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

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Secular WQ Plunges

With the passing of the strangest man in the history of the world, the world's WQ has plummeted.

I'm just saying.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

What's More Annoying?

Perhaps this will be the first in a series of posts. The possibilities are endless.

What's more annoying?

The guy from Longgiland who went to an MO school but now davens for the amud with a fake Israeli accent or the guy from Longgiland who went to an MO school and then Yeshiva for a couple of years and now davens for the amud with the whole Yeshivish "oy" thing going?

Tough call.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Huge Upset in Soccer

U.S. defeats Spain in Confederation Cup semifinal.



Monday, June 22, 2009

Raz Hartman* in the Metro Area

Please welcome Rav Raz Hartman for 3 nights of inspiration, live music & chizuk...

Sunday July 5th - Woodmere, NY

Hosted By: The Gerber Family, 325 Howard Ave, Woodmere NY
8pm / $15

Monday July 6th -Teaneck, NJ

Hosted by: Rapps Family, 1499 Sussex Rd. (Corner of Warwick), Teaneck NJ @ 8pm / $15
Info: Sruli - (551)795.0508 /

Tuesday July 7th- Camp HASC
361 Parksville Rd., Parksville NY 12768 (NYS Thruway, Exit 99) @ 9:15pm / $15
(Separate Seating)

*Raz Hartman is a Rebbi at Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo and Rav in Nachlaot, Jerusalem. He is a gifted teacher, (specifically of Rebbe Nachman & Rav Kook), and is an exceptionally talented composer as well. His beautiful Niggunim are unique in their depth and sweetness. Please join us for an evening (or three!) of inspiration. Bring your friends, and help us show our support for a dear friend and very special Marbitz Torah. [MoC's thoughts: Raz Hartman's CD is very special (albeit very difficult to actually get one's hands on). I am looking forward to seein Rav Hartman in person)

For more info, click here.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pass the Ginger, Please

This afternoon we had lunch at my in-laws to celebrate Fathers Day. Among the things my MIL served was sushi. The Vance, who just turned four, specifically asked for fish sushi, tuna in particular.

After I put a couple of pieces of tuna roll on her plate she asked, "pass the ginger please!"


Friday, June 19, 2009

Round Wedding Hall. Coincidence?

I think not.

Last night we attended the wedding of one of the daughters of our Rebbe. Not surprisingly, the WQ at the wedding (which, ironically, was quite normal and nice) was off the charts; perhaps the highest ever recorded in history.

It occurred to me that it was very thoughtful of our Rebbe to host the wedding at the Sands of Atlantic Beach. The Sands is in the shape of a circle and I'm sure the Rebbe realized that many of his guests would be more comfortable in a setting that resembled the space ships in which they traveled to the wedding.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rain; No Game

This weather is really starting to p*ss me off!

Bad enough that it's virtually impossible to ride my bike (although I did sneak in a 46 miler last Sunday morning), the rain followed me to Chicago during my recent road trip.

I had scheduled meetings and a speaking gig for Tuesday/Wednesday knowing that the Cubs were playing the White Sox at the Friendly Confines. I had scored bullpen box seats for Tuesday night through one of my law firm contacts and was all set to enjoy a nice baseball game at the coolest park in the Majors. A nechter g'toog.

It poured all day Tuesday, into the night. They postponed the game. Bummer.

(Another sign that the Aibishter runs the world).

I am now trying to think up a reason for why I have to go back to Chicago in September when they rescheduled the game.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Comfort Level

As a Kean Keen Observer Of The Human Condition, it occurred to me the other day that most people need to have a certain level of comfort before they will either go over to someone in shul and tell them their tefillin are misaligned, or, harder, tell them that they are mispronouncing a word (words!) as shliach tzibur.

I saw the former happen twice this week and in each case it was a good friend who approached another and adjusted his tefillin. When I was saying kaddish (and davening for the amud) on a couple of occasions people I'm close with pointed out pronunciation errors. I was grateful for the corrections. I'm not sure how I would have felt had a complete stranger pointed out my mistakes.

On the other hand, on a daily basis I hear shlichai tzibbur botch the Ivra. Since I've been davening mornings at my other shul, where I am not friendly with many people, I have not said a word. In the past, at my primary shul, I haven't hesitated to gently point out errors after davening.

And then, of course, there are the hockers who will say anything to anyone. Perhaps they are doing us all a favor by being nudniks.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

JM in the AM Interview

You can find it here. It's in the June 10th playlist at 1:52:30.

The interview went well. Nachum, as usual, did a very nice job and made everyone comfortable.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

MoC on JM in the AM

A representative of OHEL and I are scheduled to talk with Nachum Segal tomorrow morning around 7:45 live from the studio. Should be fun.


The Closing of Maitland

Far more important than the pending closing of Gitmo is the pending closing of Maitland. Tonight marks the final appearance of Chaim Dovid (and possibly the last gig) at this historic home.

With the help of The One Above, the holy occupants of this holy temporary dwelling will soon be journeying to the home that they have been longing for for many years.

I enviously wish them a tzaitzchem l'shalom. They will be sorely missed but their arrival in Israel will greatly enhance Artzeinu Hakedosha.

If you are free tonight and can get to Teaneck, you won't want to miss what is sure to be a very special night.

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Getting Young

Everyone is getting younger.

It seemed to me this past weekend that the "seminary girls" who I saw on Ben Yehuda during my visit to the iconic Cafe Rimon were much younger than OOD was when she went to seminary.

And then, yesterday, I interviewed a candidate applying for our junior analyst position. Turns out I started working in my current field BEFORE SHE WAS BORN. And, she's younger than OOS and OOD. *Sheesh*


Monday, June 08, 2009

Room Temperature

This post made me laugh and reminded me how structured The Vance's bedtime routine is as well. One must not veer for a moment lest The Vance remind you that you are not following proper procedure.

On a related front, when I arrived home this morning, fresh off the red-eye from Tel Aviv, MHW told me that The Vance woke her up in the middle of the night asking for "room temperature water".

Luckily, or so she thought, MHW had within reach The Vance's sippy cup with plenty of room temperature water. Alas, The Vance did not want THAT room temperature water but, instead, fresh room temperature water, presumably from the water cooler.

Finally, on a totally unrelated note, all hail Ambien! I'm not worthy!

I slept somehwere between 7 and 8 hours straight last night depite sitting in the back of the bus (row 56, to be exact) with the seat in front of me pushed back to within 3 inches of my face. Here's how it goes: Glass of wine, a little bit to eat, one Ambien slow release pill, Bose Noise Reducing headphones, blinders....voila!!! Next thing you know it's 3 a.m. Eastern time and breakfast is served.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Thoughts From The Road

1. It is immeasurably better to go from business in London to visiting my kids in Israel rather than the other way. When I finished my last gig yesterday afternoon after three days in London, I had a sense of relief and excitement. Last time, when I went from ten days in Israel to three days in London, I just felt depressed.

2. The suicide watch in the London financial world seems to be over. Not that it's any great shakes, but there is no comparison to last November when I had 15 meetings over three days, one more negative than the other. I think a large part of it is that the job cuts in that sector seem to be over so anyone still employed finally feels a bit more secure. (I sense the same thing in New York). Whether the sense of optimism is justified, we will see over the next few months.

3. I am trying to process Obama's Cairo speech (which I read about but did not see). Luckily, I am about to leave for breakfast with my buddies David and Ben whose insights are always very informed.

4. I need a shower. After a flight and a cab ride with a driver who smokes (albeit not while I was in the car), I feel grungy.