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

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ehrlichkeit II

Ich Kenesht.

(Note: People are presumed innocent until proven guilty. I'm not making any judgments, just reporting the next scandal).

It starts with parking in front of other people's driveways to make a mincha minyan.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Last night the Agudah held an emergency asifah at which a number of Rabbanim and Ben Brafman spoke. Ben's speech is available here.

What I found amusing is that at an asifah called in response to the recent shady dealings in Deal, the guy introducing Ben Brafman had to call out two idiots who had parked in front of people's driveways.



Tuesday, July 28, 2009

And Another Thing....

Never agree to a breathalyzer or blood test to measure your blood alcohol or drug levels (unless you weren't drinking or doing drugs in which case you should have passed the field sobriety test and probably would not be subject to a breathalyzer test).

If you take the test and are really drunk (i.e., your blood alcohol level is something like 0.16 or higher) or full of drugs, you will get indicted for aggravated DUI. If you don't take the test, they probably don't charge you with aggravated DUI because they won't be able to prove it. It's true that you will automatically have your license revoked for a year but if you fail the test that will happen anyway.

Case in point: today we indicted a guy for aggravated DUI because his blood alcohol level was 0.18.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

We Can Relate

This New York Times Magazine article poignantly relates some of the frustrations of fostering (particularly when adoption becomes the goal).

MHW once took care of a drug-addicted infant for a week (while I was conveniently on a business trip abroad) so I'm sure she can relate to this couple who stayed up through the night for three weeks while the baby in question, born to a drug-addicted mother, withdrew (and have raised her ever since).

Although the issue in this case is the gayness of the adopting couple, so many other factors are beyond your control when it comes to fostering to adopt. Pretty powerful stuff.

Hat tip: Tesyaa


What I Learned in the Grand Jury Room

I have now served three of the four weeks of my grand jury "sentence".

It has been both fascinating and tedious at the same time. It has wreaked havoc on my schedule and I have struggled to keep on top of all the things that are going on at work. It has been very demanding and I feel good about my contribution as a citizen. I am looking forward to the end in five days.

It has also, in many ways, been a huge eye opener.

I hope to post (seriously) about some of my observations but that will have to wait.

Right now, I have a couple of short thoughts.

* If you are driving with drugs, by all means obey all traffic laws. Many of the drug busts we have heard started as routine traffic stops.

* If you are arrested, lawyer up and don't talk to the cops or make or sign any statements until you've seen your lawyer. A very high percentage of the targets of the grand jury have signed self-incriminating statements that give the grand jury virtually no choice but to indict. Haven't these people watched LAw & Order?


Monday, July 13, 2009

Stop The Music


I went to Brach's after court today. Instead of the regular horrid shiny shoe music one is normally subjected to, I was inundated by even more horrid shiny shoe acapella music.

Would it kill them to just shut the music off for three weeks? Isn't that part of what the Three Weeks is supposed to be about?

Ich kenesht.


MoC on Arbis

In the Jewish Star


Friday, July 10, 2009

Pros and Cons of Jury Duty in July


1. I wear my Naot with Thorlo sweat socks all day every day and no one cares
2. I wear my khakis all day every day
3. I ride my bike to Point Lookout every morning at 6 a.m. and am still at my computer by 8:15 am
4. No LIRR for a month
5. No City streets for a month
6. Some interesting stuff going on in court (although it may get stale real soon)
7. July is a relatively slow month at work; any other time would have been horrible
8. I'm home by 5:30 pm or earlier (albeit still working)


1. In order to ride my bike I have to get up at 4:30 a.m.
2. I'm working (for my job) on my computer and BB before, during and after Court hours
3. Ridiculous amount of downtime; the waiting never ends

All in all, it could be a lot worse


Thursday, July 09, 2009

Grand Jury

There are many things I would like to post about but I have been selected for grand jury duty in Nassau County and will be sitting for the entire month of July. The grand jury meets every day from 10 to 5 and I manage my real job before and after court (and every spare free moment of the day, of which there are many). So, it is unlikely that I will be posting much for the remainder of the month.

I won't leave without noting the breakup of HAFTR and Rambam which is the result that I expected three years ago when this Frankenstein's Monster was originally dreamed up. At that time, I posted about how dopey an idea it was, got huge grief from many parties and then deleted the posts because (a) I just couldn't be bothered, and, (b) I felt conflicted because I once helped run HAFTR before a number of geniuses who knew better pushed us out and managed to run it into the ground).

It's good to see that there appears to once again be adult supervision at HAFTR. It may still be too late, but at least they seem to understand how misguided the Machon Hatorah experiment was. My advice to the new administration al regel achas: Fess up to the fact that you are a left wing MO school and run the place accordingly. You might be able to survive in that sweet spot.