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Volume 21, No. 3, #147 - click here

 Publisher's Letter:
     Message From The Publisher
 Let's Shmooze:
     Let's Shmooze
     An Israeli Taxi Driver Story
 Sound Off:
     Shaking Up the Shidduch Scene
     The Power & Beauty of Shabbos
 Cover Story:
     Ah Poshiter Yid
     Lipa Text & Email Messages
     Be Prepared
     Felder for Senate
     Olmert: The Anatomy of a Malshin
     Rabbi Yisroel Besser
 Health & Advice:
     The Value of Eating Bananas
     Dear Bubby
     Handwriting Matters
     The Shidduch Crisis
     Can't You Just Plotz
     Going to Camp
 Top 10's:
     Top 10 Books
     Top 10 CD's & DVD's
Article Map for this issue
June 2008 • Tammuz 5768 Volume 21, No. 3, #147
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Just What She Asked For
Dear Country Yossi,
My wife harassed me last night, begging me to take her someplace expensive. So I took her to the gas station! Then she asked me to take her someplace she’d never been before - so I took her to the kitchen!

Dear D.L.,
I’m sure she’d like to send you to the moon!

A Sight to See
Dear Country Yossi,
A blind man walks into the supermarket with his guide dog. He walks down one aisle, picks up the dog by its tail, and begins to swing it around in the air. The manager notices the strange sight and says “Sir, what’re you doing?!” The blind man simply responds, “Oh, just lookin’ around.”
Received via email

Dear Emailer,

Make Us All Happy

Dear Country Yossi,
Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain were flying to a debate.

Barack looked at Hillary, chuckled and said, “You know, I could throw a $1,000 bill out of the window right now and make somebody very happy.”

Hillary shrugged her shoulders and replied, “I could throw ten $100 bills out of the window and make ten people very happy.”

John added, “That being the case, I could throw one hundred $10 bills out of the window and make a hundred people very happy.”

Hearing their exchange, the pilot rolled his eyes and said to his copilot, “Such big-shots back there. I could throw all three of them out of the window and make 156 million people very happy.”

Received via email

Dear Emailer,
That makes two of us!

Yup, It’s Serious
Dear Country Yossi,
The latest telephone poll taken by the Florida Governor’s office, asked whether people who live in Florida think illegal immigration is a serious problem:

29% of respondents answered: “Yes, it is a serious problem.”

71% of respondents answered: “No es una problema seriosa.”
Received via email

Dear Emailer,
Nisht kein gelechteh!

Trying Times
Dear Country Yossi,
In the ‘30s, the Zeirei Agudah arranged a boat ride once a year on Lag B’Omer for bochrim and girls from heimishe mishpachos, so they could come together and meet. When Reb Leizer Silver, zt”l heard about it, he went ballistic. He approached the baal habos who was arranging this outing, a Mr. Feigenbaum, and told him that it is absolutely assur (forbidden). Mr. Feigenbaum explained to Rav Silver that with all the Yidden going off the derech, the other option would be that these kids would go to bars to meet members of the opposite gender. The result would be that many would, chas v’sholom, marry goyim. Reb Laizer heard what Mr. Feigenbaum said, but still felt very strongly that it was assur to hold the boat ride. However, he agreed to go to a din Torah (religious tribunal).

They went to Reb Shlomo Heiman, zt”l (1892-1945, one of the leading roshei yeshiva in Europe at the time). First Reb Leizer Silver strongly expressed his opinion about how this boat ride was assur. Then Mr. Feigenbaum explained his reasoning. Reb Shlomo put his hand on his chin, closed his eyes, and did not move for a long while. Then he said “Nisht nor meg men, muz men!” (Not only is it permitted, it is required!).

A few years ago, an older gentleman told this story to Reb Malkiel Kotler (Rosh Yeshiva of Lakewood). Rabbi Kotler replied that “It can’t be true!”

