Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Helping Oneself

Philosophy Issue#2 (Issue#1 here)

Now this is a topic I find myself strongly being able to relate to. I’ve been told countless times “you have to do what you want, what do you want?”. I always have the same answer that I want to do what the right thing is, whether that’s what my parents say, or school says, or whoever I feel is right. It caused me to feel sandwiched with the whole college dilemma, since I didn’t know what I wanted for myself. Since I have such a strong care for others, I want what they want. (Although when I was babysitting, I realized I was sacrificing too much of myself and had to put an end to it.)

Jean Hampton in 1993 wrote an article called “Selflessness and the Loss of Self”. She discusses this topic of helping oneself and having self authorship. There are two “moral voices”, the ethic of care and the ethic of justice.

Women-ethic of care: they take into consideration people’s feelings. Mothers were trained to be this way since they have to raise a family and take care of their children. A mother has to care for her children and be aware of their feelings when siblings fight.

Men-ethic of justice: they make decisions based on logic. Men were trained to be this way since they are in the work place and have to make quick decisions. Business is all about quick decisions based on logic, they never think of the competitors feelings.

We have lots of mitzvos that are other related, “Vehafta L’reach Hakamocha” and you can’t embarrass another person, you have the mitzvah of “Kibud of Haem” and respecting your elders, and the midah of “anivus”. We have the concept of being “mevatar” to give something up for another person to have. All this trains us to be good moral people who care about others.

At the same time I fear we become so other oriented, that we loose focus of ourselves.

The question becomes how much do we owe to ourselves and how much to others?

Boys would say if responsibility to others and to oneself conflict then you go about 3/4 to yourself and 1/4 to others. Boys feel the most important thing in their decision is themselves.

Girls on the other hand would say it depends on the situation that if you have responsibility to someone else then you should keep it to the extent that it is really going to hurt you or stop you from doing something you really, really, want, then maybe you put yourself first. A girl would evaluate what she feels is more important, her job or someone she loves, and if it’s someone she barely knows then maybe she would go first.

Now I personally think the girl is being better. However, I do understand where it’s important to take care of oneself so as not to cause harm to oneself when taking care of others. A perfect example of the girl way of thinking is Tembow in her You want my... honey?? post.

Self authorship is needed for a person to make a decision that is based on what they choose to do, and not dictated by society. This enables you to grow as an individual. An example: an investment banker had wanted to be a clown his whole life, and even though he was making tons of money he didn’t feel satisfied so he decided to drop his job and go to clown school, now he has self authored his life.

I think self authorship is important to prevent a person from doing avairos. If a person chooses what they want, and if they want to do the right thing, then they will. But if they are pressured into doing what other people say, then they may be encouraged to do something they really don’t want to do, and thereby do an avaira.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Helping Those In Need

I am taking my third philosophy class and I have to say I am enjoying it very much. I like thinking about different moral issues and debating what I feel is correct. So here’s to issue #1, helping those in need, to what extent are we obligated, and are we obligated at all?

Peter Single in 1971 wrote an article called “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”. In this article he talks about this topic of helping people in need. Singer claims “If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally to do it”. For example: If you are walking past a pond and see a child drowning, you ought to go in and save the child. This will mean getting your clothes dirty, but that is insignificant, where the death of the child would be a very bad thing.

Singer claims it makes no moral difference whether the person you can help is a neighbor’s child or a child from a 3rd world country whose name you don’t even know. Singer also claims that there is no distinction between cases in which you are the only person who could do anything and cases when you are one in a million in the same position.

Singer believes a person should give till they reach marginal utility, where if they would give any more then they would cause harm to themselves.

Singer believes that there is no such thing as charity, but rather a person is required to give away money they would use to buy new clothes they don’t need, to help famine relief. Singer claims it is wrong not to give away the money.


1- Distance can make a difference. We always learn that Chesed starts at home. So I believe we should first help our family, friends, and those we care about, before we help strangers.

2- I don’t believe a person has to give so much that they are left with as much as the poor people have. A person needs an incentive to continue working, if they were to always give everything away, and not keep any for themselves then they would no longer work as hard, and then we would have to be asking for help.

3- I think there is such a thing as charity, we have tzedaka, where it’s a mitzvah to help someone out. Although 10% is required of us, we are not permitted to give more than a certain percentage. Even if Tzedaka is required of us to give, we still get acknowledged and rewarded for it, it’s still considered a moral act.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Recently I made a list of things I have never done/seen, one of them is “interacted with a drunk person”. Well today I may have encountered just that, or maybe it wasn’t a drunk, maybe it was a mental person who wasn’t 100% (thereby rationalizing my fear).

