Saturday, June 21, 2008

Oh, quickly, one more thing!!

I know, I know. This ruins the whole atmosphere that I was trying to leave off with, but this is kinda' important.
Tomorrow, our yeshiva's Shlichus list will be given out, I think.
You can try to figure out which yossi I am (There's only one going on shlichus, I think, so it shouldn't be too hard), and then wish me all the Success and brachos.
But only once you see where I'm going.

Okay.
That's the end.
Really.
Goodbye.
I'm pretty sure I'll continue blogging this fall, if I don't this summer. So keep an eye out. Don't put one out, chas v'shalom.

How to be like Yossi

So you think you have what it takes to blog like me? If you want to get inside my head, here are the 8 easy steps it takes to write a post just like Yossi!! So this summer, you can write pretend posts, and imagine they are from me!!! Then you won't miss me that much!!!

  1. Choose a tiny "happening" that you remember, but nobody would want to listen to, it's that stupid
  2. Expand and exaggerate
  3. Add humor
  4. Start at least three lines with "So"
  5. Use the parentheses, double parentheses, and sometimes even triple parentheses.
  6. Say things like "I mean, come on, right??"
  7. Put in some philosophical babble about life
  8. End with a funny Hora'ah
See how easy it is? I've revealed the secret to being me. Now you can all try while I'm away.
Here's a sample post. It's not true.
It will be based on the Happening: I got wet from a puddle.
Notice it is a simple, one sentence story. Not exciting. Pretty pathetic. But now look what it can become:

So I was walking down Kingston, right?
And of course, it was raining (like it normally does on the days I need to go somewhere)(which is usually every day.... huh.)(OMG!! does it rain, because I'm outside, or am I outside because it is raining???!!!).
So I was of course minding my own business, rushing hither and thither (are those real words? If so, add them to my favorite words list), and this mother and her two sons were walking towards me. She had this huuuge umbrella (and you know what I think about those...), and her kids, I could even tell from a distance, were absolute animals.
There were cars zooming up Kingston, so I couldn't cross the street.
I just had a really bad premonition about it.
And it turned out I was only too right.
There was this massive puddle (of course) right in between me and this family.
I saw the gleam of evil schemes in the bigger boy's eyes.
I was frantic. I tried looking for an escape, but found none.
I didn't know what to do. My throat felt like it was closing up.
It was everything I had in me, just to keep concentrating on wide, open pastures.
And then he went for it, at the last possible second-
He jumped as hard as he could into the huge puddle, spraying Everyone, soaking me head to toe in disgusting Crown Heights mucky water!!!!!
It was so gross!!
And the worst of it was, to top it off, the way the mother just chuckled (that's right, laughed!!!) at how funny her son was being!!!
I mean, come on, lady!!! Discipline your kids!! They are wreaking havoc on humanity, and you think they are adorable!
Well, they're not. And that goes to all you parents out there who would just laugh when your kids kicks someone in a place that hurts, or throws food at someone... whatever.
Anyway, if you want to play it safe, just don't go out the rain, because that means I'll probably be out on the streets, too.
That's it. The sample post. If you thought it sounded a lot like me... well, I did write it. And if you thought it still didn't have that neshama of the Yossi you love... well, it didn't exactly happen, and I didn't write it L'Shma.

Hey, I have an idea. You can write about things that happen to you this summer, trying to fit it into the "be like Yossi" outline. Email it to me (I'll probably have time to check it). And then.... I don't know. Probably nothing. So you know what? Nevermind about that last thing.

In the meantime...

Here are some things you can do in the meantime this summer:
  1. Write your congressman (They are always telling people to do that)
  2. Re-re-read all my posts
  3. Build a house
  4. Convince other people how my blog is amazing, and boost my readership up to 5
  5. Lock yourself in your room, and start a hunger strike until it gets on the national news, saying you won't eat until Yossi blogs again. (Then I'll have no choice. I'm a sucker for saving people's lives...)

Goodbye, Readers

I just found out that I will have pretty limited internet access, where I will be a counselor, this summer.
Which means I won't be able to post that much.
So this is kinda like goodbye.
I know, it's tearing me up inside, too.
There were so many things I wanted to say, but didn't get time...
Oh well.
Just know they were good, and if I remember or have time, I'll put 'em up.
I have a few minutes, so these next two posts will be it, for now.
Now go get a tissue.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oy, Aibeshter!!

