Monday, January 30, 2006

Alright thats enough...

A few years ago the Gillette company turned the shaving industry on its ear when it came out with the "mach3" a razor with 3 blades; whoa!! For those of you shomer y-boys who've never used one, its nothing special. A few years later Schick, Gillete's biggest competitior came out with the answer "Quattro" a razor with four blades. Once again nothing special. The shavers before it were doing the job just fine, the extra blades were just redundant.
Flash forward to next Sunday, Super Sunday aka Yom Rishon Super; Gillette will premier is latest razor yet, "The Fusion," with one-two-three-four-FIVE blades. OK ENOUGH stop it stop it right now. There is no need for that many blades. Its wasetful and stupid. Besides guys look cool with a little stubble or even gasp a beard. (right Dina?) Oy, I predict by the end of the decade there will be seven blades on the standard blade. Who will stop this mishegas?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Seminary Transmitted - It's Really Good....

While I decided to get up 10 minutes before the busses left, we still had a fun day - and it's not over yet! (There's still a concert in about 20 minutes that I haven't yet showered for, with Neshoma Orchestra and Ari Boiangiu) We went to the old city for the second half of our discovery seminar. I have to say the beginning was so boring that after I completed 4 Su Do Ku's me and Shana were out cold. Then Rabbi Sait came in and brought up a whole thing about Megillat Esther. It is actually very very interesting. I thought it was really chilling that I'm gunna share.

So basically what he said was that in Megillat Esther, Hashem's name is not mentioned once. So when it says "Hamelech Achashverosh" it refers to Achashverosh but when it refers to "Hamelech" it's referring really to Melech Malchei Hamelachim, Hashem. If you notice near where it write out the names of Haman's kids, it starts off saying that they killed with SWORDS. And it goes on to say that really everyone was killed INCLUDING the 10 sons of Haman... and they are named. A paragraph lower, when Esther is asked what she would like "anything you want I will grant," she answers with "if it's ok with the melech.. yada yada... the Jews should celebrate tomorrow like they did today and Haman's 10 sons should be hanged for all to see." - so you're asking what? Haman's sons were already killed by sword! How is this possible?

So if you notice, it says "im al hamelech tov," hamelech being Hashem, not achashverosh. The tomorrow refers to the future and the 10 sons are going to be in the future. (We were proving that the 11 Nazi's who were put on trial in 1946 were connected, you'll see how) So in 1946 (which is year 5707 in the Judaic year) there was a trial of 11 Nazi's. Ten of which were hanged. Esther's nevuah (prophecy) had actually come true. So if you ask what happened with the 11th person? You may not know this but Haman had a daughter and one day she was on the roof cleaning out the toilet thingy, and she saw on the streets someone pulling someone riding a horse (haman pulling mordechai on the horse). She thought that her father was on the horse and Mordechai was on the ground. Because of this she threw the contents from the toilet down and it landed right on her father's head. When he looked up, and she saw it was him and that she disgraced her father, she committed suicide. What does this have to do with anything?

The 11th person in the trial committed suicide before the others were hanged. And what's even more interesting is that it was later found out that he wore women's clothes (women's underwear etc.) and when he was home he relaxed in a dress. So it's like Haman's 10 sons were hanged and him one daughter who commited suicide.

What's EVEN more?!?! Is that when you look at the names of Haman's sons written in the megillah, you'll notice they are written abnormally large. AND, you will notice also that there are three smaller letters within those letters. What are they? Taf, Shin, and Zayin. (Taf=400, Shin=300, Zayin=7 in Gematria) Don't know if you noticed it already, but that is that year that it happened, 5707 which is 1946.

SO yeah I thought that was really interesting, especially seeing it (get a Tanach and look it up!)

And now, off to the concert..... Miss you guys, talk to you soon.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

But It's Not Even Good Jewish Music

Just imagine, if I weren't up since 5 with jet-lag, I would never have found this video. The video was made by a Chevra-loving gentile. Go figure.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Close Encounters: Part I

Arsem (heb. slang) - Arabic for pimp; a term used to describe a type of Israeli punk.

