by thdpr

Mad Men Contest

July 26, 2009 in Pop Culture by thdpr

So the BRILLIANT minds behind Mad Men and the clothing line, Banana Republic have come up with a fab contest.

Submit your best “Mad look” and win a walk on role one Mad Men…

Well, since I A. am addicted to Mad Men and B. am a Mad Ave gal myself (okay, not NYC but I am a PR/Marketing professional in Denver) and C. have a very special affinity for the 50′s/early 60′s… especially in fashion, I am entering the competition.

I will send out the link to my page when I submit so stay tuned. AND please vote for me! :) After looking at the 400 or so pics they have up now, I am confident in my photo shoot! :)

by thdpr

Obama, Israel and the Financial Crisis pt. 2

July 24, 2009 in Israel, Judaism by thdpr

So the previous post was born out of my Facebook conversations today.

I would like to share with you the extended conversation I had with an acquaintance from college. We will call him “JU” (like our university). A few others jumped into the conversation and I will add them in with appropriate names. :)

After I posted the Patheos discussion about the Dems blaming the Jews, I got this comment on my wall – (here we go folks, be sure you are strapped in and ready for the ride)

JU – talia, I’m curious…would you still support Obama if he apologized to the world for the United States provoking Iran to send a nuclear missle into Jerusalem?

Jen – I don’t think the US would have to provoke Iran for that to happen. I don’t think I understand the hypothetical you’ve posed.

JU – The President would blame the US for this

Jen – on what are you basing this assumption?

JU - The international apology tour that he undertook several months ago.

Jen - so because he make an international trip, it’s an “apology” tour? your logic still eludes me….

JU – He dislikes this county, the founding documents he finds a document of “Negative rights”, and will bow to a Saudi King. With no basis he calls Cambridge police stupid for arresting a black professor who was acting beligerent toward an officer of the law ..Obama takes ten days to comment on the attrocities that the Iranian people suffered after Read Moretheir election; sat in a Church pew for 20 years listening to an anti-semitic preacher, Jeramiah Wright. The cynicisim posed in my question is to find out if Talia sides with Israel or Obama?

Jen - I think you’re funny in a belligerent and mis-informed sort of way. There is still no logic in what you are saying. However, I will have to let Talia answer your question, which perhaps I should have done to begin with rather than engage in this madness. Curiosity got the better of me.

ME! THD - I highly disagree that the two are mutually exclusive. I believe that Obama is the man to take our country to the next level, into the 21st Century. I think he has the compassion and understanding to handle international diplomacy as well as domestic with tweezers, rather than the sledge hammer our former president used.

I think President Obama supports Israel and Jews but sees a need for this insane Middle Eastern feud to end. And I agree with Jen, Iran doesn’t need any provocation to attack Israel. They have been threatening for years and years.

Eretz Yisrael is my spiritual homeland. I spent time there and love the land and my people. I support Israel and do not want to see it split into pieces but I also have good friends who are Arabs, Muslims, and who call themselves Palestinians. Read More

I think Mr. Obama was correct to open dialogues with the Arab nations. Without dialogue, there can be no peace or understanding. I do not believe that America can survive as an insular country… (it continued but took a bit to type, so there were responses in between)


More after the jump







Jen - 100% agree with all that you stated beautifully, Talia!

Archangel – Though I am conservative on most issues, I can attest that Talia is one damn cool lady. One *hella* cool lady. She’s *slightly* less cool for having voted for Obama; but not much.

THD –
… we have moved past the place where we can sit in judgment of others from afar. The world has changed. We are all becoming assimilated into the same culture. One of iPods, cell phones, and the internet. We retain little of our identity. As my friend puts it – national distinctions are disintegrating.

I am an American and proud but I am also proud of my world and want to make it a better place.

