Musings from an Orthodox Jewish work at home mom of twins with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Archive for the ‘Jewish Community’ Category

You Two Are In WAY Over Your Heads….

In the category of “hilariously ridiculously things said to my husband in the Jewish community— thankfully it’s not a LOT of people, just a few— but boy are they noisy”:

My husband got ps’icha 2 weeks in a row (an honor SOMETIMES given to husbands of women about to give birth but that’s not ALWAYS the case). I’m NOT pregnant and nobody thinks I am—- sometimes it’s just an honor and they want to give it to someone active in the synagogue. So this yokel says to my husband “I CERTAINLY hope your wife isn’t pregnant because you two are in WAY over your heads as it is.”

He heard my son scream. ONCE. For a few seconds. And has since called my husband a piece of …. poop.  (the nasty word.) I hear my son scream multiple times a day every day. I think I know why THIS guy was not blessed with the likes of my (very awesome) son.

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Davening Stereotypes

Just because it’s funny.

He’s Gotta Get It Somewhere

I just can’t BELIEVE the things people say to my husband and how little respect he gets.

Today a student sat on his lap (a middle school boy!) because there weren’t enough chairs in the room.  The student was told it was inappropriate so the student said “hey, the guy only has 2 kids— he’s gotta get it somewhere!”

Sometimes my husband wears colored shirts to school.  Or a colorful tallis during davening.  The rich parents are complaining.  If regular parents complain in a private school, nothing happens.  If the RICH parents complain, people get in trouble— for NOTHING.  Tell me where in halacha it says men can’t wear colored shirts.  Or a nice tallis with color.

And because he wears such things, he’s now being called Lipa.  Lipa!

Lately the difference in middos between different schools has been eating at me and I just need to VENT.

I Know Why Moshiach Isn’t Here Yet

Moshiach isn’t here yet because he doesn’t know whether to wear a kippah srugah, a velvet yarmulke, black and white clothing, colored clothing…. or if she is a woman (I know, I know)— whether to wear stockings with a seam, a shaitel, a hat, a snood, a tichel……   I have a very “WHY can’t we all just GET ALONG” attitude about Judaism and my husband seems to attract the crazies!!!!!  JUST THIS WEEK:

1) Three different parents from a more “right wing” school have spoken to my husband about him working at a more “left wing” school (he had worked in the past at the more “right wing” school).  He’s gotten comments such as these.  “Have you been demoted?”  “Has your student gone off the derech yet?  It’s only a matter of time if he goes to ___ school”.  “Why did your student’s parents switch him to a non frum school?”  (It IS frum, just more left wing than the other school— sheesh— and at any rate, why the #$%#$% is it anyone’s business why a kid goes to a particular school?  Parents know their child best.)

2) One parent kept going on and on so my husband said how great it is to work at a school where the students have the opportunity to make a parnassah.  Well ok my husband should have kept his mouth shut but apparently the other man almost beat up my husband for saying that men should work for a living and not sit in kollel.  He then told him that attitudes like his bring down our neighborhood and he should move to another neighborhood.   Um, right, because EVERY man in this neighborhood should learn in kollel.  Yeah—- I see their wives are all making $100,000 a year— not.  How about supporting yourselves and not living off of government assistance as you decide to have as many children as you want?

Enough already, people.  LIVE AND LET LIVE.  HaShem has too many assistants.

It’s my blog and I’ll vent if I want to.

 

Editing to add a bunch of similar stuff from a previous post— may as well stick all of this crud together in one post to keep track of it all— might write a book someday about how to get along with different groups of Jews and not make yourself sound like a total asshole.

Just the STUPID ridiculous things people have said to us this summer about our kids and/or about my mother in law dying.  Here’s a fun sampling.  PS— the ones that involve Orthodox Jews?  I’ve been asked to stop posting about those on facebook because of Chillul HaShem.  You know what’s Chillul HaShem in my book?  People not being aware that people of all colors, shapes, sizes, and yes, religions can be ASSHOLES.  Sorry for the language but it’s my blog and I’ve got to curse.  Read on.

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1)  When my husband takes one of our kids for a walk in the special needs stroller and walks by a particular house, a bratty kid (unsupervised of course) says….  “WALK MUCH?”   Another group of kids (with the father right there not saying anything because he can’t stand our kids even more than his children) says….  “baby baby…. goo goo gaaa gaaaa”.  Yep, fellow Orthodox Jews.

