Thursday, December 31, 2009
After taking a very long time in his car going through the paper work and ascertaining that record was completely clean, he handed me a ticket. He told me I could try to dispute it in court, but he would still maintain that I had not stopped. The day after I got the ticket I return to the scene of the disputed crime to take pictures that show the view from within the parking lot is not unobstructed. I also printed out a copy of an email of one of the replies I received to my query about experiences of this sort. This one said that the policeman was parked in the Far Rockaway mikvah lot that morning and reading a newspaper -- not quite a model of alert observation.
The traffic court allows scheduling a hearing through the website. The problem was they kept offering me Friday afternoon times. I selected a different day, but that was also switched to a Friday even after I had received a hard copy confirmation. Once again, I logged in and settled the court date for Monday, December 21st at 1 PM. If you recall, we had a lot of snow that Sunday. So I left with plenty of time to spare and found nearby (FREE) parking. I waited outside my assigned room, then inside my assigned room, and then was told to proceed to a different room at about 1:30. Along the way I heard many other ticket stories.
Finally, it was my turn. I took all my papers up with me. But I didn't have to say a word to win. The judge asked the officer if the ticket was unaltered. It was. The judge asked how the officer could foretell a traffic infraction for September 6th 2010. That's right. The officer had written the wrong year. (Hence the title of this post.) While I had heard that error among the other cases, they usually wrote the prior year, i.e. 2008 instead of 2009. Somehow this policeman had written down the next year. And I got the not guilt vertdict I deserved but may not have succeeded in proving. That brought home the realization of what it feels liek to have Hashem yilachem lachem.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
If anyone goes can they ask the rabbi (see http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2009/12/on-shidduchim.html) what his view is of telling the shadchan (who may be any person that sets the singles up and does not have to be card-carrying guild member) why one does not wish to pursue the relationship further. Many offer the "just not for me" line. This was endorsed by one of the commentators on http://badforshidduchim.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/top-ten-tuesday/ as a virtuous response, for it avoids lashon hara by refusing to report anything negative about the date. But I would fear it can backfire. After hearing this a couple of times, I would guess the shadchan would simply label the boy or girl who says it as "too picky" or not clear on what s/he wants. It also indicates a type of defensive attitude. The single may be thinking, "If I don't cite a specific reason, the shadchan can't attempt to talk me out of it." Now while there are manipulative people out there who do blatantly misrepresent prospective dates to get people to agree to go out, sometimes they either just made a mistake or the date somehow conveyed a misimpression. In conclusion, I don't really like the cop-out "not for me" excuse.
Rabbi Dovid Weinberger, shlita
Do you know what you are doing?
„« When and under what circumstances may one break an engagement?
„« May a Shadchan lie about the age of the young man or woman?
„« The obligation to pay the Shadchan ¡V who is considered a Shadchan?
„« Getting married to a prospective spouse against the parents¡¦ wishes.
„« Advice from Gedolei Yisroel regarding the attributes to look for in a prospective spouse.
„« Disclosing medical and psychological issues ¡V how and when?
„« Proper hishtadlus in seeking a Shidduch.
„« Halachos of one who is asked about a Shidduch.
„« Marrying a baal/baalas teshuva, non-frum or intermarried spouses in the family, etc.
„« Understanding the bas kol which dictates who is to marry whom 40 days prior to birth.
„« Other contemporary issues
Monday, December 28, 2009
Say WHAT? No one had told me that when they scheduled the appointment. When an appointment that require fasting is scheduled, in my experience, the person is reminded of that fact and usually offered a morning appointment. In fact, whenever my children had needed the full blood test, the doctors have either offered to schedule the full appointment for the morning or to allow the child to come in just for the blood work in the morning.
The office people were not at all contrite. They take it as a given that physicals entail such blood tests and so assume that all patients would know this. Hello? I had never had a physical with this doctor in the past. And, I can assure you, that not all doctors take the full battery of blood tests at each checkup. I told the office woman that I wanted to speak to the doctor. But I didn't trust her to convey the message properly. Since I was going out anyway, I dropped into the doctor's office. I waited to see him and stressed the fact that they had not told me about fasting until today. They should not schedule such appointments for afternoons without warning people in advance. He did not wish to concede that his office person had erred. But he was willing to do what I had suggested myself, namely to split the checkup and the blood work. That way the appointment would remain at the same time, and I can come in on another morning for the fasting blood test. You would think this is some amazing idea given how unacceptable the office staff found it. If they had only done their job properly in the first place, the split would not have been necessary.
