Showing posts with label Divorce. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Divorce. Show all posts

September 10, 2020

@The Amish Experience

It was a fun time at The Amish Experience today in Lancaster Country, Pennsylvania. 

One and a half hour bus tour of Amish country. 

45 Minute movie about Jacob, an Amish teen, trying to decide whether he wants to be in the outside world or in the Amish one.

And another hour of so tour of an Amish school house and home. 

Felt like I learned a lot about their culture (including no TV, internet, electricity [just batteries and solar], and education only through 8th grade). 

Honestly, it doesn't seem like they really have much a choice in whether to choose the church and become Amish or leave, because if they choose to leave they are shunned (i.e. excommunicated)!

So you either choose you family, church, community, and a wife (and there is no divorce) or you run off to G-d knows where completely alone and "divorced" from everything you know. 

The video is when we stopped at an Amish farm and I went in to the big barn with all the cows.  

After so much time on the bus, I needed to ham it up a little and have fun with:

"How now brown cow. It is so nice to eat you! You are beautiful animals.  And thank you Hashem for making you!" ;-)

(Credit Video: Andy and Dossy Blumenthal)


January 31, 2020

Hope You Had A Good "Veek"

So I was asked do you spell week with a "W" or a "V."

I guess sometimes it does sound like we say veek.

Someone else told me that they are divorced and that person is still a "dark force" in their life.

They said they have to pay child support but can't afford it. 
It's not like I still earn $55,000 like I used to.

But if they don't pay...
Well my ex will just refuse to let me see my son!

People have tough lives. 

So when you think about your week, hopefully in context, you can resolutely say that you had a good veek. 

Shabbat Shalom! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

February 24, 2019

Interfaith Movie Today

This afternoon, we attended the interfaith movie screening of “The Judge.

The movie is about a Palestinian woman who becomes “the first woman judge in a Shari’a ‘family law’ court.” 

Let's just say it wasn't easy for her to break into this male-dominated profession within institutionalized religion in the Middle East.  

Thinking in an interfaith way, I guess it's maybe not so dissimilar to women breaking into the profession of the Rabbinate. 

Another similarity between the religions was that there were many Islamic religious leaders that were very conservative and dead set against women in the Shari'a courts, while others stood up against the tide and inspired change--I think we have similar disagreements in Judaism between the ultra-orthodox who want to stick with the "old" historical ways of doing things, and the more liberal Jews that seek the freedom to alter those ways. 

During the movie, there were some interesting take-aways like under Shariah law, men are allowed up to 4 wives!  

Another funny line in the movie was when one of the men said that the men never make trouble for the women (i.e. it's all the women's fault). 

In the court cases filmed, there seemed to be a lot of cases of domestic violence and of divorce, and in one case in particular the wife was actually stabbed to death in the court house by her husband who she was trying to get a divorce from. 

Overall, it felt good to attend the event and try to be a part of the healing process between people. 

The event was sponsored by the Jewish-Islamic Dialogue Society (JIDS) of Washington, D.C. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


August 29, 2018

Just One Mistake

So all it takes is one mistake. 

And your whole life can be completely altered. 

The consequences for a slip up in a split second in time. 

I'm talking to someone today and he tells me his story and it goes like this:

He came here from overseas in early 2000 after winning the lottery for a green card.  

split second and his life is changed miraculously for the better. 

He moves here and finds work as an electrician. 

He saves money, gets married, and is living a decent life. 

All is well and then...

One day, another split second and he is on the scaffolding doing his work as an electrician and suddenly it collapses, and he falls severely breaking his leg and knee.  

He is taken to the hospital where the doctor tells him his injuries are too severe and he is transported to another major metropolitan hospital. 

After three surgeries, his leg is put back together with metal plates, rods, and bolts. 

He is unable to work, loses his job, and eats through his savings living off it while his leg slowly heals. 

Next, the hospital comes after him for $60,000 in medical bills. 

He says he has no choice but to leave the country to escape the debt, which he cannot pay. 

After 7 years and with the debt forgotten, he is able to return to this country.

His wife who he married here claims he abandoned her and divorces him.

He has lost everything he had in this country.

He shows me that his leg has huge scars up and down the sides and he bangs on his leg multiple times to show me the metal plates holding it together. 

He also demonstrates to me also that even after all these years, he still can't run and as he tries in slow motion, his knee collapses and he visibly starts to lose his balance. 

I asked if he still has pain these 10 years later, and he says, "Yes!" 

Then he comes closer, turns to me, and with a very serious look, he shakes his head.

He says, "It only takes one mistake...just one mistake."  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

October 15, 2015

The Kardashian Ball-Busters

So despite the immense beauty, fame, and fortune associated with the Kardashian women...if you are a man, you may want to stay far far far away. 

