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December 25, 2010
January 15, 2012 3:09 AM
This video is a year old......has anything changed??
Why couldnt you do the morning carpools...I doubt your too busy between 7-8 AM......then others can do the afternoon carpools. Ten minutes is huge in the morning......you say it as if its nothing. My children wouldnt be too happy if I told them that they must get up 10 minutes earlier in the mornings.....and yes, they are good kids!!
fariba mesriani nahamou,
April 4, 2011 6:11 AM
I like your idea very much
January 25, 2011 5:16 PM
chill out and take your friends' kids home!
twenty minutes is nothing for chesed in a 24 hour day! whatever the reason your friend is unable to take her kids home - it doesnt mean her priorities are off or that she doesnt spend time with her kids. for some people its harder to get out of the house. the reason doesnt matter!!! IF your able to do take the kids home - help their mother (your friend)!!! if you were unable wouldnt you want someone to help you?? as for missing snack, bring something in the car for your kids and teach them to help others in need. Even if you are unable to understand the reason for not being able to take their kids home. you dont necesarily know the whole reason and everyone ios different. At some point you will also need a favor done to you even if its not about carpool. Wouldnt you want somene to step up and help you with whatever is needed without making a fuss??!?!?!
January 15, 2012 1:12 PM
At some point you will also need a favor.....
A favor is once in a while....this request sounded like everyday!!! It just seemed to me that Lori was putting her mission in life above everyone elses.......correct me if I'm wrong....shouldnt your kids come before your job? An occasionally favor is certainly OK!!
January 8, 2011 5:53 PM
chessed is when you can
I'm thrilled to have all our kids on school bus service. And when I carpool for after-school activities, we have an understanding not of coming out even, but being flexible and helpful. But I could see how the morning rush or any part of the daily grind could be a tough time to add on a routine chessed.
So what happens when there are more needs for chessed that come to your door, than you can reasonably fulfill? Nowadays many of us live a fast-paced, almost self-centered lifestyle. We do our mitzvot, but have no breathing room for an extra chessed. Then one comes our way that might put us over the edge - what is the responsible response? Reengineer our lives right then, or guard our sanity above all else and just say no?
January 8, 2011 12:42 AM
It's only 10 minutes there and 10 minutes back
Well...10 minutes can mean that your child has to skip a snack, the parent has to rush and possibly get a traffic ticket, get into an accident. When I picked up another child that took "only" an extra 10 minutes per day for 6 weeks, that meant that my daughter had only 10 minutes afterschool instead of 20 to go to the bathroom and have a snack. When I am asked to pick up someone in the morning that means that all 3 of my kids have to get up 10 minutes earlier and I don't know about you, but that means I have to pack 3 lunches with 10 minutes less time and I may not be able to brush my teeth. i don't know about you, Lori, but 10 minutes is GOLDEN to me!
January 15, 2012 2:58 AM
Every minute in the morning is precious!! It goes by so fast!!
January 6, 2011 4:47 PM
There are many factors when deciding whether to carpool or not and you should not make a blanket statement when someone is unable. I have 3 children 5 years apart, ages 5 through 15 and they attend 3 different schools and have varied activities, playdates, needs. I have managed by myself for the most part until recently when my oldest was involved with athletics and theatre that required long hours and very long distance driving. I am the kind of person who does not like to ask for help and usually my husband is the one who is my back up guy and will re arrange his schedule to accomodate our children. Recently, one parent asked me to carpool with her and I tried it out for a week. I felt that just because I am a stay at home mom and she is a working parent that I have all the flexibility in the world. She will have her daughter (who barely knows me) call me up for a ride or facebook my daughter to see if she can hitch a ride with me. I just don't like the manner in which I have been approached. I have carpooled with working moms and have gone that 10 minutes out of my way to pick up their child, because I felt that I was treated with respect for my time. People will do things more willingly if they are asked with regard to the other person's time and energy. There are numerous factors that you can just discount and brush aside and blame it on the inability or care to do something kind. It goes both ways.
