Monday, October 29, 2007

More on Louisiana

Rush Limbaugh played some excerpts from the Jindal interview yesterday morning on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. By the way, Wallace is pretty fair, despite the fact that he's Mike Wallace's son. Mike Wallace interviewed the Iranian president a year or two ago.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Congratulations to Louisiana for electing Bobby Jindal last week as their new governor. He's my age (36), an Indian-American (sorry Joe Biden and Robert Byrd) and a pro-business Republican. I saw him on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace and he sounded bright, articulate and optimistic. Let's guess there isn't the same orgasm over him as there was over Barack Obama (aka He Who Walks on Water).

For some of my political terms, go to or

Various things

  1. Shabat in Rogers Park was nice. I had a nice dinner at my friend who lives on Columbia Ave. in those new fancy houses. I told them about Skokie and the shiur I attended on Wednesday night at KINS given by the Rosh Yeshiva or Dean of Eretz Hemdah.
  2. Bye bye Ty. I grew up in Seattle during the 1980's and the Washington Husky football team always used to be good. Not necessarily championship contender good, but top 20 and bowl good. Now they're 2-6 and have given up 273 points in 8 games, which is an average of 34 points a game. That is pitiful. Good thing the Patriots aren't on their schedule. The Pats would score 49 in the first half.
  3. Political stuff: Thanks to the Great One, Mark Levin for this. On his show Thursday night, he mentioned that Joe Biden (aka The Dumbest Man in the Senate) stepped in it again. According to the Washington Com-Post, he stumbled over an education question where he said that Washington's high minority population is the main reason for the city's education's problems. Just imagine if Mitt Romney gave such an answer to an education question. The NAACP, Rainbow Coalition, etc. would be all over him asking for an apology and resignation. Link to the article:
  4. Good news football wise, Illinois' win over Ball State makes them Bowl-eligible. Hawks have lost two in a row, to the Bruins and Thrashers. The best team in Hockey, bar none, is the Ottawa Senators. If there is justice, they will win the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, Gary Bettman doesn't care for the Canadian teams and would prefer the Carolina Hurricanes or some other Sun Belt team win.



Thursday, October 25, 2007

couple things

1) The San Diegans and other Southern Californians are in our prayers. Hopefully the fires will die down soon.

2) If you need facts to support the claim that the federal, state and local governments are spending too much money, here are some stats, I must give credit to Mark Levin, my favorite talk show host, for these stats and link. For more on Mark Levin,

Not that Mayor Daley, Todd Stroger, Mike Madigan or Governor Blagojevich would care. For as much fun of Arnold's accent as I make, he's more on top of trying not to spend money compared to Illinois.

shiur last night

Last night, I attended the special shiur presented by Kollel Torah Mitzion given by Rabbi Yosef Carmel of Eretz Hemdah Institute, a Jewish educational institution in Israel that promotes Religious Zionism, for lack of a better description. Anyway, the Rabbi spoke about the concept of Compromise and when it's allowed in Halacha (Jewish Law) and when it's not. He covered about half of his sources, or Maareh Mekomot. In any event, it was a good shiur and nice to hear from a talented and smart Dati Tzioni Rabbi.

Their website is

I believe that Religious Zionism is the ultimate vehicle to affect positive change in Israel. In America and other countries, there may not be enough people with that knowledge base to make it viable. That's why the Aish Hatorahs and Ohr Sameachs are successful, because they can reach the Jewish person who grew up secular in the burbs. Maybe we don't do outreach well with someone who barely knows what Judaism is or knows what any of the holidays besides Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Hannukah and Passover are.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

weather changes

Well, now it's 40 degrees or so and windy. Two to three weeks ago, it was 85 and sunny (even humid). So much for the Indian Summer.

Affirmative action in Sports Reporting: Why does ABC insist on using Lisa Salters ahead of Erin Andrews? Erin Andrews is clearly more attractive and good at reporting. I suppose ABC wants to throw the NAACP and the Rev-reeennd Jacks-uhhhnn a bone by saying, see how compassionate we are? We hired a black woman sports reporter and put her in prime time.

I cut through all of the PC nonsense.

If Rihanna wants to report on College Football, that's fine with me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


The weekend was nice. I was in Skokie and it was fun. I haven't been in a neighborhood like that in a while.

In any event, tomorrow night starts the World Series between Boston and Colorado. I assume most experts pick the Red Sox in 6 or 5.

Bears had a big win on Sunday with a game-winning drive by Griese with less than a minute left.

Go Bears.

Sorry about the ILLINI. Way to not get it done in a big spot.

