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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Tribune’

Can an Orthodox Jewish Woman Have it All?

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

As I began reading an article in the Forward by Aurora Mendelsohn about whether a Jewish woman can have it all (meaning a career and an observant family) I received a call from my daughter about an article in the Chicago Tribune* about one woman who does have it all.

Her name is Talia Mashiach. And indeed she does have it all. And I was glad to see that she didn’t Kvetch about how difficult it is for her to fulfill her role as a Jewish woman and have a successful career at the same time. She seemed to revel in her success at both. More about Talia later.

This is not to say that Ms. Mendelsohn doesn’t make some valid points. She does. But whenever I read one of these feminist based articles, it always seems like someone is Kvetching about how hard it is for a woman to be successful in a male dominated society in general and in Judaism in particular.

Ms. Mendelsohn mentioned the things she has to do in order to be more fulfilled as a Jew while raising children. Like taking turns with her husband going to Shul for Kol Nidre in alternate years. She talks about breaking barriers of stereotypical male-female roles in the workplace and in Judaism. To that end she advocates flextime for parents in the workplace to enable better parenting for both.

And then – as is common among some feminist types – she implies that Rishonim like the Avudraham and later the Shulchan Aruch that reflect his views were influenced by the misogyny of their time. Albeit praising them for recognizing that indeed no one can really have it all – which is why in Judaism women are exempt from most of the time bound positive Mitzvos.

However, in the current spirit of egalitarianism she says that women should be given greater roles in the synagogue while men should be encouraged to become more domestic. Kind of a role reversal.

Right. That is what Judaism is all about. Role reversal. I have heard this argument ad nauseum. Is this what is now demanded?! In order to achieve some sort of parity with men, women need to go to Shul while men stay home with their children?! I guess so if one follows the example of the Mendelsohn household. This seems to be the current trend in Orthodox feminism. Push the envelope so far that men take on the traditional roles of women so that women can take on the traditional roles of men… All within the parameters of Halacha of course.

I am not even going to attempt to argue the point here. Been there and done that. I just want to contrast that with a woman who probably has more of what Ms. Mendelsohn seeks than she ever will and does so without the need to change Orthodox Judaism as we know it.

Talia Mashiach is one of the most successful career women in the Orthodox world. I know her and her husband. They are day school and yeshiva educated Orthodox Jews who send their children to Arie Crown Hebrew Day School. She not only has a successful career in business, she has a successful career as a mother. An Orthodox mother that does not ignore her children or her Judaism.

At age 35, Talia Mashaich is a self-made millionaire. She has created many successful businesses and is about to corner the market on corporate event planning by digitalizing every aspect of it online. Her business acumen has attracted some big name venture capitalists and they have not been disappointed with the returns on their investments. She loves what she does and is highly respected in the corporate world. She does what’s necessary to succeed without sacrificing one iota of her Judaism. She has made sure of that.

As her husband Shmuel said in the Tribune article, she is as good a mom and wife as she is in business.

Talia organizes her schedule so that she can be home by the time her children come home for school. Fridays she generally works out of her house. Evenings are spent with her family. She hires household help to take care of cleaning and cooking allowing her to maximize her time with her family.

Weekends are hallowed time for the Mashiachs and on Shabbos they often host friends and family for Friday night and Shabbos morning meals. And of course she is unplugged from all technology. That – she says – rejuvenates her for the new work week.

She does it all without Kvetching about how Judaism has somehow failed women spiritually.

Before anyone accuses me of being insensitive to those women who feel they need “more” in order to express their spirituality than mainstream Orthodoxy gives them, please don’t bother. I get it. Some people (men as well as women) feel they need more to express their service to God than Judaism requires of them. My point here is that this is certainly not the case for all. Jewish women need not seek Shul participation in order to be fulfilled as a Jew or as a woman. Ask Talia.

That said Talia freely admits that what she does is not for everyone – certainly not everyone has her skill set. But she is living proof that an Orthodox Jewish woman can indeed have it all. Without the need to eat, live, and breathe the feminist clarion call of egalitarianism. There was not a hint of that in this very beautiful article in the Chicago Tribune.

At age 35 she has succeeded in business in ways that would make many even successful men envious. If things keep going her way, she could be the next Mark Zuckerberg. All while maintaining her role as the quintessential Jewish woman without sacrificing one iota of her Judaism. My hat is off to her.