So today I went on a nice shabbos walk with my mother, or at least it was nice until 3 scary incidents occurred. So we started off walking down an Avenue that had a lot of stores open with mostly Russians walking around. I didn’t like walking down that avenue because then it’s too busy and it feels like during the week, and you can’t talk, your focusing on walking past it all.

So then we get to Ocean Parkway, and we sit down on the bench across from a nice sefardi shul, we were watching people come out of it, and we were talking. Then we got rudely interrupted by this crazy man. He was on a bike, with white/grey hair and beard, he had ripped jeans and looked like he was homeless. He calls out “F’n Je*u* if I had the strength I would nail you to the cross”. I’m still not sure who he was talking to, where the only one’s there, so it must of been us, but I wasn’t going to wait around to find out.

So I jumped up off the bench and started walking away, signaling that my mother should do the same. So then my mother calls my name telling me to cross the street, since the man was following in my direction. So I quickly cross. Meanwhile, there was a sefardi father with 2 sons walking nearby on the sidewalk to where I crossed over to. They saw what happened, so as we were walking down the block, they kept turning around and looking. I thought they were being kind and they wanted to make sure we were okay. When we got to the corner and were waiting for the light, the father asks if I was scared. I of course said “yea!”, and my mother said she didn’t get scared. So that was incident number 1. As a side point, I noticed many sefardi men were wearing baseball caps.

Then we decided to walk home through a different Avenue, my mother likes to look at the nice houses and comment on them. So we were standing by a house and I noticed a ramp so I made a comment. Then all of a sudden we hear the neighbor to that house call out “F’n A-holes” and he continued cursing. He wasn’t talking on a phone, so not sure if it was directed at us or not, but again we passed by and continued on. Now that was incident number 2.

When we started getting closer to my neighborhood, I see this lady who looked like a man, wearing men clothes, but with woman parts. She had this huge black dog on a leash, she was on the opposite side of the street, so we continued walking. But then she started crossing over to our side and yelled out “Get away”. So we quickly crossed to the side she came from. But then this huge black and brown dog without a leash comes chasing after us, crossing the street. It was a few feet behind my mother, I quickly was able to get away. I felt bad for leaving my mother so close to the dog, but she was able to get away too. So that was incident number 3.

Then we finally made our way home, I had a chazaka of 3 in one day, I had never encountered such anti-Semitism and it freaked me out. I guess it teaches us that we aren’t so safe as we would like to think.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Parshas Vayikra

Midah means measurement. Someone with Middos has the right amount of measurements for each characteristic. There is no such thing as a bad characteristic. Each one can be good when used at the right time, in the right way, in the right amount. I remember in 12th grade my teacher taught us why it’s important to have pride to be a good Jew, it stuck with me through all this time.

Something to Say:

From the cattle or from the flock shall you bring the offering (1:2)

The Sages tell us that the cattle, referring to bulls and cows, symbolize haughtiness, whereas the flock, referring to sheep and goats, symbolize humility. The verse mentions both to signify that these two character traits, both arrogance and humility, must be utilized in the service of God. In this context, haughtiness is not meant in a negative or destructive sense, but rather a sense of pride that is necessary to fulfill our duties. The Zohar refers to this as azus dikedushah, arrogance of holiness, the strength of character we must exercise when someone wishes to turn us away from our obligations to God.

I know some of you feel that Jews can seem haughty sometimes, or act arrogant, but you see here, really it’s needed as a survival tactic. There’s nothing wrong with being haughty in of itself, its only when it’s used for negative that it is bad.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Now I’ve heard of the stereotype of shadchanim of being Yentas who talk a certain way which is very comical. I always thought that was just in movies like Fiddler on the Roof, and in the olden days. I didn’t know they still exist. Today I came upon one and it got me thinking.

I had come to school to find class cancelled, I was unsure if I should stay in school to wait for my next class to start or if I should go back home, since there was 3 hours between the two. I remember in 6th grade my teacher told us that “Mother’s know best” and that mothers are always right. So I called my mother and asked her what she think I should do, and she suggested I go home.

So I went home, and as I was on the city bus I overheard this Jewish lady on the cell phone. Now she was the yenta/shadchan type that I heard about but yet never saw. She was talking in a loud voice, in a certain tone that can only be described as a “Yenta tone”. She said “the girl is 5’7, slim”. Then this non Jewish lady turns to look at her, she doesn’t notice and continues. “She’s bubbly, she’s a very good girl…”.