2)  When my husband asked a man at the zoo to please stop staying at our son (who was screaming “I AM A PSYCHO!”), he got punched.  HARD.  In the stomach.  (my husband, not my son.  But still!)

3)  Right to my husband’s face  “is your son still a freak?”

4)  At synagogue my husband was told he shouldn’t say kaddish for his mother because she didn’t believe in God.    Nobody said anything because the person who said it learns full time (in Orthodox Judaism the men who learn full time and don’t work for a living are held to a very high regard by many.  Me personally?  I’m FINE with men learning full time ***IF*** they can do it without Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, section 8, and all the rest because sucking off the government is not “making it” financially nor is it supporting your wife and family.)  So when someone saves for years in order to enter Kollel I think it’s wonderful.  How often does THAT happen?!?!

5)  I think the extreme idiot award goes to the person calling himself an Orthodox Jew who told my husband his mother died because he shaved off his beard like a goy (deragatory word for non-Jew). (my husband follows Rabbi Moshe Feinstein who wrote about how men living in America can shave their beards for particular reasons while being Orthodox Jews).

6)  During shiva, a tzedakah organization called for money. Hubby said no, he’s sitting shiva. They called back and left a message and an email. The email said that she died SO THAT he’d have a chance to donate to a worthy organization—- guess who is never getting a penny from us!??!?!? what is WITH people?

Seriously?

I haven’t blogged since May.  Seriously?

Here’s what you missed.  Wilma KILLED my finger.  Got 3 xrays– it wasn’t broken– “just” a bad sprain.  But that bad sprain hurt worse than many of the broken bones I’ve had in my life (all my broken bones have been on purpose through surgery- never by accident– funny that.)  It’s been about 10 weeks now and I’m starting to have days where I don’t notice the pain at all.  Until I try to bend it.  ugh.

My mother in law died.  She had battled lupus for over a decade valiantly— we all knew this was coming.  Except that we didn’t.  We all thought we’d get another year or two out of her— everytime she was hospitalized we figured she’d make it back to the nursing home and we’d still have more time.  So we were all very shaken up.  She had gotten out of the nursing home after 10 months and had been living at home for 35 days when she was hospitalized for a listeria infection (she was prone to every infection).  She got pneumonia and respiratory distress and we STILL thought we weren’t losing her. But then the internal bleeding started and the doctors stopped all medications except for morphine and told my father in law that the time was coming that week.

Shiva was surreal.  In our home we had a million chairs, an Aron and Torah, tables, siddurim, a candle burning for a week, minyanim three times a day, and the kids were out of sorts to say the least.  Picture me upstairs every morning at 7:00 am saying “shhhhh the men are trying to daven– you CANNOT yell tushy!”.  The community cooked dinners for us for a week (good thing— I had to do all the camp schlepping, all the laundry, all the dishes, EVERYTHING— hubby wasn’t allowed out of the chair for a week except to go to the bathroom).  If you’re unfamiliar with Orthodox Jewish mourning customs I encourage you to google.  It’s fascinating.  Comforting and CRAZY at the same time.  I don’t remember five minutes of calm that week.  Whenever a minyan wasn’t happening, visitors were.

Camp SUCKED this summer and the kids aren’t going back next year.  I mean it this time.  Fred got Hand Foot and Mouth disease on a Friday (no camp on Fridays) so we kept him home from camp that Monday.  Camp nurse calls to send Wilma home.  She’d been exposed.  It’s not the plague, people.  So she said I’d need a doctor’s note to send both kids back the next day.  Rushed them both to the doctor on Monday afternoon after getting her.  Got the note— she didn’t have it and he was no longer contagious.  Sent them both Tuesday.  Got the call again— they didn’t like the look of his rash and he needed to stay home for a week.  So I kept her home on Monday for being exposed, and kept him home for a week for a no longer contagious rash.  That’s the kind of summer we had with this place.  The DUMBEST projects came home after they asked me for an explanation of where they are academically and I gave it to them in writing—- they had them doing preschool level worksheets.  Daily.  And watching movies.  Daily.  There is exactly one AFFORDABLE special needs camp on this side of town and I’m DONE with it.  Next summer– camp Mommy?  ugh.  There was a month between camp and school (that month ends this coming Monday) and I feel like a truck ran me over.  In order to send them to a “typical” camp I’d have to come up with tuition for 2 kids and $$$ for two one on one aides for 2 kids.  In order to send them to another special needs camp I’d have to pay more money or shlepp them to the other side of town.

