Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Surging mass through the narrow stone streets ..
brothers and sisters hurrying
Hushed murmur..scurrying
Pre dawn darkness...
Pulled magnetically toward the holiest spot on earth.
After an exhausting night in the Beis Hamidrash
Adrenaline pumping
Excited birds circling overhead
Thousand of fluttering Taleisim
A white bird..
Circles up above..
Thousands of voices
Reaching a crescendo..Shma..
Be still my heart..
Impatiently looking around..
for Moshiach...
The moment..
Tzur Yisrael Kumah B’ezras Yisrael..
Ufdei K’numecha..Yehuda V’Yisrael...
Decible level drops from LOUD to...
Absolute silence...
Collective sigh
At the very moment the sun light fights it way over the horizon
Lights up the sky..
Colors the city..
In the fervent silence.
No different accents
One People...
I look around one more time...
So...sure he’d come...


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Live, Love, Learn

Spring is a time of Love..
Shavuos a time to Learn
Every a task from him...our love
The less it makes sense..the more love...
The lifeblood of our Nation...
His wisdom...
Attach your mind to his..

This Shavuos I want to...
Live to Learn
Learn to Live
Live to Love
Love to Live
Learn to Love
Love to Learn
Live to Love to Learn

Sunday, May 28, 2006

WARNING: This product may cause........

I interrupt this blog for an important Common Sense announcement.

A few weeks back there were some letters written to Mishpacha magazine from people complaining about the fact that the magazine advertises too many luxury items..such as Pesach Hotel packages etc..

I find it mind boggling that someone would sit down and pen a letter about this.
As my Granadfather always says..Vuss iz dein Chazzerishe bizness..vuss s’tit zich bei yennem (What’s it your Chazzerishe business what the other guy does)??
Many blogs online complain about the fact that people are living luxurious lifestyles putting pressure on neighbors to live like the Joneses.

But those that can’t sleep at night..should learn some Mussar..instead of complaining about all the luxuries in our communities.

While talking about the influx of luxurious lifestyles...shouldn’t we also talk about Lo Sachmod (not coveting)?

Why do we always take the easy way out by shifting the weight onto those things not fully in our control?

It doesn’t say Thou shalt not make thy neighbor says...You...every individual shall not covet.

Yet we project all our personal smallness, failures on society..

If you’ve ever bought a Lotto ticket or heard a lotto commercial you’ve seen in small letters on bottom or heard at the end of the commercial....”if you have a gambling problem call 1-800-........”

I think we should add to every advertisement about Pesach Getaways..Luxury Cars etc..”if you have a Lo Sachmod problem call 1-800......” and set up a 24 hour hotline for those that get heart palpitations every time their neighbor makes another extension.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Lost City

A quick read through the frum blogosphere will find you in various locales.

In the New York area you have many bloggers in Flatbush a few in Boro Park a smattering of Williamsburg and Manhattan.

Lakewood is surprisingly well represented and so are other towns and villages in suburbia.

However there is one city that is eerily absent.

If one should live his life on blogs (as I suspect many do) they'd never know this place exists.

It’s a major Jewish center...and yet I have yet to see a single blog written by someone from this town or about this town.

It's as if there are no issues..or poets living there...

This modern day virtual Atlantis is none other than Monsey.

Where on earth is Monsey?
Anyone who has ever taken the Monsey Bus knows that Monsey people have plenty to say.

Are they still living in the dark ages up the Ramapo Hills?

Just something I’ve observed and wondered about.

Anyone have any clue?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

subway LIFE

The platform fills in the blink of an eye
Swarming masses exiting doors...
Descending stairs..
They take their places
This one...right at the edge
That girl ..behind the pole
A crowd gathers to watch....
Some out of boredom
Others to enjoy
The strains of a violin
The high pitched ebb and flow
Of the Celtic tones..drawn from the bow
Delicately pulled by the coal black fingers
Of the coal black violinist with his fixed white smile
White glint in his eye..and white hat on a tilt

The businessman in the sharp blue suit
Locks eyes..
With the girl in the faded jeans..
Forging connection..
connection Forging?

Serenaded by the surreal tones of the violin

While the girl next to him fearfully
Eyes everyone in her sight

One fellow anxiously looks
Into the dark void
Waiting..looking for something
A train..?

for him
the train rumbles in
terrifyingly loud

Another contently reads the art
On the walls
Listens to the music

for he
barely notices
the train has come..
to whisk him away

Look around...
Within 15 minutes
Everyone here now will be gone
This platform will be full
With an entirely new cast of characters
As people come and their destinations
Trains rumble by..
New passersby..New pass you bys
New lovers ..New haters

Witness to it all
The strains of the high pitched
Violin and the coal black fingers..
White smile and white hat on a tilt..
The look in his eye tells thousands of tales
As a new crop of people fill his space waiting
For the train that will take them away..
From his world..

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Is Love all you really need...?

This week we read the Tochacha in shul.

Moshe is goading the Jews to stay true to Hashem and the Torah.

What always bothered me was the positive (reward) to negative (punishment) ratio in this warning.
Haven’t we all been taught the importance of positive reinforcement?

This day and age when punishment is frowned down upon and here we have 1 page of rewards and 3 pages of pretty graphic punishment.

