Sunday, September 30, 2007

"So?" Carl would reply to such arguments. "That's the difference. Does it bother you that there's a difference between the mechablim and us? It doesn't bother me."

(pg 244)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Color Tal's Camel

I got an email from Tal's father. He read my blog post. The more people that know about Tal, the better, he says. Now I'm spreading the word about the memorial event he has launched in her memory.
It's called "Color Tal's Camel".

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

13 Tishrei--Yahrtzeit of the Maharash

Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch, known as “The Rebbe Maharash”, the fourth in the golden chain of rebbes of Lubavitch, had an attitude.

Many wise people say if you can’t go under, go over. The Rebbe Maharash said, "Just go over"

Meaning that instead of first trying to work through a problem by its own rules, and then -if that doesn't work -gathering the strength and courage to step brazenly over it...

Instead, just start by stepping right over it, as though there were no obstacle to begin with.

After all, that’s why obstacles are there in the first place -so you will go higher.



Y, Thanx a sabrillion for--
1. Helping me deliver/make sure that my package got there safely!
2. Getting out of bed to do it!!
3. Not ringing the bell when it was past midnight, however tempting that might have been ;)
4. Not eating the tuna, however tempting that might have been :D
5. Being so easygoing about it.
6. Any other detail that I am forgetting to mention.

May Gd bless you and bless you and bless you and bless you, ad bli dai! (and do you know that ur lips will never tire from saying "dai", cuz u don't use ur lips when you say it)

*oooh i'm cackling in wicked delight...this is gonna be fuuuuun*

Friday, September 21, 2007

Rebel With a Holy Heart

It is Shabbat, and Elisha ben Abuya (called "Acher" by his colleagues) is publicly desecrating the holy day by riding a horse. Walking alongside him is Rabbi Meir (his student). Heretic teacher and faithful disciple travel together along the road arguing and debating Jewish law.

Suddenly the Talmudic narrative shifts to a new dimension of irony. Rabbi Meir, the pious Jew, has become so immersed in the conversation that he has not noticed they are nearing the city limits, beyond which one is forbidden to walk on Shabbat. “Acher”, the apostate, realizes this and says:

“Meir, turn back. I have measured the distance we have walked by the paces of my horse, and we have reached the Shabbat limit. Beyond here, you are forbidden to walk.”

Meir replied: “You too turn back.”


The invisible boundary is not just the border of the city. It is symbolic of the line between two worlds: faith and heresy, Judaism and disaffiliation. Elisha ben Abuya, momentarily more sensitive than his disciple to Shabbat’s sanctity, tells Meir that he must turn back. Meir, instantly seizes on the fact that his teacher has just revealed that Judaism has not yet deserted him, begs Elisha to turn back, and return to his heritage.

(clicking the title links ya to the full article by Dov Greenberg)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

טל קרמן

i think we coulda been friends

two days before she was killed, she wrote the following in her diary (translated from hebrew):

"Actually nothing exciting happened to me lately,
But I reached the conclusion not to take anything for granted.
This is the problem of many people.
Their are lot’s of small things that can make you very happy.
Last Saturday was a marvelous morning.
Actually I do not remember not a nice Saturday.
Yesterday I received a new tooth brush,
A very miner event, but it made me happy.
A Friend of mine thought I was crazy.
Actually not, as I have already said, I don’t think
That rejoicing of life means being crazy"

i REALLY think we coulda been friends

(Assaf Tzur was another rider of the #37 bus in Haifa on that fateful 5th of March, 2003)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

An open letter to G-D (written by the mother of a special needs child)


