Saturday, April 28, 2012

When 1 Photo is NOT Enough

So, I ranted more than once on this blog about sending in photos to shadchanim, boys, etc. and how it's sorta demeaning after a while, but I guess this is the system and hey, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. But lately there are more issues with sending a photo.
As of recent, the complaints from shadchanim has been as follows:
-In addition to the photo sent, can you please send a close up
-Also, do you have a full length
-Do you have one of you in a more casual setting
-The photo is cut off a bit, do you have one of only you so its more clear
and the list of 'specifics' goes on and on...
Am I nuts, or does it seem like lately we need to provide a photo album of the past year with different shots, taken at different angles, different backgrounds, scenes, outfits, hairstyles, makeup, etc?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

New Way to Manage your Dates-using a Spreadsheet!

Spreadsheets: they're not just for budgets anymore!

David Merkur has a rather clinical way of keeping track of the women he meets on online dating site,
The 28-year-old investment banker compiles photos, contact information and progress reports about the women he is seeing into a spreadsheet. Potential ladyfriends were colour-coded, broken down into "monitor closely" and "monitor casually". Merkur also included an out-of-10 appearance assessment of each woman.

The document went viral when the nerdy Lothario foolishly emailed it to one of the women he was seeing, whom he described in his spreadsheet as "very pretty; sweet & down to earth/great personality."
According to ABC News, she promptly forwarded it to friends with the note: "I went on a date with this guy last Wednesday. On the date, he tells me that he has a spreadsheet for tracking all of the people from that are 'in process.' Naturally, I tease him and ask him to send me the spreadsheet. For some strange reason, he actually does."
The spreadsheet has since gone viral, so it's probably safe to say that Wednesday's date was their last.
"I work with spreadsheets a lot," Merkur tells Jezebel in his defense. "It's a great additional tool. I work long days, go to the gym, go out on a couple of midweek dates or what not, get home am I going to remember them? I'm not. So I made the spreadsheets. My comments aren't malicious or mean. This was an honest attempt to stay organized."
Merkur has been raked over the coals by the entire internet community, so we won't condemn the chap or call him names, but let this be a lesson to all of the hyper-organized men out there — women are not products on, to be reviewed or ranked.
And being distilled into chunks of data is not exactly our idea of romance

taken from, article by: Sofi Papamarko 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Fence

I received the following email today, in honor of Yom HaShoa and found it to be inspiring, as well as important to forward, and at the same time, very relevant to singles out there-this proves that whatever is Bashert, is Bashert.

August 1942. Piotrkow , Poland

The sky was gloomy that morning
as we waited anxiously. All the men, women and children of Piotrkow's Jewish ghetto had been herded into a square.

Word had gotten around that we
were being moved. My father had only recently died from typhus, which had run rampant through the crowded ghetto. My greatest fear was that our family would be separated.

'Whatever you do,' Isidore, my
eldest brother, whispered to me, 'don't tell them your age. Say you're sixteen.

'I was tall for a boy of 11, so I could
pull it off. That way I might be deemed valuable as a worker.

An SS man approached me, boots clicking against the cobblestones. He looked me up and down, and then asked my age.

'Sixteen,' I said. He directed me to
the left, where my three brothers and other healthy young men already stood.

My mother was motioned to the
right with the other women, children, sick and elderly people.

I whispered to Isidore, 'Why?'

He didn't answer.

I ran to Mama's side and said I
wanted to stay with her.

'No, 'she said sternly.

'Get away. Don't be a nuisance.
Go with your brothers.'

She had never spoken so harshly before. But I understood: She was protecting me. She loved me so
much that, just this once, she pretended not to. It was the last I ever saw of her.

My brothers and I were transported
in a cattle car to Germany .

We arrived at the Buchenwald concentration camp one night later
and were led into a crowded barrack. The next day, we were issued uniforms and identification numbers. 'Don't call me Herman anymore.' I said to my brothers. 'Call me 94983.'

I was put to work in the camp's crematorium, loading the dead
into a hand-cranked elevator.

I, too, felt dead. Hardened, I had
become a number.

Soon, my brothers and I were sent
to Schlieben, one of Buchenwald 's sub-camps near Berlin ...