Well thats my lazy definition for the often slimy crowd of what I dare call Israeli-punks (not to be confused with the mostly peace-loving type found in 501 Thomas Hunter) often found hanging out around the Ben-Yehuda area in Yerushalayim. I can't really come up with the best way to describe them, you know: jellied hair, multiple piercings, tight european style jeans, often a leather jacket. Know while I don't mean to paint all people who dress in this style as being thugs I am trying to describe a real close encounter with people who fit this physical description and a rather over inflated ego.

Well it was a dark and cold Yerushalmi Motzei Shabbat, I had just spent shabbat in Tzfat with Randy, Altie, Miriam, Newcs and Nedenah and I was headed over to the bus 155 stop near Davidka Square. I bumped into a few of my friends from Yeshiva who were waiting there to catch a return bus back to Yeshiva. As we got on the bus I became aware that before I had arrived at the bus stop a few harsh words, spittle and bottles were exchanged between my friends and some 15-16 year old Arsem (forgive me if im using the term in a grammatically incorrect manner). As I was told my Aussie friend had returned some irritating words with a polite smile, thus warranting a big wad of spittle amongest other things. Being the wimp that he is (just kidding, it took some balls not to slug the kid then and there) he and a few others did nothing.

When we got on the bus things began to heat up once again. The thug came to the front of the bus and once again tried to get my friend to start something. Our thug ended up throwing a few impolite gestures and a bit of a kick, but got nothing in return for his investment, only a blank stare. you may be wondering why yours truly didn't pull this kid by his non-existent payos and force him to apologize to his Yiddisheh brother. Well as it seemed we were out numbered at the time, about 6 of us to 10-15 of them. And of course being involved in a brawl on a city bus may land you a night in the dungeons of Migdal David at best, and at worst in Jerusalem Municipal lockup, with rapists, murders and other such Yeshiva delinquents. At this point a few more mature Israelis (most likely the majority of the citizens of this place ) tried to cool things down, a brave Israeli girl even put herself in front of this thug who kindly kicked her. I'm kind of annoyed that I still did nothing at this point. Of course I was rather shocked that someone would kick a woman, I believe we do treat our woman somewhat better in the States.

Things sort of cooled down for a while, but to be on the safe side I phoned some friends back at Yeshiva to meet us at the bus stop. Just in case our new found Israeli friends decided to escort us back to Yeshiva. I knew that with 10 more guys and a few high school wrestlers we'd easily be able to teach these kids a Daf or two of some real Talmudic teaching.

Sadly the ringleader got off the bus a few stops before his thrashing, leaving us with a few of his sidekicks. As we got off we tried to coax the remaining punks to get off with us and fight like men. Only two of them decided to get off, they couldn't have been more than 15 years old. At this point there was about 15 of us, among us 3 wrestlers and a few body builders, not too shabby to say the least. The gentlemen that we were, we decided not beat the senses out of 2 skinny 15 year olds, instead some of the geniuses amongest us surrounded them and begged them to bring their friends over so that we could duly apologize for our Averos (sins) in a polite manner.

6 more of their friends then proceeded to show up to face off with the westerners in a Shtieg-off. I think it may have to do with the whole "wimpy American complex" that these kids may have been raised with. Anyways, as we (Sorry to say I wasn't exactly at the forefront of any of this, just observing the festivities) were facing off ready for the puck to drop, the Israeli punk decided to pull a knife on us. Well, sometimes I don't blame him being surrounded by 15+ relatively well built Americans. Some of us were quite pissed at the propects of having to fight with weapons to say the least. At this point some of the other punks start pretending to stab at people without having knives in their hands, to say the least that was quite scary. Thankfully, the kid who actually has the knife sticks it in the face of a Maccabi goldmedalist wrestler who proceeds to disarm him Jack Bauer style and the brawl ensued with the knife-wielding maniac getting a second and third Brit Millah. In truth actually he did receive a bit of a whacking due to his previous unkind gestures, but to say the least no ambulance needed to called, nor are his jeans hanging from the light pole on Ha-Oren street. As you can imagine in all its terrific glory we wiped the street with these kids who had the balls to fight without the backing of their beloved sakkin.

