Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fat Black Girls

I appreciate everything G-d does and has done for me, I just think it's a little...funny..that for the past year every job I had involved me working under some dark, aggressive, control freak girl, who, if I don't obey and impress, might get me fired; last summer in LA it was a short Iranian-Californian girl, this winter it was a half black/half Jewish(?) girl who was twice my size, and now it's an actual fat black girl from Queens- kind of like "Jen" from the "Hell's Kitchen" television series but times 5!

....I see one thing that has pissed people off about me in general has always been that I tend to respond to criticisms while smiling...I don't know why...probably some 'deep psychological thing'...but, I can't help it...

Is anyone else following 'Hell's Kitchen' by the way? They're down to the last two, so exiting! ..It's honestly the first TV series I've followed since I was fourteen! ....some things I did find a bit unbelievable though...mostly that they kicked out Ben and Bobby and kept Matt and Rosanne for so long...especially Matt!..

...watching it actually reminds me of my time in Orlando; the 'quiet-build up-climax-anticlimax' sequence; the stress, the rush, the pleasure of having a proper dinner service...not too many other jobs are so fulfilling and so much fun...I also had pretty good relationships with the people there..(except the bosses of course..but they left a lot, so..). I can honestly say that the relationship I had with the waitress was by far the best I've had with any female (though she was Catholic and from Honduras..). After spending the days with her I looked at the 'JAP' ("Jewish American Princess") type girls who showed up there sometimes and thought "I have to end up marrying a girl like one of these snobby, whiny, pampered Jewish girls?!"...but Jewish girls are obviously far from all the same...

Man, I've gone on a lot about myself here! A little unlike me....

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Aggressiveness" in dating


By April Masini- Featured on the 'Yahoo' homepage:

"Have you suffered from hearing the words, "You're a really nice guy, but I only like you as a friend," from a woman who you would do (or may, in fact, have already done) just about anything and everything for -- only to turn around and watch her date (or even chase) a guy who treats her like she's nothing special?...

First, "nice" equates with boring and predictable. Look up "nice" in the dictionary and you find: pleasant; agreeable; satisfactory. In other words, average -- not exceptional, not exciting, and not sexy....

To illustrate what I mean: The answer to the question, "Why does the guy who doesn't appear to care as much about the girl get the girl?" is simple: The nice guy cares too much, too soon. He has made the woman too important and too valuable and it shows in everything he says and does. He is too available, too eager to please, too accommodating, and he gives too much -- all without getting anything in return. By doing so, he has made himself appear desperate, insecure, needy of this woman's attention, affection, and approval -- and he has stripped himself of any value in her eyes...

It works like this: Once you need something, or you want it too badly, you forfeit your strength and lose all power of negotiation. You are in a position of weakness and you are perceived as weak..

Translation: Things that are easily acquired, obtained, or maintained, without any effort or sacrifice, lack value... it's human nature.

The secret to why the cocky guy wins with women, over the nice guy, is that he is perceived as being a stronger, more confident guy with more value. How? He never invests everything -- his entire being, ego, and self-worth in what one woman's response or reaction to him is. He doesn't gush with compliments; he isn't always available; he doesn't give too much; and he knows he isn't going to die if a woman says "no" to him..."

הנני מצרף דברים אלו פה למען ישמעו החסרים במידות אלו- ויקחו מוסר...י

Friday, June 20, 2008

בעת ליל- רבי שלמה אבן גבירול

Well, I must say; I'm really starting to question di 'lomo's nocturnal orientation. Di 'lomo just started trying out a night-shift-office-job, and just after explaining how night jobs are a good thing for him- di 'lomo falls asleep a few hours in! ....ahh, what a 'lomo....

Actually, once I'm talking about night, I wanted to print here the פויוט of one of the greatest Spanish פייטנים to share my name (רבי שלמה אבן גבירול) about something which I also feel passionately at times; night!

בעת ליל והשחק נקי כף--- והסהר טהור לבב וברו

נהגני עלי ארחי תבונות---והורני באור הגו והרו

וחמלתי בפחדי מתלאות---עלי אורו כאב על בן בכורו

ורוח שלחה בי מפרשי עב---תפרש על פני סהר אפרו

כאלו אותה זרם גשמים---ותשען לעב עד כי תקירו

ושחק העטה קדרות וסהר---כאלו מת והענן קברו

ובל אוחיל ידידי ואקוה---לאור סהר אשון חשך המירו

ואשקיף עת יגל פניו ואגיל---כגיל עבד אשר אדון זכרו

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"Hallelujah" lyrics- Leonard Cohen

First time I checked them out- very spiritual, very emotional...but there's one line that I can't be sure about- but it seems like it's either talking about a 'spiritual relationship' or sex! Any ideas?

