Month: October 2019

Tempest in a Handshake

Writing and speaking in a public forum is exhilarating. That means it is both exciting and terrifying. When my husband or I put something out before a listening or reading audience, we sometimes find ourselves completely off target in how we think it will be received. It is as disconcerting to see stony faces after...

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Mommies to the Rescue

Watching a child hurt isn’t easy. Whether the pain is caused by a skinned knee or a broken heart, loving parents suffer along with their children. Parents’ instinctive reaction is to prevent or alleviate the child’s distress. Unfortunately, doing so can sometimes lead to deeper and longer-lasting misery in the future. I have (accurately or...

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I (Don’t) Wanna Shake Your Hand?

Lately, almost whenever I meet salespeople and also socially, people extend their hand to shake. As a woman I do not want to shake strangers’ hands. Recently a car salesman approached my husband and then me. I kept my hands behind my back and smiled at the salesman. He asked, “Do you not want to...

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Say it Once, Say it Twice…

America built three big, bold and beautiful bridges during a period of only 6 years.  In 1931, the George Washington Bridge leaped the Hudson River and linked Manhattan to New Jersey.  That same year brought us the Bayonne Bridge linking Staten Island to New Jersey and in 1937 San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge opened. Three...

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When Satire Becomes Reality

What adjective is associated with British humor—or humour, to spell it more appropriately? Surely, the answer is ‘dry,’ though other than saying that one knows it when one hears it, I’m not sure what the technical definition of dry humor is. However you describe it, my husband is a master at it. For this reason...

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My Mother-in-Law is Impossible

Dear Rabbi and Susan Lapin, Do you have some wisdom for me?  My mother-in-law has been a constant strain on our marriage.  To give an example:  This last weekend we made a special trip to an amusement park where we joined up with my in-laws.  While we were there,  my mother-in-law did everything she could...

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Yo Ho Ho – a Pirate’s Life for Me

In the early 1600s, Rabbi Samuel Palache, president of Neveh Shalom Synagogue in Amsterdam, was also a pirate.  With authorization from Dutch and British authorities, he preyed on Spanish ships. A hundred years earlier Spain had cruelly expelled his family, along with all other Spanish Jews. I relate to the roving rabbi. For half the...

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Stitch by Stitch

Quilting is not in my blood. I possess no antique quilts handed down through the generations nor do I have fond memories of my mother and aunts socializing as they pieced together a quilt top. Nonetheless, I have been hanging out in the fabric store, reading quilting magazines and dreaming about quilt patterns. My interest...

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Library Shaming?

I have an emotional attachment to libraries.  When I was young, our family didn’t have a car. Before I was old enough to travel by myself, my mother regularly took me on the bus to the library. I was a voracious reader and there was an absurd limit on the number of books one could...

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She’s offering me security. Is that enough?

I am in my late 30s and not doing so well financially (but that’s absolutely about to change having come in contact with your teachings). I am currently with a lady who is 5 years older than myself and doing pretty well for herself. Should I for financial security settle down with her even though...

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