Thursday, March 31, 2016

Healthy and kosher for Passover (OU-P)

I'm happy to report that I found OU-P kosher for Passover coconut oil a couple of days ago at Fairway on the Upper West Side.  The kasher l'Pesach brand is Spectrum Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Expeller Pressed.  Check the jar carefully, as some jars have only the OU, but not the OU-P, and are not kosher for Passover.  This may make ordering online unreliable, I'm sorry to say.  But if you happen to be within hailing distance of Manhattan, now you know where to look.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

It's a country, stupid

I'm not concerned about whether Donald Trump can think for himself, I'm concerned about whether he can think about anyone else--such as the citizens of an entire nation.  It seems to me that, for Trump, running for president of the United States is just another ego trip--we voters are just along for the ride.

And I don't trust him to choose good advisors because he appears to think that he doesn't need any.  I shudder to think what a government led by a man who seems to think that he knows everything he needs to know about heading a government despite having no government or diplomatic experience and who thinks that it's perfectly acceptable to insult women (despite the fact that we're half of his would-be voters), mock persons with disabilities, condemn an entire religious group, hate immigrants, despise diversity, and encourage violence--did I miss anything?--would be like.  And I hope I never have to find out.

The United States is a democracy, and heaven knows that I've been disappointed, even upset, by the outcome of many an election in my lifetime.  But never before have I been downright frightened that the "wrong" candidate might win.  I'm following the advice of the prophet Yirmiyahu/Jeremiah (29:7), and praying for the government.

It's the economy, stupid


Dragging my country's good name through the mud :(

Brussels and Pakistan are attacked by Radical Islamist terrorists, with hundreds dead or injured, and all some Republican candidates for president of the United States can talk about is who insulted whose wife first?  This isn't a political campaign, it's a schoolyard brawl, of the "You dissed my girlfriend" variety.  I'd call it a barroom brawl, but such a description might imply that the brawlers are adults.


AIPAC turns right :(

Monday, March 28, 2016

It's just business

Her co-worker must have been sick, because she was the only person staffing the fast-food restaurant that night.  She took my order, but then, instead of serving me, took a phone order and two more in-person orders.  At that point, I was getting pretty ticked, and told her so.  "I'll serve you in about five  minutes."  "But I've already been waiting for five minutes."

Finally, she was finished taking orders.  But instead of serving me, she started serving the last customer to enter the store, who'd flashed his cell phone at her.  "Why are you serving him?  I was here first!"  "No, he ordered online, so he's first."

After calming down and thinking about, I realized that the restaurant worker had had no choice.  She'd had to take all the orders first, then do the serving, lest potential customers got tired of waiting to place an order and left.  As for the guy with the online order, well, people order online because they don't want to stand on a line.  So the delay wasn't something that I should have taken personally.

I apologized to the worker for having given her a hard time.  "That's okay," she replied.  "It happens all the time."

Which made me feel about two inches tall.

Oy.  There's another one for my Al Chet list.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Haman was one rude dude

Seriously, am I the only one who's taken aback by Haman's appearance in the courtyard of the king in the middle of the night?  If I phoned my boss at one o'clock in the morning, I don't think it would go over very well.  Do the rabbinic commentators (meforshim?) have anything to say about this?

And come to think of it, what kind of honor was being shown to Mordechai by having him led through the streets in royal robes and on the king's horse at an hour at which he could barely be seen?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

RadicalIslamistsSeekToConquerViaExplosion &Erosion

Deadly Explosions Rock Brussels Airport And Subway

They're not stupid--they know that they won't get anywhere fast attacking military targets.  So they focus on "soft targets," that is, civilians and non-military structures.  The aim of Radical Islamist terrorists is to destroy our morale, rather than our military.  In my opinion, they hope that giving us not "combat fatigue," but rather, "casualty fatigue," will, eventually, wear us down, as does erosion, and cause us to give up and submit to Islamic rule.  Will our grandchildren be living under Sharia law?

See also Religious politics.  And pray for the victims.

Friday, March 18, 2016

AIPAC invited Trump because it's part of a political lobby's job . . .

