Sunday, October 31, 2004


For as long as I’ve been using the internet to update friends about my goings-on, the week in which we read Parshat Chayyei Sarah has been a time of reflection and celebration in CS-land. Every year (almost) there has been a quiz, a chance for you, my dear readers, to prove your knowledge of Chayyei Sarah: The Life and for me, Sarah, to indulge in serious narcissism. I skipped last year because I’d just moved to Israel and the blog wasn’t up yet, but now I’m settled in, so here we go again! Hold on to your hats!

Most of the following questions are answered in my posts on this very blog or by following links provided on my blog. A few might include information you’d only know if you know me in person, but even in those cases, serious fans should be able to deduce the correct answers. If not, well, I guess my non-virtual friends will just have an edge, then.

Send your answers to me at chayyeisarah at yahoo dot com with your name and, if applicable, your website. Those with the most correct answers will receive a special mention on Chayyei Sarah: The Blog.

Please, post no comments about the quiz until after the winner is announced. If you have questions about the quiz content, send me an email.



1. Which of the following has NOT happened to me since my aliyah?

a. Broke a lease after my apartment turned out to have extensive water damage and noxious fumes
b. Quit my first job because my boss was, shall we say, not creating an ideal working environment
c. So many men knocking down my door, I don’t know what to do with them all.
d. Amazing job in my field fell into my lap without my having to search for it.

2. Of which of the following books/movies/TV series am I NOT a near-rabid fan?

a. Star Wars
b. Star Trek
c. Harry Potter
d. Lord of the Rings
e. The Matrix

3. What is my official response to questions about Luke Ford?
a. His comments amuse me.
b. His comments embarrass me.
c. Anything that increases traffic to Chayyei Sarah can’t be bad.
d. No comment.

4. Which of the following is NOT a friend from the “Old Country” who is now living in Israel?
a. Ari and Sarah Beth
b. Beth and Simcha
c. Chava
d. Yael
e. Judah

5. How is my Hebrew?
a. Started Ulpan at level aleph, now on level Bet.
b. Started Ulpan on level bet, now on level gimmel.
c. Started Ulpan on level gimmel, now on level daled
d. Started Ulpan on level daled, now on level heh.
e. Started Ulpan at level gimmel, now on level vav

6. Approximately how much money does Israel’s Income Tax Authority owe me, as far as they’ve estimated so far?
a. Under 5k NIS
b. 5k-10k NIS
c. 10k-20k NIS
d. 20k-30k NIS
e. 30k-40k NIS

7. The weekend course for which I often volunteer in the States and plan to bring to Israel is:
a. IOU
b. ILU
c. TLC
d. SNL
e. UYO


8. Amir, the hairstylist
9. Shabi, the makolet owner
10. Ephi, my friend
11. Orlando Bloom
12. “Garden State”


13. I attended Columbia College.
14. I got my MA from Columbia Journalism.
15. I hired someone to help me clean my one-room apartment.
16. I’ve been living without an oven for the past 15 months.
17. I’m so right-wing, I make Ariel Sharon look like Tommy Lapid.
18. I am so left-wing, I make Tommy Lapid look like Ariel Sharon.


19. Name at least 3 objects I mailed to Odd Todd.

20. In at least 3o words, describe my sister's cooking abilities. Give at least 2 examples.

21. Why are my parents selling their house and moving to Ohio?

22. In the world according to Chayyei Sarah, who are the Veela?

EXTRA CREDIT/ TIE BREAKER: What is my last name, and how do you know?

Thursday, October 28, 2004

We won! We won!

We won the World Series!



(That's the sound of a Bostonian laughing and crying at the same time.)
Self respect: 1 Yenta: 0

So a few nights ago I went to a shule (synagogue) dinner in Washington Heights, my old stomping ground. It was fabulous. So many people I genuinely like, all in one place. And so many former neighbors who were clearly excited to see me - great for the ego!

A moment I want to share: A lovely and generally gracious older lady approached me and asked me how I'm doing. I said "I'm doing great! Making aliyah was one of the best decisions I ever made. My career is taking off, I love my apartment, and I have nice friends in Israel. I'm really happy."

