Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kiruv School Student Essay

One of my friends is currently a senior in a kiruv HS. One of the recent assignments was to write an essay, and the subject was to write about what angers you. Being a senior, she decided she's going to be brutally honest, so she wrote about how her school angered her. Here goes:

We all enjoy a good laugh, but should others pay the price? Should people who many admire or look up to act friendly in front of the “little ones”, but ruthless when the young ones leave? Is it right for the person who preaches “awareness of language and words” to discuss other peoples’ issues or the preachers negative opinions on those who wish to gain her strengths? I find it very often in religious circles that women can act exceedingly welcoming, but the second their acquaintances turn their backs, the women always find something degrading to say. These are some things that make me extremely angry.

In school, I know a few teachers who seem to be very nice people, but looks can be deceiving. These teachers are always polite, they try to make the day fun and exciting and they try to gain the students’ trust in order to help the students grow spiritually. Unfortunately, I have witnessed these same teachers stroll into the teachers’ office and discuss their students’ actions and struggles outside of school. They would snarl at their struggles, as though they were pathetic, and share their opinions on the students’ parents, relatives (of whom they had never met) and of course the students themselves. These teachers discuss the students’ actions, reactions and what they think the students can possibly accomplish. Many don’t get much praise, unless they are willing to surrender to the teachers’ methods or preachings.

These teachers discuss girls’ friendship troubles and pass judgment on several other aspects of the students’ lives. For example, I clearly remember a few weeks ago a classmate of mine, strolled into an empty room where only a few girls were sitting and having a discussion with a teacher. As the girl walked in the teacher immediately asked the girl if there was something wrong. The teacher had clearly mistaken the girl’s exhaustion with unhappiness, as it was before the first period of the day. The teacher continued to question the girl about her upsetting facial expression despite the girl’s lengthy explanation that she was very tired from the lack of sleep she had received the night before. Suddenly the teacher asked “Did your parents yell at you yesterday? Did you do something that angered them, is that why you are upset?” The girl quickly responded “No.” “Did your brother come home drunk again? Is that why you are upset?” asked the teacher. The girls sitting in the room were so shocked by the rudeness and conclusions this teacher had reached that they began to yell at her. The teacher had embarrassed the girl tremendously by insisting that her brother was a drunk and that he continuously came home drunk. This student, who clearly admired the teacher, was so appalled by the Educator’s conclusions that she just walked out. The teacher had openly insisted that the student’s brother was a drunk in front of a few girls who had not known the student well enough to know that her brother was a very different kind of man.

Nothing could stop the teacher as she was determined to find a distortion in the girl’s family life. Her questions were absolutely invasive and offensive. Witnessing this, I could not help but think that the teacher was not at all interested in the girl’s mood, rather she wanted to find proof in this girl’s family to confirm her assumptions that the student’s in my school came from distorted and extremely dysfunctional families. My classmate was so embarrassed by the teacher’s opinions of the girl’s family, as they were clear in the questions she asked the student, that she felt obligated to explain to the other girls who were in the room at the time of the incident how kind and very normal her family was. I have never heard anyone ask another human being such outrageous things in my life. This event was only one example of that teacher’s backstabbing behavior. I can honestly say I have seen this teacher throw many students under the bus for very little reason and as shocking as this incident was, I should have not expected more from such an incredibly cold hearted human being. All this got me thinking even more about the teachers hired by the school’s administration.

I have come to realize that our school, of what should be Jewish studies and strengthening of moralities, is somewhat of a hypocritical organization. Although I do give the administration the benefit of the doubt (maybe they are blind to the stupidity that spews before them), many paid teachers in our school enter with an agenda and a mindset that the attending students come from “poor”, religion deprived and distorted homes. Unfortunately, these agendas reach and significantly supersede the importance of the studies these students are promised, such as History and Psychology, in the teachers’ eyes and class time discussions.

