Ask Wendy

Jewish World Review May 22, 2003 / 20 Iyar, 5763


Destructive do-gooders?; party politicking


By Wendy Belzberg


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | Q: A group of young men in our community have started something called The Chevra --- the mission of which is to perform good deeds 24 hours a day. It is like Hatzala, but instead of saving peoples lives they bail people out. Among the good deeds they perform are unlocking people's car doors and fixing flat tires. The local locksmith says this will cost him $30,000-$40,000 a year. Is this a reason for The Chevra to stop?

A: Do you hail from Chelm? Is there really a community where residents lock their keys in their cars with such regularity that the locksmith relies on this business for his livelihood? Hasn't anyone in your community heard of a wire hangar? Moreover, unless they number in the hundreds, The Chevra cannot possibly cover all parking lots and streets. Do they also break down doors, dynamite safes and replace locksets? These are do-gooders, not vigilantes. I say let them continue on their righteous path. Even the locksmith may be happy to see one of The Chevra the night he finds himself on a deserted stretch of rode with an empty gas tank.

Q: My brother and sister-in-law invited me to a party at their home, on one condition: that I not tell any other family members that I was attending. They said they were hand picking the list and neither my parents nor other siblings had made the cut. I want to go but I don't feel comfortable being asked-implicitly--to lie. What do I do?

A: Is short-term enjoyment really worth long-term duplicity? I don't know what relationship you have with the rest of your family, but if this feels uncomfortable to you, you have your answer. If not, don't hesitate. There is no rule that says have one, have all. And there is nothing duplicitous about being choosy. Can't you imagine throwing a party and inviting only certain member of the family? It has been known to happen, and without ruffled feathers at either end.


Ask Wendy a question -- almost any question --- by clicking here.