I was thinking, it’s very nice that this lady is helping out and wants to make a shidduch, but I couldn’t help feel bad for the girl. To me this all sounds very degrading, it’s as if the shadchan is making a sales pitch, trying to sell off the girl. I just don’t like the way it sounds for a girl to be on the market and sold off to someone else. It seems like such Chutzpah.

Why is it that the guys are the ones who have the mitzvah to get married, and yet nobody goes around selling the guys? It’s always the girls being sold. Why are guys the one’s with waiting lists of girls? I think waiting lists are another degrading thing to a girl.

Oops, did I just write a Shidduch post?

Then as I was walking home I saw a Pretty weed!



Now that can have all kinds of connotations, so many ways to tie it into my thoughts.



One last thought, why do men always pick up their coats/jackets before they sit down?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jewish Song Sunday #18

David Kerner: The Story of Haman and Mamoud
hattip to: Teruah

I know this is a little late in coming, but this is a Purim song to the tune of BINGO. David is actually one of the parents of kids I had babysat for. I even wrote a post about him on my babysitter blog.

There was a rasha long ago and Haman was his name-o
Hey-Mem-Nun Sofit
Hey-Mem-Nun Sofit
He-Mem-Nun Sofit

And Haman was his name-o.    

Now Mordechai HaTzadik, each day would walk right by him
And no, no he wouldn’t bow down
No, no he wouldn’t bow down
No Mordechai would not bow down because he loved HaShem-o.

So Haman hatched his evil scheme, and things looked rather bleak-o
Mor-de-chai Ha-Tzadik
To the palace he came to seek
His righteous lovely Jewish niece*, Esther HaMalkah

Together they did lead the Jews in fasting and tefilah
We really love you Hashem
Our relationship we want to mend
To you we will return again, to You we will be faithful. 

Now in the end Haman was left, hanging on a tree-o
And for the Jews, there was light
Joy and honor and delight
And so on Purim day and night we tell the story still-o.  

Baruch Mordechai,
Arur - arur Haman!
B'rucha Esther
Esther B'adee!
There is a rasha living now, Ahmadinejad's his name-o
Ach - mad - din - e- jad
To say his name it might be hard
But right there on his business card he tells us what he'd do-o.
He'd like to take the Jewish State and wipe it off the map-o
(And if he could he surely would, because he's such a wacko)
The Holocaust he does deny
He's plotting the next genocide
It's time to stand and take a side, so which side are you on-o?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Parshas Vayakhel

A lot of times there’s the excitement of something new which motivates us to do something. It can be something you normally wouldn’t want to do, but because it’s new or the first time you get excited about it. Example in the beginning of the school year, you can’t wait for school to start and can’t wait to do your homework. But then as time goes on, you no longer have the same motivation.

Something To Say:

The people are bringing more than enough for the labor (36:5)

The Mei HaShiloach asks: Why are the Jews praised for brining these offerings? Who wouldn’t give money towards the building of the Mishkan, which served as a house for God? The Mei HaShiloach explains that a man never knows if he truly has a generous heart or not. The first time he is asked to do a mitzvah, he is able to do it with great enthusiasm, but after he has become accustomed to the mitzvah, his performance often does not have the same fire anymore. This may serve as a sign that he is not truly a giving person. In this verse, however, we read that the people gave many contributions; they continued to give time after time, with great enthusiasm, proving their authentically generous character.

So here, the Jews really had a true excitement to do the mitzvah and help donate towards the Mishkan. It wasn’t just because it was a first time thing, and it was exciting, but rather they truly were giving people. The Jews continued to give more and more, so it wasn’t a one time thing.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Need Memes!

I saw this Meme at Something Different and Tembow. They did a great job with it, and now I will have some fun too!


You type "[your first name] needs" into google. Copy and paste the words into your blog.

Jewish Side needs…

Jewish Side needs a break

yea, I can definitely use one!

Jewish Side needs to be told, and yeah, it really should be more complete.

ok, I’ll listen to what I’m told, but not sure what has to be complete?

Jewish Side needs to stop talking

I know I know, I have to cut down on my typing.

Jewish Side needs the taste of Kosher

yea, Kosher is the best taste out there!

Jewish Side needs money

well I wouldn’t say I need money just yet…

The Babysitter needs…

The Babysitter needs to be decided.

Yea, majorly!

The Babysitter needs to be prepared too.

yea, very important!

