Showing posts from March, 2009

My modest proposal for a yeshiva to raise funds

My son's yeshiva sent out a notice as follows:
Dear Parents,

Due to the economic downturn, the Yeshiva is forced to entertain different methods to cover our payroll expenses for our dedicated Rebbeim and staff.

At this time the Yeshiva is participating in a raffle campaign with the Grand Prize being $100,000. The drawing will be on Lag B’Omer, May 12th. The price of a ticket is $100.
We are asking all bochurim, and friends of the Yeshiva to participate in this project by buying and selling raffle tickets. Incentives are being offered to those who feel they can help the Yeshiva with this. We are asking all parents to please try to help out in any way possible (example: giving your son a list of family and friends who they could approach) and to encourage your sons to sell a lot of tickets. It is only with a partnership between the Yeshiva and the parent body that we will be able to pull through these tough financial times.

For more information or to purchase ticket…

Kallah Magazine spring issue now online

You can access it by clicking the link to the spring9 PDF on the Home page. It's right near the top between the wine glasses (4 in all for Pesach).

Shidduch Resumes

I don't think these existed way back when I was in "the parsha" of shidduchim. But I have had the experience of receiving shidduch resumes (AKA "profiles") of girls on 2 occasions now. So I am wondering, does every single put together one of these upon entering the fray? Or is it something put together only a few years in to expedite the process of answering the standard questions of "Where did you go to school? What are your interests? What are you looking for?" not to mention height and age. If it standard practice to produce these, I wonder if anyone has latched onto the idea of resume writing services for shidduchim. After all, people in the job market sometimes pay for professional resume editing or even writing. I can certainly see the possibility of it in the shidduch market, particularly, if people wish for expertise on particular audiences to customize the resume for specific segments of the population.

The 8 days that stretch to a month

It gets me every year. The stores are so intent on Pesach stock that a customer finds it difficult to find regular non-Pesach food. For example, last week, I wanted to pick up some drinks for my girls to pack for school. In Brach's the strategy is to have Pesach foods take over all the main aisles and squeeze all the other stuff into the back. I could deal with that. But they also managed to pile a wall of boxes right in front of the drinks. I had to ask for help for someone to climb up and reach behind the boxes. I was not going to attempt such a climb myself. I have stood on shelves just to reach high up, but reach up and behind boxes was more than I cared to venture on.

Now for those who clear everything out of their homes to be ready for Pesach a solid 2 weeks in advance, it is fine to have only Pesach foods available. But as my kids do not want to be on meat and potatoes and are restricted from matza due to the minhag of not eating it during Nissan, we still are on re…

Not just 4 questions

See the video on shidduchim that Mother in Israel posted here:

On Pesach Shopping for Girls' Clothes

I took my girls to Flatbush on Sunday in search of Pesach clothes. I was rather disappointed. The store I started going to two years ago had almost nothing in their size and still had much winter stuff --not much reduced if at all-- interspersed with the new line. I noticed the same thing in another store we went to. I think they are hoping to pass off some of the older stock as current, but you can see the difference in the deeper shades of gray and heavier fabrics for black even if those 2 colors are still "very in" as one saleswoman insisted. I observed that "black is the new black." Remember, we are talking about clothes for girls 7-13 here. My impression, which was confirmed by the owner of the third store, was that owners were afraid to be stuck with unsold stock. They see they have a lot of winter things left over, which means they are out the money on those items. Plus they don't even have room for new things with so many leftovers cramming up…

Having trouble getting a shidduch?

