The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Monday, December 31, 2007


I am pleased to report that with a hard-fought victory against the Great Joe Schick, founder and commissioner of the Zionist Conspiracy Fantasy Football League (ZCFFL), I fended off Team Akiva and retained sole possession of first place, thereby clinching the title.

A few points about this week. To a large extent, week 17 is a crap shoot. It is difficult to determine which playoff teams will rest their best players (and which teams that are out of the playoffs will rest their good, but banged up, players). Indeed, two of the teams in the league fell asleep at the switch and started players in key positions who were inactive. (Akiva had a much easier time because his opponent started an inactive player at running back, arguably the most important position.)

In my particular case, a key decision surrounded Reggie Wayne, clearly my season's MVP. The Colts are known for resting players when the team is locked. I decided to bench Wayne and play Brandon Marshall of Denver whom I had picked up off waivers earlier in the year and had been playing extremely well of late. Well, Wayne had 12 catches in the first half and scored 17 fantasy points but, I believe, sat the entire second half. Luckily for me, Marshall had a monster game and scored 31 points. I also sat Gibril Wilson, a defensive back from the Giants who has been banged up, thinking that the Giants would sensibly realize that their game against the Patriots was, indeed, meaningless. Instead, the dopey Giants played it like it was their Super Bowl and Wilson had a strong game sitting on my bench.

At the end of the day, enough of my picks worked and I held off Joe who also had a strong game.

(It is worth considering whether to end the season after the 16th week, as many fantasy leagues do.)

So, to what do I owe my victory?

1. My head of analytics who explained the concept of drafting for relative value and gave me a draft sheet to follow.

2. Incredibly good luck. I did not have one significant injury to any key offensive player all year.

3. Monster wide receivers. This is also somewhat lucky. I picked two excellent "number two" receivers (Wayne and Houshmanzadeh) who turned into number one receivers because of, respectively, an injury to Marvin Harrison and a head case in Chad Johnson. Wayne was a force and Houshmanzadeh was at the top of the league in receptions all year.

4. Depth. I had four good running backs, three good wide receivers and two good tight ends. (I only had one good quarterback and he stayed healthy).

5. Attention to detail. Unlike last year, I stayed awake and followed the bye weeks, the injuries and, occasionally, even the match ups. This despite extensive travelling during the season. Twice, I had to make adjustments to my team from overseas.

6. Mid-season pickups and drops. I was not afraid to drop under performers. Even big names like Adam Viniatari, the Colts great kicker who was killing me in the second half of the year (The Colts were overwhelmingly scoring touchdowns rather than attempting field goals and, on those few occasions when they did attempt kicks, Viniateri missed.). I also picked up Mario Williams who had big games for me in the last few weeks, and Brandon Marshall who was huge in week 17.

All in all, the season was a lot of fun and I'd love to do it again next year (even if I don't get the first pick in the draft).


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Chaim Dovid in Far Rockaway

CD will be giving a concert at the Young Israel of Far Rockaway this motsau Shabbos. The YIFR is on Beach 9th street in Far Rockaway. The gig is at 8 and admission is $15.


Coming Back

I am in the El Al lounge, on my way back from three wonderful days at the Mother Ship with OYS.

With my Blackberry barely ringing (you didn't expect me to turn it off, did you), I had the rare opportunity to wind down and relax. Spending three days learning with OYS (and I use that word in its loosest sense) has been a bracha. OYS is, B'H, doing great. He is amazingly diligent, working very hard and keeping his days unbelievably full.

I don't know why this should surprise me, but, I have to admit, it did. I think this is entirely my fault. I discussed this at dinner last night with Ben and David (I also admonished the literally striking Ben for not posting despite the fact that he hasn't worked (at least in his regular job) the whole semester; he promised to do teshuva). (And another thing. I don't want to say their steak was big but they had to bring it in through the window; it wouldn't fit through the door).

My theory is that we tend to treat our older children differently than our younger ones. Thus, I always viewed OOS and OOD as mature while viewing OYS and OYD as less so. Well, as OYS might put it, he certainly rocked me the past three days. His focus and maturity are very impressive.

