Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Today, Rabbi Chanan Feld (chanan velvel simcha ben eliyahu) of berkley, california passed away. Rabbi Feld had been sick with throat cancer. So everyone try to learn at least a little something in his schuss if you can. Also this person was a very close family friend of a fellow blogger we know who needs lots of friends today. I hope the felds, and everyone close to them are given the strength they need to get through this hard time, and that his memory should being a blessing for everyone.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Why? Almost every person I have met since has asked me this question when they find out I am converting. Though an understandable question, It always seems to be asked as sort of a reflex. It doesn't matter when or where we are, it just immediately erupts out like an "what happened" When someone passes. Both of these questions seem normal to the person asking, and (in my view point) are the opposite for the person being inquired upon. "How could you just ask in passing about an event in my life that has so altered it that it has become unrecognizable?" This is sometimes what goes through my head as it must for someone in the other scenario. now the difference between the two is obvious, one is a tragedy with only the healing of the wound to look forward to. whereas, In my case, The former is also experience that is painful and tragic but at the same time somehow beyond words. and this is the trouble, it is beyond words.
I always try to answer as best I can. It tell them about Torah Mitzvos, and Avodas ''. I also try to give them a rundown of the last 5 years or so that I've been moving in this direction. AS true as these answers are, none of them ever seem to encompass why. Why I want, Have, need to be Jewish. All I want to shout is "IT IS NOT A LOGICAL DECISION!" I did not choose to want to be Jewish. Any proof I could ever need of this comes from the hardest person to answer this question to, my Mother. Telling your crying mother why you just have to do something that, to her, means you won't be in heaven with her, that means you can never eat her cooking from her kitchen, and that she is going to have to spend all the holidays with the family without her oldest son is not something that is logical or easy. This is part of the story I do not usually share because it is not easy to explain. What there could be that would cause me to make this decision. I love my family very much, and we still have a good relationship, but there will always be a wedge between us. My family will always be the most important thing in the world to me, but this will always be there.
Despite all of this, It is the issue itself that comforts me. Thoughts of being able to wrap tefillin, getting an Aliyah, having my purpose in this world being making it truly better through Torah and Mitzvos. The thought that one day I get to (G-d Willing!) Have my own family, my own children! I will be able to give them something I never had, a Jewish home! I can Serve G-d in everything I do, and try to live my life as the best frum Jew, the best chossid I can be. I expect to fall sort of this goal as a Chossid unfortunately more frequently than I would like, becoming a Ger means that now you are a Jew that makes mistakes, instead of just a person that makes mistakes. but nonetheless, I would rather fail 100 times at being a good Jew, than face life as a perfect non-Jew. I want all of these things and I can't really tell you why because I don't really know. But I do know that whatever it takes to become this, I will do.
There is a lot more I would like to say about this but I'm tired and about out of time. I hope that no one thinks that I don't want to be asked this question "why?" I do! Its just that when I hear it, I am flooded with all of this and more and just can't seem to find the words, if there are any, that can really convey what is in my head and heart.
sorry about the long and random post, I just have been asked a lot recently and been found wanting for an answer, so I just needed to say this. and so everyone knows, I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I hope every has a great shabbos! and I will be wishing I was spending it with my favorite people. take care!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
"Today, I have submitted my official formal request to the council to cancel the election result," the moderate politician was quoted as saying.
"I urge you Iranian nation to continue your nationwide protests in a peaceful and legal way."
Ahmadinejad was declared the winner by a wide margin, with figures from the interior ministry showing he had taken 62.63 per cent of the vote, while Mousavi garnered only 33.75 per cent.
Ahmadinejad defended the conduct of the election at a news conference at the presidential office in Tehran earlier on Sunday.
He also questioned Mousavi's claims that the vote was "rigged".
"It is not clear how they are questioning the participation of 40 million people in these elections," he said.
"I have still not been shown any documents by anybody, they are just saying the outcome is unexpected."It is like football, everybody expects their team to win."
Noting that Ahmadinejad's analogy was of a football ground, he said: "There may be plenty of people within your field of vision but that doesn't mean that they are the majority of people in the country.
"So he doesn't really seem to think that there is any question that the majority of people within the country are behind his position and his political policies and this election has proved it to him.
"So he doesn't seem to need to reach out or make concessions with anybody who doesn't agree with that."
Robert Fisk, a journalist with the UK's Independent newspaper, told Al Jazeera that Ahmadinejad was repeating the point that the high turnout proved that he was in the majority.
"But many of the people that did vote believe that the vote was switched," he said.
