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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘subway’

Talmud Underground

Friday, June 29th, 2012

An Ultra-Orthodox man reading the Talmud on the subway from Underground NY Public Library. The photo blog is a project of acclaimed street photographer, Ourit Ben-Haim. In an interview, Ben-Haim said that when she takes a photograph of someone reading she sees “people who are contemplating description of new possibilities. In this way, every book says that its reader is simply great.”

Given the number of Orthodox Jews that take the subway every day, this isn’t their first appearance on the photo blog either.

Michael Orbach

Premature Jew – Bashing

Monday, May 7th, 2012

http://notajew-jew.com/?p=124

I suppose it all began when I was Jew-bashed on a subway platform.

This was before I was a Jew.  Actually, depending on when you read this, right now is before I am a Jew – because this is a blog about my journey from being “Not a Jew” to becoming a “Jew.”

Back to my premature Jew-bashing.

This was way back when I was a Catholic.  Actually a lapsed Catholic.  All right, an agnostic.  Fine, you dragged it out of me: I was practically a bloodsucking atheist.  In fact, the best way to describe me at the time was a Godless Pre-Emo Twilight Eclipse boy.  Back then, we called it “New Romantic.”  But if you say that to kids nowadays they just stare at you.

Like the 50 year-old Italian guy on the subway platform who stared at me and called me an “effing Jew.”

Before I could tell him I was not an “effing Jew” and, in fact, half-Italian (like you, you effing Guido), he grabbed me with strikingly-powerful old-guy-plumber-hand strength, and shoved me – almost into the path of a speeding subway train and almost to my death.

So I was Jew-bashed, and almost killed, before I had my first thought of becoming a Jew.

On the bright side, things can only get better for me as Jew from here on in, right?

Right?

Not a Jew -> Jew

NYC Subway Wannabe Bomber Convicted

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Bosnian immigrant Adis Meunjanin was found guilty on Tuesday of plotting to bomb New York’s subway system as an Al-Qaeda terrorist.

Meunjanin, who will be sentenced on September 7, was convicted of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit murder, and supporting a foreign terrorist organization.  A Pakistani friend and an Afghani friend plead guilty to planning the attack, and testified against him.

During the trial, Meunjanin was portrayed as a passionate believer in Jihad, who travelled with his two friends to Pakistan in 2008 in order to join the Taliban.  However, the group was recruited by Al-Qaeda in to perform a suicide mission in America.

Malkah Fleisher

‘On the Rerouted Train’

Friday, March 9th, 2012

The sudden jerk of the train woke Rena up with a start. She blinked a couple of times realizing she was still on the subway. Her head was pounding from the roar of the tracks. She adjusted her headphones letting the music echo heavily in her ears. Rena closed her eyes again trying to ignore the headache which just wouldn’t go away. She scanned the train car mindlessly. The lone guitarist stringing at his guitar grateful for every penny thrown into his hat; the mother trying to calm her restless children; the punk rocking to his music blasting so loud for all the train to hear. The teenagers boisterously arguing. Rena looked back down at her darkly painted fingernails noticing the chipping nail polish. She took a deep breath as she switched the song on her I-pod and ran her fingers through her long straightened hair, noticing it was beginning to get oily, yearning for a warm shower.

Closing her eyes again, images kept creeping back into her mind. Her brother’s scared face… She tried pushing away the expression on his face when he walked into the bathroom and saw her holding the pills. She tried pushing away the image of her father’s anger. She tried closing her eyes to her mother’s tears. Rena fidgeted with her I-pod trying to blast the music to flood out all her thoughts. But still, between the drumbeats she heard her brother’s confused tone saying her name over and over.

“Rena…Rena!” his tone was surprised. His tone was afraid. His eyes spelled confusion. He slowly let his fingers fall from the door knob as he backed away muttering, “Rena you’re kidding right?”

She shuddered as she remembered her uncontrolled reaction. Slamming the door violently. Screaming for him to leave. It all kept creeping back at her. The loud flush of the toilet, the pills swirling down away forever. Sitting on the hard subway seat, Rena buried her face in her knees trying to block out the sounds of yelling, the endless phone calls, the endless stares from her neighbors and friends. How did she mess it all up? She asked herself over and over. But as she thought of that she heard her mother asking the same.

“Rena what happened? Rena what was wrong? Why did you do this?” And somehow as her mother’s pained voice banged at her mind dripping in guilt, she couldn’t pinpoint a specific answer.