But what’s on my mind this week is the title of this post…. .SERIOUSLY?  Just the STUPID ridiculous things people have said to us this summer about our kids and/or about my mother in law dying.  Here’s a fun sampling.  PS— the ones that involve Orthodox Jews?  I’ve been asked to stop posting about those on facebook because of Chillul HaShem.  You know what’s Chillul HaShem in my book?  People not being aware that people of all colors, shapes, sizes, and yes, religions can be ASSHOLES.  Sorry for the language but it’s my blog and I’ve got to curse.  Read on.

********************************************************

1)  When my husband takes one of our kids for a walk in the special needs stroller and walks by a particular house, a bratty kid (unsupervised of course) says….  “WALK MUCH?”   Another group of kids (with the father right there not saying anything because he can’t stand our kids even more than his children) says….  “baby baby…. goo goo gaaa gaaaa”.  Yep, fellow Orthodox Jews.

2)  When my husband asked a man at the zoo to please stop staying at our son (who was screaming “I AM A PSYCHO!”), he got punched.  HARD.  In the stomach.  (my husband, not my son.  But still!)

3)  Right to my husband’s face  “is your son still a freak?”

4)  At synagogue my husband was told he shouldn’t say kaddish for his mother because she didn’t believe in God.    Nobody said anything because the person who said it learns full time (in Orthodox Judaism the men who learn full time and don’t work for a living are held to a very high regard by many.  Me personally?  I’m FINE with men learning full time ***IF*** they can do it without Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, section 8, and all the rest because sucking off the government is not “making it” financially nor is it supporting your wife and family.)  So when someone saves for years in order to enter Kollel I think it’s wonderful.  How often does THAT happen?!?!

5)  I think the extreme idiot award goes to the person calling himself an Orthodox Jew who told my husband his mother died because he shaved off his beard like a goy (deragatory word for non-Jew). (my husband follows Rabbi Moshe Feinstein who wrote about how men living in America can shave their beards for particular reasons while being Orthodox Jews).

6)  During shiva, a tzedakah organization called for money. Hubby said no, he’s sitting shiva. They called back and left a message and an email. The email said that she died SO THAT he’d have a chance to donate to a worthy organization—- guess who is never getting a penny from us!??!?!? what is WITH people?

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That’s all for now– just needed to get those tidbits off my chest.  I have PLENTY more to say on various topics so I WILL try to blog more frequently…….

 

 

Self Improvement? – I’m Jewish!

Something new I want to start doing on this blog is making note of specific concepts/ stories/ gleanings I’m getting from books I’m reading. You’ll notice that books I read are about Judaism, autism, or business. First up is a Jewish book: Self Improvement? – I’m Jewish! by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D. (LOVE this Rabbi—- a psychiatrist AND a Rabbi. An Orthodox Jewish professional who approves of secular education, and mental illness not being hidden due to potential shidduch concerns).

On prayer: “There is a story about a person who, beginning weeks before Passover, laboriously cleaned his house for the festival, and cleansed his kitchen from chometz to the point of surgical sterility. On the last day of Passover he discovered that in the well from which he had drawn his water during all of Passover there was a loaf of bread floating on the surface. Broken hearted, he asked his rabbi why he had fallen victim to this transgression, especially since he had exerted so much effort and energy to avoid chometz. The rabbi explained, ‘the prevalence of chometz all year round makes it physically impossible to eliminate it totally be unaided human effort. You tried very hard indeed, but you forgot to pray to G-d to make your efforts successful. Had you prayed for Divine assistance, then all the work you had done would have been blessed. By failing to pray, you indicated that you thought you could do it yourself, and so you were shown that you were wrong.”

On teshuvah: “Rambam states that proper teshuvah is achieved when G-d will testify that this person will never again repeat the sinful act. This statement elicited a question from many commentaries, that inasmuch as the Divine foreknowledge does not determine a person’s behavior, and a person always has complete freedom to choose to do either right or wrong, how can G-d testify that someone will never again do a particular sin? This appears to contradict the principle of total free will. I was provided with the answer to this by a man who delivered a talk on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his sobriety. He said ‘the man I once was drank, and the man I once was will drink again. I am sober today because I am not the same person who drank. If I ever go back to being that person, I will drink again.'”

