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October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘baby’

Special Baby Born in Ramat Gan

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Mazel Tov is in order for a special new mother in Ramat Gan.

A rare Brazilian tapir, “Pessiflora”, has given birth to a son at the Ramat Gan Safari Park.

Father, Meir, has been moved to a separate enclosure until he overcomes his jealousy for the new arrival.

The unnamed baby was born after a 13-month pregnancy and is enjoying the attention of his mother and older sister, Papaya.

He was born with white stripes which will fade as he matures.

Davening with Baby

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Some 21 years ago I had the honor of being the stay-at-home father, while Nancy was the one with the grownup job that required leaving the house every morning and going to a remote work area that involved other people. With nothing to do but my weekly columns and phone interviews, I was the obvious parenting choice.

So I developed many different activities a father can do with a small child. I learned that a small child can be used as a dumbbell, both for leg and arm lifts. In fact, the older the child becomes, the better shape the father should get into, until she is too heavy for leg lifts (and starts attending school regularly).

I also acquired many skills which never again served me in life, most notably the skill of holding the baby in one arm, opening the fridge, grabbing a bottle, twisting it off with your teeth, holding the bottle between your chin and your neck while filling it up with milk.

I’ve seen some mothers perform these tricks giving the impression they possessed four and five arms. I could do three, max.

Here’s a guy at the Kotel, davening with his little baby on Sukkot. You can tell it’s Sukkot from the guy with the lulav in the back. You can tell the proud father is a Lubavitcher from his siddur (prayer book).

On Sukkot we are mesmerized by the fragrance of the etrog and the haddassim. But I’ll bet you this father is too preoccupied taking in the fresh baby smell… I know I would be.

The picture was taken during the priestly blessing, which is another thing fathers get to do with their children.

Our daughter is in America these days, and so I give her the priestly blessing over Skype. You do what you can.

Chag Same’ach.

Now, That’s an Esrog!

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

It turns out this is what a mature esrog looks like, and the lemon-size fruits we’re all used to are baby esrogim, picked at a size that best fit in the palm of our hand. Only the Yemenites, I’m told, prefer the full-impact esrog, which, cone to think of it, could be used both for spiritual and security purposes (“A suspicious guy came up behind me so I knocked him down with my esrog.”).

Because of my relatively rare name, I’m always asked if I’m related in any way to the renowned Yanover Esrogim. I’m not. The Calabria esrog is named after the city of Genoa, Italy, which Jews pronounced as Yanova, and so the esrogim became Yanover (from Yanova).

My own namesake iss the town of Janow in Poland which couldn’t possibly sustain citrus orchards on account of the freezing winter.

You have to admire those Yemenites who pray every Sukkot day with a couple of kilos worth of Four Species in their hands. I’ll bet they smell good, though, and when you cook them after the holiday, it probably is actually edible.

I know it’s weird to be talking about Sukkot from this side of Yom Kippur, but I’ll do Yom Kippur tomorrow. For now, I’m dreaming of my first Sukkot back home.

Charge: Facebook Pages Spew Blood Libels, Attack Jews and Aborigines, Mock Anne Frank

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

There is no scientific equation to determine what is hatred, but a Facebook picture of a smiling Anne Frank surrounded by the caption, “What’s that burning?  Oh it’s my family” is an easy one.  So is a Facebook picture of a baby on a scale emblazoned with a Jewish Star, where the bottom of the scale is a meat grinder with raw ground meat (presumably, a baby’s) oozing out.

Is there any doubt in your mind that those images constitute hate speech (one of the official categories for removal under Facebook’s Terms of Service) and should be removed from Facebook?  That was the basis for the complaints filed by the Online Hate Prevention Institute last month.

Facebook disagreed.  The pictures remain up.

The Australia-based Online Hate Prevention Institute was launched in January this year.  Its mission is to help prevent, or at least control, abusive social media behavior which constitute racism or other forms of hate speech.

