Sunday, October 01, 2006

Selach Li, Mechal Li

I know I don't deserve it. Not by any means. But please.

May Hashem have mercy on my soul

Friday, September 22, 2006

So long .....

and thanks for all the fish

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Don't tear me apart

What started out as some bytes of binary
barely 1s and 0s through fibres so bizarre
became so much more

The relationship we built, faceless, nameless
across countries, oceans, continents
is extraordinary, more extra than ordinary

Not based on looks nor personality, but what?
Your thoughts, opinions, jokes
Ideas so pure and bright, shining through me

The time we invested, spent, never wasted
Energy from the soul, pouring into you
Emotions ripped open, eloping to where you are

My bank account, growing in interest daily
Even if we never meet
I want it to come to fruition, the natural way

How can you take that investment, those emotions
close it, cut them, brake them apart
and walk away?

Leaving me empty, soulless, drained, in despair
the emotional life-blood pulled away
my finances wrecked, rocky, shorn

Let nature take its course, its time
let the emotions go where they will, it's fine
that is the way of the world, the way things are and will be

I am the one who cries when someone dies on ER
I invest in my friends and hate losing them
Time cannot heal the pain

You know who you are
don't tear me apart

Monday, July 31, 2006

G-d on high, Bring him home

God on high
Hear my prayer
In my need
You have always been there

He is young
He's afraid
Let him rest
Heaven blessed.

Lord, the world is watching
to bait your people
to bring down your Name
to see your Land
crushed, burnt, blown up
by the ones who swore to destroy Your people.

Your sons held captive
Have you no mercy?
Do you not care?
Your people cry out
but you are not there.

Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home

Friday, June 16, 2006

The top of the hill

They said the view from the top was quite simply breathtaking. The sheer sweep and range of the view would knock you out, leave you gasping for air, even demand you lie back and take it all in. There are those who are out of breath, unable to move for a few minutes.

It isn't always easy to get up there. Some girls, after a number of attempts, discovered the way up. A few of them realized that if you put your fingers and toes in the rights crevices you could make it up there quickly, and proceeded to do so. Others struggled the first few times, but when they got to the top they knew it was worth the effort, and they got better at it.

Some of them didn't make it to the top. Social pressures, nerves, religious issues preventing them. Maybe they weren't sure of the rewards up there, maybe they got close but didn't quite make it and gave up.

A few stood around near the bottom, waiting for a guy to take them to the top. Though they failed to realize that many guys didn't know the way up themselves, especially the novices, who also needed someone to show them the way. This led to a lifetime of misery near the bottom of the hill, never knowing what could've lain in wait at the top.

Many didn't believe the view was that special. It wasn't something you could describe, you just had to experience it for yourself and until you did so, you probably didn't know what you were missing.

So don't miss that view, get yourself up there and discover it for yourself.


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Do we have the Torah yet?

What do we have?

A bunch of guys with straggly beards swaying back and forth and debating chakiros in Chetzi Shiur or Hezek Reiyah. Do they know and investigate G-d's Word or the concept and beauty of revelation?

People who judge other people and potential shidduchim based on the size/style of their (minhag) head-covering or their shirt-color (!) and not their (Deorayta, very serious) middos of love, warmth, friendliness, generosity and care for others.

Supposedly G-d fearing businessmen for whom making a fast buck unethically or cheating on your tax forms is not only acceptable, but it is positively a chiyuv.

Guys that would run a mile and pay a fortune to see the latest film, or a glimpse of Hollywood's hottest property (Natalie P. you know you are for me!), but to spend time studying or contemplating G-d's earth or Book is too much for them.

Bans being distributed left and right against people who dare to raise questions, to argue, to debate and even to doubt. Where is the encouragement? The free-spirited honest debate that will refine for us a greater appreciation of G-d's emes?

Wonderful, wholehearted servants of Hashem who are looked down upon because they are not married. These beautiful tortured souls are crying out for support.

Thousands of weighty tomes and severe lectures about the finest minutae of Halachot, many of which are not applicable nowadays, yet minimal discussion of connection, chosenness, spiritual creativity and the Big Man Himself (not you Barry Bonds!).

Let us take this time out to appreciate our purpose here, the fact that we have many forms of revelation and numerous valid ways of connecting to Him and His word and implementing it in our lives.

I don't think we have the Torah yet. Do you?


Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Half-Baked man who wouldn't listen - a short story

Eugene Steadman was a dour, staid, punctual guy. In his town, people didn't say "it's reliable as clockwork", they grew to say "it's reliable as Steadman". He liked his routine and he stuck to it.

Every morning he would come downstairs and settle himself down at the kitchen table, take his time reading through the financial news and sip on his black coffee, one sugar. After waving his kids off to school, he would pick up his briefcase at 9.27 precisely and begin the 33 minute walk to work. He would nod at the same people as he trotted by, on his way to his job as a bookeeper in the local accountancy firm. At 3pm on the dot, he would pick up his briefcase and head off home, using the same route and nodding to the same people, Truman Burbank-esque. There wasn't too much bookeeping work to be done at this small town and he could leave the same time every day.

