Say the word slave and the immediate image that comes to mind is a man or woman bound in shackles, possibly cowering under a whip. Modern day slavery is often far more subtle–the chains are perhaps death threats (to the enslaved or their family) or withheld documentation in a foreign country. Jewish Treats presents some Jewish thoughts on this issue that are appropriate for Human Trafficking Awareness Day 2012.
Some men distinguish themselves by being great scientists, statesmen, artists. I was a woman’s last online dating hope. I did not choose or go after this “honor” – it was bestowed upon me by Kathy, whom I met on JDate. Kathy informed me that her experiences meeting online dates in person had been so horrible, so traumatic, so soul-draining, that she decided to give the process just one more chance. She’d decided to meet one more guy before removing herself from online dating for all eternity – and I happened to be the guy; the last guy she was going to meet; her final chance for online romance.
We all remember The Peanuts gang with Charlie Brown and all of his buddies. Well, when it comes to hygiene there are just too many men and even women who resemble Pig-Pen…he walked around with a circle of dust constantly swirling about his person. Eewww!
One might not think that Jewish Treats would have much to say about “Peculiar People Day,” as January 10th has been dubbed by those who create new holidays. However, the sages were so aware of a person’s natural reaction to those who are different, that special blessings were designated for just such occasions: Blessed is He who makes strange creatures (for those who are so from birth) and Blessed be the true Judge (for those whose appearance was altered after birth). These blessings remind us that all creatures are God’s handiwork and deserve honor and respect.
I am now the wife and mother I always dreamed I’d be, with a wonderful husband who I would never have met, if not for that JDate party.
Jewish Treats presents to you another local Purim, a day on which one small community commemorates a particularly life-saving event. Purim Hebron, also known as “Window Purim.” Sadly, the community that initially experienced the events of Hebron Purim no longer exists, as the Jews of Hebron suffered so greatly from a pogrom in 1929 that the city was, for many years, virtually bereft of any Jewish population.
As discussed in the previous column, empathy alone does not necessarily make people take action on behalf of others – much less the kind of conscious action that leads to transformation. Feelings in and of themselves are just not strong enough – particularly when other factors are in play (outer pressure, inconvenience, ideology, direct orders from others, etc.).
Most people shy away from stating political views in their profiles – but that looks like a big mistake. It may attract more dates, but long marriages tend to be among partners with similar political ideologies.
It is required by Jewish law that the body of one who has passed away be buried as quickly and as completely as possible, meaning that the entire body (or as much of the remains as possible), including internal organs and blood, be buried together. The most basic understanding of this rule is that in this way one shows respect for the dead, which is an absolute priority in Jewish law. However, the more esoteric reason for this law is the resurrection of the dead.
2012 is here. As you plunge into the New Year, take this moment of surging optimism and energy to revive your spirit and discover new and better versions of what you can be.