Great advice – from an 80 year old man

1. Have a firm handshake.
2. Look people in the eye.
3. Sing in the shower.
4. Own a great stereo system. Music is life.
5. If in a fight, hit first and hit hard.
6. Don’t expect life to be fair.
7. Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen everyday.
8. Always accept an outstretched hand.
9. Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
10. Whistle.
11. Avoid sarcastic remarks.
12. Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 per cent of all your happiness or misery ABSOLUTELY!.
13. Make it a habit to do nice things for people who will never find out.
14. Lend only those books you never care to see again.
15. Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all that he has.
16. When playing games with children, let them win.
17. Give people a second chance, but NOT a third.
18. Be romantic.
19. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
20. Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life-and-death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems.
21. Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for our convenience, not the caller’s.
22. Be a good loser.
23. Be a good winner.
24. Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret.
25. When someone hugs you, let him be the first to let go.
26. Be modest. A lot was accomplished before you were born.
27. Keep it simple at everytime.
28. Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.
29. Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.
30. Live your life so that your epitaph could read, NO REGRETS.
31. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.
32. Never waste an opportunity to tell people you love them.
33. Remember no one makes it alone. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge those who helped and loved you.
34. Take charge of your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose it for you.
35. Visit friends and relatives when they are in hospital; you need only stay a few minutes.
36. Begin each day with some of your favourite prayer
37. Once in a while, take the scenic route.
38. Send a lot of greeting cards. Sign them, ‘Someone who thinks you’re terrific.’
39. Answer the phone with enthusiasm and energy in your voice.
40. Keep a note pad and pencil on your bed-side table. Million-dollar ideas sometimes strike at 3 a.m.
41. Show respect for everyone who works for a living, regardless of how trivial their job.
42. Send your loved ones flowers. Think of a reason later.
43. Make someone’s day by paying the toll for the person in the car behind you.
44. Become someone’s hero.
45. Marry only for love, it is key to your happiness if every other thing fails.
46. Count your blessings.
47. Compliment the meal when you’re a guest in someone’s home.
48. Wave at the children on a school bus/house/street/
49. Remember that 80 per cent of the success in any job is based on your ability to deal with PEOPLE. That is emotional intelligence.
50. Share this to help your friends.
51. Make sure someone says THANK YOU to you every day….

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It’s all in the details

We’re so far down the line that we can hope for and realistically expect that Moshiach is truly imminent. We can feel it, although we can’t. We’re numbed by distance in time from Sinai. Although we have sufficient knowledge and intelligence to know (or at least realistically believe) that it happened. “ Mystery of the Jews” is a fabulous 21 minute video that includes historic commentaries from people on all walks of life, that can help us understand.

The main point I wish to convey in this post is that I hope that we all understand the need to accept that we know nothing about the world to come and that it’s all about details. No-one knows who is “right” other than ourselves 🙂 albeit that the world’s oldest complete Sefer Torah, believed to have been written between the years 1155 and 1225, and was discovered about six weeks ago in the library of the University of Bologna, Italy, by Professor Mauro Perani. More at this lubavitch site Crown Heighes here

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Psychological and Emotional Aspects of Divorce

I found this to be very valuable for those considering divorce, and those who have been through it. It’s published by Kathleen O’Connell Corcoran in 1997 at .. I have reposted here in case it goes offline for some reason. I thought that it’s just too valuable to be lost..

Divorce Effects and Prevalence

It may be helpful to understand a little about divorce and the typical effects it has on men, women and children. The divorce rate in the United States is the highest in the world. Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. Sixty-seven percent of all second marriages end in divorce. As high as these figures are, what is also true is that the divorce rate appears to be dropping. The reasons for this change are not clear. Many people cannot afford to divorce, many people cannot afford to marry. Another reason is that “baby boomers,” who account for a large proportion of our population are no longer in their 20s and 30s, the ages when divorce is most prevalent. The societal expectation is that divorced life is less satisfying than married life. Divorce is associated with an increase in depression–people experience loss of partner, hopes and dreams, and lifestyle. The financial reality of divorce is often hard to comprehend: the same resources must now support almost twice the expenses.
Fifty percent of all children are children of divorce. Twenty-eight percent of all children are born of never married parents. Divorce is expensive. Aid for Dependent Children (AFDC) resources are drained by the needs of divorced and single parent families; including the cost of collecting child support.

