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A few years ago I wrote in this column that at the bris of my oldest son - held in a shul whose members were for the most part elderly - a wizened old man approached me, peered into my face and muttered in a raspy voice with a Yiddish accent, "May your children sit shiva for you." I was too stunned to say anything to him and just shook my head as he walked away. I thought, "nebach, he must be demented."
In the past, when I would interview members of well-spouse support groups the topic of suicide was one that was never discussed. However, I always felt it was in the air, just hovering above the group and something very often hinted at in our discussions. Talk of self-neglect, of deliberately doing things detrimental to one's health and avoiding things that were healthy, would come up repeatedly.
Over the years, I have been to many, many theatrical productions, most in Toronto, some in Israel and of course, in New York - on Broadway, off-Broadway, and even off-off Broadway. At times I have been entertained, amused, moved, and educated by what I have seen ( and on the negative side, sometimes bored or disgusted or angered) but I don't think that I have ever been imbued with a much needed sense of hope.
Aside from a poster depicting the 40th anniversary of El Al that greets visitors immediately, and a couple of El Al coasters on the coffee table, there is not much in the living room of the Upper West Side home of Marvin Goldman to suggest that he is an avid collector of El Al material and paraphernalia.
The entire downtown business district would pour into the streets around 5:30 p.m., clogging the already congested traffic lanes of Chicago's bustling Loop. Blaring horns of Checker taxicabs and city buses made it hard to hear one's own voice, but I always heard my father's voice...
When one decides to have children, one has to decide: how one intends to bring them up, what values one will imbue in them and how one will stress their importance. Whatever they may be, when one instills the right values in a child, one later receives the dividends of one's efforts. This was proved so true this past Yom Kippur for Rebbetzin Judith Friedlander.
It is 30 years this month since I spoke in Madison Square Garden and had the zchus (merit) to launch Hineni, our Kiruv-Outreach organization. In those days, the Jewish world was very different. Kiruv - outreach was virtually unknown, so I knew that something different had to be done to awaken our people.
The term "domestic abuse" refers to a cycle of destructive thoughts, feelings and actions that often involve power and control over another person through fear and intimidation. The batterers believe they are entitled to control their partners through emotional, economic and sexual abuse. They often use children to manipulate their spouses.