Monday, April 28, 2008

Lover I Don't Have To Love

...we have easy access to pleasure, we forget the meaning of joy.

~Abraham Joshua Heschel from "Children and Youth" in The Insecurity of Freedom: Essays on Human Existence

I want a lover I don't have to love
I want a girl who's too sad to give a f---
Where's the kid with the chemicals?
I thought he said to meet him here but I'm not sure
I've got the money if you've got the time
You said it feels good
I said, "I'll give it a try."

~Lover I Don't Have to Love by Bright Eyes


And in this we know the difference between pleasure and joy.

Pleasure is that in which we do not invest. Pleasure occurs when I indulge in something I enjoy, something beautiful and wonderful, that ensnares the senses and allows me to fall deep within a kind of whirling vortex of absolute darkness, speckled with dazzling bits of light that glitter and delight the eyes. Pleasure is a total, drugging indulgence of the senses, so that I am sated in every single way, and my every sensation is one of total decadence and sweetness. Pleasure is soma; pleasure is what one experiences at the feelies where "every hair of the bear is reproduced." Pleasure is tactile; it is physical, it is a sensation that numbs, soothes, indulges and drugs. To engage in pleasure is to invite ecstasy, the kind of physical bliss that binds and comforts and leaves no ill after-effects.

Except that is not joy. And there is an emptiness to pleasure because it is just the sheen, the iridescent sheen of the multilayered bubble that floats upon the wind, a breath pushing it in one direction or the other. Pleasure swiftly seduces the senses but then she is gone, and when she leaves, she leaves one feeling empty, lacking, desirous only of more so that I might be more firmly enthralled, that I might worship her further and fall before her, begging to please her so that she might please me as well. Such is pleasure; she is a mistress with flashing green eyes and long black locks that twine around her copper arms. Pleasure appears in the form of the sorceress, and she takes but does not give.

For all joy there must be investment; for any investment, there must be pain. To feel joy is simultaneously to feel pain, to be able to experience any emotion to the extent that one must in order to be raised to the highest of heights, to the pinnacle of all that moves and enchants, that delights and horrifies, one must have given his very soul. To feel joy is to have given so much that one is not empty, but yet full with the golden delight that he has given, that there is another who profits by his work. Can there be any who remains sad when he has given to another, and that other grows healthier before his very eyes through his efforts, takes on another form and changes, so that his sickly features change and become whole; his skin darkens as his cheeks flush with warmth and his very eyes radiate kindness? There is no more giddy astonishment and power than the power to have given and to have given well, to have invested in another, in an idea, virtue or principle to the extent that one might feel joy.

But the investment must be pure. One cannot be a conniving tradesman, come only to give if he makes a profit. One must give purely and must give totally, with no hope of return, desirous only of aiding the other in his lot if it is possible, and it is only then that he falls within the province of joy. For joy is a woman, and she guards her doors closely. Pleasure is not a strumpet so much as she is a temptress, elusive and ever-present, winking to one while beckoning to another; joy is nothing if not constant, a kind of golden glow that overpowers and overtakes, like rich wine that has aged to perfection and now causes a simple spate of happiness, but not of foolishness. Joy is a deep and mellow feeling, an ecstasy encompassed by the rightness of the world, by all that exists in nature. Joy is the rainbow emerging from beneath the clouds, the sun blazing its path against the water ripples, the fire consuming all in its path. Joy, like any other truly intense expression of the self, consumes, but what it consumes is merely the fuel one has provided, and nothing more.

Yet there are few who can dare to risk enough to achieve joy. For we are frightened, in part because of our need to be in control. We must be in control of those who see us and what they know, the way in which they approach us and the way in which they know us. We must present ourselves in a manner that is understandable to them, that is in all ways discreet and proper; our reputations must be pristine and sparkle like the infequently used crystal we keep in the cabinet for show. This is what we create; these painstakingly inaccurate selves through which we may see the world, but despite this, we know there is something beyond which we have experienced, a kind of surrender that we have not known. And though we long to surrender, we cannot bear the thought of being so exposed, so naked and so vulnerable, to erect no guards and simply to be, for a moment...and so we resort to pleasure, for we do not have the courage to seek joy.

Pleasure is seductive and she is sweet; there is much to love in her. But she saps one's strength and does not return it, acting instead as the Lamia who steals one's life because she herself is cold. She can only take; she feeds off of what she is given, but slowly the one who gives becomes a shadow of himself, empty, having realized there is no meaning in the feeling that he has found. And yet he cannot, cannot let himself go; he cannot surrender, he cannot be as he truly is and so he laments- for he wants a lover he does not have to love.

