July 22, 2024
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July 22, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

We have all become used to the many new rules and regulations that govern our daily lives. As soon as we acclimate to one thing, it usually gets changed by the next week. Nothing seems to stay the same for very long. For example, this Thursday, July 2, restaurants were going to be open for inside dining with reduced numbers of patrons. That has already been changed.

Those of us who are shoppers at Costco know that for months the store pulled the free samples usually offered all over the store, as they felt that during this pandemic that was something to be completely avoided. Now we are reading that they are restarting their sample program with all products being pre-packaged. No longer does anyone have to worry about someone taking a piece of chocolate and then putting it back upon spotting a larger one on the tray. It would be a good project to investigate how many people actually buy the samples that are offered to them. According to a recent article that we read, Costco has no problem with people coming back as many times as they wish to sample the same food. There is no limit, and the more the merrier.

The new policies do not just involve the food industry. Stores that very recently began to open began with one set of rules and rapidly have changed those as well. Last week at Fox’s, a ladies clothing store in Marlboro, New Jersey, there were no try-on rooms open to customers. One had to buy the clothing without trying it on with the option to return it if it was not to one’s liking. Today at another Fox’s store in Ridgefield, the try-on rooms are open as long as one wears a mask. Within one week we have seen major changes that are hard to keep up with.

What other things in life are we encouraged to do without having any experience? Young people are encouraged to date with the prospect of marriage on the horizon before they have any clue of how to manage money, care for another, share feelings and thoughts with each other and, in some crazy cases, know how to do the laundry. Perhaps they should learn some of these skills prior to marrying. Most do not consider that a necessity. Part of that challenge is having a new set of parents (in laws) with whom they have to share chagim and Shabbatot, and sometimes refrain from sharing thoughts we might have of our spouse’s parents with the knowledge that mocking or challenging what someone has said would be opening a can of worms in a new relationship that’s only in its formation stage. We have no opportunity to try it in advance. Being a camp counselor, a babysitter or even taking care of younger siblings in no way prepares anyone for giving birth and caring for a child 24 hours a day. Most of us who have been fortunate enough to have children without that much of a struggle will agree that the formative years of a child’s life as well as all of the various stages following them are total mysteries. We bought into the entire package but none of us ever had the opportunity to “try it on.”

With regard to Costco, we can all live our lives easily without having that extra cracker tht we are so excited to see is kosher. With regard to purchasing new clothing, we feel that, these days, none of us feels the need to shop that much because we have gotten used to putting on the “same old,” as we do not really have many places (if any) to go. With regard to life skills, marrying, parenting, etc., it just seems to work—with difficulty in some cases and beautifully in others. It all has to do with the amount of courage, determination and commitment we have to each other.

Let’s celebrate the 4th of July by realizing that the independence we have all inserted into our new lifestyle, without the many “necessities” that we all felt were so important in the past, will teach us that we can do anything that we set our minds to with very little preparation and few adornments.


Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick are living in Bergenfield after many years of service to the Montreal Jewish community. Rabbi Glick was the rav of Congregation Ahavat Yisroel as well as a practicing clinical psychologist in private practice. He also taught at Champlain Regional College. The Glicks were frequent speakers at the OU marriage retreats. Nina coordinated all Yachad activities in Montreal and was a co/founder of Maison Shalom, a group home for young adults with special needs. They can be reached at [email protected].

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