Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Tags: artists, dancers, models, musicians, painters, photographers, singers, unsigned artists
I’m not Jewish by birth. But for the past seven years, I’ve been a transplant into a community with a large Jewish population. The community has been kind to me. Friends have jokingly told me I’m an “honorary member of the tribe.” I can now drop words like “schmaltzy” and “mitzvah” into sentences like nobody’s business, without batting an eyelash. My Yiddish is coming along. I know what Gefilte fish is and have eaten my fair share of kugel.
But it still came as a surprise to me when I realized how appreciative of Jewish traditions I had become and how comforting they were to me – how much of the Jewish culture I have actually come to embrace. And it was while I was attending a Jewish funeral and about the same time I realized I had probably attended the same number of Jewish funerals as non-Jewish funerals.
The thing about the Jewish funerals in our region is that they occur at one of three locations. Depending on your group of acquaintances, likely one of two funeral chapels. In a Christian funeral scenario, the funeral home could be one of hundreds selected. Family members may have a funeral home of choice, but due to geographic distances, it’s very unlikely you’ve attended a funeral at a facility more than a few times and different families have countless funeral homes of choice. I had never heard of people being flown home to be buried, unless they had been off at war or just recently moved out-of-state, before working with funeral homes in the Jewish community. Members of the Jewish community have a penchant for making their burial chapel allegiance known in advance and family member often fly the deceased back to be buried at the location of their request.
Jewish funeral attendees know the name of the directors, largely because they are members of the community and quickly become extended family members. You see them in the grocery store, at the post office and at PTA meetings. Their names need no further elaboration. If someone mentions they were at “Dorfmans” or “Kaufmans,” the meaning is understood and usually responded to by solemn looks and an understanding nod.
These funeral directors are the first people you call when the unthinkable has happened and are the first people you look to to provide support and reassurance the world has not, in fact, stopped. You let them into your home before the unthinkable has reached your conscious and you’re still in shock.
Attending a Jewish funeral, at least in our community, is like a home-coming of sorts, a ritual which brings comfort and understanding. A death occurs. You return to a familiar place-a safe place.You’ve been there many times before. It’s where you go when someone has died and you’re still reeling from the unbelievable nature of loss. . And you are enveloped in the warmth and support of friends.You mourn with familiar people (because everyone you know from the community seems to be there too). There is no suffering alone. It feels right. This is where you belong. This is where you are supposed to be to come to terms and reflect and remember. This is where you go to let the healing begin.
There is a relatively small newspaper that is distributed to members of a community near my home. I don’t receive the publication (unfortunately) delivered directly to my home each week, but usually wind up picking a copy during my travels.
The paper provides its readers with news value, certainly, but it also serves as a kind of PSA -delivering common sense to its readers. A few weeks ago the headline read something like “Wattles Road is Closed. Don’t Go There.” Really, it did. Apparently, with all the orange signs posted that said “Road Closed,” many people were still having a problem grasping the general concept and were winding up in all kinds of awkward situations as a result.
The crime watch is another helpful place for readers. Readers can read tales of victims who arrived to their vehicles the next morning only to be stunned to find their Cartier sunglasses, laptop computer, iPod and wallet filled with $5,000 cash missing from the front seat of their UNLOCKED car.
The editor will usually take the time to point out that if you leave the car unlocked, it’s likely your valuables will not be found when you return to your UNLOCKED car. She reminds people week after week. Yet, every week there is the expected crime brief which starts off with “A Main Street residents reporters his “Louis Vutton wallet, credit cards and cell phone were stolen. . ” Well, you get the idea.
If the sign says “Road Closed,” do you think that applies to everyone but you? Isn’t keeping your valuables out of the sight of thieves simply common sense? Apparently not (and that was a rhetorical question). Maybe they need to add a class in school. It really makes me scratch my head.
Tags: Employment Termination, Inetta the Mood-Setter, JetBlue, Steven Slater, WBLX-FM
In a scene that seemed like something out of a comedy blockbuster movie, Steven Slater parted ways with his employer (JetBlue) on Monday and went out in what some would call grand style. To read the article, click here.
Understandably, many people can relate to the frustration Slater must have felt when he responded to a “disruptive” passenger by simply calling it quits, summoning the emergency exit slide and grabbing a beer off the concession cart on his way down. He had been disrespected on the job for the last time.
A similar incident occurred in Atlanta several years ago when a radio personality felt she was being disrespected by her colleagues and quit on air after airing her grievances-literally. When the segment aired live, you could actually hear the radio personality walk out of the studio and slam the door behind her. The linked segment here was edited down.
I have to admit that in both cases, I giggled. The accounts were funny. But now – and this is about where I become a total killjoy – Slater is said to have remarked that he didn’t care if he ever worked in the airline industry ever again.
Apparently, he didn’t care if he ever worked in any industry again. While I’m sure there are people out there who will criticize what I’m about to say, that’s okay. Most employers will think twice about hiring an employee, whether it’s in a different field – maybe Mr. Slater decides to become a welder or botantist- or another position in the airline industry, before hiring a “loose” cannon. In both cases, he’s done more harm to his own reputation than his employer’s reputation. . . and for what? That feeling of “NaNaNaNaNa,” that lasted all of a minute. For crying out loud, have a little pride.
I was taught long ago that the best revenge is success. Had Slater and his pioneering radio counterpart held their heads high and walked off the job, granted, I wouldn’t be talking about them now. And I would have missed a few good chuckles. In the end, their fifteen minutes of fame are not likely to get them very far. Hopefully, they land great book deals and maybe even that movie contract in the future. . .and then invest those funds wisely.