Colorado in 6. Sorry Red Sox fans.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Well, I will be spending shabat in Skokie for the first time, it should be fun.

One thing about spending so much time in Rogers Park is it feels too homogeneous at times.

Sports stuff: Joe Torre is out as the Yankees manager after 12 years. The way it was handled was very poor and made Torre look like a martyr or more sympathetic.

Bears are in Philly this weekend to face the Eagles. Northwestern is in Detroit tonight to play Eastern Michigan and the Illini host the Michigan Wolverines tomorrow night in Champaign.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Torah Mitzion update

Well, another good night of learning with the Hesder Torah Mitzion chevra at KINS.

Last night's Halachic topic was is mass suicide permitted in Halacha? There's a source in last week's parsha, Noach where it permitted eating of meat, or more accurately, killing animals. The passuk is Beresheet Perek Tet, Passuk Heh, Ach et damchem L'nafshoteichem Edrosh; And surely your blood of your lives will I require. Rabbeinu Tam wrote in Masechet Avodah Zarah on Daf Yud Chet amud alef (18a), that the passuk indicates that, where they fear, lest idolators pass them into sin (apostasy) as by tortures one cannot withstand, then it is muttar (permissible) to damage oneself. There's a distinction between permitted and obligatory. The Daat Zekeinim holds that this is a warning against one who wishes to strangle oneself. The most famous case in Judaism of mass suicide is at Masada in 73 CE where Elazar Ben Yair spoke to the Jews who didn't want to give into the Romans who were taking over Eretz Yisrael. According to Josephus, Elazar ben Yair would gather his people together to deliver this speeach. Noble Jews, you who decided long ago not to submit to Roman Domination, you must stay strong.

It's a very good topic and hopefully one that isn't Halacha LeMaaseh.

Next Wednesday, Rav Carmel from Yeshivat Eretz Chemdah, will be in Chicago on Wednesday evening to give a shiur.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

nice shabbos

I had a nice relaxing shabbos, got to catch on some sleep and afterwards caught some of that really good game on Fox between the Red Sox and Indians. Unfortunately, after six innings, I turned it off and listened to the game on the radio (ESPN 1000) because of Buck and McCarver who are annoying National League purists.

In any event, next month is the start of College Basketball. Here's a way too early start on who's projected to be in the tournament, courtesy of Joe Lunardi of ESPN. He's from the Philly area.

Vitale has UNC #1 and the Dukies #12. WSU is 16 and Gonzaga is 23. I don't remember where he put Harry, Dickerson and Finfer's ILL-INI!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Reason to move YU to Florida

U of F, too bad it's not a popular place among Jews I know.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Torah Mitzion night

Tuesday night is Kollel Torah Mitzion night for me. 7:30-8 is a dinner with food from Ten Li Chow (great establishment of Chinese food, BTW, props to Mrs. Frumhouse) and a shiur on a halachic topic from 8-9 with one of the Kollel Members. Last night it was on the issue of whether the state of Israel is allowed to export arms globally. For example, I think that Israel was involved in the Iran-Contra affair with Oliver North (such a great American).

The source that we turn to is a mishna in Masechet Avodah Zarah that says that a Jew isn't allowed to sell bears or lions to people for fear that they may be used to harm others. Keep in mind that the Mishna was written in the time of the Romans and the Romans sent Christians to the gladiators to fight lions and bears and inevitably they would lose.

I will try to remember more on this topic later, suffice it to say that if Israel is allowed to export arms to other countries it is usually out of self-defense.

At nine I learned a sefer called Orot written by Rav Avraham Yitzchak Hacohen Kook Zatzal. Rav Kook was the founder of Religious Zionism from a Halachic and Spiritual point of view. My chavruta, a nice guy named Eran, and I learned the first paragraph which dealt with Eretz Yisrael being the lifeblood of the Jewish people. This isn't something that one would hear or read about in a typical American yeshiva because it presumes that one can reach great spiritual heights in the Diaspora (or Chutz La'Aretz).

The link for Torah Mitzion is . Rav Kook's sefarim can be found at Jewish bookstores.

Maybe my friends at HTTP://HIRHURIM.BLOGSPOT.COM will have some information on Rav Kook.

Monday, October 08, 2007

NHL picks

A little late, but here are my NHL Picks

East 1 Ottawa 2 Pittsburgh 3 Atlanta 4 NY Rangers 5 Philly 6 Buffalo 7 Toronto 8 NJ
West 1 San Jose 2 Detroit 3 Colorado 4 Anaheim 5 Van 6 Dallas 7 Minny 8 Chicago (had to be a homer).

