April 15, 2024
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April 15, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

When we were house hunting in the Teaneck-Bergenfield area there were three requisites that were really important to Nina. The first was a bathroom in the master bedroom (not such a crazy request); the second was a garage attached to the house—it is so much easier going into the house with groceries directly from the car without having to go outside (we didn’t get it );

And the third request was a front hall—in so many houses in this area people walk directly into the living room! Nina kept asking the question “Where does one put their boots?” “Where do you take off your boots? The answer given to her was, “We have no boots here. We don’t have snow here as you are used to in Montreal.”

As it happens, in Montreal NO ONE enters a house without taking off his boots. Once inside, a person can go barefoot, bring shoes separately, or receive a pair of slippers from the host. It actually took us time to get used to the fact that even when there is no snow people are busy taking off their shoes.

We all know that this has been an unusual winter for this community. People keep telling us that they have never seen anything like this before. However we have to say that having a front hall with all of this shmutz coming into the house would have been really welcomed. Maybe we weren’t so crazy after all!

It brings to light sticking to your principles and doing what you think is right even when you are among people who do not agree. Trying to think back to appropriate examples, we remember our outrage when the Beth Jacob School that our daughters attended in Montreal did not celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut. Promptly Nina purchased blue and white cupcakes and sent them to school on that day. The classes enjoyed them probably not even realizing what there was to celebrate, however we knew that our daughters knew the reason.

Interestingly, as time goes by, we realize that some things that really mattered to us a while ago no longer seem to be important. We are able to substitute new pleasures for what used to be. We all know that a Shabbat meal always is composed of our finest recipes, wide array of dishes, and food favorites. Suddenly we became aware of the fact that this did not have to include five courses and only fleishig. We began to revel at times while alone for a Shabbat lunch when we could savor a very exotic cheese with a special loaf of bread and a bottle of wine. It sounds simple, and for some un-Jewish, but for us extremely enjoyable. In our lives, 20 years ago, we would never have considered doing such a thing. The hilarity is that if we were to try to explain to our children how pleasurable this is, they would probably think that we have lost it.

It is comforting to feel that we do not have to wear the absolute latest fashions in order to fit into a community. Four-inch heels do not at all look comfortable and cannot be healthy. We watch women wobble along and think how lucky we are that we do not feel any pressure to acquiesce to what everyone else is doing. Skinny ties however we must do in deference to our 11 grandsons.

Oh gosh, what is happening to us? Are we becoming “old fogies?” In some ways we wish that some of our present thoughts would have been part of our lifestyle a long time ago. It would have involved less stress and more enjoyment of everyday life.

By Mordechai and Nina Glick

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