Friday, May 30, 2008

Shidduch Making/Dating Part 2

In recent news the ‘shidduch crisis’ is on everyone’s blogs again. Everyone is thinking about the problem and thinking of possible ways of evading the problems that are bound to come up in the future.
Part of the problem in my humble opinion is: people don’t know how frum to be. They are crazy with the amount of issues laid upon them. They don’t know weather to pay a girl a compliment, or weather or not the girl should bring examples of torah in conversation. These issues are just so interesting to everyone around them. For the boy he doesn’t know weather to sit or stand or jump, the girl, pretty much the same thing. Why did all of this start? Where are all of these issues coming from? Why is it important if a girls family collects plates at the table or weather or not takes them into the kitchen one by one? In my opinion some simplified questions/statements can be used. Some of the questions include: Have you ever had premarital sex? In your opinion is paying taxes right or wrong? Clarify upon your previous answer of tax paying with why you feel the way you do? Do you feel illegal immigrants help or hurt the countries economy? Do you feel there is anything wrong with having illegal immigrants work for a large company, get paid very little, work in sub human conditions in order for the large company to profit lots of money is okay as long as none of the illegal immigrants are Jewish?
The above questions are a true representation of what questions should be phrased as in order to really understand the person and if they are good people or just wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Meat or Fish?

With all of the economic concerns going on this world we have yet another concern. It seems that Rubashkin a leading meat distributor for the kosher meat has been caught with his pants down. Now, on top of rising prices we are also concerned with actually having meat to buy. What is this Russia year 1993? I agree that this is a problem. There seems to be more demand then supply at this point. Though, I am more concerned about people making continual blanket statements such as: “well we’ll just eat less meat”. That is fantastic in theory. In reality and in practicality, not so much. Chicken in my city costs $2.25 per pound. Ground beef costs $5.99 per pound. Chollent meat costs $4.99 per pound. These prices are not on sale this is regular store prices. If on sale most of the above items get a dollar reduction. Now let’s take fish, what appears to be everyone’s solution to the problem. Fish costs $8.99 per pound in the same store as above prices for meat are found. Of course we find it for cheaper, $4.99 per pound in another store where fish is sold. So, seeing these prices my question is: “Should we all just become vegans?” If we are so worried about the price then obviously the only solution is to not eat Meat or Fish and only fruits and vegetables and dairy products. Now, I’m not sure where people see SUCH a high price difference in order to stop eating meat. So in a way we are stuck between a rock and hard spot. So what are our solutions? I propose people eat healthy, don’t buy any junk food at all. With all the money saved on not buying any junk food at all people might be able to afford the price of meat. I know there are skeptics out there thinking but Oreo’s cost $5.00 for 2 packages (which by the way did not go up in price). So my answer is if you refrain from buying 4 packages of Oreo’s you can afford to buy two pounds of meat. It’s a trade off, whether you chose it or like it or not is your prerogative. In general is the economy kicking people where it hurts, yes! Is American economy much worse then any other economy in the world, no! People in America just need to make choices that they are not used to making; one of those is in regards to food. Americans are used to buying a food store out, not looking at prices and over filling their baskets. Now, they have to look at prices and decide if they will actually need the item, to some Americans that is just too much to ‘deal with’.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Shidduch Making/Dating Part 1

Why do people date? Really, its not fun, its expensive and nerve racking. So why do people date? We hope that the answer is to find the one and only one for them and to get married and be happy.
Why then are people just so weird! WHY? Why is it when a person is ‘read’ a guy that is an incredible man, who is everything that the girl is looking for, WHY DOES THE GIRL BECOME STUPID?
My personal experience with making shidduchim has not been so positive. I’ve given up for a few months but I’m slowly getting back into possibly doing it again.
My negative experience comes from people who say that they want one thing, but when presented with that thing CHANGE their minds and now want something completely different. Why is consistency bad? People are picky. I can definitely understand that, I used to be in those shoes too. Yet, being unrealistic is just sad for the person. My aunt who I love very much told me at a relatively young age (15) that everyone needs to know their own worth. At, that moment in time I though “this is horrible insight into life”. Yet, now I cannot agree with her more! I feel that people who are realistic and see themselves for who and what they are able to get over their own egos and date. People with over inflated egos and no perception of reality are unable to get over themselves to date. Now I’m not saying that this is everyone. I am however saying that I have seen this and I continue to see this. When a person thinks that they are gracing the world with their presence it is hard for them to go out with any guy, every guy is going to be below them. It is incredible to see great girls with unrealistic expectations.
So then comes this: why do they not have people giving them GOOD advice? Why is it that girls and boys a like get swarms of really bad advice about dating? It’s almost as if the person giving the advice is trying to destroy their chances of ever meeting Mr. Right. The other issue is why people think that Mr. Right has NO flaws. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PERSON WITH NO FLAWS. I understand true issues such as, he has anger issues, she has anger issues, he has a shady past, and she has a shady past. Those are true concerns that should be looked into and not ignored. Yet, issues such as: he’s just to serious, she is smart, are ridiculous! Someone being too smart is now a bad thing? A MAN BEING SERIOUS IS A BAD THING? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!!
Among the above mentioned issues I’d like to bring up a little thing called Dating etiquette. A lot of frum Jews have no idea what that means. Well here is a thought, when someone calls you and you BOTH arrange for a time to talk next, be available for that time…you arranged it, IT WAS NOT A SURPRISE! If someone leaves you a message, CALL THEM BACK! It is just polite behavior for a human being to have. It is only a matter of respect. What amazes me the most is the amount of respect people give to mundane issues, yet when it comes to something like being polite to someone you were introduced to all respect is thrown out the window. If you don’t want to date this person just tell the shuddhun or break it off yourself. Don’t lead someone around and around and around and then have it come to nothing because you were wasting their time. There is more coming this is just the beginning of this discussion!

