Daily Archives: April 14, 2010


Posted for a reader.

You are a baal/at teshuvah (returnee to Judaism), and the rest of your immediate family are secular. You are the only religious Jew they know, and they see you as different and a little strange. Your little niece loves to spend time with you and your family at your house. She is 10.

How do you teach her about modesty and how to dress when she comes to visit you? How do you explain to her to bring clothing that covers her up at all times, without hurting her feelings? That it isn’t appropriate for her to be running around the house in short shorts and tank tops, especially when you are trying to raise your children to dress modestly?

Speaking to her parents apparently does no good as they have not been around religious people much and really think this whole religious idea about dressing modest is cultish and strange.

Your niece loves to visit, she enjoys the vibe in your home, and loves the ritual of Judaism that she sees. It is quite possible that due to her visits a spark could be ignited within her and she could follow your path towards observance.

Is this worth addressing, or will the child, as she grows older, learn that at her aunt and uncle’s house we dress differently, and she will do that in her own time?


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WWYD – Two Timer

Your friend is dating Mr X. Seriously dating, as in talking marriage. You happen to hear from somewhere else that the same Mr X is actually dating someone else as well, in a different city. Upon further investigation it becomes obvious that he is two-timing both of these women. Do you tell your friend? Do you tell her he was seen with someone else in a different city and offer to give her the number of the person that knows the other woman he is dating, for verification purposes? Do you stay silent? Do you tell yourself it is none of your business but gently hint that he may not be right for her?


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Supper Poll

I love the dinner hour. I love the kids coming home from school, and lifting up pot lids, and peering into the oven and salivating over what they will be eating soon. I love hearing about their day and seeing how long it takes for the conversation to degenerate into bathroom talk and how quickly I can bring it back on track. If the phone rings we will only answer it if it is their dad or my KoD. (We set them up their own distinct ring tones). Even if I only have a half hour of their precious time, I enjoy every single second of it.

Sometimes, like last night, when cooking was the last thing on my mind, the kids had pot luck supper – basically anything they wanted that they could make themselves. Some had cereal, some had those fancy shmancy noodle soup in the reusable bowl thingies….. and my fifth child (Blessing popped over, saying “Hi Ima” as he walked in) also foraged. They like to do this occasionally – I leave them to their own devices and eavesdrop on the conversations – amazing the things you learn this way. I don’t like to make a habit of it though. Even less often I let them eat in front of the TV – but only when I am truly desperate for some peace and quiet.

What is your supper routine? Do you eat together with your spouse and kids? Do the kids eat first and then you eat with your spouse later? Is dinner a meal in front of the television? Do you allow phones to be answered and texts returned while eating together as a family? Is there a ban on outside communication while the family dines together? Do you wish you ate together as a family? Does it happen often?

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Movies in Sefirah?

I wrote yesterday about the mourning during sefirah. Mostly people do not cut their hair, listen to live music (some are machmir and don’t listen to any music) and we don’t hold weddings.

Interestingly enough, I grew up being taught that it was also forbidden to go the movie theatre during this time, and one could only shop for clothes that one absolutely needed. (I grew up very modern, not right-wing at all). I had some conversations recently with people who grew up on this side of the world and they had never heard of the ban on movies and clothes shopping in sefirah. These are people who attended yeshivas and bais yaakovs.

So, people, what is the story with movie going and sefirah?

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Wednesday’s Wacky Signs

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