Dr. Andre Oboler is the chief executive officer of OHPI.  Oboler has been involved in analyzing and monitoring online hate for five years.   In the time that he’s been monitoring Facebook, the response time has improved, but the results have not.

“OHPI submitted documented complaints following the Facebook complaint protocol, and, true to their word, we received a response within 48 hours,” Oboler told The Jewish Press.  “It’s quite amazing; the Facebook reviewers took down the images, reviewed them, and put them back up with a ‘no action’ decision within 48 hours.”

Oboler waited until the Facebook reviews were completed before posting OHPI’s findings.  The methodical process and the constructive suggestions OHPI made could be held up as models of what to do when confronted with hate speech on social media, except that at this point the diligence does not appear to have paid off.

The suggestions included:

1. Remove the offensive images

2. Close the offensive pages that are posting them

3. Permanently close the accounts of the users abusing Facebook to spread such hate

4. Review which staff assessed these examples and audit their decision making

5. Take active measures to improve staff training to avoid similar poor decisions in the future

6. To institute an appeal process as part of the online reporting system

7. To institute systematic random checks of rejected complaints

At this point, Oboler is hopeful that if sufficient attention is generated, Facebook will feel compelled to re-examine their procedures.  What he would like is for there to be a “systematic change to prevent online-generated harm in the future.”

One way to generate that attention, Oboler suggested, is for Facebook users who think the images described above are offensive to go to the Facebook OPHI site and “Like” it.  Another is to sign the OPHI petition urging Facebook to stop allowing hate speech on its site.

OHPI is also critical of the way in which Facebook has chosen to respond to complaints about offensive Facebook Pages.  Its standard response to pages that are entirely devoted to offensive material is to insert the bracketed phrase: [Controversial Humor] before the rest of the page title.  That phrase acts kind of like the warning label posted on cigarette packages.  The page remains vile, just as the cigarettes remain carcinogenic, but by slapping on the Controversial Humor disclaimer, it appears Facebook is seeking immunity from liability.  Or at least from responsibility.

OPHI discovered this Facebook method when it was engaged in an effort to eradicate hate-filled Facebook Pages dedicated to brutalizing Aborigines.  Remember – OPHI is based in Australia.  After engaging in some promising responses to OPHI’s complaints, Facebook ultimately responded that “While we do not remove this type of content from the site entirely unless it violates our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, out of respect for local laws, we have restricted access to this content in Australia via Facebook.”

But that just doesn’t make any sense, according to Oboler.  As he pointed out, “Facebook’s ‘Statement of Rights and Responsibilities’ says at 3.7 ‘You will not post content that: is hate speech’. We find it very hard to understand how Facebook can look at this material and decide it is not hate speech. Ultimately, this is where Facebook is going wrong.”

Is there anything Facebook has determined to be sufficiently offensive that it will be removed? Yes, but not much.

Oboler explained that thus far the only hate speech kind of content that has been permanently removed by Facebook is when it is directed against an individual, rather than at an entire race or religion.  In other words, the same problem that hate speech codes on campuses have encountered, plagues complainants hoping for a non-offensive inline community.  Unless the nastiness is directed at a specific person, the default Facebook position is to not remove it.

But really, is it possible for anyone to consider the words accompanying the Anne Frank picture anything but impermissible hate speech?  Facebook apparently does and will continue to do so unless enough people tell them they are wrong.

 

Cutest Time Bomb You Ever Saw

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

First, obviously, this has to be in the top 10 sweetest back-to-school or first-day-of-school images in the history of schools. These boys are lined up on a sidewalk in the ultra-Orthodox, super-Orthodox, mega-Orthodox neighborhood of Meah Sheaim, in Jerusalem, where even God has to show papers before they let Him in.

This year, as the Jewish Press has written recently, better than 50 percent of pre-school age children are religious.