Despite my difficulty to understand how many of the teachers in my school get hired with the mindsets and opinions that they hold, I cannot tolerate it when they try to impose their beliefs and lifestyles onto other people. I completely understand the significance of teaching religion, culture and history of the Jewish people to the students; nevertheless, I do not agree with the method in which the teachers choose to teach the Jewish “Religion.” If anyone is to raise their voice in opposition to their preaching, that voice is immediately an offset personality, someone who is sadly trapped in the “secular world” under the influence of modern culture, television and or boy/drugs. Of course, such “obscene” aspects of the world we live in are immediately publicized as Idol worship and servitude to society and thus a sin before G-d.

A girl cannot like fashion that is not in accordance to a teacher’s modesty code (mind I do not mean wear, but admire) because that would define the student as conflicted, a potential “Apikorais.” A student also may not skip one of her weekly “Night Out” class gatherings to care for her sick brother because “this program would help your spiritual growth and for that, according to the Torah, you are allowed to defy your parents’ wishes and requests.” (Might I add that these gatherings many times result in a large waste of time as the group constantly melts in size and significance in speech agendas?) Personally, I am left to ponder what the agenda of (Insert SCHOOL NAME HERE) truly is. The administration seem to want to teach immigrant children of their cultural and religious backgrounds, as teachers try to impose their mindsets onto the students, of what the world should look like and how to categorize people who act in certain ways.

As a graduating student I am proud to say that I will be parting with a clear understanding of the cesspool, that many call (INSERT SCHOOL NAME HERE). From the two-faced creatures many look up to and call teachers, to the goal of many educators in encouraging students to defy their parents for petty thrills, this school remains a hypocrite to the public message they choose to impress; which is that it is a school that preaches Judaism to immigrant Jews or first generation American Jews. The current students may not recognize the influence they are under, but I hope they soon will see things as clearly as I do now. Although, this school has done some very beneficially influential deeds in the past, today I stand before the school confused of what message, memory or impression I should take with me as I move on from my education of ten years.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wedding planning

So far so good... wedding plans are coming along...

We've booked a hall, photographer and band.

I've chosen my colors - Pink and Burgundy

I really like one dress at David's Bridal, which is awesome. But I'm going to check out two other places. Hopefully, I'll pick a gown within a few weeks.

Aside from that, everything is going smoothly. We've had the vort, which went very well. :)

After I get my gown, my mom, sister and future mom-in-law will go down to a mall in Long Island. :-)

My grandmother absolutely hates my colors. Her favorite color is blue. My parent's wedding color was blue. So my grandmother is trying her best to lose weight to fit into the exact same dress she wore then. When my mom saw that dress, she insisted that my grandma wear a different dress, and now my grandma is giving me a hard time.

On the work front, people are constantly asking me what's happening with the wedding plans. This one lady asked me today if I already have sheva brachos outfits... I was like "umm... The wedding is 6 months away!"

the non-frum or non-Jews keep asking me about where the honeymoon will be. And I have to explain to each of them, time and time again, that there can be no honeymoon until later on because after sheva brachos, it wouldn't be logical to take ANOTHER week off.

But generally... I'm always on my feet. lol. :-)

I haven't had such a full schedule in a really long time. So I'm really happy. :-)

Thursday, April 23, 2009


After reading Child ish Behavior's post about a Mouse I remembered a letter to the editor I saw in the April 16th Bay News.

I've gotta say, animal right's activists are generally nut-jobs. I'm not an animal person, but I totally believe in treating animals with respect and so forth, but sometimes, the PETA freaks go too far! In the previous week's Bay News, an opinion columnist Stanley Gershbein, wrote about PETA's dislike of glue-traps for rodents. PETA claimed those traps were inhumane ways to treat animals. Gershbein criticized PETA, for being well PETA, thinking that disease-carrying rodents deserved to be treated "fairly." So anyway, a reader responded in the "letters to the editor" section Here goes:

To The Editor:

Stanley Gershbein ["It's Only My Opinion"], in a recent column, you criticize PETA's demonstration against the use of glue the use of glue traps for mice.

First of all, no one said mice are more important than children.

You also mention that mice spread germs. People also spread germs! I have often seen people cough up phlegm and spit it out on the street!

