100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

May 19, 1989 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-05-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

CONTENTS

Under Protest, But
With Love For Mom

MASHEY BERNSTEIN

A

rare find is a good
wife .. .
She looks after her
household;
She never eats the bread of
idleness
Her children rise and bless
her . . .
— Proverbs
The other day my mother
called to complain that in all
the articles I have written, I
have never written one about
her! Immediately, like some
Jewish Pavlovian dog, I felt
the familiar pangs of guilt.
"But, Ma," I protested, "you
know I love you."
"If you love me, write about
me," came back the response.
So, somewhat under protest
and yet with love, here is your
column, Mother.
"Under protest and yet
with love," is a good way to
describe the intensity of our

No lioness was
more protective or
proud of her cubs
but no taskmaster
more demanding
of her charges.

relationship. My mother
comes from what I would
term the "old school" of
Jewish mothers. Whatever
ambitions she had for herself
were quelled by the society of
her time and sublimated in-
to a fierce desire for her
children. We were loved and
we knew it. Nothing was too
good for us. If we were short
of money — and very often we
were — we never felt depriv-
ed. We were well-fed, well-clad
and well-bred.
No lioness was more protec-
tive or proud of her cubs but
no taskmaster more deman-
ding of her charges.
Indeed, my upbringing was
not without some bewilder-
ment. One of the odd parts of
my mother's personality is
her total lack of proportion.
She made no distinction bet-
ween minor or major infrac-
tions of social, moral or
religious behavior. Failure to
eat my vegetables could just
as easily result in the same
tirade as failure to attend to
religious duties.
She would quickly call on

Mashey Bernstein, who
lectures at the University of
Michigan, loves his mother,
even though he lives and
works thousands of miles
away from her.

those two great — and
awesome — standbys of the
Jewish (and for all I know,
Italian, Greek or Chinese)
mother, guaranteed to strike
terror in the heart of any lit-
tle boy:
"You're the kind of son that
will dance on my grave" or
"Just wait till you have a
stepmother, then you'll be
sorry!" The Brothers Grimm
couldn't have done it any
better.
Truly chastened, I would
rapidly calculate the exact
number of peas and carrots I
had to swallow in order to
stave off death and replace-
ment — and not choke in the
process. I obviously ate the
correct amount for even after
a heart attack and a stroke, at
80 years of age, my mother
can still wield considerable
power, as the aforementioned
telephone call attests.
But my mother transcends
mere stereotype; her abilities
and history give her a stark
individuality. She has led a
long and varied life. Born in
a village called Yashenovka
in Poland, she left there in
1935, enduring among other
things a journey across Nazi
Germany that was terrifying
for a young girl straight out
of the shtetl. She, at least,
survived. Her parents, seven
of her sisters and her only
brother were not so fortunate.

In another quirk of fate, she
also had two sisters who left
home before she was even
born but to whom she wrote
in Yiddish every week. They
only met one time, when she
was 50.
My mother's culinary skills
are renowned. The kitchen
was her domain. Entering it
was like entering a magical
laboratory full of aromatic
smells and life-giving potions.
We grew up in a home
where everything was
"eigene gebachene" (home-
made): bread, jellies, gefilte
fish,,kugel, cholent and a host
of other delicacies. Some-
times, "if I was a good little
boy," like the sorcerer's ap-
prentice I would be allowed to
enter into the mysteries of
these arts that had been
handed down from genera-
tions passed.
I could paint the challahs
with egg and sprinkle poppy
seed on their braids or taste
the gefilte fish and advise
whether it needed more salt
or pepper before it was put in
the pot (as if my mother didn't
know).
Every day we sat down to a

Continued on Page 12

24

CLOSE-UP

High Ground

JAMES D. BESSER
Seymour Reich is the closest
to being an official spokesman.

53

KIDS

Nursery Glitz!

A photographic essay
on a special fashion show.

54

SPORTS

Working The Net

53

RICK WEINBERG
Israel's gift to UCLA volleyball
has had to work on and off court.

59

ENTERTAINMENT

Shall We Dance?

STEVE RAPHAEL
Diann Sichel settles in
at the Harbinger Dance Company.

73

BUSINESS

Plan Of Action

MIKE ROSENBAUM
Tina Bassett transformed dream
to reality at her communications firm.

FOR WOMEN

Mitzvot and Relations

59

76

MAIDA PORTNOY
"Mitzvah therapy" beats the rest
says psychologist Sol Gordon.

TEENS

Vienna Connection

86

RUTHIE EBENSTEIN
Five Detroiters found roots
in a trip to Austria.

DEPARTMENTS

32
40
43
44
50
52

71
74
82
90
96
98

Inside Washington
Life In Israel
Community
Synagogues
Education
Here's To

Fine Arts
For Seniors
On Campus
Engagements
Births
Single Life

CANDLELIGHTING

86

May 19, 1989
8:33 p.m.
Sabbath ends May 20 9:39 p.m.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

7

ONTENT

OPINION

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan