Sunday, November 23, 2014

IMYH by you

So...recently in my life...

My best-friend got engaged! yes, yes lots of  Mazal Tovs and IMYH by yous...But frankly i am not taking it well. I am not behaving the way a best friend should. It doesn't help that shes miles and miles away so I feel so separated from the whole situation as it is. I wont be there for the lchaim the vort the dress shopping, the shower, the wedding planning, the pre-wedding jitters..I am going to miss all that..not that gives me any excuse.

I am simply being a bad friend. I am being unkind, not understanding, selfish, passive aggressive..simply put..I am jealous. not of her...of him. That he gets to be with her and I have to give up my best friend. Yes, she's not ceasing to exist, she's getting married but experience has taught me that a lot of the time there is very little difference between the two.

Obviously, this engagement is not about me. Its about her. and its so exciting and so overwhelming all at the same time. Or so I'm told, not having any personal experience in the matter. But this is my blog, so here my feelings have credence. But, I am overwhelmed. I feel lost. I feel like i don't know how to act. I don't know what am i allowed to say? What am i not allowed to say? What used to be OK and is no longer? What is my role any more? How do I fit into her life anymore? She assures me that she will always have a special place in her life for me...but frankly that sounds like a platitude more than anything.

Its always been hard to get past her walls and get her to open up to me about anything that is even in the slightest way personal...does this mean that I am about be to be shown to the gate? Its all so hard for me to deal with but your not allowed to tell anyone this because I am just supposed to be SOOO HAPPY OMG! I CANT BELIEVE IT THIS IS SO EXCITING!!! there is no room for the tears, for the sadness of knowing that our friendship that is so precious to me will never be the same again.

And yes I am aware how i sound. I sound bitter, selfish, jealous and just overall awful. Like someone you never wish to have as a friend. I hoped that when the time came, i would be better than this, turns out I'm not.

So for now, I'm trying to keep my snarky comments to myself. Its not easy.  I have all these feelings and thoughts that i would normally share with her building up in my head. Because I can't tell her. Not now. Probably not ever. she is going through an intense time and this is HER time...and i am supposed to smile and be available whenever she happens to grace me with a call because who knows when the heck i am going to have a chance to talk to her? Her time is so limited as it is and now I've been pushed down the totem pole. I always suspected that I was closer to the bottom and now I am definitely closer to the bottom.

Please, no one leave comments about how irrational I am being...because you know what? I know I am being freaking irrational. But feelings are not rational.

excuse me while i go cry about my best friend being engaged.

Mazal Tov
IMYH by you

am

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Cliche

Hello, debbie downer here.

seeing as this is the closest thing to a diary I have...here it goes. Its happened. I am the cliche. I am that girl. That girl that is crying because she is 26 and single. I am that girl who looks at everyone else and wonder how it is possible that everybody's got somebody but me? I see these little teen-boppers..arms flung across each other, snuggling close and looking at each other with such ardor I know i should look away but i cannot. Its pathetic but I'm jealous.

I want someone to hold, Someone to hold me. I sound like a broken record but it just seems to get worse with very passing day. It doesn't help that every time I get together girls my age it always come back to the same topic.Dating sucks, there is no one good left...the double standard.. blah blah blah.

I was on the train today and it took everything in me not to breakdown into uncontrollable sobs. I am alone. Yes, I of little faith... but the evidence points more and more to the same fact... that I will probably spend most of my life alone. There are days when I say bring it on...days when its more challenging but today was the first time i became that girl I always swore i wouldn't be...sitting at home alone crying into my pillow because I am not wedded in blissful matrimony.

I was speaking to a friend and she was saying how she had written herself a bucket list and that she has basically gone through it...she's done doing all the fun stuff she wanted to do when she's single. She's ready. But she said, shes happy. She has a busy meaningful life and she's happy.

Therein lies the difference. I'm basically re-living the past two years of my life. granted school is a heck of a lot easier...G-d knows it better be otherwise i really am stupid. But I look around at the girls in school with me, they're little kids..22/23.

There is so much I haven't done, because i was in school, and then again because i am in school. its like my life is in limbo because i cant do anything A) because I have to study B) I have no freaking $$ because i have to pay for school...again!

Do I sound bitter? There is a good reason for that..I am bitter. I don't know what kinda game Gd is playing. Is this the point? Make me so miserable that I start crying...now that I'm crying it must mean that now i really want it? Do I have to be so brokenhearted? so dejected? So crushed that I cry out to G-d to bring me my soul mate?

I know that the Imahot were barren for "G-d loves the prayer of the righteous."  This cannot be the case here. I am not righteous. Far from it. I'm barely keeping it together these days. So what can it be? What is the Game Plan oh Omniscient Game Maker? What is happening here? How many more days, months, years do i have to walk about aimlessly trying to figure out what it is that you want from me?

I'm just tired, tired of the unknown. Tired of waiting for something, some mythical someone who everyone promises me is " out there somewhere" what is he playing peekaboo? Hide and seek?Dear G-d just give me some direction. Give me a small hint. Something. I am floundering...I can't tread water for that much longer..my legs and my will is just about to give out.

AM

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Its Not All Bad

I always post the gloom and doom of my life. Mostly because i just need to vent usually. But I wanted to share the good too. I'm not always a Debbie Downer.

I was really touched when a friend of mine who is known to go off the radar for weeks/months at a time called me early this week simply to tell me that she's going to be busy and that she won't be available and to tell me that she was thinking of me...I was truly touched.

I also just had a crazy 48 hours. I had to go out of town for a big work event. It was just cool to get outta town for 24 hours, stay at a fancy hotel, have car services picking me up...holding signs with my name on it. I know I know I sound like a country bumkin and I very well may be. It was crazy busy taking care of minutae and I barely got to see any of the hotel but it was awesome to be involved with something so big that impacted so many people. 

I managed to sneak away to get some gorgeous shots. 









I find these pictures awe-inspiring. Mah Rabu Maasecha Hashem! 

aight- back to studying I go. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Just ...can't


This is precisely what I've felt like all week! 
It all started out on Sunday, well really Friday but that was last week, so ill focus on this week. 
Sunday..all i wanted to do was come home from school, crash, grab a beer and just veg out...but I was in dire need to go grocery shopping. and by dire i mean dire!
as i left the parking lot, i managed to somehow back into a huge 
this left the car i was driving severely dented. Mind you this was not my car, but a family in my area who has taken me in as their own. oh, and their daughter is getting married in a few weeks. 
and it turns out..the repair on the car...drum roll please...
$900! 

that was Sunday. 

The rest of the week wasn't as dramatic. Just the run of the mill underlying drama that comes with being friends with girls. and the insanity that is work right now because our BIG EVENT OF THE  YEAR is on Sunday as in three days Sunday.. 

Oh and my teachers are ridiculous and my roommate is insane! she has it out for me and i cannot for the life of me figure it out. oh and the icing on the cake...
and the 

i came home yesterday completely and utterly shattered...to find out that we have been graced with a 
$100 recycling ticket! 

not only do i not have money for that...my bi-polar roomie seems to think that its my fault...we all know you cant reason with crazy...

anyways..that's my life in a nutshell at the moment 

How Much Can You Just Not Even Right Now?

take the quiz and let me know how you fared..because i clearly just cant 
  1. You got: You really just can’t even

    Oh wow. You literally can’t. Even some days when you think you can, you end up just not being able to even. Don’t worry, this is very common. Especially on Mondays, and when it rains, and when puppies appear, and… well, pretty much always.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Winter Nights

Its that time of year. Gingerbread lattes. Yummy huge Sweatshirts. Cuddling up on the couch with the your special someone. Reading a classic book by the fireplace holding a steaming cup of tea (large glass of red wine) reveling in the coziness of your home. Thanking G-d that you are inside and not out.

Shabbat was beautiful. As usual. But outside..outside was disgusting. The howling, biting, wind. The rain...oh the rain. But I braved the weather and went out for all my meals. When I got back to m y apartment, all by my lonesome...I felt just that...alone. Most of the time being single doesn't really bother me. I'm busy. Between school and work there is very little time to think. Just go, go, go.

But comes Shabbat when there are no distractions. No cell phone. No music. No work. No studying. Just me alone with my thoughts. Scary. That's usually when it hit me. I am alone. I have no one. There is no one that I can call at 3 in the morning and know without a doubt that they will pick up. No one to come home to. I know I am being a little melodramatic...but that's ok... I wonder..will I die alone?

Now I know that I have my family. and they have always been and always will be there for me. But as loving as they are...I always feel like I just don't fit it. That I am different. I know it sounds cliche and it is. I am the black sheep. I love them and they love me. That much is clear. But at the same time there is always this distance, this gap that cannot be bridged. I always sit just a little bit apart. I come home for small pockets of time. Otherwise, its just too much i feel too isolated in the sea of love that is my loving, devoted, dedicated family.

I can be all spiritual and say...we are never alone. G-d is always with us. G-d is holding our hand and guiding us through the mess of this world. Sure that's the right answer. But honestly, how many of us feel that way? How many of us can really relate to G-d as a friend? As a daily companion? I can't. Kudos to those who can.

I feel like this might be a pattern for me. Sunny in the summer, dark and gloomy in the winter. I'm sure its not just me. Truth is tho i love winter. I love the clothes. I love the drinks. I love coming home when your face is frozen from the wind and you have to wait for your face to defrost. I truly love it. But sometimes, on the long winter Friday nights, long motzai Shabbat...those nights I simply feel sad.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Now what?

It has truly been a whirl wind of holidays..flying back and forth NY-Home, Home- NY...


There is generally a feeling of exhaustion, and just plain heaviness at the end of the three day yom tov. The feeling of a shower after three days...is there anything sweeter?

For me, I was expecting all those feelings.
I was expecting feeling stuffed, of being tired despite all the sleeping,
I was expecting to feel a little despondent from not being with my family.

But come motzai Shabbat the one overwhelming emotion I had was elation. I was spiritually energized, I was.. MitChazek.. things were clear that were once murky I knew where I stood. I was ready to face the world again.

Its ironic, for on the surface I had the least "Spiritual" holiday. I never once went to shul. I wasn't with my family. I stayed by myself and ate each of the 7 meals by a different family. I spent a lot of time on the couch curled up with a book and food. Lots of food. I learned a little about the Parshah, I finished reading The Happiness Project, I started R' Moshe Feinstein's biography, reviewed my hilchot Shabbat notebook from seminary. I didn't do anything earth shattering. I did not sit  and meditate. My prayers were not more meaningful than usual. But I was strengthened.

The holiday season is over. There is nothing till Chanuka :( and somehow we have to forge on. Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan is this Thursday. We are moving back to reality. Being thrown back into "real life" for all intents and purposes, And its a struggle. It feels almost impossible to maintain the spiritual high of Tishrei just through this week let alone through the end of Kisleiv.

This week is the Shabbat Project. and if you don't know what I'm talking about, please please check it out. I think the secret to keeping a strong Jewish identity and perspective lies in Shabbat. I know that this tends to be my soapbox so I apologize in advance. Shabbat is what truly separates us from the world in both the literal and spiritual sense. It is the oasis in the middle of the toxic waste pit of 2014. The moment we light candles and the serenity of Shabbat falls upon us, we have 25 hours to do something magical, something so elevated, so spiritual that it can only happen once a week.

In those ethereal moments when the sun light fades and the world darkens, our homes brighten with the flames of the Shabbat candlesNeshama Yetairah.  We are granted respite from the hamster-wheel lives we live and can stop and take stock. Regroup. Re-Strengthen. Re-Energize.
. Our souls are lit anew with the addition of the

But this doesn't happen by osmosis. If we just sleep through the day, we miss it. We have to seek it. Ask G-d for it. We have to actively bask in the glow of G-d love and attention.

Shabbat is the secret to spiritual success.

Friday, October 3, 2014

This is it

I clearly have forgotten the importance of regular blogging.

Truth is that my computer has been..let just say..MIA...it has not been cooperating, thus making it difficult to blog, or do most anything related to the 21st century.

So quick recap, I am in my 4th semester of PA school 2.0, I am currently working also! AHHH! which makes my life a little bit crazy, because I wake up at 645 every morning and get home between 9:30 and 10:00 at night. Shabbat is my only day off because I go to school Sun-Thur and work Mon-Fri.

So, its Erev Yom Kippur, Erev Shabbat, the holiest day of the year. It all comes down to this. This is the moment when we are at our holiest and our cleanest. Wearing all white, completely separating from the physical. Not a word coming out of my mouth except prayer. The only one I will be speaking to is G-d for the duration of the next 25 hours.

it is a daunting task. I'm hungry just thinking about it. I'm exhausted remembering the hours and hours of standing. Freezing. ( don't forget a sweatshirt shul is always freezing on YK)

I don't think I have anything truly inspiring to say. Mostly because I am not all that inspired myself. This week was far too exhausting to do anything but survive it. I don't doubt that is part of the Yetzer Hara's plan, as it is all year long. He doesn't have to fight us, just keep us so busy, fatigue us to the extent that we just cant stand up anymore. If we cant summon the energy to move forward, gravity will naturally bring us down. He just has us running in circles, and then just sits back and watches. its just too easy.

So I'm packing it in last minute. watch that shiur, going through my phone seeing who I have to apologize to.

So my one piece of "advice" if you wanna call it that...take on a Taanit Dibbur. Refrain from speaking to anyone but G-d. I started doing this a few years ago and really it transforms your prayer! Transforms your day! Obviously, if one has children or a family this isn't really possible, But if you can,..it really is an incredible feeling.

and the last thing: I'd like to take this moment to ask mechila if anything i said or didn't say offended anyone or hurt you. It was never my intention and if i did so i am truly sorry.

Shana Tova Gmar Chativa V'Chatima Tova
May we all be truly inspired and focused and have an easy meaningful fast, filled with connection and true repentance.

AM

Friday, September 12, 2014

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

words of advice

My high school friend recently got engaged! Mazal Tov! and we all couldnt be happier!

Her parents posted this on our community yahoo group and I just had share it.

As we make preparations for our first child’s wedding, I am taking a moment to reflect, thank, and yes give some advice. Advice to parents who are trying to help their child find a soul mate and advice to others who are either professionally or otherwise trying to help singles lose their status. If you are not interested in any of the above, proceed now to the next posting.

The Talmud compares one finding their zivug to the splitting of the sea. We are told that when the Jewish People went into the sea they didn’t cross over the sea but actually made a semi-circle coming out on the same side as they entered. That being the case, those who were on the exterior side of the semi-circle had a much longer path to travel than those on the interior side. There were definitely days when I thought that our child would never find a match and days that we thought we were close only to be disappointed. I have a small inkling of what the Jews felt as they crossed the sea waiting to exit from their encounter.

THANK YOU – Firstly, thank You to the Almighty for enabling us to reach this moment and thanks to all who gave advice, made suggestions, and prayed. I hope that I am able to repay in kind all the chesed we have been the beneficiaries of.

In terms of advice – it may be worth what you are paying for it. Firstly, I would like to humbly suggest things that may upgrade the professionalism of the field of shadchanim. There are many wonderful shadchanim that exist and please continue serving in your holy and challenging task.

Please think carefully before making a suggestion: Just because he is a he and she is a she and they are both Jewish, doesn’t a shidduch make. If you are really interested in helping others, find out what they are really like and what they are truly looking for.

On the other hand, don’t hesitate to suggest someone because they don’t fit the exact image of what you think the other person is looking for. And please, please be honest about the other person (within the framework of shimras halashon). Do you want a person to be angry with you because you withheld some very pertinent information?

Never pressure a boy or girl or family. This is a decision that will impact the rest of their lives. Let all parties involved contemplate their choices carefully. Sometimes giving information or suggestions is helpful, but leave the pressure in your car tires.

I’m uncomfortable when shadchanim ask for a photo, but I do understand it. However, it is beyond me how a shadchan could ask for a girl’s size and one shadchan shockingly told a mother “call me back when she is two sizes smaller”.

