Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My First Visit To A Rebbe

A while back I had gone to a shiur on Emuna and Bitachon where the Rabbi said:

“You have to have self esteem, and believe that you know what your doing. That you shouldn’t have to ask a Rav a question all the time. That Hashem gave you knowledge to know to make the right decision.”

Well Sunday I went with my parents and grandfather to see a Rebbe to ask for advice on making a decision. I can’t reveal what the question was, since it’s a personal matter that doesn’t involve me. (Auror – It’s what we talked about).

So we go into his house and there’s a waiting room for women and one for men. While I was waiting with my mother this chassidish lady comes in, and she makes a phone call and talks while we are in the room. Now I couldn’t help hearing the parts that were in English that I could understand. Since most of it was in Yiddish, I’m not sure if I got the story right. But seems like she was on the phone with her husband, and she wanted to go to the Rebbe to ask him a question. Her husband didn’t want her to go, but she kept telling him that she had to ask the question because she doesn’t want to make a decision on her own “seichel”.

She kept saying she’ll put everything on the table, trying to reassure her husband that the Rebbe will understand and tell them the right thing to do. This made me curious what this question was all about. She continued to talk on in Yiddish, with phrases of English here and there. She mentioned that she’s going to ask if she should go. She then said she will live with him.

Now this made me think that it seemed like she was going to be asking the Rebbe if she should leave her husband or stay with him. If this is the case it really surprised me. I hadn’t imagined such a decision should be made by a Rebbe. I would think it’s a decision between husband and wife to make. Although it reminded me of stories where people were married for 10 years without children, and that technically they could divorce for that, so I imagine people would ask a Rebbe what to do about that. But this woman mentioned that her brother was watching her kids, so that wasn’t the case.

So this reminded me of what I once heard about trusting yourself and not asking a Rabbi a question all the time.

Anyways, the lady tells my mother that she has to put a scarf on her sheitel if she’s going to go in to see the Rebbe. So I put it on my mother, having no idea what I was doing. It made me laugh thinking of what my father’s reaction would be when he saw my mother that way. But then I thought I was being rude, so I stopped thinking that.

Then we go into the room, and the Rebbe was sitting at the head of the table in a fancy room with three dining room chairs on each side of the table. Now my grandfather, father and mother sat on one side. I wasn’t going to sit along on the other side, so I brought the chair over next to my mother.

My grandfather knows Yiddish, so he did most of the talking, then the Rebbe gave everyone a Bracha after my father said each child’s name. Then we left, the whole visit took minutes, but it was an interesting experience. The Rebbe didn’t look at me so I couldn’t really see his facial expressions, but my father said he was very emotional. When he heard certain things he said “oy vey” and his face got that sad look, as though he felt the pain.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jewish Song Sunday #20

Shea Rubenstein: Window in Heaven

This song was made for Moshe’le Holtzberg in dedication of his parents that were niftar in Mumbai. When I heard this song I loved it, the voice, the words and all of it. There’s also the famous blue park in the video, that makes it more personal to me.

Next up: My First Visit to a Rebbe

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It’s all In Hashem’s Hands

Ironic how I still have no plans and no job and yet I was kept really busy and made over 100 dollars this week!

Monday I went over to give gifts to my love’s family for their graduations. They had 4 graduations, a shame I forgot to take pictures of the gifts before I gave it to them. But their mother took pictures of me giving a gift to each of them, and she took a video of me giving my gifts to them. Then that night I helped out watching the younger kids.

Tuesday I went with my parents and little sister to Manhattan. As we were going to the train station I commented to my parents how it amazes me that my love’s parents act as though they are newly weds. When they are on the phone with each other they will say “o, you don’t have to…” or “only if you don’t mind”, or “I can do that, it’s no big deal”. They are always so nice to each other, and never tell each other what to do. They take into consideration each other’s feelings.

Then when we were on the train my father took out his gemara to learn on the train. Then he shows me how he was learning exactly what I mentioned before. In Bava Metziah Daf 59 Footnote 11, it says you have to be careful not to wrong your wife because her tears come easily. This topic hadn’t shown up in the previous pages he learned, so it shows that his learning is Leshma, since he first learned about it after he heard about it.

