87 posts categorized "Humor"

Just Be Real!

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It seems that humans aren't the only ones having identity issues these days. 

This little house cat self-identifies as a killer carnivore, one of the most dangerous predators in the world, the Bengal/Siberian/Malayan/Sumatran/I could list ten more types (of) Tiger. 

OMG did I just insult the cat by calling it little? Or a house cat? What if it thinks it's an outdoor cat or a stray cat? Could it sue me in court? Are these questions even allowed anymore?

So I was talking with a person I had paid to listen to me rant close friend about the whole fake issue. Okay, so she's a therapist. And she's one of my closest friends. You know, I'm starting to wonder if she really likes being around me, or she just finds me such a fascinating case study because I'm so not like other people here. 

It's funny that I said that because it happens to be a perfect lead-in to my point. 

Why so many people be so fake? I understand that some level of fakeness is good, like when you have to be cordial with someone that you secretly (or not so secretly) want to kill, tell off, kick off a cliff, or all of the above. It's great to learn to control your emotional urge to lash out at someone who upsets you. Racheli. Yeah, gurrl, I'm talking to you! 

Aside from proper etiquette, why is it so hard for people to be real with each other? Why is it always, "Baruch Hashem," when I ask people how they're doing? Like, I know that we're supposed to thank Hashem for everything, but where is it forbidden to say, "You know, my day really stinks. I overslept, the kid's not feeling well, and I'm up to my ears in dishes and laundry. Plus I ate a few too many carbs yesterday and now I'm all bloated and gross." 

Would it be so bad? Would someone stop being friends with you if you just told them how you felt about something?

What, exactly, would happen if you let your real feelings out? I mean, without insulting or hurting another person's feelings, of course!

But for some reason, we continue to act one way on the surface and another way behind closed doors. If you're like me, hopefully the windows are closed too, because if not, half the street can hear my kids' yelling and screaming.

But seriously, being spiritual and religious doesn't mean you have to deny your feelings and try to act as if you have no problems and no emotions. If you're worried that people won't accept you into their exclusive inner circle because you had the nerve to say you're having a bad day, or some issue is really bothering you, then you don't want those people as friends anyway.

So c'mon folks! You can do it! Who knows? Maybe you'll be an inspiration to others!

And while you're all busy getting all real'd up for me, don't forget to check out Rav Brody's shiur TONIGHT! Info is in the post below!

Have a great, rizzle-ed out day!

~Racheli


Yanny or Laurel?

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So I just found out about the latest internet insanity called "Yanny or Laurel." I ignored my friends' attempts to drag me into their immature nonsense because I'm like, sooo totally beyond that kinda stuff. 

Well. After two days of resisting their back and forth debates about utter stupidity, I couldn't take it anymore. I just had to find out what in the world they were talking about. 

And... I was right. It's utter stupidity. People! You should be ashamed of yourselves! This is what you're using your precious G-d given brain cells for? This is what you're wasting your limited time here on Earth with? 

But in all seriousness, tell me the truth...

Did you hear Yanny, or Laurel?

I just have to know! 

Oh, and what about the words mixed together? Which name did you see?

I saw both, and very easily. But I only heard Yanny. If you heard Laurel you need to get your ears cleaned out. 

Oh, and here's something important you should know! As embarrassing as it is, I'll proudly admit that I'm a HUGE Yanni fan. That means I not only know and play his music, but I also know how his name is spelled. 

It's Yanni. Not Yanny.

Now there very well could be a Yanny out there, but since I don't know him he doesn't really exist. 

Number two: there is a point to this post. 

It turns out that this great human experiment in time-wasting actually has a deep spiritual significance.

You see, you see what you want to see. You hear? You hear what you want to hear.

In other more coherent words, your reality is what you perceive it to be. 

Anything that you experience through your five senses, which is everything, is subject to your perception, your biases, your background, your morals (0r lack thereof,) etc. 