January 4, 2011 6:40 PM
You spoke with entitlement
Lori, the reason why everyone including me totally disagrees with you is that you spoke with disdain about anyone who dared say no to your request for absolute chesed. You spoke here with a 'holier than thou' attitude. It's one thing to ask for chesed and make your case for it, but it's quite another to expect it and look down on others who choose not to provide it, esp. when it is based on valid reasons.
January 4, 2011 6:39 PM
I want to speak up for the truly wonderful women I have carpooled with for the past twenty-two years. I want to publicly thank them for helping me get my six children to school and back, in good weather and bad, for so many years. I have probably carpooled with about a hundred families, (only one of which lives West of Bathurst Street) and many of the people I know I have met through carpool. They have been able to switch days with me countless times when it has helped me so much. I want to single out for praise the women who drove for me when I was in Aveil, when I had new babies, and especially when I was in Aveil and had a new baby and they just took over my carpools for more than a week and said don't worry about it when I wanted to pay them back. I also want to mention the four fantastic neighbours and mothers of my son's friends, who, when I said my son couldn't go to evening basketball because I was at a stage where I wouldn't be able to do any carpool for it at all, said that's ok, we'll all take him anyway. It's been a wonderful ride.
Re: the extra twenty minutes- understand that four other families must have that extra time to commit to every week. Plus their tired children at the end of the day, and especially their children who have to wake up twenty minutes earlier every day. Knowing how difficult it can be for some children to wake up early in the morning, I don't even know if it's fair for parents to volunteer their children's time in this way. I know carpool is difficult; it has been for me too. But you're not asking one person for twenty minutes twice a week. There are eight people involved, many of whom cannot afford the time.
January 4, 2011 2:14 AM
pay it forward
I was very blessed. A few years ago, a friend of mine, who worked near my daughter's school, offered to drive my daughter to and from school, as I had twin infants at home. She did this for 3 years. She never asked for anything in return. This year I am fortunate to pay forward the favor to another mother who has a young child at home. I drive her boys home once a week. Maybe if we all looked at carpool differently we could really make a difference and pay the chesed forward.
December 31, 2010 2:55 PM
Yes, I agree. Carpool is a great opportunit yfor chesed I also was in a carpool in which a member was extremely strict about arriving exactly on time. I
got out of that carpool, and i try to dan Lkaf zechus, if someone can't do it or is late, etc. I also couldn't get in a carpool because we lived a bit out of the way. I sometimes tell the boys:"just invite me to your wedding someday!" One boy always told me thank you. It was such a pleasure to hear. I may not have carpal tunnel syndrome, but I probably do have carpool tunnel! (just joking)
December 31, 2010 7:25 AM
I am astounded at the vitriole in the comments to this video message. In my child's religious school carpool I was the driver, twice a week for five years. I left my job, picked up my child from school, drove (5 minutes extra, out of the way) to pick up two other children, and took them to school. I returned to work and then picked up my child and went home. The other mother NEVER offered to drive my child home, and her work location didn't make taking the children remotely possible. I considered myself lucky that I was in the position to have a flexible "lunch" hour to do the carpooling. I also had an opportunity to show my child that we help when we can, and it was clear that without my ride these other children would not have had a religious school education. Out of the way, yes; a burden, yes; valuable, absolutely. How blessed is my life that I could do this!!! We all want the maximum time with our children, but do we want to teach selfishness during that time? Please remember that they learn how to treat people and how to behave by our actions, and that will come to include how they treat us, the parents, as they become adults.
December 31, 2010 4:46 AM
Been there, Done that and Appreciate the help
Needing a carpool does not make one a mother that doesn't give to her children, "It takes a village to raise a child". Carpools are sometimes a necessity depending on our schedules. I, like Lori, do not live right where everyone else lives, but Thank G-d, have been able to find carpools that would come to our house. Last year, one of my carpools was not as accomodating as I really needed - but I did not ask for more. When my child had an accident, unrelated to carpool, and needed more transportation help - the carpool realized how they could service our needs better, and stepped up to the plate. Lori, I agree, carpool is about doing chesed. I am very into helping my carpool partners when they need, and love being in carpools with people who feel the same way - not counting how many drives to the minutia. This year I have a carpool that is a little harder for me to manage, really early in the a.m. drives, and as a single mom of a few kids this is not an easy one to swing...but Thank G-d my carpool partners stepped up and realized how they could help me! We should always see carpool as a way to help others rather than a shlep; helps and shlep are the same letters - it is all the way that you look at the situation. May we all merit the occasions to help others. Good Shabbos.
