Monday, March 31, 2014

Shmiras Shabbos Saves Seforim

Blogging Buddy T.P.V. noted on his recent blog post how the Frum magazine and newspaper publishers needn't fear the electronic revolution, as the primary time for reading this material is on Shabbos.

It is certainly with great ingenuity that G-d created the world with Shabbos. In the not so distant future, physical books will be a thing of the past. Everything will be digital. But, as I've pointed out in the past, this will create a 1984-like existence, where governments and others will be able to rewrite history to favor whatever ideology they currently espouse.

Having physical print, will ensure that no one will tamper with our sacred texts. All will be black and white, for all to see.

This recalls to mind the famous dictum: More than the Jews keep Shabbos, Shabbos keeps the Jews.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Consider Creating Community Champion Cards

Children adore heroes. Many young people collect various cards that pique their interest. Baseball cards are a favorite, football cards, hockey cards, basketball cards etc.

Yet as our rebbeim used to admonish us - Who cares if someone can hit a ball 450 feet. Why does that make him a hero?

Heroes in my opinion are those who lay their lives on the line for others, who give up their sleep for others and who give up their time for others.

My suggestion would be to create cards of real community champions. Hatzoloh responders, Chaveirim, frum policemen and firemen. HASC and Chai-Lifeline volunteers. The people who join search committees to find missing people. The people who work with estranged youth.

I would like to see these STATS on the back of the cards. Saved 13 people using CPR. Pulled a family of seven out of a raging inferno. Jump-started 93 cars. Biked 170 miles for the kids of Camp Simcha.

These are the true heroes.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

(Magillas Lester) Purim Parody Play Perversion

If you live in a frum neighborhood, you have probably been inundated with advertisements for the new animated movie titled Megillas Lester.

Megillas Lester is over an hour in length, and features a talented crew who re-create a parodied version of the Purim events. Whereas Mordechai HaTzadik and Queen Esther are the protaganists of the Megilla, here we find a boy who after messing up the sequence of events, must figure out how to save the Jewish People from the evil Haman.

While the director and film crew have certainly raised the bar for Jewish entertainment, mimicking Disney, I questioned whether children who see this film will come away with a distorted view of what really took place in Shushan.

Much effort was taken to depict Shushan as it actually was by using Rabbi Yehuda Landy's fascinating work on Ancient Persia. Much effort was taken to extract from the Megilla and the Medrash as many details as possible. Yet all this was perhaps for naught, as children will be unable to differentiate fact from fiction.

One website used a guesstimate that half a million dollars was budgeted to create this picture. There is much genius inherent in the film, many cute puns and much word-play which make watching it enjoyable for adults also. My favorite moment is when Zeresh calls all her children - in one breath.

Yet there have already been calls for a ban. As the film "denigrates and makes profane the holy". While I agree that this film warrants parental guidance, there still ought to be some license to create parodies, especially Purim time, as there has been a long tradition of "Purim Rav's" and "Purim Shpiels".

Consult your LOR.

Monday, March 10, 2014

American Asifa/Atzeres/Assemblage Accomplishment?

Yesterday was the American Asifa because of the decision by the Israeli Government to conscript Yeshiva bochurim, under penalty of jail-time.

I understand that the Manhigim of Eretz Yisroel have asked their American counterparts to assist in any possible way to impede the Gezerah which will change their way of life.

I realize that Davening B'rov Am will certainly help any situation, and the Kiddush Hashem of rallying so many people on short notice who are orderly, is certainly a plus.

Yet on the down-side, this certainly creates ill-will among those who only see the Chareidim as shirking their responsibilities to society.

Good thing that this decision to amass is not mine.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Moetzes Monumental Million Man March


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