Just cause 'they'
had a baby, ‘I'm’ a generation older?!
But they say it's
worth the jump! The kid is like one minute
old and everyone is asking me how it feels.
It feels like my son and daughter (in law)
had a baby. I'm ecstatic for them. I think
the kid is delicious. But, how it will
actually play out to be a grandparent, now
that I think I need some time to discover.
Yes -it feels like my son had a baby.
Yes-That's wild. I see him already doting,
and fussing, and smiling with pride from ear
to ear. I see her rediscovering that her
legs actually do exist, and yes that it's
worth going through all 'that' to get this.
And I see her processing that no one can
appreciate this "much described
indescribable experience", till you go
through it yourself! And I see her being,
the caring, wonderful, person she is to my
son, to her daughter. But me, I think I’m
still just me, so far!
People are asking me
what I'm going to be called. Why-do they
have some inside information about how
exceptional this baby is (which she is) - in
other words that she'll be speaking any time
soon?! Alternatively, do they need to know
because they are planning to address me by
my new grandparent name? I think I have some
time to decide on my new title. In the
interim everyone is invited to continue to
call me by the usual accolades I am used to
like, hey gorgeous, amazing, etc.
I am certainly
looking forward to the experience ahead. I
can completely imagine it will be wonderful
i"h to have this new type of relationship
but so far she's called me nothing! Though
I have called her every special adjective in
the book, from, sweet, glowing, and
delicious to obviously great natured and
Now, on the other
hand, has the young couple's life changed
already? Oh yes, that's a different story.
That happens within the first few minutes
after giving birth. Like when everyone
leaves the room the first time and they look
at each other wondering, wait who'd they
leave in here to take care of that baby?!
And then there's the
experience of leaving the hospital.....These
2 energetic , proficient, on the move, young
adults, have turned in 2, slow moving, bag
ladies. They need to check twenty times that
they took everything- including the
newborn! And though they came in with a
small overnight bag, completely,
optimistically, over packed with blow dryer
and lovely robe, that they never had the
energy to access, they are leaving with half
the nursery supplies in tow.
They walked in a
simple couple but left as a family.
The kid takes up
like no space in the apartment. 21 more
inches maybe, basically little more than the
size of a two liter coke bottle. But, with
the paraphernalia they come with today they
need to start thinking of buying a house,
just for their stuff!
Everyone comes to
see the new arrival and everyone asks me so
how does it feel? Did I kvetch this child
out, labor for hours, push my guts out?! Why
are they asking me?! My friends call me and
say welcome to the club. I'm sure they'll be
sending me a membership bill in the mail.
It's too suspicious; no entry was ever this
We all have a vision
of a grandparent from years ago and that was
an elderly, European, little woman. Not a
young, at least in my mind, cosmopolitan,
fast paced, woman (Though now I realize they
felt as young as ever back then too).
Still, I'm expecting to shrink any minute
and to start spewing yiddishisms!
Ok I'll share a
secret with you -Here are titles I've
considered. Mom, Mommy, Ma, but I can't
figure out what my daughter in law would be
called in that case. And since she is the
one willing to accept all the
responsibilities that come with that title,
I know I have to find some other description
for myself. My husband wants to be called
"pops" and since I'm his other half I'm
thinking I have to be called "lolly"! I kind
of liked eemee but he doesn't want to be
ahbee. So, for now I guess I'll just let the
kid keep thinking what she's thinking when
she sees me, you know -"how did I get so
lucky?! ". And the wisdom of who I should
be to this little angel, model, genius,
(objectively speaking), will come to me! For
now I think she can continue calling me what
she's calling everyone else...... Wa wa wa!
Which I suspiciously
think in my case is the start of the word (wa)....for
Here are five of the most common mistakes
parents make. With more awareness, we can
work on avoiding them.
1. Bubble-Wrapping Kids
Children require independence to flourish.
They need to write and rewrite reports, stay
up studying and use their time wisely, work
on science projects, and earn their A’s and
B’s. The moments they fail a test, strike
out in a baseball game, don’t get the part
in the production or are unhappy with the
class they were placed in are opportunities
for growth. It’s okay for them to struggle,
figure out how to do better next time and
open hearts to people they’d never normally
sit with at the lunch table in school.
Children need to fall in order to learn how
to get up and stand on their own two feet.
We can't protect them from pain,
disappointment and rejection. The more we
try the less they can handle. They need to
learn how to cope.
Self-esteem comes from discovering their
inner strengths and knowing that "I can do
this", "I will not fall apart."
2. Weak Discipline
All children require discipline to
understand standards of behavior and learn
self-control, especially today.
But we make the mistake of believing that
discipline means punishment and negativity.
Some parents are afraid that saying ‘no’
will push children away. Not true.
Good discipline means that I don’t wait for
the problems to arise. Instead I have
created a bond with my kids, we communicate
well, I am present, they know what is
expected and accepted. When they run off
course (all children will at some time make
mistakes or test us), I do not ignore the
problem, yell, become overly emotional, hit,
or put my children down. Instead I use
natural and clear consequences, remain calm
but strong, take the time to listen, and
teach my children to take responsibility for
their actions. I approach the relationship
with a positive spirit and try my best to be
present in my children’s lives to show that
Problems occur if kids see that we don’t
carry through, are not serious about our
standards, are inconsistent, or believe that
screaming means discipline.
Too many times we say ‘no’ but convey
‘maybe’ or ‘I’m not sure,’ which breeds
confusion. They read our hesitation and
pounce on our doubt. If I believe in myself,
am consistent, clear, stand firm in my
parenting standards, and balance discipline
with loving times spent together, my ability
to discipline becomes strengthened.
3. Fearing Unhappiness
What do you want for your children?
The most common response I get to this
question is: "I just want them to be happy."