Therefore, each person's reality is completely different and unique. This has so many implications. And this is why we must always take into account another person's point of view, especially when we're having disagreements with each other. To that other person, they are right because that's the way they view the issue. Their reality is all they see, and sometimes it's very hard to get them to see beyond that.

Which is also why we should take things with a huge grain of salt when we hear others talking about things that we didn't personally experience. Again, their perception of whatever happened was real only to them. It does not mean it really happened the way they said it did.

Amazingly, this is why the Torah demands two kosher witnesses when a person is being accused of a wrongdoing.

Even more amazingly, I managed to turn a complete waste of time into something we can learn from. 

But honestly, doesn't it beat listening to the news?

Have a great day!

~Racheli

And don't forget to check out Rav Brody's weekly emuna talk below! 


Iguana Invaders

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Few things have made me so happy early in the morning like this picture. 

But really, the video was even more entertaining.

In case you snow-covered Northerners don't know what this is, it's an iguana. (I think.) Iguanas roam South Florida freely, as if they own the place. They can be strolling along the side of the road and give the Look of Death to a guy on his bike, and that poor guy will inexplicably fly right off and land in the bushes. I mean, hopefully. 

Yesterday, this not-so-little guy, affectionately known as Big Ig, decided to take a dip in my sister's pool. She was in the house when she spotted him catching some rays. Since Big Ig thought he owned the place, he demanded a lounge chair and a Strawberry Daiquiri. Seriously, what self-respecting iguana lays out without the appropriate sunbathing accessories? 

Naturally, my sister ran to record the whole drama. But what she didn't realize when she began screaming about the iguana jumping into the pool was how much I'd enjoy it. If she did, she never would have sent me the video.

Oh, how I laughed and laughed when she squealed in horror as she helplessly watched the iguana jump into the pool. 

How I snorted in hysterics when her husband finally caught Big Ig in the pool net and started heading toward her with it. 

I think I watched that video 24 times today. 

And I laughed every. Single. Time.

Big Ig taught me a profound spiritual lesson, and I'm just passing it along as per his request. 

He said to me, "You may look at me, laying out by this fancy pool, looking all glamorous with my long nails and shiny scales, but you don't see the whole picture. You don't see how much secret pain I carry around as I slither 'round the 'hood. You think it's cool that other people scream from fear and repulsion when they see me, but inside I'm sad because no one wants to be my friend. You may think that I roam the streets carefree, but you can't imagine the secret terror I carry with me because I can turn into roadkill in an instant."

"Wow, Big Ig," I responded. "I'm so ashamed that I misjudged you. I only saw what was on the outside and didn't think further than that."

"Well that's because you're superficial and self-centered," he replied. 

"And shallow," I added.

Isn't that kinda the same thing?

So you see, fellow self-centered people who love to judge others based on their glamorous selfies on Facebook: everyone's got problems. It reminds me of one couple a few years ago that kept posting pictures of their gorgeous family vacationing here and there. They looked like the perfect family with the perfect life. But just a few months later, all pictures with the husband were deleted, and she changed her status to "single." 

And I'd like to add that when someone gets upset, or seems to have a negative reaction that's way out of proportion than what would be appropriate, do your best to step back and give that person the benefit of the doubt. You really have no idea what secret painful situation he may be going through.

So before you start judging others or fantasizing about trading your life with someone else's, stop and ask yourself this one important question:

What would Big Ig do?

G-d I'm soooo happy my sister doesn't read this blog! 

~Racheli

 


A Pesach Miracle

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Awwwww, yeah....

Don't be hatin'. 

Are you jealous? A teensy bit?? 

T.G.I.S. 

Thank. G-d. I'm. Sephardi. 

Yeah, u be jealousssss. U know it.

Check out this corn pasta baked ziti thingy. It's a real live Pesach miracle. 

And for those Ashkenazim who think this is chametz, (leavened products forbidden on Pesach) go read up on what Rav Ovadia Yosef ztz"l wrote about it. Dat's right. 

