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  • Google Maps now has NJ Trasit directions!

    2008 - 09.24

    So this is cool.  We all know and love Google Maps. (gmaps) they now have put public transit directions for NYC metro area (including NJ Transit) online!  This is a great step in helping people navigate the many public transportation systems out there.

    Check out maps.google.com/nyc or on your blackberry at m.google.com/nyc 

    For my first demo it event found fatser (although less popular) directions from Grand Central Station to my house.  Not too shabby!  

    Even nicer is they finally after several e-mails to both them and the 2 major map companies have fixed the name of my street!


    2008 - 07.11

    So I have been trying to figure out what I can write about in my blog and I have figured out my next series.  Each year Yacha & I try to take 2 long weekends away with the kids.

    The requierements are simple:

    1. Drivable
    2. Has something for the kids
    3. Has something for us
    4. Has clean hotels

    To expand further this means with a few hours of our house, has something that is reasonably priced, have some place good for our daughter (now 3 1/2) (aka 2-3 hour activity with a non-crazy price tag).

    We have just found our 3rd such vacation so we will start writing about them soon.

    Until then, I reamin.


    My new map of Teaneck

    2008 - 02.17

    When I moved to Teaneck over 6 months ago, I was a bit unhappy about the fact that I could not figure out where anything was. The eruv map was out of date. The town was huge and as a non-native I did not know what was where. In fact, I kept finding new things in town every few weeks.

    To this end when I was president at Congregation Ahavat Shalom in Teaneck, I asked a member of my ritual committee to help make a nice new map of Teaneck that would include at least the eruv. Ezra took the project and ran with it inputting the old eruv boundaries as well as adding all of the RCBC kosher places.

    Time rolled on and no one could tell us where the eruv actually ended. Therefore it sat on a temperary server for a long long long long time.

    Well that was 2 years ago. About 6 months ago I took that old code and edited it and improved parts of it. I also updated and added many many places and removed the few that were no longer. I then went on a long journey to find out where the eruv boundaries actually are.

    And that brings us to today. My new map is hosted on my website, mo-b.net at http://www.mo-b.net/map It is also linked and templated like the Beth Aaron website at http://www.bethaaron.org/map (and these boundaries have been approved! YEAH!).

    I am now looking to figure out what else can be added to help the community in general.

    Until next time, happy strolling.


    2007 - 10.21

    Below is a copy of the thoughts that came to my mind around 6am today, that due to who knows what I was not able to share with everyone:

    This week is a fitting week for a bris.  We read yesterday Avrahams ordeal with Melaih and the fact that he was circumcised at 99.

    ?  ?????, ?????? ???????? ???????; ?????????, ????? ?????? ???????.

    4 ‘As for Me, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be the father of a multitude of nations.
    ?  ?????-???????? ???? ???-???????, ???????; ??????? ??????? ?????????, ???? ???-?????? ??????? ??????????. 5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for the father of a multitude of nations have I made thee.

    A covenant was made between Avrohm and Hashem and his name was changed.  For Avrahom, a Hey was added.  The medresh in bereshit rabbah  points out that it was simple for hashem to create the world, it was effortless like pronouncing the letter Hey.  The medresh goes on to point out that the work Behbaram – when they were created has the same letters as bavrohom – for the sake of avroham, thus alluding to  the purpose of avborhom by him being granted a new name.

    If one letter can signify a world of difference, kal vchomer a complete name has inherent significance.

    Our son’s middle name – is Levi, in memory of my grandparents, Paul and Revela Pressel who were both Levim. 

    As to our son’s first name Eliyahu – The Noam Elimelech in Bamidbar advises naming the a child after a deceased tzaddik.  When a child is named after a deceased tzaddik this perpetuating the tzaddik’s memory the result is a two-fold blessing for both the child and the tzaddik.  When this is done a special affinity is created between the child and the tzaddik who is in the Olam Haemt.    Additionally the neshama of the deceased is raised.  That explains our son’s first name, Eliyahu, the name of the GR”A.

    We want to that so many people.  First of all my parents and mother in law.  My bubby.  Our siblings and family who are with us today, especially Uncle Jonathan and Aunt Pat who drove through the night to be here.  The Rabbi and Chaviva for all of their help, our neighbors the Pudells for opening up their home and for all of their assistance, Nechama and Steven, thank you.  Thank you to the Fisher’s and Haglers for your tables!!!  And to everyone else who is here to join in our simchas, may we be zoceh for many more simachos in the future.

    Cshem snicnas lbris, ken nichnas ltorah l’cupoah o’lmazim tovim.

    For some more pictures go to: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=17803&l=c9d08&id=566122092


    Mazal Tov

    2007 - 10.15

    With much thanks to Hakodosh Baruch Hu, we are happy to announce that we had a little baby boy late Saturday afternoon. 6lb 6oz, 19.5 inches.