Her response: "We should hear good news from you soon."

I looked her squarely in the eye and said firmly but with a smile: "You just did hear good news from me."

She said, "Well, you know what news I mean . . . we should hear it soon."

I didn't back off. I repeated "You just did hear good news from me. I'm doing very well."

I don't think she really heard it, and I still feel frustrated that my being happy can't just be enough, that unless I'm engaged there's still something more she wants from me . . . but at least I didn't just let it slide.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Notice for Overseas Voters

I've been tossing and turning (literally) over the injustice that millions of overseas American voters have not (and will not) receive their ballots on time. This is a close race and it's so important that everyone -- especially those from swing states -- who is eligible to vote participate in this election!!!

I just got the following from

If your ballot is late - you can still vote!

Registered overseas voters can access an online ballot and mailing

Online ballot:

Mailing instructions and envelope:

click on your state name, then "Where to Send"

This ballot is the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB), which is the
ballot to use if you registered on time, and if you haven't received your state
ballot yet. If your state ballot arrives later, fill it out and send it too.
It will replace the first one you sent off. The FWAB is counted if
the state ballot is not received by the local election district.

Spread the word to ANY overseas American you know, or anyone who might know overseas Americans!!!!

Vote! Vote! Vote!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Where does Kerry plan to go from here?

So, Frum Dad has created a new blog, Frum Dad Gets Political, to house his "post so off-topic, I gave it my own blog." The post is entitled "I'm Frum. I'm voting for Kerry. Why you should, too." I'll leave it up to Chayyei Sarah readers to go over there to read, absorb, think carefully, and comment.

I've made no secret of my support for Kerry, though I've never bothered posting here why I plan to vote for him (and still have no plan to do so).

However, there is one thing about Kerry that I'm wondering, a gaping hole in my knowledge, about which I'd appreciate information from my readers.

My question is: if Kerry wins, what are his plans for Iraq going forward?

Meaning, regardless of whether he thinks the war against, and occupation of, Iraq are justified, now that the US has in fact waged that war and is in fact occupying Iraq, what would Kerry do about it?

He must have spoken about this but I've missed it. Please educate me - it's an important issue to me and to the US, obviously.

Please don't reply to this question unless you know what Kerry has actually said he'll do. No "I imagine he would . . . . " or "Based on his overall platform, I think he would . . . "

I want to hear from people who can say "I read in the New York Times in September that he said . . . " or, even better, "I was at one of his speeches and heard him say . . . "

Thanks, CS readers!

Checking in to Hotel California

I'll try to update about my last few days in New York later on (more acknowledgments to come) - but for now, a quick update that I'm in northern California visiting my sister.

The bad news: Between having gotten 2 hours of sleep the night of my flight, the flight itself, having a terrible cold, and the time difference, I'm completely knocked out. I was going to spend the morning watching my sister take her karate class; instead I stayed in bed drinking hot peppermint tea.

The good news: It doesn't matter. I, Doda Sarah, got woken up this morning by my two beautiful little nephews, who cuddled with me and volunteered the information that they love me very much. It doesn't get any better than that!

Friday, October 22, 2004

God, I'm having such a great time in New York! There was actually one moment when I thought "Why did I leave? And how would it feel to come back?" But I quickly realized that if I moved back it wouldn't be the same. I'm having a great time because I'm on vacation. I'm not worrying about how to pay a sky-high Manhattan rent or looking out my window on a dreary winter day onto a slushy New York street and feeling lonely. I'm hopping from friend to friend, having a grand old time, and psyching myself up to go back to real life in Jerusalem. It's a good life. Especially now that I'll be working for myself again. Scary, since I won't be able to blame anyone else if I don't succeed, but exciting because the decisions will all be mine. It's a good place to be!

I've made a couple of decisions about my professional future --it won't be all journalism-- perhaps to be written about in a later post. Suffice to say that I feel really excited (and like I said, a little scared) about stepping into the next phase of my career.

OK, a few people to acknowledge:

The venerable Dr. Manhattan, an old college friend, who is now a hot shot lawyer and took out his poor starving-writer friend from Israel to Wolf and Lamb. Awesome steak and even better conversation. Thanks, Dr. M!

