Friday, July 25, 2008

Shabbat Shalom! שבת שלום

Shabbat Shalom! שבת שלום
Weekend commenters, please read this.

Links that made me think:

Links that made me wink:

Intersection of the real and on-line worlds

  • I'm delighted that two of our favorite shabbat guests in real life have started blogging. I'd like to wish a belated "Welcome to the Blogosphere" to Greg, and a just-in-time welcome to Li Kim Grebnesi.

  • Greg is a maven's maven, connecting foodies, philosophers, families and friends across the the world. His blog, Warm Duck Salad, is as eclectic, delightful and interesting as he is.

  • Li Kim has been a dear friend for decades. We have know him since my husband and I were in high school. He has accomplishments and degrees in physics, philosophy and engineering, and is one of the best-read individuals we have met.

    While, in person, Li Kim can be counted upon for an insightful and incisive, wry and original opinion on just about any political, historic, or philosophical topic (backed up, instantaneously and accurately, by a quote from Will Durant, Winston Churchill*, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer), his blog is devoted to a purely logical analysis of public debate.

    Li Kim's Grebesni's Razor dissects publicly made arguments, isolating and identifying examples of logical fallacies contained therein. He's just getting started, and I'm celebrating his every entry.

  • Crunchy Granola Mom is posting again. Which is good news. But, after moving 20 minutes away a few years ago, she is now attempting to sell her house and move hours away, which is good news for her family, but not for the many here who will miss her.

    This puts me in a contorted and uncomfortable position, wishing the family every success, but not wanting their house to sell for our own selfish reasons. Having lots of empathy and experience with the pains and trials of long-term long-distance work-related family separations, I still find myself whining, "Nooooo! Don't GOOOOO."

    I guess I'm going to have to say goodbye to the local soap delivery, too.

    (To CrunchyGranolaMom: Refuah shelaima. To anyone looking for a great house in the Boston area, in a warm and welcoming observant Jewish community (that has an eruv, offers tuition and camp subsidies, and operates shuttle bus service to all the major Boston-area day schools), I reluctantly suggest you look here.)

Links about my sink:

A number of people in "real life" have asked for links relating to some recent kitchen repairs/renovations we made. I'm listing the products that I used, so I can point people here.

  • This outdoor sink with water-powered retractable hose winderwas my link to sanity during the three weeks we were without water in our kitchen. It attaches to the garden hose, and allows for easy switching between a garden hose and an outdoor faucet/sink.

    We didn't use it for drinking water, and there wasn't any hot water, but it made things so much more civilized to have a way to wash hands and dishes. It took about 10 minutes to assemble, and the retraction mechanism for the hose works beautifully without wasting much water.

    I ran the drain hoses to a barrel under our deck, and recycled them to water the yard. Now that the water in our kitchen is flowing again, we look forward to using this in our sukkah.

  • The outside sink made washing the dishes look fun enough to inspire a volunteer.

  • These are the sink faucets our plumber recommended They're wonderful. My husband, the eternal cynic keeps expecting the kids to use them from across the room to have a milk sink vs. meat sink water fight.

  • We're also very happy with these under-sink water filtration units. They have a once-yearly($60) filter, filter to 0.5 microns, and have an elegant look. Since they work independently from the main faucet, it is possible to fill a glass of drinking water while the spaghetti pot fills.

  • This is the out-of-production ClearTap faucetthat we loved so. (Ours were chrome, not white). It served us well for eight years. I'm still surprised that it is off the market, with no equivalent substitute. All the on-line places that claimed to have these in stock, eventually cancelled our orders. (Anyone out there who needs a case of American Standard F-20 filters, please let me know. I can use the cabinet space.)

Links for future tink(ering):

Crafty projects and DIY tutorials to try

Links that made me blink:

  • Cookie Chip Chocolates made me do a double take!

