Monthly Archives: September 2008

Days of Awe


Awe – “an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime <stood in awe of the king> <regard nature’s wonders with awe> “, from Merriam Webster’s online dictionary.


Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur are around the corner. These have been called the Days of Awe forever. On these days we stand in front of God and pray to be forgiven our transgressions, and to be blessed with being written in the Book of Life.


Nowadays, the kids come home with lovely songs about dipping apples in honey, and the sounds the shofar makes etc, which gets them involved in the holiday, but as grown ups, do we often stop to think about the AWE of these days? These are some of my thoughts:


My recent trip to Israel, combined with my experiences over the last few years have fused together this year to fill my soul with what I feel is awe. I am so excited and nervous to face the Almighty on Rosh Hashannah. I cannot wait to pray to Him with a full heart, with an open soul. I feel that for perhaps the first time in my life I come to Him ready to receive His decree and to accept it in the spirit in which it is given. My telepathic pathways are open and buzzing with impatience. I have so much I want to say, but more than that, I have so much that I want to understand, that I want to feel, that I want to BE.


I am sitting here with tears rolling down my face as I contemplate the holiness of the days before us. I am thinking about how to improve myself as a person, as a mom, as a daughter, sister, friend. I am wondering what it is that God wants from me, from Hadassah, His child. I want to be the best Hadassah I can be, but I am not sure I even know how. We all know that we have a destiny created for us, and it’s up to us to do our bit to fulfill it, but how? How can we fulfill that when we are not told what it is?


At 120 when I am called before God after my time on this earth He is not going to ask why I wasn’t more like Sarah or Rebecca, Rachel or Leah, our foremothers, nor like Ruth, or Esther or Naomi. No, He will want to know why I wasn’t everything Hadassah should have been. I want, I want so much to be that person that knows who she is and where she is meant to be in her life spiritually. I want to feel that I am accomplishing what I need to as a Bat Yisrael. I want to be everything that’s good and right in this world, so that in my zechut my children, my blessed sons, will be healthy and happy and will have all they need to be God fearing Jews, to observe Hashem’s commandments and to live their life as was pre-ordained for them.


How can I, a simple person, ever hope to achieve the spiritual level that I wish for myself? I am human. I am flawed. I know I have my strengths and my gifts, and I thank God daily for those, but we are told to strive for perfection in our Avodat Hashem – how? How is that even possible in this day and age?


I should be trembling as the shofar blows – I know what teshuvah I need to do, and I am trying to do it. But teshuvah only goes so far – it’s not worth anything unless we continue to work on ourselves and improve.  If I tell God that I am sorry that I behaved in a certain way – how can I continue to behave in that way after Yom Kippur? It makes a mockery of the whole thing.


I pray that God gives me strength to do a pure and honest teshuvah, that He blesses me with the internal ability to grow spiritually every day that is given to me.


I wish you all a Ketivah VeChatimah Tovah – may you all be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life.


Frumster Files #60879

So what’s your Frumster / dating website etiquette, folks? If you are emailing and speaking on the phone with someone and it looks like a date is in the offing, do you suspend your membership? Or do you continue to leave your profile up there, in case someone better / different / more local crops up? Do you juggle dates? Do you talk to more than one person at a time, date more than one person at a time? If so – how on earth do you keep track? Score cards? (oh no wait that would be just for JDate, or as I like to call it, LayDate….don’t get me started……….)


If you have had one date with someone who looks like a potential – do you email other people you have been talking with to tell them you are currently “busy” or do you just wait to see what happens?


If I have had several conversations with someone I tend to suspend my membership so that I can concentrate on getting to know that one person. I don’t expect them to do the same, but once we have been on a date or two and know that there may be a chance for more, I don’t really want them out there looking for other dates (or having them oh-so-coincidentally just fall into their laps, so to speak).


I also would love for you to email me your Frumster Freakouts, success stories, horror stories, just plain what was s/he thinking stories……… that with your permission I can edit and blog about…..could be fun. Send to There is only so much that I am willing to suffer through for my art LOL


Happy Dating!! May this be the year that we all find our besherts!! Shana Tovah!!

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I have to do this

Wow, just wow. I had a few breakthrough life affirming experiences yesterday that I would love to tell you about. Maybe one day I will be able to, maybe not. These experiences just made it abundantly clear to me that I am happy to be me, happy with the person I have become, content with showing that ME to the outside world. I went outside my comfort zone and totally rocked!!



