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August 20, 2014 / 24 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘basis’

How Israel Should Fight Non-Violent Wars

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

A massive fly-in of pro-Palestinian activists into Ben Gurion Airport is the most recent anti-Israel provocation to be announced. It is yet another ostensibly non-violent act by some of Israel’s enemies for which the Israeli authorities will have to find an adequate answer.

Israel tries to fight such non-violent attacks – which have as their goal the country’s delegitimization – on an ad hoc basis as best it can. The initiative in these provocations always lies with its enemies. Their conceptual approach is simple: Non-violent initiatives against Israel that are largely unsuccessful are abandoned. Those that garner any significant results are repeated.

Some protesters succeeded in crossing the Israeli border on Nakba day. A few provocateurs were killed, which led to several condemnations of Israel by Western politicians. The result of this particular initiative was considered satisfactory by Israel’s enemies, and so similar efforts were made again on Nakba day.

In May 2010, a flotilla of terrorist supporters masquerading as human rights activists was prevented by Israel from reaching Gaza. Yet the killing of nine flotilla passengers (seven of whom had expressed their desire to become martyrs) brought Israel a load of bad publicity.

In view of those condemnations, a new flotilla with many more ships was assembled and is due to arrive in the coming weeks. It seems that however Israel reacts, it will lose the battle for world opinion.

All this is part of the largely non-violent war of attrition currently being waged against Israel. Such an asymmetric form of war is not winnable with Israel’s current approach. There are several reasons for this. One is that the initiative always remains with its enemies; another, that international law is often interpreted in ways that favor terrorists and provocateurs above democracies.

In addition, the unbounded right of free speech, which includes the right to extreme defamation and major lies, helps Israel’s enemies. Further, the physical risks taken by anti-Israeli provocateurs are rather minor. If they were to apply these same methods against Muslim countries, many more would die, as witness what some diehards still insist on referring to as the “Arab Spring.”

There is also an Israeli component that explains why this war is not winnable at present. Israeli leaders have understood little about how non-violent warfare against their country functions in the post-modern world. Treating these attacks mainly on an ad hoc basis cannot produce overall satisfactory results.

This lack of understanding on the part of successive Israeli governments of the all-out “soft war” being fought by their enemies contrasts strongly with Israel’s effective approach to physical acts of war. The IDF has been extremely innovative in fighting violent attacks against the country. Its techniques are monitored worldwide and copied by other armies.

After the 2001 United World Conference against Racism in Durban, the policies of systematic delegitimization of Israel were formulated in a multiple point program. It included the creation of worldwide solidarity against Israel as “a bastion of apartheid,” the use of universal law mechanisms, discrediting the law of return and replacing it with a law of return for Palestinian refugees, reinstating the Arab boycott and trying to impose a much wider international boycott of Israeli activities.

Today this seems like a rather rudimentary approach. It has since been extended in many directions through distortions of language, falsification of history, misinterpretation of archaeology, and, most recently, the series of provocations mentioned above.

In principle each of these methods can be used against any democracy. The Danes had a little taste of it after one of their newspapers published cartoons deemed disrespectful to Muhammad in 2005. Israel, however, is by far the main target of such “soft” aggression – which means it must continually come up with creative methods of repelling such attacks.

Much of what is done in this area consists, at present, of efforts carried out to a large extent by private bodies. Some are major Jewish organizations. Others are grassroots groups – Camera, Honest Reporting, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Memri, Palestinian Media Watch, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and NGO Monitor are a few that immediately come to mind. But even if all these bodies operated in an integrated manner, Israel’s defense system against non-violent warfare would still amount to so much Swiss cheese – with more holes than cheese.

What Are You Drinking This Pesach?

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

As Pesach draws near and the wine frenzy is at its peak, anyone interested in more than just a glass of Kiddush wine may have a hard time making sense of the literally hundreds of labels available from dozens of countries. As the selection in the liquor store may be a bit overwhelming, most people pick out one or two favorites and drink them on a regular basis.

