Tag Archives: heinous or harmless

Heinous or Harmless – Sweatshirt

My son catches the school bus at 7.23 to take him to high school. The bus stops outside our house, and he leaves the house a few minutes earlier just in case the bus is early. Today it was a few minutes late. When he left I was putting a load of laundry in the washer so I didn’t see him leave, he just called out his goodbyes. As I passed by my front room window soon after I noticed he was waiting for the bus without a jacket or a sweatshirt. It was cold this morning, I was wearing a wrap at 7.50 while waiting with the little one for the bus, and I was still freezing. (The cars were dusted with a light frost!!)

I briefly considered going outside with his sweatshirt and making him put it on. But he was waiting with a friend (who WAS wearing a sweater) and I didn’t want to embarrass him. The boys have told me they can handle the cold a lot better due to their experience of the Montreal winters, and that just because I am cold, it doesn’t mean they are.

Would it have been so heinous and embarrassing for me to have brought him a sweater? Should I just let him freeze repeatedly until he learns his lesson? Is 15 old enough for him to make these decisions himself? Is wanting to have brought him a sweatshirt coddling him, or caring about him? Where does one draw the line?


Heinous or Harmless – Grocery Store

I just got back from doing some of the preShabbat grocery shopping. Slowly I am learning which stores sell what products, and I visit a few different stores to get what we need.

This morning I was at Monsey Glatt loading up the shopping cart (I bypassed the chicken feet although they looked really fresh) and the store was very busy, what with it being Thursday and all.

I stood in line to pay and at one of the check-outs I saw a teen girl loading up the conveyor belt thingie with all her stuff, while balancing a toddler on her hip. Her mother came back after a minute, her arms full of more things, dropped them on the belt, went back into the aisles, got more things, and repeated this a time or two.

I felt this was a tremendous chutzpah – we are all waiting in line to pay for our purchases, and she stationed her daughter at the front of the line so she wouldn’t have to wait and could complete her shopping in record time. She should have filled up her cart with everything and then stood in line.

I understand standing in line and then remembering one item. We’ve all been there. But this was ridiculous.

So I say this was Heinous – what do you say?

Heinous or Harmless – Jewelry

This is an interesting one. I have several friends who have similar issues too. As you know I just recently moved all my stuff down to NY. I was happy to get reacquainted with many things, including my jewelry that I had packed away. I don’t have a lot, but have some favourite pieces.

After a day or two I realized that the earrings I was wearing had been a gift from my ex husband, years ago, on a birthday or an anniversary. Now, they have absolutely no emotional attachment to me whatsoever. They are just a pair of earrings. They certainly have no sentimental value. But I cannot help but wonder if it’s not fair to the KoD that I am wearing something that another man gave me.

Is it heinous or harmless to wear jewelry (I really want to spell it jewellery, the way I was taught. Sigh) given to you by a previous partner? What about if we extend this to a favourite leather jacket, or even a vehicle? Should an ex partner still wear a watch that he was given? Cufflinks? Tallit?

As usual, I am interested in your thoughts….

Heinous or Harmless – Affectionate Teacher

Yesterday I saw this tweet:

I was asked for my opinion, and have yet to give it. Apparently the children were around seven or eight years old.

I am not sure how I feel. What are your thoughts? Is it appropriate for a teacher to hug your child at this age? Is it no big deal? Is it an invasion of the children’s space, especially if they didn’t seek out the affection themselves?

Heinous or Harmless – supper

We have a rule in our house, no matter where you are or who you are with, everyone is at the supper table at 6pm, and all friends must return to their own houses. The supper hour is family time for us, a time to reconnect and bask in familial love.

If you are a parent, you are familiar with the question that gets asked a million and one times from 4 pm onwards. “What’s for supper?” My favourite answer to them is “fresh air sandwiches” – after all if I am making something they have decided not to like, I will have to hear whining about if for two hours, and I am so not in the mood for that any day of the week.

I make a wicked lasagna. Really really good lasagna. But two out of the brood will not eat it. That’s fine. I know in advance and I have another option available, usually. It’s their loss, but hey, all the more for us lasagna eaters.

The other night the boys (a selection of them) decided to go hang out at a neighbour’s house around 5pm. “Be home for supper” I called to them as they left. “No problem, Ima”. And they came back by 6pm. Having eaten pizza over at their friend’s house. I was more than a little miffed. I cooked supper, was looking forward to having everyone around us at the table, they had eaten already and were not interested in sitting at the table watching everyone else eat. They had brought their friend back with them as they had plans later on together – so I was not going to embarrass them by making a big deal about it.

