

Maybe Yiddishkeit can be explained to frum Bais Yaakov girls as much as it's explained in a kiruv shiur or a kiruv camp.

Thank you.

S.F.


***
What I find most fascinating is how she feels that since she's yeshivish it somehow unthinkable that she should have a question.

There is sooooo much wrong with today's frummies that it goes beyond anything I can discuss on a blog.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Opening the door

My kiruv program in HS had some of the most entertaining teachers ever. We had one teacher who literally spoke about sex ALL the time. She made class so much fun.

She taught us all about teharas hamishpacha, as well as all about what we should and should not do/wear on a date. She also told us all about what we should and should not look for in a guy.


Well, anyway, I'll share some stuff:


So this teacher was a psych. major in college. She told us that males are one-track minded. All they think about is sex/nudity and all that encompasses. She constantly told us that "guys fall in love with what they see, and girls with what they hear" and so she told us how her husband wasn't the best looking but was "good-enough" for her. Her point was, was that, us girls should dress to entice on our dates; she told us that we should wear button-down shirts on our first date. So we were all like "what, why?" And she said "so that he can imagine unbuttoning them."


Honestly, I remember laughing, and immediately telling my super frummy friend the minute I had the opportunity. She practically vowed to never wear a button down shirt again (outside of school), which was really funny.


A few weeks later, I was at my cousin's house (guys) who live 2-blocks from my HS. They were telling me how they see the girls from my HS pass by every day, and how "dumb and annoying" they look with "those stupid uniforms". I was like "yea well, our uniforms suck." And the conversation ended. My cousins were playing some sort of video game, and were in complete silence. Then one looked at the other, and was like "imagine how hot they are under those things though."


I was like "WTF?" And I shared that story with that teacher a few days later, to which she said "you see, guys use their imaginations!"


I couldn't believe that. It was a total shock that guys were that "bad."


Anyway, another time she was telling us about how she met her husband.


She had this thing that she wouldn't date a guy who did not open the door for her. She said that if a guy wasn't respectful enough to open the door, he wasn't worth her time. And so, what do you know, she finds herself on a date with a guy whom she really liked, and lo and behold - he did not open the door for her. Since she really liked him there was a dilemma.


So she asked him "why didn't you open the door, don't you know its not just protocol its also a sign of respect?"


To which he answered "it isn't respectful for the guy to open the door for a girl, it is infact untznius."


My teacher bought the answer and went out with him again, and now they are married with children.


***


I find this super amusing. At first the teacher told us how we should dress to get his imagination running, and then told us that if he opens the door, it is untznuis. And it must be a big thing, because my stalker asked me if I minded that he opened the door even though some say it's untznius.


Who cares? He's going to check you out. As long as he isn't giving you one of those disgusting looks, does it matter that he's looking? Do you want to end up with a guy who after marraige realizes he isn't attracted to you?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Homeschooling

I read the article Homeschooling: An Authentic Torah Approach in this weeks Jewish Press, and I have got to say that I was absolutely surprised by how many frum people actually homeschool. I'm not sure if they gave numbers, but they did interview a few people, and they implied the number was not as low as I thought.

I do have to say that what didn't surprise me was the fact that they kept mentioning marraige on the topic of homeschool. I just find it fascinating that ALL of Jewish life revolves around who you marry. Oh well, those who homeschooled had no problem not being part of the game.

I would like to homeschool one day, and so I find topics such as these (and education generally) fascinating.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cell phones and the family

A few weeks ago I was at a shuir and a Rabbi was telling us how cell phones and modern technology are a cause of divorce. He said that all those new advances in technology are "more interesting than a spouse" and leads a married person into feeling as if they're in competition with an electronic device, which leads them to eventually ask for a divorce when they are really fed-up.

The shuir didn't really rile me up. I am so used to the Rebbeim blaming modern technology for everything that this particular shuir didn't move me, after-all, why shouldn't technology be a cause of divorce if it supposedly causes people to go "off the derech" as well as promote "at risk" behavior?

And so I didn't bother saying anything, because responding to the Rabbi would've been like responding to a wall.

Well, I could argue "facts" now. An article in today's NYPOST says that 47% of people surveyed "said cell phones and the Internet have improved the quality of their family's communication, while only 2 percent said it hurt it."

"Another 47-percent said there was no impact."

Try telling this to a Rabbi. They'll go on and on about Kosher phones and completely miss the point.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stupid friend

My friend and I were shmoozing and ofcourse the conversation led to politics.

She tells me "Don't worry, if Obama wins, Moshiach will come."

I started lmao. Really.

I responded, "oh really? the Jews lived through so much crap and so much antisemitism; the Crusades, the Inquisition, pogroms and the holocaust, and so much other stuff. Why in the world would Obama winning the presidency bring about moshiach if all those events didn't? Don't you think it something that stupid would bring about Moshiach the Jewish people would've lobbied to elect an annoying guy from Chicago with a terrible economic policy many many years ago?"

