Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
The Chumra of the Week Club
• Are you concerned that people don't notice and appreciate your yiras shomayim?
• Do you sometimes get the feeling that your neighbor is observing more chumras than you?
• Have you ever noticed someone looking at your tefillin during shacharis as though there were something wrong with them?
• Do people occasionally hesitate when you extend them an invitation to eat at your home, or ask what hashgachos you rely on?
• Has anyone ever said to you in surprise: "Oh, are you maikel?"
If you have ever been faced by any of these mortifying scenarios, The Chumra of the Week Club (CWC) is for you!
CWC is a new concept in real, authentic, ostentatous Yiddishkeit. Never again will you be upstaged! Never again will you be at a loss for a chumra! We supply you weekly with the very best in conspicuous yiras shomayim! (Please note that due to lack of demand for "bein adam l'chaveyro" chumras, all CWC chumras are "bein adam lamakom".)
Special Introductory Offer (limited time only): Join now and immediately receive three free chumras from our database (from the categories of your choice) as our introductory gift to you. Thereafter, each Friday you will receive full source material for a new, exciting, additional chumra which you can immediately put into use. Within a short time you will have amassed a chumra list that will amaze your friends and make you the envy of your kollel or shul.
Guarantee: We absolutely GUARANTEE all our chumras to be of the highest quality! Our full-time staff is busy combing the Bar Ilan CD ROM for the most obscure strictures. (Note that with Super-frum and Over-the-top membership you can receive even more obscure and personalized chumras - guaranteed to dumfound both friend and foe.)
Return Policy: If you are not delighted with any chumra you receive from us, you may return it for exchange within 7 days of receipt - no questions asked. Simply state the reason for the return (to help us serve you better in future), and the category from which you wish to receive your replacement chumra.
Reasons for return may include (but are not limited to):
• You are already observing a chumra of equal or greater stringency. (Unlikely, as our chumras are hand-picked for uniqueness and stringency.)
• You know someone who is already observing the same chumra.
• The chumra is not noticeable enough.
• The chumra does not inconvenience other people
• Keeping the chumra would involve personal hardship
Accompanying Factsheet: Our chumras come from a wide range of lesser-known achronim, including: the "Pi Ha'ason," and the "Shtus Vehevel." Each chumra comes complete with a fully annotated fact sheet that includes:
• A photocopy of the source material
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• Member feedback and success stories
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CWC – MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM
Please complete form and send, with your cheque, to The Chumra of the Week Club, c/o Yonaty Design and Publishing, 12/13 Shalom Bonayich, Netivot 87804, Israel .
Title (check one):
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Name ___________ ben ___________ ben ___________ ben ___________
(You must be able to supply genealogical data for the past four generations to be eligible for CWC).
Phone: ____________ email: __________________
Indicate the level of membership you wish to purchase (check one):
□ Regular (one new, eye-popping stringency per week - $500 p/a)
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To help us custom-tailor your personal chumra selection, please circle the following, as applicable:
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3) Type of coat worn (check one):
□ short - single breasted
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□ drags on floor
Years in kollel _______ Current occupation: _____________________________
Yes, please rush me my three introductory chumras by return post! (Check three categories below from which you would like to receive your free chumras):
□ Food - Fleishigs
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Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/28/2007 07:24:00 AM
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Sure, we all know the story that he saw the Kohanim performing Birchas Kohanim and got it from there. Here's the WHOLE story from the mouth of Leonard "Spock" Nimoy himself. Sorry I couldn't just embed the video here from YouTube, but embedding was disabled...
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/26/2007 09:57:00 AM
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
And in case you missed 2006, click here!
What?! You don't know what JibJab is?! Check it out!! These guys became famous in 2004 when they satired the presidential elections then with This Land, and Good to be in DC. Enjoy!
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/21/2007 04:22:00 PM
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Five things people say about Christmas that drive me nuts. This is all so true. My favorite is the first one, where Christians say it's not a religious holiday. If that's the case, why are the first six letters the name of their savior? :) You really can't get MORE religious than that, can you?
Hattip: My wife!!! Sure do LOVE her!!!! :)
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/19/2007 05:09:00 PM
How does Yeshiva World exist and how do all those super Right Wing Nut Jobs comment if it is assur for them to use the internet?! Have you seen some of the comments?! It's like these people are stuck in the Middle Ages!! If it weren't so sad, it'd be hilarious!!!