  • How much chutzpah* is required to removed and publish a person's prayer from The Wall? (* Vered's comment compels me to clarify: I'm referring to the bad "outrageous and obnoxious lack of boundaries and respect for civilization" kind of chutzpah, not the admirable "backbone and moxie" kind.)

  • If this is true, it is an outrage. I can only say that the situation described is totally counter to my experience in any of the Orthodox communities in which we've lived. (More reactions, here.)

  • In a fit of schadenfreude I enjoyed every guilty minute of both Cake wrecks and LovelyListing

Links that prompted ink:

Articles and posts that sparked comments and replies

  • Lion of Zion's preface to a post about leining ("leining" is the ritualized public reading of Torah) reminded me of a recent point made by Seth Godin.

    Earlier this month I finally convinced my husband to listen to Seth's Purple Mooand Free Prize Inside! on a recent road trip*. I have listened to a number of his books, and just as he does with his blog posts, he advances interesting and new arguments using fascinating examples without fillers or repetition.

    (*The road trip was to meet my newest nephew, Baby Newbie. Mazal tov to his parents, my sister Kosher Newbie, her husband Dr. Newbie, and to Young Master Newbie, in his new roll as a big brother.)

  • I ended up deleting my comment in this thread, because I thought it too harshly worded. (Especially during the Three Weeks, when we're advised to be particularly careful to avoid divisive language.)

    Let's just say that if someone demands to be remunerated for attending a social event, I'd recommend the hosts resign themselves to interpreting such a request a a "regret" and resign themselves to giving the caterer a smaller number of attendees. Those who arrange their guests' transportation out of love and with an open hand, rather than as a result of extortion, are generous and praiseworthy, going beyond what anyone should expect, much less demand.

    And the idea, suggested in the comments and perhaps culturally acceptable elsewhere, of separate tiers of (adult) guests, with some meriting the "first class" meal and others offered the "steerage" treatment, makes me cringe. I see no problem with the "kids' buffet" that offers pizza or hamburgers to minor children (and a few stow-away husbands) saving them from the trauma of cuisine. However, treating single adults as children is beyond objectionable.)

    There is a Jewish custom called "Sheva Brachot", which fills the new couple's first week with casual ritual meals. A requirement for each of these meals is a "new face", someone who hasn't eaten with the couple that week. This provides an opportunity to celebrate with those who didn't attend the wedding. These meals needn't be lavish or expensive.

    After the financial issues are addressed, there is plenty else to negotiate.

    (I penned and then deleted about a dozen responses to this heartbreaking post, without submitting any of them. Some conversations should not be held electronically. I can't help thinking (hoping?) that if father and daughter were in the same room together, or even on the telephone, the result would have been healthier.

    I doubt the resulting on-line analysis-by-committee has made the situation better.)

  • Both The Rebbetzin's Husband's discussion of "Dress Codes and Dress-up Judaism" (Part I and Part II) and this thread about talking during davening at Hirhurim prompted me to comment and read replies obsessively all week.

    While I haven't changed my mind (quick summary: "dress up and shut up" ) I've gained a better perspective and appreciation for contrary opinions on both of these issues.

Links that made me link:

Worthwhile links and items I've recently forwarded to others

Links for food or drink:


Links that made me pink:

Aw, shucks! Thank you for linking to Juggling Frogs

Shabbat Shalom! שבת שלום

19 comments, so far. Add yours now!

Post a Comment

YMedad said...

Thanks for noting me with my name although I am listed as MyRightWord. Don't know how I got on the panel but will do my best.

frumhouse said...

Thanks for noticing my posts! It's so good to see you blogging again!

Vered said...

Lots of links here!

I love the idea of cookie-chip chocolate... and was amazed that someone would take a note out of the Western Wall, read it and publish its contents. "Chutzpa"? I don't know. I think it's a rude, outrageous invasion of privacy.

Juggling Frogs said...


I've updated the reference. Let me know if you want only the MyRightWord on the link.


Thank you! It's great to be back.