Is this worth making a big deal over if it’s just a one time thing? Is this typical child behaviour or does it show a lack of respect? If they left to the friend’s house with the intention of eating pizza there so they didn’t have to eat at home – to me that’s heinous, and shows premeditation and sneakitude. If it just so happened that they were over there and then decided to have pizza, it’s less heinous.

What do you think? Heinous or harmless?

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Heinous or Harmless – marital possessions

This stems from an interesting discussion I had with the KoD last night. We started off talking about my numerous crystal serving platters that I unearthed during yesterday’s marathon declutterfication. Most of them I probably received as wedding presents first time around, and have never really been used or seen the light of day. We were discussing whether I needed to bring them with me when we move, or if they should be passed on to someone who will use them. (I said bring, he said pass. (OK I actually mentioned I should hold onto them because please God soon in a few years we will be making Sheva Brachot for the kids….)).

So this got us thinking. When folks get divorced, do most throw out or get rid off EVERYTHING that they shared together, do they buy all new stuff, do they keep some things and not others. What worked for you?

My point was, that generally, the wife / mother gets to stay in the marital home with the children (even if, like me, they eventually have to move). In order for the kids to have some familiarity and comfort at a tough time, I am of the opinion that the mother should more or less keep everything – at least dishes and stuff like that. The one that leaves is the one that usually has to buy everything new.

I immediately got rid of our beds and the linens and everything like that that I associated with the togetherness of being married. But that’s where I stopped. I still have the dishes we used, the candlesticks I got as a wedding present (I don’t use them any more), the challah board, the dining room set and the sofas etc. My Shabbat dishes are gorgeous, but I used them during my first marriage – is it cruel and unusual punishment to use them in my new marriage? (Do you know how much one pays for a Noritake place setting these days??!!)

Is it heinous to hold onto this stuff, especially going into a new marriage, or is it harmless, and ridiculous to expect someone to make a totally clean slate and get rid of everything they owned during their marriage?

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Heinous or Harmless – Dating

From Matzav.com

Dear Matzav.com 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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Heinous or Harmless

Sixth grader is to be sent home from school due to an act of perceived disobedience. The principal makes the child call home to tell his / her mother / father that s/he is being sent home and why. The principal makes no effort whatsoever to communicate with the parents.

Is the principal wrong in not being the one to call the parents? Or is the principal right in making the child make the call and “fess up” to what happened?

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Heinous or Harmless – terminal illness

Lifted shamelessly from Hashkafa.com (I edited it for grammar)


Inspired by an article in this week’s Mishpacha.

So there was an article about this couple who kept secret the fact that the husband’s father was dying of cancer. Who did they keep it secret from? The father (cancer victim) and his wife. Basically, dad goes into hospital after routine check up shows abnormalities and doctors find cancer. The (only) son decides not to tell his father and mother because they went through the Holocaust. They conspire with the doctors (under rabbinic guidance, don’t you worry) to pretend all is well and to hide the fact that the medicine is chemotherapy etc. (first he takes a pill and later after that doesn’t work chemo) Because of this the father lives 3 more years when the expected time is 9-12 months.
Is this ever okay? Or even as the article claims a laudable practice?


*If anyone has a copy of the article, if they can scan it in and send it to me I would appreciate it. Thanks.

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Heinous or Harmless – Guests

My kids have friends over for dinner quite often. One of these kids is like a son to me. He and my son have been buddies since preschool many moons ago. They are comfortable in each other’s houses and are the best of friends. My kids set and clear the table in rotation. Well, it’s not really scientific, because I keep score in my head, which isn’t exactly accurate because apparently I keep asking the same kids to clear the same table in the same house more than once a lifetime. Oh the horror!

Tonight I had 5 boys sitting at the supper table. (I should have bugged the kitchen) Anyhow, it was my eldest’s turn to help, and I asked his friend to help him clear. Part of my reasoning is that he is really one of the family, and secondly if my son’s friend is helping he (my kid) can’t / won’t whine and moan that it isn’t fair, that it’s always his turn.

My kids, wherever we go as a family, or wherever they go as individuals for meals they always offer to clear or to serve, they get up from the table and make themselves useful. Without me prompting them, I might add.

But someone I know is horrified that I ask my kids’ friends to help. Apparently I should wait on them hand and foot. I don’t do that to my own kids. My own kids have to sing for their supper as it were.

Am I wrong?

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