The Babysitter needs to look after more than 1 child, add $1/hr per kid

well now that I’m no longer babysitting this doesn’t apply. But I wouldn’t have the heart to charge more per child.

The Babysitter needs on the spot help urgently.

I suppose so, help = motivation to study!

The babysitter needs to be lighthearted and has to have a great sense of humor because the kids can really be a lot of fun!

yea, kids sure are fun! (You hear that Moshe?)

I figured enough time has passed and its time for another meme. Looking at the poll I took asking you if you like memes, it was pretty even. Five of you said you love Memes, another 5 said you would do it reluctantly, and 6 of you said you enjoy them once in a while. Thank goodness no one said they hate them.

Tagged: Baal Tshuva Slowly, frum female, Here in HP, Insanity now, serenity later, Material Maidel, Mike In Midwood, Philosophy & Mixtapes, Shorty's Adventure, The Secret World of Princess Yuttele, האדם בעולמו

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Jewish Professors Part 1

I’ve had surprisingly a lot of Jewish professors, some men and some women. They were all 2 types, either funny and a great professor, or just a excellent professor. I was going to write one whole long post with all the different types of Jewish professors I had. But then I realized it would be too long and no one would read it, so I’m dividing it up into parts. So here’s part 1. It won’t be in order of the classes though.

Intermediate accounting 1 and Auditing – Now this professor is a Jewish guy who’s around 60 years old. My friend from college who recently got married, actually invited him to her wedding.

I’m taking Auditing with him now. It was arranged for “Crazy Eddie”’s brother to come down to speak to the auditing students. This took place last night and I couldn’t go because I had another class. So now today this professor said that it was good I didn’t go because the presentation was horrible. He said Sam is a low life and had a horrible language, kept cursing and spoke degrading women. He said the whole staff was shocked to see Sam speak this way.

Sam had been the auditor for his brother Eddie Antar, he ratted out on the others and got out of having to go to jail. He spoke freely about not having paid millions in taxes, my professor said that it was silly of him to do so because the statute is still open forever, so he can technically be reported.

Sam singled out my professor during the speech and said that my professor would make a bad auditor because he was wearing a white shirt and tie. He said you would have to dress down to be a good auditor. My professor knew not to take it personally, but I think that was mean and perhaps racist.

Sam said they were able to trick the auditors by putting a blond up by the boxes where they would have to count the inventory, so that the blondes would distract them. So when my professor was telling this over to the us, one guy asks my professor if he would be distracted by a girl they put up there. So everyone started laughing, and my professor said that you got to do your job, you can’t get distracted. He said you have to be normal, but yet you have to be in control. Then I was thinking to myself Jews have it better in this case if they’re shomer, they would be able to do their job right without getting distracted.

Now this professor is also a good professor and tells jokes and funny stuff to keep the class awake.

to be continued…

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Jewish Song Sunday #17

Moshe Dov Goldwag: Amar Rabbi Akiva

Last week I posted a video of Ari Goldwag singing Bamarom in the Miami Boys choir when he was a child. Now years later he has his own child who he’s introducing to music. His son, Moshe Dov has such a Goldwag face! Enjoy!

Jessica brought up a good question which made me start thinking what the answer is.

Do musicians listen to their own music? Do they have their own music on their mp3 players or because they play their own music so often they can’t bear to listen to it any more than they have to?

Maybe Ari Goldwag can answer that for us?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Parshas Ki Sisa

A little while ago I remember coming upon lots of blog posts where people were talking about one thing, and that was “money”. It seemed as though it was the common language that everyone understood. The drive behind people’s actions were based on how much money they would get out of it. This didn’t feel right to me, that a person should lie and cheat to get money.

Something To Say:

This shall they give… a half shekel (30:13)

This parshah speaks of the contributions that were made to the Mishkan. The use of the word Zeh,this, implied that something was actually shown to the listener. Rabbi Meir explained that God removed a coin of fire from beneath His holy throne and said to Moses, “Let the people give a coin such as this.”

It is interesting that the metaphoric coin was made of fire. The Noam Eliezer comments that one must realize that money is like fire. If fire is misused, it can destroy, but it can also be used constructively, to prepare food or to provide warmth. Money also has this double potential: If used for mitzvos, it can be a conduit of great blessings. But if a person keeps his money exclusively for himself and spends it foolishly and wrongly, it can cause great destruction.

