Thursday, December 6, 2012

Conversations in Carpool

Carpool Kid:"So the Rosh is away for two weeks,.  that means kids are getting kicked out this week."

Huh?? I asked what that was all about.

"When he goes away they throw out the bad kids"
(I see massive generalizations don't really end yet at high school)

Me, The Driver: " What are you talking about?"
Carpool Kid:  " Well if the Rosh Yeshiva is around then he will say to the menahel, give him another chance. when he's away - chop!"
Me: (slightly horrified at that graphic image of "chop") "Don't you think the Menahel discusses these things with the Rosh? Before taking any.... action?"
Carpoolian: "Yeah, maybe, whatever.  Definitely kids get suspended"
Me: " Why?" (forgetting the numerous suspensions of my own charming well behaved sons in said school)
Carpoolian: "For really stupid things. Like sitting in the Rebbi's chair"

okay, at this point the humorous conversation got upsetting.

Because this generation thinks that punishing for sitting in a rebbi's chair is stupid.  Because some of these kids do not understand what being respectful is.  Frightening

They're All Americans (all)

So one night I went out with my two lovely nieces. After repeatedly asking them where we should go to eat, and both of them being too polite to say "Please! a nice restaraunt!"  we went to Rimon (dairy) in the Mamilla Mall.  Of course one niece and I glanced at each other when the street entertainer began playing Jingle Bells, but otherwise, a beautiful evening in an outdoor cafe with two of my favorite nieces (from among my many many favorite nieces.)

Anyway, I know why I was there with them.  A treat.  But what about the HORDES of girls eating out at this restaurant by themselves??  And I heard that there's a group that eat out almost every night! 

The next night we went out with YBS 1, now shteiging away in the Holy City of Jerusalem- to Rimon (meat, of course.  Parents don't have to come to Israel to take you out for pasta, duh).  And at least 4 tables were full of Yeshiva Boys!! NOT with parents?!?!  on a regular Tuesday night! and being the nosy diner that I am, I can tell you they didn't order grilled chicken salad and bottled water.

I get it, somewhat.  The level of freedom not afforded our suburban children here in America.
Walking around neighborhoods with streets named after rabbis (Hey, I've been saying that since LONG before any Abie Rotenberg song :)
The spiritual atmosphere. The freedom.  The pull of the smell of grilled food that is Kosher. 

Parents and Principals not hovering over their every action.

Everything is Hebrew. Jewish. Am Yisroel.

and with Tatti's credit card, free

And I know the Israelis really benefit from all the American students who pump money into the economy. But it just bothered me. 

They're All Jewish (mostly)

I've just returned from a beautiful 2 week visit to Israel.  As always, Awesome. Spiritual. Uplifting. Relaxing.
I don't usually do a lot of touring or running around, as we mainly go to visit with close family. 
This time, however, I did do some of the Rechov Yafo strolling about.

I felt somewhat sad.  On Thursday night, Rechov Yafo and the surrounding side streets were packed. Since the inception of the Light Rail, the street is closed to vehicular traffic, and is like a broad cobbled European thoroughfare (with really badly dressed people). So we strolled around a bit.   I felt so.... unspiritual.
There were just hordes of young Israelis and Americans, drinking, hanging out, smoking, dressed like...goyim.  The bars or restaurants were packed with people who looked so far removed from any knowledge of Judaism.  I felt sad- who knows what most of these people's grandparents looked like?

But my ever positive, upbeat, Oheiv Yisroel husband had such a different outlook-
"Why are you kvetching? They are all Jews! They are all G-d's Children! All of 'em!"

(except the russian ones who aren't really jewish)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Um... There's paint on your face

I saw a real cutie in the grocery store today.  She must have been in the midst of color war, because there were slogans and designs all over her arms and face rooting for the blue team.  "Go Blue!" on her forhead, with stripes on her cheeks and her nose all blue (like a red nose on a clown. but blue).  Her arms had designs with "Go Blue!" scribbled in them.

Body Art?  I don't get the whole face painting thing.  If it's anything like heavy makeup, it just becomes itchy and uncomfortable. I guess it's done so kids can ooh and aah over their friends' faces.

Hey! Maybe that's it! It's like practice for when you're an adult and you do something just to impress your friends!

Or it makes me think of when you have a poppy seed or a piece of parsley stuck in your teeth. You don't notice it but it looks unpleasant to everyone else.

Monday, August 6, 2012

How Much Did You Pay??

So....fess up!! do tell!!   $350?  $450??

Was it a planned vacation anyway?

Did anyone actually get tickets for  $337?

Actually, I wonder -

did ANYONE in the frum world get ANY work done today between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.???

Kudos to all of you who did get great deals on your ElAl flights  :)

(yes - I did- $500)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Red Onion Mazel Tovs

How bad is it to have a salad with red onions in it at the reception for a wedding?

The Kalla here in the house doesn't want us to have it.  The Brocoli Red Onion Cashew Salad.  Cuz then everyone who comes up to give her a mazel tov kiss with have awful onion breath.

I guess I could have a bowl of Must gum right next to the salads.

we are worried about serious things over here.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

2000 pictures of the Siyum Hashas on Yeshiva World and NOT ONE PICTURE of the thousands of women who attended.

Articles in Jewish publications about noshim tzikaniyos, women in our community, beloved educators, talented and gifted women featured in articles - and not a single picture.

Pamphlets and brochures of schools and institutions  with  no pictures of the female students (with the exception of the yeshiva in Cleveland, kudos to them!)

videos at school dinners featuring the students - boys of all ages and girls up to 1st grade.