It seems like in the end, nothing good ever turns out for the Kardashian men--who BTW are often ballplayers and even Olympic athletes. 

Kris's husbands:

- Robert Kardashian (1st husband) - divorced in 1991 after Kris's affair and lavish lifestyle spending, remained close friends, and died of esophageal cancer in 2003.

- Bruce Jenner (2nd husband) - divorced in 2014, and revealed "excruciatingly painful" transgender crisis and transformation to Caitlyn Jenner. 

Kim's husbands: 

- Damon Thomas (1st husband) - Messy divorce in 2004.

- Chris Humphries (2nd husband) - Filed for divorce after 1 year, 7 months and divorce completed in 2013.

- Kanye West (3rd husband) - Marriage issues and divorce rumors abound from frustration over Kim's weight gain to the two sleeping apart

Chloe's husband:

Lamar Odom (1st husband) - Signed divorce paper in 2015, and now in coma after drug overdose in brothel

Kourtney's partner: 

- Scott Disick (Ex partner) - Broke up in 2015 and continues struggling with drugs and alcohol addiction.

What about brother, Rob Kardashian?

Anyway, it all starts with Kris Jenner, the controlling family matriarch who has been said to be "testy, demanding, manipulative," and generally narcissistic.  

And how about the Kardashian daughters--who are they as people?--as they air their freewheeling "have it all" lifestyles on the show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians?

Even though they call it a reality show, maybe the real reality--like for most of humankind--is not so "all that" and glamorous after all? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


September 24, 2015

Everyone's Heart Is Something

This video has gone viral since Monday. 

A 6-year old girl instructs her mom and dad on how to treat each other better after her parent's divorce. 

"I just want everyone to be friends."

"If I can be nice, I think all of you can be too."

"I want everyone to smile."

"I think you can get your mean heights to low heights."

"My heart is something. Everyone's heart is something."

"If we live in a world where everyone is mean, then everyone will be a monster. What about the future?"

"If there is a little bit of person, we will eat them, then no one will ever be here, only the monsters will be in our place,"

"I want everything to be good and possible, nothing else."

So innocent and pure are her words.

Yes, a wake-up call to all of us!

If G-d can endow us with such pristine souls, surely we can nurture these and one day return them to the Maker, certainly no worse for the wear, and maybe even some better with good deeds done. ;-)

August 24, 2015

My Ashley Madison

So Ashley Madison is now a well-known adulterous website, particularly after hackers stole 37 million records on the site participants, and have released that information to the public.

These tens of millions of users seek companionship for loveless or sexless marriages or perhaps are just plain liars and cheaters--who knows? 

But yikes, now everyone knows!

Huffington reports that divorce lawyers are anticipating a deluge of new clients seeking divorces

And BBC reports that two people have already taken their lives in Canada as a result of the release. 

What is incredible as well are the 15,000 people who used their .gov or .mil accounts presumably to hide their infidelity from their spouses, but now are in potentially huge trouble with their government agencies.

I assume that Ashley Madison prided themselves on their discretion in handling their clients accounts, but lo' and behold the discretion is for naught compliments of some very naughty hackers. 

Privacy is becoming a very lonely and meaningless word whether you are faithful or a cheater--it's all open fodder on the net. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

September 9, 2013

Remember Those With Special Needs

This was an interesting sign at the swimming pool about handling sensitive gender issues with children.

The sign tells parents of "opposite gender children," over age 5, not to take them in the locker room with them.

Instead they are told to use a separate locker room for "special needs."

Then underneath, in the lower right corner, someone wrote in pen (it's light, so you may not be able to read it), "Ok, but then enforce handicapped changing room!!"

Having an accident recently and being on crutches and then a cane, I myself have developed a whole new awareness for how difficult the mundane can be. 

When I asked the doctor, why so-and-so happened to me, he said, "you're not getting any younger!"

It was really a wake up call for me. 

We don't always think of all the various special needs out there: people with handicaps, illnesses, and injuries of all sorts (physical, emotional, etc.), issues related to aging, single parents, orphaned children, people taking care of young children and/or aging parents, people newly divorced or bereaving, people out of work or "simply" changing careers or perhaps moving or even immigrating, and many more.  

There are so many situations which can create special needs for people. 

Often at work, I see announcements for groups that help people undergoing various life changes--creating these special needs. I glance at the information about the group meetings, but usually don't have or take the time to fully stop and really think about what these all mean for people and how it impacts them--both their personal lives and their professional ones. 

Seeing the signage reminding people to use special locker rooms when they need to deal discretely with children of the opposite sex or for changing rooms for those with was just another jolt for me to think of others and help them whenever possible. 

Sometimes when I see someone who is old or disabled going slowly down the street, I think to myself--even though I may be in hurry--that I should slow down and not pass them quickly, so as not to make them feel bad--and now when I broke my ankle, I realized it was my turn and had to go slow.