After downing a steak with Dr. M, I met up with friends at Dougie's for an Onbelievable Onion and burger. Sickening diet (though I enjoyed it tremendously-- infer from that what you will!) but great times all around. Thanks Efrex, The Lovely Wife (tm), Yosef, Esther, and Batya for coming. (Remember: I own the intersection of Broadway and 72nd. The city is mine, baby!)

I had a nice visit with Melissa B (of "Pinny and Melissa" fame) and met adorable Ariella.

Went down to NYU again to take out Professor Richard Blood for coffee. The man is still a great teacher, still loves it, and still won't admit it. Crotchety old guy, but we love him.

Sushi at Estihana with Roseanne and her husband, Dan. When she was a freshman (sorry -- that's "first-year student") at Barnard, I was Roseanne's "Sophomore Sister." We haven't seen each other for about 10 years. I'm happy we got together, because sophomore year was among the worst of my life. I was a basket case! I'm glad Roseanne got to see me now, when I'm a little more put-together!

Went to Barnard to see my former academic advisor, Prof. Patricia Denison, who is gracious as always. I also met with an admissions counselor about my idea of hosting an event in the spring for seminary girls who are headed to Barnard the next year, to meet with alumnae who live in Israel. They are very interested in the idea, but we'll see whether I get any budget to do it with . . . .

Great coffee "date" with Judah. Hi, Judah! Don't forget to bring me the Ace of Bace CD when I see you on Sunday.

And finally, a wonderful, wonderful night of eating and talking with my good friend Jessica, aka "Q," the kind of friend who makes you say "life can't possibly be bad when I have a friend like Jess."

One more thing: Today I ordered an account with Vonage, so I'll have a New York area code in Israel! All you peeps in the USA have no excuse for not calling me anymore. God bless modern technology.

A Shabbat Shalom to one and all.


How could I forget? The Sox won!!!!!!!!! Yahooooo!!!!!! It's great to be from Boston! At last, a bit of happiness for Sox fans. Unbelievable. Unbelievable day. Wooooohoooo!!!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

My thoughts exactly.
These are the people in my neighborhood

The great thing about spending a whole month in one's home country is the opportunity to see old friends and meet new people. I'd like to acknowledge them . . .

I got to see Jennifer and Ezra, my college and high school friends, respectively, who married each other. Their 3 girls are adorable.

Efrex and The Lovely Wife (tm) who graciously allowed me to make a 2-hour conference call on their phone . . .

My "mom in New York," Shelley, who opened up her second bedroom to me so I'd have a home base and wouldn't have to shlep all my stuff all over the tri-state area . . .

I met Esther! We went for coffee! She is every bit as funny and smart and beautiful and wonderful as she comes across in her writing! (Yeah, I know . . . "too bad she's not a guy . . . ")

I shopped in Talbots on Broadway in the 80's and saw Veronica, my awesome awesome saleslady. (Note to potential mates: I really do hate shopping, except in this store, which even when I lived in New York I visited maybe twice a year. And even in this store, my strategy is this: I go straight to the sales racks and pick up one of each thing in my size. I try them on. I buy what looks nice. If it's not on sale, I do not even look at it. It does not enter my consciousness unless it is on sale. I bought about $650 worth of clothes for $296. Go Talbots! Go 40-60% Off sales! Go me! Go, pretty clothes!)

Dinner with Jenn B., who took me out to My Most Favorite. Thanks Jenn! You are great!

Jessica Q., who also allowed me to make a conference call from her house (why all the conference calls, you ask? Because I thought I was going to UYO as an assistant, and we had pre-UYO "meetings" on the phone). Thanks, Jess! See you again on Wednesday! Love you, baby!

I stopped at the offices of a magazine with whom I've published several articles (including one about UYO - and I can send you a PDF of that if you want one. Just email me.), and finally got to meet my editor, Joanna. She is really cool. And she told me that I'm one of their favorite writers. Go me!

Lunch with Rachael B. in the Village, and then a stroll around my alma mater, NYU. Ah, memories.

