Labels: dixie yid
My mother died when I was 6 so I pretty much raised myself. I also gained this totally different perspective of Judaism because we were very modern behind closed doors- but in the open my father was just this old school orthodox guy that happened to have learned in some very prestigious yeshivas. I remember being driven to yeshiva chofetz chaim in Rochester and stopping on the way to get an eggplant farm at some non-kosher place, I also remember watching TV on shabbos afternoon.
JB:How did you come up with the name frumsatire? What other names did you consider?
Frum:It just flowed off the tongue, I thought about "frum rants" but it didn't sound as cool, although "frum sarcasm or irony" may be a better fit as I have progressed along the humor scale.
JB:How did you get introduced to the J Blogosphere?
Frum:I started blogging as someone who had no idea what a blog was- I started it just because I had a lot to say. The day I was introduced to the fact other Jewish blogs existed was when I got my first big links. Krum as a Bagel and Aidel Maidel both linked me up when I wrote about different categories in orthodoxy- and suddenly I was thrust into the J-Blogsphere.
JB: What do you do for a living and what's your dream job?
Frum:I work as a an Internet Marketing Manager- for all those techies out there I am really an SEO/SEM guy who dabbles with advertising and shopping all day long, but this allows me to work on my own stuff by learning the field.
Cons: the winter is awfully lonely- especially when there isn't enough snow for skiing. I wish I could have someone to show all of the beautiful things I have seen. In the words of Chris McCandless- experience is nothing unless shared.
JB:Do you ever fear that your videos will have any consequences in shidduchim?
Frum:I go through stages- I am constantly taking stuff down due to philosophical debates about how I want to present myself. I used to not care- but now my audience is too large not to care. I have cleaned up my act and try to only put kosher things up- its better for business in general
Frum:Wow favorite fan, I get a lot of emails saying how awesome I am. Commenters come and go, I will have one person commenting for 6 months straight and suddenly they are gone. These commenters are usually women by the way. Some guy just contacted me the other day, he is the director of a large Jewish political not-profit in NYC and he says he's been reading my stuff since I started and loves me. In two weeks time he got me a spot on some cable TV show, and wants to write me up for some of his newspaper connections. Is he my biggest fan?
Stalkers is an interesting subject. I do have stalkers, people will stalk in various ways, usually through comments and then I'll get messages on facebook and if I'm on frumster they will find me- but specific cases are way too many- I have them and usually they are quite fun.
JB:What new ideas do you see yourself putting forth on your blog other than your videos?
Frum:I have been in Israel twice, first time on a Hillel Birthright trip with the University of Rochester in 2002 and then again a couple years later when I took off 5 months to learn at Ohr Someyach. I love and will undoubtedly live there someday- who knows when. I brought my mountain bike and saw the country from the 10 mph perspective, I went on rides with random riders through ruins and the desert and saw a lot, learned very little. I look at all my experiences through that of my bike, I used to ride to the kotel at 2 in the morning to daven maariv- its eerie let me tell you. I especially liked staying in Chevron during the whole Chayei Sarah weekend events- camped out the Baruch Goldstien memorial park- found that kind of ironic. Oh and the food- one must not forget the food- luckily I rode a lot- or else I would have blown into a blimp- like the first year seiminary girls do.
JB:What Jewish Music are you currently listening to?
Frum:Well I'll tell you I just got the AKA Pella adaptations album and am very impressed- just wrote a review. I also just got Yossi Greens The 8th Note and its wonderful, besides for that I am addicted to Avaraham Fried and the Marvelous Middos Machine of all things.
JB:Your current favorite Jewish Solo Artist is?
Frum:Well in terms of innovative and up and coming I would have to say Mendy Pellin, he's funny and completely kosher and appeals to both kid and adults. I think Matisyahu and Y-Love are amazing thing for Jews as a whole, because they allow Jews to feel comfortable being Jews. It makes more people want to take off their baseball caps and don yarmulkes.
JB:At times the daf's discussion may be a little dry, how do you make it interesting?
DafNotes:I always look for a Torah discussion relevant to the Daf that will be interesting to all the serious Daf Yomi learners, the occasional learners and the one's that are just getting started. I look for stories related to the Daf, and issues that pertain to many areas of the Talmud. Every once in a while I will write about a somewhat controversial topic, which can be beneficial.
JB:Are you the only blog that does the daf?
DafNotes: There was one before me; David G. from A Daf a Day. He had stopped and I asked him some advice before I began. Since then, another one started called Heoros on the Daf from Avi Lebovitz, a Rosh Kollel in Palo Alto, California. His discussions are deeper and more intricate than mine.
JB:What's your favorite daf?
DafNotes:The Gemora tells us that we are not supposed to choose one portion over the other. Every day, I write over most of the Daf in English in a manner that it can be self-understood without the text in front of you, besides writing a short discussion on the Daf. It is easier to write when it is a halacha topic, but the discussions can be easier when it is a Homiletical Gemora.
JB:How long have you been involved in daf yomi?
DafNotes: I began twenty years ago, but it was sporadic. I started learning it b'chavrusah approximately ten years ago, and I have been saying a shiur for eight years.
JB:Your Blog is very well put together, did you do that yourself?
DafNotes: Thank you. I initially designed it myself, and then I had input from other bloggers on ways to enhance it. Recently, the blog took a facelift and all the credit for that must go to Mr. Bagel. He wanted to see a Torah blog have the appearance of a top-notch blog, and I must say that he's an expert and he succeeded in his mission. I can't thank him enough.
JB:What do you find most inspiring about blogging the Daf?
DafNotes: All the Gedolim always talk about the connection to your fellows that is created by learning the Daf. Rabbi Levin always talks about the people he sat next to on an airplane and they studied the daf together. With blogging, we have this experience every day. Like I said before, all types of people stop by. We get inspired from the interest that everyone has. People in all types of businesses take a break in middle of their hectic day to see what's cooking on the daf and to see if they have anything to add to the discussion.
JB:Do you see yourself continuing this blog for a long time?
DafNotes: With G-d's help I hope so. The next cycle should be easier.
JB:Any last words to our reading audience?
DafNotes: Firstly, I'd like to thank Hashem for giving me the opportunity to disseminate Torah to all over the world. Secondly, I'd like to express my deepest sense of gratitude and appreciation to my wife, Tzippy, for putting up with me and all my projects, and for offering her words of encouragement when things are going tough. My children pick up the slack for me in taking care of the house, and they are most helpful. I thank my brother Ben from topofthelinepromotions.com for taking on this project with me, and for all his assistance in editing and researching now. I can't forget my brother Motti from Petach Tikvah, Israel, who controls the Midrashiya server that delivers the Daf to everyone mailbox every day. I thank the rest of my family, personal friends, helpful bloggers and everyone for contributing to this Kiddush Hashem. Thank you and may we merit the coming of Mashiach speedily.
If you would like to be interviewed or would like to suggest a blogger to be interviewed or have questions for upcoming J-Bloggers email me.