Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

An Israeli research team from the prestigious Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center discovered that among menopausal women the most important factor contributing to quality of life is number of children. In other words, researchers were surprised to find that bigger families mean happier and more satisfied moms.

The research team interviewed 151 women between the ages of 45-55 and at various stages of menopause. Researchers asked the women about the severity of their menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes. They also asked the women to rate their quality of life in terms of employment, health, intimacy, and emotional well-being. The researchers had thought they would find a correlation between the severity of menopausal symptoms and lower quality of life. To their surprise, they found that there is actually very little connection between menopausal symptoms and quality of life.

It turned out, instead, that the biggest factor contributing to quality of life among menopausal women is the number of children they have. Menopausal women with two or less children rated their quality of life as 91. In contrast, women with three or more children ranked their quality of life at 99.

Dr. Chaimov-Kuchman attempted to explain the research team’s unexpected findings, “One of our hypotheses is that women in Israel view menopause as the beginning of infertility…It could be that women who gave birth to 2 or less children feel that maybe that is not sufficient, and that they did not actualize their potential, and it’s possible that that has an impact on their quality of life.”

Read the original Hebrew article on this groundbreaking research

Special thanks to Rachel Reinfeld-Wachtfogel for sending this article my way!

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A Russian news program recently reported that a first-time mother gave birth to 10 babies. According to this news report, the mother did not see a doctor during her pregnancy, which explains why there was such off-the-charts shock when she gave birth to 10 babies.

According to the report, the husband fainted when he realized that he had been transformed overnight into a father of 10. The hospital nurses say they were in shock when one baby after another were coming out of this woman. The mother is just doing everything she can to keep the names straight of her 5 newborn sons and 5 newborn daughters.

I was just laughing when I watched this, it just seems so unbelievable. But is it unbelievable/incredible or un-believable/I just don’t believe this?

I’m leaning now to thinking this is a made-up story…Watch this video and vote in the poll below what you think the truth is…


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Me In Timephoto © 2009 Vincent van der Pas | more info (via: Wylio)

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Over the past few days I have been feeling breathless. I think this borderline hyperventilation might be due to my perpetual motion machine life, and the fact that it’s finally starting to get to me.

And then I read the results of a recent survey of 3000 working British moms, which breaks down the average day of a working mom as follows:

(reprinted from the Motherlode Blog):
Get up 6:42am
Get ready (shower, dress, coffee) 55 minutes
Get children ready 47 minutes
Commute to work 52 minutes
Working day 7 hours
Pick children up 33 minutes
Makes / eat dinner 46 minutes
Children’s play and bedtime 1 hour 9 minutes
Household chores 1 hour 13 minutes
Work from home 1 hour 12 minutes
Go to bed 10:45pm
Spare time = 1 hour 30 minutes a day

What is it that parents miss most? Here’s what they told pollsters:

1. Spend more time with the children – 48 per cent
2. Read books – 37 per cent
3. Do more exercise – 34 per cent
4. Put feet up in front of the TV – 32 per cent
5. A lie in – 31 per cent
6. Go to the pub – 30 per cent
7. Meet friends – 25 per cent
8. Take a walk in the park with their partner – 22 per cent
9. Go to the cinema – 19 per cent

My first thought after reading this was that I really don’t get how these moms do it. I work only three hours a day, not seven, and I am the one borderline hyperventilating as I type these words.

What do you think of the results of this survey? Do you think the 90 minutes spare time a day sounds realistic? What does your daily schedule look like and what do you miss most from you BC (Before Children) days? I’ll be interested to hear your comments on this…

Don’t forget to read author Liza Mundy’s wonderful response to this poll entitled “The Strands of Time”…

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Mrs. Wing Sing and son, Montreal, QC, 1890-95photo © 2009 Musée McCord Museum | more info (via: Wylio)

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For days after I read Amy Chua’s horrifying and unforgivably obnoxious defense of her abusive parenting style in the Wall Street Journal, I was trying to come up with a response a la “JewishMOM vs. ChineseMOM!”* I even thought up a few right-hook lines like: “Jewish kids are just as smart and successful as Chinese kids, but we aspire to parent with love and patience rather than humiliation and name-calling.”

