Category Archives: rant

Abuse in the Yeshiva System

This story Surviving Bais Mikroh happened in a yeshiva in Monsey, where I live. I personally cannot vouch for the veracity of this story, but having heard many similar stories about this and other yeshivot – nothing in it surprised me. None of my children attend or have attended Bais Mikroh.

When my children were younger it was brought to my attention that one of the Kindergarden rebbeim was hitting the kids at the yeshiva my boys attended. One of my kids had made an offhand remark “Chaim Yankel didn’t sing the tune right so Rebbe hit him, and then he cried, and then the bell rang for recess….”

I stopped him, and asked if Rebbe often hit the kids. He told me yes, that’s what happens in big boy school. I was floored. I tried to explain to my 6 year old that NO REBBE has the right to hit a child – and he hit these kids across the face!!

I knew what I had to do, and I suffered for doing the right thing. I called the school social worker, letting him know what was going on, and telling him I was headed up to the school to take them to task. The social worker did not work for the school, but answered to a local agency. Getting them involved was paramount – if it had been just me, one parent, lodging a complaint at the school, the problem would have been swept under the rug.

Oh did I forget to tell you? NONE of the other parents in the class, including the parents of the boys that had been hit, were willing to stand with me. No one was willing to stand up for their kids. My kid had not been hit, and I was willing to stand up. I was disgusted. I had parents calling me, thanking me for doing this, because their kid had been hit too – but when I asked to put their name forward, for them to make a phonecall to the social worker, they refused.

I spoke with the principal and the social worker at length. I was not willing to be brushed off. Soon after I received threatening phonecalls, that I need to stop my personal vendetta (!!) against the rebbe and drop my complaint. He has mouths to feed, responsibilities – how dare I try to take that away from him?

How dare he hit our kids? How dare they blame ME for complaining?

“We’ll chase you out of town, your name will be mud here” – if it saves one kid, it would have been worth it. They were full of BS anyway – push came to shove they had to shut up because it was all TRUE.

Because it wasn’t MY kid that was hit, and none of the other parents came forward, there was little that I could push to be done. It was frustrating. They got the teacher into anger management classes, and upon my insistence, never left the rebbe alone with the kids. There was always another adult present. They never, not for one moment, denied that he hit the kids.

My kid was transferred to a parallel class, and my younger kid(s) were not assigned to his kindergarten class.

What horrified me the most were the parents. Your child was hit. Across the face. Some more than once. And you are willing to sit there and take it? And you are willing to allow him to continue to hit other children? Because you are afraid of making waves?

Our children are worth everything – if we do not protect them, who will?

What is she teaching her kids?

I was just with my son at the local mall. I am very dressed down today – denim skirt, flip flops (sorry LT), casual tee, and a headscarf. (Similar to pic). The mall was busy. We walked past people of all types.

This mom and two pre-teen daughters walked very slowly past us, staring and pointing not at all unobtrusively at my head-covering. The mother loudly mentioned to her girls to “look at what that woman has on her head”.

I was flabbergasted. OK, I may look different from them – but to be so obvious in pointing it out? Even my youngest knows how rude this kind of behaviour is.

My son wanted to know why people cannot just accept others the way they are – aren’t we all people? What difference does it make if we look different or dress different, he asked? It gave us plenty to talk about – but I am so ticked off.

Wolf Whistling

Stepping out of the home office to walk to the mail box breaks up my day somewhat. Usually I don’t see a soul at lunchtime.

Walking back to the house a truck drove past me, with a male co-religionist behind the wheel. He slowed the truck and wolf whistled at me.

I came inside and complained to the KoD – and he laughed. My oldest son thought it was funny too (probably for different reasons). Why do they find it funny while I am insulted? I would never ever whistle at someone I drove past or walked past. It’s just not right. I just felt objectified and well, icky.

Would I have felt different if it was today’s equivalent of Fabio or Marky Mark whistling? $64,000 question there….

Open Letter to Parents

The KoD and I were just driving through a different part of town from where we live. The houses are very close together, the streets meander hither and yon, and there are plenty of children playing in their yards and on the streets.