December 31, 2010 12:04 AM
I honestly believe that what Lori spoke about has hit a nerve and that is why there is now such a fuss being made. It is best to take a look at the deep message Lori is trying to give us instead of focusing on all the other less important details
December 30, 2010 4:18 PM
Chessed - in balance
As mothers we have to remind ourselves that most of our mundane tasks are in actuality divine assignments. We are told we earn eternal reward for bringing our children to learn Torah. This is carpool. A holy task. In terms of Chessed - stretching ourselves to help others even when it is not convenient is important, however stretching ourselves so thin for others so that our family falls apart is NOT chessed at all. We each have to HONESTLY find our own proper balance - probably pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone. ( Loving Kindness by the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation is a great book) I feel that a year long commitment to stretch myself that far - when my time is so tight and my children need me, would not be the right chessed for me at this point in my life. I hope I am correct and not cutting myself off from something I should be doing.
December 30, 2010 2:40 PM
Carpool isn't beautiful or holy..like laundry..it needs to get done!
Ya..if someone did my carpool it would be a lifesaver too!! Just curious where they dropped their young children before they took your kids home. And thank G-d the police pulled your friend over.....I would not want my kids riding in such a neglected car & with a driver who made illegal turns!! Yes your work for Aish is very important....but so is being a teacher at a yeshiva, being a Dr.,
and just being a Mommy!! Why is your pedestal higher than ours?
December 30, 2010 2:10 PM
Of course it's a chessed!
Helping Lori carpool was a chessed not only to Lori but to all Jews affected by the Palatnik's outreach efforts. True, no one HAD to do it, but if someone chose to share in the great mitzvah of outreach by enabling the Palatniks to live in-town/out-of-town, it was highly praiseworthy. Rather than devoting many hours each week bringing Jews closer to their heritage, as the Palatniks did, 4 women shared in the mitzvah by giving 20 minutes a week (Partners in Torah of sorts!). Lori was frustrated because she needed the support of the local Jewish community in order to do her job, hoped they would value what she was doing and enable her to do it by sharing the challenge. Most likely they did admire her, but the young mothers who were trying to keep their chins above water did not feel up to it or perhaps did not realize what this a chessed opportunity this was for them. It is unfair to say that Lori did not have her priorities in order and that her children were neglected. If so, then every mother should be a stay-at-home Mom with plenty of time to drive them to and from school. Economic reality dictates otherwise, and we all must juggle to keep a delicate balance. Bottom line, stop judging others, and let's not judge Lisa either. This issue obviously touched a very sore spot for her and she let it spill out too harshly. We all make mistakes and lose it sometimes. We all want to be good and do good. So let's focus on Lori's message: do chessed when you can, even if it means stretching yourself. You are teaching your children how to be caring and unselfish. Don't be so quick to judge others as trying to take advantage. And if you are convinced that someone is consistently, irresponsibly taking advantage of you, you can feel free to say no, but don't be upset about it! No guilt. Just smile and say, "I'm sorry but it won't work out for me." Soon they'll get the message. If you often feel people take advantage of you, YOU might be the one with the problem, not others.
December 29, 2010 8:29 PM
Your kids are your priority
A mother's responsibility is to the welfare of her minor kids. That does include transporting them to and from school. If you, Lori, cannot find it in your day to do that for your kids, then your priorities are a little off.
December 29, 2010 7:38 PM
What a shiocker...
I must say that I am shocked at the intense reaction this video blog has inspired. I thought it was s simple message at how we could elevate something that could be mundane or obligatory to something beautiful and holy. It seems to have hit a chord-- or as someone once said to me, "Chessed is for all areas of our life, except carpool and housekeepers." Do we think The Almighty gives us such exemptions?
Just to clarify: the kind people who carpooled with me, so that I could reach out to unaffiliated Jews and yet still be part of the observant community, did this chessed ONCE a week for 20 minutes. Everyone had one carpool day a week, and dropped off all kids first and then mine so that other children and families were not inconvenienced every day.
