Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Taking responsibility/being held responsible

The latest news of the brutal slaying of Jennifer Hudson's Mother, brother and nephew has gotten a lot of publicity over the past few days. Everyone understands that the reason that there has been so much publicity is because she is such a huge star. There have been many speculations of what happened and why it happens, but in reality there are no real answers.
A radio talk show host that I sometimes listen to on 96.3FM brought up a real interesting point; "people need to take responsibility of their actions. If you have a child you love it, nourish it and be a parent to it. Is it so wrong to say that a family has to be a MOTHER and a Father, is it so wrong in today's society to say that what was in the old was not so bad or wrong? Understandably so there are single parents out there and I salute them every day they do a hard job and they try their best. I'm talking about the ones that have kids out of wedlock out of a one night stand, out of other situations where they are left alone to raise the child(ren). A child needs a father needs a mother, needs a family! Why is that so wrong to say and considered so backwards!".
Wow, I actually think he said it well. I'm kind of surprised that someone in today's media bombardment on women power and other such notions was able to say such a remark and not lose his job. Well, we'll see about that latter part.
I think that some of his statement is very true. Children need roll models and not Mailey Cyrus, or Tom Cruise. In the Jewish/frum circles I feel this stands true as well. Although there is nothing wrong with looking up to a great Rav, yet your parents should be your roll models! Your parents should be your guidance councillors and your advisers. They are to be as big part of your life as anything else that is so crucial when you are a teenager. I think more emphasis on family life, and parenting should be done in the frum community, rather than emphasis on what has gone wrong in the community. Changing this mentality would be one step and one family at a time.
Although I didn't grow up frum, my parents were a huge part of my life. They were not my friends they were my parents and they tried to do what was right for me. None of this garbage about being friends with your kids...none of that. When they needed to they disciplined me when they needed to they rewarded me for good behaviour when they saw fit. They were and are a great motivation, inspiration and leadership in my life and in my family values and family life. Even now, I see them as my parents and not as my friends. I must respect them first and everything else second. Do I agree with everything they did? Absolutely not. Do I think that they tried and they gave it their all? Absolutely yes.
Overall, my point is if something is not how you like it or how you see fit, as a parent it is your JOB to fix it. It is your job to do right by your child and not to be their friend first. It is your job to raise a good member of society and community. It is not up to the child to raise themselves to be good, to be caring or to be anything positive.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My Views on Simchas Torah

We daven in a small shul “where everyone knows your name”. All the kids played together, all the women sat together and watched as all the men danced around the bema with the torahs. It was honestly an awesome site to behold. All the men were accommodating to the children that wanted to ride their shoulders and be thrown in the air at the appropriate times. So, men who had more than one child could be assured that all their children had a great time. There were smiles, laughs and a great time to be had by all.
The bidding for the honors was fun as well. In our shul women participate and I love that. Since my husband doesn’t really enjoy bidding and playing the game I am the one that does it cause I LOVE IT. I love the bidding process. I think it’s fun and exciting and really cool. In fact a few of my girlfriends with the same story we have a great time together, bidding against each other, and sometimes even our own husbands! Simchas Torah night we won ata horata and the Hakafot. I LOVED IT! I loved watching my husband dance around with the torah. It felt like I too was dancing with the torah. AWESOME!
A little background: when I was single I also liked Simchas Torah but I never really LOVED IT. Reasons: 1. I didn’t have anyone to watch out for 2. I didn’t have that community dynamic that exists in our shul now where everyone is happy for everyone else and it’s a group rejoice 3. I was just not into it.
So, overall appraisal of the holidays: Rosh Hashanah was fun, family came in so it was really good. It is a more somber time so it’s a little more subdued then Sukkoth, and Simchas Torah. Sukkoth, fun, exciting, and incredible as per usual…I love Sukkoth. I trapped a yellow jacket I think for the first time so that was pretty cool! Then I accidentally let it go, which didn’t matter too much because then it started to rain :-). Shmini Atzeret and Simchas Torah, fun, exciting and exhausting because of how much fun and excitement was had. Overall, incredible, I’ll miss the holidays till next year.
And now, let the dieting resume :-)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cleaning Out the Office

