Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy (Goishe) New Year!

Alright, so alot has happened since I last blogged. My cousin got married and it was an absolutely stunning wedding. It was beautiful, but not gaudy. It was leibedich, and not cold. The feeling of love just raced throughout the entire hall.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
I already mentioned in a previous post of mine that I am extremely close with my cousin. So on November 27, 2005, I arrived at the wedding hall with my parents at 11:00 AM for picture taking. The hustle and bustle was incredible, there were cousins darting in and out of various rooms, and there were two teams of photographers trying to capture the chosson and kallah seperately and simultaneously in seperate rooms. My cousin looked terrific, dashing in his new suit and contact lenses and the kallah, my cousin-to-be was stunning in her golden ringlets of hair and her white gown. Both were positively bouncing with delight. I assure you, it was ADOWABLE!!! =D
My cousin is extremely bad at smiling on demand, despite being in complete pre-wedded bliss, so I, as a faithful, loving cousin offered to make faces at him to get him to smile. His sisters were trying and not succeeding, so I readied myself to crack a few silly facial distortions.
Suddenly, a guy with a video camera appears. I absolutly detest being videotaped, so I quickly duck behind my cousin's sisters. To my utter dismay, my female cousins yelled out to the camera guy "Follow her! Get her on film!" and I ran for it. The camera guy said "Just for that, I'm filming you for the entire wedding, sweetheart." and my dear beloved cousin, the chosson, previously stony faced burst into hysterical laughter and clickity-click, I got the chosson to smile in his wedding pictures.
Anyway, so after what felt like an extremely long wait, and after a few more escapades with the camera guy, the official wedding started and guests started arriving for the shmorgesbord. After that, time passed at a ridiculously fast pace. My cousin was upstairs at his tisch, the kallah was seated in her white chair, and everything was great. The music for the badekken started and my cousin was escorted in by a sea of black suits and hats, washing him up to right in front of his kallah. He took a picture of her with his cellular phone (typical of this cousin!) and he lowered her veil. But, he didnt want to move after that, so he was literally dragged back from her by the crowd and shown the way to his own chuppah.
We women followed and the room filled up quickly. I was seated with my 16 year old cousins' cousin, who had the original idea to set my cousin up with his kallah, and we promised ourselves that we wouldn't cry. Turned out to be an empty promise. It was a happy day for my cousin, but quite a disasterous one for my mascara.
The chuppah began, and my cousin was led to the chuppah by his parents, all the time smiling and making odd hand motions similar to those of a priest blessing the congregation. As his kallah was led down the aisle, my cousin kept on catching my eye, winking and smiling and ignoring my attempts to mouth "Be serious! It's your chuppah!"
His kallah arrived and circled my cousin, all the while appropriately saying Tehillim. My cousin kept looking over her head at me (quite the easy feat, as she's 5"2 to his 5"10) and grinning like an absolute idiot. My 16 year old cousins' cousin and I exchanged glances and eyerolls as the ceremony continued.
The rest seemed to drag, but them, BAM! Harei at mikudeshet li, the ring is given, the glass is broken and Mazal Tov, my cousin is married! Like, with a wife and stuff!
As they rushed down the aisle to the Yichud room, I quickly snatched a tissue from a family friend's hand and dabbed at my streaming mascara, trying extremely hard to save myself from looking like a racoon.
We all went to the main hall for the meal and settled down. It still hadn't hit me that my cousin was married, but the food looked really good, so these thoughts quickly flew from my mind as we all settled down to eat.
About an hour later, the music started getting faster and my cousin prepared to make his grand entrance with his new wife. Though I still tease him about this, his lateness wasn't due to his determination to stay in the Yichud room with his wife a bit longer, but there was in reality a hold-up with the photographers for the chosson/kallah pictures. Though, I must say, it was pretty funny to see his reaction when I pointed out to him that despite his denial, the fact remained that his kallah was not wearing lipstick, which I was certain she was wearing right after the chuppah.
They came in, we danced like crazy, the girls pulled shtick, the guys pulled even more shtick AND crazy dancing as we all joined together in the simcha of my cousins wedding.
The rest was history, passing in a blur of really excellent food and dancing, and we left in a daze of dizzy happiness, after bidding the chosson and kallah good night ("wink wink" on my part) and we headed home.
The next night, my family hosted sheva brachot and a once in a lifetime event occured: The chosson and kallah were half an hour early to their own sheva brachot! The first one at that! Actually, the first guests who arrived were a car full of yeshiva bochurim from my cousins place of learning, and me, being the only single female present at the time, muttered to my cousins wife "Well, THIS isn't awkward at all!" who laughed.
The sheva brachot was like the wedding all over again. My father said a hillarious d'var torah, which everyone seemed to enjoy. We ate, we danced (how Jewish of us) and that was when it finally hit me: I have a new cousin. My cousin is married. Woah.
So Mazal Tov to them, I wish them much hatzlocha u'bracha and though they aren't officially chosson and kallah anymore, they should be zoche to build a bayit ne'eman b'yisroel.
Though I'd love to end my blog in such a nice, frum and mature manner, I must add another point. On my father's blog, he was nominated for the Jewish and Israeli Blog Award's in a few catagories, one of which is Best Designed Blog. And guess who designed Elder of Ziyon??!!?!?! I DID! I DID!!! SQUEEE!!!! *cartwheels*
Thank you Soccerdad for nominating us. I truly appreciate the recognition of my design skills and I am extremely flattered at your generous nomination. Oh yeah, and you like, so totally rock my tznius knee socks.
Happy New Year's everyone!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

