Sunday, December 24, 2017

Safe spaces cuz YOU'RE OFFENDING ME!

What a bunch of garbage! Safe spaces? A place where you will never get hurt? Doesn't exist. I was going to say once a person is in the grave, they can never get hurt, but it seems that some people believe in disparaging those who can't defend themselves.

Everyone is offended by everything now a days. You can't tell a woman she looks nice, that's harassment.  And don't you dare open a door for her, cuz that is implying she isn't capable of doing it herself.  Everyone gets a trophy for participating, because we are all winners. Don't wish someone "Merry Xmas", cuz they might not celebrate it. But don't try and wish them "Happy Holidays" either, because they may celebrate xmas and get upset that you didn't wish them THAT. Don't put up a nativity scene, because it's offense. Don't walk a dog. Don't buy pork products. Don't carry a gun. Don't believe in free speech. Don't think thoughts that the Leftist have deemed hate space, which includes liking our president, loving your country, or wanting to stay safe in your country. Don't be upset with people who break the law, cuz that is racist. Don't follow a religion because it's homophobic, and all the other isms. Unless, of course, your religion is Islam. Because then you can follow it to your hearts content. Rape women, beat your wife, mutilate your daughter, do disgusting unspeakable things to goats and other animals, but hey, it's ISLAM. It's OK to do that.

I say BULL! You can NOT protect yourself or your child from life. They will NOT always win. They may not get the job they apply for. They may not marry the person they hope to. They may be turned down for a raise. Worse things can happen.  I am not saying that I am in favor of bullying, but I do believe that need to know that the world doesn't revolve around them. Yossi a'h was teased in 2nd or 3rd grade by some classmates. He was such a sweet and gentle boy; he didn't know how to handle it. He had been taught "We don't hit". So when things got a little rough, he took it like a punching bag. Then we told him, "When someone starts up with you, you are allowed to finish it".  The next time it happened, Yossi punched the kid, and that was the end of that. Was this whole situation right? No. But kids will be kids. Kids will be cruel. They will form cliques and exclude others and make fun of kids who are different from them. As a parent, it is our job, our responsibility, to teach our kids, THIS IS WRONG. This is NOT acceptable.  This is where people are failing their children. By taking G-d out of their lives, they have no moral ethics, except what they deem is ethical.  The problem with this is that when you decide ethics from society, those ethics can change. It used to be that abortion was considered wrong. Now women brag about killing their babies. I grew up in a time when parents stayed married. I was the only kid with a single mom. Now, having two parents is weird.

This last generation is becoming a generation of fragile, delicate, snowflakes. (Yes, I called them that!)  You can't hurt their feelings in any way. It may damage their self esteem, which is the most important thing in the whole wide world. If you try to say something that is offensive to them, they run to their "safe spaces" where you can't say those hurtful things.

So let me ask you this -- Where was the safe space for my children in 1997 when we had to tell them their brother had leukemia? Where was that space in 2001 when I had the pleasure of telling them that their brother had died. Yes, actually DIED. I'll tell you where it is. It doesn't exist. Where is the safe place for the kids who have been molested? Where is the safe place for kids saw their parents murdered by rabid arabs right before their eyes? And where is the safe place for kids whose parents get divorced, get sick, lose their job, or whatever else life throws at them.

You wanna know where these safe spaces are? They are INSIDE of you. It's that place where you dig deep, pull up your big girl (or boy) pants, and pick yourself back up. It's the inner strength you get from going through a hard time. It's that sensitivity you develop towards other going through a similar painful experience. If you shelter your kids from life, you are actually doing them a disservice. You are turning them into a selfish person who doesn't empathize. You are actually turning this whole world into an UNSAFE space for the rest of us. You are making it so kids can't handle anything they don't agree with. They can't hear conservative speakers. They can't hear different ideas. They feel entitled. They feel that you have to treat them with kid gloves because they are so special.

Well, chickadee, let me tell you. Yes, you are special. But then again, every single person in this world is special. You are not more equal than any of us, despite what your mommy told you. Yes. I just said that. I know, so hurtful. Such hate-speech. So disgusting. Well guess what, I stand by what I said. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

thoughts on fire

As a Yid, we use fire a lot.  I mean, we use fire A LOT! We light candles every Friday night to usher in Shabbos. We use a multi-wick candle to usher it out.  We light Chanukah candles and before Pesach we burn our chometz (leaven).  Sometimes, when you are around something too much, it becomes common, and a person could forget to use proper fire safety.