If this is your reply, it becomes easy to
fall into the "happiness trap." We keep
buying, look away at bad behavior,
overindulge and go against our better
judgment all in the name of happiness. We
confuse the idea of loving children with
constantly doing for them and making them
Happy children is not ourultimate
parenting goal. Good character, grit,
resilience, sensitivity, honesty, respect,
strong work ethics, and high values are all
part of our mission. There will be times
that our children will be unhappy despite
our best intentions. They will get upset
with our decisions. But sometimes the answer
is no. As hard as we try we will encounter
their tears. This does not mean that we are
bad parents. It means we are doing our job
and teaching our children that they can’t
always have everything they want. Life holds
disappointments. Growing desperate for
approval and children’s smiles denies us the
power to parent with purpose.
4. Peter Pan Parenting
Children need role models. Where should they
learn responsibility, spirituality,
compassion, respect and priorities if not
from their parents?
Sadly, there are mothers and fathers who
don’t want to grow up. They still want to
dress, drink, party, speak and act like they
did before having children. Responsibilities
feel choking, hindering their freedom. Life
does not feel fun anymore. Like Peter Pan,
they want to remain in Neverland.
With parenting comes responsibility. We are
not our children’s BFF’s. We cannot expect
more from our kids than we expect from
5. Forgetting to Show Love as Kids Grow
It’s easy to show love to an infant. We
cuddle, kiss, hug and sing lullabies. They
climb on our laps and we wipe away their
tears. But what happens as they grow?
We give orders more and show love less. We
forget to say "I love you." We don’t connect
as easily. They are in their world and we in
ours. We get lost in our phones, Instagram
and daily pressures. We stop laughing and
sharing conversation. Talks are usually
reserved for misbehavior, admonishment, and
asking if they took a shower and did their
We realize too late that we’ve left words
unsaid and wonder how many more hugs and
kisses could have been given to nourish a
Decide today that no matter how busy you are
or complicated life has gotten, you will not
allow another day to go by without
communicating love to each child.
Children are a precious gift. Let’s take the
time to cultivate souls, nourish hearts,
build character and create a path for the
next generation. Believe in yourself as aparent.
What an incredible mission we have.
What's Worth Talking About ?
Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS
There's a tradition or a
or myth that says you have a certain number of
words to use up, and then you are gone. So my
advice is stop talking about the weather!!
It is here to sabotage
us! Especially this year. Could it be more
erratic? In fact, though I'm writing this, my
advice is - do not read it out loud!!! (Because
then of course, you'll use up more words talking
about the undependable weather again!!!
It's like oh my gosh,
global warming one day and global freezing the
next! My car is already seeing a therapist. A/C,
Heat, A/C, Heat. The up and downs are freaking
my motor out!
And forget about my
wardrobe! Summer clothes up to the attic, down,
up, down. But- then again, it's actually saving
me a fortune. I've suspended my gym membership.
Who needs the gym's stair master when I'm
My husband called last
week from LA saying he was freezing. My friend
called from Florida from her "holiday vacation”
saying they're still hoping the sun will come
out. But hey, me, I said "sorry, can’t talk now,
I'm in NY, I'm on my way to the beach"! Now
this week -that's a different story! Oh no - I'm
still not available to talk. But, that's
because I'm back on the stairs schlepping the
summer clothes up and the winter stuff back
Now can we talk about
the flu season? I don't think it's flying by so
People are discussing a
mild winter. That's an optimist for you. I'm
more of a Jewish time proponent.... After being
exposed to us for so long, the winter is just
showing up late!
After all I don't expect
it to be a "snow show"! Batabom!!
Winter probably still
has a lot of gusto under its belt. I'm
envisioning skiing to the bus stop as we drop
our kids off for camp. But you know how parents
are, they hate to see their kids go off to camp.
They are sobbing and heartbroken at the "bus
sendoff spot". Maybe this will keep them from
delivering their kids there. Yet my prediction,
is even an avalanche, won't stop them from
getting them to the bus stop. Nothing has in the
past! The parent sobbing is part of the ritual,
keeping them home is not!
Oh and listen to this
here is the newest release of the top ten songs
out now. I'm dreaming of a white Purim. Batabom!!!
turned right back into summer. And finally we
are noticing winter beginning to spring upon us.
One would have thought by now, they would have
been seasoned experts in showing up at their
We certainly do have
starting dates attributed to each season. Why
don't they respect them? How insensitive would
it be to be announced somewhere you were
expected, and then you totally didn’t make an
appearance for days? You'd be pretty
apologetic. But hey, no explanations from the
seasons, they kind of seem to be running hot and
I wake up each morning
now hoping we'll have another bout of summer and
simultaneously wishing winter could start
already so it can end already! Does that
resonate with you?!
Sure I'm confused. But
what New Yorker isn't?! Oh and then there's the
weather issue bewildering me to boot!!!
Yes life doesn't always
deliver us what we are expecting. And surely,
there are more pressing concerns than the
weather. There are a lot of challenges to
confront and struggles to surmount.
But I can't even talk
about them cause I just don't want to use up
more words!!!! And want to be around for the
So what do I do? I say,
Gd's got it covered. I can't change the weather
by talking about it, I can only accept it and
outfit myself right. And that is how I need to
get through the challenges as well. Find the
right tools to make it through. And be ready and
available for when the wind shifts and the good
times begin to rain down!
Now that, if anything,
is something to talk about!!!! Batabom!!!
5 Ways to Make Peace with Your Family
How to get through those painful family
This is the time of year that many families
spend time together. College students trek
home, couples return with their kids, single
adults walk through the door again and
grandparents often travel to spend time with
children and grandchildren they haven’t seen
for a while. Whether it’s an extended family
holiday vacation or parents and their kids
getting together, these times often breed
There are always those who
anticipate great family time but come away
feeling disappointment. Some nurse emotional
wounds and hurtful exchanges. Others feel
overlooked and misunderstood. Many scratch
their heads and wonder,Is
this really my family?Some
vow not return next year, feeling as if they
simply don’t belong.
You can be accomplished, talented and
respected but then you sit at this gathering
feeling belittled and misjudged, as if
you’re back in high school.