She couldn't answer me...duh!
What the hell is wrong with my friend? Who feeds her this crap and why does she buy it?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Random Debate Stuff

1) Obama said if you make less than $250,000/yr your tax will not go up. He went on making a list of different taxes that will not go up, and he said that the capital gains tax will not go up.


Question-


Since when is capital gains based on income?


2) Barack Obama wants to make college education more readily available to the average American. However, if more people go to college, the prestige behind the college degree will not mean anything anymore. So throwing money into more education isn't going to provide anything, just take away the value of something. Kind of like if you allow more diamonds available to the public- their value decreases.

example- Nowadays it is almost impossible to get a decent job with only a Bachelors. Most people go for Masters now because the Ba/Bs is no longer a big deal, and that is because of people who think EVERYONE is entitled to "higher" education.

Nope...people aren't entitled to anything. If you aren't willing to invest in yourself by taking out a loan, the government shouldn't have to pay up for you, unless the government sees you as a good investment. Meaning- MERIT based scholarships, not income based ones. Brilliant people deserve government funds (they will end up inventing/developing all the stuff that will bring money to the country).

3) Obama said that McCain's campaign was 100% negative with his ads.Ok well, Mr. Obama, how about how you sent reporters into Alaska to dig up dirt on Sara Palin and the fact that you lied about McCain's position on stem cells (as he pointed out in the debate).

AND...ABC Factcheck proved that many of McCain's ads had not been negative.

4) Dude, you're either with them or against them. You hang out with TERRORISTS.- William Ayers IS a terrorist, his organization planted bombs into the pentagon because they were against the Vietnam War.

Btw...Bill Ayers is the guy who was quoted as saying he didn't do enough.

-if you are a pacifist, why the f*ck are you bombing any place?-
- I would say the same thing about Republicans who attack Abortion Clinics.

5) - ACORN- The fact check is, is that Obama did give money to ACORN. At the end of the debate ABC news even found that his campaign gave money to an affiliated group which gave money to ACORN.

****

BTW- I normally do not like bringing up politics on this blog because I get very worked up with the arguments. So I'm telling you this right now, I will most likely NOT debate any argument here, for the mere fact that I do not want to drive everyone at home insane.

****

Google results while watching the debates

What is a small business?

And I went and further googled what the small business was.

-If any of you have any economic sense, after reading the two links above, you'd realize that Obama is full of it-

***

Obama and Partial-Birth Abortion-

In 2003, as chairman of the next Senate committee to which BAIPA (Born Alive Infants Protection Act) was sent, Obama prevented it from even getting a hearing. BAIPA, by the way, stated that all live-born babies were guaranteed the same constitutional right to equal protection, whether or not they were wanted.

***

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Can you flush the toilet on shabbos?

Every once in a while when we have irreligious people over for shabbos or yom tov we get asked the question:

Are you allowed to flush the toilet on shabbos/holiday?

W
ell we usually crack up and go "duh, who'd keep shabbos if you couldn't?"

Or,

"Would anyoone use their own bathrooms if you couldn't? Don't you think everyone would head off to the shul or something?"

Well, I've got news, pretty soon that question will be legit, here's why:

Just What the Economy Needs: A $5,000 toilet


enjoy! :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Yom Kippur pet-peeves

There are many people who annoy me on a regular basis, but on Yom kippur I try very hard not to be annoyed, but there are always those who tend to irk me, and here is a list of them

1- The people who wear cologne or perfume. Normally I like perfumes and colognes, but on an empty stomach the scents are just annoying, and make me nauseus. I get very dizzy and well, I think every shul should send out letters that say "No Perfume, no leater shoes.." but stress the perfume part.

2- People who drive to shul. Really now, if you're a RH/YK Jew and you show up to an orthodox synagogue, please be respectful and park a block away. Don't park right infront, then take your cell phone out, and just walk in.

3- Parents who don't send their above 5-yr-old children away when they come in towards the end of davening with food. Its very bad. I remember when my sister used to do that, my mom would either go out with her, or tell her to go play with her friends while she had her food.

4- People who finish their shemonei esrei really fast and then sit back, even though you, who are right behind them are still not done. When the people in front of me sit, I lose alot of focus, and I try very hard not to let it bother me, but it does.

5- Parents with very talkative children who just let them sit during davening. I'm all for kids being in shul. I really am, I love kids and when lil babies are sitting in their carraiges next to their moms, I am automatically in a good mood. But if your kid is talking ALOT take him out until he calms down and only then should you allow him back in during davening. I've taken a few kids out for people during speeches and stuff (over the years-mostly on shabbos though), its not a hard thing to do, even if you don't have a teenager or 20-something to take the kids out for you.


Anyway, I hope you all have a happy and healthy new year.

Next Year in Jerusalem!!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Revenge of the chicken

My father forwarded this a few years ago and a few people in shul said he was an "antisemite" or a self-hating Jew.

