Monthly Archives: October 2008

Do you Wii?

Seriously, do you Wii? My kids were gifted this awesome babysitter…erm…..game system on the occasion of Pigeon’s barmitzvah, and it has been a total godsend. They were given a set of rules that they have to adhere to, and for the most part they do.

 

So a little while ago, Pigeon has some minor surgery and in a moment of sheer terror on my part, and to prevent him from fainting, I promised him anything he wanted. He asked for a new Wii game, and I readily agreed. Afterwards he regretted asking for just a game, he said I would have given him a laptop if he had asked for it. Just as well he didn’t…because he is totally right, I would have. (and laptops don’t come cheap……)

 

I am very proud of the fact that I tend to keep my promises (and carry out my threats when necessary) to my kids, I won’t make a promise if I know that there is no hope of me keeping it. So recently I was gently reminded that I have yet to make good on this one. I was just waiting for them to decide which game they wanted.

 

There is a lego version of a Star Wars game, an “ultimate edition”, and this is what he wanted. So I scoured the local shops until I found the one we were looking for. The kids are firmly entrenched playing this game, having given me limitless hugs and kisses for my generosity. Apparently I am the best mother, blah blah.

 

Thing is, the other day at dinner, they decided that they needed to introduce me to the Wii-ing world. I don’t have patience for these game systems, plus I have no time to play them. I would much rather crochet, write or bake, or even WasteBook than sit in front of a screen and kill things. But seeing as these little folks are my children, and it was suppertime, and I do encourage them to “share” when we eat together, I had to listen. So they were all talking about a certain game they had all played, and they wanted me to understand the premise of said game, and they so kindly told me all the little hidden tricks to use. It took major effort to stop my eyes from being obviously glazed over. I have NO interest whatsoever in Ben10 or whatever. I guess for me this conversation was as uncomfortable as it would have been for my boys listening to me and my girlfriends talk about lingerie…..

 

After 15 minutes (15 minutes? I deserve a medal) of listening to this, I finally told my kids “I am so glad that you get so much enjoyment from C and D’s gift, and I am thrilled that you want to share it with me, but I cannot follow this conversation. Just know that I want you to be happy.”

 

Apparently that was enough. They understand. I made sure to explain that there are a lot of females out there that would love to learn about the games and the tricks etc, just not this female. And I then encouraged them to NOT go out looking for girls to share the games with, not just yet………

Peaceful Coexistence

I don’t pretend I am the most religious of people. I live my life my way and let others live theirs, and hope we can all live in harmony together on this earth. I try to make the most of my travelling time to work these days – as soon as I get a seat I whip out my Sefer Tehillim (Book of Psalms) and use the time to get a little bit of prayer in.  This is more or less the only structured prayers that I do every day, other than brachot and praying to G-d to help me find a parking spot or to hold my tongue.

 

The other day I sat down on the train, pulled out the tehillim and immersed myself. In my peripheral vision I saw a gentleman sit down near me and take out a little book and he seemed to be moving his lips in silent prayer like me. I looked up expecting to find another Jew. I was wrong. This man was reading the Koran or some other book written in Arabic. He was as intent on the words of his holy book as was I. There was a moment or two where I felt uncomfortable, but it passed. He was just as entitled to pray as I was, and you know what, the fact that two people in the subway car were praying – I am sure it made all the other travelers feel safe!

 

I always felt a little self conscious sitting there with my tehillim, but somehow seeing someone from another religion acting in a similar fashion helped me to get over that.

 

Life can teach us lessons when we least expect it.

Frumster Files #78543

Dear Dude #1,

 

Let me just tell you a little secret. If you want to date me, or even have a conversation or an email exchange with me, your initial email to me has to be more than 5 words. Oh, and it would probably need to not include those 5 words that your email was comprised of. How many women do you know would respond to such an email? What was it you asked? Oh yes, “Why did you get divorced?” Is that really a way to start off on the right foot? (and, gee, late 40s and never been married, wonder why…….)

 

Frumster even provides “tips for a first contact” – here’s a tip – read that paragraph. You may even find someone to email you back, but it sure as heck won’t be me. See, I usually email everyone back, after all they have taken the time to write to me, but the obnoxious emails, well, I just have to ignore them. If you cannot be bothered to spend a little time on an email, and come over as rude, I won’t waste my time. ‘Nuff said.

