Showing posts from April, 2012

How much do you think a prize of a wedding amounts to?

I'd guess that a modest frum wedding in New York cost close to $30K. I do know of someone who pulls together weddings for people who can't afford them and, supposedly can do it for about $5K, though that is relying on high school aged kids to serve as waiters in the school auditorium where the dinner is served. But many people in this area, likely, spend upwards of $55K. That's 10x the amount of the prize.

Why do I bring this up? See to find out.

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When opposites marry

What starts out as the attraction of opposite types could contribute to conflict later on. How to manage? See

Follow me on Twitter @AriellaBrown and circle me at Google+ For wedding tips and insight, as well as recipes and practical advice, visit

Susan Cain's grandfather

At the end of her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, Susan Cain puts in "A Note on the Dedication" that explains why she selected her grandfather for that honor because he "spoke so eloquently the language of quiet." She doesn't identify him by name but drops a number of hints, like "Brooklyn neighborhood where he served as a rabbi," "as a widower he'd lived alone for decades," "when she spoke the congregation swelled to standing- room-only," and "he died at the age of ninety-four, after sixty-two years at the pulpit." 

She also gives a couple of clues to her family by identifying  her father as "a dedicated physician" and the size of her family, which included one sister and one brother. So these were what I had to go on to make the connection. Well, actually my husband took over the Google search when he arrived at…

Spring scene

Learn the name of the styling for the tree in the picture and find out where you can see it in Hint: it's where a cherry festival takes place the last weekend in April.

Follow me on Twitter @AriellaBrown and circle me at Google+ For wedding tips and insight, as well as recipes and practical advice, visit

Points to ponder from Pesach on Divrei Chaim

. The Chasam Sofer in his derashos is mechadesh that when the ultimate geulah comes we will still have to celebrate a yom tov sheni shel galiyos as a remembrance of the days of galus in which we now find ourselves. He compares this to the renaming of the months of the year post-galus Bavel  from chodesh ha'rishon, chodesh ha'sheni, etc. to the names we now have as a way to create a remembrance of the years we spent in Babylonian exile (see Ramban, Shmos 12). Interesting... Seems to me that one can distinguish between the two ideas.  Yom tov sheni is not a function of galus per se, but is a function of living too far from Eretz Yisrael to receive prompt calendar updates from messengers of Beis Din and therefore having a safeik as to when to celebrate Yom Tov.  Even b'zman habayis, yom tov sheni would be celebrated by those outside Eretz Yisrael.

2. My wife gets the credit for pointing out an amazing Sefas Emes (5642 d"h b'Shir haShirim) that explains that just as ou…

I put up a spoof like this years ago

It was a fake ad in the Purim issue of Kallah Magazine, which included a contest for spotting the fake ad. Unfortunately, many people didn't get it, and now I see why. Some people really seem to believe it's a good idea to resort to cosmetic surgery and other erasures of what is not so appealing for the sake of a shidduch.  The infamous article by Yitta Halberstam generated quite a slew of comments here. What amazes me is that some actually agree with her.

As for the argument that all this is worthwhile if it makes just one shidduch happen, I offer the flip side: what if one death or case of infertility results from the surgery or anorexia induced by this preoccupation with living up to the model ideal of beauty. (which itself isn't real see "Models are Made and Fotoshop by Adobe)  I have heard of at least one death of a frum girl that was due to a heart attack caused by her anorexia.

 I know that Mrs. Halberstam may not agree, but I still think it is better to be al…

Pesach products informal review

This is to serve as a reminder for myself for the future.
I do not want to wash dishes with the Glick's formula again. I really don't like the smell, though I picked lemon, which I usually find the least obtrusive. It seems to cling to the dishes and silverware, and doesn't even clean so well.  (one star out of 5)

The Streit's chocolate chip cookie mix remains the family favorite. The only downside is that each box makes only one small tray of cookies. I already knew that, though, and bought 3 of them this year. (5 out of 5)

I ventured into buying a couple of other gebrokts mixes that went on sale. It's always fun to mix those up with the pan that comes right in the box -- but not for $4 a box. I spent $2 and then even saw them for $1.  The Manishewitz crumb cake was a hit, though it really goes fast in a family because the cake is smaller than the box it comes in, of course. (5 out of 5). The gooey brownies from the same brand did not go over as well. (3 out of 5)…