Yes, there are plenty of children playing on the streets without a parent in sight. I am not talking 10 year olds. I am talking 2, 3 and 4 year olds. Walking up and down the street, into the street – and there is no one there keeping them safe. NO ONE.

It wasn’t one street. It was a whole bunch. I saw one teenaged girl on one street watching little kids. The rest we saw were all out unsupervised. (And don’t tell me you can supervise a 4 year old from the window. It takes two seconds to run out in front of a car)

I am angry. While the neighbourhood one lives in might appear to be safe, no neighbourhood is safe from predators, from cars, from accidents. Yes, granted, even kids who are watched vigilantly can get hurt. But when kids are watched properly there is less chance of the accidents happening, of the kids running into the street in front of a moving car to chase an errant soccer ball or a pretty butterfly.

I am feeling very judgmental in my anger. I believe that every parent is shirking responsibility when they allow their little kids to wander outside without adequate supervision. Our children are precious jewels to be guarded, their little souls and bodies entrusted to us to raise and form into decent human beings.

How can parents act so cavalier? How can they not care?

I wanted to gather up all those little kids and promise them they’d be safe. I wanted to gather up all those parents and put the fear of God into them. If you don’t try to keep your kids safe, if you don’t care about their well-being, there is a huge long list of parents or would-be parents who do and who will.

Parents, please, take care of your children. Nurture them and keep them safe, for the love of God!!

Do I look like a guy?

Sheesh! My Droid died. AGAIN! Second time in three months. Instead of the keyboard dying this time, the touch screen passed out and refused to be resuscitated. Getting a new one, yay, but no upgrading to the 4 because that’s mucho dinero…. 😦

Anyhow, I shlepped to the phone store, registered that I was waiting. Small insignificant fact – my phone account is joined together with the KoD’s. Makes sense, if you think about it, as he was here eons before me and had everything set up long before I needed a cellphone, so I piggybacked on his account. No biggie, right? That’s what marriage is all about – share and share alike.

They call my turn. Except they called “Ira” – KoD’s actual name. (Shockingly, it does not say KoD on his birth certificate!). I explain to the dude that Ira is my husband, and my name is HaDassah. He notes it down. It should already be in the files, but OK.

Over the ten minutes that I was in front of PhoneDude he called me Ira seven times. The first two times I gently reminded him he’d written down my name, and that I would rather be called by my own first name than my husband’s name or just call me Mrs Milner. Sorry HaDassah. Blah blah blah, Ira, blah blah. After a while, I just rolled my eyes and kept my mouth shut because the eejit was just not getting it.

Seriously? Even though it says Ira on the screen, AND the WOMAN in front of you has told you her name – can we not be flexible enough to use MY name? Or even be polite and call me Mrs Milner?

I love the KoD and his name suits him. It doesn’t suit me. At all.

And now I am without a cellphone until the new one shows up tomorrow. Color me grumpy. Pass the snarkitol and the grumpitol, and throw in some coffee and chocolate too.

(I am so starting a fund for the iPhone 5. I have had enough of this Droid crapadaciousness).

What is wrong with people?

I was just reading through some other blogs and message boards and came across a thread about a brother-in-law acting inappropriate with someone’s toddler son – she said he kissed him too much and squeezed him too much. It comes out that this woman had seen her brother-in-law touching her baby niece inappropriately (I don’t want to be graphic here, but there is no way the act she described could have been misunderstood). Did she say something? No. Why? Because she didn’t want her sister to be mad at her and to hurt their relationship.

Excuse me? Your niece is being touched inappropriately in front of your eyes, you say nothing then, and you will say nothing now because you don’t want to hurt your sister? What about your innocent little niece? What will you do when you hear down the road that her father has been molesting her (and possibly other children) for years? Can you really just sit by and do NOTHING? I would rather tell the authorities and lose my relationship with this sister. Just knowing that my niece would get help and be safe from this person would make it worth it.

Some people need a reality check.

I need to walk away from the computer before I break it…..

