Archive for the Heimish Category

You Can Take It With You

Posted in Food, Frum, Funny?, Heimish, Israel, Uncategorized on August 7, 2009 by frumpunk

It’s an odd time of the year to write this, considering now is the time when the fresh crop is heading to Israel, but I’ve just left my summer inspiration tour, so deal with it. In fact, you should probably print this out and tape it up in your dorm room so you know what to do when you get back home. How do you take the holiness and heimishness of your year in Israel back with you? Here’s what to do when you get homesick:

Burn A Trash Can

Thursday night schwarma just isn’t the same without the sweet smell of burning plastic in the air. Bring a little back with you by tossing your lighter into the first dumpster you see. Crowd around, bring the marshmallows. If someone asks you what you’re doing, simply yell “free the yenta!”, give the black power salute, and run away.

Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate

Bring the art of negotiating the price of everything back as a keepsake. Before taking the subway, go up to one of the booths and offer them fifteen cents to take you to Long Island. Go as high as forty if you have to. If you reach a standstill just walk away. They’ll call you back.

Bring Some Penguins

You might get sick of seeing colors other than black, white and cholent everywhere. In fact, a leading cause of post Israel hospitalizations is stress shock brought on by depriving the brain of vivid colors for a year and then going to the village (or wherever it is the kids hang out these days. On that note, gettoff my lawn).

Am I saying you should rob a zoo? No. I’m just suggesting you populate the streets with a life form that walks upright and wears only yeshivish colors. I might also be handing you a map of the best back entrances to a zoo, but if you get caught, you never knew me. You can also try pandas, but since they’re not upright you might find yourself more accurately recreating purim.

Add Some Grease

Lets face it. What you’re eating isn’t really food unless you find that when you wrap it in a laffa you have a puddle of grease on your plate from the residue dripping out the bottom. Otherwise, what you have there might be more appropriately be termed “quasi food. Semi food. The Diet Coke of food.”

Furthermore, Israel is widely considered to be the second most heimish place in the world (right after Brooklyn). As you know, I’m something of a heimishologist and while the subject requires further research, I firmly believe that the addition of grease raises the heimish in your average foodstuff by several thousand percent. And heimish means frum. And don’t we all want to be frummer?

Positively Pesach

Posted in Frum, Funny?, Heimish, Me, Yom Tov on May 4, 2009 by frumpunk

Before I begin, let me point out that I’m not late in posting about Pesach this year. I’m just really early in posting about how my Pesach was next year. 🙂

This Pesach was the first time my brother came home since going off to Israel. In seven months he’s completely frummed out, which is fantastic, at least if you’re always looking for blogging material. I mean frummed out as in, making my sister cringe when he took her to a college interview and while they were waiting, asking any Jewish-looking passing students if they want to learn some Pirkei Avos.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. At the seder, while I was pouring out my grape juice-with-a-bit-of-wine, he looked over and remarks that while he’s sure what I’m doing is halachically correct, he’s going to do things the correct way and drink four cups of wine. To emphasize the hilarity of this situation let me mention two things; our seder cups are massive and noone in my family drinks alcohol because we’re genetically lightweights.

My mother, who’s always quick to jump on a bandwagon of anything that seems frummer followed his lead with filling up her cup to the brim with wine (because he also said it has to be a full cup no matter how big the cup. I asked him what about if I brought a giant novelty ten liter wine glass to the table. He didn’t answer). So as I expected, by the time shulchan orech came around, my brother was wasted and my mother was on the couch with a headache.

So ironically, my brother was trying to be so frum that he got himself drunk to the point where he collapsed into bed and was snoring after soup, so he didn’t even say hallel or have the last two cups. Also, from seven months in Israel his hebrew pronunciation has picked up an Israeli twinge on the accent that is frankly, hilarious.

As for me, I left the seder with a stomachache from drinking all that kedem grape juice that is probably more of a laboratory experiment in bowel movements than an actual beverage. So sickly sweet. And I remember reminding myself of the post I wrote last Pesach complaining about the same thing and getting some comments on the right kind of wine to buy. Maybe next year I’ll remember in time.

Hope yours was as much fun.