So! How were your Seders? Mine was great, until David gave my kids these little one shekel squirt bottles that looked like cans of soda. The kids decided to actually fill them with soda and squirt each other with Coke until they got drenched and had to change their shirts formerly known as white. I was soooo mad, but I was too drunk to do anything about it. So I watched them run around like wild animals as I tried not to fall off of my chair because I was passing out from drunken tiredness.

That's the worst kind of tiredness. You can't really fight it, you know? 

I eventually confiscated the squirt bottles and stared at these little innocent-looking devils for a while until I noticed something that made me start laughing like a hysterical drunk. Like a hyena that drank 4 glasses of wine. I'm actually still laughing.

It turns out the names on the squirt bottles almost resemble the real soda names, but the company that made them obviously didn't want to pay licensing fees. Clearly they were made in China. Check it:

Spcite

Ftanta

Caca-Cola

I can't deal. I'm hysterical all over again. 

On another note, I'm suffering from major Pesach bloat. 

It's so frustrating, because on one hand, I don't want to eat matzah. But on the other hand I look forward to eating matzah brie, another serious no-no for Ashkenazim. I just looooove matzah brie! For those of you who don't know what it is, it's like an egg fritata with crumbled up matzah in it. And then I top it with sugar. 

SUGAR?? DID SHE JUST SAY SUGAR????

Mmmm, hmmm. 

Okay, so you want to hear about a real Pesach miracle? 

This is a story that David told me on Seder night, which he had heard from some rabbi that he can't remember who because he heard this story several years ago. Why did he wait all this time to tell me the story? The world may never know. (You remember that Tootsie Pop commercial? I loved it! Mr. Owl was so cute.)

Here goes: Once upon a time a woman passed away, leaving behind her husband and two children. The daughter, who was in her late teens, became more observant from the trauma of losing her mother, and the father went the opposite way. As the daughter's observance grew, she began keeping Shabbat and kosher and all that good stuff. The father told her he wanted nothing to do with it.

Eventually, Pesach came around and the father didn't want to have a Seder in his house. So the daughter convinced him to come with her to a family member's house. She somehow convinced him to drive them there and then leave the car so they could walk back to their house. 

As you can imagine, after drinking and eating beyond a normal stomach's capacity, plus the fact that it was already the middle of the night, the father complained all the way home. 

Suddenly, they passed by a house where the Seder was still going on. The daughter could see into the house through the big windows. What she saw brought tears to her eyes. A large family was sitting around a giant table loaded with food and delicacies, and everyone was singing and clearly happy to be enjoying this special night together.

"Hashem," she said to herself, her heart breaking. "This is all that I want." How she longed to be a part of such a beautiful scene. 

A few months later, she met a great guy from a religious family, and they married. 

Pesach comes along, and obviously she doesn't want to bring her new husband to her family's house, so he said they would go to his aunt's house for the Seder. 

That night, she walked in and quickly felt at home surrounded by his loving family, who welcomed her with so much joy and warmth. She enjoyed a long, leisurely Seder with her new husband and his family. 

At one point during the night, she looked around the dining room and felt some strange familiarity about it. She noticed the long dining room table, the singing, the togetherness.... Suddenly, her stomach dropped and she almost stopped breathing. 

She stood up and walked over to the window and looked outside...

In complete amazement, she realized that she was standing in the same exact house she had seen from the street last year, the very house she longed to be enjoying the Seder with. 

OOOOO.MMMMM.GGGGG.!!!!

Fo' serious????

Is this not one of the best stories ever??!!

It just shows how much Hashem is listening to our prayers. Never stop asking Him for what you want! And if you get it, don't forget Who gave it to you!!

Wishing you a wonderful Chol Hamoed and happy 7th Day of Pesach!

Oh, by the way, I think tonight is actually the anniversary of my first date with David! I've got to double check on that, then remind him as if I had known it the whole time. Then I'll lay on the guilt like nobody's business. 

