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Category Archives: What is our Purpose?

Redefining Societal Expectations of Parents

This post is dedicated to all those out there that were not so happy with the parent(s) they were born to….

Life is not something that can be explained in concrete terms.

Parents have children that they may not be ready to raise appropriately all the time.  Does that mean that they are bad parents?

My husband and I were watching a Steve Wilko Episode yesterday – about a mother who purposely got her daughter hooked on heroin just so that she could pay her bills from the prostitution money that her daughter was able to bring in.

Listen…….I can’t argue the fact that this woman was in every sense a “bad” parent……but, the daughter was able to move on with her life by managing to get to a rehab program and stick to it and despite the hardships and temptations of heroin, this young girl was able to bring herself out of the black hole of addiction.

Does that make her mother a good mother?

The mother who pushed heroin on her daughter ended up giving birth to a great kid……better than most……shouldn’t the mother get credit?

Everyone will agree that the mother gets no credit for raising a smart girl.

Buit….why does everyone also agree that the mother should pay with her life for raising a child that isn’t as smart.

Parenting is a funny thing.  If you suck at it…..you lose.

If you were great at it (in your opinion) you lose as well……because the credit goes to the child for the child’s own accomplishments.

Let me tell you about my life with my mother.

My mother was a child born to a set of holocaust survivors.  My grandfather was a survivor of Aushwitz, one of the most deadly concentration camps in Germany, and my grandmother was a survivor of various work camps….not deadly, but grueling for any human being to have to live through.

I remember hearing a story that my grandfather and grandmother used to tell with pride…….they used to brag about how well disciplined my mother was…….if she would dare leave the house with her sweatshirt on backwards (which apparently she did occasionally), they would beat her for it.

And many other stories like this one.

I was the first born of my parents.

I am not going to discuss my father, because that is going to be a different post all together….but I want to discuss my mother.

I grew up being scared shitless of her.  My brother and I used to hide when we would hear her bed creak – an indication that she was about to wake up and come and get us.

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Donatella Doesn’t Need Your Charity

The Oscars aired on Sunday night…..It is now Tuesday and the NYC Daily News is STILL talking about red carpet fashion does and don’ts……..ON THE FRONT PAGE!

I realize that the Daily News is just trying to sell their newspaper……and this is what sells……but, doesn’t anyone realize that there may be more important things to talk about in the world?

Does it not seem logical that by focusing all of our attention, money and intellectual devotion to fashion, we are allowing everything else around us to crumble to pieces…….because we don’t care enough about it to even think about it?

I was watching the red carpet just for the humor of watching grown people discuss whether or not this ruffle or that neckline was worthy of admiration.

I also enjoyed watching the celebrities stop and turn from side to side to make sure the photographer get their best angle in the 50,000 pictures that were being taken of them.

My favorite part was watching the very well practiced facial expressions produced by each of the celebrities, which they have officially deemed to be the most flattering in pictures.

I couldn’t help being reminded of the movie Zoolander and Ben Stiller’s version of the “Magnum”………

After about 15 minutes of getting my kicks, I had to turn it off…….because I couldn’t help thinking that this gross display of artificiality is just plain ridiculous.

And our nation’s obsession with it, is even more ridiculous.

Why do we waste our brain cells on what Michelle Williams was wearing on Sunday night?   Has anyone ever heard the expression …..”if you don’t use it, you lose it”..?

And……the fact that we all humor it by talking about it every once in a while isn’t really the crime……

The crime is that multiple billions of dollars (22 to be exact in the US alone) is invested into the value of fashion every year!……

……and fashion has no value!!!!

Everyone who is “fashionable” knows that you can’t wear a dress twice…..what kind of value is that?

Meanwhile, …….people are dying all over the world from poverty that, according to Vision of Earth.org, would only cost $175,000,000,000 to eliminate completely.

In other words, if America were to become fashion free for only eight years……we could end world hunger!!!

That’s right ladies and gentlemen…..if you can just resist feeding into Hollywood brainwash and NOT GIVE YOUR MONEY TO STUFF THAT DOES NO ONE ANY GOOD (except for the designers)……you can contribute to the end of world hunger!!!!

Sounds like a great solution to me…

Don’t give your money to anyone……..and instead……STOP GIVING YOUR MONEY  to the manufacturers of bullshit!

Do you really need that $1500 handbag more than this kid needs rice?

I know that couture dress is the bomb, but does that one awesome night out just to show it off justify this?

OK….so world hunger isn’t your problem…..

But…… lining the pockets of Donatella Versace is?

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Celebrity Priests and Rabbis…..The Kim Kardashian’s of Religion

I’ve got to gripe a little here.

If you are reading my blog for the first time….I was at one time in my life an Orthodox Jew.

I respected my faith very much and I had fear that if I didn’t follow the ritualistic protocol of Judaism, I believed that I was going to be “punished” by the One Above.

I also believed that if I am going to be punished for not being a “good” Jew, then other people that are not “good” Jews will also be punished.

I have gotten older and a little more mature and I realize now that I may have been wrong about this childish view of G-d.

As an adult, I realize that we cannot tell another person what G-d wants from them, because we are not G-d and to dare insist that we are sure that another person is going to “Hell” for their deeds…..is quite presumptuous.

