Sailboats and ADHD

sail boat


What is the connection between sailboats and ADHD? Surprisingly, they are closely related. But first we have to explain what ADHD is, and then the connection will become quite clear. Usually, people ask a different question: Is ADHD real? Yes, it is definitely real, but it is greatly misunderstood. This article will attempt to clarify this intriguing condition that has been termed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Attention Deficit
As the term indicates, one of the primary traits of ADHD is an attention deficit. This would imply that people with ADHD have a hard time paying attention. This is partially true.

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Chanukah in the “Good Old Days”


Nu, asked a yunger mentch (young person), how was Chanukah celebrated back in the “Middle Ages”? I assured him that we celebrated Chanukah in the same manner that he currently celebrates the wonderful holiday. However, after giving his question some thought, it occurred to me that there were some unique features to celebrating Chanukah in the olden days.

We lived in East Baltimore, and a terrible war was raging around the world, known as World War II. Periodically there were “blackouts.” Nu, you may ask, voss hayst (what does it mean) blackouts? To involve the population in the “war effort,” certain days were designated as mock air raid sessions. They were initiated by three loud siren sounds. Lights in every building were extinguished, and special dark window shades were pulled down. Walking out of doors was prohibited with the exception of the air raid wardens, who sported white helmets with a triangular emblem. If they spotted someone that fifed on (ignored) the no-light rule they fifed (sounded) their whistle with a deafening sound. Nu, if the enemy could not see buildings, they heard the whistle!


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The (Partially) True Story of the Jelly Donut


Many have asked, “Why do we eat jelly donuts on Chanukah?” To answer that question, first of all, they taste good, and now we have an excuse, since jelly donuts are fried in oil, and there is a tradition to eat oily foods on Chanukah. This tradition developed because of the miracle of the one pure jar of oil found in the Temple that was able to last for eight days, although the amount should have been enough for only one day.

Another lesser known fact is that, found alongside the oil, odd as it may seem, was enough flour, yeast, sugar, and jam to make a batch of donuts. Even more astonishingly, they all had a Badatz hechsher. This alone, however, does not fully account for jelly donuts becoming traditional Chanukah fare.

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Ask the Shadchan


To the Shadchan:

I am fairly young and newly married. I have many unmarried friends whom I would love to help. B”H, my husband knows a lot of eligible guys. I started fixing people up and then got too frustrated. My friends were too picky and turned people down for no real reason. But since I am friends with them I felt that I couldn’t tell them they were being stupid. These are really top boys. I was recently talking with my mother about this, and she said that I really should get past my feelings and help these girls. Do you think I’m obligated to help, and, if so, do you have any advice for me?

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In Rain, Sleet and Snow, to Levindale They Go!


Dr. Morris Mayer works a six-day, 80-hour week as the owner of two pharmacies – the Joppa Road Pharmacy in Parkville and the Harford Road Pharmacy in Carney. You would think that he would want to take it easy on Shabbos, but au contraire! Each Shabbos, in rain, sleet and snow, Dr. Mayer and his 18-year-old son Doni make the approximately four-mile round trip trek – including the steep “killer hill” leading to Pimlico Racetrack – to Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital.

The dynamic duo started their weekly pilgrimage about six years ago, following in the footsteps – literally – of their son/older brother, Adam, now a 23-year-old medical school student in Philadelphia, who still volunteers at Levindale when he is in town. He was the first in the family to volunteer, seven years ago, encouraged by his friends, the Gnatt brothers, Itamar and Michael.

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Dollars and Good Old Common Sense Part 1


Parnassa is truly a gift from Hashem. Each morning, in Ashrei, we recite, “posai’ach es yaodecha – You open Your hand to satisfy all the living.” In Shemoneh Esrei, we ask Hashem to “satisfy us from Your bounty.” On motza’ei Shabbos, we ask Hashem for dew from Heaven to give us the fatness of the earth and plenty of corn and wine. We ask for parnassa in Avinu Malkeinu, as well as in the blessing on Rosh Chodesh, the new month. In the bentshing, too, we thank Hashem for our bread, while asking for sustenance, blessing, and success.

No matter what our financial position – barely holding on or blessed with largesse – we must always recognize that it is Hashem’s money with which we are entrusted, given to us to manage properly. We must be same’ach bechelko, happy with our lot, and do our hishtadlus, make our best efforts, to support ourselves and our family. That includes crafting a sound financial plan.

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Thoughts After the Massacre

har nof

Today, at around 7:30 a.m., somewhere between diaper changes and trying to convince Yedidya that he could not eat two fistfuls of raisins, we start to hear the sirens. Yedidya runs to the front porch, craning his neck to see the ambulances pass by on the main road. “Nother one! Nother one! Nother one!” As the unexpected light-and-sound show continues relentlessly and he is almost exploding with glee, my hands begin to shake. Oh G-d. Please. No! This was clearly a terror attack, and from the sound of the police and ambulances speeding in the same direction, it is clear something terrible has happened just one neighborhood over, in Har Nof.

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Backs to the Sea


These are hard times for us all, and nobody can say what the future holds. Last week we all experienced, together, the horror of an attack on a shul in Har Nof, in which four pious rabbis were killed, and almost 20 others were wounded, mostly people in the middle of prayers. Pictures of that attack evoked memories of scenes we have not experienced in 70 years.

In this most recent tragedy, just one of many, fate decreed that I had a connection to two out of the four Har Nof families in mourning, and many of you in Baltimore have at least one connection as well. Wednesday evening I paid condolence calls to Agassi Street in Har Nof, where the murders occurred, and where those two families live. Rabbi Arye Kupinsky, hy”d, of Har Nof was raised in Kiryat Arba, my town, and my family has several connections to his family, which still lives there. I also paid a call to the Twersky family, down the street, who were mourning Rabbi Mosheh Twersky, hy”d. There, as I had thought I might, I found Rabbi Twersky’s sister Tzippora, and her husband, Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt, a close childhood friend from Baltimore. The couple had just flown in from the Bronx, where Jonathan is a rabbi.

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Income Taxes 2014


There are some new developments in income taxes this year, and some of the changes are significant. First of all, several tax deductions ended with 2013, but experts think they will be voted in retroactively to the beginning of 2014. Here are the changes:

You no longer get the exclusion for cancelled home mortgage debt. This was the provision that if a bank forgave a loan, it is income to you, but you did not have to pay taxes on it. This occurred when the real estate market went down and people renegotiated mortgages. Let’s hope this one comes back.

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Balancing the Motherhood Equation

working mother

My children are mostly grown up now, but I can still remember the tension I felt when I had to work on Chol Hamoed and my children had school vacation, or the times when my son cried bitterly when I dropped him off at the daycare center. All day I was torn between doing my job and worrying about the kids. Most working mothers can identify with this stress. Often we think, am I doing the right thing or the wrong thing for my family by going to work? What can I do differently so that we can all benefit?

Since many young women work today, I decided to explore some of the choices they make about their working lives. Why do women work? How do they maintain a balance between their home and work lives? Why do some women chose not to work? How does family support help? What impact does working have on the children?

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