On community: “The Torah states that Israel will be so strong that five of you will pursue one hundred of your enemies, and one hundred of you will pursue then thousand. Rashi notes that these figures are not mathematically correct, because if five pursue one hundred, the ration is then that one hundred will pursue two thousand, rather than ten thousand. Rashi answers that there is strength in numbers, and that the relationship is exponential rather than linear. Five may subdue one hundred, but one hundred people working together can triumph over ten thousand. Individuals involved in altering a self-destructive lifestyle should therefore seek each other out and work together toward their common goal.”

Mah Nishtanah- 4 questions by the Aspie Son

LOVE THIS!

Hattip:  http://ponderingprose.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/mah-nishtanah/

 

Mah Nishtanah – Four Questions by the Aspie Son
Written from the perspective of a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome

Published in: Spirit Magazine, and Inyan – Hamodia’s Weekly Magazine – Passover Edition, Spring 2011

“Mommy, everybody is looking. I don’t want to say this out loud, can I go in the kitchen?”

“Tatte Layben, I… Ma! If Zeidy is here by the seder, then I think I should say Zeide Layben”.

“Zeide Layben… Ma! Zeidy is alive, and everybody can see that. Why do I have to announce it?”

“Zeide, ich vil bei dir fregen di fir kashes…

Mah Nishatana Halayla Hazeh… Why is this night different from all other nights? On all the other nights I can eat my rice cake that I eat every night, this time. But tonight, and on this night only… (Ma! We eat matzah the entire Pesach, why do I have to say on this night only?!)…more than any other night, why do we have to eat potato? You know it’s soft and mushy and I hate the way it feels in my mouth? And then when I do swallow it, I can’t drink again until after the next Kos, after saying mah nishtanah?

Why is this night different from all other nights? On all the other nights I can sit with my comfortable shabbos shirt, the one that is made to look like a shirt but is really a t-shirt, the one that has no seams or labels? Why on this night do I have to wear this itchy glittery shirt that I made with the O.T. by therapy? My fingers got all sticky from the glue and I had glitter on my eyelids for three days and three nights. And also, I think there are some rabbonim who hold that glue is chometz! And people might not know that glitter is made of very small, 1 mm pieces of paper, glass or plastic painted in metallic, neon and iridescent colors to reflect light in a sparkling spectrum. Glitter was invented by Henry Ruschmann. This is really very interesting! Which reminds me of the next question…

Why is this night different from all other nights? On all the other nights I keep my salad dry without dressing because I hate dressing and nobody forces me anymore. But tonight, and on this night only, and also tomorrow night at the second seder because we are in galus and in chutz l’aretz, not like the people who in Eretz Yisroel have only one seder each year. In America, we have two, and also if an American goes to Israel for Yom Tov, they must have two sedarim. That’s why I don’t want to go to Israel on Yom Tov because it would make me feel all mixed up inside and my brain would feel all funny and I would see everything in jumping zig-zags and I would get very upset and I would have to make that noise with my mouth because it feels better afterwards. I would much rather have two seders over here, as long as I can stay in the kitchen. And, also, if I can have my romaine lettuce dry, without being forced to dip it in the charoses, which is very old apples and are already brown, and brown is my worst color.

Why is this night different from all other nights? On all the other nights I can sit on my special chair by the wall in the kitchen, where nobody can touch me or breathe near my plate, but tonight, and also tomorrow night, we have to eat reclined, and that means I would be touching Ari’s chair. If I touch Ari’s chair, I will touch Ari’s right leg and I know he will kick me. Last year in Bubby’s house he kicked me after the third kos, and when I was third grade, I was leaning on cousin Chaim from Lakewood who was 14 then, and he almost kicked me but I hated touching him because I was worried that I would get too close to his beard. His beard looked like it would be prickly and it would make me feel like I need to run to my room and bang my head for a long long long time. And then my therapist will get upset that I didn’t do the brushing exercise.

Ma! When is this over? Can I stop saying Mah Nishtana and drink some grape juice now?”

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