In Israel, a new five month scholarship program being offered to young aspiring athletes – one of them could be you.
Last time I wrote about the misguided attitude toward sports and exercise that seemingly permeates many frum circles. Some askanim view physical activity as unnecessary, needlessly diverting precious time from Torah study.
I described my own experience with this outlook via a “catch” I was set up with. He asserted after a few dates that should we marry, my kids could no longer indulge in their beloved sports activities “because it would take away time from learning.”
While at first glance this statement was motivated by his “frumkeit,” I quickly came to realize that this matter-of-fact utterance was fueled by a man with a seriously dysfunctional personality that manifested itself in the need to control and dictate.
I mention this because I know that there are many singles in the shidduch parshah – some young, some old, some never married and some spouseless because of death or divorce- whoarealoneandlonely, and riddled with feelings of inadequacy.
Lonely people, especially women or the elderly, can make very foolish choices in a desperate attempt to alleviate their loneliness. They can fall prey to human predators who will only bring emotional – and often financial – misery into their lives.
These predators do so by slowly and insidiously whittling away your self-belief and that of your capabilities, making you feel so inadequate and unsure of yourself that you yield your right to make personal decisions over to them – allowing them total control over your life.
Predators begin by breaking down your spirit: they achieve this by constantly being critical and insulting – both components of verbal abuse. They tell you over and over that you are dumb, stupid, ugly or inept. He (or she) will find fault with everything you do – even something as simple as washing a glass. There will always be something wrong with what you do, to the point that you start believing that you are incompetent and useless.
Often the seeds of self-doubt and the crippling belief that they don’t “measure up” afflicting many adults were sown in their childhood by overly critical parents who wore away any innate self-confidence they might have had. Predators instinctively know how to make these seeds blossom into full-blown dependency and surrender, due to an acute lack of self-belief.
Single adults are often treated – inadvertently or not – in the married world as “outsiders” or “B” list entities. This reality only adds to their sense of inadequacy, and leads them to further question their worth. “Am I not married because there is something wrong with me?” “Did my spouse die because I am a bad person and God punished me?” “Did I get divorced because I am not likeable?”
This, combined with being single, makes them easy prey to master manipulators who have their own dysfunctional need to feel superior. Hence the need to control: “You’re clueless; only I know what’s best for you [and yours].”
When this man with his peyot blowing in the wind declared that my children would have to live according to his dictates, I immediately understood that he was a dictator who would demand absolute obedience from his “subjects.”
My children’s opinions and feelings, along with mine, would have no weight in his kingdom. Unfortunately for him, whatever self-doubt I might have accumulated through my life experiences, whatever loneliness or sense of being left out I might have felt, had not led to the level of desperation that would allow me – and by default, my children – to fall into his conniving clutches. Better to be alone, and free to breathe and live life on my terms, than to be suffocated in a toxic marriage.
Unfortunately many people, single moms in particular, are so anxious to be connected to someone (and thus not be alone) and fit in with the mainstream community – and/or they feel so worthless and inadequate – that they blind themselves to “in your face” warnings as to the evil knocking on their door.
For the sake of your children, proceed with caution.
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Leah Katz, a TeenZone camper at Oorah’s TheZone summer camp and an 11th grader at Midwood High School, read her winning essay about how TheZone changed her views on Judaism at the Jewish Heritage Awards Ceremony held at Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’s office in April. The purpose of the Jewish Heritage Essay Contest is to acquaint public school students with Jewish history and customs and to help foster a deeper understanding of Jewish culture. The contest is open to students of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Leah’s essay is reproduced in full below.
Moshe Sharett, the head of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department, visited Egypt in 1945. In Cairo he met a most remarkable young woman, a beautiful journalist who was the darling of Egyptian high society – from high-ranking military brass, to culture icons and Muslim sheikhs, to the court of King Faruk.
The two proceeded to talk about everyday things and surprisingly her mother-in-law did not find anything else to criticize. This occurred a few more times, with my client changing the topic every time by complimenting her mother-in-law or mentioning something positive about her.
There is always a lot of confusion surrounding sensory processing disorder – mainly because there are many different diagnoses that fall under the catch-all phrase sensory processing disorder (SPD). Among them are three specific subcategories:
The doctor had warned us that even if we did everything right and followed the protocol after the follicle was of the right size, there was no guarantee of success. Fertilization still had to occur, and just like couples do not necessarily become pregnant every month, we had no way to know if we were actually expecting for two full weeks.
The next chapter of the award-winning novel.
Jewish Press columnist Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, founder and president of Hineni, the international Torah outreach organization, recently addressed an overflowing audience at the Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine in southern California. Rebbetzin Jungreis’s address theme, “Making a Good Relationship Magical,” was apropos for the evening’s main mission: raising funds for the Irvine community’s mikveh.
You have probably been planning your marriage since you were about three. Let’s fast-forward to a big milestone– your twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. (Don’t worry, you don’t look a day over twenty one!) Now, would you appreciate your husband buying you a dozen roses that some florist recommended?
As I mentioned in my earlier articles about our family trip to Israel, our night flight went pretty smooth, thanks to my children’s willingness to sleep throughout the flight. I, on the other hand, didn’t sleep a wink and I wasn’t feeling too great by the time we landed. But we were finally in Israel, and just being in the beautifully renovated Ben Gurion airport and hearing all the Hebrew around us was exciting enough.
While all the flowers that grace your Shavuos table will surely be a delight to your eye, these will be a delight for your palette as well. Create them at any level, simple or sophisticated; any way you make them they’re sure to be a sensation.
Welcome back to “You’re Asking Me?” where we attempt to answer questions sent in by people who fortunately have fake names, so they won’t be embarrassed. I don’t know how they got through school, though.
Speechless wonder is the reaction to the beautiful vision seen though the Arch of the Keshet Cave at the Adamit Park in the Galilee. One of the most amazing natural wonders in Eretz Yisrael, the Me’arat Hakeshet — also known as the Rainbow Cave or Arch Cave — can be found up against the Israel-Lebanon border just a few kilometers from Rosh Hanikra and the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea. It is situated amid the wild scenery on the cliffs of Nachal Betzet and Nachal Namer, on the Adamit Ridge.
One of the subjects I was taught as a young child in school was Tefillah. Since we spoke only Ivrit during our Limudei Kodesh and secular Hebrew studies – literature, creative writing and Jewish history – we pretty much understood the words we were davening.
Shortly before Pesach, I received a rather agitated call from a long time reader of The Jewish Press who pleaded with me to write a column regarding what she insisted was the unwarranted high cost of Pesach food – in particular shmurah matzah – and how hard it was for young families to pay what she felt were over-inflated prices in order to keep strictly kosher.
The price of deliberate obliviousness is very high – emotionally, physically, socially, and financially.
How is it possible that a person of seemingly normal intelligence (nowhere does it say he is simple) not have the ability to ask a question – to not react and enquire as to the why of the hustle and bustle around him?
It was one of those cold, rain-soaked evenings – the kind that make you look forward to a hot drink, a good book and a soft couch to curl up on. With those happy thoughts in mind, I proceeded to cross to the other side of the street.
The other day I was shopping at a large supermarket and happened to go down the frozen foods aisle, past the endless freezers containing every imaginable flavor, shape and size of ice cream. I rarely buy. Rather I am like a tourist in a museum – gawking at wondrous objects that I know I can’t take home with me.
He stood his ground despite the intense pressure to do what everyone else was doing. His integrity was more important to him than “fitting in.”
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/beware-the-predators/2009/08/26/
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