The older gentleman replied loudly, “Chuchik! (“Young child”), you don’t know what went on with Yiddishkeit in those days! Out of my whole class at Yeshiva I was the only one who remained shomer Shabbos!”

Turns out that Mike Tress (1909-1967, famed Orthodox lay leader and activist) found his shidduch on that boat ride, and so did Rav Gedaliah Schorr (Rosh Yeshiva of Torah Vodaath).

Despite being known as a big kanoi (zealot), Reb Laizer Silver was maskim (agreed) to go to a Din Torah with Mr. Feigenbaum, who had arranged for the boat ride, after he had confronted him!

There is no doubt that times are different today. Nonetheless, stories like this should give us pause when we are quick to condemn the actions of others.
Received via email

Remembering Irena’s Children
Dear Country Yossi,
The article about Irena Sendler was very inspiring, and has stayed with me since I first read it.

I just read in the 5/23/08 issue of the Five Towns Jewish Times that Ms. Sendler was niftar at age 98. Thank you for telling us about this wonderful woman, who risked so much for us.
Tehila Leah

In a Jam
Dear Country Yossi,
Here’s a riddle for you:

You are driving in a car at a constant speed.

On your left side is a ‘drop off’ (The ground is 18-20 inches below the level you are traveling on), and on your right side is a fire engine traveling at the same speed as you.

In front of you is a galloping horse, which is the same size as your car and you cannot overtake it.

Behind you is a galloping zebra. Both the horse and zebra are also traveling at the same speed as you.

What must you do to safely get out of this highly dangerous situation?

Dear L.T.,
Get off the merry-go-round, you nincompoop - you’re drunk!

Nab Him With Your Pin!
Dear Country Yossi,
I thought this was worth sharing. It’s something I would want to know.

PIN Number Reversal: If you should ever be forced by a robber to withdraw money from an ATM machine, you can notify the police by entering your Pin # in reverse. For example, if your pin number is 1234, then you would put in 4321. The ATM recognizes that your pin number is backwards from the ATM card you placed in the machine. The machine will still give you the money you requested, but unknown to the robber, the police will be immediately dispatched to help you. This information was recently broadcasted on FOX TV and it stated that it is seldom used because people don’t know it exists. Please pass this along to everyone possible
Received via email

Dear Emailer,
I checked with snopes.com. This claim is false! Such a system was patented in 1998 by Josef Zinger, a Chicago businessman. However, he had little success in interesting the banking community.

Weigh To Go!
Dear Country Yossi,
Yonkle was in trouble. He forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was really angry. She told him - “Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in the driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in less than 6 seconds. AND IT BETTER BE THERE!”

The next morning Yonkle got up early and left for work. When his wife woke up she looked out the window and sure enough, there was a box gift-wrapped in the middle of the driveway. Confused, the wife put on her robe and ran out to the driveway. She brought the box back in the house. She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.

Yonkle hasn’t been seen since Friday!

Dear V.E.,
I don’t blame him!

Old Enough to Drink, Drive, and Answer Questions!
Dear Country Yossi,
First of all, I really enjoy listening to your program on Wednesday evenings. However, this past Wednesday (June 4th), I had a very disturbing experience.

As usual, I was trying to get through to you from the beginning of the show. I try repeatedly to get on the show.

As I kept dialing the number, I heard you tell the audience that you were only accepting calls from people over 21.

After waiting a look time, you finally picked up the phone and answered my call. I was so excited that I finally got on to the show! But as soon as you heard me say my name you announced that I was under 21, and promptly hung up.

I’ll have you know that I turned 21 this past January, and I was highly insulted by this treatment - not to mention that I knew all the answers to the questions that followed and could have easily become a grand prize winner.

In the future I hope that you will be more careful about finding out the truth before making such assumptions.

Hoping to be a future grand prize winner,

Dear Yocheved,
I don’t know why. For some reason, I still don’t believe you! Please send me your birth certificate, drivers license, passport and pin number and I might let you on the air.