Yeah if you haven't noticed I used sephardi "talk" to denote our subsequent surgical operation because these kids did appear to be sephardi to my skilled racially profiling mind. So uh yeah, Ashkis can fight, take that Randy and all the rest of you sephardi seperatists. As you will hear later once our supposed sephardi knife-ists started to run away they came back as rock throwing Palestinians.

After a short brawl we started leading these munchkins home back to their awaiting mothers. Apparently the owner of the knife and the fellow who used the knife were two different people. So the fellow who claimed to own the knife declared he would only go home if his knife was returned (it would be quite amusing if this kid borrowed the knife from his father). Sadly his daddy might not be seeing that knife anymore unless he decides to take his metal detector to the forrest in the valley where the knife was hurled minutes after the takedown. Personally I don't think that Hashavos Avieda (returning lost articles) was a serious issue in our case. I have no idea what that kid was thinking when he opened his mouth, G-d knows what he's been smoking.

As these thugs ran back up the block and we walked back to our yeshiva, they began to try throwing stones at us. A guy in my yeshiva picked up a stone which he proceeded to hurl at them, it bounced once and then hit one of them square in the chest. Another guy remarked quite fittingly, "thats why they don't play baseball in this country". Actually the whole scene was absurdly reminiscent of the hundreds of photos of Palestinian kids and Chayalim. At this point I will simply stop beating the dead horse and cease all sephardi wimp references.

obviously we partied in the dorms that night, the Jack Bauer-like fellow became part of the pantheon of the yeshiva's G-ds, and we all lived happily ever after, well at least until the next Saturday night.... (I will have part II as soon as it happens)

Monday, January 23, 2006

This is about the time I move to Canada

If there was ever a time that I really really wish I lived in Canada it would be now. I'm fed up with 60 million Americans living without health insurance, we need universal coverage. Health cannot be left to the bureaucratic idiots with the mental capacity to keep files in order comparable only to Cpl. Klinger on M*A*S*H. Why rant now you ask? Simple, I feel an all too familiar pain in my knee. The same I felt November 20th, 2003 when I tore the lateral meniscus of my knee. That required surgery. After playing soccer on Friday I now have a swollen knee and a limp that is getting worse. LAME.

Alright, alright, I'll get to the point. A f***ing letter comes today that my insurance (HIP, those c**k smuggling inbred s**t eating excuses for human beings...aka an HMO) ended on January 1st even though as a dependent and a full time college student it should not end until I graduate (I guess this is where the 5 year plan becomes a good idea?)

Nevermind the fact that a letter should have come much sooner than January 23rd, not to mention January 1st, I now have to get a proof of enrollment and deal with HIP bureaucracy before I can even go to my family doctor just to get a REFERRAL to my orthoascopic surgeon.

This is a very negative post and I don't want to be know for replacement mighty mouse comes tomorrow. Yay!

Til Next Time Punks

Well I guess it was fun while it lasted, Shabbat in Tzfat, hanging out on Ben Yehuda, cutting class, midnight adventures in the arab shuk. I suppose I'll be learning a little more talmud now that my distrations will be 2000+ miles away. Have a safe flight chutznikkim, see you all in June (If I dont turn Satmar by then).

Sunday, January 22, 2006

"Male" and "Female"

I thought this was hilarious. I was sitting in my apartment with a "dorm-mate". She's telling me how her mother is a teacher in public school and so the names that some of the kids have there are really hilarious. For example, one time there were these twins who were in her class and their family had immigrated right when they were born. So in hospitals here they put "male" and "female" on the basinets (sp?). Genius that the mother is, she thought the hospital actually named her kids "male" and "female" (pronounced "molly" and "fee molly"). Imagine reading that for role call!!!

Cells on the Six? OY VEY!

I recently read an article online about how there will soon be cell phone service in the city subways. I just want to go out on a limb and say, this idea SUCKS. This may seem strange, but I really don’t like this idea.
Here’s why:
  1. It will take away one of the few remaining places that you don’t have to hear other people’s mind numbingly boring conversations; not to mention that insipid Nextel chirping sound.

  2. It will hinder conversation with traveling buddies. Sometimes conversation with a fellow passenger, whether they be a close friend, a complete stranger, or something in between are the best conversations of the day.     You can talk about your boss with a coworker or a test with a classmate face to face not over the airwaves.

