Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka gets a job and passes the bar exam


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Stupid Comment Of The Day

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gas Prices And Orthodox Jews

What is it about gas prices that makes otherwise normal and intelligent people say stupid things? Over the weekend I heard various acquaintances blame high gas prices on nefarious plots by either Al-Qaeda, ExxonMobil, or Saudi Arabia. One friend proposed that we take all of Iraq's oil. Another said we should boycott certain oil companies in an effort to drive down prices by starting a price war.

I've bemoaned the lack of knowledge of basic economics before, and I think it's even worse among Orthodox Jews. Someone who knows at least the basics about supply and demand and monetary policy understands why gas prices are going through the roof. Someone who went to a Yeshiva high school and Touro College is going to believe conspiracies.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

And For Those Of You Taking The New York Bar Exam...

...Relax. Yes, it's the most important exam of your life. Yes, there's a huge amount of material that you will need to memorize. Yes, the next two months are probably going to be the worst two months of life. But, if you study correctly, you will almost certainly pass.

Here are some tips based on my experience last year.

1. Focus on the MBE. It's much easier to get a high score on the the MBE then on the NY essays. It's only 6 subjects vs. the twentysomething on the essays. Every day do 35 questions and review the answers.

2. Don't outline. This isn't law school. The BAR/BRI lectures are already in outline form. Re-outlining them is a waste of time. Instead, get old outlines from the prior year, and just keep reading them over and over again.

3. Don't bother with the practice essays. You don't really "know" the material until the last two weeks. There's no point in writing practice essays when you can't answer the questions properly. Instead, review questions, try to spot the issues, then look at the answers. You'll learn the law a lot better that way.

4. Follow the Paced Program, but modify it to suit your needs. Remember, BAR/BRI is designed for the guy who finished last in his class at CUNY Law School. You're smarter than that. You don't need to spend 3 hours reviewing that day's lecture. You don't need to ever prepare for the next day's class.

5. Attend the lectures. You're paying for them, you might as well use them. It's an easy way to study 3 hours each day.

6. Stop studying at least 2 hours before you go to sleep. I have awful study habits, so I spread out my studying throughout the entire day. I could never study for any extended period of time. Ideally, you should treat studying like a job- 9:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. of real studying, then take the evening off.

7. Don't talk to your friends about their study habits. Remember, some of your friends are crazy, and it's only going to freak you out when they say that they are studying 14 hours a day.

The dirty little secret is that the whole thing is overrated. You may have to know a ton of material, but you only have to know it on the most superficial level. It's not that hard. Of course, you're only going to realize this after you pass. But try to keep that mind over the next two months.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Quote Of The Day

"One constantly hears about the disabling complexity of the Arab-Israeli dispute. Complex it is, but the root cause is not. Israel's crime is not its policies but its insistence on living. On the day the Arabs -- and the Palestinians in particular -- make a collective decision to accept the Jewish state, there will be peace, as Israel proved with its treaties with Egypt and Jordan. Until that day, there will be nothing but war. And every "peace process," however cynical or well meaning, will come to nothing."

- Charles Krauthammer

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Judges Giveth...

And the people shall taketh.

The California Supreme Court ruled today that the California Constitution requires the state to recognize same-sex marriage. In November, there will likely a constitutional amendment on the ballot restricting marriage to heterosexual couples only.

I'm curious how this will play out in the Presidential campaigns. I'm hoping that McCain doesn't call for a federal Constitutional amendment. Marriage is a local issue. Let the states figure it all out. I'm obviously not thrilled when judges make social policy, but at least it's isolated within one state. Californians who are upset at the ruling will be able to overturn it in November.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Maybe I'll Go This Year

In Defense of Shidduch Lists

This post was triggered by a conversation I had over Shabbos. A common complaint among Orthodox Jewish females who are doing the shidduchim thing is that guys have "lists." It's not fair they say. There are usually two kinds of complaints: 1. They hear of a great guy, they want to go out with him, but are told that you're going they're going to have to wait their turn because he has a list of names a mile long. 2. Guys are always getting calls with shidduch ideas while girls sit at home waiting for the phone to ring.

These complaints are misguided.

If a guy has a list, that simply means that he is being redt more girls than he can go out with. It's a little like Lucy at the chocolate factory. You keep dating, but the names keep coming in. So a guy has two choices; he can tell the shadchan that he doesn't want to hear any more suggestions, or he can take down the info and add to the list.

I don't see anything wrong with adding to the list. When you're ready to go out with a new girl, then you go out with the one that seems the most appropriate. The "list" isn't like the waiting list to get season tickets to Jets.

As for the complaint that guys are always being redt shidduchim, while it's All Quiet on the Shidduch Front for the girls- the way the shidduch system is set up, one side has to be the first to be contacted. The shadchanim will call me first, but more often than not, it's not worth a date for whatever reason. But plenty of time is wasted figuring that out.

While the phone doesn't ring that often for the girl, when t does ring, the guy has already agreed to go out. One side has determined that it's worth a date. Odds are, it's worth a date for the girl as well. The guy is basically acts as the filter. If the gender roles were reversed, then girls would probably be complaining about all the awful ideas they're being suggested.

Now I know the shidduch system has many, many problems. But lists aren't one of them.