Monday, December 12, 2011

If i never see your face again

Have you ever had this bizarre feeling when after spending some time with a person and then not seeing them for a few days you cannot remember there face anymore?

Hmm it's weird. My memory is usually infallible. Yet, when I try to picture in my head a person I recently met and spent an amazing time with, I'm blanked.

Does that mean i didn't get enough? Does that mean I might like the person?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oh the places you''ll go

"You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourselves
In any direction you choose
You're on your own
And you know what you know
And YOU are the guy
Who'll decide where to go." 
     Dr. Seus

I just want to give a shout out to those out there who think that pettiness, drama and self-pity are gonna get you somewhere... I'd rather stick with Dr Seuss, move on and make the choices that will take me far. 

They say misery loves company, don't try me. I wouldn't be great company and anyways, I'm on my way...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Your mother in 50 years

I've been visiting a distant cousin of mine lately at the local hospital. The first time I walked into her room, it was my first time meeting her. She is a lovely woman, unfortunately suffering of physical old age illnesses, but mentally she is perfectly healthy. It's a pleasure to talk with her about the family members that were before my time, and I tell her all about my occupations and my family.

Tonight her son came into her room and I had the pleasure to meet him too. He is my second cousin, but about the age of 54. I learned that he is a lawyer and is not observant at all.

What surprised me though was the way he addressed his mother. His attitude was all but saying I'm happy to see you're doing okay mother. He treated her like she was completely senile to the point where I started feeling uncomfortable.  I felt uncomfortable to see her being put down by a son to whom I know she has provided great care and education ( I know the other son who is a renown neurologist).

It made me sad to see that one could disregard the value and meaning of a mother to whom we owe so much, if not all.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dilemma - The Sequel

Thank you all for your advice on my dilemma. There was too much for me to answer in a comment so here is my answer to you.

Let me start by saying that because A loves to share all her dating stories does not mean that I do too. So typically, she tells me about her dates and I only tell her once it's over and I have a good story or if there is something to discuss. I can't stand talking about something that might never be and if i'm going to create imaginary scenarios, i'll do it alone it my head. So there is our first major difference. Shani, i'm with you on being tight lipped with the boys I date.

And Shades of Grey, I believe she does consider the guys she dates for me and other friend except that I don't think she quite grasps what kind of guy I want. And also, I'm certain she would be happy if it worked out but I am the one here walking on egg shells just because I know she was annoyed at his refusal to go on a second date.

Now Cymbaline has a point. It was only one date which isn't a big deal. But, I know her to be very sensitive and even if she should learn to take rejection less personally, the fact is she isn't quite there yet and I would not want to be the cause of her pain.

To pick on what Altie said, I must say that I don't see the point in waiting any longer because first of all, it happened a good three weeks ago and also because A is going out with someone else anyways. And, I was joking about bad mouthing him, I only sympathized with the fact that he didn't give it a second chance. If anything, I think I've been overly sensitive to the issue like Cymbaline pointed it out.

Which ties in to your response Professor, the two events were unrelated and happened three weeks apart. And again, I did not bad mouth him, I only showed her I cared and that I didn't understand why he didn't at least give it a second shot. (which I know understand)

Morah Betsy you were ahead of the game. I did speak to him for two hours on the phone last night but that's simply because of logistic issues. Hopefully we can set up a time to meet soon.

And just so you know, I asked A today if she would be okay with me going out with him. Of course she said she does not care and felt the need to add that anyways, she doesn't see it go anywhere. Oh well, maybe it will and maybe it won't...

SO much drama for a date that hasn't been yet :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I'm in a sticky situation and I need some feedback.

A close friend of mine (A) recently went out with a guy that a common friend of ours (B) set her up with. She called me after the first date, sounding very happy about her evening and with great hopes at least towards a second date. 

Which never happened, because he immediately felt like they weren't good for each other and did not want to lead her on any longer.When she called me the next day to complain about how guys should give second chances, I sympathized and called the guy all kind of names (just kidding).

Anyways, yesterday I bumped into B and we started talking about life, girls, boys.... Naturally the conversation came along and we found ourselves discussing A and the guy. I was happy I talked to her about it because she gave me legit reasons why he said no that she couldn't necessarily tell to A. The more she told me about him, the more he sounded like a guy I could go out with.

Bottom line is I am going out with him, first date has yet to happen but probably in the week to come or so...

The question is do I tell A beforehand or do I wait to see if there is even a point in telling her? I do not wish for her to feel under evaluated as in like he's just dating girls in passing till he finds the one, one being no more or less special than the other. Then there is this neurotic concern on my part, that if it does go somewhere, I can't have her feel like he choose me over her. 

To tell or not to tell?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Friends of today

 It’s all His hand, it’s His idea:
He tells me the joys you share,
Calls on me when you shed tears.
You know my friend,
Maybe we shall pretend?

No need to hear my voice,
Or to see my eyes,
When you see them brown,
 The light sees them shine.
My comments will tell,
Whom and what I like
My pictures will show,
Who and what I am.
No need to feel my presence;
You now know my charm.

Ever seen you?  Heard of you?
Watched you grow through pictures,
When you ask: ever met before?
My, sure, in caricature
Virtually he suggested
You as my friend,
 Intrigued me by
 The cello in your hands.

On our own,
 Maybe we would‘ve met,
Maybe stared at a painting
 On a wall,
In an Art museum like we use to,
 Like we use to wonder,
 Who is that boy, who is that girl?
In the picture, what is in her?

Now Facebook tells you
She is whom you see,
He is whom you should seek
The friend you will never be,
For an added name on your list.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Waiting Place

Dr Seus said it best:

The Waiting Place.... for people just waiting
waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting

Besides for the fact that Dr Seus has great rhythm, he also has a good point. Understatement. 

No! That's not for you! Somehow you'll escape all that waiting and staying. You'll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you'll ride high! ready for anything under the sky, ready because you're that kind of guy!


So please don't be one in in a million. Don't be a "single" among million others, waiting at Shul, waiting at an Oneg, waiting at work, just waiting for a guy to pick you up, to carry you through flying petals and to promise you vows of love he could have promised to another. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

"The older they get,

the worse they get"

I'm sorry for being on a vendetta against people these days but there are just too may things about people that are irritable or derisory.

I just quoted what a tenth grader, Moshe, told me about his mother and her friends. He asked me if I knew her "click" and I do since I used to work in a local cafe, I used to see them come in together from times to times. I am quite friendly with that crowd but it's more fun to watch from the outside.

Moshe has a twelve years old little sister who naturally is going through that stage where she will be offended is her best friend doesn't tell her if she hung out with her other best friend. Or she would want to be on the calling list of the latest gossip in town. So does her mother and her friends.

"Why didn't you tell me she got a new bracelet from her husband?"

"I saw her yesterday, she was with so and so..."

It never ends. Its the frum Desperate Housewives, it's the frum Gossip Girl.
They would be bored without it, I guess i'll let them have it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

People who have time

What do people who have time do with their time?

Everyone likes to consider themselves busy. After all, you only take on as much as you can handle. But you have the people that are involved in so many different activities, they can't even keep track and then on the other hand, you have the people who like to believe they are so busy they have time for nothing and that is why they won't get involved in much.

I am not on a bragging spree about myself, but I was thinking about it yesterday while cutting class. On Tuesdays, I usually leave my house at 5:45 and do not return before 6:30. It's a long day. I was feeling like taking off and so I did, imagining all the rest I'd get and how much I would get done. At 10:00, I was bored.

