Thursday, December 31, 2009

Israel 2009

Earlier I had posted about Chanukah at the Kotel, and now it had actually happened. I went with my family to Israel for my little brothers Bar Mitzvah. He did a great job leining Parshas Meiketz, the longest Parsha, and I’m so proud of him! Since it was my little sister’s birthday also, she got a cake. It reminds me of my twin brothers bar mitzvah, when I got a cake too.

We left to Israel on December 6. It was nice having SN come over and see us off. I brought my laptop with me thinking I would have internet in Israel and be able to communicate with SN that way, but it wasn’t so simple. Everywhere I went I kept thinking about SN. We took lots of pictures and videos so that we would be able to share the experience.

I had a great time in Israel spending time with both of my grandparents, and meeting other relatives. We didn’t do much touring since the men and boys went to a lot of Kvarim.

While my father and brother were at Har Hazaisim they had an Arab aim a gun at them, and their taxi driver said he’ll protect them, and B”H nothing happened. Then they were walking around looking for Avremel Zalmanowitz’s Kever 2 men out of nowhere came to help them find it. Then after Davening there, they turned around and the men were gone. When I heard that it reminded me of the stories where Eliyahu Hanavi, or someone would just appear miraculously. 

We went to 4 places, the Kotel, Kever Rochel, Mearas Hamachpaila and Mini Israel.

DSCF0060 DSCF0166DSCF0041DSCF0066

Some interesting things I noticed about Israel:

  1. The lights go from Red –> Yellow –> Green
  2. People do not cross against the light, even if there are no cars coming.
  3. Their latkes are not made from potatoes
  4. The people want it to rain
  5. There’s so much security, that they check your pocketbook at a grocery store
  6. There are lions everywhere, looks like it’s their national symbol
  7. The shuk sells everything loose, there are sacks of all different kinds of spices.

Last time I went to Israel I kept a diary of my trip. This time however, I e-mailed SN a daily summary of how my day in Israel was, instead. Interestingly most of my thoughts on my first Israel trip, apply to the second as well.

We left Israel December 21st, and arrived back in time to see all the snow on the ground. Our flight only got delayed about 3 hours. The day I was flying to come back, SN was flying to Florida, so we missed each other. Today SN is flying back from LA, and interestingly he’ll be arriving to snow too.

I had fun buying presents for friends and family. I gave the large family a present, and realized that the mother is expecting child number 13! (The oldest is now 18!). The 3 year old still didn’t get a hair cut! I think their afraid that he won’t want to wear his yarmulka and then he’ll look like a “goy”, this way he just looks like a 2 year old.

I spent a day with Auror and gave her some presents, she is really such a great friend! We had fun trying on dresses and perfume. She brings out the “girl” in me.

Tomorrow I get to see SN, and I can’t wait to finally see him and show him what I bought, and to give him some presents.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Motzei Shabbos I went with SN to a great workshop by the S.H.A.L.O.M taskforce. It lasted over 4 hours, but yet was so interesting that time just flew by. I would recommend all engaged couples to go to this workshop. The government provides grants to them, enabling them to give the workshop for free. They only charge 25 dollars to register and get a book they put together.

The workshop started with everyone receiving a piece of paper titled “Island Survival Exercise”, where there are 25 things listed on the list, and you have to choose 10 that you think are important in order to survive on an island. Then you compare it with your significant other and see how many you have in common. Then for the one’s you have different you have to come up with a compromise and see which one’s you would both choose. This exercise showed how couples think alike. In addition, it helps you practice compromising, and learning more about how the other thinks.

Then there is something called The Daily Temperature Reading by Virginia Satir. Couples should set a side 15 minutes a day to talk to each other and do the DTR.

  1. Appreciations
  2. New Information
  3. Puzzles
  4. Complaints with Request for Change
  5. Wishes, Hopes and Dreams

(See link above for more info. Or watch the video below)

DTR by Lori Gordon, Founder of PAIRS

Then there’s the Guide for Confiding about a Complaint. They give you a wheel, with key words to begin your complaint. While one is making their complaint, the other parrots what they say, to make sure they understand what is being said. (Ex: “I notice that you…” “You notice that I…”). Then only after the whole wheel has been gone through, can the other explain and clear things up. This helps for complaints that involve emotional feelings, and involve more than a “quick fix” technique.

Then there is the emotional jug. Where sometimes you can be having a bad day, little things keep happening and you remain calm through it all. Then one last thing happens and you burst and lash out on someone. So to prevent this from happening, you realize when your emotional jug starts building up, and you tell your significant other that you have to empty your emotional jug.

The listener will then ask “What are you Mad/Sad/Scared/Glad about?” and then at the end ask “If there’s anything else you would be mad about, what would it be?”. This seems like a strange question, but it really works. Since you are emptying your emotional jug, you might as well let it all out, so that you start fresh.

Yesterday I got to practice emptying my emotional jug, and SN was a great listener and I thank him again! I was in such a good mood afterwards, that I even wanted to make others happy.

This is just a fraction of what the workshop consisted of, for more information check out their site and register for a course!

Sunday, November 15, 2009



I had a class on Segulos in Seminary that was very interesting, so I decided to share it.

We are not supposed to follow in the ways of the Goyim, but with health related issues you don’t have to worry about following in the ways of the goyim. In other words, you should use a doctor.

1- If a person is chocking on a bone, they should put a bone on their forehead and say  “חד חד נחית בלע בלע נחית חד חד " – it works.

“והיתם לי סגולה מכל העמים”, Something can just work even if it doesn’t make sense. Like medicine comes from grass, so too Segulos will work through Torah.

A person’s approach to a Segulah is to put their trust in Hashem, and by doing these things we believe Hashem will help us.

2- If a child talks in their sleep, take the tooth of a dog and put it on a necklace around the child.

3- For ear infection, Put the mothers milk in the ear of the child, or mix with white of egg and put in ear. – It works, it’s medicine.

4- If a Mezuzah is Posul then missing a Shmirah, so check the mezuzah’s 2 times in 7 years.

5- During pregnancy a baby is formed based on what the mother does, so shouldn’t stare at animals in the zoo, don’t go to the cemetery or a Livayah, careful with what you eat and see.

6- A woman in the 9th month should go to the mikvah to cleanse herself of things she did wrong during the pregnancy.

7- A woman that can’t have children should take water from a well in Eretz Yisroel. Best Segulah for health is to say Asher Yatzar.

8- For Parnassah bench with Kavanah

9- If a woman is pregnant, she should bake a cake when she feels like she’s going into labor, and say the name of a person who doesn’t have a child, and it’s a segulah that they’ll have a child.

10- If a person has warts, take the Havdallah wine and put it on, and the wart will go away. –It works.

11- If a person can’t have children, boil Aravos and drink it, same for migraines.

12- First time it snows, take snow and rub on forehead 3 times to have a good memory. Gematria of Sheleg and Shikcha is 33.

