Friday, May 30, 2008

Chillulim U.S. / "Where will you spend eternity?"

Iraqis say Marines handed out Christian coins

I missed the story about someone using the Quran for target practice. That's reprehensible. Nobody's holy books should be used for target practice. That's not right. And not while in uniform. What's that line (was it in the g? I don't remember) about how if you've got to go to a whorehouse, you should ditch your clothes and don't mistake your plate for your toilet, to put it in not-obscene terms? And I disagree vehemently with any use of that line of thinking to excuse inappropriate behavior -- people just shouldn't behave inappropriately, period -- but I, too, am human, and I certainly can't make rules for anyone but me.

re: (from article above, and in general) "Where will you spend eternity?"

more to come shortly ...
sorry. today got very busy. maybe later in the weekend.
okay, I'm back; got word a loved one isn't well. That sucks. Anyway ...

Why do people care what happens to them after they die?
To me, the heaven/hell thing (and if it works for you, that's great; I just mean for me) is a tool used to control the behavior of people who don't know/understand to just do the right thing. Now, don't get me wrong; I was in Tzivos Hashem, filling out Mitzvah Mission forms when I was little, racking up points and stuff. But somewhere along the way I heard of the concept "saving up in the bank of heaven," and that's what it is, to me. And that doesn't jive with Olam Haba, and I don't buy it. I think it's kind of insulting, actually. We should do the right thing because it's the right thing, not because you get any sort of reward after you die. That's silliness (or I'll find out when I get there, but no rush).

pants, pants revolution

just a thought. And, yay, I have a bunch of freelance work lined up over the next week or so. If you'll be in midtown on Sunday afternoon and want to grab a slice of pizza at JII, give me a holler. I'll be working next door, in the afternoon/evening, probably.

Gaucho pants from the Gaiam website:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

related to women studying gemara

Designated Heimish <--check out the comments (talkbacks). There's some high comedy in there.

Hirhurim I
Hirhurim II

This entry is related to this.

I'm boycotting certain words

Goy, goyim, shiksa, shaigetz. (I don't say schvartzeh, but if I did, I'd stop using that, too.) There are too many people who use those words in a not nice way. It's not cool, and I don't want to be associated with that. I can't change people, just my reaction to their actions, so there it is. Besides, people manage to learn that I'm Jewish. I'm glad to learn what their belief system (or lack thereof) is called. That's just simple respect and courtesy toward my fellow (hu)man.

Disclaimer: If I write man, it's short for human, if I'm not referring to someone in particular. There's nothing sexist about saving keystrokes.

This is kind of a stupid post. I've been having lots of fun over at Heshy's place (blog). And working. I need to do that more.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More stuff about women and pants

(because if I post a link on Frum Satire, I have to wait for Hesh to moderate it for it to show up)
Question & Answer With Miriam Woelke - Retaining One's Essential Character
Check out the comments, particularly by
William Kolbrener.

Link #2: Scroll down to 10 Elul 5764

Fun with Pirkei Avot

Alice's Restaurant

name I want to remember: ben ish chai. not to be confused with chazon ish.

If anyone wants to discuss cultivating tzniut in today's youth and daily life, I'd be glad to.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Where I go for Parshat HaShavua stuff

Shirat Devorah
She picks cool stuff to share.
There are some other good sites in my list of links for that, too.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I want to unpack my apartment this weekend

That's hilarious. Most of my stuff is still in boxes. Life is good, though. I am thinking nice things. It feels good. I did some research on music and sefirah, earlier this week. I'll try to remember to grab it and paste it here, too. I'm sleepy. Good night.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A good article / kosher croutons?

Thanks to Baal Habos, who posted the link to it in this piece.

Seriously! Please let me know. The ones I got just don't cut it. I should probably make my own.

Life is good.
The weekend, shabbat, judo, chasing away congestion, medical qigong, all good. I'm happy.

Criminy, it's Thursday night, now. Nobody makes good kosher croutons? lol No. Nobody reads this. That's okay. :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

words and relationships (side of funk and Homer)

for the sake of time, I'm not really putting this into sentences right now, but it's my basis for supporting the notion that sefirah is related not only to counting, but to middot. Yeah, yeah, I know it's just Hebrew being Hebrew. I'm having fun, and I'm not hurting anyone.

"I'm learning." -Ralph Wiggum
tonight's (h)omer
fun with numbers and shemita year and stuff
Jubilee is a fun word.

A blog with great funk goodness

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Sefirah Challenge (side of AC/DC Bag and Big Cypress)

As mentioned not far from here, I learned that the "plague" was lack of v'ahavta l'reacha kamocha, and I don't know about you, but not listening to music doesn't teach me to be good to people; not cutting my hair (or any of the other usual mourning 'cause people died stuff) doesn't remind me to be nice to people; and everyone mourns differently, so this is my way of "mourning."

