Monday, November 29, 2010

Research

I never thought I would need to watch Sesame Street for research...

Kovetz

I was going to design a cover for a fake Kovetz Limud that I mentioned in my previous post. Alas, I am quite busy these days.
If you want to know, the title was going to be: וואס איז גישען אין וויגעס- בלייבט אין וויגעס

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chanuka Mivtzoim

For anyone who hasn't heard yet, DansDeals is arranging this year's Chanuka Mivtzoim.
Every bochur has two choices, Las Vegas or Cancun.
As of now, there are close to 50 bochurim going to Las Vegas for Chanukah. For this reason, there will be a Rosh Yeshiva and Mashpia flying with them, to set up a temporary, week-long yeshiva. An Ohel-style permanent tent will be set up right on the Strip, for bochurim to spend their daytime hours learning. A kovetz limud is being printed, and this blog will have a sneak peak!
A large refrigerated truck, like the ones that are outside 770 for Tishrei, has already started to make its way across the country.

Always the independent one, you won't see me in the lobby of the Bellagio this Chanuka.
A shliach is flying me down to Houston, Texas! The one condition I gave was that I be taken to a cowboy hat store. (Pictures definitely to follow.)

We are looking for other websites to sponsor this year's Purim and Pesach Shlichus....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

4/5

I'm 4/5 a Rabbi, mazal tov to me, and my future congregation/disciples and future rebbetzin.
I actually had to run out of the Yichud Room (where our test was being held), in the middle of the test, in order to make it to my Teacher Training class on time.
I still did well, B"H.

Poetry

As long
as
you
write it
like
this,
it looks
like
is
a
poem.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Yosef knew what he was getting into

Yosef knew that his brothers had intentions to kill him, and yet he still inquired after them, as per his father's instructions. Would his father want him to put himself at risk for this task? No, but Yosef went anyway.
How could Yosef put himself in such a dangerous situation, just for the mitzvah of Kibbud Av (honoring his father)? We know that there are only three mitzvos of which we must never transgress, even at the threat of death: murder, idolatry, and adultery. While honoring one's father is very noble, we are not required to give up our lives for it.
On the contrary, according to many opinions, we are not allowed to give up our life for a mitzvah that is not one of the Big Three!
So how could Yosef knowingly go to his brothers?

Yosef felt that it was worth it to show his brothers the ends he would go to, to honor his father's wishes.
Yosef saw that his brothers lacked the proper respect for their father, Yaakov. Yosef was right. The main reason his brothers hated him was because their father loved him in particular. They should have respected their father's love, but they didn't.
In such a case, if your motive is not for the mitzvah itself, but to strengthen your fellow Jews' observance of Torah and Mitzvos, such an act is permitted. (As an example for this, we see that the Mekoshesh Eitzim gave up his life in order to show the Yidden in the desert how severe it is to break the Shabbos.)

This ultimate level of self-sacrifice is also a prominent part of the story of Chanukah.
The law requires Jews to die, rather than transgress certain mitzvos. Were the Chashmona'im, however, allowed to wage war on the Greeks?
The simple answer is that which we have discussed already. They were proving to the Jewish people that Judaism and G-dliness is worth living for, worth fighting for, and worth dying for.
This ultimate mesirus nefesh was rewarded by Hashem through the finding of the pure olive oil they could use to light the menorah. Although according to various laws, the Jews would have been Halachically permitted to light the menorah with ordinary oil, they miraculously found a jug which still had the Kohen Gadol's seal on it. For their greatness and ultimate self-sacrifice, which went above and beyond the letter of the law, they got the purest and greatest type of oil, which also was beyond the law (as mentioned, they could have lit with regular olive oil).

-From a sicha I learned today, waiting for my chavrusa, in Chelek Lamed Hey. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yud Tes Kislev

Since Yud Tes Kislev is just around the corner, I'd like to remind everyone to finish the Mesechta of Mishnayos or Gemara they took upon themselves last year.

For anyone scheduled to farbreng for Yud Tes Kislev, here's some good advice: if you sing Padah B'Shalom twice, then that's 45 minutes of your time right there. Practically half a farbrengen!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Boring Blog

My blog is a little boring, I think. Lots of words, not so many pictures.