Thanks for stopping by. I agree with you completely, it's a contemptible affront to Senator Obama's privacy, and disrespectful to all of us.

The question-mark in your comment made me add a clarification note to the linking sentence. Until your comment I didn't consider that someone might think I used the word "chutzpah" as a compliment in this situation. Most definitely, NOT.

Anonymous said...

Wow...its the Juggling Frogs "Haveil Havalim" edition :)

Would you consider hosting it?

(Jack would be eternally grateful)

Will try to put up another Ahmed and Jameel story this week as well...

Shavua tov!

Juggling Frogs said...


Thank you and Shavua tov!

I haven't volunteered to host Haveil Havelim because I try to keep this blog light and non-political.

I have strong opinions, but not much appetite for debating them in public. Recipes, productivity, and crafts provide more than enough controversy for me to handle in a public forum.

I'm grateful to all the hosts of Haveil Havelim, and follow most of the links in every edition.

Phyllis Sommer said...

wow! what a great list of links...thanks for including me and my haikus...that first haiku post is probably my favorite, thanks to you!

i'm so glad you're back:-)

The Five + of Us said...

Oh boy, I have a lot of catching up to do....

(Stay away from the blogosphere for three days and whoa - the world has continued to spin around, triple-speed!).

Thanks for the mention.... much appreciated!


therapydoc said...

Gosh, you're a good writer, Frogs. Thanks for the honor of being here.

Ezzie said...

HH is non-political (as in it takes no stances, though it touches on politics), so you can feel free to host - I'm sure Jack and everyone would love it.

As for the Shabbaton... why stay in the dark? Come and join us! :)

Shelli said...

re: the article about shunning the BT's...

OY, not even going to go there, really, but I WILL share, that I was saddened by an experience this weekend. I took Malka to the Toys "r" us in times square, to ride the Ferris Wheel. There were a lot of MO (Modern Orthodox) there with families, etc. It's always odd, or difficult to elicit a smile from a member of the Haredi community. I grew up going to Yeshiva Day School, and am rather familiar with the Frum way of life, but based on the life I lead, it shuns me. I don't worry too much about that.

What DID sadden me, however, was the simple fact that my cherubic 2 and a half year old daughter, who happens to be black, was asking me, in HEBREW what the name of the little boy was in front of us, as he was wearing a Kippah. I looked at his mom, and smiled, and she averted her eyes. No peyas on dad, and they were speaking in English, but she was with wig, and clearly Frum. The two children quietly asked their mom why that little black girl was speaking Hebrew, and she just shhh'd them and turned them away.

I have no problems with lack of tolerance, I find it everywhere, but HOW do I teach my child that it is NOT respectful of Ha'Shem to treat others the way she had just been treated.

Sadly, we get lots of looks and comments, but the ones that hurt most are when they are from fellow Jews. My family has two converts - my partner and my daughter. And we are just as observant, of not more, than many in the Diaspora.

I'm just baffled by the complexities sometimes.

mother in israel said...

I see how much I have been missing myself, although I will be at the NBN conference. I'm still in NY; email me your number.

Leora said...

How do you do that? It took me about ten minutes to find my name on that list! When I originally saw the post, I just read the first few paragraphs.

Thank you for the link and all your fun posts.

Leora said...

I have to sit home alone
Next time I come to the Boston area, we could get together. Let's friend's son is getting bar-mitzvahed in two years...I'm going to need a sooner excuse to come visit...

I think I read most of this post by now.

Juggling Frogs said...

Thanks, everyone.


I have too much to say in response to this to fit in a comment.

I'm beyond sorry that you've had to deal with this.

The only (lame) bit I can offer is that maybe that mother was trying to teach her child not to comment on anyone's appearance (even positively) in public.

I wish things were different. You're raising more than your daughter's consciousness.


Yes, absolutely! It's a date. Contact me off-list with details, and consider the beds made for you and your family.

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