Who is this lover one does not have to love? Truly a lover, and not simply a succubus! A lover who would love you while you yourself need not make yourself vulnerable or in any way bare that which is precious to you. She is a giver who will give despite your not having given in return. Who does not long for such a lover? Does not everyone desire a lover whom one does not have to love, someone who will unconditionally support, love and strengthen them even as one feels no emotional attachment to her? Such a person provides one with everything one needs, and there shall be no pain felt should she ever disappear or suffer, because you do not love her; it is only she who loves you....

Does not everyone cry out in despair, at one point in their lives, for a lover one does not have to love? One desires what is true, one desires the joy, but without the price, without the pain. We have tired of pleasure and the shallow mockery that it is; we turn instead to joy! And yet we cannot bear the price of joy, to lay all else to rest and to simply be, to turn aside our masks and refrain from acting, to exist, for a moment, without the shadows that conceal us- to be all this and simply to trust to the other to do the same- and not to hurt you. Who can do such a thing? What person can expose himself so nakedly, so honestly and so truly? It is only those who are willing to risk the most, those who can reach further than what there is at the moment, those who are willing to bear the pain- and it is for this reason that we thank God for gifting us with the pain, as it teaches us how to endure. And it is in this manner that Richard Rahl thanked Denna for the pain with which she gifted him, for it taught him- and it did not teach him fear or anguish, but rather how to love Kahlan.

It is when we have tired of what is meaningless, when pleasure holds no allure because we are empty, drained, shells of ourselves, that we struggle to reach for joy. But o, it is difficult! And how one must reach, and how one must train oneself to so perfect a surrender, to so utter a loss of control. I can hide nothing. That is the path to joy- to hide nothing and to be nothing other than the self, to surrender totally and to forfeit control- in order to earn the joy of being able to stand as oneself, and to find another who stands as wholly as himself. But it is a long path and a difficult one, and there are those who shy at the pain, or who have been betrayed, or worst of all, who have mistaken pleasure for joy...

I want a lover I don't have to love. And who does not? We all despair; we all desire such a lover, whether he be human or come in another form. And yet we do not truly want him; we want the control he affords us, control over our emotions, control over ourselves, control over the fact that we do not want to hurt and we do not want to feel. We don't wish to feel as though we have no control and there is nothing that can be done and so instead we cry for one whom we do not have to love and create a perversion, in which hurt is love and love is simply another form of hurt. The crime is when this perversion endures instead of being lifted aside, gently, when the proper time has come, so that joy, transcendent and effervescent joy, may take its place...

Thursday, April 17, 2008


We at The Observer are hardcore. The kind of hardcore that stays in a room from the hours of 6:00 PM to 10:15 AM of the next day. Yes, you heard me right. Those are the hours for the dedicated team of four who give body, mind and soul to our beloved newspaper (not that the many other people involved do not, but they are probably more sane than we are.) We laugh, we cry, we throw a party; we play with finicky programs and have nervous breakdowns at 2:45 in the morning (all right, I had a nervous breakdown at 2:45 in the morning, but it only lasted till 3:00, due to the intervention of my beloved EIC. I had somehow decided I could reasonably expect to master a computer program before deadline the next day, and that I was a failure at life for failing to do so. Then others informed me that they use this program every day for three years, since they are Art majors, and I felt better about the whole situation.) Anyway, the point remains- we are hardcore.

We are so hardcore that we sleep on chairs in 19C in Brookdale.

Thank you to Sorceress for donating her blanket and pillow to the cause!

I slept from 5:30 to 8:22 in the morning; it was amazing. But what was even more amazing was the conversation I had with the guard at 5:40 in the morning.

Guard: (concernedly) What's the matter?

Chana: (pretends to sleep)

Guard: (loudly) What's the matter?

Chana: (sleep mumble) Nothing's the matter.

Guard: Why are you here?

Chana: Okay. So I'm copyediting upstairs in room 20C, and we've been there till now, and I have to go to sleep but I need to be back upstairs in about three hours. So it makes a lot more sense for me to sleep here in the student lounge than return to my dorm at this hour.

Guard: But you need a visitor's pass to sleep here.

Chana: I am a student.

Guard: That doesn't matter. You still need a visitor's pass to sleep here when you belong in a different dorm.

Chana: I am a Stern student; this is the student lounge, therefore I should be able to sleep here.