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/19/2007 04:08:00 PM
The envelope, please:Ismael Haniyeh, Hamas "Prime Minister" in Gaza. He wants a cease fire from Israel (by the way, the article's headline is also quite misleading: "Hamas seeks truce talks with Israel."):
Al-Shafi told The Associated Press that the Hamas leader complained that Israeli attacks have foiled his attempts to halt the rocket fire. Islamic Jihad, a smaller militant group, has been responsible for most of the rocket fire out of Gaza since Hamas seized control of the area last June.Isn't that just LOVELY? What a liar.
"I am always trying to stop the rockets from all factions, especially Islamic Jihad, but Israel's assassinations always catch me off guard and spoil my attempts," the reporter quoted Haniyeh as saying.
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/19/2007 12:34:00 PM
My wife, Esther, made the following comment on Cross (Loving) -Currents post by Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein:
14. Why is this issue only used in reference to ideas on the “left”? Why does it not apply to people on the “right” who have started enacting ideas that are contrary to how most of the Jewish world lives? This includes setting up roles for women that are just as contrary to our mesorah as the issues you write about in this article. (Such as the requirement to be the breadwinner.) Why does the “beyond the pale” label only get applied to the left and not the right, when halacha says that veering in either direction is incorrect? I think many of us who have great respect for Rabbi Adlerstein would be interested in an explanation of this.So far, Rabbi Adlerstein has ignored this comment, so I put in my own two cents:
Comment by Esther — December 17, 2007 @ 6:50 pm
Rabbi Adlerstein,I just posted this comment, so it's currently awaiting moderation. I'd like to see if he answers. You see, this seems to be the trend with the right wing. Blast whatever isn't like them (right, Toby Katz?), but ignore any comments that come at them that questions their core beliefs. To me, this means their beliefs don't stand up to close scrutiny. And theirs don't. It's obvious from their many shenanigans over the years.
I’m somewhat surprised you seem to have ignored Esther’s comment to you (comment 14) and her request for an explanation as to why the “beyond the pale” label only gets applied to the left and not the right, when halacha says that veering in either direction is incorrect. Have you an answer? Yehoshua was commanded “Lo Sasur YAMIN o Smol,” and Yamin, to the right, is mentioned first, implying it’s even more wrong to be noteh to the right than to the left. Further, the Torah itself tells us not lean either way. Why is this ignored in the Chareidi world? Why are people to the left the ONLY ones considered doing the wrong thing, but not the ones to the right?
Comment by Am Kshe Oref — December 19, 2007 @ 11:09 am
In the meantime, it's a good topic to discuss here. The core of Esther's question is why is the mitzvah of "Lo Sasur Yamin O Smol" ignored. Both by the Right and by the Left. Reading this blog, you might think I'm pretty left-wing. Well, politically, yes I am (except when it comes to Israel). But religiously? I'm center. one may not think so because when I blast, I always blast the Right. But I blast the Left as well. I'm just not as outspoken about it because in their case I think, while still wrong to lean one way or another, the good there outweighs the bad. Find this hypocritical? Tough. I find it hypocritical when people on the Right, especially the far Right, either ignore questions asked of them or declare the questioners heretics, kofrim, and evil. I find it hypocritical when you can use the Rambam to determine your "Hashkafa" (I hate that word, by the way), but essentially ignore his Halacha. It is hypocritical to have a "Tznius" police but not a tax evasion or child molester prevention police. It is hypocritical for rabbis to steal money from their employees. It's hypocritical to segregate a school, separating Sephardim from Ashkenazim and telling those children they may not speak or play with the other group.
There's a whole laundry list of things the Right does that are hypocritical, primarily of which is hiding behind the Torah to justify their wrongs. The Left makes no such pretensions. And the more Right-Leaning the Right becomes, the more hypocritical their actions become. Know why? Because the Torah tells us "LO Yamin O Smol." It's not a suggestion. It's a command. I'm not saying many of the things the Left does are not against Torah. Of course they are. But I don't see them trying to justify their actions BASED on fictional, ridiculous interpretations of Torah. This is the Modus Operandi of the Right.
But the endgame is the same: It is just as wrong to lean to the Right as it is to the Left. In fact, it's probably MORE wrong because that is the word the Torah chooses to use first, knowing that it's easier to fall into the trap Rightness than into that of Leftness. It's easier to become "more" frum and judge everyone to the left of you than to just chuck it all out the door.
There is SOOOO much more to say, and I will say it, but later.