A Chossid, A Mikvah and the P-Word

Posted in Frum, Heimish, Me, Yom Tov on January 18, 2009 by frumpunk

I’ve been helping out for a few days in a small kosher business, basically just me and a fifty something Gerrer chossid. It was my turn to wash up, but that water was too hot for me (I don’t like hot water, seriously, I take lukewarm showers). Someone else mentioned how he likes to start the day with a scalding hot bath. The chossid nods and says, (heavy yiddish accent) yeah, I like to start the day right in a hot mikvah. I joked at the differences between us, we take baths, while he takes a mikvah. I then mention that I don’t like going to mikvos. And why not? You’re a yid, you go to the mikvah. But I don’t like going to the mikvah I tell him, for one it’s gross. Nu, you go early in the morning before anyone and the water’s clean. Isn’t it the same water from the day before? A mikvah is rainwater and it doesn’t rain enough to replenish the mikvah everyday. Nu, its clean water every day.” He couldn’t explain how though.

He’s basically insisting that a mikvah is a requirement for a frum yid. I play along, and ask him if Moshe Rabbeinu went to the mikvah. Of course he did. There were mikvas in the desert? Nu, obviously. But it’s a desert. Where was the mikvah in a desert?

I then ask him if Moshe was a chossid or litvish. He thinks for a moment, and decides Moshe must have been a chossid. I ask him if Moshe was Ashkanazi or Sephardi. He didn’t have to think about that one, and says Moshe was Ashkenazi. I could have gone into the genetics and history of that one, but what’s the point?

Now, you’re in for a treat. I’m going to explain what I didn’t want to explain to him, why I don’t like the mikvah. And I’m going to have to use a word that is almost never used on a J-Blog. Penis. I’m setting a new standard here, and probably assuring that nothing I write will ever get reprinted in The Jewish Press. May as well say it again. Penis. My aversion to mikvos started from the very first time I went to one. I was about nine, I think. And my dad took me with him on erev Rosh Hashonah. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t the sight of every adult male in the neighborhood naked, just chilling. I remember this next bit very clearly. I found a closet to change in, and wrapped myself in my towel because I just wasn’t feeling as carefree as everyone else seemed to be. I stepped out of the closet, with my modesty intact, only to discover that someone had decided to change right outside the door. Now I was a short kid, so I stepped out that closet only to be greeted by Reb Happyowitz’s Mister Happy dangling at eye level.

It was years before I went to a mikvah again. I was in high school, and feeling all pumped full of frumkeit for the new year I decided to go to the mikvah on another fateful erev yom tov. Nothing quite as traumatic as what happened all those years before, but as I came out of the mikavh, I noted that while I was supposed to be spiritually clean, it was hard to focus on that while picking other peoples pubic hair off my shoulder. I then glanced back into the murky green water and noted with horror the sheer amount of shedding that appeared to have taken place by everyone before me. I decided no amount of spiritual cleansing was worth the amount of physical cleansing I would have to do afterwards.

Is New Years Kosher?

Posted in Chanukah, Heimish, Me, Politics on January 1, 2009 by frumpunk

I came out of my room this morning and wished my mother a happy new year. She responded that it wasn’t the new year, the new year was back in September. I’ve never really heard it discussed whether new years is technically allowed to be celebrated. On the one hand, it’s just the start of another calender year on the calender we all use, on the other hand, it’s celebrating another year since the birth of Jesus.

Yeshivos never bother to deal with this subject. New years for them is a cop-out, they lump it in with the Chanukah vacation so they don’t ever have to deal with whether there should be school on December 31st or January 1st. Honestly, it’s not an issue I ever thought about before this morning and I got that reply, but I’m hoping those of you from more heimishe communities can shed some light on whether it’s even an issue. Most people have parties, or at least watch the ball drop, right?

I didn’t even bother celebrating anything last night anyways. Just didn’t feel like it. I chose to avoid all parties, and spent the night rebuilding an ancient laptop so I would have a Windows machine to sync my Zune with. Only to find out my Zune was broken due to an error in the system clock where it doesn’t understand what a leap year is and couldn’t reconcile what yesterdays date was. It started working at midday today though.

I’m trying to decide if its been better than last year where I went to a house party I disliked, a club I hated and watched the fireworks with a girl I didn’t have any interest in.

Introducing The KPhone

Posted in Frum, Funny?, Girls, Heimish, Politics on December 14, 2008 by frumpunk

The lowly phone has made great strides in the past decade or so. What used to be able to double as a murder weapon in a game of Clue has become a complete media device that does everything but make calls and is small enough to choke a goldfish. But the problem with phones, as we know is that they’re trief. Everything about them is trief. The phone feature allows boys and girls to talk to each other, the text message feature is even more insidious, allowing boys and girls to write (badly) to each other, the camera allows boys to take pictures of girls, the alarm clock allows boys to wake up to go see girls, the calculator allows boys to work out how much money they need to take a girl out (this is also the reason bochrim aren’t taught math. The phone destroys all that hard work). I could go on. And I will; the wallpaper allows the boys to set the picture of the girl to look at constantly, the FM radio (only with added headset usually) allows boys to listen to girls sing, the world clock allows boys to figure out the optimal time to call girls who live far away, and internet allows people to visit this blog.

