Ad mosai?

My old street corner.

Yellowed stone, brilliant rays, and luminescent blue.

Busy, bustling, bright.

Where we watched that train and its parking lots slowly, slowly come to life. We’d joke about paying the city for babysitting those 3 little noses, glued to the pane.

Where I’d see my kids gaily waving through the barred picture windows as I’d alight. I’d remember how we should really invest in curtains for the daytime, when the heavy metal trissim were rolled up. We never did.

Where, a short while back, a soldier was shot in the stomach under the bus shelter that sheltered nothing and no one.

Where last week, a baby went splat.

My old street corner.

Busy, bustling, bereft.


PSA

If you absent-mindedly notice that your toothpaste looks thicker and whiter than usual when you squeeze it out, it’s probably not toothpaste.

(If you have babies in the house, it might just be a squeeze tube of Desitin.

Desitin on teeth feels really yucky. And it’s practically impossible to remove from the bristles of your favorite toothbrush.)

You might want to keep that in mind.


Lo Bashamayim He

Lefty’s Law # 2:

Come prepared.

Intended Audience: Shadchanim

Though it is true that shidduchim are made in shamayim, a shadchan is the shaliach. As with any other heavenly matters that impact upon our daily lives – hishtadlus is required.

When a shidduch idea pops into your head, take a minute to think about why you thought of these two individuals as a possible couple. Write down your reasoning, and if you have time, explore further.

Is it because they have similar life-goals? Is it because they come from similar backgrounds? Is it because they share the same interests? Is it because you can’t stand either of them? (That was only partially in jest, BTW. I personally know of a success story attributed to this exact situation.)

Sometimes this exercise will make you realize that it wasn’t the best idea after all. Just because two people both like eating out and photography, doesn’t mean that you can bridge the gap between MO and Chassidus. Sometimes you’ll find even more of a reason to set these people up. (Oh, right! I forgot that he’s also a Master in Kung Fu…)

Once you have your reasoning straight, prepare it in a straightforward and appealing manner. “What made me think of this idea is the fact that both he and she are super-committed to a life of klei-kodesh. I also felt she would appreciate his sensitive side, since she has been married before and has seen the other side of some loud, charismatic personalities.”

Next, prepare a basic description of each party and some anecdotes, if relevant. Know which ideas/issues are important to each party, and make sure to explain how the other person jives with said ideas.

Use all this info to suggest the idea to each side.

You don’t have to read from your notes, but it does help to have what to work with if your mind goes blank as you dial the guy’s mother.

Happy shadchaning!

______________________________________________________________________________

Disclaimer: 

I’ll be the first to admit that I am an amateur shadchan.

Contrary to what many believe, it seems that matchmaking is a serious skill that needs to be honed and nurtured.

As I muddle through the earlier stages of “shadchaning,” I’ve been taking notes for myself on the mistakes I make and how to avoid them in the future. I figured that it can’t hurt to share them with my three or four millions of undying fans out there…

Feel free to disagree with me – I am very open to other opinions in this arena. 


Yes, I’m Still Here…

…thanks for asking. Really, it means a lot.

I’ve been extremely busy with trivial stuff, like a new job, an old job, medical issues, parenting, and other such silly distractions.

Although, to be honest I am exploring whether or not blogging long-term is the right thing for me and my family. I’ll try to keep you posted on that.

Meanwhile, here’s an excellent summary of halachos relevant to lefties that I found linked to the Kof-K website.

Part 2 is here.

See you around…

-Lefty


Ladies first? Well, sometimes…

I’ll be the first to admit that I am an amateur shadchan.

Contrary to what many believe, it seems that matchmaking is a serious skill that needs to be honed and nurtured.

As I muddle through the earlier stages of “shadchaning,” I’ve been taking notes for myself on the mistakes I make and how to avoid them in the future. I figured that it can’t hurt to share them with my three or four millions of undying fans out there…

So here is Tip # 1, below.

Feel free to disagree with me – I am very open to other opinions in this arena. More to come…

_________________________________________________________________________

Lefty’s Law # 1:

Always suggest your shidduch idea to the side which is more likely to say “no” first.

Intended Audience: Shadchanim

Convention dictates that the shidduch be suggested to the boy’s side first. This is because the boy is more likely to turn it down, due to his notorious “list.” (Excellent case in point here.) Although 95% of the time I adhere to this rule, I have learned to adapt it somewhat depending on whether or not there is reason to believe that the boy gets turned down more often than the average girl.

For example, a “perfect” (:gag:) 24 year old girl is being redt to a guy whose parents just went through a messy divorce (or any other medical/psychological/familial/social issue that is considered “baggage” for shidduch purposes). In such a case, I’d call the girl first to find out if this was something she’d consider. Chances are, this guy has a hard time getting a date, so why hurt him further unnecessarily?

If the aforementioned girl also has an “issue,” I’d stick with the original rule, because then they are “even,” and at the pre-dating stage, the boys always have the upper hand in normal situations.

Basically, the point is to be as sensitive as possible to all parties involved. Sometimes this takes extra thought and effort, but in my experience, people really appreciate it.

Happy shadchaning!


A Moment of Lucidity

He sits near the hospital bed, aching.

Waiting, watching, and hoping.

It’s been so long since the accident, but he refuses to leave the boy’s side.

“No change,” they always say. “The longer he is like this, the less likely it is that he will emerge from this state.”

They tell him to go home. Change his clothes. Find a hobby. Move on.

But he stays.

His only son smiles – even laughs occasionally – his eyes unfocused and unseeing, but his brain, it’s even further away.

It’s the boy’s obliviousness which hurts him the most. How is he so gleeful, so out-of-it, so unaware of the gravity of the situation?

This child was his tomorrow, his whole world, his reason for existence.

How he wishes he could just gently shake the boy awake, as he used to, so many moons before.

It’s like there is this empty shell, just sitting there foolishly grinning at nothing all day long.

Where is he really? Where is his son, this child he lives for? Is he in pain, does he feel trapped? Is his spirit peacefully floating among the mountaintops somewhere? Does he long to be held, does he hear his father’s voice, does he appreciate the warmth of his father’s constant presence? Or is he gone forever?

There are no answers, yet he stays.

Because every once in a while, there is a hint, a glimpse, of understanding. The boy will look confused, scared even, and briefly meet his father’s worried eyes. Sometimes a tear will even fall. And then it’s back to oblivion.

But those moments, they make his father go on. Because this means there might be something left inside, something real, something alive. A spark that might, just might ignite the pile of ashes and form a bright light once again.

So our Father just keeps on waiting.

This Tisha B’av, let’s give Him a moment of lucidity. Let’s forget about all the nothingness we busy ourselves with day after day after day. Let’s focus on what is really important, on what we lost, and what we should long to have once again.

We owe it to Him, as the child He waits for and watches, the one He lives for.

And maybe, just maybe, we can make it last longer than a day. Maybe this will be the beginning of The End.

Finally.

(This post was partially based on a mashal that I heard from someone, somewhere, once upon a time. If anyone has a source for a similar parable about Am Yisrael being compared to a sick child, please let me know, and I will credit them properly. Also, please excuse the poor editing – I was in a rush to get this up before Tisha B’Av.)


Shidduchim Are Basherte – A Case Study

I recently phoned Mrs. X, the mother of a guy who is about to start dating, to suggest a really special girl.

As procedure dictates, I began extolling her most positive qualities – beautiful, slim, and smart of course (in case you don’t know me well enough by now – I’m partially serious kidding…) and of course I described why I thought this was a great idea for her sought-after son.

She thanked me so much for my efforts and said that although she is not trying to put me off here, they are inundated with suggestions at this time. She said that she will get back to me if she wanted to pursue it at any point.

And then I found myself telling her a story about the girl that really impressed me. I realized mid-sentence that the story was coming out sounding really different than it was in my head, and I felt that at best I hadn’t done this girl justice, and at worst I sounded seriously desperate.

I got off the phone and collapsed onto my couch feeling like an idiot. I was sure that I had ruined any possibility of this match materializing. Then the mental over-analysis began.

Overkill.

Shoulda backed off, Lefty.

You sounded like a used car salesman.

Next time prepare any random anecdotes in advance.

What a stupid way to ruin a good shidduch possibility.

Why do I bother, anyway?

Fast forward a week.

I’m in middle of folding some laundry, when the phone rings.

“Hey Lefty?

This is Mrs. X, getting back to you. I know I told you that there are just so many names on the table, but I think we’d like to try your idea first anyhow.

It was that story you told me about when you were in the car with this girl. I don’t know why, but it just resonated with me. It immediately reminded me of similar things my son would do. So thanks for sharing that.”

I drop the pile of neatly folded t-shirts, and rush to get a pen to collect his information.

They are set to go out this week.

Coincidence? Siyata Dishmaya? Basherte?

It’s shidduchim – I’m learning that anything can happen.


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