*(Unfortunately one must be a subscriber to the digital version of Chicago Tribune to see the article online. But it is a front page story in the business section – print edition.)

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

Liberating Our Jerusalem

Monday, May 21st, 2012

http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2012/05/liberating-our-jerusalem.html

When Jordan’s Arab Legion seized half of Jerusalem, ethnically cleansed its Jewish population, and annexed the city– the only entity to recognize the annexation was the United Kingdom which had provided the officers and the training that made the conquest possible. Officers like Colonel Bill Newman, Major Geoffrey Lockett, and Major Bob Slade – under Glubb Pasha, better known as General John Bagot Glubb, whose son later converted to Islam – invaded Jerusalem and used the Muslim forces under their command to make the partition and ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem possible.

Since then the annexation and ethnic cleansing has become an international mandate. It would be absolutely inconceivable for the international community to denounce an ethnically cleansed group which survived attempted genocide for moving back into a city where they had lived. It is however standard policy at the State Department and the Foreign Office to denounce Jews living in those parts of Jerusalem that had been ethnically cleansed by Muslims, as “settlers” living in “settlements”, and describe them as an “obstruction to peace.” Peace being the state of affairs that sets in when an ethnic cleansing goes unchallenged.

Describing Jewish homes in Jerusalem, one of the world’s oldest cities, a city that all three religions in the region associate with Jews and Jewish history, as “settlements” is a triumph of distorted language that Orwell would have to tip his hat to. How does one have “settlements” in a city older than London or Washington D.C.? To understand that you would have to ask London and Washington D.C. where the diplomats insist that one more round of Israeli compromises will bring peace to the region.

They say that there are three religions in Jerusalem, but there are actually four. The fourth religion is the true Religion of Peace, the one that demands constant blood sacrifices to make peace possible, that insists that there will be peace when the Jews have been expelled from Judea and Samaria, driven out of their homes in Jerusalem, and made into wanderers and beggars once again. Oddly enough this religion’s name isn’t even Islam– it’s diplomacy.

Diplomacy says that the 1948 borders set by Arab countries invading Israel should be the final borders and that when Israel reunified a sundered city in 1967, it was an act of aggression, while when seven Arab armies invaded Israel in 1948, it was a legitimate way to set boundaries. When Jordan ethnically cleansed East Jerusalem, it set a standard that Israelis are obligated to follow to this day by staying out of East Jerusalem.

Vice-President Biden was so upset that the Jerusalem municipality had partially approved some buildings in the city during his visit that he threw a legendary hissy fit. Hillary Clinton stopped by MSNBC to tell Andrea Mitchell that, “It was insulting. And it was insulting not just to the Vice-President who didn’t deserve that.” David Axelrod browsed through his thesaurus and emerged on the morning shows calling it an “affront” and an “insult.” Two for the price of one.

Editorials in newspapers denounced the Israeli government for this grave insult to the Obama Administration.”Israel’s Provocation”, the Chicago Tribune shrieked in bold type, describing it as a “diplomatic bomb” that went off in Biden’s face. The Atlantic, eager to get in on the action metaphors, described Israel slapping Biden in the face. A horde of other columnists jumped in to depict the Israelis kicking and bashing the poor Vice-President, while holding his head in the toilet.

Whether Joe Biden was the victim of the Jews or the Jews were the victims of Joe Biden is all a matter of perspective. The Hitler Administration was quite upset to find that Jewish athletes would be competing in the 1936 Munich Olympics. When you ethnically cleanse people, they are supposed to stay ethnically cleansed. It’s in poor taste for them to show up and win gold medals at the Olympics or rebuild their demolished synagogues. It’s insulting to the ethnic cleansers and their accomplices.

That sounds like a harsh accusation, but it’s completely and undeniably true.

When Muslims move into a Jewish town, poor Joe doesn’t come crying that he’s been bombed with a diplomatic affront and slapped with a Menorah. When Muslim countries fund Muslim housing in Israel, there are no angry statements from Clinton and no thesaurus bashing from David Axelrod. Muslim housing in Jerusalem or anywhere in Israel is not a problem. Only Jewish housing is. The issue is not Israel. If it were then Arabs with Israeli citizenship would get Biden to howl as loudly. It’s only the Jews who are the problem.

