I moved to Long Island last year and decided to send my daughter Naomi to a Hebrew Day School even though we are not religious.
Before Rosh Hashanah she comes home excitedly saying her teacher taught them about lighting candles and wants them to light before Shabbat and Jewish holidays.
What do you think I should I do?
Linda of Great Neck
You should certainly share in your daughters excitement, and even join her in this special mitzvah. Let us share with you an interesting story of a young girl, Chana, who like your daughter Naomi learned about the beauty of lighting candles from her Hebrew teacher and came home, excitedly asking her mother for a candle to light. Her mother, though, would hear nothing of it, and adamantly refused Chanas request. The following Friday evening after the mother went out shopping, our little heroine runs to the corner grocery store and asks for a candle to light. The owner, being acquainted with the family, wonders what kind of candle would she be asking for? Naturally, a yahrzeit candle.
So Chana returns home and ceremoniously lights a yahrzeit candle. Her mother came home, took one look at the candle, and froze in shock. When asked for an explanation, Chana, in all innocence, sweetly explained, Since you wouldnt light a candle for me, I decided to light one for you.
I enjoy reading your column, and here I am with my own question. I frequently receive shidduch related calls from friends and acquaintances asking about single boys and girls I happen to know. I never know how much to say. Is it wrong to say something negative in this case? For example, I know an overweight girl who neglects washing her hair. How do I describe her?
Just say, she is a well rounded individual who keeps her head above water.
Seriously, when someone asks you about other people, remember that what appears as a negative fault in your eyes may be viewed differently by others. So be careful about venturing a negative opinion about others.
Be factual in your description, and make sure there is no personal agenda mixed into your reference.
A lot is riding on what you say. If you are not sure what to answer, you can say you dont feel you can answer the question. Just remember to keep your head above water.
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Send your questions to DearTzviling@ijn.com , to be answered with wit, wisdom and humor by identical twins Rabbis Yisroel Engel (Denver) and Shloime Engel (Montreal) who share their combined 100 years of experience.