Showing posts from June, 2009

Anyone know what prompted this?

Why are they seeking to set up a fast so close to 17 Tammuz? What particular concern do they now have about giluy arayos? Is this just because people go around more scantily clad in the summer? The following was posted on the shuls list:
We will be perfoming a special tikkun for tshuvah on geeluyai arayot on July 5th (men only). The tikkun will be done during minchah time and will take a few hours. It involves fasting the entire day, showing up and partaking in the tefillah service. This prayer service is a amazing opportunity for everybody and an amazing remedy for parnasah, shiduchim, and shalom bayit problems.

Email me at for further details.

Mincha Taanit Tzibur
Sunday, July 5th 2009
4:30PM Sharp!

Step 1: Kabbalat Taanit. Acceptance of the fast must be done the day before during Shabbath mincha time.
This can be found in most siddurim. Taanit starts at 4:18 AM for those who wish to eat before it starts.
Remember no…

What do those shidduch terms mean?

An eligible bachelor lacking in funds but not in attitude

SUJMA ISO SSJF. That stands for Single Unemployed Jewish Male with Attitude In Search Of Slim Single Jewish Female. The title of this actual post is " SHIDDUCH: out of work - seeks - a cheap date - 39." As Dave Barry always says, I am not making this up. The following was posted on the (moderated)5 Town Shuls list:
it seems my regular stream of dating prospects has dried up since losing my job.with NY'kers suffering from 10% unemployment for now, I figure there are many ladies staying home from their social life, just to avoid the same social stigma.

instead of missing the chance for summer romance, let's agree to meet on the cheap!I'm an above average looking fellow with diverse interests, curiosity and should see cups as half full, and be able to pour into a single digit dress size.

As a parent, I am neurotic about . . .

I am not an overly nervous or overprotective parent. For example, I never boiled my babies' toys in an attempt to keep them germ free. But I do admit to being just a tad neurotic about certain safety issues. So all babies rode in cars only in carseats. All children below the age of 7 rode in boosters. And all kids are directed to apply sunscreen before going out into the sun -- and not only for swimming. I am trying to not only prevent sunburn now but sun damage that can cause skin cancer in the future.

So are you considered neurotic about as a parent?

Quid pro quo prayer and more

I recently saw the following email:

The summer issue of Kallah Magazine is now online!

You can see it from anywhere by clicking on the link to the PDF on the home page of

Beauty and the JAP

This was originally posted in June 2007. Those blog posts are now only accessible in the record you reach from the link on the sidebar. I decided to revisit this post in light of the question another blogger raised about Jewish women's self-image.

Ironically, the attempt to erase the hated Jewish nose, hair, body type, and dowdiness through surgery, hair processing, dieting, and shopping sprees for makeup and clothes actually is seen as inscribing a Jewish trait. The struggle to look as good as a shiksa results in a woman being labeled a Jewish American Princess, an object of ridicule. As Roiphe says, “It is hard to hear the world laugh at the Jewish American Princess. It is not her fault if she has been taught that her role in life is to catch a rising man and that she has learned the more money spent on her outside, the more chance she has for success. Her shallowness is not her cultural error” (Roiphe 201-202). The question then arises, what is the source of such “shallownes…

Job Offer 10 cents per hour

A US job that pays just 10 cents an hour in 2009 seems unbelievable, right? But there are many freelance positions offered on the site that seek to pay only cents to a hour per hour or that amount for a 500 word article. The following is a real post for a job with a location in NJ -- not some third world country.
We're hiring about 300-800 candidates, we're expecting and will surely hire people who have a bid of 10 cents --- 80cents /hour

wage will increase as our business profits more and more.
On going project...we'll continue giving work

Gud luck
This job received over a dozen applicants! However, the applicants themselves all have foreign sound names.
Here's another one with a New York location:

I am looking for writer(s) who can work for me on regular ad hoc basis. I am running many Blogs and websites and I usually needs Articles, Blog posts, PR, Product reviews, Web content. I have plenty of work.

I am looking for dedicated Writer(s) preferably Native Eng…

Failure is an option

The RALBAG on this past week's parsha explains that Moshe changed the name of his disciple to Yehoshua to give him the strength to overcome the plot of the meraglim. So his pshat is consistent with Rashi's. However, Rashi seems to indicate that Moshe's desired effect was achieved in that Yehoshua had the strength to not bow to the group and held his own against the 10. The RALBAG, on the other hand, sees a failure here because Yehoshua was not able to sway the people; the nation accepted that bad report of the ten rather than the good report of the two.

