Friday, November 6, 2009

So long, no write. And I don't have a time. My wife has the computer and my kids are pressing funny buttons on it.
Now funny thing is that our forefather Avraham has to pray for deliverance of Sdom, why? I did not find an answer. Why is it important to preserve the wicked? What would we gain if Sdom was spared? More influence from it?
OK, Noach did not ask to spare his generation and that was not good because he did not care, but if he did would it pay to pray for them?
Well, Noach did not try to save his generation, though G-d would have listened. But it did not stop the world from becoming bad in the next ten generations. So there it is - why purge it anyway if our own physical nature is bad? It took their posterity to become bad. And G-d himself made his mind by saying that He won't destroy humanity since its nature is only bad.
So, then why preserve the world if it is bad most of the time? Because this world was created for few Tzadikim that G-d loves so much that he only keeps it going for them. And where are they going to come from, if not from these parents? So don't just purge parents all the time, something might come out good from them. The killing of Hevel was so bad because all those children were crying that could not be born.
Why destroy Sdom then? Well sometimes, only one part of humanity will be, but that's because that part does not have any righteous people at all to an extent that all people are doomed to never even be good - no one to learn from, yeah that's education that is important too. Even if we don't uphold ourselves to those standards.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Does hard working man always have to break his back?

Just get this: Noah is working for 120 years, then even harder during a flood, then brings out all the animals out, then brings sacrifice, than plants something for himself, and relaxes for one day, what is his payment? G-d punishes him. You know the story of CHam. Unless I don't understand something in this parsha.

Adam's wife Chava, to convince him to eat the tree of knowledge, made only one scene of outburst and poor Adam did not know, how to handle it, especially when she used snake in her argument to make it appear as though Adam is not adequate enough to know... so he sinned - wait but that is in medrash, the first literate account of growling family drama comes in one week - Why did you laugh Sara? No, I did not. Yes, YOU laughed!!! And than more Sara upsets Avraham, by kicking his son out of the house, she wins just like Chava, but no one sinned. Men just have to break their backs, so what's left for women to do? Win the arguments.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

To fight, or not to fight?

They've got another dirty rich orthodox Jew. They act in excitement! He finally is going to spend the rest of his life in jail! FOR, for ... for ... not knowing who was and was not legal immigrant since some of his workers had fake IDS on them!!! (i.e. for not being a policeman). Than the critical review in NY post about "chosen G-d's squad" that is training people to use guns against possible terror attacks (orthodox Jews). Also late change about media coverage of different Hassidic 'Enclaves'.

The biggest concern is - it slips through some reports not once but several times, that our elites in a secular world in US as well as in Israel (where it is more open) is this - the growing percentage of orthodox Jews firstly in New York as well as in several other states as well as in Israel. It might make some of these Pro-European liberal bastions into more socially (not economically) conservative.

So what do they do? They try to make it harder for us to be what we are by attacking our already expensive part of our food industry - meat.

And who was used as a weapon? PETA (Pro-German values, gentile stronghold) and Labor Unions ( Yeah, good ole' secular Jewish stronghold) all in a nutshell. They are after us! And since they found out that our slaughter house IS better than theirs, so up with his head for anything.
Now some of our smart-aleks concluded that labor union IS needed for Rubashkin plant, but think about this - If GM cars was bankrupt by same unreasonable demands from unions, what about our agri-processors? If you think it is too much to pay $9.99 per pound, try $39.99 average meat price that Rubashkin WILL HAVE TO charge to keep his business afloat. Yes by not unionizing he puts you in CH first! and by the way he is not treating his workers badly, he is just not paying 75 grant and full benefits for picking garbage at his processing plant. But that is not the price you want to pay for unskilled labor as nobody does. It is not any worse and workers are not even striking or complaining. Only according to some anonymous reports after having to pay someone, finally the investigators were ready to jump at not proven claim that someone had a fight with other worker and since no one took them apart, so Rubashkin is personally responsible for someone else's fight. May be he should have changed their diaper too, after all these are HIS workers, and made sure they go to bed every night! for their safety.

Now why I suspect it all to be the beginning of greater plan is a long story. When I studied the history of propaganda I had to pick it up piece by piece since if you ever tried teaching it all at once it is so contraversial that even my students said that if wasn't Jewish they thought I was either anti-white or anti-Semite, which I am both, So here is why I suspect it to be part of a larger scheme.
But again I could just be paranoid.

Jacob goes his way.

IT was one of the best Succoth I've ever had. Despite my grief over losing my CHITAS, RaMBAM, Teffilllin etc. - WELL that's being found!
The only thing is, it took me a lot of mashke to keep me through Tishrei.

Interesting lesson for me from this month...
You see wrote before about my massive grief over my most dear subjects in this world, add to this mix that I forgot mine and my wife's passports in this bag. So most of this happy month is nothing but a grief over something that I THOUGHT WAS LOST FOR GOOD AND NEVER WOULD RETURN FOR GOOD! NOW I WISH THAT I WOULD ENJOY IT MORE IF I ONLY KNEW THAT IT WOULD MAKE MIRACULOUS COMEBACK!

This is all source of our worries - negative imagination.
This is what this month was for a battle between extreme hope and extreme pessimism. I would never imagine to see all our documents and the dearest things be brought back in one piece. We don't have to go through major pains this year to actually restore it!