Years ago, it was second days of Pesach.  I lit candles, and went into my room to go get dressed. Soon my mother in law is screaming "Fire!".  Back then I used to reuse my little foil candle holders, and I used regular shabbos candles.  One of the candles must not have been in well, because it tipped out and fell onto the table. Which, because it was pesach, was covered in several layers of table clothes and one plastic one on top. Within seconds, the entire length of the table went up in flames. The table was pushed against the china cabinet, which was closed off for pesach. With ... you guessed it ... I was lazy and just tossed a sheet over it. So within the span of a few minutes, the entire length of the table went up, as did my china cabinet. Thank G-d we had a fire extinguisher! And because of pesach cleaning, I knew exactly where it was because I had moved it to clean around it.

Years later we had another shabbos candle accident, where a candle tipped over and set the dresser on fire. That happened because some napkins had been left near there. (Not smart!)

Lesson finally learned ... there are no more shabbos candles in my house. I use tea lights, which fit right into the special tea light holder.  The candles are on a base and there is nothing flammable around it.

Last night in Brooklyn, there was a horrible tragedy.  Before the night was out, half a family was wiped out from a horrific fire.  A mom, and her three kids are no longer living, leaving behind a father with three kids.  It is a tragedy beyond words! Such devastation, such horror ... The Baal Shem Tov said that anything we see or hear is for a reason. Who knows why I had to hear about this. (Goodness knows I try so hard to avoid hearing of such things!)  Maybe it is a wake up call to me and all of us that it is time to review fire safety.

As you can see above, the chanukah menorahs are on foil, which rests on a metal tray. This year I was lazy and didn't put foil UNDER the tray, but before we light tomorrow I will.  I try super hard to remember not to leave the pot holder on top of the soup pot that is cooking over night. And now I am questioning if it is smart to leave a flame burning overnight.  I never use dish towels near the stove, and I try very hard to make sure nothing comes close to the open flame.

We also own two fire extinguishers. I was about to post about them, but it turns out there is a HUGE recall on them.
Kiddie Fire Extinguisher Recall info

and info on how to use one, and what to look for when buying it:
Consumer Reports Buying Guide

Yay, turns out mine is unaffected by the recall. Whew.

This one was the top rated one on Consumer Reports.

Next up ... make a real plan what to do chas v'shalom if there is a fire!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017 / What am I Most Thankful For This Year?

There is so much to be thankful for, so many blessings that Hashem has literally rained down on me. But I am going to limit myself to ONE thing.

My right thumb. Yup. You read correctly. I am so thankful for my right thumb.  After Pesach, as we were putting the boxes up in the attic.  The one on the stairs slipped, and I put my hands out to attempt to catch this person. Well, they managed to catch themselves before they totally fell, but they did fall into me. They were perfectly OK, but my thumb got bent backwards, and it hurt terribly. I did ice it. The next day was eruv Shabbos, and I had friends coming to stay by for shabbos. I did pop by Ortho-On-Call to see about getting it xrayed, but they said it was a 3 hour wait! On a Friday morning? No way no how. On Sunday, after they left, I went back, but it was the same deal, about a 3 hour wait. Now anyone who knows me knows how impatient I am. When I want an answer, I want it yesterday!  So I popped over to the local emergency room which has a 5 minute wait time. (Hooray for the internet and for hospitals posting their wait times!)  After looking at it and taking an xray, they said it was sprained. 3-6 weeks for it to feel better, follow up with my doctor if it doesn't.

Shavuous comes and goes, and my thumb still hurts. Now we are getting into the summer, and my thumb is still hurting. I tried to make an appointment with my doctor, who just so happened to be on vacation that week. They said I had to call at 7:30 to get an appointment for that day. UH, so not happening. I hate waking up at 7 during the school year; I am certainly NOT waking up at 7 to make an appt for the doctor. The thumb will wait.  My thumb did start to feel a little better. Never 100%, and there was this awful lump at the base of it. I would think about it at odd times. Then it started waking me up at night, and I knew it was time to go back. Of course, like bringing a car to a mechanic when it makes a noise, the day I finally got in to see my doctor was the day it felt a lot better. I did keep telling him that the skin on the top of my thumb is so sensitive. It hurts to just barely brush against it. He told me tendinitis; sleep with a brace. I really didn't agree, but I am not the type to argue. So I gave it a month, and it got worse. This time I called and said, I want an MRI. He sent me to a hand specialist. 