So I don't understand, my friends who leave their house at 10 am to g to work and come home at 6, what are they so busy with? What makes them incapable to have a Little Sister, be part of a charity, a board, an organisation, NCSY, something....

I think people like to create the impression of being so busy and having time for nothing. It's almost like a conversation making phrase that turns into your reality:
"-How are you doing? I haven't seen you in so long..bla bla bla..
-Yes I know, I've been so busy.
-Really that's great! doing what?
-You know, work and stuff. It's crazy how fast the days go by, I don't even have time for myself"
Stop talking about it and start acting, it will make you feel better.

I'm merely addressing people my age. When you are married and with kids, it's different. I remember the first time I met my aunt I insulted her because I asked her if she wasn't bored being at home all day. I was only twelve years old at the time (okay maybe its not that young to be so naive). But my mom just like my aunt, is a mother of nine, yet she works full time and has always cared for us and entertained us herself. She is amazing. So I could not understand how my aunt was not bored being a stay at home mom. My mother was the one who explained to me that everyone is different and since then, I have learned to value both. I think it's wonderful to be a stay at home mom if you can afford it and I think that if you can rock it having a job and kids, then be it. But whatever you do, do it well as my mother always says....

Back to my point, I think having time is all about an attitude, not a actual 24 hour per day to occupy.
But since I've expanded the topic, feel free to pick on things I might have started up on :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

I might have been wrong

Two years ago, I used to work in a Kosher little cafe. I worked there for over a year and built myself quite a reputation as the nice girl behind the counter, who always had a smile for you and something nice to say. I met people there, got asked out more times then I care to remember (actually, that is where I met the bad boy) and created some useful connections. I should have started blogging then, when I had so much to say about the behaviors I observed in the Jewish community.

Well it is not to late to share, especially since there is a follow up to the story I am about to tell.

There used to be a woman who used to come in every so often. Every time she came, we, as in all of us  behind the counter, used to roll our eyes. We weren't mean, we just knew from experience that something was about to blow up in our face. And indeed, within three minutes, she would be yelling at us for being rude and having her wait till we finish with the customer who was being helped. So by consensus, every time she came in, she was my customer. I was known to be firm but nice with customers so i could manipulate them in being happy or contempt with their experience. Till this day,she is the only customer with whom I have failed. I was always very close to asking her how she'd react if it was her daughter (who used to come in frequently as well) behind the counter being treated the way we were being treated by her.
Thank g-d I kept it to myself.

Fast forward a year and a half later... My friend and I show up to our Friday night meal by a family we enjoy eating at. There, we are introduced to a lovely family: mother, father and five children, all very polite, friendly and well adjusted to life. As the night goes on, I start feeling this increasingly annoying feeling that I know one of the girls from somewhere. And so I tell her: "you look familiar, maybe from.... (fill in coffee shop)?" As I ask her, the reality hit me. I did know her from there and I knew who she was because I could never forget the mother. For a second, I felt uncomfortable with the memories I was remembering, especially since it did not match the woman I was introduced to that night. But I went on and told her I remember she owned a red coat. Everyone at the table laughed at me for remembering such a trivial detail, but if only they knew what else I remember....

Now I wonder, was the mother going through something at the time that made her so irritable and unpleasant (scenario repeated itself over a few months) while she really is an amazing person? Or is she one of those woman who believes that if i'm behind a counter she is better then me, but if we're sharing a table we're then equal?

I'd like to judge her favorably and assume she wasn't being herself, or maybe we were irritating in her eyes and that she is different then all the other customers who seemed fine with us.

Anyways, thank g-d I kept quiet because today, she is helping me set up my older sister :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"Music, makes the people come together..."

by Madonna

I love Music. All different kinds: from pop to country, rock to R&B, I'll pretty much listen to anything. The songs I like best, sometimes I like for their music, their melodies, they lyrics or simply for the souvenirs associated with that particular song.

I am a commuter, music keeps me entertained. It is no wonder that I often hear songs that I must go check the lyrics afterwards. At times, I have a hard time believing that certain songs are actually playing on the radio when they probably should be rated. Other times, the lyrics are so dumb that it's almost a waste of breath. Doesn't mean I won't enjoy it, it actually gives me what to think about.

When I do think about it, I realize that when I was in middle school, where I came from, rap was so cool. It was the new means of expression and everyone felt like they had a chance to be that famous Rapper they saw on TV. Most never made it but you'd be surprise to see some that did and you just don't understand why. Maybe it's about how much rage they had in them...

Anyways, today we do have a lot of beautiful songs in each music style. But there seems to be a new trend of songs coming out across the field where they lyrics are just all about an immature but fun outlook on life. Hit songs such as "Dynamite" by Taio Cruz,  "The Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars, "Tonight Tonight" by Hot Chelle Rae and many more. I love those song because they make you smile, they can get you pumped up for action or whatever it is. 
It's incredible how they just preach the "I'm having fun, no more and you can't stop it because it's what I was born to do".. Probably a better attitude then the aggressive "I'm gonna kill you" Rap songs but hey, what sort of generation are we going to be defined by????

Friday, November 11, 2011

No title on this one

I always have so much to write. Throughout the day, I write blog posts in my head but when I get on my computer, I can barely remember any of it.
But today, one thing I do remember is hearing that:

"You don't want to ask questions that you don't know the answer to." 

I've been thinking about it all week to see how does it apply in reality and I've come to the conclusion that it is ironically a very simple truth. How often have you asked a question you wished you hadn't because of the answer you heard?

Maybe you already knew that, or maybe you disagree.
What do you think?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Again talk about Bad Boys

I know, I know, it's getting old.
But the only guy I've ever dated - as in went out with for more than two dates - was a bad boy. So naturally, he remains my favorite topic of conversation and although we have nothing to do with each other, the topic still provides lots of food for thoughts. As you well know by now, I am intrigued by character formation and relationship developments.

Actually, I'd be lying if I said we have nothing to do with each other, since for the first time in a year, I finally bumped into him in a popular local Jewish restaurants. Yes it was awkward, yes my heart was beating fast, yes it was awesome to see him again. And most importantly, he looked great. Better then when we were together, but then again, he is the guy I fell for till I realized, ... well, I realized he was a "bad boy" and that until he changed nothing positive could come out of this relationship.

I saw him tonight again at Starbucks (coincidence?). He does look good, healthier, happier.

So here is my question to you: Can bad boys actually change? Not change because a girl set out to make that change, change internally, change on their own, I guess settle.

 I don't know, I wish I believed they do...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Good Actor vs. Good Looking

Discovered in 1989, Ryan Gosling has been appearing on TV shows and movies since the age of 9 years old. He played in The All New Mickey Mouseyoung herculesBreaker highThe Slaughter RuleRemember the TitansMurder by Number and The Believer.

Yet, it was not till he played in The Notebook (2004) and that he won the dubious honor of being named one of the hottest 50 bachelors by People Magazine that he became oh so popular. More significantly, he was named the Male Star of tomorrow at the 2004 Show West convention of movie exhibitor. (Whatever that  is, quoted from IMBD). Still quoting, "Gosling reached the summit of his profession with hid performance in Half Nelson 2006 which garnered him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. In a short time, he has established himself as one of the finest actors of his generation".

  •  Ryan Gosling has won the heart of many Americans, undoubtedly females, by his droopy eyes, his charming face and his good looks. He might be cute and handsome, but why is it that he is appearing on every moving that is coming out nowadays? Since 2010, he has starred in 5 movies and is in the mist of 4 others to be released in 2012 and 2013.                
  •   My roommate and I today were discussing it and when I brought up the fact that Ryan Gosling always plays similar parts in his movies, she said that just means that is what he does. Have you forgotten what acting means?? Acting involves being able to put on any role, not simply the one that suits your look and personality best. Take Johnny Depp or Leonardo DiCaprio, their acting history is so diverse, it deserves to be complimented. They are good actors and perhaps good looking too, depending on your taste. They are by no means comparable to Ryan Gosling whom if you ask me, has nothing special other than his droopy eyes that look like he is bored at all time and by thus bores me. 

