Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New SYAS stalker-free feature

I am currently not a member of Saw You At Sinai, but I was once was so I still receive their emails. This one came to me recently with their new feature. The stalker matchmaker and matches feature. Thank you SYAS for this wonderful feature. Maybe now ill join. So if you were being stalked by a matchmaker what better way to improve your relationship with them to help you finding your bashert, then by completely not allowing them to contact you or match you up with any of their girls. And if there was a girl who was getting mixed signals and didn’t understand ‘I don’t think it’s a good match’ the first three times you told her, you can now block them and tell them piss off. Or if one matchmaker some how attract only the ugly girls and guys, you can now prevent this. Lets not work on client/matchmaker relationship, lets take the frummie way; take the easy way out. Ignore the problem and take the lazy way. Brilliant!

For those not on their list, I have copied the email below.

Dear ****

We're excited to introduce two new features to you: "Blocked Member" and "Blocked Matchmaker". These features will now give you the option to prevent certain matches that you do not wish to receive, from being sent to you. This way they will not take up any of your match spaces, and enable you to receive better quality matches.

What are these new features? Where can I find them? How do they work?

On the left hand side of your member home page you will see the options of 'Blocked Members' and 'Blocked Matchmakers'

Blocked Members: Here you can insert the information of the specific people you do not wish to be sent as a potential match (e.g. an ex wife/husband, friend, relative, or someone you previously dated). This will help prevent awkward potential suggestions that you know that you would not want to have. You enter the names of the people and the system will automatically block the matches from being suggested.

Blocked Matchmakers: By viewing a specific matchmaker's profile information (This can be found by choosing 'matchmaker' on the top tool bar, and searching by matchmaker name) you can select the option to block this matchmaker from viewing your profile and sending you matches. This function can be used if you do not want particular matchmakers seeing your information (e.g. You are not comfortable with a particular matchmaker, who is on the site, seeing your private data or you are not happy with the matches that a certain matchmaker is sending you and do not want more matches from that matchmaker.)

These features have been created not to limit the number of matches that you receive, but to improve the suitability of your matches.

As usual, the improvements to the site come from the members so thank you once again for your valuable feedback and contributions to improving the service.

We hope you enjoy using these new features.

Warm Regards,

The SYAS Team

Monday, September 24, 2007

My thoughts of Yom Kippur

Maybe its wrong of me not to look forward to this dreadful holiday, as I am sure many of you out there as well. But now I feel super relieved. Relieved that is over and do not have to look forward to fasting 25 hours and sitting in shul all day. On the positive side, hoping my sins got atoned, I can now start sinning again. And hope if im still around next yom kippur, I can atone for them again. During yom kippur when I was younger I used to rationalize of how after its over, three days later would be succos and ill be off and its going to legendary. Now that im working everyday its not succos, its not as legendary. Its not like I hate it, I just don’t look forward to it like I used to when I was in Yeshiva. Its just something I havta do.

Another thought that came up, why some shuls don’t have any breaks and sometimes go a complete hour after the fast is over to blow shofar. Are they trying to prove other shuls they are frummer them because they can say the words slower that slow. Or because they can fast an extra hour for absultety no reason. Luckily I was in a normal shul that blew shofar on schedule and had a decent break. Despite the genious black mantenence guy who didn’t know, put the cake and juice out an hour early, so I had to stare at the cake for most of neila and drool. You know I wasn’t that hungry until that happened. Plus I sat right next to the table so made it even more difficult on concetrating on the neila. But like I said earlier, I don’t have to worry about this again till next year. Yee haaw.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

What are the responsibilities for a Rabbi of a shul?

I recently had a debate with a friend of mine, Lance, regarding the Rabbi of his shul, who was hired last year. The problem now is some board members want to fire him. Over the past few months they have complained of his lateness to shacharis in the morning, which as a Rabbi of a shul this is unacceptable. On top of that, they are having a hard time getting a minyan and he often constitutes the final 10.

Lance insists he is a great Rabbi to seek guidance from and very knowledgeable. He also lauds his weekly shiur, and therefore Lance is against his possible firing.

The debate we are having is what exactly a Rabbi's responsibilities are. My argument is a if a Rabbi of a shul should lead by example and maintain order, while offering guidance in other issues is an added bonus.

When I say leading by example, I mean coming on time and not talking. If there is too much talking in the shul, it is the rabbi’s job to try and keep it a minimum. I know the Rav of my modern shul stops laining if it gets too loud. A shul needs some kind of leadership. Despite us being adults, there still needs someone in charge. Imagine if an entire shul came a half an hour late. Imagine an entire shul talking so loud you can hear it from a block away. It's the Rabbi’s job to make sure those things don't happen be managing and leading the way. That can only work if he comes in on time every time (even early) and not talk ever during davening (while making sure others don’t talk as well).

Sorry Lance, this rabbi has got to go. Despite his very or even too ‘approachable’ attitude and his knowledge, a shul can not have a slacker for a Rabbi. Why should I come on time, why should I stop talking if the leader of my shul is doing the same thing as me?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Muslims are better prayers?

Not that I’m converting to Islam anytime soon, although quite the contrary, but its interesting to note. I was talking earlier to my Muslim coworker regarding his Ramadan this month; what it actually entails and how hard it is for him. It’s always interesting listening to their side and sort of comparing it to my own religion. We never really discuss Israel, just Jews and Muslims as a religion.

