Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Women, listen up

Just wanna set a few facts straight about us males. Most of us are not constantly thinking about marriage, not imagining ourselves under the chuppah with our current date, picturing our wedding suit and what color flowers go with what color tie.

We don't consider our life incomplete unless we are betrothed, that our achievements in our career and elsewhere contain little meaning until we walk down that aisle. Give us time to get used to the idea of being tied down, to come around to the fact that we might never be able to partake in the hunt, the chase, the sweet sweet taste of conquest.

If we are in it, we are normally in it for a reason. It could be just for the sex, so you know how to check that out - don't give out the sex (sorry guys, it is the truth). But otherwise we are actually involved because we want to be, staying with it and showing that we have feelings for you, just that we aren't in a rush to run to that church/synagogue/mosque/Elvis-style Vegas wedding chapel.

Saying the old ILY is a really big deal for us - unless we are after play, in which case we'll say anything. But please GIVE US TIME. A friend of mine told me he was getting Mazeltovs from his friends and relatives before anything had happened, merely because she was into it and had told everyone that it was gonna happen, thereby spreading the Word across the country.

Laydees, if it is right after one month it will still be right after three or six months. So stick it out and lay off the pressure. Please. We run the other way from pressure. It pushes us into the arms of waiting harlots, distancing ourselves from commitment, tension and stress.

So just chill and wait it out. Please. If you love him, set him free. Give him the space, the freedom and the time to decide. That'll help him to choose you, accept him for who he is and if it's right it will happen.

For those delectable females who are worried this is a practical issue for me, have no fears my dears, it is not and probably will not be for quite some time at this rate.


Monday, July 25, 2005

J'Accuse - The IDF, the Settler Rabbis, the Palestinians

J'Accuse - the IDF

I no longer have faith in the IDF or the Security forces, despite the good work they have done. I've been fuming over this for days, without knowing how or what to write about it. In the past, I would defend the morality of the IDF by claiming they have a code of ethics and they do a good job considering they face the most heinous hornets nest of indoctrinated terrorists ever faced by mankind on their doorstop. Yes, there are some trigger happy 18 yr olds but often the army catches and court martials them. The army knows what it is doing and can be trusted to decide what is necessary for security.

NO MORE. The army and police have shown their true colors, the heavy-handed, brutal tyrants they are. When faced with a few thousand relatively peaceful protestors they acted in an unreasonable and disproportionate manner, depriving them of basic freedoms, inflicting collective punishments and exerting violence on children.

THE SETTLERS ARE THE NEW PALESTINIANS. Demonized in the press, ignored by Israeli society, deprived of basic rights by administrative detention without charge and forced eviction, some marginal sections threaten violence and mutter warnings of assasination. We have seen the true face of the IDF, and there is a lesson for us all.

J'Accuse - the Settler Rabbis

Where are the Yirmiyahus and Yeshayahus of today? Are they too busy shouting from the rooftops that it is forbidden to transfer one parcel of land, to remove one Jew from his home? Do they organize rallies for the starving widows and orphans? Do they even care about our Palestinian nieghbours who we are responsible for, who have been deprived of the economic viability necessary to sustain themselves while the army have turfed many out of their homes. Were enough Rabbis to sufficiently care and to persuade their flock that this mattered, they would find a way to get basic necessities to their Palestinian brethren. Instead they build fancy beautiful settlements on their land, lush green gardens, spacious brick houses opposite the slums and sewage fests and expensive roads through their olive groves for a handful of families.

The Rabbis foamed at the mouth a few years back, when Ben Artsi and his pals refused to serve in the territories for conscientious reasons, they showed no compassion or understanding, merely a ranting and raving at the sanctity and unity of the army, and the importance of carrying out orders. Where are the self-righteous pietists now, with their platitudes and judgements from their lofty towers? Defying the army, ordering their soldiers to disobey orders handed down by their government in accordance with the wishes of the majority of the country. Maybe the IDF would be more sympathetic to those soldiers who expressed a desire to stay behind and guard the base or do other duties during the disengagement, if there wasn't a threat of mutiny and disorder hanging over them. I think there is a lesson there as well.

J'Accuse - the Palestinians

You'd think they would be happy to have driven the Israelis out of Gaza, in their view. A chance to show the world they can run a sensible, healthy, open society. Maybe clamp down on the terrorist networks, join the world in the fight against terror, start working on infrastructure, education, sanitation, improving their society. Doing everything to prevent Kassam rockets to be fired at Israelis. Punishing the murderes of innocent Israelis driving through Gaza. For one period of time to show everyone they are not the bloodthirsty, savage society they are depicted as. To grasp this incredible opportuntiy inexplicably presented by their arch-enemy Sharon, to stand up and be counted and show what they can really achieve when the Israelis move out.

I hope and pray that whatever happens is for the best, and that G-d remove pain and anguish from all of us while granting us all the strength to make the best decisions we can.


Sunday, July 10, 2005

Why do we keep coming back?