My chilled out demeanor was interrupted this morning when a holy Jew From The Ayalon Valley asked me to speak to the boys as a replacement for one of the Rebbes who just had a baby and was otherwise occupied. So, rather than hanging out all morning and making believe I was learning, I had to actually prepare a shmueze.

The good news is that I frequently speak before big crowds so I don't get nervous. The bad news is that I am basically an am ha'aretz and had to make it seem like I knew what I was talking about. With the help of a Torah that I once learned from my Rebbe, I think I pulled it off.

Anyway, I am looking forward to seeing the gaggle of girls that awaits me at home.

(An aside: There is an angry, vicious, self-hating blowhard within earshot of me in the terminal who is giving his older parents an unbeliveably hard time. My heart goes out to them to the extent they aren't the reason he's an angry, vicious, self-hating blowhard (and even if they are). Hashem Yirachem).


Monday, December 24, 2007

It's Not My Fault; I'm a Lawyer

I got to JFK around 5 p.m. for a 6:20 flight. I was booked in business class and had checked in motsai Shabbos through the internet. I had a boarding pass in hand, a seat assignment and was all set to go.

I went straight to the business class lounge, bypassing security and check in (as instructed by my electronic boarding pass) since I had only carry-on luggage.

I hung out in the lounge until around 6 and finally walked downstairs to get to the gate.

They wouldn't let me in.

The security person said I needed a boarding pass. I said I had a boarding pass. She said that's not a boarding pass. I asked her to read the title. It said "boarding pass" in big letters. She still wouldn't let me in. I asked to see a superviser. She said the superviser wasn't around.

I shlepped back upstairs to the El Al check in line. There was literally no one there. No one.

I ran back to the business class lounge. Luckily, there were still a couple of people there. I explained my predicament. The manager asked why I didn't go through security at the check in counter. I told her that my e-boarding pass said to go straight to the gate and have a security clearance done at the gate. She was skeptical, I told her to read the boarding pass. There, in black and white, it said to do exactly what I was trying to do.

The manager (who was very pleasant and helpful) asked if she could keep my copy of the electronic boarding pass to show to her management because it was totally wrong. As I discovered, you cannot get through to the gate without a real boarding pass.

They printed out a regular boarding pass, arranged to have a security person meet me at the gate and sent me on my way. They apologized for the confusion. I apologized for causing such a kerfuffle. I explained that, sadly, I am a lawyer and I read documents for a living and therefor am inclined to do what the documents tell me to.

In any event, I got to the gate on time, got on the plane, sat on the runway for two hours because of weather related delays, had dinner, popped an Ambien, and got to Israel no worse for wear.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

On the Road For a Few Days

I am leaving this evening for a few days in Israel to hang with OYS at the Mother Ship. I probably won't be posting until my return (not that I've been posting particularly frequently anyway but at least now I have an excuse, and, not that anyone will even notice).

I would like to post about OYD's unexpected star turn at her school's "performance" and, in general, about the chashuva role played by the annual performances in girls' high schools. But I don't have time right now so it will have to wait.

And, if all goes well, I will have wrapped up the Fantasy Foorball championship by the time I get home.

Finally, in my absence I will leave you all with a link to a post favored by OOD's friends. Who would expect it's about shopping? (A note: I have since upgraded my own wardrobe as noted here).


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ice Cream

Did you know that OOD loves to go out for ice cream?

Just thought you'd want to know.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Dumbo and the Mad Dog

There is nothing quite as entertaining as sports radio on a Monday after both the Giants and the Jets lose. Today was such a day and, even better, for reasons beyond the scope of this post, I got to listen to much more of it than usual.

Two topics were particularly amusing. The first, a discussion of whther it was right of Giants season ticket holders to either not attend last nights game or leave early (I am told there were only about 15,000 fans left after half time).

Why this topic needs more than 1 minute of discussion is beyond me. At best, Giants Stadium is colder than the North Pole. Anyone stupid dumb enough to attend an 8:30 p.m. game when the wind-chill factor was in the single digits deserves what he gets. Enough said.