Dear Young Putz

We just crossed paths at an office building not too far from me. My husband had some business to take care of, and I was waiting for him in the lobby. There was one chair there, occupied by your ridiculously young self. I leaned against the wall for 5 minutes, while you were sprawled all over the easy chair answering your email and BBMs. You looked up, saw me leaning against the wall. Did you offer me your seat? No. Did it even occur to you that it might be the chivalrous thing to do? No.

In fact, you finally got up to talk to the receptionist, and I immediately sat down in the seat you vacated. Within a few seconds you turned around and saw that I was sitting in “your” seat. I could see the frustration on your face that you had lost your seat. I busied myself with MY blackberry.

I know I am not an old woman by any means, but I have at least 15 years on you. I was brought up that if a lady is standing, then no men are sitting. My husband would have given up his seat for any woman – young or old, it is immaterial. But then he was brought up in a time where men were gentlemen and knew what chivalry was.

It’s a shame that it didn’t bother you to see me standing for minutes on end. It’s a shame that you were not brought up with the right values. Would I have taken the seat if you offered it? Maybe, maybe not. But it would have been the correct thing for you to do to offer.

I think I will stop before I start wagging my index finger at you and call you a young whippersnapper.

Signed

A very disgruntled HSM

Dear Water Board

I do understand that we are going through a major heat-wave right now. I do understand that you want us to be careful with how much water we use, and to conserve water when and where we can. I do understand that it is important that you pass this message on to all of your consumers. But is there a reason that you had to call so early in the morning? We had two calls from you before 6.45 am!! Yes, we were awake, barely – but when the phone rings that early one’s heart jumps momentarily – that wasn’t fair. Why could such a phone call not have waited till a decent hour – like 8 am, when the coffee drinkers are fully caffeinated and more able to process your message?

Signed

A cranky consumer….

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Licensed to what? A Rant

Sometimes I wonder what would happen to this world if we all had to pass parenting exams before they allowed us to procreate. Adoption and fostering are regulated. If you are a certifiable idiot they don’t let you have the honour of adopting a child. Heck, sometimes even if you are certifiably normal they find a reason to reject you.

Case in point, and bear in mind I am tired and hungry right now and don’t really care about being politically correct. I popped in to the local 7-11 which is apparently a cool place to hang out – kosher slurpies etc… On my way thru the parking lot I noticed a mama-wagon (a van) parked with the engine running, no one in the driver’s seat. Hmm. Peered in thru the window – not one, but TWO sleeping toddlers safely buckled in their car seats. The car was unlocked – I could have just opened the door, and driven away, because the keys were in the ignition.

What the hell, woman? I understand you need to run an errand and the kids fell asleep in the car. That happened to me many a time when the kids were little. And I get that you left the air conditioning on so that they didn’t boil to death, but come on – someone could have driven away with your babies!! In the 5 minutes it took for you to drop off or pick up your dry cleaning or buy a coffee – poof, kids, gone!! How is this ok?!! I watched thru the window of the 7-11 while I was paying for my coffee. She was gone for the 4 minutes it took me to prepare and pay for my coffee. As I exited the store she sauntered up to her car, gabbing on her phone, and nonchalantly drove off, taking for granted that her kids would still be there.

Maybe I am just an old curmudgeon these days, but I wanted to severely berate her for not caring enough…..

What are your thoughts?

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Oh for the love of Pete!!

Lady comes up to me in shul yesterday. While I was davenning. Which already ticked me off.

“Hadassah, so nice to see you. You are looking great.”

“Thank you.” I smile, and return to my siddur (prayer book)

“But I have never seen you this skinny before. It’s too much.”

I just kinda shrugged, you know, as if to say, whatever.

Then she asks, “What is your secret?”

I tell her it’s the stress diet.

“Mmhmm. You aren’t anorexic or bulimic are you?”

“No, not at all, but you know what, I do need to go throw up now that you mention it.”

Her eyes bugged out of her face…I walked off muttering under my breath “because its YOU who are making me sick with your nose up in my business”.

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