  3. The subway used to be a sanctuary from annoying phone calls. When you were traveling from point to point you had an excuse for ignoring your cell. Also, you had an easy excuse to end a conversation, whether you were going underground or not…
…but alas. Times they are achangin’ and it would seem that there is nothing that can be done about it. For know however, I shall savor the sounds of silence punctuated only by the clickety-clack of the tracks and the bingbong of the closing doors as I make my way home…

QOTD: Discourse Edition

On my sometimes manic converstaional style.

"I would say you went off on a tangent, but that wasn't even connected"-Lenny

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Hiking in the North

Randy, Eliana, Michael, and I were going to do a little trip to the Golan together. It turned out to be an awesome trip, even though it wasn't to the Golan. :)
Day One: Tzfat

Day Two: Hike part of the way to the Kinneret, lunch, and hike back.

The end.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Remembering what's important...

Its that time of year again folks. Thats right. American Idol is back, oy. Now, I can't stand the show, but, my brother loves it. He can't get enough. This is partially due to the fact that he has a great voice and I couldn't find a# with a map and a flash light. However I do usually watch the first episode every year. Now some of us can sing; like Eliana. Some of us can't; like uhm lets say, Nukes(I don't know I'm just guessing here). My question is for both of those crowds;
What would you sing? If You had a chance to shine or make an ass of yourself what song would you doit with?

Jotd (joke not jew)

My cousin just emailed me this joke.

A man arrives at Ben Gurion International Airport with 2 large bags.The customs agent opens the first bag and finds it full with a large variety of currencies.The agent asks the passenger, "How did you get all this money?" The man says, "You will not believe it, but I traveled all over Europe and went into public restrooms. Each time I saw a man pee, I grabbed his organ and said, "donate money to Israel or I'll cut off your balls."The customs agent is stunned and mumbles: "Well...that's a unique and very interesting story... what do you have in the other bag?" The man says, "You wouldn't believe how many people in Europe don't support Israel."

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Want gifts? Move away!

I'm off to Israel in 2 days. 2 days. That means in two days I will be sitting on a plane for 12 hours by myself trying to see how long that little tv screen, my magazines, the music/iPod, and crossword puzzles can possibly entertain me for. That means no matter how hard I try to pass time by sleeping, during those 12 hours I will wake up with a neck and back ache, my knees up to my chest cramped in this little tiny space next to some old geyser (sp?) leaning on a window - and I will have only gotten 3 hours of shut eye.

So here is what I decided about long trips away from families. Take 'em. Whenever you have the chance - just go. They'll miss you? Eh, you'll see them again... eventually. And here is my reason why you should leave. RELATIVES SPLURGE! And this is probably what's going on in their head "I won't be seeing my little baby for another (in my case) 6 months why don't I buy them all I can? If anything they'll return with a reallyyy nice and expensive gift." And I'm thinking "yay presents, more weight to add to one of my 4 suitcases." What's the deal with that by the way, airlines deciding to change the weight of their bags from 70 to 50 pounds? I do not approve.

So back to my splurging relatives - parents don't count cuz, well, they're paying for your trip. So they're really off the hook - yet we all know they end up giving you bundles of money in the end. Grandparents, sisters, the whole works it's like they're telling you, "I didn't think you'd really be on this flight or actually going to Israel but here's something to remember me by. Enjoy!"

I'm not a big fan of gifts. I'm not a big fan of birthdays either. But dude, I'm leaving in 2 days, whatever you buy for me here is one less thing I need to buy there. I'll take it.

Shavua tov all.

New Light on Origins of Ashkenazi in Europe - New York Times

I saw this article in the Times on saturday I thought some of you might find it intersting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

QOTD: Sephardic Shabbat Edition

Ben: In Bereshis they do a lot of exposition but in Shemot, the pacing is much faster. They jump right into the story.
Sarah (my younger sister): Who’s they?

QOTD: Location Edition?

Lenny: We have to throw Alison a going away party.
Tova: We did.
Lenny: We did?
Ben: Yeah, you were there, remember?
Leny: Ohhhh Yeahhhhhh!

