Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jews and booze

Despite the proximity in time, this it is not a Purim post. The title is that of a free talk at the Tenement Museum tomorrow, Thursday, March 1st. Find out more about the event at  http://www.examiner.com/jewish-bridal-in-new-york/jews-and-booze
To find out more about the topic, you can read this article from the Forward: "'Prohibition' Tells Changing Story of Jews in Americ." It includes quotes from Marni Davis, who is giving the talk.


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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Purim post from the past

though it still applies. http://www.examiner.com/jewish-bridal-in-new-york/good-will-and-good-works-on-purim
related post: http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2012/02/planning-for-mishloach-manos.html
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Planning for mishloach manos

I wrote about mishloach manos in terms of halacha and practice a few years back in this post: http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2008/03/thoughts-on-mishloach-manos.html For those of you who get overwhelmed by the prospect of sending something to everyone you know, consider sending only to one person according to the halachic requirement and sending the others a card from a tzedaka of your choice to show that you are thinking of them, too. Many organizations offer them now. If you don't have a favorite of your own , here's one:
 You can help needy families in Israel celebrate Purim by purchasing cards from Yad Eliezer. 
*Cards are available in English and Hebrew, cost $3 or 10NIS each, and come with envelopes.*
http://www.yadeliezer.org/llp12 for Purim Card and or donations

Follow me on Twitter @AriellaBrown and circle me at Google+ For wedding tips and insight, as well as recipes and practical advice, visit www.kallahmagazine.com

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rethink Redshirting

I discovered the term for this practice from reading Lise Eliot's Pink Brain, Blue Brain. 
Due to the fact that girls do mature somewhat faster, some parents feel their boys could be at a disadvantage in school with girls who have greater verbal development. Consequently, boys are more often selected by parents to start school later in the practice called redshirting.  

In fact, school principals and teachers often promote redshirting for girls, as well, either by advising parents of children near the cut off dates to hold the child back for the sake of better competitive advantage or by forcing the effect on everyone by arbitrarily moving up the cut off date, say from December to mid-October or even September. Despite their claims of expertise, they could be setting people on the wrong track: 

Whatever the motives, most research finds the practice of redshirting misguided. Although the older children in a class may have a modest advantage in kindergarten and the first few grades, their academic boost typically fades by later elementary school. There is also some evidence that children who were held back are more vulnerable to risk taking and other emotional and behavioral problems when they reach adolescence of their classmates.

Aside from that, it is possible that their on par performance that is due to being older than their classmates could conceal the fact that they have “true development delays or learning disabilities” that are better addressed earlier than later (144-145). 





For more points drawn from the book, see my longer post on it at http://uncommoncontent.blogspot.com/2012/02/what-are-little-girls-made-of.html

Related post: http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2008/09/betsy-is-not-understood.html


Follow me on Twitter @AriellaBrown and circle me at Google+ For wedding tips and insight, as well as recipes and practical advice, visit www.kallahmagazine.com

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pairing off online

I wrote a post about the latest research on online dating in Dating Data Analyzed
Related posts: http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2012/02/online-dating.html
http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2011/11/you-dont-marry-shidduch-resume.html
http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2010/05/love-lies-and-shidduchim.html

Also check out the study of lies in online profiles at http://www.psypost.org/2012/02/lovelorn-liars-leave-linguistic-leads-9835?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter


For a different kind of pairing online, read about the teaming up of General Mills and Meredith to market cereal with fitness goals.

Follow me on Twitter @AriellaBrown and circle me at Google+ For wedding tips and insight, as well as recipes and practical advice, visit www.kallahmagazine.com

Sabbath and Shabbos

I just read http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/02/we-dont-need-a-digital-sabbath-we-need-more-time/252317/, which throws in a few quotes on the Sabbath from Jewish authorities in light of escaping digital connection for the sake of real life connection. It's interesting to see how Shabbos is viewed from an outsider's perspective and to take note when people report the phenomenon of formerly shomer Shabbos people allowing themselves the infraction of online visits and chats (most likely derabannan, but still not quite a shvut de shvut bemakom mitzvah).