But……since I have come to this realization……I have a hard time with Rabbis and Priests that claim to know what G-d wants from all of us.

And, apparently they know that G-d wants the same thing from everybody…… G-d wants all of us to fear Him.

Let me tell you why I think this is blasphemous.

Note: Since I can only discuss Judaism, because I am Jewish, I have no choice but to limit my gripes to the Rabbis that do this and what kind of negative impact they have on the Jewish community as a whole.  I cannot discuss other religions, however, that does not mean that this does not occur within other religions.  I want to clearly state that I am not under the impression that Judaism is the one and only religion guilty of what I am about to rant about.

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Who Are You?

This question is so cliche – we don’t even know the meaning of this question.

A few years ago, if someone would  have asked me this question, I would have looked at them straight in the eyes, while trying to keep a straight face, and I would have responded….” I am Glinda, the good witch of the South.”

What does this question mean and if we are anyone besides who we think we are, how would we know the answer?

That is the reason why this question is actually such an important one to answer…..because most likely we are not who we think we are.

A few years ago, I would have rolled my eyes and given a sarcastic answer to this question because I would have no other answer to give.

What kind of answer am I supposed to give?……I am Shayna Abrams, a married woman with children who likes music and loves to cook…..

I now realize that we are the infinite spirit inside of us and not the our finite bodies – nor are we the finite functions of our bodies –  that have been named by the ones who conceived us.

We are not just our names.  We are not just our jobs.  We are not just our particular enjoyments.  We are not just spouses.  We are not just parents.  We are not just friends.

We are far more than all of these things together.  When we limit ourselves to something as trite as the identifications above, we limit the power of ourselves – which is our spirit.

We are limiting ourselves to a finite thing rather an infinite being.

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Israel and Iran….Are we Ready for the Showdown?

I am embarrassed to say that I do not stay up to date on what is going on in the news and in the world.  I am unable to get passed my feeling that everything we see on the news is just skewed to the perspective that the viewers of that news station want to hear and…….I don’t believe there is any reality in politics AT ALL.

But….I do catch some pieces of information here and there because my husband is Israeli and Israelis tend to know what’s going on in the world.  They kind of have to because they are located smack dab in the middle of a bunch of countries that want to destroy them and the UN seems to support the endeavor

Like I said before, I don’t believe anything that any news channel says.  My husband and I argue about this all the time, but I find it very hard to believe that any body of people that control other people – whether they are considered  “democratic”, “communist” or a “theocracy” ……and especially if they are considered a dictatorship…..have any intention of taking care of anyone but themselves.

I tend to believe that selfless and honorable political leaders like King David are rare and that is why King David is considered heroic and legendary – and most of us even believe that the Messiah is supposed to come from his line of descendants.

The character qualities necessary for a political leader tend to clash with the character qualities necessary for a spiritual leader.  To be both in one…….is extremely rare.

With that being said, since my perspective from the get go is that no leader of any country has good intentions for the country itself, it is kind of hard to even talk about the subject of politics with anyone because I just don’t believe we know what is really going on behind closed doors……and anyone that claims to know should probably do a little more research.

I am sure that they will find many resources that will contradict what they think they know.

So, because I am not an expert on politics I cannot truly have an opinion on what is going on in the political arena…..but I want to mention one thing that is kind of grabbing my attention these days.

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What You Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You

Everyone has heard the saying “what you don’t know won’t hurt you“……..

But….is this really true?

I know someone who makes a lot of money on the premise of this phase.  He provides a service to people that call him because they need someone to make their living environment a healthier place to live in.

This person does absolutely nothing right in front of their eyes, but convinces them that he has just saved their lives and the lives of their babies and walks out with a check for thousands of dollars.

When I ask him how he feels about steeling money from people daily, his answer is that the customers are happy with his services and can sleep better at night and therefore he deserves the money that they are willingly paying him.

What they don’t know won’t hurt them.

In this case, it even helps them.

Yes, there are cases that lying becomes a critical problem for the person lied to and the liar, but the consequences end up being an appropriate punishment which fits the crime……I am not talking about these cases.  These cases take care of themselves.

My question is how bad is lying, when the lie doesn’t hurt anyone and no one is the wiser to it?

In my opinion, very, very, very bad.

And….not because it is “bad” thing to do.  Sometimes lying has no bad intentions behind it.

I believe that untruths are bad because they are not real.

By lying, you are contributing untruth to the world.

Untruths are fictional.

Fiction is fantasy.

Believing in fantasy is the same as being “crazy”.

Let me put this in another way……

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Easy Money – Chapter II

Every once in a while, I am going to post a chapter from a publication that the Breslov community in Brooklyn puts out which is based on the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.  I will add my two cents on the bottom of the post and those of you who have a few more cents to add….please feel free.

Even though Rabbi Nachman was a Hasid, his teachings are applicable and potentially valuable to all of humanity

Visit my post “The Unique Teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov” for a little introduction to who Rabbi Nachman is and why he is special.

Easy Money – Chapter II

Despite the prevailing notion that there is no place for virtue in the competitive world of business, still making a good living means making an honest living!  For success of any lasting value has to be legitimately gained, and not acquired at the cost of your beliefs and ideals.

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