Time to put the spiritual money where the mouth is. Ha yom yom challenge -- for every day of sefirah, I am making an extra effort to do something to the tune of VLK. There are myriad things one can do (of course, everyone is always good to everyone because they're so darn respectful, right? Right.); it should be easy.

All of this came together over the past few days, so I will double up to complete it in time for Shavuos (still shouldn't be hard). Did yesterday; did today. Un, deux, trois - cha, cha, cha!

Lyrical accompaniment: excerpted from AC/DC Bag (Phish)

... Time to put your money where your mouth is
Put 'em in a field and let 'em fight it out
I'm running so fast my feet don't touch the ground
I'm a stranger here I'm going down

Let's get down to the nitty gritty
Let's get this show on the road
I'll show you mine if you show me yours
I'm breathing hard - open the door ...

I was at this show; it was awesome. Note: Live music footage of song excerpted above contained in video below. There are many longer versions of this tune on youtube.

The other super-memorable AC/DC Bag that comes to mind was at Big Cypress, in the middle of the night, 1/1/2000. I went to get a sandwich shortly after midnight and couldn't find the folks I was with afterward. So I wandered.

I was at my car, feeling alone in the world, figuring that was appropriate (born alone, die alone, year has three zeroes alone, why not?). I heard them go into AC/DC Bag, and remembered why I was there, and headed back to the concert field, and everything in the world was fine.
I didn't see anyone I knew until after sunrise.

Now that I think about it, it might have been David Bowie; let me check the set list. It was very powerful. And I was wrong! It was David Bowie. lol Here it is, anyway (all of Big Cypress).

Tale of Block 24

This is a long one, but it's well worth reading, imo. Disclaimer: content includes concentration camp "brothels." ThanBook linked to it. I've enjoyed his blog for a long time, now.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hot for Caro

Not hot like sexual attraction, I just want to read some stuff my him. I've seen lots of his stuff quoted. Next stop:
I know a bit about angelic mentors. He may have had what I have, just without medication. There is a long history of correlations between the two. Please don't think I'm sticking my nose in kabbalah without a seatbelt on. I was looking up even haezer, and I wound up there. But when I was here and I read this:

Maggid Meisharim: Rabbi Caro's only overtly kabbalistic work, comprising teachings that he learned from a heavenly maggid, an angel that privately taught him. It was published in two parts: the first part, covering Bereishit to Metzora, was published in Lublin in 5405; the second part, completing the Torah and on Prophets and Writings, was published in Venice in 5414. Rabbi Chaim David Azulai (the Chida) notes that only about one fiftieth of the manuscript was ever published.

The work covers an astonishing variety of subjects, including ethical exhortations, explanations of the ten sefirot, secrets of Creation, the Divine Names, levels of the soul, treatises on the revelation of Elijah the Prophet, reincarnation and resurrection of the dead, miracles, Divine Providence and free choice, dream interpretation, the mystical intentions of eating, the mystical intentions of some of the mitzvot, the nature of sin and the harm it causes, and mystical interpretations of passages in the Torah.

my TLE radar went off, so to speak, and I knew I wanted to read more. But I doubt I'll find a copy of it easily. It's on my to-read list.

re: women's stuff and boards

I like this site:
It may not necessarily be stuff that applies to my everyday life, but it's got a ton of information on women's-type things if you're running in any sort of ortho scene. I'm throwing it in my links, but I wanted to draw some attention to it, as well.

And for a different perspective, there are the message boards at calm kallahs (it's a wedding planning site).

I really like imamother forums, which I don't read often enough. It's got a TON of topics and forums, and the women are pretty neat. It's not often I set foot in such territory, but it's nice to catch a written glimpse.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sefirah Soundtrack / Theme Songs

I wrote something here about Lennon and my ride home tonight. I'll add to this list.

John Lennon: Instant Karma
(actually, you could probably do an entire sefira just with beatles songs, if you wanted to ... I'm tired, and will sleep now, but I will come back to this tomorrow or later this week.)
Put It There - Paul McCartney
Let Me Roll It - Paul McCartney (that has nothing to do with sefirah, I just like it)

... further development on the sefirah theme ...

Time to put the spiritual money where the mouth is. Engaging in extra acts of VLK during sefirah. One a day. (two, now, 'cause sefirah's been going for a while) I'm up for the challenge.

Liquid Funk Jug is Delicious

Musical content (not live). It's a podcast. Rockin' my socks off.

If you liked that, try this: The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show
Three delicious hours every week!