Here are some empowering tips that can
help you get through the most difficult
family get together.
1. Prepare for
a Spiritual Workout
Come into the situation knowing it’s time
to grow. Think to yourself: I can do this by
being brave and accepting certain family
realities and dynamics. I cannot change
people. I can only change my reaction to
those who continue to aggravate and annoy
me. Once I accept this, my next step is to
Ask: what is my spiritual goal here? If
I’d be in the gym, I’d be sweating and
exerting myself even if it means feeling
discomfort or pain. The same goes for my
internal self. If I want to reach a place of
compassion, patience, forgiveness, and not
reacting to every slight then I must step
out of my comfort zone. For the first time I
will finally reach serenity.
Of course it’s easy to feel good with
easy going people whom I like and get along
with. But what happens when I am together
with those who push my buttons?
See irritating people as opportunities to
lose those pesky extra spiritual pounds
you’ve been lugging around. Ridding yourself
of angry reactions, being snappy, and
freezing yourself out of the conversation
will strengthen your internal character
muscles. Instead of falling prey to your
negative emotions, rise above them and stand
on the legs of dignity and self-respect.
2. Be a First
You know what to expect: “So, you’re
still not married?” “Did you ever look into
getting a better paying job?” “Those pounds
never came off, huh?” “Why are your kids
always so wild?”
You know that you won’t be changing
people’s minds about how they see you and
your world. So why get into heated
conversations or retreat to stony silence?
First responders come prepared. They
don’t search for supplies or wonder what to
do. They are cool and calm. They have
adequate oxygen and are sure to avoid lethal
air. Take their lead. Decide on your best
response before the exchange happens and
stick with it. But be sure to lose the
sarcasm or biting defensive replies. Avoid
toxic exchanges. You only end up hurting
yourself. If you need to, take a breath and
You can use humor or manipulate the
conversation to another direction. Prepare
yourself and think of how you’d like to
reply with grace. Saying things like: “I
know my kids are lively, they keep me going”
or “When I find my soulmate I’ll be giving
you a call for sure. Thanks for always
caring” are alternatives to heated
exchanges. Try to give a smile.
Anger with Pity
Instead of filling your heart with rage,
try a new emotion: pity.
Feel sorry for this person who causes
pain and distance from others.Feel
this individual who cannot allow himself to
enjoy the blessing of family. This person is
either insecure or hardened, so they push
others down to feel better about themselves.
Perhaps they went through pain or difficulty
which caused them to grow a hardened shell.
No matter the reason, bottom line is they
are the ones losing out on the joy. Walking
around always ready to do battle is an awful
way to live. Fighting gear is heavy and
cumbersome. It weighs you down. Who wants to
be that person? Change your lens. See this
irksome individual through eyes of pity and
be grateful that this is not the way you
4. Be a Peace
Become a force for change. Ask yourself:
How can I inject warmth and love into this
If there is someone who feels as you do,
engage them. This is one who is easy to
speak with, you feel comfortable with, and
you don’t feel apprehensive of. Try to place
yourself near this person.
Remove yourself from gossip and malicious
Steer the conversation away from
judgmental and heated discussions.
Lighten the mood by putting together
cherished family memories in an album or
think of a family game that can fill the
room with activity and laughter instead of
Pay attention to others who may be
feeling badly or out of the family circle.
Give them extra attention.
Perhaps the past may have brought harsh
encounters with parents or fights with
siblings. Listen carefully. Years have
passed. People go through unexpected
challenges never believing that this is
where life has taken them. The difficult
road was not in the plans and we are not
always proud of the way we have journeyed or
handled the pressures of dark times. Looking
back, parents and children may feel ashamed
of acrid words spit out or thoughtless
actions done. Pushed to rage by stress is of
course no excuse but there comes a moment in
time where we must decide to move on.
We will not have ourfamilyforever.
Open your heart to a parent who has aged, a
sibling whose life has been shamed, and a
child who has dealt with unexpected blows.
Struggles and disappointments take us down
an unexpected path. No one is immune.
If you are willing to forgive you will
not feel regret when this person passes
away. Let me be very clear: this is not a
license to accept abuse. Rather, allow
yourself to move on by letting go of the
past and tapping into the generosity of
spirit that lies within your soul. Use this
time together to shed the battle gear and at
the very least stop the antagonism. Find a
smile or good word to offer, be kind, and
become the better person you’ve always
strived to be. Respond with integrity, not
weakness. Don’t live life carrying the
weight of bearing a grudge.
When family is fractured, warmth and
peace are replaced with sadness and
bitterness. Seize the moment to teach your
children the definition of loyalty,
laughter, bonding time and cherished
memories. The longer you hold onto old hurts
and cycles of pain, the longer it will take
to heal. This year build bridges with your
family. It’s time.
A Night Verses A Lifetime
Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS
Invite everyone you
know- no keep it small?
Have the beautiful view
of the water- no the bigger dance floor? Use
the caterer with a flare -no -the less expensive
caterer! These are some of the struggles, and
yes, even arguments you go through planning a
wedding and that's before you even get the other
family involved! You and your child are slugging
out the details and then you still have to deal
with the other side!
So how does it all get
resolved? Ah my friends that is the very
question that families, young couples, and the
Magi themselves have been asking for centuries?
Clearly it usually all
does work out, because the invitations do go
out. And all the guests, or maybe only the ones
who made the negotiated cut off, are there at
the wedding to celebrate.
Is it stressful? It
could be! It depends on how it all goes down! If
you are blessed, you can keep your eye on the
endpoint- A couple is starting their lives
together. This is only one night, albeit an
important one! But if the flower arrangements,
the band, or the locale are more important than
the families having harmony, oh yeah things can
get sticky or rather more appropriately,
Is there a formula to
abide by to keep things healthy and balanced?
I guess prayer would be
my first suggestion. Pray that you have the
self-control to back off from all that you want.
