Sunday, March 29, 2015

“Evil Tongue Does Not Speak To Me:” Words And Stones

Driving in Bnai Brak yesterday I saw a billboard with the sentence: “Defamation/slandering does not appeal to me.” In Hebrew the phrase is especially powerful. The equivalent of  defamation is “evil tongue” and  “does not appeal to me” is “does not speak to me.” In Hebrew the words constitute a pun as the emphasis here is on the evil caused when we don’t shut our mouth.
The Bible forbids slandering, in Leviticus 19, among other commandments, there is one about slandering: “Do not go about spreading slander among your people.” (16).
In today's world, here in Israel, the Law of Defamation (1965) is supposed to protect people’s dignity and reputation and to prevent degrading a person or a group of people because of race, national origin, religion,  place of residence, etc. Article 1 of the Law clarifies that defamation occurs when  a person (individual or corporation) is belittled in the eyes of people and it could lead to hatred.
Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Election Day In Elkana: A Cause For Optimism

There is a famous Jewish story about a religious man who survived a shipwreck and was  left hanging onto a plank. A fishing boat approached and offered to take him back to shore. The man kindly refused saying that he was waiting for God to save him. The lesson of the story is that God helps those who help themselves.
It wasn’t a mere chance that I remembered this empowering vignette on the morning after the election when the final numbers were publicized.
Since I am an optimist by nature, feeling despair was not an option and I was looking for something that would cheer me up. Then I realized that  a fishing boat came for me too on the day of the election.
Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"The Other Is [Not] Me:" Lack Of Empathy

Yesterday morning I heard on NPR (Morning Edition) about a new study which found that parents were responsible in part for the increase of Narcissism among young people today. According to Brad Bushman, a communications and psychology professor at Ohio State University, if a kid does something amazing, and you tell her that she's very smart or that she's a very special kid, you increase her chances of becoming a narcissist. However if you say that she must have worked really hard you raise her self-esteem and keep her ego in check.
In earlier generations parents hardly ever complimented their children on good behavior, or praised their performance, for fear of “spoiling” them. This type of upbringing seemed cold and even a bit cruel and when we, my generation, became parents in the mid 1980s we vowed to do things differently and purposely encouraged and praised our children.
please keep reading in the Times Of Israel

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Another Meaning of “Real Life:” A Housewife And A Writer  

It gives me a special pleasure to explore another meaning of “real life” on the same morning when Benjamin Netanyahu attempts to convince the Americans that real life is synonymous with the Iranian nuclear threat.
In the Guardian essay from Monday March 2nd  “I love being a housewife and that doesn’t make me any less of a feminist,” Chitra Ramaswamy, a  writer and a columnist, shares her experience of being a housewife and a mother in 2015 Edinburgh.
Like many other couples, after taking a year off as a maternity leave, Ramaswamy and her partner  realized that the high cost of childcare made it sensible for her to stay at home with her son and not go back to work. They decided to live off the wage of her partner.
Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel