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August 28, 2016 / 24 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘EAT’

A Rabbi’s Unusual Passover Message: ‘Eat Bread and Save Jews’

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

{Originally posted to the United with Israel website}

Ordinarily, a rabbi would be impressed to hear that a Jewish congressman had taken matzohs with him to an international conference that took place during the week of Passover.

Meyer Nurenberger, however, was not at all impressed by Congressman Sol Bloom’s boast about bringing matzohs to the Anglo-American conference on the refugee problem, held in Bermuda in April 1943.

It was the peak of the Holocaust. The Allies had confirmed that the mass murder of European Jewry was underway, but refused to take any concrete action to intervene.

To counter mounting public criticism of their hands-off policy, the British and American governments announced they would discuss the issue in a conference on the island of Bermuda, far from the prying eyes of demonstrators and the news media. Their intention was that “it will take place practically in secret, without pressure of public opinion,” the Zionist leader Nahum Goldmann surmised.

Congressman Sol Bloom of New York City, a former vaudeville entertainer, chaired the House Foreign Affairs Committee and strongly supported President Roosevelt’s restrictionist immigration policy. When Bloom was chosen as a member of the American delegation to the Bermuda conference, many in the Jewish community saw the choice as a ploy to deflect criticism of U.S. refugee policy. Assistant Secretary of State Breckinridge Long privately wrote in his diary that he chose Bloom because the congressman was known to be “easy to handle” and “terribly ambitious for publicity.”

The conference lasted 12 days, yet neither the U.S. delegation nor their British counterparts managed to come up with any serious rescue plans. The Roosevelt administration would not agree to the use of any trans-Atlantic ships to transport refugees, not even troop supply ships that were returning from Europe empty. There would be no increase in the number of refugees admitted to the United States. And the British refused to discuss Palestine as a possible refuge, because of Arab opposition. When the conference adjourned, the two governments decided to keep the proceedings of the conference secret, to mask how little they had achieved.

Congressman Bloom, however, announced that “as a Jew,” he was “perfectly satisfied” with the results. In his autobiography, published after the war, Bloom continued to defend the outcome of the Bermuda conference, arguing that any announcement of aid to the Jews would have led “to intensified persecutions.” Congressman Emanuel Celler (D-New York) characterized Bloom as “a sycophant of the State Department.”

Cong. Sol Bloom

Cong. Sol Bloom

Rabbi-turned-journalist, Meyer Nurenberger

Rabbi-turned-journalist, Meyer Nurenberger

 

It was shortly after Bermuda that Bloom encountered Meyer Nurenberger. The Polish-born Nurenberger, who had earned rabbinic ordination but opted for a career in journalism, arrived in the U.S. in 1939 and began working as a reporter and columnist for the Morgen Zhurnal, a leading Yiddish daily.

As Nurenberger later recalled, Bloom “told me that he took along matzohs when he left for Bermuda—it was the Passover season—because he was such a good Jew. So I told him that I thought it would have been more important for him to eat bread there and save some Jews rather than to eat matzohs. He was very angry and told me he was through talking to me.”

I asked Nurenberger’s daughter, the Canadian-Israeli journalist Atara Beck, about her father’s unusual choice of words. “My father was an ordained Orthodox rabbi, and of course he would never have wanted any Jew to eat bread on Passover,” she said. “He was making a point—and it was a powerful moral point—saving lives is more important than rituals such as eating matzoh. Every Jew, even a congressman, needs to be reminded of that from time to time.”

Nurenberger later cited a Talmudic anecdote to explain the phenomenon of prominent Jews who were more interested in fame and honor—such as serving on a U.S. government delegation—than in their welfare of the Jewish people. Nurenberger called it the “Mi BeRosh” [‘Who will be first?’] Syndrome.”

The anecdote, which appears in tractate Sanhedrin, concerns a Jewish king, Jeroboam, who caused a division of the Jewish commonwealth and even introduced idol worship, yet was given one last chance to repent. When Jeroboam died, the Talmud relates, God said to him, “If you repent, you and I and the Messiah will stroll together in the Garden of Eden.” To which Jeroboam replied, Mi beRosh? Who will be the one to walk at the head of the line? When God replied that Messiah would walk first, Jeroboam responded that he would not repent.

To which Nurenberger added this poignant commentary: “Since the days of Jeroboam, Mi BeRosh? has been the primary cause of lost opportunities and the greatest tragedies in Jewish history. Who will march at the front?  Who will sit on the dais? Who will be Man of the Year? Who will be the leader? Who will deliver the main speech? Who will introduce whom at a meeting? Who will be applauded by the ladies’ auxiliary? Mi beRosh? How many Jews would have been saved during World War II if it had not been for Mi beRosh?”