Use a sharp memory would be my second
suggestion. Remember everything you need for
life you learned in kindergarten, "you get what
you get and you don't get upset". Remember your
sports lessons "it's not whether you win or lose
it’s how you play the game". Remember what free
choice means, we don't control the challenges
presented to us only how we respond to them. Do
you see a pattern developing here?!
Most importantly, make
an eye doctor's appointment. Try to get rose
colored glasses in order to see everything in a
Many parties have
envisioned this day. Unfortunately, all
So far there are no
Mediators pursuing the career of wedding
negotiator. That might be an idea for party
planners to add to their skill set. Kind of like
a good matchmaker, they can fudge the sentiments
a little, to help things move forward
Marriage is all about
compromise. Why isn't this as good a time as any
to start modeling it?!
This is not a boxing
match. The ring used is not one where everyone
climbs in together; rather it’s worn to
commemorate love. The money exchanged by the
attendants at the event is not for betting on
the outcome; rather it’s to support a positive
one. The parties are not returning to separate
corners; they are marching off together to the
same one. The towel is not being thrown in its
being monogrammed with both their names. And the
winner is not one or the other, it's the union!
The best way to make it
all work out despite the many parties and
opinions at play is to remember:
The food ordered is gone
that night, in seconds, with each swallow.
The clothing worn gets
discarded the next day relegated to the attic or
the depths of the closet.
The band is on to
another event, the very next night.
And within the week the
But the couple and their
families need to survive a lifetime together. Is
whether a kanadal was served verses a crepe, a
rose used verses a carnation, a bassoon played
verses a violin, or the color sage worn verses
burgundy, worth a battle that effects a lifetime
of shared births, bar mitzvahs, graduations,
anniversaries and so much more?
This is what you need to
keep in mind as you sit down to negotiate a
wedding. It's a night verses a lifetime. I bet
there have been times you've fallen asleep early
and missed out on a night, not always one you
wanted to miss, but at least it's just one
night. You certainly would never want to miss
out on a whole life time!
Despair and Hope in Israel
Hanukkah reminds us that we have the power to
repel the darkness with light.
Feel the darkness surround me. We are tired
of the cruel murders; the savage shootings,
the car ramming’s and barbaric stabbings. As
I write, the funeral ofEzra
coming to its final moments. I pray that by
the time you read these words there will not
be fresh names for us to mourn. Meanwhile, I
watch Ezra’s siblings cry for a brother who
watched over them, filled their home with
laughter, taught them how to live and now,
transmitted his final lesson that life is
fragile and precious. The Jewish people
grieve a spirited soul who wanted to study
more Torah, grow in kindness and give back
to our land.
My computer screen goes dark
and I feel hot tears rush down my cheeks. A
beautiful face pops up on my phone and I see
the next Jewish child who has been taken.
Hadar Buchris, 21, “a charming girl, radiant
and friendly, her energy always managed to
wake everyone up.” Stabbed to death, she too
leaves this world as one whose only crime
was to walk this earth as a Jew.
The deafening silence of the world
astounds us. Our people are being murdered
and they are busy labeling Israeli food on
their shelves. Why do they not shout out for
the Henkins, whose innocent children
witnessed their parents being slaughtered?
Where are the angry calls for justice, the
marches for respect of human life and
dignity? How can one turn their back on
Rabbi Yaakov Litman and his son Netanel who
were driving to celebrate the Shabbat of
their daughter’s groom? Now, they too are
tragically gone. Can it be that a father and
son are brutishly murdered in front of their
family and leaders of the world remain
voiceless? How has humanity gone mute?
Too many have been lost. The ink is
barely dry and then another name appears.
Fathers and mothers who will never again
kiss their children good night. Young girls
and boys who will never walk to their
chuppah and stand under its canopy in love.
Grandparents who will never cradle babies
they have dreamed of; their lullabies remain
And as the days fade I am afraid of us
forgetting. We are obligated to see what is
happening around us and recall each
individual tragedy. Every person who has
gone has a story to tell. Each is a world
that has been snuffed out, snatched from the
arms of loved ones. As long as we remember
each face, each name, each soul, we deny
those who wish to extinguish their light.
The Hebrew word for ‘forget’(shachach)
contains the same letters as the word for ‘darkness’(choshech).
Because it is when we forget that we sit in
darkness. The opposite of darkness is light
which helps us see and remember. This is the
message of the menorah – that to cast away
the darkness we must hold on to our sacred
memory and not lose the light of legacy. We
are asked to take the time, gaze into the
menorah’s fire and relive its timeless
The light of Hanukkah is coming. These
holy lights remind us of our story, the
miracle of the Jewish nation. We recall how
the Greeks tried to destroy our people,
outlaw the study of Torah, and impose their
beliefs upon the land of Israel. They wanted
us to abandon our faith. They caused great
anguish and oppressed us with their harsh
decrees. Many felt hopeless. They are so
many and we are so few. What will be?
The Greeks entered our holy Temple and
defiled all the oil used for lighting the
Menorah. Outraged by the desecration and
torment, a group banded together to restore
Israel’s glory. Led by Judah, son of
Matisyahu from the family of Chashmonaim,
five bold brothers called out to the nation.
Emblazoned on Judah’s flag was Maccabee – an
Camocha Ba’eilim Hashem’, words taken
from our holy Torah recognizing the
awesomeness of God. More than just a
physical battle, this became a spiritual
contest. Drawing upon their courage a great
miracle occurred and the darkness was
repelled. Our people, though smaller in
When the Jews entered the sanctuary they
saw incredible destruction. They decided to
rebuild, repair and rededicate. Realizing
that there was an inadequate amount of pure
olive oil to light the menorah beyond just
one day, the Chashmonaim would not surrender
to despair. The Menorah was lit. The small
flask of undefiled oil remained burning for
eight days. And through its light we once
again tapped in to the miraculous journey of
Our journey continues until today. When
the world believes that they have broken our
spirit, that there is not sufficient oil to
kindle our inner light, we find that hidden
spark and reignite the fire within. Wherever
we may be in the world we place our menorahs
facing the window to openly proclaim the
miracle of our nation. The love between
Israel and God will not be lost.