So much for not being negligent.

Alrighty, well, it's been a few months since I last blogged, yet again. School is back in full swing so that has taken up alot of my time and desire to blog.
Here are a few updates:
The Rebbetzin has been actually extremely good lately. We're getting along quite well and she's much less intimidating than she was in previous years. This year she teaches Tehillim (Psalms) instead of Machshava (How to think according to her) so there is less for me to disagree about. I think I've also gotten better at accepting that she is entitled to her own opinions-and I to mine. So deal with it bwuahaha.
This past Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan I was asked to (Read: guilted into) prepare and give a speech on the month. As much of a loudmouth as I come across as online, in reality I'm not. My teacher asked me to speak and I was forced to say yes, even though I can't speak. I freeze up, shake and stutter my words out, babbling like an idiot. I don't even speak coherently in classroom discussions!
However, I found and wrote up a speech (with the help of my father) and I prepared myself to give it.
My prinicpal called my name and I walked up the aisle of the school library, with 200 pairs of eyes staring at me. I arrived at the podium and I had to grab onto the sides to stop my body and voice from shaking too obviously, but I said it and said it without screwing up!
Finally finished, I walked back to my seat, flaming red but relieved at being finished. The cool thing is, my principal wrote a letter home to my parents saying how well I spoke and how much she enjoyed it! That's definitely increased my opinion of her!
But as far as speaking goes....never again.
Anyway, an update about my cousin's engagement: HE'S GETTING MARRIED THIS SUNDAY!
I'm extremely excited about it. I wrote in my previous entry how much this means to me, and it hasn't faded since I wrote it. He's just so happy and he literally gets this glow in his eyes when he talks about his Kallah. It's adorable and I'm so incredibly happy for him! Mazal tov!
Anyway, I would promise to update more often....but it ain't gonna happen so I'll see you in 3 months!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Whoops....