As every one knows, they fast for 30 days during the day then eat at night. That itself sounds really hard. I can just imagine yesterday 30 days straight. Although yesterday’s fast wasn’t super hard (also it can be because we ate for 3 days straight which helped a bit), but I can’t imagine doing that everyday for 30 days. That’s a lot of days. He wakes up at 4 am to eat as if it’s the most normal of habits. Whenever we have these fast days, I personally eat a big meal before I go to bed at midnight so not to wake up extra early in the morning.

Besides the fast, they have a 2 hour prayer every night starting at 9 PM. The time I am usually implanted on my bed watching the tube, they are at mosque. I complain about selichos with the extra 30 min for a week, they are praying 2 hours a night (in addition to their other prayers) for 30 days straight. But he says every person comes on time, turns off their cell phone, and not a sound is heard for 2 hours. I can’t remember the last shul I have been to where that happened. Maybe I am just used to my Flatbush shul, roll in 5 or 10 min late, schmooze with some people then get down to business for a few minutes then schmooze a little more, (watch the important people check their blackberries every 10 minutes when its not shabbos), maybe I am just antzy to sit still for that long.

After talking to him, I couldnt help but think about this. For some reason I believe him that this actually goes on at the mosque. I think it’s kind of odd that there is more respect and devoted people at the mosques than we have at our frum shuls.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Disrespectful 9/11 protestors

I walked over to ground zero earlier on my lunch break to pay my respects to those that were lost six years ago. Although I’ve been there many times before as I work only a few blocks away, but I thought ill make sure to make it my business to go on the actual anniversary. But for some reason, I am always more disappointed on the actual anniversary (as I was equally disappointed last year when I stopped by for the 5th anniversary), than during any other day of the year. This day seems to bring almost as many protestors as there were mourners and visitors combined. These people claiming that it was an inside job. That evil bush and the evil government planned the attack. It’s amazing how many na├»ve media whores there are out there to actually think that actually happened. Never mind my personal opinion on that matter, but to have hundreds of them wearing their ‘9/11 investigates’ t-shirts screaming all around is really disrespectful and uncalled on the day when almost 2800 people died.

I usually try not to make this blog political, as it is not a political one, but certain situations like these get under my skin. This has nothing to do with frum people or Jewish people, as I am sure there were some of them as well in this group, but more of an American and New Yorker. I hope these protestors can take their idiotic beliefs elsewhere or yell on a different day and have more respect next year.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Frummie car salesmen

This weekend I decided to start looking for new wheels. Relying on other peoples car’s can only work for some time after wrecking my own, but now its time to get a new car. But as I look around Brooklyn, each guy seems more dishonest than the next. I went to this one frum place, thinking he’ll be a nice and honest salesman, I have been mistaken. After telling him the amount I want to spend, he starts convincing me to spend an extra 5,000 dollars and finance a newer and better car. He made valid points stating it will last longer and they are just a nicer and better cars. Well, bearded yeshivisha car salesman smoking and blowing it into my face as I was talking to him, if I was interested in doing that I would’ve asked you for a more expensive car. It doesn’t matter if I finance it or not. But the car he wanted to sell me for that price, I know I can get 5,000 dollars less.

Now, I wonder now if there are any trusts worthy car salesman. This is one fear of mine when buying a new car, is being ripped off. I guess I have to look for the one who will me rip me off the least. My last car was bought by an Israeli person, who I sorta trusted. So now, it’s a question who do I trust more of the 2 most dishonest groups of people, the Israeli’s or the yeshivish hocker man. Thinking about it now, those Indians or Italian salesmen don’t look all that trust worthy either.

Also yesterday, I was able to check out the under hyped, under crowded, and under marketed Jewish concert festival. I think this event is a much better version of the Israeli day concert/parade that took place back in May. Ill take the speechless, hippie Jewish crowd with Hebrew beer vendors over the political agenda, over crowded teenie bopper Israeli concert any day.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Frummies cry ant-semitism

I was reading this article like two weeks ago on some yeshivish website regarding PETA cracking down on kapores in Brooklyn. They showed a letter from PETA stating how these Kapores places are mistreating the chickens and need better care. Now, after reading the comments on that, I wasn’t sure if I should be angrier at the kapores centers or the frum people angry at PETA. I have been to these places and I can see how these chickens are being mistreated while being cooped up all day with a million other chickens in their bins then thrown around by these bearded men like it is a stuffed animal. So, I can easily see where this agency is coming from and why they want to crack down on this.

But many of the comments were putting down PETA and claiming that they are ‘just out to get the Jews’. Every time I hear that excuse when something doesn’t go there way, I grow another white hair. Once again do these so called ‘frum jews’ think they are above the law, similar to the riot in Boro Park when someone was illegally speaking on his cell phone while driving. If the law states it is illegal, it applies to everyone, even Jews. Not every single time the government cracks down on something you don’t like, can you cry Anti-Semitism? I remember reading one really ignorant comment saying that it is a ‘freedom of religion’ and how can they the government do this. Cuz it’s the damn law – that’s why.

And these people are so quick to use that rational when it’s gearing towards them. I bet these people aren’t so fast to use that defense when other religions are doing such practices. Imagine the Koran said to kill all the Jews because its freedom of religion. Ok, maybe that’s far fetched, but even a similar practice to kapores where an animal can be harmed in the process, lets see how many Jews say its ok to such practice because of their religion. My guess is none. Jews, Muslims, and Christians all have to obey the same laws and all have the same treatment in this great country of ours.