Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's Time For Me To Fly Away

Oh boy, this is much harder than I thought it would be.

I haven't posted here in a long time and that is because I have been trying to figure out how to say goodbye.
It's been two and a half years since I started SuperRaizy and being part of this little corner of the blogging world has been a really wonderful experience for me. I started blogging because I was feeling sad and lonely and overwhelmed by my responsibilities at work and at home, and the emotional outlet that being part of this community has provided for me has been invaluable. I have learned so much from reading about your challenges and successes, and being exposed to a whole new range of opinions has opened my eyes on a lot of issues. I am a smarter and more tolerant person now because of our discussions.

But most of all, the friendships that I have formed with some of you has been the most amazing part of all. Making friends with people from around the world whom you have never actually met?! Who woulda thunk it? Definitely not me. But strangely enough, there are now men and women in Israel, in France, in Canada, and yes, even in New Jersey that I now consider to be my friends despite the fact that they don't even know my real name. And because I don't want to just walk away, I will be friending some of you on Facebook so we can continue to keep in touch (and hey, if you want to "ignore" me, I'll understand. I'm not looking to invade anyone's personal space).

Now that my children are older (Flash will be starting college in a year!) I have started thinking about my own personal and professional goals. For the first time since my divorce 10 years ago, I am looking forward to the future instead of just feeling stuck in the day-to-day challenges of the present.

I will still be checking in from time to time to see what y'all are up to. And I might post an update or two at some point if anything exciting happens. But for now, I bid you guys adieu and I remain yours truly,


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Haveil Havalim: The Lots And Lotsa Matzah Edition

Brush the crumbs off your beard and brace your aching tummy- it's time for Haveil Havalim again!!!
Started by Soccer Dad and administered by Jack, HH is a weekly roundup of the best posts of the Jewish Blogosphere.
Probably due to the holiday, I received very few submissions this week for HH, so I conducted my own Bedikat Hablogs and selected some additional posts that I thought you might enjoy.

So How's Your Pesach Going?
Baila is enjoying her vacation.
G6 is battling the matzah crumbs at Guess Who's Coming To Dinner.
All of Elliot Jaffe's children managed to stay awake throughout the seder at Weekend Hospitality.
Seraphic Secret shows us what happens when Karen Koshers Keilim.
Frum Satire presents Rules for NYers Visiting Miami for Pesach, Passover Price Gouging, and My First days of Pesach Were Awesome.
Hadassah's son held her hand and melted her heart.
RivkA tells us about her family's vacation in Eilat over at Coffee and Chemo.
Batya at Shiloh Musings attended the Passover Festival at Tel Shiloh (with pictures!)
The Rebbetzin's Husband visited Central Park.
Shosh won A Prestigious Award right before Pesach at Day By Glorious Day.
The Subjugated Wife directs her outrage at certain smug patronizing men in My Annual Passover Rant (you tell 'em!)
And Our Shiputzim discusses the annual problem of conflicting haggadahs.

Pesach- It's What's For Dinner
Esser Agaroth offers us a Qitniyoth Wrap-Up.
According to Rafi G., Israeli Arabs love to eat matzah with chocolate sauce.
The beautiful women of the J-Blogosphere present some delicious kosher-for-pesach recipes: radish salad from Leora, eggplant caponata from Ilana Davita, swiss chard rollups from Israeli Kitchen, mina de maza from Baronness Tapuzina, and chocolate biscotti, matzoh balls in Persian fruit soup, cranberry charoset, and mushroom croquettes all from Cafe Liz.
A Blob Of Something Different reminds us that Pesach is really all about freedom in Let's Free Ourselves.

Nu, So What's Been Happening In Israel?
A televised debate between Hamas and Fatah leads The Israel Situation to discuss their tendency to Blame It On The Occupation. Eric also notes a bit of irony in The White House Seder.
It's a Passover miracle! (heavy sarcasm) A Palestinian teenager that was reportedly killed by the IDF is alive and well and back home with his family in Gaza. See The Muqata for all of the ridiculous details.
Soccer Dad discusses The Twisted Logic Of The Peace Process.
Oleh Girl discloses that Amnesty International Partners Up With Terrorists And Jihad.
On a more personal note, A Soldier's Mother shows us how much the Israeli Army cares for its soldiers and for their families in Are You Chaim's Mother?
and Treppenwitz shares the appalling story of his lost cell phone.