Monday, May 12, 2008

re: fitness (jcontent)

Copied and pasted from something I put together a while ago:

Torah with treadmills By Tamar Rotem Sports has gradually breached the modesty barrier and become a legitimate leisure pursuit among the ultra-Orthodox. Sixth article in a series.

Diet is a dirty word By Tsafi Sa'ar

Rabbi Matanky – physical fitness is a basic Jewish value.

More from rav kook

lots of great stuff here

and here

exercise and t’shuvah

EXERCISE by Prof. Chaim Lifschitz

Oh, yeah!

Little maimo


ask the rabbi @ ohr sameyach:

straight rambam:

more from ohr:

the medical legacy of maimonides


by a doctor:

did our sages exercise:

Inspiration, move me brightly,

Light the song with sense of color
Hold away despair ...*

This inspired me:

I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining.
I believe in love even when I don’t feel it.
I believe in God even when He is silent.
-scratched into a wall at Auschwitz

The website linked above has some good, not-too-graphic resistance information on WWII from an historical perspective and is worth poking around.

* (by Robert Hunter) Unrelated, but awesome: If you've never read Robert Hunter's "Terrapin Station Suite" in its entirety, I highly recommend giving it a read, some time. Here it is.

Friday, May 9, 2008

My sephardic streak

runs up my maternal grandfather's (z"l/RIP) side. Here's a related article. They came to America from Monastir (Macedonia), but can be traced back to Holland, Spain, and ultimately, Yemen, where they inbred as they wandered, creating genetic mutations. Thanks, folks!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Far Out : Portland Gets Acupuncture Tx (treatment)

Check this out. I think it's pretty neat how the artist related stuff in the city to TCM and treatment. I have so much to learn.

About last night: The Jammy Awards

It was moving. I have thoughts, but no time to articulate them right now. Here is a link to an article about the awards show that includes the text of Trey's speech (Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio).
I did some qigong practice during a few of the performances. It was really, really moving and awesome to see the members of Phish back on the same stage together. Talk about verklempt moments. Yeah.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I like good bags
It's not sexy, but it sure looks rugged and functional.

I have realized I'll be doing myself a favor if I start making tags for these. I'll have to go back and do some of that next time it rains, or something.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Kaizen, Meet Mussar

More fun with concepts from Japan: Kaizen

Article on Toyota that inspired me to look up the word

very brief backgrounder, corporate angle

personal kaizen

east meets west, kaizen to mussar

what is mussar? (no one's born knowing everything)

Monday, May 5, 2008

re: emotional homicide and embarrassing people on purpose

Thanks to Hesh for writing something that reminded me I've been meaning to look up the source of this concept. Sources.
That works.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The wedding was perfect/in other news

Bride and groom looking excitedly at each other the whole time, good times with family, dancing, dancing, more dancing, and the perfect balance between the religious and the secular, imo. And microfiber tights totally don't suck. And my cousin's wife is the coolest, and so is when everyone (all the parents who are exes) play so nicely together because they remember it's about their kid. Any tension left over from recent stuff related to my immediate family was also addressed and dissipated, and my father did a nice job as mesader kedushin and gave a great speech. Kedoshim lends itself to good speeches. It's one of my favorite parshas (parshiot?).

In other news, I've discovered that when faced with the possibility of hashkafic compatibility, I lose power of speech. It's ridiculous. I have to get over that. People are human. If I can't hold a conversation, there's no way I'll ever be able to do more than that. I did get to see some great music, though. ((consolation prize))

Friday, May 2, 2008

Aidel like Whom?

So, I earned my yellow belt (judo) and started some dental work yesterday (surprise root canal that needs to be finished and hurts like a #@%&*). I've realized there's so much I could write, but I don't want this to be full of my random thoughts. I need to keep a journal for my medical qigong class, too, so I figure I ought to be writing some stuff there.

I'm looking forward to seeing my dad's side of the family at my cousin's wedding on Sunday. Bummed to have missed a road trip for shabbos away, but shabbos is every week, so hopefully I'll be able to do that another time. Life is good, I just want my tooth to stop hurting. God bless Tylenol with codeine. It makes me sleepy, but it makes the pain stop (yay!).

Better days ahead. I want to post some links to some more blogs. I've been reading them for years, now, and there are lots of great ones. For example, and I don't agree with everything on any blog, but I am a bit of a psych nerd and this blog is chock full of Captain Obvious, which certainly has its applications: I'm not saying it's great. I had some other blogs in mind when I wrote that. (no offense to whoever's behind spiritize)

I resized the text in several of my posts. I'll get to the rest at some point soon. Have a beautiful weekend, all.