Thursday, December 28, 2006

we could be sisters, no?

tonight i has a surprise night on the town (read: shamir-style...west village and union square) with the ever glamorous KC (pictured above with me at a party this past july in j'lem). we grabbed dinner at an old favorite of mine, Panchito's Mexican Restaurant.

i can't lie; i'm pretty sure it was my first time that i went there and didn't have an alcoholic drink. it was actually one of the first places i ever had a drink out at a restaurant -- in oct. of my junior year of college i came to nyc for the weekend and met some friends there for dinner. it was a few months before i turned 21 and they didn't card. wahoo! i've been there a few times since, including the night in may 2005 i went to see Mysterious Skin (our first Joseph Gordon-Levitt movie) with AB (this summer we saw Brick at the j'lem film festival).

anyway, i'm not at all trying to imply that the lack of alcohol had anything to do with my disappointment in the food, however, i was not as impressed with the food as i have been in the past. the salsa was watery. we were seated in a corner and we were forgotten about many times. our waitress didn't ask if we wanted drinks even once; after we ate some salsa&chips and our order finally came, then we asked for water which she brought. we also had to ask for forks and knives after our meals came.

i splurged and ordered jalepeno poppers in additon to a huge veggie burrio. poppers are one of those semi gross deep friend foods that i've only recently started to like. (they are quite spicy but the cheesiness wins out!) sadly, despite the menu description of plenty of hot cheese, the poppers merely contained a small blob of solid ambiguous white cheese. that was not worth eating something super spicy and crazy deep fried. the $7.95 burrito was decent, but spicy for no reason and way too many beans. at the end of the day, the real issue is that it wasn't as yummy as my regular order from burritoville, lost in austin, which is $6.99. will i ever enjoy mexican food again beyond burritoville?

the waitress did check on us once during the meal; however, we had to track her down in order to get the check after much waiting.

all in all (forgive me for using inexcusable redudant phrase), it was a lovely evening. we took a walk up to union square and enjoyed a cool evening that still wasn't bone-chillingly-freezing.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

day 2 at the beach in st. croix

things that are different in st. croix in december (as compared to the northeast of USA where i've spent all of my life):
-it's not cold
-there are mosquitos at night, and no-see-ums at sunset on the beach. i'm covered in bites!
-the only snowmen are blow-up dolls (yet still on people's lawns)
-on the radio, you get wished a "brown christmas" in a west-indian accent

okay, that's it for now. more photos tomorrow!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

day 1 at the beach in st. croix

sometimes people ask me why i keep the daily temperature & weather forecast for St. Croix, USVI on my blog. well, to make a long story short i have a little gig down here where i come twice a year to lead services and teach.

when i left nyc this past fri, it was 20 degrees F, but with the windchill it was ZERO. very very cold. the coldest day yet! my host family is the one i first stayed with last october, EH and CF. three dogs and one sweet cat. seriously it surprises me how much i love cats. i just love 'em!

best things about st. croix: warm air, beautiful ocean views, fresh fruit, local beer. oh, and EVERYONE says "good afternoon" in addition to good morning and good night (as a greeting). freakishly polite, in a good way.

worst things about st. croix: MOSQUITOES. NO SEE-UMS. why must the small bugs constantly eat me up? why must i sleep with a mosquito net yet still have something buzz by my face at 4 in the morning? also, i wish i had some friends to hang out with here. the community is super sweet, but if i could just afford to bring a few friends along, it would be really great to have people to hang out with after 9pm. who wants to come in april?

okay, photos.

PICTURE #1: this is me on a chair at the beach. notice my camping pillow keeping my neck comfy. (love thermarest!) if you look closely you can see the trunk of a palm tree. eventually the shade from this spot was making me a bit chilly, so i moved to an area with more direct sunlight.

PICTURE #2: here are my toes. this is the view directly in front of where i'm sitting. again, gorgeous view -- yet, who to share it with? if you answered harry potter, the new yorker, an iced coffee, and jane magazine, then you'd be correct.