Guard: (doubtfully) I guess it's okay for one night.

I then fall into an amazing sleep for less than three hours. It's good times.

Sara Lefkovitz, Nava Billet, Ariana Denenberg and Alisa Ungar all rock my world. You are all hardcore. Hardcore, I tell you! Dancing parties, intense discussions, unhappiness, differing tastes in music and other good times make my world.

And now I suggest that you read The Observer. Because it's good times. And its staff members are hardcore. And besides, this issue cost us sweat and blood and tears. I figure you'd want to see why.

We've got discussions about real freshmen (those of us who didn't go to Israel and who seem to have nevertheless survived), fashion shows, the fact that we are pining away for lack of intellectual discussion, we like our leaders and the fact that they can get along with one another, Israel's upcoming 60th birthday, the Mercaz HaRav tragedy, new interdisciplinary courses, a controversial documentary about circumcision, misleading "kosher" establishments, the MedEthics conjoined twins event and an attack upon Galinda's method of transport.

Check it out!

Monday, April 14, 2008

My Lady in Pearls

For my Lady

Do you know what it means to love someone with all your heart and all your soul?

It is not an easy state of being, a transcendent state. It is one in which a person chooses to be vulnerable, decides to offer everything that he is to another. It is difficult, so difficult for a person who is guarded in secrets! And assume that someone does this; they reach the kind of state in which their souls are completely unguarded; they stand naked before the other, clothed only in scarlet flame; in the very essence of themselves and their truth. That is the only garment they wear, and it does not exist to cover them so much as to uncover, to tell the truth of who they are to another person, so that other person might bask in its glow and revel in its glory.

What one truly is is made of light. We shine, each in our separate ways, but at our deepest essence we are all composed of light, a dark light that gleams with tints of pink or hints of rose, a deep turquoise welling up from the surface of the deep. There are shining refracting rays that reflect off of the surface of a roiling sea, so that the colors and images intermix and interweave, but in truth we are all light, and our radiance is such that we glow with a keen and incomprehensible beauty, so vivid that we blind others in our dazzling beauty. But we so rarely allow others to see us as our true selves, in our true light. For that is private for us; that is the kind of joy that only we may entertain- that exists only for ourselves, only for our own undersatnding. It is the kind of self that one cannot demonstrate to others, for others haven't the eyes to see in order to comprehend it. It is a kind of darkness made of light, for there is a purpose behind the glow that we alone can see.

It is the music of our very souls. There is a kind of music that moves us, and it is deep and soothing in its rythym, terrifying in its scope. It is sad and strong and imperious; it is tragic and terrifying and hurtful. It is the music that depicts not only who we are but what our task may be; it is what we fear in ourselves. There are many times when we fear our capacity for greatness more than our capacity for finitude. Because we realize how difficult the journey shall be in light of what we are, and how hard the road we travel is. It is for this reason that we search and swim through channels of murky water, and we reach, and how our fingertips attempt to touch across that impenetrable gap! We reach ever closer, and there is a spark of connection, one that we hunger for and adore, and wish with all our hearts that we would never lose...

We come so close to one another; we are entirely bound up in one another, so that our very souls intertwine, and it follows that one's body could come only afterwards. There is so much sadness in the longing of another soul to be close to mine, or vice versa, for this is a connnection borne of loneliness, the initial and first loneliness declared upon Adam when he existed alone in the world. And so one searches but does not find, except there are times when we are led astray and certain that what we understand to be truth exists, and there is a kind of great joy that overwhelms and excites us, to think that perhaps we have a chance, and what we have seen to be gold is there, and it shines and glitters just as we do, for it is part of us as well.

And how we reach for that first connection! How it sparks and dazzles, and how close we come! We bare our entire hearts and souls; we tell the total and entire truth; we hide nothing from one another. For why should we? We are pure; we are utterly pure. We can do nothing without a kind of strong intensity that others only envy, for they are unaware of how deep we can plunge, of the waters in which we can swim, the heights that we can reach- they dizzy others, who would not begin to comprehend how to ascend to them. And yet for us they are natural; they are our very breath; they are everything that allows us happiness. What joy is in this, and what bliss, and at the same time, what terrifying fear. For there is nothing good that happens without a sense of fear and exultation; these two feelings are intertwined inseparably- all things come together in them.