13- Pick up your head when your trying to remember, and put your head down to concentrate.

14- For bad burn say 3x “…יברכך ה׳ וישמרך”, “יאיר ה׳…” “ישא ה׳”. And have Kavanah that Hashem should heal you.

15- Garlic on child keeps away an Ayin Hora. People keep Garlic on pocket book to keep away Ayin Hora.

16-Small aquarium, necklace with ה׳, keep away Ayin Hora.

17- Bucharian, when children get scared take metal pot, heat up lead, take hat and put the led into it, put the hat on the child, led will turn into the form of what the child is thinking of, like a dog.

18- If you have a bad dream, you can sell it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Simcha Filled Week

Sunday evening SN’s family made a birthday party for SN’s father in his sister’s house. SN’s sister cooked an amazing meal with tons of food. I tasted carrot cake/kugel and loved it. While there SN’s brother in law told over a dvar torah about hachnasos archim. Where SN brought up a question, of how did Avraham know that he can tell Hashem to wait while he does the mitzvah of hachnasos archim, Then two answers were given.

After the birthday party, SN came to my house to work on the “Thank You” cards for the vort presents. After writing the messages I liked the way SN signed the cards he wrote, so I asked him to sign the one’s I wrote like that too. After we were done with the thank you cards. My little brother started talking to SN, and entertained him till Midnight! I enjoyed going through albums with SN showing him pictures of me when I was a little kid.

Monday night I went to my second New Square Wedding. It was a really interesting experience. I sat with 18 year old cousins who were engaged too. It’s funny how I felt like I fit in because I was engaged too, so we all had something to talk about. I had thought my 4 month engagement is a long time, but then I found out 1 cousin’s engagement is 14 months, and another 8 months! I was surprised when one of the girls showed me a picture of her chosson on her cell phone. It was a picture of a chassidish guy. I didn’t know what reaction she was expecting from me, so I just said “very nice”.

Tuesday night I had “Rain Strap’s” vort. It was really nice, and I was so happy for her, now that I knew what it felt like to be engaged. She introduced me to her chosson and they looked like a great happy lively couple. It made me realize how much more SN is such a great match for me, and I appreciate him so much!

Thursday morning I went to a cousin’s bris, that had twin boys. The really cool thing is that SN’s cousin also had twin boys the same day as my cousin! After the bris I went to SN’s sister’s sheitel place to see what size I am, and to match the color. The store was really pretty, and it was so much fun to try on sheitel’s. SN’s sister is really great!

Friday night, one of the mother’s I babysat for had a shiur in her house, where the Rebbitzen of my shul spoke. The 5 year old saw me coming in and ran to give me a hug and pulled me into her house so that she can sit on my lap. Then she said only I can sit on her chair because I’m a kallah. Then she introduced me to a lady, and said that I’m getting married. The lady then asked how old I was, and of course she said I looked younger.

Meanwhile, my father had gone to a “Buta” by my shul, and someone had asked a question about the parsha, the same question that SN had asked. I had already told my father the question and answer during the Friday night meal. So when my father heard the question, he recognized it and was able to answer it. The answer was that Avraham’s feet started moving to do hachnasas Orchim. Because a tzadik automatically starts doing a mitzvah, so that’s how he knew that he was supposed to greet the guests and was able to put Hashem “on hold”.

Motzei Shabbos I went with SN to his cousin’s vort, and met more of his family members. It was funny because my mother had babysat for his cousins, so his aunts and uncle’s knew my mother and they were really nice in welcoming me to the family.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Introducing SN

SN stands for Super Nice, because that’s what my Chosson is. From now on I’ll refer to him as SN. B”H SN encourages my blogging, so I won’t be disappearing.

Wednesday night we had a beautiful vort, and I got introduced to so many people. They all of course had such good things to say about SN. I tried to speak to everyone who came for at least a few minutes. SN’s sisters were great at introducing me to everyone.

Then one time I was going over to a few ladies and they said Mazel Tov and all. Then one of them asks me if I went to a certain HS and I said yes. Then another commented that she taught there, and I looked closer at her and realized that she was one of my HS teachers. She wasn’t wearing glasses so I hadn’t recognized her right away. I remember she taught me Navi and I hadn’t particularly liked that subject nor was I good at it, so I guess it’s a good thing she didn’t remember me either!

My Kindergarten teacher on the other hand I remembered, and she remembered me. She’s going to become my cousin! She brought over a picture of me and my twin brother when we were 3 years old and she was our counselor in day camp. I was so happy to see that picture, I love looking back at little kid pictures.

SN was great at arranging everything, he comes up with all the great ideas. To have our wedding on Rosh Chodesh so we don’t have to fast. To have music by the vort so that it’s more lively, and people can dance. I was smiling looking at the video of SN and my father dancing together.

There’s so much for me to learn from SN. He started to introduce me to new foods. I drank Snapple for the first time, and it wasn’t so bad. Though I hear I have to taste the kiwi strawberry one. I had a Caesar salad for the first time, and I actually liked it. Speaking of firsts, I wore real heals for the first time, Thanks to Auror, so now I can cross that off my list.

SN’s also Super Nice in that he shows lots of Hakaras Hatov to people. He called up the florist, band, bakery, Jeweler, and all those involved, to thank them and tell them how happy we were with what he got from them. I think that’s an amazing thing, and something I’d want to take upon myself to try to do also.

We got so many gifts, from so many people, it was really nice. I can’t wait to write the Thank You cards!

I haven’t written any Hashgacha Pratis stories in a while, so here’s one. At the end of the vort my aunt told me to take a look at one of the gifts from some cousins in Israel to see what they gave. So we opened the bag, and inside we found the gift. But in addition to that we found a set of keys. By mistake the keys to the apartment where they were staying had fallen into the bag. So it was a good thing my aunt told me to take a look at what they gave, so that we found the keys and she was able to take it with her and return them.

Another thing I haven’t written about in a long time is the parsha. I had stopped in middle of the year so that I can continue from that point in the next year. But I love reading about the parsha, and learning from the chumash. So I was very happy to find out that SN’s brother writes up a weekly e-mail with divrei torah on the parsha.

Over Shabbos it was nice to hear people telling me that they had a great time at the vort, and that they were happy meeting SN.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mazel Tov!

As most of you already know from Facebook/Twitter, I got Engaged last night! I really can’t believe it, it went by so fast B”H. I was so happy to meet my Chosson’s family, they are the most happy, welcoming people I know. It was an amazing feeling to be welcomed into their family.

A lot of “Jewish Geography” took place last night. We found out how 3 of his family members knew 3 of mine, and that we had a mutual friend in common – Auror, who I have to thank so much for being there for me. I also have to Thank my friend “Rain Strap” for helping me with information on “What happens next”, since I’m the first of my siblings to get engaged.