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/19/2007 10:01:00 AM
Monday, December 17, 2007
Thanks to DovBear
According to the police, Mrs. Greenberg said she was singled out because she chose to wear denim skirts, long, natural-looking wigs made of human hair, and stockings without a visible seam — traditionally worn because they show that women’s legs are not bare.In other words, you gotta bare your legs to show they are not bare! What a F****D UP lifestyle!!
How, exactly, is this considered Tzanua?! Isn't it better to simply leave the slit out and not worry about what's underneath?! What, exactly, is going through the minds of these men that the NEED to know a woman's legs aren't bare by having her bare her legs?! How, exactly, and why, is this considered "frumkeit?!"
See the full NY Times article here...
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/17/2007 12:16:00 PM
Arutz Sheva had an interesting article about countries pledging money to the PA, and even though
PA leader Mahmoud Abbas has taken no steps to stop terrorism against Israel, he is being greeted at an international conference in Paris with admiration - and money.It's interesting to note who gave the money and how much was given:
Before the conference even began, the United States had pledged $555 million, the European Union $650 million, and Germany and Great Britain together - $780 million. Japan then stepped in with another $150 million. Delegates from 70 countries and 20 global organizations are present at the Paris conference.Pay attention here. Not ONE Arab country, with all their trillions of dollars available to them from oil sales, Saudi Arabia chief among them, has pledged anything at all to their "dear brethren."
Once more, the Torah's prophecy of "Yado BaKol V'Yad Kol Bo" - "his hand in everything and every one's hand in him" - comes true. Not that I advocate supporting the "Palestinians" in any way, but why don't the other Arab countries help there beleaguered "brethren?" Ponder on that... And note, RWNJs and Bush/Republican supporting RZs: The Republicans are NOT Israel's friends here. They, along with the other countries giving so much money to the PA, are SUPPORTING terrorism, not preventing it.
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/17/2007 08:53:00 AM
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Well, if you don't, just look to the right of this screen. Watch him, if you haven't, or even if you have! And if you like this guy's stuff, check out his two DVDs, "Arguing with Myself" and "Spark of Insanity." Absolutely brilliant! Both are available from Netflix (I should really get a commission for this!). You can also find snippets on YouTube.
One interesting thing. On his second DVD, "Spark of Insanity," one of the extras takes us through the making of a ventriloquist's dummy. Jeff Dunham actually makes them himself! Cool!
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/16/2007 04:43:00 PM
My wife insisted so she can find what she needs in our room on dark Friday nights and dark winter Shabbos mornings. It's a really great invention, though it could stand some improvement. My favorite part? On the box it says in big bright words: "Approved by Major Poskim!" Yes. And?... Who cares? What do poskim have to do with this? It's quite obvious one may use it and "turn it 'off'" on Shabbos without committing a Chilul Shabbos, so why do I care if it's approved by "major poskim?" And the wording implies it's not approved by some. Why not? And who are "major poskim?" It's like a rebbi of mine in high school used to say: "The biggest poskim in the world are 'It Says,' and 'It's Written.' Who said it and where is it written?" my rebbi used to ask. When someone come at you with "It Says" and "It's Written" or anything similar, the first question to ask, said my rebbi, is WHO said and WHERE is it written and WHO wrote it? Same here: "Approved by Major Poskim." If it was really important that this really cool device be approved by "major" poskim, who are they? Who decided they were major? Major according to whom? According to MO? Chareidim? Chassidim? Litvish?
This concludes today's rant! :)
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/16/2007 04:35:00 PM
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Puff The Kosher Dragon
Puff, the Kosher dragon, lived in Palestine
And frolicked in the synagogue
And drank Shapiro’s wine.
(I would at this point change the lyrics for the first three lines to:
Puff the Kosher dragon, lived Yisrael
And frolicked in the synagogue
And drank lots of Ginger Ale!)
Little Rabbi Goldberg, loved that Kosher Puff
And fed him lots of Matzah Balls
And other Kosher stuff.
Then one day it happened, Puff was eating pork
Little Rabbi Goldberg took, that dragon for a walk
Gently he explained him, that dragons don’t eat meat
That comes from little piggies, that have dirty, filthy feet.
Then Puff became Bar Mitzvah, put on Tefillin every day
Wrapped in his Tallis, that’s the way he prayed
Made Brochos before eating, Bentching after every meal
Imagine how religious it made that dragon feel.
Now, there were some people, who did things just for spite
They’d curse Jews and attack them, just to get into a fight
When Puff the dragon heard this, he let out a mighty roar
Now, those wicked people aren’t with us any more.
