Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How to give yourself a present

Here's what you do if you want to give Future You a present.
When you're doing Rambam on any day, if you have the extra twenty minutes (assuming you learn 1 Perek B'Iyun, or 3 Prakim not B'Iyun), then learn the next day's Rambam, also.
This way, when Tomorrow You picks up his Dvar Malchus and speeds through the Chumash part (Vzos HaBracha is easy, as was Ha'azinu last week), and flips to the Rambam section, he'll smile, chuckle, and perhaps even shake his head in disbelief, at the kind present he just received from Yesterday You, or Past You.

I got the idea from my Yesterday Me. Or would it be my Yesterday You? Anywho, I had forgotten I already had learned today's Rambam, and I got an unexpected little gift from my Yesterday Me. You. Whatever.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Start building your Sukkah

After Yom Kippur, we start building our sukkahs.

When R' Mendel Futerfas came to America in the '60s, he saw that the Rebbe was davening at a shockingly quick pace. The earlier Rebbeim were known to daven for hours b'avoidah, and here the Rebbe was finishing up in less than an hour; sometimes close to half an hour.
That Sukkos, R' Mendel was present in the Rebbe's sukkah and farbrengen. The Rebbe told a story about the Ba'al Shem Tov.

The Ba'al Shem Tov one year built the most Posul-looking sukkah ever. It had barely enough walls, according to the most lenient opinions, etc. Everything was B'di'eved and was on an extremely fine line between not being halachically kosher.
Chassidim were pulling out their hair (metaphorically speaking), trying to understand their Rebbe's actions. Every mitzvah was always preformed with love and in the most mehudar way! Especially on Yom Tov!
The Ba'al Shem Tov saw the concerned looks and heard their agitated conversations. He placed a paper under his head (and went to sleep? I forget the full story. I'm not sure if he remained awake or not) and took out the paper to show everyone what it said: "Kosher. Mattat, Tzad HaPnimi."
Which meant that from Heaven, it was decreed a Kosher Sukkah, and it was signed by Malach Mattat, a very high Angel who is called Metatron in English.

The Rebbe finished the story and offered an explanation for the Ba'al Shem Tov's Sukkah.
When any other Yid built a sukkah that year that in Heaven they wanted to Pasken as Posul, this Yiddele could argue, "But hey! Look at the holy Ba'al Shem Tov's Sukkah! Mine is at least better than his!" At which the Heavenly Court would be forced to submit to his claim.

At this point, the Rebbe turned to R' Mendel and said, "L'chayim!"

I hope the point is obvious.

After Yom Kippur

Since most of you will only be reading this after Yom Kippur, I decided to post these things now, to get ahead of the game.

The Rebbe Rashab is known for saying, after Yom Kippur, "Now is when we need to start doing Tshuva!"

The Festival of Crocs

That's right, Yom Kippur is almost upon us.
Well, for most of you it's about to start.
I've still got time to polish up my Leining (that's right. In the end I'm helping out a shliach. Luckily it's just the kriah, but still, I hadn't done that before so I had to learn the different high-until-your-voice-cracks-at-least-once trup.) and fill my stomach with kreplach and chicken.

I was planning to write a witty puff piece about Yom Kippur and crocs, but I'll probably have to post it tomorrow night.

Anywho, I wish everyone a meaninful fast.
We should have all been judged favorably already from Rosh Hashana time, but for sure by now.
This year, Hashem should make all of us Happy, with revealed goodness.

Finally, I'll ask for forgiveness for anyone that I may have offended or troubled, and I offer my fullest mechila for anyone who slighted me.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What hurts the most (Quiz)

I got a flu shot.
Guess what hurt the most:

  1. The dread of anticipation, waiting for the awful deed with the very much long needle.
  2. The shot itself. That hurt something awful!
  3. The hours afterward. My arm was sore, and it hurt to move.
  4. Removing the bandaid.
  5. The thought of what it would be like had I not gotten the flu shot.
You'll get 100 YossiPoints for choosing the correct answer.

