Category: Personal

I’m Sorry

It has recently come to my attention that some of the posts I have placed have hurt certain people. If they did, I am very sorry about that and my insensitivity. A number of posts I have put up were…

My Accidental Run-in with Jamaican Matisyahu Fans in Monsey

This is actually a true story! And no, Shlomo Carlebach wasn’t in it.

Years ago, when I was single and lived in New York, I would take the Monsey Trails bus to Monsey to visit relatives from time to time on Erev Shabbos. Normally, I would get off at the Pathmark stop at Route 59, and would then wait for the “dollar bus” to go down that Route where I would then get off by Tuvia’s book store.

However, many times that dollar bus either would come but only go up to a certain point (not reaching my destination), or not show up for a good 20 minutes. Needless to say, I started growing impatient on Friday afternoons. What I started doing was to wait for a red light, then ask cars/vans to roll down their windows at which point I asked, usually a Chassid with a wife and 6-10 children, if there was an extra seat available for me to hitch a quick ride. Usually they were gracious enough to do for me this small act of Chesed.

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No Time for Naarishkeit (Nonsense) – Charedim in Boro Park and Playing Games on Facebook

Let’s face it: life is short. With less than 120 years for the average person, it’s a wonder how people can waste their time. Some might even say that the efforts in writing this blog post is a waste of time, but that’s another story.

Case 1: Boro Park Haredim vs. Bnei Brak/Jerusalem Haredim

Many Charedim/Chassidim in New York, more specifically Boro Park, go out to work for a living. They wake up early in the morning in order to pray/daven before working a full day, sometimes at 5:30 in the morning. To quote Haaretz:

“The truck driver wearing blue overalls is a Hasidic man, and so are the plumber and the electrician. There are Haredi policemen, physicians, businessmen, lawyers and bankers. Many of the working men engage in religious study at the expense of their private time, and they are rarely seen on the streets during the day.”

Their bretheren in Bnei Brak and Jerusalem however are too preoccupied to fix a sink. They spend their time on separate bus seatings, modesty patrol, kosher telephones, burning garbage cans, and protesting against excavating ancient graves. It’s amazing what some people will do to not learn from a Sefer.

To once again quote Haaretz, Solomon, the owner of a kosher grocery store on 13th Avenue in Borough Park, told Haaretz about a close friend of his who moved to Israel and looked for work as a bus driver. “They looked at him like he was crazy – since when does a Hasid want to drive a bus?” he said. Moishe Stein, the manager of a restaurant on Avenue Plaza, stated that “These days the Haredim control the whole plumbing market. Haredi semi-trailer drivers leave Borough Park on Monday, drive to Los Angeles and return on Thursday or Friday, before Shabbat. They make a very good living. Only if you don’t work, like in Israel, is there time for nonsense, for demonstrations, for burning garbage cans, for talk about government allowances. Here there is no time for nonsense – people get up in the morning for work.”

Case 2: Playing Games on Facebook During/Instead of Work

A shocking statistic recently came about that 50% of Facebook users log in to play games. I can attest to some fully grown adults I know closely that would rather play games like Farmville and Cafe World. The rationale behind this game playing is that some of these “cooking combos” or “seed planting” involves Chochmah and extra account creation. In fact, my own Facebook account is utilized to help some people with their Farmville crops and Cafe World recipe updates, while I’m not even the one playing! In any case, this meshugass is either done during work time or as a replacement to finding a job.

Meanwhile, the economy is failing and jobs are very hard to come by.

Don’t get me wrong, having downtime to unwind is VERY important, but everything must be done in moderation.

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