 

In this way they are assured of liking what they drink, but they don’t get a chance to expand their palate. Others will look to the storeowner, who on occasions bases his picks on his own economic interest and profitability. However, wine knowledge is best achieved by tasting and enjoying. So, take a chance on something new and different and you just might be surprised at what you like.

 

So which wines should you choose for your Pesach Seder this year?

 

Well, my family’s tradition has always been to drink wines from the holy land for Pesach. After all, that is part of the story of our redemption. While for many years that meant our selection was limited, about 10 years ago the Israeli wine industry gained significant ground, driven by a young, internationally-oriented generation.

 

From the northern elevations of the Galilee and the Golan Heights, to the coastal plains and down to the Negev desert in the south, Israel is making outstanding wines with a distinctive style and taste.

 

For your tasting pleasure, I have chosen 10 Israeli wines that are exceptional in every way and display a nice balance of fruit, oak, mineral elements and firm structures, as well as rich spicy notes. I’ve also included my tasting notes for these value wines. Here they are in alphabetical order:

 

 Agur Kessem 2007: From the Judean Hills, Mata Vineyard, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Petite Verdot, and 10% Cabernet Franc.

 

Various aromas of berries and plum, it’s a full-bodied, multi dimension wine that possess layers of berries, currant and pleasant floral notes. Would pair well with rich meat and duck.

Barkan Reserve Pinotage 2004: With plum and raspberry bouquet it is structured and medium-bodied with rounded tannins, balanced with subtle hints of chocolate and a pleasant tartness. Can be paired withmedium flavored grilled or sauced chicken or fish dishes.

Binyamina Yogev Cabernet/Shiraz 2007: 50% Cabernet, 50% Shiraz.

 

Gemmy fruit aroma that displays ripe forest berries against a soft backdrop of spicy oak and a trace of vanilla. Soft silky tannins and a long finish. Medium bodied wine that will only get better in the next five years. Can be paired with steaks and well seasoned meat.

 

Castel – Grand Vin:Aged for 24 months in French oak, unrefined and unfiltered. Graceful and elegant with dominant tannins, it is full-bodied, bold, concentrated, with layers of aromas and flavors that linger on. Look for berries, plums, and a hint of olive and spices on the palate. This wine will grow the next 5 years. Will go well with full flavored beef or chicken dishes.

 

Dalton – Matatia 2006:A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Developed in new French oak. Aromas of mint, leather and a hint of black current; nice balance between wood, acidity, tannins and fruits with blueberry, blackcurrant and tangy citrus notes, Long finish with soft lasting flavors. Can be paired with a variety of red meats and pasta.

 

Flegman – Merlot:Like a Merlot should be – robust berries and forest fruit with subtle hints of chocolate, cassis and earth. Rich oak and soft spice backed by notes of plum and cherry. Velvety tannins with a big finish. Pairs well with lighter meats such as veal and lamb or pasta.

 

      Shiloh – Merlot/Shiraz 2005: From the Judean Hills region, 82% Merlot, 18% Shiraz. This is a medium-bodied Merlot that features bright, ripe cherry notes balanced by subtle toasted oak overtones and hints of vanilla and a soft, velvety mouth feel. The Shiraz adds dark berry flavors and hint of black pepper, Enjoy the Shiraz-Merlot with duck, moderately spiced chicken or rich pastas.

 

Tzuba – Cabernet Sauvignon 2006: Another winner from the Judean Hills region, thisfull-bodied, rich wine is very well balanced with delightful aromas of roasted oak, dark berries and smoky notes. Ripe cherry characteristics and soft silky-smooth tannins with a chocolaty herbal finish. Has the potential to overwhelm delicate dishes, is best used with rich beef and lamb.

 

Yatir Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon 2006: Blended with 15% Shiraz, big vibrant wine displaying dark flavors tar, bittersweet chocolate, licorice, black currant and dark roasted coffee beans. Full-bodied, with firm structure and soft tannins, smoky wood, plum and currant fruit flavors. This wine is designed for current drinking, but should last well for the next five years. Will pair well with full flavored beef, grilled chicken, duck or veal.

