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September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

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Thought-Provoking Points of View  

“Home” is where the heart is…

Dear Rachel,

Some columns ago you ran a few interesting letters on the subject of aliyah. In the opinion of a highly respected Yerushalayim-based rabbi, it is better to live in chutz l’Aretz and have your heart in Eretz Yisrael than to live in the Holy Land and have your heart in chutz l’Aretz.

Interpret as you wish  

 

Woman, thy name is Vanity!

Dear Rachel,

I am writing regarding the kallah who asked her friends to display their affection for her at her wedding from afar (Chronicles, Dec. 13). She wanted to make sure no one would rumple her feathers, literally, so that she’d look picture-perfect on her big day.

This brings to mind a girl I once knew who kept passing up on shidduchim on account of a boy’s hair color. Red or any hint of it (e.g., auburn’ish, strawberry blond, etc.) was out of the running.

 

Women!  

A “Tough Talk” Advocate

Dear Rachel,

In Chronicles of Jan. 3, a woman wrote to you about her frustration on the job. As a nursing mother, she needs to pump and store her milk during work hours. Her employer, while accommodating, is behaving like a male chauvinist.

In my humble opinion, Rachel, you were much too mild in your response to this woman. Her boss has the gall to drop a comment like “that’s what I call milking the system” and all you can suggest is that this may be his way of unwinding or his attempt to be nice after giving her flack all day?

I would have advised her to tell him to take it home to his wife. I’ll bet he wouldn’t dare talk to her the way he talks to his hired help.

 

Men!  

Honor, Honoring and Honorable

Dear Rachel,

I’d like to elaborate on your answer to “See No Easy Cure,” the person who wrote about a marriage that is busting up due to the husband’s self-absorption and obsession with kavod.

The writer says most of us agree that it is “better” to be a doctor than a nurse, or to drive a BMW instead of a Honda. She goes on to say that these are normal and acceptable beliefs. Well, maybe by those shallow enough to attribute “bekovod’dik” to people of material acquisitions.

Without a doubt, a doctor’s profession is a prestigious one, but what does this have to do with kavod?

There are arrogant doctors with terrible bedside manners and physicians who are as humble as they come. I also know people who can afford to own three BMWs yet choose to be seen driving a Honda.

 

Honor me not

  Dear Honor me not,

Your points are well taken. In clarification, however, the word “honor” has various connotations.  The author of “Kavod: The Hidden Lurking Menace Among Us” (Chronicles, Jan. 17) was referring to “honor” as in according special recognition to someone. The Yiddish word bekovod’dik denotes “honorable,” a distinction applicable to a person as well as to a career or position. One can have an honorable career yet shy away from honor (kavod) or being honored.

 

Callous or Clueless…?

Dear Rachel,

As I was reading the column about the scourge of kavod, my mind took me back to last winter and an embarrassing incident that pained me both physically and emotionally. It happened in Boro Park on a late Shabbos morning when I was returning from a bikur cholim visit. The streets were covered with a new dusting of snow that hid some ice patches that had formed as result of an earlier rainfall.

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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