So This year, I thing will be good, because I think good!
Guess what? miracles do happen I found it on Isru CHag. YEAAH!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Now back to business again.

Now, for the first time in weeks - I can start writing my kvetch again! My kids disable my computer once in a while, so its' just one of those things.
Anyways, After slichos on Erev Rosh Hashona in 770, I turned around ... and looked for my blue bag (it was right behind me), only to find out and come to accept after three hours of searching, that my bag was gone, and with it my dear things - Teffillin two pairs, Talis, Gartl, Chitas, RaMBaM, pomegranat and honey cookies, first aid kit, pencils and some paper, also daily halacha sefer and Hamodia papers, etc..., above all in a side pocket my pay check for two weeks. Still no sign of it. I put up sign and its not there after less than a day. boy what a trouble, but I was able to recover my check from my job. The rest is gone, I bought my self a teffillin, but I must tell you it was a chill. I never knew I would be grieving about it so much as if someone died in my family.
I could not begin to recover until Yom Kippur. I had chest pains twice and slight headaches, even smaalest things made me extremely nervous, sometimes I would even experience a shortness of breath.
I never knew that it would hurt me so much to lose it. The way I began to recover was that I began to muse at how much I'm grieving about it.
Its not the end of the life, I can buy another one. But if anyone saw a big blue back pack and tells me, God bless him, I'll even give a reward, Thank you!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Learning machines, do they work?

One more thing: state-of-the-art mania, that somehow was instilled in our brains. Yeah, like fancy computerized slide show is better than non-computerized. OK lets examine it - students looking at slides generated out of computer and it is somehow better than looking at the same slides generated manually by teachers - get it?
If your brain still says that state of the art equipment will improve student performance, please examine it. The only thing it will improve is - an extra figure in your school costs that parents (WHO ARE DEMANDING THIS NONSENSE!!!) will have to suffer through.

Please tell me if it was too harsh.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor day - does anyone know?

It was back then when Democrats stood for racism and ideals of KKK, Republicans were liberal party, workers' favorite and business friendly, Republicans were trying to push human rights bill, abolishing segregation, which was just filibustered by the Democratic Senate, all in all not like our times. It was at the turn of 19th century, the conservative agenda of the Northern Democrats held to the fact there is a good reason why some people become rich - they better than the rest.
The government under Grover Cleveland: And since business decisions of the biggest companies are the best for American economy, so a big government should be used to keep worker disruptions of big businesses for the sake of progress.
Opposition, the Republicans: Progress is progress, but didn't Lincoln just abolish slavery? (Don't get me wrong Republicans, just like Democrats were for regulations - free business) Just like boss has an absolute freedom to do in his company as he pleases, so too workers are free to strike or work if they like it. You can still fire them, but if they don't want to show up on the job, using government to force them work would be like slavery, whereas the master used the police to force slaves stay at the place of their work. Two Similar parties with only one disagreement about the treatment of workers.
The Labor: one - the Knights of Labor, also early Labor Unions how do they work? If a worker sees an unfair treatment he may choose to quit, but with big monopolies around, one case of worker quitting is not going to improve the situation. And the alternative job was usually worst than first. If you decide to organize workers into a secret organization, that could give workers simultaneous orders not to show up. So what does that do? To replace a worker it costs company time and money little, but it does, so when a single monopoly having 300,000 employees not showing up for work as much as almost entire company profit this year will go for retraining. Plus one other inconvenience - when replacing entire staff, company is not making profit at all, you can talk about few years of financial difficulties for that company because of massive replacement. So that is how you can force major company into negotiations with workers.
Radical Labor: Communists and Anarchists, action for the sake of action, irritate workers against bosses, hey they even practiced assassinations and terrorist activities against bosses and their wives and children to make the boss listen to even unrealistic demands of that Labor, almost as if you pay pure gold to your employee and you're still not paying enough. Worry about company overpaying workers and goes bankrupt? That's the point. They are not to advance their rights, they there to create as much of crisis in hostile capitalist system as it is enough for people to believe we need radical revolution (an interesting story in an of itself how do radicals and tyrants work), but that is why they radical, right?
I hate to spill this, but although most of the hit men terrorists were German or Slavic, the organizers and masterminds were secular Jews, more than 90% or something. There was even a profile against organizers along those lines - secular (fray) Jew from Eastern Europe etc. Is that antisemitic? you decide. The highest official to be assassinated by such cells was president McKinley, 9/14/01, the plot was in tact - 9/11/01, president died of wounds 9/17/01 yes Arab religious terrorism and Jewish secular is separated by only 100 years.
What follows next are the series of showdowns between all these forces - When republicans were in the white house, they utterly refused to send troops to put the strike down, unless the radicals will start bombing schools where rich children learned or shops or malls where innocent civilians might be killed, or just simply rioting instead of peacefully demonstrating. Even then our president R. Hayes felt guilty about putting Pennsylvania strike down by just parading the federal troops in front of workers, well no shuts were fired but as soon as crowd saw a military "parade" near it, it dispersed. From 1856 until 1894, there was only one Democrat finally elected into office, Grover Cleveland. His views and agenda I described early in his post.
GC reacted the way he knew the best, he sent troops down and ordered to fire the crowds eventually. Pullman strike becomes a massacre for the fist time in history of federal (not local) government.
The reaction was an outrage, so much so that only during his first nonconsecutive term he was going to be one of the best presidents ever elected into office, his second term after 4 year interruption, had him struggling for popularity, and Pullman massacre killed his chances to run for the third term. Radicals and socialists gained the ground with creation of the first registered Socialist Party under E. Debs of Vermont and anarchist under E. Goldman, Communists with multiple people claiming leadership.
As he tried to repent for his mishandling of the strike, he at least gave workers one holiday to commemorate and remember what happened during Pullman and also give hardworking people a day in their honor. But original date for Labor day was supposed to be on May 1st, problem was is that it was international Socialist & radical holiday as well, so to separate American non-socialist labor from socialist, it was agreed upon 1st Monday of September, for actually many reasons - you can guess some of them.
The reason why many of us forgot the real reason for Labor Day, is because as the time went by we usually emphasize on it being back to school, to work from summer hide out day, so the convenient day of this holiday actually gives us what it has to give - forget the "Pullman", enjoy last day of summer, how professionally our governments make us forget what they did to us before!
Have a sweet working year everybody!!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What should I write about?