PICTURE #3: general ocean view, this time without the toes. notice the palm trees. my favorite!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

cute frogginess and bagel rant

here's a photo of rafael's recent visit to nyc. i just got back from lexington where i was visiting with my famiy since tuesday.

for some reason, i'm telling myself that i'm on a health-food kick. the weekend before i left for boston, i was inundated with bagels and pizza. i found myself eating one, two, even three bagels per after day! i'm honestly not a huge calorie freak, but one bagel a day for three days in a row, that's just too much. i once read that eating a bagel is the equivalent of eating five slices of bread! considering i rarely eat white flour bread but almost always eat white flour bagels, it's just whack for me to have a whole bagel ever, let alone many bagels day after day. yes of course i love bagels -- but a girls' gotta have a limit.

the good news is that my roommate and i just cleaned out our refrigerator. therefore, we are starting with a minimal amount of everything. i'm not in a place yet of cutting any one thing out of my diet; rather, i plan to go back to my plan from last year: two meals a day that are particularly healthy, with a third meal of whatever i want. for examle, yogurt smoothie for breakfast, pizza for lunch, and quinoa, veggies & tofu for dinner. with that, i also plan to keep going to the gym 3 days a week, and hopefully hit 4 or 5 days.

somehow now that it's in writing, it seems more official. next week: MORE FRUIT.

when i got home tonight, i made a huge pot of quinoa, kale and tofu that i divided into 5 servings, some for this week and the rest for the freezer. my roommate and i also made a huge pot of 13 bean soup with vegetarian beef broth, onion soup mix, and carrots & celery. definitely on our way. am i too proud of myself?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

jenny, be the water!

had a traditional nyc afternoon/evening outing with jr from toronto. we attemped to get standby tickets for the daily show and colbert report, then grabbed schwarma and ate it on a pier overlooking the hudson river. we then proceeded to take some silly photos with jenny, a 0.5 inch plastic naked baby doll:

it was a hilarious photo shoot to say the least. if i were to try to explain the further levels of silliness you'd think i'm nuts, so just trust me on this one...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

love + love = love

when two beautiful people that you love announce that they are ready to announce their love to the world for the rest of their lives, you walk around smiling so hard that your face hurts. you scream at the top of your lungs and jump up and down at a random gas station in upstate ny. you wish ruby-k and knucklehead the BIGGEST MAZAL TOV YOU CAN WISH!

Monday, October 02, 2006

DELICIOUS: The Zeek food issue launch event (Thu. Oct. 26)

Take the 1/2/3 train to 72 & b'way and you're there. Don't forget to sign up in advance and mention Zeek, or bring a printout of this listing to the event to get in for $5 (instead of $8). Hope you can make it!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

9/11/06 and the Jewish Music Awards

Last night (the 5th anneversary of 9/11) I attended the Jewish Music Awards in Battery Park City at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. It was certainly a strange co-mingling of people, performers, and anneversaries. Here are some photos to help sum up the evening:

This is a crew of us posing with comedian Jackie Hoffman. From left to right:
The Last Trumpet, Josh Frankel, Esther, Jackie, and me:

more trumpet, mobius, shana, the jewish robot, me, and brigitta from budapest:

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

visiting yd on gan chava v'adam

for a few hours on a sweltering hot afternoon, ab & i made it up to modi'in to check out the site of the Jewish farming school's summer fellowship, Shorashim.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

sarah writes some rhymes

last night i went out to daila for my first ever Corner Prophets event. after a few poets went up to perform, mobius lead us in an exercise in which he gave us three key words and a topic (orange, mediocre, sullen, and immigration) and each person then wrote something which he or she then performed. everyone had a great time chilling out, creating art, and supporting each other. check out the site to see the rhymes we made up.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

dj mobius at yellow submarine

on mon. night after the conference, Ab and I came back from tel aviv in time to make it to a crazy party with a fabulous band, a rockin dj, and some random female poets. this photo was taken with my camera, but by the world famous Kitra Cahana:

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

jewish bloggers unite!

the beautiful people in this photo represent, roughly from left to right:
Jewlicious, Judapest, Jewschool, Shabot, The View from Here, and Blogs of Zion

here are some photos from the final night banquet of the conference:

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

because i love the nature

chillin with our make-shift family for a week in 'horse park' at the top of ben yehudah street

