Friday, October 29, 2010

Conversation Starters: Pick One!

Today is let's learn about the lurkers and people who comment to this blog day!

Therefore, pick a question (or pick them all) and answer them in the comments. You can be as anonymous as you like, just pick a handle so that I can distinguish you from a different anonymous.

~

1. What’s your relationship to God like?
2. What’s the first thing you would do if you weren’t Jewish anymore?
3. If you could have dinner with three people throughout history, which 3 people and which restaraunt would you go to?
4. What character traits do you value in your friends?
5. What are your pet peeves?
6. Do you consider yourself a private person? Why or why not?
7. Which is more important: the pursuit of happiness or the pursuit of truth?
8. Let’s say your friend had betrayed you- would you want to know? Or would you rather just stay friends? What if it weren’t your friend but your spouse?
9. What’s the hardest thing about being religious (for you)?
10. What’s your favorite book/ movie and why?
11. What’s your favorite inspirational story?
12. When was the last time you cried? Why?
13. If you could be any character in any fiction book, which character would you be and why?
14. If you could live in someone else’s body for a day (someone living currently), who would it be and why?
15. What was one of your most lifechanging experiences?
16. What’s your favorite quote? Why?
17. Would you say you have a motto? What is it? Do you live by it?
18. If you had to lose one of your senses, which one would you choose to loose? Why?
19. If the world ran out of Perrier, what drink do you think gently-reared girls would purchase on dates?
20. What would comprise your dream vacation? Why?
21. If you could eradicate one bad trait from the world, which would it be and why?
22. If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?

Oh, and of course, every University of Chicago application prompt possible to ask, as that school is fabulously awesome.

15 comments:

TPW said...

2. Convert to Judaism

3. a) Avraham/Sarah--restaurant: their 4-entranced tent.

b) Menachem Begin + Mrs. Begin--restaurant: the cafe in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

c) Gershom Scholem--restaurant: I'll defer to Professor Scholem's request. Also, I would need some time to prepare myself for the meeting (to read all his published works).

7. The pursuit of truth--that's why Jews have remained Jews throughout history. Truth IS our collective joy.

CY said...

1. What's your relationship to the C.E.O. of your organization like?

2. Finish my breakfast. But if you mean the first thing that I wouldn't have done as a Jew, maybe I'd try bacon.

3. Would it make me really boring if I just picked three friends and went to Golan Heights?

although I have to admit that TPW's answer a) passed through my head as well.

4. Honesty.

5. Free "verse".

6. Fairly private. Why? Because I like to think that it's not who you are but who you choose to be that counts. Here's maybe a decent analogy. Right-click on the browser window and click "View page source" (or something similar). Which would you rather know: the page itself, or the formatted version?

7. Truth if you had to choose, but it's a trick question.

Also, I think that on the most fundamental level, almost everyone would choose truth. Otherwise, logic would seem to dictate that the most effective way to spend your life is permanently stoned.

8. To know, in either case.

9. The fact that I don't have much of an answer to this question is itself an indictment of my religious dedication, I'm afraid. (I don't mean that I'm not frum.)

10. Well, in my top couple, there's A Separate Peace and 1984. Why? They're amazingly written. At a minimum, my standard for "favorite book" is perfection: that is, when you've read it, you wouldn't add or take away a single word. Most books don't meet that standard.

Adam said...

1. Like seeing echoes of joy in every walk of life.

4. Humor, intelligence, caring, Passion.

5. "What's your favorite…": As if everything was labeled on a single axis in a neat ordering. Favorites are things of the moment - adopted and discarded as you change instant by instant. The best I can do is "What's my favorite X at this very instant." Tomorrow it might be frozen yogurt instead of pizza. Atlas Shrugged (rarely) instead of the World of Null A.

6. I ain't sayin nothin!

7. My being is such that I need the latter to have the former.

8. Knowledge always. I trust myself and my actions - when I have enough data to make an informed decision.

9. Every "hard" thing about religion has a corresponding good reason that makes it not so hard at all. I do sometimes wonder what I would have done if Saturdays were open to divrei chol.

16. Dance like nobody's watching; Love like you've never been hurt; Sing like nobody's listening; Live like it's heaven on earth -- Mark Twain

17. See #16.

18. If you had to lose one of your children, which one would you choose? Ok, taste - because while it'd make eating less fun I could still experience and function perfectly in the world. ("But then what about poisons?" I hear you ask. "How could you tell?" Well, Iocane powder is tasteless anyway, so it makes no difference!)

19. Oh the horror. I can see it now: World Perrier Shortage Causes Rapid Decline in Shidduchim - Humanity Fails to Care.

20. I went skyyy divviing. I went rocky mountain climbing. I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fumanchu.