Israel’s Cabinet Smashes Mega-Corporations

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Israel’s cabinet on Sunday approved a plan to force some of Israel’s largest conglomerates to break up, in an attempt to drive competition and reduce the cost of living.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, Israel has one of the highest concentrations of corporate power in the developed world, with 10 of Israel’s largest business groups controlling a whopping 41 percent of public companies.

The new deal may force business conglomerates to choose between major financial or non-financial companies and will limit the number of tiers of their subsidiaries.

Companies will have four years to comply with the new regulations.

Hateful Cartoon; Liberal Hypocrisy

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2003

Dick Locher, a cartoonist for Tribune Media Services, touched off a mini-firestorm last week with a blatantly anti-Semitic editorial cartoon that ran in the May 30 edition of the Chicago Tribune.

The cartoon portrayed a large-beaked Ariel Sharon standing on a bridge over an imaginary “Mideast Gulch” as President Bush, on bended knee, places U.S. dollars in Sharon’s path. Locher has the Israeli prime minister gazing down at the money and saying, “On second thought, the pathway to peace is looking a bit brighter.”

Responding to the cartoon and the complaints that followed its publication, Tribune Public Editor Don Wycliffe wrote in his June 1 column: “The best editorial cartoons…have all the nuance and delicacy of a stick in the eye. But even at its roughest and bluntest, there are lines that a cartoon should not cross. On Friday, our editorial page ran a cartoon that crossed all the lines.”

Wycliffe described some of the outraged reader reaction to the cartoon, including the comments of Chicago political activist Don Rose who labeled it “blatantly anti-Semitic, reinforcing the long-held racist image of Jews as avaricious and greedy.”

Wycliffe said he agreed with Rose. “It is no secret to readers of this column that I have been no fan of Sharon and his policies,” he wrote. “But I was jolted when I looked at the cartoon and saw that figure with the hooked nose, the Star of David and those words (particularly since money has never been the decisive issue in the Middle East dispute.)”

In an unusual move, the Tribune’s hometown rival, the Chicago Sun Times, blasted the cartoon as “caricature assassination,” likening it to “a swastika painted on a synagogue door.”

As for cartoonist Locher, he denies any malicious intent. “I was trying to go to bat for the American taxpayer,” he told Editor & Publisher. “Israel is a good friend, but let’s get an accounting of where the money is going.”

Locher’s comment hardly justifies the cartoon’s obvious message, which, in the words of the above-cited Sun Times editorial, is “that Israel’s interest in peace is sparked, not by a desire to end bloodshed, but by American cash.” Nor does Locher explain how “trying to go to bat for the American taxpayer” is served by render ing Sharon as, again in the words of the Sun Times, a “hump-backed, balloon-handed, hook-nosed Jew.”

* * *

Former Bush speechwriter and bestselling author David Frum summed up liberal hypocrisy quite nicely earlier this week on NationalReviewOnline: “Sometimes,” he wrote, “I think contemporary liberalism has to be understood not as a type of politics but as a species of mental illness. How else to understand the New York Times’s account on the newly released Justice Department report on the post-9/11 detention of terror suspects”

According to the Times, “the report represented a high-level validation of the concerns voiced by civil rights groups about the broad net authorities have cast in prosecuting the campaign against terrorism.”

Oh yeah? The reasons for detention listed in the report sound perfectly reasonable in the context of post-9/11 America. Is it really so outrageous for a citizen to worry when two Middle Eastern men rent a truck from him ostensibly for a one-way trip to a distant city, return it just a few minutes later after driving only a few miles, forfeit a large deposit without complaint, and seem visibly nervous through the transaction?

When the citizen reports the incident and it turns out that the men are present in the country illegally, is it really so intolerable for the FBI to hold them, question them, and then deport them?

If you remember how much favorable attention the press gave to reports last year that the Bush administration had missed opportunities in the summer of 2001 to detain the nineteen 9/11 hijackers, you have to wonder – are they telling us that in a national emergency the government should detain only those illegal immigrants who later turn out to be dangerous and no illegal immigrants who later turn out not to be dangerous? Is it really true that the cause of civil liberties requires law enforcement to have 100% perfect foreknowledge of what their investigations will later find?

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/hateful-cartoon-liberal-hypocrisy/2003/07/02/

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