Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Everyone's a star

LamedZayin puts Jewish music in a nutshell with one cute comic.

Not The Godol Hador

Godol Hador, often known around olam hablog as GH, has a very popular blog. I've popped in on occasion but never did peruse his extensive archives (and I do mean extensive!). He addresses heavy duty topics related to religion, faith, the intersection of Judaism and science. He warns readers at the outset that, although he does not intend to promote kefirah, he discusses "issues close to the bone". Since blogging is my chilling time, I found the prospect of all that deep thinking stuff too daunting to tackle. Besides, I'd never have the time to wade through it. However, I did read this post from Sunday. Ezzie pointed out to his readers that it's fast approaching a J-blog record for number of comments on a single post (620 last I checked). With a record like that, I felt compelled to check out what all the buzz was about. A powerful post.


I am Spider-Man (psst, Rebecca-another fun popcorn flick, no?)

The Flash
Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
Iron Man
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Mazal Tov, Morah!

My boy went to his teacher's wedding tonight! Oh, I feel so...I don't know! Proud? That's silly. It's not exactly an accomplishment. It's just that he's getting so big. Next week he celebrates his 6th birthday, on the 24th of Sh'vat. He's almost halfway to being a bar mitzvah! Wow.

He looked so handsome tonight in his dark blue suit and light blue dress shirt, his big-boy dress shoes, and his hair combed neatly. As we waited for his ride to pick him up in the lobby of our building, he opened his coat to "check how [he] looks". He struck a pose in front of the mirrored wall and, with an approving smirk, said, "I look fine." Oh, yes. Quite fine!

When he got home, I asked him how it was. After he filled me in with some details, I asked him in my usual manner, "and who was the most handsome boy there?" He looked up at me with that yummy twinkle in his eye and gave the answer I was waiting for, "Me." And then, in a fit of generosity, "Some of the other boys looked handsome, too."

Winter Wonderland

How's that for an original title? Not.
Well, at least it's clear that I'm not referring to the hour it took me to get my car out this morning. There I was, husbandless, with my tires spinning. I actually had to shovel. With my own hands. My tiny, soft, feminine hands that were not meant to know such menial manual labor. Before everyone rushes to conclusions, Dovid did dig the car out Sunday night. Unfortunately, the plows created more to deal with in the morning. Even so, Dovid went out at 6 A.M., before he left for work, and dug out a path for me and checked that the car could get out. In fact, it did get out much of the way. It just refused to finish the job and left me halfway into the street. Oysh. What a disaster. Thankfully, I got out with some help from a very kind neighbor (thank you, Nachi Winter!). Let's not do that again tomorrow. (When I came home from work today Mordechai called to me from the other room, "Did you make sure to park on the left side of the street?" He's such a little man, that one.)

Well, the wonderland I refer to in my title is the one my children revelled in on Sunday afternoon. Mordechai had a blast. Sari was petrified at first but I finally managed to push her out the door. We started by just pushing the snow gently with our toes. Before long, she was actually walking in the snow. Not quite the dare-devil.

And there's Dovid, camouflaged and in winter storm weather heaven! He was so eagerly anticipating this storm, I was happy for him that it lived up to the hype.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Mordechai understands that, just because someone is being michallel Shabbat (desecrating the Sabbath or doing an activity prohibited to do on the Sabbath), does not mean that they're not Jewish. They could very well be Jewish but not religious. (I refer, of course, to major prohibitions not a case where people "hold" differently.) Since we live in New York, there's plenty of that. Our next door neighbors in our building are a good (glaring) example. When we're off to go to shul, we often meet them in the hall waiting for or coming out of the elevator. Mordechai's questions: Why don't they keep the Torah? Don't they know what a special present it is? And if they don't, why not? Is it a secret?

I tell him that, no, of course it's not a secret. They simply weren't taught about how special Torah-life is by their parents. That's the part that is obvious. It gets sticky though after that. Well, if we tell them, why don't they listen? How do I explain that, to them, Orthodoxy is irrational, restrictive, oppressive? Or that, they don't believe the Torah was given by G-d?
I haven't been terribly coherent in this post but it's a cofusing topic to explain to a child, at least for me. I need some help here. Anyone?

On individuality and competition, humanity and freedom

Shifra directed me to "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut. It's a short story. Very short. Tell me what you think. Take careful note of the year in which the story was written.

p.s. I am a great fan of the short story as a genre. I'm considering posting a short story link every now and then to discuss. Any interest?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Halachic Precedence

Sari does whatever she wants. That's the way it is. Especially with Dovid because he doesn't have the willpower to stand up to her. She's difficult to bribe and there's not much you could do to her that she wouldn't just take in stride. In fact, sometimes when she misbehaves, she'll announce "I'm going into time out" and march off contentedly to her room to curl up in the big yellow rocking chair.

One of the things she routinely gets away with is sleeping in Dovid's bed. The truth is, for me, it's much easier this way. She goes to sleep without complaining and falls asleep quickly. The alternative is that she plays around in her bed, keeps Mordechai up with her chatting, and sometimes (horrors!) wakes up Ada. When Dovid's ready for bed, he transfers Sari to her own bed. Works fine for me. Not so, understandably, for Mordechai. He explained his side of the argument to Dovid tonight as I eavesdropped from the other room, writing furiously. The transcript follows:

Dad, do you remember by Parshas Toldos there was Esav and Yaakov? And remember Esav was the oldest so he was supposed to get the better thing? Well, I'm older than Sari so I'm supposed to get the better thing.

Movie night!

Here's a whole bunch of stuff to watch on a rainy day:

Safety tips from the Israeli gas attendant. Hysterical!

Israeli passport control - just doin' their job.

Avos Ubanim presents a very poignant story. Reminds me of that song "Cat's in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin. My fifth grade teacher taught it to me and I never forgot it.

Then there's the 2006 Superbowl ads from Budweiser and from Sierra Mist. Tee-hee.

Oy. What has the world come to? This is what becoming a bar mitzvah is about? (warning: immodestly dressed women)

Then there's this video from one of the most awesome new sites on the web, gethuman, dedicated to changing the face of customer service. Don't miss the cheat sheet (there's a link on the sidebar). You will thank me for this one, I promise. Contribute if you can.

Hat tips: Jameel, S.I.L., Amshinover

Monday, February 06, 2006

What's the point?

Mordechai (6): I have a question. Why does "sorry" make [anything] better? It's just a word.

cross-posted at
Our Kids Speak

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Googling in China

When you google "human rights" in China, what do you think you'll get? This parody is amusing scary.
You think it's funny? Check this out: search for Tiananmen on the U.S. version of Google and on the Chinese version.

Cherish the freedom and fight like hell to spread it.

Hat tip.