If the other side isn’t interested, please just say so and don’t say “he’s busy right now”. (Three years later when he is still single one begins to wonder). I ask forgiveness from the person who said it to me and my sharp reaction.

The following incident happened to me a few years ago and I still retain some resentment at this shadchan. I had been calling this shadchan about once a month to check if she had any new suggestions. Each time she was polite but said that no new names had come her way. After about six months (without a single suggestion from her) she says to me….you really should think about not being so rigid in what you are looking for. I held my tongue but internally I thought, lady if you had made five suggestions and I had rejected several of them, then you have the right to make such a statement. Needless to say, I did not continue calling her after that.

And now a word for parents (I am by no means an expert in this area so these are just my three cents worth –inflation).

Pray, pray, and pray. We don’t know when, how, or whom it helps, but it does.

Network, network, network. The best suggestions came from people that knew us or knew our daughter. Shadchanim whom you’ve met once or twice (or just spoke to on the phone) can be a help but our experience is that networking is very beneficial.

Think out of the box. The only place to find a perfect pair is in the shoe store so be open to suggestions. Every suggestion that came our way we made at least one or two phone calls (and some many more). Even if on paper you can’t imagine your daughter marrying type x,y, or z – withhold judgment and really consider the suggestion. If you still are uncertain, ask an outside party (like your rav).

Though references on a shidduch resume are helpful, try to find at least one or two people not listed on the resume to talk with. Prepare a basic list of questions that you want to know and ask anything else that occurs to you while you are talking. Don’t be embarrassed to ask things like “did you ever see him angry?” or similar types of questions to really get a flavor for the person.

Finally, pay the shadchan and pay all the other wedding expenses (that’s the millionaire’s advice).

May we and all of klal Yisrael share many simchas.


Maran Harav Ovadia: the Revered Gaon and Posek who Restored the Crown of Sephardic Jewry

So ...its been a really long time..I had finals..and then "summer break" and now back to real life.

So somewhere in that interim ( read: a long time ago) Artscroll contacted me about writing a book review..I was so honored I said yes! right away! But then school got in the way...but here it is...My first official BOOK REVIEW!


My first thought when I received it..was man this book is thick..this is going to take forever! It is actually 561 pages. I figured I had a few Shabbatot worth of reading ahead of me. The exact opposite was true. I could not put it down... I was walking down the streets reading as I went. It was enthralling, exciting an inviting. 

I'm not one to read biographies of Gedolim. I always say that I should..and I always think that it is important to and one day I will have a huge library filled to the rim with every Artscroll book ever published..all the biographies included and I would be inspired. But realistically it never really happened. But this one was different. R' Ovadia Yosef. Being Sephardi, I felt like I owed it to myself to read this. Sephardic Jewry is changed forever and completely by the works and the life of Maran. 

We know that at his funeral " an estimated 850,000 people came running the gamut of Israeli society, came to pay their last respects." Never have we seen such a turn out. So many people from so many different walks of life come together, united by their love and grief over the loss of one man. 

The biography, written by Rabbi Yehuda Heimowitz is written is true Sephardic style, with the sephardic pronunciations and spellings. I was impressed by the breadth of information that was present. Every page told more and shed more light on the Gadol that is so missed in our day. 

One starts to get a feel right away, of what kind of person Maran was, even from a very young age. From the time he first published his own sefer at 18. To the way he persuaded his wife to marry him. His entire life was Torah, his entire being was Torah. He risked his own life on multiple occasions to uphold the sanctity and the emet of the Torah. 

After his, passing, Hespeidim (eulogies) were abound. In every corner of the globe people gathered to hear about his greatness. Many stories were told. The biography contains all those stories and more. The many pictures depict his real life, his real persona. The stories told by Maran's sons and neighbors..give us maybe a glimpse into the mind and the thoughts of Maran Harav Ovadia. 

I definitely recommend taking the time to open it and read it. Yes, it may seem daunting at first. Its a big book, but that comes out of necessity When one is a gadol,,it is only fitting that his biography reflect that.