Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Non-Miracle Story!

Mushkie posted about how she wrote the Rebbe and didn't get an obviously miraculous answer.

I do not want to ridicule Mushkie. I just want to point out that this is an excellent example of the non-miracle stories which play very non-prominent role in people's beliefs.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dear Sir or Madam,

To all my dear friends,

I'm sorry to inform you that I will no longer be accessible through this medium. If you wish to contact me, you can call 413 497 0071.

Thank you very much for your understanding. I apologize for any inconvenience this way have caused.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Bad Book Supporteth Mushrooms

38 And John answered Him, saying, "Master, we saw one casting out devils in Thy name, but he followeth us not, so we forbad him because he followeth not us."
39 But Jesus said, "Forbid him not, for there is no man who shall do a miracle in My name that can lightly speak evil of Me.
40 For he that is not against us is on our side.
41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in My name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Beginning of My Career as a Criminal in NYC

Back in 2005, I was on the train around midnight. I found an old newspaper on a seat. This was the Q train, and I was sitting in a forward-facing seat. So I put my foot on the side-facing seat in front of me to hold up the paper. At Cortelyou Rd, the train stops and isn't starting again. A police man comes over to my car.
him: Sir, can you come off?
me: (wondering what the heck is going on) sure, uh, why?
him: You have your feet on the seat.
me: (in disbelief) You can't have your feet on the seat?
him: Yes.

So I got off. There was also a scared-looking Spanish-speaking delinquent there. Anyhow, these two cops take our IDs, write us tickets, the whole works. It took me a while to realize they were serious. Apparently you can't take up more than one seat because it blocks other passengers from sitting down. I tried telling the cops that I wasn't blocking anyone and the train was empty, but they wouldn't listen. Then I got pissed. There are crimes happening all over the city, and the police have nothing better to do than make sure people keep their feet on the floor?

When the next train came, the policemen motioned to the driver to wait and proceeded to go from car to car and look through the windows. My fellow ticketee and I got on the train and moved on.

In the end it wasn't too bad, because I was in Oholei Torah at the time, and didn't at all mind taking a day off from seder to fight the ticket. I had given the cops my Illinois address, and had a whole list of reason to tell the judge why I didn't deserve the ticket:
1. The car was empty.
2. I had just come from Illinois the week before. (That was the truth.)
3. I didn't know that you can't put your feet up.
4. I'm really tired, so I can't remember what else I had up my sleeve, but the point is that I had a bunch of excuses, and they were all decent. I spent the days before the hearing thinking which one was the best, because you can't go to the judge with five different excuses. That doesn't sound nice.

So I finally got in front of the judge, and before I could open my mouth, he hits the record button on this old-fashioned tape recorder (they're still using those old tape recorders in 2009) and starts spewing legalese about who he is and who I am and what I'm accused of and when I allegedly did it and that the ticket cannot establish a prima facie because it doesn't say how I was blocking people so the case is dismissed. He turns off the tape recorder and invites me to leave.

I waited a little longer in the waiting room to get transcripts of the hearing and hopped back to yeshiva, where I had my fifteen minutes of fame telling everyone the story.

That was just the beginning. Since then I've gotten two more tickets while riding the MTA, one parking ticket, and I've been accused of a criminal offense which is still pending. But my other tales of crime will have to wait for another day.

Thanks Sarabonne for the idea.

Limited Time Only! Read this Post for the Opportunity of a Lifetime!

I want to write a post, but I don't konw what I should write about. I usually don't like people telling me what to write, but right now I'm out of ideas. What do you think I should write about? Perhaps I'll post something tonight.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Some Nice People Want to Give You Vocational Training

I got this email yesterday:


I ran across your blog and thought I’d challenge you, since you appear to actually care about the fact that most young bochurim are usually broke.

I’ve got a $5000 grant for each and every Chabad bochur that uses it for tuition at a vocational course that will bring him a profession that he can earn a living at. No strings attached, at all.

If they need help finding a career, I can help. Likewise with finding schools and courses. Also with writing resumes, getting GED’s , and so on. No strings, no BS, and all very very confidential.

Can you write about it?




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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Эх Люли Люли: The Jewish Faith

Hat tip to Mottel for pointing out this video:

Here's an very poor English translation:
The Jewish faith, like this, like this, like this
Gotta get up early in the morning
Ech, lully, lully al lu lay, gotta get up early in the morning
Say Modeh Ani, Ech, lully, lully la lu lay, say Modeh Ani
Pour out (?) negel vasser, Ech, lully, lully al lu lay, pour out negel vasser
[In this version, the next line is "Run to the mikveh, Ech lully, lully, la lu lay, run to the mikveh.]
Run the the Beis Hamidrash, Ech lully, lully la lu lay, run to the Beis Hamidrash
Put on "tallis un tefillin," Ech lully, lully la lu lay, put on tallis un tefillin
Next comes a rant which I can't really understand
Put on tallis un tefillin...
We never close our eyes...
and everything which happens, until the end...
We look at the world...
Some more vehemently recited stuff of which I only got the words, "nothing" "for sure" "none" "what you feel like"
you musn't wait
in the meantime, other people will do our job for us
Even if yesterday was early, tomorrow will be late
Must be here and now...
more rant
feel the moment...
One can be a realist and an optimist...
Our grandfathers knew this
and they won
we come down their road
and we go to freedom
Now the regular tune comes back
Say l'chaim
[In the other version they say "pour a _____ of vodka"]
ech lully lully la lu lay.

While I was writing this, the video woke up my niece, so the last half of the transcription is from memory and from looking at a chat in which I discussed this Mottel.

It's cute to see totally fry guys talking about negel vasser and "hama'aseh hu ha'ikkar." In the other version, the dude's singing with a non-tzniusdikly dressed lady. It's cute, but it's also obnoxious and meta-scrupleless. If you're not frum, who gives you the right to rant about mikveh and treading on our grandfathers' path?

It's also possible that I totally misunderstood the rant because my Russian ain't that great.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why doesn't he get the hint?

A certain guy who I barely know just friended me on Facebook for the fifth time. What is he thinking? Did he forget that he did this four times before? Does he like getting ignored?