05/07/03:Give a house, lose a daughter?; death doings; open season on sis-in-law
04/30/03: In-laws have invaded my home; outshining the bar mitzvah boy
04/10/03: Family picture imperfect; they 'don't get it' --- but I do!
04/03/03: One less Jewish doctor?; being prayed at
03/20/03: Lost connection; in search of a model; daughters-in-law are the root of all evil
02/27/03: Collective punishment: The readers weigh in --- against me
02/07/03: Collective punishments; too much for a mother-in-law?
01/23/03: Honor thy parents, buy them a fancy condo?; my kid caught me lying; kid's teacher gossips about him
12/26/02: The bride's Kosher crisis; in denial about daughter?
12/18/02: Am I a 'quitter'?; all-expenses-paid nightmare; alienating brainy son
12/12/02: Bread, milk and a rabbi?; 'special status child' cause of fraying friendship
11/21/02: Attire in the Divine's 'house'; marriage failed, who gets the gifts?; does the fruit fall far from the deformed tree?
11/14/02: Does father know best?; excuses, excuses
11/01/02: Should son be able to flee the nest to the college of choice?; elderly 'friend' is becoming different person
09/28/02: 'Good friends' who take but don't give; a wife's right to know; he wants to be rude about Jews
09/01/02: Family peace, but at what price?
08/28/02: Revealing sworn secret will impact many lives; misplaced friendship?
08/22/02: Seeking help for hubby's High Holy Days hi-jinks; perplexed by parents' request; take 'em or leave 'em?
08/16/02: Trial makes friendship trying; experiencing one loss, facing another; wives and brides
08/09/02: Wedding woes are a commercial for elopement; miss the bris (circumcision)?
07/25/02: A love for the ages?; learning the steps; off the wall
07/17/02: I don't mean to sound anti-Semitic but ; Doesn't etiquette dictate that a good host make his guests feel comfortable?
06/21/02: Doing business with an Arab; driving down the road of life with my mother-in-law tailgating me; sentimental gulf clubs
06/12/02: Anti-Semites everywhere!; no need for marriage
06/06/02: Sacrifice my happiness or my family's?; bad call on 'friend'
05/30/02: Attending my ex-mother-in-law's funeral; in search of forgiveness
05/21/02: Danger and duty; host of issues; desperately seeking surgery
03/20/02: Multiples for mom; partners and martyrs; I'm a gentile --- should I explore Judaism's spiritual side?
03/07/02: Disabled child taught family love, patience and compassion
02/15/02: Sisterhood on the line; Time to cross Ts on ex?
02/04/02: Clueless convert-in-training; loyal to a wife who walked out?
01/25/02: The new 'Jewish question'; unfaithful oldsters; gambling on our family's future
01/18/02: Should son invite mom to bar mitzvah - against dad's wishes?; pay-off time?; 'my son is blackmailing me'
01/10/02: Hard to move on; separation anxiety
01/04/02: Salvaging a sister; mother knows best?
12/27/01: Paying for somebody else's charity; Down(s) and out?
12/21/01: 'Brownie points' for the Creator; I love my husband, but not his family; open-door policy needs to be closed sometimes
12/05/01: 'I celebrate Chanukah you insensitive anti-Semite!'; idealism v. responsibility; stolen gifts
11/27/01: Doubts or reservations one may have about reaching out to friends and strangers alike who are in need: From the mail bag
11/16/01: Tripping out; tactics for tactlessness; Am I a hypocrite?
11/01/01: My co-religionists are proselytizing me; tragedy intruder?; meddling mama?
10/19/01: Outside world hits home; money and mommies
10/12/01: Vacation separation; Risk present for past?
09/20/01: Secular servants; Time to tie purse strings?; dog breath --- literally!
09/07/01: Too much Torah?; Name-dropping rabbi turns off worshippers
08/30/01: Jewish 'godparents'?; summer homework
08/02/01: Have wife, won't travel; 'dis' --- as in 'distant'
07/26/01: Grandparents not invited to bar mitzvah; what to do about older sister's foul mouth; nuptial narcissism
07/19/01: Bad mannered, uncouth ethnics; lookin' for love
07/05/01: Faithless Rabbi; my wife won't let me retire; I'm in relationship limbo
06/21/01: New customs for assimilated Jews?; the business of friendship; aunty is a bad role model
06/13/01: Our friends have become political traitors; Is it love?
06/06/01: Teaching kids about the Creator, when parents aren't observant; 'wonderful woman' 'fesses up about her broken engagement; How do I find a matchmaker for my 'beautiful daughter?'
05/31/01: Couple he fixed-up is in a nasty breakup; overwrought over ring
05/16/01: The gift was counterfeit; settling for the daughter; the lush and the ostrich
05/02/01: 'Jew questions' and falsifying faith; magic marker mayhem; I want kids
04/25/01: Anti-Semites everywhere?; shilling for gifts; my kid is the 'weakest link'
04/05/01: Celebrating when Passover is inconvenient; What's wrong with the name 'Melvyn,'?; Difference dilemma: Husbands and wives and Passover observance levels
03/19/01: 7-4=insensitivity?; baby showers and tempting fate; Splitsville before or after marriage?
03/12/01: Passover party-pooper; slapped by a moral dilemma
02/14/01: Human 'mutts,' getting over it, same-sex kesubas
02/08/01: Bar/bat mitzvah blues, homework he-l, from potty to potty-mouth
01/24/01: Naughty neighbor, unprofessional colleague is dead, I'm a Jew, now what?
01/15/01: Rabbis who won't; when the rules of the 'game' change; ungracious grannies
01/08/01: My kid hates Hebrew school; Stay single or abandon heritage?
01/02/01: A Jewish Grinch? Baby bigots and when grandparents call it quits
12/18/00: Babes in Chanukah Land; my husband the kvetch; bad hair marriage?
12/04/00: My niece is a no-goodnik, when lifecycle events become dangerous, Orthodox v. Reform education
11/28/00: My ex is ruining my kids' souls; the mouth that won't stop
11/21/00: Battling brothers; how to keep a nanny
11/08/00: OY VEY! my son wants to become Orthodox; kiddies should avoid family therapy
11/08/00: Rabbi v. therapist, grandparents bearing gifts, I want my son's teacher for a sister-in-law
10/24/00: Let him enlist?, 'My son the actor'? Eating with the 'help'
10/10/00:Tipsy teens, protective spouses, kosher common-sense
10/03/00: I'm not Jewish --- not that there's anything wrong with it; mezuza machlokes; when granddad has cancer
09/25/00: I can't take Rosh Hashanah! Something for nothing? My husband needs a dinner mate
09/18/00: 'My kids' Jewish education stinks', boyfriend bandit, and single mother not by choice
09/11/00: Bris brouhaha breaks my heart, LET ME SLEEP! --- and Why can't I hold a job?
09/05/00: Righteous anger, 'dissed' daughter --- and how not to make a match
08/21/00: When one spouse becomes more religious than the other; "But the cleaning lady is part of the family!"; Why He invented 9-month gestation periods
08/21/00: 'Fessing up to granny about abandoning one's people, non-kosher sis-in-law, and 'my niece is marrying a loser'
08/14/00: Marrying 'in' for questionable motivations; Should a do-gooder be reimbursed?
08/07/00: Communing with the clouds, betrothal, and banishing bosses
07/28/00: Small-city guys, self-centered siblings
07/21/00: When a child takes religion seriously, marriage obsession, and guests who just don't get it
07/14/00: Divorcing brother-in-law, uncampy kids, and a dot.comer who makes it big time
07/07/00: Hypocrites, reality checks, and the 'real estate challenged'

Up

© 2002, Wendy Belzberg