Friday, September 25, 2009

An Alter Rebbe Story

There is a story told of the Alter Rebbe and R' Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev. They were trying to get into a room, but it was too packed with people for them to enter.
R' Levi Yitzchak suggested to the Alter Rebbe that they merely walk through the wall, into the room, and forget about trying to enter through the door.
The Alter rebbe said, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should show it."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Try it on your friends!

Here's something easy you can do to play a joke on your friends. It's simple, but has lots of toichen.
When somebody walks by you, you say loudly to a friend sitting near you, "Oooooh. We should have been talking about Moshiach!!!"
Watch his reaction.
I did this last year, and can attest that it has very positive results. (Every time, I'd call him back, and explain we were just joking, and weren't really talking about him.)

This works for yeshiva or the workplace.

How can you be a Rabbi???

This summer, my bunk was made up of modern orthodox and orthodox kids.
They all said Yigdal before davening.
I had them continue to say it when I davened with them every morning, but I never got all the words.
They all knew that by next summer, I would be a Rabbi, IY"H.
One boy asked me, "How can you be a Rabbi if you don't even know Yigdal by heart?"

Of course, I didn't explain to him that thousands of Lubavitchers have smicha, but that doesn't mean they are still frum or know any halachos, or know parts of non-lubavitch tefilos by heart.
(Ha'arah: Rabbi Chazanow in Manalapan has his congregation say Yigdal. He said that chossidim sang it in front of the Rebbe.)

The Game of Life, part 2

My Life is not a game.
It therefore cannot be lived as such.
I cannot leave my future uncertain and ill-prepared for. I must make decisions for how I will lead my life- this year, next year, and the next 50 years.

This leads me all to big decision facing me this year. I don't know if I can push it off any longer.
Mashipi'im say mostly that every bochur should just stay in the system. Don't worry about later. Focus your entirety now in being a Yeshiva Bochur.

I'm afraid to say that 'later' is fast approaching. My years I had left in the system and being a Yeshiva Bochur have turned into months and weeks. It was even a triumph to continue being a Yeshiva Bochur for this current year. Baruch Hashem, I'm learning all day in a Yeshiva, and I'm not in a Smicha Program.

So here's the question:
Ba'al HaBus, or Shliach?
College graduate or General in the Rebbe's Army?
Live my life as I think I want it, or give my life over for the Rebbe? And not just for the Rebbe, for all Yidden? For the world?

My mashpi'im have told me that a bochur should not go to college. Even if you are not planning on going out on Shlichus, at least wait until you are married. This helps in a few ways. First of all, there are huge obstacles and nisyoinos with pritzus and tznius v'chulu vd"l. Second of all, whether you like it or not, going to a college partly defines you. Among your friends, and looking for a shidduch, etc., you'd be "The guy who is in college", and not "a chassidishe bochur who happens to be in college".
(Click on this guy here to read about how somebody didn't get a college education because the Rebbe said not to, and he's trying to make a parnash now and....well, you can just read it yourself.)

To wait until after I'm married to just start college? How would I support my family for the first years of my marriage? Picking up pennies from the sidewalk and going fountain diving for nickels can only get you so far.
Which means the other option is to start taking courses online, which could put you closer to finishing college and starting your career, at a year or two after marriage, and not four.

Of course, why take courses if you will be a Shliach? Instead sit and learn more, or most likely, go help a shliach somewhere and try not to fry out before you can find a shidduch? (That was obviously a sarcastic and cynical line. I learned from the Rosh, remember. To stress a point, you want to exaggerate and provide extreme examples.)

This post is getting long, even after I split it up.
If I write a part 3, it will come much later, and probably under a different title.

The Game of Life, part 1

Have you ever played Life?

It's a board game that is supposed to simulate....life, of course. You get a career, get married, have children and go through life gaining and losing money (selling ice cubes from a glacier, or paying for a house fire if it wasn't insured...), until you reach the end.
At this point, you have two options. I've played it so often as a kid, I still remember the directions: "If you think you have enough money to become a millionaire....if you have little or no money, and wish to become a millionaire tycoon, then put all that you have, your car if you're broke..."

