Search our Archives:
» Opinion & Society
My Yiddisha Moma
By David Glick
The Yiddisha Mama, how precious she was. Songs of praise were
sung to her. Men would sit and reminisce about their own personal
Yiddisha Mama. A part of history, perhaps long gone, but still
remembered by many and longed for by even more.
The Yiddisha Mama, a character out of the bygone era. The far
away times of recent immigrants and scraping by. A personification
of the truly devoted. The ever watchful eye, always concerned
for her precious children. Est, a bisle, mien kinder -
and stuff a mouth with a morsel of food.
Cooking and cooking, cleaning and cooking, shopping and cooking
- a way of life now long gone. A balabusta, the home was
her domain. The kitchen her dominion. The ever steaming pot of soup
for cold winter nutrition. Wasted food? Throw food
out? What? Don't you know that people are starving around the
world. (Fine, we thought, send them this) But NO!, into the mouth,
into the stomach, can you break your own mother's heart by refusing
to eat? Left overs? Sure! Left over left-overs? Sure - that's
And the holidays: all the cooking for the family until - she's too tired
to enjoy the holiday. But the watchfulness of Cousin's
plate. Eat more! And she, herself, what did she eat? What no one
else ate! "G-d forbid, I should throw it out. Better I should
eat it myself". A cardinal crime, a breach in the ten commandments,
food was for eating, never to be thrown out.
She has a career, a demanding job that robs
her of her vitality, her youth, and energy. Children, yes, she
has them too. But it's not the same. Raising the children and
managing a demanding and exhausting work schedule reduces her
attention on her beloved children. Cooking, thank G-d for the
frozen section of the supermarket, and for the large freezer in
the home. With out it life would be an impossibility.
||Today, well things have changed. The Jewish children, raised so
humbly by this paragon of giving and kindness, have gone to college.
We have all gotten married and tried our hand at raising our families.
The Jewish American Princess, the apple of her mother's eye, has
a college degree.
What is the bottom line? Is it fair to compare yesterday's Yiddisha
Mama who lived in yesterday's relatively unsophisticated world
to today's Hi-tech Mama?
The common ground that the long gone Yiddisha Mama and our Hi-tech Jewish
Mama share is the desire and ability to give to their children.
The Yiddisha Mama in her time gave with her concern for
her children through her cooking and sewing. Making sure that they came
first and that they would get the best, much better than what their
Today's Hi-tech Jewish Mama, is concerned too, but her concern
doesn't come out as chicken soup and another piece of bread stuffed
in her child's mouth. Her concern comes as a desire to give to her children
the best in the sphere to which she lives. Passing on the Jewish values and the concern for others. But her giving and
the kindness is there, just like she received from her own Yiddisha Mama, waiting for the next generation to take from her
and to pass on to their children.
||And so the Yiddisha Mama lives on, embodied in the natural kindness
of today's Jewish mother, and so it will be for your children
too. The gift of giving, the gift of the Jewish Mother.|
* * * * *
For more on Jewish life, see our Archives
from the November, 1997 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
Please let us know if you see something unsavory on the Google Ads and we will have them removed. Email us with the offensive URL (www.something.com)