Tuesday, August 28, 2007


(My sincerest apologies for those of you who were disappointed by the lack of a great drum solo. Sorry. Yet I'm sure you'll know where to find that one!)

Mental Meltdown

Watch this! Hilarious!

And now for the poll:
What is the rabbi's favorite literature:
A. Haemtza
B. Hirhurim
C. R' Norman Lamm's Books

Certainly sounds influenced by them!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Rock Hard, Ride Free

The spoken word has a certain elegance and finesse the spoken word is missing. In addition, the ‘tone’ of a word being read can be subjective and misleading. But the spoken word is more immediate, intimate. Technology also plays a role in this game, as I hinted earlier. So I’m now officially going audio, and if it’s good it’ll stay that way. I’d appreciate your comments and thoughts on the matter and any suggestions are welcome. Happy reading hearing.

From the Paper Clips Project & ride to remember: ... Kornbluth said 11 million paper clips of the 30 million that had been collected were placed inside the rail car to remember all of the people who died in the Holocaust, not only the Jewish victims. A children's Holocaust monument was built and 11 million paper clips were placed inside that location. The children of Whitwell decided that they wanted to give the remaining eight million paper clips they had collected to other children who wanted to study the Holocaust or related topics. As a result of the project, Holocaust survivors came to speak with the students. In 2004 the film "Paper Clips" was released which chronicled the story of the Whitwell project. The project was also the inspiration for the 2006 Paper Clips Ride to Remember, a fundraiser for the Whitwell Middle School, Kornbluth said. Read whole article.

Jewish bikers

The Paper Clips Project

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hell Bent For Leather

There's many who tried to prove that they're faster
But they didn't last and they died as they tried

- "Hell Bent For Leather", Judas Priest (Killing Machine, 1978)

Every time the Charedi rabbis dare voice their opinion, be it a takanah, psak, or advice on any matter imaginable, the Jewish blogging world goes bananas: the haredi-haters bellow out in rage “how dare they! Down with them!” while others criticize respectfully. The common denominator is that they attribute the rabbis’ attitude to overprotectiveness, their desire to further cut their community from the world, and their utter resistance to technical advancement. While there might be some truth to this, there is something that they fail to see, either willfully or unwillingly.
With all the rage and criticism hurled at them, we should keep in mind that Kollel students are a minority of Charedim, Charedim are a minority of Orthodoxy, Orthodoxy is a minority of Jews, and Jews are a minority in the world. Yet it seems that for one reason or another, many among us have a fixation with Charedim and Kollel people, and can’t refrain from endlessly debasing them. Although there is, unfortunately, a strong basis for the criticism against them, and against Charedim and Orthodoxy in general, there is certainly no justification for the virulent hatred ubiquitous in the so-called Jewish literature, media and websites. And sadly, that’s the way it was for centuries – the only change is that many who claim to be genuine, authentic Jews have joined our enemies. Or at least they sound all too much like them. Is there any wonder our rabbis have become overprotective and defensive? In a world where everything goes, where the “call of the wild” is literally omnipresent at every corner, animosity from many angles, the immense antagonism of the culture and lifestyles surrounding us, there must be a set of strict rules to do the utmost to preserve the little that’s left of our social makeup and its core beliefs. In this day and age, living up to the belief that life down here is just a strange illusion, and that we’re preparing ourselves for the real world, where our entire personality, our mere being will be our bodyless self, the soul, is not any easy task at all.

This is why there are “official” guidelines, such as opposition to higher education, minimizing the contacts with the outer world, its cultures and lifestyles, internet ban et al. Unlike what the skeptics may want you to believe, these rules have many exceptions, especially when one asks for them individually. In addition, many of these “bans” are issued with the full knowledge that they will be mostly ignored or circumvented one way or another. Many roshei Yeshivos will advise individuals to take this or that course or to go to learn in a college, etc.

The fact of the matter is, that despite any and all protective walls, outside influence cannot be kept form everyone. Man’s natural desires and urges crave what secular society has to offer, and that society is at hands’ reach. The fact that many had contact with that society at this or that level and were left unscathed –or so they believe- is no guarantee that other won’t be affected by it. Leaving a world of leisure and pleasure behind for the sake of bending over a gmora and living in relative poverty is no easy feat for anyone. And it is certainly more dignified than shaking your pelvis with slush in one hand and cell phone in the other. The small and fragile core of such ‘fanatic zealots’ must be preserved at all costs. After all, despite the fact that some may be loathe to admit it, they are the core of Yiddishkeit, with all their imperfections. Those surrounding them are like protective layers around it, often supporters, having in turn another ‘layer’ between them and the secular world. Why would one hate them so much is beyond me, but I suspect that for certain people an ‘ehrliche yid’ –and especially a not-so ehrliche one- who gives up worldly possessions and pleasures for the sake of Torah is as much a reproach as any Jew was, for the past 2000 years, to those whose god he refused to accept.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sweet Bluesmaker

Ain’t it priceless to come home, look at your desk and find this…

Sweet little 7 years old made a B-day card for her Tatty… Little does she know of the world’s true nature…

And then I started wondering… there are people on this planet who would gladly take these sweet little angels and slit their throats… cut their eyeballs out as their parents watch… And then you have other people who call the first type of people “insurgents”… “kooks, nuts, crazies”. They claim that those monsters have legitimate grievances. The same people also call me a nut, a kook, a crazy… Just like those who blow up school buses. Why? Because I wear a hat and jacket to shul. Because I refuse to spit on rabbis who forbid sitting in a pizza parlor (only let home delivery). Same as the taliban, no? Same as executing a woman because she was raped by four of her uncles, no?

Such people prevented saving their Jewish brothers from the hellfires of Auschwitz. And now they want to instigate another brothers’ war, to prevent us from being prepared against terrorism (or other calamities).

Thanks for your brotherly love.