Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You gotta give it to those Aish peopple, they sure know how to present it!

Very, very impressive

Monday, May 26, 2008

בחשמלית- On The Street Car


Friday, May 23, 2008

Souls on Fire

This is a post for th efuture, I'd like to be able to look back at
this year's Lag Bomer and remember how it was the most enjoyable I'd
had in recent memory. Truth be told, Lag b'O was always something to remember as a kid, but ever since, it's never been anything really. Last year however, was straight up sad. It just seemed to be wherever i went to try and celebrate this beautiful holiday of ours, all i heard and experienced was how it was in the good ole days and how back then there was really something to celebrate. Whatever... maybe more in that topic another time.

First stop was in East Norwich L.I. where we heard Merkavah play and made a last-minute medurah out of the rabbi's sukkah. The wood had been left out all winter (brilliant!)so it took two three tries before the thing would catch. So i turned the guys place up side down looking for paper. Nothing. Not a single newspaper, supermarket handout, nothing that wasn't Torah. brilliant. I ended up burning a few Mishpacha magazines (may the holy one, eliyashav, forgive my sin) some soda can boxes, and whatever else i could get my hands on.(i aint saying what else..) In any event, it was the most beautiful fire i'd seen in a looooongtime. Everyone loved it, it made the evening.

Arriving in The Schuneh at 12, im ready to crash n burn (haha npi)when turning in to my alleyway i see that theres a medurah by Nooch's house. Everyone's there, i mean just EVERYone. Current friends, past friends, future friends. Friends who you've wanted to catch up with for ages but you never had a good enough reason to talk (makes sense?) Fiends who used to be friends and with time became drift-away-out-of-touch-but-ih'd-be-really-nice-to-become-friends-again-typa-friends. This guy Nooch is the man. He has a real koiyach (that rhymes with noiyach) to draw people in. An interesting thought occurred then, there are so many of us here living in '770' (interesting that you could live in a category, but true) yet you remain isolated from most of the others.(one of the strangest unwritten rules i've ever seen) everyone sticks to the ones they knew from before. Yet, put them in a friendly, schmoozy, environment, and suddenly you realize that yah, there actually is plenty you have in common, and what to talk about. Funny thing is, most of the day you're involved in social activity; be it learning with friends, talking (when your supposed to be learning) with friends, even mealtime is centered around conversation. Not to mention all the L'chaims (keinehoora) we attend. And what do you do when you have nothing better to do? Cellphones, texting, email, IM, blogging, facebook (facebooking to see if you got my voice message asking if you got my email about the instant message i sent you)...
Yet, the guy sitting next to you all frigging day long, him, NAH... why would he ant to speak to me?! We've got nothing in common. Anyway, he comes from THAT
Strange, people are strange.

Anyhow, back to the present (or wherever we were) the farbregen was really nice, then the kumzitz started, awesome awesome kumzitz, 'specially the end (when isn't it?) Baruch A with the bongo and i jammed out to nyet nyet. good stuff.

In the meantime, we were burning everything and anything to keep the fire going, (takes alot when it goes for that long) i was using my car to bring wood from a construction site at the end of the alley, when two thoughts occurred to me. a) this is probably the only time in my life that i'm driving while U the I (i hope!) and b) it's interesting how certain thing have so little value to us at times, so little in fact, that we'll try and try in frustration to get rid of it. Yet the very same things, can have so much value, that we'll search high and low for it. Lag B'omer is such a time, when 'useless' discarded furniture, construction waste and anything that burns, has so much value, when usually, it's useless, an unwanted expenses, and if anything, dangerous.

Sometime in the night, i meet Chaim Herschel, (no last name, just Chaim Herschel, he's one of those, if you know what i mean) a wondering jew. Very geshmack. We farbreng, jam till 5:30. one crazy night.

Many reasons why this night was so special cannot be described easily in writing. Hopefully the pictures will remind me. Here are a few lines that passed through my head to remind me of what was so unique 'bout the whole experience

The chords are the same, yet seem to contain so much more when read by
the firelight.

