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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘bank’

Will Anyone Admit Wrongdoing?

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

“We anticipate a direct conflict with Egypt in the near future,” explained Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, one of the great patrons of the peace accords with Egypt, recently.

Israel’s direct conflict with Egypt has never ended. But for the last three decades it had assumed a more subtle form that tied Israel’s hands. The peace accords with Egypt were nothing more than a miserable illusion that robbed us of the Sinai and its settlements. They forced Israel into recognition of the Palestinian “nation” and its right to our land, to the Madrid Conference, and finally to Oslo – the loss of Gush Katif, and Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Throughout this process, thousands of Israelis paid the price of mushrooming terror and Israel lost its oil fields and major financial resources. Now, when the direct conflict begins, it will happen just outside of Beersheba and not on the banks of the Suez Canal, as was the case in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Who is responsible for this fiasco? Menachem Begin is at the top of the pyramid. But the pyramid rests on layers of officials that developed political, media, academic, legal, military, and, of course, economic careers from Camp David, Madrid, Oslo and the entire Orwellian “peace process.”

Where are all the experts and advisers who day in and day out pressured Israel to give the Golan Heights to the Syrians immediately? Where is Ron Lauder, who mediated between Israel and Syria in Benjamin Netanyahu’s previous government? Where are all the journalists, commentators and Middle East analysts? Do any of them feel the need to apologize and admit his or her mistakes? Do any of them have the courage to say that it is a good thing that Israel did not succumb to their demands and didn’t repeat the mistake they made with Egypt?

Let us say that a bank robber escapes from the bank with a sack of money over his shoulder. Passersby identify him and shout, “Catch the bank robber!” Chances are that he will be caught within a short time.

But now let us change the scenario. It is not the robber making his quick escape from the bank, but the bankers. Instead of running away, they distribute the money from the sacks to the passersby. Is anybody going to shout, “Catch the bank robber?” Ben-Eliezer gleaned invaluable benefit from the “peace spoils.” His friendship with ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak afforded him great prestige and was his main calling card. Like Ben-Eliezer, major layers of Israeli society basked in the glow of the so-called peace process and enjoyed its abundant and multifaceted perks. Only “nut cases” (the left’s term) opposed the accords and did not partake of its spoils.

The peace process representatives have nothing to worry about. Nobody is going to demand that they pay for robbing Sinai, Gaza and parts of Samaria from Israel. They have distributed so many dividends to such wide circles of society that everyone has enjoyed the spoils of the robbery.

The relatively few sane people who remain have nowhere to turn to demand justice. As long as those responsible for the scandal remain in the government and in influential positions, nothing will change. They will never admit their mistakes, they will never take responsibility, and they will continue to push the State of Israel over the cliff – employing the same principles that they have so successfully used in the past.

The peace process fiasco is the product of governments from both left and right. The Likud is no less responsible for the bizarre situation in Israel than Labor and Kadima. Both the left and right wings of Zionism are incapable of getting on a track other than the “peace” track, because they cannot define a destiny worth dying for. For if Israel is nothing more than a “safe haven” for the Jews, then the Zionist experiment has utterly failed. In no other place on the globe are Jews targeted by tens of thousands of terrorist rockets, waiting for the nuclear salvo that is supposed to pick up where the missiles left off.

Manhigut Yehudit is changing the situation from the foundation up. Our candidacy for leadership of the Likud is the way to break out of the “peace process” trap. Our Jewish destiny is the only factor that makes Israel’s existence values-based, something worth fighting for – and not just surrendering for.

Score Another Victory For Israel’s Radical Left

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Bank Leumi, the National Bank of Israel, initiated a campaign, called Two Million Good Reasons, aimed at rewarding Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) with funding for their efforts on behalf of the good of society.

One hundred forty NGOs entered the contest, uploading videos to YouTube showcasing their volunteer work in an effort to amass the greatest amount of votes. Based on public support, the bank would distribute two million shekels ($540,000) between the sixty leading organizations.

Upon witnessing the widespread success of Im Tirtzu in the competition, the radical left in Israel vehemently lashed out against Bank Leumi for consenting to the movement’s participation. Members of Peace Now threatened to start a boycott and close their accounts at Bank Leumi unless Im Tirtzu were disqualified.

