Monthly Archives: March 2010

Confrontation WWYD

Are you the kind of person who does all they can to avoid confrontation or do you deal with it when necessary?

Say, for example, you had a friend who suddenly stopped talking to you and avoided you. If they saw you in the street they’d cross the road to avoid you, if you saw them in the store they’d pretend not to see you.

How would you deal with this? Would you just chalk it up to being their loss, and move on with your life? Would you wonder what you had done wrong but just leave it alone because you didn’t really want to know if you were the cause? Would you email? Would you call her up and put her on the spot? Would you go up to him in the store and ask point blank “are you ignoring me? Did I do something wrong?” Do you blame yourself, that for sure you did something to them, or do you blame them that they are crazy?

(I had this situation many times after my ex and I separated and divorced. People just did not know what to say so they avoided me. I found it cowardly and hurtful. I have found that generally when people are uncomfortable with something they find a way to avoid it – even if it means hurting someone’s feelings)

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Cows have to keep Pesach too

From Vos Iz Neieas

Israel – The Israel Agriculture Association has announced that dairy cows will begin receiving kosher for Passover bedding this week, and beginning next week, will get kosher for Passover food as well.

Dairy cows normally sleep on hay, from wheat plants. However, due to concern that the hay could stick to the animals’ bodies and trace amounts could enter the milk, the animals will sleep on non-wheat bedding beginning on Tuesday of this week.

HSM: is this not taking things a little far? Where in the Gemara does it say that we must do this?

(hat tip to Lady Lock and Load)

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WWYD – sleepover

(Not my story, as told to me by a friend)

Your young child is invited to a sleepover. You know the family from school. The parents are divorced, but have remained within the community. Mother still covers her hair, father still wears a yarmulke – both still heavily involved with their children and their community.

When you drop off the child for the sleepover (at the mom’s house) you see a religious looking guy there that you have never met, he’s sprawled on the sofa watching TV in his sweats and black kippah. You figure he is her brother or something. You think nothing of it until you pick up your child the next day, the guy is still there, in the same clothes, and your child tells you on the way home that he is Ms Sleepover’s special friend and he got to cuddle with her all night in her room. Your older child (who is in the car with you at the pick up time) happens to mention that she knows Ms Sleepover has been dating a guy for a while, as this child is friends with the other sibling.

What would you do at this point? Your child has absolutely no reason to lie to you. Your child doesn’t even think there is anything wrong because s/he is too young to understand that religious people don’t behave that way. Do you take this opportunity to teach some values to your child who may be too young to understand? Do you tell your child she cannot play over there any more – after all if she has a male stay over guest, perhaps her kashrut or parenting or character is also suspect? Do you call the mother and tell her that what she does on her own time is her business, but you would appreciate it if she didn’t expose your child to her sinful behaviour?

Personally, I don’t think I would force the issue, I just wouldn’t let my child sleep over again. If I were to be challenged by the parent on why I let him/her sleep over last time but not this, then I might tactfully bring the subject up.

What would YOU do?

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Knife under pillow

So I am on a few Jewish message boards and am currently following a thread about mikvah. One woman posted that she goes to mikvah sometimes when her travelling husband is out of town. A discussion ensued that had one poster telling her it was assur (forbidden) to go to the mikvah when her husband was out of town, and another saying it wasn’t assur just not advisable. Yet a third said that if she goes, she needs to either sleep with a knife under her pillow, or wearing some of her husband’s clothes – eg socks. I am guessing that this is of kabbalistic origin.

Do any of my JewCrew have any insight onto this custom? I have never heard of it before!

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Heinous or Harmless – Dating


Dear Editor,

My heart is so broken. I have been carrying a bleeding heart for over a month and cannot withstand it anymore. I do not want to tell my parents nor friends what I did, lest they make fun of me, yet I have to unburden myself, so I will tell you, on Matzav, what has been eating me up, killing me, and torturing me for the past month. Matzav has spoken to me about what I will share here, but unfortunately, to protect my privacy, I have to withhold my name from all of you.