So Money isn’t all that good, there’s two sides to it. Like everything in life it can be used for good and for bad. To use money for mitzvos and other worthy things then it can be a great tool. But if used solely for one self it can be destructive. Money isn’t meant to be hoarded for oneself, but rather used additionally for mitzvos and good things. A person should make decisions based on if the action is right or wrong and not based on how much money they will get out of it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

How Was Your Purim?

I ended up fasting the whole Taanis Esther on Monday. I decided to make Hamentashen this year, for the first time, thanks to Tembow. Then I just needed a recipe, Leora shared a recipe of hers she had from the year before. So I made Hamentashen with chocolate chips in it, and I had decided to try out the white ones too.

So Monday I was making the Hamentashen, then before I put the white chocolate chips in I wanted to first taste it to see if it tastes good. So without thinking I put one in my mouth. Then five minutes later I realized my mistake, that I was supposed to be fasting. Then I remembered learning once that even if you break it by mistake you can still continue fasting, so I did that.

Below are some pictures from the Hametashen making. The first picture on the left is the raw dough in circles with the chocolate chips in them. The next picture is all of them in triangle shapes. My little brother helped me out once again with that. The third picture is of one raw hamentashen. The last picture is the final product of a baked hamentashen.

Monday I had classes throughout the day, and I had to figure out how I would catch a Megillah reading. My father had printed out for me different shul schedules with their Megillah reading times. The latest time given was 9:30, and I wasn’t sure if I would make it to that one since I got out of class at 9:15. So my parents were kind enough to pick me up from school right after class and drive me right to Megillah and I got there at 9:30 on the dot. But then of course things don’t start on time. So 9:45 it started and I came home at 10:30, that was a long day.

Then it came to Purim day, after Megillah reading I came back home and had to study for my test on Wednesday night. Now I didn’t want to miss out on the Purim fun, so I brought down my laptop, books and notes to the living room, so that I can study there and still see what’s going on. I studied for 5 hours straight!

While I was in my house I got a delivery, not a shaloch manos delivery but a UPS delivery! My first pair of crocs came. I know I’m late with it, but I decided to finally see what its all about, and it is pretty comfortable, and it’s a cool type. shaloch manos invention

Meanwhile my little brother is very creative and made an invention to help him carry the shaloch manos to deliver to neighbors. He put wheels on the bottom of a bucket, I don’t know how he did it!

Now with Shaloch manos, my favorite were the ones with real food in it. One person gave a hot dog, I had that for lunch. Then another person gave a Deli Sandwhich I had that for a late night supper. I do like candy too, but not many people sent that, and because I was a big girl I didn’t do the food fight.

Now what did I see? I saw a bunch of creative costumes. Funnily enough the first costume I saw was that of Fruity Pebble guy/Fred Flinstone. He was wearing no shirt or pants underneath his costume, and I imagine he was freezing. It’s funny that I saw this costume, cause only a few days before that Gruven Reuven shared a cartoon of that guy which I called “Fruity Pebble guy” and that caused three people to respond saying it made them feel old to see me calling him that. Trip N’ Mommy then explained to me why that made them feel old and EliPongo then shared with me a wiki page about The Flinstones.

The next costume I saw was a guy with an Obama mask, he said it cost 35 dollars! He said really funny lines. He handed out 1 dollar bills saying “This is coming out of your tax money”. He said other funny lines which I don’t remember.

Then there was a van outside of people delivering shaloch manos, and this minnie mouse character comes out of the passenger side and my mother goes over to take a picture of it. We don’t know who it is, so then a neighbor asks minnie mouse to take off the mask so that she can get a picture of the face too. Then surprise, the minnie mouse head comes off and there’s a GUY there! So my mother then recoils and says “ewww” and starts laughing. We were all expecting a girl in there and it was a shock to see a guy in a minnie mouse costume. It did not look right!

The next costume I liked was someone dressed up as "Uncle Moishy”. I thought that was the perfect costume for a young father who has little kids and friends with little kids.

Another cool costume I saw was a girl wearing an iPod costume. It was two boards sandwiching her. It made me start thinking of all kinds of other tech gadget costumes that can be made.

After I finished studying I took an hour nap then ate a quick meal by myself and then headed off to class. As I was waiting outside the classroom, a guy in my class comes over and sits down next to me on the floor and we start talking. Then he takes out a Hamentashen and starts eating it, I didn’t even notice he was eating a Hamentashen till after he said something. Now this is a guy who has long hair, no yarmulka, and doesn’t seem Jewish at all. I’m still not sure if he’s Jewish or not.