"So you remember the drill, not a word to your parents, friends or Rabbis, right" he said, zipping up his pants.
"Hey, don't worry, I may be just 18 but I'm not dumb. We've lasted this far, haven't we?" she replied while combing out her hair. "Speaking of which, when are you planning on telling your wife about all this?"
"I'll do it, I'll do it, just give me time, it's not a simple thing you know, you gotta let me decide when the moment is right." He put on his jacket and picked up his car keys.
"Last time you promised to do it and you didn't call me for weeks" she cried to his back.
His parting remarks helped nobody. "Yeah, I'm really sorry baby, you know I love you, you are the only one for me, but things are really tough right now with the new house and the baby on the way. I'll call ya, we'll meet up again soon. And I'll do it, I swear."

As they left the hotel and went their seperate ways, they both asked themselves "Why do we keep coming back"?


Thursday, July 07, 2005

Stam Yeynam - need help

I've been really troubled by the din of Stam Yeynam, that even a mechalel shabbas can't open a non-mevushal. I find it quite objectionable and really problematic - is it a chumrah or halachah lemaaseh, was it always this way? Are there modern Heterim for Tinok Shenishbah? I don't have the time right now to look into it, so if one of the knowledgeable ones out there (you know who you are) can answer me I would very much appreciate it.


Britain - a ticking time bomb

Firstly, my sympathy and thoughts go out to our cousins across the pond. Condolences and Refuah Shelemah, and I hope you catch the b&*^rds who masterminded it and torture them very very slowly and very painfully.

More importantly, it was always a question of when rather than if. Britain used to have a laissez-faire policy with Islamic terror groups, whereby they were pretty much allowed to operate out of the UK if they didn't commit any acts of terror on the UK mainland. Once they became pretty well esconsed, it turned out to be a lot harder post-9/11 to track them down and turf them out. Mosques up and down the country were being used as centers of indoctrination, recruiting soldiers in the War against the West.

The civil libs people were so against ID cards. Europe failed to classify Hamas as a terrorist organization. Spain turned its tail and ran (not saying I blame them) which gave them more impetus to carry out their dirty deeds. Red Ken hugs and kisses those who support suicide bombings against the Israeli occupation, how can he complain when they use bombings against the US and UK occupation of Iraq?

I always kept these thoughts to myself, hoping against hope that I would be proved wrong. Well, I wasn't. Let's pray this finally wakes up the rest of Europe to their biggest ongoing crises, the influx of millions of highly impressionable. Forget the EU constitution, if this war breaks out further Europe is looking at a major fifth column across its borders, an insidious enemy who wants to tear it apart from within. People across the world must unite to bring an end to this, do everything we can to win this war.

A deeply upset TRK

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The problems of modern discourse

I find much of today's debate and discussion to rest upon basic axioms, assumptions and personal parameters that differ from one to another. This leads to people debating apples and cars, chalk and cheese without them being aware that they are using differing frames of reference. This particularly happens in the religious and political sphere.

For example, a modern Orthodox Jew and an Ultra Orthodox one will have different assumptions about the role of the Jew in the modern world, his place in society, the function of women in religious society, the binding nature of daat torah etc.Compare that to the Reform Jew who has a different set of assumptions about social action, religion as culture and the evolution of religion. The Christian perceives his historical timeline to flow through Jesus, which the Jew cannot comprehend, and the Muslim believes Mohammad and the Koran to be the arbitrer of truth. This is all based on their conflicting axioms about those issues, each of whom consider these axioms to be self-evident. They could be ther result of education, of investigation, of upbringing, of indoctrination. The source of their beliefs and opinions is irrelevant here. I am trying to make the point theat the parameters of debate rest on these assumptions, without people being aware of it.

The same goes for political arguments - if I believe in self-determination then the woman has the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, but if I believe it to be murder/against the word of the Lord, then it is wrong. Similarly the concepts of big government, federalist law, affirmative action etc. They often rest on our assumptions about modern life, religion, race, the role of society and government, etc.

I don't want to enter into a political debate, I just wanted to express my ideas that much of what constitutes debate is often really just two people expressing their viewpoint based on their axioms and never the twain shall meet. I'm not sure if I expressed myself clearly enough, it being pretty late at night, but I hope and pray you get my point. Be aware of your parameters of discourse. Or else.


Friday, July 01, 2005

Shabbos Kodesh

I love the planning and preparing. The plethora of smells, the culinary delights being whipped up and souped together. The fact that whether winter or summer, you always need that five minutes extra.

Those few moments, just before the 18 minute grace period is up, when you are throwing on your clothes, doing up your belt, tearing paper, running out to shul, running back to switch the light on/off.

And then peace. 25 hours of pure bliss. Tranquility. Serenity. Me, myself and G-d.



What to reveal to shidduchim?

When do we reveal things to our shidduchim, our potential life partners? This is not a practical relevant question for me right now, being on my shidduch sabbatical/hibernation. We all have skeletons in our closet, of differing shapes, sizes and stages of decay.

How many of you have done things that you could never reveal to your spouse/future spouse? I don't know if I have, it would depend on who she is. I think many people would expect all skeletons and dirty laundry to be revealed pre-engagement, unless you are looking for a wham bam thank you mam, meet in the living room while the parents arrange the wedding in the other room relationship.

This is just a bunch of stupid moaning because some people have serious issues to worry about, such as whether they mention mental illness in the family, an inability to have children or a previous abortion, degenerative diseases or suchlike.

Back to sleep.