Other Good Stuff (or: it's getting late and I'm tired so I need to finish this up)
Material Maidel asks a question that made me laugh out loud.
Jack reminisces about hanging out with the friends of his youth.
Wolfish Musings discusses How To End Some Torah/Science Disputes and shows us a beautiful shot of the Hudson River at sunset.
And for the mathematically challenged among us, Ima On And Off The Bima provides an "omer counter" to help us get through the next seven weeks.

That's all, folks. Submit your fave article or blog post to next week's edition of HH by using the carnival submission form. To volunteer to host a future edition of HH, contact Jack.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hosting HH This Week

Just got back from a lovely (but rainy) Yom Tov by my sister's house in Long Island. It was nice to spend time with her and, like always, our kids thoroughly enjoyed being together. Supermangirl did a great job of keeping up with us at the seder (a first for her) and she got to engage in a 2 day Monopoly marathon with her cousin, who informed me that there is a version of Monopoly which features solid gold playing pieces, diamond encrusted dice and real cash and which costs "$27 billion dollars". I don't know what he's talking about but he's pretty cute, so whatever.

Anyway, I'll be hosting Haveil Havalim this Sunday, so be sure to send your posts in ASAP. You can submit posts here. If you'd like to host a future edition of HH, please let Jack know.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Playing Ghost

Yesterday, my mother boarded an El Al flight to join my brother and his family in Israel for the holiday. She was so relieved not to have to do any Pesach cleaning or cooking of her own. When I was little, preparing for Pesach was a major headache for my Mom. With 5 kids, a full time job, and barely enough money to cover the added costs, she had to work long into the night to get everything ready on time. To add insult to injury, my father a"h, who tended to get very jittery and irritable before holidays, would rush around the kitchen trying to help, which ticked her off even further. We children knew to stay out of the kitchen before the inevitable meltdown occurred. One year, this took the form of my mother throwing a wet sponge at my father's head; another time, she threatened to drown him in the chicken soup if he didn't get out of her way. My father, who loved my mother more than anything in the world, always looked shocked and hurt and would protest feebly that he was just trying to help. We would shake our heads sadly and gently lead my dad out of the kitchen, marveling that after all these years he still hadn't learned his lesson.

Eventually my Mom would declare the kitchen "finished" and we would all assemble in the living room to prepare for Bedikat Chametz (searching for chametz) just before midnight. By this point, my mother was so exhausted and so eager to get the kids to bed that she would urge my father to "stop with the narishkeit already and just go play ghost". As my father wandered around the dark house clutching a lit candle and looking for the 10 pieces of bread that we had hid moments earlier, my mother would mutter darkly under her breath. The moment the ceremony was over, we were rushed off to bed.

My siblings and I never viewed these proceedings as being unpleasant or traumatic. We thought the whole process was funny, and sometimes we would lay bets as to how long it would take before my mother started threatening my father with a dishwater bath. Now as adults, all 5 of us still refer to Bedikat Chametz as "playing ghost". I thought of my parents last night as I watched Flash lead his sisters around the house looking for the 10 pieces of bread. As they came downstairs, Supermangirl excitedly announced "Ma, we did really great this year! We found eleven pieces of bread!" Flash shook his head in exasperation (apparently the girls had hidden 11 pieces instead of the required 10) but all I thought was "a new generation, but still the same old chaos".

I hope you all enjoyed playing ghost in your houses, and that you and your families are able to leave the chaos of preparation behind and enjoy a peaceful and stress-free holiday.

Chag Sameach!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

No Longer A Virgin

About two weeks ago, I finally took the plunge.
After sitting on the sidelines watching my friends, my nieces, and my teenage son doing it, I decided that it looked like fun and that I wanted to join in.
So I did it.
I joined Facebook. I am no longer a Facebook virgin! (Wait a second... what did you people think I meant?)
Anyway, this Facebook thing is fun. Admittedly, it's an even bigger time suck than blogging is, but I've managed to reconnect with people I thought I would never speak to again. So far, I've "friended" 14 old classmates, two cousins that I never actually see, an old boyfriend, and my best friend from Israel who I lost touch with 10 years ago.
It seems that many people spend a lot of their Facebook time running some kind of weird farm and hunting down Mafia rivals. I'm not interested in that at all. I just want to hear how my friends are doing.
So if I've appeared to be a bit absent from the blogosphere, it's because a new love has been taking up my free time. But I would never turn my back on you guys (awww shucks). I'll be back real soon, because I've answered Jack's call to arms and will be hosting the Chol Hamoed Pesach edition of Haveil Havalim. First one to correctly guess what I'll be naming that edition of HH gets a big ol' kiss from SuperRaizy.
Y'all come back then, you hear?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Any Computer Experts Out There?