Due to some quirk of nature, the sun was very strong in Steadman's town. Maybe there was a hole in the ozone, and his skin was especially sensitive. The right side of Eugene's face would get the sun on the way North to work, and the right side would get the sun on his way home South in the afternoon.

Over the course of a number of years, Steadman's skin started to show the effects of his walk in the sun every day. The ride side of his face became blotchy, mottled, patchy. It turned pink, red, streaks of brown. The left side of his face remained the same old pasty white Steadman color. The local kids, who never failed to be cruel when the opportunity arose, would laugh at him and threw stones at him. He accumulated many nicknames, including splotchy, half-face, the joker. But Eugene carried on walking.

His wife pleaded with him to change his routine. Eugene Jr. begged him to do something different, he was also suffering the insults in school - "splotchy junior" and "little joker" particularly inflamed him. They brought in doctors and dermatologists to explain to him the dangers involved, psychologists and psychoanalysts to examine his deep-seated need for routine and his stubborness to stick to his routine, but to no avail. He wouldn't listen. Eugene kept on walking the same route to work, every day.

Eugene passed away after 30 years of work. Those seated in the funeral parlor could only see the left-side of his face, but they all knew that the right was horrific, burnt, scarred.

Which one of us isn't Eugene?


Friday, May 19, 2006

My faith in Blogging restored

I have become jaded recently, overwhelmed by the number of blogs out there. Swamped by the sheer mass, is there any point any more? I continued to write, mainly for myself, partially because I believe I still have something to say and partially for my ego, that there are people out there who still read my words.

And then Anonymookie posted here, reinforcing my faith that I should continue to throw my thoughts and ideas out there, to comment, to post, to speak my mind. Who knows what may come of it, maybe I can continue to have a small effect on the universe?

Maybe when I get to the Beis Din Shel Maalah and the prosecuting angels drag in those huge sacks of sins, brimming to the top with large, heaving nasty transgressions, maybe then some of my words here can come to defend me, can show how I have also had a positive influence on people with whom I would never normally have had a chance to speak to in regular life.

If by the clak-claking of my fingers on my keyboard I can have unseen effects somewhere else across the globe, then let Chaos theory be my guide, and let my words continue to flow from my keyboard into your hearts, Amen.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

What's wrong with "The Apprentice"?

Well, apart from the fact that I am always concerned that whatever nests in the Donald's hair will wake up, sprout wings and fly away, there is plenty wrong. I mean it.

The show is fascinating, an insight to a world many out there have little or no connection with. A world of might means right, money talks, power is the answer.

There have been occasions when the Donald has been on the verge of evicting someone, but that person effectively argues back and places the blame on someone else, who gets the proverbial boot.

As a believing G-d fearing Jew (well, most of the time) I hope I can contribute my two cents. I can stand up and say "Zeh lo haderech", this is not the way. We do not want to reward aggressiveness, pushiness, back-stabbing. We shouldn't be working for our asset-strippers, our insurance companies, Big Tobacco and their lackeys.

If the halachos of Onaah, Hasagas Gevul, and the rest of Choshen Mishpat have taught me anything (and they probably haven't), it's that this is not how we want society to function. Those of us who care, need to say no. We need to walk away from the temptations, the good money earned the wrong way. There is a better way, a godly way, a way to contribute to society and earn a living without trampling on people, ruining their lives, stabbing rivals in the back.

There must be. So help me G-d. We can't let the Donald win.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Tell yourselves a story tonight

A story that really begins way back when in the mists of time. But we pick it up a couple of hundred years ago, when the pupils of the Vilna Gaon and also ironically enough the pupils of the Besht were sent to live in a dusty land, far away from civilization, a land that lived on as a dream in the hearts of a few.

Then came a couple of Rabbis, Kalisher and Alkalai, who promoted that dream. A journalist, estranged from his Jewish roots, took up the baton after being horrified by the Dreyfuss affair. He worked tirelessly to bring about this crazy, wacky, outlandish idea.

Hundreds of thousands followed, tilling the soil, working the lands, like in Nechemiah's time, with one hand on the plow and one hand on the gun. Faced by malaria, malnutrition and a hostile enemy, they planted seeds, the fruits of which we are reaping today, as per Choni Hameagel's carob-planting friend.

Many gave up their lives, grieving over lost sons and daughters who died for this deserted desert. But the marshes and wastelands began to sprout. It was ready to receive the weary, starved remnants of great Jewish communities across Europe, tattered and torn on the inside and out. They were accepted with open arms and running battles were fought with the British over every lost soul.