I think they're just insecure in their frumness. Heck, they're just insecure. Anyway, I thought it was funny and since I have a blog now I feel it is the perfect opportunity to share it (tho I mighta shared it before..if I did, sorry).


Have an easy and meaningful fast! :-)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Color Black

I am writing this post because its "make yourself a better person" season and I found one GOOD way to look at something the frum girls do, that I would normally look at as very negative.

Today a buddy and I went to a shuir at Ohr Naava. Yes...Ohr Naava. I do hate the place, its makes me sick that so many girls from my HS regularly roam the place in hopes of attracting a shadchan...but well...someone asked me to go with them on a mission to do some good, and so I went. Normally I would make fun of the many weird and interesting things I saw and heard, but today, I'll control myself.

One of the things my buddy and I recognized (she happened to be loud about it) was that EVERYONE was wearing black but us and a few other people. So really, we stood out. It was like the sporadic WHITE sheep amongst the black (Go figure I'm NOT the black sheep for once...hehe)

Anyway, anyway...I'm sitting at the shuir, practically oblivious to what is going on since the themes of these tshuva shuirim are always the same (Yom Kippur is an annual check up, you can't just wait 1o years to go for a cleaning) and I'm thinking about the fact that everyone is wearing black. And it occured to me that I can't really criticize them. Black is just an awesome color, and it happens to not be exclusive to frum conformism, its like everyone's. Black is like the universally accepted color for dress.

Black is slimming, as well as sexy. There is hardly ever a "little red dress." Also, these girls really never know when a shadchan will be around, and the wrong outfit can totally kill their chances of finding a decent shidduch if they aren't dressed right. I mean, imagine this girl just spent her day as a morah, then at Touro. During the day she ate a slice of pizza and a salad, and she spilled a bit of her coffee on her top. A black shirt will NOT show the coffee stain, nor will it show the wrinkles almost every shirt gets after being worn the entire day.

Now, I heard that Ohr Naava has secret shadchanim. So imagine these girls, with their busy work and school schedules, now have to run to Ohr Naava to hear shuirim and potentially impress shadchanim, how are they to do so without wearing something that will NOT be destroyed by their hectic schedules?

Well..there ya go...they wear black. So whats wrong with black? Nothing. These girls have a point. Though I would lay off on the black at weddings -they're simchas-stop the gloom!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Stories by the Chassidish Teacher

I had a few chassidish teachers in HS. One of them was more "chassidish" of them all. I don't remember what sect she was from, but she never wore a sheital, and it seemed as if she had no hair under her turban-like hat (if that gives anything away). She was completely and totally frummy for our school, and some of the things she said just made us laugh. I will share a few things she said here.

The first thing she said was on dating. She was telling us all about how her father's mother purposely walked the path she knew girls would take to seminary or to work and ask them for help (like for directions to get somewhere or something). With this, she would evaluate the girl. Say the girl just gives directions and doesn't walk her to her location, she will be less likely to get a sit-in with her son. If the girl doesn't even stop, she won't get a sit-in, and if the girl leads her to the location, even though she'll know she'll be late or just inconvenienced by the detour, she'd definitly get a sit-in and most likely marry the son. And well, her mother passed the test.


The teacher continued on saying that mere 18 year olds are not mature enough to choose their own husbands, which is why the parents have to be involved.


I shot back "If she's not mature enough to choose her own husband, than why is she mature enough to get married that young?"


And the teacher did the typical - She won't know what she needs until she's already been married, but her parents know, so they choose.

****


Another time we were discussing Kolel. Most of the time chassidim are against full-time learning. But I guess our teacher decided to defend them. She was saying "well like, if a young couple in the secular world were to get married while still in college, their parents would continue on paying their college tuition, so in the frum world, the parents pay for kolel"

Boy did the girls in my class attack her. We told her our parents would be like "you're ready to get married? Then you're ready to afford your own tuition or take out a loan"

She was totally unaware of the fact that secular parents, in majority of cases, do NOT pay their child's tuition after marraige, and in many cases even before marraige, the child just takes out a loan.
***

Another time the chassidish teacher was teaching us all about kivud av v'eim. She then mentioned that there was a halacha that a child may not spill their parents blood, or hurt them in anyway, and if they do, the punishment is death.

One day she and her son were working on an art project. The project required the use of needles, and her son accidently stabbed her on her finger and she bled a bit. He started crying apologetically. She said that she had to call the Rabbi for the loophole on not punishing her kid with death!

I forgot what the loophole was, but when a few girls in class were like "the halacha is in regards to PURPOSEFUL pain to the parents, not accidental pain during an art project" the teacher was like "No, the halacha qualifies for accidents as well."

I don't remember the reason the Rebbe gave as to why she didn't have to sentence her kid to death, but it was a rather far-fetched loophole.

What planet did my teacher live on? They say Boro Park is on earth, but I'm not quite sure. People need to use common sense.

If Halacha said anything about an accidental injury towards a parent must resort to death, very very few NORMAL, mentally capable human beings would remain frum.