The train came to a sudden screeching stop. Rena looked up, staring at her blank reflection in the subway window. The dark eyeliner outlining her eyes was beginning to run. Loose strands of hair hung in her face blocking her pained eyes. Again she looked around the car noticing the confusion on everyone’s faces. She lowered her music and suddenly heard the conductor announcing, “Ladies and gentlemen, we are sorry for the inconvenience but the M train is being rerouted to the A line. For the M train please transfer at the next stop.”

Rena glanced at the map trying to figure out how exactly she would get to her destination now. Annoyed she looked at the rest of the passengers whose feelings were visible on their faces.   She tried figuring out which train to transfer to as she began thinking about how crazy it made everyone when one train was rerouted. One train off its tracks. One train off the planned route. It messes everyone up. And slowly the stops on the map all came clear. She was on the wrong route.

Rena bit her lip as suddenly she saw her reflection differently. She saw herself as a lost train. Her dripping eyeliner. Her chipped nail polish. Her short skirt. She ran her fingers through her hair nervously as she approached the chassidishe woman sitting with a bunch of children. Pulling out her head phones and tugging at her skirt Rena took a deep breath and anxiously asked, “Excuse me.”

The chassidishe women looked up at her curiously and nodded. “I’m trying to get to Boro Park,” she asked bravely. She made up her mind. She would reroute her train too. The women furrowed her eyebrows and tried explaining which train to take. Rena thanked her and as she got off the train she fished for her phone in her bag full of open candy wrappers and endless packages of gum. Stepping outside onto the sidewalk the sun blinded her in her realization. She turned her phone back on ready to face the phone calls and texts. Sliding the touch screen she dialed her home number, her heart pounding with every ring. The phone to her ear, she slowly started walking down the street, each step feeling heavier and heavier. The rings seemed to go on forever and Rena bit on her nail waiting for someone to pick up.

Alti Bukalov

The Case For Manners In Shidduchim

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

A friend of mine called me recently on her way home from a date. It was 11:30 p.m., and she was walking home from the subway, a 20-minute walk from her home. She said that she had a pleasant time, but was surprised when her date walked her to the subway at the end of the evening and said good night at 11 p.m. “Doesn’t he realize that at this late hour he should be escorting me home?” she cried.

The young man was apparently unaware that he was not displaying the best manners in casually walking his date to a subway station late at night, instead of seeing her safely to her door. Yet this lack of etiquette is unfortunately all too common in today’s dating world.

Another example occurred recently when I set up a young man on a shidduch date. I personally knew him to be bright, good-hearted and open-minded. I was therefore surprised when he called me after his phone call with the prospective date and bluntly told me, “She’s not my type.” He wanted to cancel their plans to meet.

His major concern was that she did not have an appreciation for his favorite genre of music. He said, “I can just tell that she’s not for me. I’m so burnt out lately from dating. I can’t put myself through this.” I empathized with his situation, but I asked him to consider what this would feel like to his date. Perhaps she too has gone through many disappointing experiences lately, and his cancellation would just add to her disillusionment. Despite this, he couldn’t bring himself to go through with the date. Thus I was given the unfortunate task of relaying the news to this girl, who had been looking forward to meeting him.

What Went Wrong?

From the many stories that I have heard, it seems that some men and women are engaging in apparently inconsistent behaviors when it comes to their dating lives. While most are considerate and fine people, when it comes to dating some singles have become so desensitized and self-protective that they are, simply put, not minding their manners.

Some of the most common offenses I have come across lately are:

Tzivy Ross Reiter

Woodbury, Long Island

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Question: How do you feel about a possible MTA fare hike?

 

 


It’s unnecessary. The MTA is not thinking about commuters. They keep on raising the tolls, but where are the improvements? The subways aren’t faster or cleaner; they have modernized the interior of some trains but the subway platforms are old, moldy and dirty. The fare hike is too costly and for many people it’s unaffordable. The MTA has enough money; they owe us some proof as to where all this money is going.


– Michaela Adi, student



 

 

 


It’s bad enough the service is poor; we certainly don’t need another fare hike. When the MTA needs money for certain projects, all of a sudden they have the resources despite claiming a deficit. Where’s all the money going?


– David Izhak, warehouse manager 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s wrong. Just because the MTA claims to have a deficit doesn’t mean that we as commuters should be responsible for fixing it. Obviously the money is not being properly disbursed because it seems like every year or so they cry poverty. Unfortunately, commuters have no choice and are going to have to shell out more money.


Sarit Varoh, caseworker




 

 

 



If they want to raise the fare they should also step up and improve the service by adding more workers. I work in Midtown, and it seems like I have to wait forever for the B train to show up. We need more trains on the track and more staff on the premises. The MTA has enough money.