"So it was not the turnout that proved that Ahmadinejad is a popular president. It is what the figures actually were. And that of course is what is still being disputed.
Fisk said one Mousavi supporter had pointed out to him that "if the figures were being counted properly on Friday night, five million votes would have had to have been counted in two hours".
On the ground, thousands of Iranians took to the streets in a second day of violence, fighting running battles with riot police in protest against the election results.
Ahmad Reza Radan, Tehran's deputy police chief, told the official IRNA news agency that at least 60 people had been detained over the rioting and more arrests would be made soon.In Tehran police confronted about 200 stone-throwing protesters.
"Forces used tear gas in some areas to stop the unrest. The situation is under control," Radan said.
Al Jazeera's Alireza Ronaghi, reporting from Tehran, said that IRNA was reporting that a committee led by two senior supporters of Mousavi was organising the riots against the election result.
"Whether this is really an honest outburst of anger against the outcome of the election we don't know yet, but what we see is a major crackdown on reformists and their leaders," he said.
Mohammad Reza Khatami, the brother of Mohammad Khatami, a former president, was among the members of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, which won more than 100 seats in the 290-member parliament in 2000, who were arrested.
"They were taken from their homes last night," Mohammad Ali Abtahi, a former Iranian vice-president, said.
Sadegh Zibakalam, head of the Iranian studies department at Tehran University, told Al Jazeera that the demonstrations were largely "spontaneous" responses to the election result.
"No one is giving them commands, no one is ordering them, no one is leading them," he said.
"Nevertheless, the government has started a crackdown on the leading reformist figures ... The government reaction is too harsh, but it is understandable."
Monday, June 8, 2009
Here are the pictures from the Scheita today!! exciting eh?
And here are some pictures of the kids I taught before I left nashville!
Sorry about the lack of posts. yeshiva is a all consuming experiance. though i did have an interesting eveing spent with the tomchi bochurs, Very interesting conversations they have. oh and There will also be a video of the scheita when i can get the computer to work!
Friday, June 5, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Thats about how much time i have on the computer. anyway yeshiva is wonderful and i have a fabulous chassidus chavrusah. aside from that im just studying (24 hours a day) halachos (of everything) and learning to translate gemara and sichos (i can already read them!) I did get to go to a lovely lchaim that had the best of people attending while listening to a great shiur. oh and it was great meeting certain people last week and thanks for your...paitence. congradulations to the new chazzen and kallal! I wish you guys all blessings in life one can have. hope everyone has a good week! Oh and i saw a picture of a wedding that I absolutly loved :) I'll post when i can! (I don't know why I posted like you people don't know who im talking about)
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Sorry its been so long since i posted! craziness with subbing and getting ready to leave tomorrow! yay! I will be in CH by 3 pm or so. Ill post more as soon as i can but i dont know how frequent with yeshiva and all. well I hope everyone is doing well and ill post more later!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
Modern iraqi poetry i read for class
The Prisoner by Dunya Mikhail
Translated by Salaam Yousif and Liz Winslow
She doesn't understand
what it means to be "guilty"
She waits at the prison's door
until she sees him
to tell him "Take care"
as she used to remind him
when he was going to school
when he was going to work
when he was coming on vacation
She doesn't understand
what they are uttering now
those who are behind the bar
with their uniform
as they decided that
he should be put there
with strangers of gloomy days
It never came to her mind
when she was saying lullabies
upon his bed
during those faraway nights
that he would be put
in this cold place
without moons or windows
She doesn't understand
The mother of the prisoner
why should she leave him
just because "the visit has finished"!
The Last Iraq by Fadhil al-Azzawi
Translated by Salaam Yousif
Every night I place this creature on my table
And pull its ears,
Till tears of joy come to its eyes.
Another cold winter, penetrated by airplanes
And soldiers sitting on the edge of a hillock,
Waiting for history
To rise up from the darkness of the marshes
With a gun in its hand,
To shoot angels
Training for the revolution.
I put my hand on this country,
It slips away from my fingers,
Like a soldier running from the front.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Here are some pictures of the Rock garden and patios My father and I built at their house (all by ourselves because help is for sissys) and keep in mind that there wasn't anything back there when we first moved in.
Monday, April 13, 2009
So as of yesterday, after a grueling conversation with my grandparents i was not really expecting, they agreed to help me again with school once I finished yeshiva! Very exciting news because even though Imade a big show of paying for the rest completly out of pocket, I had almost no idea how i was going to accomplish that (other than begging for a pell grant). anyway, thats exciting and tomorrow I hear from the yeshiva and buy my plane ticket, I was thinking of maybe going to crown heights for a day before but I'm not sure yet. I also need to move my stuff, pack, get my license back, switch the electrical bill over to my roomate, and get my immunization records. so stuff to do! but I'll be back!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Pakistan police academy attacked:
Unidentified assailants have attacked a police training academy near the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, killing at least eight officers and injuring several others, police say.
Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said the attack was still underway on Monday.
A security official said dozens of police officers were preparing for the training when attackers opened fire on them.
The attackers also hurled grenades at the police officers.
This is probably staged by groups from the tribal regions, which by the way are being supplied and trained by the US. Strange that suddenly pakistan would begin to fall into turmoil just as we focus on afgahanistan.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Well, as perusual of any monumentally good event or decision in my life, there are always hangups. As of now I am being forced to decide on one of two choices/ or a down the middle path that only works under one circumstance. choice 1 is go to yeshiva now for a year, get a piece of paper Ive worked for for a long time now and perhaps a beginning to something amazing! but with that I will lose any financial support from my family (as well as emotional support) thusly causing me to be unable to finish my BA or pay for yeshiva making me unable to continue in any direction without serious debt, and the inability to get a good job. so probably i would have to get student loans to finish my BA and move back where i am now to complete it. I would also be broke once i left yeshiva.
Or I wait for another year, and finish my BA, another awful, painful, year. and afterward my family promised to fund yeshiva, as well as graduate school. I would also have time to save alot of money and with my BA I could start teaching High school if I really needed money in between yeshiva and grad school. Also after yeshiva i could move to anywhere (literally) we wanted. But if i wait another year it would appear like I was backing out and inspire alot of doubt in my sincerity. as well as make life miserable because it would mean another year before I could really be happy.
I know that the second one sounds better than the first. but, though my family has threatened me that they will not support me if i go now and not later, this does not mean that its true, more than likely it is just a tactic that they believe will prevent me from going. also I can get a job doing almost anything, construction, cleaning, office work, butchering. you name it and I have probably done it (I've had alot of weird jobs). so making money is not a big problem. and worst comes to worst I have no debt as of right now so taking on some would not be the end of the world.
So which is better? Is it better to go with uncertainty and instability and possibly having to spend a few years building back up, as well as being shirked by my family? Or going with stability and certainty, but losing my credibility and sincerity in the eyes of a group very important people. as well as put even more time in between when I can finally be really happy. but having the future set up for me? also is it better to go to yeshiva for a year and have to move back somewhere for another year there there is no frum community. or better to go to yeshiva as long as i want and move directly to any community after that?
This is an unfair question because there is a huge third variable which i can't really divulge that might change the answer, but Ill look to that. anyway this is my predicament. and why this week has not been so good.
Here's to a good decision and a better day!
Monday, March 23, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
US vows to recover AIG money
AIG has taken $173bn in bailout money and made a $61.7bn loss for the fourth quarter last year [EPA]
Amid mounting anger over bailed-out American International Group's move to give its employees $165m in bonuses, the Obama administration has pledged to force the insurance company to pay the money back.
Timothy Geithner, the treasury secretary, said on Tuesday that AIG would have to promise to reimburse taxpayers as a condition for receiving a further $30bn of bailout money from the government.
"We will impose on AIG a contractual commitment to pay the treasury from the operations of the company the amount of the retention awards just paid," Geithner said in a letter to congressional leaders.
The AIG bonuses have ignited outrage on Capitol Hill, prompting Barack Obama, the US president, to order another look at legal means of recovering the money after government officials had agreed with AIG that it was contractually obligated to pay the bonuses.
AIG's government appointed chief executive, Edward Liddy, is expected to be grilled when he goes before a congressional hearing on Wednesday over the bonuses and Sunday's disclosure that $90bn of the bailout money had been paid to other financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs and several European banks.
Rosiland Jordan, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Washington DC, said: "He will get a roasting at this hearing.
AIG bonus row
AIG has been kept afloat with more than $170bn of taxpayers money since September.
The US federal govermment now owns over 80% of the insurance company.
The current row is over $165m worth of bonus payments made to 418 executives.
AIG says it is a legal obligation to honour contracts drawn up before the government bailout.
But the so-called "retention bonuses" include over $33m for 52 people who have left the company.
"Even though he was called in by the previous [Bush] administration to try to manage AIG's affairs and manage their derivatives - bringing the company to the brink of bankruptcy - he still went ahead with these bonuses."
Geithner said the treasury was working with the justice department to determine whether provisions of a recently passed economic stimulus bill covering compensation for bailout recipients might be used to get back the bonuses.
"Our review will determine whether we can recoup these bonuses" under that authority, Geithner said.
