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Sunday, March 25, 2007


Oxford Dictionary:New Definitions

Atom Bomb: An invention to end all inventions.

Boss : Someone who is early when you are late and late when you are early.

Cigarette : A pinch of tobacco rolled in paper with fire at one end & a fool on the other.

Classic : A book, which people praise, but do not read.

Committee : Individuals who can do nothing individually and sit to decide that nothing can be done together.

Compromise : The art of dividing a cake in such a way that e verybody believes he got the biggest piece.

Conference : The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present. Conference Room : A place where everybody talks, nobody listens and everybody disagrees later on.

Criminal : A guy no different from the rest... except that he got caught.

Dictionary : A place where success comes before work.

Diplomat : A person who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.

Doctor : A person who kills your ills by pills, and kills you with his bills.

Etc. : A sign to make others believe that you know more than you actually do.

Experience: The name men give to their mistakes.

Father: A banker provided by nature.

Miser: A person who lives poor so that he can die rich.

Office: A place where you can relax after your strenuous home life. Optimist: A person who while falling from Eiffel tower says in midway "See I am not injured yet."

Philosopher : A fool who torments himself during life, to be spoken of when dead.

Tears: The hydraulic force by which masculine willpower is defeated by feminine waterpower.

Smile: A curve that can set a lot of things straight.

Yawn : The only time some married men ever get to open their mouth

Tuesday, March 13, 2007



Vos Is Neias reports about the many Jews from far and wide who traveled to Lizhensk (in hostile Poland!)for the Yarthzit of Rabbi Elimelach from Lizensk.
This reminded me of and old post...

Those who grew up in frum, close knit Jewish communities know how many meshugassen (follies, strange customs) there are.
Some have a basis in Halacha (Jewish law), and some were generated many years ago, based on circumstances, superstitions and customs adopted by various Rabbis.
Some I find funny and enjoyable, some I find strange at best and ridiculous at worst and some can just not be fathomed by my pragmatic mindset.

We all know the grass is greener by the neighbor, but there’s an insightful mussar story (story with a moral), that envisions everyone throwing his pack of t’zures (troubles) into one big container, and then choose another one.
When selecting another pack , most people will want to pick up the one their threw in originally rather than any other, teaching that everybody is given the challenges that fit their level of strengths, and that the tribulations of others, which are not always known or visible, will seem much harder to bear.

Since exchanging is not an option, Jews will resort to prayer and beg H’Ashem for help, for the tiniest insignificant worry to matters of life and death, a Siddur (prayer book) and a Tehillim (psalms book) is always within reach
And so it’s a common occurrence that a text message is being passed from one person to the next with a request to pray for someone, usually a person the receiver of the text message doesn’t know, but that does not matter.
Praying has almost scientifically been proven to be effective and many wonderful stories can attest to the fact that prayer, recited by oneself or by others on one's behalf, helped them, physically, psychologically and metaphysically.

Besides praying, many Jews, especially Chassidim, finding themselves in dire situations will appeal to a Rabbi to pray on their behalf.
It is believed that a righteous person’s prayer is more powerful, and that their blessing can bring about salvation to any predicaments.
Some people go to a Rabbi to ask for a blessing or for advice in all matters. Naming a child, moving to another house or country, which material to learn etc…
Others will visit the Rabbi’s only in situations of need, such as illness and the like.

In recent years a trend has developed to visit graves of Tzadikkim(righteous ones) of the old days, whether it’s in Poland or in Russia, or in Israel. Often these trips are coupled with visits to concentration camps. Long time readers know how I feel about these.
People will drive for hours and fly miles to visit a grave, pray at its sight and leave.
Some particular graves are renowned to help in specific cases, one is great when you need a Shidduch, another one is great for a Refuah Shelemah (getting healthy) etc..
Unfortunately, praying at a grave is no guarantee for anything, and many having spend money and energy, come only to feel their last hopes are now crushed.

Personally I don’t participate in these travels.
I’m not saying I don’t believe it is of any use, but I can’t help but think it’s sort of unreal.
Prayer is available to all, and if one does have the belief that a righteous person’s prayer is more effective, then there are plenty of live ones where one can appeal.
Visiting graves, as a tourist-thing-to-do beats all the other meshugassen I know.
Visiting them in such hostile countries as Poland for the purposes of praying less so, because I understand the visitors are often driven there by despair.
Yet I’m still of the opinion that deceased people are in another world, hopefully better one, and that prayer is to be directed to H’Ashem and not inadvertently to Tzadikim that are no longer with us.

What is your opinion? Do you visit gravesides to pray and invoke the merit of the deceased? Do you feel it’s useful to pray at gravesides or is H’ashem just as close in our homes and Shuls as he is by the Kevorims and in countries where Judaism hasn't been practiced for the last 40 years?

Friday, March 09, 2007


Finally a new post (almost)

I started Blogging because I had way too much time on my hands.
Now I have way too little time and yet I haven’t stopped.
That so unpragmatic..

Real posts coming soon….
Image from here

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