Thursday, October 30, 2008

Homeschooling

A very good discussion about it within the frum community is posted on http://orthonomics.blogspot.com/2008/10/guest-post-homeschooling-thank-you-to-r.html

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

the one in a thousand

for honesty. I am in the throes of making sales calls for the winter issue of Kallah Magazine. I just had to report that there was one person who voluntarily told me what he pays for his ads currently after exclaiming on how reasonable my magazine's ad prices are. I do appreciate his honesty because most people will just automatically say, "that is too high" just to try to haggle me down. They will claim that they are paying less for their current ads or that they always get a particularly high discount off the rate card and expect the same from me. You see, others send out higher prices so that their customers can feel that they've "won" when they get the discount that brings the price down to what the publisher had in mind in the first place. For example the man I spoke with told me he pays $450, and that price is presented as a break on the "actual" price of $500.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bereishis on marriage

When Adam finds his mate in Chava, he exclaims, "zos hapa'am, etzem meatazamya ubasar mibesari, lazos yikare isha ki meish lukacha zos." He stresses that the woman is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh and so should be called isha [woman] because she is taken from ish [man] (2: 23). This is followed by a narrator's comment that clearly does not apply to our first couple who were not born from other parents, "al ken ya'azov ish es aviv ve'es imo vedavak beishto vehayu lebasar echad. [Therefore, a man will leave his father and his mother and will cleave onto his wife, and they will be one flesh.] This verse is the source for forbidden marital relationships for b'nei Noah as recorded in Sanhedrin. So we go from the realization of the first couple to the prohibition of incest. It occurred to me that there is a logic to the juxtapositon. If Adam's stress is that he knows this is the right wife for him because he and she stem from the same stock, one may think that it follows that those of the same family should be ideally suited as husband and wife. Therefore, the Torah follows with a warning that a man should leave his family home when becoming a husband to cleave to a wife not of his immediate family. That is my observation on that verse in context.

On its own, though, the injunction, al ken ya'azov ish es aviv ve'es imo vedavak beishto vehayu lebasar echad can be read as marriage advice. After one marries, he must stick with his wife above all others. That would mean that he does not force her into the mold of his own mother, nor should he attempt to copy the pattern set by his father. He has to leave them behind and form his own household, a new creation made by his wife and himself. I would also think that the verse would make it clear how to prioritize conflicts that may arise between in-laws. I intend to do a post on in-laws shortly.

Friday, October 17, 2008

gym lessons, ethics and manners

My girls are members of a children's gym. When they came back from it today, one daughter reported that my youngest one hit another child with a ball. Let me clarify that this was an accident that her older sister attributes to her poor aim. How poor her aim is debatable. But one point that was not debatable in my mind is the necessity for her to apologize to the child she hit. I was very reassured to learn that she did even though it was at the behest of the manager. He was quite right to "make her," to use my daughter's term as I was not present to "make her" do it myself. Causing someone else to be hit, hurt, or pushed is wrong even without malicious intent. The same goes for depriving someone of sleep by engaging in noisy activities such as using power tools after 11 PM. The fact that anyone would think otherwise simply astounds me.

The concept of being dan lekaf zchus is to give the other person the benefit of the doubt, like, s/he may have had a bad day and just been frustrated in general when s/he snapped at you and did not mean it as a personal affront. Nevertheless, the act of snapping, hitting, disturbing, or whatever, even without intent to harm should be recognized as something to be avoided. And there is a real categorical difference between shogeg and ones. The exoneration of Rachmana patreonly applies to the latter.
See http://divreichaim.blogspot.com/2008/10/immeasurable-value-of-hachanos-for.html

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Seeking some Sukkoth inspiration?


For menu and decorating ideas (all perfect for those among us who are budget conscious) see the creative tips, tutorials, and printable signs from a blogger who is full of fresh ideas at http://blog.jugglingfrogs.com/2008/10/sukkot-shmini-atzeret-meal-planners-for.html

The top slot, or some shameless self-promotion

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The above it today's Google search result for "kallah." www.kallahmagazine.com usually in the top 3-5 hits, but once in a while it holds the number one slot. BTW I do not pay for the placement.