Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ezzie's Blog Roundup: SerandEz Answers

I'd like to thank all those who gave their input in response to the questions posed regarding the contents of this blog. I think the basic consensus was "write about more sports!", right? In all seriousness, I'm about to hit busy season, and that means that once again, I will be doing a lot more work until some pretty late hours every day. Blogging is something I really love and enjoy for so many reasons, but it doesn't pay the bills. It does, however, provide a wonderful outlet and helps to ease the mind, so I'm hoping to post twice a day - once later in the evening and once in the late-late night or early morning. In the middle, I hope people will still enjoy the discussions and thoughts and of course, the teasing that generally accompanies the posts here, and I've also asked Moshe to put up a good quote in the middle of the day for everyone to get something out of. Maybe I'll even convince some of the other contributors to post more...

Meanwhile, here are some posts I felt were very worthwhile over the last couple of days (as I slowly start to catch up on blogs...): [hit expand to see excerpts]
  • 9) Chana writes up another MedEthics post, this time a fascinating one on How to be an Orthodox Jewish Physician in a Secular World.
  • 8) A cute short story from a friend of Gil's.
  • 7) Musings notes a good letter in the Yated and adds his own comments about the society of 'support' that shouldn't exist.
    If we have any prayer of reversing the damage that is being done, each individual who sees the negativity being created by "The System" must refuse to participate in that same system in his or her personal life. Letters to the Yated are empty when not backed up by actions. My father told me that when he finished college his father basically kicked him out, telling him it was time for him to make it on his own. Tough love, but it worked and clearly my grandfather knew it had to be done for my father to take on the responsibilities of a man.
  • 6) R' Gil discusses a discussion on Torah U'Madda, then goes on to add his own points about what is and is not "in the Torah".
    However, I disagree with what R. Dratch and Mr. Meir both say -- that everything is in the Torah. I think this is clearly incorrect. R. Dratch seems to say that everything is in the Torah but people, due to their failings, are often unable to extract it. Does anyone really believe that Quantum Mechanics can be found in the Torah? The nature of the Circulatory System? Law of Large Numbers? Maybe those who believe that the Chazon Ish could perform brain surgery without any training but I'm not among them. I absolutely reject the idea that a big enough Torah scholar -- perhaps Moshe -- is capable of building a nuclear reactor without studying any secular science.
  • 5) David Linn has a nice post about his father.
    When my Dad would take us to the car wash, you got to stay in the car as it went through the wash and, boy, was it a wonder: Soapy foam slowly creeping down the car, huge water machine guns spraying their high power, steamy mist, large brushes and floppy, orange linguini-like cloths gently slapping the car, flashing lights as you went through the hot wax and that oversized blower with the small wheel in the middle rolling up the front windshield at the end. We loved it so much that I’m positive that there were times when my Dad took us for a car wash even when we didn’t need one. ‘Cuz that’s just what Dads do.
  • 4) Ariella with a good post about the "right" number of children a family should have. A nice reminder for us all.
  • 3) I really enjoyed this post by Bad4Shidduchim about what seminary does (or doesn't) say about a person. Best line: "Nine months of exposure to a “hashkafa” is no match for 18 years of prior life."

    The overrated part is how much of an effect seminary has on a person’s rest-of-their-life. In high school they told us that seminary would determine our “mehalech” so we should choose the one with “hashkafos” that match ours—or at least the ones we wish were ours. And post-seminary, guys and their mothers can kick up quite a fuss about a girl’s seminary, because it’s supposed to say something about her “mehalech” and “hashkafos.” Aside from the fact that most bais yaakov high school students go to bais yaakov seminaries, and most non-BY students go to non-BY seminaries, this application is negligable. ... From Michlala on down, every school has its supposed ‘type’. And it’s based on those ‘types’ that high school students choose their seminaries.

    Only caveat: most students don’t get into their ‘first choice’ seminary.
  • 2) R' Gil has an excellent post about elitism and leadership. I have a lot to say on the subject, and perhaps I'll post about that later, but meanwhile enjoy his post.
    My wife recently pointed out to me that I've changed since we were married, particularly in my attitude towards those from different communities and with less religious commitment. It seems I've lost some of my elitism and disdain for others. I pointed out that it would be pretty sad if I hadn't changed at all in the past 13 years and that she has changed also in many positive ways. ...

    It is easy for those living in the protective confines of a yeshiva to look down upon those who fail to live up to every standard. However, once you are exposed to the responsibilities of real life and the challenges of going out into the world, you gain greater respect for what people are able to maintain and understanding for their imperfections.
  • 1) Finally, I particularly enjoyed this post by Moshe, who wrote it while sitting on the couch right behind me, so I am feeling free to take some credit for it. Somehow.

    My world was colorblind. If you were darker than white you could not be gray; you were black. When I was in ninth grade, my mashgiach stood up to deliver a schmooze. ... Here’s how he began:

    During break, I walked up to a shul late one afternoon not expecting to see anyone inside. As I approached the door, I heard some beautiful voices singing the words of Torah. The voices belonged to young students. I was proud to know that even during vacation two boys would get together to learn. But then, my students, I was saddened. I opened the door and entered and although the voices were beautiful, the sight was painful and shameful. They were wearing blue shirts!!

    I had a front row seat to this schmooze and I was livid. ... I stood up and shouted: “So what, what’s the big deal that they wore blue shirts?!?!” I then stormed out of the room.
Enjoy! Oh - before I forget, R' Horowitz has posted a sharp piece by Jonathan Rosenblum on the need of the charedi community to fix their attitude against work. It is one thing to place learning above work; it is another to disdain work even for those who are unable to sit and learn. A great piece.


  1. Thanks for the link, Ezzie. Good Shabbos.

  2. Definitely more sports :)
    Sorry about the Browns Ezzie. I was hoping theyd get in....