The Yiddisha Mamma, a lament about the Woman who lives in our hearts


         

The Yiddisha Mamma, a lament about the Woman who lives in our hearts The Jewish Magazine for the best Jewish authors & articles on Israel Judiasm Torah humor mysticism stories news & Jews. Put us on your bookmark now! Published monthly on the Internet!

 
 
 
 

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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 the soup!

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.

The Jewish Magazine for the best Jewish authors & articles on Israel Judiasm Torah humor mysticism stories news & Jews. Put us on your bookmark now! Published monthly on the Internet! 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.
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.

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 parents had.

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.

The Jewish Magazine for the best Jewish authors & articles on Israel Judiasm Torah humor mysticism stories news & Jews. Put us on your bookmark now! Published monthly on the Internet! 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.

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For more on Jewish life, see our Archives

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from the November, 1997 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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