This photo was taken on my Merkos Shlichus last Pesach, in Colorado. We drove through some gorgeous mountains to a tiny city called Telluride. It was freezing cold when we were posing near this lake, on the side of the highway.

This is a box with candy in it. I filled a box with over 25 pounds of candy and nosh to send to the boy I learn over the phone with as part of MyShliach, under Merkos. This was a birthday present, he was turning 12. Don't assume I only wanted him to have rotten teeth. I also put in the Hebrew/English volume of Hayom Yom.

When I was on Shlichus in the yeshiva in L.A., the shluchim took a trip up to San Francisco. Here's my friend slowly making his way down Lombard Street (the really curvy and steep street).


This is an ostrich, attacking our car in a safari at a Six Flags in New Jersey. Don't worry, we were safe in our car. But the baby in the car next to us was becoming giraffe food, offered by her parents, overjoyed at the close up they were getting.

Seven Long Years

So, I met the girl of my dreams. I am madly in love. I was about to start a volunteer job for her father, my (hope to be future) father-in-law. He said, "Nonsense!" and asked me what I wanted in return for my work. It was exactly the question I hoped for. I told him I wanted to marry his daughter.
Therefore, I suggested on my own that I work day and night, slaving over his sheep, for seven years, if he would then let me marry his daughter afterwards. He agreed, and those 2555 days went by like the blink of an eye; I was so in love and waiting to marry this girl.
In fact, after the first day and night of work, I said to myself, "24 hours down, only about 612,000 more! I'm gonna be married in no time!"

I don't understand Yaakov. Why suggest to marry Rochel only after working for 7 years? After he was fooled, and got Leah instead, he married Rochel right after Sheva Brachos, and the 7 years for her started after marrying her. He could have done this in the beginning, as well. Also, how could it be that because of his love for her, the seven years went by so quickly for him? I think it would more likely be the opposite.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

No respect for the present

An older woman met an ultra-religious Jewish young man at the corner.
"How despicable!" she told him, "Look at you Jews. You have no respect at all for modern society. You are stubborn and backwards and refuse to change your clothes or your styles. This isn't medievel Europe."
The young man looked at her curiously, and said, "Excuse, ma'am. I'm not Jewish. I'm Amish."
The woman blushed, and quickly said, "Oh, my, I'm so sorry! Of course you are. Well it is quite admirable that you don't let the change in culture sway you from your religious moors. I respect your defiance in the face of adversity..."

The joke as I heard it actually took place on a subway, but then you always have someone asking how an Amish person can ride a subway.

Anyway my friend told me that when these Amish (although they were probably Mennonite, what does COL know?) men were on Kingston, he heard a Chabadnick telling them this very joke, and everyone was laughing at the end!

One of a kind

I'm one of a kind! (Don't tell my twin brother.)
A lady working with Verizon Wireless's 611 customer service was shocked with what I told her. After discussing the reason for my call, she asked if there was anything else she could help me with. I said that I had had some problems with my old phone, and was sent a refurbished phone as a replacement. I told her that I was very pleased with Verizon, and that the new phone did not exhibit the problem my old one had given me, if she wanted to go ahead and jot that down in their file.
She said every single person she speaks to about his/her refurbished phone is unhappy with either the product, the service, etc. She said I was one of a kind!

Teaching

Is it more than just a coincidence that the day after I post regarding my acceptance into the Teachers Training program, that I am offered an interview for a position at the Online School from the Shluchim Office?

The answer is no, not really. Mainly they are two unrelated events happening at the same time. Besides, of course, for the underlying Hashgacha Protis.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Teacher Training

I was accepted into the prestigious and exclusive Teacher Training program, brought to us by them. This wonderful program started last year, and boasted much success. The general idea is that finally in Lubavitch yeshivos, there will be guys who know how to teach.
Wish me luck!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Kinnus

It is common to be heard among Lubavitchers that the annual Kinnus is the largest _______________ (fill in the blank). Usually it's something such as: full course dinner.
Discussing this among fellow bochurim, we decided that the Kinnus may not be the largest dinner in the country (Las Vegas, for example, may host larger conventions, as one bochur suggested), but perhaps it is the largest in the state.
This, too, was met with some doubts.
Finally, we decided that the Kinnus is, undoubtedly, the largest sit-down dinner for Orthodox Rabbis in the NYC metropolitan area. 
Simply put, it's the biggest Kinnus in Brooklyn.