I upgraded to Explorer 8, and now my e-mail contact list has been wiped out. I had dozens of e-mail addresses of friends and family and colleagues- now I have none. Is there any way to restore my contacts so that I can send e-mails again?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Helping Slow Readers

New blogger Rachel Ann has some good advice for parents who want to help their children become skillful readers. Check out her post at Me Ani.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Don't Try This At Home, Ladies

Sometimes, you just really want to kill your husband. Believe me, I know the feeling. But this woman went a little too far:

A Long Island mother of four has been arrested after offering to pay a hitman $20,000 to kill her husband. On February 19, Susan Williams approached a confidential source and informed him that she wanted to have her husband, Peter Williams, murdered and that she wanted the source to arrange it, according to Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.
Instead of finding a hitman, the source contacted the DA’s Office.
On February 23, while under audio surveillance, the source called Williams to tell her that he could arrange a meeting with a hitman. The meeting took place five days later with an undercover Nassau County detective posing as the hitman.
During the meeting, Williams said that she and her husband were in the middle of divorce proceedings and that she wanted him dead.
Williams was told by the undercover detective that it would cost her $20,000 to have her husband killed. At a March 3 meeting between the two where she was given numerous opportunities to back out, Williams handed the undercover detective a photo of her husband, his home and work address, license plate number, and a provided a $500 down payment.


Jeezarooni. This woman has 4 kids, and now she's facing a possible sentence of up to 25 years in prison. As horrible as she thought her husband and her marriage were, her future is looking a lot more horrible. Did she honestly think she would get away with this? This strikes me as being some pretty bad decision making on her part.
When I was waiting for my get, a certain ultra-frumie cousin of mine generously offered me $100,000 cash to "get rid of the problem". Super-naive me asked "What do you mean?" He answered "Use the cash to buy him off or to knock him off. Your choice." While I was tempted, I declined my cousin's lovely offer and stayed on the right side of the law. I'm glad I did. I wouldn't want to be sharing a prison cell for 25 years with Susan Williams.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Please Daven For Our Friend

We just got some terrible news. A man we know, a truly modest man who gives very generously to tzedakah and who treats all those around him with courtesy and respect, has suffered a massive stroke and is currently in very critical condition at a local hospital. His wife and children and his parents, as well as his community, are very worried.
My children and I were lucky enough to be hosted by him and his wife for two Shabbat weekends, and no one has ever treated us with more warmth and kindness than they have.
At this point, the only thing that we can do for him is get as many people as possible to pray for his recovery. Please take a moment to join your prayers with ours, and if you can add his name to your shul's or yeshiva's Tehillim list, we would be grateful.
Please pray for the health of Nissan Nutta ben Chava.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Protecting Our Kids

A pediatrician in Delaware has been accused of sexually molesting 103 children over a 12 year period. Dr. Earl Bradley was indicted Monday on 471 counts of rape and sexual assault of a minor. Some of the victims were just a few months old. Police found more than 13 hours of video tape that showed multiple incidents of child sexual abuse, including one assault on a 2 year old that was described by an investigating officer as "one of the most violent and brutal attacks on a child of any age" that he had ever seen. Some of the tapes show Bradley "muzzling" screaming children who tried to escape.

Apparently, Bradley would take children downstairs to a basement playroom and would attack them there while their parents and other patients waited in nearby rooms. When one mother was asked why she allowed her daughter to be alone with Bradley, she replied that she trusted Bradley because he was a doctor.

I thought that was very odd. Pediatricians normally never ask to be alone with their patients. It is understood that a parent or caregiver will accompany the child into the exam room. A pediatrician who asks parents to wait outside while he examines their child is very unusual, and the request should raise a red flag that something is not right here. (The exception to this rule is when adolescents visit the pediatrician. The doctor might offer to counsel a teenager about birth control, venereal diseases, or substance abuse, and most kids would be more comfortable discussing these issues without a parent present. But this is entirely at the discretion of the patient and his parent. No doctor should ever ban a parent from the room. I always stay in the exam room with my girls at the doctor or dentist office. I stopped acompanying Flash about two years ago, as per his very reasonable request. No teenage boy wants his Mommy in the room when the doctor is examining him. Besides, Flash has an offbeat sense of humor and thinks it's funny when our pediatrician- who is not Jewish and has a largely non-Jewish clientele- lectures him about using condoms and not dropping out of high school. "You gotta stay outside Ma, or the paranoid doctor won't talk to me about the good stuff." Far be it from me to cramp his style.)

I think it should be obvious to everyone at this point that we have to be extremely careful whom we allow to be alone with our small children. Sometimes even the most trustworthy people can't be trusted.