Now, Puff the Kosher Dragon found himself a bride
Now, little Kosher dragons are his source of pride
They’ll grow up doing Mitzvos, learning Torah, praying too
And Rabbi Goldberg teaching them, what Kosher dragons do.
Now, you who may be listening, may think we’re making fun
But deep down in the story, is a moral for everyone
If dragons wear a Kippa, keep Shabbos and Kosher too
Then you can learn, like Puff did, how to be a real good Jew.
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/13/2007 07:16:00 PM
The Wig Burning Song
(To the tune of: If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands)
If you're your Jewish and you know it
Burn your wig
You love God and want to show it
Burn your wig
Unless your instincts were prophetic
And your shaitel is synthetic
Go ahead, you won't regret it
Burn your wig
Semi - custom, fall, or box
Burn your wig
Avodah Zarah's in those locks
Burn your wig
Be it a Freeda, Ralph, or Claire
Might as well be Mother Mary
So be very, very wary
Burn your wig
If it's blond or black or brown
Burn your wig
Don't be the Apikorus in town
Burn your wig
Take it off and don't go near it
Wear a snood - you'll have to bear it
Drive a Chevy, but don't wear it
Burn your wig
Do what's right, don't be heretical
Burn your wig
Just stay calm, don't get hysterical
Burn your wig
Your whole life is still ahead
Go put butter on your bread
But no Buddha on your head
Burn your wig
Hattip: Some random Jewish jokes site...
RWNJ = Right Wing Nut Job...:) Hi Toby Katz!!! Have you burned a wig lately? :) Even though Reb Moshe paskined YEARS AGO, no wait, DECADES AGO, that they were fine?
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/13/2007 07:06:00 PM
After his death, Osama bin Laden went to heaven. There he was greeted by George Washington, who proceeded to slap him across his face and yell at him, "How dare you try to destroy the nation I helped conceive!"
Patrick Henry appoached and punched Osama in the nose and shouted, "You wanted to end our liberties but you failed."
James Madison entered, kicked Osama in the groin and said, "This is why I allowed our government to provide for the common defense!"
Thomas Jefferson came in and proceeded to beat Osama many times with a long cane and said, "it was evil men like you that provided me the inspiration to pen the Declaration of Independence!"
These beatings and thrashings continued as John Rudolph, James Monroe and 66 other early Americans came in and unleashed their anger on the Muslim terrorist leader.
As Osama lay bleeding and writhing in unbearable pain, an Angel appeared. Bin Laden wept and said to the Angel, "This is not what you promised me!" The Angel replied, "I told you there would be 72 Virginians waiting for you in heaven. What did you think I said?"
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/13/2007 07:04:00 PM
Great article from Jewish World Review about how horrible Condi is.
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/13/2007 09:17:00 AM
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Here it is!
While we're at it, let's not forget Megillat Antiochus and the famous works of Flavius Josephus.
And for an interesting post by Jameel at the Muqata about the phrase "מי לה' אלי," click.
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/12/2007 09:11:00 PM
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Really Good Article About Freeway Pedestrian Deaths in LA - Yet Another Good Reason NOT to Live There...
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/11/2007 08:58:00 AM
Monday, December 10, 2007
And as a Star Wars Fan, I agree with quite a bit of this, and I can FINALLY explain to my wife why I am a Star Wars fan!!
written by: Andrey Summers
My girlfriend doesn’t understand what I see in Star Wars. We’ve had several soul-crushing arguments about what exactly makes this series so important to me, and every time I have found it more and more difficult to argue my case. As the maddening years have wound on, I think I finally understand the reason for this crippling handicap.This was just AWESOME!!! :)
There is a diabolical twist to Star Wars fandom, you see, that defies comprehension, and yet is the life-blood of all Star Wars fans. It is this:
Star Wars fans hate Star Wars.
If you run into somebody who tells you they thought the franchise was quite enjoyable, and they very-much liked the originals as well as the prequels, and even own everything on DVD, and a few of the books, these imposters are not Star Wars Fans.
Star Wars fans hate Star Wars.
The primary fulcrum for the Star Wars fan’s hate (including my own) is George Lucas, creator of Star Wars. Unlike Trekkies/Trekkers who adore Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Star Wars fans hate the father of their obsession. We hate the fact that George Lucas got it wrong from the beginning, creating incest between Luke and Leia. We hate the fact that he wrenched Return of the Jedi off of Kashyyyk and set it on Endor with those tiny, furry Hobbit bitches he called “Ewoks”, which is a syllabic anagram of Wookiee if you’re obsessed enough. We despise the entire existence of literally half of the Star Wars movies, blaming George Lucas’ greed and flawed ‘vision’ for everything.