Mr. Obama is helping us do that. He sees that too. Yes, he sat in Jeremiah Wright’s church and I am not a fan of Pastor Wright but I try to evaluate a person by who they are and what they do, not who they knew/know. And I NEVER judge another person because that is not my place. Even in your bible is says, “Let he among us without sin be the first to condemn.” Read More

Iran is a mess, but ignoring them or inciting them to violence won’t help the situation.

So yes, I support Eretz Yisrael and President Obama. In fact, I sat in VP Biden’s box during his acceptance speech at Invesco Field and wept with thought of a bright future.

JU - What has Obama done to make this country better?

THD – He’s been in office for 6 months. I think we owe him the opportunity to work at it. I know that change and improvement doesn’t come fast or easy. I am just not willing to judge a person out of hand. Sadly, that is something I am not proud of the USA, the constant need to judge, blame, and vilify. At least I gave former President Bush a few years Read Morebefore I decided he wasn’t right for this country.

I do love how that is the argument the right gives, So what has he done to change things? We are still recovering from 8 years of mismanagement.

Jen –
Exactly! I don’t understand how people can suggest that all of the complex problems we are facing can or should be fixed inside of 6 months. It took eight years (plus) to get us here. It will take time to get out, but at least someone has acknowledged that change is needed and is trying to make the connections with the world that are needed to do so.

JU -
No, this 10% unemployment is his, the National Ownership of GM and Chrysler is his, the Cap and Trade bill that will kill more jobs and raise energy costs is his, this Health Care Refrom Bill his; why is all of this stuff being ram rodded down our throats so quickly? If they say the results are going to take 2 years or more, what’s the hurry? TheRead More bailout passed in the Fall of 2008 was done by a Democratically controlled Congress, not Bush. Obama is trying to say that we are going to need a 2nd stimuls…this one hasn’t even taking it’s complete effects and they want to do more. This is all about Obama…he can try and pass this off, but he is shoving all this down our throats. No one in congress is reading the bills they are voting on, they didn’t even complete writing the Cap and Trade Bill before they voted on it…This country is under his watch, and we are tanking, msierably, but that’s what he wants…more chaos, more need fo the Big Government to swoop in and take care of it.

Jen – Ridiculous. Unemployment is up because businesses are failing as a result of Bush’s obscene allowances for big banks and businesses. Unemployment rates are not the result of 6 months of work, they are the result of trends that span years. Why did the government have to run GM and Chrysler? If they weren’t, they would be out of business, which wouldRead More have made the unemployement rate even higher. Is it Obama’s fault as well that GM and Chrysler were mis-managed privately? Did he somehow reach back in time and produce two insolvent corporations? Yes, health care reform is his – do you know how many people, children especially, as a result of not having health care? Whether the plan is perfect or not, at least he is not just sitting on his arse!

THD –
That is so interesting… I didn’t realize you could ruin a 233 year old economy without even being in office and then being in office for 6 months. Wow. Interesting.
Bush pushed the TARP through while still in office, he could have vetoed it. There is plenty of fault to go around.

I refuse to accept that one person or one party is at fault here. I could listen to the argument that a combination of Bush’s mistakes and Obama trying to fix it has lead us to a place of difficulty but I still am not so narrow minded to believe that one man tanked this economy or that his attempts to fix it have failed. Rather, I know that we have to hit the bottom before we can rise up again. The economy is cyclical and one man didn’t ruin it.

But then again, Carl, I don’t think you posted this to my wall to have a logical conversation, rather, I think you wanted to give your opinion. Thank you for stating it.

From here on out, I suppose we will have to agree to disagree.

Oh and to Jen’s point, I was one of those poor idiots without health care. Going on 11 years, in fact. The previous administration couldn’t have cared less about me or if I died in an urgent care waiting room to receive medical treatment I couldn’t afford. At least President Obama is trying to help people like me who work hard but don’t have the Read Moreresources for insurance. (Though I do now have insurance with my current company.)