Now is not a time to give in to despair.
The Maccabees endowed us with the courage to
stand up for our people. We cannot give up;
we cannot give in to the madness that
surrounds us. Just as the Maccabees
courageously rebuilt and rededicated, so too
must we take their timeless lessons to
heart. Especially when we feel overwhelmed
with the destruction that surrounds us.
Each of us has the ability to kindle a
light, to become a Maccabee. A little bit of
light pushes away the darkness. Too many
despair and give up when feeling as if there
is overwhelming devastation. We wonder what
we can possibly do.Hanukkahbecomes
our opportunity to rededicate. We search for
our personal flask of oil, discover our
inner spark and illuminate the world around
us. For some it is a rededication to Torah
study revealing the power of faith. This
holiday is a celebration for families.
Parents can use this time to inspire
children to find joy in their Judaism.
Our college youth should be encouraged to
discover more about our glorious heritage
and beautiful rituals. Faced with growing
anti-Semitism, knowledge empowers them to
stand proud as Jews and be passionate for
our people. For others, we draw upon our
courage and extend ourselves by taking a
step toward rebuilding a marriage, repairing
a frayed relationship or friendship. This
too requires bravery and strengthens our
nation with unity. We cannot afford to be
The miracle begins when we decide, like
the Maccabees, to cast aside the emotions of
discouragement and search for our ability tocreate
light. Even if that light seems small,
remember that just a single spark can ignite
a fire. Never give up. We will endure.
Are You A Pretzel?
Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS
A complete stranger is
practically lying in my lap. My feet are
suspended over his or her head. After all, where
else am I going to put them? I've got earplugs
in my ears, an eye mask over my eyes and yet
sleep completely alludes me. I call out, "anyone
have a Xanax"? About 55 nervous looking types
are responding all at once, how many do you
need? I only want to sleep through this flight
not through my life!
With all the brilliance
of air travel, we can actually be half way
across the world in no time, still they haven't
figured out how to make it more comfortable. Or
could they? The luggage has more space than the
passengers. I guess it must be all about getting
people to pay for first class. That's probably
how they keep prices down for everyone else and
therefore I get it. But still is there no other
I've been tempted to
pack myself in a ski bag. Though I hear it's
freezing in the cargo. But it would be fine, I'd
just wear more layers and pack less. And think
of the advantages. It gives you full length to
spread out. You get carried everywhere. You're
already positioned for a nap. At the end of the
flight you get driven right to baggage pick up,
no schlepping through the airport. And you get
a free ride on a carousel till your family comes
to pick you up.
Of course a family might
look funny toting a couple of ski bags to Miami
or the Caribbean. But it could come in handy if
you want to bring along some golf clubs or a
fishing rod. Though you need to stand clear of
the driver or the fish hook. And the ski outfit,
you emerge in, may take a little explaining.
So let's think what are
they giving you in first class to justify the
price differential? 1. Space. They say air is
free. Well, not on a plane. You pay for every
extra bit of breathing room. 2. A wet hot shmata.
They are really stretching there, looking for
something to make you feel luxurious. No one
knows what to do with it, first it’s too hot to
touch and then it gets cold in a second. But, no
one refuses it cause they paid heavily for it
and they're going to get their monies worth. 3.
A meal!!! Wow- Now this is certainly worth an
arm and a leg. 4. A better bathroom ratio- you
can never knock that. 5. And then the coveted
real reward, the ability to lie down. That's
really what first class is all about. Oh yeah
and free liquor!! Now there's the mistake the
The free liquor should
go to coach. That way no one would remember how
miserably they slept. Or then again even if they
couldn't sleep they’d be feeling happy anyway.
That I think could be the solution to the
dilemma of how to keep people from feeling
miserable, folded up and bent in half, trying to
find a place for their excess carry on, their
What’s the greatest deal breaker when it
comes to seeking a partner?
the Wall Street Journal, the biggest turn
off for both women and men was “disheveled
or unclean” followed closely by “lazy” and
A recent series of studies cited in the
WSJ opens our eyes to what is happening in
the minds of men and women as they
contemplate possible relationships. People
give more consideration to what’s wrong in a
partner than to what is right. Granting more
weight to deal breakers pushes people away
from focusing on the positive qualities that
they are hoping to find in a person.
Here is a list of other top deal
breakers: no sense of humor, lacks
confidence, talks too much or too little,
and watches too much t.v./videogames. Women
had more nonstarters and a sense of humor
was more crucial. Men found “talks too much”
to be a deal breaker and they preferred not
to date a woman smarter than they are.
Where Do We
Draw The Line?
How do you know if you’re being overly
picky or not picky enough? Many singles are
faced with these questions.
Of course we need to feel attraction.
Relationships cannot be built while feeling
repulsed. But I wonder how many singles are
zeroing in on a negative, feeling
overwhelmed, and not allowing themselves to
see the positive in a future partner. This
nature of directing our gaze to that which
bothers us often blurs our vision. A
wonderful person is struck from the list
because we were not able to look past the
way he dresses or how she does her hair.
While people can update their clothing and
redo their hair style, it is much more
difficult to reshape character.
It is necessary to think about what
really matters in life. What kind of person
is this? What have you learned about his
temper, his patience, her compassion and
ability to listen when you speak? Is he able
to turn off his iPhone and make time for
you? Are they kind or judgmental to the
people in their lives? Can they commit and
be trusted when they take on a job or
For husbands and wives reading this
article, it is important to recognize that
we, too, can get stuck on negatives like ‘a
few extra pounds’ or ‘balding’ as years
pass. Forgetting the positive qualities that
brought us to love in the first place
removes the appreciation we thought we would
forever hold sacred within our hearts.
Instead, we gripe, even look down with
disdain, at our partners. The path to taking
each other for granted is now cultivated. We
begin to grow apart.