The second topic was priceless. For an hour, Mike Franscesa was arguing that the Giants should not rest any of their players in week 16 when they play the undefeated Patriots even if they've clinched a playoff spot. Something along the lines of "it's a historic game and they owe it to the fans, blah blah blah".

This was perhaps the stupidest thing I've ever heard anyone say on sports radio and that is saying a mouthful. A coach's job is to prepare his team for meaningful games. If he can rest his beat-up players for a week ahead of a playoff game, he would be guilty of coaching malpractice not to do so. (Even the usually dopey Chris Russo didn't agree with him). Mike is an idiot.

Finally, on the Fantasy front, Team Moc is about to beat Team Akiva in a head-to-head match for first place. My team actually stunk, but his team stunk worse.

The next two weeks are very sketchy because so many teams have clinched playoff spots and have little to gain by playing their premium players. It is very difficult to choose the right players. I am actually counting on the Great Joe Schick to do me a favor and defeat Akiva next week so that I can wrap of the title.


On the Fringe on Shlomo Katz

Shira enjoys the Shlomo Katz concert at Aish.

She notes that she will no longer worry about getting to an Aish Kodesh sponsored gig on time. The gig was called for 8 but started at 8:40 p.m. This annoys me as well but is a function of Klal Yisrael's penchant for coming late (at least this segment of Klal Yisrael). Had we started on time, we would have had a couple of minyanim of people. By 8:40, the place was almost full. By 9, it was.

This is nothing compared to other segments of Klal Yisrael. A few years ago we organized a parlor meeting in Great Neck in support of our building fund. The target audience were members of the Mashadi community, who had been students of, and were still close to, our Rav.

The event was called for 8 p.m. on a motsai Shabbos. I was supposed to pick up the Rav and a member of our shul who was originally from the Mashadi community. I asked him what time to pick them up. He said come by at 10:30. If we get to Great Neck at 11, it will be perfect timing.

And so it was.

Labels: ,

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Mitchell Report: MoC's Take

In 1989, when I was young, I was in-house counsel to a major bank. The bank had underwritten a multi-billion dollar syndicated loan for a company that was doing a defensive leveraged-restructuring.

Everything seemed to be going along swimmingly for the bank. Commitments from the financial institutions that would be taking pieces of this loan were due at 10 a.m. on a Friday in October. The bank expected the deal to be oversubscribed.

Guess what? Ten a.m. came and went and the amount of commitments received by the bank was minuscule. Later that day, rather than agreeing to take down the entire multi-billion dollar loan, the bank declared a "market out" (based on a "materially adverse change in market conditions") and terminated the deal.

Whether, in fact, such a "market out" had occurred was not at all clear. To protect itself, the bank commissioned an investigation by an "independent"outside law firm (which I supervised) to determine whether or not the bank was justified in terminating the deal (or, conversely, was obligated to make the loan).

The integrity of this top law firm was beyond reproach. Nevertheless, to suggest that the investigation was, in fact, independent, is just plain silly.

Without ever having had to say a word, it was obvious to this law firm that the result that we wanted was that a market out had occurred. And, since we were not only paying them for this project but had a long and continuing relationship with the law firm, it was equally clear that they would go to great lengths to reach the conclusion that we wanted them to reach. V'kach haveh (So it was).

If you want to know why the Mitchell report came out the way it did, just look at who commissioned and paid for it. (And, for good measure, add in the fact that Senator Mitchell is a member of the board of the Boston Red Sox and, apparently, the Los Angeles Angels).

This is not to say that there wasn't a huge steroid problem in the Major Leagues or that most of the players named in the report didn't indulge in steroids.

I'm just sayin'.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

More Things I Don't Get

I don't know about you, but when I get dressed, I put on my underwear first, then my shirt, then my pants, then my socks and, finally, my shoes. I do this at home in the morning and after showering in the gym. It kind of makes sense.

That's why I don't really get it when I see guys in the gym putting on their pants first, (many of them acually buckling their belts) before putting on their shirts (or socks and shoes followed by their shirts). The only time it makes any sense is in a gym setting, when guys are still overheated from their workouts and want to cool down as much as possible before putting on their shirts.