I’ve noticed often times I’ll really reach a spiritual high..I’ll daven good...feel a connection...and 10 minutes later it’ll disappear. Why does that happen..?

A quick peek around Blogworld will confirm..lottsa talk of Love...often accompanied with a resigned sigh at our inability to consummate that love..

I’ve come to realize that Love without Fear is not worth much.
If you bribe a child not to do something’ll only work as long as the bribe is more exciting to the child than what he’d like to do.
If there was no fear of getting caught or the thought of hurting someone at all...there would be a lot more adultery in the world. Love can only work as long as you’ll never encounter anything that you’ll like more even if just temporarily.
Love can work if it’s backed up by Fear.
You can try goading a child with candies all days to no avail..the threat of one slap will get em running. That’s not ideal..but that threat will keep us in line.
The Steipler once said..the reason for to instill fear into human hearts. We live in a time with so little fear.
Especially concerning our love of Hashem no matter how deep and still abstract.
Hence all the threats of punishment.
We all feel our stomach tightening and chest thumping when we hear of someone young with cancer or a tumor..the realization for an instant that there is something to fear.

Only then can we reach the higher ideal of fear..which is the fear of ruining the love we share.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Lag B'Omer in Meron

Darkness descends
Masses ascend
One purpose One destination
One soul ..The soul of a nation..
The soul of Our soul Revealed
The Zohar..
It’s an incredible
2000 years ago R’ Shimon Bar Yochai revealed the secrets of the Torah..
The soul of our wisdom..
Breathing life into generations
Into me...
Higher and Higher up the mountain...
My focus becomes clearer and more focused
Everything outside
Falls to the wayside
Look at the bonfire..
At the bottom...dirty wood smoldering flames dancing
Higher yet...sparks...soaring..
Thousands of sparks....filling the dark sky
Look every person..
At every human flame...

Pushing into the hot
Lifted into the air...crying..praying...
Then dancing..swirling...
Immersed in Jews..
Throngs crushing the life out of me..
Until I too become a spark..
And float high above...
Its all good..
Its all high...
Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

Miles and miles away from everything mundane..
This is what its all about

I’ll see you Wednesday..

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Why I wear a white shirt....

There has been talk on some blogs about the color of ones shirt and how that affects public perception in Lakewood.

Here are a few reasons why I wear a white shirt.

1. There's no question that when you do something different people will stare and wonder.
This is not something new. In every community in every age if you do something out of the norm people will wonder...
Fact is 95% of people in Lakewood wear white shirts.

2. Wearing a white shirt says..yes, I have to work but where do I want to feel most comfortable?
In the halls of the Yeshiva/Beis Midrash or in the corporate halls?

3. I feel different enough inside that I don't feel the need for an article of clothing to make me feel that way.

4. To quote Bill Blass "The classiest item of down..the starched white shirt.."

5. It matches everything.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

20 years in Heaven..8 hours in Hell


Can 8 hours of hell overshadow 20 years of heaven?
Where is the justice in that?

I just want to screeeeeaaaam

May Hashem give you the strength
your way out of
------These 8 hours...
Back to the light
---- love


Sunday, May 07, 2006

We can no longer continue...

I'm sorry it's come to this...

We were once so hot together..we looked good..and complimented each other..

Then I started getting the itch...and you felt it...

I couldn't help was your fault..and you know it..

It's reached a point just make me feel old...look old...

and lately..

I've been having violent thoughts blades..

About getting rid of the most extreme and violent way possible..

My Dear....Sefirah Beard...your time has come...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Where have all the Thinkers gone?

Where have all the thinkers gone...?
Where is that smoky salon?
Where is the passionate discourse?
Where is the oratory voice gone hoarse..?

The magic of an ideal
The will....the desire so REAL

I close my eyes..and travel back in time..
To a Paris café ..where praising Monet is a crime
To a premier in an Opera hall in Milan..
Where the composer is being booed and hissed on and on
People thinking..relating..
Artists starving..creating
Hope ..never more than a thought away
Money...not worth the time of day
Utopia...swirling around ..steel rim glasses
Teachers..blowing passion into their classes

There was a time when our youth was lost
Seduced by Bukharin and Zhabotinsky
Instead of marijuana and ecstacy
Singing the Internationale with fire in their eyes
Instead of moving to 50 cent as the eye flicker dies

It would be nice to be criticized once in awhile for a shoddy poem on my Blog...too

Monday, May 01, 2006

Food Chain

I’ve discovered that I’m part of a very disturbing food chain.

After another exhausting Chol Hamoed trip we were sitting and recounting details of our sojourn..
As usual there were disparaging remarks about Chassidim eating all over and being pushy etc..
Then during the meal on Yom Tov a conversation came up about how Chassidim cheat the government on taxes and they don’t work...etc..
I passionately hate these conversation and everyone knows it. I think that it's always wrong and unfair to stereotype.

I realized then that we’re all part of the insecurity food chain...

Whatever right wing Frum people say about Chassidim..
Modern Orthodox say about right wing Frum...
Whatever Modern Orthodox say about right wing Frum people
Non Orthodox say about all Orthodox
And whatever Non Orthodox say about Orthodox
Non-Jews say about Jews...

So next time you’re about to feel all superior by trampling on someone who is supposedly “superior than you”..
You’re just a small ring in the food chain and at this very moment some anti-semite is probably saying the same exact thing about you to his children.