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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Blog Break

Sorry for being such an absentee bloglord lately. My life has been a little too much to handle. Nothing bad, just a lot all at once, so I'm going to need to put the ol' blog on hold for a week or so while I get my act together.

Check back on Dec 6th for some new content.
As always, thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate your patronage.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Hot Chanie Under Fire

I was all set to type up my analysis for this article when I decided to procrastinate a moment longer by visiting Treppenwitz's blog, when what should I see but... He's SCOOPED me!

Oh well, I suppose I'll have at it anyway but that sort of took the wind out of my sails...

It's too long to post in it's entirety so I'll just give you the highlights. As usual the text from the article is in BOLD while my snarky comments are in stylin' italics.

Married yeshiva students warn against wives' short skirts, tight sweaters

The heavyweights of the haredi Lithuanian yeshiva world gathered Saturday night in Jerusalem to warn an audience of thousands of male, married yeshiva students that haredi women's dresses are too short, their wigs are too long, and their sweaters, shirts and blouses are too tight.

Did someone say "Hot Chanie?"
I imagine all the men in that meeting mashing their faces against the window panes "Where? Where?"

"Each and every father and husband has an obligation to vigilantly ensure that his wife's and daughters' dress is in accordance with the laws of modesty," read a declaration that was distributed after the meeting.

Vigilantly insure? That sure sounds like another religion I can think of... Maybe they can consult with the Taliban leadership, I think they've got the whole "viligilant insurance of women's modesty" thing nailed down.

.. Single men and women were not invited to attend.

Don't let the women know what's will be expected of them... it will be all the more exciting when they "vigilantly" lay down the law.

Organizers said afterwards that concrete steps to harness haredi buying power would block the "wanton influences" of foreign clothing styles, which are seen as a danger to the haredi community's traditional lifestyle.

Folks, I hate to be the one to tell you, but don't you realize that EVERYTHING is a danger to your lifestyle? I hear they are looking for people to colonize the moon why don't you try setting up a yeshiva there, it's sure to be free of distractions (well, of the Hot Chanie variety anyway a lack of Oxygen might be considered a distraction I supppose.)

"One of the ideas is to provide 'modesty certificates' to those clothing stores that meet our demands," said one of the activists who helped organize the conference in Jerusalem. "Stores without the certificates would be boycotted."

Will this be the kind of boycott that involves torches and pitchforks? That's my favorite kind!

A principal of a haredi high school for girls in Jerusalem who is active in the modesty campaign said that "modesty certificates" are impractical.
"Unlike kosher food, which is governed by clear-cut criteria, modest clothing depends on how it is worn and who wears it," said the principal. "There is an interaction between the body and the piece of clothing."

Might this principal be a woman? That is the only intelligent quote I've read this ENTIRE article. OF COURSE there is a realtionship between fit and body type... this is something that can't be legislated by a tape measure at the shop. A proposal earlier in the article required women to have blouses extending 10cm past the waist of their skirts to avoid their midriff (I love that word) showing when they raised their arms. For animated person like myself that wouldn't quite do it although I'd assume that Charedi women are more subdued.

"But Saturday night's conference sent a clear message to store owners that we are willing to boycott if need be until more modest merchandise is sold."

"Hey, Chaim? Yossi and the guys are getting together for a boycott Saturday night... do you have any gasoline?"

Not since the concerted effort two years ago to outlaw cellular phones among yeshiva students have so many important haredi rabbis and yeshiva heads gathered to provide spiritual guidance for their flock.
The anti-cellular phone campaign forced all the major cellular phone operators to provide the haredi community with special kosher phones that blocked access to Internet and erotic phone calls.

OK so from now on the gedoim will only get together to interfere with your personal life/habits instead of joining together over global issues. Excellent. What's next?

Hat tip to mdmom.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

If your boss were an animal....

If your boss was an animal what animal would he be, and why?

Mine would be a chihuahua because he's small, and has beady eyes.
He darts around the office, making plenty of noise for a creature of his size but accomplishes very little.

Oh and if you leave any snacks within reach, forgettaboutit.

If no animal suits your boss any inanimate object will do as well.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

When Meshulachim Attack

I live a fair distance from the major Jewish areas of the east coast and as such most of our meshulachim are imported. As with most imported goods there is a tax to be paid – in this case the driver who ferries these charity seekers from Brooklyn, Lakewood, the airport? At a cost of 20% of the collectors “take.”

On a recent Sunday afternoon, as my husband and I were preparing to go out to a simcha my younger daughter came running upstairs in a panic yelling “Abba Abba there’s a RABBI in the house!!!”
We have told our daughters MANY MANY times that they are not allowed to open the door for anyone they don’t know, but it seems that in our rushing in and out of the house all day, we’d neglected to lock the door (which happens too often I must confess.)

After practically pushing my husband down the stairs he came down to discover a small older man dressed in black standing in our living room and looking around. “You shouldn’t leave your money out like that” he said to my husband in Hebrew pointing at my husband’s back wallet on the table “someone could take it.”

After that he launched into his hard luck story, actually several stories, about his family, a school he is collecting for, he divorced daughter, etc... As my husband finished writing him out a check I came downstairs to see what was going on, and check our bank balance, when the doorbell rang again. This time it was three more people, who had arrived on the street in the same car as the little Rabbi but opted to strike out on their own in the hopes that my husband wouldn’t divide his weekly donation by four but rather by three after paying the little Rabbi separately. At this point I became fearful that my husband (who was offering them water nice man that he is) would be pressured into giving away the store, causing us problems later in the month. I will consent that it is very hard to make a compelling argument to Tzdaka collectors that you don’t have the money when you are dressed to the nines at 4PM on a Sunday afternoon. So out of guilt he gave them more than was comfortable for us and they still complained. After that I wished them well and closed the door.

I hope and pray that I am never on the other side of that door but can’t there be a way for me to help people without the 20% tax off the top. They all requested that we make out their individual check to the same place – can’t I just send my checks there to avoid having my home invaded weekly by people who are unknown to me and whose stories are not confirmable in the one minute I have to make my decision?

The more this visitors come to my door the colder I begin to feel, I hate that about myself. These people haggle and they argue and are not polite or do they seem grateful (well the little Rabbi did, but then again he also entered my house uninvited and I don’t even think vampires do that!!) It’s like a business, the business of money collecting and I’m not sure that’s an industry I want to support anymore.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A Rare Political Post

In my 18 months of blogging I've managed to avoid writing about politics entirely.
I rarely comment on political posts and although I do have my opinions I'm non-confrontational and tend to keep them to myself.

But not today.

But I'm so disturbed by two very expensive looking pieces of mail that were dropped in my mail box on Saturday that I just can't help it.

You can check them out for yourself if you like.

Just click and scroll down to learn how the Democratic party is responsible for the Holocaust, and is nothing but a pack of Nation of Islam belonging-Cindy Sheehan type-Radical nutjobs.

And don't ya'll worry about the war in Iraq, government corruptions, taxes, education, healthcare or unemployment. The Republican party knows that Jews in this country have developed some kind of electoral tunnel vision and can only see ONE issue when they vote.
Rest assured that if you vote for a Democrat this Tuesday Israel is as good as gone.

I am disgusted and insulted that not only was this propagana sent out TO my own people but that it was sent out BY my own people.

Ok.. go ahead...I've braced myself for the worst.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Today I went down to the cosmetics department of my local Macy's department store.

It's safe now, by the way. They've stopped spraying innocent shoppers with perfume. I'm sure that this change must have been brought about by some kind of allergy related lawsuit but I'm glad the perfume sample lady's reign of terror is finally over. I'm not a big fan of perfume or shopping so having to suffer an eyefull of sweet smelling mace just to get to the missy sportwear department just wasn't worth the bother.

My mission today is to find some makeup to cover up the dark cirles under my eyes.
It's a genetic thing. My grandmother has circles, my mother does, even Bas-Shifra has them. Add in the fact that I never get enough sleep and that the little bit of a tan I got this summer is pretty much history and I start looking like those anemic children you see in horror movies (well around the eyes anyway) at just about this time every year.

I approach the counter and tell the woman what I'm looking for and she begins to dutifully study my complexion and examine the 50 or more bottles of skin toned makeup to see what my perfect color match might be.

Could it be "honey beige," "matte bisque," or "light almond?"
No it could not.
Oh dear let's try "taupe" or "rich nude" (I loved that one!)
No no, not quite right.

Mind you, I know very well what color I am. It's the same every time. Color #01 the first freaking color in the grid. I am, and have always been, the lightest customer that Macys ever expects to meet.

Still, I let the woman try in the hopes that perhaps THIS time I may get to be something more than the wan #01. Could I be #05? Or even just #02? I did go for a couple of lunchtime walks this week and I've been eating a lot of carrots...

Nope - she's found it, good old "pale petal" color #01.
I am, once again, the fairest of them all.