One People

Achdus is Hebrish for “unity”.

The problem with circumcision


brit milah


Jewish identity

Who would have ever thought this would be a problem, something even under discussion?  But it is!

Apparently a man with the last name Ungar-Sangar has made an “educational” film about the need to do away with this barbaric custom.  According to him, one can have this covenant with G-d without the cutting away of foreskin.

Who knew?

There are a few problems, actually.  Feel free to add to my list or to argue.

A baby who hasn’t had a proper bris might grow up into a child who wants one, then it’s infinitely more painful.

A child who hasn’t had a proper bris might feel very isolated Jewishly, and disconnected from his ancestors, all of who had brisim.  I see this as psychologically very damaging, especially since the decision to have a proper bris as a teenager would probably create family conflict.  His parents have already said, “NO.”

Cultural diversity is considered a good thing, and this movement dilutes diversity, is another form of assimilation.  The Jewish people are only still here, historically, because they did not assimilate. I thought everyone knew this.

This film-maker, I feel, is another self-hating Jew.  Why do Jews hate themselves like this?  I don’t understand it.



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June 7, 2007 Posted by | assimilation, bris, brissim, brit, brit milah, diversity | Leave a comment

How a Shidduch is Made Sometimes

The real reason I posted the post on How a Shidduch is Made is to show you that co-educational environments aren’t the worst environments for Jewish kids, especially during high school.

In fact, we might consider creating a place (that’s so very missing) in the Orthodox world for young people to meet.


I understand that there the single woman phenomenon in the Jewish community is a big problem.  Relying upon shadchans to marry off our daughters isn’t working.

If you think about it, relying on a shadchan does seem to narrow the odds unfavorably.  A girl could talk to perhaps, 50 boys in a typical parochial high school, or more.  A shadchan will fix her up to the tune of perhaps 10 boys in a year.

Oh, but you’ll say, her hormones, and his hormones, and how will we ever prevent the pregnancies and the blasphemous relationships?

All I can say to this is that I moved to my community 30 years ago.  In that time I know of only one pregnancy previous to marriage (and you know how people talk).

And the community speaks fondly of the love child.

Anyway, it’s just something to think about.



June 7, 2007 Posted by | co-education, shadchan, shidduch | Leave a comment

How a Shidduch is Made

Did I ever tell you that I taught high school?

No, I’m sure I didn’t since it’s been out of my working memory for a few years, now.

Rabbi of the school: Have you ever considered teaching psychology?
Me: No, never.
Rabbi: But didn’t you once tell me that community service is high on your list of self-actualizing experiences?
Me: Who, Me? I said that?
Rabbi: I’ll send you the contract. We start August 23. You have all summer to read the book. You’ll do fine. There’s a teacher’s manual.

Well, I accepted the job, but there’s a lot to tell.

There’s the whole going back to high school thing.
There’s the I don’t have the foggiest idea how to teach thing,
There’s the This is the last class of the day, thing,
There’s the These are high school seniors! thing.
There’s the I don’t do meetings, thing.
<blockquote>Assistant Principal: The faculty meeting is Thursday night, 7:30.
Me: Uh, huh.
Assistant Principal: It’s mandatory.
Me: Well. . .
Assistant Principal: There will be food.
Me: Uh, huh. (This is incentive?)</blockquote>

There were enough variables to doom the year to failure. But I did it for a couple of years and had some fun, and for sure I could have got a 5 on the AP test, and even a couple of kids did get 5’s, but not very many, and I felt guilty about that, and after the second year told the principal that there was no way I would ever do it again, he had to find a real psychology teacher, and he said, “I already have.”

Well. To me, not much good came out of the community service experiment. Although the kids who paid attention surely learned a lot– my examples are fairly graphic– they were cheated out of the chance to really get a 5, or even a 4 on the AP exam. That bothered me for years after I quit.

Then something happened. Today, something happened.

I was in the candy store. You have to understand. I don’t buy candy. I rarely eat candy. I’ve got a bowl of hard candy (coffee) on my desk at work and have had 3 in 4 months.

I went to the candy store to take pictures for my carnival this Sunday, the Carnival of All Substances. You know that chocolate’s a substance, right?

But as long as I was there I did a little buying. I bought some nuts and some chocolate covered pretzels. I’m eating them now. Anyway, one of the counter people looked at me and said,

“I know you from somewhere.”

Well, I didn’t know her. She’s a really cute kid, the type I’d seen on Happy Days or the Brady Bunch, or that Christian dramedy about the dad who’s a pastor and has a bunch of gorgeous young adult/teenage kids who keep hopping in and out of bed with other kids. Maybe she was 24.

“I know you from somewhere.”

I’m busy taking pictures. White chocolate, candy-coated apricots, chocolate covered raisins, mouth-watering flavored bark. All before lunch. I don’t even see her. “Nah,” I said.

“I do, I really do. Were you ever a teacher? I think I was in your class.”

I whirl around to get a better look. “Why of course!” I shout. “What’s your name?”

She tells me. “Wow, we have to get a picture,” I cry. “This is great. I was a terrible teacher.”

“It wasn’t your fault. The class was just the most fun class. You’re the reason I’m married!”

She’s married.

“Me? How so?”

“Remember <a style=”font-weight: bold; color: rgb(0, 51, 51);” href=””>Brad _</a><span style=”font-weight: bold; color: rgb(0, 51, 51);”>_____? ”
“I think so.”

“Well, our relationship started in your class! You gave us the chance to pass notes. You never got angry about that kind of thing. And now we’re married, and we have a baby, and it all started in your class!”

It was true, I didn’t get angry about that kind of thing. I’m sure I subtly encouraged it.

Who am I to get in the way of romance?

And to think all these years I thought I’d been a terrible teacher.

Copyright 2007, zachdus

June 7, 2007 Posted by | candy, community service, high school, psychology, shidduchim, teaching, Uncategorized | 1 Comment