But he acknowledged the stimulus law would only pave the way for negotiations with the company and the treasury was moving ahead with other steps to ensure repayment.
"We ... want to ensure that taxpayers are compensated for any monies we cannot recover," Geithner said in his letter.
New laws proposed
Angry US legislators scrambled to devise new laws to stop bailed-out firms from giving staff massive bonuses on Tuesday, with Nancy Pelosi, the House of Representatives speaker, saying that legislation could come up within days.
The legislators proposed various options to try to recoup the money, including a 70 per cent tax on bonuses paid to executives at companies that received taxpayer bailout money.
AIG, whose murky and complex financial dealings have contributed to the global financial meltdown, is the largest recipient of the government bailout with $173bn so far.
The company that made a $61.7bn loss for the fourth quarter of last year said it risked being sued if it did not pay the bonuses to staff of AIG Financial Products, the unit of the company that sold credit default swaps, the risky contracts that caused massive losses for the insurer.
Andrew Cuomo, the New York attorney-general, said 73 of those employees got bonuses of at least $1m.
Urged to return money
Legislators called for those who received bonuses at AIG to voluntarily give up the money.
"Let the recipients of these large and unseemly bonuses be warned: if you don't return it on your own, we will do it for you"
Charles Schumer, Democratic senator
But they also threatened other measures such as using the government's new majority shareholder position – some 80 per cent - to sue the company to recoup the money or authorising the US attorney-general to recover excessive compensation payments.
"Let the recipients of these large and unseemly bonuses be warned: if you don't return it on your own, we will do it for you," Charles Schumer, a Democratic senator, said.
Criticised by Republicans for not doing enough, the White House said on Tuesday it was considering ways to retrieve the money, "whether it's changing the tax code or whatever ideas" that are being raised in congress.
"The president finds it outrageous and offensive that any of these bonuses exist," Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, said.
On Monday, Obama had said it was "hard to understand how derivative traders at AIG warranted any bonuses, much less $165m in extra pay".
"How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?"
Pressure on Obama
Jane Hamsher, a blogger and political commentator, told Al Jazeera that "Obama has been largely immune" to political fallout from the AIG situation so far and that it had largely been absorbed by Geithner.
"Obama is going to be in a situation very soon, where some of the stories Geithner has been telling are going to be a little suspect and he's going to have to either stick by his man or incur some of the damage"
"But going forward, Geithner's word isn't sounding so good, people are beginning to lose faith in him," she said.
"And I think Obama is going to be in a situation very soon, where some of the stories Geithner has been telling are going to be a little suspect and he's going to have to either stick by his man or incur some of the damage."
Hamsher said "Geithner's approach to this whole thing is that the system is fundamentally sound and if they just keep pumping money into it, it will be OK".
"But it's not. There are real systemic problems led to these problems."
She cited government deregulation that has been going on since the 1980s and the credit expansion that was made during the Bush administration to allow lending to "people they knew could not repay their loans".
"They haven't done anything to re-regulate or make sure that the system has integrity. So they're just really lighting money on fire as far as a lot of people are concerned."
-AL JAZEERA http://english.aljazeera.net/business/2009/03/20093172334152828.html
What isn't really discussed here is not only was 165 million taken and given to the CEO's but also 95 million of the handout was funneled into foreign banks to keep them afloat.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Another week has gone by. School has been somewhat difficult, trying to learn enough of the information to pass while still resisting enough to satisfy my dislike of the course (still bitter about Gen eds) Im finding more and more time to study whatever sefer I happen to have on me at the time, which is definatly a ray of light in my day. along with just daily torah study i get to chavrusa with a friend of my once or so a week. I have kindof slacked off on my gym routine but im getting back into it tonight. So far the best news ive had this week is that unless they outright refuse me into yeshiva this summer im going (either scholarship or loans)! I decided though that if for whatever reason I do not get in this summer, i am just going to move to brooklyn, because i am not going to spend another year waiting to begin. Fortunatly again though, either way i will eventually be in yeshiva and if i have to get loans to do it i am going to go til i get smicha. So I derfinatly have some highlights this week.
I miss her. everyday. more and more and more. I wrote her another letter, telling her everything in my week, everything in my head and chest. I asked questions that I won't have answers to for sometime. I hope she loves her new job, and that she is feeling better and not too sad. That it snowed today a whole foot and all i could think of all day was how much I would love to see her laughing after hitting me in the back with a snow ball. it was beautiful outside, but it was without her. that is how my days always are, good, and full of things to happy about and grateful for, but without her. With these feelings however comes the incredible joy of thinking about all of these days, times, and events with her!! I have the most blessed (thank G-d) future ahead of me :) right now i just thankful for her brother.