What Can You
Those seeking a relationship should take
notice of the little things that may be
preventing them from creating a lasting
relationship. Too many of these ‘deal
breakers’ are ridiculously easy to remedy.
There is no reason to go out being
disheveled and unclean. Poor hygiene,
stained clothing, and looking outdated can
easily be focused on and fixed. Constantly
checking your phone or sitting with a
computer game instead of sharing thoughts
does not nourish seeds of companionship that
make romance grow. Why impede yourself from
discovering your life partner because of
lack of attention to how you present to
The same goes for husbands and wives. As
years pass we begin to let ourselves go.
Getting dressed up only for others, being
personable for company, engaging friends
while ignoring our partners are signs that
we have begun to disconnect. Spouses need to
feel that they are priority. Take a few
moments and put yourself together. Brush
your hair. Smile. Don’t lose your sense of
humor. Get rid of the shabby and stained
clothing you wear only in the house. Get off
your laptop while speaking. We give messages
of love by showing that we are interested in
being here and that we want to give our best
to our partners.
A Bunch of
When asked “What are you looking for?”
many people would give the same basic reply:
“Good looking, very successful, smart, super
sense of humor, loves to travel, and
athletic.” My mother, Rebbetzin Esther
Jungreis, would give the following advice:
“You have your list of six things you are
looking for. Think of it as a bunch of
zeroes. Now in front of those zeroes if you
add a 1 you’ve got yourself 1,000,000.
What’s the 1? It’s character. Kindness.
Sensitivity. Good-heartedness. Without that,
all you’re left with is a bunch of zeroes
that equal nothing in life. After a while, a
cruel person doesn’t look attractive to you,
their sense of humor hurts you, their
success breeds arrogance, you don’t care to
travel with them because you feel miserable
and so what that they’re athletic? Bottom
line is good character. That’s number 1.”
Character is the deal breaker.
Let’s keep this in mind while looking for
our soul mate. And if you are blessed to
have found your match, be sure to take the
time and revisit the goodness that brought
you together in the first place. Your love
Quick - I Need A Shower
Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS
So you have to prepare for
the shower. It doesn't hurt to make sure you
have the supplies you need ready before the
shower starts. Of course you want to get some
great smelling soaps and moisturizers. Certainly
a nice new robe is especially yummy, with a
monogram on it, ready to be used. And some bath
size towels and washcloths make sense. Don't
forget a nice soft pair of pajamas that would be
so good to slip in to.
The question is, with all
this preparation going on - how do people expect
the bride to be surprised? Oh yeah someone else
is making all the preparations for this shower.
But seriously don't you
think it would help if someone told the guests
not to park right out in front of the house. How
good a faker should a bride have to be.
There she stands mumbling
"Oh, I'm so surprised. I had no idea." Do you
want her to have to seem like an awkward liar or
a total dofus? Seriously, how is she expected
not to recognize her own mother's car- sitting
right outside her friend’s house -a friend her
mother never even met! At least tell people to
park a block away.
Also- It's like a few weeks
before the wedding. Is she really surprise-able?
She's put a whole bunch of household items on a
list at Bed Bath and Beyond. How does she think
she's getting them? No one's buying her a
peeler or can opener for a wedding gift, are
There are lots of gifts
that have to be gotten before the wedding. So
the shower is quite necessary. Basically to
clean up taking care of the small items. The
shower planners have to make sure to get some
utensils and pots as well. Because, after weeks
of dating and going out to restaurants nightly,
real life is about to start. And the bride's
been voted -chief chef.
So there everyone sits with
the “oooh’s” and “ah’s”, over blenders and food
processors. The only other time these items get
this much recognition is when advertisers are
vying for the account. And here's some valuable
shower advice - Don't even bother opening your
mother in law's gifts. Whatever she got you -it
Then let's talk about this
great new game they started playing at showers.
They video the groom beforehand and see if he
knows the answers to a series of personal
questions the bride is asked. Everyone's
watching the exchange! Now tell me is this the
right time to be asking him? I mean, like if he
doesn't get any of the answers right is she
suddenly going to trade him in?
The food is probably as
good as what they'll serve at the wedding.
Because everyone contributed their best recipe
and the price is certainly right. The only
problem is no one wants to eat much cause
everyone's trying to stay thin, so they can fit
in to the size zero they got for the wedding.
Except for one smart aunt, who couldn't care
less about size shmize. She is eating as much as
she can, and wrapping the rest in her handy
dandy roll of foil to take home to feed her
family for the next few weeks. Probably right up
until the wedding.
Showers often have a theme.
Showers -you hope are a
surprise. Life you hope isn't.
But as much as you try to
plan out life -just about everything's turns out
a surprise.....The kids you have, the way they
act, where you actually wind up living!!!....
So don't feel too bad if your bride isn't
surprised at the shower. She'll be dealing with
surprises the rest of her life. Just do the best
you can to make her a great party. Cause after
all, you have to admit, no one should go without
a shower for too long!!!
Creating Security for Children in a Scary World
How to make a pocket of peace for our families
My daughter, Shaindy, traveled to America
last week to visit with my mother. Upon
returning to her home in Israel, Shaindy was
greeted with a Welcome Home sign pasted onto
her front door. Her six-year-old daughter
had colored a picture of an El-Al plane,
with a bright yellow sun. Behind the windows
of the plane, she drew her mommy’s smiling
face along with other passengers, and
parallel to her mommy were the faces of
terrorists, each with a fist raised holding
Is this how our children
see the world?
It’s not only in Israel that we must put
ourselves into the shoes of frightened
children. I spoke with a bat-mitzvah-aged
girl who confided that she often feels
scared. Many marriages around her are
dissolving and she worries that one day she
too will become a child of divorce. She
watches friends deal with shaky finances,
health issues, sick grandparents or siblings
who seem out of control. “And the world is
full of wars,” she added.