Today, you have broken me.
My heart (and my back).
Today Aibershter, you outdid yourself.
You have given me Sheina,
(a special needs child.)
Thank you very much.
Did I ever complain to you?
Did I ever say take her back?
You have tested me and you have tested me.
I think I passed, maybe not with flying colors -
but passed nonetheless.
It's about her Seizures, that I would like to discuss with you today.
They are always frightening.
Unfortunately, I think I have sort of become accustomed to them.
Any loud "bang" -
Uh oh, Sheina.
I run,
she is on the floor blue and shaking...
But Ribono Shel Olam !
What happened ??
What did You do today?
The regular seizures, weren't good enough to break me???
Not enough that You once gave her a seizure while i was washing her in the shower??
Not enough that during her recent seizure she fell flat on her face lost a tooth ???
(Which by the way, we are still going for appointments to take care of. And You know how much I hate appointments.)
Yes, I must admit You were always kind enough to at least make sure else was home with us.
Whether it was to pass her a pillow, to time the length of it, or to lift her out of the bath.
Someone to help me carry her into bed.
Or just someone to be with me, to stop my shaking...
Do I thank You for this consideration?
I guess so. Boruch Hashem. I Thank You G-d.
Oh, I would also like to thank You for the time that You made me look at her at the exact second I did, and so managed to catch her in mid-air.
That was something!
I never kvetch to You about her.
(Okay maybe i do, once in while…)
But I take it.
I call it a "G-D Made Problem."
Those problems, we just take.
We don't have a choice.
But today, G-d Almighty, you broke me!
Not only was I home alone,
(yes, my two and a half year old was home, You try getting her to help...)
But Master of the Universe,
Such a WHAM?!
I heard the scratch of the chair -
ran to the room...
find her flat on her face, in a pool of blood, blue and shaking....
I know not to move her, but hey, I got to see where she is bleeding from.
Forget timing her, (if she convulses for too long we need to call 911.)
I grab a towel, put it under her face.
Her hair is in blood, I think I should tie it back.
While trying to support her head, so she doesn't hurt herself more,
I ask, beg, cajole and finally yell for the two and a half year old to please get me a ponytail holder.
Two and a Half year old: " Why is it red?
Where does Sheina have a boo boo?"
The more I yelled, the slower she went.
Then, knock, knock, knock, knock....
I'm thinking, "Yes, maybe someone came home to help me."
For by now Sheina is very agitated.
I'm nervous.
I don't want her choking on the blood.
Knock, knock, knock, knock...
I cannot get up to get the door, for I'm supporting her head, watching her, trying to get her out of the blood, cleaning her as much as i can...
and trying to answer Two and a half year old's ninety nine questions as calmly as possible.
(She is traumatized as it is.)
Between clenched teeth I asked Two-and-a-half year old to answer the door.
"No." she says.
Gritting my teeth,
"You must answer the door...."
She starts to go.. then comes back...
"I scared.."
It's the neighbor's kid, he left his ball here earlier.
Now Sheina wants to get up, to go to bed.
She needs support otherwise she will fall again and hurt herself.
But, You see Master Planner,
I don't really have the strength to lift her by myself..
I guess You wanted to show me that I do, but did You forget it’s so hard on my back?...
Painstakingly, I managed to clean her, change her clothes, support her up, walk her to bed, change her diaper...
Oh no, Sheina is about to fall again,
Wham! half on, half off the bed.
All the while, mind You, Two-and-a-half year old barraging me with her string of questions...
Swollen lip, deformed cheek, bloody nose.
Only You, G-d, knows the extent of the damage inside her mouth.
And only You G-d, knows the extent of the damage inside my heart.

Today you have broken me.
Thank you.

Yours truly,
Your Faithful Soldier.

Tonight before I went to sleep, as usual I began my, "Kriyas Shema Al Hamita"
Thinking of anyone I might need to forgive.
As usual, I began, “Ribono Shel Olam! Hareini Mochel l’chol mi she-hichis… I hereby forgive anyone who has angered or vexed me, or sinned against me, either physically or financially, against my honor or anything else that is mine....” etc etc…
I then stopped in mid sentence.
Thought about today’s harrowing experience and started again.
You build me character.
You make me stronger.

Thank you.
Your Loyal Servant.

Huh? What's a "seizure"?

Is it the same as "stillborn"?
And what's "cancer"?
And "anorexia"?
What's "autism"?
What's "Downs"?
What's "CP", "MS" and "LD"?
What's a "brain stroke"?
Is there a difference between "dialysis" and "chemo"?
Is "typhus" a real thing?
What does "drugs" mean? And "slashing"? And "blood clot"?
What's the purpose of a "wheelchair", a "walker", a "brace"?
"Rejection", "failure", "loneliness" and "despair"--they're all the same feeling?
What's an "ICU"?
And last thing, just remind me please-what's a "seizure"?

the days of moshiach

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Vote for Chabad of Peoria

Chabad of Peoria is Finalist in RK Dixon's $30,000 Makeover

"Thanks to you and your readers, Chabad of Peoria made it to the Top Five! Now we need your help more than ever!"
--Rabbi Eli Langsam, Chabad of Peoria, in an email to

Following our stories on regarding RK Dixon's Make My Non-Profit Run Better $30, 000.00 Makeover, Chabad of Peoria made it in the first round of RK Dixon's $30,000 makeover.

Now they are one of five finalists competing for the prize.

Chabad of Peoria needs your vote to ensure they will win. Vote once a day for the next week, beginning today, September 17, for Chabad of Peoria.