 

Dear Dude #2

 

Emailing me with “hottie” as the subject line, and the text saying “let’s meet” – not really a sure fire way to catch my attention in a positive way. Suivant, next!!

 

Dear Dating Dudes

 

Please think at least a little bit before you send that initial email. Please indicate that you have read the lady’s profile, and find something in it interesting enough that you want to make her acquaintance. Leave the caveman bit for much much later. Women, well, at least this woman, like to be wooed gently, not aggressively. Win us over initially with words, and the rest will come easily enough if you put the right effort into it. No need to bang us over the head with a hammer.

 

Signed

Waiting for Prince Charming but Wondering If he Really Exists or Has Been Snapped up by Some Other Princess….

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Are men intimidated by women who have opinions and intelligence?

I recently tweeted this statement and it brought me a flurry of tweetbacks and emails, and I have been encouraged to expand on it. So I thusly do so.  While writing this article a friend Facebook Statused that she is giving up on men, that they make no sense. So maybe this article is timely for her too.

 

I have been on the dating scene long enough to be able to call myself a knowledgeable dater. It’s fair to say that I thought I understood what men wanted. But apparently it’s not me that most men want. See, I am somewhat of an intellectual, I am intelligent, I can really hold up my end of a conversation. I am also attractive, with a great figure too. A perfect package you say? Uh, no. From what I have begun to understand men want either looks or brains in their woman, not both. That would just be too much to handle and may make them feel inferior.

 

Maybe it’s societal? Traditionally men are brought up that the man is the breadwinner, and the woman stays home to keep house and wipe the messes that the kids leave behind. Even if the wife goes out to work, her job would be less “important” than his. A man needs to make more money that his wife, or his ego suffers. Or some such baloney.

 

Whatever happened to having an equal partnership? It’s not always 50/50, sometimes it is 70/30 or 25/75, but so long as it balances out eventually with everyone pulling their weight in the relationship – why can’t that work?

 

At lunch over Shabbat I thanked my hosts for facilitating a wonderfully stimulating conversation (that at times morphed into a heated debate), that I felt very comfortable partaking in. I have been in houses where it was apparent that the womenfolk were allowed to have an opinion, but not voice it in front of the men, for fear that the men would think us females were trying to be superior. Why is a man’s opinion more important than mine? It isn’t. Mine is just as important as his. Maybe he could be wrong and I could be right? Isn’t that possible? But admitting being wrong to a woman is tantamount to emasculation to some men.

 

Now I didn’t start out this blog post to bash men. Some of my best friends are male………… and it’s not about being better than men, or doing the same things as men. I want to find a man who understands that his wife is just as smart as he is, is just as entitled to her opinions and the expression of said opinions. I want a man to be proud to walk with me into a function, knowing that I am a knockout on the outside and on the inside just as I would be proud of him for the same reasons.

 

I do have to say that it is always surprising to me to watch people make snap judgements about me and realize how wrong they are. Let me give you a for instance. I was recently at a function, dressed to kill (I try) and the other women were giving me the jealous eye and the men were eyeing me up and down and being less than subtle about it.

 

I sat down at a table with my food and a friend and a couple of dudes came over to chat us up. Now neither of us gals are slouches in the looks department, or in the intelligence dept either. A little bit of superficial talk, and I segued into American politics. A little lightbulb went on over one of the guys and he totally got into the conversation with me, but the other guy looked at me as if I had totally misrepresented who I was by actually having something deep to talk about. He made some flimsy excuse and left.  Eventually the guy that stayed couldn’t hold back his comment any longer – he told me he had totally misjudged me, figured I would be an airhead because how could someone as gorgeous as me (his words) have brains too.  I guess on the day that G-d handed these guys brains, he didn’t teach them that a person with boobs can actually be smart.

 

Now I know there are some guys out there who have a deep and profound respect for intellectual ladies. But why oh why do they expect brainy women to have dowdy packaging? Glasses, librarian look…..guys, don’t you want it all in one lovely package? Let’s stop judging this book by its cover, and get to know the whole person, before you make a judgement. And if a lady is smarter than her man, he should be darn proud of her, because she chooses to be with him anyway.

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I wish you starshine forevermore

The leaves were never greener

The sky was never so blue

The colours of the world

Shone so vividly

When I was around you.