That Life is extremely simple. Your fate is dependent on your random spins. The only decisions you need to make are which road to take (but that's not really a choice, since you just look to see which one give you a better chance on having a kid, and if not kids than whichever gives you more money) and at the end, to become a millionaire or millionaire tycoon (which isn't really a choice either, since you just look to see who has the most money and if you can win).

As you can see, it teaches you very little about how to deal with the real Life.

I wish some decisions for my life ahead of me could be determined by spins of the wheel.

I'll be writing Part Two after lunch, so just be patient.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Excuse me, are you Jewish?

This is the quintessential question of Lubavitchers on mivtzoim.
There is even a book with this title, full of great stories from mivtzoim.
One of the most draining forms of mivtzoim is of course, Rosh Hashana, when you walk far distances in the heat, and then you have to blow the shofar a bunch of times.

As I passed a bus stop, I asked the guys there if they were Jewish.
"Sort of."
Hmmmm. I slowed down and faced him. "How sort of?"
" I'm Catholic," he explained, "and I have some Jewish friends."
"Right. Well have a nice day."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Visiting Kivrei Tzadikim Before Rosh Hashana

It is a minhag yisroel to visit kvarim before Rosh Hashana.
There is a great sicha, which I can't find right now, in which the Rebbe explains that when you go to the Ohel, it actually has the din of eretz yisroel (and possibly the beis hamikdash? I learned this sicha years ago), because of the tunnels that tzadikim will be using to roll to yerushalyim for techias hameisim...
So tomorrow morning I'll IY"H be going to the Ohel, to daven for the Rebbe's brachos for this new year. Especially for those who need refuah sh'lamahs, like someone very close to me: Rochel Bas Chana, (if you could add in some tehillim, I would definitely appreciate it!).

Going to the ohel and laying my soul bare.
Relinquish my problems into the Rebbe's care.
I rip up my Pan, and whisper my prayer.
There is a spirituality encompassing me, I am aware.

Answer to Rosh Hashana quiz

The question was: If shofar is such a great mitzvah and causes high elevations, why when rosh hashana falls on shabbos, don't we blow shofar, just because of a g'zeira of the Rabbanan that maybe we'll carry it outside?

Some answers are:
  • On shabbos, there is also an elevation of all the worlds, so it is basically doing the same thing as shofar (although, in the hosafos of likkutei sichos, there is a letter in which someone asked the Rebbe that the elevation through shofar is pnimios, and shabbos is only chitzoni, and the Rebbe answered that there are many levels: pnimios of chitzonius, chitzonius of chitzonius, pnimios of pniomus, etc.)
  • We still say the psukim of Shofros on Shabbos, which the Rebbe explains in a way are actually greater than blowing the shofar itself (since blowing causes a hamshacha, but saying the psukim bring it down b'gilui l'mata down here)
  • In shulchan aruch the reason is that shofar is uvdin d'chol, it's not very shabbosdik, and we are concerned you'll carry it outside
Only if you clearly wrote one of these, then you can award yourself the 600 points for each answer. (If you know of a different answer besides for the three I wrote, please speak up, I'd be very interested in hearing it. And you'd get an extra 300 points if the answer is valid and you can bring a source)

The most famous ma'mer in chassidus is based on this question. 'Samech Vov' is about 500 pages long. This question is directly dealt with on the first page, and the last three pages.

Congrats to those who just racked up hundreds of YossiPoints (TM)

Meme: my superpower

I was tagged. Thank you, altie.
Meme: my superpower
Here are the rules for this thing:
Rule number 1: Read the rules.
Rule number 2: Write one superpower you would like to have and what you would do with it.
Rule number 3: Write why you chose that super power over everything else.
Rule number 4: Tag and link 7 people, and write why you think they will have an interesting meme.
Rule number 5: fix your broken links.

First off, I have no idea what 'meme' means. But it apparently is like a blogging chain letter. I'm actually surprised that rule 4 didn't say: tag 7 people if you want to have something incredible happen...

