Goals and next actions.

Brain dumps.

Shy little thing. (at Peter Luger Steak House Est. 1887)

Manhattan’s 9th Avenue

It’s so hard to find quite in this world. The way we live.

Look at Whatsapp. There is this amazing urgency to it. Might have to do it’s all your contact - no spam, your mom doesn’t use the service either.  I was on a group with close friends - 30, 40 messages, voice notes, video clips a day. Half of the stuff was actually interesting. But do I have the time? Do I want to hear chit chat from my friends all day? What about me time, boss time, wife time, reading time, gym time, prayers time? How about going inside for a little bit? I left the busiest groups: my wife’s family, my congregation, and this small band of friends. Some people were pretty pissed at me. 

Then there’s Waze. A social network for the road. Helps you avoid traffic and alerts you for cop. The whole time you’re driving, say on the ever-calm and beautiful US Interstate 78, you are interrupted by useful information. Traffic building up ahead, car stopped on shoulder, object on road, in 80 feet, in 500 feet, in 100 feet, turn left. That’s no way to drive. It’s non stop. I’m using Google Maps now. 

Yedidya Mier is an interesting guy. A small-time media personality and columnist in Israel. With the recent war between the Israelis and the Pals, there were too many rumors floating around. He posted the following, in Hebrew on several Whatsapp groups before leaving:

"Friends, I hope you will forgive me. I am abandoning Wahtsapp until after the war. These true/ untrue rumors make life hard for me. So I will just have the notifications from the official IDF spokesperson - and maybe miss hot an fresh info - but I will stay sane". [The screen then reads: Yedidya Mier left]. 

Don’t become the tool of your tool. 

 

I don’t subscribe to much. I know where to find information when I need it. $ out of 6 newsletters I subscribe to are what I will call “Jewishness Content”. I subscribe for two reasons: because I wouldn’t find their kind online and also because I need to print such material out before the Sabbath.  

So here is the what and the why: 

Instapaper: Because I love the brand. Because they only email me once a week. Because their email does one thing: Suggest a number of popular articles. There’s then a two-click process to add the article to my feed. I read these articles on my commute. 

Harvard Business Review - I find a gem every now and then, such as this wonderful piece by Peter Drucker on managing oneself. I ignore most of the newsletter. It could be more selective and better curated. Subscribing means I am sure to read a few good business articles during the year. Also, forwarding HBR artilces and sharing them on LinkedIn makes you look smarter than you are. 

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Rabbi Sacks is a Jewish leader from the UK. Not a leader of Jews. A legendary leader who happens to be an Orthodox rabbi, scholar, professor, a British knight and baron, bestselling author, among other things. He is so well read and prolific, it’s astonishing. His newsletter is a beautiful remix on the weekly parsha (Torah reading), sweetened with lessons from traditional Jewish sources, and world history, philosophy, and business. This piece on Conflict Resolution from the summer of 2014 is a good example. You don’t have to know Torah to enjoy it. 

Yedidya Mier - it’s hard to get on the list for Yedidya’s newsletter. I had to name-drop. He posts his stuff on Facebook as well. Yedidya is an Orthodox Israeli columnists and media personality. So cosmopolitan, so funny, so inspired. His colloquial and elegant Hebrew column is based on Israeli politics or current events, and expands into history, stories, characters, Torah, culture - amazing stuff. What a treat. 

Sivan Rahav Mier is the wife of the above Yedidya. She is a reporter for Channel 2 in Israel and a mom. There’s a beautiful warmth and balance to her weekly newsletter. A string of short sound-bitey paragraphs on current events, people, happenings. The style is really Yediya-lite. When you sign up for one, you get the other. 

And finally, Yossi Green. Yossi is a friend, a Brooklyn businessman, dad to 10, and arguably the most important composer of modern orthodox Jewish music. I love Yossi for his depth and breadth. Such a rich life and personal history. So  much ambition and imagination. He began to write for a small Israeli newspaper in the Spring of this year (“I always wanted to write. Committing to a weekly column was the only way it was gonna happen”). His best columns are on his creative process, inspirations, journeys, and findings. My only complaint is that some of the time he writes about what he thinks the paper needs that week - stuff he doesn’t care about himself, I think. (a piece around a Jewish Holiday, a piece about the three boys, etc.). Yossi sends me and a couple of other guys an advance copy every week. 

All these come to my work email - where I can handle them best, being chained to my desk anyway. The Jewish newsletters (i.e. all except for HBR and Instapaper) get printed on 11x17 paper (thanks, Boss!) and taken home for Shabbos.

These are all newsletters I subscribed to in 2014. Overload? No. So far all this new information has been not only manageable and useful, but fulfilling and happiness-increasing in big ways. 

Write about BHEVSC and George Diebold, Ira Black, Ben Lowy and others.

I like to get to inbox zero. But I cheat. I believe it’s okay if you can’t get yourself to really throw it away. 

Using this as practice. Test. Placeholder. 

Exiting the Lincoln Tunnel #nyc #westside #tunnel #lincoln #infrastructure #construction #development #cityscape #skyline #hirise #mini #miniature

#westside #nyc #cityscape #skyline #dark #miniature #mini #city #urban #grit #traffic #construction #development #infrastructure

No filter. Unadulterated gorgeousness. #nature #texture #wood #forest #green #leaf #accidentalart #foundart #glamour #romance #gorgeous #love #crazy #environment #parks #outdoors #wild #instamood #military #armedforces #brave #nofilter #westpoint (at U.S. Military Academy - West Point)

Pristine #summer #fun #blue #pool #swimming #aqua #cool #sun #glow #warm #love #ocean #sea #dream #relax #chill #limes #awesome

Prayer shawl #talit #talis #tzitzit #mitzvah #chabad #shabbat #jewish #prayer #texture #color #wool #embroidery #fabric #pattern #fringes