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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 10/21/10

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Dear Rachel,

It always amazes me when people act as though they’re high and mighty and look down at others for whatever reason. Whether one is blessed with good looks or with material wealth, or has children who grow up to become successful doctors or lawyers, we are all G-d’s children. Even those who are born into aristocratic families cannot escape the fact that they come from dust and will return to dust.

Therefore, I appreciated your reply to the parent who took issue with yeshivas that reject children who may experience difficulties in their growing years, and especially liked your comment about “pompous fools” who end up fooling themselves because – “Hashem sees all our flaws and knows our weaknesses, regardless of the show we put up for others.” (Chronicles 9-17-10)

In light of the above, I thought you and your readers might enjoy reading the following story that’s recently been making the rounds:

Alice G. was to bake a cake for the Ladies’ Auxiliary in Tuscaloosa but forgot about it until the last minute.

She remembered it the morning of the bake sale, and after rummaging through cabinets, found an angel food cake mix and quickly made it while drying her hair, dressing and helping her son pack up for school.

When she took the cake from the oven, the center had dropped flat and the cake was horribly disfigured. “Oh dear, there is no time to bake another cake!” she exclaimed.

This cake was important to Alice because she did so want to fit in with her new community of friends. So, being inventive, she looked around the house for something to build up the center of the cake.

She found it in the bathroom – a roll of toilet paper. She plunked it in and then covered it with icing. Not only did the finished product look beautiful, it looked perfect.

Before she left the house to drop the cake at the bake sale and head for work, Alice woke her daughter and gave her some money and specific instructions to be at the bake sale the moment it opened at 9:30 and to buy the cake and bring it home.

When the daughter arrived at the sale, she found the attractive, perfect cake had already been sold. She grabbed her cell phone and called her mom.

Alice was horrified! Everyone would know! What would they think? She would be ostracized, talked about, ridiculed!

All night, Alice lay awake in bed thinking about people pointing fingers at her and talking about her behind her back.

The next day, Alice promised herself she would try not to think about the cake and would attend the fancy luncheon/bridal shower at the home of a nearby neighbor and try to have a good time.

She did not really want to attend because the hostess was a snob who more than once had looked down her nose at the fact that Alice was a newcomer and not from the founding families of Tuscaloosa, but having already RSVP’d, she couldn’t think of a believable excuse to stay home.

The meal was elegant, the company was definitely upper crust old south – and to Alice’s horror, the cake in question was presented for dessert. Alice felt the blood drain from her body when she saw the cake!

She started out of her chair to tell the hostess all about it, but before she could get to her feet, the Mayor’s wife said, “What a beautiful cake!”

Alice, still stunned, sat back in her chair when she heard the hostess (a prominent member of the community) say, “Thank you, I baked it myself ”

Alice smiled and thought to herself, “G-d is good.”

Rachel, I hope you’ll print this. It’s sure to bring a smile to every reader’s face.

He who laughs last laughs best

Dear Laugh,

Thank you for that smile, though I don’t recommend that anyone try Alice’s desperate fix.

It’s only fair to point out, though, that there are people who come across as haughty but are in reality lacking in self-confidence or are simply modest. I know of many instances when a “snob” actually turned out to be a great and caring friend who was just shy and wary at the start.

So let’s judge others favorably, and it certainly wouldn’t hurt to greet an icy demeanor with a warm smile – a low cost investment that may end up in a big payoff.

* * * * *

We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 338 Third Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.

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About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


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