It can be overwhelming for children to
deal with so much chaos, in addition to
handling the pressures of school, friends
and after school activities.
How can we keep our children grounded and
maintain a positive outlook in life?
Many parents themselves are grappling
with similar fears. How do we create a
pocket of peace in a world gone mad?
Before takeoff, flight attendants
instruct you to put on your own oxygen mask
first, begin to breathe and only then can
you attempt to help your children.
The same holds true in life. We can only
help our children deal with fears if we live
with confidence that we can overcome
obstacles. When children detect that parents
are panicked, they grow fearful themselves.
We must work on resolving our inner emotions
of trepidation and never display hysteria.
Parents who transmit a sense of calm despite
the storm raging outside provide their
children with serenity. Though this may not
be easy for a parent undergoing distress, it
is crucial that we strive to master
Husbands and wives in stressful
situations should speak together privately
and resolve to create a haven within their
home. This means that we watch our tone, our
language, and try hard to communicate
patience and understanding. We don’t react
in sharp tones or swat our loved ones aside
with a dismissive word or gesture because of
Drawing upon one’s faith is also an
anchor that provides our families with a
sense of security in difficult times. When
we reinforce our traditions, find solace in
prayer, and commit to family rituals we are
showing our children that we live with clear
and established beliefs despite the
turbulence that is taking place in our
lives. It is not a matter of convenience,
dependent on moods or feel-good emotions.
Our faith is a bedrock of strength
independent of turmoil and challenge. No
matter how difficult the week has been my
Shabbos candles bring light to my home. We
are together, acquiring a sense of
continuity and love. In a broken world we
parents are here to heal.
When the world feels out of control a
child’s sense of safety and trust is
challenged. How can we help our children
better cope? (Of course we are not speaking
about phobias, anxiety, or childhood trauma
which must be addressed professionally.)
Recognize that your child’s fear is
Don’t ignore your child’s fears. Children
become afraid at different ages, of
different situations. Apprehension, worry,
and feeling frightened are genuine concerns.
Validate the emotions
Allow your child to share his fears. Talk
to him and permit him to communicate
Don’t make fun or belittle
A child shouldn’t feel as if he is bad or
babyish for expressing worry. Be careful to
avoid saying things like “a girl your age
shouldn’t be afraid,” “that’s just silly,”
or “stop being such a cry baby.” That only
knocks your child’s self-esteem and prevents
him from sharing in the future.
Don’t indulge a child’s fears
Show empathy but be careful not to fall
apart each time your child tells you that he
is afraid. When kids hear us talking about
them and telling spouses and grandmothers
that they are scared and anxious, we are
adding drama to the situation. Find a
balance between the emotions you display.
Teach coping strategies
Help your child work through the
challenge. Positive self-statements like “I
can do this” or “I will be ok” can help
children navigate moments when they feel
anxious. Some kids are empowered when they
draw upon words of a prayer, others when
they envision a happy memory. Some children
who are afraid in the dark discover calm
from a nightlight. Get to know your child
and find the strategy that works for him.
Sharing stories of your own fears and how
you overcame them can be an incredible
source of comfort to a child.
Model being brave
Adults who lose it will raise children
who lose it. Whether it is a fear of
cockroaches, flying, blood tests, or unseen
dangers from the world you live in, you
cannot afford to freak out. Children who
view their parents as in control feel secure
in a world gone mad.
No matter how chaotic things get, our
mission as parents is to guide, teach, and
lead. Creating a pocket of peace will become
part of your life-long legacy.
Our family thanks you for your
continued prayers for my beloved mother,
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, Esther bas
Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS
Oh my gosh look at this
gorgeous little baby. That was her at one year
old. Oh and look at her here eating ice cream
-all over her face. She was about three there.
But now I can't find her anywhere. Except on my
Remember those days of
large picture albums? The hours of perusing old
memories. The pictures you'd scream over...
-“Seriously, did I really wear my hair
like that? What was I thinking-or did I put my
finger in a socket?"
-“Did we really ever have a convertible
sports car now look at us clunking around in a
-"Everyone thought she was a boy -We
thought her hair would never grow in!”
Today, I have bookcases
full of albums but they kind of stop at the year
2005. After that it's almost like we cease to
It was fun having those
picture albums at a glance. Not that they don't
take up plenty of space-They do!! Not that they
don't fall apart. Not that they weren't a pain
to put together. But they are accessible. And
they are sharable, and pass-around-able. And
best of all, you can see the pictures, even if
you don't charge a battery!
And guess what -you can
probably see some of those pictures even without
hunting down your reading glasses- a torturous
task! And for Sabbath observers, who are
forbidden to even touch their cell phones, the
Sabbath was a great time to sit and look through
old albums and bond with family or friends. Now
families need to buy even more books and games
to keep busy on the Sabbath. Let's just hope the
kindle doesn't replace actual books and the
industry continues to make board games!!
And get this, though
those picture albums could fade a bit, at least
the pictures didn't disappear altogether, as it
does on 'snapchat'. A moment captured a moment
I'll admit, that it's
nice not to have to schlep you camera around and
to still be able to capture an image. But half
the time I'm on my phone when the opportunity
arises so I wind up taking a picture of my ear.
I have a whole series entitled my ear from every
angle. If you'd like to see it I can send it to
Also there was something
fun about those adjustable lenses on those fancy
cameras. You felt so professional turning them
around and around and setting up the shot. Now
why would you bother? You can change it after
the fact. You can change your eye color, crop
off parts of the picture, or Photoshop it
altogether! In fact I'm not even sure why people
take pictures anymore. No one looks like
themselves by the time they are done.
And can we just discuss
selfies?? People's arms are just not long enough
for all the people that they try to stuff in to
a "selfie". And no one really cares how they
look or if the whole shot is distorted or just
one eye or half their face got in cause -After
all it's a selfie! Special distortive license
The one good thing I can
say about photography these days is that it's
the one safe act of terrorism around. Everyone's
photo bombing - but it's all in good fun!