 

Yarden Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon 2004: From the Golan Heights region this wine is aged for 18 months primarily in small French oak barrels. Powerful mature blackberries, cherry, cassis and plum notes with toasty oak, vanilla and a nuance of spices. It is full-bodied and concentrated with a long complex finish. Will go well with full-flavored foods, such as peppered grilled steak, or roasted duck or lamb.

 

Like everything else in the Middle East, Israel’s wine culture is complicated, subject to the ongoing conflict of the troubled region. Many farmers and vintners have to endure and endanger their lives because of the raining Katyusha rockets in the northern vineyards or the mortar bombs and rocket shells in the South. For Israel’s budding wine culture this collateral damage really wreaked havoc on the local economy. But despite the hardship Israeli farmers continue to sustain and preserve the vineyards, as the vintners create a work of art.

 

So this Seder as you fill your glass up with wine, think of the Israeli farmers and their families.

What Are You Drinking This Pesach?

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010


As Pesach draws near and the wine frenzy is at its peak, anyone interested in more than just a glass of Kiddush wine may have a hard time making sense of the literally hundreds of labels available from dozens of countries. As the selection in the liquor store may be a bit overwhelming, most people pick out one or two favorites and drink them on a regular basis.

 

In this way they are assured of liking what they drink, but they don’t get a chance to expand their palate. Others will look to the storeowner, who on occasions bases his picks on his own economic interest and profitability. However, wine knowledge is best achieved by tasting and enjoying. So, take a chance on something new and different and you just might be surprised at what you like.

 

So which wines should you choose for your Pesach Seder this year?

 

Well, my family’s tradition has always been to drink wines from the holy land for Pesach. After all, that is part of the story of our redemption. While for many years that meant our selection was limited, about 10 years ago the Israeli wine industry gained significant ground, driven by a young, internationally-oriented generation.

 

From the northern elevations of the Galilee and the Golan Heights, to the coastal plains and down to the Negev desert in the south, Israel is making outstanding wines with a distinctive style and taste.

 

For your tasting pleasure, I have chosen 10 Israeli wines that are exceptional in every way and display a nice balance of fruit, oak, mineral elements and firm structures, as well as rich spicy notes. I’ve also included my tasting notes for these value wines. Here they are in alphabetical order:

 

 Agur Kessem 2007: From the Judean Hills, Mata Vineyard, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Petite Verdot, and 10% Cabernet Franc.

 

Various aromas of berries and plum, it’s a full-bodied, multi dimension wine that possess layers of berries, currant and pleasant floral notes. Would pair well with rich meat and duck.


Barkan Reserve Pinotage 2004: With plum and raspberry bouquet it is structured and medium-bodied with rounded tannins, balanced with subtle hints of chocolate and a pleasant tartness. Can be paired withmedium flavored grilled or sauced chicken or fish dishes.


Binyamina Yogev Cabernet/Shiraz 2007: 50% Cabernet, 50% Shiraz.

 

Gemmy fruit aroma that displays ripe forest berries against a soft backdrop of spicy oak and a trace of vanilla. Soft silky tannins and a long finish. Medium bodied wine that will only get better in the next five years. Can be paired with steaks and well seasoned meat.

 

Castel – Grand Vin:Aged for 24 months in French oak, unrefined and unfiltered. Graceful and elegant with dominant tannins, it is full-bodied, bold, concentrated, with layers of aromas and flavors that linger on. Look for berries, plums, and a hint of olive and spices on the palate. This wine will grow the next 5 years. Will go well with full flavored beef or chicken dishes.

 

Dalton – Matatia 2006:A blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Developed in new French oak. Aromas of mint, leather and a hint of black current; nice balance between wood, acidity, tannins and fruits with blueberry, blackcurrant and tangy citrus notes, Long finish with soft lasting flavors. Can be paired with a variety of red meats and pasta.

