queen esther costumeOne would think that my favorite holiday is Purim, but sadly it isn’t. In fact, Purim is one of my least favorite holidays. I don’t like the long drawn out readings of the megillah, I hate going to communal purim meals with a bunch of kids, and I hate having to scramble together shalach manos for people you don’t even allow in your house. So this year I decided to get inebriated for the megillah, I figured that my regular hyperactivity would be calmed down enough to get through the megillah without walking out or thinking about how many words I was missing the entire time. Basically, for the first time in my life I didn’t suffer from megillah attention deficit disorder. It was a very jubilant experience, I was so gone that I started to read the megillah on its own, sans commentary for the first time ever. It blew my mind. [click to continue…]


kiruv marketingIf you read kiruv books you will notice some reoccurring themes. The most famous have to do with the complexity of citrus and how it couldn’t have been made by anyone but God, and those folks who missed their flights and were saved from the plane crash. The second is a better marketing tactic and it takes on numerous forms. The newly minted BT missed his flight because he was still in that faze where he doesn’t know how to wrap tefillin so the shel yad doesn’t keep slipping, or he was busy saying asher yatzer while they boarded the flight, or the Jewish travel agent miraculously refused the sell a ticket to a Jew for a flight that landed on shabbos. [click to continue…]


Best pictures from the anti-draft rally in New York

There were dozens of great pictures from the rallies protesting the IDF draft, here are a few of them.

If we teach our kinder the way of Hashem, maybe they can make a kiddush hashem in prison and make tatty proud.

Apparently charedim are not prophets or angels and actually need to use the bathroom just like the rest of us. They also need to wait on long lines, but I wonder if they find it as hard to aim as the goyim do.

bathroom line at rally [click to continue…]


idf protest

In my mind it seems to be a cut and dry issue, a country that is constantly on the brink of war and destruction at the hands of the Arabs surrounding them needs to have a draft in order to protect itself. Everyone, save for a few schmucks who are draft dodgers should serve, right? I remember when I first heard the sad fact that “not all Orthodox Jews supported Israel” it was a weird thing to hear, I first heard those lines when I was in yeshiva. I remember wonder how they could get exemptions by merely sitting in yeshiva and I was told time and time again that the yeshiva world believed that the IDF was only successful in their endeavors because of the yeshiva guys. [click to continue…]


chabad open orthodoxyOne of the biggest complaints that the Orthodox Jewish world has against chabad is that they are too open minded with regards to the roles of women. No other group within ultra-orthodoxy (we can argue all day along about whether we consider them ultra orthodox, but the general population considers them such) allows women as much freedom and intellectual learning as chabad. Chabad women are often educated in both Torah and Secular knowledge and they are also encouraged to learn gemara and develop divrei Torah. Now, some chabad women are looking at tefillin as a new way to reach out to their less observant sisters. [click to continue…]


Shalach Manos databases other abuses of Purim.

Purim Drag Purim. A story that features mass rape, including the fortunate(?!) rape of the one Jewish girl, named after the Mesopotamian goddess of sex, Ishtar. Her uncle, named after the Babylonian god Marduk, accomplish the great feat of almost saving the Jews. They get permission for the Jews to defend themselves from genocide. Big salvation. Let’s party.┬áThe only modern character in the book is Vashti (named after Avesta?) who defies the king’s command to debase herself in front of others — basically she does what you’d want your daughter to do — to say no to a creep. And, like a red-shirt wearing black man on a Star Trek expedition, she’s dead as soon as the story gets started. ┬áThe story of the idiot king ends with (drum roll) the king remaining in power and imposing taxes. Party on. [click to continue…]


Yeshiva Memories: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

sports illustrated swimsuit issueThere were only about 5 magazines that we could actually subscribe to in yeshiva, Sports Illustrated was one of them. One of the jobs of the secretary was to filter out any pritzus that would wind up in our legal magazines. This included any slips of paper reminding us that our dream issue was coming. Every once in a while, the secretary missed one of these reminders and that slip of paper was folded and unfolded hundreds of times as it made its way around the school. It was more coveted than any porn magazine, because it was technically allowed to slip into the school after careful scrutiny. As if the secretaries allowed us a little more action than the JC Penny underwear ads, because they felt bad for a bunch of horned up yeshiva guys with no girls to ease our pain. [click to continue…]