    The Shalom Zachor will take place im”h Friday night, 8:15 pm at our house, 170 Edgemont Place, Teaneck.

    The bris will take place im”h Sunday, 10/21 following the 8:00am Shachris Minyan at Congregation Beth Aaron, 950 Queen Anne Road, Teaneck. Following the Milah there will be a sudas mitzva back at 170 Edgemont Place.

    Thank you for joining in our simcha.

    mo-b, Yacha & kayla-rachel

    (any updates or changes will be posted on this blog)



    More pictures:


    Magic Jack

    2007 - 07.24

    So my friends have been asking me to post more about technology and stuff, so here it goes.  I (and 200,000 of my closes friends) had Sunrocket.  Great phone service with one issue.  They went bankrupt and turned off our service with no notice.  So what should I do about my LD phone.

    To backtrack, I am a big believer in POTS lines.  They don’t require electricity and rarely go down.  I guess that’s why they are called Plain Old Telephone service. 

    VOIP lines are nice but the lines go down, they need reboots, the routers fry etc etc etc.  The plus side is cheap unlimited calling.  My solution has been to have a POTS line as my primary and a VOIP line as a secondary and for outbound LD calls.  I used Vonage but canceled after a few months for really lousy connections and poor service.  I then did Sunrocket when they had buy one year for $199, get one free (otherwise known as under $8.50 a month for unlimited everything.)  I then repeated this process and got Sunrocket for another 2 years, or in reality 17 months as they are no longer.

    So then I again was looking for a cheap secondary line for LD calls.  Then I came across MagicJack.  I have been using it for a few days now, and like it so much, I ordered a second so I have one when I travel (or so m bro can steal it).


    • Easy setup – had to download a patch for Vista but from opening envelope to first call was around 3 minutes
    • Sound quality – 8 out of 10
    • Price – $39.95 for device and first year, $19.95 per year afterwards) – GREAT


    • Need computer on
    • The application must be open on computer 
    • Can only use one phone in it (unless you have a system like the Uniden extender phones that only have one unit plugged into a jack)
    • No local numbers YET 
    • That my bro will try to steal mine!!!

    That being said, I was told by customer service (1 day response time) that my Hackensack number will be available in August.

    Until tn, calling you from Tennessee.

     Try this baby out – it is hot.


    Yearbook – part 5

    2007 - 06.07

    3 things you don’t know about the Libermans:


    1) They have a 50 gallon chulent pot

    2) Avrohom has more computers in his house than I do

    3) Did I mention the chulent pot?


    How I found out about that chulent pot is a long story, but I think I was making announcement’s in shul and Avrohom interrupted and invited me over.  Yes at 11am on shabbos.  (I guess 50 gallons of chulent is a lot!!!


    On a more serious note Avrohom & Rachel’s house is always open, whether it is a Shalom Zachor or a week before Purim.  I know what he did to help our shul, and what he does for NCSY is amazing.  Yashir Kocahem.  While you might not know him, his work knows you if you have ever gone to a shabbaton, regional event or have even made a small monetary contribution.  Oh, and Happy Purim!!!

    Protected: This post is password protected

    2007 - 06.05

    Why you ask?  Because I can!!

     That will be all.

    Yearbook – part 4

    2007 - 06.05

    Malya Kurzweil 

    I remember when.

    About a decade ago I lived in an evil city.  Well the city was evil but the people, well a few of them were OK.  There was this person named Malya who would stop by my house every Friday night so she could hang out with the other teens in town.  This was a weekly process.  I would think about going to sleep, and then there would be a knock at the door, or a rock thrown at my window.  Well, not too many rocks.  This led to many things including a job with NCSY and meeting my better half.

    And many years passed…

    And then when I was doing birthright and in the old-city guess who I should run into.  (no, besides someone from Georgia).  Yes, Malya.  It is amazing how sometimes you need to go several thousand miles just to see your neighbor.  

    And now she runs JSU.  Wow.  Cool.  Hey, want to offer me a job?  Any group that does several weekly “Learning and Lattes” has to be the group to join.  I don’t know if JSU supports caffeine addiction withdraw therapy, but it should.  

    I actually have many more stories I could write about Malya but I am assuming I can make more mooney from her not publishing them than I can by putting them on my blog.

    Mazal Tov.

    Yearbook – part 3

    2007 - 06.04


    The Klappers. 

    “Marriage is what brings us together today.”  This line is from movie my wife loves and I can’t stand.  When people first get married they have lots to do.  Marriage is not easy.  Moving, adapting, living.  And then to give all of your spare time to the future of the Jewish people.  WOW.  Now that is something I respect.  As someone who dabbled in youth work (and still does on occasion) I can tell you the level of commitment needed is tremendous.  Ellie and Ashley, I (we) give you the bracha that your cutie (daughter) should grow up and follow in your example and be a super NCSY advisor and ultimately Administrator. 



    p.s. Please feel free to drop off the computer at any time.