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October 30, 2014 / 6 Heshvan, 5775
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JBlog Roundup: Love and Marriage and Hate and Divorce and Blintzes

Cops Scare Easy

Cops Scare Easy

You want strange news? I’ll give you strange news:

According to a complaint filed in Federal Court, Nancy Genovese, a mother of three, was arrested for taking a picture of the decorative shell of a helicopter on display in full public view near the entrance of the Gabreski Airport in Suffolk County, New York.

While shooting the chopper from her car, she was approached by a Southampton Town Policeman, who demanded to know why she was taking photographs. The cop notified the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and the authorities at Gabreski Airport that Nancy was posing a terrorist threat.

Among those responding to the call were airport officials, Homeland Security, the FBI, the Southhampton Police Department, and the Westhampton Police Department. Genovese and her 18- and 20-year-old sons were questioned for six hours by the side of the road by everybody in range wearing a uniform. It’s not a very busy airport. it’s not like they had better things to do.

This went on for quite some time, and involved many different kinds of humiliation and threats, including a lot of needless jail time and being placed on suicide watch – and also some cash is missing, don’t ask. Read the whole thing, if you’re into this kind of entertainment (of course you are). But the lesson we take from this really bizarre story is:

Cops Scare Easy.

Seriously, it’s something I’ve learned a long time ago, and just goes with their territory. Cops Scare Easy, and so when you run up against one of them, think of him as Bambi, fragile, and frightened out of his mind. But it’s Bambi with a sidearm, so be even sweeter.

EAT, PRAY, LOVE, WED

Tania, a female Jewish Orthodox student at Yeshiva University with an international background. She says she attended a wide range of Orthodox institutions from the right to the left. In her blog, Thinking Jew Girl, she goes into School, Peace in the Middle East, Orthodoxy (whatever that means), women’s rights, shidduchim, engagements, weddings (that’s three different aspects of the same gigantic issue), food, politics and anything else (I think she may have left out only figure skating and philately).

Yesterday, a reader wrote her: “I’m worried I will never get married. Do you have any suggestions of how I can avoid this nagging feeling? Do you have the same problem?”

If I had a dollar for every time some friend told me she was afraid she’d never get married… My humble opinion is that getting a good shidduch is a lot like finding the right home: the range of the supply depends on the demand. Or, in other words, it’s all about expectations and standards.

I’m saying it even though I actually found my loved one of many, many years all by myself, without the help of a shadchan. Back then we were a little looser, if you know what I mean. And I’ve stuck by the same lovely person ever since (we’re in our fourth decade together, in case you’re curious).

Tanya writes back: “I totally understand and empathize with your feelings of frustration.”

She continues with a heart breaker:

“About a year ago, I went out with this guy who was ten years older than me… It was the best first date of my life. He had huge warm eyes, a friendly demeanor, a genius mind, he was tall and cute, and the conversation had this awesome flow, positive energy, and I was sitting there thinking ‘Oh my Gosh! This guy is SO cute!’”

But then… “A month later at midnight he dumped me.”

To find out how Tanya managed that one and what she’s doing every day to stay sane and not slip behind in her YU work, visit her blog and say hi from Tibbi.

GET THAT GET

First, here’s the NY Post report, condensed version:

Four guys in black ski masks, tied up and beat Robert Klein, 25, an Orthodox guy from Brooklyn, until he told a rabbi he was giving his wife a get.

Ninja Beis Din?

Klein’s father-in-law, Brian Hirshman, 52, was charged with robbery and assault.

Rav Zev Leff’s Daas Torah – Issues of Jewish Identity blog pretty much copies and pastes the same item from the Post, and leaves it there for his trusted readers to comment on. And they do, and quite well.

Chaim Manis says the get recipient would be committing adultery if she remarries, and her children from another husband would be mamzeirim. He also wishes her husband will “never giver her a Get now, and she’ll grow old and lonely as a lesson for her actions.”

Rabbi Michael Tzadok says the mamzerim comment “is fairly harsh considering that surprisingly little is known about the entire case. He lists the variables of the case which the Post, not surprisingly, does not provide:

Was there a Beis Din ordered Get? Was there a valid case of domestic abuse? Which spouse initiated breaking up the marriage?