That 20 minutes a week per person made all the difference in our lives so that we could do the work of Aish HaTorah. And at a stage in my life where I had 5 little children at home, it was a lifesaver.
One day one of the women signaled to me as she dropped off my child. She told me that she was just pulled over by a policeman and told that she had several infractions: illegal turn,
broken signal, headlight out, expired plates.... He said he could have given her a very big ticket and taken off points, but he would just give her a warning.
She said, "I know that I was given Divine protection today because I carpool with you."
May we all merit Divine protection for the kindnesses we do.
December 29, 2010 7:12 PM
It's not like Lori is asking us to donate a kidney to a fellow Jew (which she herself has done)! I think that the point she is making is that we as Jews (and human beings) should go that extra mile (pun intended) to help one another out. I am not yet at the level of holiness where I would be willing to part with an internal organ, but I think I could manage a few minutes here and there.
December 29, 2010 6:47 PM
DEMAND BETTER PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
We moved to a smaller house in a closer neighborhood so our kids could walk to their day school. As their school situations changed, we had them take the school bus (for which we paid), the public bus to work with me riding with them and then watching them get off at the school before I continued on my way to work; and from 6th grade on they took public buses on their own. By the way, G-d forbid if there's an auto accident, the liability issues of carpooling in some states can be a big problem. The solution is for Americans to tell their governments: WE don't want to be driving all the time, it's wasteful and bad for the environment, WE NEED BETTER TRANSIT OPTIONS.
December 29, 2010 5:13 PM
Car ride chesed
We too lack a car, but were part of a carpool. We showed our appreciation to the car pool members by occasionally caring for their kids, when the parents were not home, and paying for car service when emergencies came up. I would like to address a related point.
There are many times I am standing at a bus stop waiting in inclement weather for public transporation. Why do so many cars pass by without offering a lift? I do not look like a terrorist that carries a hidden explosive belt. I think everone should experience the 'joy' of waiting for a non-appearing bus. Maybe people would become more sensitive.
December 29, 2010 6:56 AM
In Israel no one carpools
What a waste of everyone's time, money and nerves - not to mention the unnecessary traffic and air pollution. Here in Jerusalem, we pay 200 NIS (~$50) per month, for each child to get picked up by a bus and taken to and from school - public transport costs about the same. And in neighbourhoods where there is no local school, this cost is subsidised by the government. And because it is so common for a family not to have a car, it is assumed that car-owners offer rides to non-car-owners - rides to and from work, to parent-teacher evenings, rides to after-school activities, etc.
December 29, 2010 4:26 AM
Talk about a pathetic kvetch
Lisa, your vitriolic comments are sad and disturbing. In all the comments on Aish articles I have ever analyzed, I have never seen such negativity in multiple entries. Not everything that one thinks is meant to be written. You made your point the first time.
December 29, 2010 2:56 AM
Learnt a lot
I have learnt so much from carpooling for the last 8 years.i have seen people who are always available to help out, i have seen kids with no manners and so many with manners , i have seen adults take absolute advantage of the kinder adults in the carpool.So i think its like everything else , it is a chesed and then at some point its not any more.We need to know at what point it stops becoming a chesed.
December 28, 2010 9:02 PM
Could Lori please respond?, i really would like to hear her response.Also,i dont think anyone means to be so harsh,we are just expressing our lack of understanding of her rationale.
December 28, 2010 8:55 PM
why would a family of children be expected to wake up 20 minutes earlier,or travel 20 minutes out of their way?
its a chesed,yes,and i would be willing to do it ,but to expect that from others? no.
December 28, 2010 7:27 PM
Carpooling? How exactly does that work? Rules?
Lori, I agree with most of the commenters. Carpools are usually full of kids or adults who live on the way....... not out of the way. A person can always find another way without intruding on a fixed route. To accommodate an extra 20 minutes, each riders schedule needs adjusted. You could have done it yourself. Your friend quit hers and started one. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You mentioned that a family wanted to carpool and didn't have a car....that is a taxi service not a carpool. OK for your friend and you to do that on your own. Not OK to ask others to accommodate. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Doing favors on the way home? No. Being late more than twice? You're out. Can't be home on time so will the driver take your child home? No. ~~~ Parents can arrange beforehand for these issues. Adults in a carpool can make their own arrangements. Carpooling is a business arrangement. Being a driver for someone is a chesed.