Girls' schools orientations  and girls' graduations where fathers are asked not to attend.

and of course, men only events. 

Vorts with separate rooms for men and women.

Kiddushes with 6 ft. high mechitzas. 

Let's not even get into people who won't give rides to girls if their sons are in the car.

Families who won't have guests for shabbos meals if their boys are home and the guests have daughters.

Girls who can't have a friend over when the yeshiva bochur brother is home for the weekend (and I don't mean because they want "family only" time)

When something is absolutely forbidden all the time, isn't that what you spend all your time thinking about?

It is no wonder that boys want gorgeous, thin, super attractive girls for their wives.  They haven't had any chance to talk to or meet with a girl who may have great ma'alos and also may be larger than a size 6. So they are fantasizing.

Don't misunderstand me - I am not advocating mixed events, dating for fun, or excessive fraternizing and flirting.

Maybe I have it all wrong!  Can we have a boy age 18-25 weigh in here?

Or is it just possible, maybe maybe, despite all this extreme separation and forbidden interaction, that frum boys are really just like non frum boys? they really, really, REALLY think about women and their looks and want to marry a gorgeous hottie??

If that's the case, what have we accomplished?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Greatest Scam, or Wedding Advice Tip #1

Gown Rentals.

What a scam being foisted on the frum community.

I know, I know, if no one participated, rented, bought into it, then "it", whatever "it" is, would stop.

Stores here in Monsey rent wedding gowns- bride, mother of bride, family members.  low end can be $150. But that is a gown that has been rented to people for nigh on three to four years. Shopworn, dated, used looking.  That is a decent price, I suppose.
But $500? Or $850? for Mom of Bride? for RENTAL??? yes! capital letters! I am shrieking!

Bridal stores SELL gowns for that price.  Even with building up, (the term for adding sleeves. or in some cases, an entire top) the cost is often the same as a rental. So why on earth are we all spending this money just to rent something?

Help! The Emperor's New Clothes!  And I have used that term before but I don't remember for which post. But I can tell you that there are some things we all do cuz everyone else does it and it just does not make sense.

So here is my brilliant advice to all you singles, mothers of singles, sisters, and young girls just starting your dating career:
start looking for wedding gowns NOW.  If you can have pots, dishes, quilts, and tupperware containers in your attic because they were on sale, why is a wedding gown any different? Start looking at bridal magazines to get a picture of what you want. Walk into a bridal store, Jewish or otherwise, to see if you like white, off white,  diamond white, ivory, cream, lace, lace with sparkles, lace with crystals, heavy glitz, no glitz, drop waist, tafetta skirt, ball gown skirt, empire waist, princess skirt, ruffles, gathers, pleats, straight, fish tail, round neck, high collar, v-neck, sweetheart neck, added sleeves, added straps, belts, bows, gathers, lace on top, smooth on top, one material, two materials, silk, tafetta, silk-wool, tafetta-wool, tafetta-silk, 3/4 sleeve, long sleeve, bell sleeve, puff sleeve, train, bustle, and on and on and on.

Of course things come and go in style, but if your 18 or 19 and everyone in your family got married by 20-21 and you're hopeful the same will happen to you, save  yourself a lot of running around and!!

disclaimer: This is NOT complaining. This is NOT kvetching. We are THRILLED to be busy with this. We have been waiting for this for a long time. This is just a piece of timely advice.

Monday, June 25, 2012


B'chasdei Hashem!  DIP 1 is engaged! To a wonderful boy whom we are so glad to welcome into our family!

that leaves DIP 3, just returned from the Holy Land.  But not yet...

I think I have survivors' guilt.

DIP 1's single friends all came to her engagement party/vort.  It was great to see them.  Did I imagine I saw a certain excitement, but sadness in their eyes? There are way too many of them, 25 + years old. And I know many of their mothers. We have commiserated.  Is it condescending to say this? Does it sound like I'm very full of myself? Is it demeaning in some way? To say that as excited and deliriously happy we are for our daughter and her chassan, there's almost a kind of sheepish guilt, or odd feeling of why are WE the ones Hashem chose to now answer? We have davened  and cried to Hashem, asking that our daughter find her zivug, and now that she did, I feel such a great relief.  Almost forgotten is the feeling of dread and despair and anguish of a few months ago, When another boy said no, another series of dates ended in "it's going nowhere". And I can't believe that after five years of dating, I would get over those anxious feelings so quickly. Perhaps that's part of the "guilt" - that I've abandoned the group I belonged to. That I escaped that group of people who really go about doing their daily routines  with the heavy pall of sadness and anxiety hanging our their heads.

I'm even saying "their" instead of "our" because I am no longer a part of "them". 

The Mothers of Single Girls Who've Been Dating For Years.

If you've felt this, please. share with me. 

Not the way I imagined this post would be written. I thought I'd write all CAPS, enthusiastic exclamations,  gushy excited comments, etc. 

My simcha is not diluted. I'm just reflecting....

Monday, February 6, 2012

Who Wants To Be An Askan

"Additionally, Askonim in the medicine field have been rushed to the hospital. Reb Miliech Firer of Ezra LeMarpeh is enroute from Bnei Brak via police escort." (from jewish website yeshiva world)

Klal Yisroel is furiously and anxiously saying Tehilim for our Gadol Hador, Rav Eliyashiv, Shlita. He is in the hospital under expert medical care. Between medicine and our Tefilos hopefully Hashem will hear our pleas for mercy in sending a speedy Refua Shelaima to our leader.

so what exactly can this guy from Bnei Brak do? like, the doctors in the hospital need him to... what? and the police need to escort him cuz he has to rush...why?