We believe George Lucas’ ideal death time was 2:07am, 14 November, 1990.
Star Wars fans also hate the original Star Wars trilogy. We think Mark Hamill’s acting was whiny, the pacing was flawed, and Empire was better than Jedi, making the end of the series a let-down. We hate the way Boba Fett died, and we hate the cantankerous, arthritic duel between Vader and Obi-wan. We don’t understand why the storm-troopers can’t shoot worth a damn, and we don’t get why “an entire legion of [the Emperor’s] best troops”(ROTJ, Palpatine) can be overpowered by a tribal society of midget teddy-bears armed largely with rocks and twigs. Star Wars fans hate omnipotent war-machines that get their legs tangled in strings, or slip on logs. They hate Darth Vader’s face and that stupid harmonica thing he was playing. Star Wars fans hate the original Star Wars trilogy.
There is also, as you probably know, a series of Special Editions that have replaced the original Star Wars trilogy, and these are also hated by Star Wars fans with an even more scorching fervor. Star Wars fans hate the glaring CG changes made to scenes we already hated to begin with. We hate that Han Solo now killed Greedo in self-defense, and then stepped on Jabba the Hutt’s tail (which we liken to Carrot Top stepping on Fidel Castro’s tail). We hate the fact that the ghost of Alec Guinness (whose name is an anagram of Genuine Class, by the way) now stands next to Hayden Christensen (whose name I tried to re-arrange into a flattering anagram myself, but only came up with “Nn…Dense Chest Hair”). Star Wars fans are unsure if Fidel Castro has a tail or not, but we hate the Special Editions of the trilogy just the same.
There is of course also a prequel trilogy to Star Wars. It is newer, more epic, more expensive, and more visually stunning than the original trilogy. Star Wars fans know this, and so we hate it even more. We hate it with the burning passion of a setting pair of twin suns. Jar Jar Binks, Midichlorians, technology that is blatantly more sophisticated than the “later” original trilogy…we despise all of it. There’s nothing a Star Wars fan hates more than a Star Wars prequel. They demystified Boba Fett, contradicted countless lines in the original trilogy (Obi-Wan: “He was our only hope.” Yoda: “No…there is another.” Obi-Wan (not in script): “Oh, right, I f*cking held both of these kids as they were born in Episode 3. Sorry Yoda, I just plumb forgot!”)
Star Wars fans think Mark Ha…uh…Hayden Christensen’s acting was whiny. And the pacing was flawed.
Beyond the movies, there are also various television-related Star Wars endeavors which Star Wars fans despise. Starting with that abysmal “Holiday Special” in which Carrie Fisher appeared drunk and tried to celebrate Christmas through song in a Jesus-less galaxy, Star Wars fans have watched and hated everything. We think Droids was a waste of time, Ewok Adventures was an extension of everything we hated about Return of the Jedi, and we’ve seen both seasons of Clone Wars which we hate because we believe them to be immensely inconsistent with the prequels we also hate.
Star Wars fans think the Star Wars comic-books are a stockpile of contrivance written for marketing purposes by people who know nothing about Star Wars. Every gimmick imaginable to bring back super-weapons long destroyed and token bad-guys long-beaten is spewed forth from these comic books, and Star Wars fans want nothing to do with it. Star Wars fans have read the one in which Han Solo works in tandem with a giant rabbit and we are not impressed.
Then, naturally, there are the videogames. Star Wars fans hate LucasArts, and the opportunist drivel that comprises most of the gameplay-less apertures known as Star Wars games that they vomit up every fiscal quarter. Star Wars fans know that there is no such thing as a good Star Wars strategy game, we yelled at our PS1 when Masters of Teras-Kasi came out, and we kind-of liked the Jedi Knight series, but not at first and definitely not towards the end. Star Wars fans did not like Knights of the Old Republic, unless they were RPG fans. This does not count. Star Wars fans hate Star Wars videogames.
The final main elixir of Star Wars folklore is the ever-growing library of Star Wars books. These have managed to make a complex main character our of practically every background alien seen in the movies, and expanded the universe into a colossal, self-contradictory maze. Star Wars fans hate this. We hate how trite and tired the books were getting before the New Jedi Order series, and we hate the New Jedi Order series for being so radically different, and not nearly trite or tired enough. Star Wars fans hate it when previously-deceased characters are brought back to life, but we also hate Timothy Zahn for not bringing his characters back to life. Star Wars fans did not hate Grand Admiral Thrawn, but we do now, because he is always dead. The Star Wars movies also contradict and completely ignore droves of information within the Star Wars books. Star Wars fans now know that George Lucas has no idea who Jaster Mareel is, and it makes us very angry. Star Wars fans hate Star Wars books.