Anyway, I already have a SuperName. Batman and Robin in Six Flags already gave me: SuperBeard. I assume a power associated with my name, would be that I could grow really long beards, to swing on, kind of like spiderman. Or to mop the floor with. Perhaps I could wiggle my chin, and soap suds would flow down from my mouth, out to the bottom of my beard.

But my name isn't superbeard. It's just yossi. I've always wanted to be able to go back in time, and take back things I've said, or to go make choices I was too nervous to make then. Or with hindsight, to make different life decisions, like camps, or yeshivas, or friendships.

I know that the rule is to only choose one, but if I had superpowers, then l'choirah I wouldn't have to abide to silly human rules. Therefore, I'm choosing a different superpower I'd like to have, whether or not I would get my first.

I think the ability to fly would be the most exhilarating, carefree, and limitless experience.
Of course, I would have to be able to fly fast, and do flips and things without my yarmulka flying off, or my shirt getting stuck up over my head (I'd keep flying into buildings, if that happened).
If I could fly, but my maximum speed was only a slow walking pace, it would be extremely lame.

I'm tagging:

mottel, because I want to know what power he'd like to have, and if it is different now that he is married, then something he may have dreamed about when he was younger. I know it will be very thought out and insightful.

C, because I want to see if her superpower would have something to do with dealing with how busy and crazy life can get.

Jewpublic, because I have read about all the hardships that came with being married and raising a family, and he's seemed to have done it all, remained sane, and not go bankrupt. I'm wondering if he doesn't even need a superpower, or if he'll reveal that he has one already.

Qtap, since I have a feeling it will be something creative or artistic.

Nemo, because it's been way too long that he's retired from blogging. I think this may be the key to bringing him back! nemo, we miss you. start posting again!

Dovid, because he is very educated, and he will surely come up with a power all of us wish we thought of.

Finally, I'm tagging Shimshy, because we are, afterall, twins. But you may have to wait for a response, since he hasn't blogged for a week or two.

And I'll add an eighth: sarabonne, because whatever she writes, she writes magnificently, and it will be fun to read about what she'd want as her power.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Don't go towards the light

One night last week, I was standing outside my dormitory, speaking on the phone.
It was about 2 in the morning, which is the time when my contacts have started to dry up, and the streets have quieted down to that peaceful silence and serenity (which in Brooklyn is still much louder than in most other cities...).
I was facing the street, and when I looked to my left, I saw a big, bright light zooming toward me.
I blinked, and tried to understand what was happening. I was on the sidewalk, after all; not in the street.
I finally registered that whatever it was, I should step out of its path. It turned out to be a motorcycle, speeding down the sidewalk! He then turned into an apartment complex before Troy.
His speed was reckless, and of course driving on the sidewalk was dangerous- for the both of us.

This reminds me of a joke:
When you see two headlights coming toward you, how do you know if it's two motorcycles, or a car?
Just stay in the middle between them. You'll find out soon enough if it was a car.

Laundry Tip

From my yeshiva years, I've developed the most efficient technique for carrying laundry back to your room. When you must navigate hallways, and corners, many times you'll end up losing a sock here and an undershirt there.
The best way is to walk backwards! That way, you can see right away if anything fell out of your big heap of clothes. Just make sure to glance over your shoulder so you don't bump into the walls. And if you must traverse quite a few hallways and sharp turns, make sure to stop and take some breathers, lest you get dizzy and uncoordinated.

what misnagdim are praying hard for

Misnagdim worldwide are praying to Ribono Shel Olam to bring the Moshiach in these next few days!
They wouldn't be able to stand for it, if Moshiach came in the year of 770....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rosh Hashana Quiz (For Points!!)

Alright, here's my next quiz.

The Background:It is explained in Chassidus how powerful a Hamshacha is brought about through blowing the shofar. The worlds are actually elevated to a very high level. On Shabbos, however, we do not blow Shofar, although it is a mitzvah. Not only is it a mitzvah, it is a mitzvah k'lali (a much higher type...), and it accomplishes this great hamshacha, too.
The reason we don't blow the Shofar on Shabbos, though, is only because of a Rabbinic decree, lest we carry our shofar 4 amos in a public domain, to ask an expert on blowing tips, precision, techniques, halachas about the blasts, etc.