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Careless contractors leave subway station a moldy mess

Despite being paid millions to build a new subway station, these fools forgot to waterproof the ceiling.  As a New York City taxpayer, I'm thoroughly disgusted.  Isn't anyone keeping an eye on how our tax money is spent?

Presidential election year = no government?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Parashat Vayikra, 5776/2016 thoughts (& links)

Basics here.

Links to my previous Parashat Vayikra posts here.

I'm just wondering whether it's of any consequence that all of the sacrifices are written in the masculine.  Did a woman obtain forgiveness for sin by the same methods?

~ Conservadox posts about the purpose of sacrifices.
~ Rabbi Dov Linzer, of YCT, asks what sense the sacrifices make.
~ Rav Shlomo Riskin, of Ohr Torah Stone, discusses the Sanhedrin.
~ Rav David Stav, of Ohr Torah Stone, reminds us that what we sacrifice must belong to us.

Quick links to the OU's divrei Torah on Megillat Esther:
~ Rabbi Eliyahu Safran
~ Rabbi Norman Lamm

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Parashat P'kudei, 5776/2016 thoughts

[Originally posted Tuesday, March 08, 2016]
I'm struck, again, by the mention of Leviim/Levites functioning as assistants to the Kohanim/Priests before their official appointment, as well as by HaShem's command to Moshe Rabbeinu/Moses Our Teacher to assemble the entire Mishkan/Sanctuary singlehandedly. And the cloud-by-day, fire-by-night still sounds like a description of a volcano to me.
See also Pekudei, Pekuday, Pekude, Pekudey, P’kude, P’qude . . .

Thursday, March 10, 2016 update:

~ Conservadox:  "even the wisest artists and prophets need Divine assistance"
~ Rabbi Dov Linzer, Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah:  If our work transcends us, we've created a place for HaShem.
~ Rav Shlomo Riskin, Founder and Chancellor of Ohr Torah Stone Institutions:  HaShem forgives and protects.
~ I welcome my newest d'var Torah "contributor," Rav David Stav, Co-Chancellor of Ohr Torah Stone Institutions and the named successor to Rabbi Riskin:  "Hashem holds back the Divine Presence whenever a member of the People of Israel is prevented from participating."

Quick last-minute links from the Orthodox Union's divrei Torah:
Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb
Rabbi Eliyahu Safran

Electing a President Without Facts

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Health tip

I never thought I'd be using cooking oil between my toes, but coconut oil, much to my surprise, turns out to be anti-fungal, and works pretty well as a treatment for athlete's foot.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Donald Trump's Manhood Is No Side Issue — It's His Entire Campaign

That's J.J. Goldberg's opinion, and I think there may be some truth to it.


Blinded by the, er, phone

This guy got off the elevator and promptly tripped over two impossible-to-miss "Wet Floor" signs standing right smack in the middle of the lobby floor.  It being clear that he wasn't injured, I laughed at him, and told him it served him right for having his eyes glued to his cell phone while he was walking instead of watching where he was going.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Explaining To My Kids About My Son's Autism Diagnosis

John Oliver debunks Trump myths

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

A case of what I call "stealth gluten"

Since I can tolerate a very limited amount of gluten (which celiacs and many gluten-sensitive people cannot), I occasionally cheat by eating the filling of a wrap or sandwich and leaving the wrap part or the bread behind.  But boy, was I unpleasantly surprised recently when I found croutons mixed into the tuna-salad filling.  Let the gluten-avoider beware!

Chaos reigns :(

Random violence
Here in New York City, it started with the "knock-out game," and has now advanced to random slashings and stabbings for no discernible reason.  Maybe it's time for me to re-read L'Étranger.  :(

A "con artist" is running for president--and winning primaries
What has the U.S. come to, that we American voters can't tell a candidate from a canapé?  (That sentence may not make much sense, but then again, neither does Donald Trump.)


The Gay Child in My Daughter’s First Grade Class

I recommend this post by Maharat Rachel Kohl Finegold on the Morthodoxy blog.
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