Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ya, so they have NOTHING from Lily! Mah holech kan!?

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Snot Pesach Anymore
Gray, olive green, white. Marvelous, magnificent, might.
Gd I'm like a mile away and I can already smell Abercrombie & Fitch...those sneaks!

i passed a laughing man

and it made me laugh :)

אם ה' לא ישמור עיר שווא שקד שומר

IDF Guards Replaced by Private Firms

by Hillel Fendel

In the latest in a series of decisions making Jewish life in Judea and Samaria more difficult, the army is leaving 40 towns.

The IDF is transferring the responsibility for protecting 40 Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria (Yesha) to private firms, and withdrawing protection altogether from ten others. The Yesha Council's Security Officer, Shlomo Vaknin, says, "The government is privatizing our security."

Recent decisions affecting the personal and communal safety in Yesha towns include the following:

  • Cancellation of Mivtzar program, in which a local emergency response team is trained by the army, to be utilized in case of a terrorist infiltration or other such crisis. "Mivtzar was the ideal response to the threat on our towns," Vaknin explains. "The fighters know the area, are well-trained, and their presence here was permanent and binding. The towns near Gaza and in the north want to copy this program - yet here the army is cancelling it..."
  • Collection of weapons from the communities. The army explains that weapons had been stolen from residents, and that any trained resident who wishes to obtain a gun can do so.
  • Cancellation of subsidies for enforcing private cars' windows from rock attacks.
  • Withdrawal of National Service girls from security headquarters in the towns.
  • Cancellation of budgeted funding for protecting school buses for special-education and handicapped children against shooting attacks. "We will not be able to open the school year next year if a solution is not found," Vaknin warns.
  • Cancellation of budgeted funding for running security vehicles. "Some towns simply cannot use their security vehicles anymore," Vaknin says.

In addition, many checkpoints at which Arabs are checked for - and often found to be carrying - weapons have been removed. Furthermore, permission has been granted for more Arab policemen to bear arms in PA-controlled cities, and some 20 armored vehicles will be transferred to PA control in the near future.


Some other awesome Israel news-

-Court Allows Pardoning Terrorists of 14-Year-Old Danny

-Police Still Haven't Returned Gun to Man Who Thwarted Attack

-Analysis: Israeli Press Does Not See Morale Role

''Sotah shiur at five forty five. Bring your own sotah.''

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dove Above

Friend is describing some of the t-shirts that are being sold in his new business, Dove Above.
I say it's shameful.
Friend says that's ok cuz it's about being controversial which will lead to big bucks.
I say that's not in alliance with what we just quoted from what R' Chaim Miller brings down in the new Gutnick-Haggadah-with-my-name-on-it-Ches-Vav-Hei, namely that we are to steer clear of gaining (financial) success at the expense of others, and weren't you listening? we "ahem"ed you at least twice.
Friend says it's about having a sense of humor.
Sister in law says that it can cause anti-semitism.
Friend wants to know by whom.
Brother answers "by anti-semites".

hmmm...shockingly, I have reconsidered about posting a photo...the matzah tee is starting to grow on me, painful as it is to admit...

Counting the Omer

Day 4 - Netzach of Chesed: Endurance in Lovingkindness

Is my love enduring? Does it withstand challenges and setbacks? Do I give and withhold love according to my moods or is it constant regardless of the ups and downs of life?

Exercise for the day: Reassure a loved one of the constancy of your love

CGI Denmark

I often think of us and our summer---and how we would gape after each shower at our loss of tan. Ho ho ho.
Higeeyah hazman to post some stuff from the summer already. Stuff like photos and schedules. Yes, it is important. (kinda like the important question of how he speaks English without an accent)

So, here's Denmark. My first stop.

Oh and err 'slut' is Danish for 'end'. Remember that "danishes can speak" sign-off? Yes....

