Wednesday, November 29, 2006


My wedding anniversary is coming up. I am commemorating these years from the nuptials by making Yoelish's favorite supper. But I will be marking not only the birth of my family and my love for Yoelish, but I also will be reflecting on other aspects of my young life that have changed when I got married. As I think back to the things of past and to this momentous wedding event, some very strong feelings envelop me. I'd like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to some very dear part of my life I lost when I got married, because of my marriage.

I've prepared a little ceremony, a little ritual of sorts, that I want to perform. I lit some vanilla scented candles and turned off the lights, and I will observe a few moments of silence in memory.


And I will now read a letter I wrote to express my strongest, deepest, broken voice of longing.

To my Dear Friend,

My heart aches with endless pain as I once again open this wound. I know that you are angry with me, and I understand your reason. I too, am really hurt.

I want you to realize that there was nothing I could have done about it. I was presented with a choice one should never know of. It was very clear that it was either you or him.

I love you very much, but after excruciating reflection I concluded that although my feelings for you are unconditional, you can not satisfy some parts of my life that he does. I hope it makes you feel better to hear that even though I have gone on to a happily married life, I still think of you every day.

I think of the special times we shared, and then of the times our relationship was under stress. I can now appreciate the extent to which our friendship made me a better person. You no doubt accented me in many ways.

I smile fondly at the memory of you under the rain. I remember your obsession with clothing. You had an endless collection of shoeboxes of ribbons, barrettes, ‘chuts’, ‘rifes’, brushes, mirrors… All of which were always updated according to the latest style and fad. Oh, you were so materialistic; I sometimes wondered how we ever got along.

Actually, very often we didn’t. In the Nine Days you were ecstatic. You looked awful, oil dripping from every end. You insisted that you be washed. In the earlier days, you owned pets; ugly ones that freaked me out. Because of them my mother tried to tear us apart.

You always wanted for me to spend over thirty minutes with you every morning, while you humored yourself by flipping out while I constantly tried to turn you in. You loved cuts, but when we arrived for the appointment you were a control freak. Not too short, not too long…

Oh, you were such a headache.

Despite all that. I miss you.

When I turned 18 and you became fearful that I will leave you for a man,you overreacted. You stopped being yourself. You attended hours of ‘therapy’ at the stylist, giving yourself the ‘of age’ look. You refused to look natural. You always had to be thoroughly conditioned and perfectly blow-dried.

I recall the summers with you most fondly. When you let go of all the uptight dos and you just had fun. You’d be wild, messy and bundled up in a bun. You were happy then.

I miss taking baths with you. I miss it so much. At first, when we broke up, I would stand in the shower and cry. I felt empty and alone.

I placed a memorial, some sort of tombstone, in your place. It’s called a shpitzle. Every day as I pile the plastic hair, sponges, tashtichels and silk paintings onto my head; I dedicate that moment for you.

You will have a special place in my heart, forever.


Monday, November 27, 2006


I have some great news for all you blogaholics. I think you’ll be mighty proud of me.

I joined the Yuniversity for Yiddishpeaking Yentas. Within three years, I should have my Masters Degree in Yentaology!

The first class was held in a small bes medrish off Bedford Avenue that is only in use on shabbos. All the attending yentas-to-be seemed very determined.

Throughout the 45 minute session the coordinator introduced us to the system and discussed a little the importance of the course, as for some it’s the key to community survival. I listen and nod enthusiastically. Everyone looks at me. I wonder what I did wrong. Oh, I realize, I should look back. So I stare hard and feel like I’m learning something already.

We were then given an assignment on Page 86 of the program textbook titled STARING IS CARING. Session dismissed.

As I was making my way out, the Professor, a middle-aged figurely woman, called out to me. “dee Pony veibele”, she refers to me by my maiden name, “come here a sekund.

“I know you can really use this cuhrs, mammele. Your Private Investigation IQ is at about 60. You’re not good at ‘detecting’ what’s going on in the lives of your lahved ones. You know, you can’t have them know everything about you and be so self-centard in return, right?…” I looked at her surprised, wondering where she took all those absolutely true details from. She winked at me with a knowing smile. She was a yenta champ.

