Showing posts from December, 2009

Standing Room Only

My favorite band of all times is coming to play in Israel! They are coming to an ancient Roman theater in Caesarea where 2,000 years ago, they used to do all kinds of unspeakable things… But next month, I am going to see Led Zeppelin! I had great plans to get the best tickets that I could but… ended up not getting out of bed early enough to stand in line. You know how it is, the alarm went off at 2:00 in the morning and it was soooo cold out! I figured that I could stay in bed until 5:00 and still get really good seats. Then at 5:00 in the morning, it was still really cold, so I figured that I could just get up at the normal time and still get in. I knew that I wouldn’t get the best seats but, hey… it was cold! When I got to the ticket booth the line was wrapping all the way around the Coliseum and down the gravel road a bit… oy! Well, I waited for about 4 hours and eventually the line started to move. In the end, I got standing room only tickets on the far side of the theater up in t

Hell if I Know...

Did you ever want to know if Hell is exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? First, let’s just assume that there is a Hell and that Hell is bound by the finite quality of time but not of space. This being the case, we need to know how the spiritual mass of Hell is changing within time. So, we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. To do this, we need to analyze the world’s religions. To start with, since Atheism is technically a religion and agnostics are technically considered to be on the path to acquiring religion, we have to assume that there are no truly secular people and that all people are religious enough to be a member of a religion. With this in mind, the vast majority of religions in the world believe that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, according to most religions, no souls are leaving Hell. There is only one tiny religion in the world that says that every soul will only

Death is Something that We all Fear and Dread

Death is something that we all fear and dread, like it is there but never going to happen, all at the same time. When my father died, I was so overwhelmed with the concept of death that I really didn’t know how to deal with his passing. It was like he was going on a vacation and I would see him when he returned. He hasn’t come back yet… or so I thought. Recently, Hashem has been introducing me to death again for some reason. It started with a trip to Tzfat and Meron on Rosh Chodesh Kislev (my anniversary) with Adele and included a crazy bunch of Sephardim (Jews of Middle Eastern decent) to visit the kevarim (graves) of some of the greats in Jewish history. The bus ride was full of song and laughter and when we got there, it was raining. Some of the men chose to hike to the Mikveh (ritual bath) in the Tzfat cemetery and others went to recite Tehilim (Prayers) at the kevarim. It was spooky. All the graves had little solar powered candles that collect light during the day and at night,

Heet-bod-da-doot and a Club Brained Root-a-toot-toot Too

I am feeling a little self conscious now, with these sudo-words and all... I don’t know if I can really use them in something as serious as a blog. Well, let’s give it a try anyway. Root-a-toot-toot is a word that my mom used to say to me. I think it had something to do with a train—maybe from the little train that could story that I remember. Root-a-toot-toot, right up over the last pass and down into the little town, or something like that. Heet-bod-da-doot is another story that, regrettably, I was not able to discover until my life was almost 50 years over. It goes crudely like this: if I talk to Hashem in my prayers, why can’t I talk to him as if he were my friend, walking next to me? That is the general idea that comes down from Rebbe Nachman of Breslau. I am sure I am butchering up the idea since I have such a casual relationship with this subject... actually, I guess that is the point, isn’t it? So, on the way home from work the other day (I seem to be using that lead-in a bit t

Esau, Ishmael, and Barak Obama

According to the 132 volume text that is the basis of modern Shiite Islam, Bahar al-Anvar (meaning Oceans of Light), imam Ali Ibn Abi-Talib prophesied that at the end of times, the ultimate savior of Islam, a "tall black man will lead the government in the West." He will command the strongest army on the earth and the new leader in the West will carry "a clear sign" from the third imam, Hussein Ibin Ali. The tradition concludes that, "Shiites should have no doubt that he is with us." In a strange coincidence, Obama's first and second names, Barack-Hussein, mean "the blessing of Hussein" in Arabic and Persian. His family name, Obama, written in the Persian alphabet, reads O Ba Ma, which means, "he is with us.” This is a scary thought, especially considering Obama’s short and transparent track record with Iran (click here for more details on Obama's Muslim connection) , however the good part is that Muslim tradition in general see