This afternoon I saw something really weird, which I've seen once or twice before. A guy put on his socks and shoes before putting on his pants! What's up with that? What possible explanation could there be for that? I am perplexed.


Whole Wheat Noodles

On Tuesday I had a business lunch at MMFFC. Tuna. I always get the Ahi tuna there.

So when I called MHW later in the day to, inter alia, find out what was for dinner, I was pleased to hear that we were having pasta.

When I got home later that evening, staring me in the face was a bowl of whole wheat elbow noodles.

I stared at them incredulously and inquired of MHW, "What's up with the noodles?"

MHW said, "I asked you last week whether you minded switching to whole wheat pasta and you said it was ok."

I said, "What? When did that happen? I have no recollection of any such conversation and I can't even imagine myself agreeing to such a takana."

MHW said, "Well, you did."

There are three possibilities.

1. I'm losing my mind. Possible.

2. MHW posed the question during the shootout of a Ranger's game and I just said yes so that I could concentrate on the game. Very possible.

3. MHW posed the question, I didn't really concentrate and I said what I've been saying for the past 26 years, "Whatever you say, [nickname]". Exceedingly possible.

Whichever of the above possibilities is the correct one, I told MHW that I officially took back the posiive response to her question and that I would, instead, prefer to risk my health by ingesting all the bad things associated with regular pasta over the healthy ingredients of tasteless whole wheat pasta and, furthermore, this goes double for noodles in her delicious Friday night chicken soup.


Shlomo Katz on JM in the AM

Shlomo Katz just appeared with Nachum Segal on JM in the AM. I will post the link to the archives shortly. It was a very nice session. I was supposed to be there too (the main topic was K'Shoshana) but I got nailed in traffic.

Talk about addiion by subtraction.

And, a reminder that Shlomo will be at Aish Kodesh motsai Shabbos at 8 p.m.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

K'Shoshana Video

Arutz Sheva has a wonderful video (in Hebrew) focused on the new CD, K'Shoshana. It features some snippets from the recent concert in Yerushalayim as well as interviews with Shlomo Katz, Chaim Dovid and Aron Razel.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Who's the poor sucker who got bounced?

On Monday, I sent an email to a partner at a major law firm, let's call him Joe, asking whether there were four tickets available in the firm's skybox for Sunday's Ranger's game. "Judah", our former foster son, is coming for a visit and I thought he would enjoy going. Besides, OYD has also been asking to go to game.

I've known Joe for over 11 years. Besides being a brilliant litigator, he is, without question, the best client coverage guy I've ever met in 24 years of in-house practice. He treats me like a major client even though I've never really been one (ironically, even though my legal budget is currently smaller than at any previous job, because of the exposure I offer firms, I'm a more important client than I've ever been). He ALWAYS gets back to me within a day, even if it is just to say that he is jammed up and will revert as soon as he is free. And, to top it off, he is a very decent guy.

Joe quickly e-mailed back that there were only two seats still available and they were mine if I wanted them.

I e-mailed back that I couldn't use the two because OYD would feel bad if I took Judah and not her. I thanked him, apologized for asking so late (I just found out that Judah was coming this Sunday) and said that I would get back to him about another game sometime down the line.

Ten minutes later I get the following email:

"Just got four tix, do you want them for Sunday? (I feel like I'm bidding against myself)"

I emailed back:

"I would love them. Who did you bounce to get me the seats?"

He wrote back, "Don't worry about it. You're a good guy and it's our pleasure."

The "good guy" reference was, of course, to the fact that I was planning to take Judah, whom he knows about. Joe, who is a very senior and powerful lawyer at the firm, obviously asked for the list of who had been allocated seats in the box and probably bounced an associate (or even a partner) who was probably not taking a client.

I feel bad, but not too bad.


A Parenting Story

A few years ago, when OYS was a sophomore in high school, we had an ongoing discussion about where he would be going for the summer. He would be spending the summer in Israel; the question was which program.

His older brother, OOS, had spent his sophomore summer at the NCSY Kollel and had a wonderful summer. Not only did he have a lot of fun, he grew up and got his first real appreciation for learning.