I guess I am getting into the habit of blogging bi-monthly. Or tri-monthly, considering that the last post was from May 31 and was more of a meaningless rant that anything substancial.
Anyways, first and foremost I'd like to wish a mazal tov to my cousin who has just gotten engaged. He is like a mix of my best friend and brother so I am exceptionally happy for him.
I honestly don't think that I have ever been this happy. I mean, sure I've been happy in my lifetime but this is the first time I ever felt truly and completely happy, not because of personal benifit or accomplishment, but because I am entirely happy for someone else and I gain nothing by being happy, except the knowledge that my being happy increases his happiness. It is a totally different feeling of happiness.
This is what I thin the word "simcha" really means. You can't say that you are "b'simcha" when you get a 100% on a test, or when you get something new. Being happy for someone else is the only time the word "simcha" can be used.
"Simcha" is of course only used on joyous occasions such as weddings, bar/bat mitzvas and births. Now all you readers are probably thing "Well, duuuh.", but now for the first time I fully understand the meaning of "simcha". I was too young to comprehend simcha when my little brother was born over 13 years go, and even when my youngest cousin was born, I was only 8 and had yet to develop such a closeness to this family of cousins. But now that I have an understanding of what it really means to be b'simcha, I am all the more happier. Of course I am happy when someone I know distantly gets engaged or has a baby, but without the emotional attachment and feeling of love, its much harder to be happy for a person you aren't close with.
I think that it is easier to share in each others pain than it is to share in each others happiness. This isn't a bad thing, Im just thinking about it as I type. Recently, we had a tragedy in our community when a 18 year old boy died from a brain tumor. The whole community was impacted and every single person not only felt the tragedy, but did everything they could to help the family, to provide support for this boys friends, and to help the community grow closer together because they were all affected by this unfortunate event.
It really is amazing when you look at the feelings that Jews have for their fellow Jews. I was as impacted as the next person, even though I didn't know the boy personally, I knew him and recognized him from shul. Even people who had never heard of this family before were impacted.
But I don't understand why people don't come together as much for a simcha as they do for a tzara. They are both powerful feelings, opposite sides of the emotional spectrum. But somehow, the sadness always overpowers the happiness. If a sad event causes someone to become a better person, that is a good thing, but if someone becomes a better person because of a happy event, it would be greater. I just think that everyone takes the happy events for granted so it doesnt feel as powerful as it should, and then when a sad event (chas v'shalom!) comes along, only then is when people use their emotions to become a better person.
Simchas nowadays have become something of "social obligations" than true simchas. I believe my father posted about this on his blog when we had my brothers bar mitzva, which Baruch Hashem was much more than a social obligation, it was a social simcha success!
I really think that if people put aside this notion that "Oy, its another bar mitzva we have to attend" and instead think along the lines of "Mazal Tov! I can't believe he's 13 already! I'm so excited for you!" then people will be able to grow from a feeling of simcha just the same amount as they can grow from a feeling of sadness, without chas v'shalom having to feel sadness in order to grow.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Why, why why WHY does she hate me??!!

Gah, I am so fed up of my principal. She is a great lady, smart, extremely frum, but the Rebbetzin is so. Freaking. Closed. Minded.
I'm sorry, I mean no disrespect. I respect and admire her, but I just don't agree with her on many many counts.
We always get into arguments in her Machshava (Jewish thought, a.k.a Jewish life according to her) and I am always respectful in our arguements, I hear her out and I respect her opinions. However, she does not respect my opinions, she interrupts me, doesn't allow me to finish my sentence and avoids answering my question.
For example: Last week we got into a discussion regarding Shomer Einayim V'Aznayim (Guarding the eyes and the ears). My school does tell us a lot not to listen to non-Jewish music and to not watch TV, be careful what we read, etc. because it affects the way that we think and do mitzvos. I understand that viewpoint, even though I do not hold that strictly. The Rebbetzin said that the way we should guard ourselves against this outside force is to live in a bubble, a completely closed environment because then we will never have a "first taste" of something "bad" so we will never desire to do it.
I disagreed and said that everyone should be made aware of the dangers of these things but also be made aware WHY they are a bad influence. That way, people will understand why they shouldn't do something and they will come to realize on their own whether they wish to hold that sensitivity or not and how strict. Also, that removes the "forbidden fruit" temptation that leads many teenagers off the derech today. They will see for themselves what is out there and know why they shouldn't do certain things, rather then just being constantly told "no" without explaination.
The Reb and I argued back and forth for a bit, and I was respectful, but as I brought several points to support my position, she only brought her one point and refused to listen to my point, while avoiding my entire question of the risk of the temptation. I don't see how she can claim to have an open discussion environment in her class while refusing to listen to students unless they fully agree with her.
Besides that, the way that she looks at me, acts towards me and talks to me makes me feel like she is judging me extra carefully, either because of my community (I am the only one from my comunity who attends this school) or because of my opinions. Maybe she is afraid that my opposing opinions will be a danger to other students she wants to keep in a bubble (which she tries and fails to do). But I don't get it. Why spend her time judging me on my opinions when there are girls who don't understand why certain things are wrong are going off and doing these things.
Whoops, bell. I'll continue later. But....gaaaaah, I don't get her!!!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Stupid oblivious girls.