Monday, July 03, 2006

evening with the sarahs

my first day together with the sarah i've been longing to meet ended with a fancy banquet on the campus of HUC in Jerusalem.

summer in israel part one: climbing

during day one of ROI120, the conference that brought me here, we went to 'the woods' (read: random hill with lots of thirsty pine trees and plants with thorns) for some "group building games." it was hot and tiring, but i did get to climb some stuff...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The AT With B'MBB

i love the appalaican trail. special time in the woods, back to the basics. thunderstroms followed by chirping birds and sun showers.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

happy shavuot!

hi all. i know i am super behind on posting. perhaps since i will be traveling for the next two months i will try to get back on it so you can all keep track of me. for now, read my latest post over at Jewschool for my rants on my relationship with fruit, cheese and coffee.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

public art in riverside park

this is going to be fun!
Curated by Karin Bravin and produced by BravinLee Programs, Studio in the Park will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Riverside Park Fund.

On May 6th, 2006 ten site specific installations wil l be on view in Riverside Park, Manhattan’s largest waterfront green space. Riverside Park stretches over four miles along the Hudson River and is one of the most interesting and beautiful parks in New York City. The Park offers a unique combination of man-made and natural elements and the art works, which will be located from 72nd Street to 153rd Street, will respond to and intensify this relationship. The art will infuse the park with color and unexpected materials giving life to discreet areas of the Park and providing the viewer with visual surprises.

Artists include: Orly Genger, Robert Greenberg, Elana Herzog, McKendree Key, Mischa Kuball, Emil Lukas, Fabian Marcaccio, Alexis Rockman, Kenny Scharf, Gary Simmons, and Steed Taylor.
- read more from the ny times

Monday, May 08, 2006

something's coming

this is how i always feel as i end a semester. two finals left! at 3pm on tuesday i will be a free woman! it's also how i felt last year when my nephew was about to be born any minute. but this time, i won't be back in school this fall. and rafael is already here! (see above on passover) i also won't be or scrambling for a summer job. or pulling my hair out to sublet my apt. instead, i'll be going on a few retreats, my nephew's first birthday party, a trip to israel, and then starting a new full-time job. who knows what else can happen? it's all about to explode and be super exciting.

Could be
Who knows?
There's something due any day
I will know right away
Soon as it shows
It may come cannonballin' down through the sky
Gleam in its eye
Bright as a rose!
Who knows?
It's only just out of reach
Down the block, on a beach
Under a tree
I got a feeling there's a miracle due
Gonna come true
Coming to me
Could it be?
Yes it could
Something's coming
Something good
If I can wait
Something's coming I don't know what it is
But it is
Gonna be great!
With a click
With a shock
Phone'll jingle
Door'll knock
Open the latch!
Something's coming, don't know when
But it's soon
Catch the moon
One handed catch
Around the corner
Or whistling down the river
Come on - deliver
To me
Will it be? Yes it will
Maybe just by holding still
It'll be there!
Come on, something, come on in
Don't be shy
Meet a guy
Pull up a chair
The air is hummin'
And something great is coming
Who knows
It's only just
Out of reach
Down the block, on a beach
Maybe tonight
Maybe tonight...

-Music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim (for West Side Story)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

good news for the jews!!

this morning i took my oral comprehensive exam for an M.A. in Bible from JTS. and then i got this email:

From: David Marcus
Subject: Sarah Chandler
Date: May 2, 2006 12:11:49 PM EDT
To: Debra Blank
CC: Sarah Chandler

Dear Dean Blank,

I have great pleasure in informing your that this morning Sarah Chandler successfully passed her MA Comprehensive examination in Bible. I believe that, with the completion of her present course work, Sarah will have fulfilled all her requirements for the MA.

David Marcus
Professor of Bible
Two finals to go! I'll be done by 3pm one week from today (May 9).

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

rally rally here i come

check out my latest post over at Jewschool about:
  • April 24, Armenian Genocide Day.