There are few topics to write bout: what makes me think I am happy with my family despite financial blunders i.e. what makes a good wife, also what men want, women looking forward to in marriage, yes I've learned thing or two about marriage, situations about state of marriage in general, raising kids and what to really expect, also since I look at some "married" websites, never follow them, but occasionally read them with all sorts of stories from wierd to normal and why some marriages with messy looking husbands and houses last forever and some perfect homes are shatered in divorce and many more that I can write about.
Now why would I be interested in that? One of my main fields of interest is human psychology and I"ve been examining it for quite some time, also since I can better communicate my feelings with my DW in writing better than in word, so why not have her and anybody else who can trigger a new topic to do some sharing of my tjhoughts on the matter?
Also is any one interested in some laws and perception of our Holidays?

Let me know, since only have exactly four followers, so your first request, first served basis almost guaranteed.
Please tell me you will disagree with me and add something to our discussion.

Just rant about life.

OK, so here is something to write about - our school problem, by the way it looks like its about to become worse. They say now that our scholarship of $1,000 is not doing to work, since we can't sell 10 raffle tickets worth $100 each (I wonder, who's going to buy that), so we'll probably have to pay all 8,500 for the school year. Now I've been thinking about home schooling him, the only problem is I can not teach my son how to read or how to put two sounds together to make to one word, so here is our disagreement with Z, my wife: I am perfectly satisfied if he learns how to read by the end of four month of yeshiva, then what we paid for it is enough lets say for eight out of ten month of school year, so by the end of eight month I can start teach him Chumash, davening etc. She is a little hysterical about such fantasy and wants him to finish school year even if it means that we will probably not have Succah, or Esrog etc. So wht should we do?

Monday, August 31, 2009

To school - forward, march!