Despite accusations from radical leftists that Im Tirtzu has political affiliations, their real grievance stems from the fact that they are unable to tolerate views or beliefs that differ from their own. In fact, Bank Leumi initially announced that the mission of Im Tirtzu coincides, completely, with the guidelines of the competition. Moreover, one of the guiding principles of the competition was to promote Zionism. It was only after the bank found itself in the midst of a barrage of negative PR that is issued a statement closing down the contest.

Im Tirtzu prides itself on providing a voice that is diametrically opposed to the anti-Zionist and post-Zionist sentiments prevalent in today’s public discourse. At the same time, it prides itself on remaining apolitical, not affiliated with any political party or group. In fact, Im Tirtzu continues to receive support from across the political spectrum.

As an institution dedicated to the people of Israel and land of Israel, Im Tirtzu spends its time, energy and funding on programming and activities designed to assist, inspire and contribute to all walks of Jewish life. We promote Zionism on university campuses, help new immigrants with their absorption into Israeli society, support students in need of assistance, visit and support Holocaust survivors, work with farmers in the Negev and Galilee, volunteer in Sderot, help minorities acclimate to Israeli society, support soldiers, plant forests and stand firmly against anarchist demonstrations.

The objections to Im Tirtzu’s pro-Israel activities and advocacy come from many of those on the radical left who accept funding from foreign governments and impede, inhibit and undermine the sovereignty and democracy of the country.

Clearly, the thought of Im Tirtzu emerging victorious from this competition, with the support of the public, is something they simply could not bear.

Unfortunately, Bank Leumi succumbed to ugly left-wing threats. Im Tirtzu was in first place as the most popular non-profit organization when the bank decided to stop the project.

Thanks to its unrelenting efforts, Peace Now had its way with Bank Leumi. But this is hardly about one group or one competition. The leaders of Peace Now consider it legitimate to accept funding from foreign countries. By doing so, they undermine Israeli democracy. Not only do they silence the values of Zionism and nationalism, they undermine organizations that seek to improve the lives of sick children, Holocaust survivors, victims of cancer and so many other people in need.

Ronen Shoval is founder and chairman of Im Tirtzu.

Why Don’t Israelis Revolt?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

The Middle East is ablaze with political revolution. Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Syria – the list of countries keeps growing. All is quiet, however, on the Israeli front. The question is: Why?

For 20 years, millions of Israelis have opposed “land for peace.” In 1996 they voted for Benjamin Netanyahu assuming he would abandon the policy; in 2001, they voted for Ariel Sharon for the same reason. But to no end. In the name of “peace,” one prime minister after another has continued shoving left-wing policies down the population’s collective throat.

And yet there is no peace. Terror? Yes. Shame? Yes. But certainly no peace.

Astonishingly, though, Israel’s leaders refuse to let go of their “land for peace” chimera. Netanyahu entrances many Jews with masterful speeches before Congress and the UN, but the fact is that he – just as much as President Obama – envisions a judenrein Palestinian state in most of the West Bank in the near future. This is the bitter truth and anyone who is honest with himself knows it.

Why, then, do Israelis tolerate it? What normal nation would continue to live under a government committed to surrendering the heartland of the country to its sworn enemy? What normal nation would continue to live under a government that has let 10,000 – 10,000! – rockets rain down on its cities in the past few years? What normal nation would sit passively as its government released 1,000 terrorists in exchange for one soldier?

Sure, Israelis protest. Some of them are currently protesting social and economic inequality, and for years some of them have protested ceding land to the Arabs. But peaceful protests in Israel generally accomplish nothing. Roughly three percent of Israel’s population – 200,000 Israelis – protested the Gaza Disengagement in 2005. Three percent of America’s population amounts to nine million people. Can you imagine what a nine-million man march on Washington would achieve? In Israel, its equivalent made no impression.

Despite their political failures, many right-wing Israelis declare, “It will be good,” and go on with their business. But as Rabbi Meir Kahane used to say, “It will not be good unless we make it good.”

Some Jews, based on their reading of certain biblical prophecies, believe Israel will survive forever – no matter what. But many Jews believed the Gaza Disengagement would never, for theological reasons, come to pass. Look where that belief got them.

