Tipat Chassidut - Without a Woman

A man without a woman is half a person, and the Divine Presence does not rest upon him
(Zohar III, 109b, 296a.)

Similarly there is a Talmudic principle that ishto k'gufo, "a man's wife is like his very body," (Menachos 93b)


Random Video Clips with Atara

City Place, West Palm Beach, FL - March 18th ish

Elevator in MOMA

In Central Park

Playing with mittens and animal hats by Bryant Park - Feb '10

Fort Tryon Park - March '10



Mazel Tov!

Atara and I were just engaged on Sunday, April 18th. 

How did I pop the question?  Rowboat.  I think it's the smartest idea, because say she doesn't accept?  Well, I guess a nice swim in cold water is more up speed! Just Kidding.  I knew she would accept because everyday she would ask me to propose.  I thought it would be a little more romantic in Central Park than in a sushi place. 

We had a Lechaim right afterward (first we went to Noidue to eat.  Shh), and a lot of very good friends came by to wish us mazel tov and give brechos, etc.  It was a lot of fun.  My favorite part was when everyone was gone and we had a lot of left overs to take home. 

Now, we're just deciding when to have the wedding.  Atara and I just went to Bed Bath and Beyond to register.  So...how about being really really nice and getting us the 6 $220 5 pc place settings we want?? Thanks!


Uncle Arthur

Just met Atara's Uncle Arthur at Le Marais for lunch yesterday.  All I can say is that he's a great guy, and I had a great time.

A few interesting points to know about Uncle Arthur:
  • It might not be a good idea to send him manure as a gift on Farmville.  
  • Pesach desserts irritate him. 
  • He thinks of his cockapoo (sp?) as one of his children and refers to him as "the 3 year old"
I'm really happy that so far all of Atara's relatives are really nice and normal. 

Oh, and Le Marais' chocolate mousse is the bomb diggity.  Just know that. 



Atara and I are back from Florida, and everything worked out just fine.  Family loved her.  Publix loved her.  The sunshine loved her.  Fish and Beaker sort of loved her.  Took some nice pictures, went to City Place, the beach, and just chilled out.  Shabbos dinner was a little awkward, but other than that we all had a lot of fun.  Came back with a few nice quotations from my grandmother.  Such aaaas...

"Someone go down and get the garbage.  I need to check my sterling." 

"No, no.  Don't use a brown colored bag to take the food.  Take this white bag.  I would never travel with a brown colored bag." 

Hehe.  Here are some pics.


Ugh. Our flight was delayed from 229 to 9pm. Riots will soon commence.


Goin to FL

Atara is in BK right now packing up her stuff.  Tomorrow around 11AM we're going to West Palm Beach to visit my family.  This is Atara's first time meeting my parents.  It's gonna be hella fun. 

I've eaten waaay too much dairy this week, and I feel like puking.  Chobani Chobaniiii


Shavua Tov! 5 days til Atara and I are in 80 degree weather WOo!


Atara and I went on our first date in oh....2 months last night? A little Noidue action. Atara needs to learn more about wine, so she can actually choose
a wine she will enjoy. It's all about the grapes.

And Tasti D-Lite needs to step up their game in the peppermint dept...


The Queeeeesh!

Ooooo mobile bloggey action! What? Atara is gonna look at this tomorrow or something, and be like- "sooo what's his problem, and why was he up at 3am?".
Oh well....

Purim Weekend in Monsey

I went with Atara to Monsey this past weekend to spend Shabbos and Purim with her family and entire neighborhood.  It must have been the most eventful weekend of my life.  Only good things though.  

Atara and I thought it best (Atara's mother thought it best) that we leave Thursday only because the snow storm was so bad.  Getting to the Monsey bus on 42nd and 5th was the most dreadful time, because the ground was covered in an icey wet slush of death, so it made everything 10 times more difficult.  I had to carry Atara on my back all the way to Wesley Hills.