I just fasted yesterday for Asara BeTeves and do not want to have 2 fast days within 3 days, thank you very much.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
1. We will carefully examine what we want and need from our wedding day, and stick to our vision despite outside influences, either personal or commercial. If we have two entirely different ideas of our wedding we will find a compromise that fulfills both our needs, even if that means having two or more ceremonies (his tropical beach with just us, her princess dance in front of hundreds of friends.)
2. We will create a budget and stick to it, and we will not go into debt and mortgage our future for a single day's events. Our ability to be financially responsible and save for the home/car/insurance/education/children/retirement and all else we want and need in our lives will not be corrupted by childish whims. conspicuous consumption, or any indulgence beyond our current monetary means.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
First let's go over the rest of the numbers, though. 46:18 counts up the children of Zilpah as 16. 46:22 counts up the children of Rachel as 14. These include Binaymin, his 10 sons, and Yosef, and his 2 sons. 46:25 tallies the children of Bilha as 7. (Interesting note: Hakthav vehakabal cites a GRa that points out that Rachel and Leah each had twice as many people assigned to them as their corresponding shifchos.) Anyway, 33 plus 16, plus 14 plus 7 adds up to 70. However, 46:26 then counts up differently. The figure it gives is 66 as the total number of peopel who came down to Egypt. This is followed by the reminder that Yosef and his 2 sons wer already in Egypt.
To get to 66, we have to subtract 3 from the 14 names ascribed to Rachel's sons plus one other? So who is that one? According to Rashi, it would be Yocheved who did not count as one who left E"Y but did count in the total of 70. However, I would suggest another possibility that is also based on Midrash. Yosef's wife, Asnath, was said to be the daughter of Dina and Schem. She was sent off with a type of protective amulet placed upon her by Yaakov. She was adopted by Potiphar and his wife, which is why she is called their daughter. But, in fact, she is among the descendants of Leah, for her mother, Dina, is explicitly counted in the total.
Counting Asnath as both the unnamed 33rd for the children of Leah and one of the 4 needed to add up to 70 after the count of 66 fits very well. She would not be named explicitly because she was illegitamete and was not brought up among the family of Yaakov. However, she rejoined the family as the wife of Yosef. Though she was one of Leah's descendants, she did not travel with them, but perforce left E"Y many years earlier. Then the division of 66 for those coming would leave 4 all of the household of Yosef -- himself, his two sons, and his wife, who was also his half niece-- to add up to the total of 70.
Friday, December 25, 2009
I never actually took a course on the study of fairy tales. But from what I understand, there are many psychological reflections built into them. Among them is the wicked step mother. I recall seeing that all the negatives one would associate with a parental figure are projected on the step-mother because it is too much for one to admit it in a biological parent. Hansel and Gretel would seem to be an exception, unless the mother there was supposed to be a stepmother, as well.
In modern pop culture, fairytales are often supplanted by stereotypical jokes. And there are a slew of MIL ones. But I think that the projection dynamics at work are actually the other way. Just as the "bad parent" has to be made into a stepmother, the "bad child" has to be made into a daughter-in-law. That way, one's biological child can still be idealized as perfect, brought down only by an influence that is alien to the biological family.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Somehow this is not as much an issue for fathers and sons-in-law. I think that is because fathers, typically, do not invest as much emotional identification into their daughters as mothers do into their sons. I posted the rest (with both Biblical and literary quotes) at http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-18522-NY-Jewish-Bridal-Examiner~y2009m12d24-No-woman-is-good-enough-for-my-son
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Someone posted on the neighborhood email list today: <>Does ANYONE know how to get in touch with ------? My dear friend is getting MARRIED TODAY @ 4:00 & her sheitel-FOR THE CHASUNAH is IN THE[RE} !. . . NO ONE is answering the phone & the store is LOCKED!!
PLEASE help!!If you KNOW HOW to get in touch with them PLEASE have them . . . OPEN UP THE STORE & give the kallah her sheitel. THANK YOU.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
A femme fatale is an army's best asset
Flatter a man's vanity, and he's bound to lose his head.
You snooze, you lose.
Bemakom she'eyn anashim, hishtadel lihiyos ish [in a place where there are no men, try to be a man (Avos 2:6).] applies to women, as well.
You win some, you lose some, but you still have to play -- dreidel.
You don't have to be Jewish to love latkes.
Carpe Diem -- doughnuts taste best fresh.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
"Shadchanim and singles would exchange résumés at the first meeting to help them decide if they are right for one another. This will also streamline the many glatt kosher-super mehadrin-gadol endorsed events where single men and women can go to separate rooms to meet shadchanim. "
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Who can deny the king of the fry?
