Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Alright, halfway done. There, I said it. I know there is about a week till Pesach- but B"H- well on schedule, even with NBD being extremely cute and charming. What can I do? I have to stop and play with her sometimes, I just have to.

So, I decided to play devil's advocate with myself. Why am I cleaning so much?

What makes me decide to Pesach clean every book in the house even though we probably won't read more than 2 of them over Yom Tov?

What causes me to reorganize closets, and shuffle drawers?

I mean, if it was up to a guy- they would say- well, it has to be more than a kezayis, and it has to be edible by a dog, and if it is less than a kezayis we only worry about it if it comes to the table...so.....there, I'm finished, in less than a day.

It seems that Pesach has become a time for me, as well as other women and girls, to obsessively clean, far more than necessary.

I must have hit the roof when I heard, "Well, you could actually use a soup that you cooked before Pesach with your chametz pots on Pesach. Because the little chametz on your pot is batel before Pesach."

I always thought that my countertop had to be left for 24 hours, kashered 3 times with boiling water, and then covered. Now I hear, "Well, if you're going to cover it after all that, then what's
the point?"

So why in heaven's name did Jewish women throughout history obsessively clean?

I think it stems from an old story. There was this Rav, who asked his wife why she was scrubbing the walls and the floors. After all, we don't really eat on our walls, so the possibility of there being more than a kezayis of chametz on the walls is almost nil.
She answered, "If the cleaning was left up to you, we'd have chametz in our house on Pesach."

We clean because we know, that if we clean far more than necessary, the chance of there being chametz in our houses goes down to nil. If we just cleaned what's needed, the risk of finding that pretzel during bedikas chametz, or not finding it at all, goes up astronomically.

So, we clean. We clean and clean, we spring clean and regular clean and Mr. Clean all in one.

So pass me the bleach, okay? Thanks.

EDIT: How do y'all like the new look? Comment please!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Money Tree

When I was little, I was told that "money doesn't grow on trees." Albeit that it is made of paper, and therefore, has something to do with trees, making money is not an easy business.

With the economy in the US the way it is, finding a job in today's times is harder than ever. I personally know many who are collecting unemployment, and I know some who are scared stiff that they soon will have to do the same.
The Israeli job market is a tough one to break into- mostly since jobs are found via the special 'P' ingredient- protexia. There are also very few jobs for Anglos (English speakers) that don't require fluent Hebrew- something most Anglos don't have yet.

So- what do we do? Well, we take advice from people like Orthonomics- and start cutting down. Frugality becomes our middle name. And that's a good thing.

When I got married, I realized I no longer had the same budget as I did when I was single. I mean- it was the same budget, but it had to be stretched more ways. I clipped coupons, shopped for sales, and looked for every way to try to save money and still remain in my budget.

When I moved to Israel- I did the same. But things are different here. Not too many coupons, but more sales. Items are cheaper here, but sometimes made of shoddier material.

But, Pesach is here with a vengeance, and my mailbox has been inundated with circulars for greater savings! Coupons for the grocery stores, co-ops for the vegetables and meat, even a joint effort by a Rosh Yeshiva for savings on Mehudar Matzos.

I can't remember the last time in the US that I saved money on Pesach! It's so wonderful to be able to feel like Pesach food products aren't going to bankrupt me (and frankly, might be cheaper than during the year due to the extreme amount of savings!)

So- why does this only happen in Israel? Shouldn't there be Pesach savings all over?
After all- money really doesn't grow on trees!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Motzei Shabbos Maaseh #2

It's that time of week again!