I going to give sincere effort not to be such a bleeding heart but no promises. Unfortunatly I have to go map the stars and constellaations now, but I'll be back.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
U.S. v Trinidad in
by David Wilson on February 3, 2009
The U.S. national team will play its home World Cup qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago in on April 1. Tickets for this game are now available. Buy U.S. v T&T Tickets
The U.S. team, trying to qualify for its sixth straight World Cup, opens the final round of North and Central American and Caribbean region on Feb. 11 against Mexico at Columbus, Ohio. It plays at El Salvador on March 28 before hosting the Soca Warriors.
The two teams will face off for the third time in seven months after splitting their meetings in the last round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. The United States posted a 3-0 win at Toyota Park on Sept. 10, while Trinidad & Tobago notched a 2-1 home victory against a short-handed U.S. team on Oct. 15th.
The U.S. national team will be playing just its second match in , having suffered a 1-0 loss to Morocco on May 23, 2006 as part of the U.S. World Cup team’s sending off series before the 2006 World Cup. The U.S. Under-23 national team played in the semifinals and final of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying Tournament in March of 2008, beating Canada in the semifinal before losing to Honduras in the final.
Sites have not been determined for the final three U.S. home matches: against Honduras (June 6), El Salvador (Sept. 5) and Costa Rica (Oct. 14) but expectations are that Chicago will get to host the June 6th home qualifier vs. Honduras
Sunday, February 15, 2009
|Saudi woman becomes deputy minister|
Saudi Arabia has named a woman as deputy minister for education - the most senior role ever held by a female in the kingdom.
King Abdullah also ordered the replacement of the chief of the Supreme Council of Justice, Saleh al-Lihedan, who last year issued an edict saying it was permissible to kill the owners of satellite television channels deemed to show "immoral" content.
Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Humain was appointed as the new head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice which controls the religious police, replacing Sheikh Ibrahim al-Ghaith.
The reshuffle, King Abdullah's first since he took power following the the death of his half-brother in 2005, also saw new education, justice and information ministers appointed.
"It is a new start for King Abdullah. People are expecting changes," he said. "These are new faces who can bring change."
Clerics had often criticised Madani for allowing the local press to take greater liberty in challenging the establishment.
Al Jazeeria news
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Well, i have offically joined the ranks of the unemployed again. the kosher resturant i was working at let me go for somewhat vague reasons (I think they're going out of buisness) but either way i am without work. strangly enough i am actually not so down about this. All week i have been in this kind of shell shocked fog not to mention the weird mixture of good and bad things that have happened to me. things like being let go, get insurance money in the mail, a random old doctor bill that i thought was paid but apparently not, along with various other small things (i also go a cheap ipod) either good or bad that happened. despite all of these things i am still essentailly detached from the world around me. i know that i am charismatic enough not to let this be apparent but within myself i am hardly aware of my own being. And the reason for this is the ultimate in my good/bad week, a wonderful/painful decision that i(we) made. i am so happy to have finally made the move into doing the right thing, into stopping was was so that what will be can happen. but for right now i am still just a little dazed. I know that i will be able to snap myself out of this inverted gaze at lest to some extant not long from now, but it is still difficult. right now i need to stop focus on all the great, amazing things that i have ahead of me, go find a new job, and set up a better time to study halacha and school. after that i need to byproxy cheer up a certain friend of mine, and then mail a huge package to the same person to cheer them up because they are wonderful. after all of this i will take lesson to improve my horrific grammer and typing abilities because they are atrocious. anyway i going to at least pretend to be cheery.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden. ~Claudia Ghandi
All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee to me.
~William Shakespeare, "Sonnet XLIII"
Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle
Everything I do is stitched with its color.
~W.S. Merwin, "Separation"
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I have endured much to reach this place in time
Yet I have not been sick, nor mad,
Nor ruined in a wreck.
And yet I feel I have.
There is a thing in me, the walls of cells are thin,
My veins are glass, my heart the merest whim
Of beat and pause and beat,
Deaths in the street are mine. I would not have it so.
I know much more than I would want to know.
The breakfast headlines tell me of a war,
I know they die out there; put down my spoon.
Men land on the moon tonight, I know their joy,
The boy in me goes with them as they tread
Far overhead on dust world beyond reach
They teach my tired blood to love again.
There's rain in downtown Peru tonight,
I wash my face in it. In Indo China, one more massacre,
I run a race in it and lose.
I cannot choose to be or not to be.