But after I read Slovie Jungreis Wolff’s response to Amy Chua’s article on Aish.com, I knew that Slovie’s article was the one I wanted you JewishMOMs to read. Here it is! Enjoy!

Are Chinese Parents Superior? A Jewish response to Amy Chua’s extreme parenting by Slovie Jungreis Wolff

When Amy Chua was a little girl, she was extremely disrespectful to her mother. Her father angrily called her “garbage” in their native dialect.

Today, Amy is a mother herself. When her daughter, Sophia, acted extremely disrespectfully, Amy called her “garbage” in English. One evening at a dinner party, Amy mentioned what she had done. She felt immediately ostracized. A guest even broke down, cried, and had to leave early. The host and guests who remained tried in vain to convince Amy to change her ways.

Amy is a Yale Law professor and advocate of Chinese parenting methods. A recent piece she authored in the Wall Street Journal (1/8/11 Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior) explained how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful children.

Here are some things that Sophia and Lulu, her now tween daughters, have never been allowed to do:

* attend a sleepover
* have a playdate
* be in a school play
* complain about not being in a school play
* watch tv or play computer games
* get any grade less than an A
* not be the number 1 student in any subject except gym or drama
* play any instrument other than piano or violin
* not play the piano or violin.


Not only that, but Amy writes that Chinese mothers can say to their daughters, “Hey fatty – lose some weight.” She bemoans the fact that Western parents veil the weight issue by speaking about ‘health’; never mentioning “the f-word.’ And still their children end up with eating disorders that require years of therapy to combat negative body images.

Related Article: The Entitled Child

When it comes to school, Amy again feels that Western parents fall short.

An A- brings praise, a B may bring praise or disapproval but never will a child be made to feel insecure by being called “stupid”, “worthless” or “a disgrace.”

Even if parents worry about their child’s skills, they will do so privately and may eventually speak to the principal about the teacher’s methods and the school’s curriculum.

What would Chinese parents do?

Chinese children never get a B. But if they would, there would be a “screaming, hair-tearing explosion.”

Chinese mothers would be horrified by an A-. Chinese children never get a B. But if they would, there would be a “screaming, hair-tearing explosion.” Then, the mother who feels devastated by her child’s failure would get hundreds of practice worksheets until the child moved up to an A.

There is no such thing as a child not doing well. If perfection is not achieved it must be that the child is not working hard enough. The solution is always punishing or shaming the child. Children are believed to be strong enough to take the shame and be better for it.

Amy concludes her article with proof of her parenting methods.

She tells a story that she believes reinforces her belief in Chinese-style coercion.

Lulu was about 7 and working on an incredibly difficult piano piece.

After one week of trying, Lulu announced that she was giving up. She stomped off and refused to return to the piano. Forced to return, she not only punched, thrashed and kicked, she also tore up the score. Amy pasted it back together and protected it in a plastic sheath. Lulu was threatened with “no lunch, no dinner, no Christmas, no Hannukkah (her father is Jewish), no birthday parties for 2, 3, 4, years.” She was called lazy, cowardly, self- indulgent and pathetic.

Lulu’s dad decided to get involved. He told his wife that he didn’t think the threats were helpful and maybe she just couldn’t do it.

Amy replied that Lulu’s sister Sophia was able to play the piece at this age.

When told that they were two different people, Amy rolled her eyes.

“Oh no, not this,” I said. “Everyone is special in their special own way,” I mimicked sarcastically. “Even losers are special in their own special way. Well don’t worry, you don’t have to lift a finger. I’m willing to put in as long as it takes, and I’m happy to be the one hated. And you can be the one they adore because you make them pancakes and take them to Yankee games.”

They worked at it all night, no permission granted even for a bathroom or water break. There was so much yelling, Amy lost her voice.

Amy concludes her piece triumphantly with the news that Lulu finally mastered the piece. She felt confident and played beautifully at her recital.

End of story.

But not in my book.

Sure there are too many times that we allow our children to give up. Of course we sometimes let our kids off too easily and try to shield their self-esteem. Anyone who has ever read my articles or attended my classes knows that I often speak about our raising a generation of entitled kids who are raised with an inflated sense of self. Parents who applaud and praise their children’s every act and do not hold them accountable teach kids to rely on egos instead of effort.

But in this entire article there has been no mention of character.

