Monday, March 19, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Echad Mi Yodea in Ladino

Based on the mesorah of the Turkish Jewish community.  Even though I am Ashkenazi, I learned this song and sing it every ליל הסדר. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Thoughts on the latest Klal edition dealing with working mothers
There are some very interesting articles, and the issues raised should be considered by every frum family.  I notice a difference of opinion among the authors as to whether the kollel culture should be changed to allow more mothers to stay home.  Rebbetzin Twerski, wife of Rabbi Michel Twerski from Milwakee, comes out strongly in favor of altering the current culture, so th at more husbands work and more wives can stay home and properly take care of their families (p.32).  Rabbi Aisenstark rejects this view and argues that if we would just be less focused on gashmiyus, we would find that there is no need for families to have a second income (p.74).  Apparently Rabbi Aisenstark thinks that families can survive with the husband learning in kollel and the wife staying at home with the kids, if only we were less focused on gashmiyus.  Based on my knowledge of typical kollel stipends, such a family would not have enough money to afford the rent of even a one-bedroom apartment, nor to feed a family.  Is this what Rabbi Aisenstark means by not focusing on gashmiyus?  Of course, there are many young couples who survive like that because their parents support them.  But if Rabbi Aisenstark thinks that parental support will solve the financial problem, he's living in a dream world.
Meanwhile, Rabbi Dovid Weinberger, beholden to his Five Towns shul and community, could not possibly make the brazen statements that Rabbi Aisenstark makes.  But he is not willing to support Rebbetzin Twerski view either.  Instead, he does an interesting dance where he basically side-steps the issue altogether.  He recognizes there is a problem but is unwilling to suggest the obvious solution.  Of course, in his affluent shul, the option of the husband learning in kollel and the wife staying at home is quite viable for most of his congregants.  But he knows better than to openly support such a view to the general frum public.  Instead, he suggests women focus more on ruchniyus while maintaining their jobs, and by trying to strengthen their homes as well. 
I do applaud Rabbi Weinberger for taking up two very delicate issues.  1) He addresses the problem of couples having too many kids for them to handle.  While he does not advocate reducing family size, he does suggest meeting with a Rav to discuss whether limiting family size is a good option.  2) He takes a direct stab at the members of his community's tendency (without mentioning his own community) to spoil their kids, which prompts women to want to work in order to maintain their lifestyle.  Kudos to you, Rabbi Weinberger. 
Zlata Press has interesting perspective.  The principal of the most moderate Bais Yakov in Brooklyn, she seems to acknowledge that encouraging more young men to work might solve the problem.  But she dismisses that proposal, saying that it would be absurd for yeshivas to try to produce solid baalei batim (!?!?) (p.83).  I must give my RWMO yeshiva in EY credit for one thing.  They produced excellent baalei batim.  Why?  Because the yeshiva was geared for serious bnei Torah who they knew would be getting jobs.  And lo and behold, it works!
Dr. Pelcovitz's article is excellent, as his articles usually are.  A very important read for parents trying to decide how much time they should spend away from their kids. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

You don't have a tv and none of your friends do either? Here, let me make fun of you

All I wanted was to have a nice Super Bowl, and none of my friends have a tv.  Apparently that makes me super frum and crazy.  Below is the response I got to my KGH Shuls post. 

I am responding to this post..

ISO Place for Super Bowl Party

Posted by: "mimamakim"

Wed Feb 1, 2012 9:31 am (PST)

Are you going to someone else's for a Super Bowl Party? Will your tv be alone for the Super Bowl? A group of guys with no tv is looking to rent the living room of someone's house/apartment to watch the Super Bowl. Please let me know if interested.


I live in KGH, mamesh 4 minute walk from Lander College. I will be watching the game by my inlaws who arent so frum so i will not be home all day on sunday. I have a 42 in tv in my bedroom. I dont have it in my living room because I dont want my children to know we have a tv in the house, chas v'shalom even see me watching it. I only watch sports anyways.

I have no problem with a few guys renting my apartment to watch the game. There are just a few conditions I need to make %100 sure will be kept.

1) Any food brought into my house must be Cholov Yisroel (even thought no shtark bocher is going to be eating dairy during the big game). Most importantly, every thing must be Yashan. I take it very seriously. Some Yidden are of the opinion that that Yashan is just a chumra. Thats fine, those are the same people that dont wear hats and jackets while they are davening. Its pashut to me that Yashan is not a chumra, but im not going to get into the details right now.

2)If my wife is still in Niddah, then you can probrally fit about 5 to 6 folding chairs between our beds. Ill make sure to move the night table that separtes our beds into the living room. If she baruch hashem is not in Nidda anymore, then you can probrally fit 3 to 4 chairs between out beds. Oh, and please dont eat in my bedroom.

3) I know this doesnt need to be said but I cant resist. THE TV MUST BE TURNED OFF DURING THE HALFTIME SHOW! I heard there was a mysa a few years back where one of the woman involved in the show had a "wardrobe malfunction." Well not in my house.

Ahh but you might say that Madonna is a real masmid of Kabullah and she is on such a madreiga that the moment wont get to her. I hear the vort, but "safek d'orysa l'chumra" so I insist on that the half time show is not to be watched in my home.

4) Hats and jackets MUST be worn to and from my apartment. Once you get inside you can dress however you want. You can even wear a brooks brothers light blue shirt for all I care. I cant have my neighbors see people coming in and out of my apartment that dont look like b'nei toyrah.

5) Absolutely no gambling on the game in my house. Gambling is for modern orthodox people who think its "ok" as long as im not sitting at a card table with another jew. Wrong! Not in my house. I dont need the pictures of my Rabbeim on the wall to see bochrim gambeling in my apartment.

I am charging $36.00 dollars a head, two times chai, per person who comes to watch by me.

If there is serious interest, please email me back soon so I can figure out an excuse to tell my wife why we have to sleep by her parents house sunday night.

I will tell you my exact address and the place i will leave the keys at a later time.

Tizku L'mitsvos and LETS GO GIANTS!