Ott over NJ Tor over Pit Buf over Atl and NY over Philly
Ott over Tor and NYR over Buf
Ott over NYR

SJ over Chi Min over Det Dal over Col and Van over Ana (no repeat)
SJ over Min and Van over Dal
SJ over Van

Ott over San Jose and the Cup returns to Canada. It belongs in Canada or NY.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Simchat Torah

Well, as much as I tried to go elsewhere, I spent Simchat Torah in West Rogers Park. I had a decent time, enjoyed the dancing and the weather, though 85 degrees in October is a little much for me. In any event, it was nice and the hakafot were good, although next time I go to a certain synagogue, I should get there late because otherwise I will have to hold the Torah scroll for a while, and it's heavy.

Didn't see single guys around for some reason, perhaps we weren't at the same synagogues for whatever reason.

Eventually, I will make it to Skokie, which is the new "Lakeview" as I no longer will go there. Suffice it to say that their version of Modern Orthodoxy and mine are quite different.

Too bad shabat couldn't end at 9 pm last night. That Cub finale was a disaster. I haven't seen a team fold like that in the playoffs. I know that the Padres got swept by the Cards two years ago, but the Padres were an inferior team. The Cubs at least had some experience. It's too bad that MLB can't revoke their license for a year. I would revoke the Cubs and Pirates' licenses for a year as both teams are big losers and show no signs of winning. It would even the number of teams in the leagues, as the AL has fourteen and the NL would have fourteen. For all Cub fans or Chicagoans who would say, but we wouldn't have baseball, my response is simple: go to 35th and Shields and watch the White Sox, who won two years ago.

Hey the Northwestern Wildcats and Illini won football games yesterday so at least we have decent college football teams. Speaking of College football, I think Appy. State got upstaged, at least for a week. Stanford went into the LA Coliseum as a 41-point underdog, and beat USC, 24-23. Student Body Left and Heisman U took it on the chin last night. Guess Cal or Oregon could win the Pac-10, which is good news for Pac-10 fans outside of LA.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Top 6-7 ways you know you're in Rogers Park for Yom Tov

Here are the top 6-7 ways you know you're in West Rogers Park for the Yom Tov Season

1) Husbands make at least 2 emergency shopping trips to Jewel and do more male bonding at Jewel than at Shul.

2) You receive at least one or two Call and Post Messages from CCTC (Chicago Center for Torah and Chesed) reminding one to do Eruv Tavshilin.

3) The nice sight of young couples and kids at the parks on Sacramento between Touhy and Pratt (from the JCC to Chippewa Park).

4) You run into people that you haven't seen in months at a large Yom Tov meal.

5) All sports fans (this year Cubs fans) know where McKellins is and why it's important.

5a) You show your Lakeview friends where McKellins is and feel ashamed that we don't have more bars. He or she wishes they had more Synagogues.

6) A single guy must run into at least 2 former girlfriends either at shul or at someone's house.

7) Discussion of shul and neighborhood politics dominate the conversation and makes one wish for a good dvar torah or quiz.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

sports thoughts

1) Illinois' football team is bowl-bound, unless Juice Williams, their quarterback gets hurt.

2) The Bears will struggle to reach 8-8 or 9-7, which is where the wild card, or mild card bar is set.

3) A lot of national "experts" are on the Cubs bandwagon and think that they'll beat the Diamondbacks. I am sure that TBS wants them and Philly to win, or the ratings will stink.

4) I don't have much use for Chris Boden, the ESPN Radio and Fox Sports part-time host. He is such a small-town guy and he reminds me of one of the older guys I remember from Seattle like a Wayne Cody or Tony Ventrella.

5) Why do these sports networks hire tomboy sports reporters such as Pam Oliver, Jill Carlson and Jennifer Hammond? I don't get it. Makes no sense to me.

Bonnie Bernstein is a major upgrade over the above-listed women.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Rutgers U in the news + Chicago sports

Guess the I-Man isn't the only thing controversial about Rutgers University. Check this out.

Anyway, I read some stuff in the Chicago Papers praising the former owner of the Chicago Blackhawks as a good humanitarian and he helped build the United Center, etc. He may have done charitable worth, but as an owner, he didn't expand his fan base and the team has suffered for the last ten plus years. I happen to like the Ottawa Senators right now.

The Bears game yesterday was a poorly played and officiated game. In addition to giving up 34 points in the fourth quarter, the Bears committed a lot of mistakes and the officials took too long to review plays in the game. The game took over 3 and a half hours. That's a long time for a loss.

Wednesday night the Cubs post-season starts. Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!