Deputy Minister of Education Menachem Eliezer Moses (United Torah Judaism) was quoted as saying that only 15 years ago the percentage of Haredim in Israeli educational institutions was only 12.6%. “Today we comprise 32%; and the National Religious are another 20%, and that included Chabad.”

First reaction: Yeah, more frummies!

Second reaction (half a shake later): Is the state of Israel going to come up with ways to make these children, in, say, 12 years, pull their share as soldiers and, later, as tax payers? Or are they going to be such a burden on the rest of the citizenry?

Third reaction: Yeah, more frummies, and God will provide. In 12 years who knows what will happen.

Fourth reaction: Seriously? That’s how you’re planning for the future? “God will provide”?

Fifth reaction: OK, G-d will provide. Feeling better?

Sixth reaction: You are a disgrace.

Final reaction: Oooh, look at the cute babies… Who’s a cute baby? Who’s a cute baby?

Been going on like this 150 years.

Gas Mask Distribution

Monday, August 20th, 2012

http://israelisoldiersmother.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/gas-mask-distribution.html

Israel seems to have gone into high gear in its plans to distribute gas masks to all its citizens. For days and days, there are long lines as people wait to receive theirs. In some cases, like us, the old ones need to be returned. This is all so very hi-tech. There is an efficiency there – that is belied by what is happening. No one in line has any doubt that this is because of Iran – it is that elephant in the corner; that massive threat just around the bend.

We found our gas masks over the weekend – gone was any opportunity to put this off any further. Elie and Lauren and I drove to Talpiot, a neighborhood in the southern part of Jerusalem. We parked, walked upstairs, and right away saw that there were hundreds of people there waiting. It was a mix of so many things.

One security guard was calling out numbers…620…621…622…623. We were 791 until the man in front of us pulled out a bunch of tickets and gave us 790. He’d found an ticket with a lower number and planned to cut forward in the sequence. He was 686. Apparently the woman in front of him had the same idea. She saw us standing there – and handed us 671 – we went in front of 686. He was philosophical – what he had done to others was just done to him…not much he could complain about.

Of course, he then pulled in the ace of his deck – he pulled out his handicapped ID and asked the guard if he could please advance. Two points to him…he went to the front of the line. Things moved amazingly fast – we were ushered forward to stand on one side of the table. We handed in the old gas masks – it pulled something inside of me when I saw him count them and toss them aside.

He asked for my identification card, and with that, determined that he could give me 5 gas masks – mine, my husband’s, Elie’s, Davidi’s and Aliza’s. “What about Shmulik and Amira?” I asked him. “I gave you seven.”

“Wait,” he told me as he began. He pulled out a box, plugged in a number, and wrote my husband’s name on the box. He then used an infrared scanner to go over the bar code – all so efficient. We’re talking gas masks here! But that was for later. This was about processing people – not about politics or global threats by a madman.

“I have Shmulik’s teudat zehut [identification card] with me,” I continued.

“Wait,” said Elie.

The man gave me another gas mask – for me; one for Elie; one for Davidi; one for Aliza – her box was a different color and was larger – because while the rest of us have adult gas masks, she has the “youth” size.

He took Shmulik’s identification card and began processing it, “what about Amira?” I asked him again. Yes, I wasn’t handling this particularly well, was I?

“Wait,” the man said to me again – and I have to admit, there was patience in his voice each time. The woman next to me started arguing. She wanted to get someone else’s gas mask and the man told her she first had to call the Home Front office. She complained that she had been there more than 2 hours already and wasn’t leaving without the additional gas mask. She was very upset – again, the man taking care of me spoke to her calmly.

My mind was already racing with arguments if he wouldn’t give me the last gas mask – which was silly, I kept telling myself. Even if they give me Amira’s, she still has to come back for her husband and her son. When he finished Shmulik’s gas mask – I had six boxes. “Amira?” I asked him again. Clearly, my brain had no intention of listening to my heart.