Now that I have covered all of this, you can finally begin to compute why I can never prove to Emily that Star Wars is a monumental event worth devoting one’s life to. The very nature of the argument means I have to defend Star Wars, and since I am a Star Wars fan, I don’t actually understand how to do that.
Maybe I’ll put it like this. To be a Star Wars fan, one must possess the ability to see a million different failures and downfalls, and then somehow assemble them into a greater picture of perfection. Every true Star Wars fan is a Luke Skywalker, looking at his twisted, evil father, and somehow seeing good.
My earlier statement needs slight revision. We hate everything about Star Wars.
But the idea of Star Wars…the idea we love.
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/10/2007 11:12:00 AM
You know, I've been thinking a lot about the whole thing with Channukah being a postponed Succos (see the מגילת אנטיוכוס -חנוכה). As I understand it, there is no mention of the oil miracle in the Books of the Maccabees.
We say in Maoz Tzur "Bnei Binah Yemei Shmona Kav'u Shir U'Renanim." What if indeed, Channukah was originally just a postponed Succos, but Chazal wanted to preserve it for generations rather than have it be forgotten in a couple of years. Had they left it as just a Succos celebration, that is probably exactly what would have happened. It simply would have been completely forgotten.
However, by putting a spin on the holiday and putting so much emphasis on the oil lasting eight days rather than on the fact that that particular Channukah was simply a postponed Succos and a victory-over-the-Greeks celebration, they were able to preserve Channukah permanently.
Now, whether the oil thing really happened is probably relatively irrelevant. Could it have happened? Certainly. Might it have happened? I don't know. Certainly, the "Hester Panim" rule was already long in place and this would very clearly violate that rule. Did a miracle happen for the rest of it, but completely naturally? Did "rabim B'Yad Me'Atim" etc. actually take place? I believe it did. It certainly wouldn't be the last time. Look at modern day Israel. Further, even in times of "Gilui Panim," when Hashem takes a direct and obvious role in events, even then He prefers to use natural means (see this post starting in the middle with the paragraph "Next example."
And perhaps THAT'S what Chazal wanted to preserve and they knew they could only preserve it because people naturally respond strongly to the SUPER-natural and remember it for a long time. They don't respond as strongly to the natural and even the Chashomonaim winning the war might have been quickly forgotten, especially considering their antics (becoming not-so-great rulers) once the war ended.
Further, what would it have meant to future generations had Chanukah been preserved as a "postponed" Succos celebration? Not a whole lot. Which is why it most probably would have been forgotten.
Keep in mind also that Al Hanissim makes almost no mention of the oil (it just says "hidliku neiros b'chatzros kodshecah" and has NO mention of the OIL miracle of eight days AT ALL. In fact, the emphasis in Al Hanissim is the war and God delivering the strong/impure into the hands of the weak/pure, etc. Even the wording in Maoz Tzur is vague, at best. "U'Mi'Nosar Kankanim, Na'asa Nes La'Shoshanim," from what was left of the jugs, a miracle was performed for the Shoshanim, another name for Kohanim. It really doesn't mention the oil LASTING eight days. It mentions a miracle happening for the Kohanim, the Maccabees, that miracle probably being the winning of the war against all odds.
Well, anyway, just a Chanukah thought we've been kicking around here for the last few days. Happy Chanukah!
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/10/2007 10:19:00 AM
Well, then, check out this statement by Hamas, reported in today's Arutz 7 News Briefs:
Hamas is now trying to establish its own relationship with the USA. Haniyeh advisor Ahmed Yousef has reportedly sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asking for talks. "We are not anti-American, anti-European or anti-anyone," claimed Yousef in his letter. "Our party is the legitimately elected party. You owe it to your sense of fairness to engage meaningfully with all relevant parties to the conflict."AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! SNORT!!! Not "anti-American?!" Not "anti-Anyone?!?!" Oh! So they "NEVER" burn Israeli and American flags at their frequent, anti-Israel and anti-American rallies, right?! Puh-Leaze!! Oh, wait! I forgot! You can't be anti-anything that has no right to legitimately exist, as they believe with Israel... And yet, if they say all this with enough frequency, the world will actually begin to believe them, as it has begun to and now staunchly believes Fatah want peace and to live side-by-side with Israel. Everyone seems to have forgotten what an anti-Semite Mahmoud Abbas truly is. Remember, HE was behind and funded the Munich massacre. HE received his doctorate by denying the Holocaust. HE was Arafat's right-hand man! And the world now believes he wants to live peacefully next to the Jewish State. Never mind that he STILL hasn't removed the "destroy Israel" clause in the PLO charter...
