Thursday, July 31, 2014

Where is the Outrage?

Where is the outrage?
Martin Bodek

Where is the outrage against Hamas for beating civilians for refusing orders to stand on rooftops which Israel will bomb in response to rockets fired from that location?

Where is the outrage against Hamas for firing upon the field hospital that Israel set up to treat the Palestinian wounded and for firing at the power stations that feed Gaza?

Where is the outrage against Hamas for violating every single ceasefire that has been called for, and adhered to by Israel, by various different organizations?

Where is the outrage against Hamas for the “digicide” they’ve committed against 160 of its own slave-labored tunneling children?

Where is the outrage against the mainstream media for only covering the Palestinian suffering, while ignoring the absolute terror for Israelis when rockets fly overhead, forcing millions into bomb shelters for protection?

Where is the outrage against the mainstream media for getting sucked right into the Pallywood (google that, right away) phenomenon weeks after items they air have been debunked (the man in the green shirt is alive! He’s alive!).

Where is the outrage against the mainstream media for sending up one know-nothing must-get-the-last-word-in “We’re short on time” anchor after another to blast the reasoned statements of Israeli representatives and spokesepersons while giving Hamas a free pass?

Where is the outrage against the mainstream media for its complete misuse, ignorance, usurpation, and dilution of the phrases “disproportionate,” “genocide,” “apartheid,” and “Hitler”?

Where is the outrage against the UN for returning rockets to Hamas?

Where is the outrage against the UN, period, for focusing all their energies on Israel while the rest of the world burns down around them, and millions die while they fiddle?

Where is the outrage against the Gazan .01% for funneling every one of the millions of dollars, generously given by various countries, to fund Qatar vacations for themselves, while the 99.99% suffer immensely due to lack of…everything.

Where is the outrage from the Gazan population itself against Hamas, for using these millions of dollars to dig tunnels into Israel and Egypt instead of building anything else, anything at all?

Where is the outrage from the world against these tunnels?

Where is the outrage against Hamas’ charter – its actual constitution – that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel?

Where is the outrage for the brave and awesome Hillel Neuer, who has the esteemed privilege of being the sole NGO who is ever interrupted when making UN security council statements?

Where is the outrage against the liar and prevaricator, Diana Buttu (Mr. Neuer’s constantly-foiled foil). She improvises easily-refuted acrimonious garbage on air to see what sticks. She actually accused Israel of being anti-women and anti-gay. Neuer could only respond with utter bemusement. Why is a nonsense-spouting hack like this given any airtime whatsoever?

Where is the outrage against the blatantly false, and repeatedly debunked, death numbers coming out of Gaza? Most are not civilians, because Hamas labels everyone inside of Gaza as a civilian. Teenagers are being listed as children, even the ones who are actively firing rockets into Israel. Various lists have shown up with repeated names! The Death Count is like the stock market: an upward-trending random number generator.

Where is the outrage against Kristallmonat, happening right now in France and across Europe?

Where is the outrage?

Where is it?


What the dithering world does not understand or acknowledge - while it supports the hate-spewing BDS movement, lambasts Israel, and idles while countryfuls of innocents are being slaughtered (tip of the iceberg in this century: 5.5 million murdered in the Congo, 400,000 in Darfur, 170,000 in Syria) - is that the Jews are now, as always, simply the canary in the coalmine. The rampaging barbarian hordes come for us first; they come for you next (Third Reich, anyone? The Crusades?). Israel is merely practice. When Jews say “Never again!,” we mean it, but when Muslim clerics say “The flag of Islam will one day fly over the White House,” they mean it too.

By then, any outrage would be too late.

The last part of the famous quotation from Martin Niemöller comes to mind:

“Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Martin’s books can be found on and

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Scrabble MIni-Tourney Report

Game 1: W 405-271, bingo: UNITIES. Started great. All downhill from there.
Game 2: L 313-554, bingo: DECAYING. Opponent had 4 bingos, 2 of which were phony, but I was too scared to challenge. Grrr.
Game 3: L 343-363, bingo: SAFARIS. Challenged phonies this time, kept it close, lost on penultimate move.
Game 4: L 362-384, bingo: HOSTILER (Phony! Ha! Take that!), kept this close too, got compliments for game play.
Summary: Lots of rust, hard to focus while fasting, realized why I don't play well at tourneys: scared to challenge, must be aggressive. I already have the tight game mastered (and have won awards for it!), I love the type B crowd. I think 3 people checked their smartphones once or twice. I'll be back.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

To Errand is Human: My Sheva Brachos Speech for Jeremy and Jess

To Errand is Human: My Sheva Brachos Speech for Jeremy and Jess Israel, on this, the 1st of July, in the year 2014 of our Lord, in the name of the Kingdom of England, with permission from His Royal  Highness, The Duke of Cambridge, Prince George Alexander Louis I, of the House of Windsor.
Martin (Mordechi) Bodek
It has always been my distinct honor to be invited to speak - with my poor and uncouth Brooklyn accent - amongst a throng of much-accomplished, impressive-tongued, natural-born English orators.
Tonight you have asked me to speak again, but this time, I can rectify my abrasive dialect, as my father-in-law, Sir Leon of Hendon, of the House of Storfer, will be serving as my proxy. Family in attendance may think his verbal stylings have lost their way, but to me, they are the King’s English, despite that I find it odd as well that he davens with an Israeli accent.
When I was first asked to speak, in the midst of colleagues most esteemed, it was in August of 2007 on the occasion of the marriage of Eytan and hashtag TheFoodEffect, um, I mean Michelle Storfer. My topic was the opposing positives and negatives of marriage through the prism of the five senses.
I was then asked to speak in June of 2009, on the occasion of the marriage of Benjy and Rachel Israel. My topic was the vast potential of an excellent marriage through the lens of a popular Dr. Seuss poem.
Finally I was asked to speak in June of 2010 on the occasion of the marriage of Aron and Ilana Storfer. My topic was the jobs husbands are required to do in the marriage relationship.
This evening my topic is the most important aspect of marriage, bar none. You might think I wish to discuss finances. You would be wrong. You might surmise I wish to speak of hashkafah. You would be mistaken there too. You might even think family planning might be the most important discussion of all. You would be in error with that assumption as well.
No, I have sent my proxy forth to discuss the primary source of conflict for married couples, and how to navigate its muddy waters. That’s right, I am here to talk with you about errands.
Now I can see from where I am at the moment – probably at work, and probably preparing my afternoon coffee – that I have your attention. This means that at this time, as before, I must remind you that absolutely nothing that I am about to say has anything to do, at all, in any way, shape, or form, with my marriage. I bring all of my advice from observations of others.
I can also see – as you must surely if you are a keen observer – that my proxy has his fingers crossed behind his back, as he has been instructed to do.
How can I be certain this is of such utmost importance? Because you two have surely discussed everything else of major import. Certainly you’ve discoursed about how many children you want, definitely you’ve palavered over the kind of bayis ne’eman you wish to build, and naturally you’ve debated upon which yomim tovim will be spent with which of your in-laws, but I promise, I guarantee, I vow to you that at no point have either of you ever turned to the other and said, “Hey, when you ask me to see to an errand, will you also drive me up the proverbial wall as part of the process?”
Of course you haven’t, because your parents, friends, and rabbis all prepare you for the big questions, the large matters, the opus conundrums, but they do not prepare you for the little details that are an undercurrent - minute to minute and second to second - of everyday married life.
This is why you’ve brought in overseas advice - free of charge, I might add, but the value is priceless.
I will highlight how men and women process errands differently. That alone should be enough to set you on the right path. Knowledge is power, and when you are aware of these nuances, you will be able to deal with them in a more harmonious light.
Let us begin.
Errand Issue #1) When a properly trained man wants a woman to take care of something for him, he must wait to entreat her at a moment when nothing is on her mind. Unfortunately, there is never any such time. Women keep a minimum of 23 active thoughts in their heads, but the one item her man wishes to add to the pile might break the camel’s back.
This is why, when a man brings news to a woman, she will often say, “And when were you planning to tell me?” The correct answer should be, “Um, now! You were so busy until this moment!,” but it isn’t. The correct answer is actually unknown.  Remember, I’m not claiming to offer ways out of quandaries. Sometimes just being aware of certain realities, at marriage’s onset, is solution enough.
Now when a woman asks a man to take care of something, she will do so at any time, because she knows that the male brain can only be occupied with an approximate maximum of two items simultaneously. She thinks that adding to the pile is not a big deal, but must be careful, because 2 thoughts for a man are the equivalent of 23 thoughts for a woman. She may think 3 thoughts are easy to handle, but that isn’t so. If you give a man three things to remember, then either item #1 or item #2 might fall out. If these items are things the woman has asked her man to do, it’s best to let him complete those tasks before filling up the brainspace again.
This is why, when a wife dictates a shopping list to her husband, or asks him to order dinner, he reaches for a pen and paper when the list gets to three items. Smartphones can help now, or Google Glass soon. None of these can be procured fast enough to keep up with the dictation that’s already happening. Yes, I’m saying there’s been no good solution for this until now, but I’m hopeful for the future.
Errand Issue #2) If a husband or a wife forgets to handle something, it’s always the husband’s fault.
Why? I’ll explain: considering that a woman has too many things on her mind, and a man has all the things in his mind on paper or technology, it’s expected that the husband should remember the things he’s responsible for, and that he should help his wife remember things, especially upon request.
Therefore, if the husband forgot something, it’s his fault because he didn’t record it properly, and if a wife forgets something, it’s still his fault.
This is inherently unfair, but too bad. The first time this happens to you, Jeremy, remember you were warned, and accept the blame like a man. You have no choice.
