20 May 2009

Walking the Newly-Expanded YU Eruv [4 Min. Video]

I posted two weeks ago about the YU eruv's expansion, encompassing my building (yay!) and decided to do a brief video, walking along the edges of it (in case people were interested beyond a 2-D map). I had hoped to put music to it, but that, for some reason, was not working, so feel free to listen to the music of your own choosing while watching it:

19 May 2009

Washington Heights Kosher Eating Options [Updated for Spring 2009]

It's been over a year and a half since I last posted the kosher dining options in Washington Heights and felt it was time to update the list. I've organized this list by dairy places to eat and meat places to eat.


Dougie Doug's
501 West 184th Street
Free wifi
Sunday 10:30-5
Monday-Thursday 8:30 - 8

Friday 8:30-2
However, in the summer, they may be closing around 4pm.

Grandma's Pizza
2551 Amsterdam Avenue

Lake Como Pizza
2549 Amsterdam Avenue
Hours are about 8-9, although they will be closed end of June - mid August

Your Heights Cafe
4413 Broadway

212.544.9044 or 212.544.0041
Tav HaYosher certification
Open Sunday through Thursday 11-9 (and will keep those hours through the summer)
The newest kosher eatery in the Heights, h
aving opened about two weeks before Pessah.


2566 Amsterdam Avenue

Sunday-Thursday 4:30 - 11 (although I don't know what their summer hours will be)

Golan Heights
2553 Amsterdam Avenue

Just Kosher Delight
2543 Amsterdam
Sunday-Thursday 11:30-11
Friday Closed
Saturday One hour after shabbas until 1

Not sure about summer hours and might be closed in July

As an aside, if I believe I got this right, all of the kosher eateries in the Heights are certified kosher by the
Va'ad haRabbanim of Riverdale.

06 May 2009

YU Eruv Expanded

I found out on Friday that the eruv that encompasses the campus of Yeshiva University has been officially expanded and operational. This is big news for my wife and me since not only do we live in this area as well as some of our friends, which permit us to bring food over on shabbas if need be, but also, since having our baby, allows us to leave the apartment with us and to go over to others' apartments if need be.
Anyways, this is great news for us and we're glad it is operational for our last few months here.
(By the way, this is not the Hudson Heights eruv, which is on the west side of Broadway in Washington Heights, whereas the YU eruv is to the east of Broadway.)

05 May 2009

אמונת חכמים: The Sages' Faith

In the sixth chapter of Avos (although not part of the mishnah), there is a statement which says "גדולה תורה יותר מן הכהונה ומן המלכות, שהמלכות נקנית בשלשים מעלות, והכהונה בעשרים וארבע, והתורה נקנית בארבעים ושמונה דברים, ואלו הן" ("Torah is greater than the priesthood or kingship, for kingship is acquired with thirty virtues, the priesthood with twenty-four, and Torah is acquired with forty-eight qualities. These are...") - amidst this list is אמונת חכמים (emunat hakhamim (sages' faith/belief)), but it goes undescribed as to what, specifically, the Sages' faith was, leaving us with the question as to what that is. Over the weekend, I found the following relevant and concise description of the faith of the Sages:
was an extremely simple faith, and the doctrine of the world to come prevented any amount of trouble and calamity from clouding or weakening this faith. For trouble and calamity were always explicable as a test and purification, or as a temporary punishment; all the greater would be the joys and raptures of the world to come. Fulfill the commandments: then God will help you.1
I know there is also Urbach's chapter on this (ch. 2, "The Belief in One God"), although not as concise, he concludes with
The concept of faith in the Lord does not find exhaustive expression in the recognition of God's existence or in a declaration proclaiming this recognition, but includes the conviction that there is a permanent relationship between the Deity and the world and its creatures. Faith is trust in the existence of Divine Providence. The manifestations of man's faith are the love and fear of the Lord.2
So these definitely help us in understanding this phrase of "sages' faith". However, one investigating this term should also be acquainted with the common understanding that it really should be אמונה בחכמים - faith in the sages, which is a separate topic.
1 -
C.G. Montefiore and H. Loewe, A Rabbinic Anthology (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1960), 334.
2 - Ephraim E. Urbach, The Sages: Their Concepts and Beliefs, trans. Israel Abrahams
(Cambridge, MA & London: Harvard University Press, 1975)

01 May 2009

JTwitterverse Coming of Age

With this morning's unveiling of JTA's top 100 Most Influential Jewish Twitterers (props to Adam Soclof for putting it together), it seems like the Jewish presence in the Twitterverse is not only here, but also properly getting recognition. To me, it seems that there is more going on Jewishly in the Twitterverse than a couple of months ago when Jane Herman posted about Jewish Twitterers. As such, it's about time that we properly affix the appellation "JTwitterverse" (unless people would rather the less cumbersome "Jwitterverse"), much similar to Steven I. Weiss' neologistic success, the "JBlogosphere".
On another Twitter note [related to the Jwitterverse], the specific genre of Torah Twitterers must also be acknowledged (to some degree, apropos of the recent CrossCurrents posting (primarily: "There is one aspect
of Jewish singularity about which all agree. The Torah belongs to the Jewish people. No other people has ever viewed its multitude of commandments as binding on them.")). Although I had posted over a month ago about Torah on Twitter, there have been some developments in this matter. Foremost interestingly amongst them is the twagregator, TorahTweets.org, which collects all tweets with #Torah in it. The other advancement is simply the matter of more people joining Twitter (generally, but also Jewishly) and, amongst them, tweeting about Torah (may they increase).
Seperately on the topic of Twittering Torah (and following up my "Trying to Twitter Torah" post), my Twittering Tora
h in my Birkas HaHamah series only went for a few days before it got derailed (by busyness with schoolwork and having my first child born). It was interesting and I would like to attempt it again at the right time - it just takes time to look stuff up.
The one interesting development that emerged from that attempt occurred unexpectedly: I came up with a hashtag. Yup, my very first hashtag I not only created, but also got to catch on a little. I created #BhH (acronym for Birkas haHamah) for my series, but I realized that other people would be interested in all
Birkas HaHamah tweets be able to be easily located, thus #BhH was created.