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Tuesday, March 28, 2006


teach them DILIGENTLY to your children (Devorim 6:7)

Picking up on a terrifying post by Ex semgirl I’d like to add my two cents here.
She tells the story of a girl who was not prepared properly prior to her marriage as to what her duties would be.
Even sadder is the story of her husband, who, perhaps through no fault of his own, lacked sensitivity and basic human decency when she voiced her distress.

This story hit a chord with me, and as if I knew the protagonists personally felt their pain.

It’s not uncommon to ask a Chosson(future groom) or a Kallah(future bride) about to be wed who their “madrich(a)"(teacher) is.
While this is a quite indiscrete question, nevertheless somehow it’s not taboo.

For most frum youngsters, even those that were exposed to the larger world through movies and the internet, what is taught by ‘the teacher’ is completely new and often the last word on the subject as even parents often desist from adressing the area under discussion.
Therefore it’s vital that youngsters about to be wed have a understanding, sensitive and mostly intelligent guide.
In fact in my opinion each Chosson and Kallah should see two different teachers, thereby gaining insight from both and discovering that it’s ok to ask questions and discuss whatever is on their mind.

As painfully expressed in ex semgirl’s post, and as evidenced by the faces of many newlyweds right after the wedding, it’s clear that in general a better understanding of what is going to happen is needed.
Even more important is to relieve the pressure on the them, absorbing something that is essentially a culture shock takes time, in practice it must also be given time.

Parents and friends make sure you children, siblings and friends see a competent intelligent reputed Madrich, not a jingerman(young man) who knows how to learn, not a lady who would know because she has 15 kids, no your child, your friend needs a professional madrich(a).Preferably two.

Thursday, March 23, 2006



1) An Appeal.
Please fellow Bloggers, remove word verification from your blogs.
I love to read what you have to say, and I know you love it when readers leave a word, a thought, a note.
But word verification makes doing that, annoying and repetitive not to mention discouraging.

Is it only me or do the words we need to type in reappear frequently?

2) Saw this on a site and just had to share

"Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks"

3) If you wonder why The Pragmatician doesn’t link to you yet, then the answer is that I will post links to all my faithful readers' blog soon.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Once Upon A Time

A modern Fairytale
The witch (played by a loving mother)

The frightened children (played by brats)

The hero (played by a bunch of bricks).

It’s the exodus all over again, only this time packed with less Matzo and twice as many clothes.
Turn a page in the Hamodia, in the Jewish Press or any other Jewish periodical and try not to notice the many advertisement promoting hotels from New Jersey to Jerusalem.
All offer the very best Hersheirim(kosher food), the most eloquent guest speakers and the best ambiance.
All vie for honored Pessach guests.

Everyone remembers the nerve wrecking weeks before Pessach at home.
If you were so much as seen with a cookie outside the kitchen you’d hear about it, you had to shake out your books and eat on the porch (even in cold weather).
Then the dreaded two days before Pessach came and Pizza was the sole food available, there was nothing home. Pizza places were crammed and by the time you had found a seat your slice had lost part of the cheese and the taste.
You had to go down to the dark cellar, inhabited by eerie creatures and perhaps also bats, to bring up all the Pessach cutlery and dishes, always breaking at least one thing on the way, incurring mother’s wrath.
Mothers would be so nervous and tired and fathers would cleverly find excuses to come home late.
Basically you were on your own.

Thank G-D, a visionary man saw the terror of all the little children and decided to come to their rescue, and help himself at the same time.
He came up with a brilliant idea to deliver mothers and consequently husbands and children from their misery.
“Have them all come to Willy Wonkenstein’s Pessach hotel in Ford Lauderdale”, he announced.
Cooking was a thing of the past, Pesach cleaning reduced to a minimum, no pushing in line in the supermarkets erev Pessach, and no beating over the head for having forgotten to place an order for Shmurah Matzos(special Passover bread) a month earlier.
It’s a fair exchange, one's savings to keep one's sanity.

It’s highly recommended by all psychologists and Hashgocho providers. And apparently endorsed by all the major frum newspapers.