About a month ago, my best friend living in Eretz Yisroel – for shana rishonah [first year of marriage]- called me up and said that this past Friday night, they had the most perfect suitable bochur for me sitting at their Shabbos table. He is learning in Yeshiva ______ [removed by editor] in Eretz Yisroel. She said that before I fly all the way from New York, I should talk to him over the phone, get to know him, and then, if things are okay, make the huge trip.

I agreed.

The boy called me up the following week and we hit it off real well. As a matter of fact, the phone conversation lasted a good two hours. We arranged another phone date. That one lasted for a good five hours.

I couldn’t believe how smooth the conversation flowed. We both found it very enjoyable to talk on the phone and decided that after just another three more calls, I’ll book my ticket.

The next two conversations were also wonderful. Then, during the second to last conversation we had, the boy indirectly requested a picture of me, only to get a better idea. By that time, I felt very comfortable to send him a picture of me.

The next day, I just couldn’t wait to hear from him and what he thought of me, because, after all, pictures can sometimes say a lot.

Soon enough, he called me and thanked me for sending a picture. In my head, I interpreted that to mean that he was impressed by my picture. But then he started telling me how boys tend to be very gashmiyusdik [focused on physical] and how it is very hard to look beyond the physical.

Honestly, I started shaking. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! What?!

But I continued to listen. He went on to explain that I am a very wonderful girl, an excellent Bais Yaakov girl, etc. As he was rambling about my middos [good qualities], I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! After almost 16 hours of pleasant phone conversation, you are willing to say no because of my picture?

My heart was pounding. I was numb. I never, ever felt so degraded, so low, so cheap!

He ended off by saying that even though he’s not so much into my picture, he will overlook it because I have fantastic middos.

I told him that it’s okay. I wished him much luck and hung up the phone.

That night, I cried myself to sleep. Actually, for the next month, I cried myself to sleep, not because he didn’t think I was pretty enough, but rather because of how degraded I felt!

And now I turn to you, the mothers and fathers of boys. What are we teaching our kids? Who do you think you are to dare request a picture?

[Name Withheld For Privacy]

A Bleeding Heart

New York

HSM: So folks, is the bleeding heart right? Was the guy wrong for saying he will overlook her picture? Should he have waited to meet her before saying something negative about the way she looked? Should he have requested a picture before calling her? Is she right to be so upset? Was she right to not let him continue even if he was willing? Would you date someone without seeing their picture first? Did he give her false hope or is he well within his rights to turn her down based on looks? Was his behaviour heinous or harmless? Was her behaviour heinous or harmless? Discuss…..

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One week till Pesach

There are some people that you can’t even talk to now as they have kicked their Passover preparations into high gear. I have already heard of people turning over the kitchens yesterday (the holiday doesn’t start till next Monday night!!!!) and their families are already griping that there is nothing to eat. I don’t get turning over the kitchen so early. Even if you have an army to cook for. They still need to eat this week, and eating out costs a fortune!

I haven’t made the kids crazy – we only have to Pesach clean one room before we leave, but I am always reminding the kids to keep their rooms tidy and clean. Yesterday I was rewarded with a short discourse about how slavery has been abolished in most countries, but Jewish homes this time of year seem to forget that. My kids have it so easy yet they have to grumble with their schoolmates just to save face.

I am so looking forward to this holiday. I know it will be an insane couple of days before the holiday as the KoD and I scramble to get everything done – but we will be doing it all together. In previous years (the past 15 years) I have done it more or less on my own (with the kids help and the occasional cleaning lady), so I am relishing the idea of having the KoD’s help. Plus this will be our first Pesach in Monsey together. It is indeed very exciting. We will have an interesting balance of some time alone, and then some time with all seven kids at home. It is going to be awesome.

Right now I am in major KoD withdrawal. I haven’t seen him for 2 weeks, and won’t see him till the weekend. It is the longest we have been apart since we met 17 months ago. I feel as if there is a part of me missing. Chocolate doesn’t even help anymore. Oh well, God willing, it won’t be for much longer.