But then she told me something that really boosted my self esteem. I learnt that although observation is an important feature in a yenta, I had high hopes. “You’re a natural at the Art of Exaggeration, an essential subject in this program. I think you’ll graduate in the top ten of this class”.

Ah, well. She’s probably right.

I was gonna share some excerpts of the textbook here because I know everyone can use some brushing up on their yenting skills.

THE NEWLYWED LAW: Monitoring the goodwill of the newlywed couple.
Example: You’re out shopping, piling four tunas into your cart per the grocery list, when two half-conscious people enter. The male counterpart is wearing a shtreimle. Upon the shtreimle clue, you hurry up to the chosen/kallah (from behind) and stare ‘em up and down. You should be able to determine if they are happily married. It is also important to observe the features of the new veibele’s headgear, as when you get back home you’ll want to report on that too.

THE 5 POUND LAW: Monitoring the progress of the unborn child.
Example: You meet up with a friend at a wedding. Her face seems rounder and her skirt seems a little choked. You don’t ask her anything, but you closely observe where the primary weight went. You can then ask around in hushed tones if Friend is pregnant again. Your keen observations will probably be confirmed with a positive.

THE GENDER LAW: Diagnosing the baby-room color.
Example: Your sister in law is pregnant. She can’t stop eating, has some acne, and gained weight in specific areas. In this chapter you learn exactly how to use these symptoms to declare the fetus boy or girl. Remember however, when you have come to the gender conclusion you have to voice your diagnoses with great conviction. You can also go out and buy a color-coordinated gift already, because you definitly won’t be wrong.

THE MUSEUM LAW: Enjoying the Williamsburg Waxes
Example: You walk by a woman whos clothing or demeanor is a little off the usual. This is your opportunity to enjoy a very interesting wax being. You stare it up and down, and then look closely at the face. It should not occur to you to mask your obvious ogle with a nod, greeting or smile.

THE STATUS LAW: Reading the label
So much of what a person's social status is can be read off the little tag on the clothing. Those that dress all their boys and girls in matching money-weaved designer label sweaters are country-club exclusive. Those that shop at H&M and Children's Place but do so 24 hours are still upper-class. Those that use hand-me-downs beg that you feel sorry for them.

THE SHIDDUCH CRITIC: Reviewing the match
When two families break l’chaim, everyone is a mechetanista. You should immediately research the who, what and where. You can look through the phone book to find out more about the ‘yiches’. You are entitled to wonder if it is an interesting thing, a gelt shidduch, or a PERFECT match.

That’s what I’ve learned so far....

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!


How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

A. I'm a chassid. I don't celebrate these holidays.

B. I get off from work. (So that's pretty much why I'm lounging around on blogs)

C. I cook a turkey, bake the pies, and my kids ask the Mah Nishtana of American History.

D. What's Tanksgifinks?

Saturday, November 18, 2006


See, yours truly and her mister will take off for a two day escape – alone! Between a neighbor, my parents, and my nagging worries, I think the kids will be fine. With all the preparation I’m doing, I can’t resist indulging in a pre-vacation vacation; a nice trip down memory lane....

  • July 2006

    After hours on the road we finally pull up with our gold minivan to the hotel entrance, the clock confirming we’re going to be an early check-in. We eye each other with anticipation when a soldier-looking guy with white gloves knocks on my window. I ask him if I can help him. Turns out, he wants to help me. He wants to take our luggage.

    “Hmm.” I wonder nervously. Before we left Williamsburg we cleared the shelves in one of the groceries, and thought we’ll smuggle the piles of shopping bags in by ourselves. Now my husband reminds me to get our money’s worth. So as the bell-hop loads our odd and sloppy belonging onto his cart, I openly gesture my mister to give a tip. Yoelish fishes something out of his wallet, but with worrying uncertainty about the proper number a tip-bill should be.

