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The Rabbi on the Beach @ The Shul on the Beach

Great Shavuos Turnout Renders Previous Post Moot

Last week I blogged about my bond of kinship with a pastor in Ocean City Maryland.

We both are clergy working on beaches with fickle crowds. Sometimes we are packed and sometimes we are not…

The post generated a bit of a response from some of our Community Members as well as some other blog readers. We had one commenter wonder if anyone reads this blog. (Yes, a lot of people do read this blog.)

We had another commenter offer to walk from Youngstown PA. (It takes 33 days by foot according to Google, click if you need directions.)

So, how did our Shavuos go?

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Mesillas Yesharim 05/24/09

After a wonderful Rosh Chodesh morning services we began our weekly foray into the depths of Ramchal’s Mesillas Yesharim.

Last week we began to learn about the detriment of scoffing or sarcasm to out spiritual growth. The general principle is that one who is incapable of seriousness about life will not be able grow spiritually. This week I had planned on completing Chapter 5 in its entirety.

However, we got no further in the text of Mesillas Yesharim this week.

Instead we had a truly invigorating discussion ab0ut “seriousness”. It is tough for us to relate to this section Mesilas Yesharim. We are allowed to make jokes, frivoility is not ALWAYS bad, so how can we bring this section down to earth and make is relevant?

One example that I cited for a moment as we began class was the way observant Jews typically dress. Have you ever wondered why observant Jews dress conservatively for the most part or wear “black and white”?

Much of what we talk about was related to this post, as well as these two posts and this post as well.

Click to listen to our discussion. It was very interesting and enlightening. Read the rest of this entry »

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Clothes and the NBA

You thought I was done with clothes?

Not at all. The NBA had huge image issue a few years back. The image issue resulted from a few on the court incidents along with the perception that hip-hop culture was a) dangerous b) a major part of the NBA players lives’.

Commissioner David Stern sought to change the culture of the NBA as well as the public’s perception of the NBA. Stern enacted a dress code. Read the rest of this entry »

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Clothing Round Up, Now with Lawyers

Over the last couple of weeks I have blogged about wearing shorts while playing basketball and then I blogged about the new dress code in the White House and then on Monday night I spoke about the power of clothes and Tzitzis. It makes me think I should blog exclusively about clothes. I was trying to avoid more clothes posts but for some reason I could not resist.

No, I am not searching the web for articles about how to dress. Yet, they keep on finding me. This time I was reading the Wall Street Journal and I found this article. The article is about a very shmanzty law firm called Bickel & Brewer.

Bickel & Brewer has a tradition of formal dress in the workplace. They believe that clothes do influence our attitudes. They believe that high-powered lawyers (whatever that means) should look like high-powered lawyers. Apparently, in times of economic uncertainty the first to go are the ones who dress casually. Interesting.

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The Clothes Make (or break) the Man | Connections 2/2/09

This week at Connections we talk about clothes. Apparently clothes have been on my mind a lot. If you have been reading the blog you may have noticed that the recent posts all had to do with clothes. I commented on the espn.com article about wearing pants while playing basketball and then I commented on the President’s dress code. While I was preparing for the Torah learning portion of Connections this week I was drawn to Tzitzis.

We talked about clothing and the Torah’s associations with clothing. From Adam to Joseph to Saul we find a lot of negativity surrounding their clothing. What do I mean? Well you will have to listen to find out…

We learned about the numbers 6, 7 and 8 in Judaism and eventually we got to Tzitzis. We learned how Tzitzis can help us avoid the danger zone associated with clothing. There was an in depth treatment of how Tzitzis are made and what their construction requirements teach us.

We also talked about the difference between the Nazi form of Anti-Semitism and the Ancient Greek form of Anti-Semitism. The Ancient Greeks wanted us to be like them and forget Torah. The Nazis wanted us destroyed because we not like them.

Click through to listen now.

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Our (more) Casual President

You may have noticed I steer clear of politics. This post is NOT about politics. It is about the last three presidents. It is more about their attitudes than anything else. Again, this is not about politics.

Even before this New York Times article hit the streets I had made the same observation. It seems that Presidents Obama and Bush differ on more than just politics. President Obama’s White House has a decidedly different feel.

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“Short”cuts

On the home page for espn.com I noticed a new article by Paul Lukas of Uni Watch fame. Lukas writes about the nuances and idiosyncrasies of sports uniforms.He notices everything from commemorative patches to new piping along the sides of a jersey. Nothing gets past the ever watchful eye of Uni Watch.

The article that caught my eye was about a religious Pentecostal high school basketball team. Turns out these guys don’t wear shorts. Ever. Including basketball games. Immediately I was reminded of my elementary school days.

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This Is My Blog

You have arrived at a place in cyberspace featuring the thoughts, ramblings, musings and Torah of Eliyahu Fink.

If you like what you have found come join us at the The Shul on the Beach. You know the Shul on the Venice boardwalk - you've seen it, right?

Scroll down to the bottom of this sidebar to see some of my pictures of the Pacific Jewish Center just before sundown on a Friday Evening.

Well, we are there every Friday Night and Saturday Morning for services.

Come check us out! You will feel something special in the air. I guarantee it.

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- Eliyahu Fink

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