Now here is the cool part. He was able to test my thumbs. My left thumb could bend towards me to about 20% and it stopped going. But the right thumb ... he stopped trying at 40%, cuz he said he knows it will go, but it will start to hurt. Let me just tell you, thumbs are NOT supposed to bend that much towards you. Torn / ruptured ligament. The only repair? Surgery. 


I had this nice little goal in life. I had planned to make it to my dying day without ever having a surgery. With no other choice (living with a deformed thumb and hurt wasn't a great option), I scheduled the surgery.

I never realized how vital my thumb was until I didn't have it at all.  The first week I had a dressing on that could not come off. Then I had a pretty cast for 3 weeks, and now I am in a splint. Except most of the time I don't wear it. (LOL)

So here is what I am so very thankful for: 
cutting the tissue paper and bubble wrap for packages
brushing my teeth!
brushing my hair (both of those are so hard to do left handed)
putting a pony tail holder in my hair
getting my socks on and off
typing on the computer (try doing it with no thumb!)
using a knife (for food prep)
cutting chicken or meat with a knife

can't do it all yet; but getting there / looking forward to:
cutting the fat off chicken
doing push ups (LOL! not really)

So my Thanksgiving message to everyone is this, it truly IS the small things in life that really matter!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Hmmm ... Oldest book in the world is ... CORRECT!

Yeah, yeah, but we already KNEW that, right?  As a believing Jewess, I believe everything in the Torah is correct and still relevant today. How many times over the past century (two or three even!) have Jews tried to become "enlightened" by throwing off the yoke of Torah (chas v'shalom) to accept upon themselves, well ... nothing.

Some people mock Torah, saying it's "outdated" and "behind the times". They couldn't be more wrong.  See, Hashem created us. He understands us better than we understand ourselves. So He made some real clear lines for us to exist as a decent world.  He gave us a spouse, and he made that relationship sacred. Within that relationship, He set boundaries, red lines to never cross. For instance, a married woman covers her hair.  When the husband and wife wed, the hair becomes holy, sacred between just the two of them. It is not something that is shared with the outside world. In Chabad, we believe that kedusha, holiness, flows down from above to the woman through her hair. (In a man, it flows through his beard hair, and what exactly this means, I don't know 100%.) We also keep our hair covered all the time, even at night when sleeping.

In Orthodox Judaism, there are rules between men and women. It doesn't matter married or not married ... men & women don't mix. We dance separately at weddings; we eat separate at them too.  We have functions that are usually only for men or for women. Our synagogues are divided, so that each gender can focus on their prayers, rather than their outer appearance. 

Generally, men & women who are not related do not touch. No handshake, a pat on the back, and no high fives. Immediate family members, like a father and daughter, or a grandmother and a grandson are permitted to touch or hug. The Torah even goes as far as to prohibit a brother and sister from living together in the same house as grown ups (with no parents; as room mates) for more than 30 days.

But Leah ... it's 2017! Nothing is going to happen if a man shakes your hand! Nothing is going to happen if give a high five to a guy. Nothing is going to happen if you stay late at the office with a man and no one else is there ... Except it DOES happen and it IS happening. Every single day you hear of yet another scandal involving some big famous guy who used his power to push around a woman and get what he wants. And here is the beauty of it ... follow me for a second here ... It was recently revealed that Vice President Mike Pence will not dine alone with a woman. He was opening MOCKED for that. People went off on him, saying that he must not have any control over himself, and he's a wimp who can't alone with a woman without jumping her. No one stopped for one moment and thought to themselves, what does that mean for Mrs. Pence?  I can tell you what it means for Mrs. Pence. It means she has total and complete peace of mind. She knows that her husband is bound solely to her.  It means that more likely than not, she doesn't have to fear that his name is going to pop up on a scandal, because he has drawn a very clear line in the sand and he will not cross it, no matter what!  I celebrated my 30th wedding anniversary this past June. In 30 years, I have never, ever, ever once worried about my husband. Because like VP Pence, he has a line in the sand that he won't cross. He follows the same book that I do, and he understands that when the Torah has set certain guidelines for us, G-d KNOWS what He is doing.  Think about this for just one moment. If every single one of these guys who is accused of awful things had made a line in the sand, and not crossed it, would any of this mess be about today? 