    Our entrance into the lobby is a grand one. We stand there, tasting the reality of our dream. As I relish every crystal in the chandelier, my husband embraces the waterfall. Couches, paintings and five-star staff – we’re off to a wonderful start.

    Things get even better as we slip into room 752. I take in the ugly floral bedspread, the useless minibar, the smaller-than-pictured balcony. It’s all a source of great excitement. As I start to work my way through our suitcases and worry about a fridge for my milk, my husband is already busy piling the bite-size shampoos into our bags. He pretends he’s helping out a mighty load by checking the programs available on the TV. “This is cool!” he delights.

    Well, I’m not sure. I furrow a brow and try to make out a whole picture on the screen. Yoelish is pounding at his remote. Click, ball game. Click, news reporter. Click, killer. Click, crying gal. Click, cartoon. Click, another ball game. Click, medication ad. Click, another news reporter. My husband points eagerly at the remote he’s kidnapped. “I wish we could have one of those!”

    Yeah, keep wishing.

    Dinner time comes around with loud reminder from my stomach. We’ve read all about the hotel’s fine restaurants, and find a corner table in one of them. Yoelish digs into his little boxed microwaved kosher serving with gusto, ignoring that it's half boiling and half frozen. For some reason, my appetite is selective. It averts my eyes onto a neighborhood pile of fries and little drool-drops are released from my glands. I hate Meal Mart.

    What to do next? Not a question at all. There’s a gym in this hotel, and to us Chassidic peopes it’s like a manual amusement park. I peddle the pike. He runs on the treadmill at 8. This is so fun.

    When we’re done sweating, we go over to what I call the aqua museum. It’s a glass enclosed section, the inside a hole filled with water. We press our faces onto the window and watch a fat, hairy guy sit around in the sauna. When the pool gets empty, we venture in for a half second but run out like the FBI’s most wanted water-thieves.

    At night, my sleep is flavored with a special treat of affection, as I can put my arms around my husband in the queen size bed. It’s almost like in the movies; only in the movies they don’t have to kick the blankets around so much till they are covered with a decent piece of quilt.

    Morning comes early, as we sit outside and watch the sunrise in our sleepwear. It’s been a long time since we’ve been so alive. It’s been a long time since we remembered how much we love each other.

    Well, we got to love the vacation too, so we cut all the nostalgia short. I shower and get dressed, while complaining non-stop about looking out of place in the layers of headgear. When my husband starts with the shachris and tefillin, it’s payback time! I indulge in a good car insurance ad. Ahhh.

    Our day’s activity is golf. We set out to rent the hotel’s clubs, balls and cart. If you think golf is for old rich guys only you’ve get another think coming. My husband and I love golf.
    We speed the little car up and down acres of grass. It’s like NASCAR with a romantic setting. I hold on tight. It gets as close to a private plane as it’ll ever get for me.

    It just becomes a little sticky when a snobbish group of players in shorts and sneakers seem not to like us. No problem, the local mall will appreciate us more.

    Arriving back at the hotel at night, with piles of expensive toys added to our name, we feel above the world. My guilt for leaving the kids behind is a little appeased. We inch closer, fingers even brushing a bit. I’m all smiles.

    Out of nowhere a yiddish couple emerges. This is a disaster. They see us and quickly look away. I rush up to our room, taking the stares for security, and refuse to leave again.

    “You think they know me?” I beg my husband for no as an answer.

    “I don’t know”

    “She wore an uncovered sheitle. Maybe they’re Monsey. Maybe they’re Baro Park. Right?”

    “Maybe” he gives me another unsatisfying answer.

    “Think they’ll tell my mother that you wore a cap?”

    “Who cares?” He’s totally not getting it.

    “I care!”

    It takes some coaxing to drag me out again, this time I look 100% Lee Avenue presentable. We stroll in the hall, my confidence just partially recovered.

    In the bar, I wonder who the sick inventor of dim lighting is. High stools, I’m not sure why they’re there. We order two beers from the bartender.