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/10/2007 09:59:00 AM
Sunday, December 09, 2007
One of my oldest friends, Boruch, called me today to let me know his wife, Chaya Malka Yehudis bas Chana, passed away this morning. As a child in the Ukraine, she lived only a couple hundred miles away from Chernobyl when the nuclear reactor there blew. As an adult in the US, cancer manifested and the incompetent doctors at Kaiser Permanente did not catch it because they refused to test her even though she went to them over half a dozen times in the space of a year feeling something was wrong.
Please daven for that neshama of Chaya Malka Yehudis bas Chana should have an aliya straight to Kisei Hakovod. She was a truly amazing person, loving, caring, and never complaining about her troubles and always asking about others. She is survived by her husband, Boruch, and a little girl, Sarah Aidel.
Hamakom Yenachem Eschem B'Soch She'ar Avelei Tziyon V'Yerushalayim.
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/09/2007 11:20:00 AM
Friday, December 07, 2007
Happened MUCH faster than I had anticipated! Those Mother-F*****G MORONS actually FIXED my credit issue with them. Funny how, once something for which I had NO responsibility disappeared from my credit report, my score with them went from 543 to 701! Isn't THAT interesting?
Public Service Announcement: If you EVER need to actually SPEAK to someone at Equifax (yes, those Mother-F*****G MORONS!!), don't call the number they have listed, 800-685-1111. All you'll get is an automated system to order your credit report. Instead, call either 800-846-5279 or 866-505-2182. The system will almost always give you a different recording. If you DON'T have a ten digit confirmation number, just press 0 or wait for a rep to come on the phone. They'll ask all sorts of questions to verify it's really you.
Now, I just have to get approved for a loan!
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/07/2007 09:56:00 AM
Thursday, December 06, 2007
It is according to this article. Funny, when I kept saying the economy was all screwed up over the last few years, no one would believe me because, well, the PRESIDENT said the economy was great and strong and powerful.
Not so much anymore.
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/06/2007 06:00:00 PM
According to this Reuters report, Ohio State University Medical Center's Dodd Hall is using the Nintendo Wii for Physical Therapy! Awesome! They use the system to help people recovering from strokes and spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries. The medical center was quick to note that Nintendo did NOT provide the hospital with the video game console!
Enjoy the article!
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/06/2007 01:24:00 PM
Anti-Semitisim in Long Beach, NY...
Essentially, a giant, twenty foot Menorah dwarfed a small, seven foot Christmas tree. Christian residents complained that this was an insult to Christians, one even saying it was going to be a "kind of bah-humbug Christmas."
Funny, do you think they'd have complained if the roles had been reversed and the Menorah had been seven feet tall and the tree twenty feet tall?
Then there's the fact that all these Christians complain they don't get wished a "Merry Christmas" any more, just "Happy Holidays."
Well, tough. Oh, and BAH! HUMBUG!!!
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/06/2007 07:16:00 AM
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Not bad for envisioning what would be going on thirty/forty years later, huh? Enjoy!
For full article from Snopes, click!
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/05/2007 10:18:00 AM
GE recalling 92,000 microwaves
BOSTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Wednesday that General Electric Co is recalling 92,000 microwaves, saying that they pose a fire hazard.
It said the built-in combination wall and microwave ovens in question were sold at department and appliance stores from January 2000 to December 2003 and retailed for between $1,500 and $2,000.
It said GE knew of more than 30 cases of property damage but no injuries related to the problem.
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/05/2007 10:01:00 AM
By JEFF KAROUB, AP Business WriterWed Dec 5, 12:04 AM ET
DETROIT - Tests on more than 1,200 children's products, most of them still on store shelves, found that 35 percent contain lead — many with levels far above the federal recall standard used for lead paint.
Acard game case, a Go Diego Go! backpack and Circo brand shoes were among the items with excessive lead levels in the tests performed by a coalition of environmental health groups across the country.
Only 20 percent of the toys and other products had no trace of lead or harmful chemicals, according to the results being released Wednesday by the-based Ecology Center along with the national Center for Health, Environment and Justice and groups in eight other states.
Of the 1,268 items tested, 23 were among millions of toys recalled this year.