But then this other girl in the class comes with a shaloch manos in her hand so I asked her if someone at college gave it to her, and she said that she got it in the morning at work and just didn’t have time to bring it home yet. So then this guy says this thing that surprised me and made me think that maybe he actually is Jewish. He asked how you would know if the Hamentashen is Kosher if it came in a sandwich bag with no label on it. He said people could give it to each other and then pass it on, so it doesn’t even come from the person who gave it to you. So then I wondered, does that mean he got that hamentashen in Shaloch Manos? If he’s worried about Kashrus, does that mean he’s Jewish?

Purim in the Blogosphere:

I have to admit I barely read any of these yet. But I’ll start with these Purim posts and then work my way to reading more once again.

I am so Happy I created this Jewish Side blog so I can take part in the Purim spirit on blogosphere!

Hope you all had a great Happy Purim!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Jewish Song Sunday #16

Miami Boys Choir: Bamarom

When I first heard this song I decided it was my favorite song. I liked how it was fast and had high parts to it. I also liked it cause it had two of my favorite child hood singers in it. This is from a video I remember watching as a child back in the days when we had a VCR. Later on I found out that I was related to Nochum Stark, and sort of related to Ari Goldwag which made me like their singing even more. Recently I found a blog by Ari Goldwag called Geulah Perspectives. He also has his own site with podcasts of D’vrei Torah that are spiritually oriented.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Parshas Tetzaveh

I remember learning that men have the obligation to study Torah day and night. That literally it doesn’t mean they have to be in Kollel all the time, but that in their free time they should learn. We also learned that by men saying Kriyas Shema in the morning and night it fulfills their obligation of Torah study. I never understood how this can be. But now I finally got my answer.

Something to Say:

Pure olive oil…to Kindle the lamps continuously (27:20)

R’ Yochanan says in the name of R’ Shimon bar Yochai that by reciting Krias Shema in the morning and the evening a person fulfills the dictum that Torah study should never depart from one’s mouth. The Chiddushei HaRim asks: How can the recitation of Krias Shema, which takes only a few minutes, fulfill the obligation of Keeping Torah on one’s lips perpetually?

His answer connects R’ Shimon bar Yochai’s statement to the words of this verse, to kindle the lamp continuously. How long did it take the Kohen to light the Menorah? only a few moments, but since it was lit with such great devotion and enthusiasm, it became a light that lasted all day. Similarly, although the recitation of Krias Shema takes but a few minutes, when said with concentration and enthusiasm its effects last the entire day.

Even though the recitation of Shema only lasts a few minutes, when said with Kavannah and devotion it can have a long lasting effect which is so great, that its as if your involved with Torah study the whole time. Obviously this can only work with those that truly understand what they are saying in the words of Shema.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

HP Tuesday #4

It’s been a really long time since I wrote one of these. I had a Hashgacha Pratis story to share and a bunch of stuff to tell, so I figured I would combine it in one. For starters if you had noticed I hadn’t posted for over a week, it wasn’t because I had nothing to say, but rather because I had technical difficulties.

Thursday morning, February 18th, I turned on my laptop and realized that the wire for the charger was ripped and sparks were coming out so it was history. Then my battery died after not being able to be charged, so I was stuck. I thought a store nearby for sure had to have it. I checked online at staples, PC Richards, Radio Shack and any store in Brooklyn. But they didn’t seem to have it. I called HP-Hewlett Packard customer service, and they said it would cost 55 dollars to replace the adapter.

I checked online, found a adapter at Amazon for 25 dollars, and thought great this is a good price. Figured it would take maybe 3 or 4 days and I should get it by Monday the 22nd. Although I was upset at first, cause I wanted it right away, and didn’t want to resort to buying it online and waiting for it to come by shipping. The shipping information said that it would come between February 25th and March 2nd.

I waited and waited, hoping and hoping for it come, and it just never showed up. Meanwhile, I had school work to do that involved accessing documents on my computer. I didn’t have access to my computer, and this made me realize how good those remote desktop things are, to access your computer on another computer. So now I think I’ll set one up.

In any case, I had to access the documents, and the Hashgacha Pratis is that the night before my external hard drive had arrived and I decided to sync my school documents on to it. So lucky me had access to them!

So for over a week I’ve been using the school computer and my older brothers computer. Then finally Shabbos my adapter came. So Sunday after the whole experience I was able to have my computer and blog about it and catch up on some stuff. Motzei shabbos I even backdated some posts to make up for the ones I wasn’t able to write before.

