Monday, April 27, 2009


At a farbrengen last night, for Beis Iyar, I was eating Saltines, and something was amiss.
I looked at the box.
The saltines were unsalted!!!!

Please tell me what the point of unsalted saltines is!!???

Why not just call them: Tines?!?!? (Or: 'Ines'???)

Monday, April 20, 2009


Whenever I pack, I always forget if I brought all my white shirts with their hangers or not.

Nafka Minah?- If I need to bring back hangers. I don't want to end up with no hangers, but also not with twenty I don't need...
Nafka Minah L'Halacha? - um....Can't think of one. I mean, I guess I could always fall back on Rabbi Oster's nafka minah he'd throw out after any of us would ask what the point of one of his chakiras in the gemara was. He'd say: The nafka minah is if I marry somebody Al Minas that this is the correct pshat in Rashi...

Hacha Nami: The nafka minah is if I marry somebody on condition that I won't end up with twice the needed amount of hangers in my closet in los angeles.

(notice the use of gemara terminology and my dazzling gemara kup. I'm going back to yeshiva, and continuing to dive deeper into Sotah (the mesechta, not the drink), and I need to be on the top of my game...)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Computer- A poem

My parents' computer is agonizingly slow,
The time it takes to start up, you can't even know.

It takes hours to get to the customized home page,
It should go back to the museum, since it comes from the Stone Age.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Go get ready

You heard me.
Stop using my blog as an excuse.
Go shower, or start vacuuming.
Shabbos in an hour and a half.

Reflective Piece after my last post

So I need to take a minute and sit back.
My friend just got engaged. Engaged. As in- About-to-be-married.
That means the pipe has opened. The dam has broken. The avalanche has started. (guys, help me out. I can't think of so many euphemisms (that's what they're called, right?)) in one shot..) The boat has set sail. The strawberry has been picked (never heard of that one before? So what? I can make up whatever I want..). The computer has started up (that's a shout-out to my folks back home).

Anyone could be next!!
And I'm included in that!

Nobody is safe.
You can't stay young forever.

Take mwah (Portuguese for 'me'), for example. I am turning 21 soon. 21. As in, one more than twenty. That's pretty old. For birthday presents, I start getting tools and ties, right? Don't they start at 21? You know, the hammer than can put up picture frames and also check your tire pressure, all-in-one? Won't there be someone out there somewhere, thinking, "Yossi could sure use this. It'll be the perfect gift that won't be too shocking, because we don't want his heart taking on the extra pressure..He is 21 already..."??? (If you are wondering about the presence of the question marks, go back a bit, and you'll see it was all a question. Okay?)

Mazel Tov Mazel Tov

A huge-from-the-bottom-of-my-heart Mazel Tov to a friend and classmate, Yehuda M, on his engagement. Binyan Adei Ad!

He is officially the first of my classmates to get engaged.
I've had guys who were in my bunk in camp get married, but Yehuda (and since he just got engaged, I won't use his nickname that we all knew him by) is Numero Uno from the class.
He beat out Shmuly who most guys thought would for sure be the first.

In seder one day, we all voted on a list of who would get married first. Yehuda was not high up there, I think (even) I was higher... But it just goes to show that__________. I'm not really sure. Whatever.
I hope I can get to his wedding.
And Shmuly, if you work fast, Yehuda's thinking about mid-summer, so you still have time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mr. Sun please shine down on me...

I participated this morning in the Birkas HaChama prayer. It was raining and cloudy, but the sun made an appearance for exactly enough time for us to do what we needed.
I saw pictures from Crown Heights that the sun there also refused to come out. I heard that at the end, they started singing Yechi, and the sun came out. can look at that in two ways. Obviously most people there would tell you it was the power of Yechi....
But it could be that the Heavenly Hosts started hearing Yechi, and they said, "Guys, we gotta shut them up. Just show the sun already..."

You choose.

Before birkas hachama here, I made a Siyum for the Fast of the Firstborn.
Since unofficially this is supposed to be a 'funny blog', I've been trying to think of some good Siyum jokes, but truth be told, I don't even know any bad Siyum jokes. I don't know any Siyum jokes at all.
Unless, of course, you can count the "Now you see'um, now ya' don't..." as a joke, but it's not one in my mind...
If you have any ideas, I'm a good listener (remember?).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Search is About to Start

It's actually kind of sad to read the title to this post. There was a huge story about a girl disappearing nearby, and volunteers searching for weeks, only to find her body last night....