May we continue to hear good news!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Sukkos Diary 2009

1st Day Chol Hamoed, I had a great time at Hershey Park. I was expecting to see lots of people I knew there, but ended up seeing 3 people I knew. I went on 5 rides there, the lines weren’t so bad. It’s been so long since I went to an amusement Park so I enjoyed all the rides. Seeing kids waiting on line was comforting, knowing if they can handle the roller coasters then so can I!

(I tried to insert JavaScript in the post before, but apparently blogger doesn’t let, so I had to remove it.)

Comet Skyview Wild Mouse Ferris Wheel Lightning Racer

2nd Day Chol Hamoed, I went with my family to Skver to visit relatives. It was nice when they spoke English for us, so we can understand. We went to one of my father’s cousins house, she has 15 children, all married, and her grand children are married, and some are getting married. One of her grand children was there, she was 18 and getting married to her uncle, similar to the wedding I mentioned before.

There were a bunch of Chassidish men and boys there too, 2nd and 3rd cousins. I was watching them talk in Yiddish and I finally figured out the glasses style. They have 3 different styles. One is a beigish rim around thick classes for children, another is black on the top rim and clear on the bottom rim on big sized glasses for boys and adults; most common, the third is a bigger thicker beige rim for adults, which wasn’t too common.

We sat and talked in their sukkah for 2 hours, they offered us fruits, cakes and drinks. Here are some pictures of the decorations in their sukkah. In Skver, a lot of houses have sukkah’s in their house, seems really convenient and comfortable. Though I wonder if it takes away from the traditional feeling of going outside for sukkos.

decoration decoration
If you look on the bottom right side you will see part of a recliner. If you look on the top right side you will see part of an air conditioner.

We then went to the Palasades Mall. One my fathers cousins in Skver owns a few rides there, and he said we can go on for free. We checked out the Ferris Wheel, but it wasn’t running at the time. So we went to play Laser tag. It was my first time playing Laser tag, it was lots of fun, they had tons of caves and places to hide in. We played a team game, and my team one of course: girl power!

Pallisades Ferris Wheel  Laser Tag 

We then went to watch a 3D imax “Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs”, it was excellent!

IMAXCloudy with a chance of Meatballs 

What I have to say about it:

  1. I noticed a lot of father and son relationships, they weren’t much into the mothers. One father kept telling his son he loves him, another loved his son but didn’t no how to express it, and yet another spoiled his son, the brat, but didn’t know how to love him. It was a family oriented movie, which I liked. It had that loyalty thing, of choosing family over someone else.

  2. I liked how it had techy geeky stuff, I noticed that he always said what he was doing, I figured this is so the kids can understand what’s happening.

  3. I liked how they made the “nerd” be the cool one. That she started out as a pretty girl who would say silly things so that she didn’t sound smart and won’t be made fun of as a nerd, but then when she was excited about something she knew, she would just say it, and then play dumb after. So then the scientist realized she was smart and told her to be herself, and put a pony in her hair, and put glasses on her, and said she was beautiful then.

  4. They were really creative with their play on words, and use of food. I loved the Jello part, where they took into account the substance of the food and then created a function out of it, like the ability to jump on it like a trampoline.

  5. I noticed a lot of food avalanches, with people running away, but yet no one got hurt. That’s what makes it a PG movie. But yet, it makes it unrealistic. There’s only one case of a kid getting sick from eating too much candy, he then gets better with cellery in a second. So that makes it not scary for kids.

3rd day  Chol Hamoed was a really windy day, and our sukkah started to collapse; the door busted, so it was time to take it down before more damage occured.

 Fallen SukkahFallen Sukkah

Sukkah on floorOne of the boards even flipped over from the wind while it was on the floor. Good thing we don’t have to eat in the sukkah second days, because now it’s all put away. Good thing I took pictures of the Sukkah before Sukkos.

I then got to do some fun mini high way driving, down curvy roads at 30 mph, and that was my fun for the day. I drove my family to an arcade/ride place. Then later that night we went to see the Simchas Bais Hashoaiva a shul in the neighborhood put together. There was a “fire” man who juggled with fire, and made balloon shapes for the kids. There was singing and dancing and the kids really enjoyed it.

4th day Chol Hamoed, I Drove on my own, for the first time! I took my little sister to a ceramics place, and spent 4 hours there painting. It was buy one get one free, so we both got to paint 2 things. I painted a shoe and a rollerblade.

Shoe Rollerblade

After the painting, I drove my family to the water to say Tashlich.

Hope you all had a great Chol First Days Sukkos and Chol Hamoed.

Can’t wait for Simchas Torah; Candy!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Super New Year/ Happy Blogversary

Rosh Hashonah is just around the corner, and I have 2 topics I wanted to write about, and now Thanks to Mike In Midwood, I have a way of including both topics within the meme he has tagged me in. The topics: Rosh Hashonah and My Blogversary!

Here are the rules:

Rule number 1: Read the rules.
Rule number 2: Write one superpower you would like to have and what you would do with it.
Rule number 3: Write why you chose that super power over everything else.
Rule number 4: Tag and link 7 people, and write why you think they will have an interesting meme.
Rule number 5: fix your broken links.

I like this meme since when people tag you, they leave a reason of why they tagged you, so it better gives you an idea of what you should write about. I was tagged by MikeInMidwood, Jacob Da Jew, Jessica and Dude with a Hat.

Jessica said the reason why she tagged me:

“I’m hoping that she’ll find a way to tie it into the upcoming holiday”

So that is what I shall do…

A super power I would like to have would be the ability to start fresh after I make a mistake, to press an undo button after I messed up and then to learn from my mistake and correct myself as though I had never done anything wrong.

With this super power, it would cause one to have a wonderful life, you would never get depressed or feel guilty, you would just undo what you have done and redo it the right way so that you feel happy and content with the way your life is turning out. There would be no arguments between people, no hard feelings. Usually when a person makes a mistake they regret it afterwards, so having this second chance will probably cause people to end up doing the right thing.

If you think about it, this is what Rosh Hashonah is about, we get a fresh new start, our slates are wiped clean, we get a second chance. Comes Yom Kippur, we admit what we did wrong, feel regret, and then take upon ourselves to not do it again, and then magic, our sins are forgiven and it as though we started new. We also ask people for forgiveness, which helps our relationships with others to be fixed, and it clears up miscommunications.

With Rosh Hashonah comes my blogversary for this blog, the English dates don’t match up since it goes according to the Hebrew calendar, but since it’s a Jewish blog, I thought it would be befitting to choose a Hebrew date. If you missed last years Rosh Hashonah post, here it is, it includes a video I had made.

MikeInMidwood said the reason why he tagged me:

because she usually writes Meme's and seems to love them, and I think she'll enjoy this one. Also because there are many people who others don't link that she usually does.

