Sunday, July 16, 2006

Knowing When To Say "Thank You"

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I received this email from our Jewish Federation today:

Dear Pearl,

Please note this urgent message from CJPAC – Canada’s grassroots Jewish advocacy organization - about the importance of expressing our gratitude to Prime Minister Harper for his strong stand in Israel’s favour during the current conflict.

We wrote to you a few days ago with a request to help support Israel in these difficult times. Since then, the situation has intensified. Rockets launched by the Hezbollah terror organization killed eight people today in Haifa and yesterday struck Tiberias. Here in Canada, anti-Israel groups are stepping up their mobilization to undermine the Canadian Government's support for Israel. It is more essential than ever that we make our voices heard.

If you have not already done so, please contact the Prime Minister's Office at 613-992-4211 to express your gratitude for Canada's principled position and support for Israel. You can also e-mail Prime Minister Harper at
This will take less than a minute and is extremely important. You may want to read the Government's
most recent statement and the Prime Minister's comments on the situation.

We also urge you to support the UJA Federation Israel Crisis Relief Fund, which is helping to send children under rocket attack to camps that are removed from confrontation regions and purchasing equipment such as toys and games for use in bomb shelters. To make a donation, please click here.

May the days ahead bring peace and security to Israel.

So I immediately typed an email without much thought:

We, the Jewish people of Canada, and the world, thank you for your stance regarding Israel.

It is not easy to sit on the sidelines and watch entire communities live in fear for their lives; it is not easy to sit and watch history continually repeat itself; it is not easy to sit and watch people who are against you, time and time again, try to beat you down.

But it is easy to say thank you. So once again, thank you.

May the resolutions be quick and positive.

Pearl XXX & family,

Toronto, Canada

Roll/Role Call

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I'm very sorry. I know chaos is reigning over in the Middle East, wildfires are burning in California, and the world is full of daily ugliness, but I have to write lighter posts at a time like this. I read all these "heavy" posts elsewhere -- they both inform me and leave me heavy-hearted. I can't write like that right now. I'll leave it for others...

Growing up as the youngest child and the only daughter, I figured it was clear that I was a girl, especially since I had a girl's name to prove it. So why then did my mother often call me by my brothers' names or my father's name? I couldn't understand when she stumbled on her words in trying to get out the right name. Wasn't it plain to see? Pearl was standing beside her. Pearl and ONLY Pearl. So why was I suddenly being referred to as Jacob (my father's name)?

Well, Mom, I apologize for all those times that I personally wondered, "WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU, MOM? CAN"T YOU TELL WHO I AM BY NOW?"

Why do I apologize? Because I've noticed that I do the same damn thing!

I want to talk to my daughter who is beside me. I know it's my daughter. I know she's the only one in the room with me. I know she was given a beautiful feminine Hebrew name at birth. So what on earth possesses me to call her by one of her brothers' names? Better yet, why do I often do a roll call when I'm calling for her, and only her. I will somehow yell out all three kids names, one after the other, stumbling over each as I realize my mistake and try to get the RIGHT name for the right kid.

Why is it that when my oldest brother is in town, or if I talk to him on the phone, I will call him by my husband's name and I'll call my husband by my brother's name? This only happens with this particular brother.

But the best/worst scenario of all: since we became dog owners some 3 1/2 years ago, why is it that I would mix up the dogs' names with my youngest son's? Why did I call both Tyson, and now Max, by child #3's name? Worse, why do I call my child by the dog's name?

Why does this phenomenon only happen with my youngest child's name? Something to make you get in Rodin's "The Thinker" pose and say "Hmmm...."

I thought it bizarre, and I truly feel guilty each time it has happened to me over the years. This past Friday night after dinner and when everyone had gone to sleep, I walked Max, and saw a friend, a fellow dog owner. I asked her very cautiously, "Do you ever make the mistake of calling Jasper (a white Westie) by one of your kids' names, or call one of your kids by the dog's name?"

When I heard "I do it all the time -- and only with my youngest child," I breathed a heavy sigh of relief. Guess I'm not the only freak out there!

Any dog owners out there willing to admit they've done, or do, the same?