Parshas Vayikra:

It says in this week's parsha that Moshe heard the Voice [of G-d] emanating from the Ohel Moed- Tent of Meeting, and he went to speak to Hashem. Rashi makes a very interesting comment on the fact that it says 'from' the Ohel Moed?
Rashi comments that 'the' of the words 'the Voice' makes it into a softer form, a lighter version of the word. But the word 'from' shows that the sound did not reach past the Tent of Meeting- although G-d's voice is mentioned in other places as being strong and mighty- here G-d spoke softly- Namuch, in Hebrew, and it didn't reach past the Tent of Meeting.
So why is this so important- that Hashem chose to speak to Moshe in a softer tone of voice?
The answer lies in a simple fact- a soft voice is harder to hear. You have to be watching out and listening for it, for you to even know it's there.
Hashem sends us messages constantly- all day, in fact. But Hashem speaks softly- you have to be waiting for it, anticipating it- asking yourself, what does G-d want from me now- what messages is He sending me?
And then you'll hear it, loud and clear, despite the decibel tone.

On a seperate note, I had a teacher who once suggested keeping a Hashgacha Pratis (divine intervention) diary- trying to look for Hashem's hand in our lives daily. And you know? When you start looking, there is no end to the HP that you can find. So try it sometime- see that Hashem is watching over and helping you all the time.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Erev Shabbos #13- Pesach Prep

It's Erev Shabbos again, and I'm starting to do more than just think about Pesach. I mean, I did start cleaning already- basic, nothing major, but now on Erev Shabbos, it comes to a head.

As I wrote my shopping list, I thought- well, only one package of pearl barley, as Pesach is coming. Oh, and why buy more of 'that', for I'll just need to get rid of it before Pesach. Oh and make sure to get 'this' before this week, because next week, our store will be Pesachdik already.

Pesach requires advance planning. Oh, and this is the last week I can have guests before Pesach- as the cleaning ensues with a vengeance next week.

So, my Erev Shabbos this week is connected with Pesach. But, that's okay.

I will take the time, now that the clock's changed, to enjoy a later Shabbos, to have more time to prepare, to relax, to get myself into the Shabbos atmosphere before Shabbos.

Because next week- the fury ensues- so I need all the relaxation time that I can get!

Gut Shabbos everyone!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

End of Shana Rishona

It's the end of an era. That year that everyone talks about, is coming to an end. Today, in fact.

1. It's the year where your husband doesn't learn night seder (yeah right, Mr. NMF has been learning it since we got married, with my full permission)

2. It's the year where the husband is supposed to be M'sameach his wife- make his wife happy. (What, that doesn't apply any other year?!)

3. It's the year where both the husband and the wife are out of contact with the universe (nope, I can say I kept up with everyone who kept up with me :-) and then some.)

4. "Eh, newlywed, what do you know? How can you know anything when you're in Shana Rishona?"
That's all over now. (I'm still quite a newlywed, don't tell me otherwise. My neighbor tells me it applies for the next 5 years or so. And I still need tons of advice and help.)

It's the year where we had NBD- a major, and wonderful bracha that I thank G-d for every day.

It's the year of growth, of building a foundation.
A year of togetherness, of sharing a life, of working things out.

A year of coming to a greater understanding of one another.

It's shocking no? I can't even believe it myself. One year ago today, on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, I stood under a chuppah together with Mr. NMF, and got married according to the laws of Moshe and Israel. One year ago today, I danced like there was no tomorrow, and listened to my first Sheva Brachos. (How come we picked the only Rosh Chodesh that we had to fast on, huh?)

It's been a wonderful year filled with it's share of ups and downs. Let's see, we've been in 3 states for longer than a day, and about 10 or more for less than a day. We've been in 2 countries, several times. We've taken countless airplane flights, only some of which we made it on time to. (And, we've only had to pay overweight a few times :-D) We've lived in 3 different apartments. (Yes, that kitchen was a 2x4. I know. I measured it.)

We've celebrated 11 monthly anniversaries- some with a cake, some with a smile, some with a "What, that's today?"

So what have I gained from this year? I've gained immensely, somethings that I can't even articulate. So I won't right now, and save some of them for next year, iy"H!