I may not agree with this FIRST ITERATION of a plan but I do appreciate that he is trying, which is more than can be said for his predecessor.

JU -
The US economy has been the most successful in the 233 years of existance because of PRIVATE enterprise, not Government control. GM and Chrysler should have gone through the chapter 11 Bankruptcy process Before getting billions of taxpayer dollars. When was the last time a President of the United States fired the CEO of a company? By the way, tens of thousands of workers lost their jobs after Obama took over GM and Chrysler. They closed hundreds of dealerships. (How can you generate a profit as a car company if you close the means to sell your product) Ask the people in Detroit how this change is working. Government intervention has grown out of control. We are currently running a Trillion dollar deficit, 6 months into the year. the Congressional Budget office is prediciting a Federal Deficit of 12 Trillion dollars by 2012. This is based on the current administrations policies, which were supposed to be new, transparent, bipartisan….he is a Chicago Thug!

Talia, if you went to the Emergeny Room, they coudln’t have denied you care. Also, you could have applied for Medicaid. How many times were you sick since you got that insurance…by the way, if this new Health Care Reform Plan is so good, why don’t all the Congressmen and President have to be on it? Obama said that if you are 100 and want a pacemaker, it might just be more cost effective to give you a pill. So under the proposed Obamacare, Ted Kennedy would be dead.

THD –
Wow, very harsh words at the end there. But again, I am choosing to not judge. You know, your Christian virtues implore you to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (which really comes from the Jewish Torah) but that isn’t quite so easy all the time, is it.

Then again another translation of Vayikra or Leviticus 19:18 is ve’ahavta lere’acha kamocha ani Adonai – “Guard the rights of your neighbor as you guard own.” So I will guard your right to spew hatred, though I refuse to agree with it.

Again, the right to agree to disagree. Your arguments will not change my mind, nor will mine change yours and that is a freedom we are gifted with in America.

Excuse me, I forgot to add to the translation. At the end it says “Ani Adonai” which means, I am Adonai (G-d).

JU - Talia, I simply urge you to not be a drone that believes all that the President says…do some investigative work, like you have with the statisitc about anit-semitic democrats, which fueled this fire. Read the actual bill and see if it says what the President is claiming…this bill is about control not providing health care.

THD - And who says I haven’t? Just because I don’t agree with you? I thank you for your concern but “being a drone” has never been a problem for me.

___
Whew! What a conversation. I can’t say I enjoyed it but it was a great brain exercise. :)

by thdpr

Obama, Israel and the Financial Crisis pt. 1

July 24, 2009 in Israel, Judaism by thdpr

So… as part of my job at Patheos, I posted a discussion in our discussion forum. Here is a link to it – Are Jews to Blame?

In a nutshell (help I’m in a nutshell… sorry couldn’t resist) it discusses that more Democrats than Republicans BLAME JEWS!!! for the financial crisis!!!! 34%, in fact!! That is incredible to me considering that we Jews don’t have any financial magical power. There are those stereotypes. There have always been those stereotypes. Why? Because back in the day, Jews were forbidden from doing many jobs. Money lending was considered “dirty” so it was relegated to the “hated” class, the Jews. Hence, we got pretty good with numbers and some families stay in the business. Now, I don’t have my head in the sand and I know that Bernie Madoff perpetrated one of the largest ponzi schemes in the history of the world and that he was Jewish but what about these?