Besides, is mere survival sufficient? Do Israelis really want to live in a country without the Temple Mount and the West Bank, which will almost certainly belong to the Arabs in a few decades’ time if current trends continue? Do they really want to live in a country where terrorism is accepted as an inevitable part of daily life – much like sunrise and sunset? Do they really want to live in a country that takes a structure like beautiful, modest Kever Rachel and converts it into a fortress?

Many Jews argue that revolt is unthinkable. But is it? Earlier this year, leftist columnist Merav Michaeli penned an article in Haaretz titled “Why There’s No Revolution in Israel” in which she argued that leftists are “yearning for a revolution.” Right-wing Israelis typically condemn radical leftists. But instead of denouncing them, why not appropriate their tactics and radicalism for their own ends?

When in Jewish history have Jews shied away from rising up in righteous wrath when the hour called for it? The Bible records many such incidents (see Joshua 22 and Judges 20 for just two examples), and the Chanukah saga began when Matityahu, the father of Judah the Maccabee, murdered a Jewish Hellenist in cold blood.

Skewing The Shalit Deal, New York Times-Style

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

I’ve been reading The New York Times pretty much every single day since I was ten years old. That’s more than a half-century by now.

Along the way, I’ve been informed, inspired, and occasionally infuriated.

Last week, there were several causes for infuriation.

The first came on Monday, in the form of four photographs that appeared on the first page of the International section.

The largest of the four, 6 x 9 inches, was at the top of the page and immediately caught the reader’s attention. It was a poignant picture of a little girl leaning against a largely empty wall and staring upward, as the caption explained, to a small picture of her grandfather.

Walid Aqel, 48, was to be among those Palestinian prisoners released in the exchange for Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hamas in 2006.

The paper failed to mention, in the caption or elsewhere, that Aqel was a founder of Hamas’s military wing, had much Israeli blood on his hands, and was sentenced by Israel to life imprisonment.

Instead, the overriding impression conveyed was that Aqel was, above all, a grandfather, whose adorable granddaughter was pining for his return from his Israeli captors.

Then, just below the photo was the article itself – “Israel Names 477 to Go Free in Trade for Hamas-Held Soldier.” And beneath the article were three small photos, each measuring 2 x 3 inches, which conveyed images of the human havoc wreaked in Israel by some of those Palestinians to be released in the deal.

Because of their diminutive size and busy images, those photos didn’t draw the eye easily, though they should have been the heart of the story. After all, they conveyed the nature of the terrorists to be freed, helping readers understand how gut-wrenching the decision must have been for Israel.

Yet those photos, together totaling 18 square inches, were submerged, while the single, stark photo at the top, 54 square inches, dominated.

Then came a Times editorial, “Gilad Shalit’s Release,” on Wednesday. It was among the most upsetting I’ve ever read.

The day after Shalit was returned to Israel, with 477 Palestinian prisoners sent to Gaza, the West Bank, and elsewhere, and a second group to be freed soon, the paper chose to go after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yet again.

He’s been a favorite whipping boy for the editorial writers since he assumed office in 2009.

They give him little credit for what he’s done to advance prospects for peace and Palestinian development – the ten-month settlement freeze, the lifting of blockades and checkpoints on the West Bank, oft-expressed support for a two-state outcome, and help for the rising Palestinian economy. And they spare no criticism for his alleged misdeeds.

But this editorial took the cake, darkly suggesting the Shalit deal was really a Machiavellian plot to further weaken chances for peace — and the blame, predictably, was laid at Netanyahu’s doorstep.

Of course, the editorial could have gone in other directions.

It might have dwelled on the extraordinary importance Israel attaches to human life, in this case the life of one soldier. It could have focused on the nature of Israeli democracy, where Gilad Shalit’s parents never stopped mobilizing on behalf of their son, and created a national movement to liberate him, irrespective of the cost.

It might have reminded the world of the contrast between Shalit’s captivity – more than five years without a single visit by the International Committee of the Red Cross, much less his family – and that of the Palestinian prisoners, none of whom surely would have wished to trade their diet, access to the outside world and, indeed, to sunlight, or opportunities for education with what Shalit endured.

It’s My Opinion: Asleep On The Watch

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

The alarm of a South Beach bank recently went off in the early morning hours. Police arriving at the scene were greeted by an unusual sight. The alleged lookout man was in the parking lot of the bank building. He had fallen asleep at the wheel of his car.