One morning I thought I heard my mother's voice.

'Son,' she said softly but clearly,
I am going to send you an angel.'

Then I woke up. Just a dream. A beautiful dream.

But in this place there could be no angels. There was only work. And hunger. And fear.

A couple of days later, I was
walking around the camp, around the barracks, near the barbed-wire fence where the guards could not easily see. I was alone. On the other side of the fence, I spotted someone: a little girl with light, almost luminous curls. She was half-hidden behind a birch tree.

I glanced around to make sure no
one saw me. I called to her softly in German. 'Do you have something to eat?'

She didn't understand.

I inched closer to the fence and
repeated the question in Polish. She stepped forward. I was thin and gaunt, with rags wrapped around my feet, but the girl looked unafraid. In her eyes, I saw life.

She pulled an apple from her
woolen jacket and threw it over the fence.

I grabbed the fruit and, as I started
to run away, I heard her say faintly, 'I'll see you tomorrow.'

I returned to the same spot by the
fence at the same time every day. She was always there with something for me to eat - a hunk of bread or, better yet, an apple.

We didn't dare speak or linger. To
be caught would mean death for us both.

I didn't know anything about her,
just a kind farm girl, except that she understood Polish. What was her name? Why was she risking her life for me?

Hope was in such short supply,
and this girl on the other side of the fence gave me some, as nourishing in its way as the bread and apples.

Nearly seven months later, my
brothers and I were crammed into a coal car and shipped to Theresienstadt camp in Czechoslovakia .

'Don't return,' I told the girl that day. 'We're leaving.'

I turned toward the barracks and
didn't look back, didn't even say good-bye to the little girl whose name I'd ever learned, the girl with the apples.

We were in Theresienstadt for
three months. The war was winding down and Allied forces were closing in, yet my fate seemed sealed.

On May 10, 1945, I was scheduled
to die in the gas chamber at 10:00 AM.

In the quiet of dawn, I tried to
prepare myself. So many times death seemed ready to claim me, but somehow I'd survived. Now, it was over.

I thought of my parents. At least,
I thought, we will be reunited.

But at 8 a.m. there was a
commotion. I heard shouts, and saw people running every which way through camp. I caught up with my brothers.

Russian troops had liberated the
camp! The gates swung open. Everyone was running, so I did too. Amazingly, all of my brothers had survived;

I'm not sure how. But I knew that the girl with the apples had been the key to my survival.

In a place where evil seemed triumphant, one person's goodness
had saved my life, had given me hope in a place where there was none.

My mother had promised to send
me an angel, and the angel had come.

Eventually I made my way to
England where I was sponsored by a Jewish charity, put up in a hostel with other boys who had survived the Holocaust and trained in electronics. Then I came to America, where my brother Sam had already moved. I served in the U. S. Army during the Korean War, and returned to New York City after two years.

By August 1957 I'd opened my own electronics repair shop. I was
starting to settle in. One day, my friend Sid who I knew from England called me. 'I've got a date. She's got a Polish friend. Let's double date.' A blind date? Nah, that wasn't for me. But Sid kept pestering me, and a few days later we headed up to the Bronx to pick up his date and her friend Roma.

I had to admit, for a blind date this wasn't so bad. Roma was a nurse
at a Bronx hospital. She was kind and smart. Beautiful, too, with swirling brown curls and green, almond-shaped eyes that sparkled with life.

The four of us drove out to Coney Island . Roma was easy to talk to,
easy to be with.

Turned out she was wary of blind
dates too!

We were both just doing our friends a favor. We took a stroll on the
boardwalk, enjoying the salty Atlantic breeze, and then had dinner by the shore. I couldn't remember having a better time.

We piled back into Sid's car, Roma
and I sharing the backseat. As European Jews who had survived the war, we were aware that much had been left unsaid between us. She broached the subject, 'Where were you,' she asked softly, 'during the war?' 'The camps,' I said. The terrible memories still vivid, the irreparable loss..I had tried to forget. But you can never forget.

She nodded. 'My family was hiding
on a farm in Germany , not far from Berlin ,' she told me. 'My father knew a priest, and he got us Aryan papers.'

I imagined how she must have
suffered too, fear, a constant companion. And yet here we were both survivors, in a new world.