Quick trip to the Bronx high school where I used to teach. 'Twas great to see my former colleagues. The school seems more orderly than when I left it, but there's still a sense of hopelessness and tension, like something could go wrong any second and a riot will break out. God, I am so glad I left that job.

And finally- stayed over last night at the home of Miriam B, a member of my posse. Miriam sells scented candles and I had a great time sitting on her dining room floor, smelling all the wonderful candles and picking out ones I wanted (Chayyei Sarah is very into using the five senses . . . ). My home is now going to smell like spiced pumpkin, macintosh orchard, tulips, banana nut bread, lemon, and oatmeal raisin cookies (not all at once). Plus Miriam gave me, as a special gift, a candle that smells just like Drakkar Noir - it's not as good as a man, but better than nothing. I totally brake for Drakkar. Wow, $50 worth of wonderful scents. I'm so excited! And she wrapped up a beautiful set of candles for me to give to Shelley. Go Miriam! Go candles!

Today: Lunch with old college friend Jeremy S., and tonight is the big rendezvous for my friends. Yay!

I loooooooove New York!

Monday, October 18, 2004

New York Update

Greetings from the Big Apple!

I'm having a fabulous time in New York. It's so wonderful to see my friends and visit my old haunts. And yes, part of me thought during the first couple of days "man, I feel so comfortable here. Leaving was a huge sacrifice." And, it was. But upon further reflection I realized that it took me quite a few years to love New York. My four years of college didn't count because I was living in a cocoon, but the five years I lived in Manhattan as an adult didn't start out with my "loving" New York. In fact, I hated it. But after living there for a while and - more importantly- going to journalism school there, I knew my way around and had discovered all the things that make Manhattan unique and exciting and beautiful and one of my favorite places to be. By the time I left, I felt a sense of ownership over New York. It was my city.

So, maybe in four more years I'll feel the same way about Jerusalem. Maybe I'll know the bus routes practically by heart the way I know the New York subway system, and I'll know which neighborhoods I enjoy and where to find the little secret cafes and shops that tourists and newbies don't know about.

One of the more exciting things that I have done during my trip was attend an Understanding Yourself and Others class in Connecticut. I was going to go as an assistant, as I did a few times before moving to Israel (once you do the class as a student, you can return to assist any time you want). But in the last minute I decided that instead of going for free as an assistant, I would pay and be a student again. And, it was so worth it. The first time I was a student was phenomenal, but this time I went in with much clearer goals, which helped me meet them more quickly. I feel a lot more happy and confident than I did a few days ago. It was totally worth every penny!

Also, although UYO is not run under Jewish auspices, the Connecticut center has become very popular among Orthodox Jews (it's that word-of-mouth thing at work). This weekend, it happened that the only non-Jews were the instructors! There was one girl who had grown up Hasidic and left Orthodoxy completely, but other than her, all the students and assistants were either Modern Orthodox or becoming so. So, we did Shabbat meals all together -- no need to feel different for being the only one not going out for pizza during the lunch break -- and havdalah was a really special experience. The environment at UYOs is so loving, and having all these Jews together in such a safe, warm bonding experience was just really beautiful. It's amazing how a non-Jewish program helped me feel so proud to be a religious Jew.

I realize that I'm not offering a lot of details here about what the program was or what I got out of it. It would be it's own post- or three. I certainly encourage everyone to go to the site for the UYO program and check it out, and email me if you have any questions. The great thing about it is that you set your own goals. Examples of goals that people had set for this weekend (without getting into which ones were mine): to learn ways of disciplining my kids better; to feel good about my body; to forgive my parents; to achieve inner peace; to stop abusing food; to stop abusing alcohol; to express my feelings better to my wife; to become more committed to increasing my income; to figure out why I don't have successful romantic relationships; etc. So the class is different each time, because it's always tailored to help the students reach the goals they've set for themselves. And it works! It's not a miracle cure, but if you come in with a specific goal they certainly give you tools for meeting it.

Anyhow, now I'll be in New York for another another week. Tomorrow night (Tuesday) I'm having a get-together for all my personal friends -- location to be disclosed if you send me an email. This is not a blogger meeting. It's for my non-virtual friends. If you fit in that category I hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Return of the Return of the Jedi (Cards)

One day when I was 16 years old, I threw away my collection of Return of the Jedi trading cards and stickers.