December 28, 2010 5:27 PM
Great Video (especially if the goal is excited responses)
I find myself agreeing with the dissenters, if only a bit more calmly. It's not an extra 20 minutes. It's an extra 20 minutes 4x week for some 35 weeks. That's a massive burden. I have found that some of the best chessed that I have to give is the "permission" that I give to others to say "no" to me. People often have so much pain/pressure/lack of happiness in their lives that when they say "no," I try to find the next solution. Their "no" could be very deep and filled with pressure and anxiety.
I think that the people who respond by belittling Lori about "crying to her rabbi," and calling her out with such a lack of kindness need to think/learn more about compassion. Even if she is wrong, and even if you feel that posting a video opens her up to criticism, you can still deliver it without your bitterness attached. It's one thing (and still wrong) to react with anger when it's in front of you. But, what's your hurry. You have to type this out, and then click on the "all-powerful" submit button.
I have had a professional relationship with the Palatniks, and they are simply put - very fine and exceptional people. You don't have to agree with her (I don't on this issue), but where's your sense of decency. Please Peoples, try not to post something on the internet that you'd be ashamed to attach your name to.
December 28, 2010 3:52 PM
Judge others favorably
As a carpooler for 15 years, I can tell you that 20 minutes out of the route is significant time that can take people away from THEIR holy work -- their families. Can it be that the lady who dropped her carpool to help you had a little extra time than everyone else? Perhaps she didn't have do cope with young, kvetchy children being taken on an extra drive? Lori, you just publicly put down your community without judging them favorably, and that's not being fair. In fact, it's a bit mean-spirited to use this forum for that purpose.
December 28, 2010 3:32 PM
Certainly not chutzpah!
You can really see people's character from these comments! Yes, 20 minutes is a long time - but are you willing to live 'outside the box' to do kiruv the way Lori's family did? She didn't whine to her rabbi she told him what was weighing on her. She openly admits that this was her main challenge at the time; however that's only because she's not a kvetch! Living out of the neighborhood means having to travel to shop, to shul, etc. I, too, would not join with those of you who wrote those nasty comments! What lousy education for your children to see!
December 28, 2010 1:36 PM
Lori, I love the way you put a positive spin on everything.
December 28, 2010 12:51 PM
Five minutes verses 20.....a HUGE difference!!!
My dear Sydney.....we are not talking about 5 minutes....we are talking here about a minimum of 20 minutes.......and maybe the carpool mommies Lori asked actually wanted those extra minutes to have some quality time with their younger kids before the older ones walked through the door. Yes Lori had a need she wanted to fill & perhaps so did the other carpool mommies!!!!
December 28, 2010 1:22 AM
chessed is chessed
Be careful with the way you critisize. Everyone is entitiled to their opinions, and I understand that a person must think the idea through before deciding that it is actually a chessed, but I'm wondering why everyone over here is getting defensive.
December 27, 2010 11:44 PM
I'm really surprised at the bitter responses to this blog.
Try taking a breath, and see if anything Lori had to say applies to you before you jump down her throat.
December 27, 2010 9:53 PM
I garee with Lori
As far as some of the comments are concerned: Who said a mutual arrangement is NOT chesed? However when people are so inflexible that they consider an extra 5 minutes a MAJOR burden, that negates the chesed aspect at least partially. (I am not talking about those whose schedule is SO inflexible that they cannot spare 5 minutes but about those who moan that they have to get up 5 minutes earlier or will miss the 5 O'clock news, etc.)
December 27, 2010 5:55 PM
One's approach to car pool can provide a window into one's true character.