Oh, I never knew that my kid's first day at school will be something I don't look forward to. He is all excited. Yep, usually it s the other way around, and yet, this is how it is in my family. And why? tuition. How the hell am I supposed to pay for his education? After vital bills I make next to nothing. Most of the time the food is rationed, I can only take vacation mostly payed by my father in law, like Vermont. But it says in Gemara Shabbos that Shabbos and educational expenses are returned by G-d and some more, so far I the more children I have the less money I make and REALLY stretching the dollar here. You see I had no College education (Rebbe said not to) before I got married, only after. Was making $650 per week, had a car and got married, so with each additional my earnings were steadily decreasing, now I am making $675 per two weeks and consider my self lucky, boy did I learn to stretch that dollar! Actually my wife, cause I'd spend it all. You know she can have her own show on how to manage "no money". The only problem is she is good but gets screamy with me, but that's because she loves me, however if she is shy enough to a stranger ask her on no money management advice.
So my blessings and promises of hassidishkeit are really coming true. In a way I am richer, I can afford slightly more with much less, but now I begin to feel the hit.
Well without college education and no connections to business people in our community, we don't even have parents who can help us even with baby sitting, so when I took on college, besides never having real time to help my wife, she also went to part time job with two babies to babysit someone else's child.
Rethinking my life what has gone wrong, and if anything... Well some people blame us for getting into this mess, but here is the deal: I was learning in ULY back when they had English, finished high school, and yes there was stigma attached to it, how could I, DG sends us all our earnings and Rebbe and Tanya said under no circumstances etc., OK that was my fault. Now I never went to college, although I wanted, but never went. As a bochur, you've being constantly told that family is wonderful, it only makes it easier to manage in life, just like a single person in the middle of the ocean tries to stay afloat, so married is the one that acquired a ship and has a ride on it in the ocean of life. Wonderfull miracle stories about Parnossa, at the last moment, another kid is an opportunity to have more money, stories about having asking for a kid = asking for more money. I remember hating my single life and waiting to get married, because it will resolve all my problems and will just have little ones growing and bringing Nachas to their parents. Tanya forbids anyone to learn any English even go to courses (especially for men) to learn any profession. You should go to Colel, at least for a year, your wife will come out of seminary and work and raise your children, only bums go to study something else, well according to Rebbe a child should not even know how to hold broom in his hands, for anything will lead him off the derech. Shlichus is the only purpose of Lubavitch life and no more.
The reality hit me, only after one best day of my life - when I proposed to my future wife, boy it fell so good! The moment we came to keren for helping bride and groom, it was quiet depressing to know horrendous cost of getting married, oh yeah and since Pesach was within 2 month - I without money got to get apartment and Chassanah in less then four weeks!!! (I know someone whose parents with money decided that the earliest their son can get married is on LAG B'OMER, though he was engaged two weeks earlier, since I was helped, I had to manage my fundraising in few weeks!!! You want to know why? Because the stupidity of our neighborhood Yentas interprets the Rebbe's words that somehow it is not Jewish to wait more than two months after engagement. Guess what? A miracle happened, I went through that with calm and even learned a new skill - if things get too stressful, just block the stress out as if nothing happened, ignore as much of it as you can and things will turn out to be OK.
But that was just the beginning - after swimming in ocean all by my self now imagine that , now that is what marriage does to you - you try to stay afloat alone and someone dumps five other cute and lovely people on top of you, and the only reason why you don't want to drown, is because you Love them so much, otherwise I would have drowned long ago (I don't care about my self, only my fmily). Since my wife finished seminary for Frum girls, to find the job that she was doing for Shliach for free i.e. working for cheap or next to nothing for the sake of shlichus in kindergarden, she found out that without Goyishe college diploma she will never get paid a real deal of money, hey that's her fault! Disgusting, and she actually took the hassidishe yentas seriously! How dare she, So she went mostly babysitting, but since Colel check is only enough is only good enough for snacks and kiddy allowences, I had to work at group home, my pay was raised twice, but since that group home likes to revamp its' staff after couple of pay raises, so I was revamped too As one of the caseworkers told me they have no problem substituting the staff because there is huge spool of Frum people on the waiting list. Right before holidays, when my wife was pregnant, I found another group home (what else am I to do, most of the good paying jobs are with a degree), I must tell you it is a blessing to be in Crown Heights - you can take most of the physically demanding jobs sometimes could be given to Jew.
I remember once because the only Shomer Shabbos Simchah halls in Borough Park rejected me from being a waiter or dishwasher because (even before I was married) ... how would it look like if Yeshiva bochur will be seen by the visitors doing a work for shvartza! Oh really! My beard and yarmalka are no good for Borogh Park, I should have taken it off. CH is the only place that I've seen many employees from yeshiva world and they have beards!
The only problem that even Jewish employees are not making enough most of the time, unless hey still bochurim paying for one room and not the apartment.
When I went to apply for my job with my degree in Rabbinical Copllege, to schools I was promptly rejected (that was also before I was married), except Williamsburg and CH due to absense of Goyishe College education. I also went to computer courses, but the timing was bad, yeah that was a waste of my time and money - believe me when I say that, it was right before 2001 and my job search went down hill from there, I did not have enough experience, it was a bad time to start a career from scratch they would let me volunteer or intern if I had a college degree. By the way this was the only Goyishe education that I've got, before married, as I was told that G-d does not give me parnossa because I am not married yet, another problem was my sleepless nights from extreme case of ulcer, I suffered from it for more than 5 years sometimes rolling in pain at night, or throwing up from gastritis, but that's a whole another story, I was finally operated, medicated and taken care of most of it, so I feel better. I went back to teaching to probably the only Yeshiva in CH that Teaches Goyishe subjects, because though my college days only began after marriage I had a passion for certain Goyishe subject that I read tones of college literature about, mostly in bedroom or bathroom, I was surprised that when I went to college, I found my lectures more sophisticated and insightful than most of the introductory courses to that subject. Yes I can proudly say that my bathroom and the lack of knowledge of how high or low college lectures went, I found out that my students had higher level of information and my lesson plans were more advanced than some of those lectures!
Well when my students ask me how I learned so much about that subject I don't tell. Hey, miracles do happen, right?
I took two subjects seriously - but lectures from nursing went so complicated, that I wish I'd only had enough time to study, I had to leave due to my wife's complications of pregnancy, well she could not move with one and doctors began to scare us with our fourth one! You think it was hard for me? we have four kids in five years and she did not sleep at night with older three, take one, then two kids and schlep them from one end of CH to another, than go to job, pay for play group, and since we don't have a car, imagine if it rains, or snows, or hot, etc. And she has complicated pregnancy with fourth one, then not sleeping with a fourth one as well. Where was I? In college, then part time in yeshiva, then I was lucky to find my next group home as overnight.
But miracles happen, right? I lasted as long as I lasted, until I withdrew from one of the clinical courses because it was unbearable. When reenlisted, I was put on waiting list under number 200? something, and if out of 900 students with 150 seats available for nursing would ever be empty, so may be they will let me in (LOL!). My life as a nightmare four nearly two years and to what purpose? I could not even attend to my doctor, my ulcer went nuts again and this is what I get in return? Nothing?
Anyways, since I had all four children, our supreme Provider Blessed be he, got me lesser paycheck, because, while I was already working on different (useless lib arts LOL) degree I had to look for my final group home part time! But miracles do happen, right?
At least I can come back to Yeshiva where I teach Goyishe subject, and work 3-4 knights a week all for that little money, with only one exception - tuition first for the oldest boy $7000 a year, then $14,000 for two oldest, and finally seven times four is ... $28,000 out of my $28,000 income per year ... lets see ... miracles do happen ... right? Can my wife manage manage life for free? Hey, honey I can even let you scream about it every single day!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vacation, lets talk about it.