I had spent over a year carefully collecting, counting, and sorting these cards, back when I was 12. They were the kind that came 10 to a pack, with a piece of (non-kosher) gum included. When the local grocer got new shipments of these cards, my sister and I would buy the entire cash-register display of 20 packs, throw away the gum, and then spend the afternoon poring over the cards and putting them in order. I had at least one complete set of the cards -- a red series and a blue series, plus a few dozen stickers-- and hundreds of duplicates. They were my pride and joy.

But when I was 16 I decided one day that Return of the Jedi cards were childish, and it was time to grow up and shed these immature hobbies. And so . . . . I can hardly stand to type these words . . . I threw my own collection in the garbage.

The next day I regretted it, but it was too late. Over the next, oh, 12 years I thought sometimes of that foolhardy desire to grow up and sighed with regret. A few years ago I told a male person in my life about what had happened and about the empty hole in my life where my Return of the Jedi cards should be, and he very generously gave me his own (alas, incomplete) collection from when he was a kid. At the time I was filled with gratitude and felt that an incomplete set of cards given generously by a special person in my life was much better than my own original collection.

Unfortunately, that male person later became He Who Must Not Be Named. I thought for a while of returning the cards, to rid myself of any vestiges of his memory. After a few moments of deep reflection, though, I decided that his having run my ego into the ground was no reason to part with Star Wars memorabilia, and compromised by putting them in an inconspicuous spot on my bookshelf. But every time I looked at them, the joy I should have had in owning them was tainted by the knowledge that the set was incomplete. And, oh, yes, that He Who Must Not Be Named had ripped my heart out, cut it into little pieces, stomped on them, burned the mess, and then thrown the ashes into a cesspool. But I digress.

Fast forward to two days ago, when my mother announced that all these years, unbeknownst to me, my sister's enormous collection of Return of the Jedi cards had been packed away in our basement, and that my sister had decided to give it all to me.

"Don't get too excited," my sister warned, as I jumped up and down and shook with triumph and ecstasy. "I have no idea what's down there. It might be only 5 cards."

It was not only 5 cards. It was a huge box brimming with precious Return of the Jedi cards. First I shook with triumph and ecstasy some more, and yelled "I'm rich! I'm rich!" in a slightly maniacal way. Then, perhaps because my childhood was being returned along with the Jedi, or perhaps because we were busy packing up the house I've lived in since I was four, or perhaps because I was jetlagged, or perhaps because I am just a leeeeetle beet eccentric, I started to cry. Real, sobby, weepy tears.

My sister and nephew and I spent an afternoon poring and counting and sorting, and created -- yes-- an almost complete set (missing just 3 stickers! Perhaps easily obtained on ebay!) for me to take home with me to Israel. So now the Force will be with me, always.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

So I made it safely to the USA and had an excellent holiday with my parents, sister, and nephews. So far I'm not experiencing any culture shock (though the jetlag is pretty bad), possibly because I've hardly left my parents' house. But I'm sort of worried about what will happen when I go to New York. Will I be overwhelmed by the New York-ness of it all? Will I love it and be sorry I ever left? Or will I just get sick of answering the same questions over and over again? (Yes, I'm happy in Israel. Yes, I live in Jerusalem. Yes, I'm still working in journalism. No, I'm back to freelancing. Yes, I have my own apartment. Yes, I'm making friends. etc etc)

Like Allison of (what's up with the linking option at Blogger??? Where'd it go?), I felt weird about not being in Israel when I heard about the terrorist attack in Egypt. Then again, as I was just saying to my friend Yael before we both left Israel for Sukkot vacations: What are we gonna do, never leave Israel because we feel a responsibility to be there any time there's a terrorist attack? Our being there wouldn't prevent it from happening, and besides, we're the ones who have made aliyah and are usually, in fact, there. The sad fact is that it's pretty safe to say that there's no need to worry, there will probably be plenty more terrorist attacks after we get back.