    Oh. I have no idea. A beer is a beer, like everyone knows. I remember the big highway ads and I confidently order Budweiser. I hear my husband say Heineken. Probably they advertised that where he traveled.

    I try to nurse my beer, but it’s not working. I can’t make it go down my throat. The other end of the room is starting to interest me more.

    We both get our sticks, and load a pile of colored balls onto the billiard. I try not to make it seem so obvious that I am just doing what the other pool players are doing. Yoelish aligns his stick like an expert. He bends over. He decides to come from three o’clock. He hits.

    Amazing! I tell him he’s a pro. Never mind five of the balls that are rolling their way out of the bar. One ball actually made its way into the sack! Did I marry a genius or what!?!?

    You’d hear us make our way back to the room, with spasms of giggles. By now, you can be Jewish and see me. I don’t even care.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Shalom Bais

I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the book "Women are from Venus, Yungeliet are from Yeshiva". Until they publish this self help manual, I’m grappling in the relationship on my own.

Yeshiva is an odd planet. It’s a place buzzing with species dressed in loose, big black chalatlech gowns; Its living beings consumed with worries and debates about Rebbes day and night. The Yeshiva definition of fun usually incorproates flamables or similar destructive material. The Yeshiva definition of hygiene involves nothing at all. The Yeshiva definition of women involves sisters, period.

My parents drove down to that very planet, and brought me home one of them people. He was a good boy, they said, and we were to spend the rest of our lives together.

A couple of days before we wed, my Yeshivinite was briefed on the nature of the institution called ‘marriage’. He was introduced to the unpredictable female specie, with all her interesting ways, and given some important pointers as to how to survive life with her. His handbook mentioned nothing about seeking love. It was about nidda, about faking basic cleanliness, and the infamous moods of the wife. By the time I started to scramble eggs for him, he considered himself blissfully and eternally married.

Why shouldn’t he be happily married? He figured he’d executed all instructions in excellence. He proudly took his socks out of the bedroom every day and threw them next to the hamper. He volunteered to skip the disposables and use the corell dishes, and washed them afterwards. He thanked me a million times for every bite of my lavish breakfasts, and he issued a replica of the exact same compliment every time I got dressed. If you throw in a home he has to himself, and a few new men-gadgets on his belt, walla, he’s absolutely in love!

Well, this here Venus wasn’t all that delighted. At first, I was occupied with convincing my friends that I’m ‘In himle’, in heavans. Trouble began a few weeks post nuptials.

I remember one particularly dark evening. I was standing at the mirror, trying to make a headgear out of the scarf and all the pins, with hands numb and impatient. I overheard my husband beam his newlywed happiness via cordless waves to his parents, as he was gushing into the phone.

Then heard him casually disclose a most private secret. He said “oh, my wife doesn't wash my tsitses at all! She just says we can send it to the cleaners.”

My hands limped to my sides. I could not believe what I just heard. The secret was out, this baal habusta has a pact with the dry cleaner. My in-laws will now know that they’ve been really been had. The housewife they were promised is a fraud. The Shout technique they taught me really isn't what makes his tsitsis so beautiful.

I rushed into the kitchen and silently, with a face bright purple, motioned for him to stop saying so much. Later that night I explained to him that I do not appreciate the sharing of personal information with the in laws.

“Why not?!" he protested.  "They always ask me about you!”

“Because! They don’t tell you this, but when they hang up they ask themselves what sort of wife they got you.”

“What makes you think that?” My Yeshivanite didn't get it.

“I know that! Nobody sends the tsitsis to the cleaners. Everyone washes it by hand. It's just... I don't do well with the scrubbing.”

“Nah. They love you.” He returned to his beeper.

“HUH!?” I croaked, tears were swelling in my eyes.

“Okay. Then I won’t say it again. ”

There. Problem solved. We were blissfully married again. After these discussions, he considered the subject resolved and shelved. He could put his keyrings on the nightchest, turn out the light, roll to his side, and begin with the deep, long, snores.