Where are you at in your preparations, and when do you plan on turning over the kitchen?

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Hair Coverers – some questions

If you cover your hair – do you take care of the hair underneath? Do you wash and blow dry it when you aren’t going out? Do you dye it to get rid of the grey? Do you get it regularly cut and styled? How long is it? Do you miss how it used to be? What has changed in the quality of your hair? Have you ever shaved it off? (I did. Once. Ugh) If you wear a wig, is it like your natural hair or totally different? Did you wear your wig at your wedding or only the day after? Do you cover your hair for you or because it’s expected of you? If so, by whom?

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My Awesome Boys!!

It’s Friday, a day that I traditionally spend in the kitchen, whipping up delicious food for Shabbat – chicken soup and home baked challahs etc. My boys have hungry tummies and very much appreciate my cooking. (It’s all the extra love I put in). Poor KoD doesn’t get to enjoy my Shabbat cooking very often, but soon enough that will change and I will be chasing him out of the kitchen too to stop him from “taste testing” like the boys do.

We like to have our house clean for Shabbat – so that we can welcome the Sabbath Queen in the right spirit. Usually I have laundry going at the same time as I am cooking – and once I am done cooking the kitchen gets scrubbed.

But we have a lovely sized apartment and no cleaning help. So that means that all the boys have to pitch in whenever asked. It’s not a choice, it’s a necessity. Growing up we had a chore list, and it rotated. That way there was a fair division of labour. I am not as organized as my mum was, so it’s always a little different. But the boys know better than to complain. Sometimes they will collaborate on chores to get them done quicker.

Squiggy likes to clean the bathrooms. I don’t know why, but I can see he has pride in a job well done. I hate hate hate cleaning the boys’ bathroom. Those of you with sons will understand why. So, that has become his job by default. A funny – today he felt a little lazy and I could see he needed motivation. I told him he’d better use some elbow grease. He looks under the sink – Ima, where’s the elbow grease??

Lenny gets to do the living room / dining room and does a great job too (when he remembers to actually move the furniture and sweep under it). He also loves to go to the store for me to pick up items that have been too heavy for me to carry, or that I forgot.

They are all dab hands at folding laundry and putting it away. The oldest two even know how to work the wash machine. HockeyFan loves to wash the dishes, and this afternoon he organized the refrigerator – apparently he put the yogurts in alphabetical order. He always asks me what else he can do to help.

ChatterBox is only 7 and as such I am not expecting too much. He gets to match up the socks, and organize his toys, and put away his Lego. Taking the recycling down to the garage is his job, and he gets to set up the candlesticks for Friday night. He loves to set the table for the Shabbat meals and does a fantastic job. The kids all take it in turns to help me serve the meal, and to clean up. They fight about whose turn it is to help. “It’s not fair, Ima, he helped you last week. Please can it be my turn?” Sometimes they will insist that I remain seated for the whole meal, so they can serve me.

It’s now 330pm and I am exhausted. There is one more load of laundry to be folded, and then I think I will take a nap. The house is sparkling, the aroma of delicious food is wafting through the apartment, and soon we will be showered and dressed in our Shabbat finery to welcome Shabbat with the lighting of my candles.

I am so blessed – I have the best boychikles in the world.

Shabbat Shalom.

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Happy Heart-iversary to Anth!

“Twas a mere year ago that fellow blogger Elianah-Sharon‘s husband Anth received the gift of a much needed new heart. He has had a great year, BH no rejection, and is doing really well. Please pop on over to their cyber party and add your best wishes.

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Pet Teenage Peeve

Would it kill them to take the ear-phones out of BOTH ears when they talk to you? Even, now here’s a thought, turn the darn iPod off??!! Would it really hurt them to talk softly instead of yelling over the music piped through their ears? Does the music have to be so loud it makes your kishkes shake while the kid seems oblivious to the thundering bass??

Sigh… it bedtime yet?

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