Horn Tooting!

I am honoured and privileged to announce that I have been awarded a Late Night Mommy Blogger award by Leora . Not only was this a wonderful surprise, but to be named in the same category as some phenomenal phemale bloggers – well, total ego boost! Fellow winners are I’ll call Baila  , the superrific SuperRaizy who also linked to me (thanks!), A Living Nadneyda , and Juggling Frogs .


Thanks to all of you who come over here to read about my life!!!

(picture courtesy of Leora)

Chivalry or Chauvinism – You Choose

Scenario #1 Gas Station

Twenty year old religious girl pumping gas into her car. Man approaches, offers to help her. She says thanks but no. Younger dude approaches her, also offers, she says thanks but she can manage. She comes home and complains that guys don’t think gals know how to pump gas, how dare they be so chauvinistic?


Scenario #2 Busy Office Building Entrance

Thirty year old hot babe, high heels, business suit, loaded down with purse, laptop bag, and two armfuls of files. Needs to enter building – Man approaches, opens door, offers to help her shlepp. She thanks him graciously and gives up the files. At the end of the day she tells her husband that a really nice guy helped her out, and she really appreciated it.


OK, so both of these scenarios could be taken from either viewpoint. If I were the gal at the gas station I would like nothing better than to have someone pump my gas for me – I would so not see it as chauvinistic. I would think that the dude was brought up right, and I would thank him.  Second scenario I would also look upon it as chivalry, or just plain decency. If I saw a guy struggling with packages and a door I would certainly rush to open the door for him. I certainly wouldn’t think he was judging me incompetent.


But are we raising our girls (yes I know I only have boys, but I am raising them to be gentlemen) to be too independent? Yes a girl needs to be able to pump her own gas and not rely on men for anything or everything, we need to be able to do things for ourselves, but when someone offers to help – why should that be seen as a judgement that she cannot perform that action for herself?


I like doors opened for me, I love when men are chivalrous – if I am dating a guy who opens the door for himself and leaves me behind, it shows me he has no manners. It doesn’t mean he is a bad guy, just needs some gentle lessons. Do I expect him to rush to put his coat over a puddle so I don’t get my tootsies wet? No, puhleeze, not with the price of dry cleaning today. A new pair of shoes is so much cheaper and oh so much more fun!! However, just because he holds the door open for me, and walks on the outside edge of the sidewalk does not make him a prince either. Just less of a potential frog.


Common courtesy seems to be a dead art these days, because so many women these days are afraid that allowing a gentleman to aid them in some way makes their personhood inferior. But if a fellow female offered the same help it would be seen in a totally different light. Men have become so used to being rebuffed that they don’t even try anymore – they don’t want to get their feelings stepped on either.


What do you think?

I’ve been working on the railroad

Well I have officially added a job to my already more than full time job. This full time single mommy is now employed, for money, outside of the house. Yes, I have taken the leap after thirteen years of at-home-mommyhood to real life employment. (I guess one potentially demanding boss could be no worse than 4 adorable little tyrants , and grown up bosses generally don’t throw tantrums when they don’t get their way, right?)


I spent a good part of the day getting myself oriented (or shall we say disoriented – so much to remember, my poor head is still spinning) and am very much looking forward to this new stage in my life.


Of course when I got home I had a complete and total meltdown. What was I thinking? That I could manage to work and run the house and be a good mom and have some me-time? Hardee-har-har! I had a pity party for about 30 minutes, had a good friend tell me I was just plain exhausted (jet lag still kicking my patootie) and that I should not pass go, should not collect my $200, just go straight to bed for a power nap. I was told to leave my PoisonBerry away from my room, and go lie down. Major withdrawal. But I managed. My nap energized me. I woke up, the kids got home, we cooked supper, we did homework, we ate together, laundry got done, I even cut the boys’ hair, I managed to get them all showered and pajamaed and bedded – and ended off the evening with a lovely conversation with a new friend (that’s me-time right?) . All that was missing was the back rub I so desperately needed……oh mr knight in shining armour, now is a good time for you to ring my bell.


So dear readers, I have a question for you, especially those of you who are working parents – how do you do it all? What are your coping mechanisms? How do you fit personal time in with all the other calls on your time? My biggest fear is that something will be overlooked, or someone’s needs will be neglected. How do I prevent myself from getting overwhelmed as I was today? Any advice – constructive please – would be welcome.