We, of course, wanted OYS to go the Kollel but he had other plans. His good friends were planning on going to a sketchy co-ed summer program in Israel and there was nothing we could do or say that would persuade him otherwise.

This became one of those issues that parents face from time to time. When do you lay down the law and when do you back off? Or, in other words, how do you pick your battles. After much soul searching, MHW and I backed down and let him go to the sketchy program even though we were not happy about it.

Fast forward three years. It is now OYD's sophomore year and she has a choice to make. (Interestingly, although she never even considered the sketchy co-ed summer program, OYS called her from Israel where he is in yeshiva, and told her not to go there!)

OYD was thinking about going to a certain girl's program in Israel. We preferred that she go to Michlelet, the girls equivalent of the Kollel. We talked about it for a while but didn't seem to be making much headway, mainly because some of her friends were planning to go to the other girl's program and friends trump parents 9 times out of ten (or is that ten out of ten?). Although we did not object to the other girl's program nearly as much as the sketchy co-ed program, we still felt strongly that OYD would benefit more from Michlelet. Once again, we seemed to be faced with a "pick your battle" decision.

Then OOD came to the rescue. OOD works as a mentor in the school that OYD attends. OOD, an alum, is very frum and very tznuah while still being "cool" and the school hires a bunch of girls like her to serve as role models. The mentors hang out on Friday mornings and attend special school events and just shmooze and hock with the girls. One Friday, one of OOD's former teachers asked OOD where OYD was planning to go for the summer. OOD answered that she was leaning to the other girl's program. This teacher, whom OOD loves and respects, strongly urged OOD to convince OYD to go to Michlelet instead. She felt it would be a much better fit for many reasons.

That night, as the three of us were walking home from Shul, OOD told OYD what had transpired at school. OOD told OYD that she also thought that she should go to Michlelet. OYD looked at OOD and said, "OK".

That was it. One five minute conversation. Now OYD is actually excited about Michlelet, knows that it is the right choice and is actually trying to convince a friend to go along with her.

I'm not entirely sure what to make of this.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Dov Bear Weighs In on Keshoshana

The Bear (not unlike me) doesn't know much about music. But he does know two things. He knows what he likes and what he doesn't like.

And he likes K'Shoshana.

(The only small thing in his very sweet review that I take issue with is his statement that there is nothing in the CD that is likely to end up sung in Shabbos morning tefilah. I actually think the title song is likely to be adapted to Kedusha (and, while I'm at it, I think Borei Olam has a decent chance of getting picked up in the wedding band circuit).)


Heichal Haniginah on K'Shoshana

Yitz has a very positive review of K'Shoshana. In addition, he has a very insightful discussion of the "hidden Carlebach music phenomenon". See my comments as well.


Beached Boys

Mike Love is 66 years old. Brian Wilson and Al Jardine are 65. Just thought you'd want to know.

(Assuming they're all alive; I've lost track).


Uncle Moishy Concert Review UPDATED

Q. What do The Who and Uncle Moishy have in common?

A. Because of the insanely high decibel level, attending one of their respective concerts results in permanent damage to one's eardrums.

Yesterday morning, MHW and I shlepped The Toddler to the Uncle Moishy Chanukah concert at the Young Israel of Woodmere.

First, a few observations about the crowd.

There were many people our age at the concert. Except that they were all hauling grandchildren; we were about 20 years older than the next youngest parents.

Our age also showed in the following way. We totally forgot to bring snacks and drinks to keep TT occupied while waiting for the concert. Everyone else seemed to have a Mary Poppins-sized bag with all kinds of goodies. Luckily, the shul was selling snacks in the lobby so we survived.

Now, on to the concert.

Team Uncle M has the formula down pat. Before the good uncle began, they opened with some painfully goofy gags presented by a "funny man". These gags did work for the 4 and 5 year olds in the crowd.

Uncle Moishy then came on stage and did a few numbers, most of which were very familiar to the crowd, both young and old. Had the decibel level not been about 20 levels too high, it would have worked even for me. TT was into it but I noticed that a lot of kids, especially those in front, were having major sensory overload issues, presumably because the noise level was nervous-system wracking. A number of parents walked out with their kids. I just stuck my fingers in my ears.