The Question: We will not perform such an incredible mitzvah, only because of a Rabbinical decree? We don't say this decree on Pesach, for example, when there are definitely many, many more halachos about the seder and the matzah, and maror, vechulu. So why now? Aren't we missing out on Rosh hashana that falls out on Shabbos?

The Points: Anyone who answers this question correctly will get 600 points!!!
If you are the first or fourth comment, you get 100 points.
If you give a good answer, that still makes sense, but not the one I meant, you get 300 points.
If you tell a good knock-knock joke in your comment, you get 50 points.

'Real Winners in Life' Bonus: If you are a follower on my blog, you get an additional 75 points!!!
Blood Donor Bonus: If you've given blood in the past year, you can go ahead and give yourself 60 more points.

But you have to add up your own points, and keep track of them.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I just want to be your Friend

I have been trying since last week to get in touch with somebody from Friendship Circle, in order to volunteer.
I had walked into the museum, and the only person I saw with some sort of authority or knowledge of Museum inner workings was the security guard.
"Excuse me, who can I speak to about volunteering for Friendship Circle?"
"Well. I don't get too many of those any more..." and he gave me a phone number to call.
I left a message on the cell phone of the woman in charge, and on the office phone of the her husband who is also in charge.
Today, after walking back from the blood donation, I walked into the museum again, and there was somebody in the front.
She was surprised nobody called me back yet. I replied that I was, too, and that's why I was there, asking her to help me. She gave me yet another office number to call, and I left a message there, also.

I couldn't donate blood (to a homo sapien), and I can't even be a Friend!
I just want to do some good. Sheesh.

At least I'm saving rabbits????

I tried to donate blood today.
When I sat down, the nurse asked me since I've done it before, if my right arm was normally used. I told her that sometimes they had to switch to my left arm.
"We'll just try your right," she told me. As if she didn't care about needless needle pokings.
I like to get to know my doctors a little better, so I asked her how long she's been taking blood.
"About six years," she answered. "And how long have you been doing this?"
"About two," I told her.
"That's not long enough...You know, it's kind of rude to ask a person giving you a ride in his car, how long he's had his license..." she laughed.
"I just wanted to make sure you weren't new at this..." And with that, we developed that rare blood taker/blood giver relationship normally only achieved in novels.
Of course, after poking around for ages, and pushing the needle as far as it could go, they realized my blood wasn't coming out fast enough, and they had to switch to my left arm.
"How much blood did you get from my right arm?"
"Oh, a little bit. Maybe for a baby.....A tiny baby," she corrected herself. "Actually, maybe a rabbit."
"A rabbit!?!?!? Oh, no! You better not write that on the bag. Please put that for a baby..."
She just chuckled.
So I changed seats, and hoped my left arm would release its blood at a good flow.
After another painful five minutes, the sad truth came out about my blood flow.
I'm a slow bleeder. They said it would take over 25 minutes to fill the pint. I begged that I didn't mind sitting there for that long, but they have a 20 minute policy.
I was so bummed. I was also really sore, in both arms now.
"Well, at least I tried, right? A for effort?"
"Honey, you get an A+ for effort!! What color do you want for your bandage?"
"It doesn't matter," I told her, dejected.

"So, I'm a slow bleeder. I guess that's good for bicycle accidents, but bad for blood donations..."
All she could do was nod in sympathy.
"I've given before, a bunch of times. It normally takes a while..."
"Sure it does. Don't worry about it."

But I did, and I do. Now my hard earned and high valued blood is going to a poor rabbit going to the hospital for a blood transfusion...