“Which one?” he asked me and I showed him.

He plugged in her identification number and went to get a box. I was so relieved – ridiculously so. “Haim didn’t turn in his old one,” he told me (referring to Amira’s husband), but I can give you one for the baby.

The Ticking Time Bomb: Explosive Children

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

“But, I want it NOW!” Yankel screamed as his mother lifted his baby sister, Leah, out of her car seat.

“Yankel, we can’t get ice cream now. I told you we could have it for dessert. We have to get inside to feed the baby.”

“No! I will not go inside! I’m going to sit in the car until you give me ice cream.”

“You cannot threaten me, Yankel. It’s not safe to stay in the car when Mommy is not there. Let’s go,” his mother said, gently tugging his arm to lift him out of the car.

“OW! Mommy, you hurt me! You hurt me!”

“Yankel, I barely touched you. Come on, out of the car!”

“No. No. No. You hurt me and I want ice cream. I am not leaving.”

With that, Yankel’s mother pulled a bottle out of her bag, mixed the formula, and began to feed Leah in the car. She knew that once Yankel was in that state, there was no negotiating with him.

***

While it’s true that not many parents are familiar with Yankel’s behavior, those parents who are know it all too well. Yankel is suffering from symptoms of what experts call Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD). Dr. Ross Greene, an expert on ODD, describes these children as “explosive.” He explains that children with ODD are easily frustrated, demanding and inflexible. When things don’t go their way, they react with violence or rage. Their siblings are afraid of them. Their parents are constantly walking on eggshells, terrified of the next outburst.

Dr. Greene says that “explosiveness” is an equal opportunity condition that affects male and female children across all age and economic conditions. He further clarifies, “Some blow up dozens of times a day, others just a few times a week. Some ‘lose it’ only at home, others only in school, and still others in any conceivable location.” He emphasizes: “these children have wonderful qualities and tremendous potential. In most ways, their cognitive skills have developed normally.” Yet something is wrong. They can’t properly process frustration or disappointments like everyone else. And they need help in trying to fix the problem. As a parent, you are the first line of defense (and offense!).

Many parents react to explosive children in extreme ways: they either give in immediately in order to avoid a tantrum or constantly punish their child when he or she even slightly acts out. Experts agree that the best way to deal with explosive children is to help the child develop the skills necessary to deal with frustration. Dr. Greene calls this strategy “Plan B” and outlines three steps in order to inculcate these important skills. First, he suggests that a parent exhibit empathy. In order to feel empathy, the parent must gather information and attempt to approach the problem from the child’s perspective. Next, the parent should define the problem aloud so that the child can hear the parent’s empathy and understanding. Lastly, the adult should invite solutions. Once the problem has been empathized and verbalize, the parent should help the child brainstorm realistic solutions to his problem.

Let’s consider how this would work for Yankel’s situation:

“But, I want it NOW!” Yankel screamed as his mother lifted his baby sister, Leah, out of her car seat.

“Oh, Yankel. It must be very hard for you right now. You want ice cream because it’s so hot outside and you want to cool off.”

“Yes, and I want it now,” Yankel says, still anxious, but listening to his mother’s calm rationale.

“You are feeling uncomfortable and hot and you can’t wait to just cool off with some nice cold ice cream. Right, Yankel?”

“Yes, I really want ice cream now.”

“So, Yankel, why don’t we talk about the quickest way to get cool and get ice cream. Look, Leah would also like to eat,” Yankel’s mother said, motioning to Leah’s insistent thumb sucking.

“Umm, maybe we can have ice cream right when we get home, without even taking off our shoes. Or, maybe we can sit and eat ice cream in front of the air conditioner,” Yankel said thoughtfully.

“Those sound like great ideas, Yankel,” his mother smiled, carefully unbuckling his belt and helping him out of the car.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/the-ticking-time-bomb-explosive-children/2012/08/03/

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