(My post continues below these…)

(borrowed from – Business Pundit)

10. The Fraudulent Feminist - no evidence of Jewish heritage
In 1880, Boston Ponzian Sarah Howe promised women 8% interest on a “Ladies Deposit.” She said it was only for women, selling an implicit assumption of safety. She took the Money and ran.
9. The Haiti Haters – not Jewish
Ponzi schemes popped up all over Haiti in the early 2000’s. These schemes sold themselves as government-backed “cooperatives.” They ran mainstream-sounding ads, some of which featured Haitian pop stars. As a result, people felt safe investing more than $240 million–60% of Haitian GDP in 2001–into the schemes, which ended up being a massive swindle.
8. The Scientologist Snake – Scientologist
Earthlink co-founder and Scientology minister Reed Slatkin posed as a brilliant investment advisor for A-list Hollywood residents and corporate bosses. Working out of his garage, Slatkin cheated the rich and famous out of roughly $593 million, creating fake statements referring back to fake brokerage firms to prove his mettle. He fed the Church of Scientology with millions of his winnings. In 2000, the SEC caught wind that Slatkin wasn’t licensed, and busted the scheme.
7. The Lottery Uprising – no evidence of Jewish involvment
When Albania was moving out from behind the Iron Curtain in the mid-1990s, a powerful government and environment of questionable ethics resulted in a financial system dominated by pyramid schemes. The government endorsed various Ponzis, which robbed the majority of the population and netted more than $1 billion in losses. Albanians rioted and overthrew the government.
6. The Costa Rica Crooks – evidence of Christian faith
Three Costa Rican brothers, Enrique, Osvaldo and Freddy Villalobos, defrauded clients–mostly American and Canadian retirees–out of $400 million in a 20-odd-year unregulated loan scheme that started in the late 1980s. They promised interest rates of 3% per month on a minimum investment of $10,000. Villalobos moved money through shell companies before paying investors. Its staying power had to do with the fact that margins were low, the brothers were disciplined, and the outfit just barely skirted past laws.
5. The Biblical Bilker – Christian
In fraud-rich Florida, the Greater Ministries International church used Bible-speak to cheat its flock out of $500 million. Starting in the early 1990s, the church, led by gun-toting minister Gerald Payne, offered worshipers investments in gold coins. Payne then created an investment plan that would “double the ‘blessings’ that people invested” by funneling money towards the church’s fake precious metals investments. According to the Anti-Defamation League, Payne said that God had modernized the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and asked him to share the secret.
$500 million later, the Feds caught Payne, but most investors never got their money back.
4. The Boy Band Bandit – Jewish
Beginning in the late 1980s, Lou Pearlman, Art Garfunkel’s cousin and former manager of ‘N Sync and the Backstreet Boys, offered attractive returns through his FDIC-insured Trans Continental Savings Program. The scheme was neither a savings and loan nor FDIC-approved, but that didn’t stop Pearlman from bilking investors out of nearly $500 million, with which he planned on funding three MTV shows and an entertainment complex.
3. The Retiree Plunderer – no evidence of Jewish heritage
Mexican resort owner Michael Eugene Kelly schemed retirees and senior citizens out of $428 million. He offered them timeshare investments in Cancun hotels that he called “Universal Leases.” The timeshares came with rental agreements promising investors a nice fixed rate of return. Most of his victims used their retirement savings, thinking they would get solid, low-risk returns. The SEC says that “more than $136 million of the funds invested (came) from IRA accounts.” Kelly, meanwhile, bought himself a private jet, racetrack, and four yachts.
2. Madman Madoff – Jewish
Bernard Madoff’s scam is still unfolding. The facts as we know them now are that Madoff spent decades building the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, bilking nonprofits, famous people, funds, banks, and countless others out of $50 billion.
1. The Namesake – no evidence of Jewish heritage
The King of Get Rich Quick, Charles Ponzi became a millionaire in six months by promising investors 50% return in 45 days on international postal coupon investments. He earned $15 million, which in 1920s terms was serious money. After Ponzi was caught, investors only received $5 million back.

More after the jump

Why does it come up when they are Jewish but you don’t hear, “Catholic Jim Smith just stole 180 bazillion dollars from little old ladies.” When a Jew or Muslim missteps, it has to be a symptom of a horrible religion?