You brought such hope

You gave me such joy

You helped me believe

That this blessed life is truly

A place to enjoy.

We never know exactly

What the future holds

Sometimes confusion and fear

Abound, adding to

Life’s profound mysteries.

There are so many things

I wish in this life

For me, for you, for all

Clarity of mind and soul

I wish most of all.

If it is meant to be

Love will find a way

It will see the true path,

Though destiny sometimes

Takes us on unexpected journeys.

I will not rue what we shared

I will celebrate life

And all the colours that I felt

But I will feel sad

That the end came near.

In your life

I wish you peace and tranquility

Much love and laughter

As many joyous moments as there are

Stars in the black velvet sky.

 

and love, true love………..

please humour me……i am doing research for a piece i am writing – so i would love your opinions. does true love, true romantic love,  exist, or is it only stuff that movies are full of? any stories or anecdotes will be welcome. what does love mean to you? does your religion influence you in your perception? i cannot wait to read what you have to say. Please email me at hadassahsabo@hotmail.com

CommUnity

I have written before about the positive impact I feel my community has had on my life. I continue to be amazed and inspired by these wonderful people around me.

 

This Shabbat I was alone, my kids were spending time with their other parent. I went to shul, and when shul was over I started walking home, uphill, in the rain, planning to eat a quick solitary meal and go take a long Shabbat afternoon nap, possibly helped by a shot or two of Glenfiddich. I bumped into a friend who was on her way to friends for lunch. She asked me where I was headed and why were the boys not with me. She insisted she bring me along to the friends house for lunch. I felt a little weird, not wanting to impose without an invitation, but I knew these people and I knew it would not be a problem.

 

So we trudged back down the hill in the pouring rain and showed up famished and starving – for more than food, for warmth and friendship too. They were so pleased that I came, thrilled that their guest felt comfortable enough to bring another guest. This family really embodies Hachnassat Orchim – welcoming of the guests. There were a lot of us around the table, and the conversation was lively and stimulating. The food was excellent too. I was made to feel so welcome, that I forgot I imposed myself.

 

It was so much better to join in this meal that to sit at home alone, even though I don’t mind my own company. I even got to sample some other single malts that I don’t stock at home. I still like Glenfiddich the best. When I left their house I had a warm glow about me – and it wasn’t the whiskey. I truly feel blessed that I know such kind hearted people. People who do mitzvoth because they want to, because they feel closer to G-d. I still feel all warm and fuzzy – it’s a great place to be. Life is so good, I am so appreciative of all that I have.

 

Shavuah Tov everyone, may this week be a wonderful week for all of us.

Of Torahs and Tallitot

I am sure that there are plenty of occasions in a child’s life where their parents are proud, be it a school play, a random act of kindness, or just simply being themselves.

 

Lately I find myself filled with awe, wonder and pride, as I watch all my kids grow and evolve. The recent holiday of Simchat Torah just added to these tremendous heartwarming feelings.

 

Pigeon had been talking non stop for the past few days about how this was his first year being able to dance with the Sefer Torah as he was now barmitzvah. Last year the rabbi promised him that this year he could, and he intended to remind the rabbi just in case he forgot. He hadn’t.

 

Simchat Torah night he came over to the gap in the mechitzah, beckoning me to him, with a shy grin on his face. ”Ima watch me, I am going to dance with the Torah”. I think he floated back to the men’s side. Sure enough, one of the men in the shul helped him heft the Torah into his arms, and showed him how to hold it safely. Once all the Sifrei Torah were given out, the men started to circle the Bima. For a split second I lost sight of my son in the sea of men with suits and hats – he is as big as some of them, he totally blended in. But as far as I could see there was only one “man” with an otherworldly glow to him, and that was my son. He felt the honour of holding the sacred Torah scroll, he felt the awe and responsibility, and he felt blessed to have had the chance to participate physically in this mitzvah.

 

The other boys were also enjoying the Simcha of the day – with gorging on candies, being thrown up in the air for “Moshe Emes” (I still cringe when I see little kids flying up – even though I know their daddies will catch them).  At one point Puffin came to me, and it was so hard not to laugh – he had been thrown up in the air by a couple of the guys and his knee bumped into his nose – It takes a special kind of talent to be able to do that! A kiss from Ima and he ran back to dance with his little friends.

