Friday, May 25, 2018

You know you're an old woman . . .

. . . when a fellow employee nods at you and calls you "ma'am," even though you're no one's supervisor.

Well, you know what they say--getting old sure beats the alternative.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Good luck finding clothes that fit . . .

. . . if you're female and you "ain't no size 2."

Start with "Size Matters," by Larisa Klebe on the Jewish Women's Archive.

Then watch Meghan Trainor's "All About the Bass" video and read the interview here.

Like Meghan Trainor, I'm certainly no size 2, and frankly, I resent the notion that all women are supposed to be not only forever thin, but to match a specific description of  "thin."  I can't remember ever having been smaller than a size 8 as an adult, not even when I was in my twenties, with no pot belly and not much by way of hips.  I was in my forties before I became aware that there actually existed women who were a size 2--I had thought that any size smaller than 4 was pure fiction.

Now take another, careful look at the photo of the women in the "Size Matters" post.  Not only are they all size 2, they're also symmetrical.  If a recent clothes-shopping experience of mine is any indication, clothing designers prefer women who are not only thin, but also have shoulders and hips of the same width.  This past winter, I bought a medium-size coat online, but I exchanged it for a large because I could barely zipper it at the hips.  A gornisht helfen (no help)--the large size was so big in the shoulders that I looked like a football player.  It's hard enough to find a below-the-knee down coat in this day and age when many women wear pants almost all the time.  It's darned near impossible if you're also pear-shaped.  Clothing merchants seem obsessed by the notion that down coats must be cut close to the body, less the wearer look fat, heaven forbid.

I'm sick and tired of this nonsense of judging women by their bodies.  I'm neither a size 2 nor symmetrical, and I'm fed up with clothing that's designed not to fit women like me.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on Parshat Emor

Rav Sacks gives a lesson in, of all things, time management, and it's well worth paying attention.


" . . . the following life-changing idea, . . . sounds simple, but isn’t. Do not rely exclusively on To Do lists. Use a diary. The most successful people schedule their most important tasks in their diary.[3] They know that if it isn’t in there, it won’t get done. To Do lists are useful, but not sufficient. They remind us of what we have to do but not when. They fail to distinguish between what is important and what is merely urgent.

. . .

the Jewish calendar, . . . takes many of the most important truths about our lives and, instead of putting them on a To Do list, writes them in the diary.
What happens when you do not have that kind of diary? Contemporary Western secular society is a case-study in the consequences. People no longer tell the story of the nation [as Jews do at the Passover Seder]. Hence national identities, especially in Europe, are almost a thing of the past –one reason for the return of the Far Right in countries like Austria, Holland and France.
People no longer share a moral code [which, according to tradition, we received on Shavuot], which is why students in universities seek to ban speakers with whose views they disagree. When there is no shared code, there can be no reasoned argument, only the use of force.
As for remembering the brevity of life [which our prayers address on Rosh HaShanah], Roman Krznaric reminds us that modern society is “geared to distract us from death. Advertising creates a world where everyone is forever young. We shunt the elderly away in care homes, out of sight and mind.” Death has become “a topic as taboo as sex was during the Victorian era.”[6]
Atonement and forgiveness have been driven out of public life, to be replaced by public shaming, courtesy of the social media. As for Shabbat, almost everywhere in the West the day of rest has been replaced by the sacred day of shopping, and rest itself replaced by the relentless tyranny of smartphones."

Why People of Faith Stick With Trump (Jewish Week)

" . . . while Trump’s behavior is often indefensible, it isn’t as simple as that. Like most things in life, politics is a series of choices. Religious Trump supporters are doing the same thing every other group does: weighing the costs and benefits of backing a candidate and making a rational choice that does the most to advance causes they believe are of the greatest importance."

. . .

For Evangelicals, the key issue in 2016 was religious liberty. They felt Hillary Clinton’s election would mean the appointment of more liberal judges and federal bureaucrats that would, piece by piece, dismantle their First Amendment protections, driving them from the public square as their views on social issues were rendered anathema by an intolerant popular culture.
. . .

The same test applies to Orthodox Jews, who are, as Rosenblatt notes, more engaged with Israel than other Jews. There was little reason to think Trump would be a strong supporter of Israel or keep promises like moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But those who believed he would were right. If you think the safety of Israel is the most important issue, then the trust placed by his Jewish supporters in Trump has been amply rewarded. They would not be tempted to swap him for a good family man — like, say, Barack Obama — who believed in more “daylight” between Israel and the United States and sought to appease Iran.
. . .

Read the rest here.
<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>