Monday, December 22, 2008


Chanuka is one of my favorite holidays. Eight days of fun, with almost no restrictions. Lots of food, lots of presents, what's not to love?

Latkes are the best.
Doughnuts--not bad, though the icing sugar gets really messy. The songs are great.
Cleaning and preparing the candles are a pain in the neck.

What's my favorite part of Chanuka? Standing around with family after the candles are lit, just before digging into the latkes. It's a special feeling.

Monday, December 15, 2008


You may have noticed I've been neglecting this blog. Sorry.

To me, a blog is a big party. If you're interested in being a contributor, just give me a shout ( and you're in.

I spent a year and a half in Israel a few years ago, and thought I'd share some of my positive memories.

- The weather. I loved how it never rained in the summer, and you barely ever needed a coat in the winter. Loved it.

- The food. Okay, lots of it was crap, but lots was great. Like bread for fifty cents a loaf (seriously). During bein hazmanim, I lived off of that stuff. Also hummus (a kilo tub for like two bucks). Oh, you know those shoko bags kids take to school? Those rock.

- Buses, tiyulim. Loved the buses, and how you were never too far from your next tiyul. Went on lots of tiyulim. LOVED Ein Gedi! Didn't go to Masada:(.

- Shabbos. LOVED it. People were always inviting us to their homes for the meals, and had LOTS of fun. Also, walking around Yerushalayim Friday night was pretty cool. It sometimes seemed like the whole city's population was walking down Shmuel Hanavi, cracking garinim.

- Carefree attitude. A lot of Israelis are mad chilled. Lots of unique personalities to hang out with. You never know what you're getting yourself into; the place is one big balagan, and it's a laugh a minute. Basically, what I'm saying is it's a lot of fun:).

Monday, December 8, 2008


By: Margo
I sometimes miss davening. Not the praying to an invisible God, nor the mandatory aspect of it, but I miss the intense concentration and meditation. I felt like I was delving deep into myself and simultaneously drawing closer to what I thought of as God. That part was lovely; it helped me reach self-knowledge, it brought me to a self-centered place, it enabled me to focus. Even after I stopped believing that the Torah is divine, I would talk to "God" intensely, just talk. That was great. Then I realized that God almost definitely wasn't there, and I stopped talking to myself.
Maybe I'll look into meditation. Or maybe I'll just resume talking to myself. It was easier when I thought I was talking to another being, though. Now I just feel crazy, except that it's crazier to talk to yourself and believe you're speaking to an invisible being than it is to just talk to yourself, fully knowing what you're doing. ;) Maybe I'm not so crazy, after all.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Jewish Music

So, what kinds of Jewish music do I like?

All kinds. Whatever's popular works for me.

I've always loved Mordechai ben David and Avraham Fried. Personally, I've always thought Fried was better, but most people I knew thought I was crazy for saying that, so I learned to keep it to myself.

Shwekey is incredible, of course. Lots of wannabe Shwekeys out there too, they're alright.

I'm also a big Eli Gerstner fan. I was crazy about the Chevra, but not all of his other projects, including Yeshiva Boys Choir. Always thought Miami was better, though the last few years, they haven't been too special either.

Chassidish music I don't know too much about, but Lipa's alright. I once heard Shloime Daskal, he sounded pretty amazing.

Are those three, Dachs, Wald, and Williger, still around? (I like them in that order, btw.) They were okay.

I'm not a major Carlebach guy. I like his tunes, but not his voice. I like Abie Rotenberg stuff (Journeys, Dveykus etc).

How about the cool stuff, you know, Blue Fringe, Moshav Band, etc? Yeah, I like. Haven't heard them lots though. Also Gershon Veroba (Variations) and Destiny--s'all good.

I can't not mention female musicians. Unfortunately, there are very few in the frum world, thanks to halacha or whatever. Otherwise, the quality of the music would improve greatly. There are a few big-name ladies out there, like Kineret, but I don't know much about them:(.

How about kids' tapes? I grew up on Marvelous Middos Machine, Uncle Moishy, Shmuel Kunda, etc. Country Yossi's alright too. Oh, and you can deny it all you want, but Shmuel Kunda is hilarious.

K, I know I missed a lot of different singers and bands in this post. Feel free to mention them in the comments.

So, what kinds of music do you like?

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Yes, I know some of you call it "cholent"; others "chulent." Tomato tomahtowww.

Now, there are all kinds of cholent. There's the classic "cement-mixer" type (my favorite!); there's the soupy kind; dafina, plus other types I probably don't know about.

I can't cook to save my life, but am an expert eater, though. I can't really tell you how to make it (unfortunately), though from what I'm told, you just throw a whole bunch of stuff into a pot. Okay, it's more complicated than that :P.

In my yeshiva in New York, there were a few guys who really knew what they were doing. Every Thursday, they would prepare two giant pots of cholent. Oh, that was good. Friday afternoon, you could always sneak a bowl. Friday night was the best. A few hours after the meal, we'd all go downstairs and help ourselves to giant servings of cholent. I can smell it now. Only the second pot would be saved for Shabbos day. Good times.

Some stores know how to make good cholent too. Deli 52 on Thursday night is supposed to be incredible. I've tried it once or twice, and it was good.

There's a million secrets to cholent success. Many use ketchup, plenty use beer, some even use hot dogs! My sister, who makes a mean cholent (knocks you out for at least six hours) I'm convinced uses peanut butter. She denies it categorically.

And no, I am NOT discussing the aftereffects we all suffer the next day or two in the form of air pollution, or its long-lasting effects on the environment:P.

Now, we have the not-so-simple matter of what to wash it all down with, or even eat together with. Personally, I'll eat it with anything except bread (too heavy). Kichel is good, snacks, etc. Oh, and sunflower seeds or chewing gum etc. do wonders for the digestion.

How do you wash it down? Lots of choices. Soda works. And I LOVE Sprite. A few years ago, they came out with Sprite Remix. I was crazy for it. When they discontinued it, I was probably the saddest guy in the tri-state area:(.

Schnapps works too, or beer (all beer just tastes like pish anyway, who we kiddin'?) But really, cold heineken is okay.

How do you like your cholent?

(Btw) Speaking of food, I love shwarma. Yeah, you can get it in Shmutz La'aretz too, but Israel's best. Let's face it: Israeli pizza sucks, even their falafels aren't all that special, but their shwarma? Ahhh.

Halo Teiman (by knisah l'ir, also in bnei brak) ROCKS. I know, there's tons of awesome shwarma places all over the country. But I know I loved Halo Teiman.

For like 30 shmek, you get an awesome wrap. Plus tons of salads on the side; they let you put them on by yourself.

Out of this world.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

First Post

My name is OTD.
I used to be frum.
This is my frum side.