While he was learning on the train, this middle aged man comes over to him and they start talking. The man was a reform Jew and he asked about the gemara page, the layout. He saw the page in a museum and wanted to know more about it. So my father explained what the different sections of the page are.

Since it was Rosh Chodesh we went out to eat, it was my first time in Abigaels, and my first time that I ordered a steak. And here comes another first…it was the first time I used a steak knife. (I have yet to light a match, if any of you have posts that mention lighting a match, then I could link it up in my sidebar) The food tasted great, and the waiter was very professional, a newly trained one, on his best behavior. We also went out to eat as a belated celebration for my graduation. At night after a long day in Manhattan I went to my love’s family to watch the kids.

Wednesday I took my little brother and sister to the pizza store and bowling. We used bumpers but most of the time it didn’t even touch the bumper and just went straight down the middle.


On our way back from bowling we passed by lots of interesting sites. There was a parking lot of limos. There was a really long limo Jeep. There was also some roosters? or chickens? which I found strange.

Then after that long day I went to my love’s family to watch the kids, this time it was only the 6 younger kids. The 6 older kids went out to eat with the parents to celebrate 2 of their graduations and the end of the school year. As I was talking with the 6th to youngest kid, she told me that her parents took the 6 younger kids to the pizza store the day before, and on their way there, their mother told them all how proud she was of them. One by one she gave them a report of how good they were in the school year. This really touched my heart. See a mother of 12 can give individual attention to each kid, and make each kid feel special.

Thursday I went with my twin and little sister Ice skating. There were lots of professional skaters there and it was fun to watch them and try to mimic what they were doing. I saw this cute little 4 year old getting lessons, and skating like a pro. It kind of made me wish that I would have learned to skate like that when I was young too. I then took my sister to the pizza shop again.

I don’t think I’ll be going to my love’s family tonight, unless they call me. But their leaving Sunday to the country and I will miss them all. They offered for me to come up with them, but it’s a boys camp so not my kind of thing.

My love’s mother keeps reminding me that if I move, I have to move in our neighborhood so I can still come over, she calls me a lifesaver. It makes me feel good knowing they appreciate me as much as I appreciate them. They really are like my second family and I love them all.

P.S. If you know my love’s family, please don’t tell them I said anything about them. Even though it’s nothing bad, it can be embarrassing if they find out I write about them.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Jewish Songs Sunday # 19

Barbra Streisand: Children Will Listen

For some reason I just love children and children related things. Barbra gives a great presentation to this song. Such an important message, that children will listen. I’m proud to say that Barbra went to my school! Although my school refused to take a generous donation from her since they felt it wasn’t a right source to get money from, and they didn’t approve of the path she had chosen. B”H nowadays there are outlets for frum girls to express their talents so that they don’t have to go to Hollywood or the outside for a chance to shine.

Warning: Kol Isha


How do you say to your child in the night
Nothing is all black but then nothing is all white?
How do you say it will all be alright
When you know that it mightnt be true?
What do you do?
Careful the things you say,
Children will listen.
Careful the things you do,
Children will see.
And learn.
Children may not obey,
But children will listen.
Children will look to you
For which way to turn,
To learn what to be.
Careful before you say,
Listen to me.
Children will listen.
Careful the wish you make,
Wishes are children.
Careful the path they take,
Wishes come true,
Not free.
Careful the spell you cast,
Not just on children.
Sometimes the spell may last
Past what you can see
And turn against you...
Careful the tale you tell.
That is the spell.
Children will listen...
How can you say to a child whos in flight,
Dont slip away and I wont hold so tight?
What can you say that no matter how slight wont be misunderstood?
What do you leave to your child when youre dead
Only what ever you put in its head
Things that your mother and father had said
Which were left to them too.
Careful what you say, children will listen
Careful you do it too, children will see and learn.
Guide them but step away,
Children will glisten.
Temper with what is true
And children will turn,
If just to be free.
Careful before you say,
Listen to me.
Children will listen...
Children will listen!
Children, children will listen

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Singing In The Rain

Today I went to an excellent shiur by R’ Wallerstein. I’ve always heard how great a speaker he was, but I’ve never heard him speak live till now. He spoke about the mishnah in Pireki Avos that says “Remember these 3 things and it will keep you from doing an Avaira: 1- Know where you came from, 2- Know where your going, 3- Know you will have to give a din v’cheshbon of what you have done in life.”