 

          Two men were in the bank. The trio was arrested. Obviously, the watchman had failed in his task.

 

          The idea of a watchman is an important concept in Judaism. The prophet Ezekiel spoke of appointing a tzofeh (watchman) who would blow a shofar and warn the people “when he would see the sword come upon the land.” Ezekiel’s efforts, however, were met with disdain. Even 2,500 years ago, the House of Israel did “not wish to hear.” Unfortunately, this precedent seems to be a reoccurring theme. The Jewish people really don’t want to hear bad news. Starting in ancient days and going to present times, this has been our pattern.

 

The Tanach is beset with stories of how the Jews of early days ignored those who tried to warn them. In modern times, Ze’ev Jabotinsky was spat on and Rabbi Meir Kahane vilified. The idea of “killing the messenger” (or his message) apparently never diminished as a way to deal with unpleasantness.

 

Today the Jewish people are experiencing extremely precarious times, not only in Israel, but throughout the entire world. People are frightened and frustrated. Anti-Semitism is rampant. Angry individuals often seek a scapegoat. Historically, that scapegoat has repeatedly been the Jews.

 

The Jewish world seems strangely silent. Where is the Jewish leadership? The job of the tzofeh stays in place, the people must be warned of danger. The obligation stands. The shofar must be sounded. We dare not be asleep on the watch.

The Most Important Things In Life Are Invisible

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

In today’s world of mounting pressures and continuous change, we need to take a few minutes to reset our perspectives and figure out what matters most.

Each stage in life is fraught with challenging – challenges that have the potential to make or break us. Life is all about choices – and when we know what is essential, our hard work and energy gets streamlined in a crystal-clear path to help us achieve what we want most.

Most of us, at least to some degree, are guilty of wasting time focusing on the trivial things; we let ourselves be blinded by all the power, prestige and material things that seem to surround us. And once we lose focus, we tend to forget the significant things, such as our relationships and our own personal development. Often we channel so much of our energy and time into matters that, in the long run, don’t really matter. Running late for work, someone cracking the bumper of our car or getting the wrong item in a long awaited package may cause us a lot of distress. Stressing out about having nothing to wear, what other people think about us or making sure we do everything we can to keep up with the latest fashions can keep our mind whirring for hours. Perhaps we have been spending too much time at the office, in front of the computer or the TV and haven’t been able to take the time to focus on what really matters.

Imagine if there were a bank which credits your account each morning with $86,400, carries over no balance from day-to-day and allows you to keep a zero cash balance. What would you do? You would draw out every dollar, of course!

Well, each of us has such a bank; its name is Life and its currency is time. Every morning, it credits each of us with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever time we have failed to invest towards a valuable purpose. It carries over no balance; it allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for us; each night it burns the records of the day.

If we fail to use the day’s deposits of our imaginary bank account, the loss is ours; there is no going back, there is no drawing against “tomorrow.” Therefore, we would empty out every dollar and buy the most precious of items. Same too in life, we must draw out every minute and spend it in the best way possible.

Often it takes a wake up call to help us reprioritize. Events such as a job loss, a new baby, being diagnosed with a terminal illness, a birthday or a near-death experience tend to hit us like a ton of bricks. These wake up calls make us stop and consider what s truly important. Very often we realize that we have had our priorities mixed up. When that happens we can set our priorities by separating that which is important from those things which don’t hold much significance.

After graduating from nursing school, Daniella started work in the operating room of a local hospital. She was very enthusiastic about her new career; she worked tirelessly during her long shifts and was enthusiastic about every task she performed. However, like with many new jobs, the novelty soon wore off and she found herself in a slump.

One night, while working a double shift, Daniella was feeling aggravated – she didn’t like the doctor she was working with, her feet hurt, it was late, and she was “doing eyes.” Every operating nurse has a preferred, and least preferred, body part to operate on, Daniella most disliked operating on the eyes-she felt that these operations were both boring and repulsive.

Her patient that night was an elderly man; he was there to have his cataract removed and new lenses implanted. When the procedure was completed, Daniella started to pull the bandages off to put drops in the patient’s eyes. As she was pulling off the bandages the patient made instant eye contact with her.