So Happy Anniversary, Mr. NMF!! May we have many more together, until Meah V'Esrim- 120! (L'fachos- at least- right? :-D)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Short Note

Just thought I'd post to say that the 2009 Blogger Choice Awards are going on, and I've been nominated for Best Religion Blog. Feel free to vote for me by clicking on the icon on the right side.
However, I don't think I deserve this one. An amazing blogger, Allison, from Jew in the City- totally deserves this one, and she's in the top 10 already! She's the one who develops tons of videos from Aish, and who put out that video on why Jewish women cover their hair, and so on. So, go on and VOTE!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Siren Alert

I had just finished eating breakfast together with Mr. NMF (a rare occurance, but he had to go in late today), while simultaneously trying to hold NBD in my arms (Yes, she's going to be spoiled rotten. Oh well. You can't love a child too much, is what I say!) I left the kitchen, and started to hear a noise. It sounded vaguely familiar, not something like the wind rushing through my screen door- and then I realized, it was the siren.

The emergency air raid siren- the one that's supposed to sound in case of a terrorist attack on Jerusalem.

I turned to Mr. NMF- and questioned, "Was that the siren?" When the answer was affirmative- we both grabbed stuff. I took a phone, and Mr. NMF took my computer, starting to check on websites to see if that was real or not. Thankfully, when I called my neighbor, she told me it was a test run, and there was nothing to be worried about. Jameel (or rather JoeSettler) at the Muqata alerted us to that fact also.

But it got me thinking. How prepared am I? Do I have stockpiles in case of emergency in the small sealed room of my apartment? Do I actually know what to do? Do I actually expect something to happen?

I wasn't quite sure. Mostly, here in Jerusalem, we live such a relaxed, idyllic lifestyle- that a terrorist attack shakes us up quite a bit. It's not like it was in years past- where there was a terror attack every week- and my friends and I had posters on our walls of the Jews brutally murdered by these attacks.

Am I ever going to be prepared- emotionally and physically- for a terror attack? It's like my mind was in shock- the siren is on, that means there is a possiblity of attack. I couldn't even think past the fact of: it can't be. Not here, not now. No.

Yet I know people who have been killed- I know people who have lost husbands, fathers, sons, daughters, mothers. I know there is a possiblity, that if I step on a bus- a terrorist could get on too. In Haifa just recently, with tremendous Siyata Dishmaya- help from Heaven, a terrorist attack was averted- equal to 10-15 sucide bombers.

So it could happen. But, I live in hope, as the 'frog said to the princess'- and I don't think I'll ever truly be prepared for a real siren. Bitachon- faith in Hashem. I fear no evil- because Hashem is with me.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kiruv- Friend or Foe?

You know how random events one after the other seem to coalesce into a pattern? Well, that's what happened to me last night.
Mr. NMF and I were discussing hilchos loshon hara, and the halacha we learnt was that if there is a group of known loshon hara speakers (baalei loshon hara) then one has no heter (allowance) to go and speak with them, as you know that you will probably end up hearing loshon hara.

So, the quip that came up was- what about inside a kiruv yeshiva? And, then that sparked a whole debate on how for kiruv it would be allowed or not, or whether or not tinokim sh'nishba (those who do not know because they grew up that way) count....
It's a puzzling question for those who deal in Kiruv. After all, Kiruv has to be done- but how far?

It's interesting to me because my parents are BTs, and they were helped immensely by kiruv- Project Seed specifically, and if not for those people, I definitely would not be where I am today. So, there needs to be some kiruv done. And Kol HaKavod to those that do it.

Then, as I check my emails- an awesome movie comes up- all about Kiruv, and how anyone can do it- at least if they can do it without schvitzing (sweating)!
Hope you enjoy- here's the LINK. I can't seem to embed this one.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Motzei Shabbos Maaseh #1

I've decided to start a new series, although this one is not purely my own. I was discussing with Mr. NMF how much I really enjoyed his Divrei Torah this Shabbos, (as I do every Shabbos) and I offered to write them down. Jokingly, he remarked, "How 'bout on your blog?". And so, I think I'll take him up on it. Motzei Shabbos Maaseh it is!