He said you can compare it to a GPS, that it has to know where your coming from and the destination address. Now this part I love, he said that a GPS is amazing because when you don’t follow it’s directions, and make a wrong turn or go down a wrong path, it doesn’t yell at you but rather it says “recalculating” it figures out a new way for you to get to the same destination.

He spoke about how important it is to give your children self esteem, that it says Hashem gave us a Chiba Yisaira. So why does it have to mention that in the Pirkei Avos, wouldn’t it be known? So the answer is, you have to speak about it. You have to tell your wife and spouse spouse and children that you love them. You shouldn’t say, “o, but it’s obvious, they know I love them”. Rather you should remind them how much you love them. That you shouldn’t say “o, but I buy my wife flowers every shabbos” Because there the flowers are for shabbos, rather you should buy her flowers during the week, to show they are for her. Also, when couples are having Shalom Bayis problems rather than listing the 5 things they don’t like about each other, they should write down the 5 things they do like about each other.

He said he doesn’t believe in rewarding bad behavior. There are teens who would do something bad and then all of a sudden everyone is nice to them and gives them prizes, money, and trips to Florida. But that sends the wrong message, it tells them if they want attention they should do something bad. And then they will never correct themselves because their having the good life while their bad. He says rather you should build your child’s self esteem, tell them how much you love them, as a prevention so they shouldn’t need to find themselves and get into trouble. 

He said instead of baking a fancy dessert for Shabbos, have your seven year old daughter bake a dunken heins cake, this way she will feel good about herself. I know I’m not 7 years old, but it’s really true, lately I started cooking, and then afterwards I would ask everyone how the food was and it felt so good to hear them say they liked it. (My mother was even a true husband, I used expired eggs by mistake, and she didn’t want the whole thing to go into the garbage, so she ate from it and said the food was good anyways).

He said Yiddishkeit is not about a competition. He said the problem is when everything is made into a competition. We are each born with a tzelem elokim, there isn’t just one winner. He doesn’t believe in marks for Hebrew subjects. He says that’s what causes the children to be turned off. That it’s ridiculous for them to get a Tefillah mark, that how could anyone possibly know what their thinking when they daven. And that’s what turns them off from wanting to go to minyan and davening.

Then when a child brings home a Chumash test with a 50 on it, the parent would yell at them, “how can you do this to me!”. Then once the parent starts off in a negative tone the child blocks out everything being heard, so even if you say a good thing afterwards, they won’t hear it. This is what knocks down their self esteam. So rather than yelling at them for getting a bad mark, look over their test, show them the answers they got right, and say “wow, this one was a hard one, harder than the one’s you got wrong”. This way their self esteam is built up and next time they will do even better.

Another thing he said which I thought was a great idea was about Brachos. He said before he gives a speech his wife gives him a bracha of Hatzlacha. Before his children have a test at school they each give a bracha to each other to do well. Now what’s so great about this? It connects everyone. This way a wife who usually knows nothing about her husbands daf yomi learning, becomes involved. Because she gave a bracha that her husband should do well in learning, when he comes home she will ask him “how did the learning go?”.

Also, the Shabbos table shouldn’t be a long drasha from the father. But rather each kid should say a little d’var torah. He told a bunch of stories. One of them was about this guy who was able to speak in public to lots of people, and people would question him how was he able to stand up in front of so many people. So he said that when he was younger, every kid in his family would put together a little skit Friday nights, and he would perform in front of his parents, and he thinks this helped him to not be afraid of speaking in front of large groups. So the parent has the ability to raise the kids self esteem so they won’t need to take public speaking classes.

He said he was asked to speak at “Judas Place” where they have at risk kids. He came and this 14 year old girl started cursing out G-d saying how much she hated G-d. So then he said how this kid having anger towards G-d was a great thing, because she recognized there was a G-d out there, so that was the first step. Once she acknowledged that, turning the anger into love was easy.

