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September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘subway’

The Case For Manners In Shidduchim

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

A friend of mine called me recently on her way home from a date. It was 11:30 p.m., and she was walking home from the subway, a 20-minute walk from her home. She said that she had a pleasant time, but was surprised when her date walked her to the subway at the end of the evening and said good night at 11 p.m. “Doesn’t he realize that at this late hour he should be escorting me home?” she cried.

The young man was apparently unaware that he was not displaying the best manners in casually walking his date to a subway station late at night, instead of seeing her safely to her door. Yet this lack of etiquette is unfortunately all too common in today’s dating world.

Another example occurred recently when I set up a young man on a shidduch date. I personally knew him to be bright, good-hearted and open-minded. I was therefore surprised when he called me after his phone call with the prospective date and bluntly told me, “She’s not my type.” He wanted to cancel their plans to meet.

His major concern was that she did not have an appreciation for his favorite genre of music. He said, “I can just tell that she’s not for me. I’m so burnt out lately from dating. I can’t put myself through this.” I empathized with his situation, but I asked him to consider what this would feel like to his date. Perhaps she too has gone through many disappointing experiences lately, and his cancellation would just add to her disillusionment. Despite this, he couldn’t bring himself to go through with the date. Thus I was given the unfortunate task of relaying the news to this girl, who had been looking forward to meeting him.

What Went Wrong?

From the many stories that I have heard, it seems that some men and women are engaging in apparently inconsistent behaviors when it comes to their dating lives. While most are considerate and fine people, when it comes to dating some singles have become so desensitized and self-protective that they are, simply put, not minding their manners.

Some of the most common offenses I have come across lately are:

Woodbury, Long Island

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Question: How do you feel about a possible MTA fare hike?

 

 


It’s unnecessary. The MTA is not thinking about commuters. They keep on raising the tolls, but where are the improvements? The subways aren’t faster or cleaner; they have modernized the interior of some trains but the subway platforms are old, moldy and dirty. The fare hike is too costly and for many people it’s unaffordable. The MTA has enough money; they owe us some proof as to where all this money is going.


- Michaela Adi, student



 

 

 


It’s bad enough the service is poor; we certainly don’t need another fare hike. When the MTA needs money for certain projects, all of a sudden they have the resources despite claiming a deficit. Where’s all the money going?


- David Izhak, warehouse manager 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s wrong. Just because the MTA claims to have a deficit doesn’t mean that we as commuters should be responsible for fixing it. Obviously the money is not being properly disbursed because it seems like every year or so they cry poverty. Unfortunately, commuters have no choice and are going to have to shell out more money.


- Sarit Varoh, caseworker




 

 

 



If they want to raise the fare they should also step up and improve the service by adding more workers. I work in Midtown, and it seems like I have to wait forever for the B train to show up. We need more trains on the track and more staff on the premises. The MTA has enough money.


-Mark Halpert, traffic manager 

Hot And Bothered: Letting The Steam Out

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

        It’s the dog days of August, and between the sizzling heat, the numbing humidity, the rain and the never-ending traffic and airport delays, there is a lot to complain about people’s actions.

 

         Since I read many years ago that it is therapeutic to get your frustrations out of your system, this is what I’m going to do. I am going to rant a bit (actually a lot) about several all too common behaviors and situations too frequently coming my way – things that probably drive you up a wall, as well. Perhaps we will all find relief by getting it out of our collective systems.

 

         Since much of our socialization and religious practices revolve around food, I will address two frequent situations that irk me to no end. They both revolve around that well-beloved community activity that takes place on Shabbat after shul – the kiddush.

 

         The fact is that few public announcements gladden the heart more than the one right after the davening, stating there is a kiddush for the klal.

 

         The problem I find is that there are usually three or four tables laden with all kinds of delectable dishes, but several hundred people all desiring to sample the delicious offerings. This shouldn’t be a problem except that many people, once they fill their plates with goodies, remain planted to their spot, happily eating and totally oblivious to the fact that they are preventing others from reaching the table and getting something to eat. These people are either clueless that they are blocking others, or could care less. Either way, they are hogging the space and making it difficult for their fellow mispalalim (worshippers) from reaching the food.

 

         Please be considerate. After filling your plate to your heart’s content, get out of the way – so someone else can do the same.

 

         Additionally, any caterer worth his salt makes sure there are serving utensils in all the communal dishes. That means there are tongs, scoops, and oversized spoons and forks to use for the egg and tuna salads, cholent, kugels, meatballs, etc. There is absolutely no justified reason for someone using a spoon or fork that they already ate from to obtain a second helping. It is extremely unhygienic to do so, and the epitome of selfishness.

 

         If by some chance there is no serving utensil, pick up a clean fork or spoon and use that instead. Parents should keep an eye on their children who may not be “table-trained” yet, and perhaps also on older relatives who may be forgetful or unaware of what they are doing. Many a would-be guest at a kiddush has walked away disgusted and hungry, because for them the food was no longer edible for the aforementioned reason.

 

         Let’s proceed from the table to the car. As annoyed as I may get by table-hoggers or double-dippers, nothing compares to the fury I feel when I see drivers clutching cell phones in one hand (or by their necks and shoulder) while making turns. I know from experience that crossing the street while talking on a cell phone can be dangerous due to a lack of focus on the task at hand. As hazardous as this irresponsible action is, it is a danger only to the walker.

