FRIDAY NOVEMBER 16, 2018

 

Join us for an Entertaining Talk and Cocktail Party to launch

The Yiddish Gangster’s Daughter

7-8 p.m., Friday, November 16, at Murder on the Beach Mystery Book Store  273 Pineapple Grove Way, Delray Beach.

Deborah Shlian will also discuss her award-winning medical suspense,

Silent Survivor.Refreshments and a chance to support the arts!

(click on book to order)

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY HYSTERICAL

A  belly-laugh worthy video. The fellow in this Ted talk does what we’d all love to do when a Nigerian businessman asks for money.  (thanks to Jenny Milchman, an amazing writer). It’s worth watching at least briefly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QdPW8JrYzQ

THE CORRUPT JUDGES

Halloween is my favorite holiday and I couldn’t pass up the chance to dress up and act like my gangster character for this Halloween party and talk at Murder on the Beach Mystery Book Store October 31. Joanne Sinchuk manager, (right) as RBG with a lace collar and Susan Biele with a paper doily from Publix.

In Which a Jewish Mother Brainwashes Her Son
and His Wife to Love Hanukkah
Here’s my Hanukkah present to those of you whose children have married outside the faith. Yes, you can get them to carry on the traditions that make the Celebration of Lights so special. But it takes a lot of effort. And a little luck.When my son married a woman born in mainland China, I thought I’d dodged a bullet. That country discourages religious affiliations and her parents saw no point in joining a church once they moved to the U.S.  That worked out well for me — sort of.  I wasn’t competing over which religion the kids would practice. But my son and daughter-in-law saw no reason to embrace the rituals or beliefs of Judaism . . . or any other religion for that matter.So I set out on a mission to convince them otherwise. They live in New York and I live in Florida so I couldn’t be there for every holiday. But I did my darnedest to make the major holidays as fun and meaningful as possible.  On Yom Kippur, I’d fly up and prepare a traditional break-the-fast, even though neither of them fasted, and welcomed their friends to come over. It wasn’t an elaborate affair.  I brought in bagels and lox and eked out a noodle pudding in their miniature oven. But it made the holiday real.

Later in the year, when my son announced he’d picked up a pine tree and Christmas ornaments, I raced to the Judaica store and express mailed a menorah and candles. I also put together a package for my daughter-in-law—one gift for every day of Hanukkah.  Sure it was a bribe. But who cares? When I fly in for Hanukkah now, we light candles and sing songs.  And the ready-made latkes from Katz’s Delicatessen are a big hit.

Passover is my favorite holiday so I cram a Seder plate, a silver hand washing cup and a pile of coffee-stained Haggadahs into my carry-on bag.  One year, I found the ingredients for a Seder plate at Zabar’s and spent an hour and a half on the subway to get it. I was stunned by the number of young people who wanted to participate in our Seder that night.

I have no guarantees that celebrating these holidays means my son and his wife will continue to observe these Jewish traditions. But by making such rituals an important presence in their lives, I hope I’ve shown them what they’d be missing.  My daughter-in-law recently gave birth to twin boys and agreed to have a cantor officiate at their baby naming ceremony.  They also plan to send the boys to a Jewish preschool, claiming it offers the best education in their neighborhood.

My son argues that he’s raising the boys Jewish for me and his father.  I don’t believe him. I suspect he likes the idea of belonging to a unique tribe. He’s comfortable having a sense of identity that dates back multiple centuries. The couple socialize with Jewish, Indian and Asian friends and seem to find pleasure in sharing our rituals with all of them.  I can only hope they will continue to share these traditions with their own children.

Not that they have a choice. If they don’t, I’ll be up there, lighting candles and holding Seders with the grandchildren myself.

Smorgasbord Poetry – In Remembrance – Herbert James Francis Walsh- 1887 – 1918 – A Grandfather

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

This time of year, I like to re-post the series The War Poets. Just some of the men and women who served on the front line on all sides of the conflict who fought, died or returned scarred by their experiences. If you scroll down the home page you will find them each day.

They went out at 4.a.m each morning my time, which is the coldest before the dawn, and as they would have woken in the trenches to prepare for another day of horror, bravery and sacrifice.

There is no way in the world that I would possibly compare my poetry to those extraordinary men and women who wrote their poetry following their own harrowing experiences. But I did want to add to the series with my own tribute to someone who lived and died during the First World War, and I this poem following my first visit…

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