Just a couple of days later I, woman and moodiness, created another one of these fusses. Again, the blissful newlywed life Yoelish was enjoying was interrupted by my emotional big-deals. It was after he asked the in-laws not to make the goulash supper anymore. “She doesn’t like it. Not the potatoes, not the chicken”.

I exploded in my contained way. “I told them a half hour ago that I loved the supper they sent! Why do you tell them everything?”

“Oh. I’m sorry. I won’t tell them anymore.”

Simple. Another little bump in married life was resolved. Did he learn anything? Oh, no need to. He just needed to avoid conflict. It wasn't about if I was right or not, if I was hurt or not, it was about not having any disagreements at all. I couldn't get Yoelish to agree to hash out my complaint. I hardly began crying and he soon had a solution and closed the discussion
. Thus, I began with the infamous, ultra-wifey "blowing", the silent treatment. The next time I had the urge to argue, but couldn’t summon his cooperation, I simply stormed away. How helpful! When he tried to go on with life in total oblivion of my earnest blowing situation, I’d answer in short monosyllables through tight lips. I participated in conversations with a lot of ‘adonoknows’. I ate my food with loud, angry crunches.

It took a lot of time for him to grasp the concept of a fight. To understand that it’s a cleansing ritual. It took a lot of time for him to understand that a marriage involves a relationship, and a relationship involves some good arguments. It was my Yeshivinite’s most important lesson and he wasn't taught any of this in all of his introductory courses. 

Saturday, November 11, 2006

God’s Guards

I have this black suit; it’s my suit-mate, I think. My body and the suit have gotten along even through the worst of times. Even when the doctor told me I was gaining too much in pregnancy. Even when my mother told me I was gaining too much over honeymoon dinners. Even when I ‘brisk walked’ all around town till my waist showed again. The suit (almost) always fit.

See, it looks pretty simple, but it’s made of the marvelous fabric called knit. As the female body goes through the miraculous experience of bearing a child, the body stretches. So did the suit. As my body was bouncing back after the babies, so did the suit.

But well, whom am I kidding. A mother’s body is never perfect. There are stretch marks and other imprints left by the child that once called your womb home. So is it with my suit.

When my friends and I went out to a tseduka event the other night, I didn’t spend too much time at the closet wondering what to wear. Besides, my shoes are black and best tichel has a matching border, so I was dressed and ready to go in no time.

I enjoy parties, for many reasons. One of which is food. Another which is the absolute confidence that I’ll walk out with the grand prize. But mostly it’s the catching-up factor. Sitting around and schmoozing about things we never thought we’d ever talk about.

I was having a good time, particularly enjoying someone’s pile of cheese that was meant to be a cheesecake, when an older woman tapped me on the shoulder. She was of a small frame and wore just a tichel.

“veibele” she whispers, sparing me the embarrassment from my friends. “Your neck is completely open.”

“Oh, thanks” I mutter, hoping she’ll go away fast. I know. One of my suit’s stretch marks is at the neck. All the knit got dragged down a little.

But she insisted. I wasn’t tsnuis. At an all female party she could not tolerate me going around with a neck. She wanted me to get a pin. Pulling down the shell from the back didn’t help. I must put in a safety pin.

So she searches her hem and asks around but nobody volunteers a pin. Until an idea strikes her. With all the loose knit I’ve got going, I might be hiding the treasure. And she was right. She kindly asked that I offer up the little silver thing that held together a bunch of fabric at the waist.

Me being myself, I didn’t decline. My party wasn’t ruined, but I got home almost blue in the face from lack of oxygen, and was dragging my skirt in both hands for or else it would’ve landed at my ankles.

Inside I felt anger stirring, as part of me wanted to open my mouth and give it to this frow for minding my business and making a scene. But the other side of me has been trying to respect that innocent attempt to do the right thing. I’m trying very hard to appreciate people that simply want to fix our little slips; a sign of hair that’s escaped the turban or a first button that’s been left open. They stop a conversation at its peak or 'humorously' point out that the pencil shoes you’re wearing look hideous (you yourself said it a few years ago…). They close your sweater if it fell to the sides or tug your skirt down a bit. The male guards shush in beth medrish when others shmooze or ask women to move over or stand up if they’re making themselves conspicuous. They’re just trying to help.