Today, more than ever, the words of the Holy Torah are needed to guide us all, and show us how to behave as a civil nation.  It's not outdated, and it's not irrelevant. I would even venture to say that it's more relevant that ever.  Maybe it is time for people to review the laws of yidchud (not being alone in a room with a member of the opposite gender)? All I do know is that it can't hurt. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Kisses from Hashem

This post has been percolating in my head for quite some time now. I think I've spoken about it before, but here goes anyway ...

First, you need to listen to the song You're Never Alone. You can find the lyrics here:

Avraham Fried has so many beautiful songs. (No Jew Will Be Left Behind / Don't Hide From Me)  But this song especially speaks to me.  One of my therapists once asked me, "How is your relationship with G-d?"  I was very put off by that questions. In my mind then, Jews don't have a relationship with G-d. Our Father In Heaven sounded sooo not Jewish to me.  We had our mitzvos to do, and like a good little girl, I did them. Fear of G-d? Check. Love of G-d? Not so much. How do you love what you can't see, feel, hear, basically, relate to. So no, Jews don't have a "relationship with G-d".  It gnawed at me though, sneaking into my thoughts at odd times. Finally, I had to do some research ... DO Jews actually have a relationship with Hashem?  And the answer I found blew me away! A Tatte in Himmel ... a Father in Heaven ... was a JEWISH CONCEPT!  (This song about that idea  literally brings me to tears when I hear it. Aptly composed and sung by Dveykus*.)

(I tried to find the lyrics, but I can't find a complete translation of them. You can view some of it here:

"I am a bas melech", the daughter of The King has SO much more meaning now. It literally turned my life around, changed me completely. If I have to say something "good" that came out of losing Yossi a'h, well, this is the biggest thing. (Don't get me wrong, I still want him here. Guess what I am trying to say is that this is a silver lining to the worst possible rain clouds ever imaginable.)

So now when I am sad or angry or happy, I can directly talk to my Tatte in Himmel. I tell him when things get to hard, or feel so much gratitude when things go the way I wish them to. I've said before, Hashem is not as hidden as you think, you merely have to open your eyes and especially your heart to let Him in.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that the last year and change has been super emotionally hard for me. I noticed something strange happening ... I was having dry spells and great spells and there seemed to be a connection to when those great spells hit. If I was having a particularly hard day, soon thereafter, something wonderful would happen. I would find something totally amazing, or make a nice big sale. It seemed to be happening consistently.  Then things turned around, and baruch Hashem, I've been in a fairly upbeat mood. But as I wrote about three weeks ago, I got totally triggered by CNN.  Then, that week, I got triggered again. I heard a song that I always associate with Yoss. It's Conversation In The Womb, which ironically, is based on a gemorah about the afterlife. (The lyrics are below the video, and there is really no explanation needed.)

Conversation In the Womb (Lyrics) My dear brother, look around and tell me what your eyes behold Don't deny that you see, it's only you and me Our existence, it is empty, it is cold Our existence, it is empty, it is cold But dear brother You must have faith that we are not the only ones For in the distance there's a place, where we'll stand up tall and straight Oh, I believe there is a world to come, yes, I believe that there is a world to come My dear brother, don't be blind, don't be stubborn, don't be set. Imagination it's all right, but it won't light up the night What you see is exactly what you get; oh what you see is exactly what you get But dear brother You will surely find when all is said and done That the future it will show, Ttere is so much we don't know Oh I believe that there is a world to come, yes I believe that there is a world to come. My dear brother, Where have you gone?, Is this the moment I have known? I can faintly hear the cry My dear brother must have died It's all over now forever I'm alone, It's all over now forever I'm alone But dear brother Please don't mourn me when my life has just begun For what you hear are sounds of joy "Congratulations, it's a boy" Oh I believe that there is a world to come, Yes I believe that there is a world to come 'Cause what you hear are sounds of joy "Congratulations, it's a boy" Soon you'll be here with me in this world to come. Soon you'll be here with me in this world to come.

