Sunday, January 29, 2006

Lord of War

Yes, Nicolas Cage's newest blockbuster. The action packed thriller, telling the story of the man that sells bullets - and makes a killing. It costed them $42,000,000 and took them just over a year of filming at 4 different locations. Yet, just as Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, this is nothing but an anti-American documentary.

As one critic writes; "The movie is an angry outcry against the gun traffic that turns 12-year-olds into killers and cheapens human life to the point where might makes not only right, but everything else." And that is exactly what everyone was thinking as they left the cinema hall.

They where all shocked. The United States of America is the biggest guns and ammunitions producer in the world... America, UK and France create, manufacture and ship deadly arms all over our lovely globe, helping and supporting the infamous bloodbaths in Africa and throughout other third world countries. It is thru countries like these that millions of innocent and helpless people get killed every year, be it in Nigeria, Zimbabwe or Congo.

How sad indeed - but that's not my point. I had learned two other, very diferent lessons that night. First of all, Pringles finally made sense to me. Once you pop, you can't stop. Vit, Yuri's brother, was a curious young chap. To make it short, the brothers received some cocaine as payment for one of the deals. A tiny drop of drugs, can't really harm, can it? So he gave it try, he started sniffing some coke, a small amount of coke. But he ended up in a rehabilitation centre, totally fried. His curiosity didn't kill the cat, it almost killed him.

On the same thought train - Yuri took a u-turn and stopped all the armstrading. He promised his gorgeous wife he will stop, he swore it's all over. Yes, it was over indeed. For like 3 months. No matter how curious one is, and no matter how small, innocent, harmless and unimportant it may seem - if it's wrong or bad, don't do it.

To easen some immigration issues, Mr and Mrs Orlov pretend to be a nice Orthodox Jewish couple. There is this scene where Mr, all neatly dressed in his grey suit and black hat, gets offered some non-kosher fish by his wife. He refuses to eat a single bite of it. As his wife phrases it ever so nicely "you are more orthodox then the rabbi himself". His reply is so short in words, yet so large in meaning. I like the hat, so I wont eat treif. That was lesson number two - if you dress like one, behave like one.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Emunas Ganovim.

600 shtenders and a golden ark. Yes, I spent shabbos at the great yeshiva of Ponevez. Having earned its fine reputation as best litvishe yeshiva, it comes to no big supsrise - the boys actually sit and learn.I have never seen anything like it anywhere before. A packed beis medrash, shokeling by a gemoro (okay, maybe it was a reb chaim), and learning with such hasmodo and concentration. As if, cut off from the world, living on their own little planet with the rashbo and ritvo as their only neighbours.

Black waves of knaitshittelech screaming yeshei shemei rabo with the whole litvishe kneitch, praying to God with their lips, hands and face. Not one bucherel dares to speak while davening and during krias hatorah. Yes, you are right - it is a kalte litvishe davening indeed. Lecho dodi felt like it was a Wednesday afternoon and veshomru, oh wait, there was no veshomru. Nevretheless, nobody, and I mean nobody, was shmoozing with his neighbour or sitting on the back row discussing yesterdays game.

Rav Shach is looking down at his Empire - a proud smile across his face.

Ponevez, sounds like no place for yingele. I agree, yet there was still a small part of me that would want to be there, part of the crowd. "Yingele", a voice whispered in my head " wouldn't you love to be here?" It was right, I was a little jealous.

Not for the learning, you silly. And neither for the davening. I wanted to be there for the politics, the fights. The excitement, the gossip and the tension in the air. (For those who haven't checked hydepark lately, ponovez was freilich. To make a long and ugly story not so long and ugly; two Rabbi's fighting over who gets to say the shiur kloli, and who yarshens all the million dollar properties in Israel and abroad. Their chasidimlech started beating each other, smashing windows, slashing tires, pashkevilen etc etc.)

Action - Fighting with the police, hiring bodyguards, and spraying the ir hateire with hate graffiti. Seeing who picks what side, who joins what gang. Who suddenly changes place in shul, and who decides to switch shiur. It's fun, and exciting. Not picking sides, and not joining the fights - just to observe, keep track, and watch the 'gedoilim', fight like animals in a dog-eat-dog race.

It's cheap, dirty and disgusting, nevertheless exciting to keep up with. I am exaggerating. I wouldn't be able to stand such hypocrisy, corruption and billigkait. Isn't it fascinating how such a low form of politics can creep into the highest ranks of so called bnei teire?
Mivnei vonim shel homon, loimdei toire bivne brak. One day, the gemoro foresees, you'll see ehrliche yoidden dressed in a frak and a black shnipsel, learning toire in bnei brak. But. don't be fooled. Check their yichus.

Rav Shach is looking down at his Empire. I wonder what's crossing his mind.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me. Happy birthday dear Yingele, happy birthday to me.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Deja Vu.

A promise is a promise, so as soon as I got up, I got myself dressed and ran to shul. The running was necesary - it was already 10:30. I got there just in time, and started the brochos. Now, I haven't been in shul, and davend properly with a minyan in ages. Aaaaages actually. So today was special. Special? Well, not quiet. More like weird.

The tefilin part went easely, but then started the davening. The last time I felt this way was 5 years ago, the day I turned 13. Today was really similar. It has been a long time since I had my tefilin on with my hit and rekel. Such a weird feeling, balancing a falling hat onto the tefilin box. Just like 5 years ago.

