Sunday, December 19, 2010

Formspring + Me

So I've had a widget in my right sidebar for some time now, and I'm really happy with the interaction it's provided. Thus, I've decided to throw some of the questions and answers here. For more Q&A, visit my Formspring account, and feel free to ask ask ask! Enjoy!

If/when you decide to have kids, how do you think you'll come to deal with the disconnect between your upbringing and theirs? Do you think your hypothetical offspring will be able to fully understand your personal journey and world view if they're FFB? I think, if anything, my personal background growing up without camps or b'nei mitzvahs will allow me to offer a unique and unmatched experience for my children. Growing up non-Jewish and married to someone who went to 15 years of Jewish day school, I think we can approach child-rearing with a mix of the secular and the religious, with the ability to understand that "the outside world" does exist and will impact our children greatly if we live in the U.S. My biggest fear? Jealousy. I do fear being jealous of my children and all of the simchas and life experiences that they will have that I did not. I don't want to become of those "you must do this" kind of mothers, simply because I want to experience vicariously, through my children, what I could not in my own life.

I've been wondering about this for a while. If I see someone asking for money on the street, what should I do? Is it wrong to save for causes that I pick personally, or should I just give to the first person I meet? (Is it wrong to totally ignore them?) This is an excellent question, and a friend and I ran into this a few weeks ago -- with an observant Jew, no less. My policy is always to donate to causes, foundations, and organizations that I trust to dish out the money appropriately (food banks, charitable organizations, etc.). I've tried to give food handouts before, and every person who I tried to give to eventually just asked for money. So I stopped trying with street folks. I give to organizations, and that's my tzedakah. I don't think it's wrong to do this, to save for causes that you pick personally, because I think you probably get a greater feeling of giving out of donating to causes that are important to you. If someone is really making a scene for money, don't ignore them, apologize and just move along.

What about the commandment to guard your health as much as possible? How is it okay to eat greasy chulent, kugel, etc on a regular basis? And how is it permitted to remain overweight (you and me both!)?Well, I can't tell people what to eat, but I know that most of the recipes I make for Shabbat are not greasy and unhealthy -- I make a lot of chicken, vegetables, and good stuff (being gluten free helps with this). I also only make cholent probably once ever two months as a last-resort Saturday food! When I eat out kosher, I try to eat grilled chicken, salads, and rice, etc. But I think people who keep kosher have just as much of a problem eating the "good stuff" as non-Jews do with eating out. It's an everyone problem, not just an Orthodox Jews or people who keep kosher problem