It's a cool night, getting colder, we inch closer. With your front to the fire and back to the wind, you could feel both the cold and the warmth at once. The warmth entering, you can disregard the cold, albeit a reality, it matters not...

New words in this post: ih'd, Lag b'O. everyone (that's for when you want to stress the 'every' in one, but not the whole word.) schmoozy.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Metropolitan Diary; Disciplinary Gadgets

Dear Diary:

Observed and overheard on a Sunday afternoon in April:

A man pulled up in a car on Eighth Avenue in Midtown, and shouted to a woman sitting in the doorway of a fortune-telling parlor, “Will I get a ticket if I park here?”

She replied with a shrug, “I don’t know.”

-Jim Norman



The sparrows spring into

action as Spring begins.

Each small coterie has

its favorite cafe, and they

wait patiently for signs

of metal chairs and tables

to spring up like silver

daffodils along the sides

of walls and windows.

Their ups and downs from

awning to pavement and back

catch the eyes of patrons

still not brave enough to venture

into the still-chilly air, who

sip their lattes behind


-Iris Lee


Dear Diary:

It was the end of intermission at the Sunday matinee of “Gypsy,” and as I returned to my seat, I overheard a man arguing with the usher who was patrolling the area.

Although I didn’t catch the subject of the conversation, I heard her say to him politely, “Perhaps you should talk to the manager about it.”

As he stalked away, he muttered over his shoulder: “No thanks. I’d rather be angry.”

-Kathy Kleeman


Dear Diary:

I was walking toward Home Depot on West 23rd Street in Manhattan when I encountered a very noisy kid sitting in the middle of the sidewalk. People were forced to walk around her, and they kept looking back to see how this situation was unfolding. The more her father pulled the kid’s hand to get her to move, the more this child screamed and resisted.

But instead of the old-fashioned threat, “I’m going to tell Mommy,” this father was a lot more tech-savvy.

Obviously frustrated, he took out his cellphone and aimed it at the little girl. Warning her, he said: “If you don’t get up in the next minute, I’m going to take your picture and e-mail it directly to Mommy at work!”

The child got up!

-Dennis Wunderlin

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

One of my faves

One of my grandfather's poems which i tried (blah!) to translate from Hebrew

Oh what fun
to ride on the subway
as I read biographies
etched upon their faces

Dear fellow rider
please don't be mad
You think it a bit queer
Do I find it polite to stare?

But you see
I am but reading
just as you are
right now
It's just so happens to be
the book of my choice
Is your face

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Metropolitan Diary; Say What?


Dear Diary:

On a recent Sunday afternoon on the northern edge of Central Park , my daughter Dalya, age 6, and son Shachar, age 3, were enjoying the early days of spring, running around the playground and admiring the first daffodils of the season.

While Dalya settled into the tire swing, Shachar found himself playing with an older girl (age 7), and the two went sliding side by side.

Several hours later, presumably while reviewing the events of the day in his mind, and after 20 minutes of silence, Shachar turned to his big sister and, unprovoked, said to her: “Dalya, I love you. But in the playground I played with another girl.”

-Shira Hecht-Koller


Dear Diary:

File this under “Starting to feel old.”

Place: A recent evening performance, just before curtain, at the Off Broadway musical “Adding Machine,” based on Elmer Rice’s 1920s play.

Dramatis Personae: Me, my 17-year-old daughter and, seated next to us, a 20-something couple.

Twenty-something woman to her date: “What’s an adding machine?”

-David Tane


Dear Diary:

One afternoon a few years ago I found myself at the checkout counter of my local Duane Reade. The middle-aged woman working the cash register rang up my purchase.

“That’ll be $32.97,” she announced.

I took two $20 bills out of my wallet and handed them to her.

“Do you have 97 cents?” she asked.

-David Wertheimer


Metropolitan Diary; Sometimes I wonder


A parking space on my block! So rare an occurrence that I smile inside when drivers slow down and cast inquiring glances in my direction, hoping I’m leaving.