And then to realize that one has been so mistaken, or to be cast aside like so much dust, to have this glorious edifice of golden dreams fall apart, to be treated like so cold a that hurts, and it is in this way that one writhes in agony, that pain rides up one's spine like a familiar stranger, playing upon the vertebrae as a skilled pianist upon the black and white keys. With one exquisite, torturous touch, memories swim back to the fore of one's mind and we dance through them, buoyed up as always by the treacherous understanding that we had so much, and all was so perfect, and to descend from this always to darkness, and to return only to realize that there is more pain, and more that causes one to suffer...and how cold, how cold it is now, when before there had been a sun to bask in, and a glow in which one could catch the is so cold, and it is no wonder that I am freezing! I curl my knees up to my chest and struggle not to shiver, for it is very cold in a world that has no sun, and mine has disappeared, you see...

How does one live out such a pain? For one had everything and now has nothing; one was warm and now one is utterly cold, hurt beyond measure. There is the soft strum of violin strings, and one closes one's eyes and allows the sleep to seep in, the darkness filling the cracks and blanketing me in a soft and comforting layer of nothingness. The stars are part of my twilight covering as well, and they comfort me to look at them; for they emit a kind of faint radiance, and in a way they remind me of myself, at the same time that I think I have lost myself. I know that I am still there, and I know that glow remains to me, but I must find it again, and it will take a time before I can manage that. There is always, you see, a darkness that seems too unfathomable, a hurt that seems incurable, a world that cannot be comprehended, and sparks that have been inverted so that there is nothing where once there was an entire dreamworld.

It is that nothingness that hurts more than anything. The mere stranger is entitled to more than I receive; the mere stranger may have a few flashes of light from his countenance, but I? I shall have darkness where I once received his total and ultimate regard; I shall have nothing when I never desired anything but to allow that connection to grow, as rewarding and beautiful as it was. How does one replace a beauty that now is lost? How does one grow to recover from such a thing? There was a world, created with fruits and delicacies of all times, a world cultivated out of my imagination and his own, and in the place of this world I now look down upon the charred remains of a fire; the earth is scorched and with it, it seems, my soul...for my very soul was burnt in the act of uprooting he whom I loved from the garden of my heart.

Alas, she sits in solitude! Maiden of Zion, Jewess forlorn! And what bitter tears she cries, and how her pain consumes her. And nevertheless, how strong and pure she is; how beautiful in countenance and in form, and how radiant in her sleep, when exhausted, she throws herself down so that she might try to rest and forget for a little...though this is impossible. What she misses is real; what does not exist anymore was indeed beautiful, and there was magic in it. And it is hard to give up on a magic as wondrous as that one was. But there is no need to give up on it. For it existed, and it is wondrous, and it is only logical that it should pain you...and that you should long for the sparks of connection that flew between you, for you were two souls united, and now you are sundered.

How does a soul create itself anew? Why, it takes and apportions light unto itself; it radiates light through its every action. She is a pure soul, and he is as well, but even in their purity they have managed to hurt each other, so that each of them are unhappy in their different ways. But this too shall pass, as everything does, and each of them shall form themselves in newer and greater selves, in forms that encompass everything that was beloved of this, everything that was important and that she desires to remember. For there was much of this that changed her for the better, and much of it that shall make her who she is, for the future...

And it is that very light, you see, and that very act of its cultivation, which is created only in the forge of a complete and total unhappiness. It is the reason she struggles now. In the struggle is the cure, you see. For if it did not matter, she would perfectly happy. But she is not happy, because she gives her soul to people when she loves them, and it is hard to have one's soul splintered to pieces, broken so that it might be pieced back together again, this time woven with a golden thread that glitters; a kind of spider's silk, a web made of gossamer and crystalline thread. These lines are so thin that one barely sees them, and yet they exist, for they are the very essence of what one learns. We are all broken, but then we are all pieced together again, and it is in that very piecing together that the work of art is created, that we become the masterpieces we were born to become.

My beloved Lady, this is precisely how it shall be with you, and how it is even now. You are mourning, you are unhappy...and how could you be happy? But at the same time, every tear you shed is another piece of mother-of-pearl that shines opalescently, the glue that pastes together the shattered pieces of one's soul, that helps to weave them. It is through our capacity to feel that we become human, through our capacity to both feel pain and to appreciate another's pain. And you do both, you see...and that's what is beautiful in you. For in your allowal to be hurt, you admit the magic that existed, and you mourn its loss, as is only right. We must always mourn when the magic disappears- with the understanding that there is a different kind of magic in sight, in the proper time, when we are ready for it, and when our souls are mended enough to carry on.