Giving מעשר

Last week in shul there was an announcement that really crawled under my skin. It started with how this year is Shmita year. True. Then it continued with how the farmers in Israel need our help. Ok. Then it continued to say that Rabbi’s in our area all approve of this particular organization and everyone should give to this one particular organization. Ok. The part which I liked the best stated that the MINIMUM to give to this organization is $180. EXCUSE ME? What does that mean MINIMUM? Does that mean if I write a check for $18 nobody will cash it? They will send it back to me saying, ‘I’m sorry this is just not enough!”
Who has the right to tell you who to give to AND how much to give? Is it the right of your rabbi? Maybe it is the right of your friends? Or maybe, just maybe it is Nobody’s business! I will not be pressured to give money to ANY organization which I am not completely comfortable giving money to. If I somehow feel that this is not for me I have the freedom to say NO and to give to another organization. Forcing people, and degrading them into giving into your organization only pushes people farther away from it.
Another fantastic point: why do people assume that any and every organization is worth while for me to give to? Just because you want to give ma’aser to this organization does not mean that I feel the same way. Thank g-d, g-d gave us the ability to pick and choose and make our own decisions. It is because of this that a lot of organizations can and do exist. If everyone picked the same ones to donate to, then only a few would really exist. Since people have the freedom of choice they can pick completely different organizations to support.
Why do people assume that by pressuring others with slogans like “the great rabbi’s in your community support this organization” is going to work on everyone? I believe that there aren’t really any good organizations that the rabbi’s of the community will not support!
It is also my prerogative as to how much money I give to an organization. If I feel strongly towards the cause then I will donate a little more, if I feel like I should give because it’s a nice thing to do then I’ll give a little less.
There also seems to be a lot of people in everyone else’s business. Nobody knows how much money I donate and to what cause so, in my humble opinion they need to stay out of my business. Little slogans like: “well you should donate to this cause because it’s not your money anyways” make me want to puke. It is my money g-d gave it to me and I will decide with the common sense which g-d gave me as well which organization I will support!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Selfish Society

We live in a selfish society

On my way in to work this morning I heard the most interesting broadcast about American society and its selfishness. It appears that people have finally realized that Americans are selfish! The reason they realize this is because people are now refusing to have children. They don’t want the responsibility; they don’t want to grow up. People like their lifestyles and they don’t want to change because of little kids.
The best part was when the leader of the show declared that people don’t want to think that the cost of college is about $200000 and how will that effect retirement funds! This made me think of the Jewish way of life! We send children to private schools where the cost before college will equal way above $200000 more closely for one child it will be close to $400000 before they enter college years. So if the goyim are complaining about children and going off to college and how that affects their funds, how should we feel about all this?
I think this is like some people thinking that NY is the only place in America that Jews can exist. They have no idea how other people do it. Same as goyim they have no idea how other people do it. Whereas people, sending their kids to private schools have a real good idea how one can survive all of this.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Can Pack rats complain?

I’m not saying that one cannot be a packrat; I’m just saying that I don’t want to hear your whining and complaining about money problems. Some examples of this ignorant behavior are people that collect things. Why on earth would anyone collect Barbie’s? They are worthless now and they will be worthless later. Overly decorating the house, to the point where brand new things stay in their packaging for YEARS…tell me that’s not money wasted? What of the people that their houses are so cluttered with junk they have no idea what they have…so when in doubt they just buy more!
Where does this rant come from? Well upon hearing a friends complaint that they were having money problems I politely suggested that this friend not go shopping for clothing (2 sizes too small anyways) and save that money. I also suggested selling off some of the junk stuff they own. Well, this friend got so upset and irate that I understood that they have deep psychological issues. If you feel that your shopping habits are more important then providing a good family environment for your kids then you are crazy. Part of the good family environment would include not having fights over money with your husband who doesn’t see why you need 4 salt and pepper shaker sets. I happen to agree, you really only need one.
Well now that I am a traitor I figure I’d vent.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Just a quick blurb about finding sales and stocking up!