So that is what I shall do…

  1. Ricki’s Mom – I wonder if she’ll tie it in to her daughter Ricki.
  2. NMF #7 – I wonder if she’ll tie it in to Israel.
  3. %Shocked% – Looking forward to some philosophical/psychological outlook on a super power.
  4. Batya – Because she’s great with KCC and JPIX and HH, I figure she might want to give this a shot too.
  5. LE7 – She’s a new blogger, so maybe this will cause her to post more, and get her some more traffic. I’m sure her post will be creative and entertaining.
  6. Super Raizy – She’s already got it in her name. Looking forward to some “Mommy Super power”.
  7. Lion Of Zion – Maybe he would tie it into Jr, whom I enjoy reading about.

May this year bring only good things and happiness to all of us!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Drivers View

I had recently started taking driving lessons and learning how to drive. Up until that point I have always been the passenger and never understood what backseat driving was. I also didn’t realize what it was like to view pedestrians from the drivers seat.

Now that I am driving I notice how many people start walking in middle of the street when it’s not their light. It really bothers me, because it’s as though they are “asking for it”. People seem to have no patience. How much longer is it going to take for them to wait for the light? 10 seconds? why can’t they just wait?

I hadn’t revealed this piece of person information when I talked about my Seudat Hodah, because I figured it’s too personal. But perhaps if I talk about it then people will learn from it, and perhaps it will cause people to think before they cross when it’s not their light, I know it made me think!

When I was 12 years old, 7th grade, I had to go to school by city bus. The bus stop was across an avenue with no light. For 8 months I had no problem crossing that street. Then one day BOOM, a van turned in and hit me. To make a long story short, ever since that day I have been more careful when crossing streets, if there’s no light, I wait till it’s totally clear and then cross. And when there is a light I wait for the “walk” even if there’s no cars there! But especially if there are cars and if it says “don’t walk”.

Another thing that bothers me as a driver is when people start honking behind me. If I’m in a position where I can’t move, it doesn’t help for people to honk, it won’t cause traffic to go by faster. So I don’t understand why people do it. It just may cause me to want to “please them” and move when I’m not supposed to.

Now I have also officially been able to experience what it is like to be a back seat driver, I notice when people go to fast and then come to a short stop. I used to feel safe in any car, now I feel as though if I were driving, I would drive differently, but I still trust other people’s driving.

Today I got to drive on a high way, it was kind of scary to go so fast, especially being on the right side. But it was lots of fun and I did a “very good job” according to my driving instructor. She asked if it was better or worse than I expected it to be. I wasn’t sure since I never pictured what it would be like, so I guess that makes it better. I think I would be able to drive on the high way in the future too, so long as I know which exits to take etc.

But overall driving has been really fun, and my road test is on Tuesday! The next step will be to drive on my own, without anyone in the car to be my “extra pair of eyes”.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Chanukah at the Kotel

In the post before I mentioned that my brother’s bar mitzvah will be in Israel at the Kotel at Chanukah time.

Now here are some art drawings I made in 9th Grade that fit in with the theme. The last one of the chofetz Chaim doesn’t really have to do with Israel or Chanukah, but it’s one of my favorites so I just have to post it!

ChanukahMenorah       Eretz Yisroel men dancingYerushalayim

Man at Kotel Chofetz Chaim

P.S. How do you like my handwriting?

 The Jewish Side

Update: This is what the post should have looked like, I removed the pictures just to show the font.

my handwriting

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday With Grandparents

Today my grandparents came over to my house to spend one last day with us before they leave back to Israel.

I cooked a supper for them, of Pepper Steak, Deli Roll, and Ambrosia.

 Pepper SteakDelli Roll Ambrosia

While at the table we were discussing many things. One topic that came up was me, of course. My grandmother decided my mother isn’t being active enough in trying to find me a shidduch, she asked me for a list of what I’m looking for, so that she can put it in the Kotel. Then she told stories of how all her children met their bashert, some of the stories I’ve never heard before. Imagine a shidduch being made at a funeral!

The next topic that came up was my little brothers upcoming bar mitzvah which will be in Israel IY”H. We are trying to work out the logistics of how everything will be working. The bar mitzvah will take place Chanukah time, so we still have some time to figure it out.

if any of you Israeli people have any ideas

Here’s the deal, my family is not a dairy person nor a salad person either, so that makes our menu limited. My brother will be leining at the Kotel in the morning of his bar mitzvah day. My grandfather wants us to have a breakfast afterwards in this cafe place. But my family doesn’t like anything on the menu! So we found this place called “Sharei Simcha” Which has meat dishes, and they would be able to give us a early lunch if we wished. But my grandfather thinks we need a breakfast for after the kotel, so if any of you Israeli people have any ideas, it would be greatly appreciated!

Then after talking for a few hours, we went for a walk and sat down at some benches. I decided to do some sky watching and took some pictures. (A shame it’s not Friday)

 PICT0093PICT0096PICT0094 PICT0095PICT0098

The men then made Kiddush L’vanah, and we sat and talked outside some more, and then returned to the house. There I brought down my laptop and showed my grandparents 5 family videos that I have made using windows movie maker. We had lots of great laughs watching them. Overall, it was a great family day!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Powerful Tears

Friday night my family was with my grandparents at my cousins sheva brachos. My grandparents had made aliyah 3 years ago, and have come in once, a year before for another cousins wedding. So my grandfather made Kiddush, and he sings the ending a certain way. It brought back memories for my mother, and she missed hearing her father make kiddush, so her eyes started getting teary and she went to hug my aunt.

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen tears in my mother’s eyes before. So when I saw her face get teary, it had such a powerful impact on me, that I just burst into tears. My cousin saw and asked what happened, and I tried to stop, and laugh, and I told her it’s nothing. But the tears wouldn’t stop coming. So I went away from the rest of the people, and let myself cry it out for a few minutes, and only then was I able to join the rest of the family.

It felt so strange to just start crying, because of no apparent reason, other than seeing tears in my mother’s eyes. There were times when I have cried before, and after each time I feel as though I am a “baby”, as though I’m not strong enough to handle whatever situation it is.

But then I saw this Midrash:

“After Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden, God said to them, ‘Now you are about to enter into a world of sorrow and trouble the likes of which staggers the imagination. However, I want you to know that My benevolence and My love for you will never end. I know that you will meet with a lot of tribulation in the world, and that it will embitter your lives. For that reason I give you, out of My heavenly treasure, this priceless pearl, a tear. When grief overtakes you and your heart aches so that you are not able to endure it, and great anguish grips your soul, then there will fall from your eyes this tiny tear and your burden will grow lighter.’”

Then I realized, that tears aren’t a bad thing, actually quite the opposite, they allow us to heal. When I cry, I allow myself to think about what is troubling me, and to wallow in sadness, and even feel self pity for myself when I feel I have been wronged. I let all these emotions come out with the tears, so that after a good cry, I feel refreshed, and can continue on.

So really tears is a Bracha, I therefore pass on the Bracha to all of you:

“May we be graced with the ability to shed tears, and may our tears release that which dwells deep within our souls. May they heal us as we process, reconcile, and continue on our paths toward wholeness and peace.”