Then another miracle occured 58 years ago tonight. For the first time in 2000 years G-d had seen fit to grant the Jews a State, a Homeland, soveriegnty over the ancient land where Abraham walked, where Moses dreamed of going and where King David ruled. Since then, it has been plagued with many things, but more than anything else it is plagued with miracles.

Its survival against all the odds, against hundreds of millions of armed enemies, desperate to destroy it. It flourished and grew beyond anyone's wildest dreams. It became a phenomenal place, technologically advanced, absorbing millions of immigrants, able to rightfully hold its head up high amongst the nations, proudly proclaiming itself to be a success.

Tell yourselves this story tonight, and believe in miracles because they do happen.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Coolidge has no effect on me

I discovered recently a term for the way many of us behave - the Coolidge effect. You can read where the name came from here. In short, animals do not choose their mates randomly. They identify and reject those with whom they have already had sex, and move on.

It is the temporal need for newness, for freshness, for new challenges, to find another partner, not to get stale, old and boring.

We are constantly searching for the scent, the raw, fierce tension. It is a life-long challenge for us to settle down, to stay with one female, one person, one partner, to wake up next to them every day. This affects all of us in some way or another.

So if you are in a relationship, or thinking about heading into one, be smart and be cool, keep things fresh, keep the challenge on, don't let things get too stale and dull. And good luck. And wish me luck.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

L-rd, Cleanse me

L-rd, cleanse me
wash away my grimes and misdemeanors
purify me

Take these crumbs of sin
incinerate them
let no dog want to eat them

Cancel my desires
like dust and dirt
Gone forgotten forever

Let sin no longer rear its ugly head
nor bite me in the ass
boy that hurts

We'll celebrate the exodus
from slavery to my material wants
to freedom for my soul

Purge me
Free me
Save me

Because I can't

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The One Call you shouldn't have to make

1) "Hi, Michelle, it's Jason. Don't hang up, please listen. I know you told me you never wanted to speak to me again, but this is important. No, stop shouting at me and listen. I need to see you. Just meet me this evening, I don't care where. Ok, ok, you don't wanna meet me. Then just hear me out for two minutes, please. I was at the clinic, getting some tests done. They found that I was ... I am ..... positive. You know, I'm infected. Yes, they are sure, they did another two tests. Look, I know we used protection. But we did other things. You remember what we did, so you'll also have to get tested. No I don't know who I caught it off, it could've been you! Hey, we both know that's a lie, you could've got it from someone before me. Stop pretending to be all innocent and pure, alright? Just go get tested and let me know - and please don't tell anyone, I haven't told my family yet. I just got to figure out how to carry on - what a mistake i made."

2) "Ben, hi, how are ya, it's Leah, what's up? Yeah, I know we haven't spoken for a while, but I really gotta speak to ya. Listen, it's important. You gotta listen, stop telling me to leave you alone. I am out of your life, but I gotta tell you something , I'm pregnant. I'm carrying your baby. Yes it's yours, what are you trying to say? I don't know how it happened - you tell me. You were there, it's your sperm, I don't know how they got inside me, there were a number of close calls, who knows? It doesn't matter now. Don't YOU tell me to get an abortion, I'm the one who can make that decision. Are you messing with me? No I don't expect you to marry me, we broke up, remember? Look, I will get an abortion, I think, I just need to think about it. No you can't come with me, you are only offering to make sure I go through with it. You don't get it, there is a human GROWING inside of me, a miracle in my womb. I just got to figure out how to carry on - what a mistake I made."


Friday, March 31, 2006

Another year older, still no wiser

I am in a pensive mood as I reflect on my blogoversary, a time to look back at a year of ups and downs, quality writing and awful poetry, inciteful issues and laughable diatribes. 365 days closer to the time G-d has earmarked for me to join Him back in the big movie theatre in the sky, to pay my dues, time after time.

8,760 hours passed by. Most of those were spent sleeping or in front of a computer. Did I make a difference to anyone? Could someone have read my words and stopped and said "yes, TRK is right, I will stop being a coward and ask out the girl I've liked for so long". Am I a third of the way to Gan Eden?

Have I become any closer to G-d, to doing His will, to becoming the person He knows I can be? Thousands of souls are clamoring for TRK to touch them, enlighten them, inspire them. And yet I stay rooted to American Idol! Polar opposites, distant objectives, worlds apart. Who am I?

What will the next year if blogging hold? Shall I become old and jaded, yearn for the old days and the early gang, yet many have moved on, married, dropped off blogworld, advanced to bigger and better things? Or have they been replaced by a new fresher bunch, eager Young Turks ready for revolution, inspired to help overthrow this awful corporate apathy that descends like a dark heavy cloud over all of us?

I will keep going, because I believe I still have plenty to say, lots of challenging and penetrative ideas. I do still get attacks of insight that I haven't yet posted.

Thank you to all of you who have come here, read my words, commented on them - even if it is to tell me how wrong I am!

Long Live Blogging!