 

Flegman – Merlot:Like a Merlot should be – robust berries and forest fruit with subtle hints of chocolate, cassis and earth. Rich oak and soft spice backed by notes of plum and cherry. Velvety tannins with a big finish. Pairs well with lighter meats such as veal and lamb or pasta.

 

      Shiloh – Merlot/Shiraz 2005: From the Judean Hills region, 82% Merlot, 18% Shiraz. This is a medium-bodied Merlot that features bright, ripe cherry notes balanced by subtle toasted oak overtones and hints of vanilla and a soft, velvety mouth feel. The Shiraz adds dark berry flavors and hint of black pepper, Enjoy the Shiraz-Merlot with duck, moderately spiced chicken or rich pastas.

 

Tzuba – Cabernet Sauvignon 2006: Another winner from the Judean Hills region, thisfull-bodied, rich wine is very well balanced with delightful aromas of roasted oak, dark berries and smoky notes. Ripe cherry characteristics and soft silky-smooth tannins with a chocolaty herbal finish. Has the potential to overwhelm delicate dishes, is best used with rich beef and lamb.

 

Yatir Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon 2006: Blended with 15% Shiraz, big vibrant wine displaying dark flavors tar, bittersweet chocolate, licorice, black currant and dark roasted coffee beans. Full-bodied, with firm structure and soft tannins, smoky wood, plum and currant fruit flavors. This wine is designed for current drinking, but should last well for the next five years. Will pair well with full flavored beef, grilled chicken, duck or veal.

 

Yarden Winery – Cabernet Sauvignon 2004: From the Golan Heights region this wine is aged for 18 months primarily in small French oak barrels. Powerful mature blackberries, cherry, cassis and plum notes with toasty oak, vanilla and a nuance of spices. It is full-bodied and concentrated with a long complex finish. Will go well with full-flavored foods, such as peppered grilled steak, or roasted duck or lamb.

 

Like everything else in the Middle East, Israel’s wine culture is complicated, subject to the ongoing conflict of the troubled region. Many farmers and vintners have to endure and endanger their lives because of the raining Katyusha rockets in the northern vineyards or the mortar bombs and rocket shells in the South. For Israel’s budding wine culture this collateral damage really wreaked havoc on the local economy. But despite the hardship Israeli farmers continue to sustain and preserve the vineyards, as the vintners create a work of art.

 

So this Seder as you fill your glass up with wine, think of the Israeli farmers and their families.

Solomon’s Judgment On A Hot Summer’s Day

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

The first summer heat wave is already here, and with it the burning forests. If you have any doubt as to whose land this is, just take a look at the Judgment of Solomon that takes place here every time the desert wind blows in from the East. The Jews say, “The baby is mine” and plant trees. The Arabs say, “The baby is mine, and as long as he is in your hands, we will turn him to ashes.”

 

This is nothing new. In February 1947, when British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin explained the decision of Her Majesty’s government to transfer the Land of Israel mandate to the UN, he explained the basis of the Arab-Israel conflict as follows:

 

“For the Jews, the main point is to establish a sovereign Jewish state. For the Arabs, the main point is to completely oppose any form of Jewish sovereignty in any part of Palestine.”

 

The Arabs are not motivated by positive national aspirations. They have no desire to return to a “homeland” and realize their imaginary Palestinian nationality. They simply want to make sure that the Jews are not in Israel. It is not despair caused by loss of what is theirs that motivates them; it is the hope to destroy what belongs to the Jews. The nurturing of this hope is the factor that gave birth to Arab nationalism. The elimination of the Arabs’ hope to drive us from our land will promote calm.