Controversy at the Concert
Dear Country Yossi,
In reference to the article ‘Why Was It Banned’ about The Big Event concert, Here’s why Lipa backed out:

Lipa had to back out. Shloime Gertner was getting out of hand and that’s why they had to ban the concert. And once Shloime Gertner backed out, Lipa couldn’t just perform himself. It would not be right to all those people who just bought tickets to see Gertner. Lipa’s mistake was joining such a controversial singer like Shloime Gertner. If only he would’ve paired up with a less controversial singer than Gertner, the concert probably would not have been canceled! It’s not fair, I tell you!

What does everyone have against Shloime Gertner? Why is Gertner not allowed to make a concert, while everyone else can?
Received via email

Guardians of Israel
Dear Country Yossi,
I have been meaning to write about our experiences with Chai Lifeline/Camp Simcha Special for some time, but like all of us, I procrastinated. Putting one’s feelings and emotions on paper is not the easiest thing to do. But recently, circumstances have taken place that moved me to finally put my thoughts down.

Our family became involved with Camp Simcha Special when my son first attended when he was 10 years old (he is now turning 15), so that would be 5 years now. I still remember that first afternoon sending him off to camp, with the buses on Avenue N and East 4th. He was never away from us for more than a Shabbos, and that was only to his grandparents. His return from camp was amazing; he couldn’t stop talking about his experiences there. Realize, our son is not a talker, so that is really saying something.

Our thinking was that Camp Simcha was camp and that was it, it was over. We have never been so wrong.

First, there are the various trips and family gatherings, Chanukah and Purim parties. Then there are the baseball games, sibling retreats, mother retreats, and more recently father retreats, which are just to name a few of the other aspects of how Chai Lifeline touches and enriches our lives. But in truth, all those activities and good times pale in comparison to what Chai Lifeline and Camp Simcha has become.

They truly are part of our family. Literally. Just this morning, b”H, one of the “guys” and his wife had a baby girl. I honestly could not have been happier if it were my own brother who had that child. And yesterday, we learned of a little girl, who R”l was nifter at the age of 3 1/2. Several of the “guys” were the older siblings’ Big Brothers. I have never spoken to them after such a sad event and it broke my heart to see what they were going through. It was as if a family member of theirs had been nifter.

We have had the opportunity to become close to a great number of the counselors, waiters and other camp staff. Our son has b”H survived two very difficult periods. First, when he was 11 he had major brain surgery. He was in the hospital for over a month and not a day went by that one of the “guys” did not visit him to raise his spirits. The hospital’s staff and doctors were amazed at these young men.

Most recently, this past Purim, unfortunately my son was hit by a minivan in front of our house, right before the seudah. Our Chai Lifeline family members were at our house while Hatzolah was still there. Some looked after our other children, while others ran to the hospital. In the beginning, it really was touch and go. He was in the hospital for a month and literally not ONE night went by that one of the guys didn’t stay over with Benji. We did not even need to ask, it was done. Realize these “guys” are now all in either law school, medical school, bais medrash or working, but they found the time. They MADE the time to be there for us. B”H he is recovering well and is back in yeshiva.

These “guys” are the special Yidden who will bring Mashiach. They do not ask or do what is easier for them, they jump in to help where most of our community shies away. Be it from those with physical or mental abnormalities or R”l people who are dying - all are treated the same by these wonderful tzaddikim. They are the true Guardians of Israel, as they live and breathe what Yiddishkeit is about, every single day. They see and live through the ultimate tests of Emunah all too often, and help others to pass those tests as well.