Journeys by Abie Rotenberg

When I say it was bad, it was climb into bed and cry type bad. A video call to my bestie, and she was able to pick me up. I sorta forgot about it until a week later, when I had a totally amazing and fantastic discovery. When another friend said that it must have been a kapara for physical pain I was going through, it got me to thinking ... no, personally, I don't think it was that. I think it was more for the emotional pain I went through. Whatever the reason, to me, it was perfectly clear. Hashem was sending me a HUGE KISS. He was telling me, I know you are hurting, and I am hurting with you.  As Avraham Fried said, I truly am never alone.

The goal of this post for me is to try and internalize that message. That when I am hurting, Hashem is with me, and He is there to hold my hand. It's a lofty goal.

*Dveykus is a yearning to be one with Hashem. Somehow, for me, that is what this song does, is it makes me yearn for Him.

Monday, November 6, 2017


Look liberal America, we get it. You are upset that you lost the election. You are pissed your candidate didn't become president. We get that you hate #PresidentTrump and you wish he wasn't president.
However, here ARE the facts:

*Hillary Clinton *LOST*. Yes, she lost. This is real life, there are no do-overs or second chances; she lost.

*Donald Trump *WON*.  Yes, he won, and he is the 45th President of the United States of America. (Well, it's supposed to be the United states, but sadly, those on the Left refuse to be united.)

*In the real world, NOT "everyone is a winner".  (Sorry, but you were fed a pack of lies by well meaning people who didn't want to hurt your feelings.)

*Actions have consequences. (I'm not going to get into WHY Hillary lost; suffice it to say she refuses to accept responsibility for her losing, which is also part of the problem.)

*We *DESPISED* Obummer, but hey, we accepted that we lost and moved on. Which is why we turned out in force to make sure we didn't lose in 2016.

Why am I harping on an event that happened almost a year ago to the day? Because those on the Left refuse to behave like grown ups and move on. Instead, they are behaving like a toddler who was told she can't have ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  The big protest coming up this week is "Scream At the Sky" on Nov 8th to show your dissatisfaction with the election results. REALLY? I mean, REALLY??????? Come on! Even my grandchildren know better than that.  Which leads me to believe that all these stupid "feel good" things parents have been doing to their kids have resulted in a bunch of kids in their twenties who never learned at age 2 that things don't always go your way, and the world does NOT revolve around you.  Yup.  It's a sad fact of life, but truthfully, we are all just a small blimp in the scheme of life.

Which leads to my next point ... if that is the case, and we are basically nothing, then what are we here for?  Easy! To make this world a better place. I don't care what religion you are, what side of the aisle you belong to politically, or even if you don't believe in a Higher Power at all ... no one can argue that anything bad will come about from trying to make this world a better place.

So how can we do that? So many little things; I've said it so many times before. Take time to connect with others. The mailman ... he has a life! Say Hello and tell him Thank You for working on such a hot or cold or rainy day.  The woman checks you out at the grocery ... She is a person too! She has hopes and dreams and desires! Put down your phone when checking out, look her in the eye, and thank her for helping you! Smile at that stranger you pass while grabbing your cart, and also at the person you see walking down the street. Yes, EVEN IF YOU DON'T KNOW THEM! I can promise you that nothing bad will happen from showing people that you care about them.

I love to tell people how my husband teases me that I suffer from MyLipusFlapus (King of Queens term). Yes, I talk waaaayyyy too much.  But I also find out things about people I meet. I have a mini-connection with all these strangers, and yes, I do view some of them as friends.  Every single person is in this world because G-d put them here.  That means that each and every person has a purpose, and a reason for them to exist.