Think of the the quote, "Failure is not an option." We tend to think of failure as the worst possible outcome. But I think that we find here and in another episode covered by the Midrash that sometimes failure is the only possible option from a moral and realistic point of view. Even though they did not succeed in convincing the people, Yeshoshua and Caleb still get full credit for not being swayed themselves. …

How long should the shadchan be involved?

For the first and second date? How about the third, the fourth, . . . the seventh? See the post by
Wolfish Musings: Perhaps We Some Should Return To Fully Arranged Marriages?
and on Serandez at
As I said in my comment: It seems that the parents are the ones who want the alliance to go through even though the young people do not. Odd as this approach sounds, I once heard a well-known rabbi suggesting something like what this mother is doing. (I blogged about it at the time) Don't misunderstand me: I find it wrong. But they really believe that young people should be pushed along. He said it facetiously but suggested saying first, "just go out." Then "just go out again," Then "Go ahead and get engaged." They seem to believe that if the older people looked into the backgrounds, etc., and believe the couple should prove compatible, it can be made to work. The fact that the young people are not yet ma…

Well, there was a bright spot today

One of my nicest advertisers, Nancy Yachnes of Sparkling Video, made her son's bar mitzvah at the hall of another one of my advertisers, Rockwood Park. She reported a very positive experience. That corroborates the description of the services of Crown Royale Caterers in the article I ran in the summer issue of Kallah Magazine. I am very glad when my recommendations turn out well for people.

When the going gets tough

It helps to have a major public figure explain that there is value to what you do. No, that does not apply to me but to actress Nichelle Nichols who played the communications officer on the original Star Trek series. In her biography, she relates how much racism she had to contend with while working on the series. She was planning to quit the show. But then she was told that a fan wanted to see her. That fan was none other than Martin Luther King, Jr. He told her that she was accomplishing something very important in portraying this character on television. Well, with that type of encouragement, she determined to continue. I come across many references to MLK in the examples SAT students use to illustrate their essays. So it was almost jarring to read about someone who actually met him and was directly influenced by him.

Stacking the deck on the web

Well, they're honest about what they're doing and why. On a site for freelancing, I saw this job posted:
We need about 20 articles written. This is for SEO/Reputation management. Although we have thousands of satisfied customers, a few complaints from our earlier days of poor customer service resulted in some negative postsings [sic] on the net which we are now trying to bury in the search engine results. We are a very hardworking company that provides excellent products, so please help us to improve our reputation with some nicely written articles and press releases. ...

So far the day has been pretty lousy

and it's just after 10 o'clock! I probably should take some more tests at oDesk to make myself feel better. It got mildly worse. This other thing was again due to someone else's false move.

Super Segula!

Would you like to be the last to know?

Yesterday my children were told by someone in the neighborhood that her sister was getting engaged that day. Take note of the tense there. She told them this in the morning because, apparently, the young man her sister was seeing announced that he was going to pop the question that day. Perhaps this was in order to give them time to plan an apparently impromptu party. They seem to do this in this particular social circle. A couple of years ago, the same neighborhood person told us of a friend whose young man also told everyone of their acquaintance in advance to gather for an engagement party. Now, if I were in the kallah's shoes, my reaction to this would be very negative. I would not like for my mother, my sister, and all their friends and neighbors to know that I was becoming engaged before I did. I would want to be the first to know -- not the last. Happily, that event took place for me quite a number of years ago. I am now closer to the stage of warning my own chi…

Plan Ahead: Frugal Fun for Father's Day and the Summer

Looking to get out without having to shell out? The summer issue of Kallah Magazine offers loads of options in the NY/NJ for $10 or less. I put it up on the Money Matters page. Just click: and scroll down past the Saver or Spender quiz. You'll see a picture of roses at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden on the right side.

Litearary Theory and Halacha

"The halachist acknowledges that this meaning is a construct and not a discovery of original meaning, but that does not matter, because Torah interpretation is validated and measured by communal consensus regarding those conclusions and not by degree of historical fidelity to some unknowable original intent.

Google ad and Kallah Magazine ads

You may notice that there are now Google ads on the side. I like yo see which ones change according to what is posted. One of the ads that appears is actually also an ad on -- the mikvahcalendar one. More info is provided about it on the Kallah 101 page of

Added: Just after I posted this, I visited the site of a Jewish business that had a banner ad from Google about an effective prayer with "Jesus loves you" in big letters. The problem is one has no control over which ads go in. I did limit my ads to textual ones, but I believe that some Messianic type messages may also appear from time to time. So I apologize in advance if anyone is put off by them. But I only can review the regular ads on my site.

PS I do not enter the individual Google ads and cannot edit their typos as in this one: "Traditional Jewish Burial Funeral home located adjacent to Long Island's Jewsish Cemerteries."


