Posts Tagged ‘babies’

Generations have changed. It’s true. There’s a lot to complain about the way we young folk are, yet at the same time I’m celebrating. Yes we are far more decadent than my granpda’s peers probably were. But in essence we just have have different quirks. Let me illustrate with one quick thought:

When my grandpa was a kid he had a practice of giving a girl a wedding ring and then having children. At my age I much prefer to see if the baby is as awesome as I am, and only then give her a wedding ring, sort of as a thank you gift.

Now who’s the one with the quirks now?


Birthdays. For years, birthdays would evoke memories of family gatherings, birthday cakes, and presents, along with cards sent from distant relatives. As we entered into the technological era, the party venue has evolved into something of an entirely different nature.

People today seem to feel an obligation to write on the Facebook Wall of the person whose birthday it is. And people expect it.

Gone are the birthday cards, cakes, and warm family parties. In its place is a long line of people well wishing against a now-familiar blue backdrop we spend most of our life on. Many times this place can become drama-filled, cold and unwelcoming. Especially on your birthday.

I always like observing the different wishes people send over Facebook and have divided them into 3 categories:

1. The Friend.

Typically someone who knows the person well. Comfortable in their relationship, not trying to prove anything. Simply wishing a happy birthday.

A typical example would be:

“Happy birthday!! Many many more!”

2. Best Friend. Typically someone who spends all their time with the person, shares alot of jokes with them.

A typical example would be:

Girl2Girl: OMG HAPPY BDAY GIRLY! ur finnaaaaaaaally 18!!!!! my yummy bearlovegirl is growing uppppp! cya tonite mwaa!!!

Guy2Guy: yo duuuuuude wtf man we gotta party. btw its sikkkk ur finally 21 we gonna partyyyyyy!

I left out the Girl2Guy and Guy2Girl, just because.

3. The Acquaintance.

Someone who sees the person from time to time. Likely wants to be polite or just not fall off the radar. They may like to prove their social status by showing using the birthday wish to show that they’re acquainted. A certain level of awkwardness is to be expected.

A few examples would be:

“happy bday”

That translates into the guy who is an acquaintance but is just saying happy birthday. Nothing more.

“Happy b-day :)”

This is the acquaintance who feels to awkward just giving a plain “happy bday” so ads a smiley. Likely it’s a girl2guy or guy2girl comment.

“happppy bdaaaayyyyy!!

This is the acquaintance who feels the need to prove to himself, the world and whoever else he feels is listening that him and the birthday-wish recipient are tight!

4. Facebook Friend Only

This person doesn’t care about the recipient of his wishes at all. He is friends with them because they bumped into each other once, they have mutual friends and so one friended the other, or he simply wanted to see that guy’s friends list. (no I don’t friend people to see their friends list. Ever.)

A typical example would be:

“Hey happy b-day whens the party????”


“awesome ur 21 now we can party” – followed by a text “so wheren’s the party dude”

In reality I feel that Facebook is becoming a warmer place than it had been, as more an more of our lives become integrated with Facebook.

But this one card says it best:

I think one of my biggest issues with the Yeshivish world, and in part the religious world in general, is they love suppressing independent thought and creativity.

I walked into my family’s Sukka the other day for dinner. My 4 year old nephew looks at me, and exclaims “Hey why you not wearing Shabbos clothes?!” I understand my sister wants to instill certain values in her children, but isn’t there a right way to do that? If the child will assume their way is the only way and anyone else is the different one, isn’t that wrong?

I understand she wants her child to believe firmly in the values she holds so true and important, but can’t we save the “musts and must nots” for things more important than the clothes you prefer your child to wear on Chol Hamoed??

I find it scary that her 4 year old child is that narrow minded. In fact I hadn’t thought children that young could be narrow minded.

Sitting in a recent computer class I noticed how the the many of the Yeshivish students could barely use the most basic functions of Word. Their was one Chassidish guy who didn’t know how to highlight a word! After all, why would they ever be interested in computers?? Learning is what’s important and that’s it!

Ever notice how an absurd amount of Frum people work in Accounting, Real Estate, or nursing homes? That’s because they aren’t interested in a particular field. They aren’t interested in anything in particular. That’s kinda scary too.

Thankfully I find myself very strongly interested in a number of fields, yet i still harbor resentment towards my parents, for had things been different growing up I probably would have been alot further along the path I am pursuing. But can’t live in the past can I?

Dear Sister,

We have a cousin living in Israel. Really small girl, 5’1″ maybe 5’2″ and very slight. 21 years old, married for a year. Grew up on the West Coast.  Her husband learns and either she works or they’re supported by his/her parents; money is no issue. Probably a mixture of the two.

She started having seizures a few hours after giving birth. We received an email saying we should pray for her. The situation wasn’t looking up and they added a name in the morning. Her life was hanging on by a thread.

Friday night I went to a party here in the city. Sitting in a pub beforehand eating dinner I receive a text from you, asking where I was eating the meal that night. I wasn’t in the mood of engaging in a philosophical debate with you, my narrow minded sister, while in an Irish pub. I wanted to tell you that no time was a good time to be the object of your mission to make me religious. So I told you I was eating with friends.

You asked about the food, was it kosher. I said I hadn’t asked. And no, I don’t like lying but you seem to think you’re the Grand Inquisition Inc.

And then you stepped over the line. Her text read:

“Wonderful. Scoring points w/the big One. sorry that ur cousins life suddenly hanging by the thread in matter of minutes earlier this wk wasnt enough to prove that there Someone running the world. But i’ll stop waxing philosophical cuz i better shut phone since I for one AM ‘doing shab and kosher!’ enjoy!”