. recalled more than 21 million Chinese-made toys on fears they were tainted with lead paint and tiny magnets that children could accidentally swallow. 's own tests on the toys found that they had lead levels up to 200 times the accepted limit.
The Consumer Action Guide to Toxic Chemicals in Toys, which is available to the public athttp://www.healthytoys.org, shows how the commonly purchased children's products rank in terms of containing lead, cadmium, arsenic and other harmful chemicals. It comes in time for holiday shopping — and amid the slew of recalls.
"This is not about alarming parents," said Tracey Easthope, director of the Ecology Center's Environmental Health Project. "We're just trying to give people information because they haven't had very much except these recall lists."
Easthope said 17 percent of the children's products tested had levels of lead above the 600 parts per million federal standard that would trigger a recall of lead paint. Jewelry products were the most likely to contain the high levels of lead, the center said, with 33.5 percent containing levels above 600 ppm. Among the toys that tested above that limit was aPop Star Card Game, whose case tested at 3,056 ppm.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a level of 40 ppm of lead as the maximum that should be allowed in children's products. Lead poisoning can cause irreversible learning disabilities and behavioral problems and, at very high levels, seizures, coma, and even death.
A spokeswoman for-based Cardinal Industries Inc., which sells the Hannah Montana game, said Tuesday that Cardinal was unaware of the environmental groups' tests or procedures but the product has passed internal tests.
"We test every (product) before it ships numerous times," Bonnie Canner said. "We have not tested this product high for lead."
Easthope said the product is manufactured in. Canner declined further comment until she had more information.
The center and its testing partners found The First Years brand First Keys, Fisher-Price's Rock-a-Stack and B.R. Bruin's Stacking Cups were among the 20 percent that contained none of the nine chemicals.
"There's a lot of doom and gloom about lead in the products — people only hear about the recalls," said Jeff Gearhart, the Ecology Center's campaign director. "Companies can make clean products. Our sampling shows that there's no reason to put lead in a product."
Gearhart and Easthope said the products, while not necessarily representative of everything on the market, were considered among those commonly bought and used. Testers purchased most at major retailers such as, Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us.
The testing began in 2006 but most of the items were checked in the past six months, Gearhart said.
Calls to aspokeswoman were not immediately returned Tuesday. A . spokeswoman declined to comment because the company had not seen the report.
Toys "R" Us Inc. spokeswoman Kathleen Waugh also declined to comment because she needed to fully review the report's findings, referring questions to the Toy Industry Association.
Joan Lawrence, the association's vice president of standards and safety, said the group and its members support limiting accessible lead in children's products. But she said the industry and standard-setting bodies are struggling with how to measure exposure, accessibility and what limits to set.
She said she hasn't seen all of the Ecology Center's findings but called them misleading because the testers did not appear to follow recognized test procedures for lead and other substances. The two most common ways are to use solutions to simulate saliva and digestion, and another to attempt to dissolve the surface coating.
The center and its testing partners performed what they describe as a "screening" of chemicals using a handheld X-ray fluorescence device that detects surface chemical elements.
"The mere presence of any substance alone is only half of the answer — you need to know if it's accessible to the child," Lawrence said. "We can't tell that from what I know of the tests that have been done by this group."
Easthope said her group's tests aren't meant to replace those tests, and that's noted on the Web site. She said it's important for people to know what's in these products since nobody else is providing this data.
"We're not saying that ... all of it will come out into a child," she said. "We're saying it's a concern that so much of these products have these chemicals of concern in them.
"We shouldn't have lead in kids' products. We can make products without lead in them."
spokesman Scott Wolfson said he also hasn't seen the Ecology Center's tests but said the federal agency would seek to verify its findings and initiate recalls if warranted.
He said the commission has been meeting with ASTM International, which spearheads voluntary safety standards for toys, to discuss crafting standards specific to lead in plastics. He said there also is movement on Capitol Hill to revise laws on lead in children's products.
Wolfson said the commission launched 40 toy recalls in fiscal year 2006, three involving lead-paint violations. In 2007, there were 61 recalls, 19 involving lead-paint violations.
"What we would like to consumers to know is more recalls are on the way," he said.
On the Net:
The Consumer Action Guide to Toxic Chemicals in Toys: http://www.healthytoys.org
Toy Industry Association: http://www.toyassociation.org
List of recalled toys available at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission: http://www.cpsc.gov
Posted by Am Kshe Oref - A Stiff-Necked People at 12/05/2007 09:47:00 AM