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friends and Family

Having Friends and Family in one’s life is an important thing. But yet they are two different types of relationships. A person is born into a family, they don’t get to choose who their family will be, other than their spouse. Which makes a spouse fall into both categories of friend and family. Since a family member has no choice but to be part of your family, you treat them differently than friends.

Whereas becoming friends with someone takes time, with a buildup of trust and closeness, a family takes no time other than to be born. The amazing thing about a family, is that because you don’t choose who your relatives are, they can be as diverse and unlike you as they come. However, when you become friends with someone it is usually because you like that person and share something in common with them.

One of the movies I actually did see in a theater was called “Son of The Mask”. It has a message in there about a child having to make a decision and choosing between making a new friend or loyalty to his father. It shows how having a family is a great thing.

I have always been one to spend more time with family than friends. On Sunday’s, or days when there is vacation, I would always go places with my family and have a good time. The time I would spend with my friends was limited to seeing them at school and going to their houses, or they coming to mine to study for tests. I haven’t really gone out with friends much before.

That all changed yesterday when I spent a fun filled day with Auror. I had decided it was time to get a manicure, Auror offered to go with me to get one, and help me pick a color. So we went, and I had a really great time. I’ve always imagined a manicure to be a quick thing where they just put on nail polish. But here it was really cool how they pamper your nails. Thanks AUROR! ManicureThen last night I went to my cousins sheva brachos, where at the end they were serving coffee and tea. I have never drank coffee before. My cousin said they make good cappuccino at the place and I should try it out. So I figured I would give it a try. So I tasted the coffee, and I wasn’t used to hot drinks, so it was weird and I only took 2 sips, but it wasn’t as bad as I imagined coffee to taste. 


The ironic thing is, when Tembow asked me back in February, what I’m waiting for -to drink coffee, I said I’m waiting to get a manicure. I hadn’t even remembered I said that, and then it ended up being the case, where I got a manicure and drank coffee on the same day!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Eating In Public

Thanks to @MarkSoFla and @hsabomilner for reminding me of this one.

eating in public

My 5 year old neighbor stops me

You wanted me to make it Assur, well according to some eating in the streets is Assur! One day I had left my house while eating an ices, and I planned on walking to the store and finishing the ices on the way, and then put the wrapper in a garbage can on the way. But then as I walked down my block… my 5 year old neighbor stops me and says “Jewish Side, what are you doing?” while looking at the ices I was eating. So then I said that I’m going to take a walk to the store. So then she tells me that I should finish my ices now. “Jewish Side, you shouldn’t eat in the streets”. So then she reads me face and says, “But you can do what you want, I’m not telling you what to do”.

When the kid told me not to eat in the street. I didn’t want to be “rebellious” and teach her something wrong from what she was taught. So I finished eating the ices there, and then continued on.

But I do remember in elementary school, they taught us not to eat in the streets. I know it may seem ridiculous to most of you, but it does make sense to an extent. For certain types of food, like ice cream etc. (you can use your imagination), it would be untznius to eat these things with people watching you. I actually found a quote of a Rabbi saying that people should take on certain tznius suggestions and this was one of them:

“Refrain from eating/drinking in public areas, especially where men are present.”

So there is actually something to it, the kid didn’t make it up, and my school didn’t make up. But yes, I do agree it is a chumra, and not a Halacha! But yet, there’s nothing wrong with not eating in the streets, so to me it’s a higher level. So I admire those that keep to it, and wouldn’t make fun of them.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kudos To The Shomrim

So I finally got unlimited text and internet for my cell phone! Then last night I got to actually use it by sending tweets and status updates to Facebook on a live story that was happening. I got to experience what it was like to be a “news reporter” in a small way.

In the past I had written about how great the Chaveirim are, now I would like to write about how great the Shomrim are!

Last night at around 8:00 I was going to go driving with my mother, since I hadn’t practiced for a whole week already, and my next driving lesson is scheduled for September 7th. But then as I went outside I saw a car parked in front of my house with the motor running, the radio on, the keys in the ignition, and a cell phone in the car. I didn’t know whose car it was, so I called over my mother to check it out to see if she knew whose car it was.

My mother didn’t recognize the car, but thought it might belong to a neighbor, so she went to the neighbors house to ask. But then when she opened the screen door to ring the bell, she saw that the storm door was wide open, the house was dark. She called out to ask if anyone was home, and no one answered. So she then called that neighbors cell phone and it went to voice mail.

Then I saw my father coming home from shul, so I showed him the car. He didn’t recognize it either. It had already been 20 minutes and no one came to the car. So my father decided to call shomrim. Within minutes a shomrim guy came and asked us what happened. Two minutes after he came, a person came and claimed the car, he just opened the door and took off. We gave the shomrim the license plate number just in case. Then the next minute another shomrim car pulled up, and then another, a total of 6 guys came to see what the story is.

So now there was the house to deal with, they went in to the house, checked the upstairs, basement and first floor and said there was no forced entry and nothing was messed up, so what probably happened was that the lady living there left her house and closed the door, but it wasn’t closed all the way, so the wind pushed it open.

So the whole thing ended up being no major story, it was still a memorable experience for a few reasons. One being I got to use my unlimited texting, and sent updates to twitter and Facebook as new information was enfolding, and it was a really cool experience. Second the amazing response of the Shomrim, that they came one after another minutes after we called, and they were so nice, and said if we see anything again we shouldn’t hesitate to call. These are volunteers, and they aren’t complaining about coming with nothing doing.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Attempt at Being a Teacher

Ilana-Davita came up with a great idea – The Mesorah Project. Where different bloggers can contribute their thoughts of what Mesorah means to them.

This week I participated and guest posted here. In the comments Leora asked if I ever thought about becoming a teacher. This got me thinking and it reminded me of a homework assignment I had to do for seminary. Where I had to prepare a lesson plan, as though I was a teacher. So I figured I’d share my attempt at being a teacher with you, and let you be the judge. (I got a 95 on the project, so it’s not that good). The topic had to be from Parshas Shoftim, so I chose Bribery.

Justice: פרק טז׳ פסוקים יז׳ לפרק יז׳ פסוק יג׳
Laws for Kings: כ׳-פרק יז׳ פסוקים יד׳
Cities of Refuge: פרק יח׳ פסוקים ו׳ לפרק יט׳ פסוק יג׳
Rules of War: 'כ -פרק כ׳ פסוקים א׳
The Laws of "Eglah Arufah.": פרק כא׳ פסוק א׳-ט׳

Morah: What is a bribe?

Student: To give money to someone so they’ll do you a favor.

Morah: So then what is the main purpose of a bribe?

Student: to get them to do what you want

Morah: Exactly, a bribe is used to influence people.