What constitutes kedushas hayom for Shabbos? Is it due to the positive mitzvos we associate with the commandment of "Zachor" -- the things we associate with Shabbos, like kiddush, challah, Shabbos clothes, etc. --  or with the prohibitions we associate with "Shamor" -- the notion of Sabbath as abstaining from work?
It is possible to simply take a day off and do no work or technical melacha without treating the day like a holy one as Shabbos is supposed to be.  But the question is if  the defining principle for kedusha stems from what you do or what you refrain from doing?

Rashi points out way back in the discussion of Shabbos Bereishis 2:3 that both the bracha and the kedusha of the day can be found in in the monn,  a concept that was written in Mechilta on Parshas Yithro.  Rashi says the bracha appears in the double portion that fell before and the kedusha aspect in the fact that no monn fell on the day itself, which seems to fit with the concept of kedusa registering through lack of melacha. 


 In http://divreichaim.blogspot.com/2012/01/kedushas-hayom-of-shabbos-definition-vs.html, R' Brown points out  Rav Wahrman's take on the essence of kedusha emanating from the prohibitions. He  says that the "melachos or techumin, are part of the definition of the kedushas hayom of shabbos.  The mitzvah of kiddush is a result, an outcome of there being a kedushas hayom -- i.e. since it is Shabbos, one must say kiddush, but the saying of kiddush does not define the day as shabbos. "


Now to return to the beginning of the post, what struck me is the definition of Sabbath as a time to deepen connections with others. Really, though, it is a time to deepen connection with spirituality.  We don't abstain from work because everyone needs to relax but to bring kedusha into our lives. 

Follow me on Twitter @AriellaBrown and circle me at Google+ For wedding tips and insight, as well as recipes and practical advice, visit www.kallahmagazine.com

Friday, February 10, 2012

Divrei Chaim: what made Yisro's "baruch Hashem" so special

Divrei Chaim: what made Yisro's "baruch Hashem" so special: "Vayichad Yisro al kol hatova" -- Rashi explains that Yisro got goosebumps because he felt the pain of the Egyptians who had been killed, o...

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Thursday, February 09, 2012

Bashert

The first issue of Kallah Magazine featured an article on bashert, which is archived here.
 The romantic delusions about finding "the One" or a soulmate can actually sabotage a relationship. That fact has been scientifically researched and documented, as I found in the new Psychological Science study on online dating:

One major problem with searching for one’s soulmate is that the belief that a partner must be a soulmate for a romantic relationship to succeed is associated with relationship dysfunction (Eidelson & Epstein, 1982; Epstein & Eidelson, 1981). Indeed, people with strong beliefs in romantic destiny (sometimes called soulmate beliefs)—that a relationship between two people either is or is not “meant to be”—are especially likely to exit a romantic relationship when problems arise (Franiuk, Cohen, & Pomerantz, 2002; Franiuk, Pomerantz, & Cohen, 2004; Knee, 1998; Knee & Bush, 2008) and to become vengeful in response to partner transgressions
when they feel insecure in the relationship (Finkel, Burnette, & Scissors, 2007). On the other hand, people with strong beliefs in romantic  growth (sometimes called work-it-out beliefs)—that happy relationships emerge from overcoming challenges—are especially likely to persist and succeed when confronting problems.
Destiny/soulmate beliefs have long been encouraged by themedia (Galician, 2004; Holmes, 2007), but the pervasiveness of online dating sites’ soulmate-related claims may well be exacerbating this general trend. Consistent with this possibility, a January 2011 poll indicated that 73% of Americans believe in soulmates, up from 66% six months earlier (MaristPoll, 2011). To be sure, a destiny/soulmate mindset predicts better outcomes when people believe that they have found their soulmate and when relationships are going well (Finkel et al., 2007; Franiuk et al., 2002; Knee, 1998; Knee & Bush, 2008). However, almost all romantic relationships eventually encounter significant stresses and strains (for a review, see Bradbury & Karney, 2010), which suggests that this mindset is likely to undermine relationship well-being over the long-run.

