Archive | May, 2011

Meme-tastic!

30 May

I’l be honest, I had to visit the Merriam Webster website to figure out what a “meme” is. But now that I have, I’m gonna give it a shot! Thanks for including me, SiBaW!

1. I wish I could…have more knowledge of my family history. I know that I am a descendant of the Vilna Gaon, and that many of my ancestors made difficult life altering decisions in order remain Torah committed Jews. The small bits of info that I do know are highly inspiring, and I feel that if I knew more, I’d have a better idea of what my Tafkid (purpose) is in this life.

2. My biggest fear is…not living to my potential. G-d blessed me with so many glorious opportunities and I pray that He helps me recognize which ones I should and should not take.

3. I hate to…ask for help. But thank G-d, I’ve gotten better at overcoming this nisayon (test).

4.  I love…the depth of Torah. The fact that my favorite quote from the Gemara is based on my favorite pasuk in Tanach is a small example of that. The greatest part is,  did not realize this interrelation much after I had learned each one in a separate context.

5. Today I will…thank Hashem. Every day G-d gives me is a new opportunity to be more focused, more committed and more joyous in my service of Him. Every day there are multiple things to thank Him for. Today happens to be particularly joyous day, for today I start a new journey; a summer program will allow me to grow in more ways than I can imagine at this moment in time.

6. Yesterday…I was able to participate in two regional NCSY convetions and go to my friends’ wedding (yes, my friends married each other!). If that doesn’t scream Chasdei Hashem for you, I don’t know what else will.

7. My hair is…brown, slightly wavy and long. The last lady who cut it left some uneven strands, but Baruch Hashem, I’ve never gotten more compliments about my hair. Strange, but I’m not complaining 🙂

8. I will never…say never about something, because in my experience, then I’m tested in what I say I’ll never do. The only thing I can say never about is that I will never be anything but a Jew. That can’t be changed, Baruch Hashem, and IYH, I will not have to be harshly tested in that area (please, please, please).

I think that now I am supposed to tag someone else and ask them to do answer the same questions. Well, PNN, if you have a spare moment to write a meme  (which means “same” in French), go for it!

Boston: The Dare

27 May

We’re members of the 21st Century, right ladies? We aren’t waiting for Tatte to bring back the butcher, tailor or chazzen home for dinner or waiting to see who will offer the most cows for our hands in marriage. In today’s day and age, a girl can cannot only choose who to marry, but who to date. I don[t know about you, but I find In-Town dating to be a tad competitive. The old-fashioned being-set-up-by-a-family-friend-and-seeing-where-it-goes just doesn’t cut it anymore. He’s got to have your resume, high school transcript and five-year plan on the table before he even looks at your picture. And let’s say he does get around to verifying your six points of ID, he has plenty more to look through.

Even the “informal” way of getting a date has its hoops. You want to go out with Shimmy, so, you ask your friend what his story is.

“He’s single,” she informs you, “but he’s supposed to go out with Yentel first. You’ll have to wait.”

Never mind that Shimmy considered her five months ago and never did anything about it, nor does Yentel have any interest in going out with him. The word on the street is, he’s going to ask out Yentel, and she hasn’t had a date in six weeks so don’t mess.

Now, if you’re a stubborn gal like me, you’ll just find another way to see if Shimmy is interested in going out with you. But let’s be realistic here…though we are women of the 21st Century and we’re more educated and worldly than our matriarchs before us, why are we chasing after the men? It’s supposed to be the other way around. We are supposed to be the pursued, not the pursuers. Ever read The Glass Menagerie?  They’re called “gentleman callers” because they are supposed to do the calling.

Well what can ya do, we live in the times that we live in. But if you do dream of being treated like a lady, if you are interested in getting a taste of the Amanda Wingfield courtship, there is a place to go.

Out of Town.

It’s really not as ridiculous as it sounds. Gather up a friend or two, decide on a place to go, ask the community rabbi to set you up with hosts and meals if you cannot find on your own and let them know why you’re coming. I know you’re crying inside as I say this. I know you’re thinking, “my gosh this girl is BONKERS!” That’s okay, I get that sometimes, and I also get that finding the RD requires stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. There are plenty of G-d fearing, Torah dedicated, genuine young men outside of the NY area. For whatever reason, they decided that their city, be it Boston, Detroit, Baltimore or beyond, is the best place for them to be. Some stayed for sumptuous scholarships, specific academic programs or growing businesses. Others just don’t like the NY lifestyle. It’s not worth parking having to park 20 blocks away from their $800/month room in the Heights. No matter why they chose to stay put, they want to get married just as much as In-Towners do. They just don’t have the same pool to fish in.

And that’s where we come in. All it takes is one visit; one trip to show that we each want to meet a great guy. We’re willing to meet people who don’t live where we do; we’re willing to make the extra effort to meet them. Maybe you’re not. Maybe you’d rather go through all the boys in the Five Boroughs before stepping foot onto unknown territory. Could be. But for those of you who are ready to put yourself in a world where women are courted, go out with an OOTer. I dare you.