Morah: Let us read the posuk in:  פרשת שופטים פרק יט׳ פסוק טז׳‏ 

לא תטה משפט לא תכיר פנים ולא תקח שוחד כי השוחד יעור עיני חכמים ויסלף דברי חכמים

Morah: Let’s look into the Rashi, (student) _____ do you want to read?

Student: ok, which one?

Morah: לא תכיר פנים

Student: (reads the Rashi)

Morah: now let’s try to understand what the Rashi is saying. A judge can not show favoritism even at the time in court where they are each pleading their case. For example: to make one stand and one sit. Since one will notice that the judge is showing more respect to his opponent and he will therefore not bother to plead his case anymore.

Ok, who wants to read the next Rashi?

Student: (raises hand)

Morah: Please read Rashi כי השוחד יעור

Student: (reads the Rashi)

Morah: Who can try to explain what the Rashi is saying?

Student: That as soon as a judge accepts a bribe, no matter what, he will decide the judgment in the person’s favor.

Morah: Exactly.

Morah: Now that we have looked at bribery dealing with judges, let us try to see what else we can learn from this. Who else do you think the rules of bribery apply to?

Student: Rich people?

Morah: Yes, it could apply to rich people, but even more than that.

Student: Everyone

Morah: Yes! Each and every one of us could fall into the trap of bribery. Think about it, if you have two friends and one does you a favor and one doesn’t, who are you willing to help first?

Student: The one who did a favor for me.

Morah: Therefore, Bribery doesn’t only have to be money or anything too valuable, just a few pennies could be considered a bribe.

Morah: Now let us look at the words in the posuk more carefully. Who can think of why the Hebrew word שוחד is used for bribery. What שורש do you see in the word שוחד?

Student: אחד

Morah: That is correct. When a judge accepts a bribe from one of the people being judged, he becomes “one” with him and therefore can no longer judge without being biased. I will tell you another reason why the word שוחד is used with the lashon אחד. When a judge rules a case honestly he becomes a partner with Hashem in the creation of heaven and earth. Since the judge who accepts bribery cannot offer a just decision, Hashem now remains alone, without a partner.

Morah: Who could think of a question on this posuk?

Student: If a bribe is a bad thing, and if the judge accepted a bribe, why is he called a Tzadik?

Morah: Excellent question! I will bring a story to explain this concept.

A Din-Torah once took place before Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heschel of Apta. While the Din-Torah was in progress, one of the parties felt that he was going to lose, so he asked permission to leave the room for a short while. In the hallway outside the Beit Din room, he noticed the Rabbi's coat and placed a sum of money in the pocket.

The Din-Torah resumed, and the Rabbi, who up until now was beginning to formulate a certain opinion, suddenly began to change his line of thought. The Rabbi, puzzled as to why his way of thinking was suddenly changing, told the two parties that he would like to call a recess and have more time to think over the matter.

Meanwhile, he prayed to Hashem to be blessed with the proper wisdom to see the truth. A few days later, as he was putting on his coat, he put his hand in his pocket and suddenly felt a bundle of money. The Rabbi exclaimed, "Now I understand what happened to me. A bribe is so powerful that even though it was given to me without my knowledge it had an effect on my thinking."

The Torah is telling us that even though the judge may indeed be a tzaddik and would not accept a bribe, a bribe given to him, even without his knowledge, may pervert his judgment.



True or False

  1. A bribe is only money ______
  2. A judge can’t show favor by letting one stand and one sit, in a court room ______
  3. If the judge doesn’t know he’s receiving a bribe then he will judge righteously_____
  4. Bribery applies to everyone______
  5. שוחד has the word אחד in it to teach us that the judge becomes alone, and no longer a partner with Hashem when he doesn’t judge the right way_____
  6. Only bad people accept bribes_____

Goals: Students will be able to understand what a bribe is.
Sources: Chumash with Rashi, R’ Berel Wein, and Chabad for kids
Materials: hand out the quizzes
Board: Drawn above
Method of Evaluation: Quiz written above.
Students: Bais Yaakov girls

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Spit in the Baby’s Eye?

I went to sit outside today, and my neighbor shows up by her door with her 3 week old baby, I hadn’t seen him yet, so she invites me into come and chat and see the baby. So I come in, and I commented on his blue eyes, and the mother said that all babies start off with blue eyes, so that was interesting to learn.

But then her parents were over to help out, and her father asks her husband if he spat in the babies eye yet. The babies mother and her husband look at her father as though he came from the moon. Then he said, it’s from the gemara, from bava basra, that the Bechar shows he’s a bechar by spitting into babies eyes, that the people would bring their babies to the bechar. So the mother of the baby tells her husband he has to spit in the babies eye cause it says that in the gemarah, to listen to her father. So then he says he doesn’t understand. I mean come on!

So then her father says, just like you go to the Rebbe for advice and you listen to him, same thing you should listen to the Gemara. Meanwhile, I was sitting on the couch next to the baby and the babies mother. So I saw he was actually going to do it because his father in law and wife were telling him too. So I got up from the couch and didn’t want to look. So he went over, I’m not sure if he actually spat on the eye, or if the eye was closed. It seemed pretty barbaric to me.

Has anyone else heard of this?

Meanwhile this is the couple that shows their affection in an interesting manner. So the baby has congestion and was breathing with noise from his nose. So then her father says that she should take medicine for her high blood pressure, and she said she can’t because she’s nursing. So then she jokes that when she dies her husband will marry someone who will be able to nurse the baby without a problem. Then her father says that when he remarries he should get a wet nurse or something.

I just couldn’t believe the way they were joking. To joke about death, and him remarrying, it was just crazy. Especially because she has a tumor, and their always fighting making it seem like they would divorce each other. I just don’t get it.

To add on to the confusing/Surprising day, my brother comes home from shul telling me that the guy who did the kidney trafficking is the father of someone I had known. His grand child had been in my sister’s class a long time ago, and then the kid’s mother decided to remarry to a guy from Mexico and she moved there, so I’ve never seen them again.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Anger –> Kefira

Previously I had written about how Stealing equals kefira. Now we will look at how Anger equals kefira.

Midah means characteristic and measurement. We are supposed to have a certain measure of each characteristic whether seemingly “good” or “bad”. There are only 2 characteristics that have no upside, and they are jealousy and arrogance.

The only way we can possess anger is if we don’t really feel angry inside. When trying to teach a child or congregation, we may appear angry on the outside. The way we are able to do this is because so long as we don’t feel angry on the inside then it’s not real anger. The child will be able to tell that the parent still loves him in the inside, and he will improve.

When a person is angry, what is the classic line they say? “You make me so mad!”. A person whose angry has lost control, they are allowing the other person to control their emotions.

People choose anger for 3 reasons:

  1. To avoid intimacy – “into me see” - with themselves. They are blaming everyone else.

  2. To avoid a relationship with others. Tochacha comes from the word clarify, a person should ask others to explain themselves, calmly. When giving Tochacha you can’t be angry, or else it is pointless. Since the child will just see the anger, and will be afraid to do wrong because “Totty gets angry” rather than because it’s wrong.

