In addition to writing, I’m also a professional Columbia University-trained counselor. Many of the founding fathers of therapy came from the work of brilliant, if not a few slightly meshuggah Jewish minds: Freud, Adler, Horney, Beck/Ellis, and Yalom. As for the whys? Our culture reveres the Rabbi-student relationship. If you had tsouris, whether your cow’s milk was a bissel sour, or your husband started debating with his underwear, where did you go for wise, practical advice? The rebbe of course. Now, it could also be that some Jews had a few problems of their own, so what does a Jew do? What else? Asks questions and creates theories.

How wrong can we be after over 3,000 years?

So yes. There is a strong connection between Judaism and counseling. And at times a good counselor will add a little Yiddishkeit when it comes to family, especially the kinder. After all, how wrong can we be after over 3,000 years? Here are some examples of my e-mail advice when I’m on “Jewish” time.

Meshuggah Jewish Mom To Her Grown Son

ME: (TO MY SON): I recently saw an episode of the new “The Goldbergs.” I don’t think it’s productive to compare me to the crazy, pushy mother. So tell me, do you really think I’m like her? Think carefully before answering. How? I wanna know. Email me. Better, write me or visit so we can talk about it. I’ll even serve cake. No. Better, I’ll drop by. What’s your apartment code? Never mind I’ll get it from your roommate. I’ll be over in ten minutes if I can find the highway.

ME: (TO MY SON) “Borrow money from a pessimist, they don't expect it back.” – Jewish expression. There’s definitely something wrong with this. Newsflash: Despite what you may think, I am not a pessimist!

ME: (TO SON) If I could go through 36 hours of labor and a C-section that has scarred me for life to have you, you can drive me to Walgreen’s and explain why my mouse doesn’t work!

ME: (TO SON) Do you understand the Obama health care plan? I can’t get you on Medicare. Believe me, I tried. So, did you apply? You only have 3 days left and what if your appendix bursts? OK, true, you don’t have an appendix, but you do have a liver. Of course I’d take care of you no matter what, but chances are, Obama has a bigger IRA.

ME: (TO SON) What is a “selfie?” I don’t like that word. Selfie? Selfish?? I looked it up and saw a gross picture of a Kardashian. Check out these hashtags: #UGLYSELFIES and #THENEWNARCISSISM.

ME: (TO MY SON) I see a new mole on you. Let me spit on it to see if it’s ink. Stop running! It’s spit not cyanide! Wait. I need a ruler … and daddy’s old magnifying glass. If it’s black, raised, uneven and larger than a pencil eraser, I’m calling Dr. Goldfarb!

ME: (TO MY SON) I visited your allergist. He finally agreed with me. If you go to grad school in Arizona, you could develop allergies to Arizona. True, he also wrote: "Mother Lunatic" on your chart, but what does he know? Cousin Esther’s daughter goes to school there, and she wheezes so much people are doing the Bossa Nova around her.


ME: (TO MY SON) Darling, ok. I took your advice and tried yoga to shed these five pounds. I fell asleep! When I woke up, it took three people to de-pretzelize me. I will admit, I lost two pounds trying to get that Spandex suit off. But in the future … stop recommending it to people who haven’t moved since the Reagan Administration.

ME: (TO MY SON) Football? You need to play with pigskin? You could have an accident and not be able to perform surgery. Listen, better you should stick with a leather belt from Isaac Mizrahi. There’s a reason pigs aren’t Kosher.

ME: (TO MY SON) I’m making out my will. It all goes to you. Do whatever you want, but ……… I’ve attached a list of who should get what. …. WAIT, it came back. Oy … I’ll keep trying, meanwhile, IMPORTANT! 1-I know you hate the flowered couch, but KEEP IT. It goes better with your chairs. 2- UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE YOU TO GIVE ANYTHING TO AUNT IDA after you-know-what-she-did. Finally, read: #THINGSIWISHITOLDMYMOMWHENSHEWASALIVE.

ME: (TO MY SON) Not that I’m pushing, but all your cousins are already married. Listen … before I die, I’d like to have a little something on my lap besides a Scanadu.

ME: (TO MY SON) I got a call from a Mercedes dealer asking questions about you. WHAT IS GOING ON THERE? YOU’RE THINKING OF LEASING A CAR THAT HITLER DROVE?! ARE YOU MESHUGGAH?? From this I’m getting palpitations. NOTE: Read my earlier email on my will.

ME: (TO MY SON) I saw on Facebook you’re thinking of going to an authentic dude ranch in California. Since when are you, a Jewish boy from New York, a cowboy with the bucking broncos, stepping in manure, lassoing things? Trust me. Get involved only at the filet level.

ME: (TO MY SON) I see that despite my advice, you went. I know you arrived because I checked with the airlines to make sure the plane didn’t crash, as I heard an earthquake warning somewhere. Now, send me the return flight number, time, day, gate … and I’ll pick you up at the airport! Of course knowing you, you got a cheap deal on a plane arriving at 3 am. And you’re thinking of leasing a Mercedes!?

ME: (TO MY SON) I saw your photos on FB with all your friends. I noticed you had none of me, so I'm up/downloading my newest photo. You can just use my name so no one will know you're my little mamala. Don't forget to use my whole name in case someone needs a writer. Or advice. By the way I saw your entries. BRILLIANT! So how come you never talk to me about Iran?? Instead ... you recommend I take a multivitamin, L-lysine, L-arginine, biotin, and magnesium not to mention those brochures for Boomer apartments. All this because I lose my keys sometimes -- and once my car. Of course we could move in together, so you shouldn’t have to worry.

Have any of your own good, healthy Yiddishe advice? By all means, share.