Alright, so I am a neglegent blogger, not that anyone reads this anyway. It's been 2 months. I am back, with hopefully more updates as I have a lot to say. Or I will, as soon as I unclog my head from useless information that I will have to aquire for finals that start next week.
Anyway, so yesterday my class went on a Chesed Trip to Otsar, an organization that helps mentally disabled adults. We made pillowcases with them that are going to be donated to the childrens ward of a nearby hospital. So, we did a chesed within a chesed, and that makes me feel really good. I am also especially interested in psychology and mental disabilities so that was a learning experience for me as well. These people are much more aware of their surroundings than we people who, Baruch Hashem, have fully functioning bodies, actually think.
We arrived, and all of the members of Otsar were sitting down, and doing activities that are suitable for maybe a first grade level. Some of them were crying out in joy, while others were rocking back and forth, but all of them smiled when we arrived. (That's not the part that bothers me.)
The thing that bothers me to no end about this trip though, is that the girls in my class are so clueless when it comes to mentally disabled people. When some girls in my class see someone who is not as fortunate as them to have a fully functioning body, the girls see these people and they go "Oh, they are so cute!" as coo over them as if they are babies. These people are NOT babies. These people have complex feelings, they are aware of whats going on, some more than others. But the way that these girls see these special people are as if they are animals, or primitive beings that they are there to help do primitive activities. This absolutely disgusts me. These people with these special problems are still PEOPLE. They are not empty, oblivious things. But they just require a different way of communication. I really wish that these girls would be a little less tactless and a little less STUPID when it comes to mentally disabled people.
Yeah okay, rant over. Phew.
ANYWAY.
After that, we went to pizza and we saw a video from Zaka, the organization that not only saves countless lives, but also collects every bit of human flesh and every drop of human blood and gives it a proper burial. We then were spoken to by one of the founders, Rabbi Uri, the man who came up with the brilliant idea of making motorcycle medical units. It was absolutely amazing and inspiring.
So yeah, there is my update. A bit more substantial than my school production, no?
Anyway, I am off to do something a bit more productive and study or something. Next class starts at 10:34. Machshava. Eww.
Toodles.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Bahahaha!

My school's production went okay I guess. Both nights of it. Well, the first night was awful because we had technical crew issues, we didn't end up running through the play once, so the actual performance was really our dress rehearsal. But the audience seemed to enjoy it even though everything possible went wrong. My guitar was totally out of tune, the wrong music played for one of the dances, we almost skipped a whole scene and the fog machine obstructed the view of a vital scene of the play. The second night, though on a different stage, with different issues, went much better. My guitar was perfectly tuned and I only screwed up once. My screw up wasn't even much of a screw up, it was a hesitation. Many apologies for the run-on sentances, but I'm very relieved that it is over.
In other news, I absolutely LOVE Purim. It is my favorite time of the year. It almost always falls out in March, near my birthday, it's a happy time, it's a chance for me to dress up and go crazy with my friends (in a wholesome Jewish way of course =P) and it's just all around an awesome holiday. Last year my costume was a bit more outlandish than I usually wear, but this year I'm much more subtle. Last year I wore a red, curly, long wig, and oversized I LOVE NY tshirt and took random photographs of everyone because I was a Cheesy NY Tourist. This year, I'm a vampire. =D And I'm proud of it. I am planning on making an awesome costume, but Elder refuses to take me to the art store to let me buy some black ribbon for my outfit. But it's okay, WHO NEEDS BLACK RIBBON WHEN YOU HAVE SAFETY PINS??!!!!!!
Speaking of which, Elder and I are on our way out to buy food for Mesholach Manos. He is currently looking over my shoulder and making fun of my typo's. Obvosilie hee deosnit tihnk i no hwo 2 speel good.
Have an easy fast everyone!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Like father like daughter...

Well, here I am with a blog. I'm not sure what I'll use it for, or if I'll even use it, but hey-it's fun to say that I have a blog, eh?
Well first of all, allow me to introduce myself. I am Daughter of Ziyon, real, biological daughter of Elder of Ziyon. I reside in a house somewhere in this world, and I attend a frum school somewhere else in this world. The nickname came just because that is how my father refers to me on his website wanderings so I decided to adopt it.
Anyways, I'd love to stay and write more but I am in a hurry to be somewhere else and I have to eat breakfast.
Have a great Purim everyone!!!!!! :)