The latke precious
Who can withhold all glory and gold from such as he?
[The rest is not clear in my mind, though it goes on with a "Hear. . ]
The lyrics of the second:
Each Chanukah we celebrate great Judah Macabeus
Who had the courage to defy Antiochus and free us
Yet it is not fair that we should forget
Mrs. Macabeus, whom we owe a debt
She mixed it
She fixed it
She poured it into a bowl
You may not guess
But it was the latkes
That gave brave Judah a soul
[The last 2 lines are repeated. "She mixed it. . ." serves as the chorus. Another part of that song I remember is]
One latkes, two lates
and so on into the night
Anyone have the complete text?
For those of you intent on making latkes in honor of Chanukah, I posted expert tips for successful frying on http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-18522
-NY-Jewish-Bridal-Examiner~y2009m12d13-F These tips, as well as the recipe for classic potato latkes and their variations were written by Levana Kirschenbaum. She put them together in the article, POTATO LATKES: CONQUERING THE FEAR OF FRYING, which she wrote for Kallah Magazine a few years ago. You can find the full article, recipes, and also ideas for dairy dishes on the Homefront page of www.kallahmagazine.com or-Chanukah-cooking-tips-and-recipes-for r-latkes-and-more
Saturday, December 12, 2009
This is exactly the same kind of game played by some people I call to inquire about advertising. The one who say, "not now, but you could call me for the next one" never do come in for the "next one." They just think it is more polite to say this then to say, no. But they are still being less than honest and wasting my time when I do try to follow up for the next one. Politeness does not trump honesty when it raises false hopes, as we see from the pshat offered by Hakthav vehakabala.
Friday, December 11, 2009
The article I wrote is archived on http://kallahmagazine.com/Advice.htm Here's an extract
Thursday, December 10, 2009
This year, Chanukah begins on a Shabbos night. Should someone not have enough money to purchase candles for both the menorah and the Shabbos lights, what should s/he do? Get a friend to post a request for donations on the the neighborhood shuls list for the $25 EZ lights set plus the special Shabbos glove lights plus a matching setf silver candlesticks and menorah. I'm KIDDING. No, that is NOT the halacha. One does not collect money. If one has only enough for one set of lights, one must opt for the Shabbos lights rather than the Chanukah ones. While one may ascribe this to the principle of tadir ve'eyno tadir, tadir kodem, that rule, I believe, is only applicable for order in time. Thus we make havdala before lighting the Chanukah lights motzei Shabbos. The reason for privlieging the Shabbos lights over the Chanukah ones is that they are associated with shalom bayis, and shalom bayis trumps pirsumei nisa.
As for the other aspect of shalom bayis to be learned from hilchos Chanukah, see
(I do hate to repeat myself.)
Wishing everyone a freilachen and lichtige Chanukah and lots of gimmels! I would settle for a hey myself.;-)
Clearly they are quite oblivious to the fact that Chanukah will long be over by the week that other holiday when they proudly announce: "Santa Claus and our very own Hanukkah Herbie are in town and your kids can meet them every Friday to Sunday through December 24, 2009"
This appears to be a revision of the post I quoted in http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2009/11/seeking-princes-with-following.html "
"Shadchan seeking boys between the ages of 22-26 who are Yirei Shamayim, in their thoughts and in their deeds, who are ambitious, and who have a job or are taking the necessary steps to earn a decent parnossah , that will be adequate to support a family B'Ezras Hashem"
pared down and an additional B'H inserted.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
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So what do you think? I know that some people will say that this is the system, and we have to stick with it, despite its flaws. But there is something to be said for less mediation (which is not synonymous with pritzus). If the young people are mature enough to marry, they should be mature enough to make the decision of whom to marry with an understanding of the reasons behind their choice.
There are a number of accounts of the shidduchim made on Tu B'Av and Yom Kippur in the vineyard. (See the links in http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2009/08/thoughts-on-tu-bav.htm) The Talmud's account in Taanis 31a is as follows:
The daughter of Israel go out and dance in the vineyards. Anyone who lacked a wife went there. . . . Our rabbis learned: The beautiful ones among them would say: "Raise your eyes to beauty, for a wife is only for beauty." The girls who had yichus [well established, reputable families] would say, "Raise your eyes to family, for a wife is only for children." The ugly ones among them would say, "Take what you take for the sake of Heaven, and adorn us in gold jewelry."