In addition, any surface handled by the public, such as hand rails on buses and trains, public telephones, pens in banks and shopping cart handles, are all covered with germs.

If my memory serves me correctly, you made mention of this in a previous column. In addition I, recently, read in an article that a high percentage of people don't bother to wash their hands even after using the bathroom!

Ofcourse, no one wants to live with mice. But, dear reader, there is a humane method of evicting them from your home. You can use a humane trap, which once baited traps the mice alive- harmlessly [contact PETA...]. Then, you can release them in an empty lot, or wooded area away from houses.

The glue trap is an extremely cruel device. The mouse is stuck in it, unable to escape and will, either, slowly starve to death or, if callously tossed alive into the garbage, suffocate. Or maybe, even be crushed to death.

Mice are just small animals, and can feel pain and fear the same as a cat, or a dog, or a person. You can remove mice from your home, humanely. There is no excuse for torturing them.

Seriously, this woman is a nut job. A complete nut-job.

"...no one said mice are more important than children."

Well, fine. But from the tone of your letter, I think it's safe to assume this lady thinks we're "equal" to our rodent counterpart.

"People also spread germs"

No kidding!! I'm so greatful the lady mentioned this. However, I don't think the lady understands what she's talking.

While she is right that when humans come home, they're full of germs from the outside (no one is denying the existence of yucky people). However, if a person washes his/her hands -with soap- when they come home, they're not germy, and can easily eat or do whatever they so choose. Meaning, human spread germs, are semi-controllable.

However, mice are just simply yucky. While those who "cough up phlegm and spit it out on the street" are nasty, they do it IN THE STREET! A mouse, poops on the countertops, in people's livingrooms, in area's children may be playing in. Mice can just pop-up anywhere. No matter how clean a person may be, if they have dirty neighbors, the mice are in the vicinity.

A cougher and spitter of phlegm can be avoided by simply walking around them. Strangers don't walk into your home and spit on your counters, mice leave droppings and have way more potential to spread disease than do human beings who haven't been domesticated yet.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


On Monday nights I watch the greatest TV show ever- Chuck. Which airs on NBC at 8 pm eastern time.

It is by far the greatest TV show.

Better than Boy Meets World- which is just one awesome show!

Basically the show revolves around this really awesome geeky guy- Chuck- who was an ordinary citizen working at the BUY MORE when one day he had government intelligence downloaded into his brain. He became an "asset" and the NSA and the CIA each sent a spy to protect him. Chuck and Sara (the CIA agent) pretty much had an instant connection. But due to the circumstance their relationship has to remain professional.

And so...next monday is the season finale :'(... whatever will I do on Monday nights over the summer?!

btw, if you want to watch the show online, you can see full episodes on NBC.com . I just don't think you'll catch any episodes from last season.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Yated Letter

I'm a bit behind on my Yated reading, so this is a Readers Write letter from January 30. When I read it, I was initially speechless. In a few minutes, I had something to say. Here is the letter and my comments are underneath:

Dear Editor,

I am writing about a daughter of ours who had a very good job in a securities firm in New York while her husband was earnestly sitting and learning. She felt that the best way to raise her children was to take care of them herself and not through a babysitter, but she still wanted her husband to learn. If she stopped working in New York, she couldn't financially make it, so with much research, after 7 years of marriage and 5 beautiful children ka"h, they made aliyah.

She didn't move to Yerushalayim, where rent and food are more costly. Tuition is less than 10% of the cost in New York. Health insurance is free, but she upgrades it for a nominal fee. there is no need for a car, as buses travel everywhere, with fares less than a token here in New York, which eliminates the expense of insurance, gas, etc. Her children don't mind wearing hand-me-downs from others. Many women there wear snoods or tichels all the time and those who wear shaitlach do not spend thousands of dollars just for a hairpiece.

When one makes a simcha, the neighbors send in cut cake (sponge or chocolate) on a paper plate, not expensive cakes or miniatures. A fancy bar mitzvah consists of a challah roll, salads and dips at every table. The fancy part is the boreka served with mushroom sauce.