Long story really really short - we got there, everything was super dandy, ate a lot of food, and then went across the street to sleep over at the Benisz's, who are fantastic people.  Then, the power went out early Friday morning! Woo! Everyone in the neighborhood was freaking out, because whatcha gonna do before Shabbos with no power?  I felt so badly for Atara's mother! Everything worked out though and was spectacular.  Though, davening in shul was weird becasue we lit about 50 yartzeit candles, which made my eyes kill.  All in all, food was great, company was great, all was great.  

Until I got sick Motzei Shabbos.  I thought that it was just food poisoning from eating unrefrigerated salad and mayo, but it turned out to be a stomach virus that was going around the neighborhood.  So, my Purim wasn't so festive.  Just a stomach ache and a chaffed bum.  Then, I got Atara sick along with her little brother.  eeek.  sorry.  

I left Monsey a happy camper though.  I had a great time.  Atara's family is wonderful.  And special.  Marc Benisz is a wise man.   

Atara just left to go back to Brooklyn :( 


Where's the QUEESH, WOMAN?! "It's spelled quiche...., honey"

So, Atara made queesh about 6 hrs ago (read days), *I want a kitchen already i hate HATE kelly's oven* and we're still waiting for it to finish cooking.  Mind you, this delicious *DELICIOUS* broccoli confection is cooking in our fleishig oven in one of the Washington Terrace shanties, so it takes awhile.  Everyone knows you can't cook queesh with tin foil, *honey, it's spelled quiche* but that's what we have to do.  She says we're getting places and it might be done *except there's still a lake in the middle of it, just to taunt me*.  

On another note...Socrates my landlord (Sparadakys) has yet to fix the leak in my roof.  He's fat and Greek *racist? fat has nothing to do with being greek, ahem jennifer aniston ahem*, and may I recommend that he start eating Chobani fat free Greek yogurts?  They are delicious. *maybe if he likes them he'll get you an umbrella to sleep under, rather than you buying one yourself*.  Mr. Benisz (with a z) got me into them.  

Atara is a peeping tom (and will probably edit this).  She's staring intently at the shirtless man across the street.  She can't tear her eyes away. Look at the queesh! It's shirtless too!  *i'm just trying to understand! does he not know we can see him so clearly?! should we hang up a sign that says 'if you can see this just know that it works both ways'?! and really, some people should keep shirts on at all times.  although kelly probably would just say 'he's greek.'*


I'm Alive

A lot happens in a month.

I had swine flu a few weeks ago. My relationship is going very well. The research I have been doing has been a little stagnant, but I gave two sick presentation to my team. One was about Al-Bedoin sign language, and the other was about verb acquisition in children.

I'm also going to try to start painting thanks to the encouragement of Atara and Brad Pitt. God knows I don't want to be held at gun point in the back of a convenient store...

I'm pretty excited about going home in January. The weather is going to be awesome and the beach spectacular. Oh boy. Bring out the mankini!


So, is it a Chazaka?

This morning as I was walking back to my apt from shiur I saw a few meat wagons on Audobon and 186th St. There isn't a single person on this planet who isn't lured to the sight of flashing ambulance lights and fire trucks. Everyone wants to see a good accident, am I right? The more blood and dismembered body parts the better.

So, an ambullette rammed a truck, the two front tires were lifted off the ground, and then an SUV smashed into the back of the ambullette. Somone was FOR SURE hurt.

Again, the quality of blackberry videos is horrendous. Say a kpitel please.

On a better note- Had a great date last night. 7 hours. Beat that! Went to Battery Park and sorta watched the sunset, made chocolate chip pancakes, drank decent Indian beer, and went rock climbing. I had fun. Did you??? wink wink wink. Not, you Ely. :)


Combo in the NYC Marathon

Our wonderful tzaddik of a friend Yisroel Elliot Combo Kaminetzky ran beautifully in the 2009 NYC Marathon this afternoon. A few of his good ol' buddies went down to 96th and 5th Ave to wait and cheer for him. The vibe over there was so positive and inspiring. Everyone was rooting for all the runners, and high fives were abundant. Definitely a high point for New York City.