Parshas Vayakhel:

In this week's parsha, Bnai Yisroel are commanded to build the Mishkan, the tabernacle, which would serve as a place to worship Hashem. All of Bnai Yisroel were asked to donate items for the Mishkan, and they did so hurriedly, causing the Or HaChaim to remark on the words "M'Lifnei Moshe"- "from before Moshe"- that they even beat Moshe to the punch, they were so quick.

The Nasi'im, the princes and leaders of each tribe, however, did not donate immediately. As Rashi states- their name is written without a "yud"- incomplete, marking a criticism of the Nasi'im because they said, "We won't donate right away, but whatever is missing, we will make up the total."

Rabbi Flaum, zt"l, comments that that seems to be a praise of the Nasi'im, not a criticism. After all, who collecting donations wouldn't want someone who said, "Collect all you can, and I'll make up what ever is missing." That seems to be a major praiseworthy act, not a wrongdoing.

The answer lies in the parsha. Bnai Yisroel ran to give. They wanted to give no matter what, even if there was nothing needed to give. They gave and gave, because there was a spirit of giving, of chesed inside them. And when there is that spirit, that drive to give, everyone should jump on the bandwagon and give. And for that, the Nasi'im are criticized- for not joining in the spirit of Hisorrirus- of elevation- of giving with a full heart, even if it's not needed.

That is true chesed, true giving to others.
How do we know?

Because of Avraham Avinu, the epitome of chesed. Avraham sat, the third day after his bris (circumcision) and waited for guests, but no one came. He was so saddened, that Hashem sent him angels in the guise of guests. Why was Avraham sad? Thank G-d, no one needed his charity and open house that day- he should be happy! But no- Avraham was such a giver, such a person of chesed, that he wanted to give no matter what- even if it was not needed. That is true chesed- the spirit of giving no matter what.

That is what the Nasi'im were lacking- they felt they only had to give if there was a need. But Bnai Yisroel gave without the need.
And that's true chesed.
Gut Voch and Shavuah Tov!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Erev Shabbos #12- Music

It's Erev Shabbos again! I've been a bit neglectful of these posts lately, but I have a very cute reason why :)
Shabbos seems to always enter in with stunning music. First, it's the Erev Shabbos 'chassidishe' CD playing in my house, with the zemiros serenading Shabbos's entrance. Then, 20 minutes before the siren, music wafts across the air, sending its melodies into my apartment, heralding the arrival of the Shabbos Queen.
Sholom Aleichem, Aishes Chayil, Kiddush, Zemiros, Bentching- all have their own familiar tunes and melodies. It's like a mini symphony, right there at the table- the participants harmonizing with each other as the time flies by.
So, spend your Shabbos enjoying the beautiful notes. It only comes once a week!
Gut Shabbos!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Countdown Commences

The 'P' word. Yes, I know BOSD, fear of the name increases fear of the thing itself, according to Professor Albus Dumbledore, at least. But, it makes me feel better, 'kay?

This year will be my first year doing it by myself. I'm an only girl, so at home, I did it as well, just, together with my mother. Now, I'm on my own. And, with a little one to boot. So, I'm allowed to be scared of it, okay?

Here goes. Deep breath, "Pesach." Rosh Chodesh is in 2 weeks, that means Pesach is in a little less than a month. And my countdown commences. 3 bedrooms to do. Kitchen to clean and kasher. Pesach stuff to unload. Cooking to start. Help my neighbor with her house. And somehow, do this all before Seder night. Can I start freaking out now, or would it be preferable to wait till later?

I know, tackle it a bit at a time. But according to this article on MII, I'm already behind. Yikes.
I prefer not to think about it, and then panic later.

ProfK describes the syndrome and it's consequences. Ima on the Bima is actually excited for cleaning.

How do you handle Pesach Panic?
Edit: I totally subscribe to Mrs. S's version of Pesach cleaning system!