Despite the above paragraph, in the last 3 days I've learned that I'm a sentimental mushball. First, as soon as I left the terminal at Logan airport I breathed in the crisp New England air and wanted to sing "I love the air! This is my HOME air! No hamsin! No hot hot sun! No brain-frying, terrorist-laden heat or tension! Just wonderful New England chilly oxygenated home Boston slightly polluted home AIR!!!!" And later, while walking to synagogue, when I spied the yellow and red and orange leaves slowly spinning down to the sidewalks, I just wanted to cry, partly because I missed the foliage so much and partly because my parents are moving and I don't know when I'll ever see the foliage again.

Which brings me to the fact that my sister and I have been going through my parents' stuff telling them what we absolutely do NOT want them to throw away. And it turns out that of all of us, I'm in the worst shape about my parents' moving. My sister, though somewhat sentimental about leaving the home she grew up in since 1976, is mostly (compared to me) like "well, hey, the new house is bigger and has more bathrooms and bedrooms so when we all visit we won't be so on top of each other like we are here. Psyche!" Meanwhile, I'm like "waaaaaah! We're leaving our hoooouuuussssse! ::sob sob hiccup:: I'll miss our sukkah! You can't sell my old French provincial furniture! I need to visit my public library one more time! And my elementary school! And the T! I'll miss Booooooooossstonnnnn. I'll miss the foooooliaaaaage! I'll miss my rooooom. waaaaaaah!" It's pretty embarrassing, actually.

But the really embarrassing moment was when my sister gave me her entire collection of Return of the Jedi trading cards. More about that tomorrow when I'm not too jetlagged to write anymore.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

But can you sing?

In response to the comments over at this post and this post, I have asked Rabbi Chaim Pollock, dean of the Michlalah Jerusalem College for Women, to explain to Chayyei Sarah readers whether and how one may take a shower on Shabbat or Yom Tov (festivals) according to halacha (Jewish law). Rav Pollock was kind enough to respond and grant permission for me to post his answers here. I have paraphrased and summarized his answer, but I showed him the paraphrase/summary and he said it was OK. If you want to see his complete email, which discusses certain philosophical aspects of showering that I didn't bother to include in the summary, let me know and I'll forward it to you.

Also bear in mind that I'm only including the "practical" answers. Those readers who would like to know how these laws were arrived at can feel free to write to me or post a comment -- I just want it to go on the record that these practices don't come out of thin air! They may be weird, but there is method to the madness!

[also, in case you missed it, I'm calling for a New York rendezvous of J-bloggers and frequent commenters on Chayyei Sarah. If you live in New York and are reading this, and want to come, see the post immediately below. Also see that post if you are a personal friend and want to get together while I'm in the Big Apple.]

Anyhow, here it is. I suggest that if you want to take hot showers whenever you like that you either commit to asking your own rabbi about it, or not read any further.

According to Rav Pollock, one may shower on Shabbat and Yom Tov as long as all of the following conditions are in place:

1. One is in a state of "mitzta'er," discomfort. Rav Pollock defined "discomfort" thus:

Mitz'ta'er is merely discomfort. It is less than choleh she'ein bo sakana [ed note: a "sick person who is not in danger"]. It is most reasonable to say that one who is used to bathing daily, experiences a most hot day, the lack of bathing is mitz'ta'er. It is certainly fair to say that when there are multiple days of Yom Tov and you can't wait 'until after Shabbos' to bathe, then the mitz'ta'er is certainly significant.

Since there are many halachic difficulties with showering on Shabbat or Yom Tov (see below), the custom is not to do it unless one is in this state of "discomfort."

2. On Shabbos, one may not use hot water to bathe.

3. On Yom Tov, one may use hot water under the following conditions:

a. The water has not been heated only for the purpose of bathing. [Ed note: speak with your own rabbi about the heating methods used in your own house/apartment]

b. One is using just enough hot water so that the water isn't uncomfortably cold. It should not be appreciably hot.

4. The soap is watery liquid. (Ed note: ie not bar soap, not creamy or thick. Watery.)

5. One may not rub the soap onto areas of the body that have hair. To wash one's hair, one may pour the liquid soap over the hair and then let the water wash over it.