Here are some of the experiences of men and women in divorce.
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How men think

An unclaimed edited letter from a man, for women, about how men think (or as the original says: we always hear the rules from the woman, these are ours).

1. Men are not mind readers.
2. Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down.
3. Crying is blackmail.
4. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!
5. Yes and no are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.
6. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
7. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.
8. If you think you’re fat, you probably are. Don’t ask us.
9. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.
10. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.
11. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.
12. Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we…
13. All men see in only 16 colors, like windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.
14. If we ask what is wrong and you say ‘nothing,’ we will act like nothing’s wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.
15. If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, expect an answer you don’t want to hear..
16. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine…really.
17. Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as football or motor sports.
18. You have enough clothes.
19. You have too many shoes.
20. I am in shape. Round is a shape!
21. Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight.. But did you know men really don’t mind that? It’s like camping…

Pass this to as many men as you can – to give them a laugh…Pass this to as many women as you can – to give them a bigger laugh, because its true!

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Modesty – particular or not?

These are some basic young Jewish bochur’s (boy/man) advice to girls who wish to be attractive looking. The Yeshiva bochur writes a frank and open letter, stating the one thing guys want in a wife. It seems there is widespread support for tsnius to be the thing – and since it’s certainly not my personal fave – so I thought it’s worth sharing.

Each bochur says that they want their wives to dress tznius. ‘According-to-halacha-tznius’. But why? Why would multiple guys who clearly have different values, some even doing stuff that are clearly wrong, all want the same thing when it came to tznius?

The fact is that guys want to marry a tznius girl. Period. The alternative is ‘this guy wants a girl who doesn’t dress tznius.’ Now how does that sound? What kind of values do you think a guy like that has? Where do you think he was in life, where do you think he will go?

Any normal guy who understands the strengths and weaknesses of men, suddenly finds the beauty, value, and real life importance of dressing modestly.
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Love letters – How to introduce yourself on a dating site

I thought I’d share these letters that a paid for dating site sends me. I really do love them all, they press good buttons and if there was an iota of truth in any of them they would probably have me falling head over heals for them. Maybe useful as templates or draft replies.

Hi, dear Yarmi!
I am a very sensitive person, and I hope that your intention is not to play games with me! I am a very romantic person! I like to walk in the moonlight, and dream of happiness! Morning walk on the beach of the river, when the silence … people can hear the cry of seagulls in the distance and a beautiful melody of waves … Waves so attracted to her, looking at them, you will forget about all your worries … When you breathe in the air of purity and innocence …. I am looking for my life partner with whom I will live in happiness, love, understanding, respect … Going through life hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder! In joy and in sorrow! because, as Stendhal said: “Love – a delightful flower, but it takes courage to step up to the edge of the precipice and rip it.”
I would really like to know more about you! And I hope that you will want to get to know me . If so, then I’ll look forward to your letter.
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Emotions – types of love

It’s not quite an academic conquest, although the topic of love and emotions is concurrent with the theme of my life and blog at the moment. In a quest to find a partner, it’s noted that more than 50% of relationships are now as a result of online escapades so one has to try various web sites. Being a frum guy I try the frum sites, although there is definitely a smattering of Jewish women on the more traditional sites and I have a friend who has entered into a beautiful holy relationship with a woman he met via Tinder. I’m not promoting that right now, nor is this a review of Jewish dating sites, it is acknowledgement that Russian brides – especially Ukranians – have been recommended to me. I’ve seen lifelong successful marriages, the economics make sense to me so the question is where (and how) to begin?