Well, it seems like age old anti-semitism is taking hold again. Here are a few interesting studies – Pew shows us that there are increasingly negative views of Jews in Europe but also in America – here.
This is the study about the Dems and Jews – here

I would be interested to hear your opinions too. Here are what some of my Facebook friends have said -
MF – while I’d like to see their methodology a bit more closely, if this is indeed accurate, it’s pretty alarming, but I wouldn’t say surprising. Racism exists more than we care to admit (ask the Harvard professor). And, frankly, lots of people still think that “THE JEWS” control the global financial system.

JB – Awesome. I think I’ll be starting up a concierge service for overseas relocation…call it MOT Travel. France, England, Sweden anyone?

DS –
Seriously? Anti-Semitism is so 1900′s!

SS - I mean, isn’t easier to blame the Jews than anyone else… Doesn’t history prove this? the more things change, the more they stay the same.

BF – Why does this not surprise me?

LZ - It’s the WWJC, don’t let the gentiles know that the World Wide Jewish Conspiracy is alive and well. Let’s ask the financial branch to find out who these 34% are and ruin their credit ;) I mean we do run the banks. While we’re at it call the boys in Media to cover it up, because we run Hollywood too, right.

Idiots!

My response to these –
I couldn’t agree more, guys. I was really surprised to read that more Dems than Repubs felt this way. It is interesting that people equate Democrats with Jews. While that is true for most reform Jews, it is the opposite for orthodox. Because they are socially conservative, they align more with the Republicans.

Also, most Evangelical Christians are Republican and too, most Evangelicals are Israel supporters.

But yes, DS, anti-semitism is so 1900′s but alive and well here. Reading some comments about Israel and Jews lately has made me want to hurl.

DS - As a Christian, I see myself first and foremost a supporter of justice, peace, and truth, regardless of nationality, race, gender, etc. So, whenever there is oppression, violence, or deception, I mourn how far these practices are from the Almighty’s desires of people.

BR – Hrm. Coincidentally, just ran across this today: http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=262

CL – All I can say is that is dumb.

Interesting conversation today.

by thdpr

There she is, folks — that’s Molly Goldberg, a woman with a place in every heart and a finger in every pie.

July 14, 2009 in History, Judaism, Pop Culture by thdpr

If you are like me (a week ago) you have NO idea who Molly Goldberg/Gertrude Berg is.

I was listening to NPR on Friday and heard a very interesting story. It was about this Jewish woman in the 1920′s who created a sitcom, The Goldbergs. In fact, she created the genre of sitcom, to an extent. It started as a radio show and then was adapted to television. It went off the air in the 1950′s. Sadly, most of the episodes were destroyed but there are a few historical records of the radio show and television show.

I read a great article on MyJewishLearning.com about The Goldbergs. Read it here
Also, there is a new film out called, Yoo-hoo, Mrs. Goldberg (a signature call of that show), by Aviva Kempner. Here is the interview with Aviva on NPR (which is what sparked my curiosity).

Gertrude Berg was an actress and writer (screenwriter, eventually), one of the first women to hold those roles. She was born in NY to a Jewish family and wrote about what she knew, Jewish family life in NYC. She was the first person to receive the Emmy for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series but things weren’t always funny for Gertrude. She was loyal to her cast/friends, almost to a fault. When her television husband, Phillip Loeb, was accused of Communism (he was involved in the Actor’s Equity Union and AFRA to better conditions for actors), Gertrude stood by him… until she was forced to let him go for fear that the show would be taken off the air. She did, however, keep him quietly on the payroll because he was eminently unemployable after being blacklisted by McCarthy. Though she provided for him, Phillip Loeb sank into a depression. Being unable to work and with failing eyesight, he ultimately committed suicide in 1955.

Gertrude addressed real issues affecting Jews in America with her scripts. Ms. Kempner mentions this in her interview with NPR, “Very early on as Hitler rose in power, she had a very overt Passover scene on radio,” says Kempner. “Some months after Kristallnacht, she had a stone being thrown through the window on the radio show, and while no one was addressing the Holocaust on TV, she had an episode where she got letters from her relatives.”

But Molly Goldberg was everyone’s mother during those 26 years (20 years on radio and six years on television)… imagine that! 26 years! We are lucky if a show lasts one year these days.

She was the stereotypical Jewish mother but not in a negative way. Always positive and with dignity. It didn’t matter where you lived or if you had ever met a Jew, you loved Molly Goldberg.
President Roosevelt supposedly said, “I didn’t get us out of the Depression, The Goldbergs did.”

Once the television show went off the air, Gertrude moved onto the Broadway stage earning a Tony for her work in A Majority of One.

Gertrude Berg (zt”l) passed away in 1966.

What a powerful history that I never knew. I will be looking for anything I can find from the amazing 26 years of The Goldbergs and if you want to see something now, the article from MyJewishLearning.com has a few clips.

by thdpr

Mayim Balik on What Not To Wear

July 7, 2009 in Judaism, Pop Culture by thdpr

I have to say that I was incredibly disappointed in this episode of What Not To Wear.
What they neglected to show is that Mayim is an Orthodox Jewish woman and she following the laws of tznius (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tznius). They even had her study partner on the show to talk about it (http://www.jewinthecity.com/a/2009/05/mayim-bialik-to-guest-star-on-a-very-special-jew-in-the-city.html) but they cut it.

They criticize the length of her skirts and encourage her to hem her skirts shorter and wear sleeveless tops but that may not be what she feels is appropriate. Why can’t we find modest and attractive clothing? Why can’t longer skirts look attractive? Why isn’t modesty attractive?

I was really looking forward to this episode to see beautiful modest clothing in respect of Mayim’s beliefs but I was disappointed… I still love Stacey and Clinton but I think they missed a great opportunity to speak to a chunk of the population who dress modestly.

by thdpr

Love/Hate

July 6, 2009 in Family by thdpr

Things that I love -

  • Rainstorms
  • My family (even if they are crazy)
  • Clean sheets
  • Squash (… I’m not even a little bit kidding, and yes, I mean the veg)
  • A night out with friends
  • Learning new Jewish “stuff”
  • Catching Sherlock Holmes/Hercule Poirot/M*A*S*H*/Murder, She Wrote on tv randomly
  • Making new friends
  • Writing letters and postcards by hand & using the postal service to mail them
  • Benefit blush (shallow, I know… but I do love it) & mascara
  • My besties that I rarely see because I live by mountains and they live by oceans
  • Friends who step up and love you when you need it
  • People who do random acts of kindness for no reason
  • Honest compliments
  • QUOTES!

Things that I hate -

  • Food that is so spicy that is makes my mouth burn
  • When people abruptly stop talking to me
  • Intolerance
  • Restaurants that don’t serve anything that doesn’t have pork or shellfish in it (SOME PEOPLE CAN’T EAT THAT STUFF!!)
  • Unanswered text messages
  • People who hold grudges
  • Being judgmental
  • Lies (especially the ones that hurt)
  • Short rainstorms
  • Men who can’t grow up & treat people around them like crap
  • People who don’t know that bacon is pork (okay, it is pretty funny… but seriously!)
  • People who you trust but then treat you like crap
  • People who manipulate you
  • Not being able to let go of the hurt

I saw this quote forever ago and I hang onto it
because I need to remember it -

Never make someone a priority
who makes you an option.
Let the filtering begin.

by thdpr

New Fav Blog (other than my dad’s of course)

July 1, 2009 in Random by thdpr

Do the words “Jon” “and” “Kate” make you want to hang yourself? Have you dreamt of putting gum in Kate’s hair just so she has to cut those ridiculous things she calls bangs off? Have you checked with your significant other to see if you can handle adopting at least the 6 little ones (because frankly, Maddie is a little brat) to save them from the woman to has pictures to prove she gave birth to them? Then this blog is for you…

I think it is HILARIOUS.

