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?
Several weeks ago, there was back and forth "dialogue" in the editorial pages of the Jewish Press concerning the very subjective view as to who is the more "authentic" Jew amongst the various segments of the Orthodox community.
Chanukah is just about upon us and Jews across the planet are looking forward to family gatherings, delicious food (you can’t feel too guilty eating oily latkes and high carb donuts on the chag – hey, it’s practically a mitzvah to do so); giving and receiving gifts and in general celebrating our survival – our spiritual continuance as God-fearing Jews. (Our physical survival is an event we acknowledge on Purim.)
I recently attended an all-day shidduch program sponsored by the National Council of Young Israel in Manhattan.
With Pesach upon us, Jews must refrain from indulging in some of their favorite foods, drinks and even cosmetics for over a week.
She told me that she was busy and that he could sit in his wet clothes for the rest of the day. It would teach him to be more careful.
If you look at an ad or a commercial, more often than not the hype will be about the "new and improved" version of a product. The emphasis is on the fact that it's "newer" and thus better than the "earlier" version.
This past week I took time out from my daily activities to have a medical checkup - something I highly recommend.
I'm not quite ready yet to shut the door on Purim. Perhaps it's my way of avoiding dealing with Pesach, and the physical and emotional effort that comes with it.
There is a wise Yiddish saying that translates into this observation: "Yichus (illustrious ancestors) is like a potato - they are both under the ground."
"Another day another dinar," sighed Esther as she prepared her daily infusion of Turkish coffee before leaving for her job as an assistant editor at her Uncle Mordy's business, Megillah Publishing. As usual, she turned to the classified/singles section of her favorite newspaper, The Persian Press, the largest independent Anglo-Persian weekly in the world - distributed in all 127 provinces. "Sounds interesting," she thought to herself as she glanced at an ad announcing a singles shabbaton taking place in the much buzzed about B'nai Benyamin shul that recently opened (at the cost of a million dinar) in the suburban sand dunes outside of the city. There would be tent hospitality for the guests since there was no hotel in the vicinity.
It's the dog days of August, and between the sizzling heat, the numbing humidity, the rain and the never-ending traffic and airport delays, there is a lot to complain about people's actions.
While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.
One can argue that forgetting something on a regular basis is a sign of advancing age and it’s time to for a neurological evaluation, but based on the number of young people who need to replace a lost smart phone (too bad it’s not smart enough to warn its owner that that they have become separated – or is there an app for that too?), I safely can say that losing “stuff” cuts across the generations.
Charedi rabbinical leaders in Israel, and I imagine globally, are greatly perturbed, even horrified by the “chumrah” some Orthodox Israeli women have taken upon themselves – that of covering their bodies up in a manner similar to traditional Muslim women, who wear head to toe, shroud-like black burkas.
The week-long holiday period that includes Sukkot, Chol Hamoed, Shmini Atzeret andSimchat Torah is almost over, as are all the attendant festivities, celebrations, family gatherings and trips, and of course, all that over-eating and indulging in food and drink. Most of us will happily (or maybe not so happily) go back to being absorbed by our day-to-day routines; for the great majority, life will return to "normal."
There is a wise Yiddish saying that translates into this observation: "Yichus (illustrious ancestors) is like potatoes - they are both under the ground."
Purim teaches us that life is like a Ferris wheel – one moment you can be on top, and suddenly you are at the bottom.
But even though their medical situations were similar, how they mentally dealt with their new status quo was often as different as night and day.
Unpleasant happenings are quickly discarded if they do not affect us directly.
We have just completed three sets of three-day Yom Tov/Shabbat combinations, and now with some sadness (tempered with a dollop of relief) we return to "normalcy" and our daily routines.
I grew up in an era where customers were always right - even if they weren't - because it was good for business to accommodate them, even if they were out of line.
A few years ago I wrote in this column that at the bris of my oldest son - held in a shul whose members were for the most part elderly - a wizened old man approached me, peered into my face and muttered in a raspy voice with a Yiddish accent, "May your children sit shiva for you." I was too stunned to say anything to him and just shook my head as he walked away. I thought, "nebach, he must be demented."
Dear Readers: The following short story is fictional. However, many of you will surely nod your heads in agreement as you recognize people you know - perhaps yourself - in the characters I have described. I hope in future articles, to touch on what I believe are the various psychological factors that contribute to the shidduch crisis.
Think of how you feel when you pick up a baby and she starts crying and shrieking hysterically. You can't help but feel somewhat chagrined and inadequate.