Good Evening

Hello everyone.
I just figured it would be nice to wish you a good evening at 3:20 in the morning.
This is when I shall commence sleeping.
That's an exciting prospect.
So good evening.
Sleep well.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


Today I had the honor and privilege of attending a shechita of a beautiful calf.

Warning: The pictures in this post will be graphic/ bloody. If you don't want to see them, don't read this post. Also, if you have nothing of worth to contribute to the comment section, and simply want to complain about how you can't stomach this, kindly don't bother to write anything.

So my amazing Chumash teacher walks into class and informs us that there will be a Shechita in Connecticut, and we are welcome to come if we wish. I and a fellow friend/classmate, Adina, (of stuck-in-the-elevator fame) decided to do so, and that is where we met this beautiful calf with sweet eyes.

The Shochet was amazing and gladly walked us through everything he was doing. He explained to us that the knife has two names, sakin and chalef. It is called sakin because of the root word sakanah, meaning danger, namely that it is dangerous for the animal being slaughtered. It is called chalef because of the word machalif- it changes states for the animal, transforming it from the state of being alive to the state of being dead.

The animal must be given water to drink before it is schechted. This is for two reasons, one of which is halachik, while the other one is simply because apparently the skin separates more easily from the flesh if an animal has drunk water before it has been schechted.

Interestingly, before witnessing a shechita I had somehow thought that the animal stood up when it was being slaughtered. Of course that is not the case. They bound the calf with ropes and placed its head on the ground. They then spilled water over its neck, since apparently this makes it easier for the Shochet to schecht the animal. The Shochet then recited a blessing over the shechita and in a matter of seconds, with a very quick sawing motion, cut through the esophagus and trachea. It was a beautiful shechita.

After he had completed the shechita, we heard the death rattle and gurgle of blood. He ordered everyone who had been holding the calf in position to step backwards, because even after it is dead, the calf kicks and moves. This is called mefarcheses. Also fascinating was the way that steam rose from the neck as the blood was exposed to the cold air.

The Shochet then wiped off the bloody knife and checked it for pigumim, or nicks and notches. If the blade was notched, then it is not a kosher shechita. Of course, he checks the blade before he does the shechitah as well. In our case, the blade was perfectly smooth.

At this point, the Shochet and his helpers began to cut away the skin from the body. There is no particular way in which this must be done, so long as one takes it off. The Shochet explained that in a regular factory, there will be about 10 men whose sole occupation is to de-skin the cows (and this was only a calf, not a cow) and who do this all day.

Because he does not do trabering, the Shochet decided to sell the hind part of the cow.

Now let's focus on the cheilev. The cheilev are the forbidden fats. Anyone who eats cheilev receives the punishment of kares. The korbanot in the mishkan/ Beis Hamikdash were offered with cheilev enwrapping them/ atop them. One can easily understand why upon seeing cheilev. It is beautiful, and looks like a kind of fancy lace.

Now let's move on to the stomachs. The calf has four stomachs.

Here are the stomachs inside of a wheelbarrow. That yellowish/greenish substance you see is actually half-digested or digested food.

This is one of the stomachs. It is called the Beis HaKosos. You can see how it got that name- it resembles a honeycomb, with its clever cups and openings.

I think the Shochet said this had something to do with wolves, and that the wolves hate it and won't eat it. He said this is a receptacle for rotting food within the calf.

I think this is the Shochet cutting a kidney in half. Notice the grape cluster formation of the kidney.

This is the Shochet checking the esophagus by turning it inside out onto his fingers. If the esophagus had had a nick or tear in it prior to his performing the shechitah, the inner portion would be red. However, here it is white.

This was by far the coolest part. Here the Shochet is blowing up the lung like a balloon. If the lung has a hole or puncture, he would hear the air hissing out of it. However, just to make sure, he also submerges the lung in water and blows it up again within the water. If the lung had a hole, it would cause bubbles to form in the water. However, this lung was entirely kosher and smooth.

The Shochet deliberately made a hole in the lung in order to show us the difference. He then submerged it in water again, and attempted to blow it up.

See the bubbles?!

This is the liver.

This is the spleen.

And this is the heart.

This was definitely one of the most fascinating experiences of my life. If anyone would like to see more pictures, feel free to email me for them.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Humiliator

I would like to point out a strong difference between The Commentator and The Observer this year.

This difference is demonstrated in the respective Purim issues of the two publications.