Thank you all for what you have done and do for my family. Thank you for what you do for all the other families that you touch. Thank you for doing what you do.
Sincerely and with Love,
Chaim & Judie Hyman

Creating a New Career
Dear Country Yossi Readers,
I just got off the phone with a good friend of mine and I came to the conclusion that we’ve got a problem (I mean I know we’ve got lots of them but... here’s another one!) You see, my friend just started this program called Shidduch Exchange (She actually sent a letter here to CY and there was an AMAZING response which helped her to get it started... Thanks to the MakeAShidduch Foundation it’s actually up and running.) which leads me to the “Problem.” In order to make shidduchim, you need SHADCHANIM! Wow, that’s not too hard to find - or is it?? She contacted as many shadchanim (or people who attempt to be) as she could to see if they would be able to become shadchanim for this new program. I must say, the way I hear it from her, the response was very impressive in that people were encouraging and exclaimed how wonderful the idea is. However, it was quite depressing how few people were maskim to be shadchanim. “It takes TOO MUCH TIME!” was basically the unanimous answer! They all were available only late at night or Sundays because they have families and other jobs!

And then it hit me. That is a BIG problem! People do not have time to devote to being full time shadchanim. Baruch Hashem, at least we have people who give up whatever free precious time they do have to help Klal Yisrael with shidduchim. BUT IT IS NOT ENOUGH! So many girls, and yes, so many boys, are waiting and waiting and hoping that the right shadchan, who has time to focus on their shidduchim with undivided attention, will help marry them off. I can not tell you how many times I have had shadchanim attempt to set me up while busy with a million other things, with the phone conversations interrupted by a million distractions! For goodness sake, go take care of your kids! They need you and this isn’t working anyway. I didn’t want to have to remind them either a million times that they were working on a shidduch for me...!

Well, what are we supposed to do? We’re all busy, right? We all have lives (at least most of us have some sort of life) right? So what is the answer?
I’ve got one. When a plumber is needed, we don’t just let the pipes clog and burst, we hire a plumber. When our children need to learn, we pay for a teacher. When the city needs to be cleaned, people are hired to clean it. When a tree falls down in the street people are paid to remove it. So why is it that when SHIDDUCHIM are needed, SHADCHANIM are not paid to try to fix that?!

It’s no fun being a shadchan day and night when you only get paid for the 1 in 500 that work! What about all their hard work? What about all the hours that go into convincing mothers, coaching the couples, even when it doesn’t work out? Maybe, if they’re lucky, they get a simple thank you (as opposed to “I can’t believe you set me up with such a...”)!

I believe that if we would create a “career” called shadchan, then many more people would be working on behalf of the klal. For example, every community should raise money to hire shadchanim to work for their children full time as a career. It should be mandatory! (I think one community actually has someone hired for them as “their” shadchan.) We can have so many more people willing to do the job! Sad, you might say, that it takes money to do this? No! It’s just as sad as a teacher taking money for the chesed of teaching your kid. Or just as sad as a dentist taking money for fixing your teeth! It is a full time job and we are lacking full time shadchanim - except for the ones who are expected to remember every boy and girl that comes to them.

Please help me get this started. How can we begin to set up this new career? Agudas Yisrael? Are there any gevirim that want to sponsor this - to start it off and then everyone with children in shidduchim can contribute to the funds? Each community? Each shul? I don’t know, but I would love a response! And I would love to make it happen! (Unfortunately, I am busy too and can’t devote a whole day to this either! Hey, maybe if there’s a fund to give me a salary I would devote my life to this!)

Be in touch! Tizku Lemitzvos!
Shadchan Wannabe
But Have no Time

Bells for Bikes
Dear Country Yossi,
Now that the weather is warmer and it’s Daylight Savings Time, children are out longer than usual. They ride their tricycles, bikes, etc. on the streets. They don’t care if there are other people - especially older people - walking on the block. The bikes have no bells on them to warn people when they’re approaching, nor do the children indicate that they are riding past. What’s the matter - can’t the mother or father buy a bell and put it on the child’s bike?

This is very bad for people like my husband. He’s in his early 60’s and I am in my late 50’s. The child on the bike could knock my husband and me down! (My husband is disabled and he’d suffer more than me.) If my mother was walking on the street, she’d suffer even more!
Very truly yours,

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