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Rabbi Zelik Epstein, Of Blessed Memory

Yesterday, the Jewish world lost a spiritual giant (good article worth reading). Rabbi Zelik Epstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Shaar Hatorah in Queens passed away. He was 97.

R’ Zelik was a relic of the past. He studied Torah in Europe with some the greatest Torah scholars of recent American Jewry, including Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and Rabbi Yaakov Kamanetsky.

Perhaps even more significantly, he was above the fray. He did not get involved in politics and instead, studied, taught and advised and preached Torah and its values.

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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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A Happy 2009 Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday.

I am not huge “birthday guy”. I love my children’s birthday more than my own birthday and my mother loves my birthday more than I do.

A lot of people know my birthday. Co-workers, family and friends all know my birthday. This year I got a ton of birthday wishes.

But itwas different.

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Summer Reading

During the summer months many people find some extra time to catch up on their reading. By reading, I mean books with paper, ink, covers and turning pages. I don’t mean on a backlit display plugged into an electrical outlet.

This summer, I have been too busy to do any real substantive offline reading. I have done a lot of online reading, but my book reading has fallen behind.

One exception has been DovBear on the Parsha, and you can read my review here.

Part of the reason for this is that in my “spare time” I usually end up reading up on Law School materials. I actually enjoy reading cases and Law Review articles, so my reading of other stuff has fallen a bit behind.

There is plenty of summer left and I thought it would be nice to provide some of my all time favorite reads and a quick note about why I like each book.

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Jewish Blog Round-Up #225

Another week, another Haveil Havalim.

This week’s round-up is hosted by “How To Be An Israeli”. A number of excellent blog posts from the week that was are linked.

An excellent job all around.

My Book Review of DovBear on the Parsha is mentioned with a very nice comment:

Rabbi Fink talks of being swept away by DovBear’s passion and insight; I felt the same way about reading this post!

Thanks for the mention.

To check out Haveil Havalim #225 click through. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jewish Blog Round-Up July 5th 2009 Edition

Once again a very talented Jewish blogger has provided the weekly Haveil Havalim Jewish Blog Round-up.

This week it is hosted by A Time of the Signs.

I am mentioned not once, but twice in the round-up. Once for my Michael Jackson post and once more for my guest post on DovBear about Onymous vs. Anonymous blogging which was cross-posted on my blog as well.

Thank you Toby for the mentions! You can find all the links by clicking through. Read the rest of this entry »

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Onymous Blogging

This post has been cross-posted to DovBear. – more discussion there.

Social Networking has been around for a long time. The term is nearly two centuries old and the concept perhaps 30 times that.

With the internet explosion around the new millennium social networking became all the rage on the world wide web. MySpace and others blazed the trail. Now, blogging, Facebook and Twitter are an integral part of our social landscape.

Naturally, I was drawn to these new age ways of using technology to create social networks. I’ve been on Facebook since its inception five years ago and joined Twitter a while ago and have only recently begun to blog.

Over the last few weeks some incredible things have happened that are direct results of social networking online. Read the rest of this entry »

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If You Like To Read Jewish Blogs

Another Sunday, another Haveil Havalim

The weekly Haveil Havalim roundup of the Jewish blogs is hosted this week by Ima on and off the Bima.

You can find a tremendous number of blogs and articles from this past week. Certainly there is more than enough reading material for a little while.

My post about the plight of Mideastern Jewry that was written the morning of the Holocaust Museum Shooting is mentioned.

Thank you to “Ima” for including me, hosting the round up and doing all the work to sort through all the Jewish blogs!

Click below to see the “round up”.

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Human Beings Are Social Beings

I have had my critiques of David Brooks from the NY Times.

But today,  I think he got it right. Really right. Like, 100% right.

He was asked about the “Big Three”. No, not GM, Ford, Chrysler. No, not Harvard, Yale, Princeton. Not, Clemenceau, Wilson, George either.

The new Big Three is Guns, Gays and Abortion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Speak Up! Economic Crisis Hitting Jewish Day Schools

I blogged a little while back about the pinch being felt in Jewish Day School and Yeshivas.

The LA Times must be reading my blog because they finally caught on to this growing problem. Today I read about the familiar names in our Los Angeles Jewish community who are suffering budget crises.

Is there hope for our schools? Is it possible to sustain a system that requires such tremendous financial commitment from its families? Read the rest of this entry »

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The Non-Virtual Social Network

Last week, my Shabbos morning Drasha (sermon) sought to give meaning to the Torah’s laws regarding evil speech and gossip. As punishment for these social crimes an individual would contract a spiritual disease that was similar in appearance to leprosy. Once the disease was was diagnosed by the halachic authority (Kohen) as the spiritually caused leprosy the individual would need to leave the town and stay outside the city for a little while.

The crime was social and the punishment was social. By speaking ill of others the individual became separated from the fabric of society and could only learn this lesson once physically removed from the social environment.

We touched a number of other points and expanded this point further as well.

The upshot of the Drasha was to remind everyone of the importance of tolerance and that we must embrace our interdependence on one another. The perfect Torah society will be a perfect social society.

I contrasted this with the society I noticed in the ESPN.com poll which I blogged about last week. (If you have not seen that yet – check it out.)

I am always asked for “examples” of how we can improve our behavior or work on ourselves. In this context I was asked, “how can we make our society more interdependent?”. I am very reluctant to dispense such advice.

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Disturbing Poll of the Day

Look, I enjoy sports. (Go Lakers). But this is getting ridiculous!

Nearly 48 thousand people have voted (as of this posting) on the current poll in ESPN.com that asks the following query:

Who do you know more about?

– Potential First Round Picks in the NFL Draft

– People in your office/class

I am surprised by the results.

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Your Unique Voice and A Kafkaesque Experience

Last week, Facebook disabled my account. No explanation, no reason, no apology, just gone.

There are terms that each member of Facebook agrees to abide by and I have not violated any of those terms. I have emailed Facebook asking for an explanation or at the very least an acknowledgement that my account has been disabled. So far… nothing. Read the rest of this entry »

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“Orange” you glad Tropicana is going back!

I am sure you have noticed the new Tropicana Advertisements.

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The ads are concurrent with their new branding and packaging. The ads are noted for their use of male figures (that is pretty rare…).

Now the ads are being pulled and the packaging is returning to the old packaging which we all remember and love.

tropicana Read the rest of this entry »

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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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