Monday, April 02, 2012

So Much To Say... little time, at least to do so properly. So let's just try some rapid-fire instead:

  • It is incredibly difficult to consistently have to debate between being deflated by the horrible actions and words of so many in the Orthodox Jewish community and inspired by all those who decry and fight against those same actions and words. The problem, as always, is that the former group so often seems to be far bigger than the latter.

    A few posts on this should be coming soon.
  • On a similar but different note, it's sad and amazing to see the constant changes in so many of our friends' lives (and our own). We've seen too many close friends and family go through unbearable pain, loss, hardship, or divorce; and we've thankfully seen far more build  and begin to build beautiful lives, whether professionally, locale, getting married, having kids, or the like. It's tough also to see some people in the same circles going through joy and pain at the same time, knowing that each one impacts the other as well, and it's hard to be there as much as we'd like to be for friends both in hard times and in good ones.
  • The Supreme Court deliberations on ObamaCare were incredibly fascinating and worth reading in full (trust me, I did it - the link there is Tuesday's, which is likely the most important). I don't see how the individual mandate doesn't get struck down, and while less sure I'd imagine that the rest will get struck down with it (perhaps with a different group of assenting judges).

    As an added note, the President's statement today 'warning' the Supreme Court was ludicrous and a ridiculous overreach of power (at least in terms of words) [imagine if President Bush had said the same before a major SCOTUS decision], but more laughable was what he said about this being "unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress" - as CWY noted, every law is passed by a majority of a democratically elected Congress! The judges' role is to determine if those are Constitutional. Plus, it wasn't a strong majority at all, but a bare majority of 217-212 in the House with not a single Republican voting Yea. 
  • If it does get struck down, it might be the best gift for Mitt Romney presuming he is the Republican nominee, taking away a difficult issue for him. He can turn the focus on the economy itself, an area where his record is substantially better than Obama's. 
  • My current job places a very strong focus on Medicare and Medicaid, particularly the financial portions of each. It is mind-boggling to me to see just how poorly and behind the times government has been and will continue to be, and how much waste they cause despite truly noble intentions. The government simply has no ability to manage care either from a clinical perspective or a financial perspective, which means that everyone is damaged in the process.*
  • The NBA season is over, with the Cavs doing a nice job of positioning for this coming draft, and the NFL Draft I'm trying to avoid getting too deep into at this point (trade to #6, take Claiborne!) because I'll probably end up driving myself insane. So... it's baseball time!

    My team this year (10-team rotisserie, 5x5 standard, 1,350ip max, standard lineup including C/1B/2B/3B/SS/4OF/CI/2Util/2SP/6P/5Bench) picked 5th: C Napoli; 1B Lind; 2B Kipnis; 3B Bautista; CI M.Young; SS A.Cabrera; OF A.Gordon, Hart, Joyce, Rios; Util Zobrist, V.Wells; Bench Bourgeoius, Hafner, Mayberry. SP Halladay, C.Lee, Weaver, Fister; CL Hanrahan, Valverde, Santos, Motte, Storen; RP Pestano. Overall a fantastic pitching staff and a much better lineup than I normally start with.
  • Finally, if you are interested in seeing a great Cleveland Browns fan show his dedication to the team and his even stronger dedication to Judaism, though, this guy's "Fanography" is really fun to watch. I'm not being biased at all - my friends have all enjoyed and made a point to tell me how much they enjoyed. :-P

* Not that I believe it necessary as this should be obvious, but please note that any opinions on this blog are my own and never that of my employers. 


  1. Go Indians!! Arguably one of the best pitching staffs in the league. Can't wait for opening day!!!

  2. The Israeli system is much better. Payments are through Bituach Leumi, we choose our Kupat Cholim, sick fund and all prior illnesses must be accepted.

