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March 2, 2015 3:53 PM
Swimming against the tide
A few weeks ago I was a guest at a baby shower. No, the mother to be was not Jewish. This was a Gentile woman who had married a Jewish man that I know. Since baby showers are not a Jewish custom, I chose to give this young woman a gift card instead of an actual gift. She can use this department store gift card any way she chooses. I was also able to get kosher food at this event. I was the ONLY person at this party who did both of those things, despite the fact that other Jewish women were in attendance. In doing these two things I felt TREMENDOUS clarity.
July 12, 2012 10:22 AM
Lori, May Hash-m bless you
Thanks for all the advice.
July 5, 2012 12:50 PM
Having clarity even when society makes you feel shame
I couldn't agree with you more. But, I feel as though I am bucking the system. I recently felt empowered by God to start giving support services to parents of gay children in my local Jewish community. Many nonobservant Jews have been receptive to this. But, in some circles, the "shame" is so strong that people don't want to talk about it or to be seen at a public support group. I do have clarity of purpose. I do know that there are plenty of openly gay people who live an Orthodox lifestyle. It is a new relatively new phenomenon. I pray that God will continue to give me strength to deal with this issue.
July 4, 2012 11:02 PM
I'd add "the means to do it"
It's nice to say people should have the courage to do something, but I have to point out that for some people, the financial means are lacking. My husband and I made the choice to become Shabbat-observant (neither of us came from that background) and did not have the same career and financial advantages as we might if we were available "24/7". We tried to send out children to day schools, but when a health crisis removed me from the work force (and only a pittance of financial assistance offered by their schools), it wasn't a matter of courage -- we had no choice but to send them to public schools (which has been an awful experience.) So don't judge what you believe are other people's "choices" -- in some cases, they may not have a choice.
March 2, 2015 3:49 PM
To commenter #6 Rachel
I hope your health crisis has long since passed. Yes, yeshiva tuition certainly is hefty. However, you did what you could with the tools you had at hand. Have your children returned to yeshiva? Also, perhaps you and your husband can explore careers that would allow you to continue observing a Frum lifestyle. Finally, nobody with an ounce of sensitivity should judge the actions you take. We have no idea what goes on behind closed doors, and your actions need not concern anyone else.
July 3, 2012 4:45 PM
Such a vital message! Thank you for sharing!!
July 3, 2012 2:32 PM
Like the lion in the Wizard of Oz....I too need courage!!
This is a great topic for Rosh Hashana!! Courage is seldom spoken about!! Thank you for bringing it into the limelight!!
July 2, 2012 1:19 AM
A Case in Point
One day recently, I was walking home when suddenly it began to rain. I took shelter under the scaffolding erected in front of a nearby apt building. Waiting for the rain to stop, I noticed that a woman was approaching. She was coming from the other end of the block, carrying a bouquet. It was Erev Shabbos and evidently she had purchased it at a stand up the street that does a brisk business every Friday, from early morning to late in the afternoon. As she approached, she held an umbrella over her shoulders, keeping from getting wet. This was not an unfamiliar woman. I would pass her in the neighborhood from time to time. Unfailingly would take notice and admire her. Don’t ask me why; it’s one of those things. As I stood there, I expected her to pass me by without saying anything. After all we’d never spoken. Yet much to my amazement, as she passed she turned to me and smiled. And she made a remark pertaining to the vacillating patterns of weather change. Atop that, she embellished her remark with an allusion to Divine providence in relation to weather conditions. I was so enchanted. But being so very startled, I could do nothing but sheepishly smile. Before I knew it, she was again on her way, negotiating her passage through the drops of rain. The thought came over me that she’d over time been noticing me just as I’d noticed her. As I pondered it, it became increasingly clear that she was someone I ought to seek out socially, enlisting the aid of someone prominent in the neighborhood to help instigate an initial connection. Having gained clarity, I realized that this was what I needed to do. Remaining was only for me to commit; but I couldn’t commit, because I was afraid of what people might say. They might say I was recklessly jumping to conclusions. Or they’ll say, how dare I form an interest in a woman passing by on the street! If I’m to follow Mrs Palatnik’s advice, I’ll need to overcome these barriers and take the commitment leap. Let us pray for Heavenly help.
July 2, 2012 1:25 PM
Love your story
If you are not a writer, do consider writing. I love your story. I am hoping for part ll. In other words, go for it. "Hi, my name is Yisroel...." and go from there. All the best Yisroel. You can do it!
July 1, 2012 5:03 PM
STANDING FOR SOMETHING: Easy Buttons?
Dear Lori, As you know, I am pushing the idea of the EASY button from Staples. It says: "that was easy" when you press it. You were the first person who I gave a button. Since then I have given out more than 30 to friends, including a number of Rabbis....I encourage them to look for easy steps they can take to make a difference...But giving away EASY buttons is not always easy! Thank you Lori, for being the first one. Harry Pearle @ Rochester NY
July 1, 2012 1:37 PM
So much in this short video
My favorite words were at the end. I guess it goes without saying that asking for Hashem's help is the first step.
We can seek clarity through advice. We can seek clarity through sound thinking. These are basics. We often forget our bodies: sleep and food. Treating our bodies properly is a key to clarity. We should not deprive our bodies of sleep and we should make sure that we do not stuff ourselves with junk food. Obviously we should not be poisoning ourselves with any type of intoxicants. Again, this is basic. Clarity does not come easily for all. For the young- we know why. But, do consider those who are disabled. Clarity is a challenge and especially for those facing challenges such as epilepsy, migraines, depression, etc. Depending on their state, I would say that clarity is next to impossible in some cases and those next to them need to understand that and be supportive. We do have a "leg up" when it comes to carrying out what we know is right since a lot of people have a tough time with this first step. Fortunately this is drilled into most of us and when the time arises we can, usually, come back to our basic principles. Some simple rules to remember about carrying them out: will power is not unlimited. It vanishes as the day progresses. Do not make your decisions after a certain hour. Go home, after work, to your family in the evenings and stay there. Why? Because, based on science, your will power is down to almost nothing in the evening. Best time to make decisions is the morning or after lunch. Again, this varies, but know thyself and make the decisions when you are at your best.
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