Here is a clip of me chasing Combo once we saw him.

And, what's a 28 mile marathon without an after-party at the star runner's sister's apt? Everyone met back at Combo's sister Ilana's place for some nosh, drinks, and to congratulate Combo. Plus, we wanted to make sure he replenished the 5,000 calories he burned during 4 hours of running. Lots of FUUUN

Here's a reaallly poor quality clip I recorded on my blackberry of his little speech thanking his family, friends, and Hashem YisboraCh WOOT WOOT!


Yosef Karduner Videos

Here are the videos that I took on my camera from the concert last night. Enjoy!

The song list is as follows:
Shlach Lanu Manhig
Mashiach Yavo
Nosim LaRebbe
HaAleinu LeEretz Yisrael
Taamin And Niggun of Ein Shum Yeush
A Story by Reb Noson
KsheAdam Yodeah
Shir LeMaalot
LeKaf Zechut And Hashem Melech
Hazireinu Bitsuvah
Gesher Tzar Meod
Maggid of Mezritch Niggun
Im Ein Ani
Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai
Yedid Nefesh


Yosef Karduner in the Heights

I just came back from the Yosef Karduner concert that was being held at the Mt. Sinai Jewish Center in Washington Heights on 187th St and Bennett Ave. Normally, I detest Jewish music, mostly the Yeshivish Shwekey type, because it all sounds the same, and everyone wants to sound like Shwekey who sucks to begin with. I'm pretty sure all fans of that genre of Jewish music come from Five Towns. Fair Generalization? Yes? No?

However, Yosef Karduner is a tzaddik and a beautiful musician. His music is so crisp and his voice is so uplifting. Aside from that, he's a Breslover, and I'm huge into that. A lot of his lyrics are from Likutei Moharan or Likutei Halachos.

I recorded about an hour of the concert for everyone's viewing pleasure. I'll probably upload all 18 videos tomorrow. I would have stayed a little longer, but one of my friends who lives on the Upper West Side leaves all of his hockey shit in my apartment for his games in the Muss basement gym.

It sort of seems that he is starting to create a trend. I went to a HIM concert last December at the Nokia Theatre, and I had to leave about 30 minutes before the show was over because he couldn't stand their music. He's cute.

On another note- I feel like I'm slacking off in school. Midterms started this week, and I really don't have so much work. But, just because everyone else is freaking out and I'm not I feel like I'm not doing something right- maybe I'm too relaxed about everything? Maybe I should be freaking out too? I have been skipping class the past few days though. I'm just getting really sick of school. It's definitely time for a break.

Oh, and this morning I went climbing with Yatzi. I don't know HOW I managed to get myself in this position, but it hurt. It's kinda Greek God-ish according to Yatzkov. Eh.


Oh, so Jews Are Poisoning the Wells Again? Er...Not Really

If Piggy Flu wasn't enough check this out. Mumps outbreaks in Lakewood (30 ish) and Boro Park (50 ish). Yay! And who's got it? THE JEWS! My guess is that most of the kids who have it never got vaccinated partly because the private yeshivas don't always require immunization records. Or...we're in desperate need of teshuva.

I'm actually in Boro Park now. I work at a home for disabled individuals. I hope to God they have all had vaccines for Measles. Then again, vaccines don't prevent getting the disease 100%. It sort of just protects you a little bit. Check Wikipedia out for Mumps. It's pretty scary.

