Looking at this picture from a recent Sunday afternoon in DC, I began to lament the loss of innocence. I'm not sure exactly when it happens but I'm sure there must be a study out. Perhaps at Bar Mitzah when our evil urge kicks in , although nowadays it surely happens sooner. Ahh! the hevel shein bo cheit! When did we become twisted, crooked as question marks.
Paul Simon's bookends
Time it was oh what a time it was
It was a time of innocence a time of confidences
long ago it must have been I have a photograph
preserve your memories they're all that's left of you

In the words of enigma who sang about the return to innocence as I was losing mine, Let us all merit to the ultimate return.
Vheshiv Lev avos al banim vlev banim al avosom


What table are you at?


I would like to personally invite the oi-lam to crash the upcoming Reichman-Bronstein affair with me. I think we should have an awkward meeting by the coat room where we can catch up with "stuff" and I can show you pictures of Rebbe's student-einekel

Apartment 302
For this reason, and for this reason only, a Jew is a holy being: not because the Jew is more clever, more compassionate, or more successful, but because he has the capacity to negate himself before God. The Baal HaTanya defines a Jew as one who, at a “moment of truth,” will be prepared to sacrifice his life rather than disrupt, even for a moment, his bond with God. A Jew is one in whom union with God and self abnegation to Him are implanted in his soul; should anyone ever attempt to separate him from God, this latent bond will be invoked in all its intensity, to the point of self sacrifice. From this potential for utter self abnegation, implicit even in the most wicked and sinful Jew, the holiness of the Jew derives.

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, Opening the Tanya, 164


Whiny Jews

A few weeks ago, this piece of self hating drivel was published in the NJ Jewish Standard. Poppa Ben-Canaan sent a response, published in last week's edition of the paper:

In response to the June 12 opinion piece “Tough love for Israel would pain pro-Israel peace camp,” Dan Fleshler claims to be in the camp that wants Obama to have the political wiggle room to take a fair, even-handed approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians so that he won’t have to ‘get tough’ with Israel. Putting aside what Mr. Fleshler and I believe to be the right approach regarding the Jewish communities of Yehuda and Shomron, which by the way would be complete opposites of each other, how can he believe for even a moment that Israel has any choice but to take a hard stance in the face of a Palestinian population that wishes us dead? Their leaders have never abandoned their ultimate aim of destroying us, have never taken steps to build their own state, have never honored their agreements to cease aggression, and have only adopted ever-more offensive positions when Israel has withdrawn from the territories that have been turned over to them. There is no good faith shown by them and there has never been a serious attempt to implement what has been promised to date. These facts are indisputable. Now he and his J Street chevra, in the face of rising global anti-Semitism and relentless pressure on Israel, have chosen to show their “tough love” to the Jews of the State of Israel.

Here is some tough love back to my Jewish brother Dan Fleshler: He needs to get on the right side of the street and stand with the Jews of Israel. He and his friends are seriously misguided and standing with our enemies by doing what they do at this time in our history. Even his use, in his article, of the term “occupying power” in referring to Israel and “defenseless occupied people” in referencing the Palestinians shows how incredibly misled, biased, and na├»ve he truly is. And while we’re at it, here is ‘an inconvenient truth’ for him to consider — his notion of “bolstering moderation” in the Middle East is a good one that could be seriously enhanced by putting his misguided efforts into trying to figure out how to disarm the Palestinians who continue to attack Israelis relentlessly. We need to show the world the maximum level of achdut (unity) among the Jewish people in the face of our enemies, not his whiny, liberal, progressive apologies for why it hurts him, a Jew, to have to give Israel his “tough love.”

Howard Ben-Canaan*

Name changed to protect the innocent from snag hate mail


Bein Hametzarim Torah, from a brother...



Ratzo v'Shov.
Beards have been trimmed. Shirts have been tucked.
The RRRR has gone underground.
But we shall emerge.