Things I Want To Punch In The Face

by thdpr

A great shul guide

July 1, 2009 in Judaism by thdpr

I got this in an email from Parasha Partners today. It is a really helpful guide for the Saturday morning services.


CAN YOU STAND IT?
by RABBI REUVEN DRUCKER


Dear Rabbi:

I occasionally go to synagogue on Shabbat, but feel very uncomfortable — I never know when to stand or sit. I expect that I will eventually figure it out, but it would be helpful if there were some general guidelines you can provide.

Thanks,
Janet N.
Dear Janet:
To stand or to sit – that is the question that has engaged the halachic authorities throughout the centuries. The underpinnings of the answer are fascinating, but before we explain them, let us first state the rule you are looking for.
There are only 6 places during the Shabbat morning service that, strictly speaking, one is required to stand. All other times that you find people standing, it is because they are following certain customs that are laudable, but not compulsory. The 6 places where one should stand are (the page numbers following refer to the ArtScroll Siddur – Heb./ Eng.):
  1. Baruch She’amar (the beginning of what’s called “Pesukei d’Zimra”), p. 370;
  2. V’yavareich David, p. 396;
  3. Amidah (silent prayer), p. 420, and the chazzan’s repetition of the Amidah (unless one is infirm), Kedushah (if one sits during the repetition), p. 422;
  4. the carrying of the Sefer Torah (Torah scroll), p. 436 & p.458;
  5. the Mussaf prayer and its repetition by the chazzan, p. 462, including Kedushah, p. 464 (if one sits during the repetition);
  6. Aleinu, p. 480.
It should be noted that standing is only a requirement for those who are capable of standing. If, however, one is unable to stand because of physical limitations, he or she should certainly recite the above passages and will be accredited with having said them properly.
The reason we stand for 1) and 2) is that they are recited in the section of Pesukei d’Zimra that are praises about G-d. These two passages express His primary praises, and therefore we stand to show our fullest reverence. We stand for 3), which is the silent prayer. It is called “Amidah” (lit. ‘stand’) because we find that our Patriarch, Abraham, stood when he established the morning prayer (see Genesis 19:27). Whenever the Sefer Torah is being carried (4), we have an obligation to display it the greatest honor. We stand during the Aleinu prayer because the first and last letter of the prayer expressed in the first passage spell eid, (‘witness’), and in Jewish law a witness is required to stand when giving testimony. The content of the Aleinu prayer is a declaration of our faith, essentially our testimony about the Creator’s existence.
The practice of standing during the performance of a mitzvah is traced to the mitzvah of Sefiras HaOmer, the counting of the 49 days between Passover and Shavuos. According to one tradition, the Torah requires this counting be done in a standing position. There is much discussion among the early authorities regarding the linkage of other mitzvos to Sefiras HaOmer. Those that are linked must also be performed in a standing position. All authorities agree that putting on a Tallis (a four-cornered fringed garment) and the blowing of the shofar on Rosh HaShanah are linked and require standing. Some add that Kiddush Levanah (the blessing on the new moon when it becomes visible), Lulav (the 4 species taken on Succos), and Bris Milah (circumcision) are also linked and require standing. Other authorities add even more mitzvos to this list, based on exegesis. It is interesting to note that all authorities agree that there is a class of mitzvos that one should sit for— blessings that are made on our enjoyment of the pleasures that G-d has given us, for example, the Grace after Meals following a bread meal. Included in this category are the blessings that are made before eating food or enjoying the aroma of different flowers or spices.
While some of the rules of standing may be complicated, one thing is simple. The effort we make to stand when performing a mitzvah is an expression of our respect and readiness to fulfill Hashem’s Will.
Regards,
Rabbi Reuven Drucker

Rabbi Drucker can be reached at rabbidrucker@partnersintorah.org

Submit your questions for publication consideration to parsha@partnersintorah.org