A jet black peyoh trapped between a pillow and a cheek, its lower twist and curl intact, a white wool night Kappel still firmly on its bearer’s head. The slumber was young and deep. Before Yoel had got to bed, he had spent some... Read more »
From the comments on a Facebook invite for a traditional Friday night meal: Host: “I need someone to help me with the zemiros.” Token non-Jewish girl on the invite list: “What’s a zemiro?” Overheard at Tu B’shvat meal: Host is cutting open a purple-skinned... Read more »
Dark, dark, oh so dark Yet also comforting; the warm blackness You can turn on the lights. You might even succeed in bringing in some warmth, Possibly even a breath of fresh air. But the black hole will always be there Hovering Ready... Read more »
Buddy, can you spare an eye? Or a heart? Or a kidney? Israel has a problem with organ donation, mostly due to halachic problems involved, which makes it problematic for the Orthodox (and perhaps the more traditional secular Israelis) to becoming donors. Israel is... Read more »
They come, they clean, they leave. Occasionally they’ll be given a few Ostreicher’s chocolate chip cookies and some apple juice in a plastic cup. (“Chas v’shulem, not from my dishes!”) But here’s the human side (and a bit of history) to what goes on... Read more »
It’s five-thirty. The last of the other girls and their little handbags have sidled out already. She faces the bathroom door--towards East--as she begins to pray Mincha, swaying gently, a woman's shuckle. Read more »
Some loudmouth dude by the name of Rabbi Yehudah Levin has some strong message for congress: “Don’t you dare, don’t you dare include baby-killing funds in health care or any other legislation,” he said at a pro-life rally gathered at the 37th March for... Read more »
The Bedford Avenue bike lane debate at Pete’s Candy Store last night brought a standing room only crowd – unfortunately, consisting mostly of bike lane supporters. There seems to have been no truce, and from the short clip presented, it’s hard to know whether... Read more »
Now it has an official name: the Great Williamsburg Bike Wars. (Although without a Wikipedia entry its status as a real war is somewhat suspect.) And tonight at 7:30 pm the debate is on at Pete’s Candy Store on Lorimer Street: Hasidim vs. Hipsters.... Read more »
The phone is ringing again. I glance at the cordless resting on the night table. The caller is indicated on the lit screen, but I am reluctant to get up and look at it. I want to sleep. Another Monday morning. Another phone call... Read more »
For want of a nail the baby was lost, For want of the baby the tzaddik was lost, For want of the tzaddik the generation was lost, For want of the generation the Messiah was lost, For want of the Messiah the Kingdom was... Read more »
For my friend Shaina, being Hasidic was a wild and blessed connection to the world, not a wall against it. She was the exception, and our friendship only grew and deepened after I left the ultra-Orthodox world.
Every Yeshiva boy learns about Nafkeh Mineh L’kedushin at some point. Nafkeh Mineh L’kedushin is used to justify a perpetual Talmudic argument that has no practical implications. For example, if two guys are arguing as to what was the reasoning behind a specific Talmudic ruling and each of them comes up with a different explanation, […]
Chasidishkeit manages to take everything exciting in life – food, sex, adventure, travel – and mangle it to a point where there’s little left of their original allure. And it has a particularly vicious stranglehold on sex.