Thursday, November 26, 2009

Free Hard Drive Offer From

By now I'm sure you can tell I am a huge fan of the website. The following add was placed in this week's Yated on page 147:

Attention Kollels. Get a free Hard Drive with 40,000 seforim ( for your Kollel. Fax name of Kollel, address, tel & name of Rosh Kollel to 718.504.5090


Project Inspire

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Once upon a time there was Shlomo Carlebach’s music. Today there are so many singers, all copying the contemporary rock and roll beat. I once heard Shlomo say on a radio interview that his music was unadulterated, as he didn’t listen to pop music. Lately, many recordings of Reb Shlomo have surfaced on the internet. Some of these clearly have RSC singing the songs of his day. Obviously, for someone who spent much of his time on college campuses, I find it hard to believe that he could have been totally immune to American pop culture.

Although I own a copy of Reb Shlomo singing SinnerMan, I wasn't able to find a copy available on the internet.

Out of the heart of RBS comes this gem. It seems that this song really has it’s roots in the Gemara Avoda Zara 17a. Maybe the tune also has Jewish roots afterall. Presenting Shlomo Katz and Reb Lazer Brody - SinnerMan. Enjoy.

Only positive comments will be posted.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shockwave meets Alice

Realistic Alice in Wonderland

The following website requires shockwave. Those who have it installed already or are willing to install it can reap the rewards. I hope that one day will be able to provide this service to make learning seforim more realistic and enjoyable.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Internet Parenting Resource

I have discovered another wonderful web resource that I’d like to share. Doctor Sorotzkin These lectures and essays are must reading for today’s parents. Please download and import to your IPODS.

My favorite story is told by DS about 2 identical twins that were adopted by different families. Psychologists studying Nature vs. Nurture visited both sets of parents. Mother “A” complained how difficult mealtime was. “She makes us put cinnamon on her cottage cheese, cinnamon on her bread, cinnamon on her meatballs! She is a very difficult child”. Mother “B” said that her child was a dream child, she has no problems with her. So they asked her, “What about mealtime”? “Oh, not a problem at all, just put cinnamon on her food and she’ll eat anything”!

DS explains that this is why parenting classes usually fail. Parenting classes teach techniques, but it is ATTITUDE that makes all the difference.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mechaye Hameisim, YouTube and Internet II

Lifeofrubin Blog
has discovered some beautiful video of The London School of Jewish Song back in the Glasnost era. It is a real pleasure to behold a young Yigal Calek, large eyeglasses and a real piano (remember the days before keyboards?) in the BBC studio. Baruch Mechaye Hameisim is what I say whenever I come across wonderful memories of yesteryear.

Who can forget Moshe Yess and Zeidy? Art Raymond (a WEVD radio personality who had a Jewish Music Show in the days before Nachum Segal) said that this was the most requested song of his era. Zeidy

But I still await daily for the show of all shows, Moshiach to arrive and bring us home. I will then watch the events unfold on my Dick Tracy watch.

Sunday, November 15, 2009 and the Internet II

Amazing. The website keeps getting better and better. They now have several video tutorials available to maximize your use of their website. Please avail yourself of these links.

hebrewbooks tutorials

Also, please see this link for for a mega-link site of Jewish scholarship.
Disclaimer: Not all links are recommended.

Mega Links

Hat tip: Fred Macdowell

Friday, November 13, 2009

Catch 22

A great dilemma exists when opening a blog. Do you post your best ideas while you are still a freshman, or do you wait until the readership expands?

On another note, the masthead has been updated to reflect the policy of this blog which endeavors to discuss Jewish ideas and the Internet, while avoiding derogatory talk about either.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wisdom of the Rabbi II

Can you please do me a favor and deliver this letter to my relative in Yerushalayim? These words are often spoken as soon as it becomes known that one is travelling to the Holy Land. Soon you will have a suitcase packed with correspondence, baked goods, tuna-fish and just about everything else imaginable.

This will bring the suitcase count to four, as one great Rosh Yeshiva of a bygone error quipped: “When you travel to Eretz Yisrael you need to bring along three suitcases. One filled with your clothing, one full of dollars and the last one full of patience”.

When I once mentioned to one of my sagacious rebbeim that I was going to send a letter to Yerushalayim via person-mail he gently chided me saying “Why don’t you do yenem a tovah and mail it!"

As the great song-writing singing rabbi quoted in the name of the Piaseczna Rebbe: “Kinderlach, taire kinderlach, my most precious children, gedenkst shon, remember, die greste sach in die velt ist, tun emetzin a tova. Children, precious children, just remember the greatest thing in the world is to do somebody else a favor. ” The Holy Hunchback

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wisdom of the Rabbi I

When I entered the dating scene, I spoke with one of my rebbeim and asked him what I need to find out about the prospective girl. His wise words went something like this: “You aren’t going to find out much about who the girl is – you are going to find out who YOU are”.

As this blog completes it’s 3rd week, I look back now at those insightful words, and I think that the same applies to blogging. The more I blog, the more I discover who I really am.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mechaye Hameisim, YouTube, Internet and Time

Part of the beauty of this whole internet thing is the many YouTube video clips. In researching the previous post, I was amazed at the amount of video that was lying dormant all these years and has now been resurrected for the world to enjoy.