Don't let anyone breathe on you in the subways... Yucky

Gut Voch :)


Guido LOOVES Wasabi

Whoa! Guido and Stevo have more in common than the fact that their names rhyme! Next time I'll get him to snort it..
So, it's winter in New York City. And....it's still the middle of October. I have been here for four years, and normally the heat continues to cook the city well into the middle of November. I must say that the summer months are probably the most dreadful. I'm from South Florida, and the heat here in NYC makes Century Village look like a penguin lagoon with shuffle board strips and golf carts crashing into palm trees. If you haven't been in the 181st subway station in the middle of July (Or a typical October) then you don't know what hot is. Waiting for the 1 Train on that damn platform in the heat, which is for sure above 110 degrees, is a guaranteed hallucinatory trip right into the electrified third cable. What I'm trying to say is that the weather here has been great.

So, it's pretty clear that Obama's Change has yet to come. Actually, that's not true. He's going to change America into a third world communist cesspool. Not because he's black. I'm not a racist, but my grandparents are. If they weren't Jewish I'm convinced that all of their bed sheets would be white. I hate speaking to them about Obama, because no matter which of his plans we speak about it always comes back to the fact that he's a Muslim operative planted in the White House. Why are old people so against Socialism? And Black People?

Oh, and we know that he's terrible for Israel. But, does that really matter? Shouldn't the fate of Israel be in the hands of the Jewish people alone? Maybe it is. Oh, and Obama is the Anti-Christ, supposedly...



Shabbos and 95% Humidity. Just the Way I Like It

Just wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom and Rosh Chodesh Elul Sameach from Lantana Beach



Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
Mon 8/24
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
$20 advance / $20 day of show

So, I'm a little pissed. The Mew show in Brooklyn is SOLD OUT (and at Terminal 5). And the worst thing is that a few days ago when I checked it I could have bought a ticket, but my dumb ass thought that there was still time.

I could head over there and hope that they have a few extras just before the show. I pulled this shit last year too when they were playing at Indigo Plaza....idiot


Salami Aleikum

I havent posted in a hella long time, partly because this summer I have been very busy, and because most of the time I dont have access to a computer. Beleive it.

So, for now I'm in West Palm with the fam before fall semester starts, and it's HOTTER THAN AN AUSCHWITZ PIZZA OVEN HERE!

You read right! It's friggin hot here, and the humidity will make your balls sweat enough perspiration to fill a two liter bottle of coke. Very quickly. Yummy!

I'm going back to NY on Monday. Should be fun.


Music of NYC- Some oriental instrument


With a brief appearance by the L-Train. In front of the Golda Meir Head Statue.


Raz Hartman Clips - Washington Heights June 30, 2009

Awesome night. He played in an apt on Wadsworth and 188th for about two hours. Brought sooo much color and life to the Heights! Wooo!

Sorry the quality sucks...


In the M&M's store....they hord them on the 2nd floor!

I can't believe I bought 12 mms for $5 at the MMS store in Time Square......

My housemate Combo was having a phenomenal time, though....


חג שבועות שמח

I want to wish everyone a Gut Yontiv. We should all be zocheh to have a meaningful Shavuos- it should be one of great inspiration, learning, joy, and Torah. Here is a letter that was written by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, which I thought was interesting.
Chag Sameach!


Excerpts from a letter

By the Grace of G-d
Rosh Chodesh Sivan, 5724 [1964]
Brooklyn, NY

...It is worthy of note that the festival of Shavuoth has no independent date of its own, like any other festival, since no month or day is specified in the Torah as the time of its celebration, but only that it is the "Fiftieth Day" of the counting of the Omer; the counting which we begin on the second day of Pesach, on the day after the liberation from Egyptian bondage.

In this way the Torah emphasizes that the festival of Shavuoth is the goal of the festival of Pesach; that the Season of the Giving of Our Torah is the culmination of the Season of Our Freedom -- that the true and complete freedom, both for the individual as well as for the community, and both materially and spiritually, can be attained only through the acceptance of the Torah.