You may vote once each day from the same computer, several times a day from different computers if you like.

Chabad of Peoria and thank you for your participation.

"Then, flying back to Europe, it came to him. The reason for his fear...And if it was so easy for them, it would be equally easy for others. If they could kill with such little trouble, they could be killed with just as little. If they could buy information about the mechablim, why should the mechablim, who had at least as much money at their disposal-and fewer scruples-not find out about them? Both sides had to leave traces in order to do their jobs. Both sides had to make contacts with certain people, one or other of whom might turn out to be an informer. And one informer would be enough. Avner's team could see a gun pointed at them on a street corner at any time: Avner's team could switch off the light at night and have their beds launched into the ceiling by an explosion."
Auschwitz, Birkenau, Majdanek, Dachau....and yet it's the Olympics site in Munich that's still creeping me out. I wonder if it's because of Vengeance.


i think im impressed, intrigued and interested by how people get influenced even more than the influencers themselves.

cuz people influence unintentionally, all the time.

a sabra hygiene fact

There are dirty clothes in my laundry bag that have been sittin there patiently since May of this year.

See, I don't find that gross. Heehee.

i like mosquito bites

it's true.

(its so my style to write '..on other people' heehee)

Monday, September 10, 2007

a chuppah meant for weddings.

it's meant for a bride and her groom to stand together underneath. for their parents and grandparents to circle around. for photographers and rabbis to snap and bless. for friends and employers to crowd about.

a chuppah is a time of promise

a time of love, a time of eternity, a time of blessing, a time of prayer

a chuppah is surrounded by joy and solemnity

by song and dance, by furrowed brows and gentle swaying, by bursting hearts and teary eyes, by sweetness and intensity

a chuppah. a wedding. a young couple.

sometimes you see a chuppah with something else underneath. sometimes you see a torah.

a hachnosas sefer torah. welcome, new torah. what a joy, what an honor! the torah of truth, the wisdom of Gd, welcome! let us dance before you, torah, let us escort you to your new home.
we are fizzing with gladness. look at you, o royal torah. look at you, decked out in satin and silver. your delicate bells ring with confidence as we sprint about, embracing you firmly. love pours forth onto you, our gift, our inheritance, our source of life.

yes, a chuppah is also meant for a hachnosas sefer torah. meant to be a canopy over a torah with joy, respect, honor and love. a hachnosas sefer torah is meant to be a time of pledge, of blessings of prayers.
of happy dancing.

but a chuppah is NOT meant for a bride and the torah of her groom.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I saw this in a sefer...

From the Teshuvos of Reb Fischel Shlit"a, (last page)

B'Inyan Tzvias Tmunos Nashim Mifuratzos:

Lichvod Ahuvati HRH"G Rebbetzin C. Sabra Shlit"a,

In response to your question regarding the correct color to use when marking up pictures of "not-tznius" (but beautiful) women and little girls, I have a few general comments. Firstly, I am not so comfortable to admit it, (but nu, a gaon of my stature has to say the emes), but I takkeh enjoyed the picture. It is a shandeh though that u had to use ink of such strong permanence. I guess I am mechuyav to add though that it is not only pictures of females that need to be covered, but any pictures of Goyim should be either colored on, covered with a sticker, and even better, whenever possible to deface the image and scratch out the picture entirely. I will ask my gabbai to send you a holepuncher. V'Hamachmir Tavo Alav Brocho. It is our Achrayus to remove such graven images, Toi'evos, from our midst. After removing them from your midst, please send the holepunched images to my office.

U'Vnoigeiah L'Inyanenu, your Kasheh was about which color would be most suitable for coloring with. I have examined the sample of pink pen that you sent me. Agav, the pens with glittery fluff on top are much more fun to use. L'fi

Anyiyus Da'ati Vira'os Eini, the pink does not sufficiently cover the Shikza from Medinas Ashkenaz and I was able to see right through your sample, Baruch Hashem. I am gratified that you know me so well. Also, pink is a very similar color to red, which we know from Chachameinu Z"L is the color of Nashim Zonos. Again, thank you and baruch hashem.

Mikan U'lahaba, it is crucial that such pictures be covered in ONLY light ink, and a magic marker is NEVER good. U'Vzchus "Nashim Yaffos" may we merit to "Tizkiru V'asisem Es Kol Mitzvosai Vyisem KEDOSHIM..." Amen Ken Yehi Ratzon.

Kesiva* Vchasima Tova V'raoi Lifarsem Kol Zeh Bishmech!!!

(Ksav Yad Kadsho}

*bli kavanah of any puns


Do you know what that means?