 

Simchat Torah day this Mama got to shepp even more yiddishe nachas. After the dancing was done, they did the Torah reading, and as is tradition everyone (every male) gets called up to the Torah. When they are calling up the teen boys they tend to go in order of age (oldest to youngest), and when they get to the really young ‘uns, they bundle them all onto the Bima, hold a few tallitot over their heads, and include them together in the bracha. This aliyah is usually auctioned off, and is called Kol HaNeorim – the voice of the young. I was expecting my oldest three to each have an aliyah. They called me to come to the hall where they were reading the Torah (sometimes they read multiple torahs in order that they have opportunity to call everyone up for an aliyah). I pulled up a chair, the only woman around, as the other women stayed in the main sanctuary. I was later joined by another lady, as intent on shepping nachas from her boys as I was.

 

So first Pigeon had his turn – he knows the brachot inside out, having done them a gazillion times, but knowing I was watching, he gave me a shy little smile, and sang his bracha loud and clear. Once he was done, he shook hands with the men around him, and came over to me with a huge grin on his face. So proud of himself. Then came a few kids, then it was Duckie’s turn. He wrapped himself in the tallit and tossed off the bracha like he had been doing it all his life. Didn’t look at me, nor acknowledge me – so not cool to do that. But I think he was glad that I watched and heard him. His barmitzvah is in 11 months, so it was good practice. Soon it was Woodie’s turn, and he looked tiny wrapped in a man size tallit. But I have to say, he did me proud too – sang the brachot without a problem. He glanced back once or twice to check that I was there. Once he was done, he shook my hand. (Kissing your mom is so passé when you are 10).

 

So I figured my little Puffin would go on the Bima with all the other little kids. But he was asked if he wanted to have his own aliyah. Being six years old, with 3 older brothers, he always wants to do what they do; basically, he wants to just be them. So when offered the chance to have an aliyah he said yes. His brothers wrapped him in the tallit, and my heart swelled to see the look on his face. He was nervous because he hadn’t ever done it before, but here was his chance to prove he is one of the big boys. I asked the father of one of his friends to help him with the bracha, but it turned out to be unnecessary as all the men were so encouraging as they all helped him say his bracha. He stood there, as tall as he could stand, tallit floating around him, an aura of joy and wonder around him. Once he had finished his aliyah he came running to me “did you see, did you see? I had an aliyah just like a man!!” I hadn’t realized I was crying, but my face was wet. I had been blessed to watch all my boys participate in the same mitzvah in their own particular way. I watched as my youngest child entered into some kind of inner sanctum with his brothers, into a place that I would never be part of. And in that moment, it is no wonder that I cried, for my little guy is no longer a baby, but a little man who made a bracha on the Torah. I know the years will fly by and soon enough it will be his barmitzvah. But I want to always remember this moment, the joyous rapture on his face when he was asked if he wanted to be part of this mitzvah. It had not even occurred to him that he could be part of it.

 

While sometimes I get upset and sad that as a woman there are parts of my sons’ lives that I cannot partake in, sometimes just getting to watch them do their thing is enough. The pride I feel that they are continuing tradition, that I have been able to imbue in them the love and respect for their religion – that is reward enough.

 

May we all continue to derive nachas and joy from our children, from our families and from all of Israel. Amen!

My Sunday Soundtrack

Manhunt – Karen Kamon

 

Fame – Irene Cara

 

You’re the one that I want – John Travolta and Olivia Newton John

 

Time of my life – Dirty Dancing

 

Take my breath away – Berlin

 

Unchained Melody – Righteous Brothers  

 

In the arms of an angel – Sarah Mclachlan 

 

You are loved – Josh Groban

 

Never gonna give you up – Rick Astley  

 

Can’t fight the moonlight – LeAnn Rimes  

 

The way he makes me feel – Barba Streisand 

 

Heaven – Bryan Adams

 

I’m alive – Celine Dion  

 

It’s a beautiful day – Sarah Brightman  

 

Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus  

 

Red Strokes – Garth Brooks

 

Lets make love – Faith Hill and Tim Mcgraw  

Haveil Havalim

I’ll call Baila is hosting the tremendously amazing Haveil Havalim Blog Carnival today – and gives me a shout out! Great job Baila!! Check it out, peeps!