22. Start a company and use the capital to expand quickly. Make a few billion, sell the company off, and use the cash to reform the Jewish education system.

more later, perhaps.
Excellent ice breaker, Chanah.

CY said...

@Adam: There is no way in the nine hells that Mark Twain ever said that! Whoever picked him to attribute that quote to did a remarkably poor job of pseudepigraphy.

Adam said...

@CY:

You're right, of course. Others attribute it to William Purkey, or perhaps bits and pieces of other quotes cobbled together. Doesn't really matter who said it though; I still like the sentiment.

Twain does have a great set of quotes that are a match for anyone's in pithiness and humor. (I just ordered his 100 years delayed, newly published, autobiography - can't wait for it to come.)

Anonymous said...

1. God is everything to me, yet I know that I fail Him all the time. I know that I love Him, I just don't seem to show it nearly enough.

2. Impossible! Utterly impossible!

3. Adam harichon, Avraham avinu, Moses. It doesn't matter where!

4. What character traits do you value in your friends? Honesty, morals, and inquisitiveness.

5. None.

6. Yes. Is what I do really anyone's business? And, if they do pry, for what reason?

7. TRUTH! How can anyone be happy living a life built upon lies?

8. Of course I'd want to know, but that may not preclude friendship. In fact, we should expect everyone to let us down in some way, that is, sadly, an undeniable human trait. However, when you learn to expect it you can take steps to guard against it. Thusly, betrayal can have less of a negative impact upon us.

9. I long to please my God. However, I know that I cannot.. The imperfect cannot ever fully please the holy and perfect. I hate letting God down, yet I do.

10. I dislike fiction books (a grand waste of time). In movies I like innocent comedies or stories. The war of the buttons, winners and sinners, rudy.

11. There are too many to list.

12. Ever since my father past away sorrow hasn't been that hard to find. But, I prefer to thank God for the blessing he was to me and to so many others rather than to dwell on what I now do not have.

13. N/A

14. EWW, gross concept...

15. Waking up each day.

16. Where's the beef. (old Wendy's hamburger commercial line. No reason, I just heard it often.

17. Would you say you have a motto? What is it? Do you live by it? I have a King (HaShem)! I try to live by it, it is such an amazing concept.

18. Unacceptable!

19. Do girls end up purchasing drinks on dates where you live? Cheap guys!

20. All expenses paid! 'nuff said.

21. Lust. To me that actually seems pretty much all encompassing, so it would deliver the most "bang" for the buck.

22. I would try to make more money with it.

The forest dweller.

SternGrad said...

1. My relationship with G-d is one that constantly takes work, not only in my striving to be closer to Him, but to maintain any amount of closeness I have reached. I view G-d mainly in the role of my Creator and Care-taker, the one who provides my every need, who I turn to with every request no matter how small or trivial, and no matter how large and important. It is also one of deep love, of my attempt to always see every good thing in my life as a product of His love for me, and my attempt to do the small amount I can to increase my love for Him.

4. One trait that I value in friends is unconditional acceptance. Even though I have faults and even though I mess up sometimes, a true friend accepts me and still wants to be my friend anyway. Someone who I have to tiptoe around worrying that I might say or do something that will make them dislike me, is not a true friend.

11. One of my favorite inspirational stories is the one about the kid telling the story at graduation about how he was planning to commit suicide and emptied his locker. On the way home he dropped all of his books and this other guy helped him and picked up the books and he was so touched that he decided not to go through with it and they became close friends. I don't know where I heard the story originally, but it shows how one small act of kindness can save a life.

Noam said...

1 Father to wayward but always loved son
2 Cross country road trip living off the land (read fast food)
3 My 3 wont want dinner Moshe Rabbainu, Serach bas Asher, Maharal of Prague
4 silence
5 Anonymous blogging

LatkeBoy said...

1. I believe in God and I am thankful for all the great gifts he has bestowed upon me. Sometimes though I find myself wishing I understood his will better

2. I'd use too think I'd convert back Judaism right way, but now I'm not so sure... maybe I'd go out and experience the wider world without worrying about Shabbos or kosher.

3. I guess its a cliche answer but I would want to have dinner with Avraham, Moshe, and David. I would want to eat at a restaurant that serves awesome kosher sushi

4. Honesty, integrity, and loyalty

5. The sound of white board erasers on a chalk boards. When the city bus smells and/or is late.

7. Thats a really tough question. I want to be happy, but at the same time I don't want to live in "bad faith." I think the pursuit of truth is more important because being happy while living a lie is (i think) a "false happiness". I think the only way to be truly happy is to find the "truth" (whatever that means) and come to terms with it, and be content with all aspects of your existence. (I don't if what I just said made any sense to anybody else)

8. Yes, I think I would want to know in both cases

9. The hardest thing about being religious for me is my lack of understanding of Judaism's theology, and the halachic process.