Previous attempts at a kosher phone have only been met half way. They did not include a camera, text messaging or color screen, but they did allow boys and girls to talk to each other. But now the next generation of technological advances has brought us the KPhone, the result of four years labor by the most hemish scientists at the Institute for Advanced Heimishness. I was given one of the first production models to try out. At first glance it seems to be the answer to everything. It is well constructed, the aluminum seems durable and fashionable. An attempt to type a text message on its smooth rounded surface yielded no results. It requires no batteries and does not require a cell phone tower to receive a signal. I made a call and was surprised at the overall fidelity and signal cleanliness. It has no camera or radio option, and internet is out of the question. This truly seems like an excellent device.

Some gripes though; the string, while giving excellent audio fidelity is not really long enough to facilitate long distance calls abroad, so calling Israel or Canada from it seems to be out of the question. Secondly, if your call is lasting a long time, it gets tiring holding the headset to your ear. This problem is exacerbated if the headset previously held pickles or garlic, as this can leave a lingering odor. I was later informed that this was actually a feature, part of a method to keep the sexes apart using a new trial of unattractive smells. Also, if the headset edge wasn’t fully rounded off by the can opener, you may experience some cutting and bleeding around the ear and head area. Bulkiness is also an issue. Due to the lack of wireless, you are required to keep both headsets with you at all times, as well as keeping the person you wish to call close to you.

Overall, its an excellent first attempt and I look forward to the second revision, which I’m told may include a third string and headset to allow three way calling.

Hat tip to Mikeinmidwood for the inspiration. This started life as a mere comment on his post.

I Need A Shidduch

Posted in Funny?, Heimish, Shidduchim, Weddings on November 24, 2008 by frumpunk

Oy, so I heard about this internet thing, and how some people are finding their zvigum through it? I have a friend who seems to know about this stuff, so I’ve asked him to post it for me on this internet thing. This was transcribed only while I was on the toilet so as not to chas v’shalom be bittul toyrah.

So where to begin? My name is Yaakov Chofetz Chaim Shmuelovitz-Feinstein. I’m twenty two years old bli ayin horah, and currently giving shiur in Lakewood. I previously learned in Mir Yerushalayim and Ponevitz, until my Rebbeim insisted there was nothing more they could teach me. My yichus includes Rashi, Tosefos, Rav Boruch Ber, The Baal Shem Tov, Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Henoch Leibowitz and the Lubavitcher Rebbe, just to name a few. I spend all my waking hours indoors learning, I can’t even step out for lunch because of bittul toyrah, and also because if I go outside I begin being hounded by modeling agencies begging me to consider being the face of some fashion label or other. My father gives a mesechta yomi shiur, and when he’s not doing that, he’s writing checks to tzedokah out of his vast fortune. I don’t know much about my mother, as I hold its untzniyos to know of females once you are weaned from wetting the bed, rochmona letzon, but I’m told she makes the best choolant in Kew Garden Hills, doesn’t hold by plastic table covers, and wears slip on shoes. She also organizes the annual sheiytal burning.

Now people have asked me what I’m looking for in a shidduch? Its not that important. I’ll be learning all day, so she’ll have to be content with shopping most of the time to keep her occupied, I suppose. Beyond that I don’t have any sort of requirements, if she can do that she’ll do just fine. So nu, internet people? Can you maybe do a suggestion?

(Note: Spur of the moment, inspired by the last part of this post.)

Gemora Sex Stories

Posted in Funny?, Heimish, Weddings on October 23, 2008 by frumpunk

Hesh has a hilarious post up about the euphemisms used in Yeshiva when sexual topics came up in the gemorah. One story that that just reminded me of; I don’t remember the mesechta, I wish I did. Basically, the gemorah asks a questions about a certain Rav (I think it was Rav Papa) concerning with how exactly he was able to have sexual relations with his wife when he was so fat. Apparently he was so fat that they reasoned his stomach would be getting in the way of his “ervah” (as our teachers called it). After a protracted discussion, the gemorah reaches the conclusion that as you get fatter, your “ervah” grows ever longer so you can always, y’know.

(I didn’t learn that in shiur btw, I knew this guy who was very good at learning, and also got a kick out of finding sexy stories in the gemorah. Very immature, and only slightly wrong. I mean, he was learning, right?)