Posts Tagged ‘Shul’

Survival Guide to the Three-Day Yom Tov

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As most of us are dreading the upcoming “three-day” chag, we here at Newsy Jewsy came up with a few tips to help you survive it – and actually make it through feeling great!

Here are our tips:

  • Memorize all your status updates as they occur, so you can post them immediately after Yom Tov. (You know, at the pizza shop.) The best way to memorize them is to recite each 100 times as you walk to and from shul. The correct response to “Good Yutif/Good Shabbos” is simply a smile.
  • Always walk around with a sefer. If you’re single, your shidduch chances go up exponentially. If not, at least you’ll have an excuse to duck when Aunt Shelly starts yapping about this or that.Three Day Yom Tov
  • The moment Hallel goes over 2.38 minutes, just slap your forehead with your palm, and run out of shul like you forgot something. If you want to come back in, just bring that handy sefer. Works every time.
  • Bring ear plugs to shul in case the rabbi’s drasha is too loud.
  • At the start of mussaf, remember to bang on the nearest hard surface so everyone knows you remembered it was Yom Tov.
  • Remember the halacha – If there is no cholent at Kiddush, skip it, there’s plenty of food at home. If there is cholent, but no MEAT in it, skip it. If there is no cholent, but there is potato kugel, some say skip it, others are meikil and permit it.
  • Forget the shower. When things get tough, make this yeshiva-style ready-mix in just five minutes: Stir 2 parts deodorant, 2 parts air freshener, and 1 part Shout. Spray ready-mix on clothes, toilets, or the person’s seat next to you as necessary. It’s all good.
  • Always nap like it’s Shabbos. Even if it’s Thursday.
  • Bolt out before havdallah and find the nearest pizza shop. Give us your status updates: Did you survive your Three-Day Yom Tov??

Chag Sameach everyone!

Special thanks to Marissa for this post idea.
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Top Ten Ways You Know You’re a Jewish Graphic Designer

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(In the spirit of Adar and joyfulness, this is for my friends in design….)

10. You’re filled with dread at the thought of designing for yet another annual dinner.
9. You search for “jewish” in all the stock photo sites.
8. You spend most of davening trying to figure out why the bima is 46 pixels off-center.
7. You can’t stand that Yiddish-looking English font from the Lower East Side.
6. Come summer, and you’re still wondering if your client spelled “Chanukah” right.
5. Your clients have to get back to you tomorrow because they need to talk to their Israel office.
4. You’re grossed out by the Jewish Press.
3. On Fridays you add “good shabbos” to your emails.
2. It’s really weird, but your clients all know each other.

And the number one way you know you’re a Jewish graphic designer….

1. Your shul has already asked you for free work. And um, you’ve said yes.

Are you a designer? Anything to add?

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Is Ashkenazic Hebrew Obsolete?

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The yeshiva day school movement has long embraced the idea of teaching modern Hebrew. Most of these schools are pretty tzioni: they celebrate Yom Haatzmaut, they march in the Israeli day parade, their seniors take a trip to Israel, and their graduates spend a year in Israel. In such schools, teaching modern Hebrew has always made sense.

However, it appears that, in recent years, there is a growing interest in modern Hebrew among even more “right-wing” elements in our community. After all, this is the language spoken in “Eretz Yisroel,” and many graduates will go on to seminary or yeshiva in Yerushalayim.

Furthermore, as Yiddish seems to wane among Ashkenazic Jews, Hebrew is becoming a universal Jewish language.

In addition, we are seeing increasing numbers of modern Hebrew speakers in the U.S. It is not uncommon for Israelis of all stripes and hats to live in our communities and join us in our shuls. Hebrew-speaking Sephardim, Chasidim, baalei teshuva, Europeans, Russians, “chilonim,” and yeshivish people comfortably glide between Jewish communities in Israel and the U.S. In addition, some of our more tzioni friends have opted to speak Hebrew to their children in the home, either to teach the language, or in anticipation of making aliyah. Almost all Orthodox Jews have been to Israel at one point or another, many for extended stays.

As a result of all this, it is quite possible that Ashkenazic Hebrew, the way our European grandparents may have learned it, it going out of fashion. Yes, frummer schools may still teach it as “the davening accent” but, as anyone who ever went to Israel knows, that’s not exactly how we speak Hebrew these days.

Our local day school has a very long tradition, and has always taught an Ashkenazic accent in Hebrew. At some point in the later grades, students would figure out that there are different accents and that modern Hebrew is actually very different. In the last few years, however, the school (thankfully) realized their Hebrew language program was weak. Their students were just not as fluent as those in other schools. As a result, they instituted new programs, aimed at teaching Ivrit B’Ivrit, at least part of the time.

This is a good thing. However, there is something very funny about this new arrangement. Most of the week, they learn Hebrew with their main teacher, a product of yeshivish culture. Then, for certain periods during the week, they are visited by an Israeli teacher who does Hebrew activities with them and refuses to speak any English.

In their studies, they learn of “Chet,” and “Tet,” but when they get to the end of the alphabet, there is also apparently something called “Suf.” Of course, if there is a “Suf,” then really, it should be “Ches” and “Tes.” …A little bit of a contradiction here? To confuse the matter even more, they learn about Kamatz, and how it is pronounced differently from Patach. Oh, and the Israeli teacher says “Chet” differently from “Chof” and “Ayin” differently from “Aleph.”

Are we confusing the kids? At first I thought so. But now I think not. They’ll learn soon enough how Hebrew is actually spoken these days. And does it matter to anyone how they daven when they grow up? Not where I live. So let the schools confuse them. For better or for worse, it won’t be long before those funny accents from “the old country” become obsolete. Will I mourn the loss of a tradition? Some might, but I probably won’t. I myself learned Ivrit B’Ivrit.

Do you agree that modern Hebrew is taking over? Will you mourn the loss of Ashkenazic Hebrew?  

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