Well I only had enough time for writing a short thought on my vacation. I happened to either lose, move away from my media or have it broken while going there (Vermont). There was a TV box there but it was primarily occupied by my wife and growing babies the whole time that we stayed inside the complex. As Altie commented last time, she had a similar experience of self detoxification from computer and text messaging and discovering, she actually had fun. By the way I can say the same thing. Now what did I do and how was it?
This lack of media was not really planned, but how good it feel that your wife can not nag you to call here and to inform there; all I could think about is whats the next activity, truly rested from civilization. After Shabbos at 9:30 we started going at four on the dot we were there, as a matter of fact as soon as I put my kids asleep the skies began to light.
OK, now for the heart of the vacation.
First things first and we now go to the farmer's market to buy some vegetables, some are expensive, but taste like nothing in supermarkets, you know perfect looking chemically grown taste like nothing kind, these came in all shapes and sizes and had a better taste, so forget about making salads, we ate these veggies just as they were, we also brought some fish and meat with us, so we grilled something every day, even our some of vegetables. Imagine making fire every evening!
As a side thought, it probably makes sense to put my vacation impressions into more than one post. Anyways whats the next time I'm going to have a vacation? So lets blab about it for few days, then we can start with whats coming here (CH) on Tishrei.
So back to my foods.
Imagine corn so sweet that you don't need any margarine to enhance its taste, or tomatoes that you don't want to use them in the salad... I am not exaggerating one bit.
And also we went to... Supermarket there too; look may be it is not the best choice for your veggies but it is useful for drinks and whatever else farmer's market is missing. A fair question comes - is it only in my head that farmer's market in Vermont better, since a person can be more excited about eating or doing something different? My little ones ate more veggies than in New York and they not old enough to be pre - judgmental yet on this issue. For one thing I can tell you why we hate eating vegetables is they may look more perfect in this supermarkets but they taste like nothing and so we tend to discard them and just have something roasted instead, for how can any body spoil a roasted burger? And I don't blame them. Now have something grilled for dinner.
You know some people are funny, I helped couple of families from Borough park to move, and they took the whole freezer in the van's trailer! well I understand a meat needs packing, but frozen fruit and vegetables? you can get them in Catskills in fresher condition right near your colony and you packing that?! Yes, two month worth of that, because she needs to serve the same food desert that she does in New York. And just for your amusement, they packed artificial flowers and vases and decorative plates,so it has to feel like Borough park there. I just realized that I am comparing my vacation with what not to do cases. So nothing was apparently broken in both cases. And on second occasion the guy was impressed that an Ex-Yeshiva student loaded/unloaded his trailer and van relatively fast and few breaks, but just think about it...
And all that not counting his boxes full of books, bicycles, more than half of the wardrobe, utensils etc, etc.
We just packed whatever minimum we could, I took few Siddurim, Ayn Yaakov, teffillin, few changes of cloth for each and was still too much because we always have to carry our little kids on us.
Something about Borough park. The only farmer's market to sell raw sunflower seeds, while still attached to flower is located, surprisingly near Bobover Yeshiva for girls around 53rd street. I bought it from there couple of times, and if you like the oily taste of sunflower seeds and the fun of separating them from the actual flower you can go there before Yeshiva opens up from 5:30am to 8:30am.
What do I regret? The lack of camera! Yes it is unfortunate that I cannot print anything about my trip or view from 4393 feet high mountain peak that me and my wife climbed, while carrying two my little ones in backpack (me), or in front pack (her).
It looks like my post is getting long, I think I'll finish it tomorrow, but what kind of vacation did anybody else have, or see someone else having? What were your do's and don'ts?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Get ready for new series: do you know how to take vacation?

Finally here. Yes I was away in Vermont, so this post is also short but not desperate. I had no phone, my camera broke, so I could not take any pictures but my vacation was fabulous! And is it because I had no media outlets with me? Well you see there are several types of people on vacation, and I'll explain it tomorrow. For now it is sleeping time, I'm tired

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Short and desperate post.

Well I had a rough week and only have few minutes to write. I wanted to write so much this week, but nothing ever went as planned, it was probably my worse TU B"AV ever, I tried to go through so many places and do so many things, even woke up early, Guess what?! from morning to night it was the day gone to hell. But really what hearts me more? Well, I'm still alive just did not get things done the way I planned them, so many I can not write about them this time. So my question here is what is it about heavenly test that most of the time - you'll be alive just not the way you wanted to or planned. Is nisoyon only part of your mind?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The latest trend - the modern Jewry.