He notes that if her father and his buddies acted on their own initiative, then the entire affair and its outcome) (i.e. they aren’t her actions).

So a guy nicknamed Emes Le Yaacov really goes old testament on Rabbi Tzadok:

“ORA (Organization for the Resolution of Agunot) propagandist Tzadok is once again obfuscating and confusing the frum olam with irrelevant questions.

“In the very unlikely event a kosher Beis Din ordered a forced Get, using masked witnesses will disqualify even a forced Get. Using masked thugs in ski masks has nothing to do with Judaism, its just NY street gangsterism.

“When will Tzadok stop trying to sell us feminist gangsterism as Judaism?”

Is that cool or what? I can just imagine those two inside a small beis medrash, hopefully without sharp objects handy. Go, join the mayhem, it’s just starting. And, of course, say hi from Tibbi.

WHY DO WE EAT DAIRY ON SHAVUOT – II

Today we visit the home of Ask Moses, which promises heavenly answers to human questions. So, why does Moses think we eat dairy on the day he came down the mountain with the tablets?

Rabbi Baruch E. Erdstein and Nechama Dina Kumer say it’s the love.

“On Shavuot we celebrate the giving of the Torah. This gift was one of complete compassion and loving-kindness, for with the Torah we were given the tools (i.e. knowledge, commandments) to connect with the infinite and otherwise unknowable Creator.

“Dairy foods are associated with the loving, nurturing generosity exemplified by a mother nursing her baby. It is this supreme love that we connect to on the anniversary of the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. New beginnings and connecting to the Source is what Shavuot is all about.”

OK, first, what does that say to the huge portion of the human race who are lactose intolerant? I’m not being PC here, I’m just wondering.

Second, mother’s milk is decidedly not dairy. There may be a problem if a grown person consumes it, but it’s not because it’s dairy.

Otherwise, sure, milk is fun, if it doesn’t keep you up all night with the runs…

(Check out yesterday’s Shavuot dairy reasons)

PRAYING FOR OTHERS, WHAT A CONCEPT

This is totally crucial, because I’m just the kind of person who ends up bogged down by the ever growing list of people I add to my “Refa’enu” (heal us, the eighth blessing in the Amida prayer) list.

The Rebbetzin’s Husband wonders when he should take a person off his Tehilim list, which is a similar dilemma:

“I began saying two paragraphs of Tehillim each morning before Shacharis some time back, and the practice has grown on me. Aside from the contribution I believe I am making to people’s health, I find it helps me get ready for my own davening, as well as feel good for the day.

“But I have the question myself: When do you take someone off the list?

“I am not talking about halting Tehillim [Psalms] because a situation is hopeless; rather, I’m talking about halting Tehillim because it seems that a person has recovered, or, at least, seems to be out of danger.”

He follows with a nice discussion, which he leaves unanswered, in the end. His readers are chipping in, though, so if you have a worthwhile contribution, go for it.

There’s another application to the prayer for people in need. You’ll find it on a million blogs of 12-step addicts all over the Internet, copied and pasted with the last breath of folks looking to free themselves from the “bondage of self.”

“If you have a resentment you want to be free of, if you will pray for the person or the thing that you resent, you will be free. If you will ask in prayer for everything you want for yourself to be given to them, you will be free. Ask for their health, their prosperity, their happiness, and you will be free. Even when you don’t really want it for them, and your prayers are only words and you don’t mean it, go ahead and do it anyway. Do it every day for two weeks and you will find you have come to mean it and to want it for them, and you will realize that where you used to feel bitterness and resentment and hatred, you now feel compassionate understanding and love.”

This is not at all the Christian “turn the other cheek” thing, which is just a lie. This is about cleansing ourselves of resentments, because resentments, when they accumulate, are pure poison and can kill us.

Make no mistake about it, forgiving someone for their behavior, or even for their transgression against us, even for a crime they committed, does not mean they’re not responsible for it and shouldn’t be punished. For their own good they should be punished.

But when I as an individual pray for them, they no longer live rent free in my head. They’re God’s responsibility now, and the police and the court and whatever else.

Thought I should bring it up.

Invite Tibbi Sinher to visit your blog

About the Author: Tibbi Singer is a veteran contributor to publications such as Israel Shelanu and the US supplement of Yedioth, and Jewish Business News.


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