  •   So no, I am choosing to go see Anonymous or The Three Musketeers which has castles, knights and big dresses over Ides of March which has an actor I am so not into. Let me know if its a wrong decision. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

People we dislike

Everyday you meet people. Some become your friends, some you just say hi and goodbye to and some just remain on your nerves. Usually, it's not an issue, you move on with your day and you don't worry about them until you meet again.

But I have this one professor with whom it does not work. She is painful. I can barely handle sitting through her class. As a result, I act differently. She perceives me as a shy, perhaps snobby and totally non-interesting student. In fact, I'd be interested to hear how she would describe me. I can guarantee you her description would not fit that of all my other professor's opinions!

Anyways, she teaches psycho-dynamic  and has thus far failed in passing on the beauty of Freud and his likes. The textbook does a better job. Her mouth smiles constantly, her lips go up and down  but her eyes convey nothing. In general, my class likes her, she pretends she cares, she makes jokes, she asks us how we are doing. And it makes me wonder, am I the only one who thinks she is totally fake and annoying?? Is that why I feel so uncomfortable around her and act different??

Maybe I just don't understand who she is and how she expresses herself. Be sure this is my last class with her...

What if this happened with someone I had to endure though??? Torture....

Monday, October 31, 2011


My sister emailed me this today, she thought I'd appreciate it, considering that I loooove books. Oh, and she reads my blog, so she knows about my ridiculous, somewhat insane philosophies.

If it's too small, check it out here on it's original website

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Happy" Birthday To Me!

It's that time of year again.
A year older.
Precisely 22 years since I've started to breathe.

Everyone is asking me what am I doing for my birthday and the simple answer is: nothing.

Think about it.

Why should I be doing anything for it? If I want to look back over the year, be grateful, make counts on the past year's events, take upon new resolution, have a quarter-life crisis... it's my business. I do not need to throw a party nor do I need to go out to dinner with anyone to mark my birthday.

It's a day just like another, except that it means something special to ME.
Now if you were my friend and decided to take me out or to plan something for me, I will be happy to participate. But please don't ask me to plan it. Why should I plan my birthday when I am perfectly happy being with myself, at home or busy with stuff?

Don't worry, I know it's my birthday, I know it's a happy day (how could I forget with everyone busting my Facebook wall??)

But if you need an excuse to go party and be happy, feel free to celebrate St Patrick's day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Talked into... MARRIAGE

This week, the question of the morning radio talk show was:
"Have you ever been talked into doing something you regretted?"
During the one hour of my commute, five different guys called to say they had been talked into marriage! And that they regret it....
I'm not even sure what to say.
Incredible... Stupid...Deceiving...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Anonymously Written

I do not know the author of this guest post but I thought it was worth reading:

The inevitable is always somehow around that great corner of life. There is an old French saying, “What must happen, will happen”. This somehow seems to mirror the consensus prevailing around us. People, astute people at that, seem to think, nay – know, that the occurrences of the future will come to pass in the future.
But is that the real truth? Is there an inevitable; will the control of keys mandate a control of power? When one steps unto a freshly paved boulevard in Canada, how does one now that it, the pavement, will not open up and swallow him alive? How does one know that his next step will be forward and not backwards? Is there an inevitable or is this inevitability just a figment of our overworked and obviously under producing imaginations?
In my years of practicing psychotherapy, I have come across individuals who have denied the inevitably of the inevitable. Their personal experiences had led them down the path of the impossible, to a La-La land that we “normal” people could not possibly envision. They knew of an alternative reality, a realty that is neither here nor there. They saw sounds and heard colors. One patient, a wonderful South American coffee barista, described what he heard when the coffee beans met the grinder. But he did not describe the sound of the grinder; he described the sound of brown. It was a soft delicate sound; quite unlike the way the philosophers had represented the color and it had captivated him. Did he lie; did he tell me falsehoods and untruths? No. He did not lie. He had seen a higher reality.
You wonder, well, what is he trying to tell us? Am I haranguing or instructing? Am I helping you lead a better life, or am I placing a stumbling block in your path to stub the toe of your mind? Dear readers, I don’t know. I have simply brought you a rare medical case and I exclaim to you now, that in a way we are all medical cases. Your senses convince you of an inevitability; an inevitability that is frightening, but at the very same time utterly intriguing. Shall you forever remain a vassal of this brazen gambling of inevitability? This is a question that one must ask themself. This race horse called Inevitable can either rule you, or you can make the step and have it propelled into a factory and manufactured into glue. This hypothetical glue would keep you strong and firm, molding you into the first rate person that you know you can be.
But you fight and you struggle. You do not want to be known as that lunatic who bathes in the reality of colors, knowledge and truth. Medicine, dear readers, is an art not a science. So I urge of you, take the step. Our friend the barista did and he became a more fulfilled individual. An individual not held back by the petty boundaries that we in society have set up for ourselves. He flew to higher and higher heights. He touched the shady sun and felt the icy moon. He frolicked in the sky and drove the chariot of the tress. He was not insane. My friend the barista was a superior man, living in an alternative, nay superior reality. May we learn from him and keep him propped up on the pedestal of the mind, glamorously unafraid. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ha! Style...

I have very little time to write these days. It's part of being an adult with so many responsibilities, not always fun... Especially since like many other students, the Chag has definitely put me behind the program.

But that has not stopped me from enjoying the long hours of "people watching" during Simchat Torah and then again today, during the many hours spent doing homework at Starbucks.

See, I play this mental game where I see people and wonder about their life story. Some days I wonder if they are happily married, some days I wonder about their lifestyle, their childhood, anything. It keeps me entertained and I am getting lots of practice at making up fictive characters for when I will actually be a writer...

Anyways, lately my imagination has been a little thrown off by the new look guys have been endorsing.
I've been seeing more and more of guys, from white shirt black pants, to white shirt and jeans, wearing the Tom Ford eyeglasses. It gives them a quirky look and a whole different style that makes it difficult for me to go on and about who they might truly be.

Hey, I'm not complaining, finally some style that has reached our communities...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Good Old News

Whenever the future of  the printed newspaper is discussed, I think a big threat to it's existence is omitted in conversations: 

These days, it seems like Facebook is not only the main social network, it's also a main influence in the media diffusing world. People post links to articles all the time, and whatever gets posted repeatedly by different users goes viral. We, the members of Facebook, have the power to make the slightest speech/video/article... into the biggest news. We decide what news make it to our headlines, à la une ...

However, sometimes half of your "friends"- for lack of better word- are posting about the same topic, sometimes the exact same feelings or whatever it might be.  (If you need an example, do check up this post, PNN got me started on this involuntarily.) This viral handling of news in my eyes, devalues it, depersonalizes it and makes it bo-ring. 

On one hand it's beautiful for so many people across continents to be caring about the same subject, or protesting together via the net. But on the other, it's hard to believe in the New's value when it's broadcasting is too vast and in the hands of some who might not even care. 

ps: don't get me wrong, I'm glad Gilad is home 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Little Culture

Sorry for my absence but the traveling for the Chag makes it too difficult to post

The day following my outburst of frustrated feelings I expressed in my ranting on questions too which I cannot provide a rational, I found what I was saying in the French Literature. Now picture me reading on the train, with my studious glasses and my book in a foreign language. And suddenly, I smile. I clench my fist and  I think to myself, (maybe I was louder): "This is it, this is what I've been trying to say myself!" But I am not a famous author (yet) and my writing could use some work, so in the meantime I will rely on the infamous Jean Paul Sartre's talent. (1905-1980)

(notice he is wearing the Wayfare/Cat-eye glasses that are so in style nowadays!)