I saw what was happening once in a yeshiva. The student was speaking to his English principal about his Rebbi, and the way he spoke was the way anyone of our age people would not dare to speak in public. He's dorky, his appearance is not as cool, he is stupid because he makes him do more than what's fair, and he should get fired for... being an idiot. What's wrong with this picture? When the boy went away, the secretary asked, how could this boy be possibly talking about his teachers that way; the reply was simple. The kids are different today, what we can't even imagine of doing or saying about or to our teacher, kids just don't feel embarrassed. In our days if you did something like this you'd get it, if not from the school then from parents, what can we do with them now?
That hits it right on the button - students are not humiliated or punished or even judged, upon mouthing off on their teachers and not only teachers, anybody who is halachically an elder in our society, or a respective individual. I grew up when it is just started but these kids were in the minority, and you would always see their parents backing up their actions like "You judging my kid, my kid is really innocent, he just had his emotional reaction, he is challenged, oh... it is all your fault not his, etc., etc.
While yeshivas have to teach our kids almost everything especially for arm and leg they charge, but the foundation of learning must be provided by parents. Your job as a parent not just to protect but guide your children through the life. What do I mean? Senseless protection takes guilt feeling away from child, he is being told that somehow he is an angel whatever he does. Parents always say bad things about teachers even if not true. Especially if they happened to go to same class as kids. Everyone is so much into having a perfect name that when some kids went on shoplifting in Boro Park, parents were covering it up, so their families could have a good name. When principal tells you that you playing an appropriate music in this school, you go off the Derech only to find a sympathetic radio show that will bring principle to apologise in front of the entire audience?! What message does that bring? And finally, one Yenta in a business suit and published in a chareidi newspaper, decides to call your "so called good kids (or easy) - autopilot kids", plus don't PRAISE your autopilot kids in front of your trouble making kids (oops, teens in pain), they might FEEL BAD OR JEALOUS, oh yeah and please praise your teens in pain for at least coming out of their gutter they spent the last night in and coming back home for breakfast. In other words "Thank you living and breathing, my pained one".
Today, if a student does not feel like going to school we don't hesitate to attack Principal's lack of Armani sucks and demand that he puts them on if he is not to be blamed for that student's drug problems than to ask ourselves question - can we also demand something from our kids? I mean if you see some boys or girls today on streets what is your reaction for someone who is approaching them to correct them? Who are you angry at today? Yes the guy who judged them. Did I mean he sentenced them? No. He just thought they were engaged in inappropriate behavior.
And there is more to parental problems, that is before we came to mention our institutional or school problems. Lets just take a short look at those.
Where did this all start? In our institutions? Schools? Rabbis issued it? No. The roots are elsewhere. It starts with American elite families and elite schools, the most influential force on social issues. They brought up students (since 50's) or even their own kids in a post-WWII era that we won't have any challenges after that war and that no major threat to our economy will ever come from second half of 20's century on. We only needed the religion to keep the spirit of population before our common enemies, now that reason ceased to exist and religion should be looked upon as something of a burden and a stop to a great progress of the next stage of human development, the post industrial age of reasoning, where people are sophisticated enough to reason what's best for them without any interference of old dogmas or doctrines or religious beliefs mixed in the process. And what about all these wars and conflicts that we had since than? They could have been avoided (according to them), if we did not stand up for our prejudices of our past. Like our belief in capitalism caused the Cold War, our preference to our western heritage and for Israel caused 9/11, Vietnam could be avoided if we did not stand up for some democracy in the far east. Yes, you guessed it - the hippies. Many of you will be surprised of this finding, but why would all hippie events took place in most prestigious places in US and around Western Europe.
Well although we did initially jump on the same wagon with them, we rejected them later on (within 10 years or so). Our complains: too much crime, unwanted children, disorder in streets and so on, but most of all high divorce rate and attack on morality.
Hippie movement did not really die, it took another approach, these rich kids became our politicians, lawyers, doctors and most of all scientists and college professors. Now our politics and science is in their mercy, especially psychology and social science, out of all things.
There is another powerful ally, who by their claim have a right to hate America (though admire their freedom), Hollywood. The secular Jewish elite, who saw the cure to anti-semitism in destroying all religious values and old political institutions that represent original cultures that look different, like Irish, German, Russian, Jewish. For as long as we had our uniqueness, they reasoned, we stand out as Jews (bingo!) and there is room for anti-this and anti-that and anti-semitism. They saw any religious person as a danger, even a Frum Jew.
So after losing battle in 60's, they wanted to shake a strong fundamental that held our identity of origin - family. In late 60's and early 70's a bunch of media releases about family violence flooded our media, movies about worthless fathers, enslaved mothers and promises of emancipation from what we call a hell of family life, (OK may be it isn't that good, but is there a better option - just something to think about), useless monster we call father, or the act of extreme selfishness we call having more than one child. All this was portrayed as typical life in American family. If they lied about the scope of abuse or usefulness of the father, what else did they make up? The laws and the way the students were taught about outlook on education, family attitude on authority and so on. And all this is sipping slowly into our communities. Now keep in mind, this is not to make a family safer, that is mantra, the real deal is that our social engineers are in a progress of destroying everything old and build all things anew.
So what did we accept from them? The child is not brought up right if: he has limitations, being told "NO", experiencing any feeling that is uncomfortable, has to obey the so called authority, or being criticized, disciplined, or being told what to wear or eat (which goes directly opposite of what orthodox Jews are practicing). Where do you think we are heading with this? Sodom and Amara. And didn't my first two paragraphs described Sodom, where Youngsters are pushing elders, elder pushing the authorities. Since its nine days - one of the reasons why temple was destroyed was precisely because youngsters pushed elders and elders the authority! I like to share the Rebbe's thought on that. The reason for naming Jewish children's organization as Tzivos (ARMY) was not done for violence of it but for discipline and respect to your superiors, what bothered Rebbe the most was what Rebbe observed as moral decay of America since the time he came here until that letter was written (in late 70's) with reason for calling it Army. Rebbe's legacy to children was to have what we lost - the discipline and respect.
It should finish right here, but one more thing, we did not even start mentioning our yeshivas for FFB kids ...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The latest trend - the modern Jewry. (part two)