Interspersed with the musical numbers, our funny-man friend came back on stage dressed in "Yochi the Bear", Rabbit, Frog and Dog costumes, each time engaging in more painfully goofy banter with Uncle M. The appearance of these animals was, by far, TT's favorite part of the gig. She kept asking for more.

After a number of songs there was a 15 minute intermission designed to separate parents and grandparents from even more of their money in the form of Uncle Moishy CDs and DVDs. (You haven't lived until you've seen an Uncle Moishy DVD. Oscar worthy stuff.)

MHW and I were scheming to leave at intermission (TT is too young to know from intermissions) but, l'maisa, she was having a very good time so we decided to stay. Mercifully, the second set was very short, another couple of animals appeared, and a good time was had by all. My hearing came back about three hours later.

So, in conclusion: Team Uncle Moishy did a very nice job entertaining the kids. As corny as the jokes are, they did work for the little people and the adults got a kick out of watching their little potato heads laugh. The music was very familiar and the kids and adults enjoyed singing, dancing and clapping along. The "animals" kept the interest of the very little ones (other than those who freaked out in terror).

One last question: Didn't anyone do a sound check? Why must the decibel level be ear-splitting? The volume level made the concert incredibly unpleasant for me and I'm sure did damage to every one's hearing. I just don't get it.

UPDATE: A couple of commenters noted that the volume level at UM concerts that they attended was fine. It then occurred to me that the regular sound man (and one of the Mitzvah Men), Eitan Kantor, was not there yesterday. Eitan is an accomplished musician and sound guy (who runs a wonderful recording studio in West Hempstead where some of my first CD was recorded). So, to be dan l'kav zchus, Eitan's absence was probably the issue.


Friday, December 07, 2007

On Top of Things, As Usual

Last June I was in Asia for a few days on business. It was a hectic trip, starting in Tokyo on a Monday and ending in Beijing that same Thursday. Since my business concluded too late on Thursday to allow me to get home for Shabbos, my choices were Hong Kong or Israel. I chose the latter.

I never expected to see what I saw at the airport in Beijing. El Al's Thursday night flight to Tel Aviv was completely booked. In fact, business class was overbooked.

When I got to the counter to check in, the manager, a native Chinese, practically begged me to accept a downgrade to coach. He offered a free business class ticket and 300 Matmid points on top of that. After thinking about it and getting his assurance that I would be assigned an aisle seat near the front, I agreed. (My thinking went as follows: I'm little, I have an ambien, and it's a late night flight that gets in around 4:30 a.m. What's the difference if I sleep in coach or business class?).

The look of relief in the manager's face was palpable. I think he wanted to hug me (I assume he was now patur from being screamed at by some prust Israeli businessman (of which there were many on that flight)).

All of this, by the way, is a preamble to the point of my story.

Yesterday morning, I booked a reservation using that voucher to go to Israel for four days around the time of the celebration of a certain lapsed Jew's birthday (which I hope to spend making believe I'm learning with OYS at the Mother Ship). In the afternoon, I walked over to 45th and 6th (the building in which the restaurant, My Most Favorite Food Company is housed) to get the actual ticket (which had to be done in person).

When I got to the security desk and asked for the El AL office, the attendant said, "You're five years too late. They moved five years ago. They're at 15 East 26th."


I thanked him and sheepishly walked out the door. Nothing like being on top of things.

Postscript: Expecting the worst, I showed up at El Al this morning at 8:55 a.m. I was the first one there. I got my ticket within 15 minutes. They were friendly and courteous. Must be the Chanukah spirit.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Never Say Never Again

When I was a young lawyer, I worked for a law firm that did motion picture finance. One of the first deals that I worked on was a James Bond film called "Never Say Never Again". The title was an in-joke based on the fact that the movie starred Sean Connery, many years after he promised that he would never do another James Bond film. (Which just goes to show that everyone has his price. As part of my due diligence I had to review his contract. He received something like $10 million plus a cut of the gross (not net). In 1983, $10MM was real money and was a huge portion of the overall $36MM budget for the film).