Anyways, Sartre is one of the founders of Existentialism which sort of dictates that a man is what he does and how he looks and nothing more. Basically, according to Sartre, Man is free in essence and his freedom is painful for it means he is responsible for all his actions. But until he dies, it cannot be said that man is because this is what his future acts will reveal. The day his character becomes fixed, all his deeds will have been performed, the line drawn, the sum totaled and choice and changes will no longer be possible.

Many do not appreciate this theory, and rightfully so at times, since this is not the way the Torah holds. I do not feel defined by this theory but certainly can identify to it as a young adult, in a growing state.

I simply cannot get used to the pressuring questions I'm suppose to answer when tomorrow is a new day, with new opportunities and new actions.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Guest Post - What Is Success?

 by nechama ralsk.
I'm sure you have seen them too.
those flashy ads that surround us,
promising us money,
happiness and instant success.
I'm sick of them all,
those that promise,
they will make you a millionaire,
and those that promise they hold the key,
they know the secret to life.
Each one fades with the next,
and it makes me wonder,
what really is success?
It's not money,
It's not those cures,
that take 15 minutes,
or even a year,
It's not some hidden key,
so what can it possibly be?

Success Is waking up each day,
knowing your not in charge,
knowing everything will be okay.

Success is knowing that you will fall,
a thousand times,
that you will fail once more,
but will go on,
with a smile on your face.

Success is being able to enjoy life's every moment,
knowing each one is precious.

Success is knowing you're not perfect,
and knowing that you don't ever want to be.

Success is being proud of who you are,
realizing you've made it this far,
It's in realizing that you are the only you.

Success is never being satisfied,
at where you're at,
always seeking to grow,
to be the best you,
you can possibly be.

Success is in charting your own course,
braving both the beaten path,
and making your own.
Success in in being who you want to be,
saying what you want to say,
crying and laughing when you need to,
It's in being you.
Success is in laughter,
Success is in tears,
Success is in smiles,

Success is something,
you have always had,
just waiting to be seen.
Success is something,
so far,
yet so near,

Success is something,
you should always reach for.

visit nechama's blog.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Where do YOU stand?

Wait... Me?
You're asking ME to provide you with an explicit rational answer as to where I now hold in life? Ha, maybe I should start giving out the link of my blog for those who do not know yet how much I dislike answering such questions.

A wise person once said to me: "It's not about being an introvert versus an extrovert, it's about the qualities and capacities that lay within you." The same way, it's not about how I define myself, it's more about what I do and what I aspire to be.

And I know that for many of my friends, no matter how close, the answer to the title question "where do I stand" is a mystery. Perhaps my reasoning is flawed, perhaps I do need to provide some subtitles to my train of thought and action for my friend to follow who I really am. Yet I do not, at least not often enough, and instead I feel the water with people I meet and wait to see what their understanding of me might be.

I'm uncomfortable with the verbal, I'm intolerant of the obvious when stated and I have no patience for the labeling.

Because I have travelled, because I've been gone and back, because I am not the person I once used to be (at least in appearance), I'm aware I easily confuse people. But those mixed feelings are positive.
I am growing,
Have been growing,
And haven't stopped growing.

So where do I stand? Bear with me, for I cannot name it.
I cannot etiquette myself at the moment you ask, for I cannot suspend time nor my journey...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Do Bad Boys marry?...

My friends and I, including Primum Non Nocere often joke about how I tend to be attracted to "bad boys". By Bad Boys, we mean the type of boys that might have a past but that certainly do not lack the personality to go explore the world and it's downfalls. There is a strong appearance factor and attitude attributed to those guys and I admit that those boys are the ones who intrigue me.

I meet my share of "good boys" who frankly, have no stain on their impeccable careers, their out-of-the-box thinking and their amazing personality. Those are great guys, and those are the ones I do not hesitate to set up with my closest friends.

Yet I fall for the Bad Boys.

I have come to realize that my attraction to Bad Boys, besides for leading me nowhere, also makes me feel misunderstood. To the world, Bad Boys indicate a very different type of breed in which the Boys are described by very selfish characters and incredible looser-type of personality.
"These are the boys you do not want to marry," I am often told. No, no one wants to marry a jerk nor a guy lacking brains. Nevertheless, I could see myself falling  (or have fallen) for a guy who has the depth and understanding of a someone who's been down the path of Hell but has come back. Not that he must, but since he did, I would appreciate the substance of his journey.

I am aware I just expressed a complex idea into two very simplistic paragraph but this might not be the last post on the topic. Then again, this does relate to my whole theory about being attracted to personalities versus actions or deeds.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Things We Do (or delete!!!!)

I just wrote this whole long post and then it got DELETED! oy!

I will cut the details short and get to the point.
Basically, I know everyone is writing about Rosh Hashana, what it means to them and the way they approach it.What I am interested in, is people's experience of the davening.

Year to year, we stand there, and pray for His mercy among other things. As we reflect on our lives, where we were standing a year ago etc..  we naturally pray for all that we might need or wish. While some of the requests vary depending on the year, some do not change: help in Parnassah, finding a spouse, to be successful...

Don't you get tired of asking again and again? Don't you believe He already knows what you're asking for and will give it to you when the right time comes? Then comes in Hishtadlus, right?

I know He likes our prayers and I know that there is nothing that equals putting in a request with our tears, yet when I see the many people in Shul I always wonder:

-What are you asking for? 
-What did you ask for last year? 
-Where were you last year? 

Not that the details matter to me, but I have this need where I try to picture people's experience of lifestyle, their Bitachon  and how it plays into their davening... Creepy I know but don't worry, when I start spacing out too much like that, I usually leave and go baby-sit so a poor mother can go enjoy her davening, pray for herself and for her kids. (and for that reason as well, I like to go at night so I don't get as much distracted by the many people there)

PS: If you were hoping to read one of my monologues about dating, or pre-dating, go visit Primum Non Nocere's blog as I was honored with being his first (and maybe only...) guest writer :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Simple Joys of Life

Every morning, while I drive to class or internship (which are both over an hour away from where I live) I listen to the local country station. Sometimes they have this early early morning talk show where people call in to tell the world about their simple pleasures of life. For some, it's to have hot dogs in the fridge for when they get back, or to have their dogs great them when they come home from work, while to others it's to have a meaningful conversation with their teenage daughter. Those  are all simple pleasures of life I've heard, I did not just make them up. 

Wanna know my simple pleasure in life?
-Being able to go through the metal detector every morning that I work at the prison without setting it off AND finding out that bringing in my diary and a pen was NOT contraband.  Therefore, I can now spend the whole day there and be writing in my diary during lunch break instead of simply being grossed out and nauseous by my environment. 

My biggest frustration right now?
- I just realized the critic paper I stayed up writing last night till 3:30 am and that is due Tuesday morning was written about the wrong article.... Yep, I know have to read another 20 page long article, write a critic, go to work tomorrow, study for statistics test on Tuesday....

I am so grateful this week isn't a full :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ugh to Pre-dating

Us bloggers, we excel at analysing, mocking or simply writing about our dates, the people who set us up, the date itself and the conclusions we draw from it.