  3. Despite the fact that I was supposed to be sleeping (3 hours ago), and commenting un-anonymously is a rarity for me, i feel that i have to make an appearance once in a while (afteral this is 50% my blog too). Also, I've had a lot on my mind. So i am taking this opportunity to express my thoughts.
    In the past few weeks i have been thinking of the famous chanuka quote, that is part of the "Al Hanisim "(added prayer of thanks we say, to commemorate the Chanukah miracle). The part of the quote i want to emphasize is as follows -"Rabeem b'yad M'ateem, timaeem, b'yad Tehoreem" (G-d helped save us and the miracle was that the Jews won despite the fact that they were so little in number VS the Greeks,who were so large in number, and the Jews who were holy triumphed over the Unholy Greeks).That really hits the point of the first paragraph-Why is it of late that in the overall Orthodox community, the "unholy" ones, the ones committing the abuse, the ones not giving their wives gets, the ones stealing and de-frauding, are the group that as a whole, no-one talks about, and are the "bigger" "holier" group but the "unholy" ones, are the ones smaller in number,the ones who want to talk out about the abuse,about the gets about the embezzlers, but when they try to speak out they are shunned.

    One of the fundamental cores of Judaism is family and community.Yet in these dire times, it seems that community is breaking the Jewish nation and tearing it from it's seams. When good and "holy" people, want to speak out about evils occurring in the community, go to Rabbis to talk about the vile and evil things that are happening, are shoved aside, because outside appearance is what matters most-then how can we say we are a community?

    When there are mothers who never bothered asking their sons if they want "drop-dead-gorgeous-artifically-enhanced" girls and just decide for them- and write articles and editorials bashing girls for being themselves- then what have we come to?We want our children to get married and to have a family and be part of the community,but what type of community are we setting -up for them to be a part of? What values are we instilling in them? That marriage is about looks, and having a trophy wife that we can show off to our friends, instead of advising our kids that we should be finding good, kind, people, (who don't steal, lie, cheat, abuse). Maybe that's why the divorce rate is so high- because looks can wear off, and though they are important, they are not the fundamental building blocks of a marriage. Good attributes, working together synonymously, raising good, G-d fearing kids, those are all things that will help enhance a marriage. I feel that the term "shidduch crisis" , has been made a crisis- because no-one is standing up to these mothers, or these matchmakers, who think that they have a right to suggest to a boy that he must marry a beauty and put all his effort in finding the next "Ms. America". Girls need to stand up to matchmakers and tell them, not to set up boys who think they deserve a girl who is a beauty queen. Stand up to the mothers who think that girls are marrying them instead of their sons. (I need to say that i don't completely fault the "picky" boys, because they have been trained by their mothers). why is it that boys have lists and girls do not? Why is it alright for a boy to need a beauty, but a girl can settle with a mediocre looking boy. We would have never had a crisis- if we hadn't made one ourselves. If we don't want the crisis to turn into a full scale disaster (which it is on route to do), then we need to stop it!

  4. Stand up to the mothers, the matchmakers, the abusers, the non-get-givers, the liars, the thieves. We need to band together as a COMMUNITY and stop focusing on physicality and outside, superficial looks, and take a hard deep look at what we are doing to better ourselves a people, as a community, as Jews. Maybe, just, maybe G-d will listen to our communal, cries, if we stopped focusing on superficiality as the main thing. If we stopped gossiping (which focuses on physicality), stopped stealing (money- related, also tying back to physical), stopped abusing (physical)- you see the recurring theme, if we focused more on banning together as a community that helps one another more, that says good things about one another, that stood up to people who lie and steal, that speaks out against abusers, maybe we wouldn't have so many " crisis".

    The chanukah miracle was that the Jews won against the Greeks. The Greek society was known as one that focused on physicality. Is that what we want to come down in the history books as- we want to be the "temaeem" (unholy ones)? We need to STOP, take a stand, and say enough is enough!

    I would like to conclude with the following point. Mrs. Halberstam recently wrote an article in which she tied in Queen Esther's physical beauty and i find irony in the fact that the Greeks were known for their focus on physical beauty, and the quote i used about the "unholy" vs. the 'holy" ,which is part of "al- haneseem", is said on both Purim and Chanukah. So yes0 Mrs. Halberstam,you are right- "whether we like it or not, appearances do count"- so maybe you had better go take a good look in the mirror!

  5. Serach we've never met but I love you :-)

    I wish more people in your community had the courage to stand up for these true, holy, and Torah-value ideals. Thank you.

    Your children are blessed and lucky to have you and Ezzie for parents, and your community is so fortunate that you are a part of it.

  6. Replies
    1. Ezzie great bit on! The question is why you weren't watching by Bill Aprille's window like the rest of us! #Clayisclutch