Sharon Accounts for 50% of Crime in Israel?

Well it seems that with a close examination of this Haaretz article, with PM Sharon on the disabled list, criminal activity has significantly dropped. I wonder if governmental corruption played a major role in this stat? Or perhaps it just has to do with all those settlers off the streets and in their synagogues praying for their dear Prime Minister?

As for other news, the Messiah is on its way after 5766 years, 3 months and 10 days, if only they could just turbocharge that white donkey.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Blue Skies at the Kotel

The last time I was in Israel, it rained almost every day and I didn't have a single blue sky in any of my pictures. Hallelukah.

Fear is Valuable or Paranoia?

In the United States, army veterans make up about 8% of the entire population. Yet 23% of the homeless population (the gross majority being mentally handicapped) are US veterans.

Yesterday, as I was rushing home for my mother’s birthday, it was beginning to get dark and I was stopped by a large American man in front of a local grocery store. He was wearing a hat that said ‘Vietnam Vet’ and he stared at me as I was attempting to pass by him. I thought he must be mistaking me for some one else, yet even when I walked in front of the grocery store light he began to talk to me. Now, as a female, New Yorker and imaginative individual, I know quite well that one should not speak to strangers, but some thing he said made me want to stop and listen…
“Are you rushing home? The Jews rush home before it gets dark, they don’t want to be out when it’s dark. Yeah, they leave work early and make the Christians and Muslims punch out for them…”
Something about what he was saying was extraordinarily interesting to me. I really wanted to know where anti-Semitism begins, and listening to this man speak about the Jews was insightful. But as he was speaking I realized this man is sick and it has nothing to do with Jews. He was afraid and paranoid about a specific people, and I’m sure it doesn’t stop at Jewish people. Satisfied, I proceeded to walk away; he then asked me if I know Karate. I say ‘goodnight’. He yelled “Do you have a bomb in your bag?”
…The funny thing is I was rushing to get home. Today there was a special reason, but most often because of people like him. I too am afraid and paranoid about a specific people. Are either of our fears justified?

Saturday, January 07, 2006

FEI - For Everybody's Information

Just to let everyone know, there issss livejournal! (ahem - spunkysherbs) I'm new to this it's fun.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

How Bout a lil Politics?

I officially refuse to understand the logic behind the governments move to begin the eviction process of 8 families from Chevron Market, aka Shechunat Shalhevet. I mean the area we're talking about is tiny, its about roughly one block or so. Not to mention the fact that this is an area that Jews legally bought before the advent of the State of Israel albeit the inhabitants were chased out and butchered in the 29' riots.

If Sharon wants to evacuate from Chevron let him drag everyone out, but whats the point of dragging out 8 families from a tiny area?

Everyone knows Kadima will win, but why do something controversial coming up before an election?

Is is something about his restless desire to piss off Jews? I suppose his career of annoying the hell out of arabs was simply no longer any fun.

Any thoughts for this flip flopping peacenik?

Monday, January 02, 2006

Kaki Metumtam

So, maybe it's just me, but I think it is so darn funny when an Israeli attempts to have a conversation with an American. Israelis have this stereotype about Americans, that they can out-smart, out-bargain, out-talk, out-wit, out-stare, out-do and over-do, under-do, and in-do anything an American can. It's a little petty and has a lot to do with the competitiveness that comes with an over populated state of ambitious people. It's like they come to America and they find the Utopia of opportunities--shoppers, club-goers, persuadable people, etc. Of course, not all Israelis are like that, but here’s a funny example of this in action. This is an Israeli interviewing and American actor about a film [ani kaki metumtam means 'I am a dumb shit']:


Sunday, January 01, 2006

At the Kotel!

I went to the Kotel today for the first time since arriving in Israel to see candle lighting. Of course, the traffic was so insane that I missed candle lighting, but I did get to daven maariv at the Kotel, which was nice.
And theeeeeeeeen, I met up with fellow Punks-blogger Moshe (Elder Punk), who is spending the year studying in Israel, for dinner. We asked a chayal to take our picture and he was really cute about it. He told us to say something for the picture that neither of us understood, which made us laugh really hard. So those smiles? Real. :)
Shalom for now!
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