Dr. Rafael Medoff

Overspending

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Often one spouse accuses the other of being an over-spender. But what exactly is “overspending”? This definition changes from family to family; for one, going out to eat on a weekly basis may be within their means, while even a periodic coffee may be stretching the resources of another couple. So how does a family determine whether they can afford to eat out?

One cannot “overspend” if there isn’t a budget that defines spending limits. A budget can help reduce friction between spouses who have different spending patterns. If both partners agree to create and abide by a budget, then the one spouse is no longer the “bad cop” that regulates his or her partner’s spending habits.

Spending as an emotional issue

People spend money for a variety of reasons. Some expenses, like groceries and utilities, are a necessity, while others are discretionary. However, even within fixed expenses there is usually room to cut back. Does Shabbat dinner need to be an expensive cut of meat accompanied by costly wine, or will chicken and grape juice suffice?

Examine your fiscal habits. Do you have an idea of how much your monthly expenses are? Where do you spend money? Do you charge or pay in cash? Do you have financial goals that are important to you, and if so, are you actively working to achieve them? How would you feel if your spending habits changed? How would that change affect your spouse/family?

Consider the doctor who tells an overweight patient that unless he lost a considerable amount of weight, he would face serious illness. Chances are, the patient would diet and exercise. So why is there a discrepancy when a financial adviser recommends a fiscal diet and an exercise program of spending within a budget?

Very often, financial issues mask other problems within a relationship. Therefore, creating a budget is not only a good tool to monitor spending, but it can also help improve family harmony.

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

JBlog Roundup: Love and Marriage and Hate and Divorce and Blintzes

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

You want strange news? I’ll give you strange news:

According to a complaint filed in Federal Court, Nancy Genovese, a mother of three, was arrested for taking a picture of the decorative shell of a helicopter on display in full public view near the entrance of the Gabreski Airport in Suffolk County, New York.

While shooting the chopper from her car, she was approached by a Southampton Town Policeman, who demanded to know why she was taking photographs. The cop notified the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and the authorities at Gabreski Airport that Nancy was posing a terrorist threat.

Among those responding to the call were airport officials, Homeland Security, the FBI, the Southhampton Police Department, and the Westhampton Police Department. Genovese and her 18- and 20-year-old sons were questioned for six hours by the side of the road by everybody in range wearing a uniform. It’s not a very busy airport. it’s not like they had better things to do.

This went on for quite some time, and involved many different kinds of humiliation and threats, including a lot of needless jail time and being placed on suicide watch – and also some cash is missing, don’t ask. Read the whole thing, if you’re into this kind of entertainment (of course you are). But the lesson we take from this really bizarre story is:

Cops Scare Easy.

Seriously, it’s something I’ve learned a long time ago, and just goes with their territory. Cops Scare Easy, and so when you run up against one of them, think of him as Bambi, fragile, and frightened out of his mind. But it’s Bambi with a sidearm, so be even sweeter.

EAT, PRAY, LOVE, WED

Tania, a female Jewish Orthodox student at Yeshiva University with an international background. She says she attended a wide range of Orthodox institutions from the right to the left. In her blog, Thinking Jew Girl, she goes into School, Peace in the Middle East, Orthodoxy (whatever that means), women’s rights, shidduchim, engagements, weddings (that’s three different aspects of the same gigantic issue), food, politics and anything else (I think she may have left out only figure skating and philately).

Yesterday, a reader wrote her: “I’m worried I will never get married. Do you have any suggestions of how I can avoid this nagging feeling? Do you have the same problem?”

If I had a dollar for every time some friend told me she was afraid she’d never get married… My humble opinion is that getting a good shidduch is a lot like finding the right home: the range of the supply depends on the demand. Or, in other words, it’s all about expectations and standards.

I’m saying it even though I actually found my loved one of many, many years all by myself, without the help of a shadchan. Back then we were a little looser, if you know what I mean. And I’ve stuck by the same lovely person ever since (we’re in our fourth decade together, in case you’re curious).

Tanya writes back: “I totally understand and empathize with your feelings of frustration.”

She continues with a heart breaker:

“About a year ago, I went out with this guy who was ten years older than me… It was the best first date of my life. He had huge warm eyes, a friendly demeanor, a genius mind, he was tall and cute, and the conversation had this awesome flow, positive energy, and I was sitting there thinking ‘Oh my Gosh! This guy is SO cute!'”

But then… “A month later at midnight he dumped me.”

To find out how Tanya managed that one and what she’s doing every day to stay sane and not slip behind in her YU work, visit her blog and say hi from Tibbi.

GET THAT GET

First, here’s the NY Post report, condensed version:

Four guys in black ski masks, tied up and beat Robert Klein, 25, an Orthodox guy from Brooklyn, until he told a rabbi he was giving his wife a get.

Tibbi Singer

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/jblogs/jblog-roundup-love-and-marriage-and-hate-and-divorce-and-blintzes/2012/05/16/

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