 

         But a driver in control of several tons of steel, who is distracted mentally and/or physically by a call, is a downright menace. Such drivers are terrorists on wheels – as they cause terror to those who must leap out of their way. I’ve seen pedestrians with the right-of-way crossing the street, and they must stop or speed up to avoid a turning car with an oblivious driver chatting away on the phone. I myself have had to do this many times. Cell phone yakkers are not able to give their full attention to the streets, people and cars around them. But for many of them, it is “gossip uber alles” (gossip above all else).

 

         Let’s proceed from the car to the subway. I enjoy taking trains. I find them to be relatively cheap and fast, and they get me pretty close to where I need to go – and I never have to worry about parking. I even enjoy looking at the sea of humanity riding the subway with me. I try guessing what language they are speaking, as I marvel at their dress and mannerisms, and who and what they are.

 

         However, what I can’t stand is when I am about to get on a train and the person in front of me, upon entering, just stops – often to look around for a seat. In the meantime, my entrance is blocked and the doors are about to close – on me! I don’t tolerate stupidity or self-centeredness well at all, and it takes all the self-control I can muster not to shove the brainless blob blocking me from my path.

 

         Finally, let’s proceed from the subway to the public restroom. The joy one experiences when finding a clean stall in a public restroom evaporates rather quickly when one tries to unroll the toilet paper. Usually the roll is giant-size, but a flimsy one-ply. This means that as you pull the hanging end to get a longer, functional piece, it invariably tears right off because of the roll’s weight. One must pull a dozen times to get enough paper, if they’re lucky. Would it bankrupt the store or service area to buy two-ply or smaller rolls? It might be in your best interest to always have your own tissue handy.

 

         There are many other situations that irk me – but enough for now. I vented and feel better already.

 

         And I hope you do, too!

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 3/03/06

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

Readers react to letter by “Unimpressed Male Onlooker” (Chronicle Jan.13).

Dear Rachel,

To the man who wrote that he is uncomfortable with women davening on the subway, my answer is for him not to look at the women. While the subway is not an ideal place to daven, I think it is great that a woman takes the time to do so – a time oriented mitzvah that is not really expected of women at all. It is especially commendable in these busy and troubled times. Though I myself daven at home daily, I don’t believe that it is in this man’s place to tell women what to do. I’ve seen both Jew and Gentile praying on buses and subways.

Glad to be living in a land of Freedom of Religion

Letter #2

I am an 18-year old student who frequently rides the subway and was very disturbed by your response to the “unimpressed male onlooker.” Since when have Jews concerned themselves with what others think when doing what Hashem wants of them? As far as calling attention to oneself, l find that females on the train who are just looking around or listening to music draw more unwanted attention. When davening or saying tehillim with your head and heart in the siddur, not only are you purifying the surroundings, you are safely distracted from the subway environment. I speak from personal experience.

The subway’s just fine for me

Letter #3

“Unimpressed male onlooker” seems more interested in carping and criticizing others (i.e. women) than studying a sefer on the train. Did he ever learn Pirkei Avos (1:6) – to judge others for merit (l’kaf zchus)? No, I suppose he is too busy studying girls on the train. How dare he act as judge and jury over his fellow Jew! On a personal note, my great-grandfather was renown for his great piety. And yes, there were occasions when he davened on the train. And yes, he had such kavanah and “devakus” (closeness) to Hashem that the secular surroundings did not dissuade or distract him. “Unimpressed

¼” is insulting my own family, as well as countless other Yidden whom he views as “overly pious.”

Both you and the letter-writer would do well to read SHMUEL ll (6:14-23) about Dovid HaMelech dancing, leaping and whirling before the Holy Ark with great kavanah and emotion. When Michal, his wife, saw this “tasteless display,” she accused him of being vulgar and “exposing himself” before the slave girls of his subjects. King David’s reply was – as you would say – “on target”: “Before the Lord Who chose me… I made merry. Before the Lord I will demean myself even more than this and be low in my own eyes

¼ and among the slave girls of which you speak, I will be honored…” So, what takes priority – the idle thoughts of man, or honoring Hashem?

Dismayed by your attitude

Letter #4

I read your article on a weekly basis. However, I was very disappointed to see your view on women davening. Did you consult a Rav before saying that women shouldn’t daven at all if that’s the only time they have to pray? Take, for example, a married woman of children who is the breadwinner for the family as her husband learns all day. Her job is out in Manhattan and she has to be there at 9:30 a.m. Why shouldn’t she daven on the train? What’s wrong with it? Even a girl, I’m sure, has reason for davening on the train. My mom had a baby last year. Having had a difficult birth, it took a while for her to get back to her normal self. My sister arose early to see our siblings off to school and to help out with the baby. Once when she hadn’t managed to fit her davening into her hectic morning routine at home, she took her siddur out on the train on her way to work. As she began to daven, an Israeli male said to her, “Miss, this is not the way

¼to pray on a train where you can’t concentrate. Get up a half hour earlier…” My sister politely told him that she had been up since 5:30 to send kids off to school, etc. The man embarrassingly apologized. So you can inform your letter writer that if he has a problem with women praying on the subway, he can either ask them why they are doing so or give them the benefit of the – in that maybe this is the only time the girl can make for davening. And what’s wrong with purifying the train and making it holier? Tell this man to move to a different car so that he doesn’t see what the nashim tzidkonios of this generation are doing. What a selfish man! Even the few minutes that a woman has to talk to G-d he wants to take away from her!

A very upset reader

(To be continued )

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-11/2006/03/01/

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