Just cross the shadchan's palm with silver to conjure up bachurim ready to date. That's right, a trip to the ATM will be repaid with names of those ready, willing, and able to date. These names are exclusive to those with cash in hand. So don't miss out! Send in your money today to secure your shidduch tomorrow! How's that for an ad? Too outlandish? But it is true. Check out Orthonomics

I've accepted the fact that Pesach is approaching

Today I picked up my first free 5 lb. box of matzos. Believe me, that is no simple thing at Stop and Shop, which was out of stock on the advertised free boxes. Getting them to substitute the Streit's ($2.99 with coupon and $50 purchase) for the Yehuda (Free with coupone and $50 purchase) was actualy the manager's suggestion but took 2 visits to the courtesy counter with a line of other customers (not buying matzos) each time. I bought a lot of bottles of grape juice, but they have them at the lowest price around and they are useful even before and will keep past Pesach.

I also have begun the Pesach cleaning with the car. With kids in the house it is just frustrating to try to clear rooms out too early, as they, inevitably, carry snacks around with them. All thewarnings to eat only in the kitchen seem to have no effect.

not serious Purim thought

I was struck by an ad for wigs advertising "pure virgin" hair. So here we have the answer to the question of why the Megillah references a second gathering of bethulos after Achashverosh had already selected Esther as his queen. Of course, a sheitel fit for a queen would have to be made of the best hair, which seems to have to come from bethulos.

Purim thoughts

I am working from memory, which is why I am not providing source citations. Unfortunately, there was levaya in town today. In his hesped, the rabbi of the shul mentioned the machatzit hashekel that was given equally by all. So I thought of Chazal's comment on Haman's chagrin when he realized that the machatzit hashekel given collectively by Klal Yisrael outweighed all the silver he offered the king in return for the lives of all the Jews. The half shkalim all connect together in way that the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. It is the same with the entity that is Klal Yisrael. Mordechai's name alludes to the morr dachya, a component of the ketores that is actually foul on its own but blends in with the other spices to produce a pleasing fragrance. So, too, even the unworthy among the Jews contribute to the people as whole and so can be counted among Klal Yisrael. Purim is the celebration of the second acceptance of the Torah. The MaHaRaL says that the Torah …

Pillow Talk Take 2

Now this post really is about pillows and what they may signify. The mattress store owner told me that he wanted to run an ad in one of the chareidi newspapers which featured a picture of a bed with 2 pillows on it. They refused to run it unless the picture showed a second bed. One bed with 2 pillows, they said, suggested 2 people sharing a bed, an image they found inappropriate for their paper. Obviously, there were no people in the picture; it is the presence of the pillows that suggested their presence. Was it Freud who said that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar? Well, he was obviously lacking in proper pillow perspective.`

Pillow Talk

What were you expecting from this title? It would have been more accurate to call this post " mattresses talk" or "what your bed says about you." Today I was talking with a mattress store owner who sells both in Borough Park and Cedarhurst. In the Cedarhurst store, he introduced a type of bed that he says would not appeal to his Brooklyn clientele; it is a system that locks two twin beds into place to form the equivalent of a king size.

A few weeks back, there was some discussion in the blogger comments on Orthonomics about the frum bed size of 48". But in certain circles, that is actually a sign of not being so frum. The mattress store owner confirms that about 80% of customers do ask for them. But, he also says, that the real Chassidim request a covert delivery. For them, anything wider than twin is too suggestive of sensual indulgence. So while some give into the indulgence, they do not want their neighbors to know of it. He also remarked that som…

Mishloach Manos Theme

Some people really put themselves out to put together themed mishloach manos. My daughters reported that a woman they saw in the candy store was very proud of having come up with wedding theme for hers. My daughter thought she was drawing on the fact that Esther married Achashverosh. But as that is not something Esther would have been happy about, I don't think it's an ideal Purim connection. Really mishloach manos are already "themed." They are meant to establish connections through sharing food, much like breaking bread together does. While we do not all gather together to establish that unity, sending off portions of food to be used in the celebratory meal of Purim is a way in which we join together. So there is the theme, and all the connections to movies, pirates, soldiers, or what have you is just shtick.

Shtick is OK, but it is only secondary to the essence of the mitzvah. I wonder at people who end up putting together mishloach manos that do not me…