Many people have a tendency to think that Orthodox Judaism looks just the way it was 3,000 years ago. What we fail to realize is that we only same in principle, but not in the way we do things or even look like. The difference between the way orthodox people are changing and reform is that reform change is about changing into whatever direction your surroundings take you. You just go with the flow, with something new, period. Whether for better or for worse. As centuries go by that movement loses its identity and disappears, the only reason why it still exists it is because of newcomers who join that movement from elsewhere, once there it can go either back to orthodoxy or complete disappearance.
Example is by Shabbos, in some of those congregations worship on Sunday or on Saturday with gay or women Rabbis and to what purpose? Just because the issues of feminism and gay rights are in style today. Did it bring them closer to God? No. But it did bring them closer to those specific issues of the day!
Now picture a shwarma over a wine (and the amount which must make you tipsy), the rap inside it is a goat meat, much like popular version of the Arab shwarma today. If you think it is Purim time you're only one month off, it is a holyday of Passover. So, what happened over 3,00 years in orthodox world that changed it to only maror with burned crackers? Oh yeah and the wine is different.
Well, originally matzos were supposedto be different from regular bread in the fact that it must be baked within 18 minutes, no crunch, no holes required - It just never was, as Gemara Psochim describes it. Alter Rebbe has a tremendous discussion in his shulchan aruch about all the shaalos you can have with this kind of matzos after they were baked. He conludes however right at the end of the laws of Gebrochs and bent matzos, that the vast majority of these laws do not apply today, yes even Gebrochs is more of a custom than real chometz.
You see, the laws of real matza are so complicated that you need alot of practice and not just theory to know how to check if it is kosher one or not, did it become chometz or not, that if you do not know these laws intimately, then you should only let the expert do it. Well, we all started out in a jewish place of Israel and who did not know of all these shaalos with matzo and chometz?
Everyone knows it, right? Even women and children knew that passover bread needs special checking and care, they even knew how to care for it.
Then exile happened, so evben before Gemara started, Jews were so "busy" with these troubled developments that they began to forget most of these laws - and you can't just let people having a sin of eating chometz on Seder! So this is how we came to crunchy matzos, and different wine, and due to absense of a Tample, we no longer have a goat. and with the comlition of the Writing of our ORAL law (for similar reason), we even stick holes through them, so as to eliminate almost all problems that real matza can present to us.
Did it make us cool or brought us closer to issues of today? No. Now we're stock with discusting crackers. Buit it does bring us closer to God.
Orthodox people also use some good ideas from the outside world, for the same purpose as modifying certain laws or customs. For it has some benefits for us as well as for the rest of humanity, you see Orthodox population is not the one that rejects the world, but rather rejects of floating with flow of developments even if they are wrong. This is why so many of frum people don't watch television. They also know what is happening in the world, but they just need the time to filter out the events or findings or trends as they occur, so they have this filtered view of the world to keep up with their roots and to take in only those that make us better, not just "cooler".
There is still one problem remains - are orthodox filters always filter out garbage or not? No, not always and this is why every now and then we do get into problems and higher antisemitism.
So, what is the difference between 70-80's and 90's-now? That is my desperate attempt of provision of explanation in part three.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The latest trend - the modern Jewry. (part one)

I saw concern on some blogs and generally in our midst about a new sight that is becoming all too common, and not just in Lubavitch, but everywhere. I remember during late 80's, early 90's, it was really an era of spiritual awakening, there were some people that went OTD, but not many, regular bochur, might not have been smart, but was a good Jew, definitely not on drugs (oh yeah that was insignificant problem in Frum communities). Lets just subscribe you the worst yeshiva in Chabad - ULY. While we know that "misnagdim" used this yeshiva to send their troubled kids there , then there were "simple" baalei batim, who sent their kids there... But do you also know that most of our Rabbonim families came from there.
Well I know what typical Baalei loshon hora have to say about this yeshiva even then... but in reality it was bad class juxtaposed next to learner's class. OK his blog is not about history of that place, so back to the point - the OTD rate in that place was BELOW average of the rest of Yeshivish world!!! Yes we always had our problems and in our worst case scenario the highest rate of OTD was 18% in that Yeshiva (that I also went to).
Now before you are going to stop laughing at the bunny rabbit (of 18%) that I seemingly pulled out my sleeve - there are organizations who try to keep up with this statistics - based on drop out/expel rate of students, per yeshiva (excluding OTDs of 1 year after yeshiva or later). Jewish board of Ed. is 1 of them. Now that means that overall picture of Chabad was - you might be am hooretz, but 80% you'll be frum.
Bochurim that were off the derech and left yeshiva and were struggling in "special" programs had problems of not being able to answer to their own Apikores or mostly philosophical problems, reading other philosophies once in a while (or at least as Rabbi B. put it - I wonder, would that include me too? Since one of my awards in College were in philosophies), anyways they dressed secular, were trying to find the meaning of their life, a more respectable picture of OTD then now.
Ever since the appearance of the first article about this growing trend in 94-95(?) it even invented this new terminology - "Youth at risk". It was posted in 770 even on the door through which the Rebbe used to come out to the main shul, then came out complains about the way our youth looks, eats, does etc.
Then every once in a while, you would see "that" in quantity that is hard not to notice. Now you snags don't lough at Lubavitch just yet I've been in Ave J and Bowling allies in Boro park!
And now what surprises me is that this blog of "Where have you gone" by Real shliach blog is not all too uncommon. This part of discussion is not concerned with questions about individual bochur why he did this or that, it is just a symptom (or sign of the disease), I am concerned about understanding the trend of our generation (the cause of the disease).
Anyways, our risky youth now had big drug circulation on its list of deeds, crimes that frum Jews were not even profiled before, from just cheating on taxes(70-80's) that is typical in every community to stealing, mugging, prostitution etc. (90-now)
So the question is what was there in 70-80's that is not there today? Or what is there today that was not there before?
This is just a question raising post no answers yet. Would help if I hear any of your ideas.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

