When Left Is Right
f you are familiar with the words
"gauche" or "sinister," your aware-
ness of left-handedness has begun.
Being married to a "lefty"
myself, I am quite sensitive to the fact that
the left-handed citizen is still at a distinct
disadvantage in our society — whether it is
from the standpoint of negative terms
involving the left or from the
MANELLO lack of convenience in find-
ing tools or household arti-
cles. (By the way, when the
latter are found they invari-
ably cost more.)
The Latin word sinister (meaning, "on
the left") indicates that which is evil or,
at best, unlucky. The French word gauche
(meaning, "left") indicates social awk-
wardness. The extremists in politics are the
left wingers. All this must stem from the days
when the left-handed person was thought to be
not only strange, but possibly possessed or evil in
Let me share with you some interesting
facts that will throw a positive spin on the
Some of the famous "lefties" among U.S.
preSidents include Garfield, Hoover and Truman.
Garfield was also ambidextrous and enjoyed dazzling
people by writing in Latin with one hand and Greek
with the other.
In the 1992 U.S. presidential election, three candidates
were left-handed: Bill Clinton, Ross Perot and George
Bush. (We will not discuss what that election LEFT us
Other notable left-handers: Joan of Arc, Queen Victoria,
Binyamin Netanyahu, Helen Keller, Dave Barry, Jay Leno,
Uri Geller and even Bart Simpson.
Since Jimi Hendrix could not afford to buy a left-handed
guitar when he was starting out, he learned to play a right-
handed guitar upside down.
Kermit the Frog was left-handed, as was his creator, Jim
Then there are directions. "Natural" rotation for most of
he Jewish surnames of
Barron, Shatz and Roshal
us is really from left to right. In the northern hemisphere
when you empty the bath, the water spins in a clockwise
abbreviate or represent cer-
direction. We perceive the sun to rotate from left to right
tain Hebrew words or
and that has determined the direction of the hands of a
terms. Do you know which ones?
— by Goldfein
watch and the rotation on sundials.
Did you know that the spiral forming the DNA chain,
-!qqe.! snourEj alp Jo lu -ep
which contains all of an individual's genetic material, turns
-uaosap 2maq avSQUIEU atp
clockwise? (More important — do you care?)
uoulms Iqq-611 ioj s!
The American favorite pastime of baseball has a
c.inv27 qopgycis Joj s! zlEus
greater percentage of left-handed pitchers in the
American League than left-handers in the gen-
The aversion to "left" is seen in the fact
that all races that take place on an . oval
track, including those for the Olympics
"Whatever style, the sukkah is the only
and horse races, are run counterclock-
mitzvah in which we are completely
surrounded, from head to toe, by the
The next time you're at the art muse-
mitzvah itself, enveloped, as it were by
urn, check out the painting of
Michelangelo's David and Goliath and
— Jay Korelitz, Farmington Hills resident
note that David's sling is in his left
and a local minyan leader for the elderly
at Coville Apartments, Danto Family
To show that some lefties had an
Care Center and Menorah House.
advantage, Leonardo da Vinci wrote all
of his personal notes from right to left,
"God waits for human initiative. On
forcing those who read them to use a mirror.
our own, we would not get very far.
In ancient Japan, a man could ask for a
Hence, we thank God 'who has hal-
divorce if he discovered that his wife was left-
lowed us with acts of holiness.' The reli-
gious life is not a monologue. As we do
Not that we want to encourage violence, (though many
the mitzvah, we sense an infusion of
"lefties" used to have to defend themselves from an early
intermingling with our own."
age) but if you lead with your left fist, you would have a
Ism ar Schorsch, chancellor of
distinct advantage when your opponent protects himself
the Jewish Theological Seminary of
with his right.
America in New York City in his Sukkot
If you wish to acknowledge the revised attitude toward
the "southpaws" among us, remember to celebrate Left
Handers Day next Aug. 13. It's a celebration that started in
"The Middle East is still replete with
1999 in the suburbs of Detroit. 0
national, religious and territorial dis-
putes. The land is small. The agony is
great. But the real tragedy is that with-
out tenor, we could have already
resolved them. Terror entrenched
"The burning flame of the candle represents the Jewish mother, who is the torch
to pass on the Torah values to the next generation. The woman is the pillar of
her home, and all is dependent on her."
— Miriam Amzalak, mother, Oak Park
Sponsored by Lubavitch
To submit a candlelighting
message or to receive
Friday, Sept. 27: 7:03 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 4: 6:51 p.m.
Amzalak of Oak Park at
(248) 967-5056 or c-mail:
Saturday, Sept. 28: 8:01 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 5: 7:51 p.m.
My bubbie* once counseled,
Between brains and brawn all agree,
Vu me dal moyech,
Helfi- nit kain koyech.'
Hands down, it's the kup mentsh*** for
— Martha Jo Fleischmann
and information on Shabbat
candlelighting, call Miriam
— Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres,
in his Sept. 18 address to the United
Nations General Assembly.
** Where you need intellect, stren
will not do.
*** brainy person