'There was a camp next to the farm.' Roma continued. 'I saw a boy there
and I would throw him apples every day.'

What an amazing coincidence that
she had helped some other boy. 'What did he look like? I asked.

'He was tall, skinny, and hungry. I
must have seen him every day for six months.'

My heart was racing. I couldn't
believe it.

This couldn't be.

'Did he tell you one day not to come back because he was leaving Schlieben?'

Roma looked at me in amazement. 'Yes!'

'That was me!'

I was ready to burst with joy and
awe, flooded with emotions. I couldn't believe it! My angel. 'I'm not letting you go.' I said to Roma. And in the back of the car on that blind date, I proposed to her. I didn't want to wait.

'You're crazy!' she said. But she
invited me to meet her parents for Shabbat dinner the following week.

There was so much I looked forward to learning about Roma, but the most important things I always knew: her steadfastness, her goodness. For many months, in the worst of circumstances, she had come to the fence and given me hope. Now that I'd found her again, I could never let her go.

That day, she said yes. And I kept
my word. After nearly 50 years of marriage, two children and three grandchildren, I have never let her go.

Herman Rosenblat of Miami Beach , Florida
This story is being made into a movie called The Fence.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach-Make Men More Mature, Rather than Girls going under the Knife

Here is Rabbi Boteach's response to the Jewish Press article that was posted here on this blog

Friday, April 6, 2012

Chag Kasher V'Sameach

Dear Fellow Blog Readers,
I've got some blogging to catch up on, but just in case kitchen duties call (my temporary home the last few days), I posted 3 new Jewish music videos to help you get through those tough times, or wait-for-food times, or even just for some music, after all, Sefira is on its way.
So, in case I don't get a chance to post tomorrow, wishin you all a Chag Kasher V'Sameach and may this Pesach be the last Pesach that you celebrate as a 'single'.
Happy Pesach!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pesach for Singles

Let's face it, Pesach isn't exactly a Yom Tov for singles.
For families? sure
For mothers, there's the cleaning, cooking, preparation, etc.
For fathers, there's the matzah baking, bedikas chametz, burning, selling, afikoman, etc.
For kids, well Afikoman OF COURSE, as well as cool arts & crafts, loads of haggadah creating, not to mention divrei torah, and chol hamoed trips.
But for singles? what to do we get? helping in the house with chores, some baking, cooking and cleaning. Giving up our rooms for the Marrieds & Co, getting gifts for the kiddies, but nothing else really.
Every so often there's the awkward Chol Hamoed date where there's no where to go without bumping into the entire community as like everyone is off school/work and there are only so many places you can go without being seen. Plus, no restaurants or coffee shops sorta make it difficult. Not to even mention g'brokts & non-g'brokts, kitniyos, etc.
Let's just say, if there was a Haggadah for Singles, the theme in my house would be 'Ha Lachma Anya', or more specifically the part where we all invite the guests, and by that I mean the SINGLE guests.
Imagine, all single guys piling into my house for the Seder, it would be a one night date where we could observe so much about a guy.
How he says his brachos, how he reads from his haggadah, if he participates in the Seder and how. Will he space out and be bored and passive, or participate, sing a long, share some Divrei Torah?
If he helps serve/clean up, or eats like a slob. If he serves others first, or serves himself first.
There is so much to get outta a Singles Seder. So, if you're a guy and single, and lookin for a Seder to join, c'mon over & join us!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's Rainin Men...

The entire day has been, well, typical English weather-dark, dreary, cold and rainy.
I looked at the window, and was sorta happy that it was raining, otherwise I wouldn't wanna be stuck indoors all day Pesach cleaning and would probably prefer to be outdoors tanning/biking/walking/shopping/ice coffeeing, etc.
Anyway, so I'm scrubbing away in the kitchen and then it really starts to pour, and in typical SOS fashion, I start bellowing 'It's rainin men, Halle..' and then my mother, from down the hall asks if it really is raining. I stopped for a second and thought, if it really would be raining men, my mother would be the first one to run outside with a BUCKET, to collect all these men and then keep the best for, well, for me.
I then went down the hall to my mother and brought her a bucket....a bucket to clean with.
Too bad it ain't rainin men....