Saturday, August 28, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Blogger MaNishtana will be collecting funds this week in order to donate Yom Kippur machzors to the Flatbush Park Jewish Center in Yoseph Robinson's name. If you knew him you'd know the high level of respect he gave his seforim, so this would only be a fitting and appropriate way to honor his memory. The price is $20/book. Anyone interested please contact me at email@example.com.
"Yoseph Robinson's life was remarkable journey from petty criminal to observant Jew" (NY Daily News)
"New York Loses One of Its Most Interesting Dudes" (NY Magazine)
"That a robber had felled a man who spoke of turning away from violence struck Ms. Wallace as particularly painful. 'It was a coward’s act,' she said. 'He took away such a bright light. It was unnecessary. He took the most precious thing that was in that store.'"
"Death of a Hip Hop Jew" (MyJewishLearning.com)
"NY Police offer reward for killer of Jamaican Jew" (Jamaica Observer)
"Police Search for Gunman in Botched Liquor Store Robbery" (NY Times/City Room)
"Robinson was a popular fixture in the Brooklyn Jewish community and after his death hundreds gathered by the liquor store. Shais Rison, another close friend of Robinson’s, who blogs under the name MaNishtana, received the news while he was on the train. Usually, he along with Shneor, spent Thursday evening with Robinson in the store. This past Thursday, he had missed their usual get-together.
'I was hoping it was the worst practical joke in the world,' he said when he was told about the news. 'I didn’t believe it. We lost one of our brightest lights last night, as people, as Jews, as Jews of color.'
'I don’t see how Hashem could take such a beautiful neshoma away from us,' Akedah Fulcher, another friend wondered. 'He was a proud person, he made being multicultural and Jewish fun. [The media] keeps on focusing on him being a convert, I would rather them focus on the fact that he was a Jew. His cultural background enhanced his Jewish identity. He could have contributed so much…. Hashem gives and Hashem takes.'"
"'On Facebook, Robinson wrote that to resist the pull of his old life he only had to see his tzitzis, a fringed garment worn by observant Jewish men, and 'a smile spreads across my face.'"
"Yoseph Robinson, Former Hip-Hop Exec Turned Orthodox Jew, Murdered in Robbery" (BV Black Spin)
"Yoseph Robinson girlfriend says shooting 'like a horror movie,'; NYPD offers $12K for crime tips" (NY Daily News)
"Former Hip-Hop Exec and Orthodox Jew Fatally Shot in Robbery" (Gothamist)
"Hip-hop artist turned Orthodox Jew murdered in Brooklyn" (JTA)
Friday, August 20, 2010
The chasm is daunting—the feud—seemingly, irreparable. Days go by, months perhaps, even years.
But in the heart, there is some regret. There is a seed of doubt, a specter of apology, but the past holds us. In the parched earth of anger, there is no place for it to grow.
In this week’s Parashah, Ki Tavoh, there is an extraordinary commandment. “You shall not see the donkey of your brother or his ox fallen on the road and hide yourself from them; but you shall surely stand them up, with him.” (Deuteronomy 22.4)
Every so often, a door opens, a way out of hostility and bitterness. My enemy’s donkey, laden with a thousand slights, lays fallen on the road. Naturally, one hesitates. It seems better to hide, to pretend not to see. ‘Why should I trouble myself, for one who has caused me such grief?’But buried in your enemy's heart, though laden with hurt, there also contains a seed of regret.
So you walk over, and together, with your enemy, you unload the beast of burden.
It is so rare to be given such an opportunity. If it comes, don’t let it go to waste.
By Rabbi Yehuda (not Aliza) Hausman
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Readmore: "Brooklyn liquor-store slaying"
"JAMAICAN HIP-HOPPER TURNED ORTHODOX JEW: A CANDID TALK WITH YOSEPH ROBINSON"
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I'd heard this story before and even posted a You Tube video, which put me in tears, of watching the descendants of Kaifeng Jews arrive for the first time in Israel.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
This is the kind of story you will have to tell yourself isn't true because if you believed it, you'd realize just how screwed up ACS (the Administration of Childrens' Services) and the foster care system truly are in New York City and you wouldn't be able to live with yourself...or sleep at night knowing that this is what happens.
Monday, August 9, 2010
It was like a train wreck I couldn't look away from. I'm still processing what I read.
"THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up."
The Chief Rabbi of Israel responds to all the fuss over the conversion bill. (NY Times)
Saturday, August 7, 2010
I am really thankful to all of you who have sent such wonderful fan letters my way. I am so glad that you've found the blog interesting, entertaining and even educational!
Unfortunately, there have been so many letters lately that answering them, in my current health condition, has become overwhelming and impossible. I promise that although, I am unable to currently respond to each email individually, I read every single one.
If you are contacting me about conversion and need an immediate response, please consider joining my online Orthodox conversion support group (a direct link here). You will automatically receive a questionnaire you must fill out before your membership is approved.If you're not converting Orthodox, I can recommend other online groups.
If you are looking for a referral to a local rabbi or synagogue, please send a BRIEF email with the following information:
1. full name (first and last)
3. where you are living currently (city, state)
4. information about your previous/current interactions with Judaism (including books you've read, rabbis you've already connected to, if family members are Jewish, events and classes you've attended, etc).
Many of your questions may be answered just by reading through old posts or links that I have posted on the left-hand side of this blog. Please take a look at my portfolio and bio, which includes many articles about my own personal conversion story.
P.S. By the way, I do not respond to hate mail so don't even bother.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Estas son las mañanitas, que cantaba el Rey David,
Hoy por ser día de tu santo, te las cantamos a ti,
Despierta, mi bien, despierta, mira que ya amaneció,
Ya los pajarillos cantan, la luna ya se metió.
Que linda está la mañana en que vengo a saludarte,
Venimos todos con gusto y placer a felicitarte,
Ya viene amaneciendo, ya la luz del día nos dio,
Levántate de mañana, mira que ya amaneció.
This is the morning song that King David sang
Because today is your saint's day we're singing it for you
Wake up, my dear, wake up, look it is already dawn
The birds are already singing and the moon has set
How lovely is the morning in which I come to greet you
We all came with joy and pleasure to congratulate you
The morning is coming now, the sun is giving us its light
Get up in the morning, look it is already dawn
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Yesterday, I turned 30 years old. Thanks to the fan who donated $25. She didn't even know it was my birthday but it was the perfect present! Of course, now that I'm 30, I will be telling people I'm 25. Until I'm 40.