Slichos in the washing machine

Last night was slichos in the washing machine. As if you couldn't read the title of my post.
770 was packed to the breaking point with thousands of chassidim. I was standing, squished up between many others, on the side, closer to the entrance to 770, but still not under the Vaiber shul. Throughout slichos, hundreds of people managed to elbow, squeeze and push by us and into the rest of the washing machine. It was miraculous how so many people could fit.
About the washing machine, I heard last night at a farbrengen that a yungerman who had gotten married recently went to the Rebbe to ask for help for certain aveiros (Ch"n, if you have to know), and the Rebbe told him (as a tikkun) to go stand with the bochurim by tekios, in the washing machine. The Rebbe of course didn't call it the washing machine, but that's really the best name for it.
Before this story, we all thought it was called the washing machine because of the flow of bochurim all pushing one way, and then the other, in angry circles. Of course, you also sweat a lot and get a deep rinse cycle.
But the Rebbe pointed out a spiritual rinse cycle that you can get out of this washing machine, also.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Canker Sore- A Poem

Canker sore, it's you I abhor,
I wish you wouldn't bring me pain anymore.
Canker sore, I'm writhing on the floor,
You are vexatious and agonizing, and truly uncalled for!
Canker sore, I beg and implore,
Go back to hell, where you came from before!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009



Being part of a group, is what I like the best,
I don't like to be seen, I prefer blending in with the rest.

'Outside the box' and 'alone', are two places I'm afraid to be,
Two words I fear the most, are 'independent' and 'curiosity'.

Only when surrounded by similar people, am I truly at ease,
I'll change my opinion and attitude, whenever I see the need.

"Birds of a feather flock together" is a favorite saying of mine,
I'll bow my head and not stand out-
                               I'll darken my soul so it won't outshine.

A Political Joke

Reader discretion advised (that means someone might die in the joke).

A Satmar chossid felt his end was drawing near. He gathered his friends and family close, and told them that he wanted to be buried in a Lubavitch cemetary.
They were perplexed. "Why wouldn't you want to be buried in our cemetary?"
"Because, I know that Lubavitch worms won't eat Satmar meat."

Chai Elul Farby

Our yeshiva went to Boro Park to hear Rabbi Leibel Posner farbreng. Here are some of the stories he shared with us:
The Rebbe started to farbreng on Shabbos Mevorchims. Many times the Rebbe would take something and show how we can learn a Hora'ah from it for Avodas Hashem. He was speaking to college students, and brought up the following theorem in geometry: A circle's radius will be able to create an equilateral hexagon, inscribed within the circle. The Rebbe asked: How can it be that a diameter can only fit in the circle one time, but half of a diameter, a radius, is able to fit around six times!? It should only be two...
We can learn out that the six days of the week are only complete with Shabbos, and so, too, Shabbos is only whole (a whole circle) when it comes after six week days.

Rabbi Posner was trying to explain yiddishkeit to a fry person, but everything from Tanya, etc. didn't seem to be having an effect on him. In yechidus, the Rebbe told Rabbi Posner to try explaining it to him in the following manner: A person can dream about an elephant, even though it is in Africa. A person can also dream about a subway, which is here in Brooklyn. In the dream, he can even imagine the elephant riding on the subway. However, if a person has never seen an elephant, than he couldn't possibly dream about it in a subway. So, too, the fact that we can even think about the concept of Hashem, proves His existence.

Rabbi Posner's was the first wedding that the Rebbe was Mesader Kiddushin at. Normally, the Rashag was honored with Seder Kiddushin, and the Rebbe would be honored with the first few sheva brachos. But at his wedding, the Rashag wasn't able to come, so the Rebbe was honored with everything. That's how the custom started for the one to be mesader kiddushin to also have the kavod of making the sheva brachos.

The Freidiker Rebbe told Rabbi Posner that when he goes out and meets people, it is important to see their ma'alois, but he cannot over look their chesronos, either. He must look at their ma'alois in Oisios Ravirivin (big letters from a sefer torah) and view their chesronos in oisios zeirin

Why does 770 start shacharis at 10:00AM on shabbos?
Normally on shabbos mevorchim, tehillim started at 7:00 AM, and shacharis was at 9. One shabbos mevorchim, they couldn't get a minyan at 7, so they had to start at 8, and therefore shacharis was at 10, and that's how it stayed.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Peace Out, Trout!