The children are happy and are able to go out on their own. Yiddishkeit is all over the streets. Shabbos arrives with simcha and peace. The streets are full of playful children as all thoroughfares are closed to traffic. People don't have much, yet they are happy.

My daughter is home raising her children and her husband is still earnestly learning. There is no "keeping up with the Joneses"so one doesn't need all the material items that seem to be a must here.

Needless to say, we are proud of our daughter and son-in-law for having the courage to give up the so-called luxuries here to have the true happiness there, even though we miss seeing our grandchildren as often as we would like.

We are also very proud of our children here in America who are bringing up their children to live in a temimusdike way.

May there be a shalom here and in Eretz Yisrel.

L.L and C.E.L

Very Proud Parents

Where to begin, Where to begin-

1- "After 7 years of marriage and 5 beautiful children"

It took FIVE children when it finally hit her she didn't want the babysitter? What the hell was in her head after kid 1? 2? 3? ...

2- "There is no need for a car, as buses travel everywhere, with fares less than a token here in New York, which eliminates the expense of insurance, gas, etc."

Okay, so even though NY bus fares are more expensive, that doesn't mean you *need* a car here anymore than you do there. My father hardly ever drives, maybe once a week... And even then its more convenience than necessity. If we had to, we'd be just fine without a car.

3- "Her children don't mind wearing hand-me-downs from other."

Umm...that's only in Israel? I wore plenty of hand-me-downs. But you know what, there comes a time when the kids become too big for hand me downs, and they wear out clothes, as opposed to just growing out of it, and that means the people giving the hand-me-downs will no longer give 'em. Unless she means a gemach, which is kinda stealing, because you're living on charity when you're perfectly able-bodied to GET A DAMN JOB!

4- "When someone makes a simcha..."

Ok, so really, I find it hard to believe that the neighborhood this daughter moved into is a "normal" regular neighborhood. The mere fact that there are PLENTY of wedding halls in Israel, I find it hard to believe that it's a norm to have a few cakes on paper plate, and fancy boreka's as a bar mitzvah meal. Sorry, I'm a bit of a non-believer. And if its just that neighborhood, than it must be one hellish environment of frummies who suck up the Israeli economy, and don't even have the courtesy to join the army or do some form of national service.

5- "Shabbos arrives with simchas and peace"

As opposed to what? Gun fire and violence here in the states...what's her point?

6- "My daughter is home raising her children and her husband is still earnestly learning"


7- "...to have the true happiness there.."

WTH! True happiness there? Buy a farm in middle USA, shecht your own chicken, sew your own clothes, and your life will be simple too. Simpleness isn't a source of happiness, you find your own meaning of happy...oy vey.

8- "We are also very proud of our children here in America ..."

Ah yes, I'd say "good-save", but the parents signed anonymously, and their kids are Yated readers. I don't think they have any reason to talk about being proud of the other kids.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Just wrong

While at shul on the last day of pesach, my fiance, my sister and a friend or two were standing in the lobby talking during yitzkor, when my friend's brother walked into shul with an unfamiliar very young boy.

The brother says "Some lady just asked me to take her son to his dad" and he walked away with the boy. He checked both of the minyanim we have in shul, and the boy's father was nowhere to be found. He even took the boy down to the kitchen"

My friends brother was like "what am I supposed to do now? I can't find his father! I don't even know who he is!"

The kid looked absolutely terrified (I'd say the poor thing was about 5). Everyone around was semi-joking that he was now stuck with a kid, because he was abandoned and left on his "door-step" like they do in Hospitals and police stations. Then the mother of the boy, opened the door, and called for her kid. He lit up, and ran out to her.

Why on earth would any decent parent leave their kid with a strange boy to wander around a shul, even if they did think their hubby was inside?

What on earth was this woman thinking?

Friday, April 17, 2009

No Learners?

Apparently its a new thing for guys not to go into learning anymore. I heard it from a few people, so I'm bringing it up on the blog.

Considering I'm not so sure I believe it. I don't think that a set back in funds is enough to convince very stubborn religious zealots that they cannot continue on in their lifestyle. After all, Hashem provides, right? I mean, what is section 8, welfare, and medicaid for if not for Hashem's way to support the yeshivishe crowd!?