Tonight, I must vent about the pre-dating process, the one where you need to stand on a table and yell out to the crowd: "Hey, I'm dating, know anyone for me?", followed by the inevitable question you must answer: " What are you looking for?"

Maybe it's hard for everyone or maybe some girls do not care but first of all, I hate making it a statement -I am dating vs I am not dating. I understand some people set that barrier because they don't feel ready, or they don't really know what kind of life they want, nor do they feel like it's the right time for them. Fine, but to me, I can't even begin to tell you how that little phrase turns me off. If you wish, blame it on my desperate romanticsm, I still do not believe in making a lovely affair such as dating as it should be into a rational concsious decision. It's the sort of thing that should naturally happen.

So I am past the point where I realised it's a step I need to take because of the construct of our societies. I now answer yes to the dreadful "are you dating' question instead of going on a rant about the pointless meaning of the query. But the thing I struggle most with is the second most dreadful question, the "what are you looking for" question.

Of course I understand it must be asked and let me add that I appreciate it when strangers ask me out of a true concern or curiosity. They don't know me, the might know guys and they need to know somehow. I cringe inside but  if I see it might have potential, I answer. (not for the purpose of conversation).

My real problem comes from the people who supposedly know me. If you know me, if we spend enough time together, wouldn't you be able to figure out if the boys you meet are a potential match?? Granted, I do not expect you to know everything about me and hashkafa can always be discussed and should always be discussed  among friends. But aspects such as personalities, hobbies, life style...?

I get physically nauseous trying to describe what kind of personality I am looking for. I am not looking for anything, I don't believe in lists, in plans nor in categories. I believe in getting a feel of personality, an idea of the hashkafic page and a picture of lifestyle, if you know what I mean...

Am I being totally unreasonable?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Jew in Prison

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am beginning a new internship in a prison tomorrow. A prison is no place for a Jewish girl to be, but if it must, then let it be me.

Since we bloggers have had many conversations about the meaning of Tznius, I wanted to share with you the conversation I had with my Rabbi yesterday.

You see, last week I spent the entire week at the prison for training and every day I came in looking cute in my skirt and shirt. I didn't need to put in much effort to look feminine for as you can imagine, the wearing of the skirt alone attracted the many stares of the deprived inmate and aggressive correctional officer. (Needless to say,  my dress was conform to Halacha and would have been befitted for Shul)

So yesterday, I decided to ask my Rabbi who is a well renown and respected Rabbi in town, if I would be allow to wear pants while I'm at prison. I explained to him that i didn't feel comfortable, even if the skirt was covering my knees because of its symbol and the attention it attracts.

His answer was yes.

He understood my concern and agreed that following the concept of Tznius, it might be a better idea to wear pants. Of course the pants need to remain business-like attire, slacks for example and no leggings nor jeggings. His other concern was that I would agree to leave my apartment wearing a skirt and only change into pants before getting into the prison. He worried that I would loose my sensitivity towards the matter if I got used to the idea of walking out in pants.
Fair enough.

Tomorrow is my first day, for the first time in my life I will just be like one of them. Well not exactly, only in appearance...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Gangs are like Marriage

Easy to get in, hard as heck to get out" said Captain Hamby to a class full of Correctional Officers in training, nurses and interns attending pre-service week in order to be able to work in prison.

Yes, you read it right the first time: prison. Me, blogger who responds to the spiritual name of Yedid Nefesh will be interning in a prison  for the next ten months. As I will be starting this week, you might get to hear some quite interesting stories.

Captain Hamby was once married but as he calls himself, he is a "free man". What is it about man that they will always joke about being single as equating being free? They love us, they need us, yet they can't accept it. They feel trapped in love. As if they were the victims of a powerful feeling that takes over control over their emotions, if emotion there is, and compels them to act on the demand of love... Please.

Anyways, Captain Hamby did have some other good lines. Among others:

"If you don't get along with a person, simply ignore them" --hmm great Middos demonstration....

"There is a very fine line between those in a prison and those who aren't." --Really? fine line such as .... oh, crime perhaps?

"As long as you're wearing your uniform, you are held to a different standard." Ah, finally something my Bais Yaakov teacher might have said one day....


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Romance be It

Enough about dating, enough about Shiduchim.
Enough about pick up lines and enough about brake up lines.
Enough about resumés, enough about all of them.
Let the romance begin. 

I am growing tired of hearing words, insignificant terms or subjective appellations to describe people, their wants and their needs. How I wish they could just be a system to be set-up smoothly without going through all of this. It pains me to have to answer certain questions and it aches me to have to listen to some of my friends do the same. Yet we need to know somehow about the other, we therefore need to ask.

In a recurrent dream of mine, I imagine I will know when the right person comes along because everything will just fall into pieces. Certainly, my imaginary world is full of romantic stories, as must girls love to dream about ... 

But guys, bear with me. 

The one scene that I very much would like to apply to my reality is the idea that MY guy will be able to look at one of my favorite paintings and see in it's arts the same beauty, strength and emotions as I do. Of course, that might not be so necessary, nor possible, but the general idea here is that he'd be at least able to understand where it's all coming from.

To brake through for a few moments from all those miserable/aggravating/frustrating dating stories, I just want to share one of my favorite paintings called "Dante et Virgile en Enfer, 1850" (Dante and Virgil in Hell) by Bouguereau.  

This painting is an illustration of "The Divine Comedy" by Dante Alighieri, in which the story of Dante's descent to Hell accompanied of Virgil is beautifully described. Bourguereau took it to the next level by creating a vivid image of what the likes of human beings have the power to create:
Man can fight, man can destroy each other, and man can also sit in the background awaiting for the right moment to guide or to jump in.

There is so much that can be said about this painting, however I will not even begin to talk about it. (If you Google it, you'll find many different interpretations to its meaning).

For my part, I will simply continue to enjoy escaping the complexity of men and women though this cruel and vivid reminder.

Let this be too in the memory of all those who went through hell on this fatal day ten years ago...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Reputations: us versus "them"

When a boy fools around, goes around and then makes his way back into his community, he still has good chances to be considered an amazing boy. Sometimes even more so due to his journey and "experiences" by a twist of - "look at him today, after all what he's been through, he is a good serious boy..."

However, us girls do not get a free pass to hell and back.
If we fool around, we are forever to be tainted and preceded by our reputation. Girls are not forgiven, and nowadays, I think it's a pretty much accepted concept across the orthodox communities regardless of how fair or unfair it might be.

This principle might be associated with the teachings of our societies allowing a bigger leeway to male stupidity due to their nature and their uncontrollable impulse. G-d forbid a girl should slip and stain that pure soul of hers. It's all beautiful, white and romantic but at times cruel and unfair.

I was inspired to vent about this because I tried introducing a not so innocent but repented girl to a not so innocent and somewhat repented guy too. He refused to meet her on the grounds of her past (going back 5 or 6 years ago, when she was still in high-school). I understand his reluctance and discomfort about meeting her but I do blame society and it's system more than the actual pretext.

G-d judges "באשר הוא שם".

Perhaps it is one of His numerous qualities we should aim to acquire.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Broken Engagements

A good friend of mine soon to be married called me today. She was not bearing good news for she announced that as of last night, there will be no wedding. "At least not with that guy", she added positively.

I struggled with maintaining a caring but not pitying tone of voice, and the conversation went on. She is in a tough position right now since all her plans have crashed, at a time where everyone is getting back into their routine life.

Not to mention, that out of a class of 14 girls, she is the third girl to brake her engagement (all within 10 months)

I feel for her. And for the eight other couples I personally know that have broken their engagement too over the past year... (not to mention those I've heard of, but that I am not acquainted with). Among these couples, 3 had been dating for about a year if not more, 3 had been dating for approximately 4-6 months and 2 for less than two months.