Each type here offers a reason for marrying her. Not all would marry for beauty. Some would marry for yichus. But then there are the ones enjoined to marry truly leshem Shamayim. After all, getting married is a mitzvah. The girls who have the least to offer -- the ones termed outright ugly in the description -- declare that they too have a right to marry. They even go a step further by declaring that they can also be beautiful if only their husband buy them the right jewelery and clothes (as Rashi, I believe, says) would work wonders on their looks.
Monday, December 07, 2009
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Friday, December 04, 2009
Thursday, December 03, 2009
What is the real gain of this? I think it is to spare the boy a trip and the expense of taking out a girl he finds unattractive. As boys are expected to pick up their dates and pay for the entertainment of the day or evening, some are reluctant to undertake a date they would consider both a waste of time and money.
This further convinces me that supposed improvements based on modern technology, including the shidduch resume that can be emailed to anyone anywhere in the blink of an eye, actually interfere with young people seeing each other as people.
I remember there was an issue with department stores that were consistently offering their jewelry at 40-60% off. As they were never even offered for sale at the full price, they had to add on some disclosure to that effect. What if that would apply to all these publications? They could say" we think these paper is worth at least $1, but you may not agree. So we're giving it to you free. Please take it, so that our circulation figures have some real people on the receiving end." Now that would be honest! In truth, it is advertising rather than subsciptions that bring in the profits for publications.
Esther, on the other hand, had to act subtly. She had to conceal her identity and her distaste for the role of queen to a king who hated the Jews as much as Haman did. She had to endure living with him for years beyond her coup of saving her people and establishing a holiday with a Megillah named in her honor that is read every year.
Another difference between the two is that of choice. Yehudith chose to act on her own volition. In contrast, Esther was taken as queen and directed by Mordechai when to keep a low profile and when to speak up. She, certainly, is one who had greatness thrust upon her and rose to the occasion.
So if you had the ability to choose, which heroine would you prefer to be?
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
on the questionable statistics that fan the flames of hysteria. The conventional wisdom would have the girls married off "young and dumb," as one cynical father put it, or "young and still on a spiritual high," as some may prefer to view it.
The key quote is misrepresented by the box that appears because it only has half of it. In full it would be: "Facts are stupid things until brought in connection with some general law." I doubt, though, whether any instructor or student would have enough patience today to allow the student to work this all out on his own. The student would complain that the teacher isn't teaching and the teacher would think the student is too thick to realize the point without being pointed directly to it.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Rashbi and his son hid in a cave for 13 years (where they miraculously subsisted on the fruit of a carob tree and water) because his death was demanded for speaking critically of the emperor's accomplishments with respect to infrastructure. He stated that all of it was done for impure and selfish motives. When the emperor died, the decree was nullified, and he was informed he could leave the cave. But upon emerging he could not tolerate that the people were in engaged in field work. He denounced them for occupying themselves only with this world while foresaking the spiritual world. In his case, looks could kill. His gaze literally burned. Hashem was not pleased with this. A heavenly voice declared, "Did you come out to destroy my world? Return to the cave."
They did for another twelve months. After that, they were allowed to emerge. Though his son, still had a tendency to destroy the unworthy, his father counteracted him. They were appeased by seeing a man rushing on erev Shabbos with 2 bunches of myrtle. When they asked him about it, he explained that one was for zachor and one was for shamor. Doing a 180 degree turn on his previous condemnation of the people, Rashbi declared, " See how precious are the commandments to Israel!"
There are many lessons to be gleaned from this story. There are deep reasons why this particular mitzvah should have been key to their making peace with the state of affairs. It may have something to do with the fact that Shabbos is me'eyn olam haba, and what this man did demonstrated that our actions in olam hazeh in actuality are in prepartion for olam haba. But, undoubtedly, there is more to it. The number of 13 years plus another 12 months are also surely significant. It is also noteworthy that Rav Shimon ben Yochai reached a higher level of englightenment than his son, though they were in the exact same situation. But I will not cover all that now.
Rather I would say that this story actually is a perfect object lesson for those who seek their shidduch. When no one was good enough to meet Rashbi's standards, he had to exile himself -- despite the fact that his life was no longer under threat of death. His learning tolereance is not just a matter of lower expectation but a result of deeper understanding. It took an additional 12 months of intensive study to reach the level of enlightenment that would allow him to appreciate the good in others even though they were not perfect. So to connect all the dots here, certainly, one has a right to be selective about shidduchim. But this story demonstrates two ways of viewing others. Some people are quick to find the flaws and reject people out of hand (at least they are not able to zap them with laser eyes, but their shidduch resumes are likely tossed out because one of the background items didn't match the A list). It takes an even greater person to see the good in people and appreciate their true value.