 

In his book, The Long Short Way, former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon describes how, when he was head of Israeli Intelligence, he initially believed that Yasir Arafat actually wanted a state. Slowly but surely, and after a horrifying period of bloodshed that left scores of Israelis dead, he reached the conclusion that the Arabs of the Land of Israel do not want a state. If the politicians and generals who determine Israel’s policies would only study the roots of the conflict, delve into its historical sources and draw conclusions on the basis of facts and not on the basis of wishful thinking, we could put an end to the painful price that Israel’s citizens have been paying and continue to pay.

 

The Arabs in Israel never had a separate self-definition. There is not, and there never has been, a Palestinian nation or a Palestinian state. There is no cultural difference between an Arab in Shechem and an Arab in Damascus or Baghdad – not in language, religion, and custom. The Arabs in Israel did not have independent national aspirations until the Zionists arrived here. Even afterward, their national aspirations were limited to the territory where the Jews lived. Arab nationalism focused its aspirations not on the Land of Israel, but on the State of Israel. The only territories that interested the Arabs were those that Jews had already settled.

 

Israel’s 1948 War of Independence was not waged over Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem, or the right of return. According to the Partition Plan, all those territories were to remain in Arab hands. The War of Independence was initiated by the heads of the Islamic movement in Israel. Their purpose was strictly to prevent the Jews from establishing a state on a tiny piece of land – much smaller than the area within the “Green Line.” And remember, the Arabs were but a small minority in the area that the UN designated for the Jews.

 

When the PLO was established (prior to the Six-Day War), its national aspirations were focused inside the boundaries of the Green Line, on the territory held by the Jews after the War of Independence. But wonder of wonders: After the Six-Day War and the liberation of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, everything changed. Now the “stolen” Palestinian homeland was no longer Israel’s coastal region, but rather the mountains. Why?  Because Jews lived there.

 

But as soon as an Arab army, any Arab army – be it Jordanian, Iraqi, Syrian or Egyptian – controls territory in the Land of Israel, Palestinian nationalism evaporates. The motivation of the Arabs as per the Land of Israel is negative. Bevin’s definition was most exact. The smoke from this year’s forest fires is proof of his words. Let the land burn.

 

Save the date: Manhigut Yehudit is planning a major conference at the New York Marriott East Side hotel in Manhattan on Sunday, July 26 from noon-2 p.m. (registration at 11:30 a.m.).The conference theme will be “no to a Palestinian state; yes to a strong and proud Jewish state.” For more information, call 516-295-3222 or e-mail USAevents@jewishisrael.org. Note: See ad in this week’s Jewish Press.

Not Only Is It The Right Thing To Do, It May Get You What You Want

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

(Names have been changed)


We are bombarded with requests for Tzedakah (charity) and it is our responsibility to give. Many people keep their ma’aser money – which is 10 percent of their income – readily available for the many collectors who call. We may even offer those collectors that come to our door something to eat or a drink on a hot day. We have always been known as people who are generous and rarely say “no” to requests for charity.

Non-Jewish canvassers for cancer, heart disease and other charities love to collect in Jewish neighborhoods because they are rarely turned down. We, as a Jewish community, make sure that we care for those of our neighbors who are going through hard times. We make sure their physical and psychological needs are met; that they have food, shelter, and this may even mean providing Shabbos robes in some communities.


But sometimes in our desire to collect money for charity, we forget to consider that the persons we are asking to help us, may be in need themselves. Sometimes they cannot give and some empathy and a kind word is what will help them when they can’t help us. And in our desire to collect for our charity, we forget to see the need that is staring us in the face and lose the chance to do a chesed while collecting for our cause.


After years of working, despite the chronic illness, Minnie’s husband Jack finally had to stop working and go on disability. The disease had progressed too far to enable him to work even on a limited basis. Fortunately for the family, Jack had disability insurance. The policy would pay him 60 percent of his former income. Minnie was not exactly sure what that would mean in terms of dollars and cents. She wasn’t sure if their health insurance premiums would be covered or if the 60 percent was taxable. There were still too many unanswered questions about her income as they transitioned from work to disability.