Then he said he bought himself a “kiruv car” a cool car with 479 horse power. He was driving to the country and needed oil put in. So he figured since it’s an expensive car it probably needs the expensive synthetic oil. So he started putting it in. Then this guy comes over to him and says “Do you know what your doing, did you read the manual? If you put in that oil the car is going to explode!”. He takes out the manual from the glove compartment and reads it, and sees that yes the car would have exploded that he needs to put in WD 150. So he got saved.

Now this is also a great mashul, Hashem created us and didn’t expect us to figure out how to survive on our own. But rather he gave us a manual- The Torah. Now just like you wouldn’t think you know better than GM, and would trust their manual. Same you shouldn’t think you know better than Hashem. He created us, so of course it would follow suit that we should learn the Torah and follow what it says.

Now getting back to the Mishnah, it says in the Torah that we are created from dust and to dust we will go again. So now this seems contradictory to the whole tzelem elokim thing. Wouldn’t this make someone depressed to think they are nothing? So the answer goes like this. We are created from (I forgot the Hebrew word) a man’s thing where one out of 2 million makes it, and that’s what we are made from. So we came into this world where we already went through a struggle, so it’s reminding us where we came from, we came from the one cell that made it.

So to when faced with an avaira we should remember how we made it before, where we came from, and that should stop us from doing the Avaira. Then also to remember where we are going to. A rotted seed that’s put into the earth looks like nothing will grow from it, but yet a plant comes from it. Same too, we have techias hameisim. So really it’s not that we are nothing, but rather it’s reminding us of our potential, and how great we are so we shouldn’t sin.

I went to the shiur with my father, so afterwards it was raining outside again while we walked home. So as we walked back we were talking about the shiur, how much we loved it, hence the title “Singing in the Rain” - Singing the joyous words of Torah we just heard. I tried to remember as much as I could. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I really love chinuch speeches, where people have a positive approach to dealing with kids.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Message From Hashem

A friend of mine is having R’ Yosef Mizrachi speak for an event and would like to invite you all to come.

The topic will be “A Message From Hashem”. You can look at the picture below for more details.

I am thinking about going to this event. If any of you decide to go, let me know in the comments and then maybe I’ll show up and get a chance to meet you.

I know last time I didn’t end up going to the other event. But if my brother decides to go to this one, then I will go along too.

flyer for 6 28

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Flowers 101

This 101st post is dedicated to Leora, who has shown me the beauty in nature and G-d’s creations!

The post is inspired by Ilana-Davita, by looking at her flower picture. Click on the picture to see her post.

Ilana-Davita's flower

Now when I saw that picture, it reminded me of my garden.

Rose against Brick wall

Tall Rose 2 Different Roses

Before there were these pretty roses, there were some mysterious flowers appearing in my garden. Leora helped Identify them.

Sunflower Crocus

Another thing I love about Leora’s blog, is her art collection of posts. So this picture is in honor of Leora’s art and flowers. I painted these roses a long time ago.

Painted Roses

Last up are the shvous flowers I picked out.

Shvous Flowers

Monday, June 15, 2009

Blog Awards

In the merit of me reaching my 100th post on this blog I would like to take the time to award my fellow bloggers for all the great blog material they have put forth, and for being the wonderful blog friends they are. First off I would like to Thank Leora for the two awards she has given me, enabling me to spread the blog love.

Most of the blogs I’m awarding now I’ve already written up a review about, so I’ll keep the post short.

Related post: Mommy Blog Awards – Seven Great “Mommy” Bloggers I awarded. 


I ♥ Your Blog

  1. Jessica at Philosophy and Mixtapes was an almost Mommy, at the time that I gave out my Mommy Blog Awards. Now she is a Mommy though, and a great one at that.
    Jessica, I ♥ the way you took the time to learn how to design your blog to your liking.
  2. Frum Skeptic, I ♥ commenting on your blog, such great debates and discussions.
  3. Something Different, I ♥ how you write such fun entertaining posts that have a point.
  4. Material Maidel, I ♥ your many entertaining posts.
  5. Bas Melach, I ♥ how amazing you are!
  6. Shorty, I ♥ your strength and devotion to Judaism.
  7. Auror, I know you don’t have a blog, but if you did have a blog, I know I would ♥ it too!