So the sake of this post I'm going to assume the trend is real:
Finally, FINALLY, the frummies had some sense knocked into them, and they realized that allowing leeches into the community is bad, and its time for new medicine --> jobs!

However, while the frummies may have finally had their breakthrough, and have seen the light, they still have a few years to fully recognize how screwed they really are.

1- Their boys (and for the most part girls as well) go to schools with AWFUL education, which not only makes it hard to find a decent job, but makes it nearly impossible in this economy.

2- If they're being "modern" and super practical about this entire breakthrough and they actually consider sending their kids to a post-HS educational facility (such as *gasp* college), then their kids just will NOT be able to handle it. After all, if they don't know anything aside from the stories about Avraham, Itzchak and Yaakov how in the world will they manage to make it in a place that at least had basics that were expected from them?

3- If a the financial system of the frum is dying NOW, how in the world will they manage to fix it? They plan on selling their debt to the Chinese, too?

Before frummies start cheering (the poorer ones who prayed their daughters wouldn't want a learner) that the trend is over, they should really sit back and think about how long it'll be before their non-learning son-in-law will be able to gain enough knowledge to accomplish anything anyway.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Public School

In HS I learned that to be frum it means that one keep three specific mitzvohs

1- kashrus

2- shabbos

3- teharas hamishpacha

and that is all it takes.

Recently at work I had a conversation with a frummy about pesach seders. One guy mentioned how he is willing to listen to his children's divrei Torah, because since he pays so much for tuition, he feels he's owed the pages of "wisdom." The other guy, who has a young child (not yet of school age) said "HA, I'm so not into these seders, I'm going to send the kid to public school, why waste money on tuition?"

Granted the guy was just talking (after-all he is a frummy), but seriously, what would be wrong if he actually MEANT it?

Now is a time of economic difficulty. A lot of the main idiots who've been willing to be relied on for so long have lost all their money, and the tuition payers are either losing their jobs, or cutting back on expenses (which leaves little for donations to the schools). So, why NOT send the kids to public school?

Think about it:

cost of yeshiva for the many children that shoulda been avoided by the KOSHER pill- ALOT of $$$

cost of public school and then a rebbe tutor as an "after school activity" - WAY less.

Now, the problem with public school is the environment.

Assuming a person with half a brain doesn't really want their kid in a frummy environment, I've got an idea.

1- public schools (for elementary) are mostly based on zoning. So, since all frummies pretty much live on-top of each other, if they all send their kid to the local public school, they'd have the perfect mix. They'd have a lot of frummies YET they'd also have enough diversity to prevent either extreme from causing the kids to go to either extreme (kollel or druggy).

2- Public school is FREEEEEEE, and has better education than the average frummy school.

3- our OTD rate is kinda high, so really, how much worse could it be if we send our kids to Public School? Heck, the parents may actually be FORCED to parent if they do so. (hahaa, imagine parents NOT relying on the rebbeim for discipline and education, whatever will they do?)

hahahahahahha....frum parent's actually parenting and not relying on the mechanchim of the schools...hahahhahahhaa...the frum kids will end up undernurished and completely dysfunctional...hahaha...oh wait...they already are.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

my grandma

my grandmother met one of my frum friends and absolutely fell in love with her. Three weeks later, my grandma decides that my friend would be absolutely perfect for my non-frum cousin.

I tell my grandma "Um, he's not frum"

grandma- "so? he'll learn to eat kosher"

me- "Um, its not just kosher."

grandma- "for love he'll become frum"

me- "SHE wouldn't go out with him either"

grandma - "what, she's crazy like that?"

me - "its not crazy like that, they'd have nothing in common!"

grandma- "these days people are so picky"

Ok, my grandma, as well meaning as she is, really doesn't get it. You can't set people up like that. It's not like my cousin has any desire to even become frum. He's not even THINKING about it! What would the two of them talk about? How would they raise their kids? Its just insane, I don't get these older people.