Now there’s more to this, another HP factor. The Tuesday the 16th I had been thinking how much I like my robotics class I’m taking, that its so much fun, and I felt so good at it. Getting a 100 on my test boosted my ego some more. I felt really good about myself. I was thinking to myself, why is it that I like programming so much. Then I realized maybe it has to do with the control factor. That I get to design a program with code and tell the robot what to do, and it does exactly what I do. That gives you a strong sense of power and control, that you can actually have an impact and change what things do.

Then Thursday Morning my computer dies on me. So what was this showing. It was Hashem’s way of showing that I’m not in control, rather He’s in control. At the time when I felt so high and good, Hashem had to remind me whose really boss. So I no longer had my computer, I realized I had less control, I couldn’t do the things I wanted, because I had to use others computers and it was an inconvenience.

So now I appreciate having my own computer again, Hashem was kind to make a way for me to have access to the stuff I needed so I didn’t loose out. Plus I learned an important message that Hashem is the one in control. Though I can pursue this field if I want, and maybe I would get to use it for good, in ways that Hashem would want.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Hatzollah and Maimonides Experience

First off I feel bad for my dentist, I keep having “emergencies” by him, and I don’t want him to feel responsible for it. It puts pressure on him and might make him look bad. So I’d feel less guilty if no one blames the dentist.

So I went to get a cavity filled. I made sure to eat breakfast in the morning, cause I thought I was getting another wisdom tooth pulled. My dentist said something about a wisdom tooth, later I found out that he meant he had to fill it. So the dentist gave me the Novocain and waited the amount of time and then got to work. While he was drilling I felt pain, so I let him know, and he said “almost done”, he finished up, it hurt once more and that was the end of that.

Then I waited in the chair while they prepared a thing of mush to put in my mouth to make an impression. While I was waiting I started to feel nauseous. I had my mother waiting in the waiting room, if she would have been in the room with me, I would have spoken up then. But since she wasn’t there, I figured I’d let the lady do the impression, and I’ll manage the way I was. I started to feel really nauseous and was going to speak up. I was debating within myself if I should say anything, I was waiting for the lady who cleans teeth to come in, cause I like her, so I wanted to tell her that I didn’t feel well. I was going to ask the lady if she can wait a little bit more before she takes the impressions.

I didn’t say anything though, so the lady sticks the thing in my mouth, and I’m waiting for her to take it out already. She comments that I don’t look so well. So then I pointed to my head and I started to make noises. So she took the thing out, then I said I feel faint. Then all of a sudden my head goes blank, I can’t feel anything, and I feel as though I’m swimming and seeing stars. So they start leaning the seat back. But while they are doing this, I have the urge to throw up, so I shoot right up and spit out into the sink. Then they lay me down again, and keep me like that for like 10 minutes.

I start to feel better, and I start crying for making a fool of myself like that. So everyone comes into the room, the dentist, the lady who cleans teeth, and the helper lady, and my mother. They all start talking. My dentist jokes around that I keep falling for dentists, that if I were to go on a date with a dentist I’d start falling in the middle. Then the lady who cleans teeth was telling over a story about her daughter who was 15 and got an asthma attack which turned to an anxiety attack. Then she was saying how it was such a good thing the other lady was there to catch me.

Then they decide to pick up the chair slowly to see if I’ll be okay. But then as they pick it up to a sitting position I start to feel nauseous again. They ask me how I’m feeling and I said “so so”. So they keep me like that for a while. Meanwhile they were trying to get a hold of my doctor so that I could be checked out. But he wasn’t available. So my dentist decided to call hatzollah.

Within seconds Hatzallah came, and I started crying all over. I felt like a baby, but in my mind hatzallah is there for big things, so then this must be a big thing so it got me scared. They took my vital signs and blood pressure and all that, and I was fine. They decided I should go to the hospital to get checked out just in case. Better safe than sorry. So they brought a stretcher in, and as they put me on the stretcher, I recognize one of the Hatzallah guys, a neighbor of mine.

Then they were deciding which hospital to send me to. They asked me how old I am, I said 20. One guy asked if I want to go to a place with stars and pictures on the wall. I said “no”. Meanwhile my mother was on the phone with my father, and she asked him which hospital I should go to, my father said Maimonides. Then the dentist asked the hatzollah guy I know what hospital he would send his kids to, he said Maimonides. So then the dentist said “it’s settled”. But a different hatzollah guy said “that’s not a fair question”. So Maimonides was the one I went to.

