I'm not quite ready yet to shut the door on Purim. Perhaps it's my way of avoiding dealing with Pesach, and the physical and emotional effort that comes with it.
If you do not like the system, then do not perpetuate it!
People have been bitterly complaining about the rising price of gas.
A good friend of mine, "Sarah," recently shared her concern over her two year old grandson's health.
Several weeks ago, a young husband and father wrote a letter to Dr. Yael Respler, columnist for The Jewish Press and a psychotherapist, asking for advice on how to stop smoking. He mentioned that his father, a heavy smoker had died of lung cancer. The young man wrote that he loved his wife and children and hoped he'd be zoche to have a long life with them. His problem, "I am also a chain smoker since my time in yeshiva as a bochur."
Several weeks ago, there was a flurry of articles in various newspapers about the possible release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit via a prisoner exchange. Some seemed quite optimistic that his tragic situation would finally be resolved. Sadly, to date, nothing has changed and he remains a prisoner, concealed and cut off from those who cherish him. In addition, the frum world has been rocked by several scandals involving pillars of the community whose moral integrity and Yiddishkeit seemingly have been overwhelmed and enslaved by the yetzer harah. Below is a petition to our Heavenly Father for rescue from the evil - both external and internal - that threatens our physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of being a guest at a Shabbaton hosted by Machane Chodosh in Forest Hills, N.Y.
Purim is just a few days away, and Jews young and old are gearing up to celebrate this most festive of holidays, during which all will eat, drink and nosh merrily and in great relief over our come-up-from-behind triumph against a vicious Jew hater whose goal was to annihilate the Jewish people, but who instead had the tables turned against him in a dramatic and unforeseen manner. Sadly, bullying is alive and well in the 21st century afflicting all societies and the individuals that comprise them. For those who think that our heimishe communities have been spared the scourge of bullying - it's time to get their head out of the cholent.
"And Avraham expired and died at a good age, mature and content and he was gathered to his people." (English translation of verse 8, chapter 25, Parshat Chayai Sarah in the Book of Genesis.)
My little boy messed up the wall, But what he did didn't make me mad at all,
Another Nine Days have come and gone, and we gratefully give a sigh of relief knowing that these days of deprivation - no meat, no swimming, no showering, no music, culminating in a 25 hour fast - no food or water - are finally behind us, and the rest of the sun-drenched summer is there for us to enjoy.
Pesach seemed heavier this year. I'm not talking in terms of the tremendous amount of food that was consumed or the seemingly endless lifting, bending, scrubbing, scouring and cooking that is part and parcel of pre and post Passover preparations as well as during the chag.
In my previous column, I wrote that helping to foster a positive self-image in one's children is the greatest gift parents can give them. Similarly, self-like (not to be confused with narcissistic self-worship) is a key component in having a successful life.
I am on a bus as I write this article and the ride will be at least 11 hours. For me, one of the big draws of traveling in a manner most would feel is quite tedious, is that several long distance bus companies offer free WIFI service. This allows me the opportunity to possibly enrich myself financially (by watching the ebb and flow of the stock market); educate myself (by reading various online newspapers, including The Jewish Press); entertain myself (downloading the many humorous, sometimes witty, satirical articles/photos/cartoons available to brighten a person’s day) or write a column, (and for a change not have the pressure of stressfully productive hours before my deadline) – all time consuming activities that should make time pass quickly.
I believe that the up-and-coming generations will not live in the grand single-family homes many of them grew up in.
So is this demoralizing situation fixable?
Tthe kids will become creative and inventive and innovative. One teenage sibling I know, with a talent for sewing, is teaching her younger siblings how to use a sewing machine, including the boys.
She is afraid to ask for the going rate for her skill set, aware that she is replaceable – and she needs the income from her job to help support her family.
One can argue that forgetting something on a regular basis is a sign of advancing age and it’s time to for a neurological evaluation, but based on the number of young people who need to replace a lost smart phone (too bad it’s not smart enough to warn its owner that that they have become separated – or is there an app for that too?), I safely can say that losing “stuff” cuts across the generations.
But even though their medical situations were similar, how they mentally dealt with their new status quo was often as different as night and day.
From time to time, I am asked where I get ideas for my articles. The answer is simple. Just from getting up in the morning and experiencing life.
It was one of those cold, rain-soaked evenings - the kind that make you look forward to a hot drink, a good book and a soft couch to curl up on.
Recently, I came across a talk show whose topic of discussion was about managing personal finances.
In my previous three columns (1-7, 1-21 & 2-04-2011) I wrote about my experience with thyroid cancer - a disease that I actually had twice, almost nine years apart. I was very lucky that this is a very curable carcinoma, and even more fortunate that I never felt any real discomfort or pain from the two surgeries and radioactive iodine treatments I underwent. Even when I was very hypothyroid - a prerequisite for the radioactive iodine to have the maximum affect on any cancer cells that were not removed by the surgery - I still felt fine.
Prayers of thanks make us focus on the reality that we do have it much better than we think we do.
The fact that you are reading this article can only mean that the gut-churning, frantic, multi-tasking marathon known as getting ready for Pesach is behind you;
A recent article that appeared on the haredi website, yeshivaworld.com, described how askanim in Israel had approached HaRav Aryeh Yehuda Leib Shteinman, shlita, armed with a kol korei against vacations during bein hazmanim. Their goal was to get his haskamah in their mission to stop bachurim from doing what they felt was an inappropriate and wasteful use of time - hiking, swimming, nature walking, sightseeing, etc. (generally vacationing from their studies).
It truly defies logic when I am told by a relative’s machataynesta that on her block in Brooklyn there are a dozen girls in their mid to late 20’s and even 30’s who are waiting in vain for the phone to ring.
Why does Chani have a lollipop in her mouth? I told you not to give her another one!
Every Friday night at the Shabbat table, Jewish men display their hakarat hatov for their particular "woman of valor", by singing an ode to her that describes in great detail her many meritorious attributes and activities.