 It was during this month of transition that Minnie seemed to be getting a lot of telemarketing calls requesting charity. She and Jack had always given to any request for tzedakah before. Saying no because they didn’t know if they could was terribly painful, but not as painful as the response of the Jewish charity telemarketers.
 
Minnie told me that each caller asked her to give the same donation as the previous year.  When she explained that her husband had just been put on disability and she wasn’t able to make that commitment right now, all the non-Jewish charity telemarketers seemed to say a few kind words, and wished her husband a speedy recovery. In contrast, it seemed to her, that all the Jewish telemarketers pressured her over and over to make a dollar commitment now. “Could you donate half of last year’s donation? A third? How about $18?” – all without a word of support or caring.
After finally hanging up on a few of those calls, Minnie finally confronted one. After explaining why she couldn’t commit and being pressured by the caller, Minnie finally asked, “Didn’t you hear what I just told you? My husband is no longer employed. How do you think your pressuring me to donate is affecting me?” After an “Oh,” as way of explanation, the telemarketer hung up.


Minnie decided at that point that whatever money she would be able to give, once the dust settled; she would give to the charities that had taken the two seconds to give her a kind word and a polite goodbye. Sadly, that left out most of the Jewish causes. And that is what she did until a few months later when she received another call from a telemarketer from a Jewish cause.


This time when she explained that her husband was on disability the telemarketer asked her if she could add Minnie’s husband’s name to her Tehillim list and if it was alright, the telemarketer would like to daven for him. Further, could she call back in a few weeks and see how they were doing? Minnie was taken aback. She had never experienced this caring from a telemarketer before.


Several weeks later, Minnie was further shocked when she got a follow up call from the telemarketer to ask how she was. Assuming the girl was collecting again and grateful for the bit of caring, Minnie offered to make a donation. She was shocked to discover that the girl was not collecting but calling from her wanting to know if she should keep Jack on her Tehillim list. It was because of those few minutes of human caring interaction that Minnie began to give to Jewish causes again.


We should never lose sight of the basics. Everyone is fighting some sort of battle. Sometimes those from whom we are asking help may be in worse shape than those for whom we are asking the help. Listening to the response and responding with kindness may make all the difference to them, to us and to the Tzedakah we are working for.


You can contact me at annnovick@hotmail.com.

STAR-K’s Holds Insect Checking Seminar

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

         A chabura of Baltimore’s Yeshivas Ner Yisroel’s Kollel Avodas Levi, recently had the unique opportunity of having the hilchos toloyim they were learning about in Shulchan Aruch come to life-literally! The chabura’s attendance at a STAR-K sponsored seminar on bug checking, provided an extremely eye-opening experience for the Kollel yungerleit.

 

         STAR-K kashrus administrator, Rabbi Zvi Goldberg, began the session, covering such topics as the halachic basis for certifying bagged lettuce; the halachic basis for STAR-K’s particular policy in checking fruits and vegetables; and the various opinions and proofs regarding the definition of miut hamatzui.

 

         After viewing STAR-K-produced videos teaching the art of insect checking, the chabura was treated to a hands-on insect-checking workshop. With jewelers loupes in hand, and, in some cases, the aid of a light box, STAR-K kashrus administrator, Rabbi Mayer Kurcfeld, instructed the yungerleit how to find the quick moving thrips, aphids, and worms that dwell on fruits and vegetables, such as artichokes, broccoli, romaine lettuce, parsley, dill, strawberries, and raspberries.

 

         Rabbi Eitan Allen was among the chabura participants who found the seminar most informative. “Rabbi Kurcfeld puts in tremendous effort, energy, and exuberance, to teach his talmidim halacha l’maasa,” said Rabbi Allen.

 

         It was R’ Shragi Rothman’s second time attending such a seminar, and he couldn’t agree more. “There used to be a mesorah; everyone knew how to check for insects,” he said. “There was a break in the mesorah when the Yidden started moving from country to country. Now, we really have to learn this art from others. I am glad I had the opportunity to learn this art from STAR-K.”