Some books on the Torah

Some books on the Torah I also saw that are worth taking interest in (that I didn't know of before)

- Torah Commentary for Our Times by Harvey J. Fields (and Giora Carmi).

- Understanding Genesis (The Heritage of Biblical Israel) by Nahum M. Sarna ( well as the other books by Sarna).

[I also found Judaism And the Environment by Jeremy Benstein to seem in surprizing sync with Orthodox modes of thought, and found the books of (Lawrence) Schiffman on second temple times to be pretty extensive and worth looking into.]

Some Book Reviwes and Thoughts on Sefaradim

As usual, I 'reviewed' a number of books in my visit to 'Barnes and Noble', only this time I feel like writing about it..

I saw two books about Sefaradim, one called "Sephardi Jewry: A History of the Judeo-Spanish Community, 14th-20th Centuries by Esther Benbassa (the same lady who wrote "The Jews of France"). I don't see why she titled it 'Sephardi' Jewry- the whole thing concentrates on these somewhat obscure communities in the Balkans (and Turkey).

And then I checked out "Foundations of Sephardic Spirituality by Marc D. Angel (the Rav from the Spanish/Portuguese shul on 70th street). It was also just about Turkish Jews...and mostly from his own recollection, so...

One book I think is really good (which I took out from the library) and I'd recommend to anyone is "Ashkenazim and Sephardim: Their Relations, Differences, and Problems As Reflected in the Rabbinical Responsa by H. J. Zimmels. Very Rabbinically oriented. Very clear and concise. ..I mean like, you can use that as a 'מפתח' or 'מורה דרך' for תשובות הראשונים.

About Sefardim actually (in that case) I wanted to lay out that I personally was never really so keen on the term Sefaradim- being that there is such a large amount of diversity in the group, it's very imprecise to give us all one homogeneous title. To me there are five very different and distinct groups divided by time and geography.

1. The first (ideological) group was obviously the Jews in Muslim Spain and the Morocco/Algeria/Tunisia area. 'תור הזהב בספרד'. i

2. The Jews who were expelled from Spain and went to other countries with Jewish communities on the Mediterranean. 'מגורשי ספרד בארצות האסלם'. i

3. The Jews who were in those Muslim counties the entire time (the Jews of Morocco, Alegia, Tunisia, Lybia, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Greece, and Turkey) which pretty much culturally 'swallowed' the Spanish Jews after a while, though they (Spanish Jews) did leave a lot of their legacy. 'קהילות התושבים'. i

4. The Jews of the countries of the 'eastern block' of Muslim counties; Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan- who were never really racially or culturally influenced by Spanish Jews first hand. 'יהודי המזרח'. i

5. The Spanish Jews who ended up in Western or Christian states (like the Balkans Italy, England, Germany and the Americas).

And today all Sefaradim associate themselves with at least one one of these groups. For instance I personally take pride in the spiritual and literary accomplishments my ancestors made in Muslim Spain, but also feel much more at home among the Jews from Morocco than Jews from, say; Bulgaria...

..But yet we are all called Sefaradim! Example: Once in a camp I was teaching in, there were only two Sefaradim; me, and a guy who's father was from Afghanistan. Am I of the same cultural heritage of people from Afghanistan?!

Between each of these groups there were great halakhic and ideological differences (for example between the Spanish Jews and the Jews native the Muslim countries). Even within the groups there were differences (like the difference between the Spanish 'Kabalists' and 'Philosophists'). So....I'm personally fond of the term 'יהודים מארצות האסלם' for example.

Monday, June 16, 2008

מתן תורה

The June 8th article in The Jewish Philosopher is worth reading with the commentaries (the commentators hate him and religion, but it's still important knowledge).

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Another 'Shabbat thought' (which too is self evident for the most part); I was pondering the nature of 'addictions' and their proper definition- An addiction is in essence something which someone inhales, ingests, or does to themselves or others that heightens their pleasure. But after a while the pleasure is so heightened that that amount of pleasure becomes the norm (and not necessarily 'pleasureful'). For example the gentleman who smokes; after a while of smoking often he would 'need' a cigarette at certain intervals, and would be hard pressed to go without it. Hard pressed? I personally have never smoked and I feel quite alright. I admit smoking is a higher pleasure for him, but a pain without? Quite so! Because that level of pleasure (as I said) becomes the new status quo. ...anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that I suppose the best remedy for escaping any addiction is a stark realization that whatever it is is not necessary for the body. The problem is though, that we realize it, but always have these pleasures at our fingertips, so why go without. Obviously many need heavy treatment to fully conquer an addiction, but again, the main idea I'm entertaining here is the realization that even though it may be close, we must be honest with ourselves that they are not necessities, and slowly go back to our 'natural' level of pleasure and only involve ourselves in things that we would naturally feel deprived without.