If like me you can’t or to choose not to go to one of the magnificent hotels all over the world, a little organizing can spare you the agony of all the above mentioned details

Wednesday, March 15, 2006



Family XYZ: Happy Purim, here’s your Mishloach Manot (gift basket).
Husband: “Oh Gitty look what a beautiful
Mishloach Manah from family XYZ”.
Wife:“Thank you so much here’s one ready made completely impersonal return Mishloach Manah for you”
(pss Mottel we didn’t count on them brining us one, now I don’t have one for family ZYX, nah we’ll use theirs, just make sure to replace their card with ours)
Would you prefer the chocolate cupcake, or the chocolate chip cookies Mishloach Manah? Purim Sameach!

And you know what? It was still a great day! (Didn’t get drunk, I promise)

Thursday, March 09, 2006



It’s the central theme of the century, countless bestselling books have used this topic, blogs flourish on this subject, it’s the excuse for the follies of the youth, and it’s the most popular concept around
and it's frustrating me to no end.

“Finding yourselves”, “Being yourself” I hate these idioms.

What is this obsession with being true to oneself, with finding out who we really are?
It’s not a big surprise this philosophy gained a huge following in recent years; we are living in what can probably be called the most egotistical era in the history of the world.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting it’s the worst, it’s perhaps thé era to live in; Torah, food medical aid and entertainment are relatively abundant, something unimaginable less than a few centuries ago.

But the “me” persona has never been so obsessed with itself.

I don’t want to take away credit from all the wonderful people working for charitable organizations, but even then ulterior motives ca be traced sometimes.
Yeshivas survive on donations from exceptionally generous philanthropists, but a huge golden plaque must announce that to every visitor entering through its doors.
The rare selfless souls who put all their energy into helping others are often criticized with “you have to think of yourself” remarks.

In an ideal world everyone could be completely themselves, say what they think and think what they want.

What I know is that if I were to be myself in its truest sense, I would have to call half the people listed in my cell phone memory and tell them a thing or two.

That's what I'm thinking but what actually comes out of my moth sounds more like

It is completely unthinkable to be myself.
I’d have to tell my parents that I still resent them for not supporting many of my decisions when I was still living with them.
Being myself would provide me with a wonderful outlet for the many frustrations roaming my mind, yet do I have a right to cause pain to everyone in my world just to feel some relief?

I think I can better live with my projected self, than I would if I were completely myself.
No I don’t need India or whatever is in at the moment to be myself, I just need to know I’m doing the best I can.

Picture from this site.

Monday, March 06, 2006



I didn't come up with these myself, I got them by email and thought they were legitimate questions.
I'm afraid I'm guilty of every offense mentioned here but somehow I don't feel terrible about it, yes I have to admit it, a good movie does give the impression that times moves faster than during Shul hours (unless of course there’s juicy non Lashon Horah gossip going around).
Are you guilty as well? Does it weigh on you like a feather or like the briefcases kids carry to school nowadays?

Isn't it funny that $10 seems like a lot when we give tzedaka,
but so little when we go shopping?

Isn't it funny how one hour seems so long when we worship G-d,
and so short when we watch a ball game?

Isn't it funny how 2 hours in shul seem so much longer than when we watch a video?

Isn't it funny how when a ball game goes into overtime we (not me but some people) get so excited,
but when prayers last a little longer than usual, we complain?

Isn't it funny how we find reading a whole Parsha from the Torah tiring, but it's so easy to read 100 pages of the latest novel?

Isn't it funny how we want to sit in the front row when we go to a basketball game but we sit in the last rows of the shul?

Isn't it funny how we need 2 or three weeks notice when there is an event to attend in the shul, and how we are always available for other events or programs?

Isn't it funny how we have difficulty to learn the parsha,
but so easy to learn and tell the latest gossip?

Isn't it funny how we believe in the newspapers, but we question the Torah?

Isn't it funny how we send millions of jokes via e-mail that spread like wildfire, but when we receive something about Judaism, we don't re-send them to anyone?

What have you got to say for yourselves?

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