There are some really nice people in Teaneck. One of them very kindly offered to transport boxes of the latest issue of Kallah Magazine over for me. Of course, I offered to bring them to where she was in the 5 Towns, but she came to me. Extra chesed points! So thanks to her (and Elie Katz) residents of Teaneck should soon be able to pick up fresh copies of the summer issue.

It's already in the 5 Towns, Queens, Flatbush, and Boro Park.

follow up post

to this one: This week's paper announces: "Reintroducing the Simcha Supplement" to appear in next week's paper. I hear echoes of 1984 where the news is always changed on the supposition that memories of the previously declared allies and enemies have been erased.

At least the word "savings" spelled correctly this time around in the ad promising "Great Savings" (rather than "Great Sevings" as it said last week.)

Tznius as its own religion

Let me clarify: I dress according to pretty strict tznius standards and tend to wear "Mommy" clothes that are comfortable and easy care rather than stylish. I favor skirts with length to spare way below the knee, and do not wear halter or tank tops over skin-tight shells. My shoe wardrobe is devoid of stilettos, gladiator sandals, or high and tall boots. So, I admit it, I err on the side of dowdiness in dress, and I do consider it wrong for frum-owned stores to peddle inappropriate clothing styles to their Jewish customer base. Still, I don't consider my standards for dress to be my entire religious raison d'etre. However, in the push for tznius, some seem to magnify modest dress into its own religion. constructing the the entire identity of a Jewish female on the basis of tznius.

Here's a practical take on the subject -- a guide to sewing tznius clothes:
Seams and Souls A Dressing, Altering, and Sewing Guide for the Modest Woman By Rivka Glazer publi…

Much more complicated than Tu B'Av and Yom Kippur

See the video on modern day "Yentas" AKA shadchanim posted by Serandez.

It bears repeating

This is a blog post from over 2 years ago, that I found in my archive of the Word Press Kallah Magazine blog. It is logically connected to the post I put up last night
Friday, March 9th, 2007While vacuuming, the Chazal about the days of Chezkeyahu Hamelech popped into my head. During his reign, all across the country there was no a single child (tinok o tinoket) that were not thoroughly versed in hilchos tuma and tahara [the laws of ritual purity]. There is that wonderful picture of the king planting a sword in the doorpost to demonstrate his point that anyone who does not study the Torah would be stabbed by the sword. Int hat case, strong tactics worked. But what the king imposed was not his own authority or even blind obedience to other authorities; he imposed studying enough so that one knows on one’s own—even a female one—what the halacha is. In contrast, today many push for people—particularly female ones—not to really learn the principles and derivations of halacha. The …

Frum fools

What do you think of that as a blog title? Research enough and you can dig up quite a number of chumros. But if you decide to keep every chumra you find, you are more foolish than frum. My husband was thumbing through a sefer today that digs up some chumros people have never heard of. My son thought there is something positive in this. I reminded him of what Chazal say of poeple who adopt the chumros of both Hillel and Shamai: they are fools. They are not lauded for their scrupulousness but derided for their lack of judgement.

Promises freely made and freely broken

I picked up the local paper today to see what would be in the "Simcha Supplement" it boasted about. It was set for this week. Actually, it was originally set for a date in May, but then started to show this date. Previously the supplement had been deferred, though the much touted feature ususally did appear several weeks later then originally promised, as the advertising people saw they needed more time to get the minimum number of ads in. But this time, there was no supplement and no note about its cancellation or postponement. It's just great that publishers get away with promising anything to their readers in their attempt to lure advertisers and then simply fail to deliver with nary an apology.

That is not to say that I think I or anyone else is seriously missing out. Previous "Simcha Supplement" features were really nothing to write home about. Essentially, the publisher moves his simcha related regular advertisers to that section and asks for a high…

Gender confusion

This is the shidduch form from of a NY organization. Note that I did not change anything (including the missing d for the word married). Note the language and questions. This is the male form as indicated by references to dating "a girl," but it still asks about"your plans for your husband" and hair covering.
What is the age range you prefer to date? - What is your Marital Status?Never Married
Other (Please explain)If divorced, give the following Information:
Do you have Children?Yes No If yes, How many?Which Rabbi facilitated the Divorce?Rabbi's Telephone NumberWhich Beit Din?Educational Background:
What Elementary school did you attend?High School?Israel?College?Undergraduate degree?Graduate Degree?Current Occupation: What is your family background
(i.e. Ashkenazi, Egyptian, Bukharian, etc.)What Languages do you speak? Religious Status:Please select...Religious from birthNot yet ReligiousNot planning on being ReligiousBa'alat TeshuvaConvertWha…