  • 28 Nisan / April 24-25, Yom Hashoah V'hagevurah (the Memorial Day for the Holocaust and Heroism)

  • The Save Darfur Rally this Sunday, April 30 in Washington, DC

  • here's one of my favorite photos from the sign making/havdallah party i had on my roof a few years back i preparation for the march opposing the republican national convention, april 2004 (the hebrew sign on the right translates to "justice, justice you shall pursue"):

    here's me with a fabulous jew-crew at the march for women's lives in DC, april 2004:

    dc, i'm coming to you in just FIVE DAYS.

    Friday, April 21, 2006

    SHMINI: A D'var Torah for this Week

    Below is the d'var Torah I'm giving tonight here at my student pulpit in St. Croix. Enjoy!

    Friday, April 20, 2006
    Parshat Shmini
    Jewish Community of St. Croix

    What does a community do when they have put all of their energy, their heart and soul, into building a structure that everyone will benefit from? Do you remember a time you attended a dedication ceremony for a local building or a community playground? What about a new addition to your house or office? I have a strong memory of being nine years old when a community built playground was dedicated in my hometown. There was a huge ceremony which finally ended with a ribbon cutting, at which point I ran to my favorite section – the swinging monkey bars. What an exhilarating rush I felt to be the FIRST PERSON ever to swing on those bars. For years and years, every time I would return to the park, I would look at those bars and think – “I was the first one to swing on those!” Participating in the moment of dedication, being among the first to touch those brand new bars – it was an exciting and important moment.

    The most important and extensive building project in the Torah is the building of the mishkan, which was the portable sanctuary that contained all the instruments and furniture necessary for the ancient sacrificial rituals. Just a few weeks ago we closed the book of Exodus with its completion. The book of Leviticus opened with God giving instructions for its use. The last Torah portion went though the details of the seven day dedication ceremony for the sanctuary. Additionally, Moses, who has been learning how to divide up his leadership roles by delegating various tasks, is now training his brother Aaron, as well as Aaron’s four sons, to be kohanim, or priests.

    This week we read Parshat Shimini – literally “The eighth” – referring to the eighth day of the dedication ceremony. It opens with great excitement and elaborate ritual slaughtering. The climax is at the end of Chapter 9:

    Moses and Aaron went into the Tent of Meeting, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of G-d appeared to all the people.

    And there came a fire out from before G-d, and consumed the ascent offering and the fat [of the other offerings] upon the Altar. And all the people saw, and sang out, and fell on their faces.

    The next chapter opens with the following two verses:
    "And Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, each took his pan, put fire in them, and placed incense upon it, and they brought before the Lord foreign fire, which He had not commanded them. And fire went forth from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord."

    Why were Nadav and Abihu killed – right in the middle of this inauguration ceremony?

    In response to the incident, And Moses says to Aaron: "This is it that which G-d spoke, saying: I will be sanctified in those who are close to Me..." (10:3)

    Based on these words, perhaps the death was not a punishment at all. Rather, he sons of Aharon were on such a high spiritual level that they could not function in this world; their souls were thus separated from their bodies and they ascended to heaven so that they could be closer to God. Though these are the words that God speaks to Moses and Aaron, I do not recommend saying these words to anyone who has just lost a family member or friend.

    Rashi, an 11th century commentator, who is well-known for his logical analysis, attempts to find the answer in the context of the narrative.

    Just as the commandment to not worship foreign idols exists in proximity to the golden calf incident, Rashi links the next closest commandment – indeed, just a few verses later, God commands Aaron, "Do not drink wine that will lead to intoxication." Therefore, Rashi writes, “We know from this that they died precisely on account of the wine.”

    Based on some verses later in the Torah, Rashi propsoses that: Nadav and Avihu died because of Aaron's making of the Golden Calf, since Moses later states: "And against Aaron did G-d verily rage to destroy him; and I prayed also for Aaron at that time" (Deuteronomy 9:20). Moses' prayer was halfway effective, so that two died and two remained alive.

    One Midrash or ledgend, states that Nadav and Avihu resented the authority that Moshe had invested in their father Aaron, asking: “When will these old men pass on so that we may be the nation’s new leaders?” God thus struck them down in punishment for this sin.

    While these answers of blaming people for Nadav and Abihu’s death may have satisfied some, I cannot accept a God who strikes down two young priests in training just for any reason. Though I do believe in some sort of legal punishment, I also believe that Judaism is a religion that believes in forgiveness and repentance – not divine zapping during public ceremonies.