The key thing is not to use bashert in the negative way but in the positive. That is one should not say that if there are any bumps down the road in the relationship it indicates that it was not bashert: "I married the wrong person, which is why we're having problems." Rather one should see it as "I've married my bashert, and now it is up to us to make this the best relationship possible. 


related post: http://www.examiner.com/jewish-bridal-in-new-york/the-ultimate-marriage-manual

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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

George Eliot and black swans

http://uncommoncontent.blogspot.com/2012/02/on-unexpected.html

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All you need is ...

All you need is love, and maybe not even that

I got the link to this in my Twitter feed:
John Lennon’s hierarchy of needs is so much simpler than Maslow’s. No wonder Lennon was so popular.
Needs

Practically speaking, of course you can't live on love alone. But from the point of view of simplicity and focus, there actually is something to reducing all to one guiding principle. That is exactly what Hillel did in response to the person who demanded that he teach him all of Torah while the listener stood on one foot. Hillel's answer (which is sometimes misquoted as that of the principle that R' Akiva's  klal gadol baTorah "veahavta lereacha kamocha" [Love your neighbor as yourself]) was "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. The rest is commentary; go learn it."  So we do have a single guiding principle on which we peg the infinite wisdom of the Torah -- that you not do to another what you don't want done to yourself, even if you haven't yet achieved the level of true ahava [love] for another. Interesting that there are songs of ""veahavta lereacha kamocha," but none with the words of Hillel, though, admittedly, they don't have the same rhythm.

Related post: http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2008/03/rabbi-akiva-said-of-himself-that-before.html
http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2008/05/quality-of-infinity-and-pardes.html 


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Happy Tu B'Shvat





Monday, February 06, 2012

Online dating

The same name comes up in this article  as in the article I quoted in http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2011/11/you-dont-marry-shidduch-resume.html
According to Finkel, “developers of matching algorithms have tended to focus on the information that is easy for them to assess, like similarity in personality and attitudes, rather than the information that relationship science has found to be crucial for predicting long-term relationship well-being. As a result, these algorithms are unlikely to be effective.

Many online dating sites market their ability to offer online daters access to a huge number of potential partners. However, online profiles are a feeble substitute for face-to-face contact when it comes to the crucial task of assessing romantic chemistry. Furthermore, browsing through all those online profiles may overwhelm people or encourage them to treat their search more like shopping than mate-finding, which can lead singles to pass over potential partners who are actually well-suited to them.

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Math and marriage

Not the finances here. See the Gottman approach to figuring out what makes marriages succeed or fail in http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/gottman05/gottman05_index.html



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Sunday, February 05, 2012

Divrei Chaim: tefilah -- more on the cart vs. the horse

Divrei Chaim: tefilah -- more on the cart vs. the horse: Last post I suggested that according to the Mechilta, it was not the circumstance of being in the midbar that caused the mon to fall; it was...
Related post: http://kallahmagazine.blogspot.com/2009/02/making-sense-of-chazal.html

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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Work in New York?

If you're a freelancer, your tax situation may have just changed this year. Find out more by reading  the first post up on my new blog http://writewaypro.blogspot.com/

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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Mock kishke recipe

As per popular (if one counts as such) demand: http://www.examiner.com/jewish-bridal-in-new-york/mock-kishke-recipe

Get updates by liking http://www.facebook.com/KallahMagazine Follow me on Twitter @AriellaBrown and circle me at Google+ under the same name and picture. Also be sure to visit www.kallahmagazine.com and http://www.examiner.com/jewish-bridal-in-new-york/ariella-brown