shul shusherI used to hate shul talkers, but that was before I could choose shuls. That was before, the closest Orthodox shul was 20 miles away, that was before I was locked into a shul that was decidedly a non-talking shul. Up until recently there was absolute silence during most of the davening, but recently an Israeli section started forming and they talk during most of the davening. Yes, I’m jealous of those rude middle easterners for their ability to snore during the Rabbis speech and talk despite the subtle shushing coming from nearby. Back in the day, before I discovered that I enjoyed reading Gadol novels better than davening, I always felt that shul talking was a disgrace. Now, I just miss it.  [click to continue…]

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On the Rabbi/OTD Summit & Other Missives

Being a member in good standing of the OTD community, as well as a member in poor standing in the frum community, I have a right, and a duty, to the Frum Satire community, which has no standing in either community, to give my unbiased, unvarnished opinion on the recent historical summit which took place in Monsey while Heshy was hanging out in Far Rockaway refusing to visit me.

On-the-Sob-StoryTurns out that a Frum Satire alumnus, Rabbi Eliyahu Fink, worked hard to get together a very diverse group of people, a group of people who would normally not get within striking distance of each other for fear that they would strike each other. No one knows what went on there because everyone in attendance signed a solemn oath not to repeat anything, they signed their names in blood and promised to sell their mothers down the river if they did say anything. Nevertheless some details have emerged and I want to focus on the mediums of their delivery.

First to talk about it was Rabbi Fink, he called it a groundbreaking meeting and earned himself the scorn of the very influential Facebook community.

Then there was Leah Vincent who wrote an article in the Forward about the sex she had and the rabbis she told about said sex, this too was groundbreaking. [click to continue…]

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My first trip to New York in 2 years

new york traffic jamThe last time I was in New York it was for sheva brachos, that was the last time I saw most of my friends and family (besides for the tech folks who come for work and the outdoors folks that come to do outdoorsy things) in fact, my father hasn’t actually seen my wife and I together since the sheva brachos. The company I work for(Epic Bites), was hired to do multiple ultra high end (aka michelin lite) fundraiser dinners in New York. The work was intense and didn’t allow a lot of time for visiting friends or old haunts, but it gave me a taste of how New York has changed or rather how I may have changed in the past 2 years. [click to continue…]

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Speak Yiddish to me

Definitely the best frum Jewish hip hop/music video I’ve seen in a long time.

Find out more on 4torah.com

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US-ISRAELI-DRAFT-PROTESTI’ll be honest with you folks, I always thought that by being an Orthodox Jew I was part of a cult, but Cross-Currents just published an article that has cleared my conscience and it has allowed me to breathe more easily because apparently there are cults and than there are legitimate cults, ahem, I mean Torah organizations. Apparently, Ami and Mishpacha magazines have been competing with each other on the issue of whether or not Lev Tahor is a cult and Yair Hoffman (our dear friend who tried unsuccessfully to ban leggings) has finally given us a reason to believe that no other Orthodox Jews are members of any cult. Let’s take a look at his findings. [click to continue…]

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10 most common Gadol stories

norman lamm gadolI love gadol biographies, I find myself sitting in shul most every shabbos delving into the stories, lies, fabrications, and mythology surrounding the stories of the shtetl and all those illui’s who knew shas by the age of 13 and became the next gadol hador. If you read enough gadol biographies, you start to notice that many of them contain rehashed versions of the same stories involving their favorite gadol. I find it hard to believe that the Chofetz Chaim, Baruch Ber Leibowitz, and Rav Shimon Shkop all had the exact same childhood experiences. Yet, I’m consistently shocked into submission because the stories are so damned good, no matter how foolish they sound. I’ve pretty much read every Artscroll gadol novel there is and I’ve been onto the more obscure ones now. My favorites are the one for Rav Yaakov, Rav Yehuda Zev Segal, and Elchonon Wasserman. [click to continue…]

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Give One More for the Yeshiva

yeshiva dinnerThey didn’t know it then, but one of the people entering the banquet hall that night wouldn’t go home alive. Had they known it though it wouldn’t have changed anything, the world must go on, the yeshiva had a lot riding on this dinner, the scholarships they awarded their needy families were funded by this dinner.

Chaim wasn’t a scholar, he wasn’t an ignoramus though by any means, but he wasn’t either a rich person, nor was he poor enough to attract the sympathy of the many communal charity organizations; Chaim was a hardworking family man, with a family to support.

After his mounting financial pressures forced him to leave the local community kollel, Chaim found himself working at as an appliance salesman for a local frum-owned business. At first his increased pay made Chaim feel like a millionaire but when the school began to decrease his scholarship award, in ever-increasing bites, he began to feel poorer than he had before. With his new income he was now responsible for co-pays at every kid’s doctor appointment, there was no more food stamps, there was no parsonage deduction to reduce his federal income tax and now the school was demanding more for tuition. Something was going to have to give.

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