    I wish to present one last interpretation of this story.

    Rashbam, Rashi’s grandson, says that Nadav and Avihu did no more than enter the holy of holies, the innermost chamber of the sanctuary, at the moment the divine fire descended. While some commentators refuse to see anything in the Torah as an accident, and evidence that their death was an accident is also not quite comforting, I believe that Rashbam’s method of showing us how this chain of events took place teaches an even broader lesson that we can all take with us.

    As I mentioned earlier, a climactic moment precedes the death of Nadav and Abihu. One of the verses I read before was:

    "And there came a fire out from before G-d, and consumed the ascent offering and the fat [of the other offerings] upon the Altar."

    Just two verses later, at the start of chapter 10, we read:

    “And there came a fire out from before G-d, and consumed them.”

    Since both cases use the exact set of words, “And there came a fire out from before G-d, and consumed”, Rashbam claims that perhaps these two events happened simultaneously, thus being a case of resumptive repetition. In other words, it is up to the reader to notice that the same fire that burnt up Moses and Aaron’s offering at the end of chapter 9, also accidentally struck Nadav and Abihu.

    Though we cannot erase the fact that the text describes Nadav and Abihu as having “brought before the Lord foreign fire, which He had not commanded them,” Rashbam gives us a crucial shifting of perspective that puts the scene in a whole new light.

    How often do we jump to conclusions or act overly judgmental without much investigation? How often are we disappointed that others do not give us the benefit of the doubt, looking favorably upon us in a difficult situation?

    (Bavli Shabbat 127b)

    The sages teach: 
One who judges his friend favorably will be judged favorably. 
The following story is told: 
A man went down from the Upper Gallilee and was hired as a worker for a landowner in the south for three years.

    On the day before Yom Kippur the worker came to his boss and said, “Give me my wages so I can support my wife and children.” He replied, “I do not have them.”

    He said to him, “Give me produce.” He replied, “I have none.” He said to him, “Give me land.” “I have none.” “Give me animals.” “I have none.” “Give me pillows and covers.” “I have none.”

    The worker slung his things over his shoulder and went home frustrated.

    After the festivals the employer took the worker’s wages in hand, and along with them loaded three donkeys -- one full of food, one with drink, and another with tasty foods -- and went to his worker’s house.

    After they ate and drank he gave the worker his wages.

    He said to him, “When you asked me for your wages and I told you I have no money what did you suspect me of?” “I said perhaps you came across inexpensive merchandise and bought it.”

    “And when you said to me to give you animals and I replied that I have none, what did you suspect me of?” “I said perhaps they were hired out.”

    “And when you said to me to give you land and I told you I had none, what did you suspect?” “I said perhaps it was leased out to others.”

    “And when I told you that I had no produce what did you suspect? “I said perhaps it was not tithed.”

    “And when I told you that I had no pillows or blankets what did you suspect? “”I said perhaps he donated all of his property to Heaven.”

    He said, “I swear that is what happened. I vowed off all of my property because of my son Hyrkanus who did not go to learn Torah. When I went to my friends in the south they annulled all of my vows. As for you -- the same way you judged me favorably, the Omnipresent should judge you favorably.”

    Even in Judaism we are innocent until proven guilty. Though we should still use our logic and reasoning to look at a situation thoroughly, we must always remind ourselves to give the benefit of the doubt, just as the landowner in the story. We all want to get the benefit of the doubt, so doesn’t it make sense to routinely give the benefit of the doubt? It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

    Shabbat shalom.

    Sunday, April 16, 2006

    this will make you laugh. i promise!!

    if you're in nyc, or you can make it there by monday night, don't miss the fabulous, the sexy, the talented, the hilarious Late Night Players playing at on of NYC's top comedy club's, Carolines, located just north of Times Square - B'way between 49 and 50th. BONUS: And...if you RSVP in advance by calling 212 757 4100 and mentioning "Late Night Players" you can go for only FIVE BUCKS!!!!!!

