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The Somewhat Litvshe Yid

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Going back and forth...

So, I'm a Chozer B'Tshuvah. (Not a Ba'al Tshuvah...I took a good dose of mussar from the bochen at YU, who when I mentioned I was a Ba'al Tshuvah, looked at me askance and said "Really? I'm still working on it.") Having grown up in America, in your standard middle class home, public schooling, non-Jewish friends, etc. I garnered a healthy appreciation for a very wide range of music. Everything from Classical (I lean towards 19th century Russian composers, much to my Rav's amusement, he seems to think Tschaikovsky is over rated and once explained to me the concept of Merkavah using Mozart as the example of what a Merkavah is, though he prefers Bach) to hardcore Punk and Metal (my cellphone ring was Metallica's Enter Sandman, but my wife gave me a look, so I changed it to Lynard Skynard's Sweet Home Alabama). I have days and days worth of it on my iPod (as well as lots of shiurim, since I'm not a complete sheigitz).
The thing is I wouldn't let my kids listen to any of it. So, on some level, I know it's not really the best thing for me to listen too. I just can't bring myself to listen to Chassidshe music. I mean, the occasional MBD or Avraham Fried song is palatable. I can deal with Matisyahu (even with all the Chabad lyrics), since he's playing real music, not over produced show tunes. But...when will I get a band like the Clash with Heimishe lyrics? It's also a simple question of range. There just simply aren't enough musically inclined Jews out there willing to write/perform songs with the type of lyrics I'd be happy exposing my kids too. How many frum music acts are there? Two-three hundred? I'm not talking about wedding bands who rehash other people’s music, I'm talking about people able to create their own sound. I don't care if it's in Hebrew, English, or even Yiddish. There will never be a serious frum Ska scene; there isn't enough talent and not a large enough audience.
So, I guess I'm going to have to either stick with what I've got and hope it doesn't affect me spiritually, or I'll have to give it up, which I've tried in the past. I was miserable. I've even tried to listen to only Classical. That worked for a couple weeks. Then I got very stressed out about something at work and from experience the only thing that would calm me down enough to be able to deal with the kids when I got home that night, was to find the hardest song with the heaviest beat and play it as loud as I could on the car ride home. Worked wonders.
So...that's my dilemma of the week. To rock out or not to rock out.
Now, pardon while I put on some U2 (which happens to be the last band I saw live in concert...but that's another story, one that got me quite the look from my Rav at YU).

Playing a Meme Game

Ok...so I've been meme'd.I have to sit here, on my lunch break, and come up with some silly lists, because if I don't Jameel is going to hock my chinik until I do. So...here goes.

7 Things I can do.
1. Fix a computer
2. Get a friend to exclaim I'm a better cook then his mother
3. Tie my own shoes
4. Get all of my kids laughing uncontrollably
5. Make my wife smile
6. Recognize any movie I've ever seen from a 2-5 second clip
7. Remember absolutely worthless things people tell me, even 10 years later, especially when they don't remember telling me

7 Things I can't do
1. Remember a page of Gemara word for word
2. Write code
3. Get my 2 year old to stay in bed
4. Stomach sweet breads (which is a problem, being that would be my wife's favorite dish)
5. Keep a pair of shoes in working order for more then a year (my eldest son has inherited this...)
6. Figure out why I am writing this
7. Wake up after 6 am.

7 Things I constantly say
1. Again
2. Indeed
3. Yo, dude.
4. There's no such thing as too early in the morning. There is no such thing as too much garlic. And, there's no such thing as too spicey
5. Ok, I'll get right on it
6. Mmm, you think so
7. Ah, the Enjoy A Milkbone In A Commie Free World Phase

7 Things I'd like to do in my lifetime
1. Learn a masechta by heart, GP"T
2. Build a shul
3. Write a book about the history of Chochmei Yerushalyim from the last 100 years
4. Make my wife happy
5. See my sons teaching Torah in a public forum
6. See my daughters married to men who are true Yirei Shamayim
7. Be a good Jew

Being as I don't know anyone else, who hasn't already been hit with this meme...Well...unless YH wants to put something in the comments.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Still Alive

I'm still alive. I apologize for not posting. I plan to rectify that after the Chagim. Or maybe after Yom HaKippurim. There are some other ideas brewing as well.
Watch this space!