Everyone goes through times when they have special needs. 

The key is when we aren't special needs for a moment in time that we remember how fortunate we are and that everything is temporary--both good and bad. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

February 18, 2012

The Evil That Men Do

This time I barely know what to write, except that I have been very upset the whole week.

I watched this multiple award-winning movie called The Stoning of Soraya M.

Have you seen it yet? 

It was one of those life-changing events for me that taught me about (in)justice, adversity, and purpose.

It is a 2008 film that was adapted from a book by a French-Iranian journalist. 

It is based on a true story about a journalist whose car breaks down in a remote Iranian village.

There, he learns from a decent, well-respected women, Zahra about the nefarious plot and stoning death (read murder) the prior day of her niece Soraya M. 

Soraya is targeted by her abusive husband Ali who wants to divorce her in order to marry a 14 year old girl in the village. 

When Soraya refuses the divorce knowing that she and her children will be destitute without Ali, she suffers violently, both verbal and physical abuse. 

Soraya is asked by the mayor and Mullah of the village to help (as a job) a recently widowed man with his house and son and she is kind and generous to them--she appears a genuinely good person, the diametric opposite of her sorely evil husband.

However, Ali uses Soraya's kindness to the other family to turn against her and he concocts a story of infidelity by Soraya and the man; he cajoles and threatens the others to go along and bear (false) witness against Soraya. 

Soraya is condemned to death by stoning in a mockery of a "trial" behind closed doors that she is not permitted to attend or even be represented at--the mayor, Mullah, and her own father decide she is too die for her treacherous infidelity to her husband--based on a complete fabrication!

The men and boys in the village go "crazy" chanting for her death, that G-d is great, and preparing carts of stones for the carrying out of the (in)justice. 

Soraya has a heartfelt goodbye with her two young daughters, while her two older sons--who are turned against her by Ali--prepare to participate in the stoning. 

Aunt Zahra tries everything to save Soraya, but cannot stop the crowd from carrying out their false retribution on her. 

They march Soraya to a dirt yard, where the hole has been dug for her.

They tie her hands, and bury her to the waist.

She is given the opportunity to say a few last words and asks completely bewildered as we all are, how could her neighbors, friends, and family--who know her (the real her, the truth of who she is), do this to her. 

But just when you think, the story will end--in her death or sudden saving--the movie surprises with a blow by blow showing of her brutal stoning death.

Her own father throws stone at her, but misses. Then her evil husband Ali takes aim and hits her twice right in the head and she is bleeding from a hole there. Then her own sons.  The "religious" Mullah.  Only the widowed man she had helped, refuses. All the other townsmen and boys throw stone after stone for what seems endless minutes as her face, head, torso, spine is crushed, shredded, torn.  

When her husband checks to see if she is finally dead, she is still somehow able to partially open one eye--he jumps back in horror that the "witch" is still alive and then she is overwhelmed by rocks from everyone all at once, putting the final end to this poor woman's life. 

Soraya was given one of the worst deaths that can be imagined--long, painful, literally "in your face" and by virtually all the people she loved and cared about--and all based on a complete lie!

To show the woman that their infidelity will not be tolerated, the men make a Colosseum-style event to the gruesome death and then add to that punishment that Soraya is not allowed to be buried, so that the dogs end up eating her remains.

After watching this movie--this life event--that happened to Soraya and G-d knows how many other helpless women who are violently mistreated, abused, and even murdered, I could not get the image of Soraya buried waist-deep in the ground, taking hits stone by stone, and bleeding out from her mangled body. 

I did not sleep (well) this week and I am still emotionally recovering from this movie. 

Thank G-d, the journalist escaped with the recording to tell the story of Soraya M. and all the other tortured women (and men) out there.

I know that I am deeply shaken by the graphic portrayal in this movie and of the injustices that are done, the evil that seems to prevail, and the pain that is left behind.  

Only faith in G-d's higher purpose for us--to learn and grow through all adversity--and of some ultimate justice and the reward of the righteous and punishment of the evil can fill this wound where I myself feel like I've been stoned too. 

(Source Photo: here)


November 6, 2011

Divorce Is Not Funny, Except on SNL

For those of you who watched Kim Kardashian's multi-million dollar Fairy Tale Wedding, this spoof by Saturday Night Live on her divorce, after just 72 days, was a classic.

I must say that watching the endless fighting between Kim and Kris leading up to wedding left many of us wondering how long their marriage would last--my guesstimate was 90 days or less!

Hopefully, Kim will focus not on the fairy tale wedding, but on a loving and mutually supportive relationship in the future.

All the best to Kim and the Kardashians--they are generally awesome to watch.

Some of the best that reality TV has to offer. ;-)