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Q & A: Incongruous And Unbecoming (Part II)

29 Tishri 5772 – October 26, 2011
Question: Lately I've seen some young men who, though they wear a yarmulke, have ponytails or long unruly hair. I've even seen some ear piercings. Somehow I find this behavior to be incongruous. My real problem is that my own nephew and a few of his friends wear their hair in this manner. Even though his parents look upon it as a passing fad, I am at a loss to understand such behavior. Luckily, whether right or wrong, I've held my tongue. I wonder what the proper positive action to take is in this matter. No Name Please (Via E-Mail)

Mainstream Double Standards Against Israel

14 Tishri 5772 – October 12, 2011
The use of double standards against Israel has permeated large parts of the world's mainstream. One finds it at the United Nations, among governments, in major media, academic institutions, NGOs, liberal churches and trade unions.

The Positive Side of Autism: An Interview with Dr. Temple Grandin

8 Tishri 5772 – October 6, 2011
For many years, autism was considered to be a rare, mysterious and severely disabling condition. But in recent years, due at least in part to a broadening of its medical definition, the incidence of the diagnosis of autism and related disorders has risen to about 1 in every 150 babies born in this country.

Addressing the ‘Beef’

29 Elul 5771 – September 28, 2011
Dear Readers, From time to time, members of The Jewish Press community take the time and trouble to write or e-mail me sharing their feelings regarding something I wrote. Most of the comments are supportive and encouraging - and some are not. Either way, I appreciate all reader input, negative or positive, as it lets me know that my thoughts and observations are having an impact.

Putting A Stumbling Block Before the Blind (Conclusion)

15 Elul 5771 – September 14, 2011
In my previous column, I noted that the typical response to a tragedy in the heimishe community is a call forteshuvah. Almost always, the two "culprits" singled out for the cause of our misfortunes and in most need of repair are shmiras halashon and a lack of tznuit. I stated my belief that these are just two of the many components of a more insidious behavior that is pandemic in our community - that being the wanton, often deliberate action of misleading and fooling people into doing things that ultimately are detrimental and even ruinous to them.

Divorced Father and His Relationship with His Three Year Old Son

5 Adar I 5771 – February 9, 2011
Question: My son is three-years-old and we have a great relationship. However, his mother and I are divorced and every time I go to pick him up he runs around and sort of avoids me. It's seems more like a game than anything else. I say that because once I chase him down and get him, we go off together - no tears, everything is great. But then, when I drop him off, he runs away without saying goodbye. For me his behavior is somewhat disturbing, how mother though has said that all this means he really doesn’t want to be with me. Other than pick-up and drop-off everything is truly fine between us. Shouldn't my ex-wife try to help instead of doing nothing and complaining?

The Price Of Nice

28 Tishri 5771 – October 6, 2010
Kindness is such an essential Jewish trait that we are told to suspect that a cruel person is not really Jewish. The media constantly uplifts us with inspirational stories about saintly people who radiated love to their fellowman and did their utmost to avoid hurting others. Yet we are also told, "Those who are kind to the cruel will eventually be cruel to the kind" (Koheles Raba 7:16). It is not a kindness to allow ourselves to be abused, exploited or manipulated. By not taking protective action when possible, we encourage destructive behavior. The following stories are examples of naïve and trusting people who paid a heavy price for being overly "nice."

Parents At Risk, Teens At Risk

23 Elul 5770 – September 1, 2010
When parents come to talk to me about a troubled teenager, I often find it helpful to explore whether or not their marriage is causing their teenager to be at risk.

When They’re Least Lovable

16 Elul 5770 – August 25, 2010
"I can't take it anymore!" "What happened? Is the baby teething again? You're exhausted." my husband asked, trying to read my thoughts, over the phone.

Eight Ways To Stop Yelling At Your Kids

24 Av 5770 – August 4, 2010
Many parents admit they yell too much, but do not know how to avoid exploding when irritated. It takes effort and discipline to defeat any addiction, whether it's overeating or cigarette smoking and the screaming addiction is no different. Thankfully, when we really want to grow spiritually, we are given Heavenly guidance.

Being A Good Wife Is Sometimes Not Enough

20 Sivan 5770 – June 2, 2010
Sometimes a few sessions of marital therapy can solve problems that were festering for years. The married couple have often locked themselves into such a struggle; they need help to simply untangle the knot. This has a lot to do with the high level of emotion they are feeling - just think of the expression "I am so angry I can't think straight. The husband and wife often cannot think logically or clearly. Every issue between them is filled with layers of anger, hurt, betrayal and fear that has built up over the years due to miscommunication.

Communicating Effectively (Part I)

4 Sivan 5770 – May 17, 2010
The Meaning of The Communication Is The Response It Elicits

Where Have All Our Middos Gone?

21 Iyyar 5770 – May 5, 2010
Shame wells up in me as I thread my way through the cluster of young wives standing near my home, animatedly talking with one another as their children play at their feet. Four shopping bags dangle from one arm, five from another, and I shift them uncomfortably as I carry them from my car, practically bent over from their weight.

Title: We Can Do Mitzvos from Aleph to Tav

3 Adar 5770 – February 17, 2010
An easy-to-hold hardcover with colorful illustrations, We Can Do Mitzvos from Aleph to Tav explains basic mitzvot in rhyme and alphabetical order. Easy on the eyes and a pleasant text for introducing toddlers to the world of shmirat halacha, the book teaches the aleph bet with charm.

The Pain Of A Family Torn Apart (Conclusion)

8 Kislev 5770 – November 25, 2009
In last week's column, I published a very sad letter from a young woman who wrote that two of her sisters were not on speaking terms and had splintered the family with their animosity.

Coping With The Loss Of Hope

1 Kislev 5770 – November 18, 2009
Over the past two weeks I have shared letters from a therapist and a well spouse. Both of the letters gave personal insights into the process of losing hope, how we react when that happens and some ways of coping when test scores, diagnosis and just simple repetitive behavior indicate that change for the better is impossible.

Title: I’m Really Not Tired

10 Heshvan 5770 – October 28, 2009
This lap-sized hardcover is something for parents and children to read to each other. Rhyming verses tell the adorable story of Sam McKay, a little boy convinced that his parents are partying when he's under his bedtime blanket. He routinely fights off bedtime with a yawn as he envisions how much fun the adults might be having downstairs.

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