“I can see!!!” he exclaimed emphatically and excitedly, “And you are beautiful!”

At that moment Daniella realized what a truly significant thing she had just done. She realized what this meant to the patient and how truly grateful he was. She helped him see! She quickly mumbled some response to him about how he must still be feeling the effects of the anxiety medications. However, he adamantly proclaimed again, “No, you really are beautiful!”

Daniella no longer felt tired, her leg pain seemed to disappear. She had helped him see and that was a truly beautiful thing. Daniella realized that she had not understood what true beauty really was. There was nothing repulsive about the work she was doing – helping another human being was a beautiful thing.

Every moment in life counts and if we spend our moments worrying about, or even merely thinking about, matters of little significance, then we are losing precious time that we could have used to move us in a positive direction in our life. Will it matter what we were wearing today ten years from now?

A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on a table in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes.”

“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter – like your job, your house, your car.

The sand is everything else. The small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take your partner out for a walk. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.

Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

Focusing on what truly matters is what truly matters. Remember, life, this incredible gift from Hashem, is what we make of it. Our life account has a limited capacity, there is only so much time deposited for us each day, let’s be sure to invest it wisely.

One Standard Of Justice?

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

A front-page story in The New York Timesof July 10 reported that federal immigration authorities in the Obama administration have adopted a “new strategy” to replace the military-style raids that were conducted in the Bush years to find and arrest illegal aliens.

One such raid, carried out in May 2008, destroyed Agriprocessors, the country’s largest kosher meat-packing plant, and resulted in criminal charges that culminated in a 27-year sentence for Sholom Rubashkin, the principal manager of the Postville, Iowa, plant. The Rubashkin raid netted 389 Hispanics who had gotten their jobs with false documentation. They were arrested, quickly prosecuted, and then deported.

According to the Times, the “quieter enforcement strategy” is to have federal agents “scour companies’ records for illegal immigrant workers” and then tell the employers to fire those who are not properly documented. Three days before the 2008 Agriprocessors raid, a lawyer hired by Rubashkin asked in writing that the local prosecutors and immigration authorities do precisely what is now the “new strategy.” The request was immediately rejected, and the rejection was even acknowledged by a local immigration official in testimony during Rubashkin’s recent federal trial.

Apart from not being raided, have the employers of illegal aliens been treated by federal law-enforcement authorities differently from how Rubashkin was treated? The Times reports that a family-owned fruit-grower company in the State of Washington named Gebbers Farms was found in December 2009 to be employing more than 500 illegal Mexican aliens. Gebbers fired these employees just before Christmas.

Advertisement The federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against Sholom Rubashkin for allegedly knowingly harboring aliens. In the seven months since the Gebbers “audit,” no criminal charges have been filed against any member of the Gebbers family.

The federal prosecutors promptly added to the immigration charges they filed against Rubashkin the claim that he committed bank fraud because the loan agreement he signed with the bank that advanced a line of credit to Agriprocessors represented that he was “in compliance with the law.”

The prosecutors alleged that since he knew that illegal aliens were employed, this representation amounted to bank fraud. (As a result, the prosecutors were permitted to introduce evidence of immigration violations in a trial that was supposed to be limited to bank fraud charges.)

If the United States Attorney for Washington treats the Gebbers the same way Rubashkin was treated, one or more members of the Gebbers family should be arrested and charged not only with immigration violations but, if the Gebbers had any bank loan, with bank fraud as well. The representation that the borrowing company is complying with the law is standard “boilerplate” language in bank-loan documents. The Gebbers’ loan papers should be scrutinized to see if they contain a similar representation.

And, of course, if the Gebbers are treated on a par with Rubashkin, one or more members of the family should be released before trial on any criminal charges that may be filed only if they post a one-million-dollar bond and have their freedom to travel limited by an electronic ankle bracelet. If they plead guilty or a jury returns a guilty verdict, they should be immediately imprisoned, as Rubashkin was.

Any potential federal indictments against the Gebbers should, like Rubashkin’s, allege that a separate federal crime was committed with each illegal alien and with each draw on a line of credit. If the Gebbers are treated as Rubashkin was treated, their indictment will easily exceed the 163 counts in Rubashkin’s indictment.