I've decried the lack respect for human life for quite some time now.  Find out you're pregnant, but it's not convenient, or not the gender you wanted, easy-peasy-one-two-three and POOF! gone!  An sickly person has no quality of life? Once again, easy-peasy-one-two-three and POOF! gone! We spend a lot of time talking (and arguing) with people on social media, forgetting that there is a life, breathing, living human being sitting on the other side (most of them; unless you are fighting with a bot). People play video games where you kill others and don't bat an eyelash. We have songs that speak about killing police, or raping women.  Then we are horrified when someone does it.  (I would just like to point out that I personally believe that these things taint your soul, and I don't allow them to do that. I don't watch TV or movies; I don't listen to regular music, read secular books, or even play those violent games.  They ALL have a subliminal effect on you.  So much so, that our Rebbe told us years ago not to let young children see non-Kosher animals, because of the effect it has on the soul. How much more so that garbage that Hollywood throws out.)

This is the main reason I am writing.  Yesterday's massacre should be a huge wake up call to the entire country.  It's time we all say to those throwing a temper tantrum, GROW UP! You need to act like adults, and accept that this is the reality. As much as you wish it isn't so, it still is.  Put your hate aside, and let's try to repair. Stop trying to divide us. Let's work on being the UNITED States of America again, even if you can't stand the President. Look, we survived 8 years of Obama. And if you people on the Left stop trying to prevent President Trump from doing his job, then you will survive too.

Meanwhile, tragically, there is a family in Texas who has lost 8, yes EIGHT members of their family.  It is a tragedy beyond words! Please read the article, and donate something, anything, to help them.

Let's hope the next time I post, it is on a happy occasion. I am getting so sick and tired of being sad at the horrible way the world is today!


Monday, October 23, 2017

CNN really *IS* ISIS!

One of the unpleasant side effects of losing a child is the unexpected triggers,  I've written about it before, so I won't spend too much time on it.  It is basically going merrily along your day happy as a clam (are clams really all that happy?), and then BAM! Your world comes crashing down and all you want to do is crawl under your covers, cry, and hide from the painful world.

Yesterday was one of those days. I'm happily minding my own business, watching You Tube videos (Ben Shapiro has such a sharp tongue!), when I clicked on a recommended video.  (First mistake ... don't trust the You Tube algorithm.)  This video came up.  For full disclosure, I did not watch the whole thing.  I had to stop after four minutes.

A recent Gold Star mom crying over her lost son.  From CNN.  (Second mistake ... breaking my self-imposed blackout on CNN in all forms. I normally won't click on any link of theirs.)

What I found so horrifying was that the woman did not cut the interview short.  The mom is crying the entire time.  I cried to my husband about the video.  He asked me why she agreed to do the interview.  This is part of what broke me.  I totally and completely get her reason.  Her son,  SPC. Etienne Murphy died.  She wants the world to know about her son.  BTDT.  I went through that for a few years.  Every time I met someone, I told them about Yossi a'h.  He was here and he was gone and I felt like the world needed to know that something so precious was no longer here.  After one of the yartzeits, it hit me that his friends never really will forget him.  I had been so worried that 30, 40, 50 years would pass, and Michoel and I would be the only ones still crying over him.  When I saw that wasn't going to be the case, a huge stone lifted from my heart.  It really helped in the healing in knowing that he wasn't going to be forgotten; that his life had meaning and he made an impact on this world (for the better).

So why was I so upset? Why was I crying for this mom and her tragic loss?  All the CNN interviewer saw was an opportunity to #BashTrump.  WTG CNN! Politicize a bereaved mother's pain to try and hurt President Trump.  It's INHUMANE! It's despicable and vile.  There are certain lines you don't cross, and I would have thought that this was one of them.  But no. Never let a good crisis go to waste. Who cares if you trample on the already shattered heart  ... Hey! Maybe she will say something negative about the President.

It's a new low. The Left is unbalanced and totally unhinged.  It is frightening to see how evil their agenda is, and how they truly have no heart what so ever.

To know more about this brave young man who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom ...

Etienne J. Murphy, SPC, U.S. Army, 22, of Snellville passed away Friday, May 26, 2017 while serving a tour of duty in Syria; he was a part of Operation Inherent Resolve. He was a loving husband and son, an amazing father to his two boys and a friend to many. He spent his days constantly joking and making anyone who came across him smile. He did everything he set out to do in his career and life and although, his life was cut short, his name will never be forgotten. He is survived by his loving wife, children, parents, brothers and a host of loving relatives and friends

Please take a minute and sign his guest book.  Let his parents know that their sacrifice was not in vain.

May Hashem bring comfort and wipe away ALL tears with the coming of Moshiach NOW!