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Ordinarily, Chanukah is a time to hug and kiss the kids as we sing in front of the menorah. This past Chanukah was an exception. Instead of putting my arms around my children, I watched them light the menorah on a streaming video from my iPad while I rested comfortably in my hospital bed.
Welcome once again to “You’re Asking Me?” – the column that answers all kinds of questions, depending on how loosely you define the word “answer.” Whereas other so-called advice columns are interested in providing you with well-researched advice, my concern is more to get you to stop asking me questions, by whatever means necessary.
It’s lately become a family joke. During the course of a day, something occurs that touches me. My kids see the wheels turning in my head and ask, teasingly, if I have another idea for one of my columns. It can be a simple kindness, or it can be one of the miracles that Hashem has wrought for us.
Ahh, the mornings. A time of peace and serenity, for sipping a cup of coffee while catching up on the morning news. Or perhaps you use the time to bake fresh healthy cookies for the family’s midday snack. However, if your mornings are better described as rush hour compounded by nagging warnings, here are a few handy steps to create a stress free routine.
One of the cool benefits of living way north of the GW Bridge and the Big Apple is that we are in real apple country. On a whim, we can take the kids to a local orchard not ten minutes from our house, and become one with nature. It feels just like the olden days - only back then, the farmers would pay hired hands to pick the apples, while we actually pay the farmers to please, please let us harvest their fruit.
Now that my son has graduated from mashed entrées of sweet potatoes and carrots to grown-up grub, it's back in the kitch for me!
When I moved onto the block not too many years ago, neighbors welcomed me. One brought over a cake, another came to visit Friday night, everyone was friendly and smiled, said hello on the street and chatted amiably when the kids would play outside.
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?
Question: My wife screams and curses at me. For years I have been asking her to stop, but she hasn’t. Now she’s begun doing the same thing to our children, ages 10 and 7 – and they cower in fear. Actually, we are all afraid of her. She never hits, but I think the verbal abuse and screaming is worse.
We had just finished celebrating the High Holidays in Boca Raton. With the intensity of those days behind us, we were looking forward to visiting my family in New York. The kids were so excited and counted down the days until they would see their Bubby and Zayde, aunt, uncle, and cousins. Never did I realize that while I was deciding what clothes to pack for the Yom Tov of Sukkos, I would also be packing clothes for my father's levayah.
Psychologists study ways to help people find authentic happiness. Researchers report that using one's strengths allows for greater creativity, productivity and excellence. While theses are all the ingredients for professional and career success, they have also been found to work in people's personal lives as well. Utilizing personal strengths yields greater happiness and feelings of well being.
Question: A few years ago I was forced to go back to work when my husband lost his job. Baruch Hashem I have become very successful in my field, one that is largely male. While my husband is now working as well, it has become clear that my job is the priority - I make almost triple his salary and there's potential for much more. I never intended to be away from my kids, but am not upset that I had to go to work.
Question: My husband and I have been married 14 years, have 6 children, each one in a yeshiva and are so overwhelmed. Between shuttling the kids and homework, I feel like my marriage is non-existent. My husband tells me it's normal at this stage in our life but my mother tells me to do something about it. Where do I begin?
The headlines in Israel are filled with the mass arrest and imprisonment of a group of haredi parents for disobeying a court order commanding them to send their children to one school and not to another. The world media have discovered the story of intra-Jewish "racism" inside Israel and by and large are repeating the twist to the story provided by Israel's largely leftist media. And, as usually happens, the Israeli media, by covering the story to suit their own biases and ideological agenda, are getting just about everything wrong.
It is a testament to the authenticity and devotion of the staff at Our Place - a group of drop-in centers in Flatbush that cater to what most people would simply term "at-risk" teens - that none of them wanted to be mentioned by name in this article. In fact, the majority of them were even cautious about speaking with a reporter, so protective are they of their children, whom they consider very nearly their own.