When I was in junior high school, I read the book Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse and became fascinated with the idea of setting forth on my own spiritual quest. During spring vacations, when our family would drive from Chicago to Florida, I began the practice of looking out the window at various landscapes trying to find the perfect place for me to live like a hermit and reach enlightenment. The minimum requirements included a grassy area by a stream and a tree. My requirements for a hotel in Florida, however, included a vending machine and a swimming pool. As I got older, my spiritual search led me away from trips to Boca to treks in the Himalayas where my soul soared in the heart of Buddhist teachings while the rest of my body kvetched from the affects of altitude. From Nepal to Bhutan, I saw myself as an adventurer and seeker, always looking out for that perfect moment of Nirvana, just around the corner, or keeping a watchful eye for the perfect Buddhist monk or nun with a shaved head who would, through word or action, invite me into the world of enlightenment.
I’ve amassed a list of common dating sins based on my own experience as both a victim and a perpetrator and paired them with some of my favorite kosher wines for wrapping it up, righting the wrongs, and starting fresh in 5772. L’Chaim!
Whether you believe in common interests or opposites attracting, we’ve always measured a relationship by preferred hobbies. I once had a girl break up with me because she liked to go hiking and I’m not outdoorsy, and she liked a glass of wine with dinner and I don’t drink. When she ended things, I suggested that I’d build her a bar in the woods. What was she going to do, break up with me twice?
Summertime and gorgeous fruit is plentiful. Bright colors and a garden of aromatic scents fill markets and farm stands. It is easy to go crazy and over purchase when the produce looks so good.
At its most basic level, the marriage of science and relationships has taught us that we find beauty in youthful traits (big eyes, shiny hair, lush lips); that bad boys are attractive because the same high testosterone levels that make them the alpha-male type also lends the promise of passing that on to their offspring and that men love curvy women because it shows higher levels of fertility.
One of my favorite preparations of eggplant is Caponata. Caponata is a Sicilian dish similar to a chopped and cooked vegetable salad. Sicilian cuisine is complex and owes its use of many flavors and influences to its diverse history and demographics. Many Sicilian dishes have Jewish roots and come from Jews taken as slaves after Israel’s destruction thousands of years ago.
I have been dating a woman for a few months now. I’m a substitute teacher seeking a full time job. I also work as a pet sitter and in a retail store part time. I barely make $30,000 a year. She is a pharmaceutical rep for 25 years making at least six figures. She thought she could get past my wages and not having my own place, but it eats her up inside. She is afraid she has fallen for me, and I have fallen for her. Now she is asking to just be friends.
All summer I wait for the start of tomato season. Ripe, juicy and in-season tomatoes taste like sunshine and summer. They are fruity and incomparably rich and refreshing. Supermarket tomatoes have no flavor and are starchy. I do not ever use them in recipes and just wait it out until the real thing comes in season. If you have never tried an in-season, fresh off the vine tomato, I insist that you find a farm stand or farmer’s market and pick some up. When you purchase fresh tomatoes, do not put them in the refrigerator. All that wonderful sugar that is a natural part of the tomato will convert to starch in the refrigerator. That is why store bought tomatoes have a grainy texture and are flavorless. The usually travel great distances in refrigerator trucks and then are store in the stores coolers. YUCK! Purchase fresh, off the vine tomatoes as close to the date you need them to insure the best flavor.
You want your wedding to be the event of the century, right? Your guests should regroup at the following Friday’s Shabbat oneg in the temple’s banquet hall and gush about what an affair the ___stein and ___berg wedding was, yes? Your mother’s mahjong group will hardly get to the game at hand because they’re so busy yenta-ing about the celebration of her daughter’s big day, isn’t that so? Well, all this can come true with a few things to think about when it comes to making the wedding of your dreams for you and avoiding all nightmares for your guests.
Mensch (which can also be spelled mentsh—the more correct romanization of the Yiddish) comes straight from German, where it means man or mankind. As the Yiddish saying goes, “a mentsh tracht und Gott lacht” [Man plans and God laughs]. Along the way, mensch picked up other meanings. A second meaning that has passed from usage is as a synonym for servant. To be somebody’s mensch was once used as a slur by Yiddish writers such as Sholem Aleichem and David Pinski.