This is my attempt at blogging. I'm still learning about the blogging world, and this is my own personal study hall.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What am I? Don't ask!


Well, I took this quiz that's been going around. At first I was very wary of it. Like most of these online quizes, I assumed this one would be poorly conceived, ill-defined, and shallow. But I have to say I really like it. And it summed me up pretty well. I answered all of the questions as honestly as I could, and below is the result. I'm "Huh?", which is actually kind of what I've always ended up making people say whenever I've expressed more than one of my views within Orthodoxy at a time. User Test: The Orthodoxy  Test.

What are you?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Shalom Bayis

Oh boy. Here it is. We knew it had to happen sometime.

The Wings are playing the Oilers in the first round of the NHL Playoffs as we speak.

Here are the rules (so far):

1. The rivalry cannot begin more than half an hour before each game.
2. The rivalry must end at the conclusion of each game.

Ali wants some rules to be slightly biased in her favor because the Red Wings are the favorites. I don't think that's necessarily a good idea, but we'll see how the series goes.

I just got a look from Ali because she didn't realize they had already played one game (neither did I, which, thank G-d, she believed). So I'm going to end this here and watch the game with my wife.

Wish us Hatzlahah (success) in getting through this series happily.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Just a quick update

So Pesah was really nice overall. We were in Toronto for the first days, where we spent the Hag with Ali's family. Most of her family is not observant, but her cousins have slowly become "frum" (I hate that word, by the way, but that should probably be a separate post all on its own) over the last couple of years. They also moved around a bit, from Edmonton to Calgary a number of years ago to Toronto about two years ago. So now they happen to be Halachically observant and settled not terribly far away from us, so we took advantage of our first real opportunity to spend a Yom Tov with Ali's close family.

We went to her distant cousins in Vegas for Succos and, while Ali is very close with them emotionally, and her grandmother joined us there, it wasn't quite like spending the Yom Tov with her family, but more like spending it with very close friends and some family.

This was the first time we were able to spend Yom Tov with her family that she grew up with. The Seder was virtually the same as it always was when she was little, including a lot of yelling and shouting and beating up one another. Most of the time everybody was laughing at something or someone or another. It was really a lot of fun. Also her cousins are all boys, from 24 down to 18, so it was a unique experience.

Oh, and I totally beat out Ali's attempt at Afikoman stealing. For months Ali was telling me that she was going to have her cousins gang up on me, like she was the queen and leader because she's the oldest. So I pulled a coup and stole the Afikoman from everyone, and held it hostage for a solid 20 minutes. I got everyone 30 bucks each. The next night Ali tried to do it the way she had planned and all we got out of it was 5 more bucks. Ali says it's because there were so many more people at the second Seder that she felt bad driving up the price. Please, who gonna believe?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Counting the 'Omer

Here is a link to the most handy Sefiras Ha'Omer calendar I've ever used.

In my first year at YU David Wallach designed this calendar, and it was printed out with hundreds of copies passed around campus. I have used it every year since, and I have never missed a day since I started using it. The main thing is to print it out and post it in a place where you won't possibly miss it, and to check off the days (it has handy check boxes) as you go along (obviously checking the Shabbas boxes after Shabbas).

When I was at YU, I would consistently come back to my room after 10, so I just posted it (with my roommate's consent) on the outside of the door, so that when I came back I would see it and count the 'Omer before I walked in. Last year, in my first 'Omer since being married, I posted three copies - one on the outside of our front door, one on the inside, and one on the outside of our bedroom door. This way we necessarily have to see it after dark, before we go to sleep.

When I was vice president of the Student Organization of Yeshiva (the student council for the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and the Mazer Yeshiva Program of Yeshiva University), I made sure that these were made available to the students at YU. Last year, I attempted to contact the person who created this calendar, to get his permission to post it in my local community, but he never responded. This year I have noticed that he is posting it on his website for the availability of everyone. It has also been posted elsewhere. So, I am not afraid of posting it publicly this year. He clearly wants it made available to everyone, and I am just facilitating this.

Enjoy, Hag Sameah, and happy counting!