I remember our first date so clearly (which is funny because I can't remember what happened five minutes ago.) Our mutual friends had pressured me to go out with him, so to shut them up I agreed. We went out to a non-kosher sushi restaurant, but in honor of Pesach I ordered the kani-su roll. You know, the roll that's wrapped in cucumber instead of rice. 

The irony... hilarious! Who would've thought that I would be enjoying rice on Pesach as a Torah-observant Jew living in Israel 15 years (YIKES!) later?? 

Happy Pesach, y'all!!

~Racheli

 


Food Shopping for Freedom

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How unrealistic does this picture look? Seriously, who skips through the grocery store? And there's way too much healthy food in that tiny little cart. Just look at that guy's forced smile. He's probably thinking, "I have no idea what half of this stuff is!" Sure he doesn't. He only knows what his wife puts on his plate, all nice and cut up. 

I've lived here for 6 1/2 years B"H, and I still can't get over the fact that my Nachman is screaming siren noises into the megaphone he's holding two feet away from my ears. Sorry, I got distracted. Why did I buy him that megaphone? Oh, right! I didn't. That was courtesy of my darling husband who's not home most of the time. How thoughtful of him! Tomorrow morning I'm going to use it to wake him up. 

Let's backtrack a bit. What I meant to say was that I still can't get over the end-of-the-world style food shopping people do before every holiday. 

I mean, I do it too. Don't get me wrong. But I don't know why! Just a few days ago I went food shopping, and literally half my cart ended up getting filled with Pesach cakes, cookies, and ketchup. (You like how I just wrote that in such a passive way? As if I had nothing to do with actually putting the "food" into the cart.) 

I tell you, the stores are chaos here. People are pushing past each other, trying to reach the last box of chocolate covered hard-as-a-rock potato cookies. Non-gebroktz, yo. Okay, so I happened to be the one trying to use an old lady's shoulder as a step-stool. I mean, what was I supposed to do? She was just the right height. But then I lost my balance because I put my hand on her head to balance myself, and her wig went flying off. And then I fell. 

Believe me, I learned my lesson. Next time I'll find someone with a nicely secured hair wrap to help me reach the top shelf. 

So how crazy is the food shopping by you? As if that weren't enough, on my street every year there's a huge market-type thing where people pre-order their stuff, then drive through with their cars while hot sweaty kids performing slave labor for less than minimum wage pant volunteer in the 100+ degree heat as they load the boxes of zucchini and plastic plates into the trunks of the cars as they breathe in the toxic exhaust because no one's turning off their engines. Two of my kids are out there right now, in fact. I gave them the choice of melting in the hot sun carrying heavy boxes or straightening up their rooms. Wise decision. 

I ordered from this organization one year because everything is cheaper than the stores, and I ended up with enough zucchini, onions, and lemons to last for three months. They all rotted after a week, and that was that. Money wasted in an attempt to save money. 

So there's a lesson that can be painfully extracted from this. 

When Hashem gave the Jews manna, the perfect food from Heaven, He gave them enough to last for one day. That was so they would learn to trust that He would take care of them. Because apparently a magnificent freedom from slavery wasn't enough to convince them that Hashem had their backs. Wait. We're like, ummm, what's 2018 AD-1446 BCE? A lot.  We're several thousands of years after the Exodus from Egypt and we still don't believe Hashem has our backs.

Maybe that's why we have to re-enact the Pesach seder every year? Hmmm. Maybe that's why we have to try to pass the test of not buying too much food? H to the mmmmm....

But you know, Jews and food. It's a soulmate union. 

Hey, I just thought of a joke! You know why Yom Kippur is traditionally thought of as the saddest day of the year, even though it should be the happiest day of the year because Hashem forgives all of our sins between us and Him?

It's because we can't eat! 