Thanks! Off to sleep, for tomorrow I must awake refreshed and energized for a new day at work.

Frumster Files 60878

Open Letter to Ex-date

Yes, as a writer, I take plenty of poetic license. I find the writing process to be cathartic and therapeutic.


Nowhere in any of my blog posts have I ever mentioned names or identifying details. (other than the dude being male). To me mentioning names is wrong and unethical. Believe me when I say that I would love nothing better than to name names, but I won’t.


That being said, for you to email me, to take me to task about “misrepresenting” what really happened, I find that extremely self centred. What’s that Carly Simon song? “you’re so vain you probably think this song is about you”?


Who says my blogs were about you, dude? Are you the only guy I dated recently? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe while you were double / triple timing me, I was doing the same to you? If you see yourself in the pages of my blog, perhaps you had better ask yourself how come you are so sure I am writing about you, yet, everything I have written, according to you “was a perversion of events”. Interesting conundrum, eh?


But don’t flatter yourself. An email from you isn’t going to restart a dialogue. Heck, even an anonymous email from a fictitious email account isn’t going to scare me either. Nor will a deluge of emails.

 I honestly believe you cannot help the way you are. You see things your way and all other viewpoints are wrong, in your oh so humble opinion.


I have done my venting, my ranting and raving. I got it all out the way I needed to – in a healthy way – and I have moved on. We had some wonderful moments. They ended. We had some crappy moments too. They ended too thankfully. Things were said and done. But, dude, it’s over. LET IT GO. Stop emailing me, stop anonymously contacting me – you need to move on too. (I have suggestions of how you should move on, but I have a feeling that you would be less than receptive to my ideas at this time).


I will not respond to threats however thickly or thinly veiled they are. I will not reply to your emails that try to justify your behaviour or accuse me of perverting the course of events. Again, my blog, my view. Now please, let this matter rest, and let’s go into the Aseret Yemei Teshuvah with open hearts.


[Ed’s note, this situation seems to have resolved itself (jury is still out tho, time will tell), but I still had to share my thoughts]

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Frumster Files 60877

Well, imagine my surprise when last motzei Shabbat, while in Israel (7 hours ahead of North America) I logged onto Frumster (after adding a line to my profile saying “currently in Israel) to check my email there, to find, not only Israelis online, but also people from back home. See, on Frumster there is a function that allows you to see who else is online, especially in your chosen age and geographical location. I guess I need to be Dan LeChaf Zechut. Maybe these guys just forgot to turn of their computers before Shabbat and so therefore just happened to appear online, but that doesn’t explain how at 4 pm EST there were some new log ins, from places like NJ and NY and these guys specify in their profile that they are either shomer mitzvoth, modern ortho machmir and there was even one yeshivish black hat.

 Now, us Shomrei Shabbat Kehilchatah folks would never find out that the people we might be interested in dating are not exactly keeping Shabbat, because we wouldn’t be online on Shabbat and would therefore not know that they were.

 I am thinking that perhaps Frumster needs to shut down over Shabbat – at least during Shabbat where there are the most Frumster members – like North America. There are plenty of websites that don’t process business orders or the like over Shabbat in their time zone, perhaps Frumster can do the same?

 What are your thoughts? (and yes, if any of those guys were to contact me I would have had to have said no)

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Vacation, all I ever wanted

We have 36 hours left in Israel, and it has been absolute bliss! We both feel as if we have been here for weeks. We packed so much into 7 full days, saw so much and experienced more. We visited with people from all walks of life, friends, old and new, and family. We saw people who knew me way back when I was in diapers, bumped into school chums, and cemented family bonds. We visited ruins, and new developments. We heard Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau speak in Modi’in, and we sat on the beach in Netanya (I had a beer on the beach at 10 am, because, well, because I could!). We visited kibbutz, went shopping in the midrechov, and ate our way through fast food places. We davened at various graves – didn’t get to Amukah tho – my son put on tefillin in many different locales. I had wanted him to see the real Israel – and that’s what he has seen.

More than anything, after 7 years away from Israel, and some life changes in between, this visit has given me a huge sense of peace. Standing at the kotel brought me full circle.