But should they?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Immodest Modesty

My shabbos evenings are sometimes very enlightening. As a Jewish mother in the city, my afternoon outings extend to the end of the gates on the window. While the kids, in sweaters, watch the cars go by, I watch out for the latest Chassidic fashion trends.

This shabbos I enjoyed a particular sight that spoofed this yenta’s interest. A young girl, about 17, was rushing down the block. Under a very short (and I’m learning, stylish) jacket I identified what was a popular long robe.

Her face spelled innocence. I guessed she was still in school and was learning all about a Jewish girl’s ‘kroyn’; her modesty. To her the defintion of an immodest girl is probably something about hair being a quarter inch below the chin, a sweater with a neck one can breathe out of, or stockings that aren't winterized. One very bold crime on her list is going outside in a long robe.

The poor girl had no idea she was doing something that she might need to knock another slicha into her heart for. She simply held the robe up, gathering all the fabric in something that resembled a flower at her crotch. Her rear, well, I’ll say it left very little to the imagination.

It got me to wonder if the emphasis on modesty without understanding its purpose doesn’t sometimes do exactly what we are trying to avoid, make a sexual statement.

As kids my parents would be very careful about keeping the boys and girls apart. We’d run out of the bathtub with the naked tush and Mother would frantically yell for the boys not to look. Well, it didn’t last long till they really wanted to look.

For now I let my children bath together and don’t make a big deal about it. I don’t think I’ll make a fuss about the grown up boy giving ‘shalom’ for the sister when he comes home from yeshiva either. I don’t think I’ll angrily talk about an immodest woman’s top so much, putting adjectives to it as ‘horrible’ and ‘so mees’.

The key to our structural homes is modesty, but we cannot explain the concept to our children until a few days before one gets ready to build his/her own home. So we set rules with hopes that it’ll keep us on the right track. We think up the most drastic methods and let our good hearted kids take it to their own extends...

Those hardly-bar-mitzvah boys walking with their face stuck in the side walk. The girls walking into a busy road when a man comes their way. The seventeen year old bochur’ll that’s hesitant to take the plastic glasses off, even when the mother says he’s ready. The girl that insists her mother must buy her four sizes bigger clothing…

All this is nice. The intentions are so pure. It’s a kiddish hashem.

So long as it doesn’t defeat the purpose.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

60 Seconds in America

Researchers are bewildered with us. They have yet to find physical evidence to explain the strong separation between the Chassidic Community and the American world. A barbed wire fence, a brick wall, a border - some sort of mechitsa.

I find it ironic that it’s just that, a mechitsa, that brings us together with the secular world.


Enter your voting booth and welcome to America. Where all votes are created equal. Your voice will not have a chareidish accent, wear a headgear or huge black glasses. Your vote is counted just the same as the vote of the Hispanic woman that voted before you. Just the same as the vote of Donald Trump or Rudolph Guiliani. You’re in America and you’re entitled to an opinion.

* * *

Americans often complain that although they very much welcome newcomers, the immigrants refuse to assimilate. I second that claim. My cleaning lady has been to America for 10 years but she still didn’t get rid of the horrible hair dye, the ridiculous leggings or the huge bag. She runs up and down Lee Avenue desperate, stopping preoccupied men and women alike, begging for directions. She points to the little sheet of paper in her hands and begs “Missis, Missis. Six-Vohn-Six Harrison?”

We’re not very much different when we enter our own America on Election Day. We hog the instruction sheet we received in the mail from the local authorities, put on our reading glasses and read off our little white sheet to the machine: “ah von Hillareee, Ah vun Spitserr. Ah von Patakee. No more Patakee? Ahh. No Patakkee?! “.

Our block vote has been ineffective for a long time. The laws our representatives pass affect us in our daily lives. There is no reason to casting a blank ballot. There are many reasons to learn more before voting. To assimilate.