After telling you you’re  far too quick to judge you responded:

You’re right. I shouldn’t judge and I have a way to go myself. But stop pretending you come from a diff background than me!!

How dare you.

The fucking audacity to insinuate I was completely unshaken by what had happened.  As if the natural and only response to near tragedy is to become more religious. So dear sister, get off your goddamn high horse.

You ‘for one’, can react to events out of our control by completing Tehillim (Psalms) every day, be more holy than everyone else, eat your kosher Challah, Gefilte fish and chicken soup lisheim shamayim (for the sake of heaven) and resolve to never forget to say the evening shema. I’ll react in my own, private way. It may not include anything you’d respect, but it isn’t me who has to earn your respect. Sister.

I am me. You are you. I can live my life. You can live yours. That would be ideal. We are humans however, and as such we cannot always contain certain feelings we may have about another persons lifestyle. This plays out interestingly. Old friend calls me up. Well actually he isnt an old friend, he’s just some guy I sorta knew and then met again by a family event. He then became instantly my “best friend” once he found out that I was no longer a good yeshiva boy. After all, SOMEONE must make me frum again. Lest that someone go to hell for lack of trying, chas v’shalom.

Anyway, this guy calls me and says he’s coming into NY lets chill. Ok so he drops by my house, we’re talking about his date he just went on with some girl from flatbush. Within maybe 5 minutes, the conversation turns to my being not religious. I can’t even recall exactly what it was about. I think the conversation was something like would I date non jewish girls, and the usual ‘would-I-speak-to-a-rabbi-if-he-can-convince-me-the-truth-of-the-Jewish-religion.’ The truth is I don’t remember if we spoke about the rabbi thing but it comes up often enough with old ‘friends’.

So here’s this person who clearly feels he will get olam haba or perhaps a good story to tell on shidduchim if he convices me to become frum again. Maybe he can even marry the Rosh Yeshiva’s daughter. Now don’t get me wrong. I have friends who speak to me about religion. Real friends shouldn’t worry about saying the wrong thing, because that’s what real friends are for. Being honest about what they think. So to all you friends reading this you know who you are and don’t start being all self conscious.

But seriously what’s with that? I recently heard a woman ask my dad if she should be in contact with someone she used to know who became not religious. She felt maybe by becoming frineds with her again she can reconnect and maybe have an influence on her direction in life. It’s funny, almost comical. The woman who became not religious will know why that woman got in contact with her. You’ve got to be a damn good actor to pull that one off. Funny how everyone thinks that they’re gonna appear out of the woodwork with an agenda in hand and become her best friend. Really??

Speaking of actors brings me to another topic. Brad Pitt. Man must be mad depressed. Was with one Jennifer Aniston. Now he’s with Angelina. From the very reliable sources like People Magazine we know his marriage is rocky. He adopted kids from all over the place. Must be he’s trying to show off. He has lots of money and we all know money brings headaches. And worst of all he’s in the profession of faking people out. After all thats what actors do, isn’t it? So yes, he’s depressed.

This argument is told by every single yeshivish person that knows who Brad Pitt is. Every single one. Without fail. Then they proceed to tell me so how do you think you are going to be happy without Judaism. Now lets understand one thing. Brad Pitt is quite a happy man. He’s doing what makes him happy. He is acting. He has worked for years to become a successful actor. Of course there may be things that disturb the peace, but that’s life.

There was a Rabbi from the last yeshiva I went to who I never had anything to do with. A relative of mine who recently joined the family is related to this rabbi. I was told he asked about me, the only guy at the wedding who didn’t have earmuff peyos. He wanted to know who I was, and upon finding out I had spent some time in the yeshiva where he worked he wanted to speak to me. He seemed full of himself and very conceited. Apparently he felt bad he hadn’t noticed a guy becoming not religious in his yeshiva. So I agreed to speak to him.

Conversation begins.
Him: You believe in god?
Me: Yes
Him: Okay so there’s nothing to argue about.
Me: We’re here to argue??
Him: Yea you’re a brilliant debater. You can’t lose if you agree to your opponent.
Me: Thanks…?
Him: So what profession do you want to get into?
I tell him
Him: So that makes you happy?
Me: Yep.
Him: Maybe religion will make you happier? I have no money, a whole bunch of kids and I PROMISE yo I’m the happiest man alive.
Me: Could be, but right now I’m interested in this specific field. So right now I don’t want to force myself to pick up new interests, I’d prefer to stick with what naturally makes me happy.
Him: If I tell you I can make you into the most successful in your field overnight, but first you have to kill a nursery of babies in the hospital would you do it?
Me: Wtf? No!
Him: Well say three years after you gave up the opportunity to instantly become the most successful person in your field, you meet the mothers of the babies that you didn’t kill. Will you be happy?
Me: Yes!
Him: You’ll feel a bit wistful maybe that you could’ve been instantly successful but you’ll be very happy. Happier than you would have been had you killed the babies.
Me: Correct (as always the brilliant debater agreeing with my presumed opponent.)
Him: So your field isn’t the thing that makes you most happy, because had it been you would’ve killed the babies. So religion would make you happy. (I hadn’t been religious for some 20 odd years of my life and not loving it apparently)
Me: It’s something that would prevent happiness. Not killing babies isn’t something TO be happy about. Everybody has things that make them happy. Then there are things that prevent that happiness.

This rabbi believes religion makes him the happiest man alive. Would he kill babies to attain religion? Of course he wouldn’t. Well then religion isn’t what makes him most happy. There must be something else that makes him happier. Oh but religion won’t let him kill babies so it’s part of the religion itslef so by not killing babies he’s being religious. Convenient. And sick.