הרחמן הוא יחזירנו לטבע ולבע גופינו כאשר הוא בראם בטובו הגדוך עלינו- אמן! י

Some Perceptions of Recent History

I was thinking previously; next year will basically be the first time 'ברכת החמה' can be recited during my lifetime (it comes out every 27 years- last one was when my (27 year old) brother was born). And then I thought 2009 is the coming one- then the next one will be 2036- which I find interesting, being that I usually think of the last century when I think '30's', but I would do well to live till then in good health (G-d willing). And then I thought, imagine what 'old fogies' our kids will make of us by the 2070's! They'll say; oh what ancient times- the 30's! Better yet- grandpa remembers events from 2009 (compared to how we see 1909 as a long while ago)! These things are so self evident (that every century has 100 years), yet they're still enjoyable to fathom! And also living through a century lets you look back and see how novel our forbearers saw their own times. Which I fear is another error in how we perceive history- we see it as a sequence of events that we know happened. Before they occurred though, they were obviously not part of history and novel indeed. Our ancestors saw living in Europe in the 30's of the previous century as we see living in America in this century. Every historical event seems 'inevitable' to us because of our (as Berel Wein terms it) "20/20 hindsight!

Friday, June 13, 2008

South Park Episode 43- Separatism

I think I want to incorporate South Park episodes into the blog a little more (not that I endorse it!)

In episode 43 of the third season, entitled "Hooked on Monkey Fonics" (aired Nov. 1999) the issue of home schooling, as well as sheltering in general are discussed. The general synapses is that home schooling (and separatism in general) may help one learn more and be more intelligent therefore, but those who come from such societies are very sensitive to social situations, and might have to 'learn the hard way' or too late about a good many things, which might somewhat inhibit their social skills in the future.

...I agree. ...I've known some people who were home schooled, ..and there are some awkward things about them...some better things...but some awkward from a sociological/psychological perspective it's probably better not to. ...though this would also be a complaint therefore to the social separatism of (us) orthodox Jews...though that still is a school 'public' to people from that scial group, so...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Christian Schools in America

Some thing I was thinking just now about Christianity (too bad I only remember one out of a hundred thoughts I have when writing..).

1. I personally feel every youth should be indoctrinated with some religious pedagogical dogma (or at least some hard-core humanistic ethics), being that they at least make one think twice about things, and give them a general conscience to be able to differ at least, between 'good' and 'evil'. ..therefore I'm a proponent of the Christian Universities in America... The same thing with Muslim countries, as well as India and Asian countries- all should be taught the pristine philosophies and ethics of their respective religions..

2. In a way I always kind of felt that the whole Catholic-Protestant מחלוקת is in a way very parallel to aspects of what I perceive as the Sefaradi-Ashkenazi מחלוקת (in regards to the whole 'formal mass v.s. Christian rock' debate- that is. ...actually Christian rock is parallel some types of conservative shuls maybe...or actually 'Carlibach shuls'!...). So in that way, they're both sort of legitimate stand-points...

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I was browsing through "The New Psychology of Love" today. I saw a few points of interest in it, among them; it quotes studies proving that 'Passionate' love (of the "Sternberg triangular theory of love") is not a Western invention as was once thought, is quite old, but is definitely on the rise in all countries world wide (including America).

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Immigrant Jews

You know, growing up in Brooklyn, I always thought that the kind of kids I went to school with; not the first or second generation American Jews (who already 'made it in America') but mostly recent immigrants mostly from Israel, Russia and Syria- I always thought in the long run their opportunities in America were somewhat limited- but look at this; some people I was just thinking of:

Some immigrant Jews who have made it big in America recently-

Yael Naim- French Tunisian Jewess. Popular singer/songwriter.

Regina Spektor- Russian Jewess. Popular singer/songwriter.

Isaac Larian- Iranian Jew. Creator of the "Bratz" line of dolls.

Haim Saban- An Israeli Egyptian Jew. Listed as one of the 100 wealthiest men in America.
Television and media proprietor. Best known for the production of the "Power Rangers" television series.

Emauella Chriqui- A beautiful Canadian Moroccan Jewess. A Model and an actress. Currently starring with Adam Sandler in "Don't Mess with the Zohan".

Mila Kunis- The fair Russian Jewess who played "Jackie Burkhart" on "That 70's Show".

Isaac Mizrahi- An American Syrian Jew. Famous fashion designer.

Vidal Sassoon- A British Greek Jew. Famous hairdresser. know- the shampoo! name a few..