Laughing with the Times #4

A man came to his Rav and asked, "How do I feed my fish on Pesach - seeing that their usual food is Chometz?"
"Simple", said his Rav. "Grind up some Matzah and throw it into the fish tank".
"But that's "GEBROKTS!!" exclaimed the man.
"No problem," replied the Rav, "They're LitFISH."
Q. Why'd the lion want to come to the seder?
A. He wanted more-roar.
Q. Why do we have an egg on the seder plate?
A. To commemorate the Egg-sodus from Egypt.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

תם ונשלם

11 Nissan, 5768
April 16, 2008

Dear Friend,

Every single day tens of thousands of Jews all over the world turn to Chabad.org for learning, inspiration, advice, community, and much more. Child or scholar, poor or wealthy, seeker, dabbler, or advanced questioner, our team serves them all, 24 hours a day.Donate Today!

With G-d's help, this Passover (Pesach) season we placed people at seders from Kenya to Kyrgyzstan; sold chametz for Jewish soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq; and responded to email queries from the Hamptons to the Himalayas. We helped facilitate holiday provisions for the aging Jewish community in Iraq, and arranged a seder for a lonely Jew in Indonesia.

The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory — whose 106th anniversary of birth we mark today — taught our generation to work selflessly to ensure that "No Jew is ever lost to the Jewish people." In time for Passover the Rebbe would urge that every Jew search for the "Fifth Son" -- the Jew who does not even know that Passover exists -- and bring him and her to our seder table.

It is for this reason that we keep expanding and deepening the content of Chabad.org. Check out the site, you'll find hundreds of new features for people of all ages -- from tots to grandparents -- and for all levels of Jewish knowledge and scholarship. Every day brings something new.

But we know that our job has only barely begun. As the Rebbe taught, we dare not rest until every Jewish child has a Jewish education.
Which, of course, takes serious financial commitment.

In honor of the Passover holiday, therefore, I'd like to ask you to please be our partner and help us serve the many thousands whom you may never meet but whose destiny is ours collectively to share.

On Passover we celebrate our oneness: We are one nation, each of us responsible for and inextricably bound with the other.

Please take a few moments to fill out our online contribution form here:
or send a check to:
Chabad.org c/o
Chabad Lubavitch Media Center
770 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11213

And please be sure to tell your friends and acquaintances to check out the amazing Passover offerings at www.Passover.org!
With blessings for a truly liberating and enjoyable Passover -- a Happy and Kosher Passover from all of us at Chabad.org,

Sincerely, Donate Today!

Rabbi Zalman Shmotkin

P.S. Some links for you to enjoy:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What a Nation...

It was the afternoon before Passover, and Rabbi Levi Yitzchak was wandering through the streets of the Jewish quarter seeking out local smugglers. From one he quietly asked for a quote on contraband tobacco, from another he enquired about the availability of smuggled brocades and imported embroideries. No matter the merchandise he sought, everything was available for the right price.

However when he started asking his newfound acquaintances to supply him with some bread or whiskey, those very same businessmen who had previously proved so accommodating balked. "Rabbi," said one, "are you trying to insult me? The seder will be starting in just a few hours and no Jew would have even a speck of chametz left in his home or business."

No matter the price offered, not one merchant was willing or able to come up with even a crumb of bread or dram of alcohol. The town had converted into a chametz-free zone.

Thrilled with the results of his failed quest, the rabbi looked up to heaven and declared:
"G‑d Almighty, look down with pride at Your people! The Czar has border guards and tax-commissioners dedicated to his commands. The law-enforcement and justice systems are devoted to tracking down and punishing smugglers and black-marketers and yet anything one could possibly want is freely available. Contrast this with the faith and fidelity of Your Jews. It has been over 3000 years since you commanded us to observe Passover. No cops, no guards, no jail—and yet every single Jew keeps your laws to the utmost!

"Mi K'amcha Yisrael – Who is like Your nation, Israel?!"

"Don't Yell Challah in a Crowded Matzah Bakery"

Some of my favorite excerpts from Schmutter's book:
(everyone in unison now, "oy he's so so funny")

Ok, let's start with some of his acknowledgments.

There are a lot of people without whom this book would not have been possible, and I plan to reiterate that if there are any lawsuits. Therefore, I would like to thank:
My wife, Sara, who does a lot of work around the house while I sit around and write, and never misses an opportunity to point that out.
The guys in shul, for proofreading my writing every week. During davening.
The Ribbono Shel Olam, for getting me to this point, and for making sure that this year had two Adars, without which I definitely would have missed my deadline again. In fact, I had been pushing for three Adars.