Obviously one starts looking for a partner online. It’s easy to imagine (and learn) that Russian brides are one of the areas where the more shady characters of the internet hang out, so what and who do you trust? I guess a personal reference could help, if you have one, but if not, one wants to stick ones toe in the pond… Scary stuff.. On the one site I’ve tried I found this interesting section under their FAQ’s. The (‘frequently asked’) question is “Is this love?” and the title of the answer is ‘Emotions’. Here’s the rest, quite entertaining, thanks to Bride-forever  🙂

Do you know what happens when you fall in love? Continue reading

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Psychology in the research of Love

In our times we know that the majority of marriages fail, either ending in divorce and separation and/or devolving into bitter dysfunction. Only thirty percent of marriages remain in healthy, happy marriages. Psychologist Ty Tashiro points out in his book – The Science of Happily Ever After – that social scientists first started studying marriages by observing them in action in the 1970s in response to a crisis. Married couples were divorcing at unprecedented rates. Worried about the impact these divorces would have on the children of the broken marriages, psychologists decided to cast their scientific net on couples, bringing them into the lab to observe them and determine what the ingredients of a healthy, lasting relationship were. Was each unhappy family unhappy in its own way, as Tolstoy claimed, or did the miserable marriages all share something toxic in common?

Psychologist John Gottman was one of those researchers. For the past four decades, he has studied thousands of couples in a quest to figure out what makes relationships work. I recently had the chance to interview Gottman and his wife Julie, also a psychologist, in New York City. Together, the renowned experts on marital stability run The Gottman Institute, which is devoted to helping couples build and maintain loving, healthy relationships based on scientific studies.

John Gottman began gathering his crucial findings in 1986 when he set up “The Love Lab” with his colleague Robert Levenson at the University of Washington. Gottman and Levenson brought newlyweds into the lab and watched them interact with each other. With a team of researchers, they hooked the couples up to electrodes and asked the couples to speak about their relationship, like how they met, a major conflict they were facing together, and a positive memory they had. As they spoke, the electrodes measured the subjects’ blood flow, heart rates, and how much they sweat they produced. Then the researchers sent the couples home and followed up with them six years later to see if they were still together.
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The rules of the game – stay happily married

Ruti Mizrachi – an Eshet Chayil with over 30 years of experience and clearly the wisdom handed down by generations – shares generations of advice on her blog post suggesting 10 simple steps on how to stay married. She humbly titles it; “How to become and stay happily married for (at least) thirty years in ten not-so-easy steps”. She may not account for some who do not want to be married forever, although one would suggest that’s a different problem that usually originates from those whose parents were not married (and just because you turned out OK, does not make that right).

Her advice is couched in the example of a close friend she has who is caught in the marriage rut, where her and her spouse have fallen for the typical traps when one takes each other for granted. We are all taught to guard against this and we often need the reminder… I found it’s more than a reminder when you pass the four important things she advises you do NOT do, before she gets to the ten which are the positive versions of what to do.

I love this advice – in its simplest form:

  • Live mindfully.
  • Make your spouse’s happiness paramount.
  • Remember that you are married to your best friend.
  • Surprise your partner.
  • Compromise on the big stuff, and the small stuff.
  • Trust the person you married to be at least as smart and good a person as you are.
  • Never, ever make fun of each other in public.
  • Never let your children come between you.
  • Treat each other’s important people with respect.
  • Help each other to realize your independent dreams.

I have no doubt that this is the recipe, each one of us will struggle with different elements of this advice… that’s normal. Stick to the recipe and you’re set for life and beyond!

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Forbidden relationships – stay away

The position of Jewish law – and a law of the State of Israel – adultery under duress is not considered adultery. In considering adultery resulting from a mistake two scenarios are considered; a real mistake – is defined as a case of duress – and hence not in the category of adultery. A legal-halachic mistake – i.e., ignorance of the prohibition on adultery, or of the law that only a get terminates the marriage; neither of the variants of these can be regarded as duress. Hence a woman engaging in sexual relations with another man – before she has a get – is deemed an adulteress, and as such forbidden both to her husband and to her lover.

ref: Jewish virtual library

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