Friday, December 28, 2007

Non-Kosher Meat

It's taken me some time to process something I heard a few weeks ago. But now I feel I must address it. It has come to my attention that there are several members of the Orthodox communtity in Detroit who no longer trust Lubavitch Shechita (i.e. Aarons Rubashkin meat). The reasoning I heard had to do with the distrust of those who are "Yechi-niks", or those who believe in the ressurection of the Rebbe, ZTz"L. They say that if they believe in these concepts, then Chabadniks are Ovdei Avodah Zara and connot be truted for Halachic issues such as Shechita.

My experience with Chabad goes back much farther than my own life. My father was Mitkarev by Rabbi Bobroyski, a tzaddik who live in Passaic and taught young children about Hashem and beautiful Yiddishkeit. He was gentle and loving and inbued a Halachic Judaism my father and his "off-the-derech" parents could handle. Even taking a quick glance at our clan, we all have a lot to thank "Rabbi Bob" and Chabad for, Baruch Hashem.

My roommate at Bar Ilan was Lubavitch, albeit slightly more "modern" than the Rebbe. He was still alive then, and I started dreaming of the time of Mashiach, with him as our savior. When he died, I believe I was more devestated than my roommate was. Not because I need HIM to be the Mashiach, but because I wanted SOMEONE to be and thought we had him.

Rav Menachem Mendel Schneerson did so much good in this world of ours. It's a shame how some of the extremists of his devout followers have made a national joke of his memory. It's important to remember that every sect has its extremists, and it's wrong to judge an entire section of Judaim only on those on the edge.

That doesn't mean we should sit by and watch an Aveira happen either. We send our daughter to a Chabad Gan here in Modiin. Last year I insisted upon sending her to the Chabad Gan for four-year-olds as well. When I arrived with my little girl to orientation last year, I asked the teacher if there was a lot of talk about the Rebbe in Gan. She said, "Of course. We teach the 12 Psukim and we talk about the important dates of Chabad." I hesitated and said, "OK." She said she could tell there was something else I wanted to know. I said, "Do you say that he's still alive?" She smiled, "We don't say in the Gan that he's still alive." Hmmm.

What does she personally believe? I really couldn't care less. Even if she is Yechi-nik, as long as she doesn't impart that kind of belief on my kid, it doesn't matter to me. The whole reason I wanted to send our daughter to that particular Gan was because it was Lubavitch. Chabadniks are known as the most welcoming, loving, accepting Gannanot in the country. In fact, the student body in the religious Gan my daughter goes to is two-thirds Chiloni. The population in Maccabim, the non-religious neighborhood where the Gan is, had become aware of the philosophy of the Kindergarten. And they want to get onboard. In an religious Gan!! It gives one nothing short of hope for the same kind of education my father's family received 50 years ago.

Take a look at this website. You will no longer think that Lubavitchers lack Halachic Judaism. And you will go back to buying their meat.

It says that there are ten basic Jewish Mitzvot to focus on. I LOVE that the first one is Tzedaka.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What Should I Eat?

Unless there's soup or pasta in the fridge, I'm completely at a loss in the winter.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Why Are All My Posts About Bathroom Themes?

I am going to turn off commenting for this one because of its sensitive nature.

My daughter was up for an hour in the middle of the night complaining of pain in her "privates," as she calls it. I called the doctor's office early this morning to see if there's a magic potion to alleviate this problem, so we can all get some sleep. When the secretary picked up, I realized I had no idea how to say the word in Hebrew. I hemmed and hawed and had no idea how to even describe it nicely. She said to come right in as, based on my obviously poor description, she thought it was appendicitis.

When it was our turn, I told my daughter to point to where it hurts. And then, embarassed, I laughed and said I had no idea how to say the word in Hebrew. He still thought it was her appendix and started poking around in her abdomen. I said, "No, not there..."

The secretary was in the room because she wanted to finally know what I was talking about. My little girl pointed to the painful spot.

"Ahhhhh, Ko'ev La BaPIPI!!"

Now is that the medical term?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Like Old Times?

Yesterday we got a phone call from one of our dearest friends, BA. He and his wife were going to be in the area with their kids and wanted to know if we could hang out at the park with them. we went, and it was a tad surreal.