And his introduction?

Many years ago, our ancestors were enslaved in Egypt, a strange land (the Torah's words, not mine), whose inhabitants wore big snoods and miniskirts (and was just the men). The Egyptians did not believe in G-d; but instead worshipped astrology, cats, firstborns, sheep, the Nile, and a heavily-constipated monarch who insisted that everyone call him "Pharaoh" with an "F".

Yalla. And now for the book--

One year, I was holding the matzos and reciting the blessing of Hamotzi, when all of a sudden, right in the middle of the blessing, a huge piece of my bottom matzah plopped off and landed on the table. This was followed by a very awkward silence. (It was already silent, because everyone had washed for the matzah, but now the silence turned awkward. Sometimes you can just tell.)

After the Rabbi is satisfied that he owns the chametz of everyone in the shul, he runs away to Mexico and changes his name. I'm just kidding, of course. He's a Rabbi, he doesn't do things like that. That's why we sell it to him in the first place, as opposed to selling it to, say, the treasurer. What the Rabbi actually does is he turns around and sells it to a gentile, all the while hinting, but not actually saying, that the buyer has the right to sell it all back after Pesach for a small profit after he does the legwork and realizes that dragging a U-Haul around town to pick up a bunch of rapidly aging boxes of crackers may not be fiscally wroth it. Hanging out with Jews will do that to a goy.
RABBI: "So here is a big pile of forms (wink, wink), and I trust that you will pay cash for the rest of the merchandise in about a week or so (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)."
PROSPECTIVE BUYER: "If you don't stop elbowing me, I'm not going to buy your old food."

(Source: The Fat-Free Cholesterol-Free Vegetarian Cookbook For Chassidishe-Yekke Lubavitchers with Allergies)
2-3 cups Kosher-for-Passover homogenized filtered spring water
1 working freezer
2 ice cube trays, or 28 shot glasses and a roomy freezer
In a clean room, filter water through cheesecloth or an unused sock to remove all unwanted organisms. Dole out water into ice cube trays or shot glasses in equal amounts using a medicine dropper. Carefully hold tray perfectly level with both hands, and try to open the freezer with your face. Set tray down and open freezer normally. Turn around to pick up tray, while freezer door closes behind you. Set tray back down and open the door again, this time keeping your head in the path of the freezer door. Pick up tray again and brace for impact. If you still haven't spilled any of the water, carefully place tray on freezer door and swing shut. Allow 6 hours to cool. Serve with drinks or in really hot soup.

In fact, Terach had a store, called "Terach and Sons,"which sold idols and really big hammers...

"Hey!" one of the magicians named Larry exclaimed, coming up with what he thought was a great idea. "You're the god of the Nile; why don't you just change it back?"
To this day no one knows where Larry was buried.

And mama's favorite--
The point is that round matzahs are more fragile than newborn babies, and if you don't believe me, you can try holding a matzah by one end and smacking it on the bottom.
"Bearing a grudge is allowing someone you don't like to live in your mind, rent-free."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Vacation makes me giddy.

Sefer Hamitzvos

All this talk about honesty in business reminds me of how much I despise 'Indian givers'. Actually, I take that back.

Also, and this has nothing to do with the recent halachic details regarding converts, גר שנתגייר

Friday, April 11, 2008

Like a brother; like a sister.

Like an old friend. Like an oversized sweatshirt. Like curling up on the couch. Like a favorite cousin. Like a secret smile.

It's like being with myself.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Kanu :)

thanks shua!

A Cowboy Cut
By Shana Ting Lipton
(Special to The Los Angeles Times, Weekend Calendar)

December 22, 2003, 3:45PM, Borders Books & Music, Hollywood-A striking scissors-toting toffee-skinned man in a cowboy hat is escorted out of the ladies room by two bookstore employees. An attractive brunet in her twenties clad in a black hair salon cape trails sheepishly behind him. Guerilla hairdresser Kanu Saul has once again been busted. The only evidence he leaves behind is a small, neat pile of locks on the bathroom floor.