Prémio Dardos Award

The Prémio Dardos is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web“.

  1. Moshe at Insanity Now Serenity Later
  2. Mike In Midwood
  3. Shocked!!
  4. Harry-er than them all


Thank You all for your wonderful blogs!

And for being the wonderful blogger friends that you are! 

I feel as though I left some people out that really deserve it, all of you are really great just by the fact that you are reading this, & of course I appreciate all your comments!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Number 99 – Zecher L’Chorbon

For the past year or so I’ve come to think of my blog as a place where I can write whatever I wish. Where I can sit in front of my computer screen and let my thoughts fly through the keyboard with no fear as to what will happen once they were said. But I’ve realized it is not so, once I type something and it enters blog land it is open for the public to read and dispute. There is no such freedom of speech, each word said has consequences.

A little while ago, I got an e-mail from a lawyer asking me to remove a post of mine (on my other blog) since it can harm their client. So I right away removed it. (Although I did save a copy first). I then put up a poll asking you what your reaction would have been when faced with such a request.

15/18 of you said you would “look at their reasons and evaluate the situation”. Two of you said “excuse me it's my post, I put it there, it will remain there, freedom of speech!”

I didn’t mind taking down the post since I meant no harm in it to begin with. The only problem was, my blog went from 100 posts to 99 posts. The blog was supposed to close at 100 posts from one complete year of blog writing. I had already ended the blog with a final post, and I was debating if I should add a new post or not. I figured I would keep it at 99 and let it be a Zecher L’Chorbon.

Well now I’m at 99 posts again, so I figured it fits in that I should dedicate this 99th post to explain why I have 99 posts instead of 100 on my other blog. I’ve also decided to take this time to reflect on my writing, and to try not to write anything negative about anyone again. (It does get hard when I created a blog to vent a bit).


Two last thoughts before I close:

1- On the topic of Zecher L’Chorbon. I remember learning in elementary school that we should leave over a little food on our plate so that it can be a Zecher. I’m proud to say that is one thing which I’ve been able to keep diligently.

2- When I think of Zecher L’Chorbon, I think of the next thing, which is building the Bais Hamikdash and Moshiach coming. Which reminds me of the first post of mine on this blog.

Up next: Post #100 – Blog Awards!

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Day In a Boys Yeshiva

As you can tell I enjoy typing. Yesterday my Love’s sister called me up to ask me if I can come with her to her father’s yeshiva to help type up ads for the yeshiva dinner. So I said “sure” and went over with her. We were put in a office with 2 computers, on the first floor.

We came around 11:30 and stayed till 5:00. It was lots of fun doing data entry and filing, reminded me of my last job. But it is definitely not something I would want to do permanently.

Any case, it was an interesting experience. It was the first time I was in a boys yeshiva while they had school. By lunch time I kept seeing boys coming over to the door and looking in, and it just made me smile, wondering what they were thinking.

When they were in the hall way they were loud machers, they talked loudly and seemingly chutzpadik to my Love’s father. It made me gain a whole new admiration for him, he has the perfect personality to be able to have control of the boys and yet be patient, caring and loving to them. I guess being a father of 12 could have something to do with it!

Anyways, the funny part is, that once the boys came to the office they all of a sudden got quiet and shy, they would bring me a note or something as if I was supposed to know what to do with it. It was cute to see how much authority they gave me, while I thought of myself as their equal. A boy came in to ask if he can use the phone, and he brought a note along with him from his mother to ask for permission. I forgot how strict schools can be, I would have let the boy use the phone right away. Then when more boys came in to ask to use the phone, I asked if they had permission, and after they said yes, then I let them use it.

I’ve always been with boys, so I knew what their like. But here in a group they become different. I think being in an all boys place gives them macho power and makes them act like 100% boys. While when their at home, or not in a group, they act like an individual, and not as scary!