I don’t know how it works it other cities but I do know how it works in Boston. E-mail the Young Israel of Brookline. Tell them who you are and who’s coming with you. Tell them why you want to come. And while you’re at it, fill out one of the rebbetzin’s Shidduch Connection forms. Hey, you never know 🙂

Boston: The Lowdown

25 May

There are several standard facts of life that one grows up with when born in Boston:

1)      “R’s” are optional

2)      Wicked is a compliment

3)       “T” is for trolley

4)      Curses are meant to be broken, no matter how long it takes

But when growing up in the Jewish community, there’s a fifth fact that is unique to our community:

5)      There are always more boys than girls

I was all of thirteen when this truth registered. Though I had moved out years before, I returned to my beloved town of birth for summers. I scrambled after energy-high children by day and reconnected with friends and family by night . Ah yes, those Boston summers…learning to throw a football in the *Kleinstein’s backyard, barbecuing hotdogs  to the rollicking cheers of a Red Sox game, taking tutorials of mud-castle building…my experiences were always unique. None of my peers were very interested in talking to me, but then I realized why: pre-teen boys don’t like to talk, and I was surrounded by them from all sides.

“There’s a reason we like having you here, sweetie,” a family friends used to joke, “we just don’t have as many girls around here as boys. And as they grow older, the odds grow higher and higher.”

*********************************************************************************************************************************

Some claim that there’s something in the water, but I think my father explained it best: Boston is a great place to live. It’s clean, pretty and spacious. The Jewish community is big but not bursting at the seams, with easy access to kosher food, shuls, mikvah, schools and family services. There is one pizza shop instead of twenty-one and one Beis Yaakov instead of seven, but it’s enough. Baruch Hashem.

Yet once it’s time for a young Orthodox Bostonian to go to college, there begins to be a split. Many students begin to out-of-town, or as the rest of the Jewish community might call it, In-Town. The girls know their marriage options in Boston by this point. If they really want to go out with someone from the area, they can have it set up chick-chock, but most of them are interested in broadening their horizons. The Rav went down to YU every week, why not them? Let’s be honest, the best place to find boys from all over the country is the YU library. Boston is nice, but why settle for its windy winters when you Prince Charming may come from Miami, LA or Beit Shemesh? And once they do find that chivalrous lad, they’re gone for good. Bye-bye, Beantown.

Yet guys have a different attitude. For many of them, the fast paced life of New York is of no interest.  Think about it. You’ve grown up with trees, brownstone buildings and quiet streets for the first 18 years of your life. All of the sudden your entire life is limited to the same four nasty, smelly, Spanish graffitied blocks and to make matters worse, you’ve got GWB traffic  jammed up your ear 24/7. The natives are pushy, nosey and indifferent to your existence. Amsterdam Ave is not Harvard St. and when you measure the pros and cons, Harvard St. starts looking better by the millisecond. And with schools such as BU, MIT and Harvard within a 3 mile radius, there isn’t much concern about getting an education. There are places to join a morning and/or evening seder, thrice-daily minyanim and grab a slice of pizza. It isn’t New York, but it’s home.

*Name has been changed. If there are Kleinsteins in the greater Boston area, I am not referring to you.

Back From Hiatus

23 May

I know, you’ve been wondering where I’ve been. How could I let an ENTIRE month go by without a word? What a despicable blogger this Coral character is! Some people live for this stuff. Clearly!

So what happened to me? Let’s make it multiple choice:

A) I was summoned by the United States government to trail Carmen Sandiego on her latest villainous excursion.  Their logic was that red hats think alike, and hey, we do. We both like visiting internationally acclaimed monuments. Only difference is that she likes to steal them. (I prefer the gift shop).

B) I fell into an alternate universe where girls are hard to come by and males are a dime a dozen. They didn’t want to let me go, but alas, I belong here.

C) I was raising funds in order to run for president in 2012. Then I realized I could buy Disney World with the same amount of money.

D) Three words: I’ve. Been. Busy.

>>>>>>>>>>>>LOOK

>>>>>>>>>>>>DOWN

>>>>>>>>>>>>DOWNER

>>>>>>>>>>>>THERE YA GO

If you guessed “D” then you are correct! I have been busy, just not in the way that you’re thinking. School can be a time absorber, ya know? Papers, exams, presentations…lots of circles to fill in with Number Two pencils. Hoo boy, those can get intense.Throw two part time jobs into the mix and I’ve got about 2 1/2 seconds to think.  But the good news is, I’m free (from school) until next Tuesday! Yup, Baruch Hasehm I have time to blog to my heart’s desire. Are there any topics y’all would like me to yap about? Just post down below or send me an e-mail.

Some topics to look forward to in the coming season:

A) Boston Boys: Why Every Single Girl Should Make it Their Business to Look Out-of-Town

B) The Yeshiva Boys’ Code of Shadchanus

C) The Library Dance

D) I Like Him But He’s Short vs. He’s Short But I Like Him