There is a famous Gemara, Eruvin 65b, which states that one can judge a man b'koso, b'kiso and b'kaaso. And I would add one more thing- by his sense of what is appropriate, by his sense of what is amusing and humorous. In a way, this is the very quality that is being measured in all three situations noted in the Gemara- whether or not the man acts in an appropriate fashion when he is confronted with the request to give charity, when he is in his cups, or when he is angry. And this is a quality measured when one is placed in a position of responsibility as well.

I happened to be at YU tonight, and seeing as there were none available on the Beren campus, I picked up a copy of The Commentator's Purim issue, namely The Instigator. But I believe that it deserves a different and more appropriate name, mainly, The Humiliator.

I was appalled by the majority of the articles, but most disgusted by one entitled "Stern Students Are Hilarious, Don't You Think?"

A Stern student had written a letter to the editor in the most recent issue of The Observer. Her views, to put it kindly, are somewhat extreme. She believes that women do not focus enough upon dating and getting married, and that the women at Stern ought to care more about this. However, the Editor-in-Chief of The Observer clarified that the girl in question wanted her letter published exactly as it was, and that is precisely what she did. The girl signed her name to the letter.

And yes, while it is perfectly understandable that some might disagree with this girl's views, or giggle about them in private, it is beyond amazing that someone decided that a good idea for the Purim issue of The Commentator would rip apart her letter unmercifully, destroying it piece by piece, mocking her pitilessly, humiliating her in front of the entire Yeshiva University community. Because we all know her name. Since she had signed it to the letter, you see.

And so I come across this "Purim" article that concludes:

"Wow. We couldn't have done it any better. To the entire student body of Stern College- we would like to thank you. This article toes the fine line between disgust and comedy. We can't tell whether to laugh or cry, so we'll do the only thing we know how to do, as self respecting me- we shall cry."

Are you laughing at this? Because I'm not laughing.

I think this is disgusting.

I find it amazing that a paper that claims the moral highground, has no problem expressing the opinion that IBC is not a valid Yeshiva program, lauds the "true" Yeshiva scholars, viciously lambastes those who went on certain CJF trips in order to try to improve the world and laments YU accepting supposedly lesser students with lower SAT scores thinks it is okay to publish an article that humiliates a person in front of the entire school. And yes, the girl's name was not included in the article itself, that is true. But we had all read her name in The Observer issue published beforehand (which was cited in the article.)

Where is your sensitivity? Where is your mercy? Must you destroy a person for the sake of your low attempts at humor? Would you like to be destroyed in front of the whole school?

It is fascinating that a paper which was involved in publishing the recent book Mentor of Generations: Reflections on Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik managed to forget so simple a tenet of the Rav's philosophy:

"The Halakhah equated the act of publicly embarrassing a person with murder. Why? Because humiliation is tantamount to destroying an existential community and driving the individual into solitude. It is not enough for the charitable person to extend help to the needy. He must do more than that; he must try to restore to the dependant person a sense of dignity and worth. That is why we have developed special sensitivy regarding orphans and widows, since these persons are extremely sensistive and lose their self-confidence at the slightest provocation. The Bible warned us against afflicting an orphan and widow."

~Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, "The Community," Tradition, Vol. 17, No. 2, p. 16.

Ah yes. But these are our true Torah scholars, the ones who publish The Instigator. They're the ones who would never participate in CJF trips where people wore pillowcases on their heads, or be part of IBC, or receive less than a 1400 on their SATs.

But they would humiliate a person publicly, and have the callousness to treat that as a joke.

Torah like this is not true Torah. An apology is in order, and those who work for The Humiliator ought to rethink their attempt at holding the moral highground. If for no other reason, this Purim issue utterly destroys their credibility. A true scholar would have the sensitivity to refrain from attacking another person in public, from destroying her, from hurting her. How can she dare show her face now?

You did this. This is what you have wrought. But at least one good thing has come of this. For I believe that many of us now recognize that "we have allowed the wrong student to take [a] leadership role and misrepresent us to the broader Jewish community."

That's a worthwhile realization.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Teddy Ruxpin

The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin, in audiocassette form, was my favorite tape as a child. I especially adored the song "Mudblups" which was all about the evil mudblups that infiltrated the house and got everything dirty! I remember dancing around the living room to this (Mommy, tell me that we still have this tape somewhere...I want to listen to it.)

My favorite character was Tweeg, who sang an amazing song about how he wanted to be rich. (My two favorite songs were the "Mudblups" one and the "I Wanna Be Rich" one.)

Here's part of the "Rich" song.

Huzzah for Tweeg! Tweeg owns. I'm totally Tweeg in disguise. And the supreme oppressor.