Good night, New York.
Enjoy your parade tomorrow.
When we make a siyum on a mesechta, part of what we say is a contrast of goyim and yidden, based on psukim from tehillim. Where we run to, and l'havdil where they run to.
While we will be farbrenging  for Chai Elul, and you'll be parading down the street, I think the contrast between our revelries will be quite apparent.
Almost like the different ways in which we celebrate our New Year.
I'll leave you with that.

So peace out, trout!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Shlichus and smicha

My shlichus here in yeshiva is to be a dugma chaya, and I learn chassidus with bochurim during both morning and night sedarim, for three hours total. The rest of the day is devoted to learning smicha. That's almost seven hours of poring and pondering over the Shulchan Aruch, usually only turning the page once or twice a day. On the page there are the Shach, and Taz, and Pri Megadim, and R' Akiva Ager, and others. Plenty to keep a man busy.
At night I'm the dorm counselor, which keeps me up usually until about 1:00 AM. Any later I may stay up is my own problem, and I can't blame on my job.
Baruch Hashem, this year in Chovevei there is a solid group of bochurim. 40 good kids here in zal, plus another ten shluchim.
Anyone who still chooses oholei torah over us is a coward, in my humble opinion. We've got better maggidei shiurim and better mashpi'im. And now we have all good bochurim.
And we've got some pretty awesome shluchim that are soon-to-be rabbis.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


For Rosh Hashana, I'll be leaving the Washing Machine behind for Pittsburgh, or if you are one of the millions of Agent Emes fans, Shpittsburgh.
Or is it called Shpittsburg?
I better ask Mr. J when I'm there.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Brooklyn Navy Yard

I went on mivtzoim today to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
I did this because I didn't have a route, and a shliach near that area told me that may be a good place for mivtzoim.
Based on my experience, I'd say it wasn't. It's just a big industrial place, and you need special access for most of the places.
So now this week I need to think of more ideas.
It would have been really cool if the Navy Yard worked out.
'Cause, you know, the Rebbe worked there.
I was really hoping I would find some old guy there, and show him a picture, and he'd tell me some stories about him working with the Rebbe... and I'd write an article for shmais, or something... you know, make it big...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tes Vov Elul Farbrengen

Happy Birthday everyone!
Tes Vov Elul is the chassidishe birthday for all Tmimim, since this is the day that Tomchei Temimim was established.
We had a seuda in yeshiva, and Rabbi Leibel Altein and Rabbi Paltiel farbrenged. (Paltiel is going to have a separate one later tonight at 11:00, so stop by if you want to be inspired.)

Here are two small stories about the Freidiker Rebbe that Rabbi Paltiel shared:
There was a construction project in Lubavitch, and the Rebbe Rashab passed by his son, the Freidiker Rebbe, and saw that he was staring out the window, watching the work on the building.
Later, the Rebbe Rashab told his son the following: "It's better to be on the outside, looking in, than on the inside and looking out."

When the Freidiker Rebbe came to America, during one of his talks to the yeshiva bochurim, he told them it was true that these bochurim knew more chassidus etc. than earlier talmidim back in Europe, but he told them, "But you smell! I can't stand you to be in my daled amos. You have the midos ra'os of America..."

The last story, it really isn't right for you to hear it from me, and not from Rabbi Paltiel, who was able to explain what it meant, etc. So don't take it the wrong way.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

From Rabbi Paltiel

One of my favorite people, Rabbi Paltiel, said yesterday morning in his Samech Vov Shiur:
"If you ever feel Ohr Ein Sof, I don't think it would be a good idea to tell anyone about it...just keep it to yourself!" (As in, Yeah buddy. You keep feeling the Ohr...)

He's also said in the past, "If you would visit Ohr Ein Sof- something I wouldn't advise-....."

From Kollel to tallis...

That's right.
Today I bought my first Tallis.
Tallis shopping is not very complicated. You just find one that fits.
I was actually buying one for someone else, or maybe it was for a shul tallis collection.
Anyway, I was told that I should use myself as a model for the perfect fit.

Not very exciting.