April 16 Metzora Shabbat HaGadol – NO SHIUR Wishing you a kosher and fraylichen Pesach
in memory of Malka Feiga bat Nosson
“Please G-d, let me partner with You
and go beyond my constrictions to a
place of expansiveness. Everything that
happens is part of Your perfect training
& development program for me. Help me
respond in the most noble way- help me
judge favorably, have compassion, let go
of having to be in control and give it
over to You, G-d. Please bless me with
an amazing year of walking with YOU.”
1. G-D, You have an incredible
vision for all of humanity and for me. I
want to fulfill Your vision of greatness
for me more and more. Please show me
what I most need to see gently.
2. I want to recognize the gifts in
my life and see the totality of the life
You gave me, the blessings and the
challenges, as an expression of Your
love. Please fill my heart with
3. I want to transcend my greatest
obstacles to fulfill Your vision for me.
Please help me partner with You and go
from a place of constraints to a place
4. Please bless me with all the
resources I need to fulfill Your vision
for me. (health, clarity,
relationships, a job, place to live
5. I want to make You King by living
myself more according to Your Definition
of reality and Your instructions for
living. Please guide me.
6. I resolve that I want to be
connected to You, G-D, as the source of
my wellbeing in life. And not rely on
ANYTHING or ANYONE else. Please help me
remember that no one else has power.
7. I resolve that this moment is the
dawn of a new era in my life.
I stand before You, the Creator of
the Universe, my loving Father, I look
at the Rosh Hashanah prayer and of
course I want to be connected to You as
the source of all life, and be the
beautiful person You created me to be; I
definitely don’t want any of the
mistaken choices of the past to stand in
the way. Please help me repair whatever
needs fixing. I want this year to be
greater than any year I’ve ever had and
I want to be a bigger person than I’ve
ever been. Not just for my own sake but
for the Jewish people and humanity.
Please help me ask for the right things
and help me understand Your loving
I want today to be the dawn of a new
era in my life.
G-d, You know what I’m facing inside and
outside, please help me. “
Sundays only at 8:15am at 386 Felter Avenue,
Women gather to recite and hear at least 100
morning blessings so as to fulfill the mitzvah
of doing so. If you know of someone who is ill,
please feel free to call and provide the group
with the Hebrew name, so that those who are
present may pray for him or her. Haidee
Mondays at 4:15
pm (3-5 Year Olds) - a half hour
program of stories and a short
Tuesdays at 6:30 pm (Grades 4
- 7) Registration
- January 12 Program:
February 10 The
Theif Lord By: Cornelia
- February 9 Program:
To Be Announced
Time: Thursdays at 10:30am
(24 - 35 months) - A lively half-hour
of songs, stories, fingerplays,
movement and a short film for
a child accompanied by an adult.
Fridays at 10:00
am (12-23 months) - Programs of
songs, finger plays, nursery rhymes
and board books for very young
readers accompanied by a parent
Workshop: Thursdays at
10:00-11:15 (12-35 months)
A special program that encourages
parents to play, sing and do finger
plays with their children. Specialists
in the fields of Speech and Hearing,
Behavior and Development, Nutrition,
and Dance/Movement are available
at various sessions. Registration
is required and is being accepted
in the children's room.
with Arnold Rosenbaum:
Wednesdays at 1:00pm
The Defining Moment - FDR's First
Hundred Days and the Triumph of
Hope by Jonathan Alter. January
Economic Problems Facing the Middle
Class .Mr. Rosenbaum will present
his thoughts on the socioeconomic
problems facing the American middle
class. March 14
Be The Food of Love...Shakespeare
In Love: Sunday, January
7 at 2:30pm. New York jazz vocalist
Christiana Drapkin celebrates
the beauty and power of William
Shakespeare's poetry and presents
it in lively, sometimes haunting,
jazz arrangements. The songs are
direct quotations from Shakespeare's
plays. Tickets required.
and American Art:
January 8 at 1:00 pm. Picasso
is acknowledged by many as the
central figure of the modern movement.
Art historian Mary Vahey will
examine the sometimes worshipful,
sometimes testy relationship between
American artists and the Picasso,
the immensely inventive Spaniard.
January 17 at 1:00pm. Corliss
Whitney, the honorary historian
of the Rockette Alumnae, shares
poignant stories about her years
as a Rockette during the 40's
Way to Health - Humor
Therapy: Wednesday, January 24
at 1:00pm. A presentation that
will focus on the latest studies
that scientifically prove and
explain how and why laughter IS
the best medicine.
Does Merman: Sunday February
4 at 2:30pm. Songs and stories
celebrating Ethel Mermans brilliant
career will be brought to PPL
by vocalist Lisa Berman. Tickets
and Ancient Land of Contrasts:
Thursday, February 8 at 1:00pm.
Through lecture and slides, Sally
Wendkos Olds will guide you on
a journey to another world of
exotic beauty and ancient splendor.
and/or Poets: Wednesday,
February 14 at 1:00pm. Arnie Rosenbaum
will share the poetic lyrics of
Ira Gershwin, Alan J. Lerner and
Larry Hart. You decide if the
great lyricists of the 20th century
really were master poets.
Tiffany and Laurelton Hall
An Artists Country Estate: Monday,
March 19 at 1:00pm. Ines Powell,
Metropolitan Museum of Art educator,
will present an illustrated lecture
which will bring together many
of the architectural elements
and design features of Tiffany's
extraordinary country estate in
Thefivetowns.com disclaims any and
all responsibility for any typographical or informational
errors herein. We do not independently verify the
claims of our advertisers and advertisements. We
do not verify information of news, editorials or
any other information placed herein. Please do your
own proper due diligence of the information and
advertisers/advertisements listed herein. Continued
publishing of this newsletter/website is at the
sole and absolute discretion of thefivetowns.com.
We reserve the right to publish and not publish
at will and in our sole and absolute discretion.
We are independent and not affiliated or associated
with any other entity.