Friday, June 05, 2009

SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO A SMART PARENT

I have been getting a lot of emails concerning my blogs. One group says 'You Rock Girl'...well you know what I mean.

The other group says 'You Should be Ashamed of Yourself'.

So. Please. If you wish to be taken off this list please email me and I will do so immediately. marallyn@gmail.com

When I was growing up in Windsor, my mother had one saying. It was her litmus paper. No matter what news I had or what I wanted to share with her, she would say, "Is it good or bad for the Jews."

When I wanted to be a Brownie in second or third grade, she informed me that Jewish Girls do not go to Brownies...they go to the I.L.Peretz Jewish School instead. End of discussion.

When I wanted to go to Frank Walton's party on one Friday night, my mother told me that Frank wasn't Jewish and that she was certain I would have a great time. But, then what. Jewish girls do not go to gentile boys high school parties. They go to the Jewish Center and mingle with boys that they can date. End of discussion.

I did explain it to Frank and we remained great friends. I have often wondered where he is and what he is doing. He was a nice boy.

I miss my mother. More and more every day I miss my mother. She was interesting, funny, very clever, and intelligent.

I wonder what she would have to say about Obama's speech. If it was good or bad for the Jews. Personally, I think it was terrible for us. Israel for sure. And at one point I think he gave away my Jerusalem!

I didn't know it was his to give away.

I loved listening to him. His voice and words were soft as honey. He spoke of a world all of us would love to live in. If he could deliver that world we would all be safer and happier and better and the lion will lie down with the lamb.

But so far the lions are hungry and the lambs look like easy pickings.

When I was thirteen a new Rabbi came to town. And he opened the first Temple in the city. One evening he called for all the teenagers to come to a meeting. I was one of them. He was amazing. His words filled us with enthusiasm and we were chomping at the bit to get on his bandwagon.

When I got home, I ran to tell my parents all about the Rabbi and his plans for the city. He needs me, I told my parents.

My father A'H, who was always a quiet man. A man well-loved and respected in the community. A man who felt keenly his obligations as a husband, a father and a Jew living in Windsor, said, "Marallyn. It isn't important if he needs you. Of course he needs you. What you have to decide, is whether you need him. Who is he? What is he? Are you certain that you wish to have your name associated with his policies and his ideals."

After carefully checking him out, I realized that I didn't. My Daddy was right.

But, if he would have let me be carried away by words, I would have followed him, supported him and been associated with him.

He wasn't a bad man. He wasn't the strange radical man he turned out to be in later years. But the more time went by, the happier I was that I walked away way back then.

My Daddy taught me a good lesson. He didn't forbid me from getting involved in the youth group the Rabbi was trying to establish. He made me think. And I trusted him. And I respected him. And I thought.

Who am I to tell any of you what to do? And as my friends so aptly put it, my views are coloured by the fact that I live where I live and have lived what I have lived.

But, along with that, because of the above two sentences, I know what I know.

As an astrologer, I learned very quickly the power of air. Not fire. Not earth. And not water. Air. Air carries the pollen that fertilizes the flowers. It carries a kiss blown from one loved one to another. But it also carries disease. And words.

Remember the old saying, 'Sticks and Stones can break your bones...but names will never harm you.' Not true.

During World War II there arose a man who spoke words. Before he died millions were killed. I am not going to elaborate. I am not waving the holocaust flag. But that man...may his name be erased forever...is the only example I have from my own lifetime. Words are scary.

A word spoken in haste can take a lifetime to retract. The big one in my life was being called a Damn Jew. Twice that happened in my wonderful city of Windsor. And I didn't stick around for the third time. I moved where no one could call me that again. There is a huge difference between hatred and anti-Semitism. Well, for me there is.

One other thing my father told me. He said, 'Marallyn, be careful what you put down on paper. Once it is on paper it becomes a document.'

That sentence kept me from being a writer. I became a storyteller instead. Until, a few years ago I had such a burning desire to write that I looked for three years until I found my mentor and friend, David Brauner who taught me how to get my words on paper. Bless him.

I listened to President Obama's speech. Carefully. I listened to what was said and what was left out. Sometimes the spaces are more important than the words. You all know those pictures that come into your emails where you have to look carefully to discover the two faces instead of the vase.

And half truths are even more scary. They sound good and are quickly adopted as fact.

BTW---Mr. President...Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world. - Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:8 (37a)
The Jerusalem Talmud dates back to the third century C.E. -- Mohammed was not even born until about 570.


Shavuah tov.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

8 Comments:

At 2:51 PM, Blogger Susan said...

I have been eagerly awaiting your post on this event. As always it was worth the wait!!! You are certainly a writer and oh so much more!!!! We pray for Jerusalem and for you, dear Marallyn.
Susan

 
At 2:53 PM, Blogger marallyn ben moshe said...

thank you so much susan...you have no idea how much your caring and support mean to me...evil walks the planet and the world is asleep...and bless you for my prayers...to you and yours from me and mine...love

 
At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Marsha said...

Good morning Marallyn. You are truly an amazing person. I am so thankful that we are friends. Your words are eloquent and passionate. I am one of the “You Rock Girl” people. Keep well. Luv Marsha

 
At 7:47 AM, Anonymous Romie said...

Hey! I didn't know that you went to Peretz Shul!
Do you know where the world's first I. L. Peretz School was?
In Winnipeg, of all places!
I went there for three years, until my parents switched me over to 'English' school!

BTW: When there, in kindergarten (at age 4), I met a kid in my class named Barry (Buddy) Linder. We became friends, and today, we're still 'best friends'. It's been non-stop (& I do mean with no breaks whatsoever) for the past 66 years! (He lives in Phoenix, Arizona.)

xxx
Romie

 
At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Roberta said...

Dear Uncle Mao,

I was interested in the start of this message and thought I'd write straight away.
I don't always agree with what you write but then I don't live in Jerusalem so what do I know? I love you and I respect you and I want to hear how you feel even if I don't agree!
And reading this blog reminded me that I'd like to know more about Rabbi Sherwin Wine some day. AND I remembered how much I loved Auntie Ann and Uncle Herbie too. I never see a fur coat without thinking of him!
xoxoxox
roberta

 
At 7:52 AM, Anonymous Dov said...

Great blog - I love how you are so personal and to the point. I heard back from Ron Spinner and just had a lovely Skype chat with estee this morning. Love, Dov

 
At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Iris said...

altho i may not agree with your take on Obama .. i respect it and i believe he owes the Jewish State and the Jewish people an apology for his ommission of these most important historical facts .. he will be hearing from me ... and

Keep the blogs coming .. DO NOT TAKE ME OFF THE LIST

 
At 8:04 AM, Blogger marallyn ben moshe said...

thanks everyone...i have written to you all via email

 

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