 

         To learn more about STAR-K methods for insect checking, and view its collection of insect checking videos, visit www.star-k.org. The STAR-K video checking videos, and a limited number of light boxes, are available for purchase through the STAR-K office. Call 410-484-4110 for more information.

Overeating And The Well Spouse, A Reaction

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008


Dear Ann,

 

I have been following your articles on being overweight and wanted to tell you my beef (double entendre intended).

 

I am fat. There are other fat people around. There are also skinny people and people of varying sizes both smaller and larger than I. I am trying to be done − I would like to say I am done − with apologizing for my size. No matter how I got here, here I am. Why do I have to apologize for being here?

 

I am not taking anyone else’s space, except occasionally in those miniature seats in some old theatres or on planes looking to fit too many people in too small a space to maximize the number of dollars collected. I drive a Grand Caravan Dodge Van that takes up almost as much space as a 4X4 truck, but the truck hardly ever has to apologize for being so large.

 

I am fat. I don’t eat a ton of food. Often I eat a little less than the next person. Sometimes I even skip a meal and don’t double up on the next one. But whether I eat more or less or exactly the same as others, what I strive to accomplish on a regular basis is not getting any fatter. I try to just stay as I am, and no fatter. In fact, what I try to accomplish more often than not, is to eat my meal, have my snack and get on with my day, or whatever I happen to be doing next.

 

Sometimes that might be going swimming. Sometimes that might be going shopping. Sometimes that might be sitting on the couch and watching TV. And sometimes that might be one of a varied number of activities which women, mothers and grand­mothers have been involved in for many, many years. Do I owe anyone an accounting of my activities because I tip the scale in one direction or another?

 

I don’t have to apologize for wearing corrective glasses and not having 20-20 vision. In fact, when I apply for my driver’s license, an application that demands to have certain knowledge about my ability to see properly, all I have to do is check off a box that says I wear corrective glasses. I don’t have to apologize for enjoying classical music and not liking rap music. When I go to the music store, all I have to do is check the signs and look for the section of the store that houses classical music.

 

I don’t have to apologize for driving a van instead of a car. I don’t have to apologize for playing with my grandchildren and talking to my children. I don’t have to apologize for putting flowers into various vases and distributing and displaying the flowers throughout the house. Or do I?

 

Do I need to justify why I drive a van when my children are all grown up and my grandchildren are being driven around by their parents? Do I need to pretend that I don’t adore those beautiful, adorable little people who were created in God’s image but also share a lot of family characteristics and personality traits? Do I need to shout from the rooftops that my children have grown into wonderful human beings and that their company is a nachas and a pleasure to my soul?

 

Do I have to apologize for having reached a time in my life when my financial priorities and responsibilities allow for the luxury and beauty of decorating my home with freshly cut blooms?

 

I am a fat woman who wears glasses, likes classical music, drives a van, plays with her grandchildren, talks to her children and loves fresh flowers. Get off my case. Get a life. Stop mixing into my business. And for goodness (a word incorporated into the English language from the root word “God”) sake, the comments and the questions and the criticisms and the suggestions and the feedback, unsolicited no doubt, are the worst form of lashon harah.

 

Apparently, you feel it is not even necessary to turn your back on me when you insult me. You simply walk up to me and in my face, you tell me that you do not like what you see, and then you have the ultimate chutzpah to tell me that you are doing it for my own good and out of a concern for my welfare.

 

Well, perhaps you should be looking in the mirror to see what you can see in your own “house.” After all, “charity begins at home,” and if “I am not for myself, who am I?” Get off my case and find your own. There must be something that you can attend to in your own backyard, so please, stay out of mine. And the next time we meet, over the backyard fence or on the front porch stairs, or in the foyer of the condo, perhaps you could smile and say, “good morning” or “good day” or perhaps, “good night,” instead.


Miriam


 


You can address this issue or any other by contacting me at annnovick@hotmail.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/overeating-and-the-well-spouse-a-reaction/2008/06/18/

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