Mark Halpert, traffic manager 

Ita Yankovich

Hot And Bothered: Letting The Steam Out

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

        It’s the dog days of August, and between the sizzling heat, the numbing humidity, the rain and the never-ending traffic and airport delays, there is a lot to complain about people’s actions.

 

         Since I read many years ago that it is therapeutic to get your frustrations out of your system, this is what I’m going to do. I am going to rant a bit (actually a lot) about several all too common behaviors and situations too frequently coming my way – things that probably drive you up a wall, as well. Perhaps we will all find relief by getting it out of our collective systems.

 

         Since much of our socialization and religious practices revolve around food, I will address two frequent situations that irk me to no end. They both revolve around that well-beloved community activity that takes place on Shabbat after shul – the kiddush.

 

         The fact is that few public announcements gladden the heart more than the one right after the davening, stating there is a kiddush for the klal.

 

         The problem I find is that there are usually three or four tables laden with all kinds of delectable dishes, but several hundred people all desiring to sample the delicious offerings. This shouldn’t be a problem except that many people, once they fill their plates with goodies, remain planted to their spot, happily eating and totally oblivious to the fact that they are preventing others from reaching the table and getting something to eat. These people are either clueless that they are blocking others, or could care less. Either way, they are hogging the space and making it difficult for their fellow mispalalim (worshippers) from reaching the food.

 

         Please be considerate. After filling your plate to your heart’s content, get out of the way – so someone else can do the same.

 

         Additionally, any caterer worth his salt makes sure there are serving utensils in all the communal dishes. That means there are tongs, scoops, and oversized spoons and forks to use for the egg and tuna salads, cholent, kugels, meatballs, etc. There is absolutely no justified reason for someone using a spoon or fork that they already ate from to obtain a second helping. It is extremely unhygienic to do so, and the epitome of selfishness.

 

         If by some chance there is no serving utensil, pick up a clean fork or spoon and use that instead. Parents should keep an eye on their children who may not be “table-trained” yet, and perhaps also on older relatives who may be forgetful or unaware of what they are doing. Many a would-be guest at a kiddush has walked away disgusted and hungry, because for them the food was no longer edible for the aforementioned reason.

 

         Let’s proceed from the table to the car. As annoyed as I may get by table-hoggers or double-dippers, nothing compares to the fury I feel when I see drivers clutching cell phones in one hand (or by their necks and shoulder) while making turns. I know from experience that crossing the street while talking on a cell phone can be dangerous due to a lack of focus on the task at hand. As hazardous as this irresponsible action is, it is a danger only to the walker.

 

         But a driver in control of several tons of steel, who is distracted mentally and/or physically by a call, is a downright menace. Such drivers are terrorists on wheels – as they cause terror to those who must leap out of their way. I’ve seen pedestrians with the right-of-way crossing the street, and they must stop or speed up to avoid a turning car with an oblivious driver chatting away on the phone. I myself have had to do this many times. Cell phone yakkers are not able to give their full attention to the streets, people and cars around them. But for many of them, it is “gossip uber alles” (gossip above all else).

 

         Let’s proceed from the car to the subway. I enjoy taking trains. I find them to be relatively cheap and fast, and they get me pretty close to where I need to go – and I never have to worry about parking. I even enjoy looking at the sea of humanity riding the subway with me. I try guessing what language they are speaking, as I marvel at their dress and mannerisms, and who and what they are.

 

         However, what I can’t stand is when I am about to get on a train and the person in front of me, upon entering, just stops – often to look around for a seat. In the meantime, my entrance is blocked and the doors are about to close – on me! I don’t tolerate stupidity or self-centeredness well at all, and it takes all the self-control I can muster not to shove the brainless blob blocking me from my path.

 

         Finally, let’s proceed from the subway to the public restroom. The joy one experiences when finding a clean stall in a public restroom evaporates rather quickly when one tries to unroll the toilet paper. Usually the roll is giant-size, but a flimsy one-ply. This means that as you pull the hanging end to get a longer, functional piece, it invariably tears right off because of the roll’s weight. One must pull a dozen times to get enough paper, if they’re lucky. Would it bankrupt the store or service area to buy two-ply or smaller rolls? It might be in your best interest to always have your own tissue handy.

 

         There are many other situations that irk me – but enough for now. I vented and feel better already.

 

         And I hope you do, too!

Cheryl Kupfer

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/hot-and-bothered-letting-the-steam-out/2007/08/15/

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