Related Article: Authority in Parenting

How do we define a successful child?

What are the values that I am trying to transmit to my children about who they are and who I hope they will one day grow up to be?

Can I call myself an accomplished parent if my child masters a piano piece while at the same time I have conveyed to my child that it’s okay to stomp on the heart of another?

Shaming a child may bring immediate results but what about the effects on one’s soul?

Calling a child “garbage” or “fatty” is mean. Shaming a child may bring immediate results but what about the effects on one’s soul? Embarrassing another human being goes against the dictates of our holy Torah. We believe that every person is created in the image of God, Himself. When you shame someone you are actually disrespecting the holiness that God placed within each one of us.

And what kind of parent will this child grow up to be? How will she speak to her own spouse and children?

At what price do we feel triumphant?

If I would have a conversation with Amy, I would share my own story about raising children successfully.

When my daughter, Shaindy, was in kindergarten, we were new to the neighborhood. I wanted my daughter to make friends with her classmates, so I asked her teacher for a class list. After going over the various names, we set up a play-date with Sora Leah.

The next day the little mini bus pulled up after school. The bus counselor wished me luck as both girls stepped down. The next three hours were a puzzle to me. Sora Leah said not one word. She sucked her thumb and had difficulty walking. She held onto Shaindy’s dress.

After Sora Leah was picked up, I called Shaindy into the kitchen.

“Is Sora Leah your friend, sweetie?” I asked.

“No, Mommy, Sora Leah doesn’t really have any friends,”

“Well, do you play together in school?” I wondered.

“No, Mommy, Sora Leah doesn’t play”.

I could not understand.

“Oh, Mommy,” Shaindy said sadly. “Every day the teacher calls out names of who is going to who after school. And every day Sora Leah cries because the teacher never calls her name. I just didn’t want her to cry anymore, Mommy.”

This little child looked up at me and I felt as if I had been touched by something indescribable; something pure and holy. Call it soul, spirit or heart of hearts. It really does not matter. Isn’t this the essence of who we strive to be – adult or child?

Today, Shaindy is a mother herself. She lives in Jerusalem and continues to reach out to fellow Jews and touching hungry souls.

We are here as parents to teach compassion, kindness and goodness. We are the greatest examples, our homes are our classrooms. Our goal is for each child to reach her potential. Not by calling her garbage nor through shame. But rather, through raising a child with soul.

*Amy Chua claims that her parenting style is representative of all Chinese parents. So in this post I have written “Chinese MOM,” but in quotation marks, because I’m sure there are a ton of Chinese parents out there who were just as horrified by Amy Chua’s tyrannical mothering as me and you.


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I just want to express my horror at the inhuman shooting of Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona congresswoman shot who was critically injured by a gunman this week.

Even though only Gifford’s father is Jewish, she identifies as a Jew, is extremely proud of her Jewish heritage, and is a loyal friend of Israel.

She told voters this year before she was elected to Congress:

“If you want something done, your best bet is to ask a Jewish woman to do it. Jewish women — by our tradition and by the way we were raised — have an ability to cut through all the reasons why something should, shouldn’t or can’t be done and pull people together to be successful.”

Giffords’ grandfather was the son of a Lithuanian rabbi. Giffords said in an interview with Jewish Woman magazine “I was raised not to really talk about my religious beliefs. Going to Israel was an experience that made me realize there were lots of people out there who shared my beliefs and values and spoke about them openly.”

Giffords is a member of Congregation Chaverim in Tucson. She serves on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

The gunman has said that his favorite book is Mein Kampf, indicating that his motivations for the shooting were at least partially based on anti-Semitism.

May we hear good news from Gabrielle Giffords, a mother of two children and a dear and devoted friend of the Jewish people who is desperately in need of our prayers.

Read more about Gabrielle Gifford’s Jewish connection at Aish.com


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The Blizzard Wedding


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A smile for all of you Jewish moms stuck in the big blizzard- a Chassidic bride and groom, streimel and all! Leave us a comment to share how deep the snow is where you live and how you’re doing!


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Egypt thinks its spate of shark attacks are a Mossad plot. Steven Colbert thinks they just might be right. I saw this on Aish.com and thought it was very, very funny. Enjoy!
Vodpod videos no longer available.


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