It is actually sadder than what I had expected.
Next week is my official last week at work. So, I decided to clean out my office yesterday and just wrap up with the little things next week. Well, it was no easy task. Although I didn't necessarily like my job all that much I did love the people. We all go along well, we had awesome laughs and we had a great time at work. I actually liked coming to work for I would get to see my friends. This I will miss. It took a few trips to the car to get my fish tank(yes the fish is still alive), my plant (one step closer to death), and some heavy personal belongings out of the office. Now, all that is left is to surrender my badge, laptop and lab note book. Sad.
I do however look forward to bigger brighter and closer(drive) opportunities. I hope that I will be able to find a place with great co-workers, a great atmosphere, and exciting work.
Yet, still a little piece of me has been left at this location that I called work for a while. Sigh.
Now, I shall go make soup with matzo balls and it'll all be better :-).
Have a Good Shabbos Eveyone.

Monday, October 13, 2008


My Mom is a genius, and now the story:

Over the holidays I was blessed with my family coming in and spending time with me. We had good food, good conversations, and good discussions too. One of our many discussions started to revolve around the policies being implemented (or at least the politics that keep talking about implementing policies) in Lakewood on weddings, how much money to spend on them, and the like.
In the midst of the conversation one young man chimed in on how he feels the rules for wedding are fine and if they were to be instituted it would be good for the overall community. My mom comes back with “sure it’s a good idea, but it’s been tried you know, communism. I’ve lived it. It doesn’t work”. That is when I just looked around and saw the awe on everyone’s faces. I LOVE MY MOM. GENIUS!

This morning driving to work (got to love the one hour commute) on the radio station 105.9 FM the morning announcer was talking about how shocked he was at the price of weddings. One of his co workers has just gotten married and the prices are astronomical compared to when he got married 4 years ago. Now, this is what I’m talking about!!! Good conversation!

The fact that weddings cost a lot of money is not a surprise. Yet, they cost a lot of money no matter who you are or what you believe. Weddings are expensive! Yes, because we are frum Jews and need kosher food it costs more. Though, on closer thought there are lots of areas where we can save a lot more than someone that is not keeping kosher, or Jewish, or not frum. For example there is what is known as a dress gamach. Literally a wedding dress costing thousands of dollars can cost you the price of dry cleaning it $250. Flowers, there is a gemach for center pieces, the only thing you have to do is give them back in the same condition you got them. Wow, there is thousands of dollars saved. I understand that these may not be ideal but they are ideas on how to save money.
It seems that in any organized activity clubs, sports, organized religion…when you get many people involved it sort of turns into high school but for grown ups. It’s who drives the best cars, who lives in the biggest houses, etc. Then you get people who are crying the whole time that its not fair and that ‘something’ should be done to make it fair. So, you get principals of the ‘community’ walking around implementing rules that should never be implemented.
Whatever happened to people knowing their limits? What happened to people trying through hard work, dedication and perseverance to get to where they want to go? It seems that now instead of working hard to get somewhere you want to be, you can just sit back, accumulate lots of debt and cry really hard about it, get a group of people to cry with you and then bam it’s changed for how you want it.
I think people are used to societal hand outs…thank you to the government. For example in the United States of America, Barak Obama who is running for the position of president wants to implement new reforms that give people tax breaks. He wants to give ‘stimulus packages’ to those who are not even paying taxes as to encourage them to spend and grow. This is a great example of not helping the people but truly hurting them. Like the Roman’s did in their time when you help people not work and give them money for game you will pay for it later, as the Romans found out when their Empire fell.
Do I think by putting in specific rules how to and how not to make a wedding will help? Absolutely it will NOT. Do I think that eventually if good leadership is not placed the “empire” will fall, absolutely it WILL.

Currently the world is lacking leadership. We have nobody that will stand up to the people and take action, take responsibility and lead by their word. I suppose that is why we pray for Moshiach.
I think once you start telling people how, and where they can spend their hard earned money you will run into bigger problems then the tuition crisis, wedding crisis, shidduch crisis. There will be many people who will become un-happy and will take themselves and their money and will leave to a place that does not dictate to them. Why should everyone have the same rules? That is not how it was thousands of years ago. Why should everyone be made to live the same lifestyle? If we are so keen on copying shtetyl life, well that was not how it was in the Shtetyl’s either.