BA used to be a party-guy. Complete with drinking and then yelling at passing cars. One morning at 8 a.m., I helped him save himself and a pair of his grandfather's T'fillin, both lost during a night of boozing.

Yesterday, he was using an authoritative voice with his kids, who actually responded. Wow. I guess we all must have grown up somewhere along the way.

He told me his father, who we had the privilege to meet at BA's Aufruf 10 years ago, has cancer. I don't know his name for Tehillim, but I wish him a Refuah Shelaima.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Funny Story - Goes Back a Ways

When I cook and wash dishes, I always have tons of time to think by myself, and sometimes I remember random things from my past. A few months ago we watched our wedding video in honor of our anniversary. I saw something my mother did that cracked me up.

At every Chupah at which I have ever had the privilege of sitting next my mother, she has said the following to me at the line of the Ketuba-reading where it mentions that the Kallah is a "B'tultedah":

"What if she isn't? Does she tell the person who writes and reads the Ketubah?" It doesn't even matter who it is. The Kallah could have the most stellar reputation. She doesn't mean the person whose wedding it happens to be; rather, it's a general question. It's really a joke designed to make the listener laugh at the most boring part of a wedding.

Flash to my wedding. My mother didn't realize that the videographer was pointing the camera at my folks at the reading of "Aviva Deena B'tultedah." My mother leaned in to tell my father her joke, noticed the video camera on her and stopped dead in her tracks.

Any casual watcher of this video could think that my Eema knew something no one else did. I'm sure there were tongues wagging anyway at that particular stage of our lives for various reasons, but... no. I wore a white gown with a full heart.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

One of my Identical Twin Nieces - Sari's Kid - Update

She went home, and is well, Baruch Hashem. Of course if I were her mother, I'd never sleep again.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

My Name is Veev and I'm an Addict

Everyone: Hiiii Veeeev.

I drove on Road Six for the second and third time today. Holy cow! It's like driving on Route 80! The speed is quick, there is no traffic, and the road is beautiful and straight. There are rest stops along the way, too. Although it does drive dangerously close to several of our neighbors' villages and major cities, remember that my usual way to Yerushalayim passes Ramallah on the left.

I can't image driving on any other road if I can take the Six. (Do they make a patch for this?)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Don't Make any Sudden Movements

I was subbing at an elementary school the other day when a second grader came up to my desk and asked me permission, in Hebrew, to "_________" (can't remember the word). I asked him to repeat it, and he did. Then I said, in Hebrew, "I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're asking."

"A-ni Ro-tzeh La-a-sot Ka-ki," he said ve-ry slow-ly for those in the cheap seats. Where I was sitting the whole day.

Friday, December 07, 2007

One of my Identical Twin Nieces - Sari's Kid

Please say Tehillim for three-week-old Noa Bat Sara Esther. After she had a bath, she was waiting in her crib for her bottle, and was found not breathing a few minutes later. Baruch Hashem, she was revived by her mother, but is in the hospital going through a battery of tests including a spinal tap. They suspect a SIDS episode.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Please Excuse my Hebrew

היום נסעתי עם שני הילדים הקטנים שלי עם בית הכנסת שלנו לגוש עציון. לדעתי היא המקום הכי "ישראלי" בארצינו הקדושה. המורה דרך שלנו הוא תושב בת עין ומאוד חיצוני בעניני פוליטיקה. הוא ואשתו הכניסו אותנו לביתם הגדולה ופשוטה. הם הביאו תה לחמם את ליבינו ואפילו הכינו לנו פיתות טריות במטבח. ראינו את המכונה שבה טוחנים/(מטחנים?) את החיטה לקמח מלא. קניתי משם קמח מלא אורגני.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Sem Girls

We had two seminary girls over for Shabbos, which is always good for some eye-rolling entertainment. Here's some advice for the next phase in ther lives...

1. Find the "who" you are looking for, not the "what." A list is lovely, but you'll find that no one is what they are on paper.

2. Find the person who you can tolerate telling you the truth.

3. Find the person who gets you completely.

4. Make sure he comes from good stock.

5. Find the guy who's going to support you, no matter what, but still is able to tell you when you're nuts.

That's it. Good luck.