Despite different stories and different backgrounds, they all ended up in the same situation.

Some blame the system, some blame themselves.

I wish to understand why and how broken engagements have become such a  phenomena setting the tone of a tragic trend.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Saw You At Sinai

 A way to redefine romanticism: cyber dating.

When my friend suggested I join the famous matchmaking website Saw You at Sinai, I must admit I was surprise. Like everyone else, I’ve heard about it, I’ve met people who met through it, but I never thought about it in terms of myself.

Subconsciously, I’ve been under the assumption that such websites are designed for the older singles who are despairing over meeting the right person. Given that I am pretty young and networking is one of the things I do best, I never considered having a cyber profile.  After all, why would I need it? And why would I want to be matched up by a stranger? On the other hand, I understand that you do not have to accept whom you’re being suggested and you can always conduct your own research (ie: facebook).

But the more I think about it, I wonder if my prejudice is a common one or is it just based on my ignorance of that technique. Granted, I definitely do not know enough about it yet to know how I feel about it. Right now, I’m struggling with the idea of having to describe myself in terms and characteristics versus someone having a feel for my personality and my aspirations (similar to the reasons I do not have a resume).

So fellow bloggers, we seem to be spending a fair amount on the web, what do we think about web-dating?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Second date killers

You go on a first date, you have a good time.
You come home happy, you agree to meet again.

Second date comes, you're already more comfortable. After all he is no longer a stranger. When that second sate drags along, you are pleasantly surprise. He talks, he flirts, then he drops you off. He tells you how great it was to see you again and that you will be hearing from him. You come home happy, already thinking about a third date

The next day, you have yet to hear back from your date. However, as the day goes by, you start wondering if perhaps you should contact the person who set you up. You hate to be the one making that call, but you tell yourself it could be worse (had you had to call up the guy himself...).

Next thing you know, there will be no third date. You're an amazing girl but you're just not for him.You were not mistaken, you just don't understand.  He really seemed to enjoy your company. He enjoyed stretching out that second date... So what killed it?

Sometimes you'll hear that you're just too good for him, or that it isn't the right time for him..

So why the need to stretch out that second date? Why make it so intense, full of hope and future instead of taking it slow? Why risk portraying the wrong image leaving someone bewildered behind?

He doesn't know and you don't know. One thing WE girls do know is that we'd like boys to be more cautious while dealing/playing with a girl's heart. This request is by nature complicated, we know...but don't we all wish...

If you are that girl to whom second dates mean a lot, perhaps it is time for you to move up your reference bar to the third date.

Because to my roommates, to my friends and to whom ever cares to share, I can no longer be making excuses for all these guys, whatever they might be thinking...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Please Help New York

Dear G-d
When You see the men in the rehabilitation centers smoking through the gates,

When You see the street cleaning trucks leave a trail of dirt behind,

When You see all the double parked cars to avoid getting a ticket,

When You see the aggressive drivers make a move,

When You hear the obnoxious citizens cursing at you for going on a green light,

When You hear the wonderful sounds of honking, shouting and train shrieking, 

When You see the insufficient amount of elevators in the 23 story buildings of Manhattan

When You do, please help New York

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Says who?

Dear readers,

I have a non-jewish friend who is a homosexual. He and his partner were one of the first couples in DC to get married after it became legal (they even starred on Oprah because of it!)

Yesterday, I received an email from him with the following attachment:

"A New York rabbi claims gay marriage and the earthquake that shook the East Coast are directly connected.
In a video uploaded to YouTube, Levin says gay rights legislation, like the gay marriage law passed in New York, are responsible for earthquakes, like the one that struck Washington, D.C. Tuesday.
“The Talmud states, 'You have shaken your male member in a place where it doesn't belong. I too, will shake the Earth,'” Levin says.
He also notes that he does not dislike gay people.
"We don't hate homosexuals," he says. "I feel bad for homosexuals. It's a revolt against God and literally, there's hell to pay."

What do we think about it?

Whom are we to assert such certitudes?

Monday, August 22, 2011

"I do love him,

                    he was so sweet, so kind to me..."

A running line I've been hearing quite often lately in the many soap operas I watch while I study.

What is it with these married women having affairs with just out of puberty teenagers?

What is it with these girls dating a four time around divorced guy, believing they must be the one?

Pathetic reasons or so it seems.

They all say the same thing about the man/boy in their lives.

But can attention be the source of all love?

Does kindness redefine love?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A pass to heaven

Today I travelled to a different city.
In my extreme kindness (or maybe stupidity), I offered a ride to whoever needed a lift.
I ended up taking two passengers thinking they would contribute to gas and tolls (They didn't)
A man and his wife, sat them in the back seat. But it wasn't enough.

The whole trip I had to:
  •  pretend I was laughing at jokes that weren't funny,
  • pretend I understood his numerous Vorts explaining why women should be going to college in order to be able to support their husbands,
  • pretend I knew why anger is the source of all depression, 
  • pretend I wasn't listening when they were arguing (making me feel really uncomfortable)
  • pretend I didnt mind listening to Shlomo Carlebach music played in a tape recorder,
  • pretend It was such a fun ride we should do it again after Shabbos!!!
No way.
But I am off to bed tonight feeling good about myself, how I survived it and how I handled it.

I did them a favor which was definitely not easy for me.

Perhaps I did just earn something nice, like a pass to heaven.....

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Matchmaker Matchmaker, Make Me a Match

Find me a find
      Catch me a catch...

As of today, my mother has officially married off 19 couples (none of which include her children).

My 18 years old sister has one married couple to her count.

My 25 years old sister is considered a cripple for still being single.

I am single and happy. I've seen it too often to agree to throw myself into the cruel arena of dating. If I get set up, great. If i meet someone, even better. But I am nowhere near the days when I will be going around distributing a resume (still non-existent).

My mother is amazing. She stays out of my dating life, she gives me the space I need in order to make my own decisions. When I told her I might start dating, just so she shouldn't be shocked if a guy in my life ever came up she said to me :"You know I can help you, if you want."

She made me smile.

19 is a big number.
 Maybe she can help my older sister first.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mixed Seating, Mixed Dancing ??

Jokingly, I asked a friend of mine who is engaged, if she will be setting me up with guys.

Her answer: "My wedding will be mixed seating... so yea!!!!!"

Loved it. 

Finally meeting boys without having to bite my nails over a cup of coffee or Facebook stalking.

Of course there will be separate dance floor so I will not be dancing in a white pretty dress waiting to be chosen by a handsome stranger. Gone are the days of girls dancing in the fields... By the way, how was that okay?? 

It somewhat reminds me of how my grand mother met my grand father. She went to Shul on Rosh Hashana and her father who was a well renowned Rabbi told her to carefully look down into the men section and pick out the man she wants for husband. She picked my grand father and here we are today. 
I feel like doing the same ....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Politics and Gossip

Ever wonder what do different people speak about at different Shabbos table?
Ever wonder how come you know so much about the people in a city you are not from originally?

Two words: politics and gossip.

There is so much to talk about in a community, the conversation is just endless. Sometimes it borderlines Loshon Hora but most of the times, no harm is intended. It's mostly and  simply a way of keeping up to date with the people we once knew, know very well  or might come to know one day. 

So what is there to talk about if not about "the rabbi of the Shul who is doing a great job if only he could get rid of the board" or if not about so and so breaking up with so and so?


What might be some OTHER  interesting topics of conversation to bring up at a Shabbos table??

