Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Zman Simchaseinu

Well, the weather outside is frightful, and it looks like my family and I have a good chance of being rained out of our Sukkah once again this year. Our Sukkah is up, merely waiting to be decorated, and I'm trying desperately to get all my school assignments done before the chag so that I'm not even tempted to work over chol hamoed.

This past Sunday was the one year anniversary of the creation of this blog. Happy (two days late) birthday to it! Last year I wrote two Sukkos-relevant posts which nobody read, since this blog did not yet have an audience. Therefore, I have decided that to post links to them here.

The first post was about chol hamoed--a brief summary of some laws I hadn't really known before.

The second was my thoughts on the reasons for the arbah minim.

Enjoy and Chag Sameach!

Friday, September 21, 2007


I wish I had something truly insightful and original to post here, but lately my thoughts, though very occupied with matters of din and rachamim and teshuva and tefilah and olam haba and olam hazeh, have been more often confused than coherent. So I will spare you the angst.

One thought on Yom Kippur, that I heard from Rabbi Hanoch Teller during my year in Israel: people often complain that it is impossible to focus on tefillah while fasting. How are we supposed to concentrate our thoughts to heaven if our stomachs are rumbling? Rabbi Teller counters: haven't you ever been reading, and been so engrossed in the book that the hours fly by, until you finish, only to realize that your neck is sore, that it is 3:00 am, and that you are super hungry? (I, for one, know that this has happened to me.) It is possible to get so engrossed in a task that everything else gets shut out, even basic physical concerns. If we were able to immerse ourselves entirely in our tefillos, we would not even notice our hunger. Though very few people are actually on that level, even I have experienced it to some degree, if only for moments instead of hours. So on Yom Kippur, when my stomach starts to distract me, I redouble my efforts to focus on what I am saying, on what weighs in the balance and what I am asking for.

I wish everyone a gmar chasimah tova--may your tefilos be answered, and may we all be sealed for another year of life and happiness.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Ah, to be 15...

My brother, while walking to shul with me the weekend before I returned to NY:

If I had three wishes, my first wish would be that my life was a musical and we’d just randomly burst into song all the time. Like my life would have a soundtrack. That would be so cool.

My second wish would be that whatever I wanted to buy I’d reach into my pocket and always pull out exact change.


(in a rather bored tone) And my third wish would be something for the good of humanity. Like moshiach or something.