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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 3/28/08

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Reader Interest Ignited… Re ‘Incredulous In Lakewood’ – Chronicles 2-15

Dear Rachel,

I have been following the discussion regarding the gas stove whose flame was extinguished on Shabbos. It appears from the original letter and the responses that there is some confusion regarding a gas leak versus carbon monoxide and the dangers involved in each.

The original letter referred to a gas stove that had been left on, but the flame had blown out. In such a situation, gas continues to flow out of the stove, and as there is no flame to consume it, there is a gas buildup in the home − hence the smell of gas, which gets stronger as time progresses and more gas flows out.

In practical terms, this is the equivalent of a gas leak, where a hole in a gas line and gas is leaked into the atmosphere. Breathing in the gas can lead to headaches, but the main danger in such a situation is the risk of explosion. Gas is obviously highly flammable, and the smallest spark, including, for example a spark from static electricity, can cause the gas in the air to combust, leading to an explosion.

Carbon monoxide, on the other hand, is an odorless, colorless gas that is released as the result of combustion (burning of fuel). As it is odorless, it cannot be detected and there is no way to identify its presence until symptoms appear. Carbon monoxide prevents the body from using oxygen, and carbon monoxide poisoning (which occurs from breathing in too much of it) is fatal. This occurs particularly quickly in young children − often even without the early warning signs of headache, nausea and muscle weakness.

All burning produces carbon monoxide: a furnace or hot water heater, a fireplace (gas or wood), and yes, a stove, which is lit. In any situation where there is carbon monoxide production, proper ventilation for carbon monoxide to escape is essential. Chimneys should be cleaned regularly, and whenever a stove or gas oven is left on (over Shabbos and Yom-Tov for example), it is very important to ensure adequate ventilation.

The main hishtadlus everyone should do is to make sure to have working carbon monoxide detectors in the home. Carbon monoxide detectors are similar to smoke detectors, but they go off in response to increasing levels of carbon monoxide. A carbon monoxide detector is the only way to know that your family may be in danger − and such advance warning can save lives.

Thank you for opening up this forum for an important discussion of safety in our communities.

A Concerned Mother of Young Children in Queens

Re “Thank you” – Chronicles 2-22

Dear Sir,

How can a father of a family, one who claims that he loves his wife and his children, stoop so low? How can a Bas Yisroel, a mother of Jewish children, lure a man into a relationship?

Am I shocked? No! Appalled and disappointed, Yes! We unfortunately live in a society where immorality and promiscuity are the norm; therefore nothing shocks me anymore.

You state in your letter that you fell in love in a matter of weeks with “another woman” − who happens to be married to another man and is the mother of his children. A type of love that turns your stomach into mush, you say – a love that you have never felt before.

Dear Friend: Do you know what the definition of love is? Let me enlighten you. Love in the Jewish Tradition: (not in the secular world where they sing the well known song, “First comes love, then comes marriage” etc.) First comes a mutual attraction that results in marriage and develops into a deep and meaningful relationship as the years go by. This equals sharing and caring, putting your spouse’s needs at times before yours, respect and understanding, feeling each other’s pain and frustration The list goes on and on.

What you feel is lust, not love, for a woman you cannot have unless you wreak havoc on her life, as well as on yours − which, to your credit, you have avoided until now. You lust after that “Forbidden Apple” that you cannot have, after the extravagant object that you cannot attain. Let me warn you, human nature from the time of creation is such that once you acquire that which you are “dying for,” it immediately decreases in value.

The seemingly “innocent” phone conversations, her voice on the other end of the line, arouse in you forbidden feelings and desires. There is no such thing as a friendly conversation between a man and a woman who had a past relationship who are still attracted to each other. Keep in mind the disaster of mega proportions that your actions could create if you continue down this path.

Stop!! Run as fast as you can and don’t look back! Cut the cord!

In a moment of insanity, past resolutions can be broken, and if that happens, your home as well as your lady friend’s will crumble and you will both reach a path from where there is no return.

To stray is not our way

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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