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"I'm a romantic schizophrenic" (Alexander Mc Queen)

 The art in Alexander Mc Queen's exhibit collection speaks for itself. The expression of faceless mannequins, the shapes of their body, the design, the fabrics, everything represent pure arts. While the exhibit at the Met came to an end, I stumbled upon many blogs that were discussing the meaning of it all, ie:

But I like to look at it, to think about it and to integrated it for myself. I see little point in discussing the arts for each one of us perceives it so differently.

 For instance, what do you think about when you hear "I am a romantic schizophrenic"?

You might be miles away from thinking what I am thinking right now. However, perhaps you can understand that stuck in the shidduch system, I now more than ever can identify to such feelings of dissociated identity, dreams of chivalry and yearning for a breakthrough of fantasy.

 So much pain to be seen in his designs, so much beauty; It is no surprise to me that AMQ ended his own life.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Noblewomen or Hypocrite?

Watch me make my way around a crowd, say at a Shabbos Kiddush.
As much as I like to think of myself as a good person, there are definitely people I have no patience for, not to speak of those I have a really hard time bearing. While I go around saying hi to everyone and catching up on the superficial but courteous aspects of life, try to pick out the people I dislike or do not care for.

It's a game I play with myself fairly often.

A game I know I win when I make the recipients happy. I leave them feeling good about themselves through a smile, a little compliment or an insignificant sentence that shows them I cared enough to notice them: " I saw you walking on X Street 3months ago!!".... ( When in reality, my visual memory is out of control)

So hmmm, since I am able to be nice and friendly to everyone even though I don't always mean it, does that make me a noble person or the biggest hypocrite?

Friday, August 5, 2011

"No News is Good News"

Who ever came up with that saying, obviously had little insight about the meanings of the terms "anxious" or "impatient". The wait, the curiosity, the mental energy, none of it can be soothed by this quote. If you ask around, I am sure people would rather hear bad news than nothing at all.

That is, unless we are talking about my parents, who get worried when I do call home :)

 "Is he alive",
 "Does he like me",
 "Is he coming"
To each their own drama

So no news about the boy I was pursuing (in  "you don't know me...")
The good news?
I moved on.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Nu, let's set them up

This is what I found on Facebook today. If you are interested, search for the group "Nu, let's set them up" and ask 

to join. I personally haven't decided yet if I find it ridiculously funny or genius

"You know a guy. I know a girl. Nu, let's set 'em up!


Tell us about the single in your life using the "Creat Doc" option on the right. Give your doc a unique and true title. For example "Religious Adventurist Seeks Same in Partner." Be serious, or be funny - any identifying title works. Just make sure to fill that doc with relevant information about the single. You know, the stuff that matters. 

[To post to the group anonymously, you can send the info to and a group administrator will post it for you!]

Once the info on your single is posted, the match-seekers can comment with questions aimed at considering your single's compatibility with another single they may know.

3. SET 'EM UP!
If the descriptions line up, you can contact each other to get more information, set up a date...and potentially make a match! 

*Behold the power in real people banding together to make real matches!*" 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I go both ways

When people ask what I am looking for, the one thing they are sure they won't hear is the obvious reason in the orthodox communities. I am attracted by guys and only guys.

However, I am not attracted to criteria such as : - Is he learning or is he not?
                                                                           - Does he want to live in Israel?
                                                                           - Is he involved in Kiruv?

The questions can go on and on.
As much as I understand the benefits of being matched up with an individual who appears to have similar goals to you, I cannot put it down in words.

I can go both ways, meaning, I can see myself marrying a guy who learns a lot as well as guy who learns less. The cut off for me is the how, the why and the attitude behind the learning. ( and perhaps a distinction between a full time learner versus a professional)

Same for Kiruv or Israel... I do not want to get married by practicality. Certain life goals can be met while others can be worked out together. Yes Kiruv is a lifestyle; yes moving to Israel is an important decision (i'm sticking to my examples) But they aren't defined in black and white for we don't know where life might take us.

So why does it feel like resumes have our whole life ahead figured out?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Drive to the top!

While you may all be familiar with the behind the scenes of the Shidduch system, I am still discovering the "do's" and the "dont's". Until recently, I had chosen to stay out of the picture when it came to blind dates and blind set-ups. However, these days, it's getting pretty lonely in the no man-land of my life and I have agreed to take the big step. I officially started to date. UGH

I always thought I would be the girl to fall in love with a guy on a train, on a plane or at a museum, that things would go their own way, that it wouldn't matter if he learned or if I covered my elbows and knees.. because we'd love each other. And of course, we'd both love being Jewish whatever that may mean.Together, we'd figure out and decide how to be good simple Jews.

Enough dreaming, it hasn't happened. Time to move on with my times. Although, I am still resilient to the resume thingy...

As it is, most of my friends at this point, have resumes, go see Shadchanim and frequently go out with people who aren't even remotely close to whom they usually are attracted too. They hate it. But they do it.

Last night, we were having a girl's talk night, and when girls my age get together, 99% of the time the conversation is solely about boys. You see, one of my friends is being set-up with a boy who lives a few hours away. So we started arguing about what is right: for the boy to cover the distance or the girl.
Does it even matter?

In my Romanesque world, obviously the boy should drive to meet the girl. It is as romantic as it may get in a set-up. However, if I were the girl concerned, I wouldn't make a big deal out of travelling myself IF it were simple enough. What I don't understand, is the answer my friend got from the Shadchan:

 "Sarale, you should drive to meet Yankele. He has such a long list of girls suggested to him, that if you were to drive, it will place you on the top of his list."


Friday, July 29, 2011

You don't know me--I don't know you, but I like you...

Sooner or later, I had to post about shidduchim.
Like many others, I dislike being set up mostly because of the way it is done: the wasted energy of going out with someone who is totally wrong for you, someone whom your not attracted to at all, someone who took you out on your worse date ever, someone whom you forgot about the next day.
Yet, we agree to it, we do it because it is how it's done these days. Enough of all your blogs cover the pros and cons, the downsides and the flip-sides, the " what we love and what we hate"... so I will not go into it (yet...)

Hmmm so here is my dilemma:
 I "know" (thank g-d for Facebook) this guy whom I would like to go out with. I am not only attracted to his profile on Facebook, I was told about him and he sounds like a potential match. At least, a potential date. What's my next step?
-Convincing my superficial common friends on Facebook that they should set us up?
-Pretend I do not care?
-Chase down the people who might be able to set us up?

When do I start sounding too desperate?

Because I am not. I dislike dating for dating but now that I am interested in this guy, how do I go about chasing him down without sounding like a lunatic??

Monday, July 25, 2011

Take it Slow

If you see an Orthodox looking Jew driving his little blue Honda at 45 mph on a residential street, and if you then notices three young African Americans riding their bikes in circles, you might want to anticipate trouble.

Where I live, we get nervous when we see these kind of youngsters hanging out in our neighborhood. Before you call me racist, you need to understand that it is based on statistics of events and no racial discrimination. As it so happens, the community has daily patrols to prevent the elevated African American crime rate among the Jewish neighborhood. This arrangements works for all and every so often you will hear about this and this man who saved this and this person from a mugging or a sketchy trespassing.

Back to my story.
 I was curious to see how was this all going to end. Since I was cooling off from a satisfying 4 mile jog, I had plenty of time to observed. As predicted, the teenagers on the bikes started cursing at the speeding car. Mind you, it was a dead end street and the driver wasn't about to run off that fast. The man, obviously upset for being the target of their curse, got out of the car, threatening to call the police if they didn't immediately leave the street. Soon enough, he realized how risky and idiotic it was for him to start up with those three unfriendly strangers. He got back into his car, turned around, and drove off.
I wonder why he had pulled up into that street to begin with....