Errand Issue #3) If a man wants his wife to bring some orange juice from the garage, he’ll say something like, “Say, honey? Can you bring in some orange juice from the garage?” Whereas, if a wife wants the same, she’ll say something like, “Say, honey? Can you bring in some orange juice from the garage? Not the apple juice like you did last time, the orange juice? From the back of the fridge, not the front? And don’t trip on the boxes like you did last time? Maybe clean up a little while you’re down there?”
In life, men are play by play; women are color commentary.
Errand Issue #4) When a husband asks his wife to retrieve an item from any labyrinthine home chamber, be it attic or shed or closet or garage, it’s because he doesn’t know where the item exactly is, but is hoping her hunter/tracker skills will produce it. She will succeed approximately 100% of the time, with a margin of error of zero.
If a wife asks her husband for the same, she’ll know exactly where it is, but since his hunter/tracker skills have devolved through disuse over time, his success rate will be about 23%, with a margin of error of 23.
When a husband embarks on such a mission, he becomes a rat in a maze, and the wife becomes the scientist. He will scamper about, wandering aimlessly in hopeless search for this thing.
Now a woman knows exactly how long a task should take, and when the unfortunate rat has exceeded his time, she will call down and ask a question I am certain all of you can anticipate. Do you know what it is? All together now! Did Auntie Sue get it right and shout it the loudest?
The correct question is: “Did you get lost down there?” At that point the rat will return to the scientist, get his instructions again, and return to the maze while the scientist resets the timer. If the rat keeps bashing into walls, the scientist will eventually retrieve the item herself, thank you very much.
Errand Issue #5) When a man asks a woman to take care of something, he will provide the instructions in a courteous manner, and then b’emunah sheleimah will entrust her to tend to it without ever checking in, because she will handle it properly, ahead of deadline, and without flaw.
However, if a woman asks a man for the same, she will not do so with bitachon. She will first require a verbal confirmation, then will ask him to parrot the instructions, then will perform periodic status checks, and finally will inspect the completed work. In this instance, a man is like a student, and a woman a professor. She will provide instructions, introduce pop quizzes, and conclude with a final exam.
Whenever I go shopping, I ask my professor, um, I mean wife to grade me when I return. I’m proud to say I’m averaging an A, only having received a B- but once during my marriage. I wish the same for you.
Here’s a hint about raising your grade: get stuff she didn’t put on the list, but not too much more. You’ll get extra credit for your shopping abilities and for your relationship in general.
Errand Issue #6) If a husband asks his wife to call someone to obtain information, he will expect the same numbers of answers in kind. For example, say he wants her to call a caterer with three specific questions, he will relay the three questions to her, and will expect three answers in return.
However, if a woman gives a man this task, the questions and answers will not match up properly. If she gives her husband three questions to ask, she will expect 74 answers. The first three, of course, will be happily provided, but there will be unanticipated followup questions, and he’s left feeling foolish.
The only advice I can offer is to try to do the same with the shopping. To the best of your ability, Jeremy, just try your utmost to anticipate what other questions your wife may have. The more you supply, the more extra credit you’ll receive, and the higher your grade will be.
Good luck on that one. You’re gonna need it.
Now why are there so many differences? Why is it that women have a handle on errands, and high expectations of their spouses, while men are constantly blindsided by these seemingly simple tasks?
There are many reasons, but I will spotlight one: women mature earlier than men, are quicker to grasp these elementary details, and shoulder many responsibilities and burdens. This begins to flower at around age 12 and becomes concrete shortly thereafter.
Men eventually also mature, grasp, and shoulder, but this begins to flower a bit later: somewhere around age 65, and it becomes concrete…never.
That’s just a small sampling, a Starter Kit, if you will. There is more to be said, but I didn’t wish to overwhelm you. You’ll note that the introduction to my speech felt longer than the content. This is because many of the great musar seforim are constructed the same way. Sometimes the preparation, the kavanah, the mindset, is more important than the execution.
That is why, following these jocular musings, I actually have very serious advice for you. You must be prepared to be always patient and forgiving, you must have kavanah that your differences are the most acceptable things about you, you must have a mindset that nothing either of you does in a seemingly injurious manner should be considered to have ill intent as its cause. Always be dan l’kaf z’chus.
I was at a stateside wedding recently where a British fellow occasioned to speak. I shall paraphrase his words because they sound so marvelous off a British tongue, which has been my merit tonight.
Jeremy, you must look after Jess.
Jess, you must look after Jeremy.
You are each other’s number one priority. In the States, when the President takes the oath of office, he swears to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
So too, must you both take upon yourselves to preserve, protect and defend each other.
Jeremy, remember that ishto k’gufo has very real-world implications. Please take that to heart.
This above all: put away your mobile when you are having a meal together.
I give you my blessing that if you adhere to this advice, that Our Father in the Kingdom of Heaven shall treat you in like manner, all of your days, and after your days.
Thank you to my lovely, warm, and embracing British family for granting me yet another speaking engagement amidst such seasoned and worthy peers.
And thank you to my shver, for accepting this task graciously. There cannot be any doubt that he has dispatched his duties, and secured my reputation, in a most honorable fashion.
God save the queen.
Humbly yours,
Martin of North Jersey, Count(y) of Passaic, of the House of Bodek