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Ask Wendy

Jewish World Review / July 7, 2000 / 4 Tamuz, 5760


Hypocrites, reality checks,
and the 'real estate challenged'


By Wendy Belzberg

http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- My husband and I are sending our three children to a Conservative Hebrew school. Admittedly, we're selective about our observances; we keep kosher in the home but not outside of it, where we'll eat seafood but no cheeseburgers. Now our 11-year-old has started up with us, calling us hypocrites. How can I make him understand?


-- Selective


Dear Selective:


If you can solve my problem, I'll solve yours. Here it is: Suppose last week I went to the grocery store to pick up a bagel for my son's snack. Only one checker was open, and there were 15 people ahead of us. Since it was only a bagel, I tucked it into my pocket and we left the store.The next time we went to the grocery, the store detective stopped us on the way out and pulled seven chocolate bars from my son's book-bag. I was devastated, not to mention humiliated. I lectured him for an hour about stealing and grounded him for a week. Do you think the punishment was tough enough to ensure he'll think twice before trying to pull something like that again?

Forgive me for pulling out my mallet, but if you are as inconsistent in your parenting as you are in your transmission of Jewish values, you'll be lucky if keeping a treif home is the greatest heartache you have from your son.


* * *


I'm single, Jewish and desperate to get married. I feel like I've dated every available man on the planet. I think it might be time to settle for and marry with less-than-perfect passion. Is there anything wrong with that?


-- Ready to settle


Dear Ready: Sounds like a plan. First, find someone you think you can tolerate. Then, take the lucky man out for a quiet dinner and tell him the good news: "I've decided to marry you. I'm not madly in love with you. In fact, I don't love you at all, and I think I'm getting a lot less than I deserve. But let's hurry and set the date so we can book the hall." A marriage should be based on total honesty, after all.


* * *


Do you know how I could find a nice apartment for a reasonable rent in a safe, accessible part of Manhattan?


-- Real-estate challenged


Get married and have children and you'll learn that there are better things than living in Manhattan.


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© 2000, Wendy Belzberg