My son has had the time of his life. I wanted so badly for him to have a great time, and maybe get a feel for his land, but what I didn’t expect was the depth of emotion and connection that he has expressed to me. Driving along the road between Efrat and Rosh Tzurim, as he gazed out across the rolling hills, he exclaimed “I belong here”. What more could I have asked for?

Dear Lord

Here I stand, at the holiest place that we can access, the Western Wall, the Wailing Wall, the Kotel. I am humbled to be stood here in front of you. I am grateful and thankful for all that I am, all that I have, for I know it comes from you.


I remember 16 years ago coming here to pray to you. I was so young and in such deep and throbbing pain and wanted so much. All I craved was a normal life. I asked you to send me a husband, and children, and a happy life. I stood here and cried while praying for those blessings. I cried from the heart, I bared my soul. I wanted a happy life so I could forget the pain. Dear Lord, that is exactly what you sent me. You sent me a man with whom I fell deeply in love, we married, and you blessed us with the four most perfect children parents could ever have hoped to have. The pain receded. Along the way I forgot to thank you for answering my prayers, for giving me all that I had ever wanted. For that I apologize, and I thank you, here, today, now for all that I have.


I stand here today 16 years later, my life in the last three years has radically changed. So much has happened, so much turmoil, so much more pain, so much suffering, yet still so many blessings, so much joy. In even my darkest hour I knew you were there, however I turned away from you. I could not accept that the power of your decision was there to help me, to improve me, to make me stronger, to make my life better. Yet even as I turned from you, you were there holding my hand, cradling my head on your shoulder, drying my never-ending tears. Even though I had forsaken you, you never forsook me, never. You waited patiently until I opened myself back up to you.


When I had no faith left in the world, or in myself, you had faith, you believed, you knew I could turn it all around. You knew I had what it took, it just took time for me to see it. You never left my side, never showed disappointment at my lack of faith. You have been an understanding and forgiving G-d, who strengthens me every day. You gave me the will to continue – how can anyone ever begin to understand the enormity of such a gift?


Hashem, you have healed me many times, but this last time, my spirit was so broken that it took a truckload of miracles on your part. Every day that I have is a miracle. To be able to wake up to face a new day without dread, but with joy and gratitude, – to me that is a tremendous miracle. I have a love for life now that I never could have imagined existed. I will never forget where I was, for because of that I appreciate where I am today.


Dear Lord, today I brought my 13 year old son with me to pray. Look at him standing there, so tall, so proud, so moved by this experience. You blessed him with life, you gave him me as a mother, and you gave me the inner strength to raise him and his brothers to be God fearing Jews, to practice the way of your People. I hope I never let you down.


Look, God, look at him. He is the future of Judaism, he is the way forward, and that is only because of the gifts you have blessed us with. Because of your constancy and strong presence in our lives, he and his brothers are able to believe with a full heart and soul. They have no doubt in their minds about your truth.


Thank you oh Lord for the abundance of your gifts, for the scope of your generosity. The mere fact that I stand here, at the Kotel, in Israel, with my eldest son, speaks of how much you have given me. I have been able to bring my son to his land, to soak up the holiness in this place, because you pulled me through, because you healed me, because you helped me to see my inner strength and grow with it.


In the zchut (merit) of the blessings you have showered us with, I ask you to bless these people that I am davening for. Some are looking for their beshert, some need a refuah (healing), some just need guidance in their life, and some just need to feel your presence a little stronger in their lives. I wish for them that they feel the way I do, that even if they are faced with challenges, that they know that you, our God, will pull them through. I wish them the knowledge that all that you do is for the good.


There are things I want to pray for, for myself, but this time all I ask is continued health and happiness for my family. I know you will send me what I need when the time is right, and that you know what is right for me. Just please give me the continued strength to raise my boys in the right way. They are my life and our future.


Hashem, we teach our children that you are everywhere at every time. I think that in the past I have forgotten that, or even taken it for granted. It has been so important to me to come here to thank you, to pray to you, for even though you are around me always, here the power of your shechinah (divine presence) is at its most awesome.


When I leave here today, I will back away from the wall as tradition dictates, I will not turn my back on it, just as you have never turned your back on me. I relish your presence in my life, I welcome it. I thank you for the opportunity to bring my son to bask in your glory. I pray that you can read my soul, for my words, well, they feel as if they lack the necessary depth to say what I have needed to say.


Dear Lord, hear my prayer, bring us all home, may all of your children find peace. Amen.


Your daughter,


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