But what I originally meant was the Search for Chometz.
You know what I'm talking about. The frantic-no-talking-lots-of-pointing-and-grunting-and-fighting-over-where-the-candle-goes-next-in-the-room-and-with-lots-of-eye-rolling-when-your-sister-can't-do-the-feather-thing-properly-into-the-big-wooden-spoon-along-with-the-bag-guy(here I mean bag-guy as in one word. so don't think they are two separate words, okay? (I just did a parenthesis inside a parenthesis, inside a long word-thingee-that-has-lots-of-hyphens(or is it dashes? I never know the difference...)))-always-getting-hot-wax-on-him-and-normally-rolls-to-the-ground-in-mock-agony-as-a-joke-but-your-family-starts-grunting-even-louder-as-you-are-about-to-'fake-roll-in-agony'-onto-a-piece-of-chometz....

So that is about to begin in about an hour or two...wish me luck

The shnazzle stops here

My grandparents flew in to spend pesach with us.
My grandmother hasn't seen me for some time now, so she noticed that my beard was of course bigger than she remembers.
She then gave me a shnazzle!!
That's right, she tickled my chin underneath my beard.
That's what mendy pellin does, but she's never seen his show!!! dun, dun, dun.....
How could she possibly know how to do that, then?
Is it an innate skill, laying dormant inside us until either we watch mendy's show, or come face to face with Yossi?
Unless there can be some logical explanation, I believe this denotes something more sinister...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Shliach,blogger,good listener, and now....Song Writer!

On Purim I wrote up this funny song making fun of Hanhalah and the shluchim, to the tune of Yo Yah Ani Shoel, and sang it in front of the Mesivta Purim night.

It went really well, and then a friend liked my style, and asked me to write a song to the same tune, that he and his brothers would perform for their cousin's sheva brachos.

I did, and they sang it, and it was a huge success.

So add Songwriter to my long list of possible career opportunities in case I can't make enough money by selling ads on my blog.

Which by the way, if you are interested, email me, and I'll let you know how you can send me money. I won't put your ad on my blog, because it would be a waste of space. Nobody reads my blog, and you won't increase your revenue or consumer awareness by advertising. So it would just be a donation.


Every morning on my drive home from Minyan (it's called "minyan" even though I was the last to arrive, and was Man Number Three (if you want, you may find it funny to say 'Man Number Three' using a loud, echo-y deep voice. Stam.)), at the exact same time on a certain portion of the street, the sun comes into my eyes and I sneeze.
This happened three mornings already.
Crazy, huh?
There should be a road sign nearby reading: Bless you!

(For those wondering, there is absolutely no point at all in my post. So please don't ask in the comments if I had one. And for those of you who may think I was trying to make one-I wasn't. So you can take that point you thought I made and insert it right back into the part of your brain that comes up with creative but useless ideas.)

The Source of it all

A Gut Voch.
Over Shabbos I saw the sefer that has been the source for the "3rd Birkas Hachama after Yetzias Metzrayim and Purim" theory. (notice I'm not calling it a rumor anymore, now that I've located the source.)
The sefer is called Sefer Me'ir Ayney Chachamim, and was written down by the students of some Rov (I can't remember what his name was) after their teacher died Al Kiddush Hashem in the Holocaust (I think.)
Anyway, it says pretty clearly that Yetzias Metzrayim and Geulas Purim were both Birkas Hachama years and on Erev Pesach, and the third time this would occur, it means Moshiach is coming very soon.
Those were the words from the Sefer.
But that sefer was either written or recorded from a Dvar Torah this Rav said, in the year Tof Raish Peh Hey, 1925, which was three Birkas Hachama's ago, but more importantly, a year on which birkas hachama was erev pesach!!! So even if Yetzias Metzrayim and Purim were years of birkas hachama (most say they weren't), and were on Erev Pesach (which once you are able to say they were years of birkas hachama, why not say they were on erev Pesach?), this rov was clearly referring about his own year, which we know was on Erev Pesach. (That's besides for the problems that according to the chart of all the years for the past 1500 years or so that we know about, there were a few more times it was on Erev Pesach, so 1925 would not have been the third...)

But there it is, at least. The source. Which is a sefer written by talmidim of what their teacher said. If they heard wrong, or not, we will know when Moshiach comes and we can ask him to explain what he meant.

Either way, even if this year was not a birkas hachama year, or on Erev Pesach, we don't need any seforim to say that this is a Ketz, we know Moshiach is coming!

