2007 Annual Rabbi Frand Teshuva Drasha/Shiur

The sound quality isn’t great and the volume is a bit low, but here it is! As always, Rabbi Frand gave his shiur to probably well over a thousand people, all crammed into Shomrei Emunah. Enjoy, and have an easy fast.

The actual mp3 is around 18mb (didn’t have time to shrink it too much), so give it time to load.


(link to last year’s drasha: https://aishel.wordpress.com/2006/09/29/rabbi-frands-2006-annual-teshuva-drasha/)

(link to  2003 drasha: https://aishel.wordpress.com/2006/09/28/rabbi-frands-2003-annual-teshuva-drasha/)


There is a God

The following video is a song by Yisrael Chaim (12) about his battle against cancer. The song was recorded between chemo sessions, a few days before his bar mitzva. Absolutely inspirational.

Good cop

Like Alanlaz, I was lucky enough to get a good cop to pull me over.  I was driving around a big bend in the road on Boyce Ave. when a cop caught me going 37mph in a 25mph zone.  The second I saw him, I knew I was busted.  But I knew that things were going to be good when he came over to me and said, “Sir, you were going 37 in a 25.  Let me see your licence only, please.”  I’ve never heard of giving a cop only a drivers license, and my hand was halfway to the glove compartment before the fact that he only wanted my drivers license registered in my brain.

When he came back to my car, he issued me a warning.  He even went so far to say that if I frequent that road often, that I should be careful, because the neighbors had been complaining of speeders on that street, so he was there as a response, and that cops would continue to be there in the future.

“Yes sir, and duly noted.”

Nice cop.

Promoting Youth Violence

First, on a happy note, this is my 100th blog post!

But to my main point, Alanlaz had a crazy video a while back about how children become violent because of the way they are raised by their parents.

Today’s Wall Street Journal had a front page article about Iraqi preschool-age who play Cops and Robbers, oops, I mean, Shiites and Sunni’s, with pellet guns, and often come home with bruises.  But the parents don’t seem to care.  They’re proud!  The kids also seem to like to make fake rocket launchers and bombs.  Do we really wonder why so many Muslim’s are violent?

BAGHDAD, Iraq — A year ago, a young gunman walked into Ali Hussein’s living room and drew a weapon. The intruder’s head was wrapped in a scarf, leaving a narrow slit for his eyes. His clothes were all black, the favorite attire of a powerful Shiite Muslim militia. He introduced himself as a commander, shouted the incantation “God is greater” and warned Sunni Muslims not to fight back. With that, he raised his plastic pistol.

The gunman’s name is Hassoni, and he was only 4 years old at the time. The scene unfolded in his father’s house in Baghdad’s Sadr City slum, a sprawling Shiite Muslim district stretching toward the eastern edge of the Iraqi capital. “I was happy to see him this way because it means he has courage,” Mr. Hussein, 26, said of his son. Since then, Hassoni’s favorite game has grown more elaborate, migrating from the living room onto the neighboring streets, drawing in other children and increasingly emulating the violent world of the adults. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in News, People. 1 Comment »

My November 7 Election Ballot

If you don’t know that Tuesday is Election day, you live in a cave. That said, here’s my ballot for the upcoming election:

GovernorRobert Ehrlich, Republican
I’ve had his banner up on the top right side of my blog for a while now, so I think this one is pretty obvious. People still haven’t been able to tell me what O’Malley has done for Baltimore that we should allow him to be governor. Ehrlich was able to turn around a huge deficit ($4 billion) left over by the previous administration and turn it into a $2 billion surplus. Ehrlich has an additional soft spot in my heart because of his untiring dedication, support, and advocacy for people with special needs. People may say that he chose Kristen Cox as a running mate just because she is legally blind, but I think it’s just part of his nature that he would choose someone with a disability.

Comptroller Anne M. McCarthy, Republican
I honestly don’t know much about the comptroller’s role, but looking at the two candidate’s websites, I found that Peter Franchot was anti the whole slots idea that Ehrlich was pushing so hard for during the last election. I think that the slots could help revitalize Baltimore by bringing in more money to the area.

Attorney GeneralDouglas Gansler, Democrat
I also don’t know much about the attorney general and I wasn’t able to find anything very useful on their websites. I’m voting democrat on this one to show that I’m not a hardcore republican. If anyone knows anything about either Gansler or Rolle that might influence my decision, you’re welcome to leave a comment.

U.S. SenatorMichael Steele, Republican
I was undecided on this one for a while. I really liked what Ben Cardin had to say at the Baltimore Stands with Israel rally. While looking up their issues on their respective websites, I decided to vote for Steele because I like his ideas for change. And he actually took the time to write about his support for Israel on the website, something that is notably absent from Cardin’s site. I’m also opposed to Cardin’s stance on bringing home troops from Iraq immediately. Steele’s ideas are similar to Ehrlich’s, which isn’t too surprising, considering that he’s the current Lt. Governor.

Representative in Congress; Congressional District 3John White, Republican
Here’s another section that I don’t know much about. After reviewing both of their websites, I decided that I’m strongly in favor of White. John Sarbanes wants to help illegal immigrants obtain drivers licenses, college funding, and more. While that might be nice in reality, he’s forgetting that these immigrants are illegal immigrants. John White takes a strong stance against illegal immigration and that is an issue that I agree with.

There are several other sections on the ballot, however, they’re mostly uncontested. I’m not sure if there’s a point in voting/not voting for the uncontested candidates, but I figure I’ll cast my ballot in any case, if just to show that there are people out there that are voting.

The final part of the ballot, the questions, is another part I have trouble with. It’s hard to make an informed decision about changing certain laws or allocating funds to various causes without knowing the bigger picture. Therefore, if you have any input, I would greatly appreciate it!

Don’t forget to go out and vote on November 7!


Last night, a local 5 year old boy was playing on the playground at BJ’s in Owings Mills, and fell off. At the time, they thought he was ok, but when he went home, he started vomiting up blood. He ended up having emergency brain surgery last night at Hopkins.

Ephraim Moshe ben Baila Chaya

Updated on October 24, 2006 at 9:35am:

He is B”H out of the PICU, and still being weaned off the sedations.

Updated on October 25, 2006 at 11:25pm:

The father of the boy sent out the following email:

[Wife’s name] and I want to thank you all for the well wishes. BH Ephraim Moshe has made very significant progress and he is IYH on his way to a complete recovery.

We hope to have him home for Shabbos.

We sincerely appreciate the Tfilos and Tzedakah that the olam has made b’zechus his refuah shleimah. It is truly a brocho to live in such a wonderful chesed-oriented community.

We hope to share in Simchos!

Birchas Kohanim at the Kotel

Point of Pinchas has first hand video footage of the birchas kohanim from Monday at the Kotel.  It is really inspiring to see and hear thousands of people answer amen to the bracha.