The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Friday, May 07, 2010

Mottel and the Big Easy - Part I

Of Social Media and Bourbon Street 

It's been awhile since I posted a true scale Travel Post on this blog . . . which is odd - because Letters of Thought was conceived as in Vilna and started in Venice as a travelogue.

But the wait is over my friends . . . instead of a Picture of the Week, I give you 20 of them -

Part One of Mottel in the Big Easy: Of Social Media and Bourbon Street.

Click on the link to enjoy!

A week after Purim in LA, Chana and I were flown out, so that I could speak at a Jewish youth program in New Orleans on Social Media and Judaism.

Landing Thursday night, we went to the National World War II museum. Why of all places the countries WWII museum is New Orleans - I'm not entirely sure . . . but it's an amazing museum!
Unfortunately my pictures of the museum were somehow lost while transferring from my netbook to my trusty laptop . . . sigh. If they show up, I'll put them in their own post.

A Street Car

Architecture along S. Charles st.

Rocking chairs in front of the ShotGun house we stayed in (good friends of Chana - thank you so much!)

On Sunday we went down to Metairie to speak at the Bagrut program.

I spoke of Judaism and technology - and how we could use it for world good.

And then we hit the old city . . .

Music was everywhere . . . and the photos seemed to take themselves!

Two very interestingly dressed dudes . . . no idea where they're from.

I love this shot

Kiddushin 33a: Kamah harpatki adu alayhu d'hani

There were bikes everywhere . . .

The Big Easy and Bourbon street

Classic New Orleans architecture

Two men with  their books

This band just looked so cool

I managed to shoot this one from the hip - he was looking right at me, and I wanted the image to be candid

The old blends with the new

This Guy wanted money for the picture -  only had a few cents on me . . . So I suppose it was worth it.

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Yermi said...

Love the post - wish you can take me with you!!! keep them coming!!!
I'm in middle of looking up why New Orleans has the WWII museum - I remember reading something about it!

Minnesota Mamaleh said...

LOVE the pics! each one is, indeed, a heartfelt memory! those rocking chairs look awfully inviting! :)

sarabonne said...

That first picture is excellent. Because of the perspective moving back, and the people moving across, it works well.

Anonymous said...

Zionism is a term that has multiple meanings and a myriad of implications and connotations; simply and ignorantly using, misusing and conflating the word whenever it suits you, is intellectually dishonest. Case of point: The cornerstone of Zionism, that “being a nation like all others” is in itself an admirable quality and something we should strive for, has been deemed to be unholy and foreign to Judaism to virtually all Orthodox leaders since the inception of Zionism (even Rav Kook did not agree with this notion, but held that it is “still worth it” for many other considerations). The reason for this is that Zionism is predicated on the concept that we should impress and curry favour in the eyes of the nature of the world by embracing the secular value system and excelling in its precepts. Jews have a value system that has been transmitted from generation to generation dating back to Sinai. We look at the Torah, not, G-d forbid, at others for moral guidance. Additionally, the guidelines of Kidush Hashem is delineated by the Torah. (For example: if ones host country decides that indulging in sushi is a sign of intelligence, would we now be requited to replace the gefilte?)

The Lubavitcher Rebbe took a position that was unprecedented in Torah Judaism. He felt that currying the favour of the gentiles is worth in and itself. When Rav Shach, who used to relate how he witnessed a Jew whose entire fortune was expropriated by the poritz break out in a dance because “the goy can never take away my Jewishness” and hence did not feel that persecution was inherently detrimental because that means “they don’t respect us” – was ridiculed by the Rebbe, who maintained that it is a “bizoyon” for a Jew to bend his head to a goy. The Rebbe, and his predecessor, felt that large parades of mitzvah tanks is valuable even if no Jew sees it, we are giving a positive message to the nations of the world.

In Chabad, their understanding and appreciation of the virtue of self – sacrifice is limited to what can be understood by the talibans. They comprehend why one should clandestinely create schools for their children in Russia not unlike how an Arab would appreciate someone secretly indoctrinating their youth to Muslim fundamentalism in North Dakota. They can appreciate why one should endure hardship in a foreign county – just to spread his ideology – just like the Mormons understand it. Yet, they fail to understand why one should spend hours just for a slightly advantageous interpretation of a Rashbah.

Mottel said...

-Yermi & MM: Thanks!
-SB: from an artist? wow!
Anon: Please don't spam me with your crap.

Anonymous said...

The Lubavitcher Rebbe was the only Hasidic leader who was not opposed to Giyus Bonot. There is no evidence of any participation of his on behalf of the decrees' annulment; not even in his lectures and oral works.

Anonymous said...

Needless to say, Anonymous is a liar, as he'd know if he bothered with even a cursory search of the Rebbe's letters on the subject. Why no greater publicity? I don't know, but perhaps precisely because of "people" like this, who would say lehach'is, "Well, if the Lubavitcher Rebbe is against it, then I'm for it!"

aheppenh said...

That last comment was supposed to be under my name, sorry.

Anonymous said...


please direct us to the Rebbes letters about Giyus Bonos and Sheirut Leumi; need more details