  3. To avoid honest relationship with Hashem. They are in essence telling Hashem that things should be run differently.

Kefira is denial, when a person complains about another tzelom elokim they are saying Hashem didn’t do right. Their not noticing that Hashem runs this world and is only good.

Adam complained about Chava, he denied the good in her and was a Kofer. The Meraglim complained about Eretz yisroel and Bnei Yisroel got punished for it with 40 years in the midbar. Complaining is in essence a denial of Hashem, and therefore Hashem punishes for it. Anger is the present day Avoda Zaara, a person is loosing control of themselves, and denying the good in others.

Hashem wants us to change and improve ourselves, so He sends us challenges, with difficult people. If we don’t succeed with one difficult person, then Hashem gives us another chance and sends us another difficult person.

Every morning we wake up because Hashem hasn’t given up on us, so we can change. When we complain we prevent the shefa of Brachos Hashem has for us. So we have to be in control of our anger and realize that everything Hashem does is good, and then we can receive the abundance of good Hashem has in stored for us.

R' RiettiR’ Rietti is another gateways speaker who gave a great speech, with his famous humor.


FYI: These shiurim are part of the Irgun Shiurai Torah program. If you look to your left you will see the schedule posted onto the sidebar, click the image to expand

Friday, July 31, 2009

Seven Things I Love

I have been tagged by Ricki’s Mom in the “Seven things I love” meme.

The way it works is simple: List the seven things you love and tag seven other bloggers.

  1. Number one would have to go to my love.  

  2. I love children in general, as you can tell, obviously.

  3. I have grown to love flowers, pretty sunsets, and all kinds of beautiful natural scenes Hashem has created for us to enjoy.

  4. I love technology, I’m a geek at heart, and love learning about new technological breakthroughs. In addition to anything computer related.

    I was going through some old papers of mine from High School, and I found a midterm and final from 12th grade computer class, and the marks were 99 on the midterm and 103 on the final. At my first class at college I took an introduction to computer science class and I got an A+ on that, making my GPA a perfect 4.0. Then throughout the rest of the semesters I had taken a computer basics class and got an A. Then there was an accounting information science class on the computer, where I got an A too, then lastly by Robotics class where I got an A+.

    I’m thankful for the gift Hashem has given me, and hope I can channel my computer knowledge in a beneficial way.

  5. I love writing, it’s an accomplishing feeling to see your thoughts put down on paper, it gives substance to your thoughts and gives evidence to their existence. I also love the fact that I can write how I feel and see people commenting that they can relate and giving advice of what helps them.

  6. I love singing along to music I hear, but only if no one is there to hear. Music has amazing powers.

  7. I love long things: long skirts and long hair.

I tag: Frum Female, Ink Stained Hands, Jessica, Lvnsm27, MikeInMidwood, Moshe, NMF#7

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Previously I had written about how we have to enjoy the pleasurable things in this world. Since it is the 9 days and we can’t listen to music I will share with you some videos that I have found very entertaining. Enjoy!

I hope these videos made you laugh, for me children are the best source of entertainment.

Have a meaningful and easy fast on Tisha B’Av.

May we do lots of teshuva and be zoche to bring Moshiach!

Friday, July 24, 2009

In Search of Pleasure

For everything in this world there is a kosher equivalent. There was a great Rabbi whose wife said she wanted milk and meat together. A normal reaction of a husband who hears that would be outrage, to think Chas V’ Shalom what happened to her? How could she think such a thing? But the Rabbi didn’t react that way, instead he went and asked for a cow’s udder. Now she was able to have milk and meat together in a kosher way.

Hashem wants us to have pleasure and enjoy from this world. There are several chazals that prove this.

  1. A Nazir brings a Karbon Chatas because he sinned by not enjoying pleasure in this world, the wine.
  2. If I were to ask you what the first commandment is, you would say it’s when Hashem tells Adam not to eat from the Eitz Hadas. But really that’s not the first commandment. If you look at the posuk it says Hashem commanded Adam to eat.
  3. Hashem showed Adam and Chava the beautiful world.

If a person doesn’t partake in the pleasures of this world then they have no gratitude. If a person enjoys pleasures of this world then they will be a happier person and easy to get along with.

However, there is a flip side. The more we have pleasure the less we enjoy it. Think of your favorite food, the first time you eat it, it’s like heaven on earth. But if you were to have that food every day then you wouldn’t enjoy it as much. I believe that’s why Hashem gave us boundaries, that’s why there are the Halachos of Nidah, so that it stays a special thing.

Think of this scenario, you are in the freezing cold for 3 1/2 hours, where there is only 25 minutes of action, where you have people standing up in front of you when something happens thereby not allowing you to see anything, where you have to pay for food and there are inaccessible unsanitary bathrooms. It doesn’t sound like a pleasant experience.

Then picture this scenario, you are sitting on your living room couch in front of a Plasma screen TV with the football game on, where you are in the warmth of your own house, where you can see the whole game clearly, where you get any food you want, where the bathroom is available to you and clean. Now this sounds like a pleasant experience.

Now if you ask a person why they would rather go to a football game than watch the game in the living room, they will say they go for the experience of being part of a large group. During the football game the people will cheer to “J-E-T-S” or whichever team they are going for, this is to remind them that they are part of the group. They will also do the “wave” for the same reason.

If you open a cookbook and take a look at a recipe, you won’t see it saying to take a steak and cook it, rather you will see lists of ingredients that you combine to form a recipe.

At this time I would like to point out that A Mother In Israel started a relatively new blog, called Cooking Manager with great tips on cooking. Leora has a great collection of recipes as does Ilana Davita a great collection of recipes. 

Same with music, there are various notes, voices and instruments that are combined together to form a beautiful harmony.

When two people love each other, you have two bodies with one soul.

The essence of all these examples, is unity.

People who are patriotic for their country, do it because they want to feel the unity. Being a part of something gives us pleasure. I will take this time to point out that being a blogger is also an example of being part of a whole – the blogosphere, and it gives me great pleasure to be a part of such a great thing.

Mike In Midwood has a great creative post called Chaim Snyder which is a great example for two of the points made so far. The first being there is a Kosher version of everything, hence the post is about Chaim Snyder being the Kosher version of Harry Potter. The second being people like to be part of a large group, since lots of people have read/watched Harry Potter, other people want to also, because then they belong to the group of Harry Potter readers/watchers/fans.

The Torah starts with the letter Bais, it has two pointers, one points up to Hashem who created us. The second points down, to before the creation of people where there was oneness. With the creation of people there became Bais, “twoness”, where we feel a separation from the Aleph, Hashem. As a correction we try to seek pleasure with Hashem.

There is a pleasure we get from putting together a puzzle, where we are building something. All pleasure if used in the right way can lead us in the direction of unity with Hashem. The more we experience unity, we get closer to Hashem.