6. One may not sqeeze dry one's hair or rub dry any areas of the body that have hair. One may rub dry hair-free areas as long as the towel is not soaking wet. One may also loosely place a towel around one's head so that water does not drip to the floor. Rav Pollock suggests drying off slowly by getting into an absorbant bathrobe.

7. One may not comb one's hair on Shabbat or Yom Tov, regardless of whether it is wet or dry (with certain possible ways around this, which are too detailed to go into here. Ask your rabbi about it). One may, however, run one's fingers through one's hair. Rav Pollock wrote:

people who will find themselves in a conflict with hair that has been washed and cannot be combed, would be well-advised to avoid such a conflict.
Alrighty then! If your Local Orthodox Rabbi has a different opinion about all this, please feel free to post the details in the comments section. However, you must include
a) your rabbi's name and synagogue/school/institution
b) clear details about what is permissible and what is not, in plain English
c) a statement that you have gotten permission from the rabbi being cited to post his answers on this site.

Please do not include references to all the Talmudic and post-Talmudic sources, as it is more information than most readers want. You may, however, post your email address if you wish so that readers who want the textual sources can contact you.

When I started this blog I never dreamed it would be like this!
Start spreadin' the news . . . .

I'm leavin' on Tuesday . . .

I wanna be a part of it . . .

New York! New York!

Yes, I am coming to America on Tuesday. I'll be in Boston, New York, and northern California!

So, a few announcements . . .

1. To all those who know who I am and are thinking about robbing my apartment while I'm away (as happened to another blogger I know): There is no point. I'm removing all valuables from the abode, and someone else will be staying here much of the time. So the apartment will be empty of my electronics and jewlery, but not empty of people. Don't even bother. There will be someone here to call the police on you.

2. To my fellow bloggers who live in the New York area: What say we do a blogger meet? I call for Monday night October 18 on the Upper West Side. Would you be able to make it then? If you are interested, email me at chayyeisarah at yahoo dot com, with the URL for your blog, and I'll put together an evite and make sure you are invited. Also email me if you are one of my frequent commenters, even if you don't have a blog. There are some of you I really want to meet!

2. I'll be in New York basically from October 11th or 12th until the 25th. Some of those days are already booked (in particular, I already have Shabbat plans, and they are not in Manhattan). BUT BUT BUT the reason I'm staying so long is so that I can see all my friends! I'm trying to get out a mass email to my New York friends to find out when you are available - nights? days? can I see you during the week? Can we at least get together for lunch? -- but meanwhile, if you are one of my friends, please email me letting me know when we can get together.

I'm thinking about doing one of those "I'll be at Dougie's at the following day and time, come see me and meet all my other friends" things, but the truth is that I'd rather have quality one-on-one time with the people I care about. So tell me when I can see you!

Looking forward . . . .

Friday, October 01, 2004

I'm lookin' for a new love

So, the neighbor's cat had three adorable kittens. Last night one of them fell off her porch and was crying the whole night. Kept me up all night. I'm exhausted. But . . . it sounded so pitiful . . . and it looked so cute when she brought it back inside. Poor little thing. It's so cute!

When I was little, I was allergic to fur. Today I went over to my neighbor's porch and held all the cats to see if anything happens to my skin. If not, maybe I'll adopt one of them. It's about time I lived with another live creature -- especially if it's a creature that won't complain if I leave dishes in the sink. I need to think it over. On one hand, I think they are adorable and I'd like to have a little thing to name and to love. On the other hand, how spinsterish is that? Plus, if it runs around outside in the dirty streets and then comes in and jumps on my clean kitchen counters, I'll be grossed out. I guess you can't have it both ways.

So, first of all, I'd love feedback from people who know something about owning a cat. Can I train the cat not to shred my linens or jump on my kitchen counter? How much work is it to have a cat?

And, second, if you live in the Jerusalem area and would like to adopt one of the kittens, send me an email and I'll connect you with my neighbor (she speaks Hebrew and French, and understands English). She wants to give them away in the next few weeks.

PS In the time I took to write this I started to get itchy. But I think it's not necessarily from allergies -- it's because those kittens scratched me up but good. Maybe this isn't the best idea . . . .