A friend of mine passed away, from Yena Machala, R"L.
He only found it after pesach, when it was already too advanced.
He was 20.
Why is life so hard?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Dark Past: The Bridge

When I was in ninth grade, my math teacher thought it would be such a great experience for my class (four of us) to enter into a county-wide model truss-bridge contest.
Basically you take a bunch of special wood, balsam, I think, and glue it together, to see how much weight your bridge can hold. At the event, each group presents a powerpoint presentation about bridge building, and hands in a written report, ve'chulu.
We were hesitant at first, but after seeing how much time it would take off from our studies, we soon had the incentive to try.
It was hard work, gluing and cutting the little pieces of wood. We first of course had to design a bridge, so we looked at real truss bridges, which basically use only triangles, which are the strongest shape.
The first bridge we built collapsed as we were testing it, and we only had time to build one more.
The design used triangles, but we really had no idea about exactly what would add the most tensile strength, etc. to the bridge. So we just made ours look cool.
On the big day, we got out of the car, and walked across the parking lot, to where the event was being held. We were all smiles, but it went pretty much downhill from there.
The first thing that we noticed was that we were carrying our bridge. Out in the open. Where the elements could touch it. We were all taken aback when we saw one school's team open up a steel briefcase that looked like it should have been handcuffed to the President, and as it opened steam hissed out (you know, that frozen, cryogenic type of smoke).
As we brought our bridge up to the platform of judges to wait with all the other bridges, until the program started, my friend who was carrying our bridge- dropped it!!
Everyone in the whole auditorium gasped. The place was completely silent. We just chuckled, but were bright red in the cheeks.
When we went to take our seats, we saw that the program had made a mistake with our school's name, and instead of listing us as a high school, instead said we were a day-school.
But we weren't going to let those things stop us from taking home the gold. We took our seats and waited until it was our time to present the power point we made.
We all looked nervously at each other after listening to the other presentations. Dang, these guys were good!! Most teams actually weighed and tested every single stick of wood they used, to get the best ones. We never even thought of that. A lot of teams tested about five or six different designs, some using sophisticated computer software, to determine the strongest. We just brought whatever had not fallen apart when we tested it. Most presentations had an in-depth analysis of the structure of bridges, and density of each piece of wood, and a lot of stuff we didn't understand. Our presentation had cute pictures of triangles and real bridges, and saying things a four year old wouldn't need to be taught.
But we got up there when it was our turn, and we delivered our presentation, and some people even clapped!
And then it was on to the competition. I don't remember now how much weight we held before collapsing, but let's say for example that if our bridge held 7 pounds, that would mean the winner held about 16. We beat maybe like two bridges.
One judge told us she liked our design (we had some kinda cool second tier/floor type of bridge, where it went up higher than it needed to. not because it would make the bridge stronger, but we just thought it would make it look cooler) and thought we'd for sure win. Wasn't she disappointed.
At the end, as we were leaving, everyone kind of avoided looking at us.
But at least we tried, right?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Shlichus

The list has not officially come out yet for either us or Oholei Torah. Just a few bochurim still aren't set where they are going.
While I'm not official, either, it's been about 95% for the past, like seven months. Everyone knew where I wanted to go, since before Yud Shvat.
But with a certain Yerushalmi, it's never certain about where you are going, no matter how high the percentage, until you walk into that yeshiva, they look at you, and say "Welcome, we want you here."
So I won't spoil it yet for those of you who don't know where I'm going.
I'll give a hint: I like this place a lot, and I'll be in the shiur of one of the most eccentric personalities in Lubavitch. And, if I remember correctly, he puts himself into the category of New Lubavitch, which I'm not sure how he explained that, though.

The Man

Leibel Groner is the man.
I needed to speak with him about something important, but kinda' private, and he was so cool with me.
That makes him the man.
(And how he came to my yeshiva for chof ches adar (I think it was) to speak about everything that happened from then until gimmel tammuz... a lot of interesting stories about the nurses invovled, etc.)
And I guess if I'm on the topic of men, R' Yisroel Labkowski, my Maggid shiur for nigleh, is also the man.