Exiting my car, I murmur thanks to the parking gods, when suddenly a familiar voice comes from somewhere amid the 30 or so black plastic garbage bags piled high on the sidewalk nearby.

Being a New Yorker, I walk briskly on, pretending not to hear; but being a New Yorker, I can’t help returning to the spot to have another listen. Wafting over the smelly pile, Brian Lehrer of WNYC is exit-polling the Tuesday primary. Inside one bag is a discarded radio.

-Patricia Lobosco



Sometimes I wonder

Why I reside in this artificial kingdom,

Betrothed to the dangle of a dollar

Stuck on the heel of my dirty shoe.

When the din of my own meandering mind

Is too loud to bear,

I’ll stumble to a mirror

And spy the city breathing in my ear.

If I were to fly away to a rolling land,

Where dogs aren’t carried in bags,

Where the earth is soft if I should fall,

I guess I would long to see pinstripes

And pizza dough whirling through the air.

-Sascha Radetsky


Dear Diary:

I boarded the A train at Columbus Circle on a recent morning, groggy with sleep and trying to tune out the tinny cacophony of numerous “personal” music systems. On taking my seat I was greeted by a rather unusual announcement:

“This is the ‘A’ experience to Lefferts Boulevard. Stand clear of the closing doors and have an interesting morning.”

I’m not sure if the conductor had been listening to too much Jimi Hendrix the night before, or if this is just the latest in an evolutionary line of valedictions that started with “Have a nice day.”

-John Hull


Dear Diary:

It took a split second. There I was standing over one of those intimidating subway grates, horrified that my beautiful watch had fallen off my wrist and — kerplunk! — was lying 20 feet below me among dirt and cigarette butts. I could see it, but how could I get it?

This happened last month on Broadway near 19th Street. The grate seemed to be cemented into the sidewalk, and the only way down there would be through the locked subway tracks. First I called 311 to file a report, then the M.T.A., and finally I called my parents.

Never fear, said Super Dad, and he ran off to corral a patrol car. The officers turned out to be everything good you’re taught as a kid to expect of the men in blue. As one officer kept his ear to the radio (“If we get a call, we’ve got to go”), the other fished and fished with a makeshift hook and a yellow police-line tape. What ingenuity! What patience! What chivalry! But no watch.

Dad ran off to a nearby sports store to buy a fishing rod. As he returned, the M.T.A. arrived. With a crowbar they could lift the grate, but they needed the right ladder. Whiz! Bam!

The ladder arrived, and before I knew it, the watch was back in my hands (and safely in my purse).

My father tried to reward the workers who saved the day, but they all refused with the same refrain: “We’re just doing our job.”

Jessica Sigelbaum


Sorry for all these inspirational videos $-/

Probably the two most overused phrases of our generation are; "Amazing video" and "Must see". However, i can't think of any other way to describe this video, it's so powerful. They really did quite a job on the editing.

The comment by his son is just mind blowing

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Please watch, please remember

the ending is unreal


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Who is truly happy....

Erik Bedard

Erik Bedard is considered one of the most gifted athletes in our country. In the off season he joins his family in Navan, Ont. (pop. 1,450) a village 18 miles east of Ottawa, where he sleeps in his parents basement...
For pitching practice, he teams up with his brother at their cousin's nearby poultry farm, in an empty barn that for much of the year houses 40,000 chickens and has an ammoniac stink that lingers in your sinuses for hours after a visit....

This guy is a truly unique person. Great story here by S.I. written a couple months ago right before he was traded


Friday, May 02, 2008

ויאמר השם אל משה מה תצעק אלי דבר אל בני ישראל ויסעו

Yossi Harel, who renamed the rickety ship he commanded Exodus 1947 and sailed it to legend as a symbol of the righteousness of the mission by Jews to settle Palestine in the face of British opposition, died Saturday at his home in Tel Aviv. He was 90.

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