On that note, I'd like to try and be serious for a second. Every year Rav Arush collects for hundreds of needy families that really have nothing for Pesach. They can barely put together enough money to buy matzah. The situation is really that desperate. Know that by donating to these types of families, you will have a share in every mitzvah they do, every blessing they say, every ounce of joy they have during the holiday. It will be in your merit. For a few dollars, you've just gained blessings for eternity. 

I would say that's a wise investment. Wouldn't you? 

You can make your donation to Rav Arush's Emuna Outreach's Kimcha D'Pischa Fund by clicking here. Every single dollar goes directly to those families who need it and who have no one to turn to. 

May Hashem bless all of you with a happy, healthy, and meaningful Pesach surrounded by people you actually like to be with! And in the merit of helping the less fortunate and being a part of Breslev Israel's efforts to spread emuna throughout the world, may we experience the Final Redemption and the coming of our Mashiach and the rebuilding of our Holy Temple, Amen!!! 

~Racheli

 


I Got Grillz!

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Can I get a "Awwww, yeahhhh!!"

After nearly SEVEN YEARS, I finally have a barbecue again! A BBQ! Check it - 48,000 BTU's in the house! I have no idea what BTU's are, but they sound pretty important. And I have 48,000 of them!

Like a fool I gave away my awesome BBQ grill when we made aliyah. I have absolutely no idea why. Could it be that:

a. I thought that I would never grill again. Ever.

b. I didn't think they sold propane tanks in Israel.

c. I was pregnant and packing the entire house all summer long while David was traveling around on his Breslev Israel honeymoon for nearly a month. Thus, I was not of sound mind. 

Well, can you imagine how disappointed I was to find out that:

a. People actually grill in Israel. Not only do they grill, but they grilllllll. They call it "Al Ha-esh" (on the fire) and it's a national past time. Israelis and Americans should have a grill-off. I really wonder who will win.

b. You can't just go anywhere and pick up a barbecue. There ain't no Home Depot on this side of the At-lantic. In fact, I vaguely recall seeing one store that carries it, and it's only in the summer and it's super crazy expensive. 

c. My best friend and fellow Breslev Israel writer and sixth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, Master Sunny Levi, who just gave birth to a delicious little baby boy last week, is NOT flying me out for the bris tomorrow. 

I tried to compromise by offering to have her buy me a Business Class ticket, but she gracefully declined. Then I offered Economy Plus, but the answer was a firm "no." Then I offered to take the last row, but she had stopped answering my What'sApp's by then. 

In any case, on behalf of myself, Rav Brody, and the entire family at Breslev Israel, I'd like to wish her a BIG Mazal Tov on making yet another cute baby! NOW GET BACK TO WORK, WOMAN!!

Speaking of work, I'm about to spend the better half of my afternoon building this overpriced, cheap Char Broil imitation grill with my kids. Yippee. Can't wait. 

But we're all super excited because since we've been in Israel we've only:

a. grilled on my grill pan, which is great if you love melting Teflon into your food every time you cook

b. used a cheap throwaway grill that's only meant for hot dogs or anything you can grill in five minutes or less

c. ordered Chinese food whenever I didn't feel like cooking 

YEAH, RIGHT!!! 

Oh, and the best part about getting this grill? 

I took all of the kids with me last night to get it! Nothing calms my nerves more than a bunch of fighting, tired, and hungry kids who love to complain about why I'm dragging them everywhere, even though they would complain if I had left them home and gone by myself. You know those types of kids? 

And how did I think I was going to get this monstrosity of a box into my car? Logistics ain't my bag, baby.

What choice did I have? There were only two left and I didn't want to risk waiting until David would have time to come with me. 

So this whole experience reinforced the lesson that we must appreciate every little thing! 

Nothing should be taken for granted! Not barbecues, drive-thru car washes, all-you-can-eat buffets, and especially not Target, Walmart, and Costco. 

Oh, and Amazon. Seriously, who cares that they're taking over the world? They've got Prime shipping!!

And that's what counts. 

Have a great day!

~Racheli