We all know the famous story, where a man came to Hillel and asked to him to explain to him the Torah on one foot. Hillel said “What is hateful to you, don’t to unto your friend, and the rest is commentary”. Now how can we explain this?

One explanation:

There are 3 categories of a friend. 1- Hashem: Yedid Nefesh. 2- Fellow Jew. 3- Neshama- our closes friend. The Torah is all about those 3 types of friends.

Second explanation:

The purpose of the world is for a person to become similar to Hashem – Tzelem Elokim, so the Torah tells us how.

When you think to yourself “What do I want”, the I could mean different things. In the highest scenario, it would play out like this:

I = body and soul, friends and family, and all of the Jewish People.

This is where all the pleasures come together. The pleasure for yourself and others is the essence of Torah, unity, to bridge with others.

It says on “that day” Hashem will be one and His name will be one. Now why does it need to say both? Because now we read Hashem’s name differently from the way it is written. At “that time” Hashem’s name will be read the way it is written. The reason we read it differently now, is because we don’t see what we know, we don’t see Hashem clearly.

To recap, we are supposed to have pleasure in this world. We like to feel unity. This leads us to be closer with Hashem. Therefore, every time we do an action we should see if it will bring unity or not.

I have to say there is nothing like the real thing. R’ Becher was hilarious, try to get his CD/Tape or listen to it online once it comes out.

FYI: These shiurim are part of the Irgun Shiurai Torah program. If you look to your left you will see the schedule posted onto the sidebar, click the image to expand.

Monday, July 20, 2009

What it Means to be a Proud Jew

If you notice on my sidebar in the “About Me” section of this blog, I wrote “I am a proud Jew”. Now what does that mean? I went to a shiur by R’ Dishon a few weeks ago and he spoke about this topic.

Every single Jew that’s alive makes up a part of Hashem’s name Yud-Kay-Vav-Kay. Now when someone is niftar, there is a gap in the name, a part of the name is missing. So the niftar’s children say Kadish for him. Now what is Kadish? I would of imagined it would say something about death, and passing on. But it doesn’t mention death once. What is it all about? it’s all about Hashem. This is because, since there is a gap in Hashem’s name from the person who was niftar, by saying Kadish a person is saying there’s a Hashem, and that makes up for the gap that is missing, so that Hashem’s name can be complete again.

Since each person is part of Hashem’s name, each house has the Shchina in it, and each house is a Mishkan for Hashem. Now that is why it is important for the house to have kedusha in it, so that the Shchina can rest there, and you can receive brachos. It is the Wife’s job to make sure the house has kedusha in it.

Now, to combine 2 shiurim in one. R’ Veiner spoke about “Family Security”. Which was about the internet. He said if you have internet you should get filters and a reporting system. He would be available for anyone, if they have no one else to feel uncomfortable towards.

Since a house is a Mikdash Miat and a place for the Shchina, we don’t want to kick the Shchina out by having tumah in the house. Now Tumah doesn’t mean the internet, but rather what shockingly lots of men are using the internet for. Please be righteous, and use a filter and reporting system, if you can’t trust yourself. Here’s a list that R’ Veiner gave out.

The important thing to remember, is that even if you had made a mistake and done a bad thing before, don’t let the yetzer hora get you down by making you depressed that your a bad person. Hashem gave us Yom Kippur so that we can start over fresh, it’s an amazing thing. So we just have to improve ourselves, and move forward without looking back. We can be good and strive higher even if we have made mistakes in the past.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Academic Cheating

What is considered cheating? Everybody has different standards. Some will say that writing papers for others isn’t cheating. Or getting test banks isn’t cheating. But one thing I think we can all agree on is that copying answers out right on a test in a classroom is cheating!

1. A few months ago, I was taking a final in a classroom with about 100 other people in it. Everyone had the same test, and there were no spaces between desks. In other words it was one crammed room with plenty of cheating opportunities available.

My Robot This final was on Robotics, one of my favorite classes. I had done well in that class the whole semester. My lab partner and I even won a race, our robot was able to go the fastest! We beat the guys, and it was really funny to see them being sore losers and making excuses of why we won.

So when it came to the final, my lab partner sat on one side of me, and this other girl I don’t know sat on the other side. The test began and I quickly filled out all the answers that I knew, and couldn’t wait to get all the information down and get home so that I can study for my next final.

But then the girls sitting next to me had a different plan in mind, they wanted to cheat off my paper. My worst vice I would say is that I can’t say NO! (I’ve had it before with babysitting jobs, where I couldn’t tell the mother that NO I can’t babysit by her. So the same thing happened here.) I couldn’t say no, and I let them cheat off my paper. Because one of the girls was my lab partner and I had become her friend, I felt like I couldn’t be mean to her and say no.

This is an example where every midah can be used for good and bad. How sometimes we have to be mean because it’s the right thing.

2. When I first started college, while I was in seminary at the same time, I came into a situation that involved cheating. I was taking a test and was stuck on a few examples. The guy sitting next to me felt bad that I didn’t know the answers, so he figured he would “help me out”. He told me the answers to the multiple choice questions. But I didn’t feel right to write the answers down. So I went up to the professor, and told him that I was stuck on those questions and asked him to explain me the question. He did, and then I was able to answer the questions. I still felt as though I had done something wrong, so the next day I went over to a Rabbi at the seminary and told him the situation and asked him if what I did was okay, and he said yes, and I then felt better.

3. There was this married women with 2 kids who shared a class with me. She told me how hard it was that she was married with kids in college, and that she didn’t have time to study. She told me that 10 years ago when she was in college she studied really hard. But now because she has other responsibilities, she doesn’t have time, so she cheats on her test. She said she actually feels justified, that she’s not doing anything wrong by cheating. That she just needs to graduate already.

The next day in my philosophy class, some topic like this came up, where my professor said that she will let her son make any decision he wants about career choice, but one thing is certain, that she won’t let her kid take a break after High School, that he must go straight to college, while she can pay for it. Since if he takes a break, he may never get back to it. So I told her about this women in my class, who took a break and now feels justified in cheating. She said that’s a horrible thing, and the women is cheating herself. I of course agree!

4. Recently I started taking driving lessons. I took 2 to be exact and it was really fun. I don’t know why I waited till now to start. In any case, I went to this “5 hour class” and at the end the guy says he’s going to ask us a question and that will determine if we will pass or fail the road test. He says, if I tell you that 1+1=6, then how much is 1+1? I said 2, because I remembered my tax professor giving us a similar scenario, where he said that if he calls a tail a leg, then how many legs does a dog have? He told us the correct answer is 4, because no matter what you want to call the tail, it’s still not a leg. So I was thinking of this same scenario. So then the guy says I’m going to fail my road test for that, because no matter what you think is right, you have to listen to the driving inspector, and do what they say. To me that sounded like cheating. I’m still in the mentality, that you can’t change the absolute truth.