We live in a time and in a country where, notwithstanding external "freedom", the society in general, and the young generation in particular, are still largely "enslaved," and at a loss how to free themselves from the shackles of spiritual and mental confusion. The only hope that Jewish children should not be swept with this stream lies in a Torah education, where the golden chain of the Torah from Sinai is maintained; the Torah in all its sanctity, the Torah of Truth which must always remain intact, and cannot be subject to compromise or concession


Nutso Preacher - DC H St and 8th

I was away from NY for about a week. Went to Univ. of Maryland to see some friends, and EVERYONE was grabbing my beard. I think it was the end of finals, so everyone was out having a good time, and as I was walking down Knox to Princeton, about 20 people yanked on my beard. Face was VERY sore haha

I also went to visit the American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro, NC, and chilled with a good friend in Fredricksburg, VA. I had the feeling that I was the first Jew many of the locals had ever seen in their lives....

I took the Eastern Travel bus from DC to NY, and as I was waiting, this guy was standing nearby on the corner of H St and 8th Ave. Jesus this, Jesus that. I'll cut off my foot for you, so you don't go to hell...A lot of rubbish, but really really entertaining. Enjoy!


Why the Plague?

It's the 38th day of the Omer, and the plague that killed 24,000 of R'Akiba's students ended 5 days ago.

I was discussing the whole situation with my roommate, because it's very perplexing that Rabbi Akiba's students would treat each other so poorly when their Rebbe was the vanguard of preaching Ahavas Chinam. How was this possible?

So, he told me that the Lubavitcher Rebbe once said that each of Rabbi Akiba's students interpreted their Rebbe's teachings the way they saw fit. Meaning, Yankel treated Moshe the way he THOUGHT he should treat him, and Yaakov treated Simcha in accordance to what he thought was appropriate.

When we interact with another human being in such a way that we THINK we know what's best for him, we will usually end up causing more harm than good . We are merely looking into this person's life from the outside without having a single clue as to what is really best for him.

So, I said that it only makes sense that the famous adage of "love your neighbor as yourself" was stated as the NEW standard once the plague was over. I don't know if this is written somewhere, and if it is tell me please.

Now, when we understand that we must love another human being as we love ourselves we relate to that person on a totally different level. Before we behave or say something to another human being we must first pause and consider whether or not we would be offended if such things were said to us. When we consider Rabbi Akiba's adage we no longer stand on the outside and assume what's best for another, but rather we stand in the shoes of our neighbor and know what will insult or harm him, because we are positive that it will insult us!

We should all have the zchus to speak to others in a way that serves only to teach and encourage shmiras HaTorah and the adherence to derech eretz-a lashon that's free from lashon hara. This will certainly encourage Ahavas Chinam and expedite Mashiach's arrival.


1ST Video on YouTube!

More To Come! It's gonna be insane!!

Wow...I have such a bad sinus headache right now. And, Abnormal Psychology final tomorrow before I go to Brooklyn. So, time for bed!


Beautiful Washington Heights

When I first moved to Washington Heights three years ago I had NO idea how I was going to manage- let alone New York altogether. I was coming straight from the homey, cozy Greensboro, NC, where I was practically living in Gan Eden.

Between the smell of rotting garbage, graffiti, and Hispanic music blasting until 4AM in the streets, I really didn't think I was going to make it. I didn't even know how I was going to survive in YU, because I had never lived in such a dense, frum community. But that's for another time.

Anyway, Washington Heights has become my home, and I have grown to love it. Many would consider it to be the armpit of Manhattan, but I like to think of it as the sweet spot.

If you have ever been to the Heights, you certainly know about Ft. Tryon Park. It stands above the Hudson River nOn 191st and Ft. Washington, and is BEAUTIFUL. The day that I found Ft. Tryon park was the day the Heights became a million times more tolerable.

Just today I went and found a remote spot and did some intense hisbodedus. It was incredible. After which I learned a little from Torah Daled in LM. Good stuff. If you live in the NY area and you HAVEN'T been to Ft. Tryon Park - you gotta go. It blows Central Park out of the water.

We should all be zocheh to see the sechel she'yesh bekol davar....even on St. Nick...

Yosef Karduner: Likutei Moharan I:6 - "Tzarich Lihyot Baki"