Respond in comments please- as I'm a member of the I love comments club :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Drop of Milk

So, today I visited one of the most famous (or infamous, depending on which mom you ask) institutions in Israel: Tipat Chalav.

Tipat Chalav literally means, a drop of milk, and it is the 'well-baby' clinics all over Israel. They are the ones who give your child their vaccinations, checkups, weight-gain, examinations, and so on. Each child has a folder at a Tipat Chalav from when they are born, until they enter into the school system, when the folder is transferred, and the school along with Tipat Chalav work together for the well-being of your child. I think it's a brilliant idea- saving physician labor for when the baby is actually sick, and providing a child with a solid health care plan so the schools and doctors can work together till age 18.

It's done by neighborhood, with a certain nurse working each street in the neighborhood (at least that's how it's done where I live). So, when I finally woke up to the fact that NBD is past a month old- yikes, time flies- I made an appointment nearby.

And then proceeded to ask everyone I know what their experiences were. Most were scary. As Super Raizy describes in her old post, the Tipat Chalav nurses have a reputation of being slightly, well, curmudgeonly. Most who I asked said that the nurses harassed them about their baby's weight incessantly, especially if they were nursing. Some said they expected them to know everything, even if they were a new mother. So, it was no surprise that when I went in, I was slightly nervous.

But, here comes the truth. Honestly- my visit was great! The nurse was a sweet and kind person, who treated me like I had a brain, even though my hebrew wasn't the best. She didn't harass me about anything, asked personal questions in a polite manner, and best of all- interacted with NBD very gently and warmly.
So, here comes one vote pro Tipat Chalav.

And, it got me thinking. Rumors can spread very quickly. One person says they had a bad experience there, then the next will be looking for the bad in her experience, to vilify the first person's statement. And, the vicious cycle continues.

Now, I'm not saying that all nurses might be like mine- and there are definitely obnoxious ones out there, from what I've heard.

But, instead of looking for the bad because the last person told you that there is bad- maybe try objectively? If so, maybe more unbiased opinons, and more honest opinons might result.

So honestly? It went great. And, I will be happy to go back.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Perspectives of Laundry

I remember at the beginning of my marriage, when I first had started to keep a house, my first realization was that my laundry had now doubled. At first, I only had to do laundry for myself. Now, suddenly there were two. And, the second person might not have as many clothes as I do, so therefore, laundry had to be done more often.

Now, with the glad addition of NBD, there are now 3 people with laundry. And again, the laundry has to be done more often, with more loads. And, we host guests, and as all are familiar with, guests create more laundry- sheets, towels, and blankets.

(For all those wondering how come I can't just do one or two loads with the amount I have, the answer is: Israeli washing machine. Please G-d, maybe one day I'll be able to get a bigger one, but as of right now, 5 kilo it is.)

My neighbor with 7 children does 4 or 5 loads a day, just to keep up.
When I once walked down to speak with a great Sephardic guy who's an amazing jack of all trades, he told me that with his 9 children, his wife does 6 loads a day, minimal.

So, what's all this about laundry, and why did I deem a post worth of it?

It's all about perspectives. You see, I might think, wow, my family generates an awful amount of laundry. Are we dirty people, or are we obsessive-compulsive cleaners?

But then I remember that there are others out there with more loads, more hampers, and generally more laundry.

I might think, wow, this is a major problem in my life- I have so much dirty laundry!
(An exaggeration to be true. Mr. NMF reminds me that in the 'olden days' laundry had to be taken to the river, scrubbed on a rock or in a laundry tub, and then hung to dry. We just throw it in and 'fuhgeddaboudit'.)

I may think on certain days, wow, life is rough. Life threw me a curveball today.
But, if we use the laundry perspective, there are always others out there with more laundry than us, and more people generating more laundry. It puts things in perspective.

There should be a mathematical equation for this- I'll ask B4S to figure it out along with the
shidduch equation she's working on.

