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The Rabbi on the Beach @ The Shul on the Beach

Shame on Gizmodo | Shame on Us Too

One of my favorite gadget blogs ran a discpicable headline for a post yesterday. Gizmodo is a great blog when it comes to getting information, reviews and opinions on the latest technology and gadgets. Unfortunately, yesterday they disgraced their reputation with a pretty offensive headline.

The headline garnered enough attention that they ultimately changed it to something less offensive.

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I Am So Disturbed

UPDATE: Friday morning 6/25/09 I updated the post to more accurately reflect the protagonist’s personality.

I am so disturbed right now.

My wife and I have a summer camp for pre-school children in Monsey NY. That is why we left Los Angeles / Venice for the summer. We don’t own our own camp grounds so during the year we store everything in a shed at my in-laws’ home in Monsey.

Sometime before camp begins we need to get everything from the in-laws to our summer location. Today was moving day. What I heard during the move was disturbing enough to share with you.

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Honor Thy Father & Mother | Connections 6/8/09

Another beautiful evening in Venice CA was highlighted by a wonderful Connections.

Everyone was all smiles and we had a great time socializing and learning.

Our Torah topic was the philosophy and moral implications of honoring one’s parents.

We discussed various theories and we ended with the Torah approach.

I recommend listening to this class as the questions and discussion were very interesting and thought provoking.

Click through to listen.

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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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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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We Don’t Get No R-E-S-P-E-C-T! How do you feel now?

Ravens use an old motivational ploy: lack of respect – Los Angeles Times.

I was in Yeshiva in Baltimore (I was still in High School actually) when the Ravens moved to Baltimore. They became a favorite team of mine right away and they still are today. They still play second fiddle to my favorite NFL team, the Buffalo Bills.

What strikes me about this article is the idea that multi-million dollar athletes need to use disrespect as motivation. Bill Belichik is famous for using this technique with the New England Patriots. There are 2 things that I notice with the whole “we don’t get no respect” routine.

First of all, is the reason these guys play football for respect? I thought they played for money or fame – I certainly did not think they played for r-e-s-p-e-c-t. Apparently they play for all three of these reasons. Interestingly enough the Rabbis teach us in Ethics of Our Fathers that desire for money, desire for honer (fame) and desire for respect are the 3 things which will take us out of this world. And by out of this world we mean one becomes obsessed with these things to the point that we neglect all other important parts of our lives – like spiritual growth. That’s fine for the Ravens, I guess – but we need to watch out for this in our lives.

The second thing that strikes me how much disrespect hurts. It is so painful that the Ravens as well as many other teams are able to feed off their disrespect and improve their physical and mental games! Pretty powerful how we crave respect and how much disrespect can motivate us. Disrespect always hurts but the pain only increases exponentially when we expect respect and we desire respect. I think this speaks volumes about the danger of craving respect – once we open that Pandora’s Box there’s no telling what we might do…

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