Then when they brought me into the ambulance, I was so embarrassed. Now I know for sure that people don’t like when you look to see them go in an ambulance. So if you ever see a person being wheeled in, don’t look! Then one of the hatzallah guys came into the ambulance with me and my mother and he was talking to me. As my mother was climbing up into the ambulance to be with me she said “Now you have something to write about in your blog”. The Hatzollah guy overheard, but he didn’t say anything. But it was embarrassing. So now here I am writing about it.

Meanwhile my mouth was still numb from the shot, and I had white stuff on part of my mouth from the mush of the impression. So when he tried asking me questions, I couldn’t really speak. So then he asked if I’m always this spaced out. I didn’t say anything. But before we started driving, he told the driver to try to do one in every 3 bumps. Then when we were driving I realized what I meant, the ride was really bumpy, I think he went over every bump there was.

So meanwhile I got to see the back view of how it looks to be driving backwards, I recognized different buildings, it was cool. The Hatzollah man asked me a bunch of questions and kept smiling and making conversation, he was a really nice guy, and helped take care of everything. He asked if I ever fainted before, I told him that I did once a while ago, when I was in 7th grade. Happened to be it was at the same dentist office, after I got my braces tightened. There I had no shot, so it helped the dentist feel a bit better that it wasn’t his fault. I forgot to tell him that there were other times when I felt faint, one time in school, and another time when I was babysitting.

Then he asked me if I’ve ever been to a emergency room before, I told him that I had, but I hadn’t been conscience at that time, so then he went over the routine of what their going to do, so I should feel prepared. Then they wheeled me into this area where we were like “waiting on line”. Then this other guy sees me smiling, and he said “People who come in here shouldn’t be smiling”, so that made me laugh, so then he said “after your here long enough, you won’t be smiling anymore”. He was joking around, but that’s the sarcastic kind, where I never know what to say back.

Then this mean lady comes over with a thing and sticks me to take a blood sugar level. She asked me what I was eating, I said nothing. I told her I was at the dentist. Then she put something under my mouth, a thermometer maybe, and told me to bite down on it. Meanwhile this other lady was asking my mother questions, and my mother answered the wrong thing, so I wanted to correct her, so I tried to speak up, and this mean lady said to close my mouth and bite down. So I listened to her. Then after that the Hatzollah people left, afterwards my mother told me that the nice hatzollah guy knew me. I asked her how, and she said he was on call a different time when I had to go to the hospital, so he remembered me. I thought that was nice, then they all wished me “get well” and left.

Meanwhile, my father was coming over, and then he saw the hatzollah guy that lives in our neighborhood, so my father asked him since when is he a hatzollah, and he said that he joined a month ago.

Then I get wheeled into this section where there are beds with curtains between and no room for anyone to move, and the curtains kept moving back and forth. I didn’t want to see any of the patients, since I get queasy from these things, so I made sure not to look till the curtain was put in place. Then a different mean nurse comes over with bags and tells me to put my clothes in there. So I take off some clothes and put on the hospital gown. Then while we wait for the doctor to come in, I got to hear the patient next to me speak to her doctor about her problem, and what the doctor had to say about it.

It got me thinking that all doctors tend to talk to same way, in a informative way, that’s soothing that makes you think they know what they’re talking about, and in a way it sounds like how a parent talks to a child. So then this lady doctor comes in, asks questions about what happened and told me they’re going to do some tests.

So they take this KEG test, I think that’s what it’s called, I already forgot, where they put these snap looking things on you, and then it monitors the heart. Then she asked me to go to the bathroom for a test, then as I’m walking in the hallway, I see someone I know. A guy from college, that was in my Jewish class, he sees me and says hello and waves. So I said hello back, but I felt so embarrassed for him to see me that way, so helpless looking in a hospital gown. He was wearing some badge or something, so maybe he does bikur cholim, I’m not sure.

So all the tests came back good, and after a while they said I could go, and gave me discharge papers. So I got back dressed and left. My brother drove us all back home, and now here I am at my computer. They said I should go for a follow up appointment at the doctor in 72 hours, and that I shouldn’t fast tannis esther. So they don’t know why I fainted, but it could be because of Shots and dentists in general. So the doctor said that in the future when I go to the dentist they should know that I’m prone to this and will be patient with me. That I shouldn’t rush to get up after they do work.

My father suggested I drink more, that it could be I got dehydrated. I know last time I fainted, I hadn’t eaten breakfast. But this time I ate, so it can’t be because of that. But I probably needed more water in me.