10. My favorite movie is Iron Man. I've loved Iron Man ever since i was wee little toddler. I don't have a favorite book there's too many too choose from.

11. I don't have a favorite inspirational story but recently I read the comic MARVELS written by Kurt Busiek, painted by Alex Ross, and it really touched me in a fundamental way. The whole comic is kind of about this theme, but at one point the Phil Sheldon (the main Character) remarks about how the superhero's defend humanity despite the hatred they receive in return for their efforts because they are doing it for the "truly innocent" (well he says for people like Gwen Stacy but thats what he means). I just really liked this concept of being selfless without the benefits of reward. I think thats a character trait that makes someone noble and heroic. I'm sure that there other stories that one could take this message from but MARVELS is what did it for me

13. Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man because he's just so cool. He's smart, charismatic, and wants to whats right.

21. Hypocrisy, because everyone would then stand by their principles and the world be a less ambiguous place

Anonymous said...

1. I believe in God and I am thankful for all the great gifts he has bestowed upon me. Sometimes though I find myself wishing I understood his will better

2. I'd use too think I'd convert back Judaism right way, but now I'm not so sure... maybe I'd go out and experience the wider world without worrying about Shabbos or kosher.

3. I guess its a cliche answer but I would want to have dinner with Avraham, Moshe, and David. I would want to eat at a restaurant that serves awesome kosher sushi

4. Honesty, integrity, and loyalty

5. The sound of white board erasers on a chalk boards. When the city bus smells and/or is late.

7. Thats a really tough question. I want to be happy, but at the same time I don't want to live in "bad faith." I think the pursuit of truth is more important because being happy while living a lie is (i think) a "false happiness". I think the only way to be truly happy is to find the "truth" (whatever that means) and come to terms with it, and be content with all aspects of your existence. (I don't if what I just said made any sense to anybody else)

8. Yes, I think I would want to know in both cases

9. The hardest thing about being religious for me is my lack of understanding of Judaism's theology, and the halachic process.

10. My favorite movie is Iron Man. I've loved Iron Man ever since i was wee little toddler. I don't have a favorite book there's too many too choose from.

11. I don't have a favorite inspirational story but recently I read the comic MARVELS written by Kurt Busiek, painted by Alex Ross, and it really touched me in a fundamental way. The whole comic is kind of about this theme, but at one point the Phil Sheldon (the main Character) remarks about how the superhero's defend humanity despite the hatred they receive in return for their efforts because they are doing it for the "truly innocent" (well he says for people like Gwen Stacy but thats what he means). I just really liked this concept of being selfless without the benefits of reward. I think thats a character trait that makes someone noble and heroic. I'm sure that there other stories that one could take this message from but MARVELS is what did it for me

13. Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man because he's just so cool. He's smart, charismatic, and wants to whats right.

21. Hypocrisy, because everyone would then stand by their principles and the world be a less ambiguous place

LatkeBoy

Anonymous said...

1. I believe in God and I am thankful for all the great gifts he has bestowed upon me. Sometimes though I find myself wishing I understood his will better

2. I'd use too think I'd convert back Judaism right way, but now I'm not so sure... maybe I'd go out and experience the wider world without worrying about Shabbos or kosher.

3. I guess its a cliche answer but I would want to have dinner with Avraham, Moshe, and David. I would want to eat at a restaurant that serves awesome kosher sushi

4. Honesty, integrity, and loyalty

5. The sound of white board erasers on a chalk boards. When the city bus smells and/or is late.

7. Thats a really tough question. I want to be happy, but at the same time I don't want to live in "bad faith." I think the pursuit of truth is more important because being happy while living a lie is (i think) a "false happiness". I think the only way to be truly happy is to find the "truth" (whatever that means) and come to terms with it, and be content with all aspects of your existence. (I don't if what I just said made any sense to anybody else)

8. Yes, I think I would want to know in both cases

9. The hardest thing about being religious for me is my lack of understanding of Judaism's theology, and the halachic process.

10. My favorite movie is Iron Man. I've loved Iron Man ever since i was wee little toddler. I don't have a favorite book there's too many too choose from.

11. I don't have a favorite inspirational story but recently I read the comic MARVELS written by Kurt Busiek, painted by Alex Ross, and it really touched me in a fundamental way. The whole comic is kind of about this theme, but at one point the Phil Sheldon (the main Character) remarks about how the superhero's defend humanity despite the hatred they receive in return for their efforts because they are doing it for the "truly innocent" (well he says for people like Gwen Stacy but thats what he means). I just really liked this concept of being selfless without the benefits of reward. I think thats a character trait that makes someone noble and heroic. I'm sure that there other stories that one could take this message from but MARVELS is what did it for me

13. Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man because he's just so cool. He's smart, charismatic, and wants to whats right.