However, along with the dirty laundry comes all the good things that go with the laundry- healthy, happy people wearing clothing and living lives.

So, that's my take on life- laundry.
Excuse me, I have a load to switch to the dryer.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Motzei Purim Recap

Just some wonderful thoughts about Purim in E"Y:

I made far too many shalach manos- but they came out beautifully- with a very cute theme. Oh well. I guess I'll have to find a way to use up my leftovers.

I didn't see so many drunkards acting wildly and insanely- I know they probably exist somewhere in Yerushalayim, but I didn't see quite so many.

There was the guy who grabbed Mr. NMF and asked if he was American. When the affirmative reply came back, the guy grabbed his shoulder and said, "Repeat after me: We Want Mashiach Now..."- and he totally didn't look Lubavitch.

There was the other random guy, pushing his twin children in a stroller, who clapped Mr. NMF on the back, and started giving him brachos, one after the other, until I, and this man's wife, pulled them apart.

There were some boys who came collecting, who were obviously drunk- but they knocked on my door when Mr. NMF wasn't home. I didn't check the peephole, and opened it...they started singing quite loudly and entering in the house.....but when I informed them my husband wasn't home, and neither was anyone else except a sleeping baby, they had enough presence of mind to accept the tzedaka money and leave quietly- very mentchlik while drunk.

The Purim seuda was wonderful, and the Divrei Torah were excellent. I learnt the different interpretations of L'Bisumei- and I'm partial to the Rama's approach of just drinking a bit more than usual, and then going to sleep. But, who am I to say anything?

Strange question that came up: Should women drink on Purim- do they have a chiuv to? "Af Hein B'Oso HaNeis"- they were also part of the miracle, so maybe they should drink a small amount. My reply would be that it might not be tznius, but I don't have a source.

Matanos L'Evyonim- this was done true E"Y style. A woman approached a friend of mine and confided in her that she's going collecting for herself on Purim. Why? She has 7 children, mostly learning disabled, a mentally-ill husband, and she can't pay her rent.

So, my friend took it upon herself to raise the money for this family. She figured that if she approached 2,000 people for a small amount, she could raise the money and save this woman the embarassment of going collecting for herself.

So, for 3 days before Purim, the children and parents of my neighborhood collected all over, in yeshivos, in other neighborhoods- they even got the haskama of a well-known rav to boost their credibility.

And, you know what? By Purim night (American- since some donations were American, they gave those on American Purim, and the shekels on Yerushalyim Purim- so that way everyone could fulfill the mitzva) we had raised 4 1/2 months rent. Yasher Koach to all those who donated.

Now my friend is talking about a major campaign to help this family get an apartment of their own- but who knows if that will come to fruition. Meanwhile, we accomplished something big and great, and truly helped someone in need.

Hope everyone had as wonderful a Purim as I did!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Freilichen Purim!

For all those outside of Yerushalayim, a Freilichen Purim! For all those joining me here in Ir HaKodesh- wishing you one last slightly relaxing day before Purim Fever starts.
Interestingly, did you know there are places that celebrate 2 days of Purim according to Halacha? Places like Yaffo or Tiveria (Jaffa and Tiberias) celebrate 2 days, as there is some discussion about whether they were walled or not in Yehoshua's times, and whether the ancient cities by those names are in the same places now. Also, a really cool article about different "Purims" throughout the ages. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ignoring the Hat

It's there- staring you in the face. Its very color is a definition, a label. In Israel, neighborhoods are classified by the "Shchorim" who live there. It may be a suitable covering for the rain we've been having the last few days, and it does protect from the sun. It has a tendency to fly off at the most inconvenient moment, just when an Egged bus turns the corner. And, it's the hat that sits, hanging on a hook in the dining room, when I have company over. Yes, it's black.