I understand that we live in a society of instant gratification. If it isn’t right now and cheap then we don’t want it. Yet, there are times when one must look around and smell the roses. Even though I’m not always good about this task I must admit that my husband and I had an awesome stocking up/shopping day. We are now stocking up for both Purim and Pesach of next year. There are some items that people can by that are just that much cheaper and I most happy to inform that I have found the said items and bought them…in bulk.
Again I understand space restraint for stocking up. Yet, I must say in America there is space for this. Most people have basements. Although we live in a high rise we too have basement space. If the basement space isn’t used to clutter ones life with silly things that one will never use again, its actually pretty useful space for stocking up on caned goods with no expiration dates. The truth is I understand people that tell me that it doesn’t make sense to stock up…I really do hear your point. Now here mine; I would rather put it in my basement and have it sit there for a year then have it sit in a store basement for a year and pay double if not triple the price next year. One tomato sauce was over $2 for this Pesach, if I can spare myself that kind of ridiculous price gouging for next year then why should I not take the opportunity? When grape juice for a small bottle is $0.33 rather than $0.79 (on sale) then you can disagree all you want, but my shaluchamanot just cost 2.4 times less than what I paid last year. So there you have it ladies and gentlemen money saving techniques for the future.
On the other hand I would like to slip in this little piece of advice; if you are saving $10 just make sure you know how much time you will spend on trying to save $10 then do the calculation of time vs. money and see what makes sense. $10x1 hr x2 people…doesn’t make tooo much sense. Yet again, $10 doesn’t exactly grow on a tree.

Friday, May 2, 2008

People, and the dream world.

This post is a long time coming.

People are crazy. That is my statement and I’m sticking to it. It seems as though this world has become one big luxuries cruise ship and everyone is on it. At this point you are wondering what the heck am I talking about it, I’m talking about luxuries that have come around to being misinterpreted as necessities. I see this in all different backgrounds of America. The one I am most associated to is of course the orthodox Jewish community. So I will speak on that mainly, drawing references from my other experience as well.
Through the years there has been a trend of luxuries turning to necessities one example is undergarments. It was not so long ago that they were considered the clothing of the noble and upper crust society. Now it’s almost un-heard of for someone not to wear undergarments. Same thing could be said for silverware, once upon a time your hands is what got you fed, not a fork and knife. Keeping these examples in mind I would like to go onto some interesting comparisons in the year 2008. I overheard people complaining about their budget and how kosher food is just so over priced. Well, I happened to take a peak into their grocery cart just to have an idea of what they were talking about. Then I had an audible laugh. ‘ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!’ is what I wanted to say. OF course I didn’t. She had half a cart of T.V dinners, the other with coke and chips, hummus, and sporadic veggies that were overly priced since it wasn’t a produce store and it was a large food chain store. Let’s analyze this further shall we.
T.V dinners= A lot of money for a little food. = Over priced dinner= silly decision= waste of money.
MAKE A POT OF NOODLES and you’ll feed the whole family for half the price if not more of a T.V Dinner. Give me a break.
Coke and Chips= both go into a category of useless food items. DO you really need to feed your children this junk?! Even though I personally love coke, I’ve started to cut back really because of the health concern rather than anything else. BUT chips that is non excusable.
Hummus….WHAT, ever heard of a chick pea. Really, chick pea smashed with garlic=hummus…not the $5 kind, the $0.99 kind. Nothing wrong with cheaper!
Veggies not in a produce store….what do you just like throwing your money away.

I really hate it when people complain about prices and yet do nothing about it. I understand that in order to get vegetables you might have to drive 2 miles away. Yet, if it’s on your way to work, from work or on the path to another errand why not take advantage of it! Yes I agree driving to three different stores spending gas at $4.00/gal doesn’t make sense, but when you break it down unless you are driving 35miles out of the way it really does make sense. Over paying for someone else to deliver to your local supermarket does not make sense. Also, what is necessity? Yes, vegetables are more expensive. Yes, milk is more expensive, same as for eggs, BUT, pre-packaged hummus….common. Another delight, the people that buy pre-cooked food from the deli and then have the audacity to complain about it. Are you kidding me? Someone is making it for you, putting it in a box and you’re going to give him attitude.
In other words, when you complain that prices are going up and oh dear this economy, maybe it is worth it to analyze how you are spending your money currently, and maybe making some changes in that department.
It seems to me that we live in a society where no matter how much money a person makes; they feel like they should live like millionaires. There is people living pay check to paycheck complaining about it and driving BMW’s. Here’s a thought: don’t do that and you won’t be broke. Then on a smaller scale there are people complaining about food prices that are eating caviar, here’s a thought: Don’t do that and you’ll save that money for something that is really worth it such as milk and eggs.
If I were a financial advisor I would love to just analyze people’s budgets and make recommendations and see what happens from there.

You know the saying: You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink!
Need I say more?

Yup, I’ll save that for another post.