So far so draft.

Today - Working overnight from Motzei shabbos to Sunday morning, then sleeping on the job place to be ready for a day ahead with my family. Yes I love to sleep in a place where I work. At least in that basement roaches don't scream and mice don't kvetch. You really get to appreciate the lack of windows in that place - it is so lovely. If everything depends on quality of sleep no wonder I get perky only after two hours. It is like nightly cave in the jungle. Then go home, daven, start the day. You see four two-legged animals screeching and screaming, demanding. Well at least they just as good as teenagers. When you ask them question, they don't reply with coherent answer, "Where were you?" - "There.", "Who did you see?"- "People.", "What were you doing?" - "Stuff."
They say that life goes in circles but may be it just never a circle but a straight line. And where are you heading with an old age? Back to diapers, alright. Don't try to argue with someone who tells you that we are all kids to an extent - he is right. Then we had a maximum of trip with minimum embarrassment, I am really proud of them! Guess where did we go out of all places? What did we lack in life? That's right more zoo! We went to the zoo in Manhattan. Had a great time really, though I still miss the Bronx zoo. We watched animals there! I still like big zoos better, it is next good thing to the nature - the lions are there but they're not eating you.
Then back home we got our kids to bed as soon as we could and then it is just us... and some stupid meeting that was organized by our building management. Just when you want to have time for your wife someone finds something else for you to do. So I did it for two hours. And now I am here having time with my computer instead! That is just the day of my life.
Now I did what any blogger would do - had a diary of my life for today.
But I also like to write serious stuff. The problem begins when I feel like writing about history of these and and the prospective on that.
As of today, we find ourselves in three weeks, nine days are approaching, it is also anniversary of Israeli heroes like A. Sharon deposing other Jews from territories (I can write the whole story on how is it that people who gave us this land are also the people who try to destroy parts of it), destruction of two temples, our problems and achievements in modern times, some reminiscences of farbrengens with the Rebbe that I remember, even if just a little. And if you want to know some military history or battle chronology, history of modern civilization - fine, and to tap it off our basic body functions and different organs fine - but that is more of question oriented. Yeah, I am not a doctor and don't ask me for remedies though, just if anyone is interested in knowing general questions - ask. Or should I just stick to bragging about my daily life? that is my unresolved dilemma.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Interesting thing, When I sit down to write something on my blog my mind goes blank. There are so many things on my mind that I don't know where to start. Everything needs to be understood and discussed by human mind, that's our nature and there is plenty on my mind. How do people do blogs?
O.K. lets start somewhere - There are many blogs Jewish, non-Jewish, Family etc. My interests are ranging from vacation to comparing perspectives of different people on day to day issues that is why it is a club. Why Jewpublic? Because I am a Jew living in decaying republic of USA, also because, ALTHOUGH I am not a Zionist (I never was in Israel) I do like the ancient Confederate Republican form of Government in The Land of Israel, which partially inspired the creation of separate states of US under loose authority of central government sort of a Jewish republic. Unfortunately as Shmuel (Samuel) saw our moral decay he crowned our first king Saul... It took us long way from there and now we're here in exile.
One question remains - is it only for Jews? Hell, no - it is for everyone. You might be right or might be wrong but you might say it!
One more thing I do have a weird education in - biology, anatomy, political science, philosophy and history that I learned in secular college plus my degree from Rabbinical college, so there you have it. I also like hikes, wild places wished to live somewhere else, busy with my family of six, as poor as a church's mouse, want more money, you know, pretty much like you... Yeah what about you!?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

First release.

This is my first release, so don't get too excited. I can't even put my own picture in there and any random pictures that I post comes out to be that of strangers (Honestly I don't even know who these people are and are they doing in my computer). Blog is definitely a good idea, but I do not know how to properly run it.
Enough kvetching, anyways, what this blog is all about is more of philosophical and ethical concerns than just my diary about what I ate or what kind of stomach upset I went through. It might be wise in the future to consider whether or not to read this blog at all - it is for mature minds only. Well learning along ... or moving along this new prospect of communication I have posted and established this blog. It WILL look better as my experience grows with it. As for all the bored souls in the world who come across this blog - I salute you for all this time that you and I might dedicate for sharing our private parts of life. See you next time!