Your car pool video brought back memories of the anxiety that used to build every August as we jockeyed for spots in various car pools for our children. (And we never dealt with the challenges you faced living slightly out of the neighbourhood)! Fortunately, most of our car pool encounters were wonderful. But I do remember thinking how one behaved in car pool, particularly when unforseen issues arose or when favours were needed, provided a true window into one's character. The same goes for how people treat household employees. After witnessing some disturbing behaviour in both categories I can remember telling my wife (and this was when our kids were still quite young) that, when the time came, I would never want our children to date certain kids because of the way their parents behaved in a car pool situation or becasue of how they treated a domestic worker in their employ. Your comments were right on. Car pools are not merely about convenience, they also provide opportunities to be kind to one another and they often reveal our true character.
December 27, 2010 4:16 PM
Excellent points, as usual, Lori! Made me think of when I was in college, and didn't really have a car to get around, where there were roughly a handful of my classmates to help me get around when my class took field trips or have class somewhere beyond campus...Nowadays that I have a car to get around in, I often take my grandfather to his doctor appts. and he is grateful of me to the point he pays me to chaperone him. Maybe Hashem is making up for the rough times when I was in college and had to wait in the cold for either a classmate, bus, or taxi to come pick me up.
December 27, 2010 3:09 PM
where do you separate chessed from chutzpah ?
You act so hi & mighty saying that you, all righteous, did a carpool with someone without a car! Let's not make things like carpool into a taryag mitzvah!! Yes, it was nice of you, but after my kids long day they (yes, they) don't want to be in the car another 20 minutes doing a chessed for YOU everyday!! Did you ever think about the other carpool mommies....or just that YOU had a need that had to be filled!! Maybe they could have driven your child to their house & then you could have driven the 10 (in total 20) minutes & picked up your child. Maybe you could have been inconvenienced & not them!! I would do all I could not to burden my friends because of my choice of where I had to live. If you lived an additional three minutes away...which brings us to 13 minutes each way..(total 26 minutes....which in my book is almost a half an hour) ....would you have also hoped someone would do a "chessed" for you & let you join in their carpool. Where do you separate chessed from chutzpah!!
December 27, 2010 1:36 PM
talk about a charmed life
talk about someone having a charmed life-
the only challenge this woman faced- by her own admission- was carpool issues- and yet, she feels she is in need of chesed!!
some words of advice-
grow up- just b/c you are the one inconvenienced, doesn't make it a "chesed"- that is an abuse of the mitzvah, to satisfy your needs
December 27, 2010 1:30 PM
one more thing to note
you begin your sermon by mentioning that carpool was your only challenge in life back then-
how blessed you were- that was it!!
Instead of running to your Rabbi with your "woe is me" attitude, you should have taken a moment to think of all the people out there in the real world who must suffer and deal with true hardships on a daily basis- and who are in need of real chesed from others
Talk about someone needing an attitude adjustment, with a dose of perspective added in
In other words
"get over yourself"
December 27, 2010 1:20 PM
chesed? i think not
Being part of a regular carpool is neither a chesed nor a burden- it is usually a group of women entering into an agreement, that is beneficial to all involved. THere are plenty of opportunities of chesed that arise- driving when someone is ill, had a change in schedule etc.., and in my many years of carpooling, we have always accomodated one another happily. But as far as we readers know, you are not a charity case- and are not in need of daily chesed from others- here's a fair alternative- have your child driven from school to the neighborhood where all the children live, and pick your child up from there- if it is only ten minutes, then do that part yourself
I found this article extremely self-serving, you have been blessed with healthy children- deal with it
December 27, 2010 5:30 AM
I could not agree with you more I have had such a problem to find someone to carpool with me this year . The person who helped us last year left the country so now I was stuck. I asked literally about ten different people who do not even live as far as 10 minuites away from our home and not one person was willing to help in any way
I look at a carpool and giving ridesas chesed , not a nuisance and burden as you say
Thank you Lori!
December 26, 2010 10:34 PM
Stop whining & start driving!!!
You actually went to your Rabbi to whine about carpool....deal with it..its not halacha & it sure isn't a chessed!!! I think you have chutzpah to think & expect someone to go 20 minutes out of their way for YOU!!!!! It was your choice to live "out of the way" so deal with it!!! I am in a carpool for about 14 years and yes neighborhood (distance) does matter!!! Twenty minutes, after a full day of school, is a chunk of time for any child!!!
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