If a member of the Gebbers family is found guilty of the federal charges, will the federal prosecutor for Washington demand that he or she receive a 25-year prison sentence? Will the sentencing judge add several years to the prosecutor’s recommendation, as Judge Linda Reade of the federal court in Iowa did in Rubashkin’s case?

Other recent illegal-immigration cases, some described in the Timesarticle, are worth comparing with Rubashkin’s. Several restaurant owners who paid their employees in cash and requested little or no documentation of legal status have recently pleaded guilty. George Anagnostou, the owner of two restaurants in Maryland, made a considerable profit from his restaurants, enabling him to purchase two cars, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, and two homes. His illegal-alien employees were paid in cash and many worked up to 80 hours a week.

Compensatory Strategies

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

(Names and situations altered)


 


When one is blind one learns to use Braille to read. When one cannot walk, a wheelchair gives mobility. Sign language allows a mute person to speak and ocular implants assist in hearing when one is deaf.  These are all compensatory strategies that help a person function despite his disability. But compensatory strategies are not just for physical problems. Understanding our psychological weaknesses and setting up our lives to ensure that we are not tempted to repeat our past mistakes, is as necessary as any aid to the disabled.

 

            We put fences around the Torah. We are instructed in areas of yichud, muktza, tznius and beingshomrei negia, all for the purpose of helping us deal with our human frailties.  We are also obligated to know our own weaknesses and limitations and to do our best to keep away from temptations. 

 

            Yisroel was a productive 30-something young man. He had been a respected member of his community since moving there 10 years ago as a newly married man.  No one in his circle of friends had any idea of Yisroel’s destructive teen years and he had no desire to share those experiences with anyone. As a teen, Yisroel had been a drug addict. He had stolen money to support his habit. Because he was young, most of what he stole was from his parents.  He had felt certain that his parents would never have him arrested and so felt safe stealing from them. In the end, however, his parents did have him arrested.  He had been given the choice of jail or a rehab center and that was the beginning of his journey back. 

 

            But that was years ago. Over time Yisroel’s parents became less careful of where they put their valuables and checking how much money was in their cash drawer or wallet. But Yisroel was scared of his past. He knew he could regress if he wasn’t careful. And so he built fences around his old areas of weakness making it more difficult for him to be tempted back to his old ways.

 

            One day Yisroel called his parents to ask for a loan of $500. Since he lived in Israel and they in the US, his father needed to run off to the bank to transfer the money to Yisroel’s account. “Why don’t we just make you a signatore on our Israeli bank account?” suggested his father. “That way the next time we loan you money, you can just go into the bank and make a withdrawal. It will save us all time and inconvenience.” Yisroel refused. “I don’t want to be able to do that. I absolutely do not want access to your bank account!” It took his father a few minutes to clue into Yisroel’s adamant refusal. But when he did, he was so pleased with his son. He realized that Yisroel was being protective of himself and his parents by not putting an easy temptation in his way…just in case.

 

            Sylvia had been diagnosed with a chronic illness several years ago. Lately however, she noticed that her memory was deteriorating. She couldn’t remember if she had paid the condo fees that month, when the mortgage was due or what purchase she had come into the store for. Her compensatory strategy was to get herself a datebook. As soon as she paid her condo fees for that month she turned to the next month’s page and wrote on the top in large letters, “pay condo fees.” As soon as the check was sent she put a line through her note.  Seeing the words crossed out would remind her that she had paid them for that month. If the note was not crossed out, she had to pay them.

 

           Finding this system working well for her, Sylvia began to use it for other things. Soon her datebook, now with attached pen, was full of reminders. She consulted it every day, sometimes more than once and was never late again with her mortgage, bills, and credit card or utility payments. She even wrote into the book on Wednesday what she needed to buy for Shabbos. Thursday’s box reminded her, what to cook for Shabbos or to whom she was invited. “That book and pen are my best friends,” she told me. “With them at my side, I function better. I know this may not work for me forever, but for right now it helps me stay independent and even feel supported.”

 

            Whether it is our yetzer hara or a physical problem that is messing up our lives, very often we can find ways around it, with compensatory strategies, which make our life more efficient and less stressful. But first we must be totally honest with ourselves, accept our limitations and be willing to try what is suggested.


 


You can contact me at annnovick@hotmail.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/compensatory-strategies/2009/12/02/

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