An odd scenario to most, it is commonplace for the 35-year-old stealth stylist and his ad hoc clientèle. Referred to by some Hollywood locals as "The Hair Cowboy," the "Homeless Haircutter," and "The Picasso of Haircutters," Saul politely approaches people in bookstores, restaurants, bars, clubs, and on the street asking if he can cut their hair on the spot for $20. He's got more charm than training--he apprenticed for a hairdresser in Zimbabwe at age 16-- but he persuades plenty of people to take a chance. "He's good-looking. He's got these piercing eyes and he knows style," says Annie Shirinian, a client he met at the Pig n' Whistle restaurant in Hollywood.

Saul carries his own cape and makes his volunteers stand for the duration of the dry cut (anywhere from seven minutes to three hours). Unlike traditional stylists, he does not trim straight across. As his client holds still he pulls hard in the direction of hair growth and snips at an angle using the lines of the face as a compass. Little hair comes off but the hairdo appears healthier and more stylized. "It's an interactive cut in that I can't get it without the person holding strong," explains Saul.

Exiled to the street outside Borders, Saul coaches his latest client to do just that, as if he were chanting a mantra: "Hold strong! Hold strong!" He approached 25-year-old actress Jessica Kate Meyer (The Pianist) while she was sitting with a friend in the bookstore café. She hesitated at first but now she is standing in the middle of a courtyard in a cape getting a haircut, as well as incredulous stares. "I feel like we're rebels fighting for our right to have haircuts outside," she jokes.

Other celebrities have also fallen prey to Saul's endearing persona. He boasts that he once cut the hair of one of the musicians in The Rembrandts (of "Friends" TV theme fame). He also recounts being summoned for his services to the home of shaggy-haired rocker Marky Ramone (of The Ramones) by the drummer's wife.

He had initially approached "Mrs. Ramone" at The Highlands club in Hollywood. He has been known to corral customers at other nightspots such as Ivar and Star Shoes. One bartender at the latter admits, "He gets us into trouble sometimes because he's doing it in the bathroom when it's busy." She recalls having had to clear the small lavatory on one occasion as four women, crammed inside, waited in line for Saul to cut their hair.

"Cutting hair has opened a lot of doors," says Saul, who admits that his true calling is acting. "I've met so many different genres of people here in LA, everywhere."

Born in New York to an interracial couple, he has lived and cut in South Africa, Germany and France. In the latter, says Saul, "I played a musician in a popular television show called Helen and the Boys." He apparently managed to squeeze in some haircuts for cast members, and to do a little modeling for clothing designer Jean-Paul Gaultier to boot. "I came back to New York [in 2001] and I went from being a star in France to being nothing," he says, dejected.

Eventually he returned to cutting hair.It was in Washington Square Park that he first tried his special technique. He describes the scene: the client's waist-length tresses blowing in the wind, like some urban Boticelli painting. A year later, Saul moved to Los Angeles where his capricious cuts suit the city's pie-in-the-sky fantasies. "I don't want to be a mommy anymore," says 29-year-old Setta Casillan, as he chops her hair in the private bathroom of Pig n' Whistle restaurant in Hollywood, "Make me a rock star!"

Like some "Midnight Cowboy," Kanu Saul came to LA with a knock'em dead smile and lofty dreams. Still, some might prefer that he wake up from his contagious reverie. Rick Lopes, a spokesman for the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology, seems intent on seeing Saul get a license.

"There are some serious health, safety and sanitation concerns here. If we have to take actions to get him to stop, we'll do that," he admonishes. But even urban cowboys need sheriffs. They make the fight worth fighting.

In My Language

She (Amanda Baggs) writes: The first part is in my "native language," and then the second part provides a translation, or at least an explanation. This is not a look-at-the-autie gawking freakshow as much as it is a statement about what gets considered thought, intelligence, personhood, language, and communication, and what does not.