    Tuesday, April 11, 2006

    every animal product is made of corn! can still devour them on passover, but you may not want to the rest of the year. CORN:
    "Corn is what feeds the steer that becomes the steak. Corn feeds the chicken and the pig, the turkey and the lamb, the catfish and the tilapia and, increasingly, even the salmon…. The eggs are made of corn. The milk and cheese and yogurt, which once came from dairy cows that grazed on grass, now typically come from Holsteins that spend their working lives tethered to machines, eating corn."
    - via

    Monday, April 10, 2006

    zeek and passover at

    check out my recent posts about zeek and passover over at jewschool. you'll be glad you did!

    i am now on my last break of the semester. four more days of class, two oral exams, one final, and one seminar paper...then graduation may 18! it's all about may 18...

    Thursday, March 23, 2006

    exactly what i needed

    Thank you to Robbie Gringras for your entertaining and educational performance at JTS this evening. The music, the stories, your ability to teach us the importance of love, sensitivity, and interconnectedness of the Jewish people - thank you. You bring a sincere love of israel that others born abroad can relate to - even if some of us may be more observant and less zionist than you are.

    During the discussion after the show, Robbie articulated the exact thing i needed to hear at this moment in my life, and it rang lound and clear: Jews believe that there is a way about arguing that is sacred - a machlochet l'shem shamayim (an arguement for the sake of heaven). Americans especially are too afrait of conflict - we are so afraid of stepping on each others toes, we create barriers and separate ourselves out. Yet a true community is not made up of people who agree on everything. Rather, a community is created over what people argue about. By arguing with another, we show we care, that we want to understand, and that we value the other. Blind agreement does not show committment; it shows apathy.

    Finally, on the topic of having a relationship with the State of Israel, and all world Jewry, Robbie reminded all of us that the Jewish world can no longer pretend that we are not connected. Even if we don't understand.

    Okay it's time for this Shamir to get out there! Live the journey! Be the ball! (Huh?)

    Friday, March 17, 2006

    "Cutting Down the Shoots"

    Ariel Beery gives a fascinating explanation of the obscure phrase and Elisha Ben Abuya's Platonic philosophy. Assimilation is nothing new, folks.

    Shabbat Shalom!

    Tuesday, March 14, 2006

    that tzur mishelo tune

    e was right. we all sing it wrong!. thanks to ZT for the tip.

    [update] oh crap and that lecha dodi tune is off too...

    Monday, March 13, 2006

    Purim tonight!!!

    Don't know where to go for megillah reading this year (and live in NYC)? Now, you don't have to choose. Storahtelling, with Zeek Magazine and Jewish Women Watching bring you a crazy parade up Broadway that will include music, singing, chanting, and surprise giveaways. If you can't make it for the parade, then definitely join us for the party afterward. Here's all the info:

    DATE: Monday, March 13, 2006—Erev Purim, Adar 13, 5766
    SCHEDULE: (times estimated)
    6:00pm PROMPT —JCC, 334 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th Str.
    6:45—Ansche Chesed, 251 West 100th St.
    7:45—B’nai Jeshurun Adult’s Service, 86th St. and West End Ave.
    8:45—Carlebach Shul, 305 West 79th St. (Between West End and Riverside)
    10:00—Crossroads (a funky bar, formerly Raccoon Lounge), 480 Amsterdam Ave at 83rd St. [no cover!]

    JOIN US IN COSTUME (Think Brigade - Putting the Fun in Fundamentalism…)

    For Rebbetzin Hadassah Gross' Megilla Guerilla Brigade March 2006 PuriManifesto,

    I Am Seattle

    Lots of love to my cousin's the Moore family out in Seattle.
    Take the quiz:
    Which American City Are You?

    Your dark exterior masks a caffeine driven activism. You'll take up a cause and you'll get ugly to advance it.

    happy birthday to me!

    well computer is still in the shop. they are waiting for a new something board or board of something - they do not know when i will have it back. luckily for me, both my birthday and purim are taking place during this crazy computer-less time. below are some of the highlights from last thursday's big celebration:

    chillin with the newly engaged couple

    love it when the family comes!

    am i attracted to beards or are beards attracted to me?

    yza and i surrounded by men who manage to be hot without beards

    big bear hug with nd and ns

    "one love, one gulp, let's get together with ys..."