The first step to choosing a candidate is understanding how your representative effects you. Gay Rights, Abortion and other laws that define the American freedom do not concern us since we have our constitution, the Torah. Rather, we should focus on issues like taxes and security.

If you are earning a high income you might want to vote Republican and save on your taxes. If you are benefiting from government programs as in Foods Stamps, Medicaid or Section 8, you’d probably rather vote Democratic, as they emphasize more on the catering to the lower class Americans. Those that own businesses, or even are employed, need to find out if issues are being lobbied that might affect their line of work. We are all fairly structured people so for us more security means more peace of mind.

For some reason many vote the way they choose a rebbe. Why did they choose their Rebbe? For no good reason. Actually, for no reason at all. Still they fervently support the rebbe and all his mishigasen to a baffling extend. Not much unlike that do they political choose a party and run to vote with supposed intellect.

Well, this year when you go to vote, forget that. Enjoy your 60 seconds in America like a true American.

* * *

Most of the candidates I’ll vote for get my nod for personal reasons. Hillary Clinton however, I have a general issue with.

I’ve never read her biography but after following her political journey closely for 10 years, I think I know it: When she was six she put on her mother’s pumps and promised herself that one day she’ll be a big star. When she was sixteen she boarded a Greyhound bus en-route to Hollywood. For some reason she got off at the wrong stop and arrived in DC. She went on to live a typical Hollywood life, with the typical Hollywood husband and the typical Hollywood daughter. With American’s infatuation with celebrities she was given a seat in the US Senate.

Throughout her six years as your senator she has done very little for you as an American, even less for you as a New Yorker and practically nothing for you as a Chassidic Jew. Unless you count the political rally she held at both Satmar headquarters.

Her agenda consists of one thing. To promote herself. To be popular and admired. Unlike Chuck Shumer, who balances being a political leader with serving New York, Hillary cares very little for the state she represents.

I vote Spencer.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I was having typical Post Shopping Trauma. I had spent a full day in Boro Park exhausting my credit card and I started to question the good the shabbos robe did for me figure. Maybe it does give away the truth?

I got a little aware of my surroundings when a yungerman besides me placed his order. I was after him in line, and I was gonna feed some soup to my rumbling midsection. Any other edibles will only increase my suspicion about the shabbos robe.

The misses behind the counter in this corner deli was taking instructions.

Hallo, mach es ah pickle size potion mit chullent. In zey nisht karg mit deh fleysh, herst? Git hys, git hys. A slice kishka. Hust kigle? Overnight? Geb noor.

As the guy was carting away his tray to the little table in the eating section, I suddenly heard a divine voice tell me what to do. I was to take the tray from the guy and tell him “Yo, go home and eat the chicken soup the wife made”.

I was amusing myself with the thought when I realized the man had already left. He walked out with a loud burp as a thank you to the chef.

Not all men are like that, but I know quite a few that simply lack some manners. Eating your food is fine, but take your time and treat it with respect. Don’t pounce on it.

A while ago somebody posted a question on Yahoo answers. The person was wondering why Hassidic men smell. Smell? That was very unfair. Especially using that expression.

But deep down, I knew that although it is not right to be stereotyped with any such labels, some of our bachurim have turned into yungeleit without being taught anything about personal hygiene.

I’d start by simply introducing cleaning accessories called ‘soap’ and ‘deaoderant’. I’d point out that a toothbrush is not just for making pesachdig. A hair brush, although popularly designed for his sister, can be borrowed for the beard. And socks must be changed once a day.

Please and Thank You is universally also known as ‘bita’ and ‘danka’ so language barrier is not an excuse. On the subject: holding the door for others is not a must, but slamming it into other’s faces isn’t either.

If the wife isn’t the balabusta to do the buttons or wash the tallis there are professionals that do that. Also, not looking at woman is tsnuis, but not looking at all is not a chimreh, so wash them’s glasses. I'm not sure if people know this, but understanding a peshetle needs digging into the upper part of the face called brain, not the lower part called beard.

And mostly, don’t forget. Chullent is not G-D.