Friday, April 3, 2009

My Dark Past: The shot at freedom

We had this biology teacher who was one of my worst teachers ever. She was so weird, didn't know how to teach, and always took us 'out into the field' to write down all the weeds and flowers we found. Oh, and she also had us set out traps for rodents and little animals in the woods near our school, but all we caught were poor birds, so we stopped.
Another reason we disliked biology was that it came right after our recess break, in which normally we'd play some hoops.
Our teacher would walk up and tell us to come inside.
We weren't so willing.
I finally saw a way that would make us all happy. I proposed that if I, or the other guys, could shoot the basketball from such-and-such distance, and it went in, then we could stay out longer.
No matter how persuasive I may be, how could any teacher actually accept such a deal?
Of course G-d was on our side, and one of us made it. She had no choice but to let us play longer.
You know what, though?
She let us do this almost every day!!
By the end of the year, we had to have full class time, to finish up with whatever project we were doing. We left school that year with our teacher owing us about four or five hours of no-class time.
Why would a teacher give in to her students like that?
I mean, I'm not complaining, because I still don't think I could have learned much more from those lost class hours, but it was such a joke-to let us shoot for our freedom?

get ready for the birthday bash

For those of you who haven't yet finished learning Bayoim Ashtei Asar, Lamed Alef, make sure to finish by sunday, for Yud Aleph Nissan.
Most will agree that this is the ma'amer for yud aleph nissan.
"Ana Nasiv Malkah" is the powerful message throughout, or as the Alter Rebbe is quoted as saying, "All I want is You" (translated from yiddish: Ich vill nar Dich alein)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Slap on the back

Did you guys hear about how the Obamas crossed the line with the Queen of Great Britain?
Barack O. gave her an i-pod, when clearly she already had the Zen, and Michelle O. slapped her on the back, without taking into account the Queen's frailty, age, and oh yeah, POSITION AS QUEEN!?!?!?

My Dark Past: The Choir

"Meno, Meno, Meno-no-no-raaaaaah!!! Meno, Meno, Meno-no-no-raaaaaaah!!"

We were 14 young boys and girls, singing our little hearts out about the most magnificent and magical holiday of Chanuka, being led by a little woman with a guitar, bouncing left and right as the metronome for the beat.

One late Friday afternoon at Shabbos Party, somebody must have seen us and gotten the bug. The drive. The ambition. The dream.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could enter these young Jewish children into a choir competition between other schools in the county, and humiliate them not just in front of their friends every Friday, but on a County-wide level?

Well, that's exactly what happened. Somehow, all of us ended up at some prestigious school one evening, dressed in our Shabbos best. As we were waiting in the halls, our little minds couldn't begin to comprehend what our parents and school had done to us.

We took our places on stage, along with about eight other choirs, in front of a packed auditorium of parents, school administrators, and most likely scouts for the next vocal wonder.

All the other choirs from the other schools came with gospel-esque robes and dresses. You know, the yellows, or blues, or peachy colors. The biggest difference between us and them was that they were all going to sing with the accompaniment of a piano. We had our little guitar-playing mother standing facing us.

Before the showcase (or competition. We never viewed it as any competition. A competition implies thoughts of winning.), everyone else started their vocal practice. We gawked and snickered when we heard the other schools singing "mama made me mash my m&m's" going up and down in tone, pitch, and whatever the heck else they could do and were experts at. We never practiced stuff like that. We had no idea what an octave was, or what baritone meant.

Then they played the national anthem, which of course all choirs started singing, and beautifully, if I may say so. Even if we had known all the words, most of us were too scared to sing too loudly with the rest, lest someone should hear us and kick us out even before we began.

When the rehearsal (competition??showcase??whatever...) began, we found out that a school choir actually was a pretty impressive display of pure vocal talent. The other schools sang beautiful songs, and in such harmony.

When it was our turn, we just did what we do best: We bounced with our guitar-mom and sang Meno, meno, meno-no-no-raaaah!!! as we had practiced, and knowing quite well that the stunned crowd would clearly have asked for an encore had they not been speechless, we launched right into Oseh Shalom Bimromav, the Reform-ish (and therefore kind of choir-ish) version. (That's why I spelled Bimromav that way, and not Bimroimav (see the difference?).) Oh yeah. Another difference between us and the others was that we couldn't sing. We didn't go through a rigorous screening process throughout the entire school.
We were just the ones to be at the wrong place, at the wrong time. And none of us could sing well.

There were of course judges at the event, and we were pretty sure after the night was through that our score and official remark would be: "Well, that was pretty cute, but a waste of a spot on stage, don't you think?"


I was at fault for helping to spread a false rumor that this year's Birkas HaChama is only the third time in Jewish history that it occurs on Erev Pesach, and the first two were Yetzias Metzrayim and Purim.
That is incorrect.
Yetzias Metzrayim and Purim weren't even years of Birkas HaChama, and in the past 1500 or so years, this will actually be the 5th time it occurs on Erev Pesach.
What is interesting is that this is the last time ever, until Moshiach comes, that it will be Erev Pesach (this is true even if chas v'shalom moshiach doesn't come until the year 6000)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Why do they make advil look like candy so much? It always makes me want to just grab a handful...

Or is it the other way around? Do they make candy look like advil so you'll start putting them all back, and not have so many?