I, too, have said "never again". And I, too, have my price. But it is not measured in money, it is measured by the wishes of a little girl.

This Sunday, I will be attending an Uncle Moishe concert with MHW and The Toddler.

So, I am looking for the concert equivalent of Ambien. Any suggestions?

Labels: , ,

Seraphic Review

Robert Avrech has just posted a very positive (and entertaining) review of K'Shoshana. He throws in a good word about U'Shmuel B'Korei Sh'mo for good measure!

(For some reason I can't link up to the specific post but I'll try later.)


Having a Plan

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz has posted an "open letter to bachurim" in which he discusses the importance of having a plan.

This post resonated. Although I'm sure the problem is much worse in the chareidi velt, it is also not uncommon among guys who grew up MO and, for a lack of a better term, "flipped out" to one degree or another in post high school Israeli yeshivas.

I see many guys who are learning, post Israel, who have only the vaguest idea of what they are going to do when they grow up. Some talk about going into chinuch but have no idea what that entails. As Rabbi Horowitz points out, simply learning is not going to get that done. He interviews scores of "lamdin" who have absolutely no teaching skills, don't know their ways around computers (a necessary skill these days), and are completely inarticulate.

Others talk (again very vaguely) about maybe going into their father's businesses (one day) but are doing nothing to prepare for that day. In the meantime, they float through yeshiva without any real idea of what awaits them in "the real world" once their yeshiva days are over.

(Sadly, many of these boys (and I do mean boys) are dating.)

Rabbi Horowitz's wake up call to these bochurim to develop a plan is something that needs to be echoed by parents and Roshei Yeshiva.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Feeling Old

James Taylor is 59 and Carole King is 65.

How did that happen?


BloginDm on K'Shoshana

The blogger who originally inspired me to start MoC (ok, now you know whom to blame), Hasidic Musician over at BloginDm, favorably reviews K'Shoshana.

As I said with respect to U'Shmuel B'Korei Sh'mo, while I appreciate all favorable reviews, I particularly appreciate his because of my deep respect for his views on music.

There is still time to purchase both K'Shoshana and U'Shmuel B'Korai Sh'mo in time for Chanukah.


Chaim Reviews K'Shoshana

He says you should buy it. You can, here.


Shlomo Katz Interview

Shlomo Katz is interviewed on Arutz Sheva. Interview begins at 25:12.

Reminder that Shlomo will be performing at Aish Kodesh in Woodmere on Motsai Shabbos, December 15th at 8 p.m. Admission $15 at the door.


Fantasy Roundup: Everything Goes Right

Is it dumb luck?

Virtually every personnel move that I made with Team MoC paid dividends yesterday. I scored 184 points even with a terrible performance by Carson Palmer (in retrospect, perhaps I should have played Kitna; Pittsburgh's defense is the best in the league).

I dropped Robert Mathis (2 points) who hasn't done anything at DL and picked up Mario Williams off the scrap heap. He scored 14.5.

I made a game-time decision to go with Adrian Peterson (instead of Willis McGahee who plays against New England tonight) and he rewarded me with 21 points.

I selected DeMeco Ryans (14) and Patrick Willis (18) over Vrabel (tonight) and Harrison (6).

I put Chris Cooley (15) back in the starting lineup at TE over Owen Daniels (7).

Finally, I noticed on Sunday morning that Gibril Wilson had been put on the injured list and replaced him with Nick Harper (8). (This is the type of move I would not have made at the beginning of last year; I never used to check my team on Sunday mornings).

And, thankfully, I finally got the kind of game I had been expecting from LaDanian T all year (30) and a big game from Reggie Wayne (27).

I realize that I have fallen asleep with my placekicker, the ancient Adam Vinetari, who has averaged about -2 over the last three games. I may have to dredge up another kicker.

So, unless Tom Brady scores about 80 points tonight, I will remain tied for first place with only four weeks to go.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Oh Nuts!

I've been contacted by Oh! Nuts and told that I can offer my readers 10% off on any Chanukah selection by posting this code HBFD1118 that can be used as a coupon code when people order. They assure me that all's under O-K "or other strict rabbinical supervision."