Yet, some people can't look past the hat. They see the hat, occupying a person's head, and they think nothing past it. The stereotype lives on, the insular, narrow minded person who has the strictest viewpoints on just about everything, and has never seen any other book than a Sefer. What's underneath the hat doesn't count, just the covering over the head.

It's assumed that the person wearing the hat has never heard of Gaza, or Mumbai, as he was too busy in Yeshiva. It's assumed he has never pursued a college degree, or if he has, it was done through CLEPs, or one of the college programs done while in Yeshiva (please don't take offense if you've done one of those.) Never you mind that the black hatter has spent hours every day deciphering 3 languages and using logic, along with mathematical calculations, some basic physics, and some science alongside. A bit of history, philosophy, and other items of interest are thrown in also, every once in a while.
I'm not saying they know physics better than a physicist, or that they focus on secular subjects on a regular basis, but they do have a brain, and some knowledge to add to a conversation.

Recently, Mr. NMF got into a conversation with someone on one of the controversial topics- evolution. And the funny thing was, that Mr. NMF has spent long hours discussing this with me, since I'm a science student. So, he has what to say, all grounded in Torah and in secular ideas. And, he mentioned something that the person had never heard of- punctuated equilibrium.

So, immediately, that person took the defensive.

"I've never heard of that before, it must be a religious idea. Don't confuse science and fact with religion."

Although Mr. NMF showed the person that it was a secular concept and theory, and elucidated at length that it had nothing at all to do with religion, the arguer remained unconvinced, clearly certain that the information was being twisted towards a religious agenda and could, therefore, not be accurate. I just stood there laughing, knowing that simply because Mr. NMF was saying it, and not a professor in a lab coat, the person he was arguing with would always attribute a religious slant to it, no matter what.

Talk about looking only at the hat.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Workforce

As I heard someone mention to me, since the recession and the extreme financial situation that the American public finds itself in, those women who might have stayed at home and never used their degrees that they worked hard to pursue, might have to leave their house and join the workforce.

Some girls, despite the fact that they get their 'degree' (sometimes an easy CLEP degree, or one in a field they never plan to go further in- like Humanities, or Psychology) in order to make their parents happy, or to have something to do, all they really want to do is be a mommy and stay at home with their kids and house.

Is that wrong? I wouldn't advocate it for myself, as I would probably go out of my mind with boredom, but for these women, their home is a full time job- and that is true. Raising one's children can be a full time job, if one dedicates themselves to it wholeheartedly. According to ABC News- a stay at home mom should get paid at least $138,646 per year. The numbers were based upon a mom doing 92 hours of work per week. That's a lot of work!!!

In Israel- it seems that many girls embark on the vocational track of things without a degree, or they use their degree almost as soon as they get it. But there are still some who would gladly stay home full time, but because of the economic situation that their family is in, they feel obligated to help in the support of their home.

How can one balance both home and job? Well-that's a major question, one that many find very hard to answer.
Either you trust your children into the care of a babysitter, which is never a perfect substitute for Mom, or you somehow spend your days dashing from home to work to home again- an exhausting lifestyle.

My own mother, while raising my siblings, found herself subbing in the morning while they had school, studying for her classes while driving them to and from school, and taking care of them till they were asleep, after which she would attend her own grad school at night, and then do the whole day over again. Exhausting- no?

Working at home is sometimes an option- what SecretariesinIsrael tries to do for those in Israel who don't mind burning the midnight oil- literally. They work from 4-12- the American hours. And, there are medical secretaries, proofreaders and editors, and Internet jobs. Computer jobs oftentimes have a work at home option, as does graphic design, bookkeeping, or other alternatives.

The choice comes into play when you look at that child's precious face and say- how can I ever leave? It's a tough choice to make.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Havel Havelim # 206- Adar Edition

The newest Havel Haveilim is up- HERE.
Enjoy it!
And, my own posts will be forthcoming soon- sorry for lack of posting. Although, consider the other side- I think my readers are so intelligent and wonderful, that I cringe before posting something that I feel isn't up to snuff just yet.