Hoidy lashem kiru vishmoi... Davening has begun. I was actually suprised, and a bit shocked at myself. Besides for Ashrei, Shema and Shemone Esre, I haven't seen any other page of the siddur for aslong as I can remember. I used to be able to daven up in minutes - the words would just flow out of my mouth. Now, eum, to say the least, my ivre is no more what it used to be. Just like 5 years ago.

Imagine the town-shaigetz rolling up to shul in a hat and jacket, and actually praying from alef till tuf. All eyes watching. Well, they weren't really, but I still kept looking back to see who might be looking. No-one was staring, no-one knows who I really am. Some just came to tell me sholom aleichem - do you learn in the area? I was complexed and scared, just like 5 years ago.

All in all, it was a nice way to start the day. Who knows, maybe I will get used to it. We'll see what Sunday brings.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Holy Day, Happy Day.

Erev Yom Kippur. I am drinking liters of water, eating tons and am having the regular pre-fast stress. Got to go soon and shlog kaporos, with money though - no shit-droppin ugly-noisy creatures. Exactly one year ago, I emailed a couple of friends a sweet dvar torah I had wrote. I just re-read it, and it actually brought a smile to my face. Please note - my writing skills were really bad then, and I was only 17...

Many people are scared of יום כיפור. They are worried. Usually יום כיפור is a very stressful time. To be honest, I never really liked this part of the year. We all know that we have done many aveiros, so we're scared of having a bad year ח"ו. How mistaken we are… יום כיפור should be the happiest time of the year! G'd really loves us, no matter how many aveiros we made, no matter how distant we think we are from Him. G'd has tons and tons of mercy, רחמים, and bestows us the whole time with kindness, חסד. We both know that in reality we don't deserve anything. As it's written in many seforim, that even if a person would only do mitsvos, he still doesn't deserve anything, since G'd does with him so many kindnesses and favours. When we pray for all Jews to have a nice and sweet new year, we shouldn't ask it because we deserve it… We don't deserve it. Just ask G'd to give us a good new year, not because we are worth something, we know we aren't, just have mercy and make us another kindness, we are sure that we will have a sweet new year! Remember as long as we ask for G'ds mercy and kindness. We are sure to get it. Guaranteed. No matter how much we sinned, His mercy has no limit…

I'm sure that G'd will have mercy with us, and in His kindness will give us a great new year. A happy new year. A healthy new year. A good new year.

So be happy!! This coming year, שנת תשס"ו is going to be a great and happy year for all of us!!

Have an easy fast, and a sweet new year!

Oh, and all of you out there, anon's and friends alike - please forgive me for anything I have done... I really didn't mean to hurt any of you, and wish you all a happy, happy new year.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Happy New Year

Hey everyone.

Just wanted to wish you all a very happy, happy new year! Have a nice yom tov, and don't be stressed.
(What I am totally...) Even if the davening wont flow so easy, even if we wont really 'feel' that holiness everyone is so going on about, I am sure we will all have an amazing and blissful year.

Good yom tov,


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Royal Engagement

He always used to go on about what a special boy his son in law will have to be. He kept telling me that, after he already tasted the sweet flavor of such special boys for his daughters, the next would most definitely need to be as good as them, in the least. A boy, who when learning, would delve into the gemoro uncontrollably and enthusiastic. He would write al his illustrious chiddushim down and keep on learning with great hasmada. A boy who would rip through all heavens with his pure prayer, a boy that would be loved by men and God alike – loved for his kindness, mentshlichkait and middos toives.

Mazal Tov! Men gait shoin brechen teller. Finally, finally, he found the boy that he was so desperately looking for. An eighteen year old rebbishe ainikle. Everyone was all excited and looking forward. So the next day I helped them all prepare the tnoyim – shlepped plates from one place to the other and bought some wine and liqueur. Loaded it all onto the minivan and off we went. I was so tired and exhausted, I just felt like dropping. (Okay, okay, I won’t exaggerate…)

So we got to the royal engagement. The hall was really nicely decorated, with a massive Kol Rino Veyishuo banner behind the unworldly long head table. The Kol Hoalom Kulo photographers where there already, equipped with all the paparazzi gadgets. The Kalla’s father was there, the hall was just half full. I was all excited, waiting to see the Chosson. After hearing so much about him, his character, spirituality and holiness, I couldn’t wait to finally meet his Royal Highness.

Everyone gets up; finally the choson, surrounded by his family, enters the hall. Oh my God! No, it can’t be. Your average chassidishe bochurel, the turn-and-twist-and-curl-his-payes-nonstop, gartel-around-his-tuches boy… That’s the chosson?! I know him, well, just by face. He isn’t on the Bums 50 list, but he isn’t exactly the angel I expected. Just an average, nice sweet chap. Nothing major.

Maybe the guy got some massive yichus? Well, apparently, his father is some corner rebbe in Netanya. You know? The kind of guy that used an atlas to create his rebbishe name… I looked up at the head table; all the glitter silk beketches, all the rebbe’s where from the kalla’s side. All where family, and friends of the kalla’s father and grandfather. So I was patient, and waited. Maybe some big rebbe might still walk thru the door? Nope, no one came. The boy didn’t have any special yichus…

So what does he have? Oh, I forgot. He has al lot of bling bling. You know; the kind that gets you everywhere… Money brings you everywhere and gets you anything. So now all is understood. The rebbe’s, the yichus, the gorgeous girl… It all came with a pricetag.

Or, maybe, just maybe. Perhaps, when a shidduch is supposed to be, it will be. No matter who what and when, no matter how and why – if that yingele is supposed to get that maidele, nothing in the world can stop it.