While some people post the video clips to earn their five minutes of fame, some are doing this totally Letoeles Harabim.

All those concerts of the great stars of yesteryear are now a click away. While viewing concerts years ago was offset by affordability, travel and time, nowadays the only impediment is time. This certainly is reason to pause and reflect on finding better uses for one’s time.

“How To” clips abound which can teach you how to change a radiator on a ’56 Chevy or how to play a musical instrument.

But my favorite part of the video revolution is the Mechaye Hameisim aspect. Dead people coming to life. The giants of yesteryear are suddenly alive; walking, speaking and gesturing. One can view the great rabbinic scholars of Jerusalem. One can view the great Chassidic Masters and their courts in pre-war Europe.

As the end of days looms closer and closer, let us pause and reflect on how our generation is privileged to live in the past in addition to the present. Let us use our time wisely as we step into the future.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Spi-Ritual Gas - Carlebach Style

This blog attempts to discuss ideas, not people. Yet some people are in reality institutions, hence they are the exception to the rule. This week marks the 15th Yahrtzeit of Reb Shlomo Carlebach and therefore I felt that a few words were in order.

Reb Shlomo dominated the Jewish music world for almost half a century. His music permeated every area of the globe. His golden heart was as legendary as his melodies. His globetrotting made the basketball team from Harlem look like pikers in comparison.

Yet, once a year, deep within the bowels of the Lower East Side Reb Shlomo performed an unpublicized free concert for Yeshiva Bochurim only. Many Yeshivas on the East Coast were represented with a carefully handpicked few.

Reb Shlomo would then entertain far into the night with his unique singing and story telling. His wit was also on display. I remember one year him asking why Avrohom Avinu did not move into Sedom and open a Shul – Anshei Sedom…to be Mekarev the sinners there.

But what was different about this concert from all others was, in Reb Shlomo’s words, to benefit HIM and not US. “All year long I am running around the world, but once a year I need to stop and fill up on gas. The Yeshiva Bochurim are the gas that keeps me going for the rest of the year”.

And so this past Shabbos, I made it my business to attend a “Carlebach Minyan”. While such Minyanim are not necessarily my style, nevertheless, I think that it behooves us all to fill up on spi-Ritual gas – at least once a year.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fan is short for Fanatic II

The Yankees are once again sitting on top of the baseball world. I must say I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into the local Yeshiva during Night Seder and found a packed house. Either these young men have no interest in sports, or they never heard of Rav Sheinberg.

Alas, my spirit was somewhat tempered when on the way home from Maariv, I caught snippets of a Yeshiva Bochur ‘s cell phone conversation. “The Phillies are marching back”.

It seems like some people live up to the definition of fan. They are fanatically intertwined in the sports world. One Chupa was delayed last night to allow guests to watch the game.The EPA records quick drops of water pressure citywide between innings. What is it about sports that creates this fanaticism?

What does it mean to you personally if your town wins a championship? Who cares who can hit a ball further? I don’t know. But right now it feels good to live in the Empire State.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fan is short for Fanatic

Over at, there is a nice “rant” against using Rav Scheinberg as an excuse for following professional sports. While the author makes some good points, I’d like to score some points of my own.

Here is the money quote:

“When you write a monumental sefer like the Mishmeres Chaim or brilliant volumes like the Tabaas Hachoshen, authored by Rav Scheinberg,” I told the boys, “you can ‘blame’ Rav Scheinberg for your listening to the Yankees. For now, however, listen or follow if you feel you need the outlet, but leave Rav Scheinberg out of it. When you talk about Rav Scheinberg, better focus on his gadlus in Torah. Enough with Rav Scheinberg and the Yankees.”

There seems to be a push nowadays to label everything not associated with learning as Batallah. If children can point to a Gadol who invested some of his youth in “Batallah”, yet still became great, it would alleviate some of stress of childhood and allow kids to be kids.

One of the attractions to MOAG, was the theme that people are not born angels. One could have a normal childhood, run and play ball, and still rise to become a Gadol. Some argue that putting the Gedolim on too high a plateau makes it harder for youth to aspire to Gadlus, thinking such goals are unreachable.

So thank you, Rav Scheinberg, for preserving youth for our youth.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pictures and Blogging

“A picture is not worth a thousand words – it’s worth a million dollars!”.

This week’s Mishpacha magazine yields the above quote in their article featuring advertising.

I’ve been toying recently with Blogger’s picture-embed feature. I’m sure that you’ve noticed that it certainly does add an extra dimension to the blog. Yet I am not completely satisfied with several choices, most notably the Tower of Bavel.

One thing I am proud of is my decision to never watch “The Ten Commandments”. Torah leaves so much to the imagination, that I never wanted to subject myself to someone else’s version of how Moshe looked. I don’t need someone else’s depiction of Egyptians implanted in my brain. The imagery provided by Rashi, my parents and Rebbeim will suit me just fine.
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