The Best Motto

Gd, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannon change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

You woke up this morning - Congratulations! You got another chance!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


In a strange fit of galactic irony, this year we had 2 Veterans' Days – one calendar one, which fell on Sunday, necessitating the second one on Monday – so that government employees were not deprived of one of their days off, and the good people of the United States of America were not deprived of their proper shopping experience.

Of course, if you cared to take a look at the general situation in the country, Veterans had absolutely nothing to celebrate: the re-election of Comrade Barack Hussein Obama, or Barry Soetoro, or whatever the hell his real name is, almost certainly guaranteed the complete gutting and demoralization of our current military; continued senseless slaughter of our troops in Afghanistan; and, last, but not least, the severe cuts in benefits to all the vets.

So, all I could say in my head on those two days was : I am sorry.

I am sorry for the election results.

I am sorry for the deplorable state of the country you risk your life and limb to defend.

I am sorry for the unending assault on you from the general media.

I am sorry I can't even send you care packages for Thanksgiving because I am unemployed and broke.

But please know this: there are a lot of us for whom your dedication to the United States and the Constitution is beyond appreciated. You are in our thoughts and prayers constantly – and that is never said as a tired cliché.

This grateful American, who survived communist hell, salutes you!

Sunday, December 09, 2012


One fine June Sunday yours truly was suffering from the typical New York June humidity and psyching herself (unsuccessfully) to do something more productive than suffer from humidity, drink cold tea, or play Farmville. So, while my computer was traveling from one farm to another, my eyes wandered to a pile of papers on my desk that I had a vague recollection I had to do something about. I quickly skimmed through them to make sure my gas would not be turned off for being a dodo bird and forgetting to pay the bill, and here it was: the Bar Mitzva invitation I had specifically stuck in this pile in order not to forget my promised attendance.

And hence I was presented with the usual dilemma: should I keep my word and attend (once I promised I would), or forget about the whole thing, make sure all my crops were harvested, and catch the latest episode of The Glades. After about five minutes of serious deliberations I remembered why I promised to attend to begin with: aside from the fact that the mother of the Bar Mitzva boy was a nice person (even if for whatever reason she annoyed me in high school), and I was supposed to represent the clan as Beloved Sibling is currently residing in The Holy Land; the main pro argument, though, was the proximity of the celebration hall (which is within walking distance from my humble abode). So, I reasoned, if somebody would royally annoy me, I could just slip away and walk home.

Thus decided, I duly applied the war paint to my face (with the end result resembling a fat and curly Morticia Adams), put on my Shabat clothes ( they were light, 100% cotton, and NOT black) – I don't care what the current fashion dictates – the need to breath outweighs almost everything else; and finished the ensemble with my 3 buck shiny flip-flops (which matched the flowers on my skirt perfectly). After that I dug out my Vera Bradley evening bag, which, while being cute, does not really match any outfit I have – but is roomy enough to pack a paperback; the said paperback was duly packed, and I trotted off the celebration hall.

Due to years coming on time to various celebrations and then feeling like an idiot for doing so, I ended up timing my arrival perfectly – it was pretty late, and everyone was taking their places by the tables. As expected, I was seated with a bunch of former classmates – but this particular bunch was not from “oh, joy” category, so, it was not so bad. Of course, aside from somewhat flamboyant mother of the Bar Mitzvah boy, I was the only one not in black. The general conversation went over my head, as usual, but, to be fair, “girls” tried to occasionally include me in it – and I did end up catching up on a lot of mundane news and even managed to have a half-decent conversation with the “girl” seated next to me. The food was also pretty edible, plus I was saved the necessity of standing in front of the stove during such wonderful day. Dancing I decided to skip, because a) it was pretty boring, and b) I value the health of my feet too much for that. Of course, to cap off a pretty normal, if somewhat mundane, evening, in the end I had to run into a friend's husband who wanted to know, in the best “Flatbush” tradition, “what I was doing there” - the said question always reminding me that not really belonging to this glorious community is not a figment of my loner's imagination – I really don't belong.

So, basically, the evening was not as painful as those things usually are for me, the paperback was not really needed, I got fed, and even caught up with all schoolmates without too much effort on my part. But it also made me realize, once again, that people lost (or never had) the art of truly celebrating, because something is always missing in those events – something that makes it not worth my while to get dressed and put the war paint on. Ah, well, maybe it's just me.

Friday, December 07, 2012


As is traditional on this blog for the past couple of years, I would like to wish all my brothers and sisters a Shana Tova somewhere around Rosh Chodesh Kislev – well, definitely before we celebrate Chanukah.

So, to all the members of our tribes, regardless of your religious affiliation, or the acknowledgment of belonging to our tribes, or even the realization that you actually do belong – I wish all of you a good, sweet, healthy, happy, prosperous, and blessed year.

I don't know if all of us prayed well enough these past High Holidays, or, if, using a non-kosher reference, we have been “very naughty” these past couple of years, but so far this year is shaping to be, well, challenging. To be truthful, we are in grave peril. Every single anti-Semitic force on Earth that ever existed is rearing its ugly head once again, but, most horrifying of all, our own so-caller leaders, both religious and secular, are, to paraphrase Caroline Glick, are like dogs. They are petty, cowardly, concerned with idiocy, and completely unable to lead. Aside from incompetent and ignorant leaders, we have way too many non-leaders in our midst that either forgot what being a Jew truly means – or, worse, are simply not happy to be one. I know that by this time it sounds like a well-worn platitude, but we really need to try our best to be the best Jews we could be – and pray; pray hard and from the heart.

On the light note: yours truly did her usual by making sure to come to services early on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, but slept through the ones on Succot.

And – drum roll please – here comes the fashion report:

Beau Brummel can rest peacefully – the good matrons of South Brooklyn and their daughters continue to favor black in all its ugly, ehr, elegant permutations. And, sadly, this year, neither the flowers nor the feathers of small birds were in vogue as hair ornaments – so, goth couture all around. Yours truly, being her usual stubborn Jewish self, broke the mold with green, yellow, and pink (not all at the same time, though). There were other iconoclasts in the congregation (about half a minyan worth), who showed up dressed in violet, peach, blue, and – gasp – light gray/lavender leather. What can I tell you – it was an interesting fashion show.

And last, but not least, as always, my friends shared their delicious holiday meals. And, sadly, but not unexpectedly, I got to listen to a ton of idiocy coming out of the mouths of other guests. Here, in no particular order, is a partial list of the more salient points.

The reason the eat fish on Rosh Hashona is because fish is the only one member of animal world who procreates completely without touching – since when did we acquire such Muslim or Catholic aversion to sex?

The judgment on Rosh Hashona happens before Musaf, so, a special Chassidish Rav takes 4 hours to say the morning Shemona Esre – how?

I am Russian,my roots are there, and I should be proud of this heritage – with all due respect and admiration, go to the warm basement.

Another time a guest gave the host exact instructions as how to make kiddish for his (guest's) progeny and how to serve them grape juicy – no comment.

Of course, the best was when another guest at my friend's house pointed at me and asked our hostess “who is this?”; then proceeded to discuss and debate diets and healthy foods with another couple present at the meal. And if that was not fun enough, the discussion proceeded with the visiting husband extolling the virtues of Moscow, mocking my beloved country, deriding me for my patriotism, and reacting with snide bewilderment to my profound hate for the step-mama country.

Basically, Holidays were great, but tainted with the ignorance that, unfortunately, is very prevalent in our circles, and is, in my humble opinion, one of the root causes of most of our problems.

So, here is to a, hopefully, good and sweet year filled with true Achavat Chinam and working Jewish brains.