21. Hypocrisy, because everyone would then stand by their principles and the world be a less ambiguous place

LatkeBoy

Anonymous said...

1. I believe in God and I am thankful for all the great gifts he has bestowed upon me. Sometimes though I find myself wishing I understood his will better

2. I'd use too think I'd convert back Judaism right way, but now I'm not so sure... maybe I'd go out and experience the wider world without worrying about Shabbos or kosher.

3. I guess its a cliche answer but I would want to have dinner with Avraham, Moshe, and David. I would want to eat at a restaurant that serves awesome kosher sushi

4. Honesty, integrity, and loyalty

5. The sound of white board erasers on a chalk boards. When the city bus smells and/or is late.

7. Thats a really tough question. I want to be happy, but at the same time I don't want to live in "bad faith." I think the pursuit of truth is more important because being happy while living a lie is (i think) a "false happiness". I think the only way to be truly happy is to find the "truth" (whatever that means) and come to terms with it, and be content with all aspects of your existence. (I don't if what I just said made any sense to anybody else)

8. Yes, I think I would want to know in both cases

9. The hardest thing about being religious for me is my lack of understanding of Judaism's theology, and the halachic process.

10. My favorite movie is Iron Man. I've loved Iron Man ever since i was wee little toddler. I don't have a favorite book there's too many too choose from.

Anonymous said...

Uhh sorry for those extra posts. I made them by accident

Mordei Wolfsheim said...

2. Two words: chicken parm

4. Loyalty

7. G-d willing the pursuit of truth will lead me to happiness

9. Having to defy my family

12. Last April, after spending five days and nights in the hospital with my girlfriend, it was very tough and in the end it turned out to be nothing, it was very emotional

13. Sam Gribley from My Side of the Mountain, because I’ve always wanted to run off and live in the wilderness. By far my favorite book growing up as a kid, to this day I could still quote large parts of it by memory.

15. As cliché as it sounds, my first time at the Kotel, it was the first time I ever prayed in earnest

16. "Like most of the others, I was a seeker, a mover, a malcontent and at times a stupid hell raiser. I was never idle long enough to do much thinking, but I felt somehow that my instincts were right. I shared a vagrant optimism that some of us were making real progress, that we had taken an honest road, and that the best of us would inevitably make it over the top. At the same time, I shared a dark suspicion that the life we were leading was a lost cause, that we were all actors, kidding ourselves along on a senseless odyssey. It was the tension between these two poles - a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other - that kept me going." - Hunter S. Thompson, “The Rum Diary”

It perfectly describes the duality of man’s existence

A.B said...

OK, these are tough questions, but I'll take a whack at them:
1. he is my Father, my King, and my Ultimate Friend whom, I could tell anything to.
2. Convert back to Judaism
3. If they are Jewish: David Hamelech, Rav Yochanan ben Zakkai and Sarah Schneirer. If non-Jewish: Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, and Winston Churchill
4. loyalty, honesty, conviction, sincerity, good listener, and someone who will never jugde me or look down on me.
5. superficiality, liars,people who lack respect for our great heroes and leaders
6. Sort of, becasue I like to be alone but at the same time I like to talk to people
7.tough call, but I'd go with truth.
8. I'd want to know on both.
9. not judging Judaism by the Jews.
10. Unfair question, but I'd have to go with LOTR and Daniel Deronda. I'm not much of a movie person, but I loved LOTR and Saving Private Ryan. I just loved the plots and truly found the messages inspiring
11. Rav Yosef Kahaneman buiding Ponevezh during World War Two when the NAzis were about to invade Israel.
12. LAst week. I plead the fifth.
13. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games) or Stargirl Carraway (Stargirl) becasue I admire their soirit and independence and inability to be scripted.
14. Rav Elyashiv, because I'd want to understand the mind of a Godol and how it decides psak.
15. Learning I wasn't the only weirdo out there who loved to learn and loved being frum. And also graffiting a wall on Michlelet ( as part of an activity) when I was 16.
16. "And those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music"-it teaches the power of belieivng in your Emes (idea or lifestyle) regardless of how other might think of you.
17. the quote mentioned above. Also "Remember, your focus determines your reality" (Star Wars.) I try to live by them, but its not always easy.
18. Smell, because I would hate to be unable to communicate with other via my other senses
19.wine
20. New Zealand, becasue I find it beautiful and a place where adventures await. I could truly appreciate Niflaos HaBorea
21. The ability to lie.
22.I would give 20% to tzeddakah, pay off my family's mortgage, and make aliyah and start a seminary where sincere girls of all hashkafic lines are welcome as long as thye are sincere about learning and growing.