Some Jokes

How do you save a drowning lawyer?

Take your foot off his head.

What do you need if you have three lawyers up to their necks in cement?

More cement.

What are mixed feelings?

When your mother-in-law drives off a cliff, in your new car.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Oh, Yeah

Oh, yeah. And after walking back from tahalucha, I ate at R. Lubkowski's house. The Rosh Yeshiva of 770. Yeah, that one. PSSSSSHHHHH.
Too bad I was hot, nasty, and smelly.
I would have liked to give a better impression. But I'm sure they understood we just walked back from Boro Park...

Well, I'm back, BH

Baruch Hashem, I'm still here to keep the blog alive.
I gulped down some cheesecake over yom tov, just to keep the suspicious authorities at bay. Make them think I might not be the one they want.
But let me tell ya', it was unbearably hot these past couple o' days.
Of course, I am only joking. Obviously it was bearable, or else none of us would be here, chas vshalom. Just a figure of speech.
And the hour and a half Tahalucha was pretty draining. Although the heat was not the worst of my problems...
Anyway, there is a longstanding debate among lubavitchers as to the method of carrying water on tahalucha. Some maintain that you actually expend more energy carrying the water, than you save by actually drinking it. I wasn't sure... but now I am totally certain of one thing. It may or may not be worth it to carry one or two bottles of water with you, but carrying seven bottles of water (and what idiot do we know out there would even be stupid enough to do something like that? especially if he and the others he was carrying for only drank two bottles??) is definitely not worth the energy.
One of the funnier things on Tahalucha was when we were walking back (I went to Boro Park). Some little kids were making fun of us, and telling us big non-Lubavitch Rebbeim were speaking in a certain shul, and we should stay and listen... They then yelled after us: Lubavitcher Meshugaim. Their mothers all shushed them, as if what was said at their tables shouldn't be spoken aloud.
No, no. I'm just kidding. They were I'm sure, good people, and we're not innocent either of making fun of those not similar to us.
When R. Weinfeld joked to me that those kids might have started to throw rocks, I puffed out my chest, and proudly told him that I would gladly stand in the way of their volley, and block the rocks.
I hope everyone else had a cool Shavuos.
Did you know I finish Yeshiva in a week and a half?
I did.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Shavuos

This will most likely be my last post. After I press publish, you will probably never here from me again.
Here's why:
When I gave my blood for Dor Yesharim's genetic testing, I got a very interesting call a few weeks later. They said they found something very odd in my blood, and wanted to know if it was true. After verifying my confidentiality, I told them it was true- that I did not like cheesecake.
Joint researchers at Oxford University and Duke University finished about four years ago a six-year-long study in which they finally found a very unique gene, in Jews, which is called the RSD gene (Nobody can actually pronounce the 12 syllable name), or the Stereotype Gene. You can read more about the study here. This makes all of us enjoy cheesecake.
I don't. Apparently, only 1 in 100,000 Jews carry a special enzyme which blocks the production of this gene. It is so rare, that as soon as I push Publish, there will be a S.W.A.T. team at my door, to tranquilize me, bag me, and bring me to Area 51, in order to do tests and experiments. The reason this enzyme is so valuable, is that the scientists believe it is a universal gene production blocker, and can be used to stop any gene from manifesting.
It is because of my unique DNA that I also don't like (gasp) shmaltz herring. (OK, so I have never really tasted it, but I mean, come on! Look at it and smell it, and tell me how I could possible enjoy eating something like that!!)
So so long, world. Have a good Shavuos, and be Mekabel the Torah BeSimcha U'Bepnimios.
Maybe one of you will continue blogging for me, to keep the flame alive...

Naso

Yesterday was Parshas Naso. It is the longest single Parsha in the Torah. It has 176 psukim.
The longest K'Pital of Tehillim (119) also has 176 psukim. The longest Mesechta of Gemoro (Baba Basra, what we're learning now) has 176 blatt (double-sided pages)(well, actually, it starts on page 2, like every gemarah, but whatever...).
What does it all mean?
I have no idea.
Someone probably does, though.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Counting....down??