On belief & faith

I do not accept your assertion that you do not believe. For if you truly had no concept of a Supernal Being Who created the world with purpose, then what is all this outrage of yours against the injustice of life? The substance of the universe is not moral, nor are plants and animals. Why should it surprise you that whoever is bigger and more powerful swallows his fellow alive?

It is only due to an inner conviction in our hearts, shared by every human being, that there is a Judge, that there is right and there is wrong. And so, when we see a wrong, we demand an explanation: Why is this not the way it is supposed to be?

That itself is belief in G-d.


Our job is not to have faith. We have faith already, whether we want it or not. It comes in our blood from our ancestors who gave their lives for it.

Our job is to transport that higher vision that gave them their faith down into our minds, into our personalities, into our words, into our actions in daily life. To make it part of our selves and our world.


You write to me you are concerned that you don't believe. If you don't believe, then why does not believing concern you?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

In honor of the Rebbe's Birthday on 11 Nissan Hatomim Yehoshua Heshel Mishulovin of Los Angeles, CA and a Bochur in Yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim Lubavitch in Montreal, Canada, completed the entire Mesechtas Bava Basra - all 176 blatt! - including Rashi & Tosfos.

On Monday, the Chief Rabbi and Av Bais Din of the Jewish community in Montreal, Rabbi Yonason Binyomin Weiss tested Yehoshua Heshel on the Mesechta for 45 minutes!

Following the test Rabbi Weiss remarked,
“I should stand up for such a boy and show him the proper respect”.

HaTomim Y.H. Mishulovin, Rabbi Weiss, Rabbi Kaplan, Rabbi Shtern

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Misc Stuff to be Posted

1. Dyslexia Differs by Language: Dyslexia affects different parts of children's brains depending on whether they are raised reading English or Chinese. That finding, reported in Monday's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, means that therapists may need to seek different methods of assisting dyslexic children from different cultures.

2. Win a $20 bill from the Rebbe.

3. A Conflict of Cultures and Values: "Israel is allowing armed terrorists to 'legally' return to Jenin. After the number of soldiers we lost in Jenin cleaning out the terrorist nests there, I really don't understand how we can allow them back!"

4. the honey: shop. dine. home. culture. travel. self. in Israel.

5. The Five Love Languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, Physical Touch.

Beis Nissan--Date of Rashab's Passing

Monday, April 07, 2008

Sunday, April 06, 2008

If you see that you're going in the wrong direction, put on your sneakers and run the other way.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Is He Dead Yet?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Zach Dunlap's story, which took place in Oklahoma City, is a unifier.

No matter what side of the organ donor argument you are on, when you read Zach Dunlap's story you will probably take a step back—to contemplate.

Zach Dunlap, 21, was "more dead" than Terri Schiavo was before he woke up from his coma.

He was pronounced dead in Wichita Falls, Texas, after he was injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident. After seeing the results of a brain scan in which "there was no activity at all, no blood flow at all," his father, Doug, approved organ harvest from Zach's "lifeless body."

But as family members were paying their last respects, they wanted to check if he was really dead. He wasn't. Zach suddenly moved his foot and hand and reacted to a pocketknife scraped across his foot and to pressure applied under a fingernail.

Incredibly, though Dunlap said he has no recollection of the crash, he does remember one thing and that is hearing the doctors pronounce him dead.

"I'm glad I couldn't get up and do what I wanted to do," Zach said.

"Just makes me thankful, makes me thankful that they didn't give up."

This is quite a horrifying statement. How many other "brain dead" people heard doctors declare them dead? How many others were given capital punishment while lying helpless in a hospital bed?

Four months after he was declared brain dead and doctors were about to remove his organs for transplant, Zach Dunlap says he feels "pretty good." I would say he should. Not just because he's alive and well, but more so for the message his story sends the rest of us.

The story of Zach Dunlap should make a lot of people feel good—all those who understand that while there is breath there is life.

No matter what side of the argument you are on – pulling the plug or not, donating organs or not – this story really has to make you think.

Perhaps when it comes to life and death decisions people are too quick to pull the trigger.

Certainly one thing we can learn from Zach Dunlap's "return to life": Not enough effort is made to watch cases like this and allow them to play themselves out before we pull the plug.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008