There could have been a fight, there could have been serious trouble. To be fair, he was speeding and might have even scared them. Heck, he scared me. But they were inappropriately verbal about it, and the man must knew he was in his wrong otherwise it wouldn't have phased him.  Thank G-d things didn't get out of hand although I was blessed enough to hear a whole dictionary of new words I, hopefully, will never use. The boys went from cursing this one guy to threatening the whole community.

What a shame. What a perfect example of small ways we can help with the constant animosity between our communities and people who simply hate us. At least be an exemplary model of conduct; at least not give them reasons to hate us. Why can't the people who seem so entranced with Torah life, why can't they teach the world?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"What men prizes most is a privilege, even if it be that of chief mourner at a funeral." (James Russell Lowell)

I was reminded of that quote when one of the students in my summer class described her mother's funeral. Being that she is a Christian, I was curious to hear how her religious tendencies affected her ritual of mourning and grieving. She explained how her father did not attend the ceremony which takes place right after they put the coffin in the ground. He preferred erring around in the nearby woods to seek comfort and solace on his own. Meanwhile, my friend was "stuck" (in her words) having to handle all the visitors that had come to present their condolences. She felt like it should have been the role of her father to nod and accept the gentle pads on the shoulder from the commiserating people. She wanted him to be the recipient of all this tragic attention. However she says, the next day, the house was quiet again and life went on. 

There she got me thinking about our own rules of Shiva, Shloshim and the Year of mourning. 
I can not say I am ashamed, but on my journey to discover the proper way of observing the Mitsvot- and by proper, I mean an equal balance between love fear and respect for The one above- I used to think that the rules of Aveilus (mourning) are over the top, and that our sages were exaggerating by imposing on us the ways we are to feel and to mourn. (They don't exactly, but in the mind of a teenager, they did.) Of course I've had friends who tried convincing me of how wonderful it is to have such a system in place, for they know the human nature, the need for comfort and the source of joy (hence no music for a year...). Yet I remained stubborn and convinced that I must be different for wanting to grieve with music, for wanting to forget through forbidden means. 

So I addressed  my secular class and briefly explained how it works in our communities. Because now I don't simply understand it as a law, I appreciate it for what it is worth. And yes, our sages tend to know better than the little me. I guess part of growing up is discovering it for yourself. 

Thank G-d I have been blessed with a healthy family and I haven't been in a situation where I ever had to follow the Halachos of mourning, but I've witnessed it enough through my parents and through close friends. I saw how it helped those who followed the rules to confront their pain and emotions versus those who chose to mourn their own way, transgressing fundamental Halachos. The latter are the one's who today, are still struggling to adjust with the loss and suffering they've experienced. In now way do I mean to judge them for I can only begin to imagine their pain. I can simply notice and speculate about the benefits of our Halachos. 

 If only we were taught how to appreciate all these laws instead of focusing on their restrictive aspect, schools would have a much higher rate of success in forming real sincere G-d fearing and loving Jews. 

But that's a whole other topic for a different post :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Never Judge A book By it's Cover

I would assume judging a book by it's title sounds like a much more reasonable option. 
You wouldn't want to read about something that does not sound interesting to you, no matter how good the material. Publishers and Marketers are very well aware of that and therefore will often mislead you by an attractive title that may promise more than it provides to your interest.
All this to say that when I myself was thinking of a title for my blog, I too desired to be one of the kind, interesting to all, unique and different. I wanted to attract my readers through a title and I wasted all in all ten minutes during which i could have been coming up with more interesting theories than the one of identity. The truth is, we who believe ourselves to be different than the norm, we thereby create our own norms and a new category of "the out of the box people". Ha, which box? I think a  better term to generally describe us is: "able to think for themselves". Yes those still exist, yes maybe it is what makes us different. After all, we might reach the same conclusion as the public opinion, but by discovering it ourselves, we turn a conviction into our reality. 

So why Lovesick Soul for a blog?
Perhaps you know the song Yedid Nefesh in which we chant:
 "My soul is lovesick for You. I beg of you O G-d, please heal her by showing her the pleasantness of your radiance. Then she will be strengthen and healed...."
You can only speak of lovesick in the absence of the loved person. Here we ask Him to help us reach that love that we should be able to reciprocate the love He has for us. We have means; we have the Torah and the  Halachos but sometimes true appreciation of it comes through our own learning and not by the preaching of the many Jewish teachers I've had. 
My box is the Yeshivish world i grew up in. Being out of the box for me refers to my search of the true way of being a G-d fearing Jew. A way that isn't dictated by community nor by false believe to be preserving our souls. The way of Halacha, Emuna and verity.  

The Evil Tongue

"That's why Hashem gave us two lips to keep our mouth shut tight 
and two lobes to keep our ears from hearing things not right
.. no loshon hora..."

I was taught at a very young age about the moral restrictions of Loshon Hora. As a child, I knew it wasn't a nice thing to speak badly of others. I thought I understood why it was bad and to my innocent eyes, it seemed like a nice idea for there wasn't much bad to say about others anyways. If I ever was surprised to hear Big People saying mean things about someone else, my teachers had an answer--educational purposes excused it all. It was that simple. And if I ever heard something that didn't seem to be for educational purposes, I would make it my duty to let the sinner know he just said Loshon Hora. But as I grew up, i realized there was a lot that could be said about people and that most people in my surroundings didn't care not to hold it back.

So as a teenager, I rebelled against the Halachos that pertained to speaking to Loshon Hora.
Why did the Torah need to tell us EVERYTHING we are supposed to do? Yes in the role of a perfect teenager, I considered myself intelligent for thinking against my teachers that most of the Halachos were just superfluous way to ensure we didn't enjoy our lives. Even during seminary, I refrained from accepting laws about something that simply was unrealistic and not respected.

It took me a few years to understand exactly what Loshon hora was truly about.

 First, my mother was brave enough to try explaining to me that people aren't perfect and that I simply cannot reject what I was being taught because of what I might have witnessed. I realized that some Halachos come up when relevant but Loshon Hora is one of those that never leaves. It is a constant effort. Even if incorporated in our behaviors at a very young age, it takes lots of grandeur to always adhere to the rules of Loshon Hora. And frankly, today I cannot say it has gotten easier. The more independent my thoughts and ideas get, the more I am prone to criticize my opponents. But having being taught Loshon Hora all my life, I can at least admit that my awareness in the matter is consequential.

I also came to realize how much speaking Loshon Hora hurts you, perhaps even more than the person you are speaking about. You allow yourself to express negativity. Refraining from thinking bad about people is hard enough, but once you get used to speaking it out loud, you might get trapped in the ugliness of belittling. It's interesting, but when my close friend and I discuss topics that involve people, I am less keen on calling it Loshon Hora because i know them well enough to translate their emotion into their experience. Their point in sharing isn't simply for the conversation and perhaps to build me up against a person. It is to share their feeling/grief or whatever it might be, so they can work it out. And true, often an outside opinion helps in viewing people more favorably.

But when someone I know less is speaking Loshon Hora, I struggle to remain objective for information gets lost in translation. That's Loshon Hara. The harm it does, the negative vibes it brings up such as having to make a conscious effort to not let what I hear effect my respect for a person; having to re-frame certain opinions and re-think certain considerations.

I have never ceased to be disappointed in hearing people I respect speaking Loshon Hora and I have to make a conscious effort to remind myself they are only human. I can only hope many more will come to realize the true nature of belittling and not simply the Halachos associated with it.