Not only are we in the midst of counting (up) towards the Regiving of the Torah, but it also less than three weeks until the end of Yeshiva.
The end of Yeshiva means- The END.
My last year in a yeshiva, as a bochur.
Next year, shlichus (IY"H).
After that, smicha (IY"H).
We've spent the past six years of our lives in mesivta and zal.
It is all finally cumulating (what's the difference between cumulate and accumulate, by the way?) up to the end package.
I'll be leaving to go on Shlichus, with these past years of Yeshiva stuffed in me. Hopefully some of it actually stayed.
It's always depressing (for every single bochur. Not one is different here) to realize how much you actually accomplished, versus how much time you wasted and what you could have achieved. How much you could have learned. What level you could have been at now.
I don't know at all what my expectations were when I came into Yeshiva, about what I would look like after I left...
So the goal of course is for me to Chap Arain these last few days. Use them out. Nitzul Hazman should be my top priority.
Every single person who visits to farbreng at any yeshiva always says the same thing: I wish I could have learned more when I was there.... Chap Arain now...
Which should be motivational, except if you think about it, it kind of lessens the severity of not using all your time wisely. I mean, if nobody else did, and look where they are....

Monday, June 2, 2008

I didn't forget

Just so you know, I didn't forget my blog anniversary. I'm just not celebrating anymore. I mean, come on. I'm twenty years old. I'm way too mature.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Tree People

This was an interesting Shabbos.
First of all, it was raining in 770.
But also it was interesting in regards to where I ate my meals.
Friday night I ate at a guy's house, who was my learning teacher seven years ago in cgi montreal. We've stayed in touch only a little bit over the years (it was always really awkward when he called me. I wonder if my campers think the same thing when I call them up every now and then. Of course, he was slightly weird, and verrrry chassidish. I'm a lot cooler, right? Actually, my kids probably all know the truth- that I'm a big dork...).
And this year, being in Crown Heights, we've seen each other some times, and I've always managed to avoid his invitation. But last week on my birthday, I was on the Ohel bus, and he saw me with my brother. It was his birthday also. (Not my brother's, but my former learning teacher.)(Not that it wasn't also my brother's. It was. But it was also the dude's.)
So I couldn't say no anymore, and we set the date for us to eat over.
It wasn't a bad meal. It was just slightly awkward. Like, really drawn out and forced conversation type of meal.

And then of course there was my meal on Shabbos day...
We (me, my bro, and my sis) finally went to eat at the Tree People's house.
The Tree People, or Forest Family (or any combination, like Forest People...) if you remember, had invited us over when we met them in the Redwood Forest over Chol HaMoed. So we finally decided to call them up and go.
[On the way, we passed this little Yiddeleh, an old man with a cane (and 'old' here means old LeKulai Alma, like double my definition of 'old'), who called out to us to help him walk up some steps to a house. I came forward and lent him my arm and support. When we got to the top, he thanked me, and bentched me that when I get to his age, I shouldn't need help (or something like that). Immediately I answered back that when I got to his age, he should be able to help me up steps if I need. Okay, back to the story-]
We came into the house, and had an (surprisingly) enjoyable meal. They were good-humored, and the conversation flowed. We spoke about the forest we visited, and their trips out to Cali.
At the end of the meal, after benthcing, they started telling us about a group of individuals called the Berkeley Tree People, who were living in trees for a year and a half (as a protest to stop a grove of trees from being turned into a parking lot. For some reason (probably for a good laugh), the judge ruled that as long as they stayed up in the trees, and did not come down, they would not be arrested.).
I thought this was hilarious, of course. I mean, the Tree People, talking about other Tree People. True, our Tree People were named so only because that's where we met them, and not because they lived twenty feet off the ground, but still.
After we left, my sister, who had missed the beginning of the conversation, asked me if I had told them what we call them, and that's why they brought up the other Tree People. I told her no, that it was just a coincidence (Hashgacha Pratis, really).
And then, my sister asked me something so sinister, so horrid, something that caused time to stand still, my heart to miss a beat, and my body to be shaken to its very core